Friday, April 29, 2011

It's True! Kate Did Her Own Makeup!!

I am a total hopeless romantic and yes, I woke up at 5am EST to watch the royal wedding....and I was not the least bit disappointed!! What a fairytale wedding it was!!!

I loved EVERYTHING, from the Kate's classy and elegant dress, to the way the couple was able to incorporate themselves in the ceremony...amidst a guest list of 1700, you felt like you were observing a small, intimate wedding.

And word on the street, ok not the street, Vogue UK's website, is that Kate did her own makeup! Kate was rumoured to have had a series of private lessons prior to the wedding from London-based make-up artist Arabella Preston. However, on the day Miss Middleton was the one holding the brushes; choosing to create a softly smoky eye, enhancing the apples of her cheeks with a pink blush colour teamed with a matching lipstick shade:

And since I love cake, I can't help but drool over Will and Kate's gorgeous 8-tier wedding cake:

 Did you watch the royal wedding? What did you think about it?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Estee Lauder Double Wear Light Foundation Review

I've tried the Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation before and it was just too thick and uncomfortable on my skin. I was perusing by their counter and stopped to try out the lighter version of this popular foundation, the Estee Lauder Double Wear Light Foundation.

Lasts all day
Provides light-medium coverage

There are only 6 shades available
Dries super fast so you don't have much time to blend
Somewhat thick in formula, not easy to manipulate
Suitable only for those with pink undertones

As you can see, the color that best matched me made me look like I have a light pink clown face....hence my wide-eyed clownish smile. Also, even though this foundation gives a light coverage, it still feels thick and heavy on the skin. I am glad I only tried this because I didn't like this foundation at all. I often get asked why I use certain brands of products, and this is one of the reasons why....there are lots of brands that don't cater to those of us with yellow undertones. This has always stumped me because a HUGE portion of the population has yellow undertones! That probably explains why so many women walk around wearing the wrong shade of foundation. In any case, I didn't like the consistency or the shade range of this foundation and I will definitely not be going back for more.

Kajal Couture Rating: D

Have you tried the Double Wear or Double Wear Light formulas? 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

New MAC Sponges and Accessories

So everyone has been talking about the upcoming Flighty and Fashion Flower collections from MAC, but did you know MAC is also releasing 6 new accessories next week? Check these out:

1. All Blending Sponge: An ultra-soft, latex-free NBR sponge shaped for a more controlled and flawless application of cream and liquid foundations and makeup products. An updated pink version of the Flat Oval Foundation sponge. $8

2. Duo-Sided Sponge: A dual-sided sponge designed to provide versatility in application. Use the smooth pink side for liquids, gels and creams. The white flocked side for flawless delivery of powders and powder foundations. Buff and polish with either side. $8

3. Pro Performance Sponge: A sponge designed and shaped to enable precise application and blending of liquid or cream formulas in hard-to-reach areas of the face. Pink. Latex-free. $18

4. Spray Pump: A screw-on spray pump for M·A·C travel bottles. Spill-and-leak proof. The secure way to carry your liquids. Provides a spray-mist application. $6

5. Half Lash Curler: A demi-version of the M·A·C Lash Curler. Designed to lift and curl the shorter, more inaccessible lashes at the inner corner of the eye. Works with the same easy "squeeze and release" motion of the full-sized version. $14

6. Duo-Sided Sharpener: A sharpener designed for eye and lip pencils of any size. Features one small and one large opening located side by side. Precision-honed. Includes a cleaner to help clear the blade of excess product. $6

All images and descriptions via MAC Cosmetics Pro.

I have the older (now discontinued) version of the duo sharpener and it kept opening up in my makeup bags and the shavings would fall out, so I hope the new one is better. I am also looking forward to the Pro Performance Sponge. Any of these products catch your fancy?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Makeup Tip Monday: Making Your Fragrance Last

We all know that fragrance is supposed to be spritzed and applied to our pulse points, but did you know that scents tend to rise? Therefore, when we apply fragrance to our neck and behind our ears, the scent won't last very long. So what do you do?

1. Apply the fragrance to multiple pulse points, including behind the knees and on your wrists. The lower the fragrance is on your body, the longer it will take to elevate and wear off.

2. Layer on the fragrance. Use the same scented body lotion, deodorant, etc. so that there are multiple layers to the scent and it lasts longer than perfume alone.

On that note, what is your favorite summer fragrance?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Island Paradise in a Bottle

Picture yourself in the tropics.....on a private a private paradise bungalow.....surrounded by tropical plants and flowers......having a relaxing shower in an outdoor bathroom that overlooks the ocean....massaging your scalp with the most indulgent of shampoos......imagine the fragrance surrounding you.....

...I've found that fragrance in a shampoo bottle. 

I recently tried the Paul Mitchell Original Shampoo One. Now, I may not be able to make the dream a reality for you, but I have found the shampoo that will make you feel like a Necker Island dream is least for the 10 minutes you are in the shower. Necker Island btw is Richard Branson's private island paradise where celebs go to escape the daily grind. 

This shampoo is a basic clarifying shampoo that I have been using once every few weeks to get a break from my regular moisturizing and smoothing shampoo. It's not moisturizing enough for me for daily use because my hair is so thick and dry, but for those with fine or thin hair, this would be a great daily shampoo. In any case, the tropical fragrance of this shampoo is enough to make me run to the salon and sniff every Paul Mitchell bottle to find a smoothing shampoo that will make me feel like I am bathing on an island paradise. 

Speaking of fragrances, when I was at the Macy's Trend Show last week, I was handed a fragrance card with some new fragrance on it. I had the card sitting in a bag in my bedroom and every time I walked by that bag, I could smell the amazing scent of fragrant tiare flowers (my fave) combined with a sweet floral musk. I finally pulled the card out of the bag a couple days ago and discovered the next fragrance on my must-buy list:

I have and love the original Ralph Lauren Romance, but this one takes it to another level. If you like the original, you MUST try this I just hope it's not limited edition.

What are your fave summer fragrances?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Urban Decay Naked Palette - Natural Eye Looks

I managed to snag the Urban Decay Naked Palette a few months ago when it was first released but I never really talked about it because I felt like it was a "been there, done that" item in the beauty blogging world. However, I have received a few requests in the past couple months to post a couple looks using this palette so here it is. 

L-R: Virgin, Sin, Naked, Sidecar, Buck, Half Baked, Smog, Darkhorse, Toasted, Hustle, Creep, and Gunmetal, 24/7 Eyeliner Duo in Zerop and Whiskey

Look #1:
Virgin on lid
Buck in crease
 Darkhorse in outer V
Whiskey liner on upper lash line

Look #2:
Virgin on lid
Buck and Smog in crease
 Hustle in outer V
Zero liner on upper lash line

I don't think this palette is essential, especially if you have a lot of eyeshadow already or you have a few neutrals that work really well for you. I think it is a great starter palette, great for travel (though it is larger than I personally like for travel), and a nice-to-have for makeup addicts. 

Were you able to get your hands on this palette? What do you think of it?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Makeup Tip Monday: A Natural Way to Bronze

Here's a tip for those that are new to bronzing/contouring or want a more natural way to bronze or sculpt the face:

Instead of using a bronzer, most of which tend to have shimmer, use your favorite powder formula in a couple shades darker than your natural skin tone. A powder will have a more natural finish to it and it will blend easily over or under your normal powder. You can also use a powder a few shades lighter than your skin tone to highlight your face. 

Do you like to bronze or contour? What product do you use?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Macys Trend Show

Hi dolls! This morning I went to the Macy's Trend Show at my local Macy's store. What is a Trend Show you ask? A Trend Show is a fashion show highlighting cosmetic and fragrance trends for the upcoming season, and mixed in are a few fashion trends as well. You get tons of samples, there are FANTASTIC raffle prizes, each beauty counter has their pros on hand to do makeovers, and the cosmetic and fragrance counters usually have some type of gift with purchase.

So my day started out with a continental breakfast of fruit, pastries, juices, and coffee.

Followed by searching for a good seat close to the stage.

Then the show started.

Surprise, surprise, white is in for spring and summer.

Intermixed between fashion and cosmetic displays were raffle giveaways. Now, I never win anything, and when I do, it's usually some crappy thing that I wouldn't ever use. So imagine my excitement when my name was called for this wonderful basket:

Yep....just the name Chanel makes my heart flutter. Thump Thump. Thump Thump. I am not familiar with these fragrances...Coco Mademoiselle and Allure....but I will try them out soon. Have you tried these?

So after the show, I made my way to the Bobbi Brown (BB) I have been curious to try out more of their products. Since it was early and most people were hanging out by the stage, the BB area had low traffic and a BB makeup artist offered to do my makeup. Now, I NEVER get my makeup done at a counter, but in the interest of seeing what I might learn and how another artist does my makeup, I said yes. Here's the result:

In true Bobbi Brown fashion, the artist did a very natural look, using Skin foundation, their infamous Corrector and Concealer under my eyes, Bronze Shimmer Brick on my cheeks, and Heather Pink Rich Lip Color on my cheeks (I LOVED this shade and the fact that it has SPF!) Now, everything looks fine and dandy, but I would never let a client walk away leaving like this. For one, the artist didn't set my makeup with a powder, hence my shiny forehead, and she screwed up my eyeliner. 

Check out the inner area of my upper lash line....the liner is smudged! I even told the artist to fix it and she did, but she didn't fix it all the way. Call me a perfectionist, but I don't think that screwing up someone's makeup is the best way to apply makeup or sell product. 

The eyeshadows used were: Bone on the entire lid and brow bone area, Cement on the lid, Stone in the crease, and then a light dusting of Eggplant in the crease. The liner used was the Black Ink Gel Liner. Overall I did like the color combination for a neutral daytime eye. Minus the smudged liner, that is.

A glimpse of the samples I collected:

I know both Macy's and Nordstrom stores do trend shows every so often...most stores tend to do them once a year, so if one Nordstrom does a Fall Trend Show, then another Nordstrom in the area will do a Spring Trend Show. If you are interested in attending one (the Spring Trend Shows are happening now), call your local beauty counter and ask if they are doing one. For Nordstrom, you have to pay $15 for the ticket, but when you show up, you get a $15 Nordstrom giftcard to use, so basically the show is free. For this one at Macy's, the ticket price was $20 and I only got a $10 Macy's gift card, so it was $10 for the show, but TOTALLY worth it for me this time because I won a raffle. All in all it was a fun event and I would definitely be interested in attending more Trend Shows in the future.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Illamasqua Eye Liner Cake Review and Sephora Sale

Being the eye liner fiend that I am, I ventured in to the land of Illamasqua (rather, Illamasqua ventured in to me, as this was sent to me) and tried out their Eye Liner Cake in Mislead (aka black). 

Now, I didn't realize what I was getting myself into, so let me warn you before you go out and try this. This liner cake is a pressed powder. You have to either mix it with the Illamasqua Sealing Gel (or other eyeliner activating product) or with water to activate the product and ensure that is long-wearing and acts like a gel liner. Since I don't usually use liner products that require activation (c'mon, who has the time for that?), I didn't have an activator so I used water. I simply wet my liner brush before swiping it in the liner cake.

L-R: One swipe of Illamasqua Mislead, Two swipes of Illamasqua Mislead, One swipe of MAC Blacktrack Fluidline

Quite honestly, I wasn't impressed. On its own, this is like any other black shadow. When mixed with water, its like any other black shadow mixed with water. Sure, it lasted all day, but the pigmentation did not match the intensity of other gel liners nor did it provide a crisp line. 

Kajal Couture Overall Rating: C-

Kajal Couture Overall Opinion: I didn't see any benefit of using this liner over any other gel or cream liner. The pigmentation was poor and it takes more effort to use this vs. most other liners.

On another note, if you haven't already heard, there is a 15% off sale happening now for Sephora Beauty Insiders (BIs). Not a BI? Sign up for free on Sephora's website. Use code CHIC at checkout to get the discount. 

What is your favorite liner? Are you getting anything from the Sephora sale?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Bobbi Brown Sale and Favorites

I have been a bit discombobulated the past few days. I have been super busy and the days are all running together. Thus, you can imagine why I forgot to tell you that the Bobbi Brown website is currently having their Friends and Family 20% discount. In fact, today is the last day, so hopefully if you wanted something you are reading this in time!

There is no code necessary to get the 20% off discount. 
If your order is $65 PRE-discount, you qualify for free shipping and can use one of the following codes to get a freebie: 

Free full-size Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in Mahogany Ink with code GEL44
Free full-size Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in Cobalt Ink with code BEST55
 Free full-size Naked Rich Color Lip Gloss with code RICH44
 Free full-size Soft Peach Eyeshadow with code PEACH44

In the spirit of the sale, here are a few of my personal Bobbi Brown favorites:

1. Eyeshadow Brush

I like this brush because it is fluffy, and lays down a lot of color. I use this primarily to pack on my eye lid color either when using pressed shadows or pigments. Bobbi Brown brushes are made really well, and I have used this particular one a gazillion times and wash after wash, it is still perfect. Here is is compared to the infamous MAC 239 brush, which I rarely use now:

You can see here how the Bobbi Brown brush picks up more color so it is easier and faster to pack on color using this brush as opposed to the MAC 239:

2. Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in Chocolate Shimmer Ink

The Bobbi Brown gel liners are soft in texture and a dream to apply. Although it says this shade is a "shimmer ink," when applied to the skin there really isn't much shimmer to it. All the shades are beautiful and wearable, but most importantly, they are extremely long lasting, won't smudge or budge, and can even be used as shadow bases or smudged to create a smoky eye. 

3. Creamy Concealer

Everyone talks about how great the concealer kits are (the ones with concealer and powder), but the individual pots are better suited for my needs. The concealer itself is very blendable, creamy (just like the name says), and last all day without creasing. I like this formula because it can be sheered out or applied opaquely so it works well to cover up both dark circles under the eye and discoloration or scars on the skin.

Left Swatch: Chocolate Shimmer Ink Gel Liner smudged with a finger, applied with a liner brush
Right Swatch: Creamy Color applied heavily 

I have been wanting the Nectar Shimmer Block for a looooong time now, so maybe this summer I might pick that up. What are your Bobbi Brown favorites?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Makeup Tip Monday: Getting the Most From Samples

Ever receive product samples in little packages, and the package contains enough product for more than 1 application, but because the package stays open you don't want to use it more than once? Here's what I do:

Open the sample packet and decant all the product into a sample or travel jar. That way, you can use up all the product in the package and it won't dry out or get funky. 

How was your weekend? I did a lot but I still got lots of time to relax. It's finally getting a little warmer here and today it is supposed to be in the high 70s....gasp!!! I am DEFINITELY going out this evening. 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Getting Worked by Skechers Shape Ups

I know you have all heard of the sneakers and flip flops that supposedly tone and shape your butt. I admit I have both sitting in my closet and never wore either of them until recently when I wore my Skechers Shape Ups to the gym. And let me tell ya....I think these magic shoes might actually work!!

Yesterday I did my normal workout wearing the Shape Ups and today I am definitely more sore than normal in the thighs! I don't know if I will actually see results from wearing these regularly, but I am going to try and I will let you know in a few weeks if I think the shoes are helping me get from flab to fab. 

The above photo was taken with the Hipstamatic App for the iPhone. I am addicted to this App and get carried away...especially when outdoors.

Have you tried any of the toning footwear?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A Review of My Obsession, My Namesake.......Kajal (Guerlain Khol Kajal To Be Exact)

I have THE MOST DIFFICULT waterlines to line. I have tried every black liner out there, and when people kept raving about how amazing the Guerlain Terracotta Khol Kajal was, I just had to see if it would pass my waterline test. 

I have tried the first version of this which was in powder format, and the powder got in to my eye and didn't last long, so I was hopeful that this new stick formula would be the answer to my waterlining needs. 

Just for kicks I swatched this against my normal go-to waterlining pencil, MAC Feline, and surprisingly, Feline is slightly darker and blacker:

Left: Guerlain Kohl, Right: MAC Feline

The way this kohl works is you align it to the inner corner of your lower waterline like so:

Then, close your eye so the kohl is between your lower and upper waterlines. Drag the kohl liner from the inner corner of your eye to the outer corner. It seems like it could be painful or difficult, but once you try it a couple times it is actually quite easy to do!

The motion of dragging the kohl against the waterlines is the old fashioned method of using kohl that was (and still is) used in India and the Middle East. It lines both waterlines in one go. On me, I had to swipe the Guerlain kohl twice to get a decent amount of color.

No kohl on waterline

After seeing this pics I realized I had some liner smeared on the outer under eye area. Ignore this as I was testing out a product on my lower lid and it creased majorly so you will see this discoloration in all the pics in this post. 

One swipe of Guerlain kohl on waterline

Two swipes of Guerlain kohl on waterline

Looks pretty good, right? But the real test was whether or not this kohl actually lasted more than 10 minutes on my waterline. Here's how it looked after 2 hours of wear:

Guerlain kohl on waterline after 2 hours

Fail. Rarely am I out for only 2 hours so this kohl definitely did not work for me. It didn't migrate and smudge that much, which was good, but it just faded off. Until I find something better, I am going to stick to MAC Feline and gel liners for my waterline. Have you tried this or any other traditional kohl products?


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