Monday, May 30, 2011

Caught with my Khakis Down

No, not literally you pervs...I am referring to the Sephora by OPI Spring collection.

(sorry if my nails look messy, it was a home manicure!)

I like this shade - it's a creamy, army green. Actually, I would love a pair of khakis in this color - but as I learned from Michael Kors on Project Runway, it's not always good to be "MATCHY-MATCHY"

Yes, I spent most of the day watching a marathon of PR when it was still on Bravo - I miss those good ol'days!

I know this is not the shade one thinks of when you think of Spring/Summer nail colors. This is just one that I felt stood out the most for me. Please see the entire lineup here.

I am really liking this shade - I think I feel in love with the army green tips when I tried on my sister's bottle of RBL's Diddy Mow - from last Spring's collection. Please see the awesome pics here on the most awesome nail blogger, Scrangie.

On my NC 42 skin, it looks like a putty, greyish green.
Because this is an unexpected color, it'll look great with sultry summer outfits to add a bit of rugged edge.

Retail - $9.50 USD/0.5oz at Sephora stores now.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Dogon Eye of the Day - Friday, 5/27

I can't really say much more about the latest Summer duo from NARS, Dogon that already hasn't been said.

I took a picture of this late afternoon - the sun was starting to set so it was pretty bright in my livingroom. Sorry if this looks a bit flat but take a look at it swatched on my arm:

You can see the duochrome goodness of the metallic taupe shade - it has some green in it. There is also a minimal shimmer to the black shade.

Other shades used:
NARS Nepal in crease
NARS Alhambra on browbone
MAC Feline Kohl Power Eye pencil
Chanel Inimitable Intense - Black

I felt like the metallic taupe took some extra work to get on to my lid, I must have patted about three layers with a dense shadow brush (MAC #239) but the black shade went on easily. I layered this on top of my TFSI primer. I can't wait to experiment more with this duo. I am curious to see how the NARS cream shadow in Mousson will look layered on top of it.

Yes, I love it. I am glad I finally picked it up!

Other products used:

Cheeks: NARS Multiple - South Beach
             NARS Orgasm blush (layered on top of South Beach)

Lips: Estee Lauder Pure Color - #77 Cafe Chic/NARS Albatross lipgloss

For other color comparisons please check out these awesome photos from:
Makeup Magpie, Joey at Pink Sith, Martha at Planet Martha (congrats to the latest addition to her adorable family!) and of course my girl, Sabrina at The Beauty Look Book.

Retail: $32USD
Bought at Sephora (JCPenny's)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Rollergirl, Summer 2011

No, not Heather:

But from Urban Decay's latest offering for Summer 2011:

(the cute cardboard packaging really sold me)
 Comes with a mini Lip Junkie gloss in Crush - HOT pink (.12 oz)


(even the spine of the palette is cute!)
Okay so let's look at the colors:

(Cue in the OOOOH's and Aaaaaah's)
It also contains a mini deluxe (oxymoron, I know) 24/7 liner in Whiskey (.03 oz). I believe this was the same pencil included in the Half Baked palette from 2009 (?). It's pretty much Bourbon without the glitter - it's also my favorite if I had to choose between the two. I wish it was sold permanently in the 24/7 pencil line up. Woodstock - hot pink shimmer, Verve (exclusive shade) - like a pearly oyster shell, Suspect - like wet copper sand glistening in the sun (also my favorite from the palette), Darkhorse (from NAKED palette) - described as a 'bronze, plum shimmer' via Sephora site. But it seems more like a dark chocolate shimmer on my skin.

top to bottom -
Whiskey liner (on the side)

Bourbon vs. Whiskey:

(L to R: Bourbon, Whiskey)
Taken with flash just so you can see the glitter.
And here's a swatch of the Lip Junkie gloss, Crush (HOT pink):

I took this palette for a spin this morning:

Suspect on lid
Woodstock on outer corner (I want to play more with shade just because I want to prove to myself that it won't make me look hungover or like I'm have a bad eczema attack!)
Darkhorse on crease
Verve on browbone
Whiskey - smudge 3/4 in on both top/bottom lashline

On my cheeks - NARS Orgasm blush layered with South Beach Multiple stick
Lips: Crush Lip Junkie gloss (no liner).

For reference: NC 42/LM tinted moisturizer in Caramel/NARS Syracuse

Because these are shimmer finishes, I didn't notice any blatant fallout around my eyes - a common drawback from glitter UD shadows. I am really loving this palette. Urban Decay always delivers the look I'm going for in the summertime: sexy but with a hint of attainable edge. Does that make any sense? I feel like the Half Baked palette gave more of the edgy surfer girl vibe with it's gold/copper/teal shadow offering. Whereas, Rollergirl may be that same surfer girl at night hitting up a dive bar, live show, retro 80's night at the roller rink or just getting into trouble in general.

You know the kind of girl, I use to be 5 years ago! Except the surfing part.

Retail price:
Online, Sephora, Ulta

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Must to go to SAKS now!

Pat McGrath suggest to use this on eyes as well as a traditional bronzer, highlighter. I love multi-use products.

Not sure how much this retails but I am excited to see it in person. Plus, it's been a long time since I played at the Dolce & Gabbana counter!

For the record, I only want the new D&G Animalere bronzer because I'm pretty sure I can afford that easier than the D&G leopard print maillot.

I would wear that, as well!

From the pages of Allure - June 2011

I had a love affair with Allure - a magazine that focused exclusively on beauty? It debuted in 1991 and I was just smitten.

(image taken from - loving the shot of Stephanie Seymour)
It introduced me to makeup artists - Stephen Marais, Pat McGrath, Francois Nars, Dick Page, Kevin Aucoin (RIP), Gucci Westman that would eventually have their own lines or become creative directors for mega cosmetic brands.

The magazine soon featured tear out - how-to/tip cards. There was one in particular that just really pissed me off - "How to take an effective shower" or something like that. Really? Was I that ignorant that I needed tear out cards to take with me for my morning showers? It reminded me of that episode of Seinfeld where Kramer was getting tips from Jerry on how to take a shower. At any rate, I just felt that the magazine mocked my intelligence and I stopped my subscription and turned my back on the magazine for quite sometime.

Yes, I do take my magazines pretty seriously.

Recently, I had a conversation with my favorite counter S.A. (sales associate) at Chanel - Nordstrom. The lovely Ms. M and I were chatting about our favorite magazines over the years and she brought up Allure. I rolled my eyes and told her about the said tear cards. She agreed that it was lame and unoriginal but she also made a valid point - being in the beauty industry she constantly learns what's new (brands and procedures), what's expected to come out and keeps her abreast of what's going on now.

That said I went back to the magazine - plus Ms. M. has flawless tastes and her makeup picks for me have been on point.

So I give you my EOTD inspiration from this month's issue with the lovely January Jones (Mad Men's Betty Draper) on the cover:

There was a whole feature on beauty ideas (hair/makeup) for summer. And what I love is that they break down either products used or recommended. I am playing with the bright teal lined summer eyes. I love that the only pop of color is the liner - keeping the lids neutral - barely there.

Yes, I did take a picture of a magazine for this example!

The key was to blend a blue liner with a teal so I blended my UD 24/7 Binge with my MAC Float On By:

L to R:
UD Binge - Navy
MAC Float On By - aqua blue - not really traditional teal but I wanted to use this color.
Blended together - you get a lovely deep denim blue with a bit of a gold sheen to it.

Rest of my eye:
MAC Arena on lid
NARS Abyssinia on browbone
layered on top of TFSI primer
lots of Chanel Inimitable Intense - black

Because I love the combo of blue liner and coral/orange lips, I went with NARS Gilda (coral) on my cheeks and Revlon Colorburst Gloss in Papaya (pink-orange) on my lips.

Not only are magazines and print ads are a good source of inspiration but it also challenges you on translating what you see on the runways and print and how you can work it at a button down 8-5 work environment.

Now if only advertisements can stress that the mascara you see advertised CANNOT promise you the look of false eyelashes without the use of false eyelashes!

UD 24/7 Binge is part of the permenant line and retails for $18 USD. At most stores that carry the UD line as well as online. MAC's Float on By was a limited edition from last summer's To the Beach collection - retailed for $14.50

Monday, May 23, 2011

New Magazine Crush Inspires an Eye Look of the Day!

The next thing I love buying next to my beloved cosmetics are magazines. Let me reiterate - I LOVE BUYING MAGAZINES! I think it started when I was in the 6th grade and I spent many allowances buying BOP!, 16 and Seventeen mags. I can't help it - it's a sickness, I know.

So when I had the chance to kill twenty minutes at a nearby Barnes & Noble bookstore while waiting to pick up our Sunday night pizza dinner I was overjoyed. Any free minutes of interrupted magazine reading time is almost equivalent to the relaxation you feel while getting massaged or on vacation - you must be a parent of a child or a busy CEO/worker drone to truly relate to this.

I read my usuals: Elle, Allure - you know the usual lineup. I peep some of the International mags - French Vogue, (new favorite) British Elle and then I spotted my latest crush:

Australia's Kurv:

(image from
I really would have bought this magazine if it wasn't $19.99 USD. If it were pay day I probably would have bought it. I really loved the layout and I don't know why but the models' makeup really stood out for me.

I did some digging on the web for some images from past Kurv issues:


(image from
Even Nickelodeon's iCarly looks chic and grownup:

And apparently this got some press when it first debuted back in '09:

 Love for Kim - meh

I was trying really hard to find some pics for the magazine I just looked at - I believe it was for May 2011

I flipped quickly front to back and then I had to back track - a lovely editorial spread of a beautiful brunette on the beach. I LOVED her eyeshadow - it was a red violet, very vibrant and in the inner corners it was a lovely gold. She glowed and not in that cliched Victoria Secret beachy way. She looked chic and utterly gorgeous.

I tried very hard to recreate this safely for work. I refrained from reaching for my very vibrant UD violets.

I stick to what I knew - my NARS selection of purples and violets:

Clockwise from top:
Jolie Poupee
Nouveau Monde

L to R:
Purple from Melusine duo on lid
Blue Lavender from JP - crease
Red Violet from JP duo - smudged lower lash line
Silver Lilac frost from NM duo - layered on lid
Etrusque - inner corners of eyes

top lashline - MAC Graphblack Technakohl
MAC Pearlglide liner in Designer Purple on lower lashline blended with red violet Jolie Poupee shade.

Lots and lots of layers of Chanel Inimitable Intense.

I think I will try this look again with a different purple lid color. Also, I failed to mention I layered this on top of Indianwood Paint Pot (MAC). This is probably why it looks pretty muted. Then again I didn't want my bosses to think I was crazy or doing a walk of shame of some sort!

I use to always try to recreate looks I find in magazines - I think I need to do that again. Lately, I have been feeling so lazy and uninspired. I am so thankful that Kurv magazine woke my lazy ass up. I just wish it wasn't so expensive for us here in the States!!

official site:

Friday, May 20, 2011


Hey folks,
I had the day all planned out perfectly - a review of my two FAVORITE MAC liners - Cream O'Spice cremestick and Whirl lip pencil. But as I was rushing out of my house I forgot not just my cell phone (source of picture downloads) but also my makeup bag. I might as well just go home now, right?

So this is my excuse for picking up "emergency" staples and it was the perfect opportunity to go to my local Cosmetic Company Store - yes, I am lucky to have one in the building across from me - 5 MINUTES away from me.

DO YOU KNOW HOW DANGEROUS THIS IS?? If you are not familiar with the store it is an outlet store for cosmetic/hair brands owned by the Estee Lauder group - MAC, Bobbi Brown, Bumble&bumble, Tom Ford scents. They are not outrageously low prices but I am not hating on buying a cremesheen gloss for $4.50 less!

I walked out with a Bobbi Brown Copper Diamond lip balm ($13.50) and BB Black Plum eye pencil ($14.50). I like the fine glitter of the lip balm and the light scent. Like most lip balms, this one lasts under two hours or through one coffee/tea before having to reapply. I touched up my perfectly MAC Feline smudged eyes with the Black Plum on the waterline - not a good idea. It didn't line it smoothly and the color isn't as dark as I thought.

They also had this:

(Peony & Python Palette)
Originally $50 - it was there for $35. Yes, temptation is a bitch!
But that's not what I'm really excited about. Just as I was checking out, I noticed that they just got a new shipment in - TOM FORD PRIVATE BLEND LIP COLOR COLLECTION!!
(Oh yes, YOU will be mine!)

The manager and I were just gushing over it. She said that the testers should go out on the floor next week. I am soooo there! I was just thrilled

The regular retail price is $45 but at the CCO it's $31.50 - yes, still pricey but is 50 cents less than a Chanel Rouge Coco Shine. You can bet your ass I'll be back - even if it's just for one shade. I've been dying to try this but I was just too lazy to get myself to Saks or Neiman Marcus.

I can easily kill an hour here when I only wanted to stop in for a quick 10mn "coffee break" so be careful. I have picked up some great MAC e/s finds (as well as my Bumble hair staples): Style Snob, Smoke and Diamonds, Stars and Rockets, just to name a few. Also my all time favorite MAC blush - Gingerly came from here. I did see quite a bit from last Spring (ombre blushes - no Ripe Peach!) and Summer. If you do happen to stumble upon this store do go in - you may be surprised with what you find and walk out with.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Undercurrent eyes

I have a love/hate relationship with MAC Limited Edition items - especially their Mineralize Skinfinish Powders. But that's not what I'll be featuring today. I have a good collection of MAC limited edition eyeliners and I pulled out a lovely that I haven't used in a while.

(This is just part of my eyeliner collection)

L to R:
Undercurrent - teal/green with gold glitter
Float on By - icy aqua, blue shimmer
Designer Purple - bright, violet w/purple glitter
Sense of Style - darkened navy that almost looks charcoal
Molasses - dark chocolate brown with glitter
Fly By Blu - black with blue glitter
Feline - flat, coal black

So today's eye look involved Undercurrent.

This is a great way to wear a pop of color to the office. Also, one of my favorite summer eye looks.

The rest of my eye:
Indianwood Pigment Pot - lid
Woodwinked e/s on lid
Soba e/s - crease
Bare Study Pigment Pot - browbone
Teddy - eye kohl - top lashline
Undercurrent - smudged on lower lashline - this great staying power. I didn't have to touch this one up during the day.
**Do not use on waterline, this has big chunks of glitter that can scratch your eyes - also has some fallout around the eye area**

I think this is when I kept an open mind to color liners. I was just a black and dark brown pencil kind of gal but then I fell in love with the MAC color selection. Unfortunately, the really great colors and certain formulas (pearl glide, kohl power) are limited editions. So if you do come across an amazing shade, do pick it up! I am actually kicking myself for not picking up an extra Feline pencil. It may not have the staying power of the technakohl liner but it just looks so sexy smudged.

I have since started collecting other great colored liners from different brands - UD, Chanel, D&G but I find myself always coming back to MAC for interesting and fun colors!

Retail price for Eye Pencils:

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Filling in the Blanks

I once read in Vogue, back when she was still a makeup artist and budding actress, Debi Mazar never left the house without filling in her brows, "they are like punctuation marks on my face" and I couldn't agree more.
This was back in 1989 and I still feel this way now in 2011. I even lightly fill mine in when I go to the gym on the weekends (this is the only makeup I wear to the gym).

(Fierce with a capital FIERCE!)
Image taken from

Image from 
I've always been a fan of Debi's, she just embodies that cool art, club scene of NYC back in the 80's/90's. I even watch her Cooking Channel show, Extra Virgin - her husband is adorable. Who doesn't love an Italian accent? This isn't a dedication to her...well not entirely.

I perfect (well I try to get as close to perfection as possible) my eyebrows every morning with just two things:

MAC Espresso eyeshadow and #266 slanted brush. This is an older model because the second #266 I bought exclusively for eyelining is much thinner than my old brush. I have tried other brushes, like the NARS Brow Shader and I feel that it's much too small. I like the length and density of my #266 brush and plus, it's hard to break a habit that you've had for the past 15yrs.

I go from this:

(yes, the aid of an awesome waxer also helps!)
to this:

Okay I use 3 tools - an eyebrow brush just make sure hair is in place and blends the color nicely.

("muted, golden brown" - MAC site)

and swatched on my arm (NC42/NARS Syracuse for reference):

This is my perfect dark brown that looks natural - especially when my hair is black.

Truth be told, I have always been self-conscious about my fair, sparse brows especially because my natural hair color is so DARK! So my sophomore year in high school, I started darkening them in with those Maybelline wooden lining pencils - you know the ones that were sold by the pair and they were  painted red? They were marketed for both eyes and brows so I made the dreadful mistake of using BLACK! Oh so hideous and harsh. Also, I can always judge just how young I'm in a photo just by looking at how dark my eyebrows are drawn in.

So when I first started going to the MAC counter waaaaaaaaay back in 1994 - the kind M.A. did my brows with Espresso and the #266. I never strayed. I will only use a different shadow or pencil if I have my makeup done at another counter. Also, this is the only time I hit a pan of a shadow.

I remember the time I lost my #266 brush years ago....I was so heartbroken. So the one shown has been with me since.

Thanks Ms. Mazar for teaching me the importance of framing my face with great punctuation marks!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Keep on Pushin...

Sooner or later I knew this would happen. I was just hoping it would be much later.

I had a post all planned out yesterday until I got to work groggier than usual on a Monday morning and I am in the process of trying to get money owed to me from my healthcare provider for my daughter's pre-school and well you know how that goes.
I was angry. I held back the urge to cuss out the poor customer service that was lucky to answer my call. I lost the urge to write.

I had it planned out. I was going to spotlight my favorite MAC products this week that had my back over the years.
But by the time morning turned to noon, I just lost the urge. However, I don't always like to give up. Yes, I can be a total procrastinator but I am trying my hardest to push through it. Then I realized, I'm not just babbling about the superficial that helps me feel better...I am participating in an exercise that is forcing me to work!

That said, here goes:
One of my favorite MAC items that saves me from the whole "I don't want to wear makeup but I don't want to look sickly at the office"

Indianwood Pigment Pot - a "metallic, antique bronze" (MAC website description)

 A very gorgeous bronze that really sets the tone for a summer themed look. However, I find that this item is timeless and just makes you glow when you wear it.

Here it is on it's own:

And here it is after a full day at work beneath a layer of Old Gold pigment (frosted, tarnished gold - almost olive like):

I am so mad at myself for neglecting my Indianwood Pigment Pot. It's saves me on the weekends when I don't want a full face of makeup but I still want to look pulled together. Also, it's the base to channel my inner Vicky's Secret makeup looks. I love how this makes my NC42 skin just glow! 

This does last a full day for me on it's own, without the use of a primer.

I think what makes me love this even more is that I bought this at The Company Store that's just outside my office! I think I paid $11 for this?

Regular Retail:
$16.50 USD/.17 fl oz
Online, freestand MAC boutiques or any department stores carrying the brand.

Okay, that wasn't so bad - I just had to push through...

Friday, May 13, 2011


Ah, when I hear the word Gunmetal, I think of a deep, sooty, siler-gray shade. I know this will make the fiercest (is that even a word?) smoky eye. So to give myself a break from my beloved NARS collection, I look into my eyeshadow loot to see what I've been neglecting.

Low and behold, Urban Decay's Gunmetal eyeshadow.

(NC 42/NARS Syracuse/LM Tinted Moisturzer Caramel - for skin reference)

It's is a bluish-gray with BIG chunks of silver glitter. Yes, UD is known for having those chunky glittery fallouts with some of their shadows. You either love 'em or hate 'em - I still love 'em. When using said shadows, I tend to do my eye makeup first then complete with my tinted moisturizer after just so I can clean up around my eyes then apply concealer. A tip I picked up from the NARS Mega Event, to clean up shadow fallout use a dab of their face primer on the area to pick it up. So I used my Laura Mercier oil-free primer instead and blotted with a towel. The trick seems to work with any primer!

I quickly remember why I haven't used this in a long time. Sadly, it doesn't apply very smoothly. I have to pat it on repeatedly, otherwise it will look patchy. So I found myself applying three layers to get the level of intensity I want. Also, I think I may have worn this on top of Benefit's Creaseless Cream Shadow/Liner in Skinny Jeans (deep pewter, taupe) last time for more oompf. But I'm game for the challenge so I just add MAC Soba (soft golden brown shimmer) in my crease for a gradation effect. I add MAC Arena (soft golden peach) on my brow bone for a neutral highlight. And lastly, my favorite black liner, MAC Feline on my top and bottom lashline and bottom waterline. I smudge both top and bottom lines with my MAC #219 brush for a more softened, blended look. Top off with Dior Extase Mascara Black - many coats!

Sorry for the dark picture - I was trying to take this picture without my boss catching me. If he did, I'm pretty sure he didn't need this as evidence that I'm a pretty whacky girl that would rather be blogging than doing expense reports!

I finished with NARS South Beach Multiple (rich bronzey, apricot) under and above cheekbones, NARS Gilda (coral) blush, MAC Cream O'Spice/NARS Orgasm gloss on lips.

Many apologies of posts with crappy face pictures - I am putting aside cosmetic purchases this pay period to invest in a good camera. We do own a very nice Nikon but it's pretty bulky and I definitely cannot stash it in my purse so the plan is to buy a nice 10-12 megapixel camera this weekend. Still trying to decide Canon vs. Nikon.


I cannot wait to unleash my inner photographer!

Happy Friday and I am hoping to make it to the store after work to setup a Kitchen Happy Hour for my husband - he's had a rough week. Doesn't a Manhattan (or your favorite cocktail here) cheer up anyone that's had a real CRAP-TASTIC week??

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Taj Mahal

Okay when you see the words, "Taj Mahal" you probably think of this majestic landmark:

or for my South Jersey readers this:

I keep begging my husband to take me to Atlantic City, NJ since he is from NJ...

Okay the Taj Mahal I'm talking about today is this guy:

NARS (surprise, surprise)
Taj Mahal (permanent item) blush is described as a burnt orange shimmer and it's just that - a lovely dark orange shimmer that doesn't have any chunky glitter or fallout. It is an intense color, very pigmented. I suggest you dip your brush on to the color, tap excess and then apply lightly (I like using a fluffy blush brush - I'm still experimenting with what brush I like best). It gives me the best glow - not coming from a traditional bronzer.

(NC42 for reference)

I know it looks intense based on the swatch alone.

But with the right blush and control, you get a nice glow:

I did pop a bit of Laguna Illuminator below and above my cheekbones - I'm starting to like this Illuminator that I wrote off sometime ago.

I wish I would have picked this up sooner. But in reality it wasn't that long ago that I went out of the house blush-less. I know hard to believe, but I was scared of applying incorrectly but after being influenced by my little sister's blush obsession and hours of practice. I fully embrace blush and I won't leave the house without it (except for running to the gym on weekend mornings). And I'm on to my new obsession - layering blushes! I also love doing a sculpted cheek involving: highlighter, bronzer and color. When I take the time to do this properly, I always get asked if I lost weight and that is my measure of a job well done!

Retail - $27/USD
I purchased this at Nordstrom.

Available at department stores carrying the NARS line, as well as Sephora and NARS site itself.