Lighten Up Hyperpigmention - Marie Veronique Organics 

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Monday
Jul212014

NARS Nail Polish: New Formula and Colors

As if there aren't enough things to drool over in the NARS fall makeup collection, the beauty brand also introduced 19 new Nail Polish shades in addition to 24 existing ones. A new formula ensures a long-wearing glossy finish while the new brush makes application much easier.

I really like the new width of the brush — it helps a lot with precision, which in turn reduces messy errors. If you can manage to dab on one thick coat it should be opaque enough, but I usually do two. Drying time is also noticeably quicker than the old formula. The two shades I tested (Obscura and Elbrus) went on very smoothly without streaking. 

NARS Elbrus and Obscura nail polishes.

 

 Swatches for the Elbrus (plum) and Obscura (charcoal lavender) shades:

Obscura in daylight.

Elbrus in daylight.

Available for $20 at www.narscosmetics.com

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

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Wednesday
Jul162014

NARS 2014 Fall Makeup: Unlawful Blush & Bansar Satin Lip Pencil

The Unlawful Blush is one of the many lovely things to covet from the NARS Night Caller 2014 fall makeup collection. Described as an amber pink with silver pearls, the micro sparkle is not that noticeable so you can definitely wear it at work without screaming for attention. The brown tones make it very appropriate for cooler weather, giving it a pretty warm glow.

The Bansar Satin Lip Pencil matched the Unlawful Blush perfectly. The warm rose brown has a plum undertone that wore well without drying and is super flattering on my light-medium complexion. The creamy formula is so pigmented that I only needed a few swipes to get full coverage — I can see this color being a popular choice for fall! 

Available at www.narscosmetics.com

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

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Monday
Jul142014

Summer Chocolates from Recchiuti Confections

Recchiuti Confections, my favorite chocolate artisan in San Francisco, is offering three new treats for the summer. The Creativity Explored: San Francisco Landmarks Box (8 pieces, $21) is a playful homage to the city that showcases artwork from artist Lance Rivers. The signature burnt caramel chocolates feature images of Coit Tower, Sutro Tower, the Conservatory of Flowers, and an iconic trolley car. Two dollars from the sale of each box will directly benefit Creativity Explored.

The Caramelia Perles Bar (3 oz, $7) is created in honor of Recchiuti Confections' unique relationship with Valrhona Chocolate. Crunchy pieces of Caramelia Milk Chocolate Perles are enrobed in Recchiuti's fruity semisweet chocolate blend, resulting in a decadent bar layered with different cacao profiles and textures. If you love Recchiuti's other chocolate bars, you should definitely try this too as it's only available through September. 

Last but not least, the limited-edition Milk Chocolate Caramel Sauce (9 oz, $11) is the perfect accompaniment for ice cream sundaes. Smoky caramel is carefully blended into creamy milk chocolate, making it an addictive indulgence all by itself. I found myself eating the sauce straight out of the jar several times, skipping ice cream altogether. Get it soon as it will sell out before the end of August!

Available at the Ferry Building Marketplace, Little Nib and www.recchiuti.com.

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

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Wednesday
Jul092014

TATCHA Luminous Face and Eye Masks

As I'm enjoying the gorgeous summer weather, my face is slowly showing the signs of being in the sun. To counteract the effect I've been using the TATCHA Luminous Deep Hydration Lifting Mask ($28). It provides an intense dose of moisture, resulting in an amazingly luminous complexion.

The formula features their HADASEI-3 Bioactive Complex (rice bran, red algae and green tea) as well as silk extract, panax ginseng and royal jelly. The mask itself is made from coconut fibers, which help ingredients penetrate 53% more deeply than paper masks. Each package also contains extra serum to apply on the neck, décolletage, and hands. Use it right before a special night out, or as a mini spa treatment anytime you need to de-stress. It's one of the most expensive facial masks I've seen but the results are worth it. You can also get a set of 4 for $95, which will save you about 15% off the individual retail price. 

The soothing Luminous Deep Hydration Revitalizing Eye Mask ($12) is also a lifesaver. Your eyes will look incredibly well-rested after using this mask! Fortified with Okinawan red algae and peony extract, it will plump up fine lines within 15 minutes, giving your face a youthful glow. Like the face mask, it won't fall off while you're wearing it and there's plenty of leftover serum to use on the rest of the face and neck. This eye mask is so popular it's temporarily sold out on TATCHA's website. 

Available at www.tatcha.com.

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

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Thursday
Jul032014

Diptyque Infused Facial Water

Ever since Diptyque introduced their L’Art du Soin skincare line the Infused Facial Water has been on top of my beauty wish list. Composed of 84% Damask rose hydrosol, it is infused with a potent blend of floral and plant extracts such as nasturtium, lavender, bitter orange, calendula, wild celery and chamomile. Bursting with healing nutrients, this facial water is not your regular toner. It adds a refreshing layer of moisture and the semi-viscous liquid will also increase absorption of any moisturizer or night cream by tenfold. 

I don't use a cotton pad as it seems to waste the product. Instead, I pour a small amount onto my hands and pat it gently over the face. You can also make a summer mask by soaking facial tissue with the water and placing it over your face for ten minutes. In fact, it's so moisturizing I sometimes skip my usual nighttime moisturizer and I still wake up to soft, hydrated skin. It's definitely a splurge but I can't live without it during the hot summer months.

Available for $55 (5 fl. oz.) at www.diptyqueparis.com.

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Tuesday
Jul012014

3.1 Phillip Lim For NARS Nail Collection

Nail polish fiends, get ready for the highly anticipated 3.1 Phillip Lim for NARS Nail Collection. A collaboration between acclaimed fashion designer Phillip Lim and NARS, nine limited edition shades will arrive at the NARS boutiques on July 15 (August 1 at Sephora and department stores). 

Dark Room, an elegant navy blue creme, is so perfect for fall. I'd definitely use two coats for complete coverage. This shade can stain so be sure to use a base coat.

Shutter, a sophisticated blackened green, is another standout — the green comes through with brighter lighting. You also need two coats for 100% opacity and it seems to have less staining power than Dark Room. 

Available on July 15 at www.narscosmetics.com

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

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Tuesday
Jun242014

NARS Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow

NARS has a new reason for you to splurge on new eyeshadow. Available in 12 versatile shades, their Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow collection is designed to be worn wet or dry. Applied with a dry brush, they will yield a softer, semi-sheer finish while a wet brush will bring an intense and opaque result. 

NARS Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow in Phoebe.

Callisto, described as an icy pink silver, is more of a warm metallic taupe with pink undertones. It lasted 7-8 hours with a dry application but it did show a bit of fading halfway through the day. Phoebe, a gorgeous shimmery plum, goes perfectly with Callisto. This one lasted a bit longer, at about 8-9 hours.

NARS Callisto Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow.


Swatches of Phoebe and Callisto eyeshadows.

Available for $29 each at www.narscosmetics.com

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

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Thursday
Jun192014

Clarins Lip Balm Crayons

Just in time for summer, the new Clarins Lip Balm Crayons are an easy and quick way to look polished for any outdoor party. These fun retractable lip crayons are packed with mango butter and shea butter to add a creamy layer of moisture to parched lips. 

Clarins Lip Balm Crayon in 01 My Pink.

I absolutely love the My Pink shade. It looks pretty clear upon application but after a few minutes it will react with your pH to create your personal shade of pink. Mine was a delicate candy pink. Out of the six available shades, I found this one to have the shiniest finish. Creamy Pink has a tiny hint of coral and seems to look ever-so-slightly matte. Sweet Cherry, a bright red, has a lovely lip gloss sheen. Delicious Plum is actually a gorgeous raspberry shade. 

Clarins Lip Balm Crayon in 05 Sweet Cherry. 05 Delicious Plum.From top: My Pink, Sweet Cherry, Creamy Pink and Delicious Plum.

Available for $20 each at www.clarinsusa.com and all Clarins counters. 

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

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Wednesday
Jun112014

Amala Skincare

I was curious about Amala after The Spa at Four Seasons Seattle started carrying their skincare. Soon after, I got a chance to try two of their top products. Using only whole plants and certified organic ingredients to maximize efficacy, Amala is a results-driven skincare line. The brand also works with a network of fair trade farmers to ensure a sustainable environment and a fair livelihood.

Made for dry skin, the gentle Rejuvenating Cleansing Milk ($80) contains cocoa bean, brazil nut and andiroba seed to nourish and revive dehydrated skin. The formula is unusually moisturizing and is especially wonderful for sensitive skin. I don't need toner at all when I use this cleanser and the light floral scent has notes of cocoa and vanilla to calm the senses.

To maintain a youthful complexion the Rejuvenate Treatment Oil ($186) is a fantastic option. This oil contains a potent blend of plant seed oils to repair and restore moisture to aging skin. Cocoa bean, one of the star ingredients, helps improve elasticity and reduce inflammation. Andiroba seed rebuilds the skin's moisture barrier with essential fatty acids while amarant seed stimulates cell renewal for increased radiance. It's quite concentrated so I only use a few drops mixed into my serum. I have tried many face oils but this one adds a noticeable suppleness after only several days of usage.

Available at www.amalabeauty.com.

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

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Friday
Jun062014

Lanvin Shoe Sale

Lanvin is having a spring sale and there's still time to snag a pair of their comfortable ballet flats or wedge pumps at 30-40% off regular prices. Here are a few summer-worthy picks:

Yellow Snakeskin Pointed-Toe Pump, $599 (originally $895) at Neiman Marcus.Mint Patent Ballet Flat $299 (originally $495) at Barneys New York.

Strappy Open Toe Sandal in Mastic/White/Gold $419 (originally $695) at Barneys New York.

Fuchsia Ballerina Wedge Pump $465 (originally $695) at Neiman Marcus.

 Blue/Dark Teal Low-Cut Side Pump $419 (originally $695) at Barneys New York.

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