Stories by: Stacey

Beauty, MakeupAll The Intensity

NARS Dual Intensity Shadow

You know you have a makeup problem when you actually shriek in excitement when you see a display of new eyeshadows from a brand you love.  Sadly, this actually happened to me in the middle of a crowded Sephora, but the best part is, since I was amongst my other makeup-loving people there, no one even batted a (fake) eyelash.  Some people even oohed and aahed with me!  It was a great moment in makeup history.  And now that I’ve tried NARS’ new Dual-Intensity Eyeshadows, I’m happy to report that all our excitement was worth it. 

The new shadows come in twelve shades and can be used dry or wet (for deeper color), so it’s almost like getting two shades in one.  (Which is nice, because at $29 each, they’re definitely a little bit of a splurge).  My favorites shades are Desdemona (a rich shimmering burgundy), Lysithea (a shark grey) and Giove (a dark navy), but honestly, I could’ve happily scooped them all up (you know, if someone else was paying…)  The shadows themselves lasted all day on me and blended like a dream – definitely splurge-worthy if you’re looking to add a few new shades to your fall wardrobe.  Thanks, NARS!

Beauty, NailsPolish Perfection

268x248I have a lot of nail polish. Like, A LOT of nail polish. (Ask any of my friends who’ve seen my stash. Especially the men…their reaction is usually something along the lines of “Why do you need so many of one color?” Foolish, foolish men…)

So I always get excited when I can discover a new brand–one that I don’t buy every month that has shades that are new to me. One such brand I’ve recently stumbled across is Lauren B Beauty. The brand is 5 free, which means that it doesn’t have any formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, formaldehyde resin,  or camphor and they’re vegan friendly and cruelty free. You couldn’t ask for anything more in a polish, really. And I love the fact that all the shades are named for things in Los Angeles or places around the city that I call home. There’s even a dark grey called L.A. Smog, which totally makes me giggle because it’s a gorgeous color that represents one of the most joked about attributes of the cit. My other favorite shade is Hollywood Blvd., also known as a party in a bottle. So.  Much.  Glitter. And it looks just as good on its own as it does layered over other polishes, so it’s almost like getting two colors for the price of one.

I also find it super, super adorable that when Lauren was little, she already loved nail polish so much that she would set up a nail salon in her garage and give her relatives manicures.  So sweet.  (A girl after my own heart!)  Isn’t discovering great new products the best thing ever?

Beauty, MakeupSmoke Out

Master_247velvet

Urban Decay is really knocking it out of the park lately and their streak continues with the new shade additions to their already fabulous 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil collection.  The new releases are called the 24/7 Velvet Glide-On Eye Pencils and there are five smoky shades that have the same great formula and long-lasting color, but these are specifically meant to be used to create a smoky eye.  My favorite look to create!)  Here are the new colors you’ll want to run out and buy immediately.

  • Black Velvet – A rich, smoky black matte
  • Cult – A deep, smoky green matte
  • Lure – A smoky charcoal matte
  • Lush – A rich, smoky brown matte
  • Minx – A smoky, rich navy matte
  • Plushie – A smoky, rich purple matte

I love them all, but I’m totally obsessed with Plushie and Minx. They’re so deep and rich and colorful without being too bright. Compared to the original formula, these pencils are more powdery and blend even easier (and I thought they were already easy!) so it’s super simple to use them to create whatever look you’re trying to achieve.   even love that Urban Decay has made the barrel of each one the shade of the pencil so they’re easy to find in an over-crowded makeup drawer. (I can’t be the only one who has to practically shove my drawers shut to close them, right? RIGHT??)  The pencils are just a cinch to use, a cinch to blend, and they leave behind fabulous color.  What more could you ask for?

Bath & Body, FragranceLive Colorfully

_7796298Oh, Kate Spade… How I love your bags and how I wish I could afford to buy more of them…

Luckily for me, when I can’t buy bags, I default to buying other things, which has led to me trying my first Kate Spade fragrance, Live Colorfully. It’s right up my alley–a citrus floral–and it reminds me of summer and vacation and always puts me in a great mood whenever I spritz it on. With notes of tiare flower, golden gardenia, coconut water, sheer amber, radiant musks and Tahitian vanilla, the perfume sounds amazing, right? Trust me, it is. It’s very tropical but a little sweet as well and I can definitely smell both the floral and the citrus on me when I’m wearing it. It’s the perfect date night scent, but I’ve also been wearing it during the day and it’s not too strong or overwhelming at all. How to describe it best? Unique and feminine – just like Kate Spade herself!

Beauty, MakeupFind Your Perversion

URBAN DECAY-PERVERSION PARTY-4509[1]

Any time Urban Decay hosts an event, I make sure to attend because they know how to throw a party. And who doesn’t love a good party? Especially when it’s in honor of their new Perversion Mascara (love the name!)

imgThe party was at The Sayers Club in Hollywood and it was everything you’d expect from a brand as cutting edge as Urban Decay–there was a knife thrower, burlesque dancers, a contortionist… never a dull moment in Hollywood! But a very fun night would’ve been wasted if the mascara itself was a dud, so I’m happy to report that it’s fabulous. The slogan for it is “Bigger, Blacker, Badder” lashes and whoever came up with that was right on the money because that’s exactly what I get when I use it. My lashes are way thicker, soot black and full of volume after I swipe it on. It’s the perfect trifecta!  I love the brush too – it’s big, but not so big that I poke myself in the eyes when I use it (more common than you’d think!) and the bristles are great for separating lashes. I get almost no clumps and even the ones I do get are small and comb out really easily. The formula is really buildable too–I’m able to swipe on multiple coats without getting crusty, spiky lashes. Instead, they just get even thicker, which is amazing. I think it’s time for you all to get Perverted too!

Beauty, MakeupA Rose By Any Other Name…

Decon-Rose-Lipgloss-1-Low-Res

I’ve been wanting to try Bite Beauty for a long time, so when I got the opportunity to test out their Deconstructed Rose Lip Gloss Library, I jumped at the chance.  (I love that it’s called a library, by the way.  It makes me feel like I’m doing something studious or important by writing about it!)

The set has twelve different limited-edition shades in colors ranging from light pink to dark red, and each gloss has a rose scent to them, which is a very nice touch. I love that they’re all really pigmented, rather then being too sheer. I’ve said many, many times that that’s my pet peeve in a gloss (why pay money for something you can barely see?) so I’m happy that that’s not an issue here at all. The formula is also moisturizing and the color stays on my lips for a few hours before I need to reapply. Plus, I love the size of the tubes. They’re not so tiny that you’ll only get a few applications from each one, but they’re small enough to fit in a pocket or a clutch with ease–and you can actually use up a tube! I love that because I tend to travel with way more lip products than I need, so this lets me do that without weighing down my bag even more than usual. Consider me a Bite fan!

Hotels, Los Angeles, Spas & Salons, TravelA Lovely Way to Exhale

Zen Lounge

There’s nothing I love more than a good massage…seriously, it’s a struggle every day not to just schedule another one. When I win the lottery, I’m totally going to have a masseuse on standby and get one every single day. So, naturally, I love finding a great new place in my city where I know I can escape to anytime I need to de-stress.

Exhale Spa has locations all across the country, including three here in Los Angeles (Hollywood, Santa Monica and Venice) and offers Core Fusion and Yoga classes, as well as spa services. When I got the chance to visit for a service, I had about thirty seconds of wondering if I should do something to burn calories, then I came to my senses and picked the massage. (I’m no fool!)

I visited the Santa Monica location, which is inside the Fairmont Miramar Hotel on Wilshire Blvd near the ocean. If you’ve never been to the hotel before, you’re in for s treat: It’s gorgeous and luxurious and everything you would expect from a hotel in that area, so it instantly sets the tone when you enter. Once you check in, you change in the lounge, which has seating areas for relaxing and a chill vibe. If I hadn’t had an appointment I needed to get to afterwards, I would’ve definitely parked myself in one of the comfy chairs in my oversized robe and read magazines for an hour or two. (The above image is from the Zen Lounge in the Hollywood location, but it gives you a good idea of what the Santa Monica one looks like as well).

I booked myself for the sixty minute Exhale Flow massage, which is their signature full body massage. It involves what they call “choreographed waves of kneading” that are meant to open your muscles up, free energy blockages and relieve tension. It’s a technique that incorporates more lymphatic drainage than a traditional deep tissue, so it helps detoxify your body more and boosts your immune as well. All of that sounds very technical, but what really matters is how it feels and that answer is… amazing. I had been so tense over a work project that was having some unexpected problems and for that hour, I forgot all about anything but the fabulous massage I was getting. It was so, so relaxing with the aromatherapy oils that were used and I loved that my technician followed my lead–when I started a conversation with her, she was lovely to talk to, but when I was quiet, she was also silent so I could fully enjoy the massage. My only complaint?  That I didn’t book the ninety minute treatment because the one hour one was over far, far too soon.

It was such a nice treat in such a lovely setting, and if you live in Los Angeles, I highly recommend this location, especially because it’s so close to the Third Street Promenade, which means you can shop afterwards (the perfect follow up to a massage!)

To learn more about the Exhale spas across the country or book a treatment for yourself, visit www.exhalespa.com.

Beauty, SkincareJosie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47

josiemaranarganspfYou guys, I’m obsessed with Josie Maran’s Argan oil products. Totally, totally obsessed. My skin is sensitive and had been really red and flaky for some time (damn you, fickle weather!), so I tried applying her regular ol’ Argan Oil before my moisturizer at night and seriously, in about a week, all the redness and flakiness was gone. And it’s stayed gone.

So naturally when I heard about Josie Maran’s new Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47, I had to try it. Once again, a very wise decision.The moisturizer is great–it’s thick, but not so thick that it feels greasy or gross (my pet peeve in moisturizers with sunscreen) and I love that it has a high SPF. I’m very fair and burn easily, so as much as I may like some daytime moisturizers that I’ve tried with lower SPF’s, they’re just not practical for me if I plan on spending any time in the sun at all. But having an SPF 47 is a lot of protection for my average days since I don’t spend a ton of time outside in the direct sun (just enough that an SPF of 30 or below isn’t practical). I’ve been using it for about two weeks now and it’s definitely protecting my skin and keeping it really well moisturized (no redness or flakiness has returned!). It does have a little bit of a sunscreen scent, but nothing overwhelming at all and I find that it goes away quickly once I smooth it into my skin. All my fellow pale skin friends – definitely check this one out!

Beauty, NailsTickled and Bubbly

zoyatickledWith the temperature hovering around what can only be described as “hotter than hell” in Los Angeles as I’m writing this, I’m taking the time to enjoy all the inside activities that I can right now. This includes mani-pedis because not only does it involve air conditioning (sweet, sweet air conditioning…) but it’s also a relatively inexpensive way to pamper yourself. And for my next mani-pedi, I’m taking along Zoya’s new summer shades – the Tickled and Bubbly collections.  The Tickled collection is made up of all creams, which I personally really love for my fingers.  Here’s what you’ll find in that group:

  • Ling – A vibrant royal blue cream
  • Tilda – A warm mantis green cream
  • Rooney – A mid-range magenta pink cream (my fave)
  •  Kitridge – A bubblegum pink cream
  • Wendy – A juicy summer melon (my other fave!)
  • Rocha – A classic red cream

For my toes, I’m all about the Bubbly collection, which is made up of holographic sparkly shades that look fabulous peeking out of open toed shoes.  They’re all so, so pretty that you’re going to have a hard time picking a favorite (I’m not even going to try).  Here’s what you’ll find in the Bubbly group:

zoyabubbly

  • Muse – A blue raspberry holographic fizz with a subtle vein of gold
  • Stassi – A brilliant citron green with a gold metallic glaze and holographic finish 
  • Harper – A cotton candy pink with a spun gold shimmer (Okay, fine, I lied – this one’s my favorite!)
  • Binx – A spicy orchic purple dappled with gold metallic and holo sparkles 
  • Jesy – A fiery coral orange metallic holo
  • Alma – A warm golden peach metallic

The new shades are all in stores now.  Get them before they sell out!

Beauty, MakeupPick Up Some Stila Spring

stila_spring_2014_smudge_sticks

Ah, Stila…one of my true makeup loves–and definitely one of the only brands I would ever consider getting out of bed super early for (when it’s still dark out!) to attend their warehouse sale (true story). Anyway, this was just to say–in case it wasn’t already totally obvious–that I’m obsessed. One of my favorite products is their Smudge Sticks, so you can imagine that I could barely contain my delight over the fact that they came out with a TON of new shades for spring. They introduced a whopping twenty-two new shades!  For those of you who haven’t had the privilege of using a Smudge Stick yet, they’re some of the best eye liners around.  The shades range from black to yellow (yellow!) and the formula is fantastic. It applies easily, blends with a swipe of your finger, and stays on all day and night. Oh, and did I mention that it’s waterproof?  I’m so happy about all the new shades too. If I had any issue with the Smudge Sticks at all before, it was the fact that there wasn’t a ton of variety in the shades, but they’ve managed to correct that basically overnight.  I adore the new Deep Burgundy and Black Amethyst for a good smokey eye, but Turquoise, Deep Fuchsia and Sienna are also really fun to play around with.  (Oh, who am I kidding?  I love them all!)

Also new for spring are the Magnificent Metals Eye Liners.  It was total love at first sight for me with these.  These are pure rock and roll and just made for a night out. There are four shades available: Metallic Black Tanzanite, Metallic Black Gold, Metallic Gunmetal and Metallic Navy and they’re all equally gorgeous. They all have what’s called a “blackout base” and that’s what gives them all such deep shimmer, and a  crazy intense metallic finish to them and you can use them in two different ways – as a liner or as a shadow, so they’re more versatile than you might think. If I HAD to pick a favorite, I would have to go with Metallic Black Gold.  It is such a stunning shade – I find myself sometimes just staring at it in the morning in my makeup drawer even though I know I won’t be wearing it to work.  I love the way it enhances my green eyes and makes them seem even greener than usual. It’s addictive! Find out for yourself at Sephora.

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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