This humble little container from Shiseido's Maquillage line holds a fiber gel/cream that promises fuller, cleaner-looking eyebrows. The tinted formula provides natural color to finish off carefully defined brows, or can be worn alone to provide a hint of color.
Where this product falls short is its overly 'wet' formulation. You know as well as I do that when either mascaras or liquid eye-liners are too wet, clumps happen and application tends to be hard to control. Another no-no is that the product has a tendency to flake off, leaving white flakes on the face. To add to the insult, it is not powerful enough to hold brows in shape all day.
I love quite a few products from Shiseido, and her sister lines. However, I am sorry to say that this particular one falls short of my expectations.
Now I need to find a new eyebrow gel that has good holding power and a polished finish. Any recs?
Display Style: hip, casual, old school revamped
For: Men & Women
A brand renown for its cool-sexy take on casual dressing, the Diesel store in Amsterdam has 2 floors worth of uninterrupted Diesel experience. An Amsterdam shopping itinerary will almost always have this shop on its list en-route to MAC cosmetics, as they are almost next door to each other.
From the moment that you enter the store, you will likely be greeted by bright-faced, enthusiastic SA's and loads of jeans styles to choose from. However, my last experience in their change room was less encouraging, as I found the lighting inadequate to see what I was trying on. One thing that you should notice is that they carry some pretty cool-sexy casual things to sleep in.
Diesel really made its mark on the fashion market since the late 70s by introducing its various styles of jeans. The woman's jean style named Louvely and the man's jean style named Zathan are two of the brand's more popular choices. Recently, Diesel sponsored a design contest which features the Diesel Wall; outdoors walls in New York, Zurich, Barcelona, or Manchester that feature submissions of expressive work from locals .
My pair of Diesel jeans that I bought almost 8 years ago are still in great condition today. They are certainly one of my favorite brands for jeans. What is/are your favorite brand(s) of jeans?
There is something to be said for creating your own shade of mineral foundation. Those of us who have a certain controlling side to our personality will appreciate Silk Naturals ingenuity in letting us play along!
If I may say so, the most frustrating part of purchasing mineral makeup online is finding the perfect shade of foundation. Sometimes, we may even have to take on the challenge of mixing different shades together when our skin tone happens to fall in between shades.
Silk Naturals has heard our cries and is the first company to package a foundation kit which encourages us to roll up our sleeves and create our own perfect shade of foundation. They sell kits which allow you to create your own shade of ebony, buttery gold or warm gold. Each kit comes with a packet of white and colored mineral foundation, a measuring spoon, their famous perfecting powder, a user manual and an empty sifter jar to mix and hold your mineral foundation. Beginners can take advantage of their sample kit which includes a small sample of each of the three available shades.
The process, although a little intimidating to me at first, was actually fun and satisfying. Even with my experience in handling makeup, I managed to create a shade that was slightly too dark during my first attempt. I felt like a complete and utter failure. I even almost gave it all up until I decided, out of desperation, to stalk the company's forum for guidance. My call for help was quickly answered by a staff member who simply advised me to add more white powder (!). After several more times of trial & error, I finally had a shade that I could call my own! Grayburn's personal shade is 12 to 1 of white to buttery gold, with a dash of ebony.
The silk powder in the foundation produces a natural and flawless finish. Numerous raves scattered about the websphere boast about Silk Naturals' superior formula. However, my allergy to their foundation is my own personal tragedy. Now I am left saddened and envious of those lucky souls who can be artists of their own Silk Naturals mineral foundation.
The sun has brought life back onto the streets of Amsterdam and lifted my dreariness. Now anyone and everyone is finding an excuse to be outdoors; to dine, lay about or shop around.
During the next few weeks, I plan to compile and publish a series of posts which will focus on showcasing the wonderful shop windows around the city. I am excited about this as this gives me a chance to combine my eternal love of sunshine, my passion for window shopping, and any excuse I can get to be outdoors. I hope that window shopping around the city will be as much fun and as uplifting for you, as it has been for me!
Subject: Maison de Bonneterie
Display Style: happiness, blossoms, fresh
For: Men & Women
Selling brands such as Blue Blood (shown at the 2008 Amsterdam Fashion Week), Karl Lagerfield and Aaiko, Maison de Bonneterie of Amsterdam is a place where I can easily lose myself for several hours. What I love about this shop is that they carry some wicked brands to choose from, and that I usually feel comfortable wandering about the shop. Once I even chanced upon a fashion event where they served canapé and champagne to all the shoppers!
After a long day busying myself with activities, I find blissfulness in curling up on the couch next to BFOG (boyfriend of Grayburn). Geared with my foot cream, cashmere socks and a face mask, I am ready to catch up on what the DVD recorder has stored for us!
This ritual happens about twice each week. The facial mask that has been participating in that weekly ritual for the past 3 months has been Ren's F10 Enzymatic Smooth Radiance Facial Mask. It has the color of apricot and the texture of sugary marmalade, like the ones in ribboned jars that you find served at high teas. The fruit enzymes in this mask, sourced from papayas, work to breakdown skin clogs and flakes, while omega 3 and 6, sourced from blackcurrent oil, work to soften and replenish. After leaving a generous film on the skin for 10 minutes, you wash it away to reveal a softened, bright complexion. This is the stuff that brings out our natural beauty!
A word of caution: try to stay away from your pets while you have this mask on as they will be inclined to chase you down in order to lick your face. And I imagine that this stuff will stick to their furs and give you a heck of a time trying to remove it.
Citrus Aurantium Bergama (Bergamot) Fruit Water, Glycerin (Source Coconut Oil), Polysorbate 60 (Source Rapeseed Oil), Lecithin (Source Soybean), Citrus Auratium Amara (Bitter Orange) Peel Extract, Rosa Canina (Rose Hip) Seed Oil, Ribes Nigrum (Black Currant) Seed Extract, Xanthan Gum (Source Corn), Maltodextrin Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract, Malpighia Glabra (Acerola Barbedos Cherry) Fruit Extract, Parfum (100% Natural Fragrance), Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Citrus Nobilis
La Senza; the makers of fun, sassy lingerie from Canada has just launched their own line of cosmetics. Their sister company, Victoria's Secret has long been serving up cool makeup to play with. La Senza's vibe is a little different from Victoria Secret's, and I expect the same quality as well.
This Lovely clutch-like palette from POP Beauty comes in purple/pink metallic faux-leather. This is one of a series of eyeshadow palettes designed for each individual person's eye color or the look you are going for. Other varieties include 'Green Eyes', 'Brown Eyes', 'Smokey Eyes', and a very intriguing one called 'Day To Play'.
'Blue Eyes' can also be worn by girls who have anything but. I bought this one because of the purple/pink clutch, the fabulous purple shade at the end, and the cool neutrals. The shadows are very fine-textured (think Christian Dior quad palettes), which means that they blend easily.
POP Beauty can be found at Sephora, Amazon and Asos.
On Tuesday, we saw the episode of Ugly Betty, where Victoria Beckam made an appearance. Below is a video of Becki Newton (the blond and stylish receptionist from Ugly Betty), at Sunglass Hut, walking us through this year's trends for shades. She's fast talking and what she has to say does make sense.
A skin cleanser which claims to have an UVA/UVB sun protection factor of 15, Freeze 24*7 Ice Shield Facial Cleanser with Sunscreen SPF 15 is perhaps the added protection we have been looking for from the sun's harmful rays. It promises to leave no visible residue or white cast. Instructions say that you must leave the product on the skin for 1 minute for the product to be absorbed, then pat dry.
Here are 2 questions addressed by the company:
Q: If I use a SPF 30 facial moisturizer, do I still need Ice Shield?A: Ice Shield DOES NOT replace any current sun protection regimen you may have. It adds sun confidence to your anti-aging regimen. Ice Shield contains both UVA and UVB filter to ensure you to start your day with an ageless beginning. The highest level of protection in your skin care regimen will be the level of protection you receive.
Q: What is the key ingredient in Ice Shield™?A: Avobenzone is the key sunscreen active ingredient. It is recognized by the FDA as an effective UVA filter. We are the only company to use sunscreen actives in a wash-on environment.
What do you think? What are the steps you take to protect your skin from the sun?
WATER (Aqua), Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, Polyquaternium- Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Dimethicone, Petrolatum Ammonium dimethicone PEG-7 Sulfate, Ammonium Laureth Sulfate Laureth-4, Acrylates Copolymer, Linoleamidopropyl PG-Dimonium Chloride Phosphate Dimethicone, PEG-12 Dimethicone, Ammonium Hydroxide, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Fruit Extract, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract Panthenol, Silk Amino Acids BHT, Caprylyl Glycol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetrimonium Methosulfate Disodium EDTA, Fragrance (Parfum), Glycerin, Glycol Stearate PVP, Quaternium-91, Silica, Sodium citrate, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine Stearate, Stearic Acid, Titanium Dioxide, Tocopheryl Acetate, Benzoic Acid, Cetrimonium Chloride, Chlorphenesin Phenoxyethanol, Methylisothiazolinone, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben Methylparaben, Isobutylparaben
The sun has been making occasional appearances here in the past week. This means that sandals can finally come out and it is time to pick out delish colors for our nails!
A nice pop of color can be a nice finishing touch to your look. I have picked out these 4 for 4 different, summer occasions. They are all from a Dutch company called Hema, who makes really quality nail polishes that are comparable to Opi's, but for a-third of the price. Applied on top of Opi's Start to Finish, these polishes last chip-free, for a week. Since their polishes are only named with numbers, I thought it would be a fun game to name these polishes myself!
Hema # 185
I would like to name this one "Dabbing my lips".
I would wear this to a sizzling date that I know is about to get hotter! Imagine a cool summer night, a table for two at an Italian restaurant with an outdoor terrace. In one ear you hear the tongue-curling sounds of Italian, and the other, the stillness of crickets. In front of you, the person sitting there, adoring you. You dab your lips with a serviette after you have tasted the last course, looking intensely across the table.
Hema # 205
I would like to call this "Coy & the Beach".
Coyness is not being seen enough around the beach. This shade stands out against slightly tanned skin, whilst managing to be coy.
Hema # 127
For this one, I give the name "Air Conditioning".
On a hot summer day, it is just unbearably mucky out there. You are comforted by the thought of attending an indoor event later on, which will have air conditioning. The only requirement is that you must wear something nice, perhaps a nice clingy black dress.
Hema # 184
This shall be named simply "Ibiza".
An electric shade that is on trend with the current chilli-colored lips. This has Ibiza written all over it! Takes you from sipping colorful drinks on the beach, to enjoying an outdoor live performance. It is a great way to add unexpected color to a look.
A recent trip to Canada delighted me with the opportunity to participate in the Back to MAC program, where one can simply bring back 6 empty eyeshadow cases in exchange for a new lipstick (MAC counters), or a choice of a lipstick, eyeshadow or lipgloss (at a free-standing MAC store). I took to that opportunity as the program is only available in North America.
I love the looks we saw on the models at the Chanel Autumn/Winter show in Paris (I wrote about it here). I went to MAC, with those looks in mind.
Here is the shadow that I picked out, which I believe will work well with my skin tone, and comes close to the shade I was looking for. It is called Amber Lights (Frost), which is a true amber with a metallic finish. I will be pairing Amber Lights with MAC's Goldmine eyeshadow and E.L.F.'s Golden Glow eyeshadow (not a sparkling gold but rather a light sheeny bronze). All of the shadows are gorgeous applied concentrated and as a wash over lids.
Amber Lights has also been likened to the Golden Gold shade in MAC's recent palette releases, which is part of the Dress Camp collection. Dress Camp sold out in less than a day.
Is there a look you have seen that you are absolutely dying to replicate or re-create? Please share!
MAC Amber Lights
E.L.F. Golden Glow
E.L.F. Golden Glow & MAC Amber Lights
What a delight it has been to hear from one of my readers, Kyle, on his opinion about the Jergens self-tanners. It is even better that I get to share the information with all of you! Here is the second segment of "Summer Skin - A Focus On Self-Tanners" - Body Edition.
Jergens Natural Glow Express Body Moisturizer (Medium)
- as experienced by Kyle -
Kyle expertly made sure that he had prepped his skin before the application of this self-tanner. He wanted to get it right! The first 2 days of application went smoothly and he seemed pleased with the results. However, the morning after his 3rd application, he awoke to something that he could not have imagined! With his new orange-d skin, he had to resort to covering up in long pants and a hoodie!
Intensity - full intensity reached after the 3rd application but the color was rather undesirable.
Application - seemed easy enough!
SPF - none
Smell - typical self-tanner.
St. Tropez Auto-Bronzant Lotion
Set in a gel of aloe vera, the color of the liquid can only be described as a hybrid between dark brown and green. Oddly enough, that combination creates the perfect hue and leaves behind the desirable 'St. Tropez' tan with no carrot.
Intensity - this reaches a good intensity after the second application. If you only want a glow, stop after the first application or better yet, opt for a body lotion with gradual self-tanner instead!
Application - the liquid is light and with good slip so it is easy to apply. It is best applied on pre-moisturized skin; especially if there are dry patches of skin. Apply twice a week to maintain color.
SPF - none
Smell - chemical but not offensive
L'Oreal Sublime Glow Daily Moisturiser + Skin Tone Enhancer (Medium)
This is by far the best for that "I've just been touched by the sun" glow. The color is buildable and the lotion has fine shimmers in it which gives the skin a perfecting glow.
Intensity - great buildable color that reaches its peak after the fourth application.
Application - I find this completely fool-proof as you apply it like a body lotion. The texture of this lotion feels just as nourishing as The Body Shop body butters, but not as heavy. For just a touch of color, alternate this lotion every other day with your usual body lotion.
SPF - none
Smell - by far the most tolerable. Actually it smells like mango butter; a scent I have come to really appreciate!
Neutrogena has been around since the early days of self-tanning. The orange packaging stands out amongst all of the other self-tanners in the drugstore isle.
Intensity - quite intense for me after the first application. The color that it gives is not what I would normally prefer.
Application - its thin texture makes blending difficult and resulted in some streaks for me.
SPF - none
Smell - not my cup of tea!
Estee Lauder Fast Tan Quick-Dry Sunless Spray SPF 15
Estee Lauder was one of the first companies who came out with a spray-on self-tanner. I remember when it was such a revolution, because it promised streak-free color and ease of application.
Intensity - good color but....
Application - I don't think I am made for spray tanners. I have tried several and I just cannot seem to learn the right technique. There were patches of uneven color after my first application (even when I blended), which I thought would be fixed by the second. It did not and only emphasized the patchiness even more.
SPF - boasts a protection factor of 15
Smell - like self-tanner!
Credits: Grayburn, Kyle Kyle (audiboy2006<@>aim.com ) has kindly offered his contact email for those wanting more information on the Jergens self-tanner.
Being blessed with light-medium skin tone, I have had many opportunities to test a bunch of self-tanners on the market. My ballroom dancing days took my self-tanning adventure to a deep hue of burnt leather, but now with dance competitions out of my system, I prefer what is referred to as a 'glow' instead of copper.
There seems to be a backlash recently against self-tanners because they may encourage sun tanning. Beauties such as Dita von Teese, however, have shown us how beautiful it is to be pale and to be wearing an SPF of 50 at all times. Perhaps it is not the hue of the skin that matters but rather the method we choose to achieve it. All in all, I believe that self-tanners are a blessing for those who have skin pigmentation issues as the color helps to even out the skin tone. Either way, here is my take on some of the self-tanners I have tried. I would also like to take this opportunity to introduce you to Kyle, a wonderful reader of mine, who has volunteered information on his experience on Jergen's self-tanners for this post. Since Kyle and I have different skin types and tones, it is invaluable to have his input.
Jergens Natural Glow Face (medium skin tones)
- as experienced by Kyle -
Voted as the best drugstore self-tanner for the face by the Allure magazine, this little number is said to have transformed Kyle's pale complexion into what he described as "wonderfully natural glow", by the fourth application.
Intensity - medium. The color that this developed into helped to "lessen the noticeability of the redness" that Kyle has in his skin.
Application - with ease. Kyle mentioned that he would definitely buy this particular product again!
SPF - none
Smell - slight self-tanner smell diluted by the scent of cocoa butter.
(Kyle's account of the version for the body coming next post!)
L'Oreal Nutri Bronze Face (light to medium skin)
This is a gradual self-tanning daily moisturizing lotion containing Aquamine and self-tanning agent. It claims to provide 12 hours of hydration as it is meant to be used as a daily moisturizer.
Intensity - medium. Full color after 3 applications. I find that the color comes out slightly orange on my skin.
Application - moisturizing, but does not glide as easily for me. As it does not blend as easily as I would like, the color became slightly patchy.
SPF - none
Smell - flowers and self-tanner
Clarins Radiance-Plus Self Tanning Cream-Gel
Substitute this every 2-3 days into your daytime moisturizing regimen. This one is completely fool-proof and feels light yet moisturizing.
Intensity - medium. This is meant to give a natural-looking boost of radiant color to the skin and not as a 'bronzer'. It does just that with no orange or lobster.
Application - elegant application that glides on and absorbs quickly, while manages to moisturize.
SPF - none
Smell - its elegant application and the natural glow it gives makes me forget that it has a slight self-tanner smell.
Chanel Précision Soleil Identité (Soleil Doré/Golden)
Leave it up to Chanel to create another product that is such a pleasure to use. Yes, self-tanning can be an enjoyable experience. As with all Chanel's products, the experience starts from admiring it's packaging (it's monographic look and the way it feels in your hands). This comes in 2 shades; golden or bronze. It is meant to give us that 'just-back-from-vacation glow'.
Intensity - medium. Reaches it's full intensity by the 3rd application. The color is similar to Clarins' but slightly warmer.
Application - A pleasure; creamy and with enough slip for ease of blend.
SPF - provides a protection factor of 8
Smell - Amazing! Extract of White lily and something else which gives it an irresistible flower & cookie scent. Never thought that I would say this about a self-tanner.
Credits: Grayburn , Kyle (audiboy2006<@>aim.com ) who supplied information about the Jergens self-tanner has kindly offered his contact email for those wanting more information on the it.
A Revlon quad compact of 3 Gorgeous shades in lilac and lavender, with one subtle complimenting shade of moss. This eyeshadow quad will be perfect for this summer's new smoky eyes.
As with most of Revlon's 12 hour eye shadows, this one packs good pigment and endurance. The shadow is also easy to blend, so it will keep the tugging at the skin around the eyes to a minimum.
An exhibit fit for us beauty junkies; Jason Mecier uncovers the junk in Celebrities' drawers and created portraits of celebrities out of the items waiting to be tossed. This is an interesting way of looking into celebrities' cabinets, to see what products (not only beauty items) they personally like and use up. Thank you Mr. Mecier for satisfying our curiosity!
I personally like these 3 out of many he has done. Pay special attention to Barbi Benton's hair made up of Chanel & Revlon items, and Morgan Fairchild's blue swimsuit made out of Christian Dior products. I can see that Parker Posey likes her MAC products as much as we do!
Labels: Special Feature
I have just arrived back in Europe and feel terribly jet lagged. It seems like I have been so far away and it looks like much has changed around here.
Whilst on the plane, I watched Ms. Minelli in Cabaret. I must say that I adore the nail polish in the shade of emeralds that she wore during her "Mein Herr" number. That was probably the first time anyone had worn such an unusual shade (it was a shade called Divine Decadence).
I am curious what shade for nails you might find particularly unusual? And, if any of you know of a similar shade to Divine Decadence, please do share!
There never seems to be a shortage of gadgets claiming to enhance our quality of life or make life easier; especially when it comes to beauty products. I have a room full of many sensationalized gadgets that I am ashamed to admit I own.
My first reaction was of course, intrigue, when I saw the Spinlash. Like with most beauty products that I encounter, I develop almost an obsession with studying and starring at there every aspect.
This particular gadget claims to "revolve around you", as it applies mascara to your lashes. It works by rotating 360 degrees in both directions (for using on upper and lower lashes) to "declump" our "disorderly lashes". I have come across claims that this little wand has solved many clumping and separating issues commonly associated with applying mascaras. On the other hand, I also read that it is time-consuming and that the buttons 'stick' on the wand. The wand can also be used with your own brand of mascara, but it does come with a choice of black of brown mascara.
This reminds me of the rotating hair brush that we used to see on tv. I don't actually own one of those because I think it may be damaging to our hair. If any of you own one and like it though, please do share with us.
What is your opinion? Do you think that this tool will help make mascara-application easier?
A blush with a huge cult following and number of reviews almost at 2,500 on MUA, Nars' Orgasm has established itself as an all around crowd pleaser. A walk through any makeup store such as Sephora and you will notice that many other companies carry a suspiciously similar color.
I noticed some raves on E.L.F's version (named Glow). I bought mine online for 2.30 eur (it is sold in the US for $1). Who doesn't love a bargain right? Both are meant to impart a certain 'lit from within' quality on your skin, but E.L.F.'s may be more age-appropriate, considering that most of its fans' ages run a little lower.
The two blushes are no doubt equally gorgeous colors. However, I suspect that the copycat version will get used up very quickly. It's pigments are not pressed firmly enough so the slightest touch with a blush brush picks up a lot of pigment. Also, the blush being so soft leads to a high risk of the blush cracking (very messy if it cracks in a quad and gets onto the other colors). Not to mention, you get about a-third as much in the pan.
My Nars on the other hand, has endurance, class and dependability. It goes with me easily wherever I go and I know that its understated chic packaging will not embarrass me in public. At 10x the price, it's the least I could expect.
I have arrived in Toronto! My readers are so smart - Kyle and The seeker have both guessed my destination correctly!
The flight went pretty smooth and I enjoyed catching up on a few movies and tv shows. The thing that I love most about traveling is not only that I get to experience a new and different environment/culture, but that I get to pack. Something about packing my luggage really soothes me. I love getting everything organized and planning out all the beauty/cosmetics/outfits I will be needing. There is also an immense sense of satisfaction at the end of the trip, when everything went according to plan.
I believe that even if I am just sitting on a plane, I should still pamper myself. The skin lotions that they provide in flight always smell like dated perfume and are not at all moisturizing. With the dry cabin air, one really needs to bring good quality products and they all have to fit inside a little plastic zip-lock bag and be under 100ml, if they are liquids or gels. Now these are the kinds of challenges that I like!
Here's a list of the simple yet effective products that I packed with me:
In the Zip-lock bag -
1. L'Occitane Visage Eau Essentielle Immortelle Biologique (30 ml) - spray the face frequently to refresh, hydrate and indulge in the scent.
2. Tears Naturale II (15ml) - eye drops to ease dry eyes.
3. L'Occitane Elixir A L'huile Essentielle D'immortelle Biologique (5ml) - patted on my skin after I've sprayed my skin with #1, as soon as we are in the air.
4. Labello SOS lip balm (10nl) - really softens and hydrates. It stays on until I wipe it off before a meal.
5. Decleor Aromessence Baume De Nuit Rose D'Orient (2.5ml) - Extra care when I want more nourishment and protection from cabin air.
6. L'Occitane Creme Ultra Riche (8ml) - It has a comforting scent and the cream is thick yet non-greasy to treat my hands.
7. Cargo Lip Gloss Duo in Kan Kan - A huge tin containing beautifully coordinated colors for adding a natural-looking gloss to the lips. The one I brought with me has a beautiful shimmery brown with gold specks and a beige/pink with silver specks. I apply the darker shade on my top lips and the lighter shade to the bottom. I know that Cargo's glosses are faved by Madonna!
In my makeup bag -
1. Versace Powder Compact - This comes with a real hair brush that fits in the bottom compartment of the compact and the brush is wide enough to cover the face.
2. Shiseido Paper Powder sheets - Absorbs oilies and prepares my face for makeup which I apply before landing.
3. MAC Eye Kohl in Powersurge - With a great consistency and a great shade for a natural look but with a slight twist!
4. Shiseido Majolica Majorca Brow Customize Sword Cut - I cannot express how much I love this brow crayon. It's portable, it has a texture that glides and the angle-cut gives great precision for my brows.
5, 6, 7.... Hair brush, toothbrush, mints, gummy bears, Blax Snag-free elastics in transparent etc.....
I'm really interested to hear what you bring with you when you fly. Feel free to share with us.