Archive for February, 2009

ABS Wants: Slippy Lippies!

February 27, 2009
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The Lip Slipp ($24)

The supple feel of a shimmery gold YSL calfskin bag. A bottle of Coco Chanel Mademoiselle. Your favorite camisole; soft, sweet, nude, girly and grand. The world doesn’t need another lip balm. It needs the right one. Slip into this.

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It’s a concoction created by balm and gloss junkie Sara Happ (of The Lip Scrub fame). Happ worked with chemists for two years to achieve her goal: a product that melts into your pucker, bringing out natural color and leaving behind a glossy sheen.

The formula (whose secret ingredients are macadamia nut and jojoba oils) was tweaked more than 40 times until the consistency, texture, and wearability were absolute perfection. A balm like no other, the lip slip leaves no color, just the richest, glossiest hydration imaginable. Wear it all day. Wear it overnight. Results are immediate. We’d have it no other way.

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It’s nearly the end of February, and month two of 2009 is coming to a close. We’ve all been dealing with tough times, massive workloads, and inordinate amounts of stress–so why not treat yourself to a small luxury that comes beautifully package in a chic gold box? I haven’t heard much about Sara Happ before, but she sounds like a woman after my own heart. Love the look and sound of this!
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MAC Cosmetics Sugar Sweet Collection Info & Product Photos

February 27, 2009
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Sugar Sweet Tricolour Lipglass

  • Triple-Yum Top Sheer gold with gold reflects, Middle True gold with duochrome pearlized pigments, Bottom Mid-tone bronze
  • Tasty Top Sheer blue pink with reflects, Middle Mid-tone blue pink with duochrome pearlized pigments, Bottom Dark creamy red pink
  • Simpy Delicious Top Sheer peach with reflects, Middle Pale coral with duochrome pearlized pigments, Bottom Creamy mid-tone coral
  • Just Dessert Top Sheer yellow pink with reflects, Middle Mid-tone yellow pink with duochrome pearlized pigments, Bottom Mid-tone creamy yellow pink
  • Consume Me Top Sheer white with reflects, Middle Pale mint with duochrome pearlized pigments, Bottom Creamy light peach with pearlized pigments

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Sugar SweetMineralize Skinfinish

  • Refined Tan/peach/coral melange
  • Perfect Topping Pink/peach/lavender melange

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Sugar Sweet Eyeshadow

  • Stars n Rockets Lavender with red/pink reflects (permanent)
  • Dear Cupcake Mid-tone pink coral with gold pearlized pigments
  • Club Muted reddish brown duochrome with green opalescent shimmer (permanent)
  • Aquavert Soft mint with white pearlized pigments (repromote)
  • Sugarshot Pale frosty beige

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Sugar Sweet Shadestick

  • Red Velvet Frosted mid-tone pink
  • Penny Light pinky copper (repromote)
  • Butternutty Frosted pale white gold
  • Cakeshop Frosted light neutral beige
  • Lemon Chiffon Frosted pewter

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Sugar Sweet Lipstick

  • Touch Peachy cinnamon (permanent)
  • Sweet Thing Mid-tone magenta with multi dimensional pearl
  • Lollipop Loving Mid-tone coral with subtle green and gold iridescence (repromote)

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  • Saint Germain Pastel pink (repromote)
  • Bubbles Sheer frosty white beige (repromote)

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Sugar Sweet Nail Lacquer & Lash

  • Peppermint Patti Creamy mint green
  • Seasonal Peach Creamy pale peachy pink
  • 34 Lash

Bond No. 9’s Brooklyn Bottle Design Competition

February 26, 2009
The Original Brooklyn Bottle Design

From Bond No. 9: When we introduced our latest fragrance, Brooklyn, last month, its breakthrough street-art surface design brought praise and a barrage of responses. Well, we already knew that aficionados of the borough of Brooklyn can be opinionated. But so many strong opinions reached us about what a Brooklyn bottle could look like that we realized we’d better offer more options if we knew what was good for us.

So throughout March 2009, Bond No. 9 is inviting everyone (amateurs and artists alike) to join in on their Brooklyn Bottle Design Competition, and to create a bottle design for their this contemporary, male-oriented carndmom-cedarwood eau de parum. If I were even remotely artistic I would totally enter this contest, but alas the full extent of my artistic prowess is limited to drawing sad little stick figures.

Click to Enlarge and Print

The Ground Rules
  • Create your design to fit within the outline of the Bond No. 9 flacon and to include Bond No. 9’s circular “token” logo (see bottle outline below).
  • Any style, figurative or abstract, is fine.
  • Inspiration can come from anywhere in Brooklyn—DUMBO, Park Slope, Flatbush, Canarsie, Midwood, Bay Ridge, et al.—or from the very idea of Brooklyn.
  • Any medium is okay: oil, acrylic, watercolor, house paint, pastel, crayon, Magic Marker, makeupeven a ballpoint pen or pencil will do.
  • Completed designs should be submitted to contactus@bondno9.com or Bond No. 9, 9 Bond Street, New York, NY 10012 by March 31, 2009.


After two winners are chosen in early April, Bond No. 9 will put the victorious designs into production, with the winner’s names displayed on the bottles. Each winner will also receive one bottle of Brooklyn per month for a year.

ABS’ Five: Trish & Dior

February 26, 2009
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Dior 5-Colour Eyeshadow in Petal Shine #809
($56)
What it is: A seductive palette of five rich, versatile eyeshadow colors. The light, smooth texture is easy to apply, offering incomparable staying power and a silky-fine finish. Shades include: pale lavender, pale pink, rose nude, plum taupe, and dark purple plus two double-ended sponge applicators.

I’m not sure about how pigmented this palette is left to its own devices, but I was playing around with Petal Shine over Urban Decay’s new Eyeshadow Primer Potion in Sin, and it looked amazing! I went for a simple look, using the pink in the upper right as an all-over lid shade, the taupey plum on the bottom left to shade the outer half of my eye, and the dark purple as a crease shade. I don’t know if it was the UDPP in Sin or the shadows themselves, but they were so gorgeously pigmented and created the perfect updated smoky eye.

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DiorSkin Forever Extreme Wear Flawless Makeup SPF 25
($44)

What it is:
A silky, long-wearing liquid foundation with SPF 25. Extreme wear for extreme beauty. This luxurious foundation stays flawlessly smooth and looks naturally perfect in any environment. With two unique innovations: an exclusive nano-stretch network inspired by nano-textile technology to insure makeup will fit like a second skin and a unique hydra-gel moisture-stabilizing system, Dior takes smoothing, wear, and comfort to the ultimate extreme of beauty. Non-transfer and waterproof.

I picked up a sample of this stuff last night, and I’m currently testing this foundation in shade Linen 021 to see how my skin reacts to it, and if it really is non-transfer and waterproof since I’m getting sick of having to touch up my makeup before heading out for the night after work. My first impressions are that I’m not entirely crazy about the texture (it’s on the thick side and somewhat hard to blend), but since I used my BeautyBlender to apply it this morning, I didn’t have any issues~everything blends beautifully with the Blender! My skin looks flawless, but we’ll have to see what I think in another 7 hours or so.

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DiorSkin Forever Compact Flawless & Moist Extreme Wear Makeup SPF 25
($44)

What it is:
A long-wearing compact powder foundation with a sponge and SPF 25. Extreme wear for extreme beauty. This luxurious foundation stays flawlessly smooth and looks naturally perfect in any environment. It is portably convenient and ultra-hygienic with separate trays for the sponge and makeup. With two unique innovations: an exclusive nano-stretch network inspired by nano-textile technology to insure makeup will fit like a second skin and a unique hydra-gel moisture-stabilizing system, Dior takes smoothing, wear, and comfort to the ultimate extreme of beauty. Non-transfer and waterproof.

This seems to be the natural companion to the Diorskin Extreme Wear Foundation I’m currently testing, and I’m admittedly curious since I used to be a huge fan of compact foundations (both creamy and powder) back in the day, but haven’t been able to find any that I like in the past several years. This makes the same claims of being transfer- and waterproof, so I’m definitely interested. We’ll have to see how it goes with the foundation sample first though.

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Trish McEvoy ‘The Ball’ Sponge Makeup Applicator ($16)
What it is: Trish developed The Ball for women that prefer to use sponges to apply their makeup but are concerned about getting a seamless foundation or powder application every time. She designed its unique, mistake-proof shape to work with the contours of your face and effortlessly stipple and roll your foundation or powder into your skin for a perfectly blended application on contact.

This looks to be a very close relative of the BeautyBlender (see my review HERE), but while the two products are relatively similar in price, this lacks the fun pinkness of the BB, in addition to its smart egg shape which allows you to easily reach every nook and cranny on your face. That’s not to say I’m not curiuos about this, because I am!

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Trish McEvoy ‘The Point ($40)
What it is:
Trish McEvoy developed The Point because so many women only need foundation or concealer on small areas of their faces. This tiny brush gives you the maximum control while the unique tapered design of The Point’s bristles beautifully stipples your concealer, foundation or powder precisely where you need it. The Point is the latest addition to Trish’s iconic collection of brushes that place the power of professional-quality makeup applications at your fingertips.

I happen to think this product is pretty overpriced at $40 since I’ve seen ‘The Point’ and it’s really rather small and unimpressive, but it does get points for its portability and cuteness.

Mascara Series Part 21: Bare Escentuals Buxom Lash Mascara Review & Photos

February 25, 2009
Bare Escentuals Buxom Lash Mascara ($18)

The Claim: Bare Escentuals’ Buxom Lash promises to volumize lashes up to 300%. Buxom® Lash Mascara – Blackest Black holds the style of your lashes for a continuous 12 hours with no flakiness. The silky, vitamin-rich formula darkens, lengthens, and thickens from root to tip without ever clumping. Its patented, hourglass-shaped brush is designed to lift and separate every lash while delivering the perfect amount of antioxidant-rich mascara needed for bigger, fuller lashes. It’s formulated without parabens, sulfates, synthetic fragrances, synthetic dyes, and phthalates.

The Brush: While the brush isn’t ideal for my eye size and shape (tiny and squinty =X), I happen to really like it, in large part because it’s just so pretty! The bristles lift and separate rather decently and create nice volume (I wouldn’t say 300%, but still not bad at all) but the largeness of the hourglass brush can make it a bit cumbersome to work with, making for messy smudges along the upper lash line.


The Formula:
I love that Buxom Lash is parabens, sulfates, synthetic fragrances, synthetic dyes, and phthalates-free. I really don’t think nearly enough about what I’m putting on my face and very close to my eyeballs, and I really should considering that I spend a good chunk of my days covered in this stuff! But all that stuff aside, Buxom Lash really has quite the beautiful formula. First of all the black is a lush, rich shade of black, not that weak, wishy-washy black that so many black mascaras are nowadays. It’s also relatively clump and smudge free (I do experience some minor smudging when I go heavy on the eye cream), never flakes, and is non-irritating.

But does it actually work well? Well Buxom Lash’s formula definitely gives me really nice volume and it actually holds a tiny bit of a curl on my lashes, but it’s only mediocre in the length department. I do love the winged-out look that it gives me lashes though–very pretty! It applies smoothly and evenly, coating each lash nicely, and you’ll never ever get spindly tarantula leg lashes with this one!






The Verdict: I saw a girl applying Buxom Lash on the A train yesterday, and from what I could see this gave her nice curl, definition, and volume, but like me, nothing amazing in terms of length. That’s not to say you can’t build some really nice length with this, but I just don’t have the patience to do that these days! Overall though I’d recommend this mascara–it’s relatively inexpensive for a high-end mascara is a good, solid all-around mascara that doesn’t promise more than it can deliver.

RATING: 3.5/5


RELATED POSTS:

Read Parts 1-19 of the Mascara Series here! I’ve also added a “Mascara Series” tab up top so you have easy access to it at all times!

BeautyBlender Makeup Sponge Review

February 25, 2009
BeautyBlender Set ($34.95)

Technique is everything when it comes to creating a camera-ready, flawless look. So imagine all the prettifying possibilities you’d score if a makeup artist’s skills were wrapped up in one innovative tool. Meet your new makeup must-have: beautyblender® —the makeup sponge designed to create absolute complexion perfection. This award-winning, hot pink number gives you amazing coverage and blending capabilities with its easy-to-use shape and suede-like texture. Use the wide end to blot on makeup and blend effortlessly. Or, work with the pointed end for hard-to-reach spots or delicate areas around the eyes. There’s no foundation line or eyeshadow crease that can hide from the beautyblender sponge’s super-blending powers. Get ready to absorb the benefits.

As many of you know, the sweet Vanessa of Van’s Makeup Ride sent me a Beautyblender set (which I’d mentioned wanting HERE) a month or so back, and I’ve really been enjoying getting to know the ins and outs of this bouncy pink egg over the ensuing weeks.

Close-Up of the Beautyblender so you can see the texture.

When dry, the BeautyBlender is a firm, compact, egg-shaped sponge that doesn’t seem to be all that extraordinary, making you wonder if perhaps this isn’t better suited as a child’s Easter toy than as a makeup applicator, but submerge it under some running water and let it plump up and you’re in for a surprise.

BeautyBlender dry

Using Your BeautyBlender: Once you’ve thoroughly soaked the BeautyBlender, then squeezed out the excess water, you’re left with a pink sponge that’s easily twice its original size and that has some serious bounce to it. Now don’t get carried away playing with the sponge–you have some makeup to apply! I like to squirt a little foundation onto the back of my hand, dab the pointy end of the BeautyBlender in it, and begin bouncing away. In a matter of seconds you’ll be left with a sheer veil of foundation that imparts a flawless, airbrushed finish. Just use the narrow end to reach those hard to reach spots, and use the rounder end to quickly cover larger areas.

BeautyBlender wet

What I Love: The BeautyBlender is amazing for flawlessly applying your foundation of choice–it will never look cakey or heavy, and your complexion will look like actual “skin,” only better–and isn’t that the point of foundation? So many products currently on the market promise an airbrushed finish, but this is one that actually delivers. I will say that the finish isn’t nearly as flawless or airbrushed looking as what I get using my SK-II Air-Touch foundation, but it’s great nonetheless.

Skin post-foundation application using BeautyBlender.

Not So Much: There’s a lot to love about the amazing simplicity that’s the BeautyBlender, but as with every product, it does have its detriments. The main one for me is the price~a single BeautyBlender, which according to the company should be discarded after 3 months, runs $19.95, meaning approximately $80 per year. Now for well under $80 you could purchase one pretty amazing foundation brush that would probably last you for years on end.

In addition to the price of the sponge itself, there’s the price of the BeautyBlender BlenderCleanser, which is an additional $17.95. It does a thorough yet gentle job of cleaning your sponge, but that’s one expensive cleanser for a glorified piece of sponge/foam!

While I can look past the price as I’ve been known to indulge in overpriced products every now and then, my two major frustrations are the major production it is for me to clean the BeautyBlender, and the ridiculously long time that it takes to try. The sponge takes a full 24 hours to dry (at least in my house), and therefore it’s often not dry the next time I want to use it–booo! Also, thanks to my vigorous cleanings I noticed that after 3 uses or so small tears had already developed in the sponge, a disappointing development considering the cost of the product.


Would I Repurchase? I’m not sure. I currently have Sephora credit so I’m seriously contemplating the 2 BeautyBlender set (a relative bargain at $25.95, especially compared to the price of one!), but the time it takes to clean the sponge after each and every use, plus the drying time are making me second guess the impulse.

The Body Shop Roseflower Radiance Stick Review and Swatch

February 25, 2009
The Body Shop Roseflower Radiance Stick (now $17 from $22)

Who knew that you could capture the essence of a bouquet of roses in shimmery stick form? The Body Shop’s Roseflower Radiance Stick evokes thoughts of sweet romance and gorgeous spring weather with its beautiful delicately sensual rose scent.


The Roseflower Radiance Stick is a sheer lightweight highlighter that comes in handy, twist up form and contains Community Trade marula oil helps to repair skin’s moisture barrier. I usually avoid stick blushes/highlighters at all costs because I can never really get them to blend without an inordinate amount of pulling and tugging at my skin, but this product glides on beautifully and has a soft, almost velvety texture that just feels heavenly against the skin.


I wouldn’t really recommend this for those of you who are on the very very oily side as it may aggravate that and simply make you look like a disco-ball, but for everybody else this is a great and easy way to highlight the contours of your face. I use this along the tops of my cheekbones most days, and on those days that I want to emphasize my bone-structure even more, I make a large “C” shape starting from beneath my browbone, swinging around my eye then along my cheekbones if that makes any sense.

All The Body Shop Roseflower collection products are currently $5 off, so definitely check out this line as I was really surprised by how lovely everything is!

Handy Dandy Bobbi Brown Face Palette Review

February 24, 2009
Bobbi Brown Cosmetics Face Palette ($15)

Perfect for taking your makeup favorites on-the-go. This sleek, portable black case allows you to customize your own color kit of Lip Color, Lip Shimmer, Cream Blush Stick, or Foundation Stick. Holds up to six shades. A blank base label allows you to record your makeup shades. (Cosmetics sold separately.)

Palette closed-check out how slim it is!

I first discovered this palette on the Neiman Marcus site a few years back, decided I just had to have it for those makeup emergency days (when you’re out, have something you need to go to and realize you have no makeup on you), and then forgot all about it–nothing new for me!

Fill-in-the-blank labels on the bottom.

But while shopping around the other day I rediscovered this petite little box of potential goodness and of course picked one up for myself that very same day. While it may seem silly to pay $15 for what’s essentially an empty compact, the idea of being able to fill up a slim compact with all of the day’s necessities really appeals to me, so for me it was worth it. Imagine having the day’s foundation, blush, lipstick, and cream eyeshadow, all in one little package that can be discretely slipped into an purse, clutch, or pocket–you could probably even fit this into a decent-sized wallet!

Top Row: Etude House Pore Erasing Peach Base, Max Studio Pan Stick, Smashbox Tokidoki stick
Bottom Row: YSL Rouge Voluptes (scooped out of these samples)

I used the included spatula to scoop in the Etude House primer, then used a piece of dental floss to slice off pieces of the rest of the products to place in the compact. I then pressed down on the products with a napkin to achieve a nice, relatively smooth finish and voila, face in a compact! Now if I can just remember to carry this around with me, I know that I’ll get tons of use out of it.

Bare Escentuals Buxom Babes Diamond Lips Review & Swatches

February 24, 2009
Bare Escentuals Buxom Babes Diamond Lips ($28)
Bare Escentuals Buxom Babes Diamond Lips creates the look of fuller lips with 100% pure bareMinerals. Your lips will instantly develop a faux fullness, while a deep infusion of antioxidant vitamins A and E will keep lips soft, smooth, and protected. With a sheer tint and a diamond glisten, it’s as good for your lips as it is gorgeous.

Top to Bottom: April, Starr, Celeste, Clair

Close-up of April and Starr.

Close-up of Celeste and Clair.

April (soft pink)

I put off purchasing Bare Escentuals’ Buxom Babes Diamond Lips set for the longest time, but after purchasing it I couldn’t for the life of me think why~~it’s that good! The colors are gorgeous, the formula is fabulous, and the shimmer will rock your world. I know that this post is long overdue and this set has been out for ages, bu I just couldn’t go without reviewing it for those of you haven’t purchased it yet!

Starr (sheer raspberry)

Surprisingly, Celeste, which I’d expected to be my favorite, is actually the gloss I use least out of the four. It tends to be a little frosty looking under certain lighting conditions, and if there’s one thing I dislike in a lippie, it’s frostiness. My faves are Starr and Clair, which I’d actually anticipated not liking–surprise susprise! I’ve been contemplating a full-sized version of Clair, it’s that gorgeous! It’s just the perfect demure pinky mauve that’s understated yet defnitely noticeable.

Celeste (super shimmery peachy nude)
Clair (moonlit mauve)

The formula is another rave from my end. It’s not too sticky, yet clings tenaciously to your lips for hours on end. I wouldn’t say it’s much of a plumper, but it does impart a pleasant tingly/cooling sensation that I really do enjoy. This set really is love for me! Run out and get this set while they’re still in stock!

Avon Charge Artist Transforming Nail Color Review and Photos

February 24, 2009
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Change Artist Transforming Nail Color ($5.49)

I posted about Avon’s Change Artist Transforming Nail Colors HERE a little over a month ago, purchased them, and then never got a chance to post about them! *Sigh* such is the story of my blogging life~~so many wonderful products to review, so little time!

Check out how this cool concept works out in practice, along with some photos, after the jump!

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Shimmering Steel

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Shimmering Lavender

I was pretty pleasantly surprised by these polishes. The colors are very opaque and you literally only need one coat to achieve full coverage, making for a quick and easy manicure. The clear, “transforming” end contains a very fine-tipped brush that’s great for achieving fine detail. It looks all splayed out in the tube, but once you pull it out the bristles pull together and it’s really very nice for achieving a decent amount of detail or a basic french tip.

On the downside, I found the whole color transforming thing to be a bit messy. The clear polish had a tendency to wipe away some of the underlying polish, although that may just be because my polish was never quite dry enough. Also, this polish is a major pain in the but to remove thanks to its glittery texture!

I did enjoy the fun-factor, but I can’t see myself using these all that often as I just don’t really enjoy spending inordinate amounts of time scrubbing away at my nails.