Review & Swatches: Essie Winter Collection 2011 — Bling it On!


Here we go with holiday! I literally (and by that, I mean not even five minutes ago) just put our Halloween decoration on the front door. And when I say decoration, I mean one, because we live in an apartment—I wish we could do so much more! But the holiday collections are already launching, and here we have the latest from Essie for Winter 2011, Bling it On!

“Like any great accessory, jewelry makes a statement. So I say, the bigger the better! Whether you wear rings, bangles, pendants or brooches—size matters!” says Essie Weingarten, founder of essie cosmetics. “The same is true with color for Winter 2011—the bolder the better.”

The quality of this collection meets my expectations for polishes from Essie, but the one thing I did notice was that the darker shades seemed to have a little bit of a thicker base which caught me off-guard. It wasn’t bad, but I’ve just grown accustomed to more lightweight polishes from Essie. While I used two coats in each set of swatches, I almost could have used one coat with Bobbing for Baubles and Size Matters.

Swatches & shade descriptions…

Bangle Jangle — lavender amethyst  [Read more…]

Sneak Peek: Tarina Tarantino Jewel Eyeshadow Palette for Sephora


At one point in time, I had enough Tarina Tarantino pieces to knock your socks off. Hardly a day went by where I wasn’t bejeweled by Tarina before walking out the door for work. Now that I’ve moved about a billion times since then, I can only locate two of my beloved TT pieces—but knock me over with a feather! I can now get my TT fix at Sephora through her beauty line. Something is right with this picture…FINALLY!

For fall, her line revolves around brilliant, luminous colors for a jeweled look—and features six eyeshadow palettes that will make your head a little woozy and your heart beat a little faster.

Sleek graphite-colored packaging, jewel tone accents, illustrations of iconic Tarina designs and new must-have palettes add a multi-faceted dimension to the line. The luxe, long-lasting formulas remain the same, luxuriously infused with crushed pearl, micronized diamond powder and finely milled gemstones to reflect the brilliance, luminosity and sophistication of a jewel.

I road-tested the Delightful Jewel Shadow Palette (think pearly beiges with matte chocolate, brown and pink), and was pleasantly surprised with just how pigmented all five shades in the compact really are. Another thing I appreciated was the larger oval mirror inside, so I feel like I can actually see something than just my lips or my eyes at one time.

See more photos and swatches…

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Review & Swatches: Shades from Bobbi Brown Marrakesh Chic Collection for Fall 2011


Bobbi Brown has this way of creating collections that ooze sophistication, no matter what season it is. In my humble opinion, she creates products that everyone can wear—whether you’re 19 or 75, and they still look appropriate, classy, and well—just GREAT. Same thing goes for her fall offering this year, the Marrakesh Chic Collection. While I didn’t have a chance to wear the entire collection or show it to you here on the site, I have seen it in-person and it stays true to my theory that Bobbi knows how to bring out the best in you without making you feel uncomfortable with color, or look like a clown.

Of the two eyeshadows I had, Rich Kashmir and Pink Silk, I felt they were fab everyday shades for a natural look that still looks polished. These were two of the more muted shades (and you can see the rest of the shades after the jump), but they felt so creamy to the touch and the darker Rich Kashmir didn’t leave behind a hard line of demarcation because these blend so easily. According to Bobbi, these new shades contain a “unique adherence quality that feels lightweight but is super long lasting.” I believe her.

My eye look with Pink Silk and Rich Kashmir is simple and clean—but still polished, and one I would feel comfortable wearing anytime. I definitely could have amped up the color had I wanted to, but I just wanted clean and classic. (Pink Silk from lid to brow, Rich Kashmir lightly in the crease, and Rich Kashmir on the bottom lash line as liner.)

More Rich Color Eye Shadow shades from the Marrakesh Chic Fall Collection…

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Review & Swatches: IT Cosmetics Vitality Lip Flush 4-in-1 Reviver


Contrary to popular belief, not all lip stains are created equally. Case in point, the latest from IT Cosmetics—their Vitality Lip Flush 4-in-1 Reviver. I love lip stains as much as you do, but I don’t like the dry, flaky look they leave behind once they’ve worked their magic. Enter Vitality Lip Flush into your life, and you’ll never look at lip stains the same again. Pinkie swear, ladies.

At first look, they look like an ordinary lipstick, and heck! One of them even looks clear. (But hang on just a sec, there’s a little magic involved with that one and I’ll prove it to you.) Inside these tubes contains a myriad of lip-loving ingredients; argan oil (my FAVORITE ingredient!), green and white tea, plum and cherry oil, acai, shea butter, aloe, and vitamins A, C, and E—plus a flattering lip flush/tint/stain. In my almost 10 years in the biz, I can’t say I’ve ever seen such a thing all wrapped up in one package.

Shades and swatches…

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Review & Swatches: nails inc. LONDON Magnetic Attraction Nail Polish in Big Ben


JUST when you think you’ve seen it all, you really haven’t! Over the summer I reviewed a few shades of polish from London-based nails inc. during their U.S. debut at Sephora stores—and I was impressed. While the concept of magnetic nail polishes might not be new to most nail polish fanatics, it is new to this nail polish fanatic! New this month at Sephora, I wasted no time opening up this bottle of Magnetic Attraction to have a little nail art fun.

How magnetic nail polish works…

This unique formula has been specially developed with metallic particles to create a pattern on the nail using magnetic forces. As the magnet is held over the nail, the iron powder in the formulation gravitates toward the magnet forming the pattern secretly hidden in the magnet for an astonishing finish. The magnet is included in the cap of the nail polish.

Now that you can see how it works, here’s how Big Ben, a metallic gold shade worked on my nails:  [Read more…]

Review & Swatches: L’Oreal The One Sweep Sculpting Blush Duo


With my round face and chubby cheeks, I’ve learned that just a little bit of contouring can go a long way when it comes to creating an optical illusion! With the right products, I’ve figured out how to place a darker shade in the hollow of my cheeks (well, what’s left of them), and a bright pop of color on the apples of my cheeks without looking ridiculous. If it’s not done correctly, it can look a little harsh—and shall I say…a little obvious?

L’Oreal recently introduced four new shades of sculpting blushes in The One Sweep Sculpting Blush Duo series to help us out with that very predicament. There’s Poppy, Posh, Nectar, and Flush—but in my experience, not all of them will be suited for all skin tones. For example (and you’ll see in just a second), I found Poppy suitable for fair skin, I would recommend Flush for medium skin tones, and Nectar and Posh for medium-to-darker skin tones.

(Sorry that I already went to town swatching these before photos!)  [Read more…]

Just Can’t Get Enough! Softsoap Body Butter Body Smoothing Body Washes in Strawberry Smoother & Coconut Scrub


We’re kind of picky about our body washes around here—the husband only wants those $16 bottles of 3-in-1 shower gels with the amaaaaaaazing fragrances, and I prefer the frou-frou good smelling ones myself. But these inexpensive multi-tasking body washes arrived, the Softsoap Premium Body Butter Body Smoothing Wash Collection, and we couldn’t help but take notice. With fragrances like Strawberry Smoother, and Coconut Scrub—you shouldn’t ignore these on your next trip to the store!

Both contain apricot seed powder to help loosen dry, flaky skin—while fruit juices and oils in the rich formulas help hydrate skin instead of stripping it like some body washes can. The amazing thing is, although these come out nice and creamy, they’ll still produce a nice lather on my bath pouf.

Strawberry Smoother contains apricot seed powder, strawberry fruit juice, peach juice, jojoba and coconut oils—and smells like a delicious strawberry smoothie. I can see why my Target has been sold out of it the last two times I’ve gone!  [Read more…]

Beauty for a Cause: L’Oreal Color of Hope Collection 2011 for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month


Every September, L’Oréal launches a limited-edition collection that shows their dedication to the brand’s partnership with the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, the Color of Hope Collection. Since 1997, L’Oreal has raised more than $19 million for the cause—and partial proceeds from this year’s collection will continue the fight and encourage awareness. You’ll find this special collection available in stores this month, but what many people don’t know is that there’s a special online-exclusive cosmetics bag with several key pieces available for purchase. With every L’Oréal Paris Color of Hope Cosmetics Bag purchase, $5 will be donated to the OCRF. Not only is the collection gorgeous, it’s something to feel really good about.

Each bag includes:

  • Wear Infinité Pressed Eyeshadow Quad in Sentimental Splendor
  • Wear Infinité Pressed Eyeshadow Quad in Nostalgic Beauty
  • Colour Riche Lipcolor in Color of Hope
  • Infallible Never Fail 6 Hour Lipgloss in Admiration

More photos & swatches…

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Review & Swatches: Essie Fall Collection 2011


With a strong focus on structure and shades made fashionable in the 40’s and 50’s, Essie captures fall 2011 in this eclectic collection of creamy nail polishes for the season. These classic shades have been reinvented—for the ultimate in femininity, and make it easy to turn your nails into the latest must-have accessory!

“The accessories that you wear and carry say so much about who you are and who you want to be.” Essie Weingarten, founder of essie cosmetics explains. “The same is true with your manicure and your nail color. The first thing a person notices when they meet you for the first time are: your shoes, your handbag and your nails.”

Carry On is a bold merlot cream.

Case Study is a rich camel cream.  [Read more…]