Sunday, November 29, 2009

Shopping Deals

So many of my fellow beauty bloggers have linked all the latest bargains for Monday on their blogs. In lieu of my own post, I thought I would link you to several of their blogs.

  • Gouldylox has Black Friday through Cyber Monday deals here 
  • The Fashionable Housewife has more Cyber Monday deals here 
  • Blogdorf Goodman has info on Lancome here 
  • Musings of a Muse has another great discount code list here
A few other discount codes:

  • Smashbox has their Friends and Family sale through Monday Nov 30th - code SBFF9 at checkout
  • Bare Escentuals through Today 20% off - code MERRY at checkout 
  • Sephora has free shipping all weekend through Monday - SHIP4FREE at checkout
I hope you had a good holiday weekend, and can still take advantage of some of these great deals. I am way ahead on shopping right now, and am feeling pretty good about everyone else on my list. My PC upgrade even went pretty well.


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving and Holiday Shopping

Well folks, it's Thanksgiving and I hope you are spending it with friends or family or a little of both. My husband has the kids for the first time on Thanksgiving so we are going all out with help from Honeybaked Ham. I am also upgrading my PC this weekend to Windows 7, so expect a full post when I am out of upgrade hell.

Since tomorrow is Black Friday - here are a few beauty related gifts for people on your list:
  1. Philosophy gift sets - Recipe Box, Red Velvet Cake, and Winter Escape
    I love all the products in these sets, the 3 in 1's smell amazing and are not drying and the lip glosses are sturdy and tasty. These sets are perfect for everyone (though, my husband doesn't like the "food" scents too much).
  2. Too Faced Glamour Revolution
    This is perfect for that teen / 20 something girl in your life, amazing colors and Shadow Insurance for staying power
  3. Burberry mini scent pack
    Okay, this one is a suggestion for anyone shopping for me. I LOVE Burberry scents, all of them. The only bottles of fragrance I ever use up before they go south.
  4. Bare Escentuals Happiness or Surprise collection
    Pretty colors on any skin tone, so for the Bare Escentuals fan on your list either of these is just right. See my blog entry on the Surprise collection.
  5. Urban Decay 24/7 Sets
    Like I mentioned in my blog entry, these eyeliners are just great. So for the fun girl on your list, set her up with a collection of these gems.
  6. Bare Escentuals Winter Escapade lip gloss collection
    For the lip gloss lover, or tween girl on your list. These lip glosses are just the bomb.
  7. Bare Escentuals Candy Cocktails eye shadow collection
    You can't go wrong with an eye shadow collection named after cocktails can you?
  8. Benefit Holiday Kits - Celebutante, Sexy Starlet, and Laugh with Me Leelee Crescent Row set
    Two of these are cool makeup product sets with some of Benefit's best products. The other is a fragrance / hand lotion set that I sampled in the store and loved the scent. Fresh and friendly, not overpowering.
One more note, my friend over at ellaface has some nice holiday kits as well (I like their scrubs). I hope you have a wonderful weekend, and this gives you some fun shopping ideas.

I have either purchased these products, lusted after them or played with them at the counter. I have not received any of them as samples.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Lancôme Définicils Mascara

In my never ending search for amazing mascara, I stopped by the Lancôme counter at Nordstrom over the summer to ask the sales associate about their mascaras. Lancôme had an awesome gift with purchase going on, and I was due for a new tube of mascara. I chatted with her for about 10 minutes regarding their different products, and we decided to try the most popular mascara in the Lancôme line - Définicils.

I would love to sit here and write about how amazing this product is. But I was disappointed by this very pricey ($24.50) mascara. I will say that it did lengthen my lashes incredibly, which I liked. The color is a bluish black rather than a super black shade. You would also think that I'd like the skinny brush, but the bristles are so far apart that it did nothing but clump. I had to get out my eyelash comb and separate between coats. It also didn't generate much volume at the base of my lashes so it didn't meet the "enhance thickness" requirement. It didn't flake, but it did feel very stiff after it dried. Overall, it didn’t impress me and I have found better at my local drugstore. I am currently using up my tube as a top coat when I want some serious length to my lashes.

If you like the length this product offers, a comparable drugstore choice would be Maybelline Lash Stiletto. This one did not clump for me, and was what my makeup artist used on my wedding day. It made it perfectly through a very warm Las Vegas day, and quite a bit of tearing up.

So if you like super long lashes, don’t mind using a comb to separate and a not quite black formula - Définicils is widely available at your local department stores.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Bare Escentuals Beautiful in Pearls

In case you missed it last week, Bare Escentuals was on QVC with their new kit Beautiful in Pearls. This is a QVC exclusive, which will have 3 more similar kits produced through the next year. I am a complete sucker for these kits, I love the color co-ordination and they always have a special touch. This one is Pearls. Everything in the kit has a pearly look and is very luminescent. So, being a sucker I bought it and the auto-delivery of the other kits. I have sent ones back that I didn't like before, so I fully expect that to happen again - but it's such a good price that I can't refuse.

The kit consists of:
  • Flawless Definition Mascara (seriously been in the last 3 kits, I've got 3.5 tubes now which includes a mini-tube)
  • New Big & Bright Mineral Eyeliner Pencil
  • Blush - Precious Pearl
  • 2 eye shadows - Blissful Pearl, Magnificent Pearl
  • 100% Natural Lip gloss - Sugared Strawberry
  • Brightening Pearl Mineral Veil
  • 3 brushes - Precision Eye Defining, Tapered Blush, Flawless Application
Since my last 3 kits included Flawless Mascara, I decided I better crack open one of the tubes and try it. This is pretty good stuff. I have yet to like any of BE's mascara's until now. The brush is one of those rubber pronged ones, and I like it. The formula is pretty similar to Cover Girl Lash Blast. I was able to get both volume and length out of it while there was no smudging. I think I will actually use these mascara's so that was a huge plus for me (no mascara buying for a while).

The pencil liner didn't thrill me. First it is black, really black and I don't love black liner. Second, it's a little smudgy on oily skin. It would do better with a primer underneath. Third, the only way I like black liner is on my waterline (yes, I know - not the best idea - but I am a child of the 70's which puts me in high school in the 80's, need I say more?). This did not stay on the waterline, and made my eyes water quite a bit. So for me, the liner is pretty ho-hum.

The blush is a pretty dusty pink shade, but again I don't love BE blushes so it will go up on eBay eventually (my eBay stack is growing; I should probably do something about that). I didn't open it - but it looks like a very pretty color and will have some sheen with the pearls in it.

Now the eye shadows are really pretty. There are 2 in the kit and the base shadow Blissful Pearl is just a wonderful pinky peach color that could be an easy daytime swipe on the lids and go. The other shade, Magnificent Pearl - I haven't quite pinpointed yet but it's darn lovely. The kit describes it as charcoal taupe. These are not sparkly, but definitely shimmery. The picture does not do them justice (wobbly shooting). They also blend quite nicely and look sharp together.

The lip gloss is a nice pink color that I like, but it's pretty sheer and it's not a Buxom so it doesn't stay quite as well. But it is moisturizing and looks pretty, especially on top of a pink lipstick. It also has a Brightening Pearl Mineral Veil finishing powder, which I do really like especially for parties. It's not glittery, but enough shimmer to feel like you're going to a special event without feeling like a disco ball.

The brushes are decent, and if you don't have a contour brush yet - be happy. This brush is awesome if you stink at doing contour colors. It's angled so that you put the tip into the crease and have the angled part facing upward against the upper part of your lid. Then swipe like a windshield wiper back and forth from the middle of your eye to the outer part. See Makeup Geek for awesome videos on how to apply eye shadows, and this brush will make you look like an expert!

Overall it's a good kit at a good price. I don't love it like I did the Surprise kit - but it's nice overall kit if you want a complete look-in-a-box for those who are pink inclined. QVC and Bare Escentuals do a great job with these, and the pricing is affordable. Definitely worth a look.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Urban Decay 24/7 Liner Pencils

Who doesn't like a good pencil eye liner? Pencil is simple, quick and can be colorful. Urban Decay 24/7 liners are all of those things and more.

As I mentioned, oil is a serious problem for me and everything smudges or runs. I had read about the staying power of this liner in an Allure magazine blog and thought I would give it a try. I picked up this amazing bronze color (Lucky) and gave it several trial runs. What can I say, it didn't move and the color is vibrant. These liners are also incredibly smooth to apply, and glide right on your lid. They live up to their name and really do last (I actually have to work to remove them).

I have a few of these, and they are all long lasting and darn near smudge proof. 1999 is an awesome plum, Deviant is a very bright blue, and Lucky is a bronze penny color. I should also mention that you do have a little work time to smudge them before they set.

They have some cool sets of liners, so if you like variety you should check these out:

You can pick up individual pencils here:

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Urban Decay Primer Potion

Urban Decay's Primer Potion is just magic for anyone who has trouble with creasing / smearing eye shadows.

I got a tiny vial of the stuff as a freebie at Sephora over 2 years ago. I had no idea what it was, but thought - okay, I will try this and see what it does. So I took it on a Las Vegas trip in the middle of August (can you say HOT?) because I knew I would be using lots of eye shadows that week. Well, not a crease, not a smear, nothing but perfect eyes all evening / night long. My eyes are so oily that I usually crease within 2 hours of doing up my makeup. Well, this stuff was like a miracle.

My final trial of it was the wedding of 2 very good friends, where I knew I needed my makeup to look spectacular for well over 8 hours. It was shortly after the Vegas trip, and I hadn't really used it since then. I figured it would be worth a shot to get at least 6 hours out of it and I brought my eye colors with me to touch up prior to the reception. Well, no eye touch up needed - and I couldn't believe it! All I touched up that day was my powder and blush. Off to Sephora I went to purchase the full sized tubes.

It comes in 2 different colors now, original and Sin. I like the both, but they serve different purposes for me. If I have a whole eye in mind, I use the original nude shade. This stuff is like glue for shadows and can be sticky so you have to place your shadow on before you can blend it. I use the trick of applying a little Bare Escentuals Well Rested (any matte nude shadow will do) after applying the Primer Potion so that when I go to blend whatever colors I want that day, they apply and blend a little easier because the Well Rested took away the "stickiness". It's not really sticky to the touch, just to eye shadow - after all, it's meant to anchor the stuff to your eye lid. With a nude base over the Potion, I can blend to my heart’s content and don't have to worry so much about "placing" the shadow on my lids. The Sin shade is a shimmery nude shade and works great as a base for any shimmery look you want to do, you'll get the added bonus of the shimmer from the Potion if you choose an all over color. I like to use Sin when I'm doing a nude or pink look and want that as my base / all over eye color and the just put a crease or lid color over it.

I will say the packaging leave a bit to be desired, as those curvy tubes are impossible to get the entire product out with the wands. There are videos all over the internet explaining how to cut the tube open and scrape out and store the product that is still in the tube just when you think it's empty. It's worth consideration when purchasing, but this product is completely worth the hassle. I cannot believe how well it works and can vouch that not even the oiliest of eye lids can make this product budge. As a caution, it can be drying to those with dry or sensitive eyes. Too Faced makes a nice primer that I will review at some point, it's not nearly as drying.

Urban Decay can be found here amongst other retailers:
Urban - Friends and Family sale through November 20th, code FNFW1

Thursday, November 5, 2009

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil

I have talked a bit about awesome makeup products so far. But now you might be wondering, how do I get this stuff off my face at night? Well, I happen to have a couple of suggestions about just that. You might be surprised about this, but one of the best facial makeup removers I have tried comes in an oil form. DHC Deep Cleansing Oil.

What they say about themselves, " is your exclusive online source in the U.S. for authentic DHC products - skincare and cosmetics from one of Japan's top beauty companies. We are also a provider of fine foods and nutritional supplements - products that help you be as beautiful on the inside as you are on the outside. Look for new sales and liquidation specials every month for a savings of up to 50% off! Get 4 free samples every time you order."

Now, on to the awesome Deep Cleansing Oil. It is largely made with Olive Oil and dissolves almost everything on my face. I have used this product to remove waterproof mascara and eyeliner, and I use it daily to just remove all the makeup before truly cleansing my skin. It's a pretty simply application, do NOT wet your hands or face first - just take a pump of the product and rub your face as usual. Include your eyes and eyelashes in the process, it does not sting or irritate. Then rinse, you will be free of your makeup and cleanse as usual. I know it's an extra step in the cleansing process, but it both moisturizes and removes stubborn makeup before cleansing. These are good things for your skin! DHC makes several other cleansing products to follow up after the Deep Cleansing Oil, of which I prefer their glycerin soaps (Mild Soap, Olive Soap and Pure Soap). Used with a washcloth, these 2 steps clean my face from the day and help keep me breakout free.

Even if you already have a cleanser you love, you might have trouble removing mascara without an eye makeup specific product. Eye makeup removers tend to make my eyes red and swollen, which is why I switched to Deep Cleansing Oil before my usual cleanser. DHC also sends samples in their catalog (which is how I found out about this product) so you can try different things before you buy. If you want to try it - get the 2.3 oz. bottle and see how you like it (this size is under the travel restrictions as well so it might come in handy). The bottle lasts a while since you need only 1 or 1.5 pumps of product each time.

Check them out at DHC Care

Monday, November 2, 2009

Too Faced Caribbean in Compact in Snow Bunny

Now that fall is here and our faux tans are fading, it's time to add a little bronzing powder to our routines. Bronzer can be very scary, they come in so many shades and some of them look like little pumpkins in a compact. I for one, have a hard time finding a bronzer that make me look sun kissed rather than dirty or like Willy Wonka's Oompa Loompas.

Too Faced makes a bronzer called Caribbean in a Compact, which comes in two shades Snow Bunny and Sun Bunny. I found Sun Bunny to be a nice tan color (rather than orange) that works for me in the summer, but is still too dark for my fair skin in the winter. If you have a medium or tan skin tone, this one would be just right for you. The Snow Bunny compact is perfect for me. It's a blend of pink / white / tans rather than orange shades. This particular bronzer is very shimmery, so I use it as a highlighter / bronzer rather than just strictly a bronzer. I use it on my forehead, cheekbones and tip of my nose and chin. Right where the sun hits you are the best application spots, and a light hand is best. If you are shimmer averse, I would stay away from this one and perhaps look at Laura Geller Bronze -n- Brighten which I will review at some point because it's also great.

Too Faced also has kit that includes the Snow Bunny and Sun Bunny as well as their Pink Leopard bronzer (this is also an awesome color; I was torn between this color and Snow Bunny when I was shopping). If you're a bronzer junkie or someone who goes between 2 or 3 shades during the year, The Bronzed and the Beautiful would be the product to pick up.

Too Faced products are available at many locations, here's a few:

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