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  • Clinique25% off any purchase with code CL25, ends 6/28.
  • Laura Mercier20% off any purchase, ends 7/02.
  • MAC Cosmetics25% off to Select members with code MAC25, ends 6/27.

Tarte Exposed Amazonian Clay Blush

Tarte Exposed Amazonian Clay Blush
Tarte Exposed Amazonian Clay Blush

Tarte Exposed Amazonian Clay Blush ($25.00 for 0.20 oz.) is described as a “nude.” The color is like a neutral plum–it’s soft but definitely plummy with a hint of pink. The overall color is muted, so it should never be too much on the skin. It can be built up to look more like the color in the pan or sheered out for just a hint of color. This is a great color for everyday or to round out a look that you just don’t know what blush to use.

Tarte purports that the Amazonian Clay makes it suitable for all skin types, because it minimizes oil, hydrates skin, improves the skin, and gives the skin an overall smoother and more even appearance. I’m not going to comment on whether it improves the skin in the long-term, because in order to do that, one would need to wear it for six to eight weeks everyday (like skincare). I have normal-to-dry skin, though for the past month and at present, it’s normal with no dryness or dry patches. The weather is crisp and autumnal, no humidity or the like, so I would generally expect long-wearing products to perform to their best, given the conditions.

This blush does not wear 12 hours on me; it wears a good eight hours, but by ten, it has disappeared. I’m fine with my blush wearing for eight to ten hours, but I will note that several blushes last around eight hours or so on me (Burberry, Dior, Guerlain, Illamasqua, NARS, theBalm–just naming some of the ones off the top of my head). The wear is good but falls short of its 12-hour claim. The texture is very, very soft to the point where there is some powderiness if you go heavily, and I find that a blush brush kicks more product loose than you actually need for a single application. You might find that a stippling brush works better, because it will disturb the pressed powder less and waste less product that way.

Thankfully, it’s not powdery when worn, because I was initially fearful that it would be, after seeing how it swatched. It’s very pretty and soft on, and with the nearly matte finish, it looks natural on. The softness of the powder makes for effortless blending. The texture and feel of these reminded me a lot of Burberry’s Light Glow, actually. As far as the color goes, theBalm Cabana Boy is a pinker, shimmery version, while Chanel Rose Temptation is a touch darker. NARS Oasis is similar, too, but it also has shimmer.

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush Exposed

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Dior Couture Gold (554) 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette

Dior Couture Gold (554) 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette
Dior Couture Gold (554) 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette

Dior Holiday 2011: Couture Gold (554) 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette

Dior Couture Gold (554) 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette ($59.00 for 0.21 oz.) is a limited edition palette for the holidays that contains five shades, which tend to skew on the warmer side and keep in the spirit of all things glittery, glam, and metallic.

The first shade, on the upper left, is a white gold with a frosted finish. It has good color payoff and a really soft, buttery texture. This particular shade has several viable dupes: Tarina Tarantino Dreamy, Urban Decay Zephyr, Bare Escentuals Breathtaking, and MAC Manila Paper. Opposite that, on the upper right, is a burnt gold–more orange than yellow kind of gold–with a frosted, metallic finish and sheen. The pigmentation is good, and the eyeshadow feels silky soft. It’s similar in color to Urban Decay Blunt, Milani Drenched in Gold, and Bare Escentuals Aspire.

In the middle of the palette is a pale, sparkling gold with a really glimmering finish. The texture is a bit gritty, because this shade has more of a glitter finish than anything else. I didn’t think it was going to hold up well on the eye, but surprisingly, the fall out was minimal (and surprisingly little for this type of finish). The color seems similar to MAC Femme-fi but the finishes are completely different. It’s also similar to Bobbi Brown Gold Bar and MAC Nylon. This shade is yellower than the shade on the upper left of this palette.

On the bottom left, there is a very dark brown with flecks of ruby and gold shimmer. The texture of this is the type that separates the base color from the sparkle on top; the brown shade is dry, powdery, and only so-so in delivering true-to-pan color payoff, while the overlying sparkle tends to get lost when the shade is actually applied to the eyes. These shades are similar though the color of the sparkle differs slightly: Bobbi Brown Black Gold, Tarina Tarantino Dreamy, MAC Legendary, and Wet ‘n’ Wild Comfort Zone.  The last shade, which can be found on the bottom right, is a lightened copper with a golden sheen. The texture is really soft and smooth, and the hue has good color payoff. It’s not as copper as Urban Decay Limelight.

Couture Gold is a warm-toned palette, but it doesn’t contain a lot of strong yellow or orange-based shades, so it should be wearable on cooler complexions. This palette was a sleeper hit for me; I didn’t think I’d love it, even though it is pretty, but the way it comes together works really, really well.

Dior Couture Gold (554) 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette


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ThermaFuse HeatSmart Serum Dry Oil Treatment

By Amanda Allington, Hair Care Contributor

Amanda Allington was born in Vancouver, B.C. in Canada but her family moved to southern California when she was just five years old. She’s lived along the west coast, including Hawaii but has just moved to Washington D.C. Amanda has been married to her husband for four years and they have a two-year old son. Her husband is part of the military, so she and her family move around often, but she really enjoys it, because she can experience different places and people! Luckily, no matter where she has moved, she always finds other people who are as beauty obsessed as she is!

ThermaFuse HeatSmart Serum Dry Oil Treatment

Before trying ThermaFuse’s Dry Oil (Salons only, price varies depending on location & size, see website for local availability), I didn’t think hair oil was for me. I had the misconception that it would weigh down my hair and feel greasy, which is something my fine, dry hair already struggles with before adding any heavy product on top. Then, my hair stylist recommended this serum, and I was amazed with the results. If you have fly aways, frizzies, dry or dyed hair–or you just want something that gives your hair satiny shine and styling ease–you, too, need to check out this product.

ThermaFuse HeatSmart Serum Dry Oil Treatment gives me model looking hair. It has a lustre and shine to it that I have never been able to achieve before. When air-dried, my hair develops tons of frizz and fly-aways as well as a messy, tangled, wavy style. After applying this oil and doing a simple blow out, which is something I assure you that I struggle with, my frizzies and fly aways are smoothed. My hair has a healthier feel to it, and is touchable, tamed, and soft. I actually save money on my conditioner, because I can use less conditioner in the shower. Instead, I work the dry oil into my freshly-washed strands as the serum can be applied to dry or damp hair.

One of my concerns when first trying this product was weighing my hair down. Since my hair is so fine, if I apply products that are heavy, I end up totally flat. This is not the case with this serum. I can apply this product if I am straightening or curling my hair. When I straighten, I get silky shine and sleekness. When I curl, my curls are just as shiny, while still being bouncy and holding shape. It also does not shorten the amount of days I can go without washing my hair, which hovers between three and four. They really mean dry oil, because the ingredients are easily absorbed, preventing the oily or greasy look. Speaking of ingredients…

This dry oil contains a mixture of three organic oils; argan, acai and flaxseed. These three oils are filled with essential fatty acids and vitamins that coat and calm the hair cuticle while infusing into your hair. The serum also contains proteins, amino acids and healthy plant extracts while being sulfate, paraben and glycerin free. These ingredients help to prevent split ends and breakage while improving hydration and health. When you improve the health and moisture content of your hair, it becomes shinier, stronger, and more workable.

Finally, this contains ThermaFuse’s HeatSmart technology! “HeatSmart Complex® combines a silicone molecule with a wheat protein molecule. Together they stay on the hair AND in the hair, penetrating to smooth any frazzled cuticle while also adding shine. The icing on the cake? HeatSmart Complex® is accentuated by and activated with heat. Where in the past blow dryers, curling irons and flat irons damaged hair, with ThermaFuse they repair it!” Heat protection is a must-have product, so if you don’t already have something you are happy with, I strongly recommend giving ThermaFuse a try. If you are using one product for heat protection and another for shine, try this one serum for both!

In summary, we have organic ingredients, a whole slew of healthy ingredients, heat protection with HeatSmart that actually repairs your hair, easy styling, shine and healthy, workable hair. On top of all of this, ThermaFuse HeatSmart Serum Dry Oil Treatment smells fantastic! My husband regularly compliments me on the smoothed texture, being able to run his hands through it easily and the summery, fruity smell. My experience with this product: yes, it really is that good.

Dior Or Etoile Rouge Dior Lip Color

Dior Or Etoile Rouge Dior Lip Color
Dior Or Etoile Rouge Dior Lip Color

Dior Holiday 2011: Or Etoile Rouge Dior Lip Color

Dior Or Etoile (217) Rouge Dior Lip Color ($32.00 for 0.12 oz.) is one of four new and limited edition holiday lip colors from Dior. This shade is a sheer, warm yellow gold with pale gold shimmer. It has a high-shine finish. On lips, it brightens and lightens, while adding warmth and shimmer, but as expected from its sheer swatch, it doesn’t provide much color. I couldn’t think of a lipstick that was quite like this, but it was reminiscent of MAC Luxure, which is a lipgloss, though it is not as warm. NARS Albatross, which is another lipgloss, is also very similar, but it has a glossier finish.

Though Dior lists it as long-wearing, I’d have to disagree; Or Etoile seems to disappear after three hours! The formula on this one is creamy enough to glide across lips and deposits a healthy amount of shimmer on the lips. On the upside, for such a frosted color, it didn’t feel drying over the three hours I wore it.

Dior Rouge Dior Lip Color (Discontinued) Or Etoile
Or Etoile

This Week’s Sales for November 14, 2011

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

  • GILT:  Bobbi Brown (11/09)
  • HAUTELOOK:  Beauty Addicts (11/14), Cosmedicine (11/14), suki skincare (11/16)
  • IDEELI:  —
  • EBATES:  Lancome (14%), The Body Shop (10%), Pur Minerals (10%), DermStore (7.5%)
  • Rue La La:

Free Shipping, Coupon Codes, GWPs

  • APOTHICA: Free shipping on orders of $49+
  • BATH & BODY WORKS:  20% off with code 20HOLIDAY11, expires 11/27.
  • BEAUTY.COM: New Customers – get $5 off $35 or $10 off $70 on your first Beauty.com order, expires 1/1/12.  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.
  • BLOOMINGDALE’S: Free shipping on orders of $150+ with code FS150.
  • BLISS:  Free gift with $135+ purchase with code HOLIDAY11, expires 12/31.
  • BOBBI BROWN: Free shipping on $65+ orders.  Free long-wear cream shadow in Suede + free shipping with $65+ purchase with code SUEDE9, expires 12/21 (one time use).  Free shimmer lip gloss in Glacier + free shipping on $65+ orders with code GLACIER9, expires 12/21 (one time use).
  • CLINIQUE:  Free shipping on $50+ orders. Free All About Eyes mini with $30+ orders with code LIDS, available while supplies last.  Free Silvery Festive Tote with $52.50+ order with code TOTE, expires 11/30 or while supplies last.
  • DERMSTORE:  10% off when you shop for your My Favorites List, expires 12/31.
  • GIORGIO ARMANI BEAUTY:   Free mini Luminous Silk Foundation #5.5 (5ml) and Designer Lift Foundation SPF 20 #5.5 (5ml) with any $75+ order with code DESIGNER, expires 11/15.
  • KERASTASE:  Free deluxe sample of best selling Elixir Ultime with $68+ purchase, expires 1/1/12.
  • KIEHLS:  Free shipping and Lip Balm #1 on $35+ orders with code PATRON, expires 11/20.
  • LANCOME: Receive four-piece sample plus free shipping with $45+ orders with code NOVLAN, expires 11/30. Free 6-piece sample + free shipping on $50+ orders ($181 value) with code ONEDAYNOV, expires 11/14.
  • MOLTON BROWN: 2 x free 100ml SHOWER GELS on orders over £40 with code TAKETWO, expires 11/23.
  • NORDSTROM:  Free shipping & free returns everyday.
  • ORIGINS:  Free shipping on $50+ orders, no code necessary, expires 12/3.1  Free shipping + Ginger Rush (15ml) with $30+ purchase with code GINGER, expires 11/30.
  • PHILOSOPHY:   10% off with code FRIENDS, expires 12/31.
  • SAKS FIFTH AVENUE:  Spend $150 and get a free subscription to Harper’s Bazaar with code BAZAAR.  Free shipping on any order now through 12/31.
  • SEPHORA:   Free makeup bag + 12 free sapmles with any $25+ purchase with code FROMSEPHORA (valid 11/15 thru 12/2). Jurlique Herbal Recovery Gel for $10.  Clean mini trio for $15.  Free Bare Escentuals Lip Color with any $25+ purchase with code CONFIDENCE.  Free YSL Toning & Cleansing Water with $25+ purchase with code YSLCLEANSE.  Free Bare Escentuals mascara with $25+ purchase with code FLAWLESS.  Free YSL Faux Cils Mascara sample with $25+ purchase with code FAUXCILS.  Free Shiseido Mascara sample with $25+ purchase with code PERFECT. Free Bobbi Brown Eye Cream with any $25+ purchase with code BOBBIEYE.  Free Clinique Acne Treatment sample with $25+ purchase (BI) with code ACNE.  Free Murad cleanser sample with $25+ order with code CLEANSE.  Free Super by Perricone Hydrator sample with code SUPER.
  • SKINSTORE.COM:  $20 off $100+ orders with code SHOP20, expires 11/21.
  • TARTE: 10% off for new customers with code GGA, expires 12/31.
  • THE BODY SHOP (USA):  Free shipping on $50+ orders. Buy 2, get 1 free (entire store), expires 11/19.
  • ULTA:  Free shipping on $25+ orders, no code necessary, expires 12/24.
  • YSL:  Free shipping on any order, no code necessary. 5 YSL fragrance samples and free shipping on $75+ order with code FRAGRANCE10, expires 12/31.

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