Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Laura Mercier - Stick Gloss Rediscovered!

As many Makeup addicts know, Shopping your stash comes in handy during a no buy. OK. So if you aren't a MU addict you aren't reading this blog but allow me to explain anyway.

Shopping your stash - Your collection of Makeup is so large that you probably have items you forgot about, have never used, or haven't used in months/years. Going back though those forgotten items to find a particular color/need/short term obsession is called Shopping your stash.

No buy - Makeup addicts tend to overspend, or over shop. perhaps we want to save up money for a big purchase like La Mer Translucent Loose Powder or The Mortgage. (lol) By not buying makeup for a pre-determined amount of time, MU addicts feel as if they are saving money...however many do compensate by buying up skincare, haircare and body care items, shoes, purses or mad swapping which costs postage. Either way, it's a lose-lose situation if you do this. I have been unsuccessful in my recent no-buy. I hauled skincare items, this I justified because I was running low on my staples....however I was not OUT of the items and I was also test driving some items from some recent swaps (postage fees) so I really had no excuse, other than stress from guests coming into town and boredom during one of Darthypie's recent nap.

So why explain all this?

Because I'm verbose.

So anyway, whilst shopping my stash of over 20+ lipsticks and 30+ lip glosses I picked up my neglected Laura Mercier Stick Gloss in Courtisane and slicked it on.

I forgot how lovely this color is.
I forgot how lovely the formula is.
I forgot how much I adored this lipstick when I first purchased it.

Laura Mercier Stick Glosses retail for about $20. This is part lipstick / part lip gloss. The color is sheer and the slip (how easily the lipstick glides on your lips) is wonderful. Courtisane has a rosey-gold finish that is translucent. It's neutral. Not too warm, not too cool. It's semi frosty but not so much so that your lips look shriveled and wrinkled. It's very moisturizing, which is important for me as I hate dry lipsticks, and the color wears off evenly. The standard size for lipsticks is 0.12 oz. and the Laura Mercier stickgloss is no different. The stickgloss has no scent nor taste which is a big plus in my book.
One con is that the lipstick does not last too long. That is because of the formulation. Stick glosses wear off faster than regular lipsticks. However if you use a lip liner prior to applications and lightly fill it in it may look like it lasts longer, but then you lose the sheer effect that the stick gloss gives.

Al in all I have fallen back in love with my Laura Mercier Stickgloss in Courtisane and plan to wear it more often.

Here are some pictures. Sorry for the used appearance. I prefer to look at NEW lipsticks rather than used ones but I wanted you all to see the color in the tube as well as a swatch and on my lips. As you can see it looks different in the tube than it does on the arm than it does on the lips. By the way. I hate taking pictures of my lips. I'm not saying that to fish for compliments, I'm saying that because that's how I feel. It may or may not be reality, but that's what I think. OK. /end neurosis

swatches taken in evening light so imagine them a tad cooler (sorry)

Lip picture. Yuk but this seems pretty true to life color. A nice rosy shine.

So any items you have recently RE-discovered?

Monday, September 29, 2008

Cle de Peau Concealer - I'm in love

image from cledepeau-beaute.com

OK. I have been hesitating to write this review because I know there are some haters out there that will scoff at me when they find out I paid almost $70 for this concealer. Yeah. that's right. $68 plus tax. Now allow me to preface this ghastly amount I spent on concealer by saying the following. a) I have tried so many concealers and this was yet another one that I had to try because of the good reviews I have read. b) I purchased it for my birthday. Every year I buy one very high end item of makeup and/or perfume and splurge...this was my splurge. c) It's really none of your business and yet I feel so compelled to "explain" to you all why I spent so much money on a freakin' concealer! d) I need therapy.

Well, at least this concealer is ah-freakin-mazing. At least I am writing about how my $68 + tax monies were spent well. This stuff really works! I have tried and loved/hated the following concealers
Amazing Cosmetics Amazing Concealer
Besame - Souffle Foundation*
Estee Lauder - Smoothing Creme Concealer
Kevyn Aucoin - Sensual Skin Enhancer*
Lancome - Effacernes Concealer
Laura Mercier - Secret Camouflage
LORAC - Coverup
MAC - Studio Stick Concealer
Make Up For Ever - Full Cover
Stila - Concealer
TheBalm - TimeBalm concealer
Not to mention the gamut of drugstore brands and the wretched mineral powder
* I know these are foundations but according to the brand they can be used as concealers.

So if it was just my under eyes I was covering up, and of the above brands would have worked just fine. Many of them did work just fine on my under eye area. But all of them failed when used to cover up acne scars, emerging pimples and any other spots on my combination skin.
My skin isn't pretty. I have to use a myriad of products to look "normal". I NEED a concealer that can last all day, not crease, match my skin tone, not break me out, not flake, blend easily, and actually COVER up those imperfections. I believe ladies and gentlemen (if any gentlemen are reading this) I have found said concealer, and thy name is Cle de Peau.

Marcus, Cle de Peau is a Japanese brand. Don't let the fake French name fool you. (translates literally to Key of Skin) CdP as I like to refer to it, is owned by Shiseido. The brand is ultra high end, where a concealer will cost you $68 and tax and a lipstick will run around $40-$45. CdP isn't hard to buy on line but isn't easy either. The CdP website does not list prices for their products. I guess it is the old adage. "If you have to ask...you can't afford it." You can find it on-line at StrawberryNET.com, cosmeticsmall and amazon but in store you can purchase it at select Neiman Marcus Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue stores.

OK. The product itself.
The concealer comes in three shades. Ivory, Beige and Ocher.
I purchased Ivory. ( I am a MAC NC20, Chanel .5 Limpide, MUFE F&B 20.) I have slight yellow and red undertones and have fairly neutral skin coloring. Ivory is my perfect match. When I apply it to my skin it looks almost invisible. I hardly need to blend it to make it disappear. People with lighter skin tones may not be able to blend this as well and those darker than MAC NC 35/40 may not find Ochre dark enough for them.
I apply concealer AFTER foundation or BB cream. Lately I have been using BB cream and then CdP concealer and then Guerlain Parure Powder foundation. This gives me a full coverage yet not a cakey look. It's good for the warmer months as my skin is oily and spotty. yuck!
CdP concealer has no scent. Love that.
It comes in a stick form that you swivel up like a lipstick. You don't need to swivel it up too high as a little goes a long way. The concealer is hard in the tube but a little swipe is all you need and it spreads better when you have your own body heat "melt" it a bit. What I do is put two swipes under my eyes, and then spot/dab on various blemishes/spots on my face. By the time I'm ready to blend in the concealer it's warmed up enough to melt nicely into my skin.
I have heard of some people saying that it was too dry on them. Honestly I don't see that but I have oily skin and the eye cream & moisturizer and BB cream I use may help in alleviating any dryness that is associated with this concealer.
I can wear CdP concealer all day and it does not fade away under my eyes or on any spots I have. However it does melt away on my more oily areas like the crooks of my nose (the sides)...but nothing stays there. I like to use Laura Mercier Secret Brightening powder to set the concealer in this area but I find I really don't need it under my eyes.

Is this a Holy Grail? I'm not sure. I have been using this concealer since July. I thought Amazing Cosmetics Amazing Concealer was a HG but after a year of use...though all the season changes I decided it wasn't. I want to reserve awarding CdP HG status until a full year of use.

So Should you buy it? I can't say no. It's quite good and it the perfect color match for me, but it's such a huge investment. If you have had problems finding the right concealer, I say go for it. But I recommend testing the shades before you purchase if you can.
One thing to note. It has been rumored that CdP has changed the formulation of the concealer. That's a bummer. I still see the old version for sale on the web but the brick & mortar stores like Neimans and Saks may not carry the old formula anymore.

What was your most expensive makeup purchase?
Did it live up to your expectations?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Just a reminder.....

image from www.artline.ro

Madame Chanel once said:

"I don't understand how a woman can leave the house without fixing herself up a little - if only out of politeness. And then, you never know, maybe that's the day she has a date with destiny. And it's best to be as pretty as possible for destiny."

Have a nice weekend!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Mandom Cleansing Express - A quicke all over makeup remover!

I saw a review for Mandom Cleansing Refresh - Moist on Musings of a Muse blog and thought to myself. I am always looking for something to take off MU. I must have a zillion eye makeup removers in my bathroom. Why not a zillion and one? I hopped on over to webichi.com and found that Mandom has 2 versions of this makeup remover. One called Moist and one called Sebum Refresh. Mandom Beauty does have a 3rd cleansing express called Age Control. (It's peach colored) but webichi.com does not have this for sale ..yet. I have oily skin, and one thing I know is that Sebum is oil and the Cleansing Express - Sebum was probably for me! So if you have dry skin, check out the Muse's review. If you have combo/oily skin, check this one out! OK. check out both actually!

what this is:
It's a makeup remover that you can use ALL OVER your face. It will take off mascara with little effort and it also removes foundation, powder, blush, lipstick, etc with ease. It does a quick job of taking off "my face". ...
which leads me to this little saying at the bottom of the bottle:
"Ready for bed as soon as possible!"
How much do I love that?!

I pump 2 squirts into a cotton pad, I use one for my eyes and 2 cotton pads for my face. So I would say that I will go through this stuff fast, but I really only use it on days when I'm particularly lazy and don't feel like doing the, eye MU remover, cleansing oil, Clairsonic, Glycolic acid, wrinkle reducer, eye cream, moisturizer, acne topical treatment, more eye cream, etc. routine.

I can use the Mandom Cleansing Express, rinse face, and moisturize and be done. Well...yes. I do lose the benefits of all the other things I put on my face but at least my MU is off and I have moisturized..it's better than sleeping in my MU which is what I might do if I didn't have this stuff!

Mandom Cleansing Express removes almost everything from your face without drying it. Even though this version of the product is made for oily skin I can tell that my skin is not tight and dry after use...which is good because if it was, my skin would overproduce oil to compensate. I don't wear waterproof mascara, so I can't tell you about the effectiveness of removal, but I still find that my mascara does not always come off in one swipe with this stuff. Perhaps I need to douse a cotton pad and let it sit on my eyes for a few seconds before removing but It's not as good as an oil based MU remover, in this aspect.

The product itself comes in a pump bottle, like a lotion bottle. The consistency is water. It's not oily or thick or anything. Just water. So be careful in the first pump on the cotton as it may splash a bit. But it feels heavenly and I don't have the urge to rinse my face or anything like that. I feel that the residue it leaves behind is minimal. The directions claim you don't have to rinse but I do it anyway, just to have a clean slate...so to speak.

I paid $13.99 plus shipping from webichi.com. The bottle is pretty large (10.58 fl oz/ 300 ml) so for the price it's not bad. And since I don't use it every day I know it will last a decent amount of time.

It does have a scent but it is VERY light. The webichi site says it has a light rose scent but I swear to god that it smells like fresh coconut milk. Not that crap you get at the grocery store. No I'm talkin' the green coconuts that you climb up a tree, hack off with a machete and cut open. It smells like a mixture of light coconut milk and sea water and the beach (minus the sand). But still it's very faint. Even with my schnoz, I really have a hard time getting a good sniff of this.

Ingredients are:
Water, PEG-6 Caprylic/Glycerides, Sodium Citrate, PCA Ethyl Cocoyl, Arginate, Tochopheryl, Acetate, Disodium EDTA, Citric Acid, Butylene Glycol, Glycerine, Hydroxylated-Lecithin, Caprylyl Glycol, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract [green tea] , Glycine, Soja Seed Extract [Soy]

No Alcohol! Well Butylene Glycol is an alcohol of sorts but looking on various resources it is not a big comedogen (1 out of 5) nor is a known irritant (0 out of 5). However some people my be sensitive to it. I am not, and therefore have not had any breakouts as a result of using this cleanser! Yippie!

It's not my holy grail makeup remover, but it's a huge time saver and worth the money on my lazy days.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Thursday Poll

image from kissandmakeup.tv

OK. I think I'm getting into the swing of things. I still have a lot of reviews to write and pictures to take but I'm keeping up. I have to work a FULL 5 days this week. Ugh. No Dr. Appointments, no sick days , nada! Oh the drudgery! At least I smell nice!
On to the Poll

1) Fragrance of the day? - Lancome Mille et une Roses

2) Do you want to hit that girl in the Secret Flawless Deodorant commercial? - YES! I sure as heck do. I want her to get run over or something. Who in the hell are they marketing to? Obnoxious 20- somethings with eating disorders? I mean really!

3) Is it too early to start lemming cosmetic Holiday collections? - Yes. For god sake, let me enjoy my wine colored lips and nude eyes for at least a month!

4) Gift suggestions for my Brother that turns a whopping 50 years old at the end of October? - I have no idea. he's into Bach, Opera, Bruce Springsteen, Fixing up his Old 1951 Ford F 50, and the Civil War...oh and he lives in the frozen tundra of Minnesota!
I'm thinking cuff links and motor oil?

5) Latest MU acquisition? Dior Creme de Gloss in Fig Nectar (#641) It's loverly!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

My ideal everyday neutral eye quad

So I'm kinda a palette junkie. (In addition to being a taupe hoor) I like to have my eye shadows in trios, quads or quints to grab & go. It saves me time at 5:30 am when I am trying to decide on an eye look for the day. I can grab one of my palettes and just go with the application, rather than having to fumble around for shades that compliment each other and go through 20-30 some pots of eyeshadow.
The quad palette above is one of my favorites.
First of all it has MAC Satin Taupe. An infamous fave among MAC addicts and taupe fans alike. It's no Chanel Safari or BECCA Lamé but MAC Satin Taupe is a great taupe. It's on the plummy side, and while that's nice and all, I want something more neutral, so to counteract that in this quad I added in MAC Jest, a lovely frosty peach, a staple highlighter known as MAC Shroom, and finally a new love, MAC Smut. Smut is a very dark brown with black and red undertones. The Palette's overall look isn't too warm and isn't too cool. I love making my own palettes almost as I love buying pre-made ones.
MAC sells most eye shadows in pots but one can also buy many of them in pan form for about $3-$4 less. They fit nicely into the MAC quad palette, 15 pan palette and E.L.F. cosmetics quad palette ( which by the way is only $1 and comes with a mirror.) I store random pan shadows in my 2 E.L.F. Palettes until I have a quad to put together. Then I transfer it to a MAC Quad.
Because I'm anal retentive. I can't get any more clear than that.
Oh and the MAC quads have a clear cover so I can see what the quad is at a glance rather than opening up each palette. But I digress.
So when I have hit the snooze button 3 times, I'm running late and Darthypie is starting to wake up I grab this palette and I don't even have to think. The MAC shadows blend so nicely. They are pretty pigmented and I really can't mess up the application. The end result. A nice neutral eye of the day that will last well past the time I leave the office.
MAC is great for having a large variety of shades that I can put together into quad palettes for grab & go. As much as I love BECCA cosmetics MAC offers more variety in the color, and the shadows are easier to depot, (limited edition shades won't come in pan form so I have to preform some surgery on them).
I think I have about 8 MAC quads right now and I really only need 4, but each one of them has a taupe eyeshadow so I must be doing something right. I did debate putting all taupes in a quad or separating out all taupes and building a quad around each. I think the latter is working for me now, but when the day comes that I have 15 MAC taupes I'll be putting all of them into a 15 pan palette.

So here is the look:
Please note that this pic was taken at 6:30 am and my eyebrows have not been threaded in over 2 months. So while I may look like Groucho Marx, at least I have a pretty taupe eyeshadow on my lids!
I used Jest all over lid, Satin Taupe in crease and outer V, Shroom on brow bone and inner eye and Smut on lids to line, Smut was used wet to line upper lids and dry for lower lids. Guerlain Oriental Metal Kohl was used on the waterline and Dior Show mascara was layered over CoverGirl Lash Blast mascara.

So which do you prefer? palettes or singles
How do you store your singles is you do prefer them? Buy color, by brand, other?

Monday, September 22, 2008

On a mini-teeny-tiny break - BRB

image from chanel.com
With little Darthypie being sick and having guests for the weekend this PinkSith got a tad behind on her posts.
I'm off writing up some reviews and taking pictures. Not to worry. I'll be back up and running full force in a day or so!
(if only I could look as fabulous as this model while looking oh so put upon. lol)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Paul & Joe Beaute is now for sale on Beautyhabit.com!!

Oh boy am I in trouble.
Beautyhabit.com is currently carrying a large line of Paul & Joe cosmetics, fragrances and skincare!!
It's reasonably priced (no huge mark-up) and BH.com is known to have 20% off sales from time to time!!

Aside from the wonderful CS, BH.com also has a great free sample program. This may soon become my favorite website!

Amazing Concealer - It's not so amazing.

image from sephora.com

In my quest to find a truly great concealer I have come across only one real gem. Unfortunately Amazing Cosmetics Concealer is NOT that gem. It's nice but not a holy grail.

Amazing Cosmetics is a smaller brand, this concealer has a hefty price tag ($40 for .half an ounce of product) and limited color selection (8 shades including a white shade you can use to add to lighten foundation or as a highlighter) can be a bit off putting. But, if you are able to find a good color match, Mine is Fair -Ultra Light, (For reference I’m a MAC NC20 / MUFE F&B 20 / Chanel Limpide .5) you will have a good experience.

$40 for an entire years worth of concealer. Would you pay that?
Would you pay, knowing it was a concealer you can put on under eyes, on blemishes and anywhere else you need concealer without worry of creasing, breakouts, cakeyness?
Maybe it doesn't do all that but it doesn't break me out and it didn't get cakey until my skin got dry. So I guess that's good.
It does crease if you don't use a setting powder...so why would you spend the money?
That's what I am here for. I spend the money, like and idiot, so you don't have to!

There are pros to this concealer. Don't get me wrong. It's decent.
You really only need the tiniest amount to cover dark circles under your eyes and to cover up small marks (old acne scars, blemishes, moles, etc)
A have heard complaints of this concealer not being good for under eyes, that is creases or can look cakey. If used alone, with certain skin types I can see that happening. But if you choose to use a setting powder (Amazing Cosmetics Pressed Powder Set or Laura Mercier Secret Brightening powder – what I use) you will not experience any of these issues. In fact I believe this concealer works better when used in combination with a setting powder.

For reference I have combination acne prone skin, Oily T-Zone, and a normal to slightly dry under eye area. I do not use a morning eye cream. I pat on concealer under eyes and use a brush for any acne spots. I set with Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder after I apply the concealer.

I believe if I used a eye cream in the morning this concealer under my eye would look less cakey and most likely not crease as much w/ the setting powder...but that is too many steps. I want to conceal and move on to the next 3 kazillion things I put on my face in the morning.

I am prone to cystic acne. I get TOTM cystic acne and sometimes they are on my forehead and chin. I have used this concealer on those awful and painful eruptions with a lot of success. I apply w/ a concealer brush, use a setting powder and even though acne can be oily the concealer stays on for a good 6 or more hours. Best of all it does not aggravate current blemishes nor does it break me out. I was using another concealer for years wondering why my acne was always so bad. When I stopped using it, my spots seemed to come less often. It was probably due to some other skin care changes but at least I know that Amazing Cosmetics Concealer is not going to hurt my skin. Those sensitive to mineral Oil may want to steer clear, but it has never bothered my skin. *see ingredients below.

The concealer comes in a small black tube. That’s a con, because I don’t know how much is left, but after a year of use I’m finally having to start squeezing from the bottom to get out product. The neck of the tube where the product comes out split about a month ago so some product seeps out the side when I squeeze it but I don’t really waste much as I clean it up using a concealer brush to remove any from the treads on the neck of the tube. Still annoying though.

The final verdict. = Meh.
It's a decent concealer. If you want to pay the maybe a year + of use, go ahead. It's not recommended for dry skin as I think t accentuates flakes. If you have normal to oily skin this is a great product for you. I just hope you find a color that works for you.

Paraffinum Liquidum (Mineral Oil), Petrolatum, Lanolin Oil, Ozokerite, PVP/Hexadecene, Copolymer, Cetyl Alcohol, Cucumber Sativus Fruit Extract (Cucumber), Tocopheryl Acetate, Silica, BHT, Propylparaben, Methylparaben, May Contain (+/-): Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Thursday Poll

image from kissandmakeup.tv

I have this Friday off but it will be spent cleaning the house and waiting for guests to arrive. I hate cleaning, as evidenced by my messy house. Seriously. I have two dogs that shed so much they shed enough for a new dog every other week. Add in an 19 month old and a cat and you have a lot of mess. Thank god my MU is locked up in nice clean boxes away from the dog hair and child!
OK. Moving on. So what good is a poll if you don't participate? 1/2 the fun is reading OTHER people's answers to the poll but the other 1/2 is actually ANSWERING the poll.
Get it?

Got it?


1) Mascara of the day?
- Shu Uemura The Basic Mascara with Maybelline Voluminous over top. I have gotten over the icky smell, and this stuff really does make my lashes FAT! I love it!

2) When you travel, how soon before you go do you start to pack?
- I pack the night before. I have it all in my head what I'll bring but it never gets put into a bag until the night before I leave. Makes for some interesting stress. I should be more proactive.

3) Have you returned any makeup recently?
- No. But I'm still thinking of returning the GA Lip Wax #2. I still have yet to decide. 1/2 of me wants to return it b/c of the color and the other 1/2 does not want to trek all the way back t Neimans and face the SA's sneers as I return used MU.

4) You know your are a ___________ addict when you ________.
- Taupe eye shadow / Swatch shades from different brands that are almost identical and have to have someone talk you out of buying both! (Please note your answer does not have to be makeup related)

5) TV Show(s) you are most excited about having a new season? - Heroes, The Shield, and The Ultimate Fighter. (I'm a closet UFC fan!)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Lancome Lotus Splendor - A Gem!

This little gem will have a place of honor on my makeup vanity. That is if I ever have a house large enough for a makeup vanity. For now it is on my dresser. I look at it a lot. Even my Dear Husband has commented how "neat" this item is.

In the United States, Lancome thinks Americans are all about form & function. That we couldn't be bothered with a Lotus Bud Shaped Makeup Delivery Device. They might be right, but there are at least a few Americans that want this. I happen to be one of them. Lancome came out with the Maharani Jewels Fall 2008 Color Collection in early June. The Europe/Asia release included 2 lotus Flowers 01 Warm Keva and 02 Brown Nalini they are Make up Palettes of a sort and they are exquisite. I glimpsed pictures from various blogs like A Touch of Blusher and others and I knew I had to have one of them.

I found on Evilbay for a mere $34 a limited edition Lancome Europe/Asia exclusive Lotus Splendor eye and lip duo! I got Warm Keva. The Brown Nalini was selling for almost 2times as much and I wasn't all that excited by the colors.

Here are pictures of the lotus palette in all it's glory.



Eye shadow 1

Eye shadow 2

Teeny tiny applicators that come with the palette

The Palette, if you can call it that, comes with a cute "instruction" sheet for various looks and ways to apply the products.

The little gem was marred by my repeated opening & closing to show people how cool the thing was so I decided to swatch it, realizing that I would have to actually USE the product rather than just stare at it.
So swatches for your enjoyment.
The Orange lipstick shows up as a bright yet sheer coral, the white gloss is sticky and very pearlized, the pink shadow is well pigmented and matte and the gray is well pigmented and sparkly. both shadows blend very well and are silky soft.

P.S. Facial-Shop.com has 01 for sale here is the link

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Giorgio Armani Lip Wax - I caved

I did it.
I succumbed
I gave in
I have no spine
I bought TWO Giorgio Armani Lip Waxes

I went to Neiman Marcus with my good friend Pam. She doesn't wear much makeup, (almost none, but she doesn't really need to. She's quite pretty and has lovely skin, although she complains about the size of her pores...but who doesn't?)
Anyway. We made a b-line to the Giorgio Armani (GA) Counter, (which opened last week) and waited patiently for help. Apparently the regular Make Up Artist was not in on Sunday but a lovely man by the name of Thomas helped us out. Mind you, the two crones that worked the Jo Malone counter next door eyeballed us but never offered to help, one of them did come over when we started opening up drawers, but that was after Thomas had left us to look for the lip waxes in the back of the store. That's right. he couldn't find them on the floor so he VOLUNTEERED TO LOOK FOR THEM IN THE BACK. i.e. extra effort. e.g. CUSTOMER SERVICE!
"No thanks snooty lady. Thomas is helping us. He's NICE. you should take a note from him." OK. We didn't actually say this to her, but we thought it. Pam even tried smiling at one of the crones when I was checking out with Thomas and crone lady looked right at Pam, no smile back and then coughed (fake cough BTW) into her hand. Nice!
"Oh please show me some makeup & perfume with your germy hands now Susan Powter look-alike!"

image from cnn.com

Thanks to this diligent, helpful and charming SA I managed to procure 2 of these much talked about lip products.

So what's the Pink Sith take on this you ask?
Mildly surprised and very pleased.
OK. It's not a holy grail but it's the first matte lip color / lip stain I have worn in ages that not only is moisturizing but long lasting. It feels as if I have nothing on my lips. It's amazing. I only have one other GA product, that's an eye mania eye shadow palette which is OK but certainly not worth the money (in my opinion. the eye mania shadow pigmentation is sheer and the color selection, while nice, isn't anything special) But back to the lip waxes.
I'm sure you have read reviews elsewhere of this product, so I won't bore you with the details of how this product came about and how "groundbreaking" it is. Yawn.

From the GA website
"Lipstick without excess. A modern vision of lip color, Lip Wax compact lipstick is a blush of color for lips. The incredibly smooth and silky texture of Lip Wax glides over lips leaving rich, tailor-made color. The ultra-fine and soft Micro-fil™ veil ensures a smooth and seemingly weightless result. Like a second-skin garment, the weightless texture dresses lips in a comfortable and extremely fine film of color with a sophisticated satin finish."

F.Y.I. Micro-fil™ = Dimethicone

What I will tell you.
For $26 you get 1.9g / 0.06 oz. Yipes. that's tiny!

This is classified as a modern take on lipstick but I will tell you I see this as more of a lip stain on steroids. It's well pigmented and acts as a stain but is strong enough to wear alone and sturdy enough to wear under gloss or sheer lipstick.
The lip color comes in pot form and while I guess you could use your fingers to apply, I wouldn't recommend it. It is a lip stain of sorts so your finger will turn red/pink etc. A lip brush is best (please ignore the obvious finger looking application of my swatches. I was losing light and wanted to get the pictures taken before the sun went down).

What you get?
A cute little black shiny compact (which is in contrast the GA's matte finish for eye shadows) about the size of a 50 cent piece. It has a little mirror in the top of the lid and the compact is average black plastic. It's fairly light, but again it's only holding 0.06 oz of product. How heavy could it be?
The lip wax is well pigmented. It gives an even matte color that does not feather or run, it feels lightweight, almost powdery (but not dry) and a nice decent long wear from it.

#2 Antique Rose
Wellll. It's not really rose. I would say more of an orangey/pinky nude. I would have liked to see a rose color in this collection. But this one is OK. I'm still deciding if I'm going to keep it or not. I might return it. (There were no testers there so I couldn't swatch before I purchased and the swatches on the GA site suck)

#6 Deep Chianti
It is what it says it is. True to color. A lovely deep red/berry shade that can be layered for more color intensity. This is a real winner in my book. It's a neutral red but leans ever so slightly towards the cooler side. A lip gloss applied on top would eliminate that. It makes a lovely lip stain and a great color for those that want red lips but not IN YOUR FACE red, as it can be sheered out without being streaky.

As I said. Giorgio Armani Lip Wax is not a "holy grail" but it's certainly a nice product that preforms well and gives a lovely color. If you have the money to spend, go pick one up. I recommend #6!

Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Dimethicone, Polyethylene, Aluminum Starch Octenyluocinate, Arachdyl Propionate, Talc, Polybutene, Kaolin, Octyldoecyl Neopentanoate, Octydodecanol, Disostearyl Malate, Aqua/Water, C18-36 Acid Triglyceride, Polyester-3, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Calcium Sodium Borosilicate, Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate, Silica, Polyethylene, Terephthalate, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Tin Oxide, Perlite, Disteardimonium Hectorite, BHT, Methicone, [May Contain, CI77891/ Titanium Dioxide, CA77499, CI77491, CA 77492 / Iron Oxides, CA 45410 / Red 28 Lake, CI 15850 / Red 7, CI 15985 / Yellow 6 Lake, CI 45380 / Red 22 Lake CI 42090 /Blue 1 Lake, CI 19140 /Yellow 5 Lake CI45380 / Red 22 CI 45410 / Red 28, CI 45370 /Orange 5, CI 75470 / Carmine, Mica].

Monday, September 15, 2008

Nivea A Kiss Of Shine - my Holy Grail Lip Balm.

"I'm in with the in crowd, I go where the in crowd goes
I'm in with the in crowd and I know what the in crowd knows"

FINALLY I can be "in". Thanks to Nivea A Kiss Of Shine (known as Caregloss & Shine outside of the US) lip balm. This is a great lip gloss alternative. It is easy to apply (angled tip), it's not sticky and it had just a hint of natural looking color giving a nice sexy pout. The best part is that it is super moisturizing!
When I was younger I really wanted to be "in" like all the girls in my class. They all had chapstick, or lipsmackers. I did too but I always hated the waxy feel. Then as high school came around all the popular girls had Carmex. I wanted to have Carmex, but the menthol smell was unbearable to me and the open pot application was gross, I mean where was I to wipe my Carmex coated fingertip after application? My pegged acid washed jeans? I think not!
I have never been fond of lip balm. Mind you, that does not stop me from buying lip balm. I think I currently have the following lip products in my house, stashed in old purses, drawers and coat pockets.
Blistex Complete Moisture Lip Balm

Blistex Lip Medex, Lip Moisturizer

Blistex Lip Tone
Blistex Medicated Lip Conditioner
Blistex Silk & Shine Lip Protectant and Sunscreen

Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm

Burt's Bees Lip Shimmer - Fig

Burt's Bees Lip Shimmer - Rhubarb

Carmex Lip Balm

ChapStick Ultra, Moisturizing Lip Balm

Korres Lip Butter - Guava

Korres Lip Butter - Quince

Korres Lip Butter - Wild Rose

Neutrogena Lip Moisturizer
Smith's Rosebud Salve

Softlips Lip Protectant

I know I'm forgetting a few.

As you can see I have a lip balm problem.
I am always on the search for the perfect lip product that will get me though the night without chapped lips. Ever since I had my nose broken I have snored. Thanks to the jerk that broke my nose (It was by accident. I swear! Don't start calling The Abused and battered Woman hot line or anything) and thanks to my stubbornness, I have never gotten it fixed. (I hate doctors) So I snore. Not loudly (or so I have been told) but I snore all the same. which means my mouth is open at night, which means my lips get dried out, which means I have shared waaay too much personal info with you.
Back to the matter at hand.

I usually wear lipstick and/or gloss during the day so I don't need balm for then. If I go to the dentist I put on lip balm so my lips wont get dried out and crack while my teeth are getting drilled. If I have a cold I usually only wear lip balm so I don't contaminate my lipsticks and glosses. And at night I put on lip balm for the aforementioned snoring/broken nose/chapped lips etc.
Where are you going with this Elvira?

Do you even have a point?


If you have read this far, you are probably a friend of mine and read this blog every day, so you wade though all the crap to get to the point.
If you haven't read this far, you aren't reading this right now. Deep Huh?

My Point.


Nivea A Kiss Of Shine
Nivea A Kiss Of Shine Lip balm in Pink, Red or Natural are AWESOME and the bestest lip balms ever!

a) Not waxy, sticky or greasy
b) Squeeze tube w/ slanted lip application
c) Long lasting & moisturizing!
most important

I have been getting custom purchases or begging friends that travel abroad to pick up a tube of Nivea lip balm for me since I discovered this loveliness back in 2005. Love love love these glosses/lip balms/whatever you want to call it!
Nivea FINALLY released them for purchase in the United States. They can be found in Wallgreens and on Drugstore.com. They cost a frugal $3 a tube and used 1x a night one tube lasts me MONTHS. I use the Natural one for night time. No sense in pink lips in the dark! I use the tinted ones for day especially when I use lip stains or very dry lipsticks ::cough:: MAC Lustre Formula ::cough:: or if I have a red lipstick that I have blotted to lessen the pigmentation but still want some moisture. You get the idea.
The formula I feel is unique. It's thicker than Vaseline lip care yet not as thick as the Carmex squeeze tube. It does not slide off my lips and it does not make my lips stick together either. I have never experienced little breakouts along my lip line which is a plus (a bad reaction to one of the kazillion balms mentioned above has made me weary of breaking out)

As you can see in the pictures the colors are VERY sheer. They aren't buildable but they do add just a hint of color so if you want a natural and glossy lip this would be an excellent item to try. I know that in the foreign market place there are even more colors, but the US only has three or four. That's enough for me.
Now the Nivea pink tube will be replacing my trusty lipsmackers Dr. Pepper flavor tube in all of my purses and coats. I have about 4 of them floating around somewhere I think.......

Friday, September 12, 2008

Updates & a rant

As of 9/10/2008
The Sonia Kashuk Skunk Brush is nice but it isn't the MAC 187. I keep wanting it to be more dense than it is. But It's not terrible. Just post unicorn attainment depression (PUAD) I guess.

My Sephora #114 liner pencil dupe, Maniac Liner # 12, broke me out all along the lip line like I thought it might. A lovely reader informed me that Sephora Customer Service said that they are replenishing their stock of the slim liner pencils and may have them ready for purchase by October? Here's hoping.

MAC customer Service has responded to my haikus for bringing back the Volcanic Ash Exfoliator, they sent an e-mail thanking me for my input and saying that they would be sending me a small gift!! (it probably won't be a BNIB VAE but it's the thought that counts.) Have you taken the time to write in?

The Shu Uemura Instinct Fall Mode Makeup in Mesmerizer and Tantalizer were both duds. The cream eyeshadow creased like crazy and I eventually ended up replacing the cream eyeshadow with a powder one and making 2 different compacts with an eyeshadow duo and a blush. I like them much better now and wear the powder shadows often.

I finally got tired of using my Urban Decay Primer Potion out of a 5gram jar and switched to Too Faced Shadow Insurance. TFSI was far more emollient than UDPP and seemed to make my eyeshadow even brighter/bolder. I had a problem with dispensing the right amount but I got used to it. Then I got even more lazy and started reaching for my MAC Paint Pot in Painterly. It's so close to my natural skin tone I could use it for concealer. This seems to keep my eyeshadow from creasing but it does not make the colors as bold as TFSI. Perhaps if I start going to bed earlier, when I wake up I won't be so tired and I'll go back to the TFSI...but for now the MAC PP gets the job done.

So either Sephora lives in fantasy land or only employees of Bare Escentuals (BE) and Smashbox participate in the Best of Survey. I mean what the heck? Best Zit Zapper is Bare Escentuals RareMinerals™ Blemish Therapy? Are you kidding? An item with bismuth and talc is the best acne fighter? I think not. Let's not get into "Best Foundation" and Best Concealer" status of the BE products. Gah! And what the heck are they thinking Best Beauty Innovation was Smashbox O-Gloss? O-My God are they insane? Red dye #27 is not a beauty innovation! Puhleeze!
Sephora is full of Sh*t! It's worst than Allure's best of.... And that's saying something!
/ end rant

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Thursday Poll

image from kissandmakeup.tv

If it's Thursday it must be Poll time. While I refrained from buying the Chanel quad during the Neiman Marcus event I did manage to spend enough to get the gift bag. It's a very cute bag. A few have shown up on evilbay (I have already seen 15 auctions) so if you don't want to spend the outrageous minimum with Neimans, maybe you can get just the bag for about $12-$15 on evilbay! I went shopping with a lovely member of Make Up Alley and thank goodness she was there or else I might have lost my self restraint and spent more. Plus we went to lunch at Cheesecake Factory so yumm!

1) Lip of the day? - Chanel Rouge Allure in Silhouette

2) Most recent makeup purchase? - MAC Blooming Blush. (from the new MAC Cult of Cherry Collection) I adore it. It's the perfect dusty cool pink with not too much shimmer. It's lighter than Chanel Rose Dust JC (which I still am lemming) but not too dark. It's totally Goldilocks!

3) Place you want to vacation and money isn't an object? - Japan. I want to go there sooooooo badly. I want to be ensconced in cuteness, fresh sushi and hard to find makeup brands. Not to mention the scenery and culture! I'm obsessed. Some day I'll get to go. Some day.

4) Favorite Beverage? - Aside from water. Yes. I actually love to drink water. I adore Tazo Awake Tea. It packs a punch in the caffeine department and it's smooth. I don't drink coffee anymore so this stuff does the job quite well.

5) If one were to put lipstick on a pig, what brand, formula and/or color would it be? - I think I would put Revlon Cherries in the Snow. a) because it's inexpensive since you'll have to reapply often and b) because it's cool toned and with a pig's pink coloring I think it would compliment and enhance the pig's skin tone.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Clarins pure melt cleanisng gel - Amazing invention. Pricey Investment.

image from clarins.com

I'm a big fan of oil based cleansers. I have tried Shu Uemura (The green one and the original), DHC, Lumene, and one other, but I forget the name. I wear sunscreen and foundation so at the end of the day I want to make sure all of that is off my face as it will cause me to break out if I don't effectively remove it. I use the Clarisonic Brush and have been using it for many years now. The brush is amazing and one day I will sit down write a review of it. The brush really scrubs my skin and the thought of scrubbing my makeup & sunscreen into my skin makes me feel oogey so I want to make sure I remove it before I use the Clarisonic. That's where the oil cleanser comes in. The oil cleanser will effectively remove my sunscreen and makeup,rinse away clean, with no oily film left on my face. In addition, since I'm effectively cleansing twice (Oil then Clarisonic) I want to make sure I don't strip my face and dry it out too much. There is really nothing worse than having acne and dry patches!

The drawback with such oil cleansers is that they are runny and I feel like I waste some of the product when rubbing it between my hands. Clarins pure melt cleanser has fixed this but making the oil into a gel, and it stays as a gel until it comes into contact with the makeup on your face! Then and only then, does it melt into an oil cleanser. It effectively removes all of the makeup (even waterproof mascara, with minimal rubbing) from my face and when I go to rinse it rinses clean like any other oil based cleanser!
According to Clarins the pure Melt Cleansing Gel "preserves the skin's hydrolipidic film as it softens, soothes and refreshes skin, and rinses off easily." OK. Whatever hydrolipdic means, (water & oil = Hydro-lipid) it works. my skin is soft after use and never feels tight or dry. I will say that if you are not wearing makeup this gel cleanser can feel sticky and may not melt into the oil. You may need a washcloth to effectively remove it if you are sensitive to any residue left over from rinsing. I have used this alone, without my Clarisonic brush, but I didn't feel like my face was fully clean. Perhaps that's a result of using a Clarisonic for so long, perhaps it's a residue from the Clarins. I'm not sure, so I treat this cleanser as a makeup remover not a full fledged cleanser. Also one last thing to note is that this product does have fragrance. Perhaps it is the c-Marula oil but whatever it is, if you are sensitive to fragrance I would avoid this. I happen to love the scent. It's clean and semi flowery .

The biggest drawbacks to this item is the price and the speed in which I go though it. I try to be conservative and use a nickle size dollop in my palm but I still feel like I go though this quite fast. At $30 a tube for 3.9 oz it's spendy to say the least. The packaging is good because cheap-o me can cut the tube in half and get in there to scoop out every trace of product once I near the end. But as I said, nearing the end of a tube comes all to quickly some times. I have purchased this product 2 times in the past 8 months. I that's bad because some days I skip it and use my Shu Uemura cleansing oil.

So will I buy this again? No. Once I run out of my Shu oil I'm getting more of the Shu. The last bottle (150ml) lasted me over a year so I won't be picking up the Clarins any time soon. I'm trying to use up all my skin care items before I buy or swap for more. I found myself overrun with cleansers and acne treatments and toners and masks and you name it. I had to pair down so I'm on a "Use it up/No Buy". You might see some more reviews from me in the coming months as I go though using up products.

My skin is combination Oily in T-zone, It is clog prone and sensitive to silicones. I have fine lines near my eyes and am starting to get dryness under my eyes and on my cheeks. My skin loves deep cleansing and exfoliation (manual & chemical) and hates silicone-y type products that sit on top of my skin and cause my pores to suffocate.

For reference, here are the cleansing oils I have used.
All of them are effective in removing makeup and sunscreen, but some are more effective than others In order of effectiveness & best value they are:
Shu Uemura Cleansing Beauty Oil Premium A/I 5.07oz/150ml = $32.00
Lumene Lift Touch Rejuvenating Cleansing Oil 6.8oz/200ml = $9.99
DHC Deep Cleansing Oil 6.7oz/199ml = $24
Clarins Pure Melt Cleanser 3.9oz/115ml = $30

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Smashbox O-Glow Blush - A rant-o-rama

image from sephora.com
If any of you are old enough to remember the first time “mood” lipsticks were introduced in the early 1980’s you probably aren’t reading this review or were smart enough to avoid this lame gimmicky “blush” from Smashbox.

I am putting quote marks around the word blush when I refer to O-Glow “Blush” in this review because I don’t consider it Blush. It’ more of a vile and wretched ooze that summons the evil mood lipstick nymphs of the 1980’s to ruin your complexion. But I digress.

I remember my first tube of that green waxy mood lipstick. It looked so “punk” (I, being a suburban kid in the 80’s, wanted to be Punk Rock Oh so bad.) I bought it secretly so my parents wouldn’t object…just like how I shaved the side of my head when they went out of town. What a rebel I was walking around the mall with half of my hair gone and combat boots purchased at the Army/Navy surplus store…but I digress again.

I wanted to try this O-Glow product when I saw it because I was feeling nostalgic. Perhaps it was the fact that I couldn’t find it in stores or the fact that my Misfits CD had just gone missing but in a grasp to hold on to the warm and fuzzy teenage punk rock angst memories, I clicked “complete order” and the “blush” was shipped to me the next day.

I put a little bit of this clear gel on my cheeks and it immediately started to turn my skin a bright, gaudy, fuchsia pink. Eck! The only good thing about O-Glow is that it came off with a little makeup remover...which is more than I can so for those dang “mood” lipsticks from the 1980‘s.
Those things were lip stain’s evil twin! The fuchsia color clung to your lips like white on rice and wouldn’t fade for two or more days. Chapped flakes of bright pink lip skin would remain on your lipsmackers tube for days after use. But I digress yet again.

The gel was too watery and almost slid off of my face before I could rub it in. Perhaps it was trying to save me the shame of a fuchsia cheek but I think it’s just a bad product. I gave this junk “blush” it to my niece as a big “phbbbtbtbtt” to my brother for making fun of my black khol eyes and shaved head whilst cracking my favorite Clash LP (The Clash first album- self titled) as he ripped it off of the record player to listen to ::barf:: Bruce Springsteen. Let’s see HIS little girl walk around w/ “mood” cheeks & combat boots* for a change.

So to bring back a catch phrase from the 80’s “Just say NO” to O-Glow. It’s a gimmick and not worth the HIGH price (financially and physically) I paid for this product. Oh and just so you know, red dye #27 is all that this “blush” has that makes it go from clear to crap…uh I mean pink.

*Note: Combat Boots are no included with your purchase of O-Glow Blush.

Monday, September 8, 2008

TJ Maxx haul - Stila Guinevere's Deluxe Palette

OK it was 2 things. But a haul is a haul. I picked up that Too Faced Mommie Dearest eyeshadow and a Stila Palette in my recent T. J. Maxx shopping trip.

The Stila Palette is nice. It is suited for warm complexions and comes with 3 eye shadows a blush, a lip gloss and a brush to apply the gloss. The eye shadows are fairly sheer but the blush is really well pigmented. I would say it compares in color to NARS Orgasm or a lighter version of MAC Springsheen. The lip gloss is a total write off in my book. It's very sheer and unpigmented and I don't like cream/gloss products next to powder products b/c they get "contaminated" with the powder. I'll probably scoop out the gloss & press in another loose eyeshadow or pigment or highlighter to finish off the palette.

The palette advises that the lightest shade of eyeshadow be used as a base, the middle shade as a crease shade and the darkest as a liner shade. Since I find the colors very sheer, I use the middle shade all over as a base, the darkest for a crease shade and the lightest for a highlighter. I prefer liquid, gel or cake liner anyway so I use my trusty MAC Graphic Brown as a liner shade with this palette.
The look is VERY subtle. It's suitable for work, but I would not recommend it for a night look as I think the staying powder of these shadows is minimal and the pigmentation is too light for evening. The real winner in this palette is the blush. It's really soft and gives a lovely glow to your face. I anticipate hitting the pan on that one in the near future.

This is a nice little palette, good for travel and since I only paid $4.99 for it I really can't complain.

Any great deals to be found at your local discount stores?

Is it breaking a no buy if I use a store credit?

Friday, September 5, 2008

Paul & Joe - Inspiree collection Haul

Paul & Joe's Inspiree collection is lovely. Sheer natural looking shades that flatter most skin tones. I recently won an auction on evilbay for a lipstick and face powder from the Inspiree collection. As you can see from the promotional photo above, I won the #60 collection. #060 Inspiree – Feminine pink (A sheer natural pink) lipstick and a #060 Lullaby - (A Pink brown/Creamy pink) face powder.

I am a relative Paul & Joe n00b (newbie). The brand is virtually impossible to find where I live and on-line availability is spotty and sometimes very expensive shipping accompanies any products you might find. So when I saw this auction on evilbay I jumped at it.

My auction arrived in the mail a few weeks ago, but I just haven't gotten around to taking pics until recently. Yes. the 2 items sat in my train case, unused, untested for 2 weeks until I took pictures.
I'm crazy to have waited so long because the lipstick is afreakinmazing! Its a "My Lips But Better" color (MLBB). A sheer pink moisturizing lipstick with the most beautiful chrysanthemum flower impression all over the lipstick bullet.

The Face Powder (a.k.a. eye shadow) is very sheer and can be layered for a deeper application but I seriously had to layer 4 or 5 times for the dark brown shade to show up well on me...and by that time my application was getting messy so I wouldn't call this the best in the world. The pink/champagne color is very nice and can be used as eyeshadow or as a all over highlighter. Since the brown color is so small in the pan you don't run the risk of getting too much (if any) on your brush if applying all over to highlight.

Both the lipstick and face powder apply sheer. The swatch below is of the face powder swatched 2X and the lipstick swatched 4X. Please note that the llipstick looks more sheer because of the reflection from the sun.

Overall I adore the lipstick. The little cardboard tube and the design on the product make this a very CUTE item. I love the moisturizing properties of this lipstick and the slip (how much it drags or doesn't drag when applied) is amazing. It's so smooth and silky it's actually a pleasure to apply. I know. I sound kinda psycho talkingabout the "slip" of a lipstick, but it really does make a difference. Plus, in these hard times a little indulgence like a lipstick really makes the day go better. If you don't believe me look up. According to investopedia.com the Leading Lipstick Indicator is an indicator based on the theory that a consumer turns to less expensive indulgences, such as lipstick, when she (or he) feels less than confident about the future. Therefore, lipstick sales tend to increase during times of economic uncertainty or a recession. This term was coined by Leonard Lauder (chairman ofEstee Lauder), who consistently found that during tough economic times, his lipstick sales went up. Believe it or not, the indicator has been quite a reliable signal of consumer attitudes over the years. For example, in the months following the September 11 terrorist attacks, lipstick sales doubled.
Granted I don't believe Mr. Lauder understands how much Paul & Joe Lipstick costs but I think you get the idea.

Places to find Paul & Joe cosmetics
According to the Paul & Joe Website it can be found at select Anthropologie stores and you can click on your state to see where it is sold at boutiques. (if your state is even listed)
TheBeautyCloset.com has a less than decent selection but sometimes you find what you are looking for
Bergdorf Goodman in NYC. Actually I hear that the entire line of Paul & Joe is available in store. The Bergdorf Goodman website doesn't have Paul & Joe on it, but if you are interested in any specific items, you can call Bergdorf Goodman and ask for Paul & Joe counter. They are More than willing to take your order and money over the phone. They will ship anywhere within the US. The phone number is 1-800-218-4918
HQ Hair has Insane shipping from the UK
So not that great of an opportunity to buy Paul & Joe unless you are in NYC, or don't mind ordering from a sales associate on the phone. I wish it was more available..but maybe that is a good thing as I'm sure at about $20 a lipstick I would be broke shortly.

Thanks to mandi for providing some additional websites to find Paul & Joe cosmetics in the comments section!!

So what lengths have you gone to get makeup? - I have called and e-mailed all over NYC to get my coveted Caron Loose Face Powder...I hope I won't have to go through such a production to get more Paul & Joe in the future.

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