Archive for September, 2008

Darn Photobucket!

September 30, 2008

So I’m sure you’ve all noticed that most of my photos aren’t loading =X. Unfortunately I’ve exceeded my Photobucket allotted bandwidth for the month (not that I know what that means), but on the bright side everything resets tomorrow and things should be back to normal in a few hours so be sure to check back!

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MAC Blue Zone and YSL Smoky EOTD

September 29, 2008
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(just pretend that mascara clump isn’t there!)

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This look is a lot smokier than what I usually go for, but I promise it went to good use! 😉

Products Used:
~MAC Suite Array Eyeshadow Suite in Blue Zone. I used the lighter shade on the inner third of my eye and the darker shade on the center third, blended into the YSL. I’m still not loving this =X.
~Yves Saint Laurent Ombres Duolumieres in #5. I used the darker shade in this duo (see below) to outline my outer V. It’s such a gorgeous palette for creating a simple smoky eye.
~Bobbi Brown Gel Liner in Black. This was my first time using this to line my waterline–what do you think?
~Exceptionnel de Chanel mascara. So I finally checked out the segment of the Chanel site dedicated to this mascara and tried the outward twirling application method and I love this mascara so much more than I already did!

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On the rest of my face I wore Monistant Chafing Gel mixed with Carmindy for Sally Hansen’s Your Skin foundation and Bourjois blush in Lilas D’or, all set with my La Mer loose powder.

Clarisonic Skincare Brush System Review

September 29, 2008
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Clarisonic Skincare Brush ($195)

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I purchased my Clarisonic Skincare Brush pretty much right around when it was first released way back when, and to be honest I didn’t love it so much at the time. I don’t know if it was simply that I was too lazy to use it, or that the brush heads that I was using didn’t work for me, but whatever the reason I used it on and off for a few weeks and then it just sat there for well over a year, unloved and essentially forgotten.

In the meantime I kept purchasing the various Clarisonic brush heads (they need to be replaced every three months or so with regular use, and run $25) as they were released-first the normal, then the sensitive, and finally the delicate. A few weeks ago I got this urge to pick my Clarisonic up again, and it’s been love ever since!


The brush claims to give your skin a deep clean (it oscillates more than 300 times a second), to clarify, reduce the appearance of lines/wrinkles and pores, amongst a multitude of other things, and it really does deliver! I’m not saying you’re miraculously going to have smooth poreless skin (if only), but with everyday use you will notice that your pores have a tighter more toned appearance, and you skin will be as soft as a baby’s bottom.


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My brush head of choice is the delicate (pictured above). I tend to toggle between the high and low power settings, because on low I always feel that I don’t get a deep enough clean, whereas on high my skin can become a little irritated, even using the delicate brush head!


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The cons? It’s rather bulky/heavy and so a bit cumbersome to use, but that may have something to do with the fact that the brush is entirely waterproof and so safe for shower use, which is definitely a plus! And of course the price is a major deterrent!

Would I recommend this product? Absolutely if you have an extra $200 or so lying around! Since I’ve started using this on a daily basis my skin has never looked better-my pores look tighter, my complexion is brighter and clearer, and my skin really is so ridiculously soft. And there’s also a marked difference in terms of how the rest of my products absorb into my skin after using this.

Stop by your local Sephora or Nordstrom to check this out! It’s available in a range of great shades (black, blue, white, pink) and with all the Friends and Family events coming up, may make a great splurge purchase! Now if only I had it in pink…

RATING: 4.5/5

We Have A Ratings System!

September 29, 2008

I know I’ve been promising a ratings system of some sort for awhile now, but I just haven’t had the time or energy to come up with one…until tonight that is! I’m a bit computer illiterate and so this took me FOREVER to put together-I hope you like it!

A quick look at the ratings system:
The system ranges from 1/2 heart to five hearts.


5 hearts = excellent


1 1/2 hearts = pretty terrible

…and everything in between!

And you’ll probably also be seeing a lot of this symbol from this point on:

It simply means that the product happens to be a favorite of mine and is something that I’d highly recommend.

I’m going to try to go back and integrate this system into my past posts (at least the Mascara Series to begin with), so definitely keep an eye out for it!

A MAC Suite Array Blue Zone FOTD

September 26, 2008
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MAC Suite Array Eyeshadow Suite in Blue Zone ($16)

Last night I was feeling a little lazy and didn’t bother to wash off my Monistat/foundation mixture, and of course this morning I awoke to find that three happy little pimples had taken up residence on my face. But I wasn’t going to let a little breakout get in the way of the Blue Zone FOTD I’ve been promising you guys (using my Suite Array Eyeshadow Suite in Blue Zone of course!), so here it is!

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I wanted to give you a good idea of what the eyeshadow suite can do on its own so I didn’t pair the duo with any other shadows, although I did use my Shiseido Hydro-Powder Eyeshadow in Violet Vision as a base to brighten up the lighter shade which was pretty much invisible on its own.

While I do like the end result quite a bit, it was such a PITA to get there that I can’t see myself reaching for this suite all that often. As I’m sure you know, matte shadows are rather difficult to work with and can be stubborn–not blending the way you want them to, not showing up too well, etc. This look took all of 5 minutes, but that’s still way too long for me!

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I paired the look with my YSL Rouge Volupte in #1 Nude Beige layered over a random dusty pink liner I had lying around.

What do you think of the look as a whole?

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Blue Zone without flash

MAC Suite Array Eyeshadow Suites: Swatches and Review

September 26, 2008
Swatches (L to R): Smoke & Ash, Counterparts, Team Violets

So as a whole I was a little disappointed with MAC’s Suite Array Eyeshadow Suites ($16). While the duos were ridiculously cute and much smaller than I had originally anticipated, most of the duos were rather chalky due to the fact that these are matte, making for uneven application and not-so-great blending. However, not all Suite Arrays are created equal so read one to see which ones are worth checking out!

Smoke & Ash: Black with silver pearl and gray with silver pearl. This is a great duo for those times when you need to quickly go from day to evening, and of course would create a classic smoky eye. And the black shade would also make a great liner! Smoke & Ash was definitely one of the better Suite Array duos, especially in terms of texture.

Counterparts: Forest/olive green with gold pearl and peachy tan with gold pearl. This would be pretty for those with tanner complexions, but Counterparts just didn’t do anything for me.

Team Violets: Dark burgundy with burgundy pearl and soft violet with gold pearl. This was one of my favorite duos of the entire collection, especially in terms of pigmentation and texture. I didn’t purchase this since I have way too many violet eyeshadows and pigments, but I may need to go back for it. Click on the photo above to check out the purple/red flecks in the darker burgundy shade–it’s so pretty!

Swatches (L to R): Ocean 2, Blue Zone, Sweet Liaison

Ocean 2: MAC describes Ocean 2 as a deep gray green with silver pearl and an ice blue with silver pearl, but I’d have to disagree a little on this one. The darker shade is more of a deep deep brown with a green tinge. This was one of my least favorites, as I felt the darker shade wasn’t particularly flattering, and the lighter shade was really chalky.

Blue Zone: Blue zone is described as a mid-tone blue with silver pearl and a light blue with silver pearl, but because I didn’t even bother to look the name when swatching/purchasing this duo, I had no idea these were supposed to be blues! Okay so I’ll accede to MAC that the darker shade is a periwinkle/cornflower blue, but the lighter shade definitely looked to be very pale blue/lavender in person, although it did photograph as light light blue. While the lighter shade is rather chalky, the chalkiness works in this case and since I don’t have any shades that are similar, this duo came home with me.

Sweet Liaison: Brown with gold pearl and pale yellow with gold pearl. While MAC says the lighter shade is pale yellow, it swatches as more of an off-white or cream shade. Another one of my least favorite duos, the paler shade was very chalky and barely showed up against my skin.

Swatches (L to R): Rose Suites, Shallow v. Deep

Rose Suites: Intense blue pink and light pink with silver pearl. I really wanted to love this one since I do love my pinks, but there was just no way that I could! The darker rosy pink shade is probably the most matte shadow of the entire collection, and as such was ridiculously hard to apply evenly and to blend. Both shadows were super-chalky and I just can’t see how this duo would be all that flattering.

Shallow v. Deep: Bright teal with gold pearl and a pale seafoamy green with silver pearl. This was another duo that I wanted to love, but the chalkiness just wouldn’t let me. The lighter shade really would have been beautiful had it been a little more pigmented and not so chalky.

So overaly yes, these eyeshadow suites are a little disappointing and on the chalky side, but they are cute, compact, and very portable so be sure to stop by your local MAC to check these out for yourself. And hopefully I’ll have a FOTD using Blue Zone for you by sometime tomorrow! =)

MAC Cremesheen Lipsticks: A Few Random Swatches and Overview

September 26, 2008
Swatches of MAC Cremesheens ($14)
Okay so to be honest I had these swatches all organized in my head up until a few hours ago, but now that I’m home I can’t distinguish these shades at all! Which is why they’re going to have to go unlabeled =X. But on the bright side, these are going to be a permanent fixture at your local MAC counter, meaning if you like anything you see you’ll be able to stroll on down there to check these out for yourself, plus they only come in 14 shades so you won’t have too many to dig through.

Don’t hate me, my memory’s never failed me like this before! I hope you’ll support me and my poor brain in our time of need!

As for the Cremesheen as whole, this really is a gorgeous range of lipsticks, particularly if you like soft, feminine shades like I do. They all have a smooth creamy texture and a soft finish to them, plus they’re all nicely pigmented and so lend a beautiful soft sheen to your lips. Definitely worth checking out at some point-I know I’ll be back to purchase a few of these.

Laura Mercier Lip Velvets: Swatches and Overview

September 26, 2008
Swatches (L to R)
Top Row: Cherry Blossom, Royal Plum, Cassis
Bottom Row: Mocha Rouge, Naked Rose

Laura Mercier’s Lip Velvets ($22) were released as part of her latest Cherries Noir collection, and consists of a series of five rich velvety glosses that skirt the border between lipstick and lipgloss.

The glosses which are applied with doe foot applicators are richly pigmented, velvety, moisturizing, and long-lasting. I was expecting something more akin to Dior’s Creme de Glosses, but trust me when I say these are much thicker and definitely way more pigmented. The shades are demi-matte, giving off the appearance of a rich and creamy lipstick, but with the convenience of a gloss.

As for me, while I love the thick and creamy formula (although it borders on being just a little bit too thick), I’m really not into earth tones and so the only two shades I would even consider wearing are Cherry Blossom and Royal Plum. Overall these are a little too pigmented for me (I never thought I’d utter those words), but if you’re looking for some gorgeous berry or earth-toned lip products these are definitely worth a shot.

Perfekt Beauty Skin Perfection Gel to Go in Luminous: Review and Swatches

September 25, 2008
Per-fekt Beauty Skin Perfection Gel to Go ($17.50)

So I’ll admit that I have a thing for silicone-based products. First the By Terry Light Expert Foundation, then the Hourglass Veil Fluid Makeup and Monistat Chafing Gel, and now Perfekt’s Skin Perfection Gel! Yes I know that someone women run in horror from these types of products for fear of breakouts, but my breakout-prone skin handles them just fine and they really do glide right over enlarged pores and fine lines to give your skin an overall smother appearance (well except the Hourglass).

A tiny dollop of the gel in Luminous

Perfekt’s Skin Perfection Gel is a light to medium coverage foundation that has a very thick consistency. It comes in a range of 5 shades and contains a plethora of skin-loving ingredients.

My take on it? The “to go” version comes in a squeeze tube and my first thought was OMG this is soooo tiny! It’s 0.25 ounces, but for some reason my brain didn’t register just how small this would be while clicking purchase-but suffice it to say it’s smaller than a lot of samples I own.

As for the product itself, I was a little put off by the super-thick consistency at first (it’s like squeezing Neosporin out of tube), but it spreads incredibly well and melts into an easily blended slicioney consistency that feels great on. And the best part? This does an amazing job of keeping my skin matte–it’s probably the best in that department out of all the foundations that I’ve tried. Plus it’s paraben free!

All spread out

You really don’t need a lot of this to cover your entire face thanks to its superior blendability, but coverage is relatively sheer. You can build more coverage by layering on more product, but I wasn’t able to even come close to a level of coverage I’m comfortable with without using a ton of this stuff! This would be great for those who have nice skin to begin with, and just want a product to glide over imperfections and pores and just create an overall smoother surface, but it’s not the best for those who need some help with masking redness/imperfections. .

As for the color selection, I do wish it came in more shades! Luminous was just a tad dark for me, but then again it didn’t really matter because it is so sheer and blends so well.

Would I repurchase? Probably not, simply because it’s rather expensive and I much prefer By Terry’s Light Expert Foundation, or even just mixing my own foundation with Monistat.

Related Posts:
For a great foundation that comes in pen form, check out By Terry’s Light Expert Foundation.

See my comparison of By Terry’s Light Expert and Hourglass’s Veil Fluid Makeup here.

And for a DIY option, see my review of Monistant Chafing Relief Powder Gel here.

ABS’ Picks from the Upcoming Holiday Releases

September 24, 2008

How can you not love holiday-themed cosmetics releases? Winter releases were made for those of us with paler complexions. The shimmery winter shades, the limited edition snowflake packaging, and the fanciful array of products all aimed towards shoppers with a Christmas agenda–it’s heaven!

From Dior:

This set is sheer perfection! Somebody needs to get me this for Christmas!


From Givenchy: I’m a sucker for holiday packaging!


From YSL: Nothing spectacular but this would make some nice young makeup lover a beauitful gift.Source
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