Archive - September 2008

NP Set by Napoleon Perdis: More Beauty at Target

Published in: Makeup, Product Reviews

Target set the beauty world ablaze earlier this month with the release of three new prestige beauty lines — JK Jemma Kidd, Pixi by Petra Strand and NP Set by Napoleon Perdis.

NP Set, by famed Australian makeup artist Napoleon Perdis, may look a little familiar to Perdis fans. The logo harkens back to his first major makeup release, aptly named Napoleon Perdis. The line sells at Ulta stores and at a slightly higher price point than Target’s NP Set.

But that’s the beauty of Target, right? — good prices on quality merch.

What Sets NP Set Apart?

The new line is huge, with more than 80 face, lip and cheek products priced between $12-$30. NP Set bridges the gap between the other two big beauty lines to launch at Target, combining the color vastness and artistry of the JK Jemma Kidd line with the breezy fun of Pixi by Petra Strand.

Breezy, Elegant Packaging

The subtle tropical colors, clean lines and minimalist packaging evoke beach umbrellas and rolling surf — a sense of relaxed elegance, which even carries over to the glossy white compacts and lipstick tubes.

Pretty Colors and Textures, But Limited Staying Power

I tested five items from the line, and most delivered nice texture and beautiful, pigmented color.

There are several things I like about these products, but the one issue that consistently came up was their staying power.

I had trouble keeping this stuff put! For some reason the items I tried weren’t as long-lasting as the products by Pixi or JK Jemma Kidd, fading and creasing within hours, so, if there’s any room for improvement in the NP Set line, that’s it.

Of the items I tested, my favorites were the eye and lip products.

NP Set by Napoleon Perdis Show Loose Dust Duo in Australia, $26

Dust Duo, a double-sided eyeshadow duo, has built-in sponge tip applicators perfect for gals on the go.
(read more…)

The Chanel Smoky Eye Quad Seduction

Published in: Makeup, Product Reviews

She arrived dressed to thrill in a sleek black compact — four sophisticated shadows born to seduce and built to weaken knees. Crafted to create the ultimate smoky eye, she prepared to do her dance of makeup seduction.

Even before I opened the Chanel Smoky Eye Quad ($56), I could hear her siren song…

“Play with me, Karen,” she sung, “You know you want to play with my matte black, shimmery gray and white shadow shades.”

“Don’t you want to try my dark, shimmery gray shade above a layer of MAC Smolder eyeliner?” she probed.

I trembled.

It’s hard enough to resist Chanel on a normal day, but after weeks of self-imposed Chanel makeup lockdown, I was helpless against her.

“You know I’ll look effortless and classic,” she purred in my ear. “Use an angled brush and line your bottom lash line with my matte black… You won’t regret it.”

“Yes…” I replied, defeated, my willpower gone, “and to complete the look, I’ll add a nude cheek and lip.”

“Heavenly,” she demurred.
(read more…)

Life Advice from Gwyneth Paltrow?

Published in: Just For Fun, News

Actress Gwyneth Paltrow has just launched a new lifestyle website called Goop. There’s not much to it yet (I think it’s still in beta), but I’m getting an Oprah/O magazine vibe from it with a focus on “nourishing the inner aspect” through recipes, travel information, shopping recommendations and tidbits on personal growth.

“My life is good because I am not passive about it. I want to nourish what is real, and I want to do it without wasting time. I love to travel, to cook, to eat, to take care of my body and mind, to work hard…

Whether you want a good place to eat in London, some advice on where to stay in Austin, the recipe I made up this week, or some thoughts from one of my sages, GOOP is a little bit of everything that makes up my life.

Make your life good. Invest in what’s real. Cook a meal for someone you love. Pause before reacting. Clean out your space. Read something beautiful. Treat yourself to something. Go to a city you’ve never been to. Learn something new. Don’t be lazy. Work out and stick with it. GOOP. Make it great.”

I’m all for women spreading a positive message online, but celebrity often brings with it vast sums of money and the freedom that comes with wealth and privilege. Certainly, celebrities are people too — frail — with families, health issues, traumatic experiences, fears and desires, but when they try to relate to working class folks on a personal level, they aren’t always aware of their own good fortune in life.

I believe she has good intentions, and I’ve always thought highly of Gwyneth. I’m sure she wants to use her star power to improve the lives of women through her website, but, honestly, cleaning out my space? What does that mean to a multi-millionaire?

Organizing or cleaning the bathroom might be fun for someone who only does it once a year because the maid stops by every Wednesday, but for regular gals that kind of household stuff is a given; cleaning happens every weekend, otherwise we live in filth. That’s all there is to it.

A few of the items she lists within the site’s mission statement (I wonder if she really wrote it) seem to have been written by someone a bit out of touch.

“Cook a meal for someone you love.” Yup, for some families (those without personal chefs), cooking “a meal for someone you love” happens three times a day.

“Don’t be lazy.” Hmm… Wouldn’t it be nice to even have the option to be lazy? I know a lot of women who can’t let up for one minute because they simply *have* to work hard to support themselves and their families.

I dunno, maybe I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning (it happens), but I don’t know if I can relate to this lifestyle site in the way I could to Oprah’s (someone who, despite her current wealth, grew up extremely poor) or even Rachel Ray’s. I applaud Gwyneth’s efforts, but I hope to see her reflect upon how celebrity has changed her life and comment upon how wealth and privilege have changed her perspective.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



Face of the Day: Dior Brown-Eyed Girl

Published in: Face of the Day (FOTD)

Girrrrl, next time you’re in Sephora, get your hands on Dior’s 2-Colour Eyeshadow duos ($35 each) because these shadows apply and blend like buttah!

Each if the eight duos includes a matte and a shimmer shadow in coordinating shades. For work today I grabbed the Pop Look duo, with its matte chocolate brown and shimmery gold shadows. I was shooting for sophisticated (for work) yet fun and wanted to use brown.

The Eyes


The Eye Look

  1. First, with a 266 angled brush, I filled in my brows with MAC Concrete shadow.
  2. Next, I patted Too Faced Shadow Insurance primer onto my lids with a finger tip.
  3. I applied the matte brown shadow onto my lids and just barely into the crease with a MAC 252 eye shader brush.
  4. Then, using a 217 blending brush, I applied the shimmery shade to the center of each lid.
  5. To enhance the shimmer shade even more, I wet a MAC 239 eye shading brush with a spritz of MAC Fix+ and swept the wet brush head across the pan of shimmer shadow (using a wet brush amplifies eye shadow colors). I added a couple dots of the wet shimmer to the center of each lid.

After blending away any harsh lines with a 217 blending brush, I finished the eyes by curling my lashes and adding two coats of Dior Iconic mascara to the top and bottom lashes.

I think the contrast of light on dark opens up the eyes…

(read more…)

Makeup and Beauty Blog Monday Poll, Sept. 22

Published in: Just For Fun

Water lilies at the San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers

  1. Mood:
  2. Sleepy

  3. Fragrance:
  4. Chanel Allure

  5. Nails:
  6. My fingers and toes are bare right now, but later today I’m painting them in The Good Earth, a shimmery dark brown by Sally Hansen.

  7. Sweet tooth:
  8. Carrot cake with *lots* of cream cheese frosting

  9. Celeb crush:
  10. He’s mainly a local celebrity, but I’m still giddy about meeting San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom last week.

  11. Makeup crush:
  12. Cat Eyes ($16) eye liner by Pop Beauty, an eye crayon shaped to create the liner “flick” at the ends of cat eyes.

  13. Something you don’t know about me:
  14. I love the beach late at night.

  15. Latest makeup or beauty find I’ve been telling my homies about:
  16. Chanel No. 5 Eau de Premiere. I always considered Chanel No. 5 a little too overbearing and stuffy, but I’m really into this interpretation of the scent. It’s lighter and not as rich old lady as regular No. 5. I think it just might be my new fall fragrance.

  17. Hair:
  18. A loose, low bun.

  19. Goals for the week:
  20. To keep repeating my mirror mantras (hey, those things actually help!), to survive work and to put together the prize bags for the bachelorette party I’m throwing this Saturday. Got any ideas for prizes?

Your turn. 🙂 Just copy the following list, and paste it with your answers in the comments.

Le list

Sweet tooth:
Celeb crush:
Makeup crush:
Something you don’t know about me:
Latest makeup or beauty find you’re sharing:
Goals for the week:

Happy Monday!

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


Page 4 of 13