Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Thursday Poll - by Joeybunny!



Happy New Year’s Eve everyone - and Happy 2010 to those non-US readers! I’m excited to be in charge of today’s Thursday Poll, because I have always wanted to bug you all with a bunch of questions. Ha!

I’ve been pretty contemplative this past week. Today is the end of the year, and the end of the 2000s. It has been a pretty unbelievable (both unbelievably good and unbelievably bad) decade for the world, and for myself, and I’m sure for you all as well. At this time ten years ago I was home waiting for the world to end with my parents (remember the Y2K scare?). We were actually pretty convinced that something large would happen, and my parents stocked up on canned goods and ramen and boxed milk. How terrible, right? I remember being horrifically disappointed that planes weren’t falling out of the sky and aliens weren’t taking over the world. I think my parents were a little disappointed too. We ended up having a balloon fight. Good times!

This year I’ll be drunk somewhere, sobbing while I reminisce over all the things that I have lost and gained over the past decade. I mean, in the past ten years I’ve graduated from middle school, high school, and college. I’ve fallen in and out of love many times (huge SIGH). I’ve gone from wearing just Dermablend over my surgery scars to wearing a full face of Bergdorf Goodman’s most exclusive brands. Hell, I’ve gone from Love’s Baby Soft to Bond No. 9 New Haarlem! I mean, things have really changed and even though I studied existentialism extensively while at NYU, the fact that nothing can ever really stay the same never fails to shock me - and I always feel that shock the most deeply on New Year’s Eve. Thank goodness this is a huge alcohol-centric holiday! We can all use a drink after this downer of a post I just wrote.

Now, onto the poll:
1) What are your New Year’s Eve plans?: I’ll be at my best girlfriend’s apartment. We’re making dinner and watching the ball drop on TV. Oh, and we’re going to be popping bottles of champagne and beer all night - the past year has been ridiculously turbulent for the both of us, and we already know we’re going to spend the better part of it crying and hoping that 2010 treats us a lot better.


2) Do you have a special FOTD planned for New Year’s?: Not yet, but I know that whatever makeup look I do will be heavy on the eyes and lips, and majorly sparkly. I’m thinking about red lips and gold eyes, or silver eyes and plum lips. Not sure yet!

3)What were your top ten products of 2009 (or at the very least, one or two of your top products of the year)?: Oh wow, ok let’s see...(in no particular order), here's my list!
  • Too Faced Shadow Insurance: After a few years of using ArtDeco base, it stopped working for me. I mailed my backup to Elvira, and went to Sephora to buy this. I couldn’t be happier with its performance.
  • Urban Decay Book of Shadows 2: Just check out my old review. I am just as smitten with this palette now as I was then! It requires me to not have to think about what eyeshadows to slap on my lids when I'm in a rush.
  • Bobbi Brown Bash eye shadow: Elvira reviewed this a while back. I purchased it before she did and I liked it a lot more than she did. In fact, I love this eyeshadow - it makes the perfect liner.
  • Edward Bess: I reviewed Dusk eyeshadow and Night Romance lipstick a few weeks ago, and now that I own a lot more of the line - almost all the shadows, a couple of lipsticks, a gloss, and a highlighter - I can safely say Edward Bess lives up to the hype. Elegant, luxe, and classic; his products are true staples in my makeup wardrobe.
  • Paul and Joe Creamy Powder Compact foundation: 2009 brought me my Holy Grail foundation, and this is it. I’ve always been a fan of cream-to-powder foundations, and this one does not disappoint. It has SPF15, it is a perfect color match (I wear #40), and it doesn’t melt off. This foundation blends like a dream and is just so darn cute you can’t help but love it.
  • MAC 252 and 242 brushes: I’m not entirely sure how I managed to live - or at least apply bright eyeshadows or loose eyeshadows - before I bought these brushes. There’s something about the bristles on these brushes that allow for a more precise placement of color.
  • Fyrinnae eyeshadows: Simply gorgeous, and I’m still mad at myself for being so behind on this brand. Their neutrals are truly exquisite.
  • Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy: Genius because it makes all of my glitterbomb eyeshadows wearable. I can finally wear Urban Decay Midnight Cowboy! Wheee!
  • Bobbi Brown Pot Rouges: I discovered these early this year and collected quite a few. They are so easy to use, easy to blend (even over powder), and they work just as well on my lips as they do on my cheeks. My favorite is Velvet Plum.
  • NARS Taiga eyeshadow duo: From the Holiday 2009 collection, Taiga is the most perfect white-gold and pewtery-green duo ever. I get sultry eyes in a minute, and when paired with Bobbi Brown Bash as liner, I look sexy as hell.
4) Do you have any New Year’s resolutions?: Mine are: pay off as much of my student loan debt as possible, eat healthier because I fear for my arteries, take a real vacation (as in, leave NYC), and stop dating stupid, jerky men. Oh, and to finally get real storage for my makeup!


5) What’s your drink of choice on New Year’s?: I’ll drink anything that even remotely resembles an alcoholic beverage. I am partial to Veuve Cliquot though.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Review from Joeybunny - Paul and Joe Face Colors #12 and #16

I love blush almost as much as I love taupe eyeshadows. Blush makes me happy! There’s something about smiling into the mirror every morning and brushing on one of my shimmery colors with a soft blush brush that really makes my morning. I think it has something to with the fact that the act of smiling, even when it’s forced, that instantly boosts one’s mood. Or maybe it’s just because I love the pop of color and the glow that blush provides. More than anything, blush is the one cosmetic item besides concealer that really wakes up the face and gives it a certain freshness and appearance of youth your skin may not otherwise have.


Today I bring to you my two current favorite blushes: Paul and Joe Face Colors #12 and #16. As you all well know, I am obsessed with Paul and Joe Beaute. There’s something about the gorgeous packaging and presentation of the line that really appeals to me, besides the strong pigmentation and and soft textures of the products. When it comes to blush, I am very picky. My olive-tan skintone requires a strongly pigmented color, but I also cannot do overly frosty blushes for the same reason - they look obvious and fake.


I was introduced to Paul and Joe Face Colors by Lina and her genius swatches over at The Beauty Look Book. I remember one of her very first Paul and Joe Beaute posts featured Face Color #12 Chic, a neutral tan/mauve duo, and this blush ended up being my second Paul and Joe purchase. When Lina did an article featuring her mini collection of the Face Colors, I also fell in love with #16 Canyon, a shimmery sand/soft pink duo. I recently bought it as a Christmas gift to myself.





These blushes are awesome because you have the option to use either one of the two colors separately, or together. The smaller, crescent-shaped side is the more shimmery, highlighter-esque side. The larger portion of the blush is the more pigmented, blush-y side. Also, the powder itself is finely milled (but doesn’t fly away when you run a brush over it - a huge pet peeve of mine!) and fragrant, and the shimmery side does not contain a chunky glitter. Win! (FYI: In both pictures, #12 is on the left and #16 is on the right)





#16 is almost not pigmented enough for me - it shows up as a shimmery (but not glittery), very soft pink glow on my cheeks. #12, however, I have to use a light hand with as it can almost appear to be too much of a flush (I don’t want people to think I just got ravaged...or do I?). I tend to swirl both shades together, but I’ve tried using each separately and enjoy that as well. Also, I am pleased with the size of these blushes (4.5g for $24), and I love the adorable pink flowered compacts.



There are about 14 shades of Paul and Joe Face Colors to choose from, and they are available at Bergdorf Goodman, Dermstore.com, Beautyhabit.com, and PrimpingParleur.com. I have my eyes on at least three other shades!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Lancome The Holiday Eye Shadow & Blush Palette in Plum Irresistible


If you still have some Holiday money burning a hole in your pocket I highly suggest you head to your local Lancome counter or Lancome Website and pick up The Holiday Eye Shadow & Blush Palette in Plum Irresistible. Just so you all know I entered a contest a month ago on the Lancome Blog and I won this palette along with 3 cream eye shadows that I reviewed here, but had I not won that contest I still would have purchased this palette. The second I saw the swatches featured on Karla Sugar's blog I knew I had to have it.

Not only does this palette have 6 beautiful shades of eye shadows but of those 6 shadows, 2 are stunning plummy taupes! TAUPES! Yes. TAUPE! Of course the palette has taupe in it. How could I even gush over an eye shadow palette that doesn't right?

The palette itself is small. Probably 4" bx 2 1/2" maybe. But the palette is well stocked. The soft purple plastic top feels padded and it has a hefty weight. It does not look or feel cheap in any way. I like that. The ample mirror on the interior is great for using to apply a full face of makeup, should you choose. The palette contains one brush, which I find fairly useless, but some people may like it.

The blush is called Shimmer Violet Sunrise. It has gold shimmer in it and a deep plum color. It is VERY pigmented. It looks OK on Fair complexions if applied with a light hand using a fan brush or small skunk brush but I think this color really would be a knock out on darker skin tones. The blush is oil free and seems to last well throughout the day. The color is unique and flattering and I almost think I might reach for it on days when I don't even wear the eye shadows from the palette. Yep. It's that pretty.

The eye shadows are a really nice combination. I can honestly see myself wearing every single shade. That's not an easy feat when a palette contains more then 4 colors AND a pink eye shadow. Yes. I can even wear the PINK shadow. Who knew?
OK. From Left to right here are the colors.

Top Row:
Rapturous (Shimmer) - A plummy pink, almost metallic frost with silver shimmer.
Seductive Gaze (Matte) - A plummy mid toned chocolate brown.

Magnificent (Sheen) - TAUPE. A light brownish taupe with a slight frost to it.


Bottom Row:
Captivating (Sheen) - TAUPE! A warm brown taupe with leanings toward copper. Also a slight frost finish.
Diva Shimmer (Shimmer) - A pretty champagne white with slight gold and silver shimmer.

Entrancing (Shimmer) - A lovely deep plum with chunky silver glitter that has a low fallout rate.



All the shadows are well pigmented and they last well with a primer. I think the shadows are on the soft side but not as soft as Stila shadows. They are not very powdery (which is a good thing) so there isn't much fall out when you apply them. (also a good thing)

Now some may disagree with me but I find this palette, despite the Plum title, to be on the warm side. I think those with cool complexions may not find this as flattering as those with neutral to warm complexions. I also think that those with darker skin tones might find this palette even more to their liking.


The cost of this palette is $39.50 and honestly I think this is a good deal. I still would have spent the money had I not won the palette. You get 6 Shadows and a pretty blush. That's a deal! You could take this for a weekend trip and not have to worry about any other shadows or blush. Use with a plum liner or brown or black and you are set. The palette is versatile enough to take you from day to evening very well. It's small enough to fit in your purse for a touch up (should you need it) or just in case that cute guy in Business Development whisks you away to Aspen for the weekend. (hey, it could happen to someone right?)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!


Wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday season! (that's politically correct for Christmas and Hanukkah, Eid, and Kwaanza, Yule and Any other religious observance I may have overlooked by accident)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Guest Review by Joeybunny - Fyrinnae Beholder Eye Shadow

image from fyrinnae.blogspot.com

There has been a lot of Fyrinnae buzz on this blog lately. I’m not quite sure what’s gotten into me and Elvira, but we’re a little more than head over heels with the company lately. That might possibly have something to do with how unique and complex the colors are. It might also have something to do with the incredibly affordable price range ($1.75 for a sample jar!). It could also have something to do with how sweet the Fyrinnae boys are to their customers (in their latest color story, the Sci-Fi/RPG collection, there’s a custom color made especially for me!).

It might just be everything I mentioned. Ok, no, it is everything I mentioned.

So anyway, although Fyrinnae is known for their incredible range of colors, they have a ton of incredible neutrals...and TAUPES.

TAUPES!!!!!!!! (take a deep breathe with me, everybody)

TTTTTTAAAAAAAAUUUUUUPPPPPPPEEEEEEESSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!

Elvira and I are crazy over their taupes, as you can see from previous reviews (see our reviews of Selkie Skin, Knickers in a Twist, and Snow Leopard ). In the new Sci-Fi/RPG collection, there are happily many different taupes to choose from, besides the pretty brights.

And then, there is...FYRINNAE BEHOLDER! (cue dramatic thunder, a Danny Elfman score, and galloping antelopes...lots of galloping antelopes)

Fyrinnae Beholder is one of those taupes that will change everything you ever knew about taupe eyeshadows. You will open the little jar, swatch it, and sound your barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world. Granted, you might not have a Walt Whitman moment like I did, but you will absolutely swoon over this shadow.

The color of Beholder is hard to describe. It is a true neutral grey-gunmetal-mauve-taupe with multicolored shimmer. When swatched dry, the mauve-taupe tones are more prominent, and it softly shimmers. When swatched wet with water, the shimmer is less prominent and the gunmetal-taupe tones shine brightly, with a more metallic edge. When swatched over Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy, the grey-taupe tones are more prominent, and the shadow sparkles. It’s incredible how much this shadow changes depending on the application technique. I am sure this shadow also appears differently on Elvira, but she loves it just as much as I do. The best part is that Beholder passes the Joey Taupe Test, meaning that it works perfectly on its own as a wash. It also makes a great crease color, and someone who is lighter-skinned could probably use it as a liner. Really, this shadow just glows when on the lid. It would also probably be amazing with a plum or purple shadow, to bring out the mauve tones more.

You all need this taupe. There’s no doubt about it; this eyeshadow is special and at $1.75 for a generously-sized sample jar, you really have no reason to not buy it. And while you’re at it, also buy Species 8472 - that’s my custom shade (and it’s a taupe, of course).

Beholder WITH Flash


Beholder WITHOUT Flash

Monday, December 21, 2009

Snow Protection


Yes. that's the view from my deck. It snowed about 24" (~60 cm) on Saturday and into Sunday. whoo hoo! What fun right? Well not exactly. You see most of the day Saturday and Sunday was spend "digging out" Uncovering the cars and the driveway. The deck snow will melt on its own but the cars were plowed in and trapped. I needed to get to work on Monday and so did Mr. Sith so we started digging.

The question arises. What kind of makeup do you wear for shoveling snow?

The answer is

NONE!

Ah. but that does not mean that you face the elements bare faced. No. Quite the contrary.

Here is how I prepare and protect my face for snow weather.
image from amazon.com
1. Cleanse with a cream cleanser. I don't need soap to dry out my skin before I even venture outside. I use a nice mild cream cleanser like CeraVe. This Hydrating cleanser is superb for sensitive skin. It does not strip your face but still manages to remove mild dirt. I do not recommend using this as your only cleanser if you wear makeup. I recommend you using a cleansing oil prior to using any cleanser.

2. I follow with a rich moisturizer. I prefer to use Bobbi Brown EXTRA SPF 25 Moisturizing Balm.
image from bobbibrowncosmetics.com
I like that this has sunscreen in it because when it's sunny and there is snow everywhere it's easy for a sunburn to happen. Mind you, this is not the only sunscreen I use. But it's nice that it has some extra protection. This rich moisturizing balm contains Glycerin, Shea Butter, and Borage Oil. It also has Angelica and Chamomile Oils calms the skin and I think it helps diminish some redness. The balm is not sticky and one could use it under makeup if needed. Best part is the moisturizing. This balm leaves my skin soft and supple. I love it for those days when my skin is super dry from col weather and from the retinoids (Retin-A) that I'm currently using.

3. I layer sunscreen on top of the moisturizer. While my regular Sofina sunscreen is great under my makeup it's not the best when trying to keep my skin soft and moisturized. That's when I switch to Burt's Bees Chemical free sunscreen with hemp seed oil. SPF 30 UVA/UVB protection.
image from drugstore.com
This stuff is emollient and creamy and does not have that icky sunscreen smell to it. It's also chemical free (for those that care - which I am not one of those people) which is nice I guess. But I really like this stuff because it's inexpensive. $13 for 3 oz. and it works. No sunburn! Whoo whee! And It's safe enough to use on my face without any irritation.

4. Don't forget your lips. they need protection too. My favorite is a brand from Japan called Yu-Be. They make one of Japan's best selling moisturizing creams and it only goes to figure that they make a fantastic lip balm as well.
image from beauty.com
This lip balm has natural shea butter, soybean oil and vitamin E, but also camphor so it will help heal chapped lips too. I like it because it goes on smoothly, does not feel overly waxy nor greasy. It's juuuuuuuust right. Now if you want SPF in your lip balm I suggest
image from beauty.com
Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm SPF 25 with Lemon and Chamomile. Fragrance and color free this lip balm is smoothing and has 25SFP for protection against sun burn and because it's in a squeeze tube you can layer it on for some protection against wind burn.

So that's what I use to protect my face from the harsh elements of winter. Now I do recommend washing everything off once you come inside. A good cleansing oil like Shu Uemura to get rid of the sunscreens and than a cream cleanser. I follow with a mild moisturizer Like my Fresh Soy Face Cream and some eye cream like my Borba Orbital Eye Rejuvenator Soy | Silk Fiber Eye Treatment. But there is still one more step.

5. Last but not least, some Abuelita Mexican hot chocolate and mini marshmallows, a warm fleece throw and a comfy chair.
image from amazon.com

Friday, December 18, 2009

Lancome Color Design Sensational Effects Cream Eye Shadows

A while back I entered a giveaway on the Lancome Blog for any one item from the Lancome Holiday 2009 Color Cosmetics collection. Well lo and behold I won. Honestly I was shocked because I hardly ever win anything. But this time it was the cosmetics jackpot. I won the Lancome Holiday Eyeshadow & Blush Palette in Plum Irresistible. I was stoked. (Review on that to come next week) But what I didn't expect is getting three very generous extras along with the palette. I received all three of the Lancome Color Design Sensational Effects Cream Eye Shadows! Yes that's right! I also received Haute Smoke, Pink Lace AND Garter Belt!


Let me tell you a little bit about these shadows and then I'll go into the colors. First of all I must disclose that I am not a huge fan of cream eye shadows. I think I want them, but then when I get them I realize I really just prefer powder shadows because they are easier to blend and manipulate. But once I have my hands on a cream shadow that dries to a powdery finish well, then I start to get a little giddy! You see, much like my favorite cream shadow by MeMeMe! Lancome Color Design Sensational Effects Cream shadows apply nice and creamy and then dry down to a budge proof powder finish. Honestly. I put on pink lace all over and wore it for an entire day and this cream shadow did not move, fade or crease. Not one bit! Now that's what I call Long Wear. The cream shadow can take a little while to dry so you do have some time to blend with with another shadow or fade it up your lid before it dries, but once it is set, it's set. I find these superior to MAC paints only because they are a little more creamy and I like the brush applicator. HOWEVER. I do miss the old design of the Lancome Color Design cream shadows that did come in a tube. You could be assured you got ever last drop of product out of it. Trust me, I doubt I would ever finish a cream shadow, but if I did, I would like it to come in a tube. But that's neither here nor there. Unlike the MeMeMe! cream shadow the Lancome applicator is a brush and I find a brush far more superior than that of a doe foot when applying cream shadow. So I'll overlook the lack of tube and give Lancome props for the brush! Oh did I mention that these shadows are insanely pigmented? Seriously. A little goes a long, long way. I LOVE that.

OK. Let's talk about the colors shall we? They only have three right now. Hopefully Lancome will produce more once they realize what a awesome product they have on their hands.

Pink Lace is a very light warm pink. It's white based and makes an excellent highlight color as well as a brightener on the inner eye area. It has some sparkle in the form of pink and silver shimmer and has a pearl like finish. I wore this all over as a wash one day with my LancomeArtliner in Noir winged liner and deep red lips. It was a knock out! It's a great alternative to the classic champagne color I usually wear when doing a red lip. I didn't find the shimmer too over the top at all and it was subtle enough for day wear but striking enough for a casual evening.

Garter Belt is a deep dark maroon/burgundy. It's also on the warm side. Red and gold shimmer give this dramatic shadow shimmer and an almost metallic quality. Now I don't know about you, but it takes a special kind of woman to pull off this color. I am not that woman. But Joeybunny is, so I'm sending it to her. I will say that you can apply this shadow lightly and blend it out. It sheers out nicely and would make a dramatic crease color for a lovely evening eye. You could do this a bit heavier for the night time, pair it with Lancome Oscillation Mascara in Sparkle Gold Top Coat, go out to a club, dance your butt off and you eyes would look as fresh as they did when you walked in...if only Lancome could make deodorant as reliable!

I have saved, what I believe, the best for last. Haute Smoke. Not HOT but Haute. Fashionable, High End, Call it what you will but Haute Smoke is HAWT! This TAUPE cream shadow is also on the warm side. It has bronze and gold shimmer to also give a semi metallic finish. I must warn you that in the tube it looks a lot warmer than it does on the eye. You want a day time smokey eye? Pair Haute Smoke with a deep brown liner line Lancome art liner in Brun Mystere and concentrate the Haute Smoke shadow on the lid of your eye and don't go past the crease too much. Want to vamp it up for evening? Replace the brown liner with black and maybe a little bit of gold shimmer on the brow bone and you are sex on wheels! Seriously. It's an awesome cream taupe shadow and one of the nicest warm taupes I have seen in a long while. Aside from the holidays I can see Haute smoke paired with turquoise or used as a liner with peach on the lid for a fab summer/warm weather eye too. So, as you are getting ready to jet off to the tropics for your winter vacation pack this little baby and you will be set for fun in the sun too (please note I am not claiming that this shadow is waterproof, but do you really want to ruin that Marc Jacobs Bikini in salt water?) OK? OK. Don't forget to send me a post card because I'm gonna be stuck here in the arctic tundra. That's OK tho. Sweaters hide my pudge.

So the eternal question. Do you NEED this? Well since I'm not your typical cream shadow consumer and I rarely if ever wear them, except when I'm in a hurry and have 5 min to do my face. $22 USD is a bit on the high side but I think that Pink Lace, Garter Belt and Haute Smoke are colors that are unique and/or versatile enough to warrant a purchase of one or two. If I had been given the opportunity to purchase this instead of being given them as a gift I still would have purchased Haute Smoke (I was planning on purchasing it after seeing KarlaSugar's swatches on TNBTTGSY) and I might have caved on Pink Lace. So yes. You do need at least one of these! After all it's TAUPE! TAUPE ladies! TAUPE is the word.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Thursday Poll



I'm not too concerned about computers taking over the world right now. I have thought about the artificial intelligence that computers use and it's not so great. I know this because these computers can't even make the most logical suggestions or send me information that I would even need. For example, Face Book's computer suggests friends to me that I would cross the street if I saw them on my side of the sidewalk
 

Hello! This guy looks like a cross between a homeless serial killer and a pirate. DO NOT WANT! Then there are the constant e-mails that hotmail suggests that I would like. But sorry, the last time I checked I didn't have a penis nor did I need it enlarged. I don't need cheap medications from Canada and I have no relatives in Nigeria that I have inherited money from. FAIL.
Seriously. think of all the energy that is wasted suggesting that I can be the new sugar daddy to some Lithuanian hottie or by notifying me that I won the UK lottery. If they, whomever "THEY" may be, would use their talents for good, rather than spam imagine the super computing power we would have. I would wake up and in my e-mail would be discount codes for makeup that I didn't even know I wanted. Chanel would be sending me eyeliners in colors I knew I wanted but was too afraid to ask for. Facebook would let me know that some overly generous cosmetics PR person wanted a new friend and they would send me free makeup to blog about and to give away to the readers. And I would finally have a computer suggest a foundation that actually didn't suck!
But we all know what a pipe dream that is.
We are so far away from the realization of
Skynet capabilities it's not even funny. Until then I'll make my own decisions.
On To The Poll


1. Blush Of The Day?
- Chanel Joues Contraste in Mocha. A nude blush with plum undertones. Great when I pair it with a smokey eye.

2. If you were the eighth dwarf, what would your name be?
- Duh! Taupey!

3. Last beauty item you received in the mail?
- China Glaze C-C-Courage nail polish! Oh it's so beautiful. Expect a review shortly!

4. Do you prefer eating the frosting off the cupcake or the cupcake first?
- I eat the cake part and then I eat the cake with the frosting on it. I honestly believe that one can never put too much frosting on a cupcake.

5. Best Customer Service or Sales Associate Experience at a cosmetic Counter/Store/Website? -
I was at the Guerlain counter looking for an eye liner and the resident MA was there and she re-did my entire face foundation, blush eyeliner, everything. She was very pleasant and told me how to apply everything and didn't pressure me to buy anything other than what I came for. When I had more money I went back and bought some more items from her and she had some new holiday items that she let me peek at before anyone else and let me buy before they were put out for sale. She got a customer for life just because she was nice enough to help me one time.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Guest Review by Joeybunny - Olay Regenerist Thermal Mini-Peel

image from olay.com

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to receive a gift bag full of Olay and DDF skincare and body care products from a client who works for Olay/DDF. Really, it was kind of one of the most awesome presents ever! While I was sitting at work going through all the different products, one really caught my eye:

Olay Regenerist Thermal Mini-Peel!


Now, before I describe this amazing awesome splendiferous peel (because it really is amazing, awesome, and splendiferous), I need to say something - I am a skincare snob. Not only am I a skincare snob, I do not understand drugstore skincare lines with high-end price points. For example, I use exclusively Paul and Joe Beaute skincare. Their Foaming Face Wash is $25 USD. The Olay Regenerist Thermal Mini-Peel is $21.99USD at my local drugstore.


My reaction to that was a big WTF?! If I’m going to spend $22 on a face wash, I want that damned face wash to be luxe, you know? I never realized that a lot of drugstore skincare was so pricey! Olay’s specialty lines (Professional, Definity, Regenerist, and Total Effects) are not cheap, considering where they are sold. So basically, I’m left wondering why the stuff is not $5 or whatever. When I buy La Mer, I know it’s expensive because of the packaging, where it’s sold, and what’s in it. So what the hell makes this mini-peel thing so expensive?


It’s expensive because it works. It bloody works! The Olay Regenerist line is meant to, well, regenerate the appearance of the skin; basically, it’s supposed to give the effect of a chemical peel without the price of a chemical peel.

Here’s what the Olay Regenerist site says:
“Formulated with the exclusive Olay Amino-Peptide Complex, Regenerist combines a specific pentapeptide, Pal-KTTKS, with other proven anti-aging ingredients (vitamin B3, vitamin E, pro-vitamin B5, green tea extract, and allantoin).This unique complex helps to regenerate skin's appearance without compromising skin's moisture barrier. It renews skin's outer layer, helps skin appearance regenerate quickly and strengthens skin's moisture barrier.”
Ok, ok. Your skin is going to be more moisturized, more smooth, and more even. I have to say, since I started using this scrub about a month ago, my skin is in fact more smooth, more even, and more moisturized because my moisturizers sink in faster and more evenly. So maybe all that amino-banana-pepto bismol complex business stuff isn’t all mumbo-jumbo.

The Regenerist Thermal Mini-Peel is a purple exfoliator that has both physical (in the form of a micro-crystal complex) and chemical (glycolic acid!) exfoliants. It also heats up when applied to a wet skin. The scrub isn’t harsh, nor does it burn. In fact, it’s quite soothing. I do wish it smelled better, but whatever. I saw an instant - yes, instant! - difference in the texture and tone of my skin after my first usage of the product. A month later, surgery scars on my face are faded, as are some pesky acne marks near my mouth. Incredible, no? And to think, you can find this at your local drug store!


Like I said before, this retails for about $21.99USD for 6 oz of product. I use a dollar coin-sized amount twice a week, and I have barely made a dent in the bottle. I highly recommend trying this out if you’ve been having problems with your skin’s tone or texture! I really am surprised I liked this so much; clearly, I was wrong about drugstore skincare.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Bobbi Brown Chrome Eye Shadow in Pewter


Bobbi Brown has done it again. Yet another taupe shadow that I am madly in love with. Bobbi Brown Chrome formula (Limited Edition) eyeshadow in Pewter is a cool gold-ish or warm silver-ish or, as the website describes it, a cool bronze metallic. Yes. It's quite a hard shade to describe, but thankfully the swatch on the Bobbi Brown website is actually pretty accurate.
image from bobbibrowncosmetics.com

(please see my review on Bobbi Brown After Hours to see the most misleading on-line swatch ever) Regardless of what you call it, this shade is a very light taupe that is neutral enough that warmer gals will love it as much as cooler gals.

"Gals?"

"Really Elvira?" "Are we in 1950?"
Yeah. I guess I should say "persons" or "women" or "consumers".
Please forgive me. I've been watching a lot of "I Love Lucy" re-runs. My vocabulary has transgressed a bit. But that being said Lucille Ball would have looked amazing in this shadow!

ANYWAY



The Bobbi Brown website describes this formula of eye shadow as:
Nothing says holiday glamour like eyes dressed up in new Chrome Eye Shadow. Developed with highly reflective pearls, this opulent formula looks like liquid metal on lids and reflects light beautifully. Featured in our signature eye shadow compact, customized for the season with a luxe chrome finish.
I couldn't agree more. However I don't see a need to make the compact custom for the holiday season. It's not like I'll be taking it out at my next holiday party or wearing it as a brooch for the company Christmas Dinner...on second thought. I wonder if I COULD use it as a brooch. How awesome would that be?
Not?
Oh. I guess I'm getting a little carried away.


It's just that this shadow impressed me SO MUCH.
I was super duper groggy when I applied it one morning and I completely forgot to put on any eyeshadow base. I know! Can you believe it? Anyway I realized my mistake after I finished both eyes and not having the time to re-do my eyes I figured I would chance it and deal with creasing when it came. Oh But here is the thing. My shadow never creased. Not the entire day. 8 hours and I experienced very little fading and no creasing. That's freakin awesome. Plus the color stayed true to pan and didn't oxidize or change color once applied to my lid.

Yep. This Shadow is WYSIWYG! (Total geek acronym = What You See Is What You Get)


The shadow is smooth and applies with literally little to no fall out. The shadow is buildable and can be applied sheerly. you can also apply it with a damp brush for an even more metallic effect. The shadow is intensely pigmented and a little goes a long way. The best part is that is lasts and lasts and lasts. The even better part is, you can depot it and snap it into a Bobbi Brown palette system. Whee!

The only negative I have is that a) This shadow is Limited edition and I wish it was part of the permanent line because it is so remarkable and b) This formula comes in 3 colors (Gold, Silver and Pewter.) and I wish it came in so many more colors than that. Can you imagine the metallic possibilities? Bronze? Gunmetal? Titanium? ::shudders:: It would be love all over again.


So do you need this shadow? Heck yeah. Only because it's limited edition and if you don't get it, you'll wish you did about a month after it's out of stock everywhere. Trust me. I have had it happen before. It's not fun.


Here is my eye of the day with JUST the Bobbi Brown Chrome in Pewter applied to lower lid and sheered out as it gets to the brow bone. I used Chanel cake liner in Noir Lame.

The 2nd EOTD I added Benefit Where There's Smoke in the crease.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Grubby Girl Scrubs - Even Non Tree Huggers (Like Me) Love It

I'm the last person you would associate with the phrase "tree hugger". I prefer my trees seen though a window, preferably from the 10th floor of a Ritz Carlton in a tropical setting. But that does not mean I'm not into SUPPORTING tree huggers. Especially when they make beauty products! Duh! Grubby Girl bath products is a semi local business to me. They are in Virginia (I'm in Virginia) And even though I'm probably over 100 miles away from the farm where Owner Amanda Welch harvests her plants and herbs from her garden to make soaps and salts and soaks, I feel like I'm doing my part to help local businesses and not muck up the environment with nasty chemicals and dyes from my bath products. Plus she raises her own bees to make honey for her scrubs and beeswax for her lip balm. You can't get more awesome than that right? I HAD TO buy something. So what would I get from a boutique bath products company?
Say it with me.
SCRUBS!
As much of an addict for all things TAUPE., I'm also an addict for all things SCRUB!

Grubby Girl makes 2 scrubs so I had to try both.

Both scrubs come in 2 sizes. $25 for a 30 oz jar and $15 for a 16 oz jar. The smaller jars are what I ordered. They come in plastic tubs with metal screw top lids. The only problem I have with them is the plain paper labels. They look pretty and have sweet retro photographs on them,. but introduce them to your shower and the water and paper don't make a good combination. The label is peeling off one of my scrubs and I kinda want them to stay on. I will buy them again and the next time I'm investing in the larger size which seems to come in a large glass jar that has a latch to seal it.

image from grubbygirl.com

City Slicker Scrub is a lovely body polish with sea salt, Coffee and Cloves. It has a refreshing orange scent to get you energized for the day ahead. Fortified with sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, coffee, cinnamon, cloves and essential oils, you not only scrub away the evenings sleep, but you wake up and are ready to face a tedious day under the harsh fluorescent lights and the equally harsh coffee breath of your cow-worker in the next cube. (Yes. cow-worker. It's NOT a typo. moo)

image from grubbygirl.com

Farmer Person Scrub is honeysuckle scented. Oh but it's not that synthetic scent of honeysuckle. It's so light and pure I would totally believe you if you told me that Amanda used actual honeysuckle flower nectar in this concoction. (I know she didn't, but it smells that real!) This body polish has sea salt, honey and vitamin E to soothe away the worries of the day. Also with Sunflower oil and Grapeseed oil this scrub is a tad more moisturizing than the city slicker scrub because of the honey. That's the perfect way to end the day out in the wilds of the cubical farm while trying to hide from Ronnie, the creepy sales guy that always wants to talk about the Boston Red Sox because you mistakenly mentioned you rooted for them in the World
Series...once. Yikes.

Farmer Person Scrub

City Slicker Scrub

As with most scrubs these are best used AFTER you have used your body wash. Scoop out a small palm full for your body and start scrubbin! Now I will say that the City Slicker scrub is a drier consistency than the Farmer Person Scrub. When I e-mailed the owner abut that fact she confirmed that the City Slicker and the Farmer Person scrubs have the same amount of oil but the Farmer Person also has honey in it which make it more moist. So the Farmer Person is a bit more moisturizing and has the added skin conditioning properties of the honey. Rinse off the scrub and you see the little beads of water on your arms and legs. You feel the rich oils moisturizing your skin and the scent is wonderful...no matter which scrub you use. The fragrance isn't overpowering either. It's very light and does not interfere with my perfume of the day.

Do you NEED this? Well if you love salt scrubs, sure! The Farmer Person scrub is really my favorite. I think I'll end up buying a large size of that one when I run out of my smaller size. I am also interested in the lip balm...however the website isn't set up as well as I would like and when I clicked on the products page I didn't see the lip balm. It wasn't on the product page but under another link. on the home page. Maybe better organization for the website would benefit sales, but it's a small business and the website is informative so I guess it isn't that bad to explore a little. Oh I'm also buying a jar of the honey too! YUM!

Grubby Girl products can be purchased through the Grubby Girl website (http://www.grubbygirl.com) or at select boutiques found on the LOCATIONS page on the Grubby Girl website.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Thursday Poll



I have no idea what to get Mr. Sith for his Birthday or for the holidays. His Birthday falls near the Christmas/Hanukkah time. I like to celebrate the days separately and give separate gifts b/c it must suck having your birthday on or near a gift giving holiday and have people "cheap out" on you and give you one of those "combined" gifts. Anyway. I ask Mr. Sith for ideas and he always draws a blank. Worse yet, when he does remember he asks for something insanely expensive or basically something I don't want to buy. This year's example is: An Airbrush machine for painting his model. Of did I mention he builds models? I didn't? That's right I didn't, because he never has TIME to build them...but he does have plenty of time to buy the kits. The kits mock him whilst gathering dust in the closet. Why would I want to plunk down a few hundred bucks for yet another accessory for a hobby he has no time for? That's RIGHT. I don't. So here I am, again at a loss as to what to get him for his Birthday. I was thinking the UFC game for PS3 or perhaps the Marvel Encyclopedia but he seems very ambivalent about the whole thing. How bad would it be to get cash from your spouse for a gift? Yeah. I thought so. not a good idea. I personally would love it. No one can ever get a gift I like. I would rather have cash and then use it to buy myself something that I want. (makeup). I propose every year that for the holidays Mr. Sith and I should each get $50 and go buy ourselves something and that will be our gift to each other. But he's all sentimental and romantic and wants gifts to "mean" something. Ugh. Laaaame. I try to tell him that I would MEAN a lot to me to get a new Chanel blush but he's not going for it. Oh well. I'll wear him down eventually.
On to the poll!

1. Blush Of The Day? - Chanel Joues Contrast in Narcisse. I have a BIG dip in this JC but no pan yet. TRUST me. when I hit pan you all will be the first to know.

2. What would YOU buy a guy that loves Marvel Comics, Wolverine, 1st person Shooter; Fighting and NFL PS3 Games, Washington Redskins Football and Science? - Do you honestly think if I knew the answer I would be asking?

3. What body wash are you using right now? - Currently I'm using Soap & Glory Clean On Me. I love the scent and it's fairly moisturizing. But I'm sure I could find something better. But I'm one of those use it up before I buy a new one, Soap people. If only I was so strict with my makeup.

4. Best or favorite birthday gift you ever received? - Not that there haven't been many...but since I have virtually no short term memory from lack of sleep I think ONE OF the best gifts I ever got was my iPod. That was a pretty awesome b-day gift.

5. Current makeup obsession? - I'm currently obsessed with cake eyeliners. I'm quite fond of the Chanel ones and hope that they come out with more colors soon. Specifically I want a Plum, Gray and Navy. Then my cake liner collection will be complete.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Barry M Dazzle Dust

Recently my friend Pam went to the UK. I e-mailed her a list of cosmetics I wanted from Superdrug...an awesome drugstore in the UK that sells all sorts of brands I can't get here across the pond. I armed her with brand names, colors and numbers. She must have looked so silly in the cosmetic aisle with her little list while scrutinizing the little jars of Barry M Dazzle Dusts...but she's a very good friend and she's also a real trooper. She picked up 2 Dazzle Dusts from Barry M. Just for little ole me!

So what did mistress Pamela get me from the fab Superdrug? She got me Barry M Dazzle Dust in #24 "Old Gold" and #51 "Mushroom"! What's that? You aren't familiar with the colors? Well let me give you a closer look!
See? Nice huh?

Barry M has over 60 original colors of Dazzle Dusts. It was hard to just choose a few for the list. I would have made the list longer but I restrained myself because a) I had never used this product before and b) Pam's husband would make fun of me, more than he usually does, about my hideous makeup addiction. I gave Pam several different Taupe-ish shades and I think she came back with 2 winners!

Dazzle Dust is loose eye shadows that is HIGH on shimmer and pigmentation. It can be swept on dry or applied with a damp brush. The color can be built up or sheered out. The end result is ALWAYS shimmer and glitter. If you don't want shimmer stay away from these babies. The powder is VERY finely milled. It's so smooth and so light I would almost compare it to finely milled silica powder. Yes, it looks that small! The pigmentation is great. You only need a little on your brush and you are rewarded with rich long lasting color. I wore these with a primer and they lasted ALL day and night with no creasing or fading. I just recently purchased Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy. I can't wait to try the Dazzle Dust with that primer. It's gonna look HAWT! (I promise a review from either me or Joeybunny on Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy will be forthcoming!)

I will say that I'm not a fan of the amount of fall out that one experiences upon application (dry method). There is a whole lot of fall out. I find that if I dust some loose translucent powder under my eye and on my cheeks prior to application I can sweep away the fall out from the Barry M Dazzle Dust shadow once I'm done. But still. I can imagine that if one were to use the darker shades that Barry M has available, they would be faced with a sooty complexion. Do Not Want. One other small problem with the Dazzle Dust is the packaging. The shadows come in tiny glass containers with a sturdy plastic screw top, however there is no sifter or cap to protect the shadow from spilling when the item is open. I'm not completely clumsy, but I could see myself knocking this over and having gold sparkles in my carpet for years. Oh and one more teeny thing. There is no indication on the jar or on the website how MUCH product you actually get. I guess for a measly $9 (£4.50) I shouldn't complain because the jar comes FULL to the top and I doubt I would ever finish a jar in my lifetime. OK. That's a bunch of complaints. Sorry about that.

OK. So let's talk about the colors I got.


#24 Old Gold is a sparkly "dirty" gold. Slightly on the taupe side but not really. It looks really neat if you LIGHTLY dust it over a deep grey or brown taupe shadow like MAC Sweet Sienna or Bobbi Brown after hours.. Here is the Old Gold dazzle Dust applied on it's own. Just so you can see the color. I forgot to follow up with a picture of when I worked BECCA Chintz (A pretty warm Olive Green) into the crease and then lined with a warm brown liner. But trust me it was stunning!
I also got...


#51 Mushroom. It is a sweet plummy taupe. It's shimmery and almost metallic looking. This shadow could be worn alone (as pictured below) or used as a crease color or better yet as a base color with a deeper plum or a black in the crease. Perhaps Shu Uemura ME Black 990 *sigh*


So do you NEED these? Well. I'm not sure. If you live in an area where you can purchase them easily I say go for it. They might be fun to pick up a color or two, but I wouldn't go out of your way to get these. I say this ONLY because there are numerous loose shadow alternatives here in the US that have the same quality for similar or less cost.
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