Archive for July, 2009

Guess Who Barely Had Time to Pop by the Sephora Opening?

July 31, 2009

Me! Of course the one day that I really really wanted some free time I was insanely busy at work (isn’t that how things always work out?) so I didn’t really have the time, but I did manage to escape the office for a few minutes to stop by Sephora. A few photos and some info on my adventures to come later tonight!

ABS Wants: TEMPTU AIRbrush Makeup System

July 30, 2009

Finally in the comfort of your own home, you can achieve long-lasting pro results every day. The innovative TEMPTU® AIRbrush Makeup System’s sleek, compact design delivers power and control, giving you steady, precise application that’s completely adjustable and results that are truly flawless. The unique hybrid trigger is designed to give the user complete control over application and delivers pinpoint, mess-proof application every time. The hygienic spray of the airbrush means that no tools come into contact with the skin, so there’s no need to clean dirty brushes that can harbor pore-clogging bacteria. The user-friendly instruction guide and how-to DVD will steer you in enhancing your complexion to it’s true flawless potential.

Say hello to my current obsession: TEMPTU’s Sephora-exclusive AIRbrush Makeup System ($225), a petite little at-home airbrushing device! While I love my SK-II Air Touch Foundation, I’ve always wanted my own at-home airbrushing system to use with blushes, highlighters, and all that other good stuff, and it looks as though my dreams are about to come true.

Yes the device is a little on the pricey side, but if it really is any good I’m thinking it could be worth it since I actually hate touching my face. Can you imagine being able to mist on foundation, blush, and foundation in the morning, all without any needless tugging at your poor face?

Naturally the TEMPTU System needs to be used with TEMPTU brand pods which aren’t cheap. The AIR pod foundations are $55 for a scant 0.29 ounces and only last two months!

This easy-to-use foundation is applied with the innovative TEMPTU® AIRbrush Makeup System for flawless, soft-focus-finish results. The breakthrough TEMPTU AIR pod™ provides precise makeup application and is mess proof and extremely hygienic. This ultra-lightweight formula contains a smoothing complex to help minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, color-correcting pigments to camouflage imperfections, and moisturizers to help hydrate the skin. The result is long-lasting, natural-looking, versatile coverage and the look of truly perfected skin. Finally, the art of airbrushing and high-definition skin is at your fingertips.
AIR pod™ Blush ($30)
This easy-to-use blush is applied with the innovative TEMPTU® AIRbrush Makeup System for flawless, soft-focus-finish results. The breakthrough TEMPTU AIR pod™ provides precise makeup application and is mess proof and extremely hygienic. This ultra-lightweight formula contains a smoothing complex to help minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, color-correcting pigments to camouflage imperfections, and moisturizers to help hydrate the skin. The result is a smooth, dewy, and color-enhanced complexion that lasts all day. The mistake-proof application and universally flattering hues provide a natural glow to accentuate any skintone. Finally, the art of airbrushing and high-definition skin is at your fingertips.

AIR pod™ Highlighter ($35)
This easy-to-use highlighter is applied with the innovative TEMPTU® AIRbrush Makeup System for flawless, soft-focus-finish results. The breakthrough TEMPTU AIR pod™ provides precise makeup application and is mess proof and extremely hygienic. Take your complexion from dull to radiant in an instant with this shimmering and enhancing highlighter. These universally flattering hues provide a luminous, healthy glow to your complexion. The lightweight formula blends seamlessly to provide all-over color as well as subtle accents and sheer contouring.

Is it silly that when I think about investing in pricey gadgets that require refills/continual replacement parts, one of my main worries is that the company will go out of business/decide to discontinue the item at some point, leaving me stuck with a device and no way to continue using it? I just can’t seem to help myself! Nonetheless I can’t stop thinking about this, and if it impresses me when I check it out in person tomorrow at the Sephora 5 Times Square grand opening, I’ll definitely be bringing it home with me!

Sephora Flagship Store Grand Opening!

July 30, 2009

Sephora is celebrating the opening of its second Time Squares location (to be its new flagship store I believe) on July 31, 2009 (9 a.m. – 5 p.m.) and you’re invited to check out all of the great events that will be going on! Here’re a few of the scheduled highlights:

  • Ribbon Cutting
  • Appearances by Alexandra and Theodora Richards, Adrienne Bailon, Lauren Luke and others throughout the day!
  • An attempt to set the Guinness World Record for most lipstick applications by one person in an hour & most cosmetics makeovers by a team of five in an hour.
  • Temptu demonstrations
  • And more!

I’m most excited for the Temptu people being there as I’m heavily contemplating purchasing one for myself. We’ll have to see how convincing they are tomorrow! I can only top by Sephora for a bit as of course I have work, but I definitely hope to pick up this free tote they have to celebrate the opening:

I’ll probably be there between 9 and 9:30 tomorrow morning, and then maybe again between 3-5, so I definitely hope to see some of you at this new 5 Times Square location.

Eye Cream Quest Part 5: La Mer The Eye Concentrate Review

July 29, 2009
La Mer The Eye Concentrate ($165 of 0.5 oz.)
A recipient of The 2009 Genius Makeup Award in Elle Magazine, this concentrated, ultraluxe eye treatment quenches and conditions impressionable skin. Significantly reduces the appearance of dark circles and puffiness, lines and wrinkles, encouraging the eye area to look and feel healthy, supple and luminous as never before. Infused with three unique forms of Miracle Broth: the original, a concentrated form and a new, encapsulated form designed to optimize continuous release to the skin.Works in tandem with a specially-engineered, silver-tipped applicator which helps cool the skin, immediately improving micro-circulation.

The Good:
La Mer’s ‘The Eye Concentrate’ is one of my favorite eye creams to use for a plethora of reasons. It’s tightens, brightens, de-puffs, and overall just feels great going on. It’s one of the lightest eye creams that I’ve used to date, yet it’s moisturizing enough for me (and for my mother’s dry under-eyes). Because it’s so light and silky (never greasy!) it feels great going on, and the silver-tipped applicator lends a great cooling sensation to the overall experience. I definitely feel that massaging with the applicator boosts the circulation in my under-eye area, and my eyes love this stuff. The Eye Concentrate is great for those of you who suffer from crepey, delicate under-eye skin prone to puffiness and dark circles. And of course applicator that it comes with works great with any and all eye creams!

The Bad:
I’ll admit it – this stuff is expensive. Which is why I was delighted when La Mer released this holiday version that came with a cute little pedestal to hold the Concentrate and applicator! But this is one of those products that you like so that that it’s almost worth the price, especially since, in my opinion, the under-eye area is one of the toughest areas of the face to properly maintain.

The Age Range:
I’d say this is appropriate for a wide range of ages, anywhere from mid 20’s onwards and upwards. My mother is in her 50’s and swears by this stuff during all but the coldest of days, and there isn’t a wrinkle to be seen on her flawless skin. I seriously think that my skin looks older than hers does!

The Verdict: I happen to love this eye cream but tend to feel guilty using it because of the price and the fact that, while it’s good, it’s not a miracle worker. Not that that’s going to stop me from repurchasing in the future, as I love how refreshed my eyes look and feel after using this!

RATING: 4.5/5

Motives by Loren Ridinger Featured on Bravo’s The Fashion Show Finale

July 29, 2009

This is relatively old news as the season finale of Bravo’s The Fashion Show was nearly two weeks ago, but I thought I’d mention it anyway! The featured cosmetics line that was used on the models in the finale was by this great brand called Motives by Loren Ridinger, and of course being the curious little beauty blogger that I am, I figured I’d try a few products from the line.

I’m in the process of testing their foundation, a few lippies and some eye products so stay tuned for more info on Motives and individual reviews of the products!

Photo Source

Bare Escentuals Buxom Big & Healthy Lip Stick + Lip Shot

July 28, 2009
Bare Escentuals Buxom Big & Healthy Lip Stick ($18)
Buxom Big & Healthy Lip Stick works three full-time jobs—it defines the shape of lips like a liner, fills them in with creamy velvet color, and then plumps them to their full buxom potential. It’s a three-in-one lipstick that’s quick and convenient for defined, colorful, buxom lips anytime, anywhere.

Swatches (left to right): Brooklyn, Las Vegas, Monte Carlo

After having viewed this online I figured Bare Escentuals’ Buxom Big & Healthy Lip Stick would be an emaciated looking skinny little thing, so imagine my surprise when I was greeted by the sight of this big, fat, pencil the size of a small Sharpie! Sadly my Sephora only had these three shades in stock, but other than Milan these look to be the prettiest of the bunch so I guess I’ll survive.

  • Brooklyn is a harvest fig shade – a mauvey berry color with slight brown undertones. Not my usual type of shade and probably not something I’d purchase.
  • Las Vegas is my favorite of the bunch – a vibrant, milky medium pink that’s totally me.
  • Monte Carlo is a bright, hot magenta that’s much brighter than the lippies I’d usually go for, but the shade has such a beautiful clearness to it, if that makes any sense, that I actually found myself drawn to it. A seriously gorgeous hot pink!

Lip Swatch of Las Vegas

So the verdict? I’m absolutely loving these BE Buxom Big & Healthy Lip Sticks – they’re like fun, creamy crayons for your lips! They’re pigmented, long-lasting and provide some gorgeous color pay-off, plus they also create this fun minty/tingling sensation (I guess that’s the plumping part) on your lips akin to that of BE’s Buxom Glosses. The Big & Healthy pencils are semi-matte since they are meant to be usable as both lipstick and lipliner, so they’re gorgeous either worn on their own or coupled with a glossy lipstick or a gloss. The retractable pencil packaging makes these easy to travel with and great for touch-ups, and I’m thinking Las Vegas would make a great addition to my lippie collection!

Have you tried BE’s Buxom Big & Healthy Lip Sticks for yourself? Any thoughts?

Bare Escentuals Buxom Insider Eyeliner Review & Swatches

July 28, 2009
Bare Escentuals Buxom Insider Liner ($14)
Buxom Insider Eyeliner delivers rich, long-wearing color that’s so gentle you can apply it to the inner rims of your eyes for the deepest, most dramatic definition. The silky, emollient formula contains a healthy blend of antioxidants and vitamins to protect the delicate skin along your lash line from environmental damage. It can also be applied along the outer lash line for the maximum effect and glides on without tugging or irritating your eyes.

Swatches (left to right): Onyx, Topaz, Sapphire, Amethyst

See my post on all the new Buxom goodies HERE!

I’ve never been much of a Bare Escentuals fan, but their Buxom line of products is quickly reeling me in. First with the Diamond Lips set (review and lip shots HERE) and now with this whole new range of Buxom goodies! I was thrilled to see that my local Sephora had a mini Buxom display up front and of course I played around with some of the new products so that I could report back to you.

When I went to swipe the Insider Eyeliner in Onyx along my hand, I was seriously shocked by how smooth and pigmented it was. These liners have almost a gel-like glide to them and the pigmentation is rich and intense. They also have really great lasting power – liners usually melt away and disappear on my within the span of 2-3 hours, but on my waterline this lasted all day with only minimal fading.

Photo of Amethyst at the end of the day.

I think that these make a great alternative to Urban Decay’s 24/7 liners, especially as they’re fabulously priced at only $14 and are twist up, meaning no sharpening. I just ordered a ton of mini eyeliners from Urban Decay thanks to their sale, but I definitely foresee adding one or two of these to my collection.

One caveat though – these are pretty soft and when I was playing with the tester at Sephora the top 1 centimeter or so broke right off the pencil and fell on the floor. Such a tragedy!

Drugstore Discoveries: Clean & Clear Makeup Dissolving Foaming Cleanser Review

July 28, 2009
Clean & Clear Makeup Dissolving Foaming Cleanser – Oil Free ($7.99)
Some soaps can over-dry your skin. New CLEAN & CLEAR® Makeup Dissolving Foaming Cleanser has a rich lathering foam that gently lifts away dirt and makeup without leaving an oily residue. This oil-free formula is gentle enough for daily use.

Nicole introduced me to this after I introduced her to the wonders of Clean & Clear’s Soothing Eye Makeup Remover (review HERE – the stuff is seriously awesome!) and so now having officially tried all of the items in Clean & Clear’s makeup removing/dissolving line (all the stuff that comes in white & purple packaging) I can without hesitation say that it’s all pretty amazing! You already know how I feel about the Eye Makeup Remover, and how much I love the Facial Cleansing Wipes (review HERE), and this foaming cleanser is just one more Clean & Clear product that I’m mighty surprised to find myself raving about.

This is one of those ‘starts off as a liquid and dispenses as foam’ products, which I’m usually not crazy about as the foams tend to be weak, puny little things that re-collapse into their liquid forms without offering any real satisfying foamy action, but Clean & Clear’s is actually a nice, silky feeling foam that seems to be able to retain its foamy goodness during use. I usually need to use multiple cleansers to remove my makeup, but unless I’m wearing some ridiculously heavy-duty mascara, this slim, affordable bottle of purple goodness eradicates any and all makeup remnants while leaving my skin feeling as soft and smooth as a baby’s bottom.

I like a good, rich foam so I tend to use two to three pumps of this cleanser at a time, but the results really do speak for themselves. This doesn’t dry out or irritate my sensitive skin and does exactly what it’s supposed to do – remove stubborn face makeup in one go. If you’re at a drugstore be sure to check out this entire Clean & Clear line as it’s really wonderful (although I’d exercise caution with the products not from this line as some have broken me out terribly)!

Ingredients: Water, Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Glycerin, Disodium Lauroamphodiacetate, Polysorbate 20, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, Hexylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, PPG-15 Stearyl Ether, Citric Acid, Isoceteth-20, Fragrance, Methylparaben, Tetrasodium EDTA, Xanthan Gum, Propylparaben, Ethylparaben, Camellia sinensis leaf extract

Bobbi Brown Nude Eye Palette Swatches

July 28, 2009
Bobbi Brown Nude Eye Palette ($60)
Bobbi Brown’s newest take on nude makeup—a concept she created. ‘Nude makeup doesn’t mean monochromatic, barely-there makeup. It means makeup that’s right for your skin,’ says Bobbi. Fall’s must-have eye palette takes you effortlessly from day to night with a sophisticated and universally flattering selection of nude shadows in three different textures: soft matte, lightly pearlized and metallic high-shimmer. Three eyeshadow duos come in a customizable 3-Pan Palette, which can also be filled with your choice of any Bobbi Brown eyeshadow or blush shades.

Swatches (Left to Right):
Top Row:
Navajo, Pebble, Beige Linen Wash, Chino
Bottom Row: Maple Sugar, Caviar

I don’t actually own this palette so I can’t offer any deep insights into it, but based upon my cursory experience with it I wasn’t all too impressed. The nudes are all very wearable and there are some beautiful neutrals in here, but they’re all rather sheer, with the mattes feeling a little chalky/powdery, and for $60 I know this isn’t the palette for me.

MAC Baby Bloom Swatches & Mini Review

July 27, 2009

Swatches of MAC Suntints SPF 20 Liquid Lip Balm ($14.50)
Left to Right: Just a Smidge; Pink Tinge; Moist Plum; Full of Grace Lilt of Lily

  • Just a Smidge: Soft lemony yellow with golden flecks of shimmer
  • Pink Tinge: Soft peachy pink with gold pearl
  • Moist Plum: Lilacy/lavender shade with fine shimmer
  • Full of Grace: Juicy coral/rose shade
  • Lilt of Lily: Very pale baby pink

I was expecting MAC’s Suntints to have the cushiony/non-sticky Lipgelee consistency to them, which I happen to absolutely love, but I’d say these veer more towards being Lipglass-like as I found them to be rather tacky. I guess it makes more sense to have these be sticky since you do want your SPF to be long-lasting, but I ended up going home empty-handed as I just wasn’t crazy about how these felt on my lips. Plus once you apply the shades, they’re all super super sheer and end up looking pretty similar on, give or take some minor tint and shimmer.

Did you pick up any MAC Baby Bloom? Have you checked out the Studio Moisture Tint? Thoughts?