Thursday, August 27, 2009

I Left my Heart in SF

During the summer, Francois Nars did a promotion at Nordstrom in San Francisco and put together a limited edition tribute to the city complete with repackaged and re-named vintage shades. I lived in San Francisco for a few years and loved the little city by the bay so much. The thought of combining my love for SF with my cosmetic obsession seemed only appropriate. And the value was amazing. For only $75, you get Golden Gate Bridge Blush, Alamo Nail Polish, Haight Ashbury Eyeshadow Duo, and Angel Island Single Eyeshadow, all enclosed in a sleek NARS black cosmetic pouch.

I had a chance to try a couple of the products already and so far so good. The Angel Island eyeshadow which is great for a sheer wash of color over the lid. The Alamo nail polish is a really pretty shade of coral, goes on so smooth although the lasting power has something to be desired. The Golden Gate Bridge Blush is more of a golden highlighter than a blush but is very pretty as well.

Madly In Love

After I saw the Modern Love palette on the Nars website and dreamed and wished for it for days, I knew I had to get it. In my opinion, it's possibly the most perfect eyeshadow palette ever created. Already, I'm putting it to much more use than the Holiday palette and it's fast becoming the palette I reach out for the most. It basically has everything you would ever want in an eyeshadow palette. It has two highlight colors, Alhambra and Tokyo. A burgandy (Jezebel), a smokey purple (Habanera), a neutral golden brown (India Song), and a black (Pandora).

You could create a day look with either of the highlight colors with either Jezebel, Habanera or India Song. Intensify and smoke out the look with Pandora before going out. Or use Tokyo and Pandora to create a classic smokey eye. For the versatility and usablity (is there such a word?) alone, this palette is well worth the $55. You can purchase now on the Nars website or through Go get it now. Trust me. I can't say enough about this palette. I love it.

Too Pretty to Use

Have you ever bought a product just because the packaging is so cute? Then you bring it home and you just don't have the heart to use it? I guess I'm a little strange that way but there's a few items in my collection that I just can't bring myself to use. It does make me happy to look at them so I can justify some of my silliness.

Top Row (left to right)
Marimekko For Avon Eyeshadow Palette in Poppy Bouquet
Marimekko for Avon All Over Face Palette in Poppy Bouquet

Bottom Row (left to right)
Jillien Dempsey for Avon blush in Retro Rouge
Revlon A Floral Affair Blush in Honey Bunch

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Fuscia Lips?

Lorac Mocktail in Sex on the Beach

I received this Lorac Mocktail gloss a while ago and just cringed. Fuscia lips just did not appeal to me. But one day, I got it in my head to give it a try and was shocked. Somehow it works... It's a high shine gloss, smooth but sticky, if there is such a thing. The color goes on sheer, a muted fuscia really. Perfect for the summer.

Something about Sunscreens

We all know that using sunscreen on a daily basis is one of the best things you can do for your skin. The biggest issue I have with sunscreen is feeling like there is a thick film over my face all the time and the white mask that some sunscreens leave on your face.

I've used a few through the years and I think I've finally found a couple that is working well for me.

1) Estee Lauder Daywear Lotion SPF 15
My favorite part of this sunscreen is the scent. It has a light melon scent that is just heavenly. But it broke me out and was on the pricey side so I had to discontinue it.

2) DDF Daily Matte in SPF 15
I hated this sunscreen. It was greasy. It smelled like sunscreen. It left a white film on my face.

3) Arcona Reozone SPF 20
Another good smelling one. It smells like watermelon. It's a little thicker than the others which makes application a little more challenging. If you don't apply quickly enough, it will settle into a thick white mask. I found I had to apply to one area of my face a time. Also the packaging is horrible. It comes in a hard plastic bottle which is impossible to squeeze.

4) Boscia Oil Free Daily Hydration SPF 15
I really thought it did not get any better than this. I love this sunscreen. It feels like nothing on the skin, goes on smooth, doesn't smell bad. The only bad thing is the price. You only get 1 fl oz and it cost a whopping $28.

5) Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Sunscreen (various SPF)
This is my HG sunscreen. It is so lightweight. I literally feel like I have nothing on my skin. It's nongreasy, applies dry as the name suggest. You get 3 fluid oz for under $10. There's no white film. It smells pleasant. And you have so much flexibility in terms of SPF. I think it ranges from an SPF of 15 to 100. Love, Love, Love.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Nars Love

I was just looking at the Nars website and found this beauty. I think I'm in love...

Nars Modern Love Eyeshadow Palette


  • Alhambra (top left) Metallic Rose Mist
  • Jezebel (top middle) Shimmering Sable
  • India Song (top right) Shimmering Walnut
  • Tokyo (bottom left) Soft Silver-White
  • Habanera (bottom middle) Sparkling Charcoal-Plum
  • Pandora (bottom right) Matte Black
$50, 6 eyeshadows.... $8.33 per shadow??? That's a deal right?

So much for my budget.

Products that won't die

I'm trying to be good and to use up products that I have before going out and buying more but these products just won't die. No matter how much I use and how close I think I am to finishing, it just keeps going on and on and on. Which would be great if I liked them but I hate them. Isn't it ironic that the products that you like runs out so quickly and the one's that you hate live forever.

Beauty on a Budget

With the economy the way it is, maintaining a budget while easing a makeup addiction can be challenging. I've been rummaging through some of the samples that I've collected through the months but have been to lazy to use and thought that a blog on being smarter with makeup purchases would be fun to write. Here are just some random ideas...

1) Buy in Bulk
I've always been an advocate of buying value packs. You get so much bang for your buck that way and some of the sets that are available these days are amazing. On face value, it's always harder to shell out that much money at the onset but if you divide the cost between the products, it's so much cheaper. Why would anyone pay $18 for a single stila eyeshadow when they can buy a set and pay less than $10 after dividing the cost?

2) Discount Websites is one of my favorite beauty websites. They offer steep discount on older Stila products. I was able to purchase Stila look books for around $10, a 6 pan shadow palette for under $10 when they are usually priced at close to $30. Websites like Sephora or also have sale categories where you can get high end products on the cheap. I was able to pick up a Nanette Lapore perfume 1.7 fl oz. usually priced at $55 for around $20.

3) Frequent Flyer
Be aware of loyalty incentives. offers 5% back on your purchase. Stila has a rewards program where you get perks like free shipping or $50 to $100 back if you spend up to a certain amount each year.

4) Friends and Family
Splurge on high end products that rarely go on sale during friend and family sales. Most of my Nars collection is from friends and family sales. I usually reserve my high end splurges to products like Nars that rarely go on sale in the US. Also, your friends and family can be a good source for makeup as gifts during Christmas or birthdays, especially for products that can be a little more pricey.

5) Discount Stores
Nordstrom rack for me is not only a great place for clothing and shoes but they also carry great hair products, makeup and perfume. Burberry perfume, Stila makeup, CHI hair products... I've also heard that Marshells, TJ Maxx stores sometimes carry high end products for steeply discounted prices as well.

6) Make Lemonade
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Experiment with what you have already. Make homemade tinted moisterizer this summer with your sunscreen and foundation instead of going out to buy one. Mix lip products that did not quite work to make a different shade that is more flattering. I mixed together all the "nonmatched" sample foundations from everyday minerals sample kits collected when I was still finding out the right shade for myself and was able to get a full size jar of mineral foundation that was a good fit for my skin tone.

7) Multitask
Buy products that serve multiple purposes. Stila convertibles are $25 which is a little steep but when you think that you can use it as both a cheek and lip product, it makes a little more sense to invest. You can make the product work harder for you.

8) Palettes
Palettes are another way for you to get amazing savings. Just like the value sets, they are an investment but they are totally worth the initial cost. For example, the nars palettes are usually priced at $65 which is a lot. But you are getting 4 shadows, 2 blush/cheek products and 4 lip products. That is just amazing value especially when nars lipsticks and cheek products are $25. Granted they are not full sized but there isn't a better way for you to get to try out high end brands like Nars than with these palettes. The versatility and portability also needs to be considered with these palettes. When literally, all you need is the palette to create endless looks... who wouldn't get it?

9) Rediscover Drugstore
There is nothing wrong with drugstore makeup. Especially when brands like Revlon are coming up with foundations and liners that match if not work better than department store brands. And there is no need to buy a high end mascara for that much money if it's just going to be tossed out in 3 months. Especially when there are so many comparable drugstore mascaras out there. Think of the savings if you are able to find drugstore alternatives for staples like foundation and mascara that you are using on almost daily basis. Also drugstore dupes are great places for potential savings. Rimmel has a great blush in peach which is similar to Nars orgasm. HIP eye kohls are great alternative to the Guerlain. Also when buying drugstore, look for BOGOs. They happen so often that it doesn't make sense to buy drugstore products full price. Stock up on essentials like mascara when they go on BOGO. Why would you buy mascara for $7-10 when you can buy for $3?

10) Sample Sale
Ala Jennifer Aniston in Friends with Money. I'm sure I'm not the only person who gets conned into buying makeup for the sample packs that are offered. And with samples being given at each purchase, it's not difficult to accumulate quite a few of them. But even with this, I rarely reach for them because I'm just too lazy to use it. They are really a great resource for great high end products. I'm definately working to dig out my box of samples and try out a few of the products. I pulled out an alterna shampoo and conditioner sample and was able to use it over a period of three days for my hair. I've accumulated 3-4 samples so if I use it regularly, I'll have close to 2 weeks of alterna. I have a few Fekkai products as well and should be able to complete the month with the rest of my samples. I did the same for a urban decay primer potion sample... who knew there was so much product in those dinky things. Perfume samples are also a great way to either experiment with new scents or stock up on scents that you love without having to go out and buy. I have literally close to 10 samples of J'adore by Dior and don't see myself purchasing anytime soon because I'll never finish using it all.

Wow... that was a long one. I love makeup and I'm guilty of overspending but at least by doing this, I can limit some of the damage.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Nudes Part II

I guess I'm more obsessed than I thought. Here are a few nude lipsticks that I found in my collection that I didn't even remember buying. The top two are definately great neutrals. The bottom two, I wasn't too impressed with.

1) Avon Ultra Color Rich in Classic Nude
Not really classic nude but still a very nice neutral. It's more mauvy nude. The packaging is sleek and classy. Overall great quality lipstick. Avon is definately underrated brand. (Top Left)

2) Elf Mineral Line in Nicely Nude
Packaged in Nars-esque lipstick container but actually pretty impressive for ELF. I'm very impressed by their new mineral and studio lines. The color is more pinky nude but also very nice wearable color. (Top Right)

3) L'Oreal Colour Riche in Nude
Mauvy Nude. The scent is so overpowering. I can't even describe. It's like an old lady flowery smell. The consistency is grainy. Even though the color is nice and wearable, I can't bear to wear it becuase of the smell. (Bottom Left)

4) Covergirl In the Nude
Hideous lilacy nude. (Bottom Right)

Search for the Perfect Nude

It's taken forever but I think I've found some Nude lip products that don't make me look like death.

My favorite nude lipstick of all time is Maybelline moisture extreme lipstick in Nude Blush which is a nontraditional pinky nude. It gives the perfect "your lips but better" look. It has a pinky undertone which is universally flattering with a hint of shine. It feels great on the lips, goes on smooth and keeps your lips hydrated. It has a melony scent. Best of all, the price doesn't break the bank. (Top Left)

My recent nude lip finds are from NYX. I recently purchased the tinted lip spa in Spirit and Copacabana. First off, I love NYX tinted lip spas. They really are lip balms with the pigmentation of a lipstick. They are extremely moisturizing. The staying power is decent. It's also got the minty tingle of your typical lip balm or chapstick which I love. The Copacabana is a more traditional nude while Spirit is a pinky nude. They are a little pricey for NYX but if you purchase them on sale, they can be quite cheap. I got mine during the NYX anniversary sale for 50% off and ended up paying only $2.50 each which is phenomenal bang for your buck. (Top Right, Spirit is on the left, Copacobana is on the right)

High end wise, I'm honestly too scared to experiment with... It's so hard for me to find a nude lipstick that I like that I find myself very reluctant to experiment with high end products. I do have the Nars 9941 palette and love Honolulu Honey which is a nice matte peachy nude. I think I'm going to invest in the full sized tube. I'm also dying to try Belle du Jour because of the rave reviews. (Bottom left)

My last product is something of a work in progress. The infamous Revlon matte lipstick in Nude Attitude. It's loved by almost every makeup guru on Youtube so I had to try it out. I really wanted to love it but it made me look like death and I still haven't figured how to make this work for me. It's a true, matte, "concealer on your lips", "erased lip" nude. I tried a lighter application which does help a little but I think I'll have to play around with it a little more. I've also heard that applying a nude gloss on top is helpful in making the lipstick work. Honestly, if I have to do that, it's too much work. I don't see myself spending the extra time and money to buy another product to make it work when I can just reach for my Maybelline nude blush and be done with it.
(Bottom right)

On the horizon, Airy Fairy by Rimmel London. I'm just discovering Rimmel London as a makeup line and I'm loving the products that I've used so far. I've heard that Airy Fairy is supposed to be a very good nude and am eyeing it for my next nude lip purchase. After all, you can never have too many good nude lipstick.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Lela Rose Bag

I can never resist a sample bag but with this one, they completely outdid themselves. This blows all other sample bags from the past out of the water. I can't even say enough about the makeup bag itself. It's made of sturdy canvas with a metallic Lela Rose accent in front. It's adorable, simple but classy. The lining is plastic with an inside pocket and slots for your makeup brushes.

And the samples... It's supposed to be valued at $150. There's actually a full sized Stila eyeshadow! That alone is an $18 value. The other winner in this sample kit is the Laura Geller Blush N Brighten in Golden Apricot. I've never understood the MSF craze until I saw how beautiful this blush is. The veining is just gorgeous. I could just look at it all day. With summer just around the corner, I have a feeling this blush along with my Nars Luster is going to be by go to blush. And the bag is chock full of other goodies, all delux samples at that. I've included a list of the products below. Love, love, love.

1. Urban Decay Big Fatty Mascara, Black
2. Laura Geller Blush-n-Brighten Compact, Golden Apricot
3. POP Beauty Eye Magnet Primer, No.1 Airbrushed
4. It Cosmetics My Youthful Smile Duo, Signature Blue
5. Nuxe Tonific Fermete Intensive Firming Cream
6. Bliss Best of Skintentions with SPF15
7. Borghese Piede Vitale Foot Creme
8. ARCONA Papaya Enzyme Gel, Rejuvenate PM
9. BVLGARI Omnia Amethyste Body Lotion
10. Nick Chavez Beverly Hills Angel Wings Ultra-Light Styling Paste
11. Rene Furterer Fioravanti Shine Enhancing Detangling Cream Rinse
12. Jonathan Product Straightening Lotion
13. CLARISONIC Gentle Hydro Cleanser, All/Sensitive Skin
14. PHYTO Phytojoba Intense Hydrating Shampoo
15. Stila Eye Shadow Pan, Shore

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Summer Makeup

Now that the weather is getting warmer, I'm looking forward to lazy summer days and planning on looks for the poolside.

I just received this palette in the mail from avon and I'm loving it so far. It's the mark flip it compact in Los Angeles. The palette comes in a metallic compact with a blush and two eyeshadows on one side. The palette flips over to reveal four lippies, 2 lipsticks and 2 glosses. It's pretty much a look in a palette. All you need is foundation and mascara and your set to go. The compact is sturdy enough to carry in your purse during summer outings and for travel. For $20, it's a little pricey but you get a lot of bang for your buck. I'm looking towards purchasing more and am eyeing the Sidney and London palette.

I've never been much of a bronzer person. I have one bronzer in dallas and I barely use it. On the other hand, I can't ever resist a blush. I found a great compromise in Nars Luster blush. It's described as a sheer golden apricot. It's basically a great blush which I think will look great during the summer.

Spring Corals

I've been really enjoying the great corals that have been in the makeup collections this spring.

Stila's pearl shimmer gloss in Ocean Currant is my absolute favorite for the spring. The texture is moisturizing and feels almost like wearing a lip balm. I find myself rubbing my lips together throughout the day because it's so smooth and feels so good on my lips. It last a long time for a gloss. And the color is beautiful. It's a shimmery coral which gives your lips a nice fresh flush. It's pretty much been my go to gloss for the season.

I've also been loving Benefit's Coralista. It's fast displacing Gorgia as my favorite Benefit powder box. It looks a little scary in the box but it actually goes on pretty sheer. I've been applying to the apples of my cheeks for a nice pop of color.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

ELF mega haul

I was just surfing the net and on everyday minerals forum, I found a discussion on this incredible coupon code that was available from elf cosmetics for 70% off site wide!!! So I jotted down the code, went to the elf website and started adding items to my cart to see if it was really true... and it was. You can get 70% off up to 49.99, if you buy up to $75, you also get free shipping and a free subscription to W magazine. So here's the breakdown on my purchase...

Shipping Address: home
6705 -Barely BittenQty: 1$5.00
36010 -Basic BrownsQty: 1$12.00
6502 -CelebrityQty: 1$3.00
84002 -Complexion BrushQty: 2$3.00
6509 -ConfidentQty: 1$3.00
84006 -Contour BrushQty: 2$3.00
6501 -ElegantQty: 1$3.00
36009 -Expert EyeQty: 1$12.00
84008 -Eyeshadow "C" BrushQty: 2$3.00
6701 -Nicely NudeQty: 1$5.00
84003 -Powder BrushQty: 2$3.00
6308 -Rose (bright rosy pink)Qty: 1$5.00
6518 -RoyalQty: 1$3.00
cstmpalette -Custom PaletteQty: 1$0.00
2567 -CompactQty: 1$1.00
2509 -DuskQty: 1$1.00
2506 -Golden GlowQty: 1$1.00
2505 -MochaQty: 1$1.00
2504 -SageQty: 1$1.00

Sub Total:$80.00


RNDMDSC70 -70% OFF!($49.99)
8888 -Free Shipping!($6.95)

Total: $30.01

So, in total, I got 22 items for only $30. That's like a buck a piece, on mostly their studio and mineral lines which averages 3-5 dollars usually. I got a chance to try their mineral and studio line which I would not have bought full price but with this deal was just too good to pass up.

Ulta BOGO Mania and new loves

So I went a little crazy at Ulta's recent BOGO sale. But I'm quite pleased with one of the HIP duos and the two Maybelline quads that I purchased.

Thanks to xteener from youtube, I went ahead and purchased the HIP duo in Sassy which comes in a beautiful taupe and teal color. The teal prevented me from buying it before in the past because blue shadows in general scare me. However, something about the combination of the two colors is just amazing. The taupe is really the winner of the two colors. I've been eyeing satin taupe from Mac for the longest time but couldn't really bring myself to buy it. When I heard from xteener that the taupe from this duo is a good dupe, I thought I would give it a try. I'm in love. The teal actually goes on much darker on the eye and appears as more of a gray than blue. My only complaint is that by the end of the day, even with eyeshadow primer, I definately had creasing. Overall, although I wouldn't pay full price for them, on BOGO, these L'oreal HIP duos are a great buy.

I also picked up Maybelline expert eyes quads in chai latte (because of xteener again)... and enchanted forest. Chai latte is a nice bronzy brown quad which I think would be great to have for the summer. The enchanted forest creates a beautiful green/khaki daytime smokey eye which I'm really into right now. I'm quite impressed with the shadow quality which is nicely pigmented, goes on smoothly, blends easily and stays on all day. I had no creasing with these quads. Love them and looking to get more.

Finally, I discovered my HG hand cream. For work, I have to wash my hands about 20 time in one day. So recently, they have been dry, cracked and gross. I actually broke out into a horrible rash from the dryness. With Eucerin plus intensive repair hand cream, things are starting to turn around. It is a thick cream but it doesn't feel greasy on the hands. has alpha hydroxy to exfoliate the skin but is nonirritating and fragrance free. I loved it so much that I bought one to keep at work with me, one to keep in my purse, one at home and a couple of backups. Love, love, love it.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Stila 15 year Anniversary Set

I'm so excited. I got my Stila 15 Anniversary Set in the mail today. I love Stila shadows. They are so creamy, so easily blendable. But at $18 a pop, it's a luxury that I can't really afford. I bought this set for $72, which by it self is a fantastic deal considering it comes with 6 really wearable shadows, a 6 pan compact, a full sized multieffect mascara, a full sized kitten eye shadow wash, and a liquid liner.

Here's the breakdown in terms of the retail price

6 eyeshadows $18 each = $108
(Upper row L to R ... Shore, barefoot contessa, viola; Lower row L to R black cat, mystic, oasis)

6 shadow compact $24

Kitten eyeshadow wash = $22

multieffect mascara = $20
(It's ginormous. It's bigger than lash blast)

liquid eyeliner $16

Grand total : $190 value !!!!

I was lucky and got the kit during the time they were offering 20% off your order and free shipping. So I ended up only paying $67 including taxes. That's like $7 per item. Or $123 savings.

I love shopping but I love shopping and saving even more. Besides... it will give me more money to go out and buy more makeup.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Best Goodie Bag Ever

I always found Sephora sample baggies to be so overrated. A few months ago, Sephora did a promotion where they offered a sample bag of 10 of their eye products, which basically amounted to 10 little bags of one time use products. on the other hand, offers some of the best sample bags ever, hands down. For example, the Shoshana bag was offered a few months ago and it is chock full of delux products equivalent to the one sephora Beauty insider delux sample that you get when you spend $100.

I am such a sucker for this and everytime they offer it, I have to get it. In the past, I was able to get some high quality products that have become staples in my collection. For example, I received a small size of urban decay 24/7 eyeliner (the size you would get in the velvet rope kit) as a part of one kit. I got a full sized Vincent Longo Baby Balm in Sheer Contesssa which is now one of my go to lip products. My Stila lipstick collection is basically full sized lipsticks that I got through these sample bags. They've offered samples of Too Faced shadow insurance and a full sized Urban Decay Primer Potion... Just insane samples.

The Shoshana Bag Breakdown
The bag is slightly tacky in it's loud floral arrangement but it's pretty large and lined with plastic which is a plus for any makeup bag. But the samples are pretty crazy. It's supposed to be valued at $120.

  • Lorac Breakthrough Performance Foundation 0.12 fl.oz
  • Arcona Booster Defense Serum 10 ml
  • Stila High Shine Lip Color in Amber (full sized)
  • Tarte Blushing Bride Cheek Stain 4.8 g
  • Frederic Fekkai Coiff Lifting and Texturizing Spray Gel 0.25 fl oz
  • Skyn Iceland Glacial Face Wash 1 fl oz
  • Malin and Goetz Assorted Hair Care 1 fl oz
  • Smashbox Photo Op Under Eye Brightener 0.13 fl oz
  • Jane Iredale Eye Gloss in Champagne Silk full sized
  • Too Faced Lash Injection Mascara 5 ml
  • Ken Paves Healthy Hair Shine Serum 0.5 fl oz
  • Bliss Lemon and Sage Soapy Soap1 fl oz
  • DDF Daily Protective Moisturizer 1 fl oz