July 2008


I love cream blush because it really sinks in and looks so natural and effortless. The first blush that I ever used was Benefit Benetint which I used for years during my adolescence. Switching over to powder was hard, typically this is reversed. Over the years I’ve been introduced to many different brands that have these twist-up cream blushes. I love them. My skin type is normal, so I can’t say if you have oily skin you’ll love these as much as I do, but there are some great gel stains on the market that I’ll list later. The joy is that these sticks are so easy to use. Just twist them up, dot on your cheeks and blend with your fingers. Repeat if necessary. They’re portable, many can be used on lips and eyes, and they are fool proof. Here are some brands that I’ve used over the years.

Shiseido The Makeup Accentuating Color Stick – This is my favorite formula. First, it is very blendable, has a powder like lightweight feel, never creases, and has a long life span. I have it in Peach Flush which is a medium peach tone, and I have Rosy Flush which is a bright hot pink that looks like a real flush. I also have Champagne Flush which is a glistening champagne that I use as a highlighter and on the eyes. These sell for $32.

DuWop Blush Therapy – This is a cram blush that looks like a gel. Personally, I didn’t like it because it is a bit too sheer. I have a tendency to OD on blush but that’s the look I like. If you are scared of blush then this is a product for you. I think it is impossible to over do it with these. The colors are very bold in the packaging but do not be scared of that. I used it in Hug which is a baby pink that did not show up on my pale skin at all. I later tried Retreat which is a reddish pink and showed up a little better. There are two more shades which I have not tried. Elixir which is a brown-ish pink and Vivaldi which is a bright fuchsia. These retail for $22. Also, I want to note that these have a cooling sensation and have a tendency to dry out big time so always have the lid on tight.

Clinique Blushwear Cream Stick – This product is NEW and I love it. It is in a sleek silver tube and has a cream to powder blushing formula. It’s oil-free and very buildable and blendable. I have Rosy Blush which is a deeper rose that looks so natural on. There are three other shades: Glow Blush, Peachy Blush, and Shy Blush. These retail for $18.50.

Avon Be Blushed Cheek Color Stick – (These have been called many names over the years, but I’m sure they are the same formula.) These are classic and creamy and are a little heavier in feel than the others that I have reviewed. However, the price is great at $8 plus Avon runs sales all the time. Currently, they are $5.99. Plus, it still manages to be sheer and easy to use. This formula is a must for dry cheeks. I’ve had it in Tropical Peach which is a warm burnt peach and Powder Pink which is a soft ethereal pink. The other shades are Blushing Nude, Crushed Berry, Golden Rose, Icy Petal, Mandarin Glow, and Pink Melon.

Bobbi Brown Cream Blush Stick – These are lightweight and “dewy” with just enough color. I’ve used Red Berry which is a deeper brownish red. I have to use this lightly but it looks so nice on. I’ve also used Clay, a muted rosy brown that is a perfect neutral and I’ve used Coral which is a lighter coral. The other shades are Desert Rose, Dusty Mauve and Pale Pink. All retail for $25.

Estee Lauder Tender Blush Sheer Stick – These offer a cream to powder formula that wears nicely. I like the formula, I just haven’t found a shade that I love in this brand yet. The colors are very neutral, sheer and safe. I had Natural which is a tawny taupe. The other colors are Bronze, Coral, Pink, Plum and Rose. These sell for $25.

NARS The Multiple – This is a cream to powder formula that is designed to be worn everywhere: lips, eyes, cheeks, contour, highlight, etc. There are a ton of shades. I like the formula but I found that it didn’t wear as long as I thought it should for the money. I have Orgasm, a lovely peachy pink shimmer, and St. Barts, a taupe shimmer. I could list the other shades but that would be boring. There are so many! The colors range from glistening pearl to rich bronzes.

Benefit Cosmetics Rush Hour – This is housed in a slim gold case that is designed to be portable and ready to go. Basically, this is lipstick that the company is marketing as blush too. You know that old trick you’d do in middle school because you’re mom wouldn’t let you wear “rouge”. It’s Sunberry, a dainty, soft plummy pink. It retails for $20 and is MUCH smaller than the others I have mentioned.

There are a ton more of these on the market. I know Laura Geller, Jane Iredale,  Lorac, and Too Faced make some. The ones that I have talked about today are the ones that I have tried and tested. If your skin is mega oily and you still want the convience of a blush stick, you should try a gel formula like Tarte Cheek Stain, Alison Raffaele Gel Blush, mark Cheek Stain, Sonia Kashuk Cheek Gel, or Sephora Brand Cheek Stain.

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Le Smoking 1975

After Yves Saint Laurent’s death, I only find it great timing that the fall makeup collection for 2008 is “Tuxedo”, the look that is his legacy. I’m sure this was planned before the company had any idea of Yves’s health status. These collections are made years in advance, but this is a great collection to come out when it has. Yes, it is more smoky eye, very strong and very “seductive”. Which it has to be, to compete with the sleek androgyny of a ladies’ tux. Menswear on ladies was pretty hip before YSL but he mainstreamed it. Yes, dykes in clubs sported the look before it hit Vogue, vamps and violets,  and Dietrich was signature in this look. Chanel wore men’s clothing but these ladies weren’t the typical public. YSL brought this to the public in the 60’s, just when gender roles were being openly bended.

YSL offers for the fall/winter season Tuxedo which contains some nice collector’s palettes and of course it is all about luxury and glamour.And that ain’t cheap.

EYES: Palette Collection Collector Palette for the Eyes – This contains three shimmery shadows to create a smoky eye. There is an intense black, charcoal grey and glimmering champagne. It comes in a gold compact and the powders are stamped with a YSL logo. It retails for $60. There’s the Eyeliner Moire Liquid Eyeliner in Emerald Reflections which is a metallic jade green. This retails for $30. There’s the Everlong Lengthening Mascara in Ever Green which is a metallic jade green that retails for $27.50.They’ve also launched the new Ombres 5 Lumieres Colour Harmony for Eyes. These are eyeshadow compacts that contain 5 corresponding shades. They are available in 6 compacts: Sahara (warm sands and browns), Indian Pink (plums and pinks), Tawny (browns and neutrals), Lilac Sky (lilacs and purples), Riviera (blues and smoky blue shades), and Garden of Eden (khakis and greens). These sell for $56.

LIPS & NAILS: Rouge Pur Lipstick in Purple Velvet, a deep vampy berry, and Pink Satin, a soft baby doll mauve. There’s Rouge Pur Shine Sheer Lipstick in Shimmering Pink, a shimmering candy pink,  and Tuxedo Pink, an electric hot pink. All the lipsticks retail for $29. Also, available is the Golden Gloss Shimmering Lip Gloss in Golden Purple, a gold flaked blackberry,  and Golden Berry, a gold flaked Barbie pink. This formula contains real 24K gold and retails for $28.The Nail Lacquer is available in Tuxedo Gray, a shimmery gun metal gray,  and Rich Coffee, almost black but deep coffee shade. These retail for $19. I love the shades used for these lacquers.

FACE: There is a Palette Collection Collector Palette for the Complexion that looks like the eye compact and contains a sheer beige face powder, warm peach blush, and a pearly pink highlighter. This also has the YSL logo on the powder and is in a gold compact. Retails for $60. There is the Flash Radiance Skincare Brush which is a brightening cream highlighting skincare item that smooths fine lines with a silcon elastomer and erases fatigue with caffeine. It has a brush tip applicator and retails for $52. The company calls this their secret weapon. There is the Variation Blush in Silky Nude which contains both matte and shimmery powders of a perfect nude with a hint of pink. Retails for $42.

Overall, the collection is very “strong”. The lips are bold, the eyes are dark. It is very chic and very YSL. I like it that bold pinks for lips are being used for the fall/winter. It is a great mix of masculin and femme styles.

Perhaps it is unfair that I review the new Sarah Jessica Parker Covet Pure Bloom fragrance. First, I am not a fan of Sex and the City; I find it boring and trashy. I am not a Sarah Jessica Parker fan nor do I dislike her. I hated her last two fragrances. Lovely is one of the few fragrances in the entire world that makes me physically sick. Covet wasn’t horrible it just smelled like Prell to me. Well, I decided to give the new and limited edition Covet Pure Bloom a try because the on-line reviews have been outstanding. Which left me wondering did they actual wear this or did they get payed off?

First, the aesthetics. I find the bottle attractive. It looks just like the original Covet (which is getting harder and harder to find these days). It’s a lovely shade of lilac in a vintage inspired bottle. The top is a big plastic flower that looks like an old brooch. It’s a sturdy bottle and not wimpy.

Now to the juice. I read the reviews, I read about the notes before sniffing and actually thought that I may like it. It is described as a “sweet tropical floral” and that is something that I have been looking for lately. Well, maybe sans sweet. Anyways, the initial spray was mind blowing horrible. It smelled just like grape cough syrup and wouldn’t get off of my skin. I thought I was going to die because I hate synthetic “purple” grape smells. I am taking it that this was supposed to be the “plum” top note. This was not plummy. This was cold and flu season.  Some people have noted that it is very floral and that is what they immediately smell. I wish I had a tuberose and pikake garden on my pulse points. Those are two of my favorite fragrances. Eventually, seriously like 35 minutes later, I began to smell some hint of floral. Yes, you could call it tuberose or jasmine if you have never smelled those before and knew that they were commonly listed notes in expensive fragrances. It was the lowest quality floral accord that I have ever smelled. It was mega synthetic and unbalanced and downright unnatural. Right after this I was hit with “coconut water” which was a little more forgiving despite the fact that “coconut water” smells like “a colada wine cooler”. This stuck with my skin for some time with an added dose of generic lady musk. After a few hours it became tolerable or maybe I became numb to it all. It smelled like a soft tropical floral musk that was very generic, ho-hum, but at least it wasn’t offensive. This was a mega disappointment for me. I spent an hour grossed out by it and another few feeling like I went through some perfume mega library stock and bathed in a couple bottles of “generic flower like accord that doesn’t really resemble any particular flower” and “generic cupcake musk”. I really came to this with an open mind, I thought.  It comes in an EDP 3.4 spray that retails for $68. I didn’t have one wrapped up. This is available at fragrancenet.com.

Smelln On Some Sizzurp

Smell'n On Some Sizzurp

Ohh I love these babies! They’re WHAM in your face chock full of pigment, you have to love it eye shadows. I know I am a little late reviewing these but I finally got out to see them in person. They provide a shimmery full-coverage look that is so easy to blend. First, they’re bigger than the normal MAC eye shadow. The compact is larger and the shadows are domed. There are two shades. One is solid and the other is a mixture of three shades. The three shades just mix up and make one shade. Personally, I wish there wasn’t a marbled side and two solids. Sometimes marbled can look mucky or chalky. Plus it just makes the compact look messy. But, it isn’t too big of a deal with these high quality duos. The texture of these bad boys will rock your world. I can’t explain why I love it so much, I just do. They’re soft and blendable but stay true to color. The cobalt blue in Sea and Sky is a true royal blue that will not turn green on my olive skin. I love the luxe color combination of Odd Couple which is a shimmery champagne marble and a Prince perfect purple. Fresh Green Mix is lovely and is a shimmery lime green duo that looks molten. Hot Contrast provides the richest, deepest black that is the ultimate in void. Polar Opposite has a silvery white that makes the best brow highlighter. The popular colors, the better sellers (or at least at this neck of the woods) are Love Connection, a lovely duo of shimmery gold and pink that is heavenly, Two to Glow a rich bronze and gold shimmer, Pink Split which is a shimmery pink and pinky plum, and finally Play on Plums which is a shimmery pink and rusty plum bronze. I understand why these shades are such great sellers; they’re something you’ll reach for everyday because they are so wearable. I like to compare the finish of these to loose pigment. Except there is no flaking and it is so much easier to use. Unfortunately these are limited edition for some reason. I would of bought like five yesterday but the bitches at these tiny town Macy’s ignored me and pissed me off. The bitch just sat in those director chairs and stared at me by the reflection of the mirror. Thy have no idea what commission they lost is all I have to say. Hell, I had on a full face of makeup and killer clothes. Never ignore a chick in red lipstick or you’ll have hell to pay. Yep, just sat there and didn’t say anything. Mimes say more than this bitch. Don’t you hate when people are that way? I worked their job before and never provided service with as much bitchitude as theirs. Yep, still bitter about that horrible customer service. So I’m ordering from the web. Or from the store in Nashville. I miss ya’ll.

Oh yeah, these retail for $17.50.

The cosmetics world knows that some of us are not ready to let go of summer even though the temps are still high in most areas, so they’ve equipped us with a few new bronzer kits. First off, I am not a huge bronzer fan but it does have a time and a place. It’s not a staple for me like it is for some people but I do use it occasionally. I find that most people do not use it because they haven’t found that special product for themselves yet. Bronzer is not meant to look orange or leave a line. My favorite is Nars Laguna and is looks amazing and natural on me. Sephora offers a great kit which I am almost out of and need a new one. It’s the Nars Blush/Bronzer duo. I use the one in Orgasm/Laguna which contains both of Nars cult favorite classics in one compact. There is another for deeper skintones in Sin/Casino. It retails for $37. Occasionally, I use this compact as an eyeshadow and it looks wonderful.

Too Faced is offering a new limited edition bronzing compact which is The Bronzed and The Beautiful. I love shimmer so I find these bronzers lovely. But beware, they are very shimmery. The compact contains three bronzers and a “flatbuki” brush. I could care less about the brush, please stick to a big fluffy brush. The kit contains Snow Bunny which the company calls their winter shade and which I call perfect for lighter skin tones. There is the Pink Leopard bronzer which is mainly a warm shimmer powder in my opinion. And finally there is the Sun Bunny shade which is a dual shimmery classic bronze. It retails for $35.

Sugar Cosmetics offers a new Beauty School Bronzing Kit which contains four bronzed minis. It has a Sugar Cream Concealer Compact that is a medium shade, Tropic Tan bronzer which is a shimmery true bronze, a mini bronzer brush that is the perfect size for the compacts and a mini Cell Phone Charm Lip Gloss in a medium bronze shade. It retails for $28 and is the perfect travel size.

Pop Beauty offers Bronze Belle which is a compact that offers eight very wearable bronzer shades that can be used anywhere and is very versatile. I like this compact because it can be used any time of the year because it offers a variety of shades that will adjust to your skintone as the seasons change. It retails for $28. It is a great kit for contouring.

Cat Cosmetics has a bronzer trio which is the Ultimate Bronzing Kit. It contains a bronzer powder in DandyLion II which is a rich warm bronze, cult classic bronzer in Catnip which is a golden brown sans orange, and a creme blush in Beach Cheeks which is a super sheer warm peachy pink. Kit retails for $28 and you can create any face type of face kit on the website.

Elizabeth Arden offers a Bronzing Beauty Kit for Face and Eyes. It is in a lovely compact that includes a mirror. It has a blush/bronzer duo in a very wearable shade (Beach Bronze and Pink Sand) and four beachy inspired eyeshadow shades in Beach, Party, Sun and Bronze. It also contains a useless brush. Retails for $35.

Tarte has the Infinite Glow Palette which contains the awesome Park Avenue Princess Mineral Bronzing Powder which melts into the skin (it’s pretty shimmery so if you want matte this isn’t for you). It has Gel Cheek Stain in Tipsy which is a shimmery coral with a yummy scent and a 24/7 Lip Sheer in May Flowers which is a natural pink shade in a lip loving formula. It is in a bronzed compact and retails for $30.

Fresh has an Island Reverie Face Palette which is in a beautiful pink and coral compact. It contains three mineral based eye shadows in  a sheer champagne, creamy pink and rich, deep bronze. It has a soft coral blush and a lovely bronzer that leans to the light side. This is a must have compact for blondes in my opinion.Retails for $55.

Duwop, the kings of multi-taskers, have Bronzerush which is a bronzer/blush kit that contains a powder bronzer and sheer gel based blush. There are two shades: August a golden bronzer with a cherry blush and June a golden tan with a sheer poppy red blush. Retails for $35.

Sonia Kashuk (available at Target) has a bronzer/blush duo that is perfect for drier skins. It’s the Creme Bronzer/Blush Duo in Golden creme that offers a creamy golden bronzer and a creamy pinky peach blush. It retails for $8.99. A little goes a long way and this item gets awesome reviews from buyers.

Of course they are a billion more kits if you look hard enough that contains eyeshadows and even mascara (Cargo, Smashbox) but I feel these are the most travel worthy sets.

Many bronzers are super shimmery to add light to the face and prevent the formula from looking “mucky”. I find that if I want a matte formula that looks very natural, use a sheer pressed powder foundation in a darker warmer shade. I use Revlon New Complexion One Step in Natural Beige which is a few shades darker than my skintone. I brush it one with a bronzer blush such as Sephora’s. It looks warm and lovely. Retails for $11.49. If you have drier skin, a nice option is to use a tinted moisturizer in a shade darker than usual. For example go from medium to dark. I use Lancome Bienfait Multi-Vital Tinted Moisturizer which retails for $44. It is perfect for hot summer days.

More tips: I apply cream and powder bronzers in the same places, where the sun hits: cheek bones, nose and lightly on the forehead. Blend and you’re set. A big fluffy brush is a must when using powder bronzers, I prefer Sephora’s Bronzer Brush. Sometimes I bronze my neck and chest when I feel I am looking a bit sallow. I prefer a subtle but shimmery powder. It makes the skin look fresh and younger. I really like Tarte Mineral Bronzing Powder for this.

Urban Decay has released a beautiful line of lipsticks that are so hip that it hurts. Now everyone can conceal a weapon in their purse with or without permit. There are like a bazillion shades and such an awesome variety with different coverages and finishes. I love how the website www.urbandecay.com has little tabs to help you choose which shade fits your tastes. There’s full coverage, semi-sheer, sheer, cream, sheen and shimmer. I wish all websites had that option because face it we don’t buy in person all the time as beauty addicts.

The case is darling. It has a clear Urban Decay scribbley top. But, the best part is that it has a heavy dagger piercing through the bottom. It’s edgy and beautiful. It is very nice. I am a lipstick wearer and I consider it my weapon. Some of my favorite shades include: Revolution which is a true creamy red that screams pin-up girl, Peroxide a pale pink that looks lovely with dark eyes, Apocalypse which is a sheer blackberry wine stained your lips shade, and Gash a full coverage, wet vampy red shade.

Plus the lipsticks have a delicious nom, nom, nom caramel creme fragrance.

They retail for $22 a piece. Too bad I’m set on every shade of lipstick known to mankind because I’d have to buy a shade in each color family. They can be purchased on beauty.com.

There’s a new trend in the fragrance world and that is expensive. Sure fragrance of any kind has always been a market about luxury but now the luxury market is trying to be even more luxurious. Sure, there are more annoying trends out there such as celeb perfumes or “celeb” perfumes of people you’ve never ever heard of. But making cosmetics more expensive during a Recession is kind of a silly and obnoxious thing to do. David Yurman has launched a luxury fragrance, every day there is a new niche variety with a big price sticker and now we have Bvlgari jumping in on the “luxury” market even though they already create luxury goods.

I am a big fan of Bvlgari scents. They are typically very simple and wear nicely. I love Omnia despite what the critics may say. It is very warm and I wear it, it doesn’t wear me. My husband wears Aqva which comes across as a fresher Dior Fahrenheit. Bvlgari’s floral fragrances are ultra feminine without piercing you through the sinuses with tuberose. The tea scents are so fresh and easy to wear. Well, Bvlgari thought that their market needed something special, something expensive for the “woman that desires the finer things in life.” Not that Pour Femme was the finer at $125 for a 3.4 oz EDP.  Bvlgari used to sell their fragrances only at their jewelry boutiques that is exclusive and finer. But, why not pull the fragrances from department stores and do that again? Duh, it’s not about prestige it’s about the benjamins. Jasmin Noir retails for $95 for the 1.7 oz and $140 for the 3.4 oz.

I sniffed Jasmin Noir at Nordstrom as soon as the tester hit the shelves. The bottle is stunning and looks well, fancy. It’s the same shape as the others but the glass is dark and mysterious. It appears to be housing the strongest and most potent jasmine on the planet. Well, you’re wrong if you think that. There is nothing ‘noir” about Jasmin Noir. It is not dark or mysterious or heavy. It is very light for the money. Jasmin Noir is marketed to an older crowd which in this industry means 25 to 40 years old which I find silly. If that is their idea of older then I am shocked. Anyways, it faintly smells of jasmine at first but mainly of gardenia. However, even the gardenia isn’t as strong as one would expect from a “luxury” floral marketed to older people. The floral mixture seemed to vanish from skin fairly quickly. Also, the top notes were strangely sweet and not as “fresh” as flowers should be.  I was left with the woody base. The base is supposed to be “masculine dark woods” but is more of soft feminine woods that are the dry down for everything else that has been launched this year. I could smell the warmth of the tonka bean and the vague ghost of licorice for about a few minutes. The fragrance did last a long time on my skin but it was the base notes that stayed forever getting a little more distorted and vaguely generic with each hour. The notes that stayed were the sweetness of vanilla/tonka bean and the milky reminder of crisp almond. Overall, the fragrance isn’t bad. It didn’t cause me to gag or scream “Dear God what is this?”. It is very unoffensive and wears close to the skin. I was just very disappointed. It did not live up to the price point and seemed like they did not even try to reproduce a better product. It was like they had this juice around and instead of labeling it as a $60-$80 product they decided to use this as their luxurious line. I think I would really like this fragrance if it was stronger or in a more concentrated form. But, I shouldn’t be asking for that. This should of delivered and instead it didn’t. I’ve smelled $25 perfume roll-ons more luxurious than this. *It is now at fragrancenet.com.
However, you can get it for a steal:

Bvlgari Jasmin Noir Perfume for Women Eau De Parfum Spray 3.4 Oz by Bvlgari

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