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Thursday
Aug072014

Tarte Best in Faux Lash Extending Fibers

I'm always fascinated by the latest trends in mascara products, so naturally I got excited when I saw Tarte's new Best in Faux Lash Extending Fibers. Unlike most mascara primers, this product is a featherweight nylon brush that adds an extra level of volume and length.

The kit comes with a mini tube of their popular Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara. You first apply one layer of mascara, then gently brush your lashes with the nylon fiber brush. Avoid getting the fibers in your eyes by applying them from the middle part of the lashes. Seal the fibers in with another layer of mascara and you'll end up with flirty, mega wattage eyelashes! I also didn't get any smudging or flaking throughout the day, which is something I expect from Tarte mascaras. 

Available for $19 at tartecosmetics.com

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

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Monday
Aug042014

NARS Smokey Eye Kit

For eye makeup lovers who don't like large palettes or never-ending color options, the limited edition NARS Smokey Eye Kit ($59) is an everyday essential for beauty minimalists. You get three basic shades to create a gorgeous smoky eye and that's it. No fuss, no muss.

The compact includes Madrague I (matte cream), Bali (matte neutral brown) and Mekong (espresso with gold shimmer). The buttery formula blends easily and the shimmer from Mekong is barely detectable once you blend it out. Overall the eyeshadows lasted over 8 hours without primer. The kit also comes with a mini Via Veneto Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner, which has great color payoff but can be tricky to blend.

I love the idea of the accompanying Wide Contour Travel Brush #43. The brush head is a tad big for precise contouring so I'd use it primarily for all-over application or light blending on the lid. Otherwise you may end up over blending. 

Via feteafete.com

Available at www.narscosmetics.com

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

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Friday
Aug012014

Laura Mercier Sensual Reflections Fall 2014 Makeup

The Laura Mercier Sensual Reflections fall 2014 makeup collection is tempting us with jeweled tones and dark bold lips! For starters, the limited edition Satin Matte Eye Colour ($24) in Tempting Green is especially striking — the blackened forest green is velvety to the touch and almost has a touch of metallic glint from certain angles. The texture almost reminds me of a gel cream. Definitely use a primer before patting it on to avoid creasing.

Satin Matte Eye Colour in Tempting Green.

The Sensual Reflections Cheek Melange ($42) features a medium pink face powder with a touch of plum. It provides a lovely wash of color on the cheeks but it shows up better on fair or fair-medium skin as payoff is on the light side. The powder is also a tad hard to get out of the pan but once it's on the brush it blends beautifully into the skin.

The Lip Glace ($25) in Desire, a shimmering burgundy, makes a dramatic statement for fall. It's dark enough for a goth look but I like to mix in a lighter lipgloss shade to mellow things out. 

Lip Glace in Desire.

Available at all Laura Mercier counters and www.lauramercier.com.

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

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Monday
Jul282014

Eminence Potent C+E Collection

Don't have time for kale salad? Not a problem. Eminence has two ways to let you get your daily dose of veggies. The Potent C+E Collection features a concentrated amount of leafy greens and vitamins to fight sun damage and protect the skin. Clinical studies also show a dramatic 47% reduction in free radical damage after three hours of using the products.

The Citrus & Kale Potent C+E Serum contains kale, spinach and broccoli sprouts to provide deep nourishment. Stabilized Vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid) calms inflammation down while hydrolyzed botanical hyaluronic acid (grass extract) keeps skin plump and hydrated. The serum's lightweight formula feels like a refreshing toner and can be layered seamlessly under sunscreen and moisturizer. 

The Citrus & Kale Potent C+E Masque has a soothing cream-gel texture that's perfect for hot weather. Designed to train skin to absorb more Vitamin C over time, the masque also contains avocado oil to boost hydration while potato juice and rhubarb aid in evening out skin tone. It sorta smells like you're wearing a salad on your face but the results are worth it. 

To purchase Eminence Organic Skin Care, go to www.eminenceorganics.com/en-US/spa-locator.

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

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Thursday
Jul242014

Dolce & Gabbana 2014 Summer Glow Makeup

Dolce & Gabbana's Summer Glow makeup is one of my favorite summer beauty collections. Shades of warm gold, amber, dark purple and bright green dominate the lineup. Plus, I really love it when cosmetic brands release their collections during the actual season, don't you? 

D&G Summer Glow 2014 makeup.

The Eyeshadow Smooth Eye Colour Quad ($60) released two limited edition palettes: Ibiza 151 and Tangier 113. The gorgeous Ibiza 151 quad features wearable shades of pale gold, light blue, charcoal green and violet blue. The satin texture is very buttery so it's better to pat or layer on the eyeshadow instead of blending it out completely. Otherwise the colors sorta run into each other, which will kinda dilute the effect you might be looking for.

D&G The Eyeshadow Smooth Eye Colour Quad in Ibiza 151.

Named after flowers, five new pink shades are introduced in the Passion Duo Gloss Fusion Lipstick ($36) line: Orchid 38, Lily 210, Jasmine 36, Lotus 32 and Amaryllis 34. Lily 210 is a light salmon pink while Orchid 38 is a cool-toned lavender pink.

Passion Duo Gloss Fusion Lipstick in Lily 210.Passion Duo Gloss Fusion Lipstick in Orchid 38.

Of the three new shades from The Nail Lacquer ($25) collection, I adore Gaia 176, a gorgeous and cheerful metallic peridot green. Like all the other nail polishes from D&G, I didn't have use a top coat and it lasted for nearly a week with minor tip wear. You can get away with one coat but two is better if you want it to last longer. The formula doesn't pool nor streak and it dries down quickly.

The Nail Lacquer in Gaia 176.D&G Gaia 176 nail polish in direct sunlight.

Available at www.saksfifthavenue.com and Nordstrom. 

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

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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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