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  • SaksEarn a Gift Card up to $900* with code AUG2017, ends 8/17.
  • Sephora4X points for Rouges (early access 8/11), 3X points for VIBs, and 2X points for BIs on all purchases, starts 8/11 and ends 8/19.
  • Stila25% off + free shipping with code 25OFF, ends 8/16.

3 Essential Nail Lacquers that Suit Everyone

By Edith (Edie) Bryan, Nail Care Expert

Edie is 27-years old and hails from the beautiful country that is Wales, in the UK. She’s an esthetician and has been trained in all aspects of beauty, from waxing to skincare, but she specializes in nails. She discovered her talent for nails at 17 and worked as a junior technician. In 2005, she started her own business running a nail salon in her home town. She found creating beautiful nails was the perfect way to combine her natural creativity and her obsession with fashion and beauty into one. Check out her blog Touch Beauty and follow her on Twitter!


3 Essential Nail Lacquers that Suit Everyone

With such a huge array of nail polish shades and effects to choose from, it can be difficult to choose the right shade for your skin tone.  This is made even more difficult by the fact that polishes can look completely different once applied to the nails than how they appeared in the bottle!

I think there are three basic polish shades that every girl should keep in their collection: a nude, bright red, and rouge noir (or dark burgundy). Here are three recommendations of polishes that will suit everyone. I chose three crème shades, as they can always be layered under shimmers or glitters, or worn alone, depending on the occasion. I applied each polish over CND Stickey Base Coat and sealed with a swipe of Seche Vite Top Coat.

Nude

OPI polishes have exceptional quality for the price, and out of their collection of nude shades, this is one that will work for everyone. It is a rich and opaque nude-pink-brown that applies easily and wears well. Nude polishes are great for wearing to the office or for job interviews, and they will match any outfit in your wardrobe.  They can be glammed up for an evening out with a swipe of glittery polish on top. OPI Dulce de Leche ($8.00) is a great investment shade from OPI’s Classics collection.

Bright Red

Revlon Revlon Red ($4.79) is an absolutely iconic shade of nail polish–it is glamour and gorgeousness in a bottle. I have always found Revlon polishes to be very hard-wearing, but they do tend to have a thin and runny consistency, so have some Q-Tips ready for any boo-boos you might make during application. This shade of red is almost exactly between cool and warm. I would say it has the tiniest bit more blue than yellow, but in such a fabulous bold red, that is forgivable. This shade is a winner for me and will work on any skin tone.

Rouge Noir

Jessica Street Swagger ($7.50) is a fairly new polish on the market, it is part of the Jessica Rebel Glam collection for fall 2011, and I believe the only crème shade out of the six. Jessica’s polish formulation is definitely in my top five, being so highly pigmented and super smooth. Two coats of this delicious, dark wine-red gives perfect opaque coverage and superior wear. Sophisticated, glossy and it even gives the illusion of longer nails. I often find that dark red polishes are particularly difficult to judge when in the bottle, but this is a true blackened red, both in the bottle and on the nail.

Check out swatches! 

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This Week’s Sales for January 30th, 2012


Feel free to share any upcoming deals you’ve spotted!

  • EBATES:  The Body Shop (10%), Elizabeth Arden (10%), Pur Minerals (10%), SkinStore (8%)
  • GILT:  Baby Quasar (1/30)
  • HAUTELOOK: LightStim (1/30), theBalm (1/30), myfaceworks (1/30), TEI Spa (1/31), Actifirm (1/31), Hairdo by Jessica Simpson (2/1), HerStyler (2/1), Rsession Tools (2/1)
  • IDEELI:  Lampe Berger Paris (2/1)
  • MRREBATES:  Murad (12%), Apothica (10%), DermStore (10%), ULTA (8%)
  • MYHABIT: Bremenn Research Labs (1/23)
  • Rue La La: philosophy (2/1)

Free Shipping, Coupon Codes, GWPs

  • APOTHICA: Free shipping on orders of $49+.
  • BATH & BODY WORKS:   20% off entire purchase with code GIFT20, expires 2/15.
  • BEAUTY.COM:  Get a free Issa London Designer Bag + deluxe samples ($175 value!) with your $100 order, while supplies last — link.
  • BENEFIT: Free shipping on $50+ purchases with code PRETTY50. Free international shipping with $115+ purchases with code WORLD115. Free Benefit snap sack bag with $35+ order with code OHSNAP, expires 1/30.
  • BLOOMINGDALE’S: Free shipping on orders of $150+ with code FS150.
  • BLISS:   4 free travel-ready treats with $75+ purchase with code FOURGIFTS, expires 1/31.  Free the Youth as We Know It Eye Cream when you book the new Youth as We Know It Facial, 1/16 thru 1/30. Free pair of glamour gloves with $75+ purchase with code GLAMHANDS, expires 1/31.  Free Sisley Discovery Kit Mini with $250+ Sisley purchase with code DISCOVERY, expires 1/31.
  • BOBBI BROWN: Free shipping on $65+ orders.  Free long-wear cream shadow in Suede + free shipping with $65+ purchase with code SUEDE9, expires 1/3 (one time use).  Free shimmer lip gloss in Glacier + free shipping on $65+ orders with code GLACIER9, expires 1/31 (one time use).  Free Plumberry Treatment Lip Shine SPF 15 with $65+ order with code PLUM11, expires 4/13.  Free Nougat Lipgloss with $65+ order with code GLOSS12, expires 4/13.
  • CLINIQUE:  Free shipping on $50+ orders.
  • DERMSTORE:  10% off when you shop for your My Favorites List, expires 6/2/12.
  • ELIZABETH ARDEN:  15-piece Luxe collection ($165 value) for $29.50 with any order, expires 2/10.
  • GIORGIO ARMANI BEAUTY:   Free shipping with $75+ orders + 2 samples of choice for registered members. Free shipping with any $75+ purchase with code DESIGNER10, no expiration. Choose 2 of 8 minis + free shipping with $75+ purchase with code GAMINIS, expires 1/31.
  • KIEHLS:  Free shipping on orders over $50.   Purchase 2 Ultra Facial products + receive deluxe Hand Salve and Powerful Strength Line Reducing Concentrate with code UF123, expires 2/15.  Purchase Clearly Corrective and receive deluxe Midnight Recovery Concentrate & Rose Arctica with code RADIANT, expires 3/15.
  • LANCOME: Free 4-piece sample + free shipping with $45+ orders with code NEWYEARLAN, expires 1/31. Free 6-piece + tote with $75+ orders.
  • NORDSTROM:  Free shipping & free returns everyday.
  • ORIGINS:  Free shipping on $50+ orders, no code necessary. Free Perfect World Antioxidant cleanser with White Tea + free shipping on any purchase with code BONUS1, expires 2/4.
  • PHILOSOPHY:   Free shipping on $50+ orders, no code necessary.
  • SAKS FIFTH AVENUE:  Spend $150 and get a free subscription to Harper’s Bazaar with code BAZAAR. Receive an exclusive Sophie Theallet cosmetic case + 7-piece beauty set (up to $151 value) with $65+ Lancome purchase with code LANCOME4A, expires 1/30.
  • SEPHORA:   Free deluxe sample of Algenist Firming & Lifting Cream with $25+ purchase with code FIRM, expires 2/1.  $10 Fresh Soy Cleanser & Mascara duo, no code needed, expires 2/1.  Free deluxe sample of Living Proof Restore Hairmask Treatment with $25+ purchase with code HAIRMASK, expires 2/1.  Free deluxe sample of REN Micro Polish Cleanser with $25+ purchase with code RENMICRO, expires 2/1.  Free Carol’s Daughter Monoi Repairing Trio with $25+ purchase with code MONOI, expires 2/1.  Free deluxe sample of Laura Mercier Radiance Primer on $25+ orders with code RADIANCE, expires 1/31.
  • SKINSTORE.COM:  20% off select gift ideas under $200 with code NEW2012, expiration unknown.
  • THE BODY SHOP (USA):  Free shipping on $50+ orders. Buy 2, Get 1 free on bath & body products, expires 2/5. 2 for $20 hand creams, expires 2/5.
  • ULTA:  74219 is $3.50 off $10 or code 89776 is $10 off $60.
  • YSL:  Free shipping on any order, no code necessary.

Do you have a question idea? Submit yours here.

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Working with Sensitive Skin

By Dain, New England, Skincare Contributor

Dain is a freelance editor and writer, who graduated with a Bachelor of Art in English. She expected to pursue an academic career but found her interests straying elsewhere–like beauty! She has dry, sensitive skin and is always looking for ways to keep her skin hydrated.  When she isn’t writing about beauty, she loves to play video games, cook (and eat!), and read.

Check out her blog, Ars Aromatica!


On me: a reaction to a magnesium abscorbyl phosphate serum, a derivative of vitamin C

As a rule, you don’t treat sensitivity so much as avoid it. Unfortunately, because irritants are completely specific to the individual—for example, essential oils don’t bother my skin, but I can’t go near a scrub.  People with sensitive skin must learn to read ingredients lists and identify irritants before they start. If you do trigger a reaction, it is time that heals your skin, rather than any products. Nevertheless, it is possible to alleviate some of the symptoms of sensitivity with skincare, though they are not quite as effective as your skin’s ability to heal itself.

If you’re experiencing damage…

It should resemble severe dehydration, perhaps accompanied by pain and redness: the skin’s surface should be rough and dry to the touch, dead many layers down. This is generally the side effect of detergent-based cleansers, over-exfoliation, retinoids, and dermatological peels, but it can also occur if you are exposed to a harsh climate. Unless you’re on a retinoid (follow your doctor’s instructions), it’s best to stop all treatments and switch to a basic regimen of mild cleanser and moisturizer generously applied while fresh skin grows back. When it’s nearly done healing, a gentle exfoliant will buff away the dead, damaged surface.

If you’re experiencing an allergic response…

Allergens are unique to every individual. An allergic reaction can be characterized by redness, heat, inflammation, hives, and itchiness. I prefer to wait it out, because it dies down on its own without any further ill effect, but you can apply oatmeal or cortisone to problem areas. Depending on the severity of the reaction, may want to consult your doctor before proceeding.

If you’re experiencing inflammation…

Sunburns fall under this category, as does acne, some forms of rosacea, and contact dermatitis. Certain ingredients, such as the vitamin C on me shown above, can sometimes trigger an immune response that resembles acne, because the pores are aggravated, inflamed, and filled with pus. If you are acne-prone, it is advisable to approach your skin as if it were sensitive and not provoke already reactive skin with harsh skincare that can turn a mild condition into a severe one. There are a number of anti-inflammatory ingredients, such as salicylic acid, bisabalol, aloe vera, oatmeal, calendula, zinc oxide, and the essential fatty acids in many plant oils—and yet, some of these can be irritants themselves, depending on the individual. Always do a patch test.

If you’re experiencing physical sensitivity…

Though anyone may encounter inflammation, damage, or allergies, thin skin is largely a physiological condition. Some people also encounter physical sensitivity when they’re on retinoids. This is a deficiency in the skin’s barrier function, so there is a higher incidence of the other kinds of sensitivity. You can reinforce the barrier with moisturizer, built up in several layers: a humectant solution in direct contact with the skin to aid penetration; a lipid barrier in direct contact with the environment to prevent moisture loss and any further damage; and an emulsion sandwiched in between. Look for ingredients like shea butter, plant oils, mineral oil, and anything that forms a barrier. It’s not the same as healthy, resilient skin, but it helps buffer thin skin from the elements.

Guerlain Samsara (124) Rouge Automatique Lipstick

Guerlain Samsara (124) Rouge Automatique Lipstick
Guerlain Samsara (124) Rouge Automatique Lipstick

Guerlain Samsara (124) Rouge Automatique Lipstick

Guerlain Samsara (124) Rouge Automatique Lipstick ($35.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a berry-kissed medium-dark red with ruby red micro-shimmer. There’s the faintest hint of a cool undertone, but compared to more obviously blue-toned lipsticks, it almost appears orange-toned! The color coverage is mostly opaque with little product needed for the results seen in the swatch. It does have some resemblance to Guerlain Vega, but this almost looks orange in contrast, and it’s a bit darker and definitely not as bright. Guerlain L’Heure Bleue looks more like a berry-red in comparison. Giorgio Armani #406 is similar but has little to no shimmer. MAC Prolong is a touch brighter.

Guerlain’s Rouge Automatique is a fabulous formula–it’s long-wearing, comfortable, lightweight, and always seems to make lips look better: more luscious and luminous.  Some of the lighter shades only wear for four to five hours, but richer shades like Samsara easily wear for six hours, up to eight, from my experience with the formula.  The texture is lightweight, creamy enough to glide easily across lips, but it doesn’t slip around once applied.  For more packaging photos, please see this post.

Guerlain Rouge Automatique Lip Color Samsara
Samsara
Samsara
10
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
10
Longevity
5
Application
100%
Total

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