Monday, October 25, 2010

Better-Looking Skin with Fresh Wear

Why is it that the things we truly love to do are those that are the first to be neglected when we're short of time, stressed, or just otherwise occupied? It's human nature I suppose. But it seems we are missing the point, don't you think? If that is the case, I often miss said point. I have unintentionally, and sadly, neglected this blog due to a crazy life schedule. And while I realize I do not have a multitude of readers, those who loyally follow have been left without updated content, and my razor-sharp wit (well, maybe not the last bit). So, I apologize.

I truly love the world of beauty. It honestly makes me incredibly happy to share my knowledge and sometimes lack thereof with all of you. It's an adventure testing out something new and to have a platform on which to share my thoughts and hopefully help a fellow lover of products. It is pretty amazing when I take the time to think about it. In effect, I'm hoping this is the proverbial swift kick in the pants I need to update more often and bring a little happiness via beauty products and advice my way and yours, too.

Sappiness aside, companies are churning out the new products left and right. It's hard to keep up sometimes. I got Lancome's Teint Idole Fresh Wear in Ivoire (1C) about a month ago and it's been sitting in my bathroom cabinet ever since. My skin has been experiencing technical difficulties the last couple of months (otherwise read as adult acne). I have been trying everything to clear it up, including- horror of all horrors- not wearing foundation, powder or concealer. This was an attempt to keep my pores clear and in theory stop breakouts before they started. My plan was much better in theory than in actuality. Yet I continued to go without covering up my current blemishes, and a few more made their way to the surface. How does that happen, you ask. To be honest, I just have no clue. No pore clogging makeup should equal beautiful clear skin, no?

So in an act of rebellion and kiss-off to my imperfect skin, I busted out the Teint Idole. It's a matte formula, which is great because my skin is oily. It claims a touch-up free, full 18 hour wear time. Boy does this baby keep on truckin. It goes on very smooth, almost like an incredibly light lotion (the consistency is thin, but not runny) and glides on easily. A few quick swipes with my hands, although I'm sure you could use a foundation brush as well, and my skintone was completely evened out, current blemishes masterfully camoflagued, and oil slicks gone. I haven't really had it on for 18 hours yet, it's been more like 12 and it's holding up quite nicely. Nary a shiny spot in sight, and my unsightly blemishes are still hidden.

This particular formula also boasts an SPF 15 sunscreen. Hooray! I can't tell you how often I forget to put some on in the mornings. I know, I know, I should practice what I preach. But with this little baby I'm covered, literally. It's also oil-free, actually oil-free, because it's non-comedogenic. Yes, dear friends, there are oil-free products out there that don't really mean oil-free. This one speaks the truth. I highly recommend this to anyone looking for good coverage with a light feel, and an extremely lengthy wear.

Monday, October 18, 2010


I am not alone in my extreme fondness for NARS. With their stunningly beautiful colors, high quality product, and minimalist black packaging, what's not to love?

NARS new holiday collection is available now. How gorgeous is the Melusine eyeshadow duo (pale silver lilac and bright deep purple)? And for the first time ever, NARS is carrying an eyeshadow trio, Okinawa. I'm also smitten with the purple polish Pokerface (whoa alliteration) and the peachy blush, Sex Appeal. The names alone are enough to fall in love with but the colors and textures are equally euphoric.

Everyone is talking about the Bento Box. It looks like a piece of art. It also carries a pretty hefty price tag ($125) for two lip colors housed in ceramic pots along with a lip brush. While I'm intrigued and would love to see (and play with) this product in person, I will not be shelling out the cash for this one nor will I be scouring Ebay after the two thousand pieces are sold out. That's right, only two thousand were created globally. You can sign up at to be notified when they are available.

And finally, come 2011 NARS will have a flagship store! An entire shop filled with NARS goodies, what could be more exciting? Well, how about the fact that the store will carry exclusive items. I can't wait to see what they do with the space.

(images 1&2 via, image 3 via Refinery29)

Friday, October 15, 2010

We'll Always Have Paris Pt. 2

Most runway hair styles are near impossible to recreate. However, this season I've seen some incredibly beautiful and (more importantly) wearable styles. Braids are back! Whether you prefer a neat, traditional braid, or sexy and messy I-slept-in-my-braid style, the perfect plait is out there.

Hermes and Valentino went traditional and extremely long. This is an easy and pretty look that anyone can do even if you don't have ridiculously long hair. You can either work with wet hair or you can blowdry it straight and then braid. Either way, minimal effort is required.

To be filed under the not-for-anyone category is the braided, basket weave hair from Alexander McQueen. Seriously, how long did it take to do one model's hair? Yikes. And let's just imagine how long it took to undo the crazy weave. Honestly, I get annoyed when I have to take more than 5 bobby pins that have been fused to my head with hairspray out of my hair; this would be a nightmare. So while it's interesting and certainly in the McQueen vein, it is not meant for regular wear.

Chloe's bun was sleek and understated. While a lot of the chignons from the runway were made fuller by extensions, this one can be done minus the fake hair. The low, tight twist looks elegant and sophisticated. I will definitely be wearing this ballerina-inspired style come spring.

Another pretty updo was from the YSL show. I love the rolled-up twist. However, I would mangle this style and possibly my hair trying to recreate it. Maybe I'll leave this one to the professionals. But if you're a pro at styling your own hair, this is worth a try. This would be gorgeous for a wedding. I, for sure, would have copied this look for my sister's wedding had I seen it back in July.

Dior's updated pin-up theme was apparent. Soft, loose curls and rounded bangs screamed saucy. I'm a huge fan but to make it more wearable and work-appropriate I'll be leaving the bangs behind. But I'm all over those curls. You can't help but release your inner siren with hair like this.

And finally, Lanvin. I have fallen hard for the simple, out of the shower styles from this season. My heart was aflutter from the sexy, semi-sweaty look from Rag and Bone and Lanvin is feeding the beast as well. When it's hot out I find it rather pointless to dry my hair, which in turn makes me sweat, and then I wind up with damp hair again and frizz. Ew. This low slung ponytail is something you can do right out of the shower and it's so incredibly chic. Add a little product to control frizz while hair air drys, and a little shine spray or gel to keep the glossy look of wet hair and you're good to go. Done and done, thank you Paris.

(all images via

Monday, October 11, 2010

We'll Always Have Paris

Paris just has that (cliche alert) je ne sais quoi. It's one of the most fashionable cities in the world, and host to a myriad of top name designers. With powerhouse shows like YSL, Dior and Chanel, it is without a doubt an intense week.

Pretty, natural-looking makeup ruled many a runway in Paris. This is exactly how I want to look when I get ready for work in the morning. I want to look fresh, wide-eyed and just a little more done than my natural look. The color palettes were mostly comprised of neutrals.

Balmain went minimalist with smoothed out complexions and not much else. A little highlighter was used on the eyes to brighten them up, but really the epitome of no makeup.


Stella McCartney was also in neutral territory with a swipe of light, rosy blush, lightly glossed lips and no mascara. Easy, right? Sure is! Who doesn't have a little blush and gloss in their makeup bag? And this is such an easy look for those groggy mornings when it's still dark out and you have to be out the door in 15 minutes.

(Stella McCartney)

Chloe went for a bronzy-neutral. A monochromatic look at its best. No further explanation needed for this one. It's simple and stunning.


My favorite looks came from Lanvin and Valentino. Both shows adorned models with soft, muted colors and minimal overall amounts of makeup. But the lashes, oh the lashes. False lashes were the standouts here and boy did they stand out (Lanvin used two sets). Your eyes are immediately drawn to lengthy lashes that make the model's eyes as big as saucers. I'm in love.

A few months ago, for the first time, I wore false lashes. They are truly amazing. My eyes instantly popped and suddenly there wasn't much need for a ton of other makeup. They are glamourous and sultry without being overwhelming. It's certainly not something you want to do everyday, but it is something every girl needs to try.



And then there were the shows with color, and lots of it. Spanish company Loewe has been cranking out the beautiful looks via their short films on their website and their print ads, and their runway show was just as gorgeous. Bright green and purple shadows shared the spotlight with crimson-colored pouts.

(Loewe-both images)

Updated, sassy pin-up girl was the inspiration for Dior. Creamy, punched-up shades of pink, green, blue and yellow colored models' lids and a thin line of liquid black liner extending beyond the lash line added to the dramatic effect. The bold colors didn't stop there; the look was finished off with a red lip color with just a hint of orange. The creator of the look, Pat McGrath, put it best, describing it as "Technicolor Bettie Page".

(Dior-both images)

YSL's makeup was more fall than spring in my opinion, but beautiful just the same. Models' brows were bleached and skin kept bare to highlight the berry-colored mouth. I don't recommend going the bleached route, it's a little alien looking off the catwalk. But I do suggest trying a wine-colored lipstick.


Chanel. Chanel creates makeup-induced frenzies on a regular basis. Staggeringly so. Every season they create a nail polish color that is an instant sellout. This season it's the, as of now, not released Black Pearl. I'm anxiously awaiting the status of it's availability, as I'm sure countless others are.

But what really did it for me was the stormy, emerald eye color. Leave it to Chanel to create a perfect, smoky eye. Green shadow is one of my favorites. Green for eyes has always been a winner in general. A forest green eyeliner is a great way to step outside the predictable black liner routine. And a smoky green eye produces the same effect. This is definitely wearable, although I would suggest toning it down a bit for daytime (and not going all the way up to the brow bone). This may even surpass, dare I say it, the navy smoky eye I loved so much from Armani. I think it might.

(Chanel-both images)

And just because I like it, this is the nail from the Alexander McQueen show.

(all images via

Monday, October 4, 2010

Hair in Milan

I'm not very adept at creating a style for my hair. It comes down to the choice of up or down. Plus, I'm in the process of growing it out, so right now there is not a whole hell of a lot I can do other than let it do its own thing. Typically "its own thing" is somwhere between curly and wavy, and occasionally unruly. Such is life.

Of course every model coming down the runways in Milan had perfect hair. But to be fair, they had help from some serious hair geniuses (Guido Palau, Sam McKnight, Luigi Mureno). However, several of these styles are doable at home. Take the hair from the Bottega Veneta show; I would LOVE if I could get my hair to look like this after showering. Perfect loose ringlets and waves with a slightly damp look to them, I'm coveting this and will try at length to make my hair look similar.

The hair for the Gucci show was a modified twist and was so elegant. I'm sure this took a massive amount of extensions for both length and volume. Honestly, unless you've been genetically blessed with a healthy head of thick, long hair, this will be tough to recreate. I've tried twists in the past and I always end up with errant flyaways scattered through my twist. End result= not polished, and that is so not the point. So, all you long-haired ladies can try this, but I'll be sitting this one out (at least until I have another 6 inches of hair to work with).

Jil Sander also went with an updo, a beautifully undone bun. If we're getting technical, these gals probably had some extensions in as well, however, this is something that is easier to pull off sans fake hair. I love the roughed up texture and little wisps that make this hairstyle less buttoned-up.

A look that is really only runway appropriate is that of the Prada show. A very strong, slicked finger-wave in front and a bun or multiple buns in the back. While it's beautiful, it's not at all pratical. And unless you're going to a Halloween party as a flapper or Princess Leia it's just a little over-the-top.

Last but certainly not least was the hair from Versace. The hair was pulled taut into a bun, glossed to a high shine and then the bun was covered with a shiny piece of patent PVC and secured with an elastic. Certainly worth trying for the holidays or a dressy event in the fall or winter months. Don't you think?

(all images via