Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Years!

I'm not a huge fan of New Year's Eve. I feel like there is so much pressure to have a good time, go super big and fabulous, that it's more likely to be a disappointment than the best night of the year. But I am starting to get excited for tonight. My friends roped me into going to one of the big, fancy, over-the-top parties in SF. I am mostly excited to get all dolled up, drink bubbly with my girls, and pretend we are fabulously wealthy and important (there is even a red carpet and everything at this party!). I am wearing the same dress I wore to my company holiday party, since I got so many compliments and hardly anyone saw me. It is a fabulous royal blue coctail dress that just shines in pictures, especially when everyone else is wearing LBDs, as they often do. I got some fab pewter patent leather pumps and a gorgeous smokey jewelled necklace to go with, but I am most excited about the new eyeliner I picked up (of course!). It is Urban Decay's Liquid Eyeliner in Radium, a metallic royal blue, because it matches my dress perfectly! I am a little nervous to try out a new look for tonight but I figure, why not?! I'm thinking a smokey eye that incorporates the bright blue liner, and lots of shimmer and sparkle. I'll let you know how it goes.

Hope everyone has a wonderful New Years! Party Lovely!

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Friday, December 28, 2007

My Favorite Gift

So glad its Friday, coming back to work has been surprisingly busy. I'm ready for a fun weekend out and about with some old friends and new ones. And my favorite Christmas gift is going to help make me feel fabulous: my new Infiniti Nano Silver by Conair™ Tourmaline Ceramic™ Hair Styler. I have used it a few times now, and I can honestly say it's the best hair dryer I've ever owned. Of course I've only ever bought hair dryers at the drugstore, and a few years back I even used a travel sized dryer for a long time (I was so clueless back then!).

A month after my last haircut, my ends were already fried. I knew it was time to move up to the next level. This new dryer is awesome. It has 2 speeds and 3 heat settings, and a cool shot. It comes with three attachments: an adjustable diffuser, a straightening comb attachment, and a slot concentrator attachment. The tourmaline ceramic drys my hair faster, without feeling excessively hot. So I end up with less damage, shorter drying time, and a great volume. Very important since I can't seem to have a good hair day without blow drying, everyday. Sometimes twice... Bad, I know!

It is also a great product because it is so affordable! On Amazon right now it is $41.25! What a steal! If you are still drying your hair with some cheap drugstore dryer, click away and achieve better hair!
Dry Lovely!

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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Last Minute Shopping Pays Off

Since I waited until the eve of x-mas eve to get all my friends and family's presents, I was limited to shopping at the mall by my parents house in Seattle (that and it was raining cats and dogs on Sunday... not conducive to running all over town!). Surprisingly enough, I ending up getting everything I needed from Nordstrom and Macy's. I checked out the new ULTA store, and didn't see anything that caught my eye. It is a nice mix of drugstore finds and higher end lines, but I was still confused at that point about what to get everyone, so it just overwhelmed me.

After scoring some things at Nordstrom, with the help of their always suggestive and informative staff, I headed over to Macy's, not sure of what I might find. Ok, I'll just come out and admit it: I've never bought anything Origins. Not sure why, it just hasn't come under my radar until recently. I stumbled upon their rather large display in Macy's. With the helped of an extremely sweet and attentive salesperson (at Macy's?!? I was shocked!) I found a perfect gift set for my mom. It contained a tube of the Pure Cream cleanser, a small tube of Perfect World white tea skin guardian, and and pot of Youthtopia, a skin firming cream. So far, she says its makes her skin feel super smooth and soft. Love it when gifts are sucessful!
While the nice saleswoman was wrapping up the set all pretty, I got to testing out their other products and I knew I was in trouble. I ending up picking up a pot of their excellently smelling A Perfect World body cream. The white tea fragrance is divine, perfect after a long hot shower and shave, to keep your skin fresh and moisturized in the winter. Ahhhh. I had to leave it in Seattle though, since I didn't want to check baggage. My mom is sending that and a few other things I got for Christmas in the mail. I can't wait for that package!

Moisturize Lovely!

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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Hope everyone is having a lovely christmas (or day off of work at least, even if you don't celebrate!). I feel very fortunate to have generous family and friends. I got so many great beauty items to try out, and you all will be reading about them soon! Too bad I can't take them all home tonight. I don't want to check baggage, so all the liquids and heavy things are going to be shipped later. Such is life. I'll just have to wait to play with all my treats... except my new hairdryer, an Infiniti Nano Silver by Conair™ Tourmaline Ceramic™ Hair Styler. Yeah! I am fitting that in my little carry on bag. Can't wait to review it. Finally an affordable tourmaline dryer.Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and I'll be back in action asap!

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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Holiday Break

As you might have noticed, I've been taking a little vacation from blogging. The holidays have brought many distractions and I can't seem to find the time to sit down and post. But have no fear, once Christmas is over, I'll be back in full swing.

I'm finally getting to my Christmas shopping today (it's the only thing I procrastinate, I swear!) and I'm going to attempt to buy only beauty products for all my friends and family. Even my dad (he needs shampoo or something, I just know it!) I figure why not use my expertise to gift with love and knowledge.

So excited to see as I drove into my home town of Seattle that an ULTA just open at the mall by my parent's house. So I'll be heading there today, and then Target and Sephora, hauling all the beauty I can find for my loved ones.

Shop Lovely!

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Last One To Lash

I know if you read a lot of Beauty Blogs, you are going to be sick of this review, but hopefully I can add a few additional insights into Cover Girl's new mascara, LashBlast. Its the one in the vibrant orange tube, with the funny looking brush.

Here is my verdict: Fairly good formula for a drugstore mascara, its is volumizing without clumping hardly at all. It is a slightly less dramatic look that my MAC ZoomLash, which is good some days. The brush is rather large, as they designed it to be so, and the bristles are very different that anything I've seen before. But I don't find it hard to apply or get to the side lashes at all.My major complaint is the bottle! It is this huge tube, much fatter that any other mascaras I own, and it takes up way too much space in my mascara container! I don't think I'll buy it again, just for this reason. Package is important to me, and I get that they were trying to be out there and different, but the form should be functional as well.

Lash Lovely!

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Monday, December 17, 2007

Prime It Up Right

I am relatively new to the world of primers, but so far, I am loving the concept! Creating a smooth, silky base for your makeup to set on makes perfect sense. And they make your makeup last longer, who wouldn't want that?

I tried Urban Decay's Primer Potion on a recommendation from my blogging friend i♥make-up. So far, I love it! It comes in a tube with a sponge swab, kinda like a lip gloss container. I just dab a bit on my lids, and then blend all over. It drys quickly and then I apply my shadow over it, which seems to go on smoother and more vibrant. It is basically colorless, which I like since it doesn't change the color of my shadows or liner. For $15, its a steal!

As I posted the other day, I tried out the small bottle of Smashbox's Photo Finish Foundation Primer ($15.50) because I was sick of hearing all the hype. Had to try it out myself. Well, it feels amazing on the skin, so smooth and soft and matte. My only complaint was after the bottle sat on my shelf for two days, when I when to squeeze it out this morning, an oily substance came out first. This might be because its in a squeeze bottle instead of a pump jar like the bigger size, but it made me think I should try out the oil-free Light formula next time since I do have oily, acne-prone skin at times.

Prime Lovely!

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Friday, December 14, 2007

A Little Link Love

So my company holiday party was a BLAST! Seriously, the swankiest party I've ever been to, and maybe ever will go to! I would be a lucky woman if my wedding was half as cool as this party. Would you believe it was at this place?! So frickin fabulous!Needless to say, I am hurting a little this morning. So all I can muster up is a little link love to my fellow beauty bloggers:

  • Sounds like Beauty Snob had the same experience with horrid lip liner that I did as a young lady.

  • I really need to work on my quest for the perfect foundation. Yummy411 is well on her way, talking with a MAC advisor on Live Chat.

  • Vanessa from NessasaryMakeup looks super cute in orange, way better than I ever would!

  • Getting some great gift ideas for my beauty loving gal pals from City Chic. Love the YSL necklace!

  • I'm not the only product junkie who loves her drugstore finds! The Daily Cookie starts her day with good old Olay.

  • Its nice to find a girl who loves makeup as much as I do. i♥makeup showcases Shu Uemura's fab Holiday sets. Love all the brushes, so cool!

  • I'm getting naughty ideas about where next to spend my bonus reading Beauty Bliz's must have MAC eyeshadow list. Can't believe I still don't own Shroom!

Link Lovely!

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Bonus Time! Sephora Here I Come!

Although dull at times, working in finance does have its perks: Holiday Bonus time! After receiving my check today (of which the government took almost half! sniff, sniff), I heading over to Union Square. I had to go pick up tights to wear with my cute cocktail dress tonight at our company holiday party cause its so darn cold in SF right now. Once they were purchased, of course, I beelined over to Sephora to treat myself on a job well done this year:I got NARS's Night Series Mini Palette($55), something I have been lusting after for months! It's quite pricey, but definitely a must have for my eyeshadow collection. All the colors are so shimmery and fun, perfect for creating holiday looks. I don't usually wear green eyeshadow, but I am going to experience with some new color combos and it will be fabulous, I just know it.I also picked up a small bottle of Smashbox's famed Photo Finish Foundation Primer($15.50). Everyone raves about this so much, I knew I had to try it. Not quite ready to invest in the full size, this one is perfect for me to test it out. I have used products with silicone in them, so I know how lovely they make your skin feel. I have a feeling this is going to be a winner!I also got a new brush ($9) for my gel eyeliners. It is actually a Sephora Professional lip brush, but I am going to use it for my MAC Fluidline tonight, since I forgot the brush I usually use at home. The brush is stiff enough for eyeliner and just becuase it says its for lips, doesn't mean you can't use it on your eyes. Think outside the box, ladies.

Of course I am a Sephora Insider, so with my purchase, they gave me a free sample of Frederic Fekkai Glossing Sheer Shine Mist(full size $22.50). Maybe that will liven up my hair this afternoon before the party. Hope so!

Shop Lovely!

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Use Your Common Scents

I took advantage of the Sephora's Friends and Family Discount to pick up Gwen Stefani's new Fragrance L by L.A.M.B. ($55 for 1.7oz.) because I really enjoyed the scent in the store. I still like it, but I am so not satisfied with its staying power. I know that after you spray perfume, your nose gets used to it and you can't smell it on yourself after awhile. But L hardly lasts at all. It is the perfect mix of citrus, floral, and a touch of musk, but who would ever know?! It disappears on me 5 minutes after I spray it. I am so very sad. I'll continue to wear it as an everyday scent until its used up, but I don't think I'll buy it again.

Along with my purchases, I got to pick three sample products. I picked three perfumes because they are the biggest samples available, and as I just pointed out, its best to sample a perfume a few times before purchasing a whole bottle! Well, my favorite one is Tocca's Florence ($68 for 1.7oz.). Not only does the city hold a special place in my heart (Fall '05, oh memories!) but the scent is delicious and quite intense. Of course I like because it has grapefruit leaves in it, one of my ultimate favorite scents, along with something called cabbage rose, a old European garden rose. It is quite floral, but very unique. Darn it, I have such good (read: expensive) taste!

Smell Lovely!

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Not a Flake in Sight... Thanks guys!

I know I might be jumping the gun a little but I think my skin is all better. I listened to a few friends' sound advice, and presto! My skin is back to being soft and smooth. Usually, I am the one giving the tidbits of product knowledge to my girlfriends, but this condition was so out of the norm for me I was clueless, kinda.

I was chatting with my friend G yesterday who recently moved from Cali to DC and is experiencing her first "real" winter. I explained my flaky, red, itchy, dry skin and she had a surprising solution: St. Ives Apricot Scrub. She suggested using the gentle formula, but I already had the blemish fighting formula at home, so I decided to tried that. I used it in the shower, so my skin was soft and hydrated. The 2% salicylic acid and walnut shell powder work together to exfoliate and scrub off all the dead skin cells. I had stopped using it because I was worried it was too harsh, but I think it worked well for my uber flaky skin. I won't use it everyday, but maybe every two days or so, to keep the flakes at bay. Thanks G!

While at Walgreens, I remember a conversation I had with my friend D the other week when I remarked how lovely her skin looked. Here she was in the middle of finals and law school application hell, and her skin was radiant! I asked her what she was using, since I know she has fairly sensitive skin like me. A bit of a brand snob like me, I was surprised to hear she was using Aveeno Ultra-Calming Daily Moisturizer with SPF 15. It is a great face lotion for sensitive, irritated skin. It has a nice light scent, but it's hypoallergenic and noncomdeogenic. My skin felt soft and smooth after I used it, and has continued to stay that way all day. Thanks D!

I am not exactly sure what caused my skin to get so irritated, but I am happy to have discovered (and re-discovered) these reasonably priced products to get me back on track towards beautiful, radiant winter skin.

Smile Lovely!

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Monday, December 10, 2007

Help! Winter Is Attacking My Face!

Seriously, I need some honest to god suggestions for excellent face creams and dry skin remedies. Some combination of trying a new cleanser (Murad's Clarifying Cleanser - think it was too drying for my right now), the crisp 50 degree weather, my heater, and my acne medication (Retin-A Micro, Rx only) has turning my face into a red, dry, scaley mess! I can't even wear foundation or powder, cuz they stick to the dry areas more than the not dry areas and I look like a clown!

I have been slathering on The Body Shop's Vitamin E Nourishing Night Cream multiple times a day, since it's the thickest face cream I have on hand. But it doesn't seem to be cutting the dryness, only creating a layer of moisture over it. I am only washing with Cetaphil, the super gentle one, but its doesn't seem to do much either.

I think I need to exfoliate all this dry skin off, but I'm scared to get a worse reaction. My face is already kind of red and irritated, I can't imagine having to walk around with it any worse.

Help me! If you have any suggestions on products that have helped you in the past, please let me know. I made an appointment to see my dermatologist, but the earliest I can see her is Thursday... I can't wait that long.

Advise lovely!

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Friday, December 7, 2007

Eyes on the Prize

I have had one of the worse weeks of my life makeup-wise. I woke up Monday unable to put my contacts in because of some infection/virus thing. All week I have been bumbling around, half blind in my glasses (they are the wrong Rx and they don't fit quite right... not a good combo!) unable to wear any eye makeup! I am slowing dieing inside. To top it off, my face is breaking out a bit. Ugh. I feel like such a mess. So right now I am dreaming of the makeup can't use.

The Urban Decay Urban Ammo Eye Palette has their top 10 shadows. I want! I want! So pretty! Their eyeshadows are full of pigment and fun and sparkely. And really, I can always justify a new eyeshadow palette.

I really want to try out a new Mascara, like Dior's Diorshow Blackout Mascara and probably after the infection, I should! (Ew, right?!) Anyone have suggestions for new mascara's to try? I want volume, volume, volume, and a bit of length. Oh, and SUPER black.

With my new obsession for pot eyeliners, I should just go ahead and get Smashbox's Cream Eye Liner Palette and go nuts with new colors, that is, when my eyes heal.

I think I want to try a eyeshadow primer. Anyone know of a good one? I don't want anything with color, just something to create a smooth, silky base for eyeshadows adhere to. Bare Escentuals bareVitamins Prime Time Eyelid Primer looks like it might work well. But I'm open to suggestions.

So until my doctor clears me, I'll just dream of all the products I can't use. Have a good weekend everyone, and think of poor old me when you apply that eyeliner. Boo Hoo. ;(

Color Lovely!

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Thursday, December 6, 2007

I've Been Tagged!

My local beauty blogging buddy (say that 5 times fast!) Nilla Cookie, author of The Daily Cookie, has TAGGED me! I too had no idea what this was all about...until I read her post. I am not much for chain letter type things, but I will comply in the spirit of blogger comraderie. I don't mind sharing a few things about myself, I just don't want to annoy anyone with a TAG that has been tagged in the past. Here are the rules and my responses, beauty related facts about lil old me!

The Rules: Each player starts with 7 random facts/habits about themselves. People who are tagged need to then report this on their own blog with their 7 things as well as these rules. They then need to tag 7 others and list their names on their blog. They are also asked to leave a comment for each of the tagged, to let them know that they have been tagged and to read the blog.

Here goes:

(me and my friend Sar before our first holiday cocktail party of the year! Don't we look fabulous?!)

1) I grew up in Seattle and was fortunate enough to be born with stick straight hair that does not frizz in the rain! Talk about lucky! Rain doesn't do much for my lack of volume, but its better than crazy waviness. I didn't even own an umbrella until I moved to the Bay Area 5 1/2 years ago.

2) I have never gotten my eyebrows waxed (I'm extremely new to waxing elsewhere...its not as bad as I thought!) but I get compliments all the time on my tweezing skills.

3) I didn't wear blush until I was 21. Wow-zers, I was missing out! Hello sunshine, I'm awake! I think I tried bronzers around the same time too. Miraculous products, I tell ya.

4) I love to try new products (duh, if you've ever read this blog.) but I can't seem to get enough MAC. They just know how to do color. It really is like going to an art supply store for your face, so much fun.

5) I never enjoyed writing until I started this blog. It was my least favorite thing in school for sure. But now I look forward to typing out my latest gushings about products I've discovered. Boy, things do change and for the better!

6) My guilty (non-beauty) pleasures are: wine, Gossip Girl, The Hills, cheese, and gummy bears! Terrible right?! haha.

7) I work in finance right now, but I am looking to make a major career move into something beauty related. I love living in San Francisco and I just know there are opportunities in the beauty industry here for me, I just have to search them out! If you have any bits of advice, I'm all ears!

I am now tagging these 7 bloggers (I tried to find new blogs but sorry if you've been "hit" before): Beauty And Bangles, Bellavita Style, Make Her Up, Hello Dollface, Shades of U, The Non-Blonde, and Sugarshock.

Tag Lovely!

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Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Bargain Alert: Tarte FF Discount!

Had to share this one with any and all of my blog-reading friends:

Now until December 31st, enter the code FF07 at checkout at to get a whopping 35% off! Wow-ZAH! That is awesome.

It's great time to stock up on Tarte products like their superb Cheekstains, fab Mascara, and these mini Brushes! You better believe I'll be blowing a bit of holiday cash of some Tarte!

Plus: Shipping is free if you buy 3 items or more! Oh dear, I am in trouble!

Shop Lovely!

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Holiday Beauty Gift Guide: Makeup Palettes under $50

Makeup palettes make great gifts for your makeup-obsessed freinds, and those that need a little help in the color department! These fun boxes with eyeshadows, blushes, and lip colors allow for your friends to try new things and often times they are perfect for mobile beautifying, i.e. at the gym or on the road. Here are some I found all for under $50:

POP Beauty Sara's Make-Me-Up Cabinet ($38) is an adorable little set of drawers with cheek colors, eye clors and lip colors in each one! This set would look so sweet atop anyone's full sized dresser. The cabinet contains: a bronzer, three silky cheek colors, one black eyeliner, one gold highlighter, 10 fresh eye colors, and six lip dews with a hint of color, each organized in its own drawer to keep you neat and tidy.

Two Faced The Jewelry Box ($39.50) has everything a girl needs to feel her upmost glamerous! the box does not contains jewelry, but it does have a ton of stuff: eight eyeshadows, six lip glosses, blush, a duo bronzer, foundation powder, brow powder, eyeliner cake, and a shimmering face illuminator. Wow, that's a lot of stuff for a tiny little box!

Sugar Cosmetics I Dream of Sugar Makeup Palette ($38) is a sleek tri-fold palette packed with every essential you might need for a multitude of fabulous looks. It comes with 16 matte, neutral and deep dramatic shimmering eye shadows, 8 lip glosses, Tropic Tan bronzer and blush, and all the applicators you need. You'll be dreaming of it even after you give it away!

Sephora Brand Beauty Fever Palette ($25) is a purse sized set of all the tools you need to go from blah to beauty-full wherever you might be. The set includes eyeshadows, blushes, bronzers, lip glosses, and even a mini Lash Plumper mascara!

Gift Lovely!

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Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Holiday Beauty Gift Guide: Fragrance Sets for Him

Most guys I know get their scent one of three ways: their girlfriend or wife buys it for them, they picked out a cologne they liked back in high school and haven't strayed since, or they go eau natural, i.e. they are too lazy and macho to buy one for themselves. I personally agree with letting their partners pick on the scent, since they will be the one smelling it! So this holiday buy the man in your life, or a stinky brother or friend, something that smells divine, and hopefully they'll actually use it. Here are some suggestions:

A good everyday, classic scent: Bvlgari By Bvlgari, this set is available very cheaply on It comes with a 3.4oz spray and a 6.8oz shower gel for $42 (usually its $98)! A very good deal for a very nice scent. It contains rosewood, pepper, musk, and tea with lower notes of water and spice. A European delight.

A new scent that fashion forward guys might love would be Diesel Fuel for Life. This gift set includes a 1.7 oz Eau de Toilette Spray, 1.7 oz Shower Gel, and a 1.7 oz After Shave Balm in a signature gift box for $49.50. It is an aromatic, energetic scent, with notes Star Anise, Grapefruit, Raspberry, Lavender, Heliotrope, and Dry Woods.

One of my favorite scents, possibility because I'd wear it myself, is Issey Miyake L'Eau d'Issey Pour Homme. The set comes with a 4.2 oz Eau de Toilette Spray and a 1.6 oz Soothing After Shave Balm for $76. It is a fresh yet warm, woody scent accented with spicy notes. The perfect balance, to my nose, of sweet and spicy.

As with women's' fragrances, Sephora has a ingenious gift idea for those hard to read males: the Scent Sample Gift Set. The certificate comes with ten samples of their top selling smells. All they have to do is try them out and see which one they love (though you might have to go to Sephora and pick it up for them, some men have a problem walking into the store...I don't understand it!). The samples include: Aquolina Blue Sugar, Carolina Herrera 212 Men, Ermenegildo Zegna ZegnaIntenso, Kenneth Cole R.S.V.P., Lacoste Essential, Masaki Matsushima M;Men, Givenchy Very Irresistable Givenchy For Men Fresh Attitude, and Yves Saint Laurent L'Homme, plus a bonus Anthony Logistics for Men Shave Cream. They have to find something they love.

Gift Lovely!

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Monday, December 3, 2007

Holiday Beauty Gift Guide: Fragrance Sets for Her

For the next installment of my gift guide, I'll cover an easy, yet tricky gift to give: fragrance! I just recently gotten more interested in perfume. I understand those of you who feel daunted by the many choices and brands out there. I, for one, like to buy small bottles of a different perfume every few month, since I get bored easily. Giving you friends a perfume gift set can be a fun way for them to try something new or something wouldn't buy for themselves. Discount stores like Loehmann's, Nordstrom Rack or Marshall's are good place to find cheap perfume sets, especially for classic and popular fragrances, like Burberry Brit or Clinique's Happy. For newer or less well-known scents, head to department stores or Sephora. Gift sets are fun also because they can include lotion and perfume solids. These can be used to layer the scent which increases staying power. Here are a few sets I found browsing online:

For your fabulously floral friend: Go for the best, since she'll appreciate it. Get Gucci's Eau de Parfume II Gift Set ($72) which includes a 1.7oz bottle and a mini purse sized .17 oz bottle, and body lotion in this girly yet elegant scent. It has notes of mandarin, blackcurrant, violet, and blackberry, smoothed with jasmine, heliotrope, and cedarwood. It is certainly full of florals for extra fabulousness.

For your diva friend: The ultimate in ego, calling your scent The One ($68). Dolce and Gabbana's new scent has a strong personality and with inner sweetness. It starts with sun-touched citrus and fruity notes of lychee and peach. The middle is strongly feminine floral of lily and jasmine. The base is a hint of plum with vanilla and ambery-musk. Unique and definitive, just like her. The set includes a 1.6oz perfume spray, body lotion, and .2oz fragrance pen in a signature box.

For your trend-setter (or follower) friend: Marc Jacobs's Daisy ($60) is all anyone can talk about these days. I think its funny mostly because daisies don't even smell! But this certainly does, of violet mostly with hints of strawberry, gardenia and jasmine, and people love it. The set includes 1.7oz eau de toilette and body lotion.

For your anglophiliac friend: I have a ton of friends who love their Burberry fragrances, especially Brit. The Burberry Coffret ($32) is a nice way for your british-obsessed friend to sample five of their signature perfumes in small quantities and decide which is worth their investment. Set includes a 0.15 oz Burberry London Eau de Parfum, 0.15 oz Burberry Classic Eau de Parfum, 0.15 oz Touch For Women Eau de Parfum, 0.15 oz Brit Eau de Toilette, 0.15 oz Weekend For Women Eau de Parfum, in a signature gift box.

For your complicated friend: Sephora has the perfect solution for your fragrance gift giving worries, the Scent Sampler Gift Certificate ($50). The set includes ten samples of popular scents and a certificate for $50 for them to go back to Sephora and buy which ever scent they want! How smart. The samples are: Aquolina Pink Sugar, Badgley Mischka, Guerlain My Insolence, Hard Candy Fragrance, Hilary Duff With Love...Hilary Duff, Juicy Couture, Philosophy Inner Grace, Stella McCartney Stella, Vera Wang Princess, and Givenchy Very Irresistable Givenchy Sensual Eau de Parfum. It also includes a mini refillable atomizer. Only negative: they have to buy one of the 10. If you don't like this, then just get a regular gift certificate...but then they don't get any samples.

Gift Lovely!

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Friday, November 30, 2007

Holiday Party Essential: Self-tanner

Yesterday I went out and miraculously found a cute party dress for my first holiday party of the year, all in on my lunch break! Seriously, a huge accomplishment for me. But then I realized I had a beauty emergency on my hands: my legs are SCARY white, after being hidden from the light of day since September. What to do, what to do? Well, since I don't believe in tanning beds, I opt for self-tanner.

If I had a week, I would use L'Oreal's Sublime Glow Daily Moisturizer every night on my legs after the shower. I've found this builds up to a nice subtle tan without looking fake or orange. The scent isn't off-putting and it really does moisturize very well. It had a bit of shimmer to it, which can transfer to your (black) clothes if you put them on right away, but its pretty non-the less. Since it takes a few days to build up, its pretty hard to screw up. But that's the problem, I don't have a few days, the party is tomorrow!

So, I will use Lancome's Flash Bronzer Glow 'N Wear tonight, and have beautifully tan legs for tomorrow's soirée. I bought the shimmer one, but I think I'll buy the non-shimmer one next time. The shimmer is a bit much for me, especially in the winter. This is one of the best self-tanners on the market because it miraculously doesn't transfer to your clothes or sheets after it drys! It goes on tinted but the color takes about 4 hours to fully develop. Be sure to exfoliate beforehand and be extra careful of your ankles, toes, and knees. I had some funny stripy spots on my feet the first time I tried it!

Bronze Lovely!

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Holiday Beauty Gift Guide: Bath and Body Gift Sets

The best kind of gifts to give are those that they wouldn't spend money on for themselves. A luxurious bath or body product will make your friends feel pampered and loved. Cuz they're worth it, gosh darn it! This holiday, treat your well deserving friends and family to some fabulous bath and body gift sets, sure to put a smile on their face:

LaVanilla Laboratores's Three Wishes Healthy Body Butters ($28) are a sweet treat for the under-moisturized lady in your life. The set includes three 2.75 oz. tubes of wonderful body butter in pure vanilla, vanilla grapefruit, and vanilla blossom. Pure shea and cocoa butter is infused with anti-oxidants Goji Berry and Kakadu Plum, to provide moisture and nurishment.

Got a jet-setting friend who needs a little euro-luxury in her life? Tocca's Bagno da Viaggio in Cleopatra ($48) has everything she needs to feel beautiful and relaxed far away from home. The set includes a body wash, a body lotion, and a candle all in Cleopatra, a crisp, fresh scent of juicy grapefruit and soothing cucumber enriched with almond oil. Molto Buono!

For your friend or relative who entertains a lot, get L'Occitane's Lavender Hand Duo ($32) for their guest bathroom. The set comes with a hand wash and a hand lotion in classic lavender straight from Provance, all in a practical metal mountable caddy.

Anyone would be delighted to recieve Kiehl's Delights ($34), a gift set with travel sizes of some of their best products. It includes Creme de Corps body lotion, Amino Acid Shampoo with coconut, the fab Lip Blam #1, and Ultimate Strength Hand Salve. How Delightful indeed!

And for some good enough to eat holiday pampering, get your buddy Philosophy's Candy Cane Hat Box ($35). The set contains the scrumpcious candy cane shampoo/shower gel/bubble bath, candy cane hot tub/shower scrub, and candy cane lip shine. Sounds delishious to me! Just make sure your friend like candy canes.

Shop Lovely!

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Holiday Beauty Gift Guide: Home Fragrance

With the weather getting colder and fewer windows being left open, my apartment tends to get a little stuffy. To scent my place without losing heat, I love to light candles, spray room-fresheners, and find other yummy smelly things to enjoy around the house. What a better holiday gift to give than Home Fragrances? Here are some great ones to think about this season:

For the fashion-conscious homemaker: Marc Jacobs 'Home' Room Fragrance Spray ($65) is a very stylish, modern way to keep a room smelling fresh and delicious. The scent is dispersed through the room by an elegant fabric atomizer. Gorgeous!

For the baked goods maker: Laura Mercier's Almond Coconut Milk Candle ($42) sounds like it's made of all the yummy things in your holiday goodies but it's calorie-free to burn. Along with almond and coconut, there is powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and a hint of cinnamon. Can you say YUM?

For the trendy nester: Fresh's Sugar Lychee Scented Candle ($48) is a deliciously hip mix of citrus scents and lychee fruit. A favorite scent among those in the know, who wouldn't want this burning on their mod coffee table this holiday?

For the brand name lover: Henri Bendel's Fragrance Reeds in Lemon Verbena ($28) is a stylish and yet vintage way to scent the home. The name shows quality, but the price won't break your bank. At best of all, it's available at Bath and Body Works, just a mall away.

For the tree hugger: If you can't have the windows open to the fresh outdoors, replicate the sensation with Blue Spruce and Juniper Berry scented home fragrance oils ($7.50 each) from The Body Shop. Don't forget to include a rustic and stylish oil burner like The Droplet ($16).

Shop Lovely! More Gift Guides to come!

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Monday, November 26, 2007

Monday Blues

Not feeling the creative juices flowing today, for all kinds of reasons, much like Yummy411 posted about yesterday. So I'll just post some links to interesting stuff I've read in the blogosphere recently and hope my mood improves by tomorrow.

Now Smell This lists 100 fragrances any perfume connoisseur should smell.

The Daily Cookie shows off her stunning Bridesmaid FOTD. She worked that coral dress like no other!

TheMakeupGirl raves about Smashbox's holiday lip gloss set, which I bought awhile ago. The colors are pretty, but the brushes are cheaply made.

BellaSugar gives some good advice on how to avoid smudging up your manicure, even 5 hours later. Down with sheet marks!

Elke Von Frendenberg lists 5 beauty tips she learned on Thanksgiving, and no, none of them are about dressing turkey!

Link Lovely!

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Friday, November 23, 2007

Wishing But Not Buying...Yet.

I am a supporter of the anti-Black Friday movement, aka Buy Nothing Day. The whole concept of a day devoted to buying, buying, buying kinda grosses me out. It reminds me of how obsessed our culture is with consumerism. Of course I am just as guilty as the next guy, especially when it comes to buying beauty products. But for today, I will just look, lust, and linger over my current obsessions and keep my wallet closed:

I really think I need to shape up my wardrobe this winter and get a few more basic, staple items. And who better to take advice from than Tim Gunn and Nina Garcia of Project Runway fame. Make it Work!

Now that I have a new scent, I think the next addition to my product collection should be some new tools. Not powers tools, brushes of course. Bobbi Brown's Pink Quartz Mini Brush Set has the three brushes I really need, and it comes in a cute shiny pink bag. Awww!

When the weather is cold, all I want to do is pamper myself with bath products. Bliss's Merry Citrus set is perfect, and my favorite, Citrusy! Plus, the small sizes are perfect for travel. Who wants to check their bags during the hectic holidays?!

(Window) Shop Lovely!

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