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Sunday, December 2nd, 2007

How truthful do you think magazine reviews are? Are you a cynic who believes they were paid reviews, or do you delight in getting a professional opinion to help you decide what’s worth getting and what’s not?

Saturday, December 1st, 2007

Escada’s Moon Sparkle Eau de Toilette ($52.00)

A fruity floral fragrance, with sparkling strawberry and red apple notes. Top notes: strawberry, blackcurrant, citrus cocktail, red apple. Middle notes: sweet pea, freesia, jasmine, rose. Base notes: raspberry, musky notes, sandalwood, dry ambery notes.

What makes it worth it: If you love something fun, flirty, and utterly feminine, you’ll adore Escada’s Moon Sparkle eau de toilette with its candy-fruity smell. I could distinctly smell the scent of fresh strawberries with the slight aromatic sweetness of apples as a lingering note. I really enjoy being able to catch the scent of the different notes used in the fragrance, because it means they did an accurate representation of their fragrance.

Why you might pass on it: It may be too sweet-smelling or fruity-smelling for some. Those with a preference for muskier, woodier scents will find this one too overpowering to easily transition to.

Find this fragrance at department store retailers, as well as www.nordstrom.com. This is also available in a body lotion and shower gel. Also available is Moon Sparkle for Men in an eau de toilette spray as well as a shower gel.

Saturday, December 1st, 2007

PARIS HILTON rocks a shimmery gray smoky eye with peachy-pink lips and coral cheeks. Oh, did you notice the bronze-edged lower lash line she’s sporting? Start off the eyes by applying your base of choice all over your lid (suggestion: Urban Decay’s Primer Potion or MAC’s Prep & Prime), which will make your look last all night long, even when you’re partying in the club at 4am. Apply MAC’s Print eyeshadow all over the lid with the 239 brush. Using the 224, pick up a small amount of MAC’s Black Tied eyeshadow and gently apply over lid. This is to add a great dose of shimmer, but we don’t want to blacken it too much–we want to keep it relatively gray. Apply MAC’s Carbon eyeshadow into the outer crease using the 224 to add dimension (adding a matte crease always helps define the eye). With the 239, apply Shroom eyeshadow above the crease and on the brow bone; be sure to blend out the gray hues a bit over the crease so they follow a natural gradient. With the 219 brush, apply MAC’S Amber Lights eyeshadow along lower lash line. Apply MAC’s Blacktrack fluidline in a thin line along upper lash line using the 266. Follow with three coats of your blackest mascara (we love MAC Plushlash as well as Clinique’s High Impact).

For the face, Hilton’s skin has a bit of a glow, but her skin looks natural–not quite 100% polished like some other celebrities have in our previous installments. As a result, we recommend MAC’s Face & Body liquid foundation, because it has a natural dewiness in its finish, but it is also quite sheer. It allows your real skin to come through; if your skin isn’t as naturally gorgeous as Hilton’s, Face & Body still allows you to build up coverage when, where, and if you need it. We suggest applying liquid foundation by using a concealer brush, like the 194, and dabbing a bit on your cheeks, chin, forehead, and nose first. Follow up by using a fluffy powder or buffer brush (129, 150, or 182 all work well) and use the brush to buff or brush the foundation to cover your face evenly. We love a buffer brush because it really gives a flawless finish–you know, the one we covet so much. Opt not to contour, or if you must, do so with the lightest hand. For cheeks, we love MAC’s Springsheen blush dusted on apples of the cheeks with the 129 (darker skintones may want to try Sunbasque, though).

Keep lips looking ultra luxe by lining with MAC’s Summerfruit cremestick liner first, and then applying MAC’s See Sheer lipstick (use the 316 if you are so inclined). Top with MAC’s Lychee Luxe lipglass for a coral shimmery finish. Flash your pearly whites, and you’re ready to walk the red carpet in style.

Saturday, December 1st, 2007

What was the best gift you’ve ever received? What made it so outsanding — something sentimental, the item itself, what?

For me, while I have received a great many wonderful gifts, I think one of the most sentimental gifts was a sterling silver heart-shaped locket my boyfriend gave me for my birthday/anniversary in 2006. We were in a long-distance relationship, so I used to wear it everyday so I would have him close to my heart. I wear it still, but less often, as we live together, and I know he’s near. :)

P.S. — What does everyone have lined up for the weekend? My boyfriend and I are meeting with my parents who are coming into town, and then I’ll be spending the day/afternoon at my parents’ house (um, laundry!).

Saturday, December 1st, 2007

ESTEE PROJECTIONIST MASCARA ($21.00)

High drama for every single lash. Now you can project thicker, longer, more defined and lustrous lashes that highlight your beautiful eyes. VolumAire formula creates weightless volume and sharp definition that resists clumping. Hollow spherical polymers act like inflated balloons that volumize and lift. ProDefinition Brush draws out even tiny lashes with infinite precision and separation control. Lets you lavish attention on every single lash, every single day. Blends two kinds of fibers: hollow fibers to hold formula, plus solid rigid fibers to comb it through and separate. Pearl pigments mimic the luster and color of natural hair for a lustrous, healthy look. Slowly work through lashes using precise strokes to build up volume, comb and separate lashes.

  • Applicator: Small to medium sized brush, with densely packed bristles.
  • Clumping: I didn’t find I had many clumping issues while applying my regular three coats.
  • Curl: It didn’t naturally curl lashes, so you would need to use a lash curler, but it did hold the curl.
  • Ease: Quite easy to apply given the smaller nature of the wand, which allows for more precision to get to harder to reach lashes on the inner area and the lower lashes.
  • Length: This is a multitasking mascara, which includes lengthening, and it definitely lengthened, but it didn’t give me sky-high lashes.
  • Thickening: I definitely felt that it delivered on thickening power, though; my lashes were clearly more lush after application.
  • Volume: I achieved some volume, but not as much as I’d have liked.
  • Best: I loved the rich black color and the way the mascara adhered to my lashes for the naturalness. It sort of muddled through length and volume, but it was great at thickening!
  • Worst: I would have loved to see more volume in this mascara–the length is probably fine for most, but I personally love ridiculously long lashes that I can get without applying false lashes.

Friday, November 30th, 2007

Nadine Haobsh has recently published her book entitled Beauty Confidential. Nadine brings beauty to your door step with this humorous and guilty-pleasure-reading book with all sorts of tips, tricks, and secrets on how to look your very best. This is a great stocking stuffer for your favorite beauty addict, because Nadine gives such a refreshing account of the beauty industry from her unique perspective from being a current beauty blogger and former beauty editor.

Nadine was available to answer some questions submitted by the Beauty Blog Network, and here’s ours:

Q&A with Nadine Haobsh

What are some tips for traveling light, without missing any essentials, for the upcoming holiday travel season? — Temptalia
Hmm, so you mean you can’t bring an entire suitcase devoted entirely to beauty products? (Kidding, of course even though I have been known to do just that a time or ten.) Start with the basics, and then add more if you have room:

  • SKIN: 1) A cleanser, 2) A day moisturizer with SPF, 3) A night moisturizer with peptides, retinol, glycolic or salicylic acid. (My favorites: Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash, Olay Regenerist Touch of Sun SPF 15, MD Skincare Hydra-Pure Vitamin C Serum)
  • HAIR: 1) Travel sized shampoo and conditioner, 2) Leave-in conditioner. (Scrunch leave-in conditioner and let hair air-dry, or apply before heat-styling to help hold and condition. You probably have a hairdryer at home, but may not have other tools. If you have room, throw in a curling iron or flatiron, to dress up hair and impress relatives who have driven in from five hours away and will secretly pick on your appearance otherwise.) (Herbal Essences makes yummy travel-sized versions, and I’m a huge fan of Infusium leave-in)
  • MAKEUP: 1) Foundation, 2) Bronzer or blush, 3) Mascara, 4) Lipgloss. (If you have room, add black eyeliner and a neutral colored eyeshadow. Otherwise, the bronzer can double as shadow.) (In my bag: Bare Escentuals, Guerlain Terracotta bronzer, NARS Orgasm, Max Factor Lash Perfection, and Clinique Black Honey)
  • MISC: Throw a sample-sized tube of perfume in your makeup bag (Bond no 9 Chinatown is too good to be believed), don’t forget a razor, and depending on how long you’ll be home consider bringing tweezers, mini scissors and an emery board.

Now, keep on reading for Nadine’s answers to our fellow BBN blogs’ questions. Continue reading →