Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Changing Posts to Short Feed

Apologies in advance to those of you who prefer to read full articles in Google Reader and Bloglovin, and the like. There appears to be a rash of content theft going around, and I want to avoid any unpleasantness with my blog, small as it is.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

NARS Sheer Lipstick in Flamenco

I don't know why I ignored NARS lipsticks for so long, but this past summer I started buying them again, and am I glad!  

NARS Flamenco ($24) comes in the sheer formula, and even though NARS makes gorgeous shades in semi-matte, satin, and shimmer formulations, I prefer sheer because it feels like treatment and isn't  drying at all. But what I most love about his sheers is how I can buy a bold-looking red, like Flamenco (or bright coral-watermelon, like Manhunt) and it manages to stay natural looking, letting my own lip pigment show through. The texture is soft and silky, and when it wears off it leaves behind a light cherry stain.

NARS is quite good at describing colors, and Flamenco is no different. Described as sheer candy apple red, I see a cool-neutral blue red that does not turn fuchsia on my lips. The photo on the NARS web site makes Flamenco look a little warmer than it is.

 Aside from the yucky plastic smell of the packaging, this lipstick is unscented and contains no shimmer, just a clear, sheer red shine. Flamenco is great for day or evening, all year round.

Swatched on NW15 skin in natural light near a window:

On my mauvish lips:

Swatched on white tissue paper to remove any undertones:

And here's Flamenco compared to some NARS rose/reds and my other favorite red lipstick, Laura Mercier Gel Lip Colour in Sweet Cherry:

Bottom line:  A super pretty, comfortable red that I wear often.

All photos mine, except for the first one

Monday, November 14, 2011

NARS Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil Baroque

NARS Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil ($24) in Baroque is described as "raspberry sorbet," and I'd say that's a good description, as it's a little more blue than my cherry red lip products. Baroque contains silver microshimmers.

For some reason I couldn't capture a good closeup, so I have included a picture from the NARS web site.

The pencils are thick but short, about four inches long, so they are easy to carry. There's 0.09 ounces of product inside the casing, so these won't be the longest lasting, but the texture really is superb. I have always liked NARS lip color offerings, but some of his lipsticks are really drying so I have stuck with the sheer formula lipsticks. The Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil was a welcome addition. It goes on glossy, smooth, and shiny and feels very lightweight. One application lasts 3 hours on me and fades from the center of my mouth outward. Baroque leaves behind a berry stain.

Because the formula is so soft, consider buying a dedicated NARS sharpener. I already had one for my NARS Glitter Pencil, but I wouldn't recommend sharing the shapener between NARS' fat pencils because the Gloss stick leaves behind some glossy goo. It would have been nice if they'd included a sharpened. I'd happily have paid an extra dollar for the convenience. Resharpening was necessary after 4-5 uses, which comes out to about once a day.

I thought Baroque was similar to some other NARS red lip products, so I swatched them. As it turns out Baroque is more blue than Flamenco and Bad Education, as well as Laura Mercier Sweet Cherry.

The Velvet Gloss formula contains moisture-rich hyaluronic spheres, which can help lips appear more full. I think it made my bottom lip look quite fat, indeed. I didn't notice the NARS-typical burnt-plastic smell when I applied Baroque, but I did notice it when I sharpened the pencil, so I suspect the stench is off gassing from the plastic casings.

Baroque is a sheer look on me, not dramatic, but my lips are already somewhat pigmented. Here you can see the cool raspberry color without any underlying pigment getting in the way.

Bottom line: A lovely lip gloss for a gloss haters (me!). I am going to try New Lover next, a gold-infused strawberry pink

All photos mine except for the two with the watermark.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Beauty Spotlight 11.13.2011

The Beauty Spotlight Team always has excitement in store for you. Whether you are in the mood for fragrance, lipsticks, eye products or giveaways there’s something for everyone. If you want to put in your opinion about Limited Editions (and we all have strong opinions about that!) or learn about Google + we can provide that too. Have fun reading this week’s links.

Joey over at Beauty, Bacon, Bunnies can't believe that she's in love with a celebrity fragrance. Regardless of the name behind the fragrance, there is just no denying how delicious Boyfriend by Kate Walsh smells!

There’s a lot of sassiness going on at Beauty Info Zone. TheBalm Shady Lady Volume 3 has invaded Marcia’s life and she’s inviting others to play too. Come see what these ladies are up to now.

She may not be a Metal Queen - but Lisamarie from Beauty Crazed is embracing the metallic makeup trend! Check out her swatches and see if you might like to go metallic too!

At Everyday Beauty, Zuzu's Petals found the perfect juicy fall red lip gloss in NARS Bad Education.

Over at Lipstick Musings, Shannon is the victim of a happy mistake when she discovers Dior 5 Couleurs Eye Shadow in Rosy Nude. Stop by to see why she was so pleased to get the wrong item!

London Makeup Girl is having a rant about Limited Editions that have a shorter life than a Mayfly. Do you agree with her? Read her post (and some interesting comments) here: Limited Editions and other foolishness.

Modesty Brown shares her current staples, including swatches of Rouge Bunny Rouge sheer lipstick in Murmurings and Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Bonheur.

Are you an early adopter? If so, you’ll love that My Beauty Bunny has compiled a list of beauty bloggers to follow on Google+!

Find out what eyeliner that Paula, from Older Girl Beauty likes so much that she wears it most days of the week.

Is the cold weather making you dry? Well, be sure to enter Pammy Blogs Beauty's Carmex Healing Skincare Giveaway!!!

Check out Perilously Pale for a chance to win skincare from Yonka Paris!

At Pretty in Dayton Styrch is introduced to a body whip that could very well be her Holy Grail body moisturizer.

Tarte gives more than just Lip Service to their limited edition LipSurgence Collection. One for you and two for Prime Beauty!!

The time-honoured holiday parings of red and gold shades is captured with Les Scintillances de Chanel, Visionary beauty checks out the eye shadows on offer; classics with a twist

Image from

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Cindy Joseph and her BOOMSTICK Trio

If you've never heard of Cindy Joseph, I'd bet you'd recognize her. When I first saw her photo, I instantly recognized her as one of my favorite J. Crew models from several years back.

You can read Cindy's bio on her web site, but in a nutshell, she's a former professional makeup artist with over 25 years experience who became a model at age 48 for Dolce & Gabanna. That's not something you read about every day, when 35 seems to be retirement age for most models.

She embraces a look I have always admired: natural and healthy. Crisp, face-brightening shirt, loose, carefree hair, and little makeup other than a radiant glow with a spot of color on lips and cheeks. That, along with a genuine smile, and any woman can be transformed. She looks like a lot my friends' mothers, back when I grew up on the shore. Low maintenance, little fuss, beautiful.

Wanting to try something different recently, I became curious about her small line of skincare-as-makeup line. I had heard about her products, but I tend to shy away from products that claim to be universally flattering. My curiosity finally overcame my resistance and I bought the BOOMSTICK Trio ($68) in COLOR, GLIMMER, and GLO, which arrived nestled in a silver mesh pouch.

According to Cindy's website and the packaging of this product, her motto is to keep it simple. And with just three little items, you certainly can.

The tubes are compact (0.28oz), portable, lightweight plastic. Each comes with an inner cap to prevent the contents from drying out.

Each tube is the length of my pinkie and a little thicker than my thumb
Protective cap


The first one I tried, BOOMSTICK COLOR, is a translucent rosy-red cream/gel with a plummy-brown undertone.

COLOR is meant to be worn on cheeks, eyes, lips, neck and forehead, so that is where I put it, and I have to admit I was impressed. The texture is very silky and blends effortlessly, and it gave me a healthy glow that I have always tried to get from bronzer but never could because bronzers are brown and so they do not suit my pink-porcelain skin. I especially liked putting COLOR on my upper eyelids.

Once applied, the texture remains somewhat dewy, but it's not sticky or greasy. In other words, a strong wind on a city street won't cause sidewalk grit to stick to my face.

As for the lips, I can't say COLOR is my favorite lipstick color (I look best in brighter, more clear and more blue-based colors), but if my face is naked and I want a quick burst of vitality, adding a bit of COLOR would be hard to beat, especially for convenience. The color reminds me of Laura Mercier's Crème Lip Colour in Bing Cherry, only much less pigmented.

Here's a video of Cindy showing how she applies BOOMSTICK COLOR.


The second item from the trio, BOOMSTICK GLIMMER, took me by surprise. I was expecting something clear or at least very light, along the lines of Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Pearl, but GLIMMER is a pearlescent pink-champagne beige. I think it might be similar to Becca's SSP in Opal, but I don't own Opal for a comparison swatch.

I was unsure if the coppery color would complement my cool-toned skin, but it melted right in and looked quite natural, the way youthful, natural oils from the skin create a dewy glow on a sultry summer evening. GLIMMER is the color of candlelight, but not as yellow as Edward Bess Sunlight.

Unlike other cream-based highlighters, GLIMMER did not highlight my pores. I took a good look at my face in direct sunlight and saw that GLIMMER would be appropriate to wear during the day, even to a conservative office or to your daughter's field hockey game. I tried GLIMMER on the movable eyelids, brow bone, cheekbones, cupid's bow, and my clavicles, and I liked the luminous glow it provided. Now that my skin is older and less oily, adding back a bit of glow can take years off (at least that's what I tell myself). Nothing ages more quickly than flat, matte skin, and GLIMMER provides dewiness without looking greasy or causing Frankenpores.

Here are COLOR and GLIMMER swatched together on the back of my (NW15-20) hand:

Both colors complement my fair, cool skin fairly well, though I suspect they are ideal for skin tones that are neutral leaning warm or cool, more than we straight-up cool-toned people. If you want to see how they look on other color skins, see Cindy Joseph's home page for a Flash montage of faces of all ages and races wearing her BOOMSTICK products.

Here's Cindy again, giving a demo on GLIMMER.


The final item in the trio, BOOMSTICK GLO, is a clear, 100% organic moisturizer without sunscreen. It contains honey, olive oil, and beeswax to protect skin from the elements. It's quite rich, so I would not apply this directly to my face, not during the day, anyway, but I liked applying it under my eyes, and it makes a luxurious lip balm. I rubbed a bit onto my fingertip and then transferred the warm oil to my cuticles and elbows. If I weren't being sparing, I'd consider using it on my heels. The texture reminds me of Badger Balm, which I have been using on lips and body since 2002.


Here's Cindy showing us how to use GLO.

All three products feel comfortable and weightless on the skin, and the two color items wore fairly well throughout the day. Oilier skins would probably need more frequent touch-ups. I only touched them up after five hours because I wanted to see if I could overdo it; the answer is yes to both COLOR and GLIMMER, but no one in her right mind would layer it on the way I did to test).

COLOR was all I wore on my lips all day. My lips felt nourished and smooth the whole time, and the color on my lips lasted until lunch, leaving behind a plummy stain. The swatch lasted on the back of my hand until I washed it off before bed.

This post is long enough already, so click the following links to get more information, including ingredients. I have no control over whether the links change after this review goes up, but it shouldn't be hard to find, as she's very forthcoming and wants her customers to know how natural her products are.
Cindy will soon be introducing BOOMSILK, a face and body moisturizer that uses the same ingredients as her GLO stick. It will available for purchase on her web site on November 25, 2011.

Bottom line: You don't have to be over 40 to enjoy these products.

All photos mine except the first and last, and the Badger Balm

Oh, one more important thing about Boomstick!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Becca Fine Pressed Powder - Bisque

Becca Cosmetics Fine Pressed Powder ($42) is packaged in a flip-top, rubberized compact with a full-sized mirror. Unlike most compacts, this one comes with a plush, zippered case that holds both the compact and the puff. It feels like nylon, and it's brown, just like all of Becca packaging.(10g/0.35 oz.)

I purchased the color Bisque, which Becca recommends for light to fair complexions with pink undertones. Although the powder is slightly tinted, it is sheer and applies that way, but maybe that's because my skin is already rather pink. If you have yellow undertones, this might actually appear pink on the skin. This powder is not intended to be a foundation powder.

I tried to get a picture of the "color" swatched on the back of my hand, but Bisque is such an excellent match for my skin tone, it disappeared and refused to be captured on film.

The texture is very finely (micro) milled and contains modified rice starch, even though talc is the first ingredient listed. Upon first application, it appears matte, but within the hour, it behaves like a mineral powder where it conceals excess shine but still allows my natural glow to come through, so it's not mattifying (deadening) to the skin, which can be terribly aging. I found that I could apply it as often as I needed to, and it did not appear cakey, nor did it make my skin itch.

I roll and press carefully with a velour puff and then I flick off any excess with a big fluffy brush. I never apply face powder with a brush unless I am using the sides of the bristles to push the color into my pores or I am using a flat-topped kabuki.

Becca Fine Pressed Powder - Bisque is available in the following colors:
  • Eggshell: yellow/very fair to fair
  • Bisque: pink/very fair to fair
  • Sesame: yellow/fair to medium
  • Ginger: pink/medium
  • Wheat: yellow/light tan
  • Mocha: neutral/tan
  • Spice: yellow/tan
  • Cardamom: neutral/golden to dark brown
  • Clove: neutral/warm brown
  • Carob: neutral-warm/deep brown chocolate
  • Nutmeg: neutral/deep brown chocolate
  • Cocoa: neutral/dark bronze
Something for everyone, for sure.

Bottom line: Excellent pressed powder for touch-ups during the day.

Ingredients: Talc, dimethyl imazolidinone, mica, silica, aqua, magnesium myristate, propylene glycol, octyldodecanol, isopropyl myristate, glyceryl stearate, peg-150, quaternium-26, ricinus communis, glyceryl ricinoleate, carnauba, candelilla cera, cera microcristallina, cetyl alcohol, cera alba, paraffinum liquidum, cetearyl alcohol, sodium cetearyl sulfate, stearic acid, tetrahydroxypropyl, ethylenediamine, methylparaben, methylidbromo, glutaronitrile, phenoxyethanol, fragrance.

Beauty Spotlight 11.02.2011

I am late in getting the Beauty Spotlight team's weekly roundup posted. Four days after a freak, pre-Halloween blizzard, I finally got my power back. I needed an extra day off to take my first very long and very hot shower in ... um, days.

If you haven't made the rounds already, our Beauty Spotlight makeup lovers have more exciting beauty news to share: giveaways, reviews and a new website with a weekly podcast to discuss makeup and trends!

Beauty, Bacon and Bunnies warns us it's getting cold outside, and soon the holidays will be upon us. Always in the know, Joey brings us Part 1of the Holiday 2011 Limited Edition Collections.

Can pale people wear gold lipstick? Lisamarie from Beauty Crazed sadly finds out that the answer to that is "no" but feel free to come and mock her anyhow!

Have you found the L’Oreal Paris Project Runway displays yet? Beauty Info Zone wants to you to see some of the gorgeous Watchful Owl products available. They are worth a search.

Everyday Beauty reviewed Glazed Lips L301, the final red in the "Ellis Red" trio.

Have you had a chance to try any Kiehl's products yet? If not (or even if you're already a fan!), stop by Lipstick Musings to enter the giveaway for a Kiehl's "Favorites" Kit. It's got something for everyone!

London Makeup Girl has a weakness for Chantecaille Lip Chics, and succumbed to one of the new shades from the Autumn collection. Have a look at it on her here: Chantecaille Calla Lily Lip Chic applied.

Modesty Brown shares her small but perfectly formed collection of NARS eyeshadow duos. Well, perfectly formed if you're a fan of taupe!

Paula, from Older Girl Beauty, talks about her new site "It's Just Lipstick", where she and Meredith, from Retrodiva's Beauty, discuss makeup & trends in their own irreverent way in their weekly podcast & Spreecast.

Looking for great quality professional brushes at a good price? You might be interested in Kim Professional Makeup Brushes. Pammy Blogs Beauty scopes them out!

Juicy! Juicy! Juicy! See which gorgeous Rouge Bunny Rouge lipstick has Perilously Pale drooling.

Is your makeup doing a disappearing act in the middle of day? Keep your makeup fresh and glowing all day long with Skindinavia Makeup Finishing Spray. Prime Beauty is giving away two, enter now!

Visionary beauty takes a look at the Perle delight of the Guerlain ombre-eclat-4-shade palette in Les Perles.