Archive - November 2007

Gilded Glamour: The Best Estee Lauder Holiday 2007 Lipstick Picks

Published in: MAC Makeup, Makeup, Product Reviews

The Golden Age, Part One

All month long I’ve been writing about the best makeup and beauty gifts to give your loved ones this holiday season. I know ’tis the season of giving and all that, but sometimes you gotta snag a lil’ something-something for yourself. Shhh — Don’t worry. I won’t tell Santa!

One big holiday theme many of the lines are using this year is gold product packaging. And I love, love, love it! If like me you’re a sucker for elegant packaging, then the one thing that you absolutely must pick up for yourself is a tube of Estee Lauder’s Signature Lipstick ($19.50).

Check out these beauties, along with Estee Lauder’s Limited Edition Platinum Illuminator Loose Shimmer Powder:


The gold fluted tube looks and feels rich and oh so glam. One cool thing that surprised me was the weight. The lipstick tubes are surprisingly heavy, which makes the packaging feel even more exclusive. Shoot, even El Hub was impressed (“Wow, that’s heavy and kinda pretty”) and he’s a dude that doesn’t know gloss from matte!

Blinding You with Lipstick Science

In addition to the amazing packaging, the lipstick formula is fantastic. It’s soft, light, long-wearing, doesn’t dry my lips out and is SUPER SHINY! I’m talking shinier than the light at the end of the tunnel, ya’ll. When I wear lipstick I usually top it off with gloss because I like a really shiny lip, but with the Signature Lipsticks I skip the gloss entirely because it’s shiny enough on its own.

To get this amazing finish, a lot of technology went into getting the formula just right.

All lipsticks are made from wax, oil and color, and most typically begin with a natural wax base and a yellowy-white baseline color, which is often hard, heavy, and has an inconsistent density and composition.

The Signature Lipsticks have a different texture and performance because of a synthetic wax base, which offers improved emolliency and brighter color.

It’s then combined with gelants for cushion and comfort, esters for slip and luster, and a special emollient paste, which is made up of a blend of oils (previously reserved only for lip glosses) that melts on the lips. This gives the lipstick its shiny finish. Finally, a film form binds these elements together, keeping the ingredients and pigments intact.

Did you know so much technology went into that lil’ tube? I sure didn’t.

Colors for All Ya’ll

There are 24 Signature Lipstick colors that are universally flattering. Here are six of my favorites:







And here are the color group breakdowns to make your lipstick selection easier:

Pink-Berry: Pink Champagne, Perfect Pink, Lush Rose, Rich Berry, Venetian Rose, Dune Rose, Tender Rose, Cocoa Rose, Woodland Berry
Mauve-Plum: Tender Mauve, Orchid Light, Soft Amethyst, Plum Frost, Rich Currant
Nude-Brown: Burnished Bronze, Toasted Walnut, Copper Glow, Mocha, Chestnut
Coral-Red: Spiced Coral, Apricot Sun, Copper Coral, Rich Red, Black Cherry

If you want to indulge but are on a one-lipstick kinda budget then check out either of my top faves: Rich Currant and Apricot Sun. The colors are so easy to wear and super pretty for both work or an evening out with the girls.

Random Lipstick Fun Facts

– 80% of women wear lipstick.
– Lipstick dates back 5000 years to when the earliest woman wooed the earliest man by staining her lips with red berries. Rock on, cave girl! Go and get your man!

Sparkle, Motion

So, when you hit the Estee Lauder counter to look at the Signature Lipsticks, don’t forget to check out the Limited Edition Platinum Illuminator Loose Shimmer Powder ($32.00). That’s it on the left hand side of the first pic. I tried to swatch it but, honestly, the picture does not do this powder justice. It’s so pretty in real life and for some reason I just can’t get the lighting right in my photo studio (aka my dining room/office) to capture the peachy-gold flecks correctly!

If you like MAC’s Loose Beauty Powders, then you might like this powder too. It’s a multi-tasking shimmer powder, very grown up and sophisticated – no cheesy club glitter here, ladies. You can use it as a highlighter on your face, or you can dust it on your shoulders and decollate for a festive glow. I’ve even mixed it with moisturizer and worn it to my legs! Oh, and the jar is GINORMOUS. There’s enough product to take you into the your next few lifetimes.


The Platinum Illuminator Loose Shimmer Powder is just one part of Estee Lauder’s Holiday 2007 Into The Night color collection, which is all about sheer, luminous, wearable metallic hues. The look is modern with a mix of classic elegance and cosmopolitan glamour: think tailored suiting, pencil skirts, with sophisticated shades of gold, copper and bronze with hints of rich metallic red.

This color line reminds me of elegant, sophisticated glamour, and makes me want to throw on a scarf, a string of pearls and a pair of black patent high heels. What do you think? Are you feeling this?

T-minus Eight Days ‘Till Turkey Day

Sometimes I’m amazed how fast time flies. It seems to be moving quicker as I get older, too, which seems TOTALLY UNFAIR because now I’ve got exponentially more stuff to do.

Thanksgiving is next week, can you believe it? I love any holiday that is food focused. I like turkey, but I’m all about the side dishes and dessert: corn, mashed potatoes, stuffing, green beans, pumpkin pie! The only downside to this is all the extra time spent at the gym working on my fitness (lol, don’t lie, I know you love that “Fergalicious” song.) El Hub and I will be heading out to the East Bay to hang with my family. What are your plans?

Anyway, ya’ll have a wonderful Wednesday! Keep on keepin’ on ….

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


Three Ways to Sparkle this Holiday Season

Published in: Drugstore Beauty Finds, Face of the Day (FOTD), Fragrance, MAC Makeup, Makeup, Product Reviews

I wish I could get all of my closest friends diamonds for Christmas — they really are a girl’s best friend — but unfortunately I have yet to acquire vast riches and treasure chests of gold.

While makeup may not exactly be equivalent to a platinum pave friendship bracelet, there are several products out this holiday season that have just as much sparkle and shine. Here are three great choices for the best friend who is always there for you.

Make Up For Ever Professional’s Diamonds For Ever Kit


Sparkle, shine, drama: Make Up For Ever’s limited edition Diamonds For Ever Kit is not only beautiful but also multi-functional!

Every piece in the kit is geared toward creating a look infused with diamonds, and you can use pieces in the kit together or separately to create different looks.

The kit is just $49.00, but you get $110 worth of Make Up For Ever goodies including:

– Aqua Eyes Water Proof Eye Pencil 1L in Star Black
– Diamond Shadow 301 in Diamond White
– Diamond Powder 11 (a loose shimmer powder) in Champagne
– Fascinating Lip Gloss 1 in Pearly Transparent
– Waterproof Lengthening Mascara in 1 Black
– and a cute black vanity tote with a built in mirror and velcro closure to hold all of the goodies!

I know a few weeks ago I was ranting on and on about my glitter issues ,but the Diamonds For Ever set has officially made me one with the glitter.


I played around with the kit this weekend and totally fell for the Aqua Eyes Water Proof Eye Pencil, Diamond Shadow and Waterproof Lengthening Mascara. The Aqua Eyes is *the* standout product. It doesn’t tug at my lids and is super easy to apply. Once you get it on your eyes, it stays put all day. It performs similarly to MAC Technakohl, so if you are a MAC Technakohl fan then you might want to give Aqua Eyes a try. Methinks I love it even more than my Graphblack!

Here’s a fotd with all the products, along with MAC Dollymix blush on the cheeks and a layer of MAC Composure lipstick underneath a layer of Fascinating lip gloss:


The obligatory goofy pic…

Pick this set up for your glitter-lurvin’ best girl.

Givenchy Irresisistible Perfume: For the Girly-girl


I’ve been reviewing a lot of boyfriend-inspired perfumes lately like Covet, so I wanted to find a holiday perfume that would suit the other end of the perfume spectrum.

Feminine, floral, sparkly: Givenchy’s Very Irresistible is unmistakably girly.

(Oh, and in case you are wondering, I did give the new Armani “Diamonds” perfume — an obvious tie-in to this post — a sniff. I liked it but wanted to find something that was super-fem with strong rose notes.)

On me, Very Irresistible smells like a lovely bouquet of roses with hints of fresh, sparkling green notes — think emerald cut diamonds and fresh cut flower stems!

The scent notes include: Centrifolia Rose, Peony Rose, Fantasia Rose, Passion Rose, Emotion Rose, Verbena Leaf and Star Anise. In addition to being an uber-feminine scent, it’s also versatile, and perfect for both a work day and a date night.

Give your best girl the 2.4 Eau du Toilette spray ($69.00). The graceful pink bottle is huge, and like a diamond, will last forever.

Random fragrance fun fact: Givenchy recently celebrated their 50 year fragrance anniversary this year. Givenchy’s first fragrances were Le De and L’Interdit, and Audrey Hepburn (my style hero) posed for the advertising campaign, becoming the first celebrity to be associated with a fragrance launch.


Olay Definity Eye Illuminator, For Your Make Up Wearing Gym Buddy


What the heck does eye cream have to do with sparkly diamonds? Hear me out, ya’ll!

There’s been constant discussion on this blog about wearing makeup at the gym. If you are one of the lucky few who can brave the gym sans makeup, then props to you for being such a natural beauty! I wish I could get away with no makeup, but I’ve got to put at least some concealer under my eyes, otherwise I look like the living dead. It’s so not cute, especially when you’re watching yourself do bicep curls.

And lately my dark circles have been really bad. To remedy this pressing and slightly stressful issue I’ve been layering Make Up For Ever Lift Concealer on top of Olay Definity, an under eye treatment that helps to lessen darkness and shadows. And wowee wow wow!

I put a few small drops underneath my eyes and then layer concealer on top. It gives the tiniest amount of shimmer, and it makes my under eye area look brighter.

It’s a really subtle brightening effect, so don’t expect your dark circles to disappear in a magical poof of smoke. It’s an eye cream, not a Christmas miracle. However, if you’re uber-conscious like me about your dark circles, then you might find the extra step worth it.

Got a best friend who’s always working on her fitness and/or bemoaning her dark circles? Pop a tube of Olay Definity Eye Illuminator (about $22.00) in her stocking.

Enjoy this wonderfully sunny day, ya’ll!

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


The LeSportsac Tokidoki Campeggio Bag: A Perfect Holiday Gift for Ladies on the Go!

Published in: Makeup Tools

The Holiday Wishlist 2007 gift-o-rama continues with the bag of all bags!

LeSportsac’s Tokidoki Campeggio Bag

Holiday Gift Idea? LeSportsac’s Tokidoki Campeggio Bag.
For? A busy mom, student or on-the-go beauty blogger.
How much? $160.00.
Why? Because you’ve got lots of stuff. And you’ve got to bring that stuff with you!

When I cover beauty or fashion events like the Nordstrom Cosmetics Trend Show, I need to bring a lot of gear. There are cameras, various high- and low-tech accouterments and, of course, random tubes of lipgloss. All this stuff needs to go into a lightweight bag that has lots of roomy pockets and a comfy shoulder strap.

A few weeks ago I was all about my super cute Lululemon bag. But when I took it with me to the Estee Lauder Elizabeth Hurley event a few weeks ago I found myself wishing it had a cross-body shoulder strap so I could keep my hands free all the time.

Even though the Lululemon bag holds up to 50 pounds, it’s hard to carry all that weight on one shoulder and shoot comfortably with a heavy camera. For someone who carries around less makeup (or gear!) it’s a great bag, but not having a shoulder strap that goes across my body limits my freedom. But unless you’re shoving your way through a crowd to get a shot or climbing up on railings to take pictures, which is what I had to do at SF Fashion Week, the bag rocks.

But the LeSportsac Tokidoki Campeggio Bag has been a lifesaver. I swear, the day this bag came into my life the clouds parted and birds started singing.

This bag is roomy, light, comfortable and holds everything AND the kitchen sink while still having a sleek silhouette. If you need to buy a present for someone who carries lots of stuff — a new mom, a student, a nomad — then this bag is the perfect gift!

LeSportsac really wasn’t on my radar until a few years ago, when Gwen Stefani hit the scene with the L.A.M.B. collaboration. I love prints, so the newest incarnation of bags by designer Tokidoki speaks both to my design sense and my need for a bag that’s functional.

I dig the quirky black and white cartoon characters on this bag, and only Tokidoki could make the grim reaper look cute:


I test-drove my Tokidoki bag (aka Tokidoki BAG O’ AWESOMENESS) recently on a day when I had to travel for blog-related stuff all day long. In addition to carrying all of my crap (which included two cameras, a tripod, a digital voice recorder, a notebook, a wallet, a makeup bag, makeup samples, a crackberry, a pair of post-pedicure slippers, a bottle of ginger ale and a packet of LifeSavers Gummies, among other things) the Tokidoki BAG O’ AWESOMENESS also served as …

A clever disguise!


San Francisco is only seven by seven miles, so more often than not, I’m doomed to running into one of my ex’s downtown. And wouldn’t you know it, as I was waiting to cross a street there was one of ’em at the other end of the crosswalk.

I didn’t want to be late for my meeting, and honestly the only reason I would talk to him now would be to ask him why he never gave back my hairdryer (he’s bald, hello). And I soooo wasn’t in the mood to get into it in the middle of Market Street.

Instead of being all mature and civilized your girl chose the next best option: hide behind the Tokidoki BAG O’ AWESOMENESS!

And by golly it worked. I crossed the street without a second glance! He must have just assumed I was a crazy person (oh, the irony) and walked right on by.

A beacon of hope and friendship!


Later on in the day I was early for a meeting with an editor, so I parked myself on a street corner and checked my crackberry for messages. One random person came up to me and asked if he could have a cigarette (I don’t smoke). Right after that a large Asian family asked me how to get to Union Square. Another person stopped and asked me where I got my bag. I was making friends left and right! It’s amazing how the Tokidoki BAG O’ AWESOMENESS helps break down barriers!

An enabler of moments of photographic inspiration!


A group of strange people holding kites passed by. I grabbed my camera out of the Tokidoki BAG O’ AWESOMENESS just in time to catch a few choice shots.

The Tokidoki Campeggio bag has:

– a zipped main closure
– two front cargo pockets with velcro closure
– a small back pocket with zipped closure (where I stash my business cards for easy access)
– two inside pockets with zippers (one is huge and the other is medium-sized)
– one cell phone/crackberry pocket inside
– adjustable shoulder strap
– inside carabiner on stretch cord (where I put my keys for quick access)

It’s $160.00 and is available in the new “vacanze” print on the LeSportsac Web site.

If Tokidoki is not quite your style then wait ’till February 2008, which is when designer Stella McCartney releases her line of LeSportsac bags. The line will feature chic, stylish, multi-functional travel bags.

I couldn’t get pictures of them yet, but those bags will have …

– a vibrant color palette
– wet seal zips for a modern yet sporty feel
– bright floral print linings and solid color blocking
– mesh pocket details
– tones of dirty pinks, deep plums and silver greys with contrast stitch details

I’m a huge Stella McCartney fan so I can’t wait to snag one when they are released.

Aren’t you glad Monday is over? I sure am!

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



Makeup Junkies, Don’t Miss the Nordstrom Cosmetics Trend Show!

Published in: Makeup, Makeup Tips/How To, News, Product Reviews

There are only two reasons I’d wake up at 5:00 a.m. on a cold, dreary Saturday morning — if I had to catch a plane to a far off tropical location, OR if I had the chance to see the latest Holiday makeup trends at the Nordstrom Cosmetics Trend Show.


After two cups of coffee and several layers of concealer (gotta hide those dark circles), your girl hauled her cookies over to Nordstrom Broadway Plaza in Walnut Creek to see the best Holiday 2007 makeup and skincare trends from several lines, including Dior, Chanel, Lancome, Clinique, Philosophy and MAC.

I met up with my blogging buddy Christine, who I thought would be the only other person crazy enough to wake up at 5:00 a.m. to go look at makeup. Little did I realize we weren’t the only ones. When we got to the store at 7:30, there was already a line of women waiting out front. You go, ladies!

Hurry up and sit down, ya’ll!

To attend a Nordstrom Cosmetics Trend Show, visit their Web site for dates and locations near you (listed under their “Store Locations & Events” section). RSVP by phone. There’s a modest $15.00 cover charge, which applies toward any beauty/cosmetics purchases you make on the day of the event.


If you love cosmetics but are NOT a morning person, then be forewarned: the Trend Show is kinda like a rock concert. There’s loud music, hot models, screaming women (no joke!) and unbridled makeup enthusiasm. Several premier artists from top lines, like Louise Zizzo (MAC), John Fussell (Chanel), Rachel Ito (Clinique) and John Trau (Philosophy) discussed the hottest looks for this season.

Louise Zizzo from MAC works the crowd

John Fussel from Chanel. Check out the model’s boots!

Bold Lips and Eyes!

The three trends featured at this show were matte skin, lined eyes and red/burgundy lips.

Matte Skin:

– natural yet flawless extra-matte finish
new products have lightweight and transparent matte formulas, unlike the heavier mattes of the 90s
– healthier, brighter-looking skin without the shine

Matte skin and flirty lined eyes from Lancome

Lined eyes:

– dynamically lined eyes for powerful, strong looks
– for a flirty look, try black, slate or grey liner on top lashes
– for an edgy look, try liner on lower lashes only
– to keep focus on black-lined eyes, use natural lip tones

An edgy, chic look from MAC

Red/burgundy lips:

– colors for fall include scarlet, burgundy or aubergine hues
– top bold colors with gloss, or smooth down with matte pigments
– to draw attention to lips, use a slight touch of color on eyes and mascara only

Estee Lauder featured bold lips

But wait! There’s more…

Another great reason to sign up for one of these shows is you get free stuff. Everyone at this event received this stylish, roomy, silver train case.


In addition to the train cases we also got snacks. Honey, you know that the two ways to my heart are through Chanel and through my stomach, so I was super excited to open my little goody box to find it filled with fruit, muffins and other yummy morning snacks.

But the fun didn’t stop there. In one of the show’s many raffles, Christine, who at the start of the show bemoaned how she never wins anything, actually won a bag full of Fusion Beauty products, ha ha ha! Lucky!

Joelle Russo, Nordstrom beauty director and emcee for the show, gets ready to raffle off more goodies


After the show, attendees headed downstairs to the store’s beauty department to buy more goodies and get makeovers. Several of the lines had special gift-with-purchase offers, free samples, and “best of” product packages for sale.

A Philosophy bag from the trend show filled with of some of the best products in the line. Can you spot my new fave cleanser, Purity Made Simple?

This special gift from Clinique included Allure magazine favorites from their color and skincare lines


If you love makeup then I highly recommend checking it out one of these shows. There are two Nordsrom trend shows happening next weekend, November 17, at the Fashion Valley and Valley Fair Nordstrom stores in California. Check out the Nordstrom site for more details.

Oh, and if you do plan on going, don’t let your husband play around with your beauty loot when you get home. I’m just sayin’…


I hope your weekend has been full of lots of makeup fun!

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


P. S. Your weekend isn’t over yet. It’s time for the weeks best o’ beauty from The Beauty Blog Network!

I know you didn’t miss Makeup and Beauty Blog’s Best of Clinique’s Holiday 2007 Makeup and Fragrances. (read more…)

Product Review, Makeup: Prescriptives The Illuminator All Over Face Color; Prescriptives Colorscope Creamy Eye Color in Smoking Gun 05

Published in: Makeup, Product Reviews

More Holiday 2007 Stocking Stuffers

Two of my favorite things about holiday makeup are shimmer and glow!

Creamy shadows, pigments, sparkly highlighters — there are so many choices. Two of my favorites this season are from the Prescriptives line, The Illuminator ($35.00) and Colorscope Creamy Eye Color in Smoking Gun ($18.00).

For the past few weeks I’ve been raving about MAC Natural Flare Beauty Powder, but now my favorite highlighter of the moment is The Illuminator, a limited edition product in the Prescriptives Holiday 2007 line-up.

If you are looking for a multiple-shade, compact highlighter, then you’ve got to pick this up. I love the sleek and clean packaging, especially the cute lil’ chain hanging from the side, which has a tiny charm at the end. Awww, how precious!


Check out the beauty on the inside:


The mix of golds and tans — with a touch of peachy pink — give a warm, candlelit glow. On the face of the day below, I popped it on top of a pink cream blush, Laura Mercier’s Oleander. I also applied it down the bridge of my nose, temples and on my chin.


In addition to using it as a highlighter, you can also use it as a shadow. I’ve picked up the gold color in the middle with a small brush and applied it all over my lids for a sheer wash.

Another not-to-miss shimmer product that’s also been in heavy makeup rotation lately is Colorscope Creamy Eye Color. This long-wearing, cream shadow is a permanent part of the Prescriptives color collection. I like it mostly because (surprise, surprise) it’s super easy to apply and blend; I really like using the MAC 249 brush, a large, flat shader brush with a synthetic brush head.


I wasn’t initially impressed with the Smoking Gun shade, a metallic gunmetal color, when I first saw it in the pot. When I put it on my lids though – wow! It’s dark grey with subtle glitter flecks, and the contrast against my dark brown eyes really makes them pop.


In the face of the day below I concentrated most of the color on the lashline and lid and then gradually feathered the color out as I moved it into the crease.


I also like it as a light wash over the entire lid for a subtle glow!

Is your weekend off to a good start? I hope so! I’m having a mellow night at home because I have to wake up early tomorrow with the chickens. I’m heading on out to Walnut Creek with my girl Christine to attend the Nordstrom Cosmetics Trade Show. Oops, there goes my paycheck! If you’re going too, then stop by and say hi. I’d love to meet ya.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


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