Sunday, August 16, 2009

So how did it hold up?

Like I promised I would, I wanted to give a proper review of the new NARS mascara. I didn't think that it would be fair to review this after only wearing it for a few hours and not doing anything that would test it out. So after wearing this for a couple hours at The Beauty Loft, I went off to the gym to a Pure Muscle class (needless to say, this class, done right, should have you pretty sweaty...perfect for a true test.) I went into the bathrooms at the gym after the hour long class and a sopping wet forehead, and it hadn't run at all. Well I wasn't satisfied just yet. So I went into the hot coal suana. I love the sauna; somebody once told me that if you don't let your pores sweat, it's kind of like never going to the bathroom, and you can imagine how many toxins would be in your system if you never flushed them out! The only problem about the sauna is that any non-waterproof makeup that you might be wearing will be streaming down your face when you step out. I spent about 20-25 minutes letting myself relax and steam up. As soon as I got out, I ran to the ladies room to see the status on my new mascara. Thankfully, it wasn't running down my face at all, in fact, I only had a little bit of smudging and zero flaking. I showered and felt very satisfied. Make sure that you have a good makeup remover on hand when you use this mascara because just soap and water won't remove it completely...Overall I am very impressed with the wand and thickness that it delivers, and now I am confident that it will last all day (and night) no matter what you do (including working out.)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

On a darker note...

So after much waiting and anticipation, the Fall 2009 NARS collection has finally arrived! I have received the new Makeup Cleansing Oil, which has a slight lemon scent and a soft, but not greasy texture. It is great for removing tricky eye makeup that likes to stick to your lids and lashes. I usually don't like oils around my eyes, but this one is gentle and doesn't pull at my delicate lashes. I also received a new single eyshadow; Mekong, a rich chocolate brown with golden sparkles. (see below)

Also new in stock are three duo eyeshadows; Brumes, a slightly shimmery navy and matte eggplant pair:
Indian Summer, an interesting pairing of a soft, eye-brightening gold and a matte deep yellow color:

and finally, Silk Road:

a set of soft, shimmering pinks. Silk Road is going to be a big winner this season because it really captures the softenss that a pink should have, especially on the eyes. I see way too many deep pinks and scarily enough, mauves (gasp!) on eyes, that do nothing but leave the wearer looking tired and sad. Silk Road has the most perfect, delicate ballet slippers pink with a touch of gold shimmer, and a darker pink with visible gold sparkles that is the perfect compliment to a soft green or muted brown. I also got in a new lipstick color;
Fast Ride, a gorgeous berry color that goes on sheer but builds into a flattering "just drank berry tea" look.

I was also excited to try the new NARS mascaras today. I have been a fan for a while of their original mascara in Black Orchid for its no-clump wand and no-run waterproof formula. However, I am always looking to find a new favorite! I was highly impressed with the new Larger Than Life Volumizing Mascara because it is the first thickening mascara that I have ever used that actually made my lashes super full. I did one eye first and had to show somebody the unbelieveable difference between my newly full lash and my naturally thin one. It can incredible and I am so excited! I am testing it out tonight to see if it runs or flakes (it is raining here so it truly is the ultimate test...rain+humidity=racoon circles.) I will let you know how it goes and if if stand up to me thorough test! The other new mascara out by NARS is the Larger Than Life Lengthening Mascara. It has a rubber wand with little carefully placed rubberized bristles for seperating and obviously, lengthening! You can expect zero clumps with this one, and very long lashes. (I can't wait to use them together to reap both benefits for Twiggy-style lashes!) Another thing that I want to mention about these mascaras is their very cool packaging. A normal mascara tube has a very long wand and not a very long "mascara" area where the color sits. With these new mascaras however, the tube is slit in half, making the wand area half the size of a normal one, therefore making it a lot easier to reach and coat those itty-bitty lashes. You'll understand what I'm saying when you see it in person!
And lastly, I want to mention the new NARS nail polishes. This fall's colors seem to be dark, inky purples and mauves, which I love. It's a refreshing break from navy and black, which are fun but in my opinion, not very sophiscated. My favorite item from the has to be the new nail polish color NARS 2009 Fall Collection isTokaido Express.

It is a beautiful purple with flecks of gold. Imagine the darkest berry purple with a slight sheen and there you have it. At first glance you don't know that it's a purple at all, but upon closer examination you can see how beautiful it really is. I was honestly getting tired of all of the matte colors for nail this fall, but this renewed my faith in dark nail polish. I can wear this without feeling like I took a black sharpie to my nails! And the other nail polish color that I received today is M.Butterfly,

a deep berry rich in red and just dripping with sophiscation. Overall, I am impressed with the collection; I think that it has some serious potiental to sell well to both fashion-forward women and women who choose sophiscation as their first beauty priority. Enjoy the rich berries of fall while they still last!

Breakfast of Champions!

Body Bakery is an up and coming line that I have had my eye on for years. I carry a select assortment of Body Bakery products at The Beauty Loft, and I stress the word select, because Body Bakery products are available in over 100 scents! From Red Velvet Cake to Peppermint Vanilla Latte, you can spray, wash, moisturize and deodorize with any of the deliciously scented products. I was particularly intrigued when I saw their newest collection on breakfast cereal scents. It really appeals to both the cosmetics junkie and the foodie in me, which is an interesting mix to accomplish! The scents include Apple Jaxs, Brown Sugar Granola, Fruity Loops, Rice Crispies, Luck-E-Charms, and Cheery-O's. I just wonder what it will be like to smell like a bowl of cereal all day...but I guess that the breakfast choice of scent could have been worse (just think, it could have been sausage links, bacon and eggs...)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Rainy Day Skin?

It's inevitable...those days when no matter what you do, your skin still looks terrible Unlike hair, you can't twist it up in a bun or cover it with a big floppy hat. Most of the time, makeup just makes the situation even worse, leaving you with skin that doesn't look any better, just covered up. There are of course tricks that you can do at home if you absolutely need to leave the house, such as splashing cold water on your face, rubbing it gently with sugar, and going for a quick run. There's also pinching your face as hard as you can, wearing a veil, and tactfully making your hair cover over the parts that you would prefer not to show. But sadly, none of these things actually make your skin look better in the long term. Whenever I'm having one of these "rainy day skin days" when my skin just wants to hide inside the house, I depend on the NARS Brightening Serum. One pump of this (or two if for a very bad day) mixed in with my moisturizer and I feel like jumping for joy. It illuminates with a pink hued pearlescence that instantly makes my skin look more awake and refreshed. The texture is not sticky and light enough to wear under makeup and concealer, helping me fake a quick jog or 8 hours of sleep. Love this product, I just wish they would come out with a travel size for on-the-go perking up.

Tempting and Teeth-Rotting

Cotton candy is one of those things in life that has been created to trick you. I just know that there were a bunch of devils sitting around trying to figure out the best way to make this tooth-rotting candy seem innocent and irresistible. "I know, let's make it pastel blue and pink! They're innocent looking colors They're the colors of babies rooms!" or "Yes...let's make a candy that is as soft as cashmere and melts warm sugar on your tongue!" Brilliant! However heaven-sent this treat might seem, all of my memories of cotton candy remind me of my teeth hurting and my head throbbing (from the sugar rush.) And yet I still love it; the smell of burning sugar, the melt-in-your-mouth texture, the crunching of sugar granules, and stickiness of wet sugar on my face. So when I came across this all natural lip balm by Urban Rituelle, I couldn't resist. It's not as much fun as the real thing, but it's a lot better for my teeth.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Flawless Finally?

Ever since I was trained in Bare Escentuals mineral makeup, I have been using it without fail. I have no desire to switch to a cakey, thick foundation when my skin looks so incredibly natural and perfect with the minerals. There's no doubt about it; Bare Escentuals pioneered the mineral makeup trend and having tried brand upon brand of knockoffs, I believe that it is the best. They slowly introduced more and more into the ever-growing line such as blushes, highlighters, brow products, eyeshadows, etc. And although they are the best selling mineral makeup brand in the country, their mascaras left more to be desired. The original mascara was The Big Tease, a comb-wand style brush that was great for short, stubby lashes, but didn't leave a great impression on customers who wanted volume or drama. Last year they released The Big Tease Blackest Black, with the same wand, but an inky-black colored pigment instead of the usual black/brown. It was a solid selling item for me at The Beauty Loft, but I knew that my Bare Escentuals die-hards were secretly using Dior Show and Bad Gal when nobody was looking. Something needed to be done! And quickly!
So imagine my delight when my newest shipment from BE came in last week with the new masara (Flawless Definition Mascara $18) sitting right on top! The wand isn't anything gadget-y or crazy, the bristles are rubberized and uniformed size. There is no clumping because the tapered rubber stubs sort of seperate your lashes apart from each other, but you will get a nice thick coat of color at the same time. It comes in both black and brown and it is (thankfully!) paraben free. I feel like Bare Escentuals really stepped up to the plate with this new product, and I see a lot of converts in the near future.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Beauty For a Cause...

I first came across this fragrance a couple of months ago, when a distributor told me the touching story of how it came about.
In December 1999, psychologist Beth Nonte Russell went to China with a friend who planned to adopt a baby girl. When her friend decided that she couldn't adopt the baby as she had planned, Beth decided to adopt her, herself. The baby was weak and her muscles weren't developed for her age, but Beth watched as she grew and blossomed. Feeling so inspired by her personal adoption experience, and realizing the extreme need to reach out and help other newborn and young girls in China, Beth wrote a touch book titled "Forever Lily" and more recently, released a perfume that captures the scents of discovery and bravery that she has experienced. Beth and her husband formed the non-profit organization called the "Golden Phoenix Foundation" whose mission is to truly end child abandoment worldwide. The perfume, "Forever Lily" was created with the help of Sarah Horowitz, the west coast perfumer known worldwide for her exclusive creations. The result is an Oriental blend with a top note of clove and sweet accents of lemon and lychee. The middle note is crisp fig and feminine stargazer lily, ending with base notes comprised of vanilla, amber, cedarwood, and sandalwood. The scent is gorgeously feminine and uplifting, although there is nothing more uplifting than knowing that you are helping out a good cause. Good luck Beth and are changing the world!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

What do they burn in French Castles?

I often wonder what type of candles the French burn on cold nights in their castles. I mean, Yankee Candle just isn't going to cut it, I assume. But now I think that I can ease my mind because I may have stepped in on their secret candle obsession: Odeurs Royales in three scents; Roi Soleil, Trianon, and Mademoiselle de la Valliere ($145). It just has French Castle written all over seal and all. You can buy them here for your chilly palace-

My underwear deserves the best...

I've been working with bodycare company TOCCA recently because they've vying for a spot at The Beauty Loft. Whenever I bring in new brands I buy some of their best selling products of course, and then I always love to add products that the brand may not be known for especially. I love to hear the reactios from customers as they exclaim "Oh wow, I love ___ and I had no idea that they make___." It's a great way to keep a customer hooked on their favorite brand and yet introduce them to something new at the same time.
On another note completely unrelated but still pertinent, I have an obsession with lavish smelling detergents. Whatever you wash your clothing in leaves a slight residual on your skin and in your presence. To me, generic or mass produced detergents are the equalivent to a sugared-down chocolate bar. You can either go for the run-of-the-mill factory products 90% sugar chocolate bar...or you can spend a little more and buy the single estate, hand made chocolate bar. Now, I'm not suggesting that you buy this "gourmet" detergent in mass quantity and do every single load with it (that would get expensive, and we all break down and have a Hershey's bar sometimes, don't we?) but I at least wash my lacy and delicate items (and socks that my dryer loves to eat on occasion.) So...back to my reason for this post in the first place! I've been working with TOCCA in the last couple of weeks, it's a high quality line, known mainly for their perfumes and body lotions. Having tried their perfumes, (which I should mention are all distinct and fresh, some with hints of floral and some a little more musky) I researched what else this company makes...their not-yet-discovered cult product. And I happily came across a small collection of richly scented delicate detergents! They're great to wash your sheets with, and even your treasured cashmere sweaters that are far too gentle for the washing machine. The four scents they come in are: Grapefruit Cucumber, Orris Rose, Blood Orange, and the most fascinating to me; Pomegranate Tiare Flower. They all retail for $15, a small fortune to pay to smell fantastic and feel incredibly glamorous.