Stories for: Makeup

Beauty, MakeupHoliday Eyeshadow Extravaganza

Smashbox-Full-Exposure-PaletteI am definitely an overpacker.  I can admit it.  From shoes to clothes to makeup, if I even have a hint that I might need it, it’s usually going in my suitcase. But I’m trying to get better because not only are my suitcases always ridiculously heavy, but I never, ever use half the stuff I bring with me. So this Christmas when I head back east, I’m throwing caution to the wind and only taking two (that’s right – TWO) eyeshadow palettes.  It’s not as crazy as it sounds though because they’re both filled with tons of amazing shades that can get me through both day and night.

Smashbox’s Full Exposure palette has fourteen different shades, ranging from light ivory to deep black, with most of them falling into the brown/bronze category. It’s a great selection for daytime looks, but the four darker shades also allow you to create an amazing smoky eye, so it’s super versatile.  And I love the fact that the shades come in two different finishes – there are mattes and shimmers, so unlike some palettes, you can choose how much you want to shine. There are a plethora of hues in this one and I know I’ll use it almost every morning to create a neutral, daytime look for when I’m shopping or visiting friends.  As a bonus, it also comes with a dual-ended brush and a mini Full Exposure mascara, so I can just toss the entire package in my suitcase and be good to go.  Genius!

Laura-Geller-20-Shades-of-Baked-Eyeshadow-PaletteFor my more colorful looks, I’m also packing Laura Gellar’s new 20 Shades of Baked. This one is exactly what it sounds like: 20 shades of their baked eyeshadow– that can be used wet or dry–everything from blues to greens to purples, with some neutrals thrown in for good measure.  With this palette, I’ll be able to create the looks that are a little more creative and fun – maybe for a night out with friends or a holiday party.  I’ve always loved the formula of Laura Gellar’s shadows – they’re smooth and blend well – and this collection is pretty close to perfection, shade-wise.  (And it’s a $215 value for $49, which is amazing).

And think of how much lighter my suitcase will be without the twenty or so palettes I usually drag with me!  My back (and baggage fees) are already happier!

Beauty, MakeupHoliday With Marc Jacobs

s1630433-main-hero-300I’ve said it a bunch of times here, but I love Marc Jacobs.  Just… everything he creates.  So I get giddy with excitement whenever I can own any of the makeup items in his collection (if only I could afford the shoes and bag too!)  And when I managed to get my hands on a few pieces for the holidays, I couldn’t wait to share.  The Sky Liner, a new 7-piece set of petite-sized eyeliners, is super adorable and a great deal.  For $45, you get a wide assortment of shades – five previously released bestsellers and two new limited-edition hues. And the limited-edition shades are stunning – Sunset is a Golden Bronze Shimmer and Midnight in Paris is an Inky Indigo Blue – both colors that I see myself reaching for again and again.  I love the formula of the liners themselves too – they’re a gel texture that blends easily and they’re super pigmented (and waterproof!) so they stick around forever.  I’m really in love with this set – it’s perfect as a treat for yourself, but the sleek black box the liners are housed in also makes it great for a gift.

imgI also managed to get my hands on a few shades of Marc’s Kiss Pop Lip Color Sticks and those are great too.  I love, love, love the shape of them – they’re so adorable and so different from any other lip product I already own.  Every time I take one out of my bag, every woman around oohs and aahs (and rightly so).  They’re all infused with honey so they’re soothing on your lips, and again, I’m totally obsessed with the shades I tried. I tested out Tangerine Red, Strawberry Red and Burgundy Berry and they were all great.  (I’m especially into Strawberry Red – it’s the perfect bright shade for the holidays).  One of these would make a great stocking stuffer for any of your makeup obsessed friends.

And a new Marc Jacobs bag would make a great holiday surprise for me too. Just throwing it out there, universe…

MakeupParisienne Lights from Lancome

Lancome-Parisian-Lights-Holiday-2014-PromoMy office wall has a vintage print of Paris hanging in the center, and it’s not uncommon to hear strains of Edith Piaf in the background. When I daydream, my mind will wander the cobbled streets of my beloved city and I’ll start checking flights. One New Year’s Eve I spent there was especially glamorous, with a decadent meal at Le Cinq, an evening walk amidst twinkling lights on the Seine, and of course beaucoup de champagne. At this time of year, pastries are even more beautiful, dresses are at their chicest, and makeup is divine. Lancôme has introduced the most gorgeous head-to-toe holiday collection which embodies quintessential French richness and sophistication, bringing Paris to us no matter where we celebrate the holidays.

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MakeupHoliday Glamour from Dior

diorI’m giddy just thinking about the holiday season approaching- cocktail dresses, champagne, and countdowns! To go with couture, I scoured makeup counters near and far to find the most editorial and chic palette. My criteria required that the makeup looks flawless and striking in person and well as in photographs, and I could find no match for the limited edition Dior 5 Couleurs 756 Golden Shock set. Right away, I was impressed with the lush pigmentation of the colors, and the gorgeous color combinations that the makeup experts at Dior turned from fantasy to reality. Most of the time, I find that there is always a color or two in a palette that I know I won’t be using, but I buy it anyway. In this case, the experts at Dior have thoughtfully placed each shade in to maximize potential for perfect depth and blending color to create a dramatic eye.

The light pink base is a delicate sheer sparkle, followed by an intense plum which anchors the palette. I applied the plum in a crescendo to the outer portion of the lid, and then under the eye for cohesion and impact. The upper right warm pink shade can overlap the plum on top, naturally flowing into and accenting the crease. The versatile taupe on the lower right can be worn solo or blended in to create an gradual effect coming towards the inner part of the eye. The definition I achieved with this was striking and so dramatic! Finally, the gold in the center adds that glowing glamour for the holidays, turning the whole eye up a notch. The finished looks is polished, festive, and fashion-forward, I absolutely love it. The palette photographs beautifully and plays to accent the eyes creating a sexy sophistication.

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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, MakeupDiorskin Star

starDespite my reluctance to fall in love with a foundation, Dior’s latest innovation, the new brightening Diorskin Star collection, left me no choice! My usual complaints of heaviness, a touch too matte or shiny, or a non-natural looking shade, are all distant memories. Diorskin Star steps it up to the next level in terms of picture-perfect illumination, and it’s no wonder that it is a favorite for photo shoots! I’ve had to do a double-take of photos of myself, trying to remember if they have been photoshopped, before I recall that I had on Diorskin Star foundation that day. I definitely feel more of a glow through my newfound flawless skin which has magically gotten younger by a few years. I apply the foundation in the morning and even after running around all day, it’s still going strong when I wash my face at night. I love the higher SPF 30 rating, so I feel completely protected from sun damage.

Diorskin Star was originally inspired by Dior’s own expert makeup artists, and it transforms skin like no other foundation to mimic the glow achieved in photography studios. One of the secrets of Diorskin Star’s unified complexion is its Light Pulsion Complex which erases dullness and color imperfections. Even my red patches are virtually gone with a light application due to color-filter pigments which recreate perfect light. Light-trapping extracts include Immortelle Extract, Paquerette Extract and Licorice Extract which work with hollow silica beads capture to diffuse light minus the shine. I had no trouble matching my finicky skin color, as there is such a wide spectrum with minute tweaks in between each shade. Diorskin Star goes on looking very natural but silky and works best for combination skin.

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?

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!

Beauty, MakeupJosie Maran Lip & Cheek Creamy Oil

InfinityLipCheek_Group2__72385_1396849503_1000_1000I always pay a little extra attention to celebrity beauty secrets, especially if they’re accessible and easy to try out. When I heard about gorgeous model Josie Maran’s beauty line based around Argan Oil, I perked up and did a little digging. Argan oil is a plant extract native to Morocco which contains vitamin E, known as a savior for sensitive skin conditions such as eczema or rosacea. It can be used as on skin, hair and nails, and Josie herself uses it to keep her lips and cheeks moisturized and looking healthy and beautiful. Josie Maran’s Argan Infinity Lip And Cheek Creamy Oil combines the best of two worlds- the nourishing argan oil using 97% natural ingredients and a splash of color. The Argan Oil used in Josie Maran products is sustainably harvested and pressed by women’s co-ops in Morocco, which empower their members and protect argan forests.

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