Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Orange is normally a color that I associate with fall; pumpkins, gourds, candy corn, leaves. But the hue that I saw on the Fall 2009 runways is breathtaking. I sat here thinking how I can incorporate such a bright color into my fall beauty wardrobe and BAM! it came to me. Orange lipstick is far too unflattering for the majority of mortals, orange eyeshadow can be interesting if done right (which 99.9% of the time it's not,) and orange blush is too darn tricky to pull off. Then I remembered that NARS re-released their vintage best selling nail polishes this fall, and one of them is this gorgeous shade of orange that I keep seeing popping up. NARS nail polish in Cha Cha Cha is the perfect, most flattering way to snake in orange this fall. My inspiration is coming from the Michael Kors Ready To Wear Fall 2009 show, where he brilliantly threw in bolts of orange color in with crisp black suits and buttery leather jackets. I can't wait to wear my black trench coat, some spiky black heels and a pop of Cha Cha Cha this fall...it's seasonally festive in a jet-set runway sort of way.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
I love using anything exotic, or at least something that makes me look exotic. It seems recently that niche brands have been going more and more mainstream; making them less and less niche. It's a cycle of trends that you have to be on top of if you want to be a trend setter instead of a herd follower. Although I do run the risk of spoiling my own fun by telling you my secrets and finds, I'll take my chances and smile inwardly when I see it being sold everywhere but Greenland, knowing that I sparked a trend. One of my favorite beauty boutiques, beautyhabit just picked up a fabulous new line that I can't stop admiring. Tokyomilk is best known for their perfumes, blends of vanilla bean, sugared grapefruit, honeyed rose, and plenty more exotic ingredients. I am pretty wary about buying new fragrances, especially when I can't smell them through the internet...but I did find something even more intreguing. Tokyomilk also makes a product called "Bon Bon Lip Balms," adorable little pots of deliciously packaged and even more deliciously flavored lip balms. And they are not your run-of-the-mill flavors, either. Forget harsh menthol and waxy-cherry flavors and introduce your lips to flavors such as Iced Green Tea, Petit Fours, Rose Water, Opera Mint, Sweet Cream, Candied Violette, Cherry Balm and Honey Blossom. I have my eye on another flavor called Let Them Eat Cake described as "sugar sweet red velvet cake that is deliciously elegant." As if that were't delicious enough, the box and pot are adorned with images of Victorian-era women (my favorite fashion era) and huge cakes. All of the Tokyomilk products are whimsical and like something you would find on a vintage glamorous vanity from a foreign film. Let's just hope that this stays niche long enough for me to try all of the flavors!
Thursday, July 23, 2009
We are undergoing some secret projects at The Beauty Loft this summer and one of them includes a DIY project! Here is the before shot of a dresser that we purchased for our custom made Urban Decay displays (and yes, you are getting a sneak peek at the new collections in those displays!) We will have another display for a total of five...and although the dresser is the perfect size, it needs to be Urban Decay-ified! After some coats of paint, some new drawer pulls, and a funky mirror, you won't even recognize it! I thought I would let you in on our little project so that you can see the creativity and hard work that really does go into every single thing at The Beauty Loft....
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
It has always been an issue at The Beauty Loft whether or not we price every single item. When I originally opened my first store, I priced every single item as it arrived. It was great when a customer asked how much something was, but in the long term it was time consuming and too hard to upkeep. In my current store, I tried to price everything...I really did! But out of sheer volume of product, I just decided to price only the testers (because they are permanent fixtures.) This would have been a great plan...in theory. Although I priced all of the items in hot pink gel pen which I later learned completely fades away to nothing. So here I was, stuck with absolutely nothing priced (and there is nothing worse than a busy Saturday when somebody asks "how much is this one?" and you have to stop everything and look it up in the computer.) So we finally splurged and bought a label maker this week, which has pretty much consumed my every day since I bought it. It's so addictive to make labels! Once you start you simply cannot stop (I know this probably sounds like something a high Martha Stewart would say but it's true!) Here I am today labeling Caudalie and working my way down the shelves one product at a time...
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
To me, being able to successfully execute a dramatic lip takes serious skill. It takes research to find the exact color to compliment your skin tone, it takes time to find the right consistency, and it takes style to design the entire effect. In my opinion, it is a lot more challenging than creating a dark or dramatic "eye" look because most everyone looks good with a bit of definition on the eye to make them pop. Plus, if that wasn't hard enough, you've got to get over your mouth hang-ups. Believe me, I've heard them all; "my lips are too thin for lipstick" or "my mouth is too wide for a dark color" or even "I don't want to draw attention to my teeth." You don't ever hear somebody complaining that she doesn't want to draw attention to her eyes, now do you? Of course not.
Another problem with trying to find that exact shade of dramatic red or pink or burgundy is that there is never enough of a variety. Most brands create their darkest colors for women who have extremely dark complexions in strange colors like shimmery brown (does brown lipstick look good on anybody?) And there might be one or two shades of red, but they're so fire engine red that if you decided to wear it, people might start calling you Ronald. Another important thing about a dark colored lipstick (and this is not so important with a light color) is that the consistency is very creamy. Have you ever tried to wear a dark, dramatic colored lipstick that was old or just really bad quality? It's sort of like trying to rub a mushy chalk on your lips, and even if you have the nicest lips in the world, they are still going to resemble paper mache.
Normally I wouldn't even write an article on dark lipstick because it is too hard to find a color range that suits all or most skin tones, and it wouldn't be fair to the rest of the lipstick loving community. But alas...I have found the Holy Grail of Lipsticks from Urban Decay; and the packaging even resembles one of my favorite stories, The Sword In The Stone. The color range is stunning and broad, ranging from rich reds to dark rose, to its newest addition not for the faint of heart (Oil Slick, the infamous black shadow now becomes a lip color.) The consistency is creamy and smooth, so much so that I don't even feel the need to wear anything on top or underneath it. Plus all of the colors have an amazing caramel smell that makes me never want to go back to a glue smelling lipstick ever again. They're feminine with an edge; the kind of woman who keeps a pair or thigh high black stiletto boots in her closet that only she knows about. Even though I'm one pair of boots short, I still am enchanted by this newest collection from Urban Decay.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
I am pretty picky about my perfume; and even more picky about ones that claim to smell like actual things. Very rarely do I come across something that actually smells better than the real thing. We got our Summer L'Occitane shipment in this week, and with it I ordered the new L'Occitane Peach Blossom collection. L'Occitane fragrances are always fresh and floral, with base notes of citrus and tea (amazing fragrances, but always a little too citrus-y for my liking.) When I ordered the new Peach Blossom Collection I was expecting a juicy, fruity, sun ripened peach scent. However, when I opened up the boxes and started to play with all of the new items, I was very surprised that the Peach Blossom fragrance had gone in a completely different direction than I was expecting. Instead of a tart or syrupy sweet peach, it is a gentler, more floral, almost musky fragrance. It has notes of bergamont and cedar which dry down to a soft powder/floral scent. I almost don't smell peaches in it at all, which is absolutely fine because I adore the scent without artifical smelling fruit. I catch myself spritzing myself two or three times a day because I love the inital scent of lemon (although it is nothing like the tart Verbena line) and a variety of floral notes that I can't quite pin down. I also love the Peach Blossom Shower Polishing Nectar because you're scrubbing with actual peach kernel particles and peach kernel oil, which is indulgent in itself. This was a huge surprise to me this week because I really wasn't expecting to find a new fragrance...but you know what they say...life happens when you're too busy planning something else!
Monday, July 13, 2009
It's happened ladies...the mascara has been improved upon yet again, but this time your wand isn't shaking or spinning...it's retracting! It's one of those inventions that makes you say "why didn't I think of that?" Just pop off the top, stick on onto the bottom of the tube so you don't lose it, twist up the wand and apply your mascara. The nice part about a retractable mascara is that air and bacteria can't get inside and it will actually last you longer and keep in cleaner. It's a genius idea that may change the face of mascara forever...
Belvada Mascara- http://www.belvada.com
I love anything that smells foodie; I love a sweet syrup-y smelling perfume, my house is littered with "fresh baked bread" and "vanilla sugar cookie" candles, and body lotions that smell like something fresh from the oven are heaven. So when I read that famed candle company Slatkin is about to release a collection of candles that they made with Godiva Chocolatier, you can imagine my excitement. This fall they will be releasing four scents; milk chocolate truffle, black almond truffle, white chocolate magnolia, and raspberry ganache. And if that wasn't delicious enough, we expect a limited edition one for the holidays in peppermint bark! the full 7.5 ounce candle will retail for $25, although there will also be travel sizes available as well as gift sets with a selection of all four flavors.
I really hope that this is a trend that catches on with other confection brands. I remember once I bought a candle that smelled exactly like buttered mashed potatoes (it was meant to, not just a coincidence!) and it was amazing. I would love to see less candy-smelling items and more gourmet home scents and body products on the market. I really think that they would strike a chord with both foodies and makeup junkies alike. So listen up Dean and Deluca...we've got a winner here!
Friday, July 10, 2009
I am hugely inspired by the incredible colors in this ring. They are the colors of the ocean and the sky and the Earth as a whole. I wish I could capture these colors and paint a room in them; create an eyeshadow look with them; wear them in some way. They are the purely brilliant colors of nature.
I have always admired the Judith Leiber jeweled clutches shaped as every glamorous creature and shape known to man. There is something so elegant yet thoroughly over the top about them. I have always wondered what kind of woman actually carries one of these works of art (at the $4,500 price tag I call it art instead of a carry-all)...and now I think I know. I'm going to go with the women of the Palm Beach Pet Parade-
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
I am LOVING the new "Motocross style" jeans that are in style right now! My boyfriend races motocross and I would never dream of putting on his pants, but these are a more feminine (and totally bad ass) version made just for me. I would pair them with some studded accessories and a smudgy smoky eye from Urban Decay -
There is nothing I love more than going to the spa for a relaxing procedure, but sometimes it is impossible for one reason or another. In my experience, the next best thing is an at home procedure done with care and the correct products. Light some fragrant candles, draw a bath (or a hot shower,) make a cup of delicious anti-oxidant filled tea, and play some jazz. But the most important part of you at home spa night is the quality of the product that you are using. There is a reason that the nicest spas in the world aren't using $5 bath soaks and $7 body lotions, and if you expect your at home spa service to be as amazing as one of these procedures, make sure to splurge a little on your tools and products. Personally, I can't wait for my next at home spa procedure because I will be using Red Flower Jasmine Rose Rhassoul Clay from their famous hammam line.
Listen to this description from the Red Flower website-
"Wrap the body from head to toe in this detoxifying blend of rhassoul clay, and essential oils of rose, eglantine, jasmine, blue tansy, ylang-ylang and clove. rhassoul clay is a lava clay found only in eastern morocco, deep beneath the atlas mountains. its gentle astringent, stimulating, polishing and purifying effects help draw impurities from deep within, leaving the skin with a healthy balance and freshly smooth surface. blended with deep-sea algae, aloe vera extract and vitamin e, protective humectants to soften and hydrate. the skin is left detoxified, toned and balanced. inspired by the third step in the traditional progression experienced in the hammam. practiced for nearly one thousand years to heal, detoxify and release tension from the whole body. on the warm radiant heated marble floor of the hammam, the bather mixes powdered rhassoul clay with warm water and massages into hair, face, neck and whole body. heat penetrates deeply, encouraging perspiration to release toxins from the skin and organ systems. clay binds with these impurities and draws them deep from within. the bather rinses with several basins of steamy hot water poured over the top of the head. KEY INGREDIENT clay for potent detoxification binds with impurities in the skin’s pores and draws them out of the body. purified and mineral-rich, moroccan rhassoul clay, red lava clay, montmorillonite clay and bentonite clay are used to powerfully penetrate into the skin to lift away toxins leaving skin supple and pure. the positive cleansing action of clay and its potent detoxification benefits come from its dual property of adsorption and absorption. DIRECTIONS step out from under steaming water and spread rhassoul clay polish over entire body, face and neck. massage smooth texture of clay into body as euphoric scents of rose, jasmine and ylang-ylang warm the mind. clay begins to dry quickly with a slight cooling sensation, drawing out deep impurities. then under warm running water, slowly rinse. alternatively leave on and steep in a warm bath for a detoxifying soak. allow the clay to draw impurities from deep within, leaving the skin detoxified, toned and balanced. "
Ok I need to go draw a bath now.....
Sunday, July 5, 2009
I have bittersweet emotions about post-workout pains. On one hand, it's good to feel some aches and pains because it means your muscles were worked, but on the other hand, it can be too painful for you to enjoy the post workout glow. Tonight I am in some rather intense workout pain from two days of hard workouts and not getting much sleep. Besides some Advil and chocolate milk (which I have read is ideal for muscle repair,) I used to think that there wasn't much I could do to make the pain go away until my muscles just plain healed. But thankfully I have on hand the Ole Henriksen Muscle Comfort Lotion, a completely relaxing lotion that is a must-have for anybody who suffers from workout aches and pains (this is also great used as a foot lotion for tired, sore feet.) After the shower I just use a big dollop wherever it hurts the most (usually shoulders, calves, stomach, arches of the feet, etc) but avoiding sensitive areas because this helps to activate circulation and will create a burning sensation to any sensitive place. It has peppermint oil extract, which creates a cooling sensation and helps to energize tired body parts and seaweed extract, which moisturizes skin and helps reduce excess fluids and water retention. For best results, apply the lotion and then go lay in bed, letting every muscle in your body relax. Of course, it's even better if you have somebody to massage it on for you! I recommend this lotion for athletes, pregnant women, and women who wear heels all day long; but a warning; you will become addidcted to it, so you might as well keep it in your gym bag.
I love carrying eShave at The Beauty Loft because their products are a perfect mix of style and sexiness. The shave sets are sleek enough to display on your bathroom counter, and they almost look more like a piece of art than your shaving tools. A perfect example is the newly re-released Flame Set; a set that I picture sitting on a pristine black granite countertop next to an expensive bottle of men's cologne. I guess that these designer shave sets are to men what Louboutin's are to women; something that you know is a complete fortune yet you buy for timeless style and elegance...