Blog Archives

The Gloss Over: Chanel Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss in Insolence

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chanel

Chanel Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss combines bold color and longevity. As glosses go – majority rules – not very long-lasting. Chanel has designed it’s Rouge Allure to be a color-rich, high shine, gel-based that wears “for hours.”

One of the best features is the double-sided flocked applicator. The shape is beveled to deliver ultra-precise definition and easy application. Like all things Chanel – the packaging is pristine, high-quality and luxurious. As for the formula, I was quite surprised by the texture of the gloss. A “long-lasting” gloss would assume to be tacky and/or sticky. Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss is none of the above. The “jelly-like” texture is smooth, silky and comfortable on the lips. The shine is not dramatic – but subtle and makes lips look full and voluminous.  The formula lasts an hour or so – better than other gloss products but not as long-lasting as long-wear lipsticks and stains. I personally bought this product for the color – not its longevity – so the extra hour or so is a bonus.

The color: Insolence is a cotton candy blue-based pink with silver micro-shimmer. It’s semi-opaque but adds a substantial amount of brightness and pinkness to the lips.

Chanel Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss is a great everyday lip product.

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Nail Jelly: American Apparel Sheer Nail Lacquer

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American Apparel’s “Sheer” Nail Lacquer collection offers six beautifully bold glosses named after beloved California beaches. While the shades are uber vivid, they are sheer enough to layer, mix and match.

Moonlight Beach: royal blue

Redondo Beach: sky blue

Pacific Beach: turquoise

Zuma Beach: green/chartreuse

Manhattan Beach: fiery coral

Summerland Beach: light peach

The formula is thin but very pigmented. In about three coats – you can get full coverage. However, I love the one-two coats for a sheer jelly-like effect and sheer wash of color. Drying time is quick with a glossy finish. The formula has an average lifespan… a couple days – but chips are easily corrected with a brush-over as this polish is great for layering.

The new sheer lacquers are cruelty-free and available in retail American Apparel stores or online here.

Silicone Savant: Per-fékt Eye Perfection Gel

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eye perfection

Tired of under-eye concealer picnicking in fine lines and caking around the under eye area?  Then Per-fékt Eye Perfection Gel is a must-have for you.

This multi-tasking, silicone savant leaves the eye area smooth, airbrushed and “lit from within.” The formula consists of a light-reflecting tint, soothing cucumber extract, antioxidants, hyaluronic microspheres, peptides and ceramides, that all work to smooth-away the appearance of puffy, tired looking eyes, blur fine lines and wrinkles, brighten and hydrate.

The cooling palladium tip applicator is excellent for getting the circulation moving in the morning. It applies the mousse-like gel effortlessly and feels very soothing on the delicate under eye area. Very similar to a primer, fine lines are less noticeable, as if they had been “softened” or blurred. It feels like an eye treatment, brightens, erases and keeps any product layered on top from settling and/or caking.

Per-fékt Eye Perfection Gel is available in four varieties – Awake (colorless), Bright (sheer, light neutral), Refreshed (sheer, medium beige) and Vibrant (warm tan for olive). Eye Perfection Gel can also be used as an eyeshadow primer and also as a subtle highlight on the cheek bone and/or brow bone area.

How to Use:

Premeasure a drop of eye perfection gel by squeezing out onto the cooling palladium tip applicator before applying around the delicate eye area. With cooling palladium tip applicator, gently pat and smooth from the outside corner of the eye inward. Gently smooth with fingertips. Use sparingly as eye perfection gel is not diluted with water. Layer for desired perfection or coverage. Do not use eye cream before application as the skin may not absorb eye perfection gel properly. A slight cooling sensation is normal.

About Per-fékt:

As one of the beauty industry’s leading entrepreneurs, Richard Anderson has successfully launched some of today’s leading beauty brands including The Lancaster Group, Yves Saint Laurent and Bobbi Brown Essentials.

While working in the beauty industry over 14 years, Anderson discovered one dominant complaint and growing frustration for women. NO TIME. Because of today’s high performance and personally demanding world, women simply don’t have the time to invest in a lengthy beauty ritual. With never a spare moment schedules, women need simple and dependable beauty products that can multi-task as gracefully as they do.

In order to fill this need and capitalize on this niche market, Anderson utilized his vast connections and industry knowledge to create Per-fekt Beauty, Inc. Per-fekt is fully committed to launching technologically advanced products that simply ‘per-fekt’ the way women wear cosmetics.

Four Favorites: Red Lipstick

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As the seasons change, the reach for a red lipstick grows closer. Unfortunately, many women are scared of scarlet. I believe there is a simple adjustment period or rite of passage, when wearing a bright lip. Just like anything else, to diverge from our comfort zone is an uncomfortable feeling. Try this: When home alone, cleaning house, reading a book, watching television – apply your bright lip and test-drive for the day. Let your eyes adjust to the unfamiliar look and I promise it won’t be so shocking next time.

Tips on Application: HOW TO: PERFECT RED LIPS

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Chanel Rouge Coco in Gabrielle: My all-time favorite. A bright blue-based red with glossy sheen. The Rouge Cocos’ are extremely moisturizing and allow you to wear both a sheer or heavy red lip.

NARS Semi Matte Lipstick in Jungle Red: NARS best-seller, Jungle Red is bright and bold. If you want to commit to a “Gwen Stefani/Rita Hayworth” red lip – this one’s for you.

YSL Rouge Volupt in #18 Red Taboo: Cool-toned red with a hint of raspberry. The Rouge Volupt lipsticks are comfortable and light on the lips. Extremely pigmented, long-lasting, uber-creamy and incredibly glossy.

Tom Ford Lip Color in Scarlet Rouge: The classic brick red. For those still uncomfortable wearing the bright lip – this is your training wheels. Deep and luxurious – the color is beautiful and sophisticated – the formula is hydrating and long-lasting.

Holy Grail: Laura Mercier Tone Perfecting Eye Gel Creme

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Do you suffer from dark circles and/or puffy eyes? Welcome to the 80th percentile of planet Earth.

Most people think dark circles are a telltale sign of tiredness, or the unsightly evidence involving one too many margaritas. That is true to a certain extent, as fatigue makes skin dull, and drinking alcohol dehydrates and thins the skin. But the most likely culprit causing chronic dark circles, dermatologists say, is excess pigmentation in the skin and dilated blood vessels that sit close to the thin under-eye skin. Unfortunately, both of these perpetrators are hereditary and are just sitting there bathing in your gene pool.

Aside from surgery there are few options that can really penetrate pigment cells. But there are options to brighten and tighten the eye area, constricting blood vessels to minimize darkness and tissue swelling.

Laura Mercier Tone Perfecting Eye Gel Creme is just the relief you need to brighten and perfect the eye area. The lightweight gel reduces the appearance of dark circles and puffiness, giving the eye area a visibly brighter, more awakened look.

Tone Perfecting Eye Gel Creme is formulated with Oligopeptide-68, a peptide that is said to inhibit tyrosinase activity, melanin synthesis, and decrease the proteins involved in the pigmentation process. It also contains Ash Tree Bark extract, know to help the appearance of puffiness and Sodium Hyaluronate to smooth the skin.

According to Jeffrey Tasker, International Makeup Artist for Laura Mercier, Laura hired a doctor to formulate this eye cream for her own use. It worked so well, she decided to share it to the world by including it in her skin care line.

This is my holy grail daytime eye cream for one simple reason – effects are immediate. When I wake up with puffy, tired eyes I go directly to my refrigerator (where I keep my eye cream) and apply. The cold, soothing gel absorbs quickly into the skin and feels incredibly nourishing. Instantly my sleepy, puffy eyes are brighter and refreshed. Long term, this product promises to improve the tone and texture of the skin. I have not used long enough to notice these results, however, I believe I soon will.

Questions about Laura Mercier? 

Contact:
Christina D. Torres
Business Manager
Cosmetics, Laura Mercier
T: 949/610-1420
E: christina.d.torres@nordstrom.com

Four Favorites: Face Oil

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There is often a misconception about the use of oil on the face. I believe that the term “oil-free” has brainwashed us to reject these magnificent moisturizers. Face oils can be more effective at hydrating the skin than a cream or gel-based moisturizer. Oil is able to sink to the surface of the skin and penetrate two of the five layers of the epidermal, producing quicker results. They nourish the skin, adding powerful vitamins and antioxidants, and help balance the skin’s natural oil production.

The best face oils are all-natural products made from pure oils and other plant-based ingredients. If a product combines oil with synthetic fillers, it looses it’s effectiveness. Here are my four favorites:

Rodin Olio Lusso Luxury Face Oil: Formulated with an aromatic blend of 11 essential oils, this opulent oil relies on flowers and botanicals for their calming and illuminating properties. A staple of many top pros and makeup artists, this oil can be used to take makeup off, to moisturize and as a massage oil (expensive massage oil?). Add a couple drops to foundation to create a dewy finish or pat on the cheekbones and undereyes for a beautiful, fresh glow. Just a few drops will make your skin look radiant. Use as an alternate or supplement to your moisturizer and apply whenever your face needs a pick-me-up.

Creator, Linda Rodin spent over a year mixing oils in her bathroom (in a coffee cup) to make the elixir to satisfy all her beauty needs. She does not promise miracles–she is neither a chemist nor a scientist. She is interested in simple, natural products that work.  In her own words, “the product makes skin look more alive”. 

Decléor Aromessence Neroli Essential Serum: Full Blog Post Review HERE.

SUTI Nourish Organic Face Oil for Night: A potent blend of 15 plant and flower extracts that strengthen the skin and promotes the regrowth of skin cells while you sleep. Formulated with Avocado, Sesame, Patchouli and Bergamot to heal, replenish and plump-up dehydrated skin; Macadamia and Geranium to balance the production of sebum (the skin’s natural oil production) for healthy moisture retention; Argan Oil to calm irritated, inflamed and blemished skin and Apricot Kernel to help promote dermal elasticity. This combination is intensively “nourish”-ing, luxurious, and smells of fragrant jasmine. Skin looks glowing, bright and plump in the morning, like you’ve just had a wonderful night’s sleep.

SUTI is created by two sister-in-laws Suzannah and Tina (the “Su” and “Ti”). SUTI is a small, impeccably crafted line from the UK that uses only sustainably sourced, organically grown ingredients, hand-blended into the finest and gentlest of facial oils, balms and tonics.

Alpha-H Age Delay Facial Oil: A preventative and corrective solution formulated with nine of nature’s finest oils: Apricot Oil for it’s protection and softening properties; Rose Hip Oil to repair and strengthen: Wheat Germ to nourish; Calendula to regenerate; Carrot Oil to improve skin texture and miximize moisture levels; Frankincense for it’s firming and toning benefits; German Chamomile to soothe; Lavender to heal; Patchouli to aid in repairing cells and balance the skin. This facial oil is a synergistic mix that works to slow the aging process by protecting the skin against free radical damage, repair cell damage and sun damage. Deeply hydrates and firms the skin for instant, noticeable results. Your skin will drink this oil up and immediately feel soothed and nourished.

Australia’s leading professional salon treatment brand, Alpha-H pioneered the use of fruit acids in skin care nearly 20 years ago. Their cult cosmeceutical formulas are endorsed by a global following of clinicians, make-up artists and beauty writers and are relied upon by thousands of therapists worldwide for their fast and visible results on signs of ageing, sun damage, sensitivity and acne.

Neutral Duo: NARS Kalahari

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NARS Eyeshadow Duos are long-wearing and crease-resistant. They are beautifully pigmented and creamy to the touch. The Duos are available in a myriad of colors and textures and are always interestingly and uniquely paired.

While scouring NARS Eyeshadows, it is easy to focus primarily on the unusual bright colors. The neutral duos have a hard time competing. NARS Eyeshadow Duo in Kalahari is a great neutral option. It contains two very wearable color combinations, a shimmering bronze with peach undertones and a warm brown with taupe undertones.

Kalahari is available in NARS’ permanent collection. Worn together or alone, these shades are richly pigmented and can be applied sheer or built-up for a more dramatic effect. Used wet, these shadows also double as eyeliners.

Kalahari will flatter any eye color. The warm tones look amazing on dark and light skin tone and will reflect beautifully in the summer sun.

Statement Sandals: Graphics

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From abstract florals to eye-catching ikat, summer sandals are getting graphic. Found in an overwhelming array of colors, styles, prints and patterns, complete any outfit with a bold statement sandal.

Keeping it neutral. Make these statement shoes the focal point of the ensemble by keeping the rest of the pieces neutral and/or monochromatic.

Mixing prints. Sometimes the best combinations are the ones that do not seem suitable. There are no rules here, only to look for prints and textures in complementary color families. The pieces do not have to coordinate exactly, but there should be a common theme.

Spice up your wardrobe with some vibrant graphics. Here are few of my favorite stand-out sandals.

Zara ~ Fabric Sandal: $99.90

Theodora & Callum ~ Hippie Heel: 229.99 (sale)

Loeffler Randall ~ Dita Platform Pump: $425.00

BCBGeneration ~ Hosanna: $87.99 (sale)

Alice + Olivia ~ Juliet Platform Wedge Sandal: $295.00

Cynthia Vincent ~ Naomi Aztec-Printed Platform Wedge Sandal: $197.00 (sale)

Retinol Rival: Algenist Concentrated Reconstructing Serum

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Solazyme is a biotechnology laboratory in San Francisco where scientists study renewable energy solutions for cars, military ships, and airplanes. During their research, the company unexpectedly stumbled onto alguronic acid, a regenerative and protective skin care compound which launched the skin care line called Algenist.

Available only in Algenist products, this bioactive compound joins other powerful antiaging active ingredients to create a powerful serum that rebuilds skin firmness while restoring elasticity.

When scientifically tested (commissioned by Algenist): Alguronic Acid demonstrated significant anti-aging properties, increasing elastin synthesis by up to 32% and cellular regeneration by up to 55%. In head to head studies, alguronic acid outperformed retinol, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin C in it’s anti-aging capabilities.

I have used the Concentrated Reconstructing Serum for over one month now, and have noticed a change in my skin. Skin tone is much brighter, skin feels extremely hydrated and my sometimes acne-prone skin has disappeared. I have not noticed a significant change in fine lines and age spots, but will continue to use. The serum feels wonderful on the skin and produces no irritation, redness, or flaking, which are common side effects produced by more traditional ingredients like retinol and vitamin C.

Scientific ‘mumbo-jumbo’ set aside, based on usage – this is a fantastic serum that keeps my skin clear, hydrated and glowing.

To The Max: Pleated Maxi Skirts

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Add a bit of spring to your wardrobe… and step with a brightly-colored pleated maxi skirt. These pieces are popping up everywhere and are available in the most beautiful colors.

Wear these vibrant spring colors now by coordinating with bulky sweaters and cardigans. When the weather permits – transition effortlessly into spring with a simple tee or tank, sandal or espadrille. Wear a statement piece – necklace/earrings/bag/shoe – that plays with color scheme. Example turquoise and red, royal blue and yellow, purple and lilac… 

The shape of these skirts can often camoflauge the waistline, to avoid this, wear a belt or find a maxi skirt with a different color waist band (yellow skirt pictured).

Topshop ~ Pleated Maxi Skirt: $40.00

Piperlime ~ Hive & Honey Pleat Maxi Skirt: $59.00

Bloomingdales ~ Alice + Olivia – Shannon Pleated Maxi Skirt: $396.00

Shopbop ~ Tibi Maxi Pleated Skirt: $330.00

Forever 21Pleated Maxi Skirt: $24.80

Right Brights: J.Crew Toothpick Jeans in Garment-Dyed Twill

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A great departure from primary colored-denim, J.Crew’s straight leg “Toothpick” jeans are available in an array of color-burst shades. From bright papaya, neon persimmon, light citron, festival green to standard white, these jeans will brighten-up any wardrobe.

These jeans are extremely soft and comfortable. The skinny style has a flattering fit and the soft stretchy cotton provides a magical slimming effect. The ankle length accentuates spring style for wearability all-year-round.

When wearing bright jeans and denim, your legs are the focal point. The safest way to wear bright denim jeans is to pair it with tops, cardigans and tees in neutral colors. Feeling bold and playful? Try pairing your bright denim with an added burst of color. This can be as subtle as an accent cotton scarf or as bold as color-blocking with a cotton tunic in a contrasting color.

Caring for Colored Denim: From J.Crew: The nature of this product may result in color transfer- we suggest laundering them at home before wear.

Break out of your usual blues and opt for bright and cheery denim.

Matte Finish: Nars Pure Matte Lipsticks

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Nars Pure Matte Lipstick ~ Carthage

In lip products, matte textures tend to look more natural than shine and shimmer. This is especially true in photography and video. They also last longer on the lips and seldom feather.

Matte-textured lipsticks as well as long-wear can be incredibly drying on the lips. Nars Pure Matte Lipsticks contain mango butter that provide moisturizing properties to repair dryness and scaling. However, I would not constitute this as a moisturizing lip product, but increasingly better than others I have tested.

Nars Pure Matte Lipsticks are incredibly pigmented and provide amazing color pay-off. They are available in eleven shades from nude to full-bodied reds. Carthage is my current favorite, the most obnoxious hot pink.

Matte lipsticks are a great buy, the pigments are bright and bold and if a little shimmer or shine is needed, just add some gloss.

Tip: Avoid over-applying lipstick, the more you wear, the heavier it looks and the quicker it will wear off.

Drugstore Find: Maybelline Great Lash Mascara Royal Blue

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Maybelline Great Lash Mascara Royal Blue

When experimenting with bright colors and new trends, purchase an inexpensive version to test. Blue mascara is a fun and beneficial option when exploring bright colors.

Inadvertently recognized as 80’s makeup, blue mascara has come a long way. This intriguing color and technique has many benefits and uses.

Most people have yellow and red tones in their sclera (whites of the eyes). The color blue counteracts these colors to make the eyes look whiter, brighter and wide-awake. Blue mascara will also enhance any eye color. Primarily, green and blue-colored eyes but it will also bring-out the gold flecks in brown eyes as well.

Maybelline Great Lash Mascara in Royal Blue is an inexpensive option to test this technique. But, it is also simply a great mascara. I use this on just the bottom lashes for a slight hint of color. It is a beautiful royal blue that makes any eye pop.

Beach Bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs Shopper Tote

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Marc by Marc Jacobs Shopper Tote

A great alternative for this summer’s beach bag is purchasing a shopper tote. Made primarily of waterproof materials, shopper totes will protect items from environmental damage.

Shopper totes can be found everywhere and almost every designer makes one. From low to high-end brands, the beauty of this product is they are all affordable. Available in an assortment of colors and patterns, these bags hold just the right amount.

This Marc by Marc Jacobs Shopper Tote is colorful and bright. The sunny style will be a vibrant accessory for a day at the beach/pool. Coupled with an ‘itsy bitsy teenie weenie yellow polka dot bikini,’ you will be ready to shine.

Energy-Boosting Moisturizer: Origins VitaZing SPF 15

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Origins VitaZing SPF 15

Origins VitaZing SPF 15 is a tint-release lotion that adapts to all skintones. With it’s vitamin-rich Mangosteen energy-complex, a natural anti-oxidant, this moisturizer provides a bright, vibrant, even complexion.

VitaZing empties from the tube a white color with tiny spheres filled with pigment. The texture and feel of this product is similar to that of  a tinted moisturizer.

As massaged into the skin, these particles magically adapt to the skin and provide a soft, glowing coverage. The skin is instantly illuminated and feels fresh and healthy.

These products are great in the summertime.  It’s multi-tasking abilities, hydrate, energize, protect and cover, simplify any makeup routine.

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