Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Beauty Breakdown; "Nickelodeon World Wide Day of Play"

Teenagers... gotta love em'.

Okay, so maybe the last week I spent in Washington DC with the casts of mutiple Nickelodeon shows was a bit overkill, I have to admit, being in the presence of such vibrant talent was pretty amazing. The impromptu musical interludes, the boisterous laughter, the practical jokes... didn't care much for those, but you get the idea.

Fortunately most of that time was spent one-on-one with Liz Gillies who plays "Jade West" on the hit show "Victorious". Liz's character is pretty dark and gloomy but in person, she's kind, witty and prefers her makeup simple and easy with just a hint of drama. Being 18 years old, I preferred to keep her makeup to a minimum and highlight her glowing skin and flirty lashes.

Skin was first prepped with Australian Scent Balm of Gilead for lasting hydration, I then used Guerlain Light Diffusing Perfecting Primer to create a secure base that would hold makeup while she engaged in any outdoor activities. Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation then went over areas that needed a bit of attention and highlighted with MAC Cosmetics Creme Colour Base in Pearl and brushed with FACE Stockholm Creme Blush in Athens for a hint of warmth.

For eyes, I dusted FACE Stockholm Matte Eyeshadow in Chiffon all over then used MAC Cosmetics Eyeshadow in Kid on the outer corners for shape. With a small angular brush, I then lined lids with FACE Stockholm Matte Eyeshadow in Russian Caviar. Just to fill in sparse areas, a few Duralash Individual Lashes were placed here and there for a bit of drama.

Lips, we preferred to keep nude yet defined by first lining and filling in with FACE Stockholm Var Lip Pencil for a bit of coral undertone and finished with FACE Stockholm Matte Lipstick in Natural for a pout that would last through frequent water breaks.

The makeup was kept basic enough to play second fiddle to Liz's glowing personality and strong enough to last through any remaining practical jokes.

Product Review; "Birchbox"

The brainchild of Hayley Barna and Katia Beauchamp, Birchbox is a direct mail service that brings samples of new and intriguing beauty items to your door every month.

For $10 a month, a small brown box will appear on your doorstep loaded full of new releases from beauty companies as well as familiar pieces that may exist in your cosmetics wardrobe. With contributing companies like Benefit, Jouer and NARS every package will contain a surprise smathering of products that can be purchased from the Birchbox website. Each purchase of a full size item will automatically incur points that can be later redeemed for discounts on future purchases.

Plus, each box delivered will be custom tailored to specifications on your very own profile to ensure that those you recieve are relevant to your needs. So if you're a color junkie, expect the latest shadow, mascara and foundation samples. But if you prefer skin care, expect hand creams, facial spritzes or exfoliators.

Applying online is an easy process and should you be interested you can also recieve updates and alerts on future company partnerships. And, always open to critique, contacting the company directly will impact the quality of treats you recieve every month.

Birchbox Membership; $10.00

Product Review; "Shiseido Shimmering Rouge"

Popular with cosmetic enthusiasts, Shiseido products are created with incredible care to comfort. Maintaining that ethos, Shimmering Rouge is a blend of luxurious ingredients that feel decadent on lips.

These tubes of sheer color are available in a range from vibrant pinks, shimmering neutrals and bold reds that look extravagant at first glance but swipe on skin with a subtlety that's wearable for day or night. The formula is composed of mostly Macademia Nut Oil to retain moisture, Candelilla Wax for a soft firmness that binds to lips and Distilled Water for a light-weight feel. Though dense enough to drench lips in rich moisture, there's no obvious texture that can run, budge or even transfer without distinct intention.

Only available in sheer tones, each color sparkles and shines in one swipe of the tube but can be parred down with blotting or layered on top of pencil for more dramatic effect. Another great option would be to apply in the center of lips over a matte lipstick to create dimension the same way you would a lip gloss.

But, in comparison to gloss, you'll get full shine without the worry of sticking to hair or clothing. Plus, it wears as easily as lip balm, keeping lips full, bright and soft enough to the touch.

Shiseido Shimmering Rouge; $25.00

Product Review; "Bumble and Bumble Grooming Creme"

"Good lord, your hair is thick."

I nodded in agreement. What else was I gonna do, argue with the obvious? I had asked the hairstylist I was booked with to "blow it out" during our down-time but I didn't expect her to throw an apron over my shoulders and begin sharpening her scissors. A pleasant surprise to say the least.

"You know what you should use? It's from Bumble and Bumble in that light blue bottle..." as she began digging through her kit, she pulled out the squeeze tube full of Grooming Creme that would "...be perfect for just adding a bit of texture to your hair so it's more 'piece-y' and you wouldn't have to use so much gel to keep it under control. But only if you have a better haircut."

And with that, the snipping was imminent. I had been struggling with trying to grow out my hair but the density is so overbearing, it was looking less full and more blustering. Complete with cow-licks going every which way and errand strands standing right up while others lay frizzed in the wrong direction.

Of course, it didn't hurt to have a master wielding my strands into place, but the dense lotion she rubbed over my follicles soon smoothed out portions that were slightly unmanageable and created the look of hair "2 days after washing". Loaded with Avacado Oil, Almond Oil and Jojoba extract, this creamy base has a tendency to feel a bit rich at first but once worked into dampened hair disperses equally and dries with little to no slick feel. The slight hydration factor is nice for those dealing with split ends or frizz and even keeps hair gels, hair sprays and other styling products from drying out hair that can be unruly to begin with.

It's kind of a nice base to start styling from or, in my case, pre-empts any other products once you've got a decent haircut.

Bumble and Bumble Grooming Creme; $26.00

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Breaking News; "Dita Von Teese Fragrance"

Already an international style icon and the epitomy of seduction, Dita Von Teese will soon lend her smoldering sexuality to a fragrance.

"I wanted it to be a perfume that smelled exactly how I imagined it... I wanted it to be perfect, and threw out many previous compositions and refined them."

With exceptional attention to detail, the resulting formula boasts notes of sensuous aromas whose names tease at a scent destined to become synonomous with class, elegance and sexuality itself;

"... a head note of fresh peonies, fizzy bergamot, and slightly spicy Bourbon pepper. The heart of the perfume beguiles the senses with a full and at the same time pure bouquet of Bulgarian rose, Tahitian Tiaré petals, and fresh jasmine. And in the base note, the mystical and warm scents of patchouli, musk, and smoky Gaiac wood and sandalwood captivate all who smell it."

Completely burlesque, full of glamour, and every bit Dita Von Teese – the neck of every bottle is adorned with a silk cord with a nail polish-red pearl, which flows into a long black silk tassel."

Available late October 2011

Product Review; "L'Oreal Pencil Perfect Self Advancing Eyeliner"

Smudging isn't really that much of a big deal. And I say that because it's almost better to have softened defined lines than obvious sharp edges. And I hate to argue with the L'Oreal marketing team, but their Pencil Perfect Self Advancing Eyeliner does smudge... and that ain't all that bad.

The convenience of a wind-up eyeliner is that it diminishes the need for a pencil sharpener though I have found that some formulas will tend to dry-out much faster when not encased in balsa wood. This particular formula has a base of Mineral Oil and Beeswax that holds the shape in tube but glides on easily to lids and lashlines. Though perfect for smooth application, this concoction makes for tricky, yet achievable, staying power.

Once the pencil goes thinly over skin, it stays slightly moist but maintains a soft-to-the-touch feel. Ideally, you would take an eyeshadow brush to buff product upwards or into lash-lines creating a subtle smokey effect that keeps it from moving any further. Or you could even blend with eyeshadow to intensify the effect. Full of pigment, the soft formula holds onto skin well without budging once it's set with a bit of powder. Even transluscent powder is ideal if you only want a touch of color. Or, for a quick fix, use the tip of your finger to press it in and blend ever so slightly with no additional product. It ends up becoming a bit of a stain that then becomes transfer and water resistant.

Ironically, smudging actually keeps it from moving any further. Someone get marketing on the phone.

L'Oreal Pencil Perfect Self Advancing Eyeliner; $8.49

Product Review; "MAC Mineralized Blush"

Though generally released to Limited Edition Collections, MAC Cosmetics has lined up some permanent shades of their Mineralized Blush to go with the entire mineralized line of products.

While the foundations and powders in the collection offer very specific kinds of coverage that is maleable, Mineralized Blush seems to have mainly one star characteristic; create a flawless finish.

Regardless of the tone you choose, the baked method of preparation leaves each and every domed powder with an inherent glaze that softens color with a slight pearlized quality. Easily fading away into any foundation product, the inherent luminescence also does away with the need for a highlighter.

Available in shades from light beige to deep plum, use neutral tones to contour cheekbones without creating sharp depth or warm up sun kissed skin by dusting over highpoints and collarbones. Use the richer pinks and plums to round out perky cheeks or do a swift dusting over eyelids before shadow to create all over perky complections reflect subtle nuances of light.

Regardless of the shade you choose, fortunately you no longer have to wait between seasons to get soft, luminous looking skin.

MAC Mineralized Blush; $23.00

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