Stories by: Kathleen

Beauty, NailsSally Hansen Gel Polish Starter Kit

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My mind goes to a terrible place during the dry phase of a manicure. Mostly to a place of boredom, slight neuroticism as I wonder idle thoughts like, “Why do I continue to hate-watch the Bachelor? I really hope he picks Catherine.” “Ugh, I could be doing my taxes instead of waiting for my nails to dry.” “I should really look harder to find a cheap Pilates center.” “I should really start calling my mom more.” So, any way I can cut down manicure drying time and get away from that terrible, idle place in my mind, is a huge plus.

Sally Hansen’s Gel Polish Starter Kit takes care of that in two forms: by delivering the gel experience in the comfort of your home and ensuring that the entire manicure process from start to finish, takes roughly 30 minutes. When Tracylee, Sally Hansen’s Nail Ambassador first quoted the 30 minute time to me, I was skeptical. “Yea, okay,” I thought. “Maybe for a master nail artist that is used to working on the high-flying tips of celebrities like Natalie Portman and Emma Watson.” But after begging my friend Dani to lend me her steady, although non-expert, hands in trying out the kit, I was pleasantly surprised. Tracylee wasn’t kidding–a quick 35 minutes later (5 minutes allotted for reading the instructions) and my nails were quickly ensconced in a glossy, deep-purple red. The kit contains multiple mini bottles of base coat, polish in one color, and top coat, along with a cuticle stick, file, buffer, acetone remover, and LED lamp. Its quick drying time is attributed to time under the LED lamp of roughly a minute for each coat. As far as its long-lasting appeal, it falls a tiny bit short of the typical 4-5 week lasting time for most gel. But it exceeds the longevity of most regular polish manicures by at least 1-2 weeks. And I won’t ruin the surprise for you, but taking off the polish is a surprisingly joyful experience (I say this with zero irony.) The Sally Hansen Gel Polish Starter Kit retails for $69.99.

 

Beauty, MakeupAre you a Good or Bad Witch?

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Do you have a hatred of tiny, yappy dogs and getting lost in the rain, and a love of red lipstick and Rihanna? Or are you more into sparkle, princess dresses, dogs you can fit into your purse, and Taylor Swift? Be careful how you answer: Your response may indicate whether you’re more of a good or a bad witch. Or, more simply, you can take a look at Urban Decay’s duo-personality themed makeup palettes, created to celebrate the launch of Walt Disney’s Oz: The Great and Powerful to determine whether you’re more of the green or fair complexioned type. If your eye is drawn towards brown smoky tones, mossy greens, topped off by a fiercely, glossy merlot red lip, you may be a Theodora or a Mila Kunis-type. If you love metallics, shimmery champagnes and pinks, and pop purple, you may be a Glinda or a Michelle Williams-type. Each of Urban Decay’s palettes contains 6 wells of character-driven eyeshadow color, including a glossy lip pencil and an insert showing how to replicate the movie’s signature looks. So have at it– it’s good to be bad and it can be bad to be good.

Beauty, MakeupJouer Birchbox Pink

Jouer PinkThe idea of anything that is “same size, same color suits/fits all” almost always falls short of its promise and logic. There are over 7 billion people on Planet Earth, so unless a lipstick or pair of thong underwear can magically transmute to become something different for every person of different skintone or body type….well, you get the idea. But every once in a while, these things do magically appear. Think MAC’s legendary Ruby Woo, Rag and Bone jeans and to that, I’m adding Jouer Cosmetic’s lipgloss in Birchbox Pink. Jouer Cosmetic’s lip gloss is already a sheer, moisturizing, comforting kiss on the lips, but in a bright fuchsia shade, instantly transforms you into a more alive,    vibrant something of yourself (sort of like me, after a Pablo Honey tequila cocktail or two.) Birchbox, the original purporter of the beauty subscription box, created this shade in their signature pink, in conjunction with Jouer Cosmetics. This is the kind of lip gloss I swipe all over my lips while on the go, while walking, before arriving at my destination, but still looks beautiful, no matter how carelessly I apply it. On me, it looks like a mix between a dusty rose/bright pink. On my friend Jaimie, with mediterranean skin tones, it comes out like a sienna pink with a hint of brightness. And on my friend, Jennifer, with pale Irish coloring, it comes out more true to the color in the tube, a flash of just bitten, technicolor pink. It may defy logic, but all I know is that Jouer’s Birchbox Pink doesn’t fall short if its that “looks good on everyone” promise.

FashionThe Perfect Chambray Shirt

ChambrayBefore even hellos, I blurted out”I love your shirt!” to Caroline, the lovely PR girl showing me the latest in Paterson J. Kincaid. And the subject of my admiration was the perfect chambray shirt, with   descriptors like “just the right amount” of fade, slightly structured but not too structured, and with slight boyfriend appeal, thanks to the dropped shoulders. Part of The Man Repeller’s collaboration with PJK, the shirt is versatile to be worn in man-repelling ways (like say, if you wanted to wear it Texas Tuxedo style with more denim) or in man-attracting ways (to a spring music festival with loads of jewelry or with a pencil skirt to the office for more casual days.) My favorite detail of the shirt are the the beaded “friendship bracelet” style ornate cuffs. You can get your perfect shirt here.

Beauty, MakeupLove Me

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Whenever I see Curtis Kulig’s “Love Me’ graffiti tag, I’m reminded of JNCO jeans (the “designer” denim of the time), dancing wildly in my room as a teenager, watching repeat viewings of Leonardo DiCaprio’s Romeo + Juliet, and listening to the soundtrack (Garbage–they were so good) with The Cardigan’s Lovefool. Love me, love me…say that you love me. In the spirit of that carefree era of my life, comes Smashbox Cosmetic’s latest collaboration, a collection meant to celebrate love: the love of makeup, the love of art, and the love of creativity. Each piece of the Love Me collection features what the they fondly dub “curt-sive,” with Curtis’s tag laser-etched into blush compacts, eyeshadow pans, and into the sides of lipsticks.  My favorite in the collection are the lipsticks–glossy, generously pigmented lipsticks in the signature, tug-your-heartstrings, romantic, signature red. True to Smashbox form, they’re long wear and instantly brighten up your face.

Beauty, HairWind It Up

Redken CurvaceousIt only took me 28 years, but I’ve finally figured out my hair’s personality. And unsurprisingly, she was like me all along. She’s cranky in the morning before her pick-me-up (in my case, green tea, in her case, a little hair oil), looks best when she doesn’t put a lot of thought into it, is comfortable switching it up (straight/curly, creative/analytical, high/low) and requires a little discipline. For me, that means a little working out, but for my hair, that means Redken’s Curvaceous Wind Up spray, a curl activating spray so easy to use that it feels like a disservice to include it in the same sentence as “maintenance.” Unlike other curl lines which use words like “tame” or “control,” Redken’s Curvaceous line is meant to let your curl, like your heart, run free. They don’t do crunchy textures, all the products are light and meant to embrace your hair’s natural texture. I’m an odd candidate for the line, since my hair is naturally stick straight with a bit of natural curl that builds the more “natural” (aka in-between washings) my hair becomes. But it’s a testament to how versatile and great the line is that I’m able to use it even as I’m not even technically curly haired. Wind It Up is meant to “release” the natural curl of your hair when it gets dampened by environmental factors or the natural course of the day. I like to use mine straight out of the shower, when my hair is at its straightest, spritz some on the ends and twist it up into a bun, after lightly towel drying. Once it’s completely dry, it helps my hair to get that natural, effortless, slightly wavy bedhead that I love.

Beauty, InterviewsGet the Look: Rachel Bilson’s Eye Makeup on Hart of Dixie

HartofDixieWhen you find your style spirit animal at an early age, it sticks with you. Ever since discovering Rachel Bilson on The OC, I’ve been following her adorable and spunky on-and-off camera style. With a predilection for vintage, bare legs, and knowledgeably savvy about how to dress her petite hourglass frame, Rachel is a frequent Pinterest source for me when I’m plagued with “I don’t know what to wear” blues. Not any less envy-inducing are Rachel’s smoky, yet natural makeup choices. I was interested about how to get the look, so I interviewed Rachel’s makeup artist on Hart of Dixie, Joni Powell:

The Daily Obsession: Considering Rachel’s eye shape, what were important things to keep in mind when designing the look?

Rachel is lucky and has beautiful large eyes and can wear a variety of eye designs. The one I use most on her is her trademark smoky eye . She can also wear eyeliner smudged inside the waterline of the eye without it making her eyes look too small, which can be a problem if a person has smaller or close-set eyes.

TDO: What type of things about Rachel’s character factored in creating the look? READ MORE

Beauty, MakeupFresh’s First Bloom of Spring

 

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Like Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction of an early spring comes the newest color to Fresh’s beloved Sugar Lip Treatment range. Petal, inspired by the “first bloom of spring,” is the makeup equivalent of a warm breeze, sprouting seeds, and first “all-clear” for bare legs. This pretty, pure pink tint is the stuff innocence is made out of. True to the “your lips but better” color impact of the other colors in Fresh’s cult favorite product range,  it goes on in a sheer, light pink, inhabiting that comfortable range between Chapstick and full-on lipstick/gloss. Supremely moisturizing, light, and beautiful, this has become my go-to for slicking on just before I venture into the frigid outdoors for a run. It’s just the thing to keep on my vanity table to remind me that spring and all of its brightness and color is near.

Beauty, MakeupBenefit’s Great Hydrating Concealer Coverup

Benefit-Fake-Up-Hydrating-ConcealerCoverups in makeup, like in real life, can be a messy ordeal. Too much coverup (both of the concealer and the lying sense) can make the situation worse. And when you want to avoid a Scarlett in the Library with a Candlestick situation, you need it to go away, fast. Fake Up, Benefit’s newest hydrating concealer, is your tool for making that happen. Its double ring design is ingenious, with an outside hydrating ring that’s formulated with Vitamin E and apple seed extract, and a concealing core. When you swipe it on, you get both rings at once, producing a hydrating mixture that effortlessly hides dark circles and most importantly, doesn’t settle into lines. It comes in three shades: light, medium and dark, retails for $24 and will be available in March.

Beauty, MakeupFlower Beauty by Drew Barrymore

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 I was lucky enough to attend the launch party for Drew Barrymore’s new beauty line, Flower Beauty, and let me tell you: True Moviestar (both her and the line.) She is the kind of skilled talker that makes you feel like you’re the only person in the room–although you are probably the least important.  Most celebrity interviews go something like this: Interviewer lobbies as many questions towards the interviewee as possible (usually in a 10-15 time span.) Interviewer tries to ignore the growing amount of impatient people around her, trying to do the same thing. Interviewee is nice and accommodating, but trying to get through the press line in one piece while delivering the party message.

An interview with Drew is more like this: Drew walks casually around the party with her glass of Barrymore wine. Drew makes sure that you also have a glass of wine for the interview. Drew freely laughs loudly and often. And then it’s more like a conversation with Drew, with her asking how long you’ve been writing? What your site is about? In the back of your mind, you know that there are probably all-important questions (how does she like motherhood? What is she going to raise the baby as?,) that you should be asking, to make your encounter with her US Weekly worthy, but those kind of float away as you listen to her talk about she spends most of her days in sweatpants and scrunchies. (Stars! They’re just like us!) And then you get to the line, and she talks about how she really, really slaved over 181 SKUs and you reserve a little bit of doubt, because how many celebrities tell you about how involved they are in their new bag/skincare/clothing for dog company. READ MORE

The Daily Obsession draws from the expertise of a coast-to-coast editorial team offering dedicated readers reports of the most luxurious products and trends. We provide sophisticated and relevant angles on the latest fashion trends, must-have beauty products, insider interviews, travel destinations and of course, our current obsessions.

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