Monday, July 21, 2014

NARS Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow in Himalia and Desdemona - Review, Pictures, Scwatches

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Last month I told you all about the NARS Dual-Intensity Eyeshadows that were premiering. I finally have two shadows from the 12 color collection to show you today!

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To Refresh The NARS Dual-Intensity Eyeshadows are a new formula from NARS. They are a wet-dry shadow which means you can apply them 2 ways. Dry, for a shimmery sheer application (more on that in a second) and wet, using a damp brush for an intense opaque metallic finish.  The shadows premiered on July 1st 2014 and are available at your local NARS boutique or NARS retailer.

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Here is my issue with the description of the dry application.  As you can see in the swatch the Dry application was applied using a sponge tipped applicator over an eyeshadow base. The difference between the dry and we application is almost negligible. When applying to my eye using an eye shadow brush, the difference was also very hard to tell. I suppose when using a brush you can apply the shadow lightly, but to be honest, I had no problems getting an opaque, metallic finish when applied dry.  So it's up to you if you want to experiment, but I found the finish nearly identical  when applied wet or dry.

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Desdemona is a sheer rich burgundy. Don't let the blue sheen to the shadow fool you, this is a nice burgundy color that does not lean brown in any way.  The shadow applied smoothly and had a nice metallic finish. I got several hours of wear from this shadow when I applied it wet and dry over an eyeshadow base.

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Desdemona is named after the character in William Shakespeare's play, Othello. Desdemona is a beautiful woman from Venice who enrages her father, a Venetian senator, when she elopes with Othello, a man several years her senior.  Othello is of Moorish descent so he is dark skinned, so imagine this being "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" in Elizabethan times...or the other way around, since Shakespeare wrote it first.

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Himalia is described as a metallic Topaz. I think it looks beige to me, but what do I know.  The shadow was incredibly metallic and applied like a dream. It didn't have any fall-out issues or fading.  I also got several hours of wear from this shadow when I applied it wet and dry over an eyeshadow base.

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Himalia is most likely named after a nymph in Greek Mythology.   However it is also the name of one of Jupiter's many moons.  Zeus (The Greek equivalent of Jupiter) was in love with Himalia and they produced three sons together, Spartaios, Kronios, and Kytos.  Zeus was a busy guy. He had a lot of children with a lot of Nymphs, gods and mortals.  He was your modern day "Baby Daddy". I sure hope he paid child support!

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All in all I thought the NARS shadows were excellent. They did apply more opaque than some of the regular NARS shadows, but at $29 each, I'm not sure if they are special enough.  Unless you find a color that is absolutely unique, I think there might be other shadows out there that preform as well for less money.  Not that I have an objection to spending $29 a pop for eyeshadow. I do it with other brands all the time, so perhaps I just need to get used to the fact that prices are rising and realize that "The times, they are a changin'." You can purchase NARS Dual-Intensity Eyeshadows directly from narscosmetics.com, NARS Boutiques, Sephora, Nordstrom and other retailers.

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Oh and look. the cases are magnetized! You know whenever I see magnets I must also think of Insane Clown Posse, because they are so very smart!

What say you?  Do these shadows look like something you would like to add to your collection?  How much is too much for an eyeshadow single? Do you like the versatility of wet/dry application?  Let me know in the comments section.



Beauty Spotlight


What a great week for the Beauty Spotlight Team. Cosmetic lovers will delight in eyeshadows, lipsticks and glosses, nail polish and blush. Skincare lovers will find a new serum to love as well as a great skincare brand. And there's even fashion and a giveaway offered up. So read on and enjoy.

Beauty Info Zone shares beauties from a name we haven't heard from in a long time Vincent Longo. They've developed gorgeous new products and reformulated many of our old favorites. With a discount code too, you can't help but love Vincent Longo Cosmetics.

OPI has been doing awesome collaboration lately, and this one doesn't disappoint! Check out polish insomniac's swatches of the shades inspired by the 50th Anniversary of the Ford Mustang!

Do you have hooded eyes? Phyrra shows you the perfect way to flatter them with her Saucebox Etude Palette Tutorial!

15 Minute Beauty is on the hunt for a new facial cleanser, so she asked around for recommendations. Here are the favorite facial cleansers of dermatologists.

Prime Beauty is not very adept in the kitchen, but she can make BECCA's Beach Tint Shimmering Souffle present beautifully!

Fun fact: Mostly Sunny needs all the corals in the world! When Hourglass launched a lip liner and gloss in their popular coral shade, Muse, she had to grab them! Did they live happily ever after?

The Pink Sith Blog is giving away a full size BVLGARI Omnia Coral EdT to one lucky US reader. There is still time to enter so do it today!

The new Hourglass Panoramic Long Wear Lip Liner in Empress is such a stunning Deep Aubergine that it truly is fit for royalty, but it is also perfect with their vibrant pink Extreme Sheen High Shine Lip Gloss in Ballet! Lola's Secret Beauty Blog thinks that together they constitute the perfect pink pout!

Perilously Pale reviews the new Urban Decay Pulp Fiction Collection. Does it live up to its iconic movie inspiration? Check out her review to find out!

In need of a multi-tasking Antioxidant serum? Look no further than Radical Skincare's Advanced Peptide Antioxidant Serum. Pammy Blogs Beauty tests it out and shares her love for this amazing serum!

The Painted Rogue has been exploring magical desert lands in search of new and interesting brands...and Five beautiful lip treasures from Ana Hilwa are the fruits of her quest! Also: spreadsheets, anyone?

Carrie from eyeliner on a cat likes her fashion with a side of skin care...check out her ode to the open road, featuring True Religion and Adventuress skin care.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Walgreens Summer Beauty - Sponsored



Summertime is the best time to enjoy the sun (safely) go on adventures and still look fabulous while doing so. Your friends at Walgreens have made it simple to get a great summer beauty look to keep you looking beautiful whenever, wherever!


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One of the biggest beauty tricks to keep looking your best in the summer is to protect your skin from the harmful UVA and UVB rays of the sun and keep your skin hydrated. 

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With Banana Boat UltraMist Protect & Hydrate Clear Spray or the Hawaiian Tropic Sheer Touch Sunscreen you'll keep your skin hydrated AND protected. I love this spray sunscreen. It dries in an instant, it's never greasy and the ultra fine mist makes application a cinch!  The Hawaiian Tropic Sheer Touch Sunscreen feels and acts more like a rich body lotion but it's still a SPF 30 sunscreen! It hydrates my skin, sinks in quickly and protects my skin from the harmful rays of the sun. Plus the Hawaiian Tropic scent is the scent of summer. You just can't argue that!


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A great makeup trick for the summer is to keep your look, and the products you use, minimal.  I love sporting a bold lip in the summer so the Revlon ColorStay Moisture Stain in Barcelona Nights gives the perfect summer lip.


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This ultra glossy, long wearing, hot pink lip stain is perfect for the Summer. It looks bold, dramatic, flirty and fun all at the same time! 


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To keep the attention on my luscious lips, I keep the rest of my makeup minimal using a facial sunscreen, a sheer coverage tinted moisturizer, neutral blush and a light dusting of powder.  To finish the look I want big, bold lashes to compliment my bold lips.  I use a light wash of a shimmery neutral shadow and Maybelline Volum' Express Pumped Up! Colossal Washable Mascara in Glam Black.


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Walgreens-Summer-Beauty-on-PinkSith

The mascara builds volume without looking spidery and doesn't flake. It washes off easily at the end of the day with no tugging on my delicate lashes.

And viola! My finished look. So simple and easy!


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What summer look is complete without a fun and vibrant manicure? I chose a bright pink-y coral shade from Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy Longwear Nail Enamel called Lady Luck.  For the accent nail, I chose a stunning cobalt blue from Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy Longwear Nail Enamel in Wild Card.


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Now here is where it gets fun. Here is a quickie nail art tutorial on this summer manicure.




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1. Paint all nails your preferred base color


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2. Choose an accent nail or apply to all nails the contrasting color and apply diagonally from mid nail to tip.


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3. Using a dotting tool place three dots of the base color right inside the contrasting color diagonal line.


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4. Using the dotting tool again, place three dost of the accent color right outside the diagonal line onto the base color.


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5. Allow to dry and finish with a top coat.


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Don't have a dotting tool?   Here's a beauty secret:  Use a pencil and pin. Place a flat or round head pin into the eraser of a pencil. The eraser holds the pin in place and the head of the pin can be used just like a dotting tool!  Now you can have fun nail art just like you see on Pinterest! 


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Oh and did I mention, that the Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy Longwear Nail Enamel really lives up to its name? The finish is a high glossy shine that avoids chipping and flaking for up to 5 days for me!


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Thanks to Walgreens, looking beautiful this summer is easy!

What about you? Do you have any beauty or makeup tips for Summer? Have you tried any of these products?  What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments section.


Like the Tutorial?  Pin the entire series of photos to Pinterest here:


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Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Walgreens Beauty through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about Walgreens Beauty, all opinions are my own.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

TATCHA Luminous Deep Hydration Skincare - Review, Pictures

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Okinawa Red Algae is a pillar of TATCHA’s Luminous Deep Hydration Firming Serum and Deep Hydration Revitalizing  Eye Mask.  The Red Algae is renowned for its moisture-retaining properties as well as prized in the Japanese diet.  The science behind the Okinawa Red Algae is a rich source of natural polysaccharides. They have a proven ability to enhance skin’s barrier function, replenish the skin’s natural water reservoir, and increase its moisture-retention capabilities. In other words. It's really good at keeping your skin hydrated!

Red Algae image from tatcha.com

Those not familiar with TATCHA skin care can read my introductory post HERE.  That being said, I must tell you that I am a great fan of the Japanese style of skin care. Cleansing oils, Minimal routines, simplicity. That's all me!  Unlike the harsh routine I was instructed to follow growing up, (like harsh, skin stripping formulas and the use of “cover-up” cosmetics) the Eastern or Japanese method of skin care involves ceremonies that focus on cleansing, massaging, nourishing, and protecting the skin via natural, time-tested botanicals and minerals.  TATCHA Beauty prides itself on following the time honored ritual followed by geisha. In TATCHA’s beauty book, Okinawa Red Algae is incorporated into rituals from washing hair to nourishing the body.   TATCHA’s Okinawa Red Algae is harvested by hand from a tranquil lagoon in Yaeyama. Once dried in the sun, it is distilled to retain the plant’s benefits. I want to go to a lagoon in Japan.  Heck. I just want to go to Japan.

Gold leaf image from tatcha.com

The TATCHA Luminous Deep Hydration Firming Serum contains Okinawa Red Algae, Hyaluronic acid to soothe and firm skin in need of hydration and 23-karat Gold. Yeah. You read that correctly GOLD!  Geisha have long relied on gold to give their skin an incandescent glow.  The firming serum has a shimmer to the product but when applied to the face there is o overt shimmer or glitter. Just a subtle healthy glow.  Did you know research studies suggest that gold may be beneficial in treating autoimmune diseases and inflammation.  It has also been used for centuries in Eastern diets and medicine and is believed to help heart disease, arthritis and even depression!  I know I'm always happy when someone gives ME gold!

OK. But how did the serum work?

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It did!  First of all. The light shimmery serum spread easily over my face. Only one pump was needed to feel like I had expertly applied the serum. After I applied it I could feel that my skin get firmer but not dry. It was ind of like a micro face lift. MICRO. Let's not get carried away. It's not like I looked years younger, but my skin had a youthful appearance and did look good. and It didn't make me greasy or dry or anything but firm. I really cannot complain. I am using the serum until I hit the last dregs of it.  If I will purchase it once it is used up will depend on how my skin looks after I STOP using it.

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The TATCHA Deep Hydration Firming Serum comes in 2 sizes
and 
It can also be found on QVC (1 fl. oz) for $86.34 (affiliate link)

Ingredients:  Water, Glycerin, Propanediol, Chondrus Crispus Extract, Alcohol, Methyl Gluceth-20, Polyglyceryl-10, Eicosanedioate/Tetradecanedioate, Carrageenan (Algae Extract), Fragrance (All Natural), Inositol (Rice Extract), Polyglyceryl-10 Myristate, Titanium Dioxide, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sericin (Silk Extract), Stearyl Glycyrrhetinate (Licorice Extract), Silica, Hydrogenated Lecithin (Soy Origin), Squalane (Olive Origin), Sodium Dilauramidoglutamide Lysine, Camellia Sinensis Leaf (Green Tea) Extract, Royal Jelly Extract, Algae Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Gold, Sodium Bicarbonate, Xanthan Gum, Crosspolymer, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Butelyne Glycol, HDI/Trimethylol, Hexyllactone Crosspolymere, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite.  FORMULATED WITHOUT  Parabens, mineral oils, synthetic fragrances, sulfate detergents, urea, DEA, TEA or phthalates.

Peony image from tatcha.com

Another treat from TATCHA is the Deep Hydration Revitalizing Eye Mask.  This mask combines TATCHA's proprietary Okinawa Red Algae blend with nourishing Peony Extract for luminous, purified skin in minutes. It feels like a spa vacation for your eyes. The mask is made from coconut-derived bio cellulose and was originally developed to help speed the healing for burn victims.  The bio cellulose under eye shaped sheets helps form an occlusive layer on the skin which allows the active ingredients to promote the appearance of hydrated and revitalized-looking eyes.

OK. But how did the eye mask work?

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It Worked! I mean. I only received ONE set, but it wish I had more and more and more. The results are only temporary. The mask is essential a lifting mask for under the eyes. It was very easy to apply and made the skin under my eyes feel and look hydrated and refreshed. The foil packet that the eye mask comes in is very travel friendly and perfect for using if you have a special event to attend.  A single set of the eye mask retails for $12 USD or you can buy a box of 10 sets for $95 USD. I might purchase another individual set in the future if I have a special event to go to, or if I come into some mad money I'll splurge on the box of 10….however I do find the price to be rather steep for something that does not provide a cumulative or longer lasting result.

Ingredient: Water, Glycerin, Propanediol, Chondrus Crisrus(Red Algae) Extract, Methyl Gluceth-20, Camellia Sinensis(Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Algae Extract, Royal Jelly Extract, Sericin(Silk Extract), Inositol(Rice Extract), Coix Lacryma-Jobi Ma Yuen Seed Extract, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Leaf Extract, Paeonia Albiflora Root(Peony) Extract, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate(Licorice Extract), Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Squalane(Olive Origin), Stearyl Glycyrrhetinate(Licorice), Hydrogenated Lecithin(Soy Origin), Carrageenan, Ppg-6-Decyltetradeceth-30,,  Polyglyceryl-10 Myristate, Polyglyceryl-10 Eicosanedioate/Tetradecanedioate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Dilauramidoglutamide Lysine, Ethylhexylglycerin, Fragrance(Natural), Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol.  FORMULATED WITHOUT Parabens, mineral oils, synthetic fragrances, sulfate detergents, urea, DEA, TEA or phthalates.

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Do you NEED these?  Yes and No. Yes if you need a lifting serum. The TATCHA Luminous Deep Hydration Firming Serum really does firm up the skin. It does hydrate well enough, but those with very dry skin will still reach for a stronger moisturizer to use with this.  No, for the eye patches. While I do love them as an occasional treat the lack of cumulative results and no long term effect makes me think that they are too pricey for an eye treatment.

What say you?  I know that majority of my readers are hers away fem wanting, let alone needing firming serums, but would you be interested in products like these?  Let me know your thoughts in the comments section.

Monday, July 14, 2014

NARS Elbrus and Amarapura Nail Polishes - Review, Pictures, Swatches



NARS recently came out with a new nail polish formula and packaging. While I never had issues with the old formula I must say the new one seems just as good if not better than the last.  I was a fortunate enough to receive two new colors from the new formula collection and they are Elbrus and Amarapura. 

Before I review the colors let me tell you about the fab improvements to the bottle and brush design.


OCD nail polish fanatics UNITE! The square cap will now NEVER be askew and will always line up thanks to the detachable cap.


As you can see not only does the bulky square cap come off, it reveals a much easier to handle inner cap that makes holding the brush while painting nails easier.


The brush has been improved as well. In stead of the old fashioned thin round brush, a larger and FLATTER brush has been installed in the new packaging! This allows for almost one stroke coating of nails making painting your nails even faster than before.

As for the formula, I can't really tell you if there is a difference. I found my previous NARS polishes to become opaque in one to two coats and was a great consistency, not too thin, not too thick.


Elbrus is named after a mountain range in Russia.  The rich plummy/ almost dark blood red, evokes the colors one might associate with the Russian Empire of old.  The color is pretty and could compliment almost any skin tone.  I found application easy with two coats per nail and was glossy even without a top boat. Drying time was normal and the wear time was a solid 3-4 days with no chipping or cracking (Used with a base and top coat).


Amarapura is named after the former capital city of Burma (Myanmar) It is now a township of Mandalay. The Irrawaddy river runs around the city and I'm sure Francois Nars was inspired by the shining white marble Pagodas and the sun hitting the river for this silvery shade.  This polish applied opaque in just ONE coat! I found the brush strokes to be minimal in the finish (Something  silver polish always has issues with) and I also found that applying a top coat did dull the finish a bit. I was unable to teat this polish for more than a day, but 2 coats would probably make it last a lot longer than one thin coat.

All in all I'm quite pleased with the new bottle and brush of the NARS polishes.  Fortunately, ALL of the NARS polishes will be changed over to the new packaging and formula. The comprehensive 43-shade collection will be available July 15, 2014 at NARS boutiques and on narscosmetics.com and August 1, 2014 at Sephora and Department and Specialty stores. Retail will be $20 USD.  

What say you?  Do you like the shades I have shown you? What about the new bottle and brush? Let me know in the comments section.

Progrids

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