“Beauty, to me, is about being comfortable in your own skin. That, or a kick-ass red lipstick.” -Gwyneth Paltrow

Polish You Probably Can't Have: Orly Space Cadet Cosmic FX Nail Lacquer

I had the luck recently to procure a bottle of Orly's famed Space Cadet nail lacquer, from the Cosmic FX Fall  2010 collection. Somehow or other, my Ulta had a display of the entire collection just sitting out for anyone to access. They just remodeled, so maybe it got lost in the shuffle and was just rediscovered. Regardless....SCORE!!! All I know is I've been searching for it forever and this is the first time I've seen it since a few weeks after it was released last year.

Happy Memorial Day!!

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia

As we all head off today to roast in the sun with our friends and family enjoying barbeques and pool parties (and the unofficial start of summer), don't forget to take a moment to pay tribute to the untold numbers of men and women who have given up so much to protect our country and our freedoms, especially those who have made the ultimate sacrifice of their lives. 

You are all heroes, and we honor each and every one of you today and every day! 

Bare Escentuals Pretty Amazing Lipstick and 100% Natural Lip Gloss

I'm a late arrival to the Bare Escentuals party. Very late. As in, I just purchased my first couple of eye shadows a few weeks ago late. For whatever reason, I just never got caught up in the excitement for this line (perhaps because I was blinded by Chanel's yummy goodness and intrigued by smaller indie companies when it came to mineral makeup). 

However, I happen to be lucky enough to have a stand-alone Bare Escentuals store at my local mall and I was drawn in by all the pretty colors recently...and I was hooked. For a line I never gave much thought to, it turns out BE has an enviable array of shades, high-quality products, and, at least at my location, great customer service. I've been finding myself wandering back to the store for repeat visits. 

This time around, I'm going to discuss a lovely duo of lip colors. It occurred to me that given the fact that I write a blog called "Lipstick Musings," I've been seriously remiss in reviewing lip products lately. I'm preparing, therefore, to assail you with several upcoming reviews of lipsticks and glosses, both high-end and drugstore. Time to make up for a major oversight! 

My Eyes...But Better

I don't normally do Saturday posts, but I had to give kudos to my friend Olivia (@Fauxlivia on Twitter) for a serious solid she did me this week.

At Into The Palette, Olivia takes photos of eyes and does some major magic with Photoshop to create unbelievably beautiful tutorials. She did a great summer smokey eyes look for me using colors I haven't tried before...I'm in love, and off to the mall to purchase said colors so I can attempt to re-create the effect (good luck me, right?)

Check out her blog for some gorgeous looks and an introduction to a very talented lady. Also, don't miss her other home on the web, The Unknown Beauty Blog for great reviews on products. The woman knows how to create a mean frankenpolish!

Thanks so much Olivia, for making me feel so great!

This Week's Beauty Spotlight

Welcome to the Beauty Spotlight. Every other week our beauty blog team will shine a spotlight on their best posts. Expect them to bring you the latest, the greatest and the most fun to find beauty products the world over!

It's almost legendary how much Prime Beauty loves coral--this week I went cuckoo for these five coral lipsticks. Which of these summer shades are must-haves on your list?

Rouge Bunny Rouge eyeshadows have grabbed the heart of Marcia from Beauty Info Zone.

Lisamarie from Beauty Crazed spent all last week drooling over the new Essie Braziliant collection and still can't pick a favourite - check out her digits and help her choose!

Pammy finds her "custom shade" with Stila's new Custom Color Blush at Pammy Blogs Beauty.

Visionary Beauty gets a surprise when the Laura Mercier Riveria Eye Quad, an unexpected acquisition turns out to be a really useful, high quality palette!

This week, Jeanie of Makeup Merriment shares with her readers why she's so smitten with Le Metier de Beaute true color eye shadow in Jojo.

Zuzu's Petals at Everyday Beauty has discovered the perfect sheer red lipstick for summer, appropriately named Sweet Cherry.

This week Jane at Modesty Brown shares her brush collection. She talks us through her favourites and which ones aren't so great. If you like a peek at other people's collections, this one is for you!

London Makeup Girl has succumbed to the allure of the limited edition Mimosa nail polish by Chanel. She's not entirely convinced that Big Bird yellow nails work for her.

Perilously Pale is basking in the glow of Le Metier de Beaute's Tuscan Sunset True Colour Eye Shadow.

Curious about what how makeup application can be different when you are a 40+ lovely? Older Girl Beauty has tips from Emmy award winning Makeup Artist, Eve Pearl - "What the Pros Say..." - Eve Pearl.

Styrch from Pretty in Dayton attends the wedding of Project Runway Season 6 Alum Althea Harper and has way too much fun!

On the Cheap: Smith's Rosebud Salve

You know those little bins of products lining the checkout area at Sephora? You can find sample sizes of Bad Gal mascara, tiny bottles of perfume, as well as packets of blotting papers and any number of other goodies. Which is where I found a little miracle called Smith's Rosebud Salve.

Chanel Ecriture de Chanel Automatic Liquid Eyeliner

I'm a big fan of cake and gel liners. I know pencils are supposed to be easier, but I tend to get too thick a line when I use pencils. They also skip on me a lot of times (even the soft ones). Therefore, I usually stick to gel liners or cake liners. They offer me more control and can be manipulated when necessary to achieve more varied looks. They also tend to stay on longer and wear better.

I've never liked liquid liner pens. Every time I get one, I regret it. I can never keep the pen steady enough to draw an even line and I end up with liner halfway up my eyelid by the time I smooth everything out. However, I recently got a makeover at my Chanel counter and the MA used Chanel's Automatic Eye Liner Pen, she did such a lovely job that I had to try once again.

Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Relaxing Balm

I've never been a huge fan of Paul Mitchell. Typically, the gels are too heavy for my hair and I don't like the fragrances he uses. However, on a recent trip to my stylist I saw that they had a sale on Paul Mitchell products, so I picked up a couple. The first was Thicken Up Styling Liquid and the second was Super Skinny Relaxing Balm. Turns out it's a pretty good product, with a few caveats.

On the Cheap: Hard Candy Glow All the Way Skin Luminizer

I have a very fickle relationship with highlighters. I understand the concept, and I've even found some great ones in my searches (Chanel's limited edition Empriente de Chanel comes to mind), but I find there's a very slippery slope when dealing with highlighters. One false move and you're headed to the realm of disco balls and cheap 80's makeup looks. On the other hand, some of them are so subtle that it seems a waste of time to apply them at all. Nonetheless, I'm fascinated by them, in large part because I always read such "glowing" reviews on the blogs.

Since I don't have a great history with highlighters, I'm always loathe to purchase the expensive ones. It seems a waste to spend $30 or more on a product I may never really use when that money could be better spent on, oh, lipstick and the like. So when I saw Hard Candy's Glow All the Way at Walmart for only $7.99, I decided to jump on in and give it a try. Perhaps, I thought, it would be a good replacement for some of its higher-priced sisters in the department stores. Sadly, I was wrong. Waaay wrong.

Origins Clean Energy Cleansing Oil

Photo Courtesy of Origins

It's that time again...time for another cleansing oil review. This time, it's for Origins Clean Energy, which was actually the first cleansing oil I ever used. Not long ago, I stopped by my local Origins store and was reminded why this is such a great product. 

Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream

Image Courtesy of Bobbi Brown

I'm always on the hunt for a good eye cream. I've found quite a few of them, including those from Chanel and Estee Lauder. However, no matter how good an eye cream is, there's always another one right around the corner, and I'm a total sucker for all the claims. On a recent visit to the Bobbi Brown counter, I received a deluxe sample of her Hydrating Eye Cream, and of course I had to give it a try. 

Dermalogica Ultracalming Mist

Since I have very sensitive skin, I tend to have a tendency to have "hot flashes" in my face. That's when my skin suddenly decides it's out-of-sorts and flushes, heats up, and becomes red and inflamed. Since I began using products specifically for sensitive skin, this has stopped happening nearly as often as it used to, but it still flares up once in awhile, and when it does, it isn't pretty. So when the Dermalogica specialist at Ulta suggested Ultracalming mist, it sounded like a great product for me.

Maybelline Volume XL Seduction Lip Plumper

I'm always on the lookout for a good lip gloss. Add plumping to the mix, and I'm sold. That's why when I saw Maybelline's Volume XL Seduction Lip Plumper gloss, I was sold. According to the marketing, it's supposed to give glassy shine and plump lips by up to 30%, all for less than $10. What's not to like?

BORBA Age Defying Super Creme Day Moisture SPF 100+

I'm continuing with my search for the perfect sunscreen. Along those lines, every time I hit a Walgreen's, I check out their sun care displays to see if I'm missing anything that looks like it might rock my world. Normally I prefer physical sunblocks (titanium dioxide or zinc oxide) because they last longer as long as you don't sweat them off. Since I get to work at 7:00 and don't actually see the sun until 3:00 or so, it seems fit to use a sunscreen that will last until I get off work rather than using chemical sunscreens, which only stay effective for a few hours. Frankly, I'm not going to reapply sunscreen on top of my makeup all day, so I have to make sure that what I start with at the beginning of the day will still be holding strong at the end of the day when I really need it.

All that being said, there are some drawbacks to physical sunblocks, mainly the fact that they tend to be heavy, gloopy, and white on the skin. So when I saw this BORBA sunscreen on my last trip to Walgreen's, I decided to give it a try just to see if a lighter-weight, chemical sunscreen might do it for me, at least on non-work days and days when I might actually be willing to reapply it on a regular basis.

Bobbi Brown Correct and Conceal Kit

For some reason, I've never been a huge Bobbi Brown fan. I have one of her gel eyeliners, I've tried her cleansing oil, and I've often stopped at the Bobbi Brown counter to check out new collections, and I've certainly read a lot of great reviews of her products, yet I never actually purchase her makeup. I'm not totally sure why, but there you have it. For me, she's still something of a mystery. 

So the other day when I hit Macy's in search of a concealer, Bobbi Brown was not the name on my mind. However, a great display and a persuasive SA soon changed my mind. 

Concrete Minerals Eyeshadows

I've been a longtime user of mineral cosmetics. I used to use mineral foundation exclusively before switching back to liquid, and have always been a fan of mineral eyeshadows. Despite my love for Chanel and the like, I have found that mineral eyeshadows often offer a greater depth of color than mainstream shadows. There's nothing like admiring the color shifts that can be created using loose micas...they're truly astounding, and make eye makeup a joy! Thanks to a recent Concrete Minerals review by the awesome Joeybunny on Pink Sith, my interest was piqued and I decided I just HAD to try this company. 

Patricia Wexler MD Resurfacing Microbrasion System

Patricia Wexler, MD skin care is very hit-or-miss for me. Her MMPi serum is fairly useless in my opinion. Her creams are meh. Her eye cream isn't really anything to write home about. I do like her eye depuffing gel, but don't use it as much as I should. However, one product I've been extremely impressed with is the Microbrasion System, consisting of dermabrasion crystals followed by a hydrating gel.

Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Cavaliere

This summer is the season of shine in lipstick. While the winter showed us a reintroduction of the power of lipstick, as the weather warms up we are being introduced to a new and sophisticated hybrid lip product...the shine lipstick. A cross between a traditional opaque lipstick and a gloss, these shines offer more color than a gloss while maintaining the shine so many covet. For someone with pale lips like mine, they're a godsend, as they offer enough pigmentation to show up against my skin while still giving me the sheer, glassy finish of a gloss. It's the best of both worlds!

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