Thursday, June 28, 2012

Guest Post for MISS - June 25 - How to Score Pricey Scents for less than $10

This week on MISS, I share my secrets on how to own some of the most priciest scents on the market for a fraction of the cost of a full bottle. Just proceed with caution or your dresser will look like this:

To learn my tips and resources, click here.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Clutching Right This Moment: Guerlain by Emilio Pucci Terra Azzura Bronzer

Technically, I bought this mid May but I didn't really give it any love till I started using it by the end of May/early June. You see, this is expensive but just check out the packaging - it's worth it and yes, I am reaching for justification. Also, Neiman Marcus does NOT refund or exchange used cosmetics like my beloved Nordstrom so I held out to the bitter end before using taking my brush to this.

You know I'm a sucker for packaging, so it's no surprise that I would fall in love case that was designed to emulate a Riva yacht with smooth ebony varnished wood. Yeah, because I know all about Riva yachts...

Okay here's another look at the packaging:

Yes, it's kept closed with magical magnets! No seriously, I just enjoy twisting it open and shutting it easily by aligning the magnets together. 

The colors are just as important - you pretty much have four shades to play with. The bronzer has a bit of a reddish undertone. I was a bit hesitant, as I don't like my bronzer too red or orangey because I'm not going for the oompa loompa look some tanorexic girls sport. This is pretty subtle on my skin and it has a very subtle shimmer - you can barely detect in on your face. The individual colors are orange, cool rose and a highlighting shell with a bit of pink. They all contain fine shimmer and work best when you swirl them together. It does have a heavy floral scent in the pan and when you first apply but it quickly dissipates on the skin. I get good wear time before having to touch up - normally after a gym workout - about a good 4 to 4 1/2 hours out of this.  Keep in mind I wear this over a tinted moisturizer that's applied over a good foundation primer. 

Here they are swatched individually: bronzer, orange, rose and the shell highlighter. For reference, I am a MAC NC42 or NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer, Annapurna, or Burberry #9. 

I use the bronzer traditionally - under cheekbones, jawline and hairline. I then swirl the blush/highlight shades and apply to the apples of my cheeks and very lightly drag the brush downward. I use either the Bobbi Brown Face Blender brush or MAC's #168, the large angled contoured brush. 

I am pleasantly surprised how well this works with different eye looks.

Here with smoky plum eyes:

And here used to compliment smoky gold eyes:

I have been using this daily - seriously. I have stopped using my other favorite summer blush, NARS - Liberte and I feel a little guilty about that. This is my first Guerlain purchase and I'm pleased with this bronzer/blush palette. It's gorgeous to look at on my bathroom counter and in the palm of my hand.

For the amount of money I paid for this, I better love it so much that I'd sleep with it under my pillow.

I don't. Well, not yet....

For more info, click here

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

MISS Guest Post for 6/15: How I Made a Snob Work for Me

This week on I share tips on how I made a super cool and light lipstick work for my dark skin tone - MAC Snob.

Here's my before photo:

I'm lookin a little Tyrone Biggums, don't ya think? 

Okay maybe not as bad but I feel like the only person that can get away with this look is Nicki Minaj:

If you want to see how I fixed this shade to a more office friendly look, click here

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Lexi's Day Off, 6/15

Last Friday, I took a day off to go to a doctor's appointment. I used one of my many vacation days so after my appointment I treated the rest of the day as a vacation. I treated myself to a nice lunch with a mimosa, window shopping and ended with a nice pedicure.

Yes, light shopping was involved. Because of my recent fragrance obsession, I was on a mission to find the Le Labo perfume boutique on Fillmore Street, lower Pacific Heights neighborhood.

For those of you unfamiliar with the line, here's a brief bio about the company (written on the wall):

Here are some interior shots - I do love this boutique. Le Labo boutiques around the world carry a city exclusive fragrance and San Francisco is no exception. I cannot wait to find out what it'll be. The lovely sales associates there informed me that a local SF magazine, 7X7, has reported that the new scent will be Eucalyptus based. The two founders have no comment on that as the city scents are always a surprise - even to the store employees. Also, I'm not sure how I feel about a scent based on eucalyptus. 

Here are the sales associates preparing my personalized label for my purchase:

And what did I buy, you wonder?

Apparently, the discovery set is only sold online but because I'm a fragrance customer that DOES her homework - the manager agreed to sell one to me just because I knew about this set. You get 3 x5ml vials for $58. This is a good deal if you are still getting to know the brand or you just can't commit to a full bottle for $145. 

For a discovery set, the packaging is pretty indestructible:

And inside of this:

My lovely little vials:

Ambrette 9 - Probably the easiest musk you will come across, so non-offensive to the nose. This also comes in a non-alcohol version for mothers to share with their children. I must admit I sprayed a little on my daughter and it smells delightful on her. Notes included in this scent are as follows: ambrette grains, musk, fruity and citrus notes. When I wear this I am instantly comfortable - it's the equivalent to a warm Sunday afternoon sipping my second mug of coffee in my yoga pants, comfy hoodie right before I take my daughter to the playground. This is your super light, "your skin but better" scent. 

Labdanum 18 - This one I dismissed at first - I felt it was just too animalic. But the second and third time I smelled it at the boutique, I started to fall for it. Again, it's another comforting scent but instead of the playground I am snuggling with my husband on the couch right before falling into a rare Sunday afternoon nap as our daughter naps. Notes included are: amber, vanilla, civet, castoreum, patchouli, tonka beans, musk, gurjam balsam - just to name a few. The ingredients sound like this would be a very loud oriental scent but at first spray it's an intimate powdery scent. I am so glad I didn't give up on this scent.

Iris 39 - Possibly my favorite iris scent. This is powdery, sophisticated, musky and faintly smells of wet earth.  Notes included are: iris, lime, patchouli, cardamom, violet, ginger, civet, rose, ginger...just to name a few. The last time I wore this at the office my coworker, sitting a row and a few cubes away, yells out to me that I smell amazing and demanded to know what I was wearing. I run over to her and tell her that it's Iris 39 causing my two other coworkers to run over to me so they can smell my wrists. We giggle like schoolgirls and I know instantly I have a winner on my skin. What keeps this from being overly powdery or soapy are the spice, musk, patchouli and animal notes. This was love at first sniff - I first got this as a sample at Barneys a few months ago and I sprayed it very sparingly. This is another fragrance that even my 3yr old daughter loves to smell on herself. 

This was a great day off and a reminder that I need to treat myself like this more often. Maybe not with fragrance or cosmetic purchase but simple pleasures that appeases the senses - like the mimosa, lunch or relaxing pedicure. I did have another day off - yesterday (Monday) but it was no vacation. My daughter was sick and her temperature has finally normalized, thankfully.

For more info about Le Labo, please click here.

If you are in the San Francisco area and are interesting in checking this boutique out - here's the address:

The sidewalk right at the front door. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Guest Post for MISS: Summer Budget Fragrances

This week I share some of my Summer budget fragrance for

For more, please click here

What are your favorite Summer budget friendly scents? 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Nordstrom Beauty Trend Show, Part Deux

More scenes from last weekend's Beauty Trend Show at Nordstrom, SF:


Really feeling the bright jeans and button down blouses. I need a bright blouse to pair with a pencil skirt!

Valentino's Valentina Fragrance:

What I love most about this - the model's maxi dress by Rachel Zoe.


Young Skin similation
Old Skin similation
Pretty sad, right? Well Clarins has something for that - Extra Firming Day or Night Rejuvenating Creams.


Sorry, this picture came out blurry but I thought the model's pose was super cute. This is to promote the latest summer collection, Hey Sailor

Here's a better pic:


Love these floral skinny jeans by Dylan George the most and I love Laura's ombre highlights (National Smashbox artist on the lower right).


I love this model's smile and her Extreme Addict lipstick, of course!

Trish McEvoy:

This 'Brighten Up' Eyes Set inspired Kevin here to sing a song! It was very entertaining and he has a very lovely voice.


The focus was on their Sheer Luminous Foundation and everyone was promised that their shade could be matched. I can attest to that claim - #9 fits me perfectly!


Jean, with Shiseido, shows us the lash curler and makes a big announcement: DICK PAGE will make an in-store appearance at the SF Nordstrom on 9/20. I'm super excited because I am a fan and that happens to be my birthday. It's meant to be.

Also, I am loving this model's chocolatey hair.


National Artist, Darryl closes the show. He's a larger than life personality and we loved him. I had to stalk him in at the Chanel counter just to get a closer look at his double-C belt buckle - it is truly AWESOME! I was too shy to say anything to him and he was constantly harassed by customers.

I am missing a few other pictures but I think you get the idea of this show. Some of my closing thoughts: please feed your guests real breakfast, Nordstrom! I understand that you want us pumped early in the morning but honestly, I think cupcakes and breakfast is not the best way to go.

Also, I was just a bit taken back by the women in the audience hootin and hollering - it was way too early. I did loosen up as the show went on but I was by no mean 'raising the roof' like some other ladies were. I did feel overwhelmed by the end of the show and some of the give-aways samples from each counter were a bit of a disappointment.

I ended my visit with a makeover with Le Metier de Beaute:

Here I am with Ivan and I am pleased with the results. I really wish he wasn't based in Beverly Hills because I was pay him to do my makeup for every major event. He's awesome, very personable and very comforting.

I only bought three items just because that's all my wallet would allow:

I bought Plum and Nutmeg True Color Eye Shadows and Bondi Beach Colour Core Moisture Stain Lipstick. It's a lot softer in person; a lovely pink nude brown that suits a lot of different skin tones.

And here's a picture of my makeover in natural lighting:

I had a lot of fun but I'm pretty sure I'd would have loved this more if I had one of my sisters or girlfriends with me. But I think I'm the only one in my group crazy enough to haul ass downtown at 7:30AM on Saturday morning to see this Beauty Fashion Show. I give the husbands/boyfriends much props for accompanying their wives/girlfriends.

That's love or they're making up for something stupid they did the week before. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Scenes from Nordstrom SF Beauty Trend Show, 6/2

I just wanted to share just a few pics because I am currently editing the hundred or so pics I snapped and since I got there a bit later than I hoped, my seat wasn't the best. I am doing the best I can to crop people's heads out of the way.

This is part one.

Kara's Cupcakes

Why was breakfast just coffee and cupcakes? Yes, the cupcake I had was delicious but I felt really sick after downing my coffee and scarfing down this lemon cupcake.

This is Joelle Russo, Nordstrom's Beauty Director, with some eye candy holding up Clarisonic brushes - of course! According to my seat mate, Sabrina, Joelle was wearing the exact same thing (including shoes/accessories) last year - isn't that a fashion faux pas? She was still entertaining nevertheless.

Some lovely images of the models:


NARS National Artist, Janice Daod. I've had the opportunity to meet Janice, as she's based in SF, and she is so delightful and surprisingly she remember my name every time she sees me. I guess she always remembers the fanatical NARS fans!

Laura Mercier for the Nordstrom Bridal Department

I am a bad reporter as I forgot to take down the name of this LM National Artist. But doesn't he look cute working his pink tee?


Again, I forgot this gentleman's name but he has a lovely French accent and he was telling us the Jennifer Anniston's favorite home candle scent is Tuberose. Well, I'm glad she's got good taste in scent!

I forgot who's makeup/skincare this model is representing but isn't her paisley dress adorable? And I am feeling that glowing skin. I am lucky that I was sitting in the middle maybe four rows back? I got the models to look at my camera and smile.

That's my sneak peek for now. I'll post Part 2. tomorrow. I'll also reveal my makeover with LMdB and the items I picked up.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Scents for Summer - Contributing Post for Miss - 6/5

This week on MISS, I share ways on how I channel a summer heatwave while living in a fog bank in the Bay Area, CA. I do this with luxury fragrances no less!

This is my first real attempt on writing about fragrance so please be kind!

For more please read here.

Next week, MISS will share my favorite budget scent finds.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Always a Crowd Pleaser

Up until recently, I have embraced wearing crazy, trendy colors on my toes. I love the current trend orange peeking out from open toed shoes, sandals and boot cut jeans. I also love looking down at my toes while in flip flops or in the middle of yoga class and I see flashes of ocean blue or turquoise quickly invoking the ocean right at my feet. 

I was going to do a bright blue but I wanted something that would go with any kind of shoe or sandal and I more than sheer pink toes. But sometimes you cannot deny the power of a red pedicure. Enter Rescue Beauty Lounge's Killa Red - a sultry, blood red fit for a femme fatale. Two coats, a great shiny topcoat and a smile is all you need!

It's feminine, sexy but always chic. Red toes will never go out of style in any type of weather; it's just right. 

My daughter begs to differ:

She decided to go with Essie's Turks and Caicos. I think it matches her Cinderella slippers nicely, don't you?

Killa Red puchased by yours truly on but unfortunately it has been sold out. And no, my daughter doesn't get pedicures with me - I do it for her when she's good.