First Look: Urban Decay Book of Shadows Volume IV (Volume 4)

With so many anticipating the release of Urban Decay’s Book of Shadows Volume IV, the brand offered an exclusive sale of a a limited quantity of the covet-worthy palettes to lucky fans at Sephora’s Times Square location earlier this month. The rest of us—well, we’ll have to wait for its release. But never fear, I have a feeling it’s coming sooner that we think, I currently see it on the Sephora website with a “Coming Soon” notation. This will without a doubt, be one of holiday 2011’s most wanted, buzzed about releases.  [Read more…]

Currently Loving: Sarah Horowitz Perfumes LIGHT Comes From Within Eau de Parfum

Have you ever tried a perfume that was so light and fresh when you put it on, that it instantly put you in the best mood? That’s how I felt the first time I wore LIGHT Comes From Within from Sarah Horowitz Parfums. I received this as a gift at BlogHer, and I’ve gone absolutely bananas over it since.

Without knowing much about Sarah’s blending techniques since it’s a new line to me, I can tell she has a special gift for blending sparkling notes that complement each other perfectly—and you’ll know what I mean the second you smell any of her other scents in her What Comes From Within collection.

“Finding the perfect fragrance for you can bring you into the moment and remind you of who you are and what you love,” says Sarah Horowitz-Thran, founder of Sarah Horowitz Parfums, a Westlake Village, CA based fragrance house credited with the creation of Sarah’s own line of Perfect Perfumes, Perfumers Palette and What Comes From Within line, as well as a number of blockbuster private label and custom fragrances that have attracted a cult following among fashion industry insiders and celebrities across the US.

[Read more…]

Review & Swatches: Duri Cosmetics Fall 2011 Wine Tasting Party Nail Polish Collection

Yesterday, it was only a smart 106° in my neck of the woods. I honestly CANNOT wait until it’s time to bring out my light fall sweaters! I might have to wait a month or so longer for those—but believe it or not, I’m already switching over nail colors. Last week, when I went in for a pedi, my gal was stumped when I brought her a dark and inky blue for my toes. She asked me “What about summer colors?”

“I’m kind of over them,” I replied.

I am, I really am! So trying out these new fall shades from Duri was perfect timing for me, their Wine Tasting Party Collection. This was only my second time trying out the salon/spa brand—you might remember these shades from spring and summer a few months ago that I wore.  Wine Tasting Party seems to only have a few wine-based shades, but I’ll forgive them for that. With shade names like Dragontini, it’s easily forgivable. Especially considering how beautiful I think the shade is!

See the swatches and shade descriptions… [Read more…]

Currently Loving: Smashbox Camera Ready 5-in-1 Beauty Balm BB Cream

Hi. I’m Amber, and over the summer—I’ve become a BB Cream-aholic. There, I said it.

The concept of BB creams is still kind of new here in the U.S., and I’ve heard grumblings from those who have tried the original BB creams from Asia—that the U.S. versions are no match for the originals. Well, being I’m as American as apple pie, I can only tell you what I know about our versions of BB creams, and let me tell you—I’m pretty impressed with what I’ve tried. I checked out Boscia and loved it, I tried Dr. Jart (review on that coming soon!), and here’s a new contender from Smashbox, their Camera Ready 5-in-1 Beauty Balm. I’ve avoided true full-coverage foundation for almost a month now, just to test the benefits of this Smashbox version of a BB cream, and here are my findings… [Read more…]

Giveaway: Win the OPI Spookettes Mini Halloween Nail Polish Set! (3 winners)

I know it might be a little bit early, but stores are already putting out Halloween goodies! When I spied these, I knew I had to pick them up for you—they’re just too cute! Three lucky winners will be picked to receive this mini nail polish set from OPI, the Spookettes Collection for Halloween 2011. It contains four small polishes in shades; He’s My Boo (orange), Mummy Knows Best (white), I Only Date Werewolves (black), and Zom-body To Love (glow in the dark green). Also included are some spooky nail art decals to complete your Halloween manis and pedis!

Want to win? Keep on reading! [Read more…]

The Lipstick League — week of 8.22.11

Hi Dolls! I’ve really been missing you since I’ve been on a partial vacation, and that explains why posts have been infrequent. I’ll be back in full swing soon, but until then—I’m going to enjoy what’s left of the summer! Yesterday, it was 110° where I live, so I’m pretty sure this weekend’s activities will keep the husband and me inside somewhere that’s very cool. To all of you lovelies who are on the east coast and affected by hurricane Irene, I hope you’re reading this from somewhere safe and sound. I know how scary hurricanes can be—I went through several of them when I was living in Florida, those were some of the scariest times of my life. I’m really hoping the storm slows down and loses strength for you all—especially since you all haven’t had the best week. An earthquake and a hurricane in the SAME WEEK? That’s crazypants! I’m thinking of you.

Question of the week: What has you most excited for fall, beauty product or otherwise?

Answer: Okay, the question said “beauty product or otherwise,” so I’m going to pick otherwise! Next month, my grocery store will put out cinnamon stick wreaths and brooms for sale in the floral department for fall, and that’s when I purposely enter through the door on that side of the store—just so I can get a whiff of them! I’ve always wanted to buy one for decoration, but I’m afraid our cats might try to chew on them. I absolutely love all of the scents of fall and winter! I can’t believe it’s almost here already. What are you looking forward to this fall?

Vampy Varnish – Kelly shows you how not to wear your lipstick and lip liner in the first of her new series How NOT to Wear…

we heart this – discovers a mascara with a TRULY original feature, a squeezable tube that lets you control the amount of product on the wand. Check out LashControl.

Beauty Junkies Unite – See why we’re loving the latest from LORAC for fall, the Naked Lace Collection.

Clumps of Mascara – Has found the best drugstore lip gloss to date. And they only cost $2.29 a pop.

Gouldylox Reviews – Not sure what eye liner will give you the purrfect cat eye? Check out these tips and tricks meow to get the look your longing for!

Krasey Beauty – Looking for a lipstick that will bring you only high octane color and shine? Check out the new Urban Decay High Shine Lip Pencils!  [Read more…]

Review & Swatches: NARS Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner Collection

We are in the middle of a heatwave, and I’ve been trying to wear as minimal makeup as possible because I’ve just been sweating it off. Our office gets hardly any air circulation, and the A/C isn’t exactly doing the best job! It’s so funny to me to look in the mirror at the end of the day, only to see the two things that haven’t budged are my eyeliner and mascara. The trick this week has been wearing a shade from the NARS Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner Collection each day. The hardest part about wearing them has been asking myself—what color shall I wear? There are nine pigment-packed shades to choose from:

Via Veneto — rich black
Via Appia — metallic copper
Rue Saint-Honoré — dark royal blue metallic
Santa Monica Boulevard — bright crisp white
Abbey Road — iridescent turquoise
Bourbon Street — vibrant amethyst metallic
Madison Avenue — medium slate grey
Rue Bonaparte — light almond
Rue De Rivoli — dark hunter green metallic [Read more…]

Back to School Steals & Deals

Heading back to school? Check out these savings on your fave beauty brands…

Proactiv — Get $5 off up to 5 items from Proactiv! This deal is good on all single items, so you can stock up on the most effective blemish blasters.  I recommend using the Refining Mask as a spot treatment for pesky pimples, and weekly use of the Mild Exfoliating Peel to keep the oils that cause blackheads in check.

Bliss — Score a 20% savings on Bliss, Remede and Elemis purchases at Enter code AUGUST20 until 8/30. Check out my personal faves, Lemon + Sage Soapy Suds and their Lemon + Sage Body Butter to stay squeaky clean and smelling fresh! — New customers will get $5 off $35 or $10 off $70 on your first order!

ULTA — Help yourself to savings! $3.50 off $10 with printable coupon for in-store, and promo code 63711 on Feel like doing more shopping? Save $10 off a $60 purchase with promo code 18137.

Benefit — Get FREE US standard shipping with any purchase of $50 or more. Enter promo code PRETTY50 at checkout.

Sneak Peek: bareMinerals Ready Eyeshadow 2.0 & 4.0

What lies within these sleek, soft-touch black compacts is absolutely extraordinary. bareMinerals took everything I love about their regular eyeshadows (the creamy texture, strong pigmentation, and beautiful shades), and added cold-pressed borage oil, cucumber, and sea minerals—in creating Ready Eyeshadow duos (2.0) and quads (4.0). Pressed (or solid) eyeshadows are a new concept for the top mineral makeup brand, but I imagine they spent a long time developing these; they’re incredibly silky, contain some of the best skin-nurturing ingredients around, and it’s still the purest product they can deliver. There’s no binders, parabens, fillers, or synthetic chemicals. How did they do that?

Created through a unique cold-pressed method, we’ve combined our proprietary SeaNutritive Mineral™ Complex – composed of positively-charged sea minerals extracted from nutrient-rich algae and seaweed – with powerful antioxidants, cold-pressed borage oil, caffeine and cucumber. Our solid concentrate delivers potent anti-aging benefits including depuffing and antioxidant protection for a softer, smoother, revitalized eye area. It looks like a powder but feels like a cream with a non-drying formula that delivers a beautifully smooth application of vibrant long-wearing color plus incredible skin-renewing benefits.

Ready 2.0 The Top Shelf Duo

  • Mixologist is a pale peach satin shimmer
  • Cognac is an amber colored metallic shimmer [Read more…]