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.
Friday, November 30, 2007
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
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.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
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!
Monday, November 26, 2007
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!
Friday, November 23, 2007
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:
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!
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
I know its the season to give... to others. But just now I accidentally clicked on Sephora.com (how'd that happen?!) while watching Project Runway tonight. Fab episode, by the way, with SJP challenging the designers to design an outfit for her Bitten line with only $15. Anyways back to my beauty splurge... I have been lusting over Gwen Stefani's first fragrance, L by L.A.M.B., ever since it wafted into my nose. It is in step with many other new fragrances coming out, in that it mixes feminine floral notes with a masculine kick. I love it, though, because it has a fresh, clean citrus touch as well. I was able to resist the urge to buy it, until I saw the gift set online just now. For $55 you get a 1 oz eau de parfum spray, a 2.5 oz body lotion, and a 0.11 oz solid perfume in a signature gift box. Such a nice set!
I justified buying it by using the 20% off Friends and Family Discount code (use FF2007 for a limited time...not sure when it ends though) and a $10 e-certificate. Am I a bad person?! Well, at least I'll smell good this holiday season!
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
I am loving the revival of old Hollywood glamour among celebrities right now. With or without the red lipstick, the intense liquid eyeliner that wings out at the edge is hot! It might look a bit tricky to pull off, and it will certainly take you some time to perfect, but you too can get these sultry eyes. Just follow my lead:
Products: I think the best way to achieve this look is to use a gel pot eyeliner, such as MAC Fluidline in Blacktracks (have I mentioned before it's my fav?!) with a great eyeliner brush. The best out there for precision and control is Bobbi Brown's Ultra Fine Eyeliner Brush. If painting the line on seems too hard, you can try a tradition liquid eyeliner, like Two Faced's Liquif-Eye . The key to a finding a good liquid eyeliner is making sure the tip is short. The longer it is, the harder it is to control. Another option are liquid liner pens, which might be easier for you. Dior's Liquid Eyeliner is great one. If anything liquid just scares you to death, go for an regular eyeliner that is waterproof and smudge proof. Since you are applying so much product, when you are done you want it to dry and stay put. I recommend Chanel's Stylo Yeux Waterproof.
Prep: After you apply your foundation, prep your eyelid with a neutral powder shadow, matte or shimmery depending on what kind of look you are going for. This will help the eyeliner to go on smoothly and stay put.
Method: You'll need to be as close to your mirror as possible. I prefer to stand right up next to my full length mirror so that both my hands are free and unobstructed. Starting with the inner corner of your eye, barely touch the liner to your lash line and slowly drag toward the outer corner. The key is to make your line as close to the lashes as humanly possible--its easy to fatter the line up later, but not easy to thin it out. As you reach the outside corner, flick your wrist slightly toward your temple to create a bit of a "wing". This should all be done with a half open eye, so you can tell the angle you want for the wing when your eyes are open. Go back and gently fill in the line to the thickness you want, with the widest part on the outside of your eye. Any mistakes you make can be easily fixed with a q-tip with a tiny bit of moisturizer and then reapply your eye shadow base.
Finish: Top off the look with a few coats of seriously volumizing black mascara. Whether you go for the daring red lip or the elegant neutral lip, keep the cheek color subtle. There is certainly such a thing as too much when it comes to glamour!
As the weather gets cooler and the sun sets even before I get home from work, I become super lazy. Instead of hopping over to the gym, I just want to take a long hot bath to soak out the chill in my bones. I know, I am such a weather wimp! I wouldn't last a week somewhere really cold! To prepare for bath times ahead, I thought I'd share a few body scrubs I love to indulge in. After about 10 minutes in a hot, steamy shower or bath, slather on one of these scrubs and your skin will feel baby soft:
Monday, November 19, 2007
As I mentioned a few weeks back, eLuxury.com screwed up my order and I got $30 credit on their site. So I took advantage and ordered DuWop's Revolotion Face after reading rave reviews on a few other beauty blogs. I figured since it's becoming winter (sniff sniff), I might want a little more coverage than my usually concealer, moisturizer and powder. Well I have to say I'm not wowed by this product at all. It is not lightweight the way I expect a tinted moisturizer to be and it makes my skin feel a little sticky. But I have found a good way to use it: mix it with my Purpose moisturizer. That way it has a thinner coverage, so I don't feel like a clown, and the texture is much improved. You can do this with any foundation, just be sure to blend the two products together really well in your palm, so it goes on even!
Friday, November 16, 2007
Its a fabulous, yet slightly grey day here in SF and as usual, I can't wait to get out of the office. To make your day go a little quick, take this beauty-rific quiz:
|My Beauty Element is Water|
So true! I am such a water child, being a Pieces and all. I'm even painting my room a lovely watery blue this weekend. I love to take simple, classic makeup looks and mix em up a bit.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Sudsing it up this morning in the shower, I realized that all the products I am using on my hair right now are from the drugstore and, believe it or not, I've been having a run of great hair days. While my stylist tells me professional hair products are generally much better for your hair, I think you can find things at Walgreens or CVS that do just fine, especially if you're in a budget crunch like me! Here is what I'm currently using:
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Right now I am obsessed with anything baked. No, not potato chips... makeup of course! Baked powders are absolutely the best. The pressed powder color is blended and then baked for an excessive amount of time (like 24 hours!) in terra cotta pans. The result is super pigmenty yet smooth color for your face and eyes, without the usual "binders" in regular powders that dull the intensity of the shade.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
One of my favorite brands is often overlooked by American ladies. Bourjois Paris is a staple brand of the Parisian woman on a budget, according to my francophile friends. They do a lovely job combining fabulous color, high quality and a touch of whimsy into each of their products. Bourjois brings a touch of joi de vivre to your look, if you will.
Monday, November 12, 2007
Today I decided to embrace my new-found pauper lifestyle (thank god for Subway's $2.99 special!) and write about some drugstore products that I love. Although I splurge on fancy makeup all the time, there are a few products I buy at the drugstore, and some I even prefer over their expensive sisters at Sephora.
Friday, November 9, 2007
I am so bad at this saving stuff. I just have to go to Nordstrom today and buy the MAC Royal Assets Metallic Eyes Palette ($36). After checking out Temptalia's tutorial on a gorgeous golden-red holiday eye, I have to give in to my desires and buy the palette. The package design alone (set right) is gorgeous, but the colors will be so much fun to play with this fall and winter. I'll probably the Uppity Fluidline I've been drooling over. I'll deal with the consequences later, with beautiful eye makeup!
Fabulous links from my fav reads this week:
Get perfect winter "wind-kissed" cheeks by following We Love Beauty's advice.
eBeauty Daily finds the tiniest mascara ever, and it happens to be one of my favorites.
Style.com defines the essential beauty trends this fall, complete with great product recommendations.
BellaSugar discovers a two-in-one "light wand" to wake up your tired eyes.
Beauty Snob discovers the secret to damage-free travel for your makeup; sorry no help for that broken wheel on your suitcase.
Beauty and Fashion Tech loves Elizabeth Arden's new mascara, which even comes in a gift set for the holidays.
The husband we all dream about wrote The Makeup Girl for makeup advice... for his wife of course!
Thursday, November 8, 2007
A favorite product of mine right now is highlighter. With the winter months upon us, skin can tend to get sallow and dead looking without proper sun. They bring a little much needed glam to your eyes and cheeks. Highlighters add a bit of shine and life to your features, without any fake-looking tan color. A little swipe on top of your cheekbone or under your eyebrow can make your features POP! It also photographs really well. So rock those wintry pale complexions, with one of my picks for highlighters this season:
Benefit's High Beam is a classic liquid highlighter. It creates a soft, subtle glow wherever you brush it on and blend it in. You can even mix it with your liquid foundation to create an all over subtle glow.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
According to Beautiful Makeup Search, Beauty.com is having their friends and family event today: 20% off everything all day. But I can't find any indication of it on their site. Sadly, I can't afford to make any purchases today (sniff sniff), so the discount might get taken off at the end, but I won't be able to find out (what will power, huh?!). If you are more fortuate than I, check out the LORAC Spotlight Bag , exclusive to Beauty.com. It's a damn good deal at $35 and there's no shipping charge.
The set includes a cute black makeup bag with four great products: Perfectly Lit Oil-Free Luminizing Powder, aquaPRIME Oil-Free Makeup Primer, Mocktail Flavored Gloss in Caffeini Martini and Lashes Mascara in Black.
Shop Lovely (without me! :)
Friday, November 2, 2007
Here are some links to blog posts I enjoyed this week:
Thursday, November 1, 2007
Just a quick update on my purchase and experience with Philosophy's Acne Kit: I still love it! For the first time in week I don't have any new pimples, and my blackheads look like they are slowly rising to the surface (gross, huh?!), soon to be gone forever. I am using all the products in the kit, but I am staying on top of how dry the serum and H2O2 cream can make me, so as not to over do it! My favorite product by far is the Protection Cream. It makes my skin soft and smooth, perfect for makeup application, but you have to be sure and give it a full 2 minutes to set into your skin or you'll rub it off. When I do have a bit of dry skin from the Blemish Serum, I use a dab of The Body Shop's Aloe Soothing Day Cream on top, because it's gentle and won't clog my pores.