Archive for January, 2010

OPI Designer Series Nail Lacquer in Reserve Review & Some Japanese China

January 28, 2010

Naughty blogger that I am, these photos are actually from weeks ago (when my friend Cathy – yes the same one I visited in Cali – was actually in NY) but I thought you might all enjoy beholding the beauty that is OPI DS Reserve – just one of the many amazing things Nicole got me for Christmas. Check out additional photos (sadly all taken with my iPhone as I wasn’t at home with my usual camera), the full review and some of the most stunning coffee cups I’ve ever laid eyes on after the jump!

The Designer Series by OPI is a line of nail lacquers with a state-of-the-art formula that combines dazzling diamond dust with saturated pigments to give you a nail color that explodes with brilliant almost holographic shimmer.

is a gorgeous, easy-to-wear rosy pink shade that’s just exploding with shimmery bits (yet the texture is completely smooth) and truly a stunner. These photos really don’t showcase the beauty of Reserve as the photos have no flash, but trust me, it’s gorgeous.

And on a completely unrelated note, the day that I did my nails in Reserve I ended up going out to this scrumptious little dessert place called ChikaLicious where they had the most delicate, intricate, all-around stunning china sets that I’ve ever laid eyes on.

All I can say is – I want!

Luminess Air on Sale at Gilt!

January 28, 2010

Gilt currently has the Luminess makeup airbrushing system on sale from $395 to $169! I know I have a TEMPTU but I’m dying to get one of these for myself as it seems like such a good deal –

* Luminess Compression with Stylus: This powerful, lightweight and mess-proof system has a stylus featuring a unique trigger for simple and perfectly blended coverage as well as a flexible air hose for trouble-free use. Note: Comes with a manufacturer’s 1-year limited warranty. Compressor Length 4.5”, Height 3”; Cord Length 5′; Stylus Length 5.5”, Width 0.5”.
* Airbrush Cosmetics Starter Kit (6 Matte Foundations + 1 Blush): This gives a full range of foundation shades and blush to mix and match, both complementing your skin tone and allowing for color variation during season changes. Size: 0.25 fl oz. each.
* Cosmetics Special Gift Pack (Bronzer, Pearlizer, Moisturizing Primer): The Bronzer gives a sun-kissed glow for your body or face; The Pearlizer acts as a highlighter on your eyebrows and eyes; The Moisturizing Primer is an oil free, lightweight formula for all skin types. Size: 0.25 fl oz. each.

If any of you end up with it, please do tell me all about it as I’ve had my eye on the Luminess products on Sasks’ site for months now. If you’re not already a member, I’m extending an invitation to you to join this great invite-only sample sale site so that you can check the great deals out for yourself.

*In the interest of full disclosure, Gilt does have an “Invite Friends, Get $25” incentive through which the individual making the referral receives a $25 credit when the referree makes his/her first purchase.*

Beautiful, Sunny (Somewhat) LA

January 26, 2010

Sadly it was a little rainy when I arrived at LAX (I had been hoping to enjoy some warm Cali weather) but at least there were the remnants of a quickly disappearing rainbow to greet me. Lucky for me, the weather cleared up rather nicely and the remainder of my 2.5 day stay was full of gorgeous, sunny (albeit rather chilly) weather.

One of the most beautiful places that I visited was the Getty Museum. My friend Cathy and I arrived a little after 5 PM (literally 20 minutes or so prior to closing) and the setting sun made for the most stunning photographic backdrop.

More photos after the jump!

I haven’t had a chance to take photos of my purchases yet (they were pretty few and far between as I was trying to be good) but hopefully you’ll be hearing all about those tomorrow. I did get to check out this AMAZING beauty mecca called Larchmont Beauty that makes me want to move out to LA so that I can shop there every day. They carry every product known to man and a ton of really hard-to-find brands that people like me scour the city for. If you’re in the area, definitely check it out and if you’ve been there be sure to share!

Back From Cali!

January 25, 2010

Hey everyone! So I’m back from California (my flight was delayed so I didn’t get home until 2 AMish and now I’m sitting here at work trying not to fall asleep) and I have a million photos to share with you. My friend Cathy was sweet enough to play tour guide and took me to all sorts of landmarks such as the Getty Museum and Griffith Observatory and shopping in Beverly Hills among other places. I wish I could’ve stayed longer, but sadly duty called. Photos to come tonight!

And yes, I will be posting on those palettes so many of you asked about, so stay tuned :).

Drugstore Discoveries: Revlon PhotoReady Foundation Review & Swatches

January 20, 2010

PhotoReady Makeup, Revlon’s latest foundation release, has been stirring up much buzz around the blogosphere as the drugstore alternative to MUFE’s HD foundation. Its wallet-friendly $13.99 price tag and its promises of a dewy, camera-ready complexion have helped it attain HG status with many, so you know I had to try it for myself. Check out the review after the jump!

I will say this – Revlon’s PhotoReady really is quite good for a drugstore foundation. It wasn’t love for me for a number of reasons, but it is one of the best drugstore foundations I’ve tried to date (good drugstore foundations seem to be few and far between), and even bested many department store foundations I’ve experimented with through the years.

So first for the good ~ the pump on this is pure genius! It enables you to precisely control the amount of foundation that you want and dispenses everything mess free ~ now you’d think this would be something too basic to even mention, but it’s seriously appalling how badly some foundations out there are packaged. Coverage is light/medium but buildable, and the formula is wonderfully light and glides nicely across your skin.

As for the bad? Well my main issues with this foundation are that shade #004 Nude is way too dark/yellow on me, and oxidizes throughout the day making me look like some sort of orange-faced troll. Gripe #2 is that PhotoReady emphasizes any flakies and dry spots you have, meaning moisturize well or don’t bother with this stuff. PhotoReady also has a tend to slide around on my oily forehead after 2-3 hours, and really has trouble staying put in the area around my nose (although I’ll admit most foundations do slide around for me in that area).

Now I know that most of you have heard complaints of the Twilight-esque sparkle in this foundation, but honestly I don’t notice it at all. I set mine with La Mer’s translucent loose powder which already has a healthy dose of shimmer to it, and seriously the only time you’ll notice shimmer is when you’re standing under direct sunlight, and really, what’s so wrong with a little shimmer? The bigger issues for me is the emphasizing flakies and pores and looking a little cakey when layered aspects of the foundation.

All in all this is one of those foundations that falls into the “good enough that I want to love but has enough flaws that I just can’t” category. Maybe I’m spoiled having found a few foundations that work magic for my complexion, but while PhotoReady really is quite decent, it’s a pass for me.

Packing For A Cali Wedding

January 18, 2010

My gorgeous younger cousin is getting married this weekend (which has brought on all sorts of old maid comments – le sigh), and lucky for me the wedding is in California, giving me an excuse to venture all the way across the country to spend at least a few days basking in sun before returning to the bitter cold of NY.

Getting my cosmetics together for a trip is always a bit of a production, but so far I’ve at least got my shadows and blushes picked out and placed into smaller palettes for easy travel.

Check out more photos after the jump!

I’m taking along a bunch of MAC pressed pigments in a variety of colors since I’m pretty indecisive and I probably won’t be 100% on the look I want to wear until the morning of the wedding. Plus I just love the way they look sitting in the palette :).

I’ve also packed a few of my favorite DEX eyeshadows and blushes and the pigmentation never fails me and they’re great options for my airport/shopping looks. And gotta love the fact that you can fit two eyeshadow brushes in there along with the products, making touch ups on-the-go that much easier.

I’m thinking I need to pick up an Evian spritzer and some other odds and ends, but for the most part I’m feeling pretty well set for my trip. Now to buckle down and choose a few lip shades to take with me. And you know I’ll be packing up the TEMPTU!

Lemming Of the Day: Hermes Bolduc Twilly & Medor Scarf Rings

January 18, 2010

I haven’t done one of these posts in awhile, but lately I’ve had these fun little Hermes Medor twilly rings on the brain. They run $145 for a set of three (exorbitantly pricey, I know) and really add some nice modern flair to what can be an otherwise rather traditional look.

I’m not quite ready to splurge on these, but when I am you know you’ll be the first to hear about it!

Tarina Tarantino Launches at Sephora

January 18, 2010

All my fellow crazy Sephora stalkers (you know you’re out there) may have noticed that Sephora has launched a little preview of the soon-to-arrive Tarina Tarantino cosmetics collection! There was a time when I was obsessed with all things Tarina Tarantino (I have a few of her flower hair clips and lusted after a Hello Kitty necklace for the longest time) so of course I’m thrilled to see her going back to her roots as a makeup artist and bringing us a Sephora-exclusive fun, girly new collection to check out.

Products I’ve got my eye on? Well the Pearl Glow Primer ($32) for one – I’m a sucker for any product that promises me luminescent skin. I mean what’s more beautiful than a pearl’s nacre? Other releases include the beautiful Sparklicity Shimmer Dust ($39) which is reminiscent of Guerlain’s holiday shimmer sprays and a fun kabuki with a shock of fuchsia bristles called the Kapinki ($38). Can’t wait for everything to officially release so that I can check the products out for myself!

Help for Haiti

January 15, 2010

While things rarely get serious here in the world of ABS, I wanted to take a quick moment to urge each of you to join me in doing what little we can to support the disaster relief efforts currently ongoing in Haiti. As I’m sure you’re all aware, Haiti suffered a 7.0 magnitude earthquake that ravaged its capital city, leaving an estimated 45,000 – 50,000 dead with many many more injured or missing.

I’ve spared you some of the more graphic photos, but the streets are literally full of the dead, the wounded, the orphaned. Offering your assistance is as easy as sending a quick text from your phone:

  • Text the word “Yele” to 501501 to donate $5 on behalf of the Yéle Foundation, the leading contributor to rebuilding Haiti founded by Wyclef Jean.
  • Text the word “Haiti” to 85944 to donate $5 on behalf of the Rescue Union Mission and MedCorp International.
  • Text the word “Haiti” to 25383 to donate $5 On behalf of the Internal Rescue Committee.
  • Text the word “Haiti” to 90999 to donate $10 On behalf of the Red Cross in the U.S.
  • Text the word “Haiti” to 45678 (in Canada only) on behalf of the Salvation Army in Canada.

Or if you’d like to go online and make a donation, here are just a organizations few to which you can contribute:

-with many many more listed here. I thought it would be great if we all cut back on just one item we had intended to purchase this month and donated that money towards the disaster relief funds. It could be that Starbucks latte you have every morning, that spring collection lipstick you’ve been wanting, or that new pair of shoes you’ve had your eye on. Please join me in donating what you can to help – in a country in which over four and a half million people live on less than $1 per day, every dollar really does make all the difference.

Thanks for taking the time to read this!

How Do You Achieve Picture Perfect Skin?

January 12, 2010

I’ve got a pretty major gala to go to tomorrow evening and it’s got me wondering – what are your secrets to attaining picture perfect skin?

My current routine has been serving me well for the past week or two, although it literally changes every month or so. I’ve rediscovered my love for the Innisfree BB Mousse despite its many flaws (a little messy, dries too quickly to blend easily, only comes in one shade) , and topped with a bit of the amazing CDP concealer I received from Nicole and quick spritz from my TEMPTU airbrush system I’m on the road to perfection (or as close to perfection as my skin ever gets).

I’m probably going to keep the rest of my makeup relatively simple – probably a neutral shadow with slight shimmer, some black liner along my upper lash line, a ton of mascara and an understated lip. Let’s hope all goes well!