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Thursday
Oct162014

NARS Gabon Hardwired Eyeshadow & Femme Fleur Hardwired Lipstick

Straight from their Laced with Edge 2014 holiday makeup collection, NARS Cosmetics has a few lovely trinkets to lust after. Architectural designer Chris Kabatsi's delicate nebula print adorns the soft black packaging, which makes the beauty experience all the more special.

The Gabon Hardwired Eyeshadow is a gorgeous dark olive shade with micronized gold sparkle. Thanks to the new formula, it's real easy to blend and is very pigmented when applied dry. It can hold up for most of the day without primer but there is some sparkle fall out — something I can overlook as it's so pretty and flattering, especially for the holidays.

The Femme Fleur Hardwired Lipstick, a warm brown red with a gold copper finish, complements the Gabon eyeshadow perfectly. It's not quite as opaque as their fabulous Audacious Lipsticks, but a few extra swipes will solve the issue. It goes on smoothly and lasts several hours before wearing off. 

The NARS holiday collection is now available at www.narscosmetics.com and at department stores on November 1.  

For editorial consideration, review products were provided by the brand's PR representative.

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Monday
Oct132014

Dolce & Gabbana 2014 Fall Runway Makeup

Elegant yet on-trend, the Dolce & Gabbana 2014 Fall Runway makeup collection consists of warm, illuminated colors for gorgeous eyes and dark, bold shades for lips and nails. 

To achieve perfect smoky eyes, layer on the Perfect Mono Cream Eye Colour in Gold Dust 20 as a base, then blend in Dahlia 100. The pink gold shimmer blends wonderfully with the bronzed plum so you can easily get a sexy look without much effort. I like to apply a thin wash of color before patting on another layer or two to seal in the color. 

Perfect Mono Cream Eye Colour in Dahlia 100.Perfect Mono in Gold Dust 20.

As for lips, you can opt for either nude or dramatic. I fell in love with the Classic Cream Lipstick in Honey 130, a wearable light pink nude that accentuated and flattered my natural lip color. If you want way more color, other options include Amethyst 330 (burgundy) and Ultra 650 (blood red).

D&G Classic Cream Lipstick in Honey 130.

Nails get the vampy treatment with three limited edition Nail Lacquers: Fiamma 155 (deep red), Vinaccia 171 (rich plum), and Verde Bosco 177 (blackened green). Depending on how you work the brush applicator, the glossy formula is opaque enough with one thick coat or two thin coats. As with their other nail polishes, it should last a week without much chipping. 

The Nail Lacquer in Verde Bosco 177.

The Nail Lacquer in Vinaccia 171.

The Nail Lacquer in Fiamma 155. Swatch of Vinaccia 171.

Swatch of Verde Bosco 177.The Dolce&Gabbana Fall Runway makeup collection is available at Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom and Sephora.

For editorial consideration, review products were provided by the brand's PR representative.

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Tuesday
Oct072014

Clarins Extra-Comfort Anti-Aging Foundation

I have always loved the foundations from Clarins and the new Extra-Comfort Anti-Aging Foundation SPF 15 ($62) is designed for those who need medium-full coverage. The formula is fortified with organic argan oil, anti-aging tripeptides and antsemby plant extract to nourish, hydrate and protect the skin. A proprietary Light-Optimizing+ Complex uses corrective pigments to blur imperfections.

The creamy texture is quite thick so you only need a small amount for the entire face. I find that a pea-sized amount gives plenty of coverage, especially when you really blend it out. Once it's on the skin it stays put for many hours without any caking or creasing. I tried 103 Ivory, which is almost a perfect match if it weren't for my leftover suntan. The result is very natural and flattering unless you apply too much product, so use sparingly and build up as needed. 

Available at all Clarins counters and www.clarinsusa.com.

For editorial consideration, review product was provided by the brand's PR representative.

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Thursday
Oct022014

Dolce & Gabbana Aurealux Skincare

It was only a matter of time before Dolce & Gabbana created their own skincare. The luxury beauty brand recently launched not one, but two collections: The Essential line offers cleansers, exfoliator, toner and makeup remover while the premium Aurealux line showcases a selection of advanced skin treatments.

All five Aurealux products feature the Gold Flavo-Silk Tricomplex, a trio of gold silk sericin, Italian olive oil, and vitamin B3. The silk extract is derived from rare gold silk cocoons, which were grown and harvested with traditional sericulture techniques. Olive oil extract is added to strengthen top skin layers while vitamin B3 increases cellular turnover. 

The Aurealux Cream ($129) is touted as the hero product of the entire line. The gel-cream feels just a tad rich but absorbs quickly, delivering immediate comfort and plumpness to the skin. There is a light floral scent but that dissipates quickly. The refreshing Aurealux Eye Gel ($72) seems suitable for normal or oily skin, but it may not be hydrating enough for super dry skin. 

The Aurealux Serum ($129) helps improve firmness and radiance over time. I find that the Aurealux Cream performs better when you use it with the serum. And if that's not enough hydration, add the Aurealux Mask ($169/6 masks) for an intense moisture boost. Leave the stretchy fabric mask on for 10 minutes and you'll see vibrant results for up to 12 hours.

Both Dolce & Gabbana skincare lines ($35-$169) are available exclusively at Saks Fifth Avenue. 

For editorial consideration, review products were provided by the brand's PR representative.

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Wednesday
Oct012014

Sulwhasoo Luminature Essential Finisher

The new Luminature Essential Finisher from Sulwhasoo is pretty amazing. The Korean skincare company is known for using medicinal herbs in its products and this one is packed with a concentrated amount of ginseng and green tea.

Designed to be layered on as a final step in any skincare regimen, each bottle of Luminature Essential Finisher features the Locsamhyo complex, which is the equivalent of 5 ginseng roots and 110 cups of green tea. It's also formulated with Indian lotus, mondo grass, licorice, peony, Solomon's seal, rehmannia, tiger lily and camellia seed to nourish, brighten and hydrate the skin.

I was expecting it to have a light serum quality but the texture feels more like a fluid moisturizer. I can definitely feel and see the difference — my face feels unusually soft and supple whenever I use it. It provides enough moisture without the addition of a rich night cream, but that will soon change when winter begins. It's also a great primer for makeup application. 

Available for $90 (2.7 fl oz/80 ml) at Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus and us.sulwhasoo.com

 

For editorial consideration, review product was provided by the brand's PR representative.

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Tuesday
Sep302014

NARS All Day Luminous Powder Foundation

NARS Cosmetics just launched All Day Luminous Powder Foundation, their new light-to-medium coverage foundation. If you're looking for a soft matte finish, this is the one to try. The modern formula includes broad spectrum SPF 24 and an exclusive Luminosity Enhancing Technology, a blend of 17 amino acids, vitamin C derivative and marine fennel to promote cell renewal and reduce hyperpigmentation.

The ultra-fine texture glides silkily onto the skin and has great staying power. I'm usually in between light and medium shades but Fiji (light with yellow undertones) matches my skin perfectly. Blotchy red patches are instantly erased, resulting in a beautifully radiant visage. Your real skin shines through so there's none of the heavy covered up effect. I prefer a dry sponge for a light and natural look, but you can use a damp one for medium coverage. My final verdict? It's one of the best powder foundations I've used all year.

NARS All Day Luminous Powder Foundation in Fiji.

Available for $48 at www.narscosmetics.com and all NARS counters. 

For editorial consideration, review samples were provided by the brand's PR representative.

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Monday
Sep292014

Recchiuti Confections Autumn Dragee Sampler

For a limited time, chocolate connoisseurs can order the Autumn Dragee Sampler from Recchiuti Confections. Featuring different blends of Valrhona chocolate, the sumptuous trio of chocolate-covered burnt caramel almonds, spicy candied ginger and tart cranberries will be an instant hit at all holiday parties. 

It's really tough to nibble on just a few pieces — the burnt caramel almonds are insanely addictive. Order extra boxes for Halloween or Thanksgiving as these treats will disappear within minutes.

The Autumn Dragee Sampler (12 oz; $29) is available now through the end of November at www.recchiuti.com.

For editorial consideration, review samples were provided by the brand's PR representative.

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Thursday
Sep252014

Aftelier Palimpsest Perfume

Palimpsest, the new natural luxury fragrance by renowned perfumer Mandy Aftel, is replete with fruity essences and lush florals. Mandy's beguiling scent evokes a time and place of mysterious origins, deftly weaving an intricate tapestry of the past and present.

It starts out sweet and heady but the ambergris and firetree form an animalistic base. An alchemized blend of jasmine, yuzu, peach and ylang ylang brings out voluptuous, earthy notes of wet roses, lilac, spices and vanilla. In case you are wondering, a palimpsest is an old manuscript on which the original writing has been removed yet the traces remain. Replaced with different content, the result is a beautiful layering of old and new. 

Palimpsest is available in the following sizes: 30 ml Eau de Parfum spray ($170), 1/4 oz perfume ($170) and 2 ml perfume miniature ($50). 

Available at www.aftelier.com

For editorial consideration, a review sample was provided by the brand's PR representative.

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Tuesday
Sep232014

Dolce & Gabbana Perfect Mono Cream Eye Colour

Dolce & Gabbana makeup fans can look forward to the Perfect Mono Cream Eye Colour ($36). The first cream eyeshadow from the luxury beauty brand, you can choose from 14 long-lasting shades in matte and pearlescent finishes.

Scarlett Johansson for the Perfect Mono campaign.

Innocence 10 is a semi-sheer pearly silver that makes the eyes glow beautifully. I use my ring finger for easy, on-the-go coverage but you can use a fine eyeliner brush for more precise application. It feels velvety to the touch and the featherweight formula blends effortlessly on the eyelids. I didn't see any creasing nor fading for most of the day (9+ hours), which is amazing for a cream formula. 

Available at Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom. 

For editorial consideration, review samples were provided by the brand's PR representative.

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Tuesday
Sep162014

Eminence Age Corrective Skincare Launches

To expand their popular Age Corrective skincare line, Eminence is adding two new products to its existing collection. These items also feature Natural Retinol Alternative and Swiss Green Apple Stem Cell Technology as the star ingredients, which will boost collagen by 25% after a week's usage.

The Monoi Age Corrective Exfoliating Cleanser ($38) is especially great for dry skin. It contains an effective blend of fruit AHAs and finely ground olive seeds to gently exfoliate and refine skin texture. Of all the Eminence cleansers I've tried this one is my favorite. I think it's gentle enough for sensitive skin as you can barely feel the olive seeds. It also smells like a divine tropical cocktail, making my skincare routine extra fun.

The thick and creamy Bamboo Age Corrective Masque ($54) helps smooth and repair aging skin. Bamboo extract, argan stem cells and nutmeg seed are included to increase collagen levels and reverse fine lines. If your skin is really dry you can leave it on for an extended period as a deep moisturizing treatment.

If you haven't experienced the original collection they also launched an Age Corrective Starter Set ($79). Housed in a convenient travel pouch, it includes the Bamboo Firming Fluid, Coconut Age Corrective Moisturizer and Neroli Age Corrective Eye Serum. It also has trial versions of the new bamboo masque and the monoi exfoliating cleanser so you can try the entire collection.

For more info, visit us.eminenceorganics.com

For editorial consideration, review samples were provided by the brand's PR representative.

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