Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Chanel Fall 2011 Picks

In the last several weeks I purchased some items from Chanel's Fall 2011 collection and from the Byzance Collection, which was just launched, and exclusive to Chanel boutiques.  I only picked up a few pieces in total, only the items that I felt I really needed to have.

From the Fall 2011 collection I picked up:
  • Chanel Illusion D'Ombre in Epatant #84
  • Chanel Illusion D'Ombre in Fantasme #81
  • Chanel Le Vernis in Graphite #529

From the Byzance collection, I only picked up the eyeshadow quad in Topkapi

I didn't swatch the products because there are a million blogs out there with really great high quality swatches, and I also didn't want to ruin the pattern on the eyeshadows by doing a heavy swatch. 

The reason why I picked these items is that I think theyre the most unique products to come from the collections.  Epatant was the must have mousse eyeshadow which I find to be gorgeous and haven't seen anything come close (except for the green in Chanel's Spring 2011 eyeshadow quint, which isn't as metallic as Epatant).  Fantasme, although it's not as pigmented as the other shadows, is quite versatile and can be worn alone or over other eyeshadows to give your eyes a dramatic glittery effect, not suitable for every day wear.  In fact, I thought that the black mousse shadow could be recreated by taking a heavy black shadow and swiping Fantasme on top (also a reason I did not pick this one up).  I also didn't think the reddish, purplish, or the peachy champagne eye shadows were unique enough, as I have a million eyeshadows similar in tone to these products.

From the Byzance collection I only picked up the eyeshadow quad for the silvery taupe and the gold eyeshadows.  Of the two blushes, Rouge just didn't seem like something I could pull off, given my skin is very fair and it would only make me look doll-like (in my opinion).  The Or blush seemed more of a highlighter to me than a blush. The red lipstick looked gorgeous, but I have so many red lipsticks that I never wear, I figured it would just go into the pile along with the rest.

Overall, while I think there were some amazing products in these two collections, I personally didn't feel I needed anything other than the products I purchased.  I guess I wasn't inspired enough or felt like I could get enough use out of the other products to pick them up, especially when my makeup collection is already pretty big, and counter space/storage space for makeup is really limited in typical NYC apartments.  The products I featured in this post I felt were the best and the "must haves" of these collections, I hope others agree!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Clinque's Moisture Surge Tinted Moisurizer with SPF 15

I have been on a quest to find the perfect day time cream foundation. Since I have super sensitive and dry skin, I am limited to the products I can choose from. Which I guess is good and bad. After testing what seemed like every product on the market, I have finally found salvation in Clinque's Moisture Surge Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 15. To be honest, I have not used clinique since my early teens. Mainly because the shades don't really work for me and at times, it's just marketed towards someone older or with less acne.

After seeing an ad for the moisture surge tinted moisturizer, I decided it was time to give clinque a second chance. Boy did I get a happy surprise. Not only did it go on smoothly, it's practically invisible. The coverage is light but it's perfect for someone who just needs to even out skin tone or hid redness. It doesn't feel like you have anything on your skin. This is great since the humid summers in NYC can literally melt the makeup off you (think Wicked Witch from Wizard of Oz "i'm melting...").

My one request was that any foundation I bought does not show my dry patches. And even with my exfoliating and masks, the dry patches just didn't go away. So I have come to accept this and just wanted to work around it. This tinted moisturizer didn't show any of my dry patches. Thank god!

This is definitely an option for those who do not like the laura mercier or mac tinted moisturizers. This is a lot lighter and absorbs better into your skin. I highly recommend this to those who suffer from dry/ sensitive skin

Monday, June 13, 2011

Elemis Spa At Home Cellutox Active Body Oil

Last month I started using the Elemis Cellutox Active Body Oil, which is a body oil designed to detox your entire body.  I stumbled upon it while looking for another Elemis body oil, but this just looked really interesting to me.  I'm all about holistic treatments or alternative approaches to healthcare, so when I saw the description and that the oil is designed to detoxify your body, due to the buildup of toxins from stress, etc., i was curious to try it and see what it could do for me. 

The Elemis Spa At Home Cellutox Active Body Oil contains seabuckthorn, sea fennel, lemon and juniper to do a list of good things for your body, including detoxifying the body, helping smooth the appearance of cellulite, helping boost energy, and also helping with constipation when rubbing into the belly and lower back.  It has a citrusy lemony smell, which according to my aromatherapy research, is supposed to help relax you.  According to the website the ingredients list did not contain any mineral oil, which we all know I try to avoid. 

I've been using this for about a month now, applying it to my "problem areas" including my belly, thighs and legs, and my upper arms and shoulders, right after a shower when your body is warm.  To be honest I'm not sure how to tell if its providing detox, but what I can tell you is that I feel very hydrated from this body oil and it leaves a really nice sheen on the shoulders and legs, especially nice if I'm wearing a dress.  I use a couple of drops for each part of my body (about a dime size amount for each part) on top of aloe vera gel, under a regular body moisturizer (Nivea). 

I should tell you that I had recently returned from my vacation and my skin was pretty burnt, not red and flaking, but my skin was significantly drier (especially at the shoulders), significantly! After about a week's use of this body oil, (along with the aloe vera gel) I felt like I had my soft skin back (whew). 

I also received a deluxe sample of the Elemis Spa At Home Frangipani Monoi Body Oil, which I had been reading about everywhere, but I only used it once because I wasn't particularly fond of the scent.  It had a muskier scent which I'm not a fan of, so if you're looking to try a body oil, I think the Cellutox version is the way to go.  Who doesn't like the smell of lemons?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Shu Uemura Tasai Cream

Last month I cheated on my hair stylist at a new salon.  I wasn't unhappy with my stylist at all, but I've been going to him for eight years now, and even though I think he does a fabulous job, I always wondered if someone else could possibly make my hair better than it already is.  After some research I ended up at Michael Angelo's Wonderland, and had my hair consultation, cut, and style with Annastasia, who recommended the Shu Uemura Tasai Cream.

According to the Shu Uemura website, the Tasai Cream is a moisturizing styling cream that offers texture, definition, and shine.  To apply, I use about two pumps to each side of my damp hair, before blow drying.  It's pretty liquidy, I wouldn't say the texture of the hair cream is very creamy, so it's rather easy to apply and spread throughout.  The product does exactly what it says it will do, which is, it texturizes my hair and gives it an extra bit of "movement" to it.  For reference, I have straight hair, and I don't have a ton of it, so I'm always looking for volumizing products, which don't ever seem to work out for me.  However this was the first product that has helped increase the volume, in the sense that it makes it seem like I have more hair than I actually do.  The cream also has a great scent, very light and pleasant. 

So far I am loving this product, I have been using it every day since the day I got it, and on the days that I don't use it I definitely notice a difference.  I would recommend this to people who have hair just like me, straightish and more sparse (not necessarily thinner hair, but it may help), not really sure how it would react with other types of hair.  Annastasia also recommended using dry shampoo, even on freshly washed hair, for even more volume.  What I do is section my hair into six parts, spray these sections, and also spray once in the back under the top of the underside of my hair, and work it into my scalp.  (For reference I'm using the Tresemme Fresh Start Dry Shampoo, which has a complementary scent to the Shu Uemura Tasai Cream). 

I highly recommend the Tasai Cream if you haven't tried it already, and I also recommend going to Annastasia if you're looking to try a new stylist!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

NewBeauty Magazine

I discovered NewBeauty magazine randomly some time ago, and have been reading their online versions when available.  NewBeauty is a very unique magazine, in that it focuses on the science behind beauty, which is what I love about skincare and makeup.  I love reading about products, but I'm always focused on the essential ingredients and what they're supposed to do for my skin or hair, etc.  The magazine also features brands and products that are not necessarily what I consider "mainstream", brands that are commonly found at Sephora, Ulta or the department stores, rather the magazine features brands that are somewhat less known or new, brands that are used in spas, and brands that are more commonly found internationally, etc.  Alot of these products are very high end and alot of the products are also natural.  The magazine also provides information about plastic surgery, which, if it's something you're interested in, can be very helpful.  I'm not thinking about plastic surgery at this point in my life, but it's something that I'd like to be educated about. 

Recently they removed online access to the magazine, so I started subscribing to their Test Tube Program.  NewBeauty offers subscriptions to the magazines alone (four issues per year) or you can subscribe through their Test Tube Program, where you get the magazine and a variety of deluxe samples, and it comes with a booklet that gives more information about each of the samples.  Included in the tube is also a $20 gift card to 

My package arrived in a pink box, with the magazine, an issue of SpaFinder, which is a supplement that features different spas throughout the world, and a ton of samples.  Some of the samples that came with this issue include:
  • Ahava Essential Day Moisturizer
  • Moroccanoil Luminous Hairspray
  • Dr Brandt Microdermabrasion Body
  • Kerstin Florian Correcting Oil-Free Daily Defense SPF 50
  • LashFood Natural Eyebrow Conditioner
  • Lumene Vitamin C Radiant Day Cream & Radiant Beauty Drops
I'm loving the idea of the Test Tube Program, since I'm constantly buying and testing new products anyway, this makes it just a bit easier.  Throughout the next couple of months I plan to review some of the products that I'm liking.  I'm really excited about some of these, especially the eyebrow conditioner!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Physicians Formula Organic Wear Jumbo Mascara

My all time favorite mascara is L’Oreal’s Voluminous Mascara. After trying over hundred of mascara's (great lash, falsies, dior show, lash blast and etc), voluminous is definitely the best bang for the buck. I thought I would never EVER cheat on Voluminous until recently when I tried Physicians Formula Organic Wear Jumbo Mascara. The packaging is a tad whimsical, looks like a leaf. But I was pleasantly surprised by the job of this mascara. I have horrible allergies so I decided it was time to find a mascara that is more natural, since I tear so much and ½ of it goes into my eyes. Why make my eyes go through more agitation then necessary.

This product is Hypoallergenic, Fragrance free and Opthamologist approved. I have no idea what mascara is made of but if I can, I rather use something more natural. I feel like the best thing about L’Oreal’s Voluminous mascara is the brush. The brush totally makes the mascara. This brush is a tad different but works well. There are no clumps and it doesn't smudge. Most importantly, this is a mascara that can be used every day. It thickens a little and lengthens just a tad. If you are looking into more natural products and you need a mascara, I would highly recommend this product. Don't expect anything like results of Dior Show, but you will get a great everyday look mascara

·         -100% of the Total Ingredients are from Natural Origin.
·         -47% of the Total Ingredients are from Organic Farming.
·         -100% Dramatic Volume & Glamour.
·         -OrganiSoy® Moisturizes and helps nourish lashes.
·         -Eco-Olive(r) a natural antioxidant, shields lashes from harsh environmental aggressors.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Sunblock

The one thing I love about going to the dermatologist is getting free samples of anything and everything. There has been many times when I was tempted to purchase a product, cause of great review, only to get a sample and realized it didn't work for me. Yes these are drug store brands and they not expensive but I hate buying something only to never use it again, and in some cases force my boyfriend to finish the product (muahahaha). So imagine my surprise when I got a sample of Neutrogena sunscreen and fell head over heels for it. 

I have always been an avid user of sunscreen and for a while I was using moisturizers with spf. After developing eczema, I became more cautious of the products I used. I started to use a moisturizer and sunscreen separately. I have tried many sunscreens, the most recent being the elemis sunscreen. I have to admit, other than scent and maybe a slight texture difference, I wouldn't be able to tell one brand from another. That is why I liked the Neutrogena sunscreen so much. First it is super light and not greasy. Once you put it on, it dries right away and you can't feel it at all on your skin. The scent is ok, nothing bad nothing good, I just love how it feels on my face, right away I can put on my makeup primer (with the other sunscreen I had to wait for it to dry) and get on with my day. So if you are in the market for sunscreen, I highly recommend you try this out.