Archive - November 2007

The Gold Standard: The Best MAC Limited Edition Brush Sets to Buy this Holiday Season

Published in: MAC Makeup, Makeup, Product Reviews

The Golden Girls

You know your girl loves the brushes! If you’re going to spend any money on brushes this holiday season then bring your bad self to the MAC counter because they’ve got some really pretty — and surprisingly practical — gilded goodies. Ohh, la luxe!


For holiday 2007, MAC has a collection called Heirlooms, which features cute clutch bags and several different brush sets. By far my favorites are Heirlooms: 4 Face Brushes and Heirlooms 5: Basic Brushes. I love these sets because of the gold handles! And not only are they pretty to look at, but they’re surprisingly useful too.

What’s the deal with the “SE”?

The “SE” sets are different than the regular, full-price brushes you buy individually at MAC. SE handles are shorter and lighter. Although the SE brush heads are great, they aren’t as soft as my regular MAC brushes. I prefer longer-handled brushes that have weight to them, but I do like SE brushes for travel or for touch-ups, like after a gym workout. I think of them as my “occasional” brushes, rather than everyday “workhorse” brushes.

If you plan to buy these brushes, I’d recommend that you either be:

– a brush newbie who plans on building a collection of brushes, but needs a good starting off point
– a lovely lady on a strict brush budget
– a brush junkie who need a set of small handled brushes that will only be used for travel and on-the-go touchups, and not everyday use

The brush breakdown


With brushes, I really don’t believe in limiting a brush to a specific use – i.e., this brush is for the crease only, or this brush is for concealer only. I really like to mix and match my brushes according to the products that I’m using and how I’m feeling that day. Here’s a general breakdown of how I’d use the brushes in these sets.

Heirlooms: 4 Face Brushes ($48.00)

This set comes with the a cutie-pie clutch purse made from Chanel-esque gold tweed! To peep the brushes that come with this set, check the picture above and start from the left-hand side:

168 – Large angle contour brush. I’d use this for applying blush to the hollows of the cheek, to contour, or for specific placement of highlighting powder. In a pinch I’d wet this and use it as a foundation brush.
187 – Duo fibre brush. This is the famous MAC “skunk” brush, made from a blend of soft goat and synthetic fibers. The MAC Web site says that this is used for lightweight application and blending of face powder or pigments. I’d use this as a foundation brush, as a blush brush, as a highlight brush and as a blending brush.
194 – Concealer brush. I’d use this for undereye concealer and for layering powder shadow on top of soft kohl liners, like MAC Technakohl.
190 – Foundation brush. If you’ve used this brush before as a foundation brush and it works for you then I give you big props. I have this brush in the full-sized version, but can’t seem to get this to work on me. I always end up with patchy application. For foundations I actually like the 182 buffer brush! The price is an arm and a leg but it’s well worth it. The 190 is still a useful brush though, and would be good for getting foundation into places the 182 doesn’t go easily, like the corners of the nose. I’d also use this for creme blush.

The cold, hard math: If you purchased the full-sized version of these 4 brushes it would cost you $124.50.

Heirlooms: 5 Basic Brush Set ($45.00)

Check the cute, gold fake-snakeskin container this comes in. I love it ’cause it looks expensive. Plus, the brushes are useful, too! The five brushes that come with this set are in the pic above starting from the right hand side:

219 – Eye detail brush. This brush has a small brush head with fibers that are gathered into a pencil-shaped tip. I use it for shadow application right at the lash line, or precise application of color to the outer-v. I’ve tried to use it in the crease but have had just so-so results.
316 – Lip brush. In a pinch I’d also use this for fine spot concealing, or for applying gel liners like Fluidline.
266 – Brow brush. WOOT! You know you’re girl can’t live without her 266. I use this every day to apply Concrete shadow to my brows. I know some folks like to use the 266 to line the eyes with Fluidline, too.
129 – Powder/blush brush. In a pinch I’d also use this as a foundation brush.
239 – Eye shader brush. I love this brush. It’s great for both powder and emollient products (MAC Paint, concealers) and has so many uses. You can use it to apply shadow all over the lid, or in the crease, or to blend out harsh lines. Oh, and it can also teach you how to speak French! Okay, totally kidding about that last one. But still, it’s a fantastical, multi-use brush that I’m sure you’ll fall in love with.

The cold, hard math: If you purchased the full-sized version of these 5 brushes it would cost you $119.50.

Both sets give you brushes with a wide range of possibilities. But if you’re watching your budget and can only purchase one set I’d recommend:

– buying the 4 Basic Brush Set if you have a good working set of everyday go-to brushes
– buying the 5 Basic Brush Set if you’re new to brushes and need a good starting point

The OG Original Gangsta Golden Girls


Before there was Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte there was Blanche, Dorothy, Sophia and Rose.

Did you ever watch this show? All my gay guy friends love it, and so do I. It seems to be on Lifetime (television for women!) every other hour and it *always* cracks me up.

I think I’m mostly Sophia with a touch of Rose, ha! How about you?

I hope your morning was a relaxing one. I’m still recovering from the P. Hilt interview (this whole weekend was REALLY STRESSFUL) but am now looking forward to hitting the Chanel counter for a lil’ relaxation and reward.

Two days ’till turkey — are you ready?

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


5 Makeup and Beauty Tips from Paris Hilton

Published in: Beauty Tips, Drugstore Beauty Finds, Fragrance, MAC Makeup, Makeup, Makeup Tips/How To, News, Product Reviews, Skin Care, Spas

Tip #1: Wear a scent that means something to you.

For some people, scent is highly tied to memory, like how a whiff of men’s Eternity can bring back memories of one’s lame ex-boyfriend (I’m not bitter).

I used to sneak a spritz or two of my mom’s Chanel No. 5 when I was a wee child. For Paris, the fragrances of Jean Patou hold a special place in her heart.

The first perfume she ever wore was Jean Patou’s 1000 because her mom wore it when Paris was young. Jean Patou’s Joy was another one. “It just smells like my grandma,” said Paris. “She always used to wear it. She passed away from breast cancer a few years ago, so it kind of reminds me of her when I wear it.”

Paris signs a pic for a fan at the CAN CAN release event held at Macy’s Valley Fair in Santa Clara, California on November 17, 2007


Just as fragrance can influence how we feel, it also affects how people remember us. That’s why Paris decided to make perfumes. “I wanted to do a fragrance because I feel like it’s such a big part of life.”

CAN CAN was really personal for her. She enlisted the help of friends and family in making it. Step one was to create a batch of sample fragrances with the help of a perfumer — one of those professional smell expert gurus — based on some of her favorite scents. With her three or four favorites in tow, she went home to do a little good ole’ fashioned market research. “I’ll have them smell,” said Paris of her friends and family, “and see what they like best.” With their input, she chose the fragrance she thought would appeal to the widest audience. The result was CAN CAN, a fruity floral with notes of clementine flower, cassis, nectarine, musk and amber.

This is the fourth fragrance campaign for Paris, who also did campaigns for her other perfumes: Heiress, Just Me and Paris Hilton. CAN CAN is the fourth campaign but the first with a distinct theme. She called it the best of the photo shoots she’s done for a fragrance so far. She danced and posed on a Moulin Rouge themed set while her self-titled debut album, Paris, played in the background. “We’ve always done really beautiful shots,” she said, “but not really a theme, so it was really fun.”

Paris is often reminded of how her fragrances can influence every day life. Dudes and chicks stop her on the street to tell her that they’re wearing her stuff. “I always go and smell them,” she said. I wore CAN CAN on the day I did this interview, so from now on every time I catch a whiff of it I’ll remember that day. I almost shoved my wrist up her nose at one point but thought it faux pas.

Thousands of rabid fans showed up to the event. Apparently it pays to be tall when you’re jostling other Paris fans for camera phone pics.


Tip #2: Rock the lipgloss.

CHANEL Glossimer lipgloss, YES!

Paris was rocking a fierce look in our interview. She was wearing a sleeveless cream top and black skirt by BCBG and hot pink Christian Dior shoes. Ladies and gents, you know how your girl loves the shoes. I briefly thought about stopping the interview to have my photographer (El Hub) take shots of Paris’ fantabulous footwear, but alas, I only had six minutes to get through all my questions. So sorry, fellow shoe lovers!


For her makeup, Paris wore a silver, sparkly eye with thick black liner on the top lid along with a soft flushed cheek. She had on MAC shadow and Max Factor blush. The focal point of her look was a pink lip topped with a layer of Chanel Glossimer lipgloss in Astral #104. “I love the glitter in it,” she said.

For the past few weeks I’ve been trying to motivate myself to do stuff by using Chanel makeup as a self-motivator — i.e. Karen does ‘X’ tasks and gets two tubes of Chanel lipgloss — but after seeing Paris wearing Glossimer, I’m afraid I’m going to cave, like, really soon. Perhaps tomorrow, even. Girlfriend’s lips looked *super hot*.

MAC Prrr Lipglass, YES!

When Paris is working, she spends a lot of time in hair and makeup with her stylists and makeup artists, so on her days off she doesn’t like to wear a lot of makeup. She does love her gloss, though, and can’t live without MAC Prrr Lipglass. “When I’m just like, chilling,” she said, “I’d rather just put on mascara, and like, really cute lipgloss.”

Maybelline Great Lash, NOOOO!

And what is Paris’ mascara of choice on her days off? Maybelline Great Lash, the one from Rite-Aid in the pink and green tube.

I thought, “Are you serious, girlfriend?” I would’ve put my money on Paris being a Diorshow kind of girl. I had some Plushlash in my purse, and I thought about giving it to her as a gesture of goodwill mascara salvation. Paris, girrrrrrl, if you’re reading this, I’m gonna hook you up with some Plushlash, STAT!

Tip #3: Get the glowy look with weekly facials and Kate Somerville products.

Paris is known for her dewy, glowy skin. She said her secret is a weekly facial at Kate Somerville, a spa located down the street from her house. She and Kate are homies, and Paris gets treatments with extractions at the spa when she isn’t too busy with work.

Extractions? I cringed.

I wish you could see Paris’ Christian Dior shoes in this pic. They were *awesome.*


“You know,” she said, “it’s good for you. Everyone should do it. And like Lasergenesis, which makes your skin really, like, plump … it’s just this light that goes on your face.”

Kate Somerville offers a full skin care line, and Hilton is an avid devotee. “I use all Kate’s products,” she said. She can’t live without Nourish moisturizer and Exfolikate (formerly known as Kate in a Jar) exfoliating treatment. On the day of our interview, beside the sparkly eye and lip, Paris’ skin actually had very little shine. It was a very matte skin look, which is really trendy right now.

“I just think it’s good to just take care of yourself and get massages and drink water,” she added.

Tip #4: Planning ahead never hurts, especially when it comes to skin care or the quest for beauty-product world domination.

Paris’ quest for world domination doesn’t stop at the fragrance counter. She is currently working on a makeup line and would also love to create skin care products. Her take home message for skin care: start young! I hear ya, girl. Like I always say, the best anti-aging secret is sunscreen (and don’t forget your neck, oy!).

Tip #5: Be polite and sweet to everyone.

Although I never really watched Paris’ show, “The Simple Life,” I’ve read a lot about her in the news, and truth be told I didn’t know what to expect from this interview. Would she roll her eyes because I wasn’t from Newsweek or the New York Times? Girlfriend did say she didn’t use the Web too much, and she’d never heard of beauty blogs before. Would she spend the entire time text-messaging Nicole on her massive jewel-encrusted smartphone?

To my surprise, she was nice. Although she seemed a bit guarded and heavily media trained, she was sweet and fully engaged throughout the conversation. The moral of this story? Despite all of the drama surrounding Paris in the news, I found her to be a sweet girl who works hard and loves her family.


I hope you had a wonderful weekend and that it was, dare I say, hot.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


P.S. Before you jet, beauty lover, check out the home page for more makeup reviews. 🙂


Your Tarte will Go On and On

Published in: Makeup, Product Reviews


With the recent departure of TEAM MIDGET MAC from I Love NY 2, it was only natural that I turn to Tarte’s limited edition Mini Cheek Stain set — another pint-sized cutie — to comfort my broken reality TV heart.



The skinny on Tarte’s We Wish You Happiness Mini Cheek Stain Set:

This set of three gel-blushes comes in a purple quilted box with gold accents. Inside is a huge mirror so you can admire your bad self!

– $30.00
– three water-based gel blushes
– oil-free and alcohol-free, so the formula doesn’t cause zits or dry out your skin (my two main issues in life!)
– three colors: Merry (sheer candy-pink), Delighted (shimmery rose-gold) and Enchanted (shimmery pale-pink)
– super easy to blend and apply to cheeks; just use your fingers or apply directly from the tube


I know you’re tempted to keep this one for yourself. I can’t blame you! But if you’re still making your list this would be a great gift for:

Your mom. Is your mom makeup shy like mine? My moms doesn’t really wear anything except lipstick (the apple fell far from the tree in that respect) and doesn’t own any makeup brushes (seriously, waaaaay far from the tree). I think this would be a good way to introduce her to some non-intimidating blushes.

Your mid-day gym bud. If you usually hit the gym in the middle of your work day, sometimes you’ve only got time to do minimal makeup. This set would be a great gift for gym girls who only have five minutes or less to do post-workout primping.

Your lil’ cousin. Got a younger cousin or sister who is just getting into makeup? These blushes are natural and pretty but won’t make her look garish. You can spend some quality time with her by setting up a makeup date to show her how to use them!

Tarte’s got a ton of fantabulous holiday goodies this year! I’ll be doing a thorough review soon, but here’s a sneak peek…


Ohhh la lovely!

Oy, I’m so itching for the weekend! 🙂 Hope you are having a wonderful Thursday and that your lipgloss is poppin’.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


Paris Hilton Does the CAN CAN with Makeup and Beauty Blog

Published in: Fragrance, News


Paris fans, do you have a makeup or beauty question you’ve always wanted to ask her? She’s currently making the rounds to promote her new perfume, CAN CAN Paris Hilton, and will be coming to the Bay Area this weekend.

I’ll be sitting down with her to get the dish on her new fragrance, so if you have a makeup or beauty related question you’d like me to ask (“What’s your favorite lipgloss?”) then lemme know in the comments.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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