Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Really GOOD Goody Bag!

I went to a Space.NK Apothecary event at Bloomingdales, SF last night. It was a last minute thing and I got to hang out with a great friend that is also my ex-roommate.


Well for $20 you get a your flat ironed and makeup done by the cosmetic lines that the Space.NK boutique carries: By Terry, Vincent Longo, Lime Crime, Lipstick Queen by Poppy, Jemma Kahn Makeup School and Ellis Faas (really curious about this one). Your $20 entrance fee becomes a gift card that gets applied to your final purchase.

Oh and if you spend $75....


1. Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray - purse size (I bought the full size bottle of this - I am in love with the scent alone)
2. Cosmetofruit Total Body Booster Elixir (Green Coffee Extract and Spiruline Seaweed)
3. Tatacha - Japanese Blotting Papers (3)
4. Bumble and bumble Thickening shampoo/conditioner
5.Malin +Goetz vitamin 3 moisturizer
6. Eve Lom Cleanser with Muslin Gauze (I AM DYING TO TRY THIS THING)
7. Bumble and bumble Thickening Hairspray
8. Ren Frakincense And Boswellia Serrata Revitalising Night Cream (easily becoming my favorite night cream)
9. elemental herbology - Cell Plumping Facial Hydrator w/SPF 8
10. Jemma Kahn Makeup School Hi-Shine Hydrating Glossick w/SPF 15 - Hibiscus (full size)
11. Kate Somerville - ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment
12. Lipstick Queen - Invisible Lip Liner
13. dr. dennis gross - Hydra-Pure Oil-Free Moisture
14. NIA 24 - Niacin-Powered Skin Therapy
15. Sarah Chapman London - Skinesis 3 Skin Tone Perfecting Booster
16. WEI - Tibetan Chrysanthemum correcting eye treatment pads
17. Darphin Paris - Stimulskin Plus Eye Contour Cream

Crazy, right? I think this is the best gift bag I have ever received from any event. This totally beats all the Sephora VIP gifts I have received in the past! Also, I was short of the $75 minimum by a few bucks and I still scored this loot bag! That Space.NK crew is the best - I'll have to be sure to return to try out that Ellis Faas line and By Terry - that one scares me because that's the line with the $58 lip balm.
I can get use to that kind of luxury easily!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Caving in...Le Metier de Beaute Eye Shadow: Alexandrite

My fellow beauty bloggers have an overwhelming power over me and other like minded beauty obsessed freaks. If we see repetitive pictures of  simply gorgeous cosmetics we melt like the gooey Spongebob Square Pants popsicle all over my daughter's arm on a hot day.

This is how I felt seeing so many pictures and reviews for the brand, Le Metier de Beaute. I've seen so many gorgeous pictures and reviews from my fellow bloggers but I didn't know anything about this company. 

I am so thankful we live in the GOOGLE era...I did some digging and found it's origins....Founded in 2007 by a  daughter of a chemist, Joanna V. Austin and makeup artist Justin Henry. The rough translation of the brand name would something like craft/trade of beauty. It launched at Henri Bendel in NYC on May 1, 2007. I can't give a total store count but I do know it has made it's way to Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, (select) Nordstrom and if you aren't anywhere nearby those counters there's always the online site. 

I finally bit the bullet and decided to make my way to the Nordstrom - downtown, SF to plunk down some cash for LMdB loot, this also was my birthday gift. 

I like to say that Nordstorm is my favorite place to shop for makeup but this one time, I may have to retract that statement. Why was the LMdB counter empty? I had random makeup artists checking up on me and they didn't really know much about the line so all they could do was stock check. I remember asking Joey, via Twitter, about what shadow should be my first? And of course being the Taupe HOORS that she and Pink Sith are I went with Corinthian - but it was sold out. That's just my luck! My next choice was Jojo - sold out. How about Spicy? Also SOLD OUT!  I kept going back to this lovely reddish - plum with a bit of a golden sheen, Alexandrite. I could also be a bit biased as my real name is Alexandra (just saying). Luckily, it was available to come home with me.

And here it is swatched on my arm (NC 42 for reference):

This applies not entirely sheer but also doesn't pack a whole lot of pigment in the first layer. It is also based upon your skin tone. Since I'm on the tan side, I will apply up to 3 layers on my lid. I don't go heavy handed and I blend with a fluff brush so it doesn't look scary heavy. It goes on like a dream, a little sheer but it's beautiful, buildable and not at all patchy!

I get it now...I understand the hype.

The size of the pan is pretty decent, 0.18oz and the feel of the shadow compact is reminiscent of NARS packaging. Not at all a bad thing.

I'll come back with a FOTD shot because I also bought a lip gloss, La Belle (SURPRISE, SURPRISE) that I want to feature as well.

Final Assessment - I will not rest until I make Corinthian mine! I am not the biggest fan of Neiman Marcus but I may have to make my way to the LMdB counter just so I can have the proper guidance on the brand. Because of the high price, I'm only picking the shades that I just LOVE! That said, I am hoping that I don't fall in LOVE with the entire collection.

Alexandrite is part of their permanent collection of 32 shades. This was bought by yours truly - $30/USD at my local Nordstrom.


Monday, September 26, 2011

Friday, September 23, 2011

Dolce and Gabbana Passion Duo

I am a huge HOOR for glosses. This should not be late breaking news to anyone. However, what is news is that I started paying attention to lipsticks again. Especially, with Fall waiting for us this weekend I am craving something with more bite and staying power. Also, I just did some inventory on my current gloss supply - I really don't need another for a couple of years.

Lucky for me Dolce and Gabbana has introduced the Passion Duo, a gloss fusion lipstick. It's a multi-tasking product that contains gloss in the middle of the lipstick. This is like the Estee Lauder gloss/lipstick duo, Sensuous Rouge, I reviewed last week. But I think I like the D&G version a little better.

I chose the shade, Poetic, a warm toned magenta. It's very subtle, but you can see bits of fine glitter in the gloss portion. I will be wearing this with a nude eye and lots of layers of black mascara. I would guess the lipstick portion is the classic cream formula. It has a great amount of pigment - it's very creamy. I actually tested and this before going to the gym. I blotted this just to tone down the intensity. Even as a stain, I still felt moisture on my lips endure through an intense treadmill walk until an hour session of pilates. This stays moist on my lips longer than the Estee Lauder version.

I had to hold back and put down the nudes and soft pinks. I decided to go with the bold statement color.

And here it is again but this time with flash:

Here it is compared to the other bright pink and fuchsia in my current collection:

MAC Lickable, Cremesheen Formula is a cool blue toned hot pink and NYX Chloe is a red-violet fuchsia (sorry, was that redundant?).

It's a great color and but what really does it for me is the formula. As you know, I have super sensitive lips and this feels great on my lips. Sorry, but if I have to choose I'm going to have to go with this version - even though it's $6 more than EL's ($28). Plus, I love the rose scent of this lipstick - not the generic packaged rose scent you are use to but it's more like the faded scent of your Nana's sweater rubbed off on you after  spending the entire day with her.

As far as packaging - the Passion Duo tube is a bit longer and slender: I love hearing that "CLICK" when you close the lid. A sickness, I know but only the truly mad beauty addicts know what I'm talking about!

A quick note - there are a bit more ounces in the regular lipstick (.13oz) vs. 0.10oz in the Passion Duo lipstick. I will probably only pick out one more tube, because of the high price tag.

I don't think this is a limited edition - if I am wrong please correct me! There is also a total of 10 shades - I'm sure there is something for everyone!!

Purchased by yours truly at my local Saks Fifth Avenue, SF. You can also find it online if you are not anywhere near a Saks counter.

$34 USD/.10oz

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me...

Today I turn 37 and I'm still trying to get use to saying that because I think 36 sounds much better than saying, "I'm 37" then again saying "I'm 35" sounds even better than that. But I'm a good sport, I will play along and age just like everyone else. For the past year I have been really diligent with wearing sunscreen, applying under eye cream at all times and applying firming lotions to my neck and I've been doing this daily. At the moment, I am trying to find the best anti-wrinkling serums for under $100 and it's a challenge.

Now I just need to remember to take that daily multi-vitamin!

I like to buy birthday treats for myself and of course it's in the form of makeup. Last year I was in NYC so I blew $200 at the Edward Bess counter at Bergdorf Goodman but the best part was Edward did my makeup personally for my birthday dinner that night at Balthazar. It was truly an awesome birthday. Edward taught me how to use his products properly - I love using his Daydream bronzer as an everyday powder - right on top of my tinted moisturizer.

(Edward is SERVIN it up!)

This year I opted for a STAY-CATION because it's been a tough year and our pockets are a bit thin. Plus,  not being at work for a week is like a great birthday gift from my work! We'll have lunch today, somewhere outdoors to celebrate the arrival of Indian Summer here in SF - the best time here, in my opinion. I'll try to fit in a manicure/pedicure today. Tonight will be drinks with my husband, sister and our good friend - expect pics!

On to my birthday treats:

My first LMdB products - an eye shadow and lip gloss. The Nordstrom counter was a bit slim in the Lip Cream department but I will be back for that! Yes, another glossimer because they are awesome and I am an extremely weak, WEAK girl when it comes to Chanel.

Shadow - Alexandrite (Joey - Corinthian and JoJo were both sold out! BOO!!!), Gloss - La Belle, Glossimer - Pagoda

I cannot wait to play with these babies!

I  look forward to this day - as a little girl, I knew it meant new Barbie dolls and as an adult it means celebrating with my girls and my husband with a fabulous dinner and cocktails. The greatest gifts have been my daughter, my husband, my family and friends. I try to wake-up everyday with a smile on my face honoring these people. It's hard to do most days but once I am up and think about them, I know everything will be okay.

And I am wonderfully blessed by you, the readers, for just stopping by and reading my thoughts, looking at my not so greatly lit photos and leaving wonderful comments.

Thank you for making it my birthday everyday!

However, I think if my husband surprised me with this BARBIE doll I would squeal with delight like a 5yr. old!

She would also need a collection of shoes since my biggest pet peeve was losing a shoe!

Images courteousy of

Monday, September 19, 2011

Mineral Eye Shadow Duo - Nuance/Salma Hayek

The other product I picked up from Salma's Nuance line is the Mineral Eyeshadow Duo. I am a HUGE sucker for a  sexy, summer golden-bronzed shadow on my eyes. So you know I had to pick up this lovely duo of copper and bronze. The copper is a rusty brown sheen with finely milled gold glitter. I like that this isn't heavy on the red tones. It does go on a bit sheer so you may find yourself packing this one on the lid but it goes on smoothly and not patchy (so annoying). The feel of the shadow is soft but not buttery soft as an Urban Decay or even Wet n Wild. The feel reminds me of a MAC Satin finish. The bronze is like a sparkly, dirty gold color - I love this shade. I also love that I did not experience any glitter fallout from either shade on my cheekbones. The feel of this bronze has a bit more texture feel, not as smooth as the copper - definitely not a deal breaker. I love layering the the bronze on top of the copper - it makes my eyes glow. I have worn this on top of my trusty Too Faced Shadow Insurance primer and it does last a full eight hours.I have to admit that while taking a class at the gym, I couldn't stop looking at my eyes when I wore this. I am equally impressed with this duo as I am with the gloss I reviewed the other day.

Here's a swatch on my (NC 42) arm. As you can see the copper is pretty sheer but it makes a lovely lid base color to layer with other shades. 

As for the packaging - I like that the lid is transparent so you can see what color it is but I wish it was a bit slimmer - it's a bit bulky. 

And last but not least - the eye of the day shot:

Bronze on the lid/Copper in the crease/UD Smog 24/7 Waterproof Eye Liner. 

My final assessment - It is a lovely duo and a great catch for well under $10. One would be hard pressed not to find a suitable duo out of a collection of 6. 

This was bought by yours truly at my local CVS Pharmacy for $8.49 (0.17oz) but is currently on sale for $6.79. 

Runway to the Office: A Look at Makeup from NYFW Spring 2012

This week on MISS - I translate two different runway looks from Laura Mercier...

Runway to the Office: A Look at Makeup from NYFW Spring 2012

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Nuance/Salma Hayek - Ultra Shine Lip Gloss

I've had a girl crush on Salma since the first time I saw her in the movie with Antonio Banderas, Desperado (1995).

I wanted her luscious wavy hair, mile long lashes, natural beauty and yes - perfectly carved, curvy body. I think that's just a given.

And now as a mother at the age of 45, she's as lovely as ever:
(image from

So I was very curious about her new cosmetic line, Nuance - a CVS pharmacy exclusive. In the past, I have declared that I was so OVER celebrity fragrances but cosmeticsand skincare by actresses I admire? I'm interested. Yes, I realize that sounds a bit hypocritical. Oh well. Plus, I love that she took her inspiration from her grandmother. She studied to be a beautician and blended her creams in potions in her kitchen to supply the wealthy wives and women in Mexico. I was extremely close to my grandmother so her dedication touched my heart.

One of the three items I picked up was the Ultra Lip Gloss in Strawberry:

As far as packaging goes - I love the squeeze tube. It's easy to slip into the pocket of my hoody when I take my daughter to the park. I also like the simple black font of the text - it's not over the top girly but not bland either. I really love the silhouette of the flower. The graphics seem to represent Salma's brand of promoting more of a natural beauty - from natural ingredients and oils.

This is a thick gloss and that surprisingly packs a fair amount of pigment all on it's own. The thickness reminded me of a MAC Lipglass. I'm surprised that the thickness doesn't really annoy me as it normally would.

The shade name is Starwberry however, I don't think of strawberries when I see this color. I actually think of guava flesh when I see this swatch because of the orangey-pink tones I see. It also contains a lot of golden glitter. It's very fine so you don't feel any grit and I also like that the glitter in this gloss doesn't do a whole lot of drifting elsewhere when the color fades. Unfortunately, I only get about 2 hours wear time before I feel the need to reapply but do keep in mind that I do a lot of water and coffee drinking. Ingredients found in gloss are as follows: mimosa extract, mango seed oil and vitamins A, C & E. Yes, it smells like a fruit smoothie on your lips and it's just as conditioning. As a queen of ultra sensitive lips, I can safely report that this didn't make my lips itch or peel the next day. My tempermental lips remained calm and smooth.

Here's my pout with just the gloss by itself. This is a lovely shade for my warm skin tone lady friends. I'm curious what it looks like on my cool toned sisters.

However, the packaging reminds me of something I have seen before (and probably have owned). It's the silhouette of the black flower on the tube.
Now I know where I've seen it:

(Paul and Joe Lip Lacquer - #10)

It's very reminiscent of the Paul and Joe graphic on the lip lacquer tubes. I'm not saying it's a rip-off but this is what the first thing came to my mind.

Final note - I am surprised just how much I like this gloss. I do set my standards low for celebrity lines because I always thought it was just about slapping your name on a label and not getting involved with R&D, Quality Assurance or even Marketing. Salma is really involved in this and I appreciate her partnership with CVS - she is serving quality and luxury to women of all economic backgrounds!

My Final Assessment - I am currently interested in picking up another gloss in clear and pairing this Strawberry gloss with a coordinating lipstick from the line.

This was bought by yours truly.
Ultra Shine Lip Gloss, $7.49/.48oz - currently on sale for $5.99 at your local CVS/ pharmacy

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Sunday, September 11, 2011

What's on deck...

You are not seeing things - I am actually posting something on a Sunday. I figure I'd take full advantage of my daughter taking a nap to post this before I take her to the park.

I have been obsessed with drugstore beauty goods lately and I've been wanting to check this out ever since I heard it was a CVS exclusive. Luckily for me - I have 2 CVS locations to choose from.

(Nuance by Salma Hayek)

Salma can do no wrong in my eyes but will her cosmetics stand up to my expectations?

We'll see but I can say I like what I see so far.

Bought by yours truly at my local CVS. Dual Phase Makeup Remover - $7.99, Shadow duo - $8.49 and Lip Gloss - $7.49.

However, I spotted this online currently on sale. Which is great however, I paid full price for these items and I cannot find my receipt. I'm not that annoyed since the prices are still pretty low compared to other brands I regularly purchase.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Moon Fleet

Remember when I posted a sneak preview of my mini NARS haul last week? Well here's one of the mysterious items uncovered from the box. If you are familiar with NARS box sizes and one of my obsessions, then you already know it's a LIP GLOSS!

Moon Fleet is a pretty much a sheer gloss with loads and LOADS of finely milled gold and silver glitter.

See how sheer it is? You can barely see it on my arm. Well you could if I took this picture in bright, outdoor lighting.

Here's how it compares to NARS Greek Holiday and Urban Decay's XXX Shine in Baked:

(with flash)

Greek Holiday - sheer pink with gold glitter
Moon Fleet - sheer gold with gold and silver shimmer (easier to see when compared to other glosses)
Baked - bronze, deep sheer gold with lots of gold glitter and minty feel and scent.

The one thing in common these glosses have is the glitter shift. I just thought it was glittery shadows that would leave glitter fallout on your cheekbones. I find that the glitter from glosses like this wind up and settle either above my lip line or on my chin when the color fades. This is annoying and not very attractive, in my opinion. However, this will not stop me from purchasing sheer glittery glosses like this.

Would I wear it alone - no. Like I said it's very sheer and it doesn't show up very well on my brown pigmented lips. It also can accentuate any dry spots on my lips. I like layering this on top of my NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Bahama, a brownish-pink. I also am curious to see what this looks like paired with my collection of reds and orange lipsticks. I layered this on top of NARS Ophelia gloss, light strawberry pink. I liked the results - the pink gave the sheer gold some depth.

My final assessment - I will be pulling out all my lipsticks and lip pencils because I'm not ready to throw in the towel just yet.

Moon Fleet is part of the NARS permanent collection. I bought this online but it is also available at Sephora (and Sephora JC Penny's) and all fine department stores that carry the NARS line

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Beauty Icon: Phoebe Cates

My latest offering:

Beauty Icon: Phoebe Cates

Estee Lauder - Pure Color - Sensuous Rouge

Hey, do you remember that cool gum from the 80's, Chewel?

One bite and you get the flavor burst. It was like two gums in one.

This is how I feel when I see lipstick like this new one from Estee Lauder, the new Pure Color - Sensuous Rouge Collection.

See the soft center:

According to the Estee Lauder site, the outside is the creamy color while center is a "lip-loving elixir". This lipstick contains moisturizing fruit extracts like: red raspberry seed oil, passionfruit, murumuru and shea butters. Is that the what lip-loving elixir is? You have 12 shades to choose from and I went with Rose Exposed because I lack a solid rose shade that I can wear 8 hrs at the office, on date night and even at the playground with my daughter - if I was in the mood to do so.

It is a lovely warm red-pink with a very light shimmer - a great shade to wear year round. The scent is also different. The EL lipsticks and glosses usually have a fig scent, this particular collection of lipsticks have a warm vanilla scent. If anything, it reminds me of the Tahitian Vanilla extract I bake with.

It does go on with plenty of slip and when it dries it remains comfortable on the lips. It lasted for a good four hours at the playground. I didn't really drink a whole lot during the time so that may helped with the duration of the pigment. I do like the stain it leaves on my lips. It doesn't settle into the fine lines of my lips. I will note that I did layer this on top of my Kiehl's Lip Balm #1. This hasn't left my lips raw and peeling the next day **knock on wood**

I apologize - this is actually a bit more red in person. You can actually see some of the fine shimmer.

Final Assessment: out of 12 shades, I'm pretty sure I can find at least one more to add to my collection.

This was purchased by your truly at Macy's. This is available at all fine departments stores and online.

Friday, September 2, 2011

August Hits!

It's officially September or as I like to call LEX-tember - my birthday is the 20th. Yes, circle it on your calendars! I'm kidding, of course.

Here's what I was wearing on my face in August:

Apparently, it was all about eye liner in August. Two latest acquisitions were: NARS Larger Than Life: Long-Wear Eyeliner pencil and Urban Decay's 24/7 Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner. I also found a liquid liner I bought months ago - MAC's Superslick Liquid Eye Liner in Signature Blue. I guess this was a lazy month for me because most days an eye look consisted only of: primer, lid and brow bone colors and a thin line of either one of these liners. Then the final topping was layering Chanel Inimitable Noir and NARS Larger Than Life Lengthening Mascaras to get some volume and length. Actually, I find that these give me more length than  volume.

I'm still searching for that WONDER mascara to give me super volume. Maybe I can dedicate my September to search for a HOLY GRAIL mascara. But is that even possible?

I have also been loving my NARS Larger Than Life Lip Gloss in Place Vendome, raspberry shade. I wore this on a night out consisting of pasta eating, drinking and dancing in the Castro. The shine may have faded but the color did stain my lips a lovely shade. I think I reapplied only two times the entire night. This brightens up my face quite nicely. I think a mirror is still required to apply this gloss because of the small stiff brush.

Final assessment - I LOVE eye liner - yeah NEWSFLASH, I know. I am still thinking about picking up another tube of the new NARS gloss. I just wish it wasn't a Sephora exclusive.
Also, in attempt to fight the frizz caused by many color processing appointments, I discovered these lovely smelling items from Oscar Blandi's Smoothing Collection inspired by his favorite scent:

L to R:
Proteine de jasmine - Protein Mist for Restyling Hair, Olio de Jasmine - Hair Serum.

Both items have a lovely light citrusy, jasmine scent. The protein mist is nice to use on second day hair but this is NOT a dry shampoo. This does refresh the hair and adds a light scent, especially after a sweaty lunch time gym session. It can also be used on wet hair to help detangle, almost like a light weight leave-in conditioner. Another suggestion is to use on dry hair before using heat tools. I am still on the fence using it to protect my hair while using my flat iron, I still prefer to use a traditional thermal styling spray. My hair didn't get as smooth as I wanted when using the protein mist before my flat iron.

As for the serum, I'm still experimenting with it. It does contain silicones: cyclopentasiloxane, dimethiconol, cyclomethicone and phenyltrimethicone - it is a serum after all. I will add a drop of this to my wet hair and sometimes I will mix it with my Sachajuan Straight Out gel. If I only blow dry with my a big barrel brush, I still get a little frizz. Once my hair is dry I add another drop from mid-shaft to ends and I lightly smooth this through out my hair. However, I will use my flat iron to smooth out any areas that has a bit of frizz. The reason why I bought this serum is to not have to use my flat iron. So I'm not sure if I need to add more serum while my hair is wet or not. Lately, I have been washing my hair every third day but since I've been using the serum my roots are starting to feel a bit heavy and oily. I may have to go back to washing my hair every other day.

Are any of you readers Blandi fans? What other hair products are worth me investigating?

Final assessment - the jury is still out but my hair loves the scent these products leave.

Jasmine protein mist - 8.45 oz/$18 USD
(travel size) Jasmine oil serum - .5oz/$16 USD