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Summer Must-Have: Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder

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Summer is all about bronzed, glowing skin. The only product needed to achieve this is Laura Mercier’s Matte Radiance Baked Powder. Available in four bronzing colors and one highlight, one is able to mimic the sun’s rays without the damage.

  • Highlight 01 – Golden nude
  • Bronze 01 – Fair to light skin tone
  • Bronze 02 – Light to medium skin tone
  • Bronze 03 – Medium skin tone
  • Bronze 04 – Tan to deep skin tone

Titled “Matte Radiance Baked Powder,” this product is far from the stark matte bronzers of the past. Laura Mercier’s Matte Radiance Baked Powder warms-up the skin revealing a healthy glow. No glitter or shimmer but a beautiful glowing sheen.

The ultra-smooth formula provides natural color with absolutley no orange tinge. The modern, multidimensional matte finish reveals a hint of soft luminosity and the sheer, buildable coverage lets you customize your glow.

Easy to apply, these bronzers leave skin looking naturally radiant. Coming from a bronzing addict – this is the most natural finish and color-range I have experienced. It instantly warms up the face and creates healthy looking skin.  Laura Mercier’s Matte Radiance Baked Powder is my in my top 10 Summer Must-Haves for 2013.

Fresh-Faced: YSL Creme de Blush in Baby Doll

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The Yves Saint Laurent Arty Stone Collection for Spring 2013 is a gorgeous collection filled with bold spring colors. To top it off, the collection is all worn by Ginta Lapina, the label’s ambassador for this season.

Taking its inspiration from warm, precious jewel tone pigments, Lloyd Simmonds, Creative Director Make-up Yves Saint Laurent Beauté, describes as:

“Pink quartz, amethyst, pyrite, malachite, azurite, jade, each possesses a hypnotic beauty. When you hold them in your hands, these precious stones diffuse energy and light, like galaxies. Their crystalline purity and voluptuous opalescence were the departure point for the creation of the Spring Look 2013 for Yves Saint Laurent.”

This collection features three new Creme de Blush: 7 Rose, 8 Brown, 9 Pink (Baby Doll Pink). These blushes are very unique. They apply and blend like a cream but set to a powder finish. However, the finish is luminous, radiant and healthy looking. Incredibly easy to apply, this product feels like silk, ensuring a seamless result. The lightweight, mousse-like and non-waxy texture does not break-up makeup, and can be layered for higher color payoff.

Baby Doll is my current favorite. It looks very pink in the pot – almost neon, however, when blended, creates the perfect flushed cheek. Swoon. Apply with a light hand for a subtle effect or a heavy-hand for a statement look. Baby Doll really makes the skin look fresh and healthy.

Suggested application: Using fingertips, gently apply to the apples of the cheeks, blending up and outward toward the hairline. Gently tap into the skin for flawless blending.

How To: Lips & Lashes

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red lipHoliday parties are the perfect opportunity to take risks and add a little drama to your makeup look. My favorite festive look is sophisticated, classic and can be worn at any event. Lips & Lashes. By highlighting both of these features you will look instantly polished at any event this season.

LIPS: Prep your pout for mistletoe kisses. Go with classic red or a bold bordeaux. For those who are not used to wearing a bold lip, it’s time to get confident and try something new for your next holiday event.

For finding the best red for your skintone and how to apply the party-ready lip – check out these posts:

Four Favorites: Red Lipstick

How To: Perfect Red Lip

LASHES: If you have been wanting to experiment with false lashes, let this holiday season be your time to take the leap. Get fiercely flirty eyes in minutes using individual lashes.

Individual lashes are great for beginners. They look extremely natural, are comfortable to wear and easy to apply. Additionally, these lashes can also be placed wherever you need them. Add to the corners of the eyes for a bit of extra interest or to the center of the eye for an instant doe-like effect or all over for extra thickening and lengthening.

Individual false eyelashes come in two options: flares and singles. For a more dramatic look – try flares. I suggest getting them in small or medium (long… is really long). Flared lashes are available in two types: knotted and knot-free. Knotted have a knot at the top of the cluster to join the lashes. They provide extra surface area that make applying a little easier. However, knot-free look more natural.

NEED & RECOMMENDED:

♦ Lashes: Duralash Natural Knot-Free Medium Black

♦ Glue: Duo Eyelash Adhesive

♦ Tweezers: Tweezerman Slant

♦ Eyelash Curler: Kevyn Aucoin Beauty Eyelash Curler

♦ Mascara: Giorgio Armani ‘Eyes to Kill’ Mascara

HOW TO:

  1. Use tweezers to grasp the sprig of lashes as close to the base as possible.
  2. Place a dot of glue on a flat surface and dip the base of the sprig into the glue using a light touch.
  3. KEY TIP: Wait at least 10 seconds for the glue to get tacky before applying.
  4. Now, start on the outer corner and lay the lash behind your natural lash. Use a “picket-fence” approach when applying.
  5. Once the glue is dry, curl the lashes close to the base of your lashes, being careful not to press too hard. The faux lashes will curl much more than your natural lashes.
  6. Then, finish by applying mascara to “marry” the faux with your natural lashes.

Countdown Calendar: Ciaté Mini Mani Set

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An Advent calendar is used to count or celebrate the days in anticipation of Christmas. The days often overlap with the Christian season of Advent. Despite the name, most commercially available Advent calendars begin on December 1, regardless of when Advent begins, which can be as early as November 27 and as late as December 3. One window is opened every day leading up to Christmas. The calendar windows can be filled with a variety of small gifts: toys, chocolate, poems… nail polish!

Behind each door of the Ciaté Mini Mani Set is one of Ciaté’s bestselling mini Paint Pot. Uncover 17 mini Paint Pots, four mini Caviar blends, and three exclusive Paint Pot glitter shades in this one-of-a-kind advent calendar.

Touted by press as “nail innovators,” Ciaté is certified as a 3 FREE brand. Which means no Dibutyl-Phthalate, Toluene or Formaldehyde. Ciaté’s Paint Pots are amazingly pigmented, long-lasting and a cinch to apply.

Fill each day of December with a colorful surprise. This unique advent calendar will keep your nails colorful all-year-round.

Dream Cream: Jouer Cream Eyeshadow

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Jouer Cream Eyeshadow is the do-it-all eye product for quick, low maintenance makeup. Line, shade and/or contour your eyes with these easy-to-blend beauties.

These cream eyeshadows are like nothing I have tried before. Extremely lightweight in texture, the formula glides effortlessly onto the lids. They feel like velvet on the skin and the smudge-proof formula lasts all day. The consistency is both layerable and buildable providing options for a sheer or dramatic application.

Available in five gorgeous shades:

♦ Chiffon – shimmering ivory pearl

♦ Feather – shimmering pink champagne

♦ Organza – shimmering lavender taupe

♦ Cashmere – shimmering golden taupe

♦ Suede – shimmering golden bronze

When deciding on whether to use a cream or powder eye shadow, take into consideration factors such as your age and skin type. Powder eye shadows that contain shimmers may settle in wrinkles, fine lines and/or sagging eye lids. Cream shadow is a better option for women of age as they will create a smooth base. If you have very oily skin, using a cream eyeshadow can be frustrating. When combined with your skin’s natural oils, the eyeshadow may quickly smear or seep into the crease. This is an easy fix – as cream eyeshadows can also be used as primers. First apply your favorite cream eyeshadow then set with a powder or powder eyeshadow to absorb excess oil. Not only with the color last and last – but mixing these textures reveals beautiful dimension and light-reflecting properties.

All Jouer products offer a smart packaging solution. Constructed with interlocking sides, every product from lip gloss to face powder “snap-together,” making it easy to mix and match your favorites into the perfect palette.

I am currently having a small love affair with Jouer Cosmetics. Quality formulas, wearable colors and intelligent packaging – what more could you ask for. More reviews to come.

Tried & Tested: Bobbi Brown BB Cream SPF 35

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The newest BB Cream to hit our counters is Bobbi Brown BB Cream SPF 35. Exclusive to Nordstroms, the formula combines moisturizer, skincare, foundation and SPF into one.

Features & Benefits: Water-attracting molecules boost hydration. Light-reflecting pearls brighten dull skin. Botanical extracts and caffeine reduce discoloration and redness. Pore-reducing peptides minimize fine lines. Broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection and antioxidants fend off future damage.

Bobbi Brown’s BB Cream SPF 35 is available in five shades: Extra Light, Fair, Light, Medium and Medium to Dark. I was certainly intrigued by this, due to the fact that Bobbi Brown Cosmetics are primarily yellow-based shades. Many BB Cream (especially asian brands) are based on cooler-tones, such as pinks and greys.

As I sampled the different shades, I was persuaded by a sweet Bobbi Brown representative to try the darkest shade, Medium to Dark. This shade looks quite dark, almost bronzer-like. But, I took her advice and purchased.

APPLICATION: Smooth and easy to apply. Goes on quite dry, but feels nice and extremely light on the skin. (Unless you have very oily skin, a moisturizer is needed in addition to this BB Cream.)

COVERAGE: Sheer.

FINISH: Skin appears matte with a subtle sheen. Very healthy-looking. However, like most BB Creams, after a couple hours the oils will come-out and skin will look too glowing. A finishing powder is recommended.

COLOR: Initial application, the color appeared too dark. Let dry and after a couple minutes, the color adapts to the skin and the color is perfect. It might be a smidgen too dark – but I am loving the subtle-tan look for summer.

VERDICT: Like many of the US BB Creams, this is much like a tinted moisturizer. But, I love the finish it leaves on the skin and the feeling is remarkably lightweight. For a high-SPF product, this cream wears like you have nothing on. The shade choices are great and warm-up the complexion beautifully. Leaves skin looking fresh and healthy. A great option for the summer months – SPF, lightweight, easy.

(When testing these BB Creams, before deciding on a shade, I suggest waiting at least 5 minutes for the color to oxidize and adapt to your skin tone.)

For other BB Cream reviews:

Dior Hydra Life BB Cream

Boscia BB Cream

Summer Favorites: Blush

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In the summer, bright and vibrant shades of cheek color is a surefire way to look younger and healthy. Use these products to emphasize a tan, create a youthful flush or mimic a lit-from-within complexion.

Start by choosing the right shade for your skintone. To find your go-to blush shade, pinch your cheeks and then pick a color that mimics your natural flush. This trick will ensure that you’re choosing the most flattering color for your skin tone. If you have fair skin, try a cool pink. Medium skin looks great in vibrant apricot/peachy hues, and darker skin tones look radiant in fuchsia.

Cream blush is a great way to instantly look fresh and dewy. Although it’s staying powder is not the best, especially in higher temperatures, cream blush is a nice alternative for dry skin. To ensure staying power on oily skin, first prime the skin and then set with a powder blush or translucent powder. To apply cream blush, smile and lightly focus the blush onto the apples of your cheeks. Then blend softly back and up toward the hairline. If you apply too liberally, tone down heavy application by blotting the excess color with a clean makeup sponge. Or, use a sheer, luminizing powder to diffuse excess color. The blush then looks like it came from within the skin versus sitting on top of it.

FAVORITES:

Dior Rosy Glow Healthy Glow Awakening Blush: I am a sucker for these gimmicky products. However, this one is fantastic. The formula magically adjusts to your skin’s natural chemistry to create a universal shade. It produces an angelic pink glow that makes you look “lit-from-within.”

It Cosmetics Vitality Cheek Flush Powder Blush Stain in Peony: The most long-wearing powder blush I have tried. The waterproof formula mimics the lasting power and glow of a cheek stain with the easy application of a powder. Packed with anti-oxidants and anti aging properties, this blush gives new definition to a “healthy glow.”

Youngblood Crushed Mineral Blush in Rouge: These blushes are incredibly pigmented and easy to work with. They blend beautifully and last all-day. They feel lightweight on the skin and never settle into lines. A small amount goes a very long way, apply with a light hand for a sheer wash of color or add more for vibrant glowing skin.

Kevyn Aucoin The Pure Powder Glow in Myracle: Full Review HERE.

NARS Cream Blush in Cactus Flower: On trend for summer, this bright coral blush is beautiful on both the lips and cheeks. The velvety texture is extremely easy to blend and apply. Subtle gold shimmers hide in the coral to help create perfectly flushed, luminous skin.

BECCA Beach Tint in Guava: This is the perfect color for summertime. It resembles the act of playing in the sun a little too long. The water-resistant formula can be used on both the cheeks and lips. Produces the most natural-looking flush and smells like summer.

Urban Decay Afterglow Glide-On Cheek Tint in Quickie: A lightweight cream blush that does not pull or disrupt a base. It can be used on top of foundation, powder… anything. The formula is sheer but buildable. The staying power is not the best, but I am obsessed with this color. Quickie is a sheer bubble gum, electric, cotton candy pink. The minute it is applied, it creates instant youthfulness.

Glow & Go: Scott Barnes Body Bling

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Achieve glowing skin instantly with this shimmering body lotion that lasts all day. The bronzer to the stars, Scott Barnes Body Bling, is a no-commitment illuminator, that washes off with soap and water. Glow & Go.

Scott Barnes is a celebrated makeup artist credited for creating gorgeous looks for his numerous celebrity clients. His most popular look coined “the glow” was created on Jennifer Lopez. This monochromatic look features bronze glowing skin and pale lips. His signature look became known as “lit from within” and launched the world famous shimmering bronzer, Body Bling.

Use Body Bling on your shoulders, arms, legs, décolletage for a flawless look from head to toe. It’s great for masking self-tanning streaks or mistakes, covering flaws and instantly toning and slimming arms and legs. It is easy to apply and feels moisturizing on the skin.

Scott Barnes Body Bling is a must-have for summer. This lotion looks amazing on-top of already tanned (fake or real) skin. It is not dark enough to replace your other self-tanning products, but will look incredible in conjunction with. With specks of gold shimmer that reflect light beautifully, everyone can create Scott Barnes signature “lit from within” look.

Liner Longevity: Stila Smudge Stick

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Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Liner

If you are looking for eye liner with staying-power, look no further. Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liners are long-lasting, waterproof and do not budge.

Available in eight shades, these eyeliners are vibrantly pigmented and easy to apply. The texture is creamy and smooth as they glide onto the lids. The colors are intense and vivacious, with some that contain shimmer – others matte.

At IMATS (International Makeup Artists Tradeshow) this weekend, I swatched every color on my hand. Throughout the day, after testing other products and wiping them off, these eyeliners survived. Driving home (picture), the Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liners edured the entire day.

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