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...]

The Latest in Split-End Defenders


Nothing says you need a haircut more than a handful of split-ends. The chances are—if you’re styling your hair with heat tools (or even just being rough on your hair while you brush), you’ve got them. While it’s not possible to completely repair a split-end, there are plenty of new products to help you temporarily mend damaged ends back together, or to help prevent split-ends altogether. Here, we check out three of the latest in split-end defenders!

Pantene Split End Repair Crème

Pantene created this leave-in cream to work in conjunction with their Back To Strength Shampoo and Conditioner, but it certainly won’t hurt to apply this creamy balm on damp ends. It will help protect what’s left of your hair’s cuticle and temporarily fuse frazzled strands back together with keratin protecting ingredients. $5.99, mass retailers   [Read more...]

Benefit Wants You to Know—What’s Up with Watt’s Up!


Watt’s What’s not to love about glowing skin? Benefit knows a thing or two about highlighters—their line of luminizers like Girl Meets Pearl, Moon Beam, and High Beam are some of the best (and most-loved) in the biz. How can they make one even better? Color it champagne, make it cream-to-powder, put it in a creamy stick form—and we’ve got Watt’s Up!

On one end—a gorgeous champagne highlighter stick, on the other—a sponge to help blend it in so that tell-tell rough edges disappear. The cute packaging does Watt’s Up a ton of favors by making it almost impossible not to want to pick up! If I walked by the tester at Sephora, I’d be all, “Ooh! Watt’s that?”

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Review & Swatches: Urban Decay Super-Saturated High Gloss Lip Color Pencils


Fans of color, heads up! You won’t want to miss the new Urban Decay Super-Saturated High Gloss Lip Color shades for sure. In the past year, I’ve tried many, many lip color pencils. Some had the color right, but the consistency was too soft and turned into a mess. Others had the consistency right, but the pigmentation was seriously lacking. Urban Decay finally got it right! Here’s a chubby lip color pencil that packs a punch of pigment (say that five times, really fast), and doesn’t turn into a pool of goo while you swipe it across your lips.

Available in five scorching hot shades, I tried three of them; Crush (hot pink cream), Adrenaline (fuchsia sparkle), and F-Bomb (bright red cream). Also available—Punch Drunk (bright orange-coral cream), and Big Bang (bright pink sparkle).  [Read more...]