THE ADVICE SISTERS® "What Works" Beauty, Cosmetics & Fashion Review Column, SEPTEMBER 2006-First Look for Fall by Alison Blackman Dunham
September is a true "bridge" month between two, distinct, seasons. Fall fashions are cropping up all over the stores and Summer's sensations are relegated to the "clearance" section, but it still feels like Summer. The sun is still bright, the weather is warm, and the trees are green. But there is a growing sense that a new season is beginning. Now is the time to figure out what you're going to want and wear when the weather take a turn towards Fall in the next few weeks. To help you make the best of a bridge month, our column this month features new products that work now and throughout the Fall, to help make your Summer-to-September transition, easy and beautiful. Happy Fall from Advice Sister Alison.
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There may soon be a chill in the air, but we're happy to report that there's a 99% chance that you will look gorgeous, according to the television inspired face-in-a-case kit called Weather Girl $28.00 by BeneFit Cosmetics. We love this company's often campy, always cute, themes and packaging, and their seriously good products. Weather Girl featured a cardboard compact with magnetic closure (and sultry redhead "weather girl" photo) and interior mirror (inserted around a photo to look like a camera lens, including a subtly spicy message). Strip away the fun, campy packaging and check out three strips of gorgeous lip treats. The press information says they're mauves, browns and champagnes, but we think the glosses are more rosy-nude, peachy-pearl, and a pretty, champagne shimmer. All are very sheer and can be mixed and blended together for subtle, shiny, sexy lip looks. Adding allure are three sheer, shimmery, neutral eye shadows in brown, copper, and beige-y-peach. A mini lip brush/sponge applicator has it's own compartment.
We have been eagerly anticipating another gorgeous Giorgio Armani limited Edition, Fall Eye Couture Palette $80.00. Four mini-pans of wet/dry powder eye shadow on the top of the chic, matte, black, mirrored compact, and two brow-friendly ones on the bottom, instantly update your look with designer style. "Black metallic gray" is a deep, charcoal gray eye shadow that is sheer enough to add smoky drama to eyes without overwhelming them and makes a smoldering statement as an eye liner, too. "Velvet Taupe" is a shimmery, softy, beige-d lilac that looks sophisticated and subtle. "Red Couture" is a soft, rusted pink that is unique, and chic. "Satin Moon" is a shimmery, pink, sheer, highlight that works with the other three colors as a highlight (we like it alone, too, with a brown liner). The second level of the compact holds eyebrow colors in deep brown and light brown (eyebrows are a focus, this Fall). Use a brush to mix or match these colors to your own brows, or you can also use them as liners. The Advice Sisters see many products and colors each month, but everything in this Giorgio Armani kit is a sophisticated standout...a treat to have, and a joy to use. If you're going to invest in new eye products, this is a great choice.
I adore cats so I've flipped for the flirty for high quality Cat Cosmetics. For starters, I like the cute logo of a pussycat looking into a mirror with a lioness peering back at her, and product names that are "cat" related. There's flexibility here: not just individual colors, or customized "Build Your Own" kits, but also pre-coordinated kits, named for popular actresses. One that particularly flatters pale to medium complexions is the six-pan kit called Cameron $60.00. These colors are fairly muted, so you can create day to evening looks with all of them. "Catnip" is a bronzing blend or brown and gold with a touch of iridescence, to give your complexion a hint of glow. Warm a fading tan or pale face with a rose-pink with a touch of gold, blush. Eye shadows include a matte, golden brown, a deep brown flecked with gold shimmer (great as a liner, too), and a soft linen shadow with a hint of white shimmer that makes eyes pop (or use it as a highlighter on cheekbones, too). A stunning, black shadow with a hint of starry gold shimmer is great for a smoky eye look, or for the more traditional, a great shadow liner. TIP: Buy the Build Your Own Empty Case $24.00 and the six wells with your choices of blush and shadow ($12.00 each). Get six shadows, the case is free!
There's a new generation of Hook Up by MARK and we are loving it this Fall! Switch products in and out of both sides of a little hook-up tube, with little more than a yank! Now products include thin tubes of swivel-up lip products, making it easier than ever to tuck beauty away in tight jeans. Sheenstick $5.00 (hydrating lip treatment) or Gleamstick $5.00 (smooth, creamy, moist shine, semi-sheer, and layer-able). Reviewers raved about Amorous," a medium, American beauty rose, just gorgeous. Not into rose? there are 8 colors in all to try. Winksticks $5.00 are also fun for Fall. They're creamy, pearly eye shadows that slide on smoothly, stay put for hours, even in the heat (I tried them in 87 degree heat and nearly as much humidity). These also come in 8, slightly shimmery, colors. I particularly like a pearly grayed lilac called "Coy," and "Wealthy," a stunning bronze that will be a pretty compliment to Fall's earthy color palette. Glam up with "Glitzy," a sparkling, sheer, gold.
Lauren Hutton has ageless appeal, but she's not just a former supermodel, she's the creator of "Good Stuff" for women who aren't youngsters, but are into looking great. Ms. Hutton was one of the first entrepreneurs to realize that women over 40 have different needs when it comes to beauty products. Her Face Disk $40.00-$90.00 is designed so the products work together to enhance your features, in a matte, silver, compact the size of a CD player. Inside are 11 pans (large and small) of products for spots, shadows, contour, cheeks, lips, eyes, and accents. The kit comes with an easy-to-follow brochure, outlining step by step (with colored rings around each "pan" of product ) for reference just what to use, where, when, and how. The pans are magnetic, so you can get just one refill if you need it (economical). Four kits flattering pink, yellow, orange and brown complexions and a DVD on which Ms. Hutton demonstrates the products, helps you create a coordinated look. Another great investment, with or without the Face Disk, is the 7 Piece Professional Brush Set $50.00. High quality brush heads are beautifully shaped for maximum ease of use and fitted with wooden handles, color-coded to match the makeup in the Face Disk: spotter brush, concealer brush, blush brush, pooch and nose brush (great for small and hard to reach areas), eye brow brush, and eyeliner brush, and a silver nylon brush case that closes with a snap tab, keeping these important tools, clean and portable. Get these products on the Lauren Hutton Good Stuff Web Site and through The Home Shopping Network.
Esther Nash is a young entrepreneur, model, burgeoning celebrity, and fashion designer. with youth-oriented designs that exude "star power." Denim is always in fashion, and a jean jacket anyone can wear is Ms. Nash's fitted jeans jacket, the Nash Splash ($150-$1500). This body-conscious jacket gives a slimming and feminine shape to your figure. Each jacket is hand-painted, most with hints of metallic for a shot of glam that is not too gaudy to go out in during the daytime. It'll work with casual jeans (as Ms. Nash is modeling in photo #1), but still look great tossed over a dressier outfit. I also like the Esther Nash Stretch Top called Red Diva $150.00 (photo #2). The one-sleeve design is totally rock-and-roll, but if you've got to cover up a bit more, it still look current, from under a jacket. The designer's motto is: "Be seen and be remembered! Sparkle and shine like the super star that you are! Although these one of a kind pieces aren't inexpensive, they are justifiable as collectible, wearable art. Everyone needs at least one unique piece to gather (positive) attention and to make them glamorous. Esther Nash designs, will do just that.
Chocolate is the color of the season, but the elegant, Vosges Haut Chocolat Dark Mild Chocolate & Matcha Green Tea Beauty Bar $6.00 3.4 oz. for Bobbi Brown, is meant to be eaten! The multi-faceted (and talented) Bobbi Brown is a long-time fan of Vosges Chocolate. In case you're wondering, the decadent, silky, dark chocolate is mixed with matcha green tea leaves- both full of antioxidants, so you can think of this chocolate indulgence as an antioxidant cocktail that's not only good for you, but just plain good! The timing couldn't be better, since Bobbi Brown has just launched her limited edition, Chocolate Collection of makeup colors, for early Fall but you've got to hurry: the edible chocolate is available for a very limited time in Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman stores.
MARK not only sells fashionable makeup items, the company also offers affordable, chic, limited edition fashion items and accessories. When the weather is still warm, but it's too late in the season for Summer clothes, pop on the Grecian Cami Top $24.00 by MARK in one of the season's hottest shades: deep plum. A flowing, rayon and viscose baby doll cami is made fresh and with thin, braided straps and a gold, crochet-laced- with-gold sequins accent in the front that reminds us of exotic, Arabian nights designs. The top flows softly and beautifully over your hips, to flatter (and hide) in all the right places, without adding bulk. We love this one layered over slim jeans (preferably black) for evening, great for day, with a jacket tossed over it. You'll find a millions ways to wear it, and you can't beat the price! Keep the affordable elegance going with a stop-them-dead-in-their-tracks, ring. MARK provides a perfect one: the Bejeweled Ring $12.00 is an adjustable, affordable, eye-popper. This chunky, gold ring is formed from small, round, purple enameled "pebbles," clustered together in a large square. In the middle is a large, faceted, square "amethyst" stone that shimmers every time you move your hand. Although the ring is cocktail-party large, it has an inner clip that lets you loosen, or tighten it to size so it's really comfortable. We also love the MARK Teardrop Gem Earrings $12.00. From a slim ear wire drip, four large and open, lightweight and lacy, golden "teardrops" with a pear-shaped, "citrine" dangle handing from the middle of each drop. These elegant earrings will look beautiful with everything you want to wear this season. Earrings like these are not only sexy, but they reflect light around your face and hair as you move, giving your complexion an instant highlight. These are in instant day-to-evening, beautifier (and they look fantastic with the Grecian Cami Top).
The summer may be winding down, but a touch of sun is still in the sky, and on your skin, courtesy of Lacoste. Touch of Sun Pour Femme Eau de Toilette $65.00 3.0 fl. oz comes in a bright, orange, red and yellow carton with the iconic alligator making an appearance in white,. Inside, in a flacon designed by Lutz Hermann, is a feminine column of glass that reminds me of a curvy, elongated triangle. The coloring starts at the base, fire-y orange, and gradually fades to glorious gold, ending at the matte, silver band. The alligator appears again on the bottle, in white, adding a crisp and whimsical touch. The cap has sex appeal too: it's a chunk of clear plastic in the shape of a softly curved triangle. allowing the spray nozzle in bright orange-red, to peep through. This fragrance is refreshing and summary, but it's got enough depth for it to work well in the Fall, when it's still warm, and scent should be subtle. Top notes include crisp green accord, bergamot, and grapefruit, with a feminine heart of rose, peony and jasmine, and base notes of vetiver, sandalwood, amber notes and musk notes that keep the fragrance long lasting. There's also a Body Lotion $35.00 5.0 fl. oz in a striking, orange tube, with a nice flip top to tote easily for fast-absorbing moisture, and an additional layer of this pleasing scent. We're willing to bet that even though Touch of Sun is a limited edition we want to stay available, forever.
Aqua Di Parma is new to our reviews, but not to the legions of fans that love these luxe scents, created in Italy. Iris Nobile Eau De Toilette $95.00 50 ml, $145.00 100 ml, for example, smells like a perfectly balanced, fresh bouquet of flowers--a floral that is neither too sweet, nor too bland. The perfumer's art really shows in this fragrance as it's a very feminine, but quite modern, with not a single hint of "girly" or "grandma" in it. As with the simple glass bottle with black top and the cheerful, golden yellow label and packaging, the modern, sophisticated scent is chic and subtle, and yet, it still grabs your attention, starting with a hint of sparkling citrus mandarin artfully blended with iris petals, bergamot and star anise for just the merest hint of spice. These fade to a complimentary heart of iris, cedar flower, and orange blossom water. By drydown, you can sense a shift to softness, with bottom notes including iris wood, ambrette crystals, and a soft, Madagascar vanilla infusion. Use just a little bit and admirers will have to get up fairly close to sense the scent. Use a bit more, and you'll make a feminine statement without saying a word.
The Chocolate Palette $48.00 by Bobbi Brown is a limited edition set of eye shadows definitely not meant to be eaten, but tasty-looking in a slick, chocolate-brown, mirrored, compact with white Bobbi Brown lettering. Inside, there's one all-over lid shade in "Bone," and six, just-for-this-compact shadows in pretty shades of brown: 2 matte, 3 shimmer, a dark, chocolate liner. A great, mini, dual-ended brush for liner/shadow completes the compact. They look as pretty as a box of chocolate, but hurry, they're not going to stick around and may be gone by the time the frost in on the pumpkin.
The first time I visited Iceland, I couldn't resist flying to the Westmann Islands. Here, a restless Earth puts on occasional, volcanic displays, the most recent in 1973. Yet, the steep cliffs are home to puffins, and the countryside is beautiful and green, even though the lava flows are still hot to the touch of your hand. Sue Devitt Studio celebrates the Westmann Islands and all of Scandinavia, with a Fall/Winter collection called "Viking Voyage." A semi-matte, semi-shimmery collection of three new Eye Shadows $18.00 reflect the beauty of the Scandinavian landscape. "Westmann Isles" is an electric lilac-blue that leaves a sheer, romantic, deep wisteria wash of color on your lids. Add a dash of "Midnight Sun," a warm, deep, peachy-pink, or wear it alone to coordinate with tweeds and earth-tones, perfectly. My favorite color is "Nordland" is a go-with-everything electric chocolate brown that is the epitome of chic, this Fall. The colors are sheer but buildable, and I like the toned-down, but still shimmery formula that lights up lids like nothing else. You'll want these!
For a first look at what well-dressed eyes will be wearing, this Fall, look no further than the Smashbox Eye Shadow Quad $30.00 from the Spectrum Collection. Intended to mimic the drama that professional lighting on a photo shoot produces, these light-reflecting colors are a far cry from the waif-ish sheers of summer. They're bold, bright, intense and a nice compliment to the subdued colors seen on the runways. The one we tried "Electric," featured a dark teal flecked with gold, a frosty coppery orange, a deep plum, and a bright goldenrod all work together to create a dramatic palette that looks bright, but is still wearable. "Ambient" features neutral shades. The soft powder shadow is of the highest quality, blending easily onto lids, and offering long lasting, true-to-color, performance--what you'd expect from a line like Smashbox. All the colors are beautiful, but my personal favorite color is the deep plum, applied with a liner brush for a fantastic eyeliner, dusted on lids for a modern version of the classic, smoky eye. Jet Set $22.00 comes in a tiny little screw-top jar. It's a water and smudge-proof gel eyeliner that goes on smoothly, sets quickly, and stays where you put it until you want to remove it, seriously!. I loved "Ignite," a bright purple that perks up virtually any color shadow. There's also "Midnight Black" and "Illume" (green). A little goes a long way, so your investment in color will pay off throughout the season.
MAC Pro Color X-4 Compact $35.00 is always a favorite of busy fashionistas who want a coordinated collection of colors for each season. From the "Untamed Collection" comes a quad with everything youll need: "Shroom" is a versatile, golden beige with shimmer that slides on like satin, stays put, and is a lid color or highlighter. It is paired with a trio of deeper colors that, depending upon amount and application, can be a soft wash, or work its way all the way to a smoky look, or even as a lid liner. "Espresso" is a matte, milk-chocolate brown, "Well Plumed" is a deep blue with lots of drama, thanks to silver and blue sparkles that make the color nearly violet, sparked with a shimmery formula. You also get "Courage," a quirky copper that goes from slightly pearled, to glowing, glam, metallic. Additional panache is added with Fluidline Gel Liner $14.50 in a complimentary color. We like trendy "New Weed," a deep khaki with a hint of gold pearl, and "Ostentatious," a deep chocolate brown with hints of both blue and green pearl to keep things interesting! This is a good time to ditch that old mascara and get a new one. Zoomlash $10.00 in "Jet Black," is a great choice, or, from the M.A.C. Untamed collection, "Raven Blue," is a deep blue the color of a night sky.
There's nothing ho-hum about the stunning, mirrored, metallic, red, compact from Clarins. The Colourful Horizons Eye Colour Palette $32.50 has six, strategically placed rounds of shadow in different sizes and formulas, each interestingly embossed with different patterns to tempt the eye. The colors are both subtle, and dramatic, sheer, and intense, with earthy hues that will work so well with Fall fashions. The shades are chic, but wearable, with myriad options to mix, match, and layer, day and evening looks. The palette features two large rounds of sheer, pearly shadow in a rusted peach, and a mint green. I also love two intense shadows, flecked with gold, that work as smoky lid looks, or liners, in khaki and in deep brown. A tiny circle of matte, black lines or (for the adventurous) smokes lids, and a gorgeous, copper metallic, adds drama no matter what you do with it. Feel free to layer these--they slide on so smoothly you'll be amazed. A dual-tipped sponge applicator is included, but with just the touch of a fingertip, these applied like a dream. You'll definitely want this gorgeous palette for Fall, and beyond. Hurry, it's a limited edition. We'll be reviewing more Clarins makeup in this column, and in our October "What Works" column, so watch for it!
Loose powder has amazing properties to transform your look, but if you are not skilled with its application, it can be hard to apply it. The Shadow Stylist Powder $6.50 by Maybelline, has a wanded tube that locks color onto the sponge tip for streak-free application. Even better, these are safe for sensitive eyes and fragrance free. There are a dozen colors to choose from, but some of our favorites are "Vintage Champagne," a warm beige with golden shimmer that looks great on lids, or as a highlight; "Rich Violet," a deep, shimmery purple;" Elegant Pearl," a golden vanilla, "Romantic Pink," a medium pink with golden highlights, and for drama and a smoky eye, "Sultry Black" makes a fashion statement. Maybelline Great Lash is one of Americas best selling mascaras, but theres always room for something new. Volum Express Turbo Boost Mascara $7.15 separates and defines every last with a patented volume maximizer brush that loads lashes with thick, deep, color and volume, in an instant, without clumping. Thick, dramatic lashes are a must this season, but if youre not into faux lashes, fake the "faux" with a volumizing mascara like this one--safe for sensitive eyes. The washable formula removes easily with soap and water. There is a waterproof version too (use a make up remover).
Plum is so popular, and one we like either as a dramatic shadow or a gorgeous shadow liner is the Matte Eye Shadow $18.00 by FACE Stockholm in "Plum." The color is rich, delicious, almost irresistible to try, and it's long lasting, too. It's deep, but sheer, so you can layer it to your hearts content. To go from day to evening, with a metallic sheen, dust on a coat of Eye Dust $19.00 in "Warning," a deep, metallic plum that gives eyes a glamorous glow. Again, this is deep but sheer, so you can adjust the color to suit your style. Frame eyes with a finishing touch of Mascara $20.00 in deep black.
In a field of ho-hum browns and neutrals, a Duo EyeShadow $31.00 by NARS stands out--a shimmery beacon of sophistication and originality. "Bohemian Gold" pairs an iridescent copper and a metallic taupe that coat lids with a sheer, very shimmery wash of color. The copper shade has quite a bit of warmth to it--a glorious, shimmery peachy-copper that looks bright, light and new, not tired and orange. One coat gives a better-than-nude, shimmer. Two, brighter, more shimmery glamour. The taupe is also a new interpretation of a color that sometimes falls a bit flat, but in this case, shimmers with a new significance. "India Song" pairs a shimmery, deep brown (the press literature called it "walnut") with a stark, matte, vanilla that looks amazing as an lid color, too. The play of deep and light, shimmer and matte, makes this one completely new and well suited to the fashions we saw on the runway for Fall. You can find less expensive eye shadow duos, but these are true designer originals the advantage is that the look is worth the price.
Regard Effet Métallisé Waterproof Metallic Eyeliners $11.00 won't run and smear, but I love these super-soft pencils for their long lasting, intense, metallic and pearly colors. Jojoba and cotton oils, and Vitamin E, make them gentle on your skin. Bring out your inner fashionista with "Bleu Clinquant," a bold, metallic turquoise that is my favorite. I also like "Vert Pépite," a bright green, and "Fill d'Or," a super shimmery gold that will take you through the holidays with an easy swipe of this pencil. A trio of browns help you define eyes in style. "Feulle de Cuivre," is a shimmery copper trendy with tweeds. There's also "Brun Inoxydable" (brown) and"Noir Effet Miroir." I also like the latest Bourjois Mascara, YES! To Volume $13.50 in "Noir Insoumis." The large, flat, tapered, black tube is easy to hold, and the wand is really different: a super-slim with a row of separator comb teeth, instead of a traditional, chunky brush. Each lash helps create a long, lush, intense black eye-framing fringe. The non-clumping, long-lasting formula makes it a "must have."
Metallics are shaping up as important for Fall, and for fashionistas on a budget, Let Loose Shimmering Shadow Dust 4.95 by Prestige Cosmetics gets you the look, for less. I like the slim, sponge-wanded tube that lets you apply a sheer wash of shimmery color, clean and easy. "Show Off" is one of three Fall-friendly colors. It's a soft, lime green that leaves a sparkling wash of sheer green subtle enough to wear for daytime, glam enough (with a few layers) to look shimmering at night. Add Dimension and definition with a Soft Blend Kohl Eyeliner $4.95, also with a sponge tip for blending. "Chamomile" is a deep khaki-brown that pairs perfectly with the shadow. For pressed powder fans, "curry," a bright, sheer, metallic, orange-rust, adds a hit of sheer, metallic, color. TIP: intense colors like orange or rest are best used sparingly, as an accent, or layered with another color. Start softly and lightly, using a fluffy brush to apply bright colors. Add more if you wish.
Cat Cosmetics, re-introduced this column, has a dual pan Eye Shadow $15.00 called "Cat Fight" that is no struggle to wear. It's half matte chocolate brown, and half rusty ("cola") shimmer, that would be perfect for Fall's earth-toned fashions. The colors are intense and long lasting, but go on smoothly with a brush. And, the shiny, black feminine-sized compacts with mirror and gold cat logo make me, well, purr!
Playboy: the very name conjures up visions of ultra-sexy vixens--the stuff of male fantasy. To my pleasant surprise, the products from Playboy Beauty are serious and high quality--the stuff of fantasies for women! Playboy Beauty Liquid Luxe Eye Shadow $17.50, for example, in "Sweet Chastity" is a super-frost, wanded, liquid shadow in champagne pink that smoothes on sheer but layerable, dries quickly, and stays put through whatever you have planned. There are three other super-pearly, subtle colors: a mint green, a peach, and a soft brown. For pressed powder lovers, Hollywood Nights Eye Shadow Duos $16.00 are unmistakably sassy, in square, clear, hot pink, plastic compact, rimmed in gold and featuring a large, iconic, rabbit-head Playboy logo. There are a dozen, shimmery but subtle color combos such as "Star Dust," (a shimmery, bronze-y brown paired with a very light camel, semi-shimmery, highlighter). The adorable cases make application just plain fun, and the shadows? They're beautiful!
Every now and then I get a look at a product line that I just fall in love with at first sight. That's the case with Bésame Cosmetics. First, there's the packaging: a retro, post-World War II look that makes me fee like a Hollywood starlet. The lipstick, called Enchanted Lipstick $18.00 arrives in small, golden bullets no taller than your thumb, decorated with delicate curlicues, oriental-inspired flowers, and script lettering that look like late 1940's originals-perfect for even a tiny purse. Inside, a slim stick of lipstick with sharply sculpted edges for easy application, looks like a precious jewel. The moist, semi-matte lipstick has a mix of beeswax, kaolin, carnuba and candelilla to keep lips soft and sexy and a hint of vanilla scent to keep things, fun. The colors slide on so smoothly it's a little miracle. The colors are not subtle--they're bold, vibrant, and some are supposedly exact replicas of colors worn by some of Hollywood's brightest stars: Rita Hayworth, Delores Del Rio, Marilyn Monroe, and Lauren Bacall. I love red, but with my warm skin I often find them too dark and too blue-based. Bésame is known for it's signature red collection, with something for everyone. I was dubious, as I slicked on "#315 Red Velvet," a rich, glam, red. To my amazement, that somehow, this deep, dramatic red, worked! Even more amazing, the lipstick stayed true to color and it lasted, and lasted, and lasted...for hours...even through drinks. I had the same experience with "#203 Chocolate Kiss," a rich, chocolate brown (combined with the red, it made another, amazing color), and the camel-colored "#205 Champagne." If you want something beautiful, effective and wonderful for Fall, these are simply fabulous.
Lucy B, new to our reviews, is the creation of makeup artist Lucky Baldock-Sacchi. The line is, apparently, the only one to utilize the vibrational healing properties of Australian Flower Essences (rare ingredients that harmonize your state of mind as they nourish your skin). I really like the Lucy B Tinted Lip Balm $17.00 (photo) that feature semi-sheer pots of lip tint (along with nourishing Vitamin E) to soothe, improve, and protect. There's also a slight, watermelon scent. For Fall, "Nudie" is a pink nude with a hint of mauve and beige, perfect with everything you'll be wearing this season. Although I'm usually a bit wary of red lip balms, "Ruby Red" tinted my lips smoothly, leaving just a shine and a bit of luxurious, red color, along with a silky, pampering, feel. When I added a coat of Lucy B Fresh Juice $16.00 in "Hibiscus," the squeeze tube gloss ramped up the allure quotient to max, turning my lips into a sheer, clear, red-tinted, patent-leather, shine-reflecting, sex-kitten pout! For Fall, "Coconut Kiss" is a glimmery, shimmery bronze that gives the same, sexy, effect (and also adds a soft, luxurious feel to otherwise, ho-hum lips). I can't say for sure why I suddenly felt more alluring and confident (could it really be the Australian Flower Essences?) but I was definitely impressed with Lucy B, and hope to review more products in future columns.
MAC Cosmetics already has about a gazillion, gorgeous lip products to suit a dizzingly diverse array of skintones and styles. However, Plushglass $16.50 is a dazzling, new addition. Its sheer, lip plumping gloss in a variety of formulas, from clear to frosty, to shimmery, running the gamut from Wildly Lush," a nearly nude, and "Cushy White," a nearly clear with a touch of creamy pearl," to pretty pinks such as "Bountiful," a super-pearly medium pink and "Full for You" (a deep, sheer, blue pink with silver-shimmer," to warmer shades such as "Fulfilled," a bright, sheer peachy-pink and light, soft pink with white pearled "Pretty Plush," and even a super-fashionable chocolate brown shot through with gold pearl, that makes an amazing alternative to the heavy and deep chocolate browns about town these days. All in all, there are a dozen shades to glam your lips with silky gloss, shimmer and pearl, while you enjoy a lovely, vanilla-y scent, a slight, lip-plumping tingle, and even healthier, younger-looking lips over time. Its MAC Lipglass, enhanced--just wonderful! For traditionalists, MAC also has a number of new Lipglass and lipstick shades, which we will review in our October columnso watch for them! Amplified Creme Lipstick $14.00 in "Rockocco" is another way to get your glam on. This on is a yellow-based, deep red that is super intense but still leaves lips moist and healthy looking. Think bright, bold, 50's red mixed with a modern formula that stays put and won't land on your lip line or teeth. If you have been afraid of trying a dark red, this is one that has all the elements of drama and sophistication you expect from red lip, with a ladylike feel that is more Audrey Hepburn than wild child. TIP: For the deep, dark brown and dramatic look of the season that is so perfect for now as well, try MAC Matte Lipstick $14.00 in "Roam Free." It's a deep, earthy brown with a copper pearl frost that gives lips a genuine, drama-laden, golden bronze a bronzer for your lips!
Wed heard so much about Jemma Kidd Make Up School Cosmetics that we tracked them down, and gave their Ultimate Plumping Lip Duo, a try. Jemma Kidd is a makeup artist with her own school in London. The Lip Duo features a double-ended, black, matte wand with a very slim, no-color lip balm on one end, and a lip color on the other (ours was a creamy, matte mauve--a good alternative to deep berries this Fall). The balm contains non-drying apricot oil and karite butter, to soften, moisturize, and prepare for lips for color. You can wear that alone, or use it first to condition, adding color on top for a light, sheer look. Wear the lip color alone if you want a deeper, more intense color. The color was luxurious, and neophytes will appreciate the included brochure with application tips. TIP: slim lipsticks are easy and precise, but they are more fragile than traditional, thicker lipsticks. To avoid breaking them, don't swivel up too much color--only a bit above the top of the base of the tube so there's enough to apply it, and still enough to support the weight of the stick, below.
When you're wearing muted colors, such as the ones you'll be seeing in stores, everywhere this Fall, it helps to add color to your palette, if only on your face. For lips, a perfect compliment is the Balanced Matte Lipstick $20.00 from Sue Devitt Studio. "Northern Lights," a new color from the "Viking Voyage" collection, is a deep, shimmering rose that adds sparkle and color in one swipe of the chic, matte, silver, tube. The color isn't overwhelmingly intense, but it is enough to stand up to demure black, gray or brown. Add shine with a Mini Lip Gloss $18.00 with protective, essential oils that heal and soothe lips, while offering a long-lasting, non-sticky, silky, glamorous shine. "Taza" is a sheer, burnt amber with coppery glimmer. Toasty "Manama" is a shimmery, burnt gold that looks amazing on deeper complexions or with a tan, and I like it layered over a peach or coral lipstick for palefaces. "Riffa" is a silvery shimmery with ivory undertones, that looks great alone, or over just about any color you'd like to soften a wee bit! I love the mini-sized wanded tubes that make it easy to take one, or two, or all, everywhere.
There is nothing quite as luxurious as a beautiful lipstick that feels as beautiful as it looks on your lips. From Giorgio Armani Beauty comes ArmaniSilk High Color Cream Lipstick $25.00 in a "MicroSilk" formula that colors even less-than-perfect lips smoothly, with creamy color that simply melts onto lips. For Fall, there are four colors to suit every complexion. Armani products were not the ones used in the filming of the hit movie, "The Devil Wears Prada," but I wouldn't be surprised but the sophisticated, designer vibe of these products are a great choice for fashionistas! "#18" is a creamy, pale pink with a touch of mauve that makes me think of the subtle but richly chic makeup that Meryl Streep as fashion boss, "Miranda Priestly" sports in the film. Ditto "#27," a light, iridescent beige-pink that touches lips, lightly, with color, but enough so you know lips look polished. First Assistant "Emily" might covet #29," a shimmery, golden taupe that also gives lips more color than a "bare" nude, but more subtle than camel or the usual, dull taupe. Anne Hathaway, as Andrea, the Second Assistant and the film's heroine, would look perfect in #30," a rich, iridescent, raspberry red. All of these colors are rich-looking and give lips a sophisticated, polished look, but it's less "obvious" than in season's past. The colors are intense but muted, so they don't scream as much as smolder, softly. The lipsticks themselves are a joy to wear. Long lasting, silky, moist--everything you could ever want from a lip color. But hurry, these are limited edition, just until Mid-September.
Bourjois informs us that pearls are big for this season, and has incorporated that fashion statement into their latest lip colors. Lovely Rouge Perle $14.00 are lip sheers with a bit more color than the sheer, Summer versions. They're luxe, smooth, creamy, and full of sensuous, light-reflecting, pearly shimmer. The ultra-moisturizing formula is infused with antioxidants and vitamin E to protect and nourish lips--a definite plus. The four colors in this collection, the hippest colors of the season, are not terribly intense, so they can even be layered, if you want to make a color that is all your own. "Rose Perlé" is an American beauty rose to warm lips with just enough color to add romance. "Rose Doux Perlé" is a sheer, delicate, subtle, light pink. "Corail Perlé"" is a sheer, soft coral that warms and brightens your complexion, just a bit. "Brun Perlé" adds a soft, browned-pink that is a nice substitute for a deep plum, if that's not a flattering color for you, but you're craving a rich, deep color to go with maroons, plums, and browns. We love the pearly cases that color-coordinate with the lipstick, so you'll never have to guess which one you want. We also adore the little, round mirrors on the tops, that make fumbling for a mirror to apply a lipstick, a thing of the past. We think you'll want at least one of these (or all of them) in your Fall lip wardrobe.
Playboy Beauty products, new to this column, are simply fun to use. The hot, pink compacts prominently feature the Playboy bunny logo in shiny gold, making the application of these products lots of eye-catching, flirty fun. The hot, pink compacts prominently featuring the Playboy bunny logo in shiny gold, make the application of products not only easy, but lots of flirty fun. A case in point (sorry, bad pun) is Playboy Calendar Girl Lipstick $14.00. The clear, hot pink cases are festooned with plenty of bling, in the form of gold, mini playboy bunny logos, and the finial at the top is a 3-dimensional version! Our pick for Fall is "Miss September," a moist, opaque, warm brown that is perfect for Fall fashions. There are eight, wearable colors in this collection, and other Playboy Lipstick formulas...and we hope to review more of these in future columns. Use Twice The Pleasure Lip Liner Duos $14.50 in any of 5 rich nude and earth toned combos, to complete your lip look.
There are a lot of chocolate and berry-inspired cosmetics on the market, this season, but not everyone finds the look flattering. One that lets you go dark but manages to avoid the harshness of deep browns and berries is a Lipstick $23.00 by NARS called "Tanmango." The matte black compact with chic, white NARS lettering around the top might be reason enough to covet this lipstick, but inside, the product itself coats lips in silky, smoothly applying, moist color in a glorious, deep cabernet that blends brown and deep wine in a universally flattering shade. This one might just become a new, favorite of fashionable women for every season. On the other end of the spectrum we are delighting in the next-to-nude look on our lips with an unusual product - NARS Lip Gloss $23.00 colors lips with a beautiful, light-reflecting, caramel pink that looks like you were born with your now-sensuous, lips, in the silkiest, most luxurious gloss we've tried this season. It's a treat, and a treasure!
I love the look of coral. Depending upon the hue and intensity, a coral is an inviting tone that is flattering to everyone. Add a bit of light-reflecting shimmer and shine, and you've got yourself one hot lip color! The newest and greatest coral is 24 Karat lips $19.00 by Jane Ireldale in "Jane." It's not only a universally flattering color, it's the perfect blend of moist, glowing color (thanks to genuine, 24-karat gold flakes) and natural, edible zinc oxide that helps protect lips to SPF 18 protection. The glistening, moist, golden coral seems to simmer with excitement on your lips, and on a practical note, you will enjoy the way the peppermint leaf extract, natural wax, and nice, vanilla mint flavor. mint flavor work to make your lipstick experience beyond normal...and the way your lips feel soft, moist, youthful...and gorgeous! TIP: A lip brush makes a great lipstick, even better, by allowing you to control the application and create a more precise lip line. Try a nicely formed, 100% Sable Lip Brush $15.00 and tuck a no-fuss, portable, Retractable Lip Brush $17.00 into your bag--pull it and the brush head appears; push it and it retracts into it's own tube.
There may be a chill in the air, but your lips are still exposed to sunlight. You can protect them and beautify them at the same time, with Baume Prodigieux Lèvres $23.00 by Nuxe. There are so many good-for-your-lips ingredients packed into this wanded tube it's hard to name them all, but a silky blend of mango butter and sunflower phytoceramides softens lips, while shea butter soothes and prevent chapping, sweet almond oil adds moisture, and SPF 15 plus anti-oxidant Vitamin E protect against sun, wind, pollution and cold, just to name a few of the benefits. Even better, there are ingredients to plump up your lips, making them look full and sexy, while a hint of light-reflecting pink makes them glisten, invitingly. The icing on the cake? A subtle, but pleasing, mango scent. Alone or over another color, this one packs a powerful beauty punch.
We love anything from Smashbox Cosmetics, but their Lip Glosses $18.00 are particularly nice. As with all Smashbox products, these were created for makeup artists, photographers, and models, but they are a top choice of fashionistas, as well. The chic, sheer, shimmery, wanded glosses are nearly perfection--silky, long lasting, and sexy. For Fall, "Brilliant" is a super-shiny, shimmery bronze that lights up the earthtones of Fall. Ditto "Luminous," a pretty peach. A nice plus is that they are unscented, so you don't have to deal with fragrances you might not like. These are sheer, but you can add a lot more shimmer by adding a few layers, all the way to patent-leather shine. Still, they won't clump or feel gooey. We also admired the long, slim, clear tubes with matte black tops, that make application a luxurious pleasure.
Aveda's lip looks for Fall runs the gamut from the sheer, soft nude pink called "Zingiber" Lip Color Sheer $15.00 and the super-shiny, herbal scented, nude-but-barely-there, shimmery, wanded Lip Glaze $15.00 in "Celestial Quartz," to a total departure from subtle: an awesome, intense, super-dramatic, matte berried Lip Color Concentrate $14.00 called "Roseapple." Aveda products win our affection for their natural ingredients, environmentally-friendly packaging, flexible design (use with or without their environmetal compacts, and of course, high quality, and always-fashionable products. For extra shine and light-reflecting sexiness alone or over any other lip product, slick on a coat of Lip Shine $13.50 in "Golden Prism," a clear, moisturizing gloss, laced with gold shimmer, that will make you look and feel like the goddess you know you are.
When a supermodel creates a makeup line, you know she's designing from experience! A case in point is the Tinted Lip Balm $10.00 by Lauren Hutton. Simple pots with clear sides (so you can see the color) and silvery tops hold very hard-milled (a little is all you need) lip balms with a hint of color-- a beautifying balm you'll want to investigate. These are packed with good-for-your-lips ingredients such as shea butter, jojoba, avocado, and aloe. These come in various shades to flatter different skin tones. We tried "Light (pink) and Dark (rosed brown) and Clear." All of Ms. Hutton's products are meant to enhance, not mask, a woman's natural beauty. These are so sheer and natural they really just slightly pump of the color of natural lips. They're universally wearable and better than bare...a boon for summer-weathered lips that need TLC now, and throughout the year.
One of the slogans of Freeze 24-7 is "nature, not needles." PlumpLips IceSticks $42.50 are pricey lip plumpers in luxe, mini "mailing-tube" type packaging. Inside, a wanded lip gloss in one of six sexy, ready-for-your-close-up, colors (and a clear) add at slight, pleasant tingle to your lips along with sheer, shiny, light-reflecting color. The gloss itself is truly exceptional. In other words, you DO get what you've paid for: lip plumping ingredients that don't irritate your lips, and a super-hydrating formula that feels sinfully silky and sexy. After battling dull, dry lips all Summer, even the clear gloss enhanced lips to their fullest (pun intended). If clear is too casual, slick it over your favorite color. I also liked "FirstFrost," a slightly iridescent sheer pink, and "PlumCicle," that adds just the right touch of sheer berried plum to lips. These glosses are so much better than bare it isn't funny--and I adore the silky, non-gooey shine and a light, vanilla scent. The magic is made with: Retinol, white orchid, Niacin (a derivative of Vitamin B) and "GABA," a good-for-your-youthful-looks, proprietary cocktail in many Freeze 24-7 products. You're paying for cutting edge technology, and you'll get the sexiest, shiniest, most gorgeous lips, ever.
Are you looking for new, Fall lipsticks, but you don't want to pay a lot? IsaDora, a line from Sweden, will appeal to women of all ages with emollient, creamy lipsticks in a dozen colors. The shiny, black, slightly squared lipstick tubes with silvery middle band and the IsaDora logo are attractive. The products are fragrance free and hypo-allergenic, with the feel of a luxe product but not the price tag. Perfect Moisture Lipstick $9.99 has a formula based on pure vegetable oils and panthenol to nourish lips. There are supposedly light protecting filters, as well. The lipsticks themselves are quite creamy and feel lovely on lips. "Winter Rose," is a pearly, plummed-up rose which will look perfect with the more subdued tones of this season. Ditto "Sheer Amethyst," a soft, non-shimmery mauved-pink. "Dusty Rose," is a universally flattering, shimmery, medium toned pink that will span the seasons, beautifully.
When it's time to put away the beach umbrella, predictably, the berry lipsticks arrive. For those with warm complexions, berries and plums, always fashionable, are often hard to wear, but Lightshine Lip Gloss $4.95 by Prestige Cosmetics highlights lips with new version of berry that is universally wearable. "Martinique" is more pink than purple, more shimmer than pearl, and just a wee bit more opaque than the super-sheer glosses of Summer. The raspberry pink is warmed up enough to flatter virtually everyone. It's loaded with super-shimmery, patent-leather shine, while it's silky texture, long lasting color, and vanilla scent, make this one a 'must-have" for the Fall. A lip liner such as Lightshine Sheer Gloss Liner $4.95 is a modern way to polish a lip look, while still maintaining control over the color. "Calla," a sheer pink, goes well with pink and raspberry glosses.
Gabriela Hernandez, the creator of Bésame Cosmetics, is not only a makeup historian, she's managed to combine the glamour of another era, with the modern technology of today, for a product that's fun to use, and great to wear. The Pressed Powder Compact comes with one fill $45.00/ two fills $55.00/refill only $15.00. Inside the red, velvet pouch you get gorgeous, gold metal, mini-mirrored compacts with graceful red enamel flowers on the top . Inside there's a soft powder foundation that simply glides over every imperfection on your face, leaving it looking movie-star perfect A magnet on the compact base allows you to change the color of Cashmere Powder (with green tea and aloe) in seconds. Simply insert a pen tip in the handy indentation on the side, to lift out the powder pan. The powders come in light, medium and dark. I tried "light," which smoothed my skin to a perfect porcelain. The Concentrate Souffle Foundation $32.00 gives you opaque coverage, with Vitamins A, C, and E for nourishment. As with all the Bésame products I've tried so far, the products simply slide on amazingly effortlessly. These are not sheer, but they are moist and believable, not at all "mask" like. The consistency out of the jar is super creamy, but it's not greasy and it is exceptionally long lasting for a product this moist. TIP: You can even use these as concealers! "Bisque," is the lightest, neutral shade, but there are six other colors including a deep bronze. Once you find your shade, you'll be hooked.
The Gel-to-Powder Blush $20.00 by Sue Devitt Studio is one of those perfect, "transitional" colors of the season. "North Cape" looks like a typical, warmed bronze with lots of shimmer in the round, matte, silver compact, but on your skin, it adds an amazing glow that really looks natural, but almost as if it was a glow from within. This works on everyone, whether your skin is deep, or pale. The gel smoothes on easily and quickly, and stays put until you want to remove it. If your tan is fading, or you just feel the need for a superb, bronzed blush, this is it!
Giorgio Armani defines the Fall face with a shimmery nude palette that looks much better than bare. Whether you're looking to revive a fading Summer glow, or you just want a romantic, but not-too obvious, glow, Sheer Cream Blush $40.00 in #7" will give you a beigy-pink hue with just a hint of shimmer to liven up the look. Armani's sheer blush has a creamy powder texture that transforms into a fluid on your skin. The color is soft, but buildable, so you can get a more dramatic color if you wish. The product will work well with all skin types, even those with oily skin will find the color stays put, and stays true. TIP: you can use this on your eyelids and lips too, for a unified color theme.
The Colourful Horizons Express Face Palette $35.00 by Clarins is not only beautiful to look at, with its sleek and shiny, eye-popping, red metallic mirrored compact, but easy to accent cheeks with a trio of universally-flattering colors of peach, pink and browned-beige, for highlighting, blush, and contour. The silky powders seem to instantly melt into your skin, creating a believable, light-from-within, glow that will amaze you. We tried this on different skintones and it looked different, but beautiful, on all. These versatile colors can be used on eyes as well, and the browned-beige, dusted lightly over your entire face with the included, Lucite handled, soft and very nice mini blush brush, "tans" it just a tad. This versatility, plus great powder blushes, make this one of our picks for a "must-have."
As Summer starts to fade away, that glow you've worked on all summer may fade, too. Put the roses back into your cheeks with the Blushing Duo $4.95 by Prestige Cosmetics in "Seagrass" a rose-colored blush. A generous round of pressed powder blush in deep rose is coordinated with a highlighter of light, shimmery, peachy blush. We have always liked Prestige's simple compacts and fashion-minded colors at truly affordable prices. This blush is no exception.
I have always been attracted to the chic, shiny, silvery square cases of FACE Stockholm. Play up an ivory complexion with Pressed Powder #1 $24.00. There are other colors too, of course, but what is special about this one is the smooth and silky formula, that gives face a perfect, matte finish without being chalky or hard looking. It won't turn colors, and it won't let shine break through. We like the silky feel, the smooth application but I've got to admit: I always feel very pampering, pulling out my silver FACE Stockholm compact...and isn't feeling special, one of the best reasons to wear makeup in the first place? Another silky treat is the Pressed Powder Blush $18.00 in "Bamboo," a completely matte, sheer rusty bronze, with just a hint of peach to warm up complexions now throughout the Winter. It looks really dark in the round, shiny silver mirrored compact, but used with a light touch, you can add just a little, or a lot, to flatter just about everyone.
Bobbi Brown's newest trio of Powder Blush $20.00 each colors come with cheerful-sounding names: Cranberry, Clementine, and French Pink. All three work well with the new, limited edition, chocolate-toned makeup shades in Bobbi Brown's Chocolate Collection. The high-quality, sophisticated, matte colors are soft and natural, and the products dusts on evenly, easily, and smoothly. It won't turn colors, even now, when the weather may still be a bit on the warm and sticky side. My favorite is "French Pink," a clear, cheerful pink with a hint of rose, that will warm up cheeks for all complexions, and add that much-needed bit of color when wearing brown, gray and all the rest of this season's colors.
One of our reviewers dubbed Neutrogena Shimmer Sheers All Over Color $8.99 in "Enlightened" the "last rose of Summer." We think it's fitting. This portable, little squeeze tube of all-over color is s super-sheer, slightly glowing, rich pink-gold that can be used as an illuminating color on lips and cheeks. Aloe, Vitamin A, C and E and conditioners also help to make skin smoother and softer, as you beautify. The color glides on effortlessly and smoothly--even someone who is all thumbs can blush like a pro. A single application gave our fading Summer glow new life, with a gorgeous rose that looked natural, and make our complexions come alive. On lips, the same color looks matte and pearly (we suggest using your favorite lip gloss on top). You'll forget you're wearing it, but others will notice & admire.
If you're going from bronze to blotchy. Bonne Belle has a number of bronzers to help you add a bit of cosmetic sunshine to those last days of Summer. Easy and affordable is Blend 'N Glow $4.50. A clear, round, plastic compact showcases four wedges of lightweight powder blush/bronzer in an oil-absorbing formula to control shine. Sweep your brush over all four colors for a shimmery, sheer glow, or use each color individually for a blush, highlight, or spot bronzer. "Natural Blush" has warm, light shades including pale peach, pink, rose and a very light copper --perfect for palefaces. "Sun Kissed" has slightly deeper version, nice for light to deep medium complexions. Add a touch of gold glimmer on your bare face, over your bronzer, or on shoulders, lips and eyes with Glimmer Bronze $3.95 in "gold 'n Glitz." This loose bronzing powder is very shimmery, but not at all glittery, so it gives you a sun kissed look that's pretty, not blindingly "club kid." TIP: You can use a soft blush or powder brush to apply this loose powder to large areas, but use your fingertip to apply it to lips and eyes, or to dot in strategically wherever you fancy it.
FACE FASHION: (continued)
If you're craving a bit of plum for your face palette that isn't too over-the-top purple, the latest Petal Essence Face Accent $17.00 from Aveda will satisfy your desires, without making you look like a disco queen from way-back-when. One powder pan holds three colors of blush for contour, highlight, and cheek, that can be mixed together or layered: a bright berry, a warm mauve, and a nude peach. These are sheer, so you can add a little, or a lot, and the colors stay beautiful and long lasting. Even if cooler shades of plum and berry aren't usually your preference, you'll find these easy to tone down by mixing and blending, so you get fashion, without making it a fiasco!
BEST BEAUTY HELPERS:
Now that Fall is upon us,
deeper lipsticks are de-rigeur. You'll need to be more precise than with glosses and
sheers, so the best way to dark colors (or any color, for that matter) is with a good lip
brush. The Clinique Lip Brush $15.00 is a silvery tube
small and slim enough to pop into your makeup bag. Still, it has a full-sized bristle head
which is beautifully shaped to help you apply products, precisely. An additional
bonus to the brush is Cliniques
unique, cutting-edge, antibacterial technology that is designed to help you maintain a
high level of hygiene, too.
It has been a while since we reviewed products, from The Laundress, but this company has specialty fabric care products and accessories. One that that are essential to keep your fine clothes looking and feeling great, season after season. Cashmere looking a bit world-weary? You should have used the Wool & Cashmere Shampoo $16.00 16 fl. oz. This very mild, vanilla-colored wash combines cedar extracts and sulfate-free shampoo to clean and preserve the natural components of the yarns...and even better, you can use it in both the washing machine (a 16-oz bottle gives you 8 full washes) as well as for hand wash. There's a very light, cedar scent (and we know how moths dislike cedar). It's never too late to start taking care of expensive wool products, so this season, so make the investment now, and keep those woolies looking soft, clean, and wonderful throughout the season, and into the next one. TIP: hand washing saves you money over dry cleaning, but be careful to block woolens properly or you may stretch the fabric. See the video on how to hand wash cashmere on the company website. Deal with dark colored products, differently, too, with another, specialty shampoo/detergent from The Laundress. Darks Detergent $19.00 33.5 fl. oz keeps is formulated to keep your darks, dark. It has a color guard and stain fighting ingredients, that clean without stripping intense color out of fabric You can pre-treat stains with this one, and you'll get 16 washes per bottle. Many of The Laundress products have a variety of scent options, but the Darks Detergent comes in "Classic," a pleasing, light, clean scent combining yang, citrus, musk and sandalwood. We weren't able to test this product long enough to watch our darks, fade, but we believe that using a gentle, specialty cleanser like this one helps maintain the health and well being of your clothes. You're spending your hard-earned dollars on great things....it just makes sense to protect them with high quality products such as these from The Laundress. . TIP: Did you know that most fading occurs in the dryer cycle? Air dry your dark denim for best results.
I have a personal confession: I loathe dirty jewelry and dull gems! Be it a diamond, or a cubic zirconia, ladies, these are meant to sparkle! Alas, oils from contact with skin, dirt, and soap take it's toll, leaving your fashionable gems, gummy and dull. Usually, I travel with some jewelry cleaner in a jar, but that tends to be bulky and messy. Hagerty Jewel Clean has introduced the Hagerty Jewel Clean Atomizer $7.00. Simply remove the purse-sized, black, bullet-shaped atomizer from it's faux leather pouch, and spritz your ring, bracelet, earrings, etc. Brush with the enclosed mini brush for instant jewelry revival! The formula is safe for all jewelry including soft stones such as opals, and it is refillable! I can't tell you when a little helper has made me smile, so much. TIP: although most people will want just a few of these handy helpers, buy 36 atomizers and you can imprint them with a logo. Give the girls something they'll always remember you by--so perfect for a sweet 16 or bridal shower.
Skin primers are no longer used just by makeup artists, and the newest are not only user-friendly, they prepare your face like canvas, to receive and hold onto the products you apply. One I have recently discovered is Silk Purrfection $25.00 by Cat Cosmetics. The frosted plastic tube with black top is thin enough to be portable, and just a tiny bit of this velvety primer will make your skin impressively silky and smooth. Use this under your foundation, and you'll be rewarded not only with skin that feels soft, but a more velvety application that lasts and stays true to color longer than without this essential first step. TIP: although this product is primarily for your face, it can also multi-task to smooth lips, hands, and in a pinch, dry or frizzy hair.
Foaming products seem to be all the rage, and why not? They're fun to use, easy to apply, and if the product is great, you'll see the results you've plunked down your hard-earned cash for. Such is the case with a new product by Olay called Definity Deep Penetrating Foaming Moisturizer $27.99 1.4 fl. oz. What makes this unique is the claim by Olay that the product actually penetrates 10 surface layers deep to hydrate from within and help to reverse the appearance of past skin damage, while allowing skin to naturally rebuild collagen. We can't say whether or not this is true, as we aren't able to use a product long enough to judge, but we can say that a spray nozzle dispenses a lightweight foam moisturizer that quickly absorbs into your skin leaving almost no residue, and softer skin...and that alone would be impressive enough for us to purchase it. For those who love technical information, the Definity products (there's a line of them--we'll be reviewing them as we get them) has an Olay-exclusive "Essential Glycosamine Complex"(N-acetyl glycosamine in concert with Niacinamide, to reduce the appearance of age spots and blotchiness and fine lines, while it tones, hydrates, softens, and preserves moisture. Now that the Summer is really over, consider: regardless of your age, if you have had too much exposure to the sun's damaging rays, this high-tech moisturizer is worth a try, especially at such a reasonable price.
Iceland is a rugged and new land that is still terra-forming, and when tourists and locals want to relax and pamper themselves there, they visit one of the geo-thermal, mineral-rich springs. On my trip to Iceland's Blue Lagoon, I vividly remember how incredibly soft and great looking my skin felt when I had soaked in it--a true fountain of youth! Skyn ICELAND, new to our reviews, uses some of Iceland's most nurturing resources, boosted by advanced skincare science, to create products that help relieve, heal and replenish chronically stressed skin. The easy to use line targets exhausted, irritated and depleted skin so that it emerges like mine did from that Blue Lagoon--miraculously soft, clear, fresh and glowing. In the Icelandic language, "skyn" means "senses," and you'll see a connection between mind and body when using these rejuvenating products. A great way to test out the line is with the Skyn ICELAND 5 Day Detox Kit $45.00. You get four fabulous, travel-sized products tucked into a tinted sea-blue plastic, snap-front, re-useable bag. Over the course of just 5 days, these products work together to heal exhausted, irritated and depleted skin. What a healing soak in the Blue Lagoon does for your body, The Skyn ICELAND 5 Day Detox Kit will do for your face--making it softer, fresher, and more alive. Of course, you can purchase full-sized products ($30-$75). Featuring in the kit are four of the line's must-have products, all feature Skyn ICELAND's exclusive "Biospheric Complex" designed specifically to combat the effects of stress on your skin, using natural resources from Iceland, with biotechnology to help soothe, heal and restore skin. Arctic Face Mist is a sea-blue tinted, freshly scented face mist with minerals and vitamins to soothe and stabilize stressed skin, and refresh it whenever you feel the urge. Glacial Facial Wash is a light green, mild, lightly foaming cleanser that soothes stressed skin with Icelandic glacial waters and beneficial minerals. It detoxifies and purifies without stripping skin of its natural moisture (and I can personally say that my skin felt super-soft after cleansing with this product). You also get The ANTIDOTE Quenching Daily Lotion is a lightweight but hydrating lotion with a hint of a cooling feeling, that helps to decongest, detoxify and stabilize skin, while protecting it from the ravages of stress (with daily use). Oxygen Infusion Night Cream, a gentle and rich, freshly-floral scented cream infused with natural extracts and nurturing bioactive elements to help transform dull and unhappy skin back into skin that's healthy and fresh, and keeps your newfound glow, going strong.
Even oily skin needs to receive moisture to look soft and
feel healthy. That's why we really like the Oil-Free Hydrator SPF 30 $39.50 1.5
fl. oz from Patricia Wexler M.D. All the products in her
line have something called "MMPi technology"(a proprietary
complex of botanical ingredients) that help to reverse signs of damage caused by
photo-aging of skin, such as loss of skins elasticity. The white lotion goes on
quickly and absorbs fast. It is fragrance free and won't clog pores. Even better, this
product helps to control shine as it moisturizes, thanks to an aluminum starch compound
present. There are a lot of ingredients with high-tech names in this one, and it was hard
to decipher which offer the sun protection, but at SPF 30, it's a godsend for oily and/or
acne-prone skin to do a triple duty: moisturize, protect, and control oil. We loved the
packaging, too: a slim, white column with simple, maroon lettering, and a unique
clear ring of plastic on the top. Twist that ring, and surprise!--a white pump top pops
out of the middle. Twist the ring to the left, and the pump swivels back down to keep it
clear and neat. Congrats to Dr. Wexler, a board certified
dermatologist and an associate clinical professor at the Mount Sinai School of
Medicine in Manhattan. She has innovative products that address the real needs of
real people and puts them in the reach of everyone.
I was strolling through Bloomingdale's a few months ago, and noticed the hot red Freeze 24-7 cartons. Intrigued, I zoomed in for a closer look, especially since Freeze 24-7 won the CEW (that's Cosmetic Executive Women) Enterprising Beauty Award--a true honor, for this award recognizes innovation and entrepreneurial spirit. The products are billed on the web site as: "the alternative to botox." I wouldn't go that far, but I would agree that they do what we would hope for: help reduce fine lines and wrinkles and generally offer a more firm, youthful appearance, without costly visits to a doctor's office, or perhaps, engaging in potentially dangerous and unpleasant procedures to find the "fountain of youth." I really like SkinGlacé $65.00 3.3 fl. oz. because this cleanser/mask is fast, easy to use, and multi-purpose. The packaging looks high-tech--a substantial ellipse of clear plastic that showcases the bright emerald green, foaming gel inside. The top has a traditional pump with an additional pin-cap to keep the product from drying out (nice touch). As a cleanser, this gentle cleanser quickly and thoroughly cleaned dirt, oil, and makeup from my face, leaving it refreshed, but without drying it out. As a Mask, simply apply it to a damp face, and let the tingly foaming action do it's job for just two minutes. Wash off, and voila! We can't tell you all the things that are in this, including a proprietary complex of bio-transformed rice bran that calms, conditions and hydrates (try saying that three times fast)! but our faces felt clean and soft, and we also found that it helped keep our faces just a bit more matte, while reducing the size of our pores a bit. And, we all felt a bit "firmer." TIP: this one can be used also as a shaving cream, so it's perfect to share with your special man (if you're feeling generous). For another hit of "high-tech" good-for-your-skin excitement, you won't be able to resist the IceCream Double Scoop $80.00 1.5 fl. oz that won't make you fat, but will make your face look great. This rich, super-charged, unscented, moisturizing product has something called "Myoxinol" to hydrate (the moisturizer is light and so it's even good for oily skin). The company says this product is "clinically proven to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and enlarged pores, immediately." Well, I applied it and waited the 60 seconds required to let the product work it's magic. I didn't see a huge difference in a flash, but my fine lines and wrinkles did were less pronounced, and my skin felt great. I also like the fact that this one has green tea extract to shield your skin from free radical damage and oxidative stress, that can make your skin thin, and elderly-looking, and it protects against harmful UVA/UVB rays, too. I'd call it a double-dip scoop of cream everyone will want to indulge in!
I remember Sea Breeze from my teenage years. The icy-blue astringent helped many a classmate deal with less-than-perfect, acne-prone, skin. Today, Sea Breeze Naturals provide budget-minded consumers with high-performance, high-tech product that use five natural sea salts and minerals to cleanse and heal, balance and protect. If your skin is sensitive, the Gentle Cream Cleanser $5.99 8 fl. oz is a gentle, creamy cleanser with a light, clean scent that effectively but gently cleanses away dirt, oil, and makeup, without drying out or irritating your skin. I like the handy pump bottle and the way my skin felt soft and smooth, but completely clean. For those with normal to oily skin, the Purifying Clay Cleanser $5.99 6 fl. oz arrives in a flip-top plastic tube, to give your skin a deep cleansing while exfoliating and minimizing oil. The antibacterial formula removes remaining dirt and pollutants, making it great for anyone whose skin is prone to breakouts. Despite the deep cleansing and mild exfoliating properties of this nice cleanser, my skin felt soft, not dried-out or irritated. Since Sea Breeze's popular product was (and still is) astringent, I'd like to mention that their Sensitive Skin Astringent $5.99 8 fl. oz works hard to get rid of any remaining dirt, oil or germs on your skin, and it has .5% salicylic acid--a boon to the acne-prone. I didn't review it, but there's an Oil Removing Astringent $5.99 8 fl. oz as well. Whether you're looking for a deep cleanser or a sensitive skin cleanser, Sea Breeze Naturals do the job, nicely.
Purpose Gentle Cleansing Bar $2.99 2.6 oz will take care of your skin, no matter what condition it's in. The hard-milled, amber-colored soap is hypo-allergenic and oil free, it won't clog pores or cause sensitive, irritated skin, any more distress as it removes dirt and oil, and whatever other "gunk" is on your skin that you don't want! It won't make your skin feel tight, dry or itchy, and it's a great product for people who tend to break out. TIP: 100% oil free soaps can sometimes feel a bit drying to mature skin. If this describes you, be sure to follow with a light, oil-free moisturizer.
the rich, earthy scent of white truffles almost as much as I like the taste, so it wasn't
a huge stretch for me to want to try the White Truffle
Luxury Shampoo Private Reserve $20.00 10.1 fl. oz
by Alterna. Although the scent of this pearly shampoo is
clean/marine, and not at all earthy, it does have white truffle oil and a luxe blend of
Alterna's enzymetherapy with other rare ingredients including Caspian Sea Caviar
Extract, and Mediterranean Arnica Flower (a very effective cleanser). The pretty,
Bordeaux-colored, slim, plastic bottle with gold lettering and gold and black flip-top
will make you feel special every time you shampoo, and the product inside gives hair great
pampering along with super clean, soft, shiny hair. There is also full spectrum UV
protection and it's great for daily use and safe for chemically-treated hair. Follow with Alterna
White Truffle Conditioner $36.00 10.1 oz. This also has white truffle oil,
Alterna's enzymetherapy® , and other precious and rare ingredients from around the
world. A unique, hydro-thermally activated conditioning system works with warm water to
lock in moisture and nutrients, helping to make hair look healthy and revitalized, without weighing it down. This conditioner also protects against heat of blow
dryers, and adds another dose of full spectrum UV protection to your tresses. If your hair is colored, straightened or you have a perm, these
exceptional, luxury products are not a splurge, they're a "must-have" investment
to protect your style. If your hair is already in good shape, you will love the luxe,
pampering and help your hair to look like it has had expensive salon TLC, but, for less.
Do you want full, flexible hair but don't have the "guts" to try something new? You only need common sense, and a little cash, not courage, to love Guts 10 Volume Spray Foam $13.95 1058 fl. oz by one of our favorites lines, Redken Fifth Avenue. Inside the tall spray can, sporting new, Redken packaging of brushed aluminum with bold, black numbers and an industrial feel, is a product that easily and quickly gives both body and great hold for your style, with a blow dryer or other, heat-activated tools. Reviewers like the lightly lingering, fresh, somewhat "melon-y" scent, and the nice spray nozzle (instead of the usual pumps that can dispense more product than you really need) from which springs rich foam mousse (a little goes a long way and the can is huge, so it's economical). Those with "difficult" hair will find it easy (with a good brush and heat styling) to make hair look smooth and soft, but without the type of heavy, greasy weight that sometimes accompanies volumizers and smoothers. Waves are in, limp hair and frizz, out! If needed volume isn't your challenge, but creating sleek, shiny hair is (especially after a Summer of baking it into frizz in the sun) you have just got to get a bottle of Glass 01 Smoothing Serum $14.95 2 fl. oz. The squeeze bottle looks small, but it does a mighty job of taming frizz and making your hair look like it does in those shampoo commercials, but for real life! Just a few drops of this clear gel, applied through wet (or dry) hair will make even coarse, thick, and fairly frizzy hair lie flat, look smooth, and behave. It's a small, but mighty, and mighty great to have in your hair care arsenal! TIP: when the weather report predicts rain, I always smooth a bit of this through my dry hair just before going out...really helps to keep super-frizz to a minimum.
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Sometimes I review a product captivates me not just because it works well, but because I enjoy using it. That's the case with Color Conserve $26.00 4.2 fl. by AVEDA. This product helps to preserve color treated hair and leave it super-shiny (quite nicely) but it's the scent that has got me so hooked. It smells intoxicatingly like ferns and herbs--so light. fresh, and invigorating in an attitude adjusting way. The product itself is great, with a variety of natural ingredients (Eg. Cinnamon bark, macadamia nut oils, Vitamin E, sea buckthorn, and wintergreen) to help lock in color and deliver a beautiful, reflective shine. This creamy treatment also protects your hair from environmental stresses, while exotic ingredients such as morikue Protein, sustainably sourced from local communities in Peru, help strengthen and repair your hair. Environmentally friendly 35% recycled plastic in flip top tubes, makes this a great choice for travel. It only took one treatment for me to know that Color Conserve is insurance for color-treated hair, and a superb product.
Like everything organic, your hair also is affected by the passage of time, becoming thinner and more dry as time marches on. But the real killer is environmental factors that make hair look dry, dull, and frayed. Pantene has developed a line of products their literature says: "turns back the strands of time" of up to two years worth of damage, in just one month." There wasn't a lot of technical information we could find, but the label does say it has an "advanced, multi-pro vitamin" formula and the product literature mentions a number of high-tech ingredients that help to detangle, and provide softness, smoothers, and shine. We didn't test it for the month, required, but we can say that the Pantene Pro-V Restoratives Time Renewal Shampoo $5.99 8.5 fl. oz and Conditioner $5.99 8.5 fl. oz make hair clean, shiny, soft, and healthy looking, and that might be enough, right there. We like the green, ivory and gold flip-top tubes that add a touch of luxury to an otherwise budget-minded (but high-performance) product. The light, fresh, clean scent with a touch of fruit will be appealing to both men and women. If your hair needs really serious conditioning, the Time Renewal Replenishing Mask $5.99 7.6 fl. oz will pamper, and help turn straw into silk, with a double-punch of future protection against the elements. This product contains the highest level of intensive conditioners in the entire Pantene line of products and yet, it is still safe for colored and chemically treated hair and hair of very types. Curlyheaded reviewers gave it "bravos." Apply after shampooing ---you'll see immediate improvement! Few at-home treatments can significantly reverse hair damage, but products like these are particularly helpful after too much sun, blow-drying and/or chemical treatments, and they do so at an affordable price. TIP: let your shampoo and conditioner do double duty as a makeup and hair-brush cleanser/conditioner. Mix a bit of Restoratives Shampoo, with a dash of conditioner in a cold-water wash for your natural bristle brushes to keep them soft and conditioned.
Summer might be winding down, but the effect of the sun's
damaging rays on your hair is a year-round problem. New this Summer from Ouidad
was the debut of Summer Shield $20.00 8 fl. oz. This pump bottle soft,
floral-scented conditioner from the connoisseur of curls (Ouidad) protects curly hair from
UVA/UVB rays at the beach or pool, along with chlorine, wind, etc. It has proteins
that help to reverse damage caused by styling, too. A proprietary ingredient
"Polyquaternium" is a clear, breathable coating that shields your hair from
harsh elements such as the sun's rays. The plastic pump bottle makes it totally
tote-able--simply spray it on wet or dry hair, and hit the beach (and still have soft,
shiny, touchable hair)--clever and effective.
I haven't had the opportunity to review Stephen Knoll hair care products frequently in this What Works beauty review column, but the Stephen Knoll New York Hair Care Collection caught my eye, especially the Deep Moisture Shampoo $19.50 10.1 fl. oz. It gently cleanses, revitalizes hair, and strengthens, but something called an exclusive "Re-Cuticle Technology" helps keep hair cleaner, longer, by replacing damaged cuticles to prevent water and chemicals from penetrating the hair shaft. I think this would be particularly appealing to women (and men) who are on-the-go a lot in an Urban environment, where there is simply no escaping pollution and dirt. We tried it, and found that our hair looked soft and clean, and yes, it did seem to stay that way, a bit longer than usual. Your hair (or his) will have great body and shine. If you can't visit the chic salon, bring the pampering home, for just a bit of an indulgence.
BATH & BODY PLEASURES:
We have always enjoyed the unique and fun-to-use products from Philosophy. Treat yourself to a bit of self-indulgence, and make your mood romantic and special, even if the summer didn't produce a summer love. All you need to do is drizzle a bit of Falling In Love Bubble Bath 24 fl. oz. $24.00 by Philosophy on a scrubby cloth or under the bath tab, and enjoy the sexy, very pretty blend of vanilla, jasmine, lily of the valley, musk, and blackberry. It is a bit sweet and yet, has an edgy, "caramelized sugar" aspect to it that adds sophistication. The generously-sized, clear, plastic "wine bottle" looks great on your sink or tub, and it's just as mood-pleasing as a glass of champagne. The scent is subtle, the dry-down, soft. It's the type of fragrance you want to wear when you're encouraging someone to get closer. They'll be rewarded with a soft, sexy scent that will make them want to get closer, still! This lovely scent is perfect for those late, Summer days when the weather is still warm and you want a soft and subtle scent, and equally effective as a "magnet" in the cooler months, perhaps, when you're snuggling close to a fire (hey, it's not called "Falling in Love" for nothing!)
Aloette Spa Indulgence Essential Body Crème $39.95 is so rich and thick, I actually had to squeeze the tube hard to sample the product. I was rewarded with a blend of essential extracts of ginger and coriander, mixed with organic orange oil and mango seed butter. The fresh, herbal, aromatherapy scent was so enticing that I couldn't help but smile as I massaged the moisturizer into my dry (now formerly dry) skin. I couldn't help sniffing it, and sniffing it, and even though I felt a bit silly, sniffing some more! It smelled that good! I always feel that a good body moisturizer should be fun, or at least, rewarding, to use. This one fits the bill, perfectly. You'll want to keep re-applying it not just for the way it makes your dry skin feel soft and renewed, but also to lift your spirits.
Wash those cares right outta your hair (and body) the easy, affordable way--with a great cleanser. LUSH has introduced six new, Bubble Bar Slices $4.95-$5.95 (depending on size). These colorful, strongly scented bubble bath soaps come in slices and shapes, and they do not contain preservatives or harsh surfactants that can irritate the skin. Baking soda helps soften your bath water, and even though they're not for eating, cream of tartar creates a soft texture. Some of my favorites include Green Day $5.45, a grass-green, pear-shaped bar with a green star cut-out appliqué (photo), and a woodsy scent of cedarwood, patchouli and clary sage to steady your emotions. Use this as an easy and affordable way to adjust your attitude before a challenging day, or after it. Flosty Gritter $4.95 is a pink colored, vanilla absolute/lavender/clary sage/benzoin. scented (LUSH's Shimmy Shimmy fragrance) round with iridescent silver and pink glitter infused throughout, like a starry sky. If you're not into baths, but you do bathe (we hope!) you can enjoy one of LUSH's unique fragrance experiences with a Bath Soap such as their awesome Rumptoff, a white-chocolate colored bar filled with dried apricots, cranberries, currants, and scented with olibanum oil (also called "frankincense") and bergamot. This soap smells nearly good enough to eat, but of course you know it's to help rejuvenate dry or mature skin, and helps you ease any tension of the day. Ice Blue is minty blend of sweet, wild orange, bergamot, and peppermint and a gorgeous, marine blue color that makes you feel cool and calm. Sea salt is also added to soften your skin and detoxify your body. You'll feel refreshed and ready to face whatever comes your way.
Beautiful lavender has relaxing, calming properties, but it's sometimes difficult to find an aromatherapy product where the scent doesn't overpower those good feelings in a daytime situation. That's why we like the Relax Therapy Lavender All-Day Moisture Body Lotion $7.95 7 fl. oz and Lavender Relaxation Body Mist $7.99 7 fl. oz by the Healing Garden. You get an initial "hit" of light lavender that lingers, but it doesn't knock you over, ever after. Reviewers liked the light, moisturizing effect of the body mist, coupled with the more intense Silkening and smoothing conditioners and hydrators in the Body Lotion, including good-for-your-skin Vitamins A, C, and E, grapeseed oil, and chamomile. The price is right, too. TIP: for a peaceful nights' sleep, and the pampering and soothing scent of lavender, spritz a bit of the body mist on your pillow, sheets, or covers. It's a nice take-along on an airplane, too.
As the Summer fades away, dry skin and fading tans can make you look and feel less than lovely. Fortunately, Neutrogena has specialty body care products with aromatherapy scents to make revitalizing your body, a pleasure. Wouldn't it be nice to wake up with soft, smooth skin that's better than when you went to bed? You can, with Relaxing Overnight Body Cream $8.57 6.0 oz. created to work at night. It uses naturally-derived ingredients such as lavender and chamomile to soothe and de-stress your skin, while you are in dreamland. The rich, floral-scented cream reminds us of vanilla pudding, and feels just about as sinful! Moisturize and gently exfoliate while you cleanse your body with the nifty, Neutrogena Energizing Body Wash $7.14 6.7 fl. oz. The cheerful citrus scent is the first thing you'll enjoy when you use this body cleanser, but the creamy liquid soap has ultra-fine micro beads that help you gently shed dead skin cells and surface debris, so your skin feels smoother than ever, and you'll get moisturizing benefits, too. When you have seriously dry skin, a blotchy tan, or you're planning to use a self tanner, exfoliation is a must. If your skin is sensitive, irritated by too much sun or wind, or you are just in the mood for some extra pampering, Relaxing Shower & Bath Gel $6.49 6.7 fl. oz is an affordable indulgence. Reviewers liked the clear gel infused with light, lavender scent and reported thoroughly cleansed, smooth skin. Lavender is known for calming properties, so squeezing a bit of this one from the flip-top tube into your bath will take you away from it all, for a while, anyway. Neutrogena Energizing Sugar Body Scrub $9.99 6.0 oz has natural sugar crystals and botanical oil to slough off dry, dead skin cells and make your skin smooth and soft, without being too harsh on skin. We liked how our skin felt soft, but since the sugar crystals gradually dissolve as you massage the product into your skin, you can't over-exfoliate. Glowing skin will quickly be yours, and that lovely, refreshing citrus scent, makes early morning wake-ups, easier.-
Despite the dangers of tanning, it seems that the fashionable tan isn't going away anytime soon. Since a self-tanner is the only safe way to get a bronze glow, without subjecting yourself to the sun's harmful rays, Summer Glow Daily Moisturizer $7.86 6.7 oz. by Neutrogena is the perfect way to have your sun and be safe in it, too. This daily moisturizer does what it is supposed to do--moisturize your skin, but it does a lot more than just that! It also builds a light tan gradually, and has broad spectrum sun protection SPF 20, so you can use it in the sun, as well. The flip-top tube makes it easy to tote. Some self-tanner have a certain "aroma" that make them less than pleasant to use, but Neutrogena keeps the scent light, so you'll be motivated to apply it generously (most people do not apply enough sun screen--it takes at least 1.4 cup each application). If you've fallen in love with the year-round summer-glow trend, try this one and you will be safe and browned.
Is your Summer bronze gone, but you long for a sun-kissed look once more? Get it in an instant, by applying a dusting of M-A-C Cosmetics Mineralize Skinfinish $24.00 in one of three, glowing shades from the "A Muse" collection. I particularly like "shooting Star," a soft caramel dusted with gold that deepens your complexion just a bit with sheer, soft, tan and a wash of golden glow. Applied with a large, soft brush, youll look better than if you sunbathed at the beach, without the skin damage. Theres also "Shimpagne," a beige shimmer with coppery sparkle, and "Porcelaine Pink," a soft, pinked-coral with gold highlights that looks great on deeper skin as well as on ivory gals. M-A-C- Cosmetics Powder Blush $17.50 in "Taupe," a soft, warm, matte beige, is a multi-tasking powder that works as light bronzer (use sparingly, diffused with a large, soft brush) or as it was intended, as a blush/contour. It looks very flat and deep beige, but it adds a surprising glow to cheeks of any complexion. Try it and youll seeits amazing!
We've introduced Playboy Beauty for this first time in this column, and if you've read it all the way through, by now, you know I'm really impressed with the high quality products that provide serious beautifies for women of all ages and personalities. Of the products we received to review, perhaps my favorite is the Playmate of the Year Shimmery Body Powder $28.00. Inside a pink shaker jar (this time, with metallic foil bunny logo in fuchsia), is a body shimmery powder applied with a puff, that not only adds sparkle, but glittery, coated crystals of varying sizes catch the light every time you make a move...and make skin look smoother, sexier....somehow, just better. Many shimmer powders simply fall right off, but I applied this one in the evening, and the next morning, a significant amount of it was still there....so it has staying power as well as sex appeal. TIP: The high level of shimmer and holographic glittery specks make this one best for evening or special events, but the nude powder, applied with a cute puff, compelled me to wear it in the daytime, too. I dot it on my lips with a light hand, and slick on my favorite gloss.
JUST FOR (or almost just-for) Men:
Dunhill Pure $45.00 1.7 fl. oz spray, $60.00 2.5 oz spray, is a new fragrance for men, that we think bridges the gap perfectly, between the lightest fragrances of Summer, and the much heavier scents suitable for Winter. The carton is shiny silver--reminiscent of the grill of a sports car. The bottle will add panache to his dresser or bathroom. It's a repro of a FIFI (Fragrance Foundation) award-winning, classic Dunhill flacon. It's a stunning, architecturally- inspired, substantial, sweeping curve of frosted glass, with a modern-deco look that feels heavy and significant in his hand. A shiny, smooth, silver cap is situated off-center, on the very cusp of the curve, adding a modern, sleek, feel. Inside, a cool, blue fragrance is fresh, with a touch of herbal vibe. The top notes are lotus leaves, white pepper, and cardamom, with middle notes of water iris and patchouli. Masculine, sensual base note of white cedarwood, musk and amber make the entire fragrance come together to be a true man's scent. Spray it, and it sniff an immediate, clean scent, that quickly dries down to a hint of herb, a hint of pepper, a smidgen of wood. It smells sophisticated and complex, but that hint of "freshness," lasts. This is not a teen scent--Dunhill fragrances are for men who are confident, sophisticated, and know their style. Our male reviewers loved it!
Quench Therapy by Olay Body is not just for men, but we think that men are also going to really like these effective, no-nonsense, extreme moisturizing products. Let's face it: no one likes itchy, dry skin and after a season of exposure to sun, sand, wind, and chlorine, a guy's got to do something to make the itching and flaking go away. The brand new Quench Therapy products come in light purple tubes with black and red lettering and flip caps, and they're unscented, so guys won't have to feel strange about using them. A concentrated amino-vitamin complex not only deeply moisturizes, but helps to protect the skin's moisture barrier, so skin can naturally begin to defend itself against further assaults of dryness. The Quench Therapy Repair Concentrate $6.99 4 oz works on the driest and hardest to handle areas of your body, such as heels, elbows and knees. We didn't test it for the week required to see dramatic results, but our male reviewers loved the immediate softness and relief they felt when they smoothed this one on their skin. The appeal of Quench Therapy Body Lotion $6.99 8.4 oz, $8.99 11.8 oz and Hand Cream $6.99 4.5 fl. oz was similar. These products are definitely meant for sharing--the entire family will love them. I'm keeping my tube of Hand Cream right next to me as I'm typing this, to keep the last flaky remnants of dry, itchy, flaky skin, at bay!
September is a great time to reconsider your hair care routine, especially after a season of Summer fun that can expose even great hair to damaging elements. Redken Go Clean shampoo $9.95 13.5 fl. oz is a daily shampoo for normal hair that cleanses gently but thoroughly, removing styling products, oil, and anything else that's landed on your hair (eg. smoke and the occasional spray of someone's drink from last night's partying). A unique formula includes protein and carbs to protect and strengthen hair, while menthol gives this clear, liquid a manly, after-shave type-scent and refreshes hair and scalp. Most guys won't have a clue why their hair looks so healthy, but we know: it's pathenol, to boost shine.
Most men won't admit it, but did you know that nearly as many men get regular manicures as women? They may not flaunt the latest ruby-red, but smooth, healthy-looking, well-groomed nails are the sign of a sophisticated man. For men who might not want to waste time in line at a nail salon, there's Amigo Matte Topcoat for Men $17.00 by SpaRitual. Although I know I'll hear some cyber-groans and protests, this is a product designed just for men. After all, guys like things that are easy, and Amigo Matte Topcoat gives the illusion of smooth, slightly buffed nails without any sort of "girly" shine--in a flash. Men use their hands constantly, so it just makes sense to make them look great. The product isn't inexpensive, but compared to the time and money women spend in nail salons, it's a veritable bargain. Why wouldn't a man want to protect his nails and look great?
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and stand tough might be commanding statements to meet a challenge in
life. They're also two styling gel products from the For Men line from Redken,
great for meeting men's styling needs, with ease. Grip tight $10.95 5 fl. oz
is a clear gel with a light, fresh, marine scent. Silicone makes hair shiny and adds texture to modern styles. Unlike many men's
grooming products that contain alcohol and other types of drying ingredients, this
anti-drying formula keeps hair in good shape, while it styles. The strong, but non-sticky,
holding formula, controls hair for a long-lasting (and flake-free) look. For hair that
absolutely needs to super-strong hold to look good (eg. spiked styles). our
reviewers loved stand tough extreme hold gel $10.95 5 fl. oz. They
reported that hair looked good for hours. Simply work a bit through damp hair, and this
clear gel creates definite shape and definition with something Redken
calls "Ionic bonds." What it means for the guys (or women who wear similar
styles) is long lasting, serious staying power. Guys may not really care about anything more than keeping a style, neat, but this
one also help to protect, energize and moisturize hair with protein and carbs, leaving
hair with a nice, healthy shine. That's a lot of multi-tasking! For styles that
just need light control, plus softness and shine, get groomed $10.95 5 fl.
oz is a light, finishing cream that keeps
hair shiny and smooth, without heaviness or greasy feel. He'll get a smooth and easy
to manage style, with silicone smoothers to add extra shine. All three of these products
come in attractive, pewter tubes with black flip-top lids (easy to tote to gym or for
travel) with white, silver, and neon-green lettering.
The Skin Milk Bath Bar $4.99 10.5 oz by SkinMilk isn't for men, only, but the huge, solid, off-white bath bar is tailor-made for a man's larger hands and body. Men will like the white and blue box and chunky oval soap bar, with a light scent that the product literature says is vanilla, but it smells to me like a root beer float! The creamy soap with conditioning oat proteins and 5% real milk proteins to moisturize and pamper his skin, will appeal to women as well. We also tried the SkinMilk Facial Moisturizer $4.99 6 oz. The vanilla-scented, non-greasy lotion is enriched with extracts of white pond lily and orange flower, along with vitamins A, D & E, and real milk proteins. The simple plastic bottle with white flip-top cap and white and blue logo will make this a shared delight for him and her.
Can't get your special man to embrace good skin care? He will, if you are sharing a box of PureGlow Cleansing Cushions $7.99/24 cushions by Neutrogena. Dual-sided cleansing pads exfoliate, cleanse, condition and soften. One side is a gentle, micro-fine exfoliator, the other, a soft "corduroy" fabric that massages conditioners into the skin, while you enjoy the scent of ripe pears. The combination/oil formula has 0.5% salicylic acid, and the normal to dry formula has skin conditioners suited to your skin type. The non-nonsense packaging features a simple, round plastic container with a flip-top lid that snaps down to close. This product is effective, easy, and simple--you will both love it. And, if your face tends to be acne-prone, you'll both love Rapid Clear Pads $6.99/60 pads. These little pads-in-a-jar are daily cleansing pads that have 2% salicylic acid and something called "MicroClear" that helps that salicylic acid cleanse deep down into pores to dissolve trapped oil and dirt to reduce the size, redness and swelling of blemishes. The product literature says it only takes 8 hours. You may or may not get the same results, but we can say that our reviewers reported that with daily use, this product did help control the severity of breakouts, without overly drying out skin. Pre-moistened pads are such a no-brainer to use...why not give your face a break from breakouts? TIP: for traditionalists, there's an Oil-Free Acne Wash Daily Scrub $5.99 4.2 oz that helps stop breakouts before they start, and the flip-top tube makes it tote-able, too. The Summer might be winding down, but a man's face still needs protection from the sun's damaging rays and age-fighting products, on a daily basis. one that is affordable and easy to add to his daily routine is the Neutrogena MEN Age Fighter Face Moisturizer SPF 15 $11.99 1.4 fl. oz. This small, black tube of multi-tasking product lets him fight the look of fine lines and wrinkles with Retinol, keep his skin moisturized and soft with a blend of multi-vitamins, and give his skin broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection against the sun's damaging rays, all in one application. It's lightweight, non-greasy, alcohol free, and tote-able. He might not wear three different products, but this is so easy to use, he won't be able to resist. Reviewers didn't try it for the two weeks needed to see significant results, but we are certain that adding this product to a man's regular skincare routine will enhance, protect, and improve his skin...what more could a man want?
HANDS, FEET & NAILS:
Bare feet, and wearing sandals, are hallmarks of Summer, but exposing them to the elements can leave them dry, itchy, and looking less than lovely. So I'm treating mine with a great new product that does double-duty: Youth-Renew Caviar Hand & Foot Cream $19.00 from the newest line, Line Nymphea, by Pevonia Botanica. This brand-new Pevonia product line is great for all skin types, but it's specifically designed with a generous concentration of caviar extracts and unique sea proteins, to fight the effects of aging. The first thing you'll notice about this unique cream is it's ergonomic tube, fresh, citrus-y scent, and how amazingly silky and light it feels. Smooth it on and fell so pampered as your skin quickly absorbs the luxurious cocktail of softening, smoothing, and nurturing anti-aging ingredients. An added bonus on hands and feet is that it nourishes your cuticles, encouraging healthy nails, and it has UV protection, too. Youth-Renew Caviar Hand & Foot Cream is an excellent, affordable, at-home treatment that gives instant results. TIP: Pevonia products don't contain artificial fragrance, alcohol, chemical fillers, or mineral oils, and they are not tested on animals. This also appeals to men, apparently. Our male reviewers made a beeline for second helpings of this one---and why not? Guys want smooth, soft, pleasant-feeling skin as much as the ladies!
Now that the light and ladylike pinks, nudes and pearls of Summer have faded away, take your nail color up a notch (or two, or three) with deep, bold brights. Essie's Fall 2006 collection will reflect the season's latest fashion trends: leather, snake skin, metal accents, , suede, and velvet. Give your nails an intense attitude with glossy Nail Polish $8.00 featuring handbag-themes names. Go dark, with "Rock the Croc," a deep, clear, browned maroon," or the dramatic, deep, red-wine "Clutch Me If You Can." For those who can pull of a bit of drama, "Sassy Satchel" is a deep plum-chocolate (a bit" Goth" on palefaces--in a good way). " Those with a preference for lighter colors will like "Big Bag Theory" a clear, deep rose that looks elegant on either fingers or toes. I'm in love with "Be Right Bag," a beige-y taupe with a hint of pink-ish iridescence and a bit less sheer than Summer nudes that seems so right for now; and the beautiful "It's in the Bag," a super sheer light pink that reminds me of Essie's beloved "Ballet Slippers" and will be the best for a natural look or as the base for a French manicure. Thanks to Essie's beautiful, long-lasting colors, you have six more reasons to covet a new one (or two, or three)
Chocolate Cherry Nail Polish $8.00 by Bobbi Brown sounds yummy, but this limited edition, super-glossy, rich and opaque, chocolate brown shade looks even yummier on your nails (of course). The simple, square bottle with black cap looks so pretty you'll almost want to just stare at it (for a while, do), but then get down to business and color your fingers and toes with one of the hottest colors of the season. The color is chip-resistant and goes on smoothly...just what you'd expect from Bobbi Brown.
If you're going to pick just one nail color to add to your Fall wardrobe, you will want a deep wine or plum, the colors-of-the-moment. But some of these tones are so cool they look nearly black (and ghoulish) on pale skin. One that doesn't, is by Face Stockholm. The Nail Polish $12.00 simply called "40" is a rich Bordeaux with a warming touch of brown, to keep the color elegant and wearable. The shine is beautiful, and the coverage, long lasting. We're willing to be this one is going to be one of your favorites throughout the cooler months, and right into Spring 07.
Dubbed, the "First Lady of Nails," by "The New York Times, Jessica Vartoughian brings the glamour of her celebrity-laden nail salon, to women at home. From the new "That's Amore" collection, we've picked three colors of new Nail Polish $6.00 that beautifully bridge the gap between the ladylike sheers of Summer, and the deep berries and browns you'll be seeing on shelves throughout the Fall and Winter. "Secret Lover" is a medium, cool rose that coats nails with luxurious, opaque color and patent-leather shine. "Love Potion" takes things a step farther into the cool, blue-pink tones, with an eye-catching deep rose tinged with hot-pink and a hit of purple-y iridescent, shimmer. Venture into wine country, with "Passionate Kisses," a not-quite-reddened berry shot through with metallic shimmer. These are all quite glamorous, but easy to wear in the daytime, too. We'll be reviewing more colors from Jessica's "That's Amore" collection in our October column, so watch for it!
To view previous "What Works" Beauty, Cosmetics, and Fashion Review columns, visit the "What Works Archives".
About The Works Beauty Reviews: Products reviews are conducted by Alison Blackman Dunham (aka. Advice Sister Alison). In some instances, the review reflects additional opinions of qualified, anonymous reviewers and the term "we" instead of "I" is used in the commentary. Nobody gets financial compensation for reviewing products, and they are not affiliated with the companies mentioned. If you have comments about the column, or if you would like to be considered as a reviewer and can pick up products from the New York area, Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Aqua Di Parma (Iris Nobile Scent): www.acquadiparma.it/home_swf.htm Neiman Marcus, Nordstom and other fine retail stores
Alterna: www.4alterna.com or call 800-4-Alterna
Aloette: www.aloette.com or call 800-256-3883
Aveda: www.aveda.com or call 800.328.0849 for locations or more information.
BeneFit Cosmetics: www.BeneFitcosmetics.com
Bésame Cosmetics: www.besamecosmetics.com
Bobbi Brown: http://www.bobbibrowncosmetics.com
Cat Cosmetics: www.catcosmetics.com
Clarins: www.clarins.com and fine department stores
Dunhill (Pure): at Bloomingdales and Dunhill Boutiques
Essie: call: 800-232-1155 for product and store info or visit www.discountbeautycenter.com
FACE Stockohom: http://www.facestockholm.com
Giorgio Armani Beauty: www.giorgioarmanibeauty-usa.compxHagarty Jewel Clean: www.hagertyusa.com
IsaDora: www.isadora.us exclusively at Wallgreens
Jane Ireldale: http://www.janeiredale.com/
Jemma Kidd Make Up School: http://jemmakidd.moodia.com/
Jessica Cosmetics: www.jessicacosmetics.com
Lacoste (Touch of Sun Fragrance): at Macys, Dillards and Sephora
LUSH Cosmetics: http://www.lush.com
Lucy B: www.lucybcosmetics.com and at Fred Segal Studio
M·A·C Cosmetics: www.maccosmetics.com
Maybelline New York: www.maybellinenewyork.com and drugstores & mass market retailers
Neutrogena: mass market retailers and drug stores nationwide, and drugstore.com
Olay: at mass market retailers and drugstore.com
Pantene Pro-V: at mass market retailers and drugstore.com
Patricia Wexler, M.D." www.patricianwexlermd.com
Pevonia Botanica: www.pevonia.com or call 1.800.PEVONIA for spa locations/retailers
Philosophy: www.philosophy.com or call 800-568-3151
Playboy Beauty: www.Beauty.com >Henri Bendel. The Playboy Concept Boutique (The Forum Shops), Selfridges (London), and Colette (Paris)
Prestige Cosmetics: drug stores, mass market retailers, and www.prestigecosmetics.com
Purpose: at food & drug stores, mass market retailers
Sea Breeze: www.seabreezeclean.com drugstores and mass market retailers
Shu Uemura: www.shuumera-usa.com
Skinmilk: www.skinmilk.net and food and drug market retailers
Skyn Iceland: www.skyliceland.com
SpaRitual: Fred Segal or call 877-SPA-RITUAL
Stephen Knoll: www.stephenkoll.com & at the salon, NYC
Sue Devitt Studio: www.suedevittstudio.com
The Healing Garden: www.healinggarden.com and mass market retailers and drug stores
The Laundress: www.thelaundress.com
Nuxe: www.nuxe.com and upscale stores including Barneys and BC Apothcary
PURCHASING INFORMATION: The Advice Sisters offer this Buying Guide as a service to readers. For information about purchasing or about specific products, please contact the companies directly through the links in this guide. Buying beauty-related products is a personal decision. The products reviewed here should work well for the majority of people but not every product will perform equally well for everyone. For safety's sake, we urge you to be a wise consumer. Get information and use products only as directed, using common sense and basic safety precautions.
Copyright © 2006 by Alison Blackman Dunham. All rights reserved by Alison Blackman Dunham and THE ADVICE SISTERS® The Advice Sisters is a registered United States trademark. No portion of this web site may be copied or used in any without written permission of THE ADVICE SISTERS. For permissions, suggestions or comments: E-Mail email@example.com.