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

I Die!!! Collection Byzance de Chanel

Oh, may God help me. I managed to limit my Chanel Fall 2011 purchases to just Peridot nail lacquer and Khaki Platine liner pencil, and here comes Collection Byzance de Chanel, one of the most beautiful collections Chanel has put out in...well, possibly FOREVER. How on earth can I ever find the time to try any other line when Chanel is releasing color stories with SHIMMERING RED LIPSTICK? 

Because of Pink Sith: Hourglass Extreme Sheen Lip Gloss in Siren

This post is dedicated to the lovely (and enabling) Pink Sith, who last week lit up the interwebz with her review of a certain little lipgloss. I rue the day I met that woman, as she and her blog have cost me mucho dinero over the last couple of years. Thanks to her, I of the 853,227, 861 lip products went running straight to Sephora to check out the lip nirvana known as Hourglass Extreme Sheen Lip Gloss in the unparalleled color Siren. Sound like an extravagant claim? Well, read on!

Glow Review: Laura Mercier Bonne Mine Palette

Sometimes when you're shopping for makeup, you just get enthralled by something pretty, and even if it's a product you don't normally use, you find yourself needing it. For instance, I'm not much of a bronzer girl. I'm very pale, I never tan, and I pretty much gave up on that whole "healthy glow" concept years ago. These days, I'm pleased to look alive. When I get too "glowy," I end up looking ridiculous because my face doesn't match the rest of me, so I end up either washing it all off and starting over or I spend the whole day feeling self-conscious. So I was very surprised with myself when I spotted the Laura Mercier Bonne Mine palette at Sephora and fell in love.

Review and LOTD: Guerlain Rouge Automatique #142 Fleur de Feu

I've been in the market for a good orange/coral lipstick for some time now, and I finally bit the bullet the other day and headed out "in search of." What I found was that there are a lot of really ugly orange lipsticks out there right now. Seriously. My personal favorite is the preponderance of pastel orange and coral lippies that look kind of like ice cream on the lips, and not in a good way. That's about all I was able to find from the big lines at first. So I headed to Sephora to see if I would have luck there. And bingo! Right out of the gate, I found Guerlain's Rouge Automatic in #142, Fleur de Feu...exactly what I had been looking for!

Long Lash Review: Diorshow Iconic Mascara

Every woman wants long, lush, curly lashes, right? I mean, I've yet to hear anyone complain that they wish their lashes were shorter. Some are lucky enough to have such amazing lashes that they need no help...they're long, thick, black and curly all by themselves. For the rest of us mere mortals, the search for the perfect mascara is an ongoing one, and usually one fraught with failure. I don't know how many times I've taken home a little tube of somethin'-somethin' hoping to reach lash nirvana, only to try it out and wind up disappointed. We've all experienced the issues...clumping, flaking, smudging, mascaras that won't hold a curl or don't show up at all, and worst of all...the dreaded "spider eye" effect!! 

So it was with a sense of desperation that I shelled out the cash for Diorshow Iconic recently. I usually refuse to drop much money on mascaras since I have to toss them after 3 months, but this time I was drawn into the hype...and for once, it was worth it!

Beauty Spotlight Team for 6/25/11!

This week our lovely team of bloggers help you conceal, bronze, get ready in a flash AND win some great beauty loot!

Here at Prime Beauty I've been channeling my former Hippie Chick with the BECCA Halcyon Palette. I'll give a hint....she thinks it's groovy!

Have you heard of Birchbox? It is a monthly sample subscription gift box of fabulous deluxe sized samples. See what Pammy Blogs Beauty got in her June Birchbox!

On her seemingly endless search for the prefect under eye concealer, Visionary Beauty Diorskin Nude Skin Perfecting Hydrating Concealer to the test.

Over at Lipstick Musings, Shannon gets a serious shock when she lives on the edge and tries Rouge Dior lipstick in #786, Mysterious Mauve.

London Makeup Girl is holding a giveaway competition for a 6 week supply of Help: Clear Skin Supplements here: Help: Clear Skin giveaway . The giveaway closes on 01 July.

Beauty Crazed wants you to win the prettiest blush in the whole wide world from Lancôme - as a matter of fact, they think they are so nice they are giving away 5 of them so enter to snag one of your own!

Zuzu's Petals at Everyday Beauty found her perfect blush AND bronzer with Rouge Bunny Rouge Blush in Delicata and Gracilis.

Dan Read eyeshadows and liners are among Lisa's favorite makeup products on Beauty Info Zone.

Modesty Brown talks about the make-up she reaches for in those crisis moments with only five minutes to get out of the door. She invites you to share your ready-in-a-flash favourites too. Should we mention the handbag toast?

Hop on over to Perilously Pale for your chance to win some Rouge Bunny Rouge products!

Styrch swatches a gazillion lip colors of a product totally new to the Pretty in Dayton area. Hint: Christna Aguilera's uses it!

Got a lemming for some insanely gorgeous (not to mention delicious) summer lip colors?  Jeanie over at Makeup Merriment may have just what you need- Le Metier de Beaute's newest limited edition creation: Ecumes D'Or Lip Kaleidoscope.

Don't forget to enter the giveaway here too....Win a Skindinavia Makeup Finishing Spray!

Thank You!

I just want to take a minute or two to thank everyone for reading this blog and supporting me over the last few months. I've had this blog for some time now, but really only started taking it seriously after the death of my mother in February. I finally decided it was time to really try to DO something with it or let it go. So in March, I began writing in earnest, and have gradually begun learning how to improve my writing style, my photos, and how to actually promote Lipstick Musings so people can find it!

I've already learned so much and met so many wonderful people along the way. I have big plans for the future, and hope you'll all stay with me for the ride...and that you'll invite your friends to join us, as well! If you haven't already, please join me as a follower by clicking the icon in the upper left-hand corner of the blog. And if you'd like to request a review or give me some feedback, feel free to email me at lipstickdiva(at)comcast(dot)net. I'd love to hear from you!

Thanks again for helping me get this blog off the ground!


On the Cheap: NYX Eyebrow Marker

I'm big into eyebrows. As a matter of fact, I think far too many women overlook the importance of a good set of eyebrows in the overall look of your finished face. They provide structure and symmetry to the face and frame the eyes, helping to draw attention to them. If you're eyebrows aren't done, well, you aren't totally done, either. This is especially the case for me since I'm a natural blonde and dye my hair dark brown...without shading my brows, they appear to be nonexistant, and I appear to be an alien. 

Of course, we've all seen the overdone eyebrow as well. Those women who walk around with angry slashes scrawled above their eyes? Yeah, those are the ones. Makes you kind of scared to touch your own, doesn't it? The true trick to brow grooming is 1) to get the right shape in the first place, and then 2) to subtly fill in those lovely brows to make them stand out and do their job without allowing them to overwhelm your face. Enter the NYX eyebrow marker. 

Lip of the Day: Chanel Rouge Coco Paris + Bare Minerals 100% Natural Lip Gloss French Toast

This week has been really hot. I mean, really hot. As a matter of fact, if you look closely at the picture above, you'll see that even my lipstick is sweating! So with summer making it's appearance in such blistering fashion, I decided I wanted bronzey lips. The only problem is, bronze isn't really my color. It isn't bad on me, just not really my thing, given that my skin is roughly the shade of copy paper. I mean, who am I trying to kid here? Summer really isn't my season, after all. I do much better during the winter when deep berries and vibrant reds are totally acceptable. So although I have a beautiful bronze lip gloss in Bare Minerals French Toast, I decided to amp it up a bit with something a little more my style.

Lovely Lipstick Review: Dior Rouge Dior #786, Mysterious Mauve

So I went to the Dior counter the other day with every intention of picking up some sort of magnificent fuschia for summer. Fuschia--possibly even a pinky-coral. I was very set on my goal, and wasn't to be deterred. I approached the counter and my favorite Dior MA Trae, and we started talking and gossiping, and I got distracted by all the pretty quints, and next thing I knew I was looking at about 35 lipstick colors, reveling in their glory. I reached out my hand, intending with all my heart to grab the aforementioned pink shade, and came away instead with...purple. Yes, purple. Of course, Dior doesn't call it purple, they call it Mysterious Mauve, but in the tube it looks purple, and I'm not one to mince words--so there you have it. There I was, standing in the middle of Macy's contemplating putting purple freaking lipstick on my lips. They should call this stuff Magical Mauve, because there had to have been otherworldly powers at work to even get this lipstick into my hands, much less onto my face. But I'm glad I tried it, because I've found a new gem to add to my collection.

Lip of the Day: Chanel Rouge Double Intensite Tourmaline + Revlon Colorburst Lipgloss Papaya

I was thinking the other day about how to incorporate a new feature into my blog. I considered doing a Face of the Day, but frankly that's a lot of trouble and I'm a bit of a lazy girl, so I ruled that out. But as I pondered the idea, I suddenly had an inspiration: why not do a Lip of the Day? I mean, I have the balls to call myself a Lipstick Diva, after all. I have literally hundreds of lip colors in various formulas. I change my lip color at least every day (if not multiple times a day), and I always, always franken my lips, meaning I start with one color as a base and add something else, usually an entirely different color, on top to come up with my own unique creation. So here we go!

Today's lip is one of my favorite summer combinations because it's light and warm and works with a lot of my warm-weather clothes. It also pairs well with understated or strong eyes, in my opinion. The colors I chose for today's combination are Chanel's Double Intensite in Tourmaline topped by Revlon Colorburst Lip Gloss in Papaya. Here are swatches of both: 

Chanel Tourmaline, Revlon Papaya

I started off with a base of Chanel Rouge Double Intensite in Tourmaline, which is a lovely, mid-tone, slightly blue-based, shimmery pink. For those of you who are not familiar with the Double Intensite formula, it rocks. It's one of those where you put on the base color, let it dry, and then add the included gloss on top. Like similar drugstore items, it lasts all day. Unlike said drugstore items, though, it's lightweight and flexible and doesn't feel like house paint on your lips. Here's a shot of Tourmaline alone (no gloss added): 

I then topped Tourmaline with Revlon's new Colorburst lip gloss in Papaya. Again, if you haven't tried the Colorburst glosses yet, you should. There's a good selection of colors and they have good pigmentation and staying power. They tend to be a bit sticky, but the payoff is that they also last well. The end result is this: 

As you can see, when paired together, the result is a gorgeous slightly shimmery melon color, great for summer. It's a wonderful alternative for those of you who are sick of pinks but scared of oranges. 

Now...off to start my day!!

Bare Minerals 100% Natural Mineral Lip Color in Parfait

Although I know I'm technically a red Lipstick Diva, every once in a while, it just isn't appropriate to be walking around with cherry lips. For instance, when it's the middle of a 95-degree day in Atlanta. As much as I love my scarlet lippies, there are days when something a little less, ummm, dramatic is in order. For that reason, I've been on a long quest for a good nude lipstick, which you would think should be easy enough, but which for me has turned out to be the search from hell. 

Orly Basics: Bonder and Won't Chip

Today's post may not be the most glamorous I've ever written, but it's a necessary one. I've been enjoying wearing nail polish this summer (I can't wear it at work during the school year), and I've been loving all the blog reviews I've been reading on various colors and formulas. But the one thing I read over and over are comments like, "I get 3-4 days wear before it chips." Really? Only 3-4 days? That's just shameful, in my opinion. I don't know about you, but it takes me a long time to get the perfect manicure, and I don't want to re-do it every few days. I want at least a week of wear for my fingertips, even after doing stupid things like opening soda cans. So I went in search of a solution...enter Orly Bonder and Won't Chip. 

Chanel Vitalumiere Moisture-Rich Radiance Fluid Makeup SPF 15

In my world, Chanel makeup is all-encompassing. I have far more than any mere mortal should, and the SA's at my local counter see me and know an easy mark is on her way. I adore the colors, the smells, the textures, the packaging...everything about the line literally speaks to me. I've tried the skincare, the sun care, the eye shadows, the blush, the highlighters, the lip colors (all formulations), the eyebrow powders, the liquid eyeliner pen...you name it, I've tried it, and I don't think I've been disappointed a single time. So I've learned to trust the SA's at my counter when they recommend products to me, as they've had plenty of time and experience with me to learn my preferences, as well as to know my skin type and needs. 

What's rather amazing is that the one product I haven't tried, the one that's thus far eluded me, has been the perfect Chanel foundation. I tried Teint Innocence liquid last year, but found it a bit too sheer--plus, there really wasn't a good color match. Vitalumiere Aqua was a tad too drying for me, although it's a great formula. Pro Lumiere was too heavy (although since it's being discontinued, I suppose that's a good thing), and Lift Lumiere is just unnecessary at this point. Don't get me wrong...each of these formulas is beautiful and elegant, and perfect in its own way...just not for me. However, I think I may have finally met my match in the classic Vitalumiere liquid foundation.

Chanel Pinceau Teint Foundation Brush

Foundation brushes can be a tricky thing. I've tried many of them, and had very mixed results. Some are too large, some are too small, some are too stiff, some too flimsy. It's quite difficult to find a brush that truly suits all your needs: the ability to apply and blend foundation, the appropriate size to cover a reasonable amount of skin quickly, yet able to get into small spaces such as the corners of the nose and eyes. I've never been able to find a foundation brush that meets all my requirements. That is, until I found the Pinceau Teint Foundation Brush from Chanel.

Quickie from the Lippie: B&BW Semi-Annual Sale is on!!

Time to head to the Bath and Body Works Semi-Annual Sale! There are tons of goodies, including up to 75% off many Signature Collection items, 50% off Aromatherapy items, 50% off selected Slatkin & Co. Candles, and many, many more, including several Buy 3, get 2 Free deals on regular items.

Hurry in and visit each week, as sale items change weekly and sell out FAST.

Beauty Spotlight Team 6/5/11-6/11/11

Each member of The Beauty Spotlight Team has just one post out of many to share with you this week. We hope you learn about new blogs from us and that you’ll explore them to find out just how much information you can learn (and how much of your money we can try to spend).

The Lipstick Diva has a case of summer lovin’ for Chanel’s new Pensee and Pink Peony Glossimers.

Zuzu’s Petals did the Time Warp at Everyday Beauty over Rouge Bunny Rouge Colorburst Lipstick in Got Rid of the Man.

Lisamarie from Beauty Crazed just can’t choose a favourite product from the Lancôme Bronze Azure Summer 2011 collection – come check out her swatches and help her decide!

Modesty Brown lifts the lid on her highlighters including beauty bloggers favourites, BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector and Jemma Kidd Dewy Glow in Rose Gold.

Replica at Visionary Beauty was unable to resist the claims of a radiant eye lift so had to pick up one of Dior’s 5 Couleurs Lift palettes.

Le Metier de Beaute and Beauty Info Zone want to prove that everyone can wear a bronzer.

Do you like to switch up your skincare routine for the warm weather? See how Pammy Blogs Beautylikes Caudalie’s Instant Foaming Cleanser and Toning Lotion.

Cindy over at Prime Beauty has found an economical moisturizing multi-tasker in Josie Maran’s Mini Argan Oil Stick!

Paula, at Older Girl Beauty, talks to multiple Emmy Award winning makeup artist, Kevin James (KJ) Bennett about his tips for makeup on lovelies over 40 in this installment of “What the Pros say…”.

London Makeup Girl compares Armani Eyes to Kill eyeshadow with L’Oreal Color Infallible eyeshadow. Dupe or no dupe? 

When Perilously Pale’s new Giorgio Armani order arrived this week she excitedly Played with Plums to test them out with some Le Metier de Beaute favourites.

Jeanie over at Makeup Merriment believes her quest for the perfect brow product is over because she has found brow bliss in Le Sourcil de Chanel: Perfect Brows compact.

Styrch from Pretty in Dayton plays with layering CND Shellac colors with Lisa from the Beaute Box.

On the Cheap: Finger Paints "Warm He-Art-Ed" Nail Color

Two of the best ways to change your look quickly and inexpensively are lipstick and nail color. A pop of color (or lack thereof) on your nails can make the difference between looking sophisticated and pulled together and looking as if you forgot something when you were getting ready. In addition, nail colors tell a lot about the wearer: are you demure, fun-filled, high-spirited, edgy? Check out the nails, and there's a clue. So during the summer when I can actually wear nail polish, I love to experiment with different looks and formulas just to see what works and what doesn't, and sometimes just to see what kind of reactions I get. 

Stila Custom Color Blush

Photo Courtesty Stila Cosmetics

Stila has long been known for blush with their innovative Convertible Color cheek and  lip colors. The light, creamy colors are wildly popular for their easy wearability and versatility. In addition, they are the creators of such famed items as the Smudge pot and the ubiquitous Kitten eye shadow...which has proven itself so popular that it's spawned all over shimmer, glitter eye liner, primer, and lip gloss. Wow, that's a lot of  Kitten!

However, I'm not that big on cream blush, and kitten, in all its incarnations, is a bit less pigmented than I prefer for my pale skin. As lovely as it is, I just can't wear it. What I can wear, though, is pink blush. As a matter of fact, I have a pretty extraordinary collection of pink blushes, from warm to cool to neutral, from matte to pearl to shimmery to downright frosty and full of glitter. Yep, I'm a pink kind of girl. With my light skin, dark eyes and dark hair, pink cheeks work perfectly for me, and when done very, very sparingly, look beautiful with my ever-present red lips in the winter. So you can imagine how excited I was when Stila introduced it's  Custom Color Blush last year, touted as a blush anyone could wear...and it's pink!!

Chanel Glossimers: Pensee and Pink Peony

Chanel's Summer Collection features two looks this year. The first is Fleur de Rose, which features the Bronze Rose Soleil Tan de Chanel powder. The second is Fleur de Pensee, which features the Bronze Corail Soleil Tan de Chanel powder. Both looks are beautiful and suitable for any skin tone, and both feature Glossimer lip glosses...Pensee (above left) for the Corail look, Pink Peony (above right) for the Rose look. Of course, I had to try both of them out.

On the Cheap: Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Double Face Perfector

There are a ton of concealers on the market right now. You can find creams, liquids, powders, yellows, pinks, matte or shimmery. Literally, there is just about every conceivable type of product available out there. The problem is, the vast majority of them don't work. At all. Either they offer such light coverage it's pointless to even apply them, or they highlight lines and wrinkles, making the option of dark circles look much better by comparison. I've had a very, very difficult time finding a concealer that will actually hide my dark circles without highlighting every bit of crepiness around my eye area. Today I'm going to discuss yet another concealer product...this one is somewhat unique because it includes not just a concealer, but also a lightweight highlighter. 

Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel #537 Bronze Corail

Chanel's summer collection this year was a bit hit-or-miss. While I love the Glossimers, I'm probably the only person on the planet who wasn't overly impressed with the Lillium Quad. However, each collection by Chanel features a standout product, and for me, this season that product is the Soleil Tan de Chanel #537, Bronze Corail.

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