Stories by: Stacey

Beauty, MakeupIlluminate Your Eyes

When it comes to the holidays, I love any makeup that’s shimmery, sparkly, glittery… pretty much anything that makes me seem “dressed up.”  It just makes holiday getting ready more fun.  Laura Mercier’s new Illuminating Eye Colours are perfect to fulfill this need in my life this time of year.

They’re fabulously pigmented and can be used wet or dry, plus they have an amazing pearl finish.  It’s shimmery without being overly glittery, so you can easily wear them during the day, as well as out at night.  I love the metallic effect they have too – it’s so pretty and different.  (Can you tell how much I love these?)  I tried Gilded Bronze (a golden topaz) and Gilded Moonlight (a true gold) and both of them will definitely be in serious rotation this holiday season for me.  They also blend easily and last all day, so… pretty much perfect.  Definitely seek these out before they sell out or are retired into the vast wonderland that is limited-edition products.  You won’t regret it.

Beauty, MakeupStock Up On Liners

You guys, I’m obsessed with MAKE UP FOR EVER‘s new collection – The Ultimate Eye Liner Collection.  Ever since I got over my crazy lash tint induced eye infection, I’ve been playing around with liners constantly just because I can (you really don’t know you’ve got until it’s gone!) and if you’re looking to bulk up your liner stash, look nu further.  It’s a little pricey at $160 so it’s definitely something to buy either for yourself or a very good friend or relative, but it’s a great value for the money because you get a total of fourteen different liners, plus a double pencil sharpener.  Basically, once you have this set, you won’t need to buy liner for a very long time, so it’s definitely worth the original outlay of cash.  The set has seven of their uber popular Aqua Eyes Liners in shades ranging from black to bright purple and blue, three of their Crayon Kohl liners, and four of their fabulous liquid Aqua liners.  MAKE UP FOR EVER liners are a cult classic, and rightly so because they all blend easily and last all day (and the colors are gorgeous).  You could even buy the set and divide it up – maybe wrap a few pencils in ribbon and add them to a bigger gift or give them to your favorite friend at work.  Either way, this is definitely not a set you should pass up!

Beauty, MakeupStila Holiday 2012

Stila has always been one of my favorite brands (as evidenced by the fact that I drag myself out of bed at 5am on the weekend to get to their  warehouse sales early every year – the only thing I love more than sleep is a great makeup sale!).  They always outdo themselves at the holidays too – their gift sets are some of the best products and greatest values out there, and this year is no exception.

The big attraction for me is the Snow Angel Color Palette & Stay All Day Waterproof Volumizing Mascara.  Love this one!  It’s a HUGE collection of color – literally everything you could ever need for eyes and cheeks in one package.  (The only downside to this is that it’s not exactly portable or travel-friendly, but that’s okay.  Sometimes trading pack-ability for more shades it totally worth it!)  It’s shaped like a snowflake (so cute) and has 12 blushes and 18 eye shadows, all of which can be used wet or dry.  It also comes with a deluxe Stay All Day Mascara tube and a look book for inspiration (definitely a bonus if you’re gifting this to someone who doesn’t have much makeup experience).  This is a serious, serious value at only $39 – that’s only $1.30 a shade, even less than any drugstore brand.  If you only buy one item from Stila’s holiday collection, it should be this one.

…Unless you really need to stock up on Lip Glazes or Eye Liners…  Because those two sets are awesome too.  (Seriously, Stila, what are you doing to me?)  The All Is Bright Lip Glaze Set has eight different Lip Glazes in it for only $25.  I feel like everyone knows of the awesomeness of the Lip Glazes by now (colorful, great flavors, moisturizing…) and to pick up two classic shades and six limited-edition ones at that price is a can’t miss if you’re on the hunt for new lip colors.  But if you need to acquire more eye liners, the Seeing Stars Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner Set is what you’re looking for.  For $32, you get five Smudge Sticks (normally that many would run you $100) in great, wearable shades.  I love the Smudge Sticks because they apply so easily, blend like a dream, and their highly pigmented colors last all night (especially important during the holidays).

And as a special treat for our readers, Stila is giving you 25% off on their holiday items purchased at through December 15th with the code TDO25.  Even more reason to stock up!  Happy shopping!

Beauty, MakeupDangerous and Fun

Urban Decay has three new palettes out for the holiday season – The Fun Palette, The Dangerous Palette and The Feminine Palette.  I’m always a fan of Urban Decay’s shadow collections and these are no different.  They all have distinct groupings of colors that let you create the sort of looks their titles imply and they come in small zippered cases, which is nice because not only can you tuck them in your bag easily, but you know the shadow isn’t going to get all over the place.  (It’s not just me that happens to, right?) READ MORE

Beauty, MakeupBenefit From These Sets

I know we still have a little while to go before the holidays are officially here, but so far, I’m declaring Benefit Cosmetics the holiday winner because they just have so many different gift sets, it’s impossible not to find at least two (or three… or five…) that you have to take home with you.  (And let’s be honest, take home for yourself – none of this “gift” stuff!)  Here are my favorites of the sets I’ve tried so far. READ MORE

Bath & Body, Beauty, MakeupCelebrate the Holidays With Laura Mercier

I’ve been obsessed with Laura Mercier’s Crème Brûlée scent for years now.  Many, many years.  (I’m aging myself here!)  I try and stock up whenever possible, but I’ve also been meaning to branch out into more of her other scents because I love Crème Brûlée so much, I couldn’t imagine that I wouldn’t love the others equally as much.  And I was right. READ MORE

Beauty, Makeup, ObsessionsObsession of the Moment: Chanel Illusion D’Ombre in Destination

Beauty, FragranceA Première Fragrance

Gucci has a new fragrance out – Première – and it’s really interesting.  I’m usually more a fan of the clean scents (as I’m sure you all know since I’m constantly gushing about, well, the CLEAN brand…) but I can’t get enough of Première since I sniffed it a few weeks ago.  It was inspired by the stunning gowns from the Gucci Première couture collection show at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival, and the scent was made to celebrate the star in every woman. (Kind of a great idea, if you think about it…)

It’s an interesting fragrance with what kind of first struck me as a random collection of notes – Bergamot, Orange Blossom, White Flower, Musk, Leather and Wood – but when you smell them all together, they really just… work.  I usually only like florals when they’re tempered by more masculine notes, so having the White Flower and Orange Blossom merge with the Musk and Wood notes really makes this one stand out for me.  It’s definitely a very sophisticated scent – I haven’t been wearing it to work because on me, it’s a little heavy for the daytime, but it works perfectly on me at night.  I like the gold bottle as well – it looks great nestled amongst all my other bottles on my dresser.  Now if I could just get myself one of their couture gowns to pair it with…

Beauty, MakeupTreat Your Lips Right

I’ve been looking for the perfect bright coral lipstick for awhile now.  I had some serious contenders, but all of them were too… something.  Either too bright or not bright enough or too glossy or just… not right.  (I’m picky, I admit it!)  Lucky for me, Hourglass sent over two of their new Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipsticks for me to try and one of them is perfect! 

Riviera is described as a tangerine shade – it’s definitely bright and not for the faint of heart, but it’s not so neon that it’s all people will be able to focus on either.  I love keeping the rest of my makeup neutral and then slicking Riviera on – it’s such a fun pop of color, especially as we head into the gloomy months of winter.  (Although someone should tell Los Angeles that – it’s supposed to be in the high 80’s here this weekend again!)  I also tried out Empress, which is a deep aubergine shade – so pretty with the plum shadows that I like to wear with my green eyes.  The formula on these is great – they look like glosses, complete with doe foot applicator, but once on, they dry matte and look like a lipstick.  They’re not glossy at all.  Very pretty and long-lasting too, which is always a plus.  I haven’t gotten my hands on it yet, but I hear that Icon, a blue red, is THE must have red for the holiday season.  Can’t wait to see it in person!

Beauty, MakeupLORAC Makes You A Pro

As much as I love Urban Decay’s Naked and Naked 2 palettes, I am always still on the hunt for a great neutral palette.  It’s just my eternal quest and I’ve finally accepted that it’s going to be a lifelong thing – I’m never NOT going to look for one when I’m out makeup shopping.  Right now, my love for them is being met by LORAC’s PRO Palette.  You guys, this one is a definite can’t miss!  The palette has 16 different shadows in it, ranging from super light shades (like the aptly named White, a shade I’ve been using as a highlighter) all the way to Black (exactly what it sounds like).  In between, there is pretty much every neutral shade you could think of in both matte and shimmer finishes.  There’s a Gold shade that’s super, super pretty and very “in” for fall.  The really nice thing about the palette though is that they also include a few shades that at first glance seem out of place, like Deep Purple and Slate, but once you start playing around with the colors, you realize that you can use them to create a gray smokey eye or even a purple one.  (You can also blend them well and make them daytime appropriate, but who doesn’t love a good smokey eye?  That’s always my go to).  The palette also comes with a mini Behind the Scenes Eye Primer perfect for travel.  And since I’m obsessed with makeup that can travel well too, this palette is amazingly easy to throw in your bag and go.  It’s so flat and portable that it takes up no space at all.  If I was heading off on a fabulous two day trip this weekend (and really, why aren’t I?) this would be the first thing in my makeup bag.

Also new for the fall is LORAC’s Couture Shine Nudes Duo.  I love their Liquid Lipsticks and this pair works great alongside the shades in the PRO Palette.  For $28, you get two shades – Vintage, a light neutral beige, and Muse, a soft pink mauve with pearl.  Both of them are shiny and moisturizing and great neutral shades that won’t compete with your shadow choice.  Well worth picking this up to reach for whenever you grab the PRO Palette (or any other shadows).

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