Wednesday, December 23, 2009

More winter skin care advice - lips

The article Expert advice on winter skin care provided a lot of excellent tips about protecting your skin during cold winter weather.  In this article, I provide my time-proven tips about keeping lips soft in winter.

Instead of removing dry flakes from my lips with a soft toothbrush, I use Paula Begoun’s lip treatment, a wax that removes flaking skin, but it’s no longer available through her website. It was modeled after Beauticontrol’s Lip Apeel.

May I say something about Aquaphor? Allure touted it as a lip protectant, but it does little for me. A lip product with Vitamin E works better than Aquaphor. The Agatha Ruiz de la Prada fruit-flavored lip balms that you find at duty-free shops at airports in Europe (I have also seen them at anthropologie) are very emollient. Sally Hansen Healing Butter for Lips and the Reviva Labs Vitamin E Stick are satisfactory, but not as good as the Agatha Ruiz de la Prada lip balms. Skin care expert Liz Earle recommends ingesting Vitamin E capsules, but Vitamin E is also great as a topical treatment.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

RIP Brittany Murphy

I  very rarely blog about celebrities, although I'm continually fed fashion & beauty stories about celebrities.  It's just that I can't in good conscience blog about celebrities whose work I don't know.   Our DirectTV service is out, I haven't joined Netflix, and I seldom go to the movies.  That explains why I don't know the work of many celebrities, or else they are merely famous for being famous.

Today I was saddened to learn about the death of Brittany Murphy at age 32.  Her breakthrough role was as Tai, the new kid whom Cher and Dionne make over in Clueless.  One of her unsung roles was that of Luann Platter, Hank and Peggy Hill's bird-brained live-in niece, on the long-running animated TV series King of the Hill.  Luann was hilarious, whether bawling "UNCLE HANK!!"  or providing the voices for the Manger Babies puppets during her born-again phase.

Lady Bird, Bobby Hill, Hank Hill, Peggy Hill, and Luann Platter from King of the Hill

Brittany Murphy will be missed.

Brittany Murphy, 1977-2009

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Best #Beauty Tools

Missing are favorites such as Beautyblender and the sensuously soft Make Up For Ever HD Kabuki Brush, which I use to apply MUFE HD Microfinish Powder.

See which brushes, tweezers and eyelash curlers Total Beauty Readers love

The 13 Best Makeup Tools
Even if you use your fingers to apply most things, all of us have a few tools in our makeup arsenal that we wouldn't want to live without. readers shared their favorite makeup tools, maybe it's time to add a few to your stash? average reader rating: 9.1

No. 13: Shiseido Eyelash Curler, $19
Readers call this "the most perfectly designed eyelash curler …" average reader rating: 9.3

No. 12: Too Faced Kabuki Brush, $30
It "provides fuller coverage than the usual brushes that eat up your powder …" average reader rating: 9.3

No. 11: Bare Escentuals Maximum Coverage Concealer Brush, $20
It is best when you want "skin tone perfection," as it allows …

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Expert advice on winter skin care

Need help with dry, chapped skin and lips? We've got the answers

Solutions for All Your Winter Skin Issues
Cold weather outside and dry heat inside can really do a number on your skin. If you've tried slathering on every lotion you can get your hands on to no avail, then you need these expert tips to fight dry skin. We talked to Arielle N.B. Kauvar, M.D., director of New York Laser & Skin Care, and Liz Earle, a natural skin care expert, to find out what ingredients, methods and products work best to get you soft, silky skin all season long.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Ultimate Holiday #Beauty Gifts UPDATED

Ultimate Holiday Beauty gifts

Thirteen shopping days before Christmas, and here are my picks for the ultimate holiday beauty gifts. From left to right:

Clarisonic Plus Skin Care Sonic Cleansing System - I was skeptical about Clarisonic until I had a chance to try it. You don't have to apply pressure to clean your face, and you can switch out the face brush head with the body brush head to exfoliate your skin in the shower.

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Tour Atour perfumed bracelet - If Ellis Faas is the cosmetics story of 2009, then Maison Francis Kurkdjian is THE fragrance story of 2009. Parfumeur Francis Kurkdjian has made fragrance conceptual art, through staging a light, sound, and scent show and other spectacles at Versailles. His new fragrance line Maison Francis Kurkdjian is as innovative as his conceptual art. Among its unique products is the Tour Atour perfumed bracelet.

Edward Bess Lip Wardrobe
- Each winter holiday brings a slew of gift sets and limited edition palettes, the cheesiest being the mammoth palettes from Markwins International's The Color Workshop. This set of 10 lipsticks and 5 lip glosses is elegantly presented in a black lacquer box. It's exclusive to Bergdorf Goodman.

Don't expect value gifts here. The Clarisonic system costs around $200, while the Edward Bess Lip Wardrobe costs a whopping $400!

UPDATE Want to see more ultimate beauty gifts and salivate? Visit Best beauty gifts, as told by beauty bloggers from Queen of the Quarter Life Crisis. My input was the Bond No. 9 New York Bon Bon Box.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

JK Jemma Kidd giveaway #in #beauty

I had planned to participate in a webinar featuring makeup artist Jemma Kidd on Wednesday, December 2. The webinar began at 2 PM Eastern Time. At 1 PM, we lost power. What should have been an enjoyable afternoon became a nightmare, as I scrambled to get power restored. I was disappointed (to put it mildly) that I couldn't participate in the webinar and share this story with you.

My loss is your gain! While I couldn't provide you breaking news from the webinar, I can still host the giveaway that I planned to accompany the story. This time, the prize comprises two JK Jemma Kidd palettes: the JK fashion junkie lip palette and the JK fashion junkie eye palette.

This contest runs two weeks, so that I can ship the prize out on Saturday, December 19 and get it to you by Christmas!

The webinar is archived at It is a .wmv file running about 30 minutes. You won't find action video, but slides presented by Jemma Kidd and her lead makeup artist. I thought that the webinar was well managed and paced.

The fine print: these items were provided by representatives for JK Jemma Kidd.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

The Cosmetics Story of 2009

It's official. I have reviewed the articles published on More Than a Pretty Face this year and selected The Cosmetics Story of 2009.

Ellis Faas is THE cosmetics story of 2009. Hers is the most exciting and original cosmetics story this year. Her Human Colours concept is based on colors based in the human body, a concept that evolved from her experience in doing special effects makeup (simulating wounds, bruises, and blood) for PSAs. Somehow it doesn't fit to call the sleek space age pens that she uses for her products as unique, distinctive, standout, etc., as these words have become so overused that they have lost meaning. Her packaging is truly one of a kind.

Since I published my interview with Ellis Faas back in August, she's launched Ellis Skin (foundation, blusher, concealer, and powder) and Ellis Eyes (eye shadow, mascara, and eyeliner), all packaged in the same sleek space age pens used for Ellis Lips.

Now Ellis Faas has launched Ellis Holder to hold her products. It's a cylinder that can hold up to eight of her products. The skin veil pen fits in the center slot, while other products can be put in the six surrounding slots. Compact powder may be placed in the lid.

Ellis Holder - image from

Here is Ellis Faas demonstrating how to use Ellis Holder:

Video from

Not sure about the music with the overdub, though. It sounds like background for soft-core porn! Madonna's Justify My Love comes to mind.

And here is a video of her showing how not to use Ellis Holder:

Video from Ellis Faas's YouTube channel

The Dutch love strong coffee! I traveled across Canada with several folks from The Netherlands, and we were dumbstruck as they added teaspoon after teaspoon of instant coffee and teaspoon after teaspoon of sugar to approximate what they drank back home. It was more like slurry than coffee.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Erno Laszlo TranspHuse Lip pHixative

Erno Lazslo TranspHuse Lip pHixative is a colorless lip plumper designed to be worn under lip color.

The tube features a roller ball for smooth application. Silicone ingredients help. When I tested it, it didn't burn or sting on contact like the lip plumping Lip Butter from Fruits and Passion. Once the lip plumper dries, a numbing sensation kicks in. The numbing sensation and lip plumping last a couple of days.

Although Erno Lazslo TranspHuse Lip pHixative contains emollient ingredients, lip plumpers should be used judiciously during cold winter months. You need all the lubrication you can get.

NOTE This product was provided to me by Erno Laszlo.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Salvaging pulverized eye shadow

In my previous post, I mentioned that my NYX eye shadow in Golden Bronze was completely pulverized. I then transferred the eye shadow to an empty sifter jar.

Bella Mineral Shimmer Powder Nine Stack from BellaPierre
$90 list price for this set! Read what I wrote in my article on BellaPierre about bogus pricing.

Here's where the fun began: I decided to mix my own color. I added a little gold powder (second row, right - the image does not accurately represent the shade) from the Bella stack of shimmer colors by BellaPierre to the pulverized NYX eye shadow. I then added a touch of black (bottom row, center) to the mix. The result? A shadow worthy of the unrefined rocks and crystals that were the inspiration of Dick Page's Rich Rocks holiday 2009 collection for Shiseido.

Unfortunately, I forgot my own advice to place a sheet of wax paper underneath the loose powder: it spilled onto the countertop and even onto the carpet.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Today's makeup #Beauty

Today I went to the office. I want to save my vacation for Christmas.

Because there were so few people in the office, I decided to dress down. I'm wearing the same brass studded jeans as I did on Tuesday, and topped it off with a cotton jersey knit pullover of substantial weight. The pullover is overdyed (olive over orange) and features a patchwork front. My husband says that it looks "peasantish," although he picked it out.

My makeup today is similar to what is was on Tuesday. Today, however, all my eye shadows come from NYX. I used Nude from the Nude-Taupe-Dark Brown eye shadow trio and Taupe from the same palette for contouring. This is one of the few palettes that I've used to the bottom of the pan!

I used a fluffy eye shadow brush with a domed head for applying shadow to the crease. A makeup artist at the Trish McEvoy counter at Nordstrom told me to sweep the brush back and forth across the crease, like a windshield wiper. I find that application with this brush is not as precise as I would like it: the contour eye shadow extended beyond the outer corner of my eye.

For the outer corner, I used NYX single eyeshadow in golden bronze: alas, I found it pulverized. Time to get a sifter jar to salvage the eyeshadow! I used Sue Devitt Beauty Eye Intensifier Pencil in Pointe-Noire for the eyeliner.

Ellis Red liquid lipcolor

I used the same foundation and cheek color as I did on Tuesday. Today, I'm wearing Ellis Faas liquid lip color in her signature Ellis Red, but only as a light stain. The saturated blood-red color shown above is NSFW (not safe for work)!

You may shop NYX, Sue Devitt Beauty, and Ellis Faas through their web sites. Be advised that Ellis Faas ships from The Netherlands. Sue Devitt Beauty may also be found at

The fine print: Representatives for Sue Devitt Beauty provided me the Eye Intensifier Pencil. I paid for all other items out of my pocket.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Today's makeup look - romantic #Beauty

On Thanksgiving, I was grateful for a day off. I had proven to myself and others that I can make Thanksgiving dinner, and since that Thanksgiving, I haven't felt the need to prove my abilities again. I would have been happy to cook something simple at home or eat out at an Indian restaurant, but my husband suggested that we go to the Thanksgiving buffet at a nearby hotel.

Sometimes I think that I'm one of the few people who still makes a production of going out. I chose a 3/4-length sleeve pullover sweater in cream (pure white is not my best shade) and a flippy skirt with a mesh floral print overlay. To adorn the outfit, I chose the Victorian-inspired Anna Sheffield for Target Filigree Charm Necklace that hangs from a delicate rose gold tone chain.

Anna Sheffield for Target Filigree Charm Necklace

I then complemented my outfit with a romantic makeup look:

I first used Paula Begoun's Skin Balancing Super Antioxidant Mattifying Concentrate as a primer, which left a soft-focus finish. Once again, I used Daniel Chinchilla Flawless Finish Liquid Foundation. I pressed facial tissue on my face to remove excess makeup. I then pressed loose powder on my face with a cotton round to set the makeup, and buffed the powder with a face powder brush. I skipped blush, as I had plenty of color on my cheeks.

For my eyes, I used Pantina trio eye palette in Chichi Merlot, applying Veil (dusty mauve) on the lid, Spicy Currant in the crease and outer corner, and Black Currant cream eyeliner. Rite-Aid sometimes features tabletop displays of Pantina cosmetics.

You needn't use a mascara with a round spiky brush head such as Givenchy's Phenomen'Eyes and the copycat from L'Oreal Paris to coat every last lash. You can get the same effect by holding the wand at right angles to your eyes and applying mascara using the tip of the wand - just remove any gunk on the tip first.

I applied Color Comfort lipstick in Golden Berry from Sally Hansen Natural Beauty inspired by Carmindy on my lips with a Q-Tip to create a stain. Carmindy's lipsticks have good color payoff and a smooth finish, as the name implies. To add a little shimmer to my pout, I applied a touch of loose gold mineral powder from the stack I bought from the mall kiosk for BellaPierre.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Today's makeup design #Beauty

Today, I'm wearing a long-sleeve tissue-weight tee in cream (a wardrobe staple) from American Apparel and a boyfriend cardigan in dark olive over the tee. I'm also wearing jeans with studs along the side seams and a chunky wood and metal necklace from Brighton (how MOR :-)

Although it's considered passé to match makeup shades to my outfit, that's what I did. I used

- ULTA eye shadow in pale Camel for the base

- Laura Mercier eye shadow in Khaki (discontinued) for contouring. I've noticed that the eye designs in Robert Jones's book Makeup Makeovers invariably use taupe for contouring.

- Shu Uemura eye shadow in M Olive 499 (discontinued), a golden olive, on the outer corner.

Again, I used Christian Siriano Silky Eyeshadow in Gilded Fierce for eyeliner and LashControl mascaras.

For my face and lips, I used Daniel Chinchilla Flawless Finish Liquid Foundation, Revlon ColorStay™ Mineral Blush in Honey, Pür Minerals lip liner in Natural Calcite to fill in the lips, and Life's A Beach lip gloss from the Robert Jones Signature Collection for Three Custom Color Specialists.

The fine print: Representatives for Pür Minerals and LashControl provided me products for review. I paid for all other products out of pocket.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Christian Siriano for VS Makeup - Gilded Fierce eyeshadow #beauty

The Christian Siriano Collection for VS Makeup might have flown out the doors of Victoria's Secret, but the collection is still available online. The inspiration for the collection was Egypt, and even the compacts had pyramid-shaped lids. I had been eying the Christian Siriano Silky Eyeshadow in Gilded Fierce, a black-brown with gold flecks, for some time. I bought the last one available at the local Victoria's Secret store. It was though it were meant for me.

Christian Siriano Silky Eyeshadow in Gilded Fierce

I use Gilded Fierce as an eyeliner, applied damp with a stiff slanted brow brush. I use either sterile eye drops or La Femme Cake Eyeliner Sealer to dampen the eye shadow.

Today, I complemented Gilded Fierce with a neutral eye design:

- Laura Mercier Eye Basics in Linen as a base and highlighter

- Alima Satin Matte Eyeshadow in Vanilla, purchased from Futurenatural

- Laura Mercier eye shadow in Khaki (matte taupe) for contouring (it appears that this shade is no longer available)

- Global Goddess Beauty I-Divine White Tea Infused Eyeshadow in Darjeeling, described as Earthy Camel, but it's a warm gray.

- Layers of both voluminizing and lengthening mascaras from LashControl.

Gilded Fierce has great color payoff. The same cannot be said of the VS Makeup eye shadow quad in Menage.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Perricone MD No Foundation Foundation giveaway - Perricone Coupon #in

Our Big L'Oreal Paris Blowout Giveaway contest ends Saturday, but we're starting a new giveaway: one lucky winner will get a bottle of No Foundation Foundation from Perricone MD.

No Foundation Foundation from Perricone MD

What is No Foundation Foundation? While many companies are extending their ranges of makeup shades to cover all skin tones, No Foundation Foundation comes in one universal shade that suits any skin tone. It's formulated with Alpha Lipoic Acid and DMAE, which improve the skin's appearance. It also provides SPF 30 sun protection with physical sunscreens, namely our good friends zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. It's skin care that acts as a tinted moisturizer - or maybe it's the other way around.

The best entry wins. Want another opportunity to score Perricone MD No Foundation Foundation? Get a Perricone Coupon from the Perricone blog!

The fine print: This contest runs through the end of November 2009. US entries only. This contest is a collaboration with representatives for Perricone MD.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Skin MD Natural Shielding Lotion

Skin MD Natural Shielding Lotion

I received a bottle of Skin MD Natural Shielding Lotion from a company representative. The web site claims that a Shielding Lotion is something other than a moisturizer, but after reviewing the web site and physician testimonials, I’m not convinced. After reviewing the ingredient list (and I appreciate that the web site describes ingredient benefits), I concluded that Skin MD Natural Shielding Lotion is a well-formulated moisturizer. Isn’t a moisturizer supposed to shield your skin from dryness?

I road-tested Skin MD Natural Shielding Lotion while I was in Canada: it was cold and even snowed while I was there. It’s hardly the most elegant moisturizer I’ve used, but, in its favor, it is lightweight and not greasy. Even better, it protected my skin from the cold weather and wind.

I’m including a packet of Skin MD Natural Shielding Lotion, good for 3½ applications, as a bonus for whoever wins the big L’Oreal Paris blowout giveaway.

To find stores near you that carry Skin MD Natural Shielding Lotion, use its store locator. You may also shop Skin MD Natural Shielding Lotion through

Friday, November 13, 2009

What's appropriate?

While I was in Canada, I was deeply impressed by how many people, both young and old, wore red poppies in remembrance of war dead leading up to November 11. The Brits have maintained this custom, too. In the U.S., we've lost the custom. For the first time in years, I came across the American Legion handing out red poppies in exchange for a voluntary donation, when I went grocery shopping. I wore red poppies in both Canada and the US.

Some might think that a symbol like the red poppy is meaningless, but if it causes a person to reflect as they affix the red poppy to their clothes as they get dressed, so much the better. Giving money, time, or other resources is even better.

Which leads me to the question: what's appropriate dress for mourning?

Cherie Blair (second from right) wore a purple trench coat to the Remembrance Sunday Service

Cherie Blair, the wife of former British PM Tony Blair, created a flap when she wore a purple trench coat to the Remembrance Sunday Service, instead of somber black. The Telegraph UK published an article Should Cherie Blair have worn royal purple to the Remembrance Sunday service? The article was critical of Ms. Blair's choice, as everyone around her wore the customary black (also notice the red poppies). You'll see that the discussion was animated: some denounced her color choice, others noted that purple is a color of mourning in Mrs. Blair's Roman Catholic faith, and yet others thought that her color choice was a trivial manner.

The President and First Lady at the Ft Hood memorial service

What did you think about Michelle Obama's dress choice for the memorial service for the victims of the Fort Hood massacre? Was it appropriate? Should the neckline have been higher?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Beauty finds from Canada

I recently came back from a trip to Canada, and here are a couple of beauty finds to share:

Fruits and Passion has stores in malls across Canada. In the U.S., it's best known for its Cucina line of products for the kitchen (cucina is Spanish for kitchen). Fruits and Passion has a selection of six Lip Butters in sheer colors, each with a different benefit.

Fruits and Passion lip butters

You have to prime the product by twisting the tube at the bottom, and the lip butter is dispensed through a flexible silicone tip.

I bought Fruits and Passion Lip Butter in Moringa (center), which is a lip plumping gloss that does indeed plump the lips - and leaves them stained and numb. Use a *very* light touch - maybe with your finger - on the lower lip.
Annabelle - Custom Quad Magnetic Compact

The Custom Quad Magnetic Compact (above) from Canadian cosmetics company Annabelle holds up to four eye shadow pans. I love the graffiti design, and I was tempted to buy this product (cute!), but I already have similar shades in my eye shadow wardrobe. Sparkled Beauty from Canada writes "Annabelle is ok, swatch before you buy to make sure you like the payoff. The palette is normally free with 4 shadow purchase."

I found Annabelle at Uniprix and Brunet pharmacies in Quebec.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Sue Devitt Beauty

Sue Devitt Beauty is a line of cosmetics from Australia that has reached our shores. I recently road-tested two products: Eye Intensifier Pencil and Mini Lip Gloss.

Eye Intensifier Pencil is a jumbo eye liner pencil with a flexible smudger tip. Usually, I have to "prime" eye pencils before applying, by stroking them back and forth on the back of my hand: with this pencil, I don't have to. According to the website, "Special ingredient Nylon-12 expands and contracts with facial movements without creasing or cracking, guaranteeing durability and long-lasting coverage." I can't vouch for Nylon-12, but I can tell you that Eye Intensifier Pencil goes on very smoothly and lasts. Eye Intensifier Pencil is a winner.

Eye Intensifier Pencil in Pointe-Noire is currently my everyday eyeliner. It also comes in 12 other colors.

Sue Devitt Beauty Mini Lip Gloss

Mini Lip Gloss comes in 12 beautiful shades. I tried the rosy Alanya shade, which was very flattering for my complexion. It's sheer and neutral enough to flatter other skin tones. It's somewhat tacky on the lips, so it doesn't quite reach the gold standard that Three Custom Color Specialists has set for lip glosses.

Sephora discontinued Sue Devitt Beauty, but you may now shop Sue Devitt Beauty at Ulta stores,, and Sue Devitt Beauty.

NOTE These products were provided to me by representatives for Sue Devitt Beauty.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Big L’Oréal Paris Blowout Giveaway

Enter for a chance to win an 11-piece L’Oréal Paris collection of recently launched products! The prize includes:

Revitalift Deep-Set Wrinkle Repair Eye: this dual-end tube features both day and night formulae

Two Colour Riche Anti-Aging Serum Lipcolor lipsticks, one in Real Red (the color Linda Evangelista wears in the ad campaign) and the other in Pucker Up Pink

Two Infallible Never Fail Plumping Lipgloss (is that redundant, or what?) tubes, one in Plumped Pink and the other in Plumped Red

Extra-Volume Collagen Mascara in Black

L’Oréal HIP has become a favorite for those who like vivid color and deep pigment. I have a total of five (!) HIP High Intensity Pigments Matte Shadow Duos to give away:

Dashing: pink/charcoal
Striking: bright yellow/charcoal
Poppy: goldenrod/brown
Perky: bright green/slate
Animated: white/blue

I’m sweetening the offer by including a 0.05 ml sample vial of Bare Skin Eau du Parfum from Leslie Blodgett Perfume Diaries; a sachet (packet) of Skin MD Natural Shielding Lotion; and two Eye Majic instant eyeshadows:

NOTE these products were provided to me by representatives for L’Oréal Paris, Leslie Blodgett Perfume Diaries, Skin MD Natural, and Eye Majic.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Donna Karan black and white Color Block tights

Patterned and/or textured tights are big this winter. This pair of black and white color blocked tights from Donna Karan takes the cake:

Donna Karan Color Block Tights

Who remembers the black and white unitard that Freddie Mercury of Queen wore back in the 1970s? These tights remind me of Freddie's unitard!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Leslie Blodgett debuts Bare Skin fragrance

After leading the Mineral Makeup Revolution, Leslie Blodgett has now ventured into fragrance. She debuted her first fragrance Bare Skin earlier this month with a online blitz, including a website Leslie Blodgett Perfume Diaries, a microsite on, a fan page on Facebook, a Twitter account, and a blogging program. When it comes to promoting her products, this woman doesn't do anything small!

Watch Leslie Blodgett discuss Leslie Blodgett Perfume Diaries

Leslie Blodgett Perfume Diaries is a limited edition fragrance collection created exclusively for Sephora. Here is Leslie's concept for Bare Skin: “Bare Skin is the way you feel when the sun is beating down on you during the day, but then you go out at night and you’re still sizzling from the warmth of the day which mingles with night air and music.”

It was up to perfumeur Stephen Nilsen of the Franch fragrance house Givaudan to translate Leslie's concept into fragrance. Nilsen imagined "creamy sensuality, caressing florals, and uninhibited musk" to formulate Bare Skin. The olfactory notes are:

Top: Black Pepper, Freesia, Anise

Middle: Iris, Vanilla Orchid, Plumeria, Patchouli

Bottom: Sandalwood, Labdanum, Musk

I'm not a fan of light fragrances: maybe it's because I'm a Taurus, which is an Earth sign :-) I prefer heavier fragrances, and Bare Skin, with its notes of Patchouli, Sandalwood, Labdanum, and Musk, suits me.

Bare Skin Eau de Parfum from Leslie Blodgett Perfume Diaries

Bare Skin is available as an Eau de Parfum, a Solid Perfume Compact, and a Perfumed Body Cream. You may shop for Bare Skin at Sephora stores and

NOTE to readers: My access to the Internet in the last month has been erratic, to say the least. I regret to tell you that I was too late to share the news about the contest to win a trip to Hawai’i in conjunction with the launch of Bare Skin. The contest closed October 23, 2009.

FTC regs note: I received 5 sample vials of Bare Skin from a representative for Leslie Blodgett Perfume Diaries for participating in the blogging program. I am planning a giveaway, in which I'll add a sample of Bare Skin as a bonus. The giveaway should go live in the next two weeks.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Promotions for November 2009

Here are promotions for November 2009 that I'd like to pass onto readers:

All The Looks is an interactive website that allows celebrity style fans to customize searches by celebrity name, event, hair, and dress; view and rate celebrity photos; and create “lookbooks” that they can caption and share with friends. Fashion designers Anna Sui, Tracy Reese, Pamella Roland and David Meister, hair stylists Garren, Ted Gibson, and Sally Hersberger, and makeup artist Pat McGrath will weigh in on celebrity images, style trends and beauty.

For the month of November 2009, All The Looks will award the most active site user of each day $250, which means that a total of $7,500 is available for prizes for the 30 days of the month.

Readers in the know are aware of private sales offered by sites such as Gilt Groupe, RueLaLa, HauteLook, and ideeli. The Skinny operates similarly to those sites, except that it's focused exclusively on skin care products and services. Members will be able to shop high-end skin care products and spa treatments at up to 75% off.

The Skinny will feature products from brands like Perricone MD, Lisa Hoffman Beauty, 100% Pure, International Orange, and Organic Apoteke, and cosmetic services like Botox from renowned dermatologists. It will also feature videos and personalized recommendations to help users find products that meet their needs.

The Skinny's first shopping event is Wednesday, Nov. 4, but if you sign up early, you'll be entered to win Perricone MD's Skin and Total Body Dietary Supplements ($140 value).

NOTE so that I won't run afoul of FTC regs, representatives for these firms shared these promotions with me. I receive no compensation for sharing these promotions with my readers.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Worst recent magazine covers

Fashion magazine covers. You can't avoid them. You see them at the supermarket and drugstore checkouts: the placement is called "point of purchase."

Here are my selections as the worst magazine covers of recent months:

Victoria Beckham on the cover of the October 2009 issue of Elle.
From Red Carpet Fashion Awards.

Victoria Beckham in Hussein Chalayan for the October 2009 issue of Elle. It looks like she has Mickey Mouse ears on her boobs!

Elle didn't post this picture on its cover shoot story: wonder why?

Scarlett Johannson on the cover of the November 2009 issue of Glamour

Scarlett Johannson is beautiful, and her new red hair suits her. I like her red hair better than the platinum blonde that she wears in the ads for Dolce & Gabbana Cosmetics.

So what's wrong with this cover? It's more suitable for the cover of Playboy, as Scarlett looks like she's pulling down her tee to cover her nether regions (for all I know, she might be wearing a thong underneath). Playboy covers are often hidden from view, but anyone can see the Glamour cover as they go through checkout!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Hair and skin issues solved

Who knew that Neosporin could trigger rashes in some people? Experts recommend at-home treatments, and if those treatments don't solve the problem, then office treatments are recommended.
12 Major Hair and Skin Issues -- Solved!

Get help for everything from cystic acne, hair breakage, psoriasis and more

12 Major Hair and Skin Issues -- Solved!

Sure, we all get the occasional breakout or dry patch of skin, but if you're suffering from a more serious hair or skin issue then you need serious help. That's why we asked Dr. Heidi Waldorf, director of Laser and Cosmetic Dermatology at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, Arielle N. B. Kauvar, M.D., director of New York Laser & Skin Care, Jerry Teuschler, Principal Scientist for Proctor and Gamble Beauty and Grooming Science, and Head & Shoulders hairstylist Ryan Trygstad to weigh in. They gave advice for the big issues facing readers, so read on for relief from your hair and skin woes.

See issues

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Maison Francis Kurkdjian

Francis Kurkdjian

Parfumeur Francis Kurkdjian has taken fragrance to where it’s never been taken before. He’s made fragrance conceptual art, through staging a light, sound, and scent show and other spectacles at Versailles. More prosaically, he’s created many fragrances for leading fashion houses.

The sound, light, and fragrance installation at Versailles

Now Francis Kurkdjian has launched his own fragrance line Maison Francis Kurkdjian. Maison Francis Kurkdjian is as innovative as his conceptual art. Not only does it comprise personal fragrance and home fragrances (room spray and candles), but it also comprises laundry detergent and fabric softener, incense paper, Tour Atour the perfumed bracelet, and even blowing bubbles.

Tour Atour the perfumed bracelet

The fragrances in the Maison Francis Kurkdjian line and their olfactory notes are:

Aqua Universalis: Bergamot and lemon from Sicily – White Bouquet (lily of the valley and sweet mock orange) – light and musky wood. This light fragrance is used for the laundry detergent and fabric softener.

Lumière Noire pour femme: spiced rose (cumin, hot pepper) – Patchouli - Narcissus

Lumière Noire pour homme: spiced rose (cumin, hot pepper) – Patchouli – Mugwort herb

APOM (“A Piece of Me”) pour femme: orange flower – cedar wood – ylang-ylang flower

APOM (“A Piece of Me”) pour homme: orange flower – cedar wood – amber

Cologne pour le Matin/Cologne pour le Soir (a concept not unlike Lisa Hoffman’s fragrance variations) – Infusion of Benzoin from Siam – Bulgarian and Iranian Rose Honey – Incense absolute

Les Bulles d’Agathe (Agathe’s bubbles) in Pear, Cold mint, or Cut herbs

I'm coveting Lumière Noire pour femme, because the notes are evocative of Indian cooking and fragrance, for myself and Les Bulles d’Agathe to share with my young nieces.

To find out more about Francis Kurkdjian and his art, visit his website Francis Kurkdjian - crèateur parfumeur.

Monday, October 19, 2009

What if concealer isn't enough?
Ditch Dark Circles and Puffiness for Good

Use these expert tips to treat and camouflage your annoying eye issues the right way

Ditch Dark Circles and Puffiness for Good

When eye cream or concealer alone won't do the trick, you may need to look into other options when it comes to treating and masking dark circles and puffiness. Whether they're a result of genetics or lack of sleep, too much sun or alcohol, these tricks -- courtesy of dermatologist Dr. Heidi Waldorf and New York City-based makeup artist Tina Turnbow -- will help you zap them for good, and disguise them like a pro until they're gone.

See tips