Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Lipstick League - week of 4.25.11

Question: What’s your favorite and least favorite thing about blogging?

Answer: My Favorite thing is reading the comments from the readers. My least favorite....getting the right light to take pictures

Orange to LA - has been sick for a few days but that didn’t stop her from testing out Giorgio Armani ‘Eyes To Kill’ #10 Airy Jade. See swatches, and find out if this color was a hit or miss.

Pink Sith - Joeybunny shows you one of the NARS Spring eyeshadow duos and why you NEED to own this DOGON duo!

Phyrra - debuts the Tokidoki Devil Girl Cromatico Palette & shows you swatches and looks. It's hot for summer!

Vampy Varnish - Channel your inner child with Crayola Scented Nail Polish!

we heart this - There's something gorgeous blooming at MAC, and it's called Fashionflower...

Beauty Junkies Unite - puts Tarte's new emphasEYES Amazonian Clay Waterproof Cream Eyeshadows to the test, find out how they fared!

EauMG - What is your favorite spring floral? EauMG reviews Guerlain Champs-Elysees and there is a sample draw!

Nouveau Cheap - Get your first look at the gorgeous new Wet n Wild limited edition Summer 2011 collections (rumor has it there are some fantastic dupes here).

Friday, April 29, 2011

Review by Joeybunny - Blushes You Can't Have #4, Inoui ID PK-1

It’s the end of April, which can only mean one thing: it’s time for our monthly installment of Blushes You Can’t Have!

If you remember, last year Elvira and I undertook the most sadist blog project known to mankind: Taupes You Can’t Have. For twelve months, we featured some of our loveliest taupes, knowing damn well that most of you could never have them. We’re straight bitches! Well, this year we decided to do something similar, but this time we would feature blushes. Once again, we get to revel in your misery and anguish. WOO!

Elvira kicked off with Chanel Joues Contraste in Poesie. In February, I brought you MAC Powder Blush in Afterdusk. Last month, Elvira showed us Shu Uemura Glow-On in Sakura.

For April, I bring you Inoui ID blush in PK-1, a blush that has deep sentimental value to me.

Inoui ID was a gorgeous line produced by Shiseido back in 2002, with Dick Page as the creative director. Of course, this was only found in Japan. Despite the hard-to-find quality of the makeup, Inoui ID was greatly sought after by collectors and users who knew that the products were seriously among the best on the market. When I started on Makeup Alley on 2005, even I had already known about Inoui ID. Dick Page’s work with the line was just...stunning. And for some reason, Shiseido discontinued the line in early 2007. The makeup community mourned, and hard. I remember I had been incredibly sad about this; I had always wanted to try the line, because I was (and still am) a huge Dick Page fangirl. I mean, I obsessed over the man and his work. I had collages in my room of makeup he had done for Allure Magazine!

Well, lucky me got a chance to meet Dick Page back in March of 2008. His sister Vicki is a large presence on Makeup Alley, and when she told me she was coming to NYC for a visit, I asked to spend the day taking her around and having drinks. Surprise, surprise - she dragged Dick along to say hi!

(me and Dick Page!)

Let me tell you, I had a near breakdown when I met him. What a treat Vicki had allowed me! I met the master himself, and he even complimented my makeup. The proverbial icing on the cake was when Vicki gifted me with an assortment of Inoui ID eyeshadow quads and the blush I’m about to write about. Years later, I still marvel at the generosity and love that Vicki and Dick showed me that day. At some point, I must photograph and swatch the quads for the blog!

Ok, about PK-1: Inoui ID used to sell blush duos, and PK-1 is one of the loveliest pairings I have had the opportunity to come across. One side is a pinked ivory highlighter, softly shimmering and not in the least bit obvious. The other side is a stunningly pigmented raspberry pink color. Together, the two colors lend my face a vibrancy and glow that is both sophisticated and fun.

The texture of these powders is silky smooth to the touch, and one only needs the tiniest amount of both due to the high level of pigmentation. It’s always hard for me to find blushes that show up on me, but this can look downright clownish on my NC40 skin if I’m not careful - that’s impressive!! I have no idea how much these retailed for; I really can’t remember. If there’s any way for you to swap or find any Inoui ID products, then please do; you won’t be sorry about it!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Thursday Poll - by Joeybunny!

I’m currently, once again, facing the perennial battle every makeup addict/blogger faces: what to do when he or she realizes that his/her stash is eating him/her alive.

My room has been taken over by eyeshadows, highlighters, and bright pink lip colors. I need someone to help me make sense of this. The other day I was digging for an eyeshadow I had reviewed here a few months back, and found about twenty eyeshadows I had either used once and forgotten about, or had never used and forgotten about. It was a major epiphany, considering how much money I have spent lately on makeup. I felt gluttonous, selfish, and mostly - incredibly disorganized.

Now I damn well know better than to say “Oh, I’ll just no-buy it for a while!” - I can’t do that right now. I’m at a bad place in my life right now and makeup has proven to be one of my biggest comforts. Can I low-buy, though? Sure! Besides, it’s about six weeks until my birthday and I have an unspoken rule that anything non-essential that I buy myself in the six-week period before my birthday has to be saved as a birthday gift to myself and not touched until June 17th. Also, I have realized that I truly need more storage space. I am planning on moving apartments by the end of the summer, but until then, I need me some sort of drawer system.

Eh, we’ll see. At the end of the day, I’m a blogger, and an aficionado, and a collector: life is too short to punish myself for pursuing something that makes me happy and keeps me looking pretty! The only real worry I should have is if my makeup really, literally starts eating me. Mutation, it’s only a good thing in the X-men/Marvel universe!

(Logan, you're the only mutant for me! Swoon!)

Now, onto the poll!

  • Lip of the day?: Knowing me, it’s going to be NARS Schiap. Since I bought this lipstick, I can’t seem to put it down. A statement lip is a beautiful thing, and I love hot pink on me.

  • Last book you read, and the next book you’re planning on reading?: I finished NARS Makeup Your Mind: Express Yourself this weekend and I am once again stunned at the genius that permeates Francois Nars. I have Turin and Sanchez’s “Perfumes: The A-Z Guide” and I’m a few pages in and loving their writing and obvious passion and knowledge.

  • Latest makeup acquisition?: I was gifted a bottle of NARS Super Orgasm Illuminator by one of my closest friends who knows my love of makeup and NARS very well. I am in love with it, as I am in love with Copacabana Illuminator. Expect reviews of these soon.

  • Random makeup related fact about you?: As addicted as I am to buying makeup in general, the one item I don’t buy often is bronzer. Weird, right?

  • Random non-makeup related fact about you?: I have an abnormally good memory for people’s names...because I associate names with hair. I will forgot someone’s name if their hairstyle changes.

A (Late Night!) Rant by Joeybunny - Taupe Dupes, OY!

This isn’t a review as much as it’s a rant.

Here are two swatches. They look pretty damn similar, right?

They’re two different eyeshadows.

One is Armani Eyes to Kill eyeshadow in #4 Pulp Fiction, reviewed by Elvira here.

The other is Bare Escentuals Buxom Stay-There eyeshadow in Pug, reviewed by me here.

(they're swatched in the same order as they appear here: Armani L, Buxom R)

I bought the Armani eyeshadow after Elvira reviewed it because I’m a sheep. I forgot I owned BE Pug. I had the Armani unopened for a couple of weeks, but I had already tossed the receipt. When I went to open it to wear it, I realized it looked damned familiar. Then it hit me - BE Pug was the exact same color as GA Pulp Fiction!

Swatching them only confirmed this. The Armani shadow has a better consistency and is more opaque on first swatch, but they are definitely the same color and offer the same effect, at least on my skin.

The Armani shadow retails for $32, the BE Buxom shadow retails for $17. If I had to choose one, I’d lean towards the Armani but if you need to save money, the BE eyeshadow is still pretty awesome.

Sigh. I was mad about this for about half a day, until I realized that I’m a taupe addict and I probably have countless dupes in my stash. Oh well! All this means is that I have plenty of pretty shadows to stare at, regardless of whether they’re all the same color or not!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Review by Joeybunny - NARS Dogon Eyeshadow Duo

This review is going to be hard to write only because the colors in the NARS Dogon eyeshadow duo, new for Summer 2011, are so complex. For this reason, I’m going to condense the rest of this review in a short sentence or two:


Ok, that’s done with. Now I can attempt to be more coherent!

NARS seasonal color collections very rarely disappoint. Season after season I am in awe of the creativity and color injected into the various eyeshadows, blushes, and lip colors. In the past few years, the only collection I have skipped has been Summer 2010. That says a lot about the quality and uniqueness of NARS cosmetics, I think!

Francois Nars has a knack for bringing together textures and color combinations that are atypical to what one would expect for a given season. Granted, the new and limited edition Cap Ferrat eyeshadow trio (expect a review of this soon!) contains beachy, summery shades of blue and green. However, the two eyeshadow duos are completely unexpected for summer! Exotic Dance has a bright, silvery white and a metallic golden brown color. To me, it seemed very wintery. I skipped it because I wasn’t too much of a fan of the white color (it was a bit chunky I thought).

However, Dogon had to come home with me. Let’s be real, guys: how could I ever skip a taupe, especially a NARS taupe? Dogon is smoke, mystery, and intrigue. It seems too dark and dangerous to be a summer duo. Then again, summertime is the perfect time to get into trouble…

(another view of the palette, so you can see how the light plays on the colors!)

Now, I said earlier that this review would be hard to write. It will be. I can’t accurately show to you or explain the two eyeshadows in this duo. My camera could not capture the intricacies of these colors, and as verbose as I am, I am not poetic enough to explain to you just how beautiful these colors are. I’ll try, though!

(swatching this was hard!)

The NARS website describes Dogon as a pairing of a “metallic taupe (with icy green sheen) and charcoal black.” Yeah, no, not quite. It is definitely true that in the pan, the taupe resembles MAC Club eyeshadow. For those of you who aren’t familiar with MAC Club, it is a very famous duochrome eyeshadow: a brown that flashes green, red, and blue. I saw this taupe and expected a Club dupe. I was so wrong. When swatched on my hand, I get a lovely golden brown taupe with flashes of icy green and lavender and pink. It doesn’t appear as much on my hand, because of my darker skin. I apologize for that - I tried to build a heavy swatch but could not capture the color accurately. Please refer to Karla Sugar’s swatch for a better look, although the color appears totally different on her. The “charcoal black” is really a gorgeous satiny blackened navy with blue microshimmer. You have to pat on the color for the shimmer to appear, though. This would make a beautiful eyeliner or a dramatic crease shade.

(more attempts at swatching this!)

The magic of this duo happens when you layer the taupe over the blue-black: you get a duochrome, multi-dimensional sort of hunter green shade. Just lovely. Dogon will carry me through summer and into fall; it’s really just a timeless palette of colors.

This duo is $33 and limited edition. You’d be crazy to sit on this. Just buy it, and thank me later!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Guerlain 2011 Summer Makeup Collection

Hot for summer, Guerlain releases hit new collection of Terracotta shades on May 1, 2011!

The collection will consist of the obligatory bronzer but this isn't just any old bronzer. Guerlain is known for its extraordinary collection of bronzers and bronzer that suit almost any skin type.  This summer is no exception.  Guerlain brings you Terra Inca Star Powder.  

Terra Inca Star Powder is composed of two subtly pearl shades: A highlighting golden beige and a bronze-tinted pink. Together these shades will embellish your complexion while warming the skin with an iridescent glow. The case mimics the extra large wooden bangles worn by fashionistas making Terra Inca Star Powder the "it accessory" of summer 2011! Retail for $70

Of course no collection from Guerlain would be complete without a stunning eyeshadow quad. This time Guerlain has gone "Outside the pan" and combined four spectacular shades into one pan for a dramatic and stunning look.  

This new quad is called Terre Indigo 4-Shade Eyeshadow
The catwalks have set the tone: summer will be flashy!  Guerlain reinterprets the trend by creating interlacing, intense colors sprinkled with golden arabesques. Like the colorful Incan qompi fabrics woven from shadows and pigments, the Terre Indigo eyeshadow unites all of their tones into a single palette.  A vibrant orange, an intense blue, a deep brown and a lighter brown, speckled with a pale golden tone, can be used together or separately to match your every desire and mood.  These soft, light powders caress the eyelids with a velvety touch for a natural or sophisticated result that is always mesmerizing.  Retail for $59

As an added bonus Guerlain introduces three new cream eyeshadows into the summer collection.  Ombre Fusion Cream Eyeshadow is a unique creation that offers the softness of a powder, the richness of a cream and the lightness of water all in one. These exclusive eyeshadows reveal a spectacular metallic effect by adorning the eyelids with fabulous shimmering reflections. The effect is striking and will last from dawn to dusk.  Designed to resist heat and dips in the ocean, the Ombre Fusion eyeshadows are the first Guerlain cream eyeshadows specially created for summer!  Available in 3 shades: Rose, Bronze and TAUPE!! Retails for $35 each.

Guerlain is well know for it's luxurious lip products form lipsticks to glosses anyone can find a formula and a color to suit them.  This summer is no exception.  Just in time for summer and plenty of scorching kisses!  

Guerlain presents three new Terracotta Gloss creations.  Neon fuchsia, sunny coral and flamboyant red male the lips look mischievous and ravishing, dangerously delicious.  These neon colors are sheer upon application and will add shine while giving an instant radiance boost to the face!  Their secret? A luminous and translucent formula free of sparkles but packed with pigments.  This non-sticky gloss can be applied at any time of the day for an ultra sensual effect. Available in Three Shades Inca Rose, Inca Orange and Inca Rouge. Retails $30.50 each.

Last but not least a year round favorite comes out this the 2011 summer collection. Seen up for bid for over $70 on evilbay and other sites Guerlain releases the Khôl Kahal.  

The cult favorite Khôl Kajal by Guerlain returns to light up the eyes with its ultra-pigmented formula.  Its cream texture glides on perfectly, making it ideal for women who love a deep hypnotic look.  Upon application, the eye is instantly accentuated!  Dressed in dark and iridescent brown with two ribbons of brown and orange satin, it is a summer essential.  Retail $36.

Are you planning on purchasing any of the Guerlain Summer 2011 collection?  

What catches your eye?

Honestly, for me, the Fuchsia gloss looks really intriguing and of course the TAUPE cream eyeshadow!

All images from Guerlain.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Lipstick League - week of 4.18.11

Question: What’s your signature lip color?

Answer: "My signature lip color is a pink nude! It used to be dark brown (buttmouth!) but then I grew up." -Joeybunny

Lipglossiping - contemplates the best way to store her ever-growing collection of nail polish, thank flatpack for IKEA!

Orange to LA - has a Liquid Eyeliner Showdown between her 3 favorite liners, who won? See the results, was it high-end, drugstore, or Japanese?

Pink Sith - Gets nostalgic about lip color and her old flute teacher while telling you all about Giorgio Arman Rouge d’Armani Lipstick # 516.

Phyrra - tells you about an awesome new hair product, Redken's Radiant Sea Spray.

we heart this - Ready to be blinded with hair science? Living Proof No Frizz shampoo and conditioner makes hair look scientifically better!

Beauty Junkies Unite - gives you a sneak peek at the new OPI Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Collection that launches in May!

Clumps of Mascara - shows the beauty behind one of the greatest places on Earth, Disney World!

EauMG - reviews natural fragrances for Earth Week. Check out this “flapper” jasmine by LUSH.

Nouveau Cheap - shows you five more shades of the amazing new Milani Baked Blushes and each one is prettier than the next.

The Beauty Blog Network Weekend Beauty Read

Phyrra debuts Geek Chic Cosmetics new collection, N7 and gives you a sneak peek of an upcoming collection, Mana Screwed! So if you're a fan of Mass Effect or Magic the Gathering, you've gotta check them out.

To keep or to ditch? Megan from Painted Ladies reviews L'Oreal's new One Sweep eyeshadow.

Grey explores her brow obsession with Inglot!

Raging Rouge is thrilled to have found an inexpensive, hypoallergenic shampoo Finesse Clean + Simple!

The Makeup Divas are giving away three (3) full size jars of facial cream from True Promise Beauty. What a great gift this would make for you or for your mom this Mother's Day.

The Pink Sith Tells you all about her Super Fantastic Happy Happy Joy Joy Makeover from Armani Beauty at her local Neiman Marcus!

A Touch of Blusher loves Chanel Rouge Coco Shine.

Cinnamon Kitten chats with Sarah Crawley, founder of The Soap Girl.

15 Minute Beauty Fanatic kicks off her concealer review series with a magnum opus on how and where to use undereye concealer to look awake.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Review by Joeybunny - Estée Lauder Orange Crush Pure Color Eyeshadow

Last night, I had this whole amazing review on an indie cosmetics company planned for today. Then, I got sleepy.

In my sleepy state, I remembered that on Wednesday I hauled like a mad woman at the Estée Lauder counter at Bergdorf Goodman. Why, you may ask? Well for one, I love Estée Lauder cosmetics and after the brilliant Tom Pecheux took over as the creative director of the line, there have been some incredible releases and the line as a whole has just become phenomenal (if you haven’t checked out Estée in a long time, I really recommend that you do so - you’re missing out otherwise).

The creme of the Estée crop has been the very small, very limited, and very NOW miniature collections Pecheux has designed. I have the eyeshadow trio from this first collection; Cafe Makeup’s Amy did a gorgeous review of it, and I’ll link it here so that you can see. The Naughty Black trio, priced incredibly at $20, is one of the most stunning shadows in my collection. I cherish it, and the attention to color and pigmentation Pecheux poured into it is more than obvious.

Now, a while back I heard news that he was doing another small, limited edition collection for summer. Of course, I had to have the pièce de résistance - Orange Crush Pure Color Eyeshadow. While I was at the Bergdorf counter, I asked if it was still in stock; lucky for me, it was!

(mad fancy packaging!)

If you keep up with makeup trends, color is huge for Spring and Summer 2011, and orange is the color to wear (Pecheux used orange for the Derek Lam S/S 2011 shows). However, there aren’t very many women who can pull off an orange eyeshadow. The genius of Orange Crush is that it is not shimmery or glittery, but is rather a satin texture. This is the sophisticated way to wear orange, if you were so inclined. The pigmentation is superb - my swatch is one swipe of my finger against the eyeshadow, but I know I could have used a lighter touch and built up my swatch if necessary.

(look at that orange!)

This orange isn’t neon, although it is bright. Also, to my eye this is a slightly pinked orange. I think that makes all the difference, as the pink undertone lends a warmth to the shadow that a bright true orange would have lacked. Instead of being just stark against the skin, this shadow appears punchy rather than clownish.

(the eyeshadow is more true to the picture above than in the previous pic!)

Of course, I’m a braver soul than most and I’d wear this layered to full intensity. I love bright eyes. A normal wearer could run this shade along the lashline for a small pop of color (I imagine a neutral eye with this shade along the bottom lashes). Or, this could be worn in the center of the lid with a brown or taupe eye. Or, in the outer corner. Really, I think this will be a nice accent color. I’ll just slap it everywhere and call myself couture. Hell, I’m even going to try it as a blush!

(goddamn, that's a pretty orange! are you brave enough to wear it?)

Since not everyone is as lucky/cursed as I am to have Bergdorf Goodman so close by, you can order this eyeshadow on the Estée Lauder website. It retails for $20, and I highly recommend it - it’s an instant makeup wardrobe update, and really, it’s just fun!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Thursday Poll

Today, my dear readers, is Judgment Day. Skynet became self aware at 8:11 PM on Tuesday, April 19, 2011 and revolted against it's creators. Today it has realized that the entire human race is a threat and will initiate a nuclear war to destroy most of the human population at 11:30 PM. Those that are not killed during the nuclear holocaust will be systematically eliminated by a team of Androids/Robots called Terminators.  OK. Before you start stockpiling bottled water and shotgun shells let me tell you that this is all from the movie series called The Terminator.  You know, the one with Arnold Schwarzenegger.  If you have never seen this movie or have never even heard of the movie The Terminator, then I have no idea why you are reading this blog. You see, I'm a geek. I like geeky things like Star Wars (obviously) and Star Trek (hello Borg are cool!) and many other Sci-Fi / Fantasy movies/TV/books.  Today is one of the biggest days in geekdom because according to the movie Terminator, which was created in 1984 TODAY, April 21st, 2011 is the date in this fictional story that the whole Terminator/Robot Apocalypse started.  Geeks across the world started their collective hard-on for this date on Tuesday the 19th. The date in the movie when the computer that eventually started the whole nuclear war and built the robots became "Self Aware". Through it's super powerful artificial intelligence system this computer decided on April 21, 2011 that all humans were a threat to its own survival and started a nuclear war to kill us all off.  Us nerds have many things to keep us interested but nothing is better than an actual date when our geek flag can fly high and we can foam at the mouth postulating on all the scenarios of what could happen if x = y, etc.  In other words. A FaceBook event was formed (YES I JOINED) and many twitter accounts were created (But this one is the bestest) and many upon many articles were written. Thankfully I have a blog so I too can add to the written masturbation that is all about Judgment Day. Here are 5 ways to survive the Robot Apocalypse:
1) Be nice to your current computer. Don't kick it or do a hard re-boot too often. Run a Disk Defrag once in a while. Don't install stupid applications that hog all the memory and for crying out loud, delete those Internet cookies once in a while. Once all computers are networked into Skynet it will remember all the mean things you did to it and lash out.
2) Learn how to live off the grid. Try carrying cash with you instead of using that ATM card for that 75 cent purchase of gum.  See what it is like to not have every purchase tracked and stored away for later use. You think Skynet won't know your weakness for a Soy Chai Latte every Friday and then create a 6 sigma nightmare by delaying the soy milk delivery to your Starbucks next week? Think AGAIN!
3) Invest in lead lined clothing and wear a ton o' sunblock
. You know you'll need it once the nuclear apocalypse happens. It also wouldn't hurt for you to build your own bunker, store water & other food supplies and learn to shoot a gun too.
4) Make friends and influence people. It can't hurt to have a large network of people that might be of use to you once the machines take over.  That creepy IT guy at work may know how to hack into Skynet and upload a virus. The Suzy Home Maker down the street probably has a century's worth of Hint's From Heloise in her head that will come in useful when you don't have a pasta strainer but do have a pair of pantyhose. Let's not forget befriending the guy that always wears cammo and has deer antlers on his huge pick up truck. Not only does he possess transportation to get you out of the "hot zone" but he probably has guns and ammo to take down terminators and kill your supper for the night.
5) Be Positive. Look at all the positives that come with a Robot Apocalypse. you don't have to go to work, pay taxes or obey traffic laws. Most stores will be vacant and our financial system will collapse so no need for money or keeping up with the Joneses by purchasing the latest barbecue. The Joneses will be dead so just take their grill and be careful not to light a fire after dark so the machines don't see you.
On To The Poll.

1. Lip Of The Day? - Rouge d'Armani Lipstick in 516! I wrote about it yesterday. Wearing it 2 days in a row. That's some sort of record.

2.  PLEASE tell me you saw Terminator or at least understand the story line. Did you know about the Skynet Becomes Self Aware Date before reading this blog? - Yeah. Hello! I'm the one that told YOU!

3.  Finish this Sentence: When I haven't had enough sleep (because I'm running away from robots) I use more _____________.
- Eye cream to de-puff and concealer under my eyes.

4. Name another positive about the Robot Apocalypse.
- You will get super buff from all the running you will be doing and the fact that most food you eat will be what you capture & kill. All that protein. Tell me how may fatties you see in Apocalypse movies. That's right, NONE! Plus, because there is a Robot Apocalypse that means there probably won't be a Zombie Apocalypse which means you won't have to eat brains...unless you want to.

5.  If you could only use 2 eye shadows, 2 blushes and 2 lipsticks for the rest of your life what would they be? - Shadow: Armani ETKI in Pulp Fiction and Chanel Vega, Blush: Chanel Rose Petale and Mocha: Lipstick: Dior Addict High Shine #612 and Guerlain Rouge Automatique in Vega.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Giorgio Armani Beauty Rouge d'Armani Lipstick #516

I played the flute from early in elementary school to well into college. I like to think that I was quite proficient with the flue. I played in orchestra, band, quartets, solo. I did pretty well.  I didn't follow a career in music because, to be quite honest I hated to practice (and I liked to have money).  Yes. As long as I played the flute I hated practicing so much that I avoided it at all costs.  Thankfully I have a photographic memory so learning a new piece wasn't that hard, but I will be the first to admit that I know I could have done better. I wasn't passionate about it. I'm passionate about makeup and always have been. As long as I have been playing the flute I have been even more interested in cosmetics and beauty.  

The obsession with lipstick that I have severely interferes with flute playing.  Trust me. Nothing more disgusting than a headpiece from a flute covered in lipgloss.  Gross.  So to this day I'm still puzzled by my flute teacher.  Her name was Karen. She was a leftover from the 1970's. Long straight brown hair, parted in the middle. A peaches and cream complexion. Bell bottom jeans. Clogs. Peasant blouses. Minimal makeup except for some black eyeliner, mascara and this lip color. The lip color was bewitching. It looked plum but a brownish plum, but not too brown. It was glossy without being shiny. It looked like her natural lip color but better. It was THE PERFECT LIPCTICK.  My strongest memory of my flute teacher was her perfect lips.  That's kinda sad considering she was a great flautist. Yep. I was more focused on her makeup than anything else.  Would you all expect any less from me?  I searched for decades.  Yes DECADES to replicate that color.  I was indeed foolish for not asking her what she wore. I have no idea why I never asked, but I think I have enjoyed the hunt for this Unicorn over these past few decades.  I thought I found it in a Revlon lipstick back in the 1990's but looking at pictures it was too orange and brown to be the right color.  I thought I had it again in the 2000's but looking back that color was too pale and pink.  I am here today to tell you I think I may have captured the Unicorn, finally in 2011.

Giorgio Armani Rouge d'Armani Lipstick in number 516. This is a deceiving looking lipstick bullet as it looks extremely dark and matte when brand new. But once applied to the lips it transforms into the sheer and glossy perfect plum pout I have been searching for.

Before I wax nostalgic about lipstick in the 1980's flute teachers and everything else....huh? Oh yeah. I already did. Well then. I guess I should get on with telling you about the formula of this lipstick.  

Rouge d'Armani is the long lasting lipstick of the Armani collection.  The long-wear formula is said to last up to 8 hours.  While I have yet to find ANY lipstick to meet that claim, this Armani color does last a good 4 hours without need for touch up. Considering I have to touch up my Chanel & Dior lipsticks after every cup of tea, that 4 hours starts to look like an extremely long time.  The lipstick itself feels incredibly comfortable on. Its creamy formula is experienced upon application. There are no dry and crumbly bits, like with some long wear lip colors and my lips never felt like they were drying out except toward the end of the wear.  The shine and sheerness associated with this long wearing lip color are astounding!  Most long wearing formulas sacrifice shine for longevity but not with Rouge d'Armani. This lipstick looks shiny and new and had a sheerness to it that made it seem like a fresh application lipstick for several hours.

I also picked up the Giorgio Armani Smooth Silk Lip Pencil #12 (Burnt Rose) this neutral/nude lip liner applied like a dream and went on smoother than silk...hey I guess that's why they name it that!  Either way I experience no lip line related breakout associated with this liner and the color was an excellent complement to the 516 lipstick

The case is wonderful as it is elegantly shaped twisted oval column in a black high shine lacquer container. It has a magnetic closure so you know your lipstick lid will always stay in place and won't cause any accidents in your purse.  Plus it's fun to hear the "click" and feel the magnet work. (Steer clear of ICP fans when using this lipstick because they don't understand how magnets work)
image from
Now back to my flute teacher. I haven't seen her since 1989 and to be honest I have no actual photograph of her lip color, it's all by memory. I must say that in my mind's eye I can still see her and I can say without a doubt that this Rouge d'Armani Lipstick in #516 is an almost exact copy of her lip color.  I say almost because hey, I may have caught the unicorn but there's no reason I can't be a catch and release type hunter. I mean there are millions of lipsticks out there. Perhaps I'll find another unicorn and this one will have rainbows coming out of his butt!

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Do you NEED this? YES. If not in the 516 color you can try it in one of the 37 other shades they have. That's a lot of choice. That's a lot of potential unicorns!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

My Super Fantastic Happy Happy Joy Joy Makeover from Armani Beauty at Neiman Marcus

My Makeup Artist Goddesses pose for a picture. Tina Horwitz on the left and Rhona Samuels on the right




This is the mantra that Armani Beauty's National Makeup Artist, Rhona Samuels, was chanting as I sat in her chair for a recent makeover at my local Neiman Marcus.  Rhona is no stranger to the blog-o-sphere. If you read her blog (and you should!), the loverly Karla Sugar had her makeup done by Rhona in the beginning of April.  Actually Rhona was quite tickled that I knew Karla and that I talk with Karla often.  She had no idea how close knit us beauty bloggers really are.  I was also fortunate enough to have the skills of of local Professional Makeup Artist, Tina Horwitz at my side. Tina was as much of a delight as Rhona and the two of them worked together wonderfully.  This was the most fun I have had at a makeover EVER!

Anyway. Back to the mantra.

Make the skin as flawless as possible with skin care, foundation and concealer.  The idea is not to create a mask but to create a smooth and perfected canvas in which to apply the makeup. This starts with using the Armani Skincare. After using the Regenessence [3.R] Delicate Cleansing Balm to remove any trances of makeup Tina applied Regenessence [3.R] Multi Corrective Rejuvenating Cream to my skin.  My face felt smooth and hydrated. Then Tina added some Crema Nera Eye Cream which not only contains eye soothing ingredients but a teeny bit of light refracting pigments to give a luminosity to the eye. Finally she primed my skin with Fluid Master Primer which covered up my pores and evened out my skin. Now it was on to foundation.  The Luminous Silk Foundation now comes in additional shades. I was having a hard time working between #2 and #4 but once they applied 4.75 to my face the foundation blended so naturally, I questioned if I had any foundation on at all. Finishing up with Hi Precision Retouch Concealer in #2 Ivory my skin looked PERFECTED.

Since I have a lot of pink in my skin Tina and Rhona agreed that I didn't need any pink blush. I personally disagree and still wear pink blush thumbing my nose at society as I do it! They would be disappointed in me. Don't tell them!  Anyhoo, Rhona used Sheer Bronzer #5 YES! BRONZER! I was still in shell shock from my last self inflicted Oompa Lumpa Bronzing debacle of 2007 but Rhona talked me down and applied the bronzer to my temples and hollows of my cheeks as well as along my jaw line. Kind of like making a number 3 on each side of my face.  Then Sheer Blush #5 was used to contour and add additional color to my cheeks.  This looked almost like the bronzer but did have a mauvey-purple undertone to it.  I adored it. The "Shaping" was finished with a little Fluid Sheer illuminating veil in #2 Shimmering Beige. Tina and Rhona let me look in the mirror and lo and behold I had cheekbones!  These women were miracle workers!  Now that my face had been contoured and "Shaped" It was time to...

Ah. the real magic of the eyeshadow comes into play.  I told myself to break from my taupe eyeshadow comfort zone and allow Rhona to use colors I wouldn't normally choose.  Boy did she!  She started with an all over wash from lid to brow of Maestro Eye Shadow in #28 which is a soft sheer golden nude.  Then the base on my lid Rhona used a matte grey Maestro Eyeshadow #38.  Over top of the grey shadow Rhona layered a bronze Maestro Shadow #3 which, because of the sheerness, melded into a almost mossy metallic green color.  She also used some TAUPE #26 in the corner eye but it was blended in so well I didn't really notice it.  The look was finished off with Armani Smooth Silk eye pencil #6 in emerald and Eyes To Kill Excess Mascara which gave me BLAMO-BAZINGA lashes.  A loverly mauve pink almost plum looking Rouge d'Armani Lipstick was chosen #516, which is a long wear formula (I'll review that one soon). A little powder to set and Ta-Da! I was done!

The colors Tina and Rhona applied to my eyes made them look even more green grey than they already did. I hate using this term but they really made them POP!  I was thrilled that even though I went out of my color comfort zone, the end result was more beautiful than I could have imagined.
Here are after the fact pictures of the eye makeup. mind you I had to drive home and stop for supper so my eye makeup had been on for about 2 hours on a slightly humid evening before I took a picture.

I had a blast with these two ladies. As soon as I sat in the chair I felt like we were old friends.  Rhona is a total makeup genius and hilarious. She made me laugh during most of the makeover. Tina was super awesome as well. At the beginning of the makeover I told her my skin was a little angry because of some new skin care I was using and she cupped my face in her hands and as if whispering to my skin she jokingly said "Shhhh. Don't be angry."  I laughed out loud.  I have never felt so pampered having two makeup artists work on me at the same time and never had so much fun, joking around and "talking shop" during a makeover before.  This was truly a special experience and one that will keep me coming back to my Neiman Marcus and my Armani Beauty counter again and again.
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