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.