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

NOTD: Sinful Colors "What's Your Name"

With the recent release of Dior's Blue Tie Collection, I've really been rocking the blues lately. Although it's a dark color and arguably not the best for summer, I've been wearing it anyway because 1) I like it, 2) I'm pale all year anyway, so it provides a good contrast to my skin, 3) It's fun and sophisticated at the same time, and 4) I like it and don't pay attention to seasons, just my mood. With all of that taken into consideration, plus the fact that Dior has just released their own navy lacquer in the form of the gorgeous Tuxedo (Cafe Makeup has an excellent review), I've come to the conclusion that for once, I'm actually following a trend--and loving it.

Beauty Spotlight Team: Time for a Mystery Bag Reveal!

It's time for another Mystery Makeup Bag post from the Beauty Spotlight Team. It's only the second post and we've already got some cheating going on! Modesty Brown is bending the rules and showing us what's in her holiday makeup bag. It looks pretty small though, surely that's never going to last a beauty blogger through a ten-day holiday? Let's see what's she's crammed got in there.....

Modesty's Mystery Bag

On the Cheap: Femme Couture Mineral Effects Baked Bronzer and Lip Luster Lipgloss

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Femme Couture is a line that is currently being sold at Sally's Beauty Supply. It's a fairly comprehensive line and includes lipsticks, blush, eyeliner, brow pencil, eye shadows, foundation and powder. I've only tried a couple of their products, but I've always been pleased with the quality. So when I saw their new Mineral Effects Baked Bronzer and Matching Lip Luster, I couldn't help but pick them up.

First, the bad: I don't even remember the color of the lipgloss. "Why would that be, Shannon?" you ask. Well, it's because literally the first time I wore it, the plunger opening dislodged, fell into the gloss and leaked all over the counter, so I threw it away. It was a pretty pink-beige shimmer that was a bit too sheer for me, but nice nonetheless. However, I'm not going to recommend a product so badly made that it breaks on first application.

Okay, now that we're past that, we can move on to the good part of the review, the Mineral Effects Baked Bronzer. This bronzer comes in 4 colors from the lightest champagne shimmer to a deep bronze. I, of course, chose the lightest color, Summer Kiss. Summer Kiss is a pale champagne rather than a bronze, and it has plenty of shimmer:

As you can see, it's very light in the pan, and it's also light on the face. It doesn't really add any color to my face...rather, it imparts a soft shimmer across my cheekbones. Being baked, it's fairly soft and you need to be careful not to over-apply. On the skin, it's a neutral sheen, perfect for highlighting. I've also used it as an eye highlighter and it's worked very well.

As you can see above, the color is a very neutral on, with slight hints of gold warming it. It's very, very pretty! You can also get a shot of my unnamed lip gloss there too, which as I said was pretty enough but very poorly made.

Bottom Line:  If you're in the market for a shimmery bronzer or a subtle highlighter, this one is a good choice. It's inexpensive and high quality, and should last quite a while.

Rant of the Week: DuWop Twilight Lip Venom

Those of you who've read this blog for a while know that the overwhelming majority of my reviews are positive. That's because I'm a fairly educated consumer and typically buy what I like, what I'm somewhat familiar with, or something that's been recommended to me. So I was going totally against type a few weeks ago when I purchased DuWop's Twilight Lip Venom. I know it's been around a while and that when it first came out it got a lot of press, but I haven't heard anything about it in forever. All I really knew was the most basic information: that it stung on application and was supposed to plump your lips. Well, I learned a good lesson with this product--I need to research before buying!

FOTD with Dior Blue Tie Palette

Okay, so you all know by now that I'm loving the Blue Tie Palette from Dior's Fall 2011 Collection. I got a very, very dramatic makeover from Vincent Lee of Dior recently using Blue Tie, and I thought I'd give you a look at how I choose to wear the colors for a normal day.

MAC Review: Semi Precious Eye Shadows in Smoked Ruby and Faux Gold + EOTD

I'm not ordinarily a big MAC fan, but the other day I was walking through Macy's and passed the MAC counter and caught a glimpse of the new Semi Precious Collection. As is my habit, I was drawn to the Mineralize Eye Shadows in the collection, and found them to be gorgeous. I'm not fond of MAC's regular eye shadows, but the Mineralize line, to me, is better pigmented and easier to work with, and I decided to give a couple of these "gems" a try. After much deliberation, I chose Smoked Ruby and Faux Gold because I don't have a lot of warmer eye shadows at the moment. They've impressed me beyond expectation!

Lovely Lip Review: Dior Addict Lipstick #865 Collection and #752 Paris

Dior Addict lipstick is, simply put, lovely. It fits in perfectly with this summer's "shine" craze, offering a beautiful glossy finish, but it also offers something many of the new gloss/lipstick hybrids do not: lasting wear time. It's definitely not a long-wear lipstick, but it does offer both more coverage and more lasting power than your average sheer, shiny lipstick. It comes in a gorgeous array of colors, is beautifully packaged, and feels creamy and moisturizing on the lips. In short, it's the perfect summer lipstick.

During a recent makeover at my Dior counter, my makeup artist introduced me to the Dior Addict line with two stunning, summery colors, Collection and Paris. Collection is a vivid, warm reddish pink and Paris is a mid-toned, neutral pink. Separately, they each offer beautiful color and texture. Together, they can be worn layered to achieve an ombre effect. Either way, they've both made it into my purse and will stay there until the days turn short and chilly.

Paris, top, and Collection, below.



Collection, top, with Paris, below. One swipe versus two for each color. Taken in bright sunlight. 

Identical swatches as above, but taken in less direct lighting. 

I love the way these lipsticks feel. They're moist, creamy, and conditioning, yet they have good pigmentation. Swiped once, each offers a hint of color. Swiped twice, the color becomes opaque and lasts for several hours. The glossy finish is lovely and unobtrusive--there's nothing tacky or over-the-top about these lipsticks! Collection provides a vivid pop of color to the lips, while Paris is lighter, cooler, and more subdued...perfect for a ladie's lunch out. Both colors are sheer perfection. 

Bottom Line: I'm really enjoying both of these lipsticks, both for their color and their finish. They wear well, feel wonderful on the lips, and offer several levels of intensity, so both can be suited for any type of occasion. I plan to add more Dior Addicts to my collection as soon as possible. 

Nail of the Day: Deborah Lippmann "Wicked Game"

Deborah Lippmann is a goddess in the world of nail lacquers. A superior formula coupled with unique, fun colors makes the line one of the more cutting-edge on the market. Her colors are unfailingly complex, and rarely can anything even approaching a dupe be found. 

"Wicked Game" is one of those complex, unique colors. This is my first Deborah Lippman lacquer, and when I first saw it, I was drawn to its duochrome loveliness. Look, it's lavender! No, it's green! No, it's both! When I wear this color, I find myself distracted by it, aimlessly turning my fingers one way, then another, admiring the way the light hits the polish and the gorgeous way it morphs from one to the other. 

In one light, it's a lovely pale lavender. 

At another angle, it morphs into a gorgeous pale, blue-based green. 

And when you hold your hand just right, both shades appear in a gorgeous gradation of color. 

Bottom Line: The formula for this lacquer is very good as far as wear time and ease of use go. However, I did have issues with bubbling the first couple of times I used it. I think that may have been my fault, as I changed my application method slightly and the issue was resolved. Dry time is fairly long on this one, but I top with a quick-dry top coat from Poshe and that alleviates the problem. This is truly one of the most unique colors I've encountered, and I get compliments every time I wear it. Can't beat that! Couple that with the fun factor of playing with your fingers all day, and you've got a must-have!

"Wicked Game" can be found on theDeborah Lippmann website

Beauty Spotlight Team 7/23/11

This week, the Beauty Spotlight Team shines the light on Le Metier de Beaute, helps us get our glow on, keeps us smelling great and has some awesome beauty goodies to giveaway!

Get your glow on! Pammy Blogs Beauty shares her top self-tanning tips & tricks.

Over at Lipstick Musings, Shannon's got a sweet tooth...and she's craving more of Laura Mercier's Luster Eye Shadow in Chocolate!

Visionary Beauty checks out the Mediterranean inspired Penelope Kaleidoscope from Le Metier de Beaute.

This week Modesty Brown goes nude with Kevyn Aucoin's Expert Lip Tint in ThelmaDora.

Cindy over at Prime Beauty shows you five must-have pink blushes for a fresh summer sun-kissed glow.

Makeup Merriment shares a great summer eyeshadow, Chanel Ombre d'Eau eyeshadow in Delta, with us. Check your stash to see if you have this too.

Find out what animal Marcia from Beauty Info Zone compares Napoleon Perdis lipsticks to and see if this is something that you do too.

Styrch at Pretty in Dayton gets frisky with her little bottle of LP No. 9 for Women by Penhaligons, LTD.

Perilously Pale gives us sneak peek swatches and a review of the Le Metier de Beaute Silk Road Kaleidoscope Eye Kit from the upcoming Fall/Winter 2011 Collection.

The nut jobs at Beauty Crazed have obviously been addled by the heat and are giving away a crazy amount of makeup - go enter before they come to their senses!

Londonmakeupgirl got a sneak peek at what you can expect to see from Selfridges for Holiday 2011. There's another beauty advent calendar, and some beautiful palettes from Bobbi Brown and Suqqu. Have a look here: Selfridges Christmas in July.

Paula, from Older Girl Beauty, wants to tell you about the Clarisonic Deep Pore Cleansing brush head and give one of them to you (*and your BFF!). She'll even throw in a Mia to use it with, too!

Zuzu's Petals at Everyday Beauty reevaluates what beauty represents for her and wonders what it means to you and how your views have evolved over the years.

On the Cheap: Essence of Beauty Foundation Brush Review

There are many ways to apply foundation, and I'm pretty sure I've tried them all. I've used fingers, sponges, the Beauty Blender, and brushes, and for the time being my favorite is the brush. With the right foundation brush, you can achieve a very natural, flawless finish. It conserves makeup, as it allows for easier spreading and doesn't soak up the foundation, and most importantly, it's fast and easy. I'm always on the lookout for new foundation brushes, and that's why I was so interested to see the Essence of Beauty Foundation Brush at CVS the other day.

Lush Lashes Review: Diorshow Maximizer and Diorshow Extase Mascara

I'm a huge fan of long lashes. Like, I want them to look false whenever possible. There's no such thing as subtle for me when it comes to lashes...I want length, I want volume, I want "oomph"! So I was excited to try the two samples I got from my Dior guru, one for Diorshow Extase and one for Diorshow Maximizer Lash Primer. I've heard a lot about Extase and I was interested to see what the hype was all about. I'd never heard of Maximizer, but when I was told that it was a primer and that it would both maximize the effect of my mascara and condition my lashes, I was in!

Eyeshadow Review: Laura Mercier Luster Eye Color + FOTD

Photo Courtesy Lauramercier.com

There's been a lot of press over the last few weeks regarding Fall collections from various lines. One I hadn't heard about was the Canyon Collection from Laura Mercier, which is surprising given Mercier's standing in the world of cosmetics and the beauty of the collection. Mercier was "inspired by the beauty of the earth" for this collection, and it shows. The colors are deep and earthy, creating a lovely palette for the entire face that is completely natural. The overall effect is one of understated elegance. I came upon the Canyon display the other day while browsing at Bloomingdale's and couldn't resist picking up one of the eyeshadows, Chocolate, which is possibly the richest, most beautiful brown I've ever seen. 

Skin Care Review: Dior Gentle Cleansing Milk

I'm not usually one for cleansing milks. I typically prefer to use cleansing oil followed by a foaming cleanser. However, lately I've been noticing that most foaming cleansers leave my face feeling tight and dry (with the exception of my current fave, Lancome's Creme Radiance Clarifying Cleanser) and I end up needing more of my (much more expensive) moisturizer. Plus, I recently read on a skin care blog that although everyone should be double-cleansing with an oil cleanser and another cleanser, that "other cleanser" should really be a lotion or cream cleanser unless your skin is extremely oily--which mine is not. So last time I hit the Dior counter, I decided to give Dior's Gentle Cleansing Milk a shot. 

Drama Eyes Review: Dior Blue Tie Palette

Dior's Blue Tie palette has had me more excited than any other collection with any other line (with the possible exception of the Chanel Byzance Collection with it's amazing Rouge Allure Lipstick in Rouge Byzantin) in a long time. Housed in a stunning silver palette, the collection consists of four blue and grey-toned shadows that work in perfect harmony and create a gorgeous, dramatic, smokey eye. Being a lover of all things smokey, I couldn't resist!

Deal Alert!! This month's Birchbox

Have you heard of Birchbox? It's a great little program wherein, for a mere $10 a month you get a lovely little box stuffed with deluxe samples (and often times, a full-size product) for you to try out. All of the items in your Birchbox each month can be purchased from their site, and you can earn loyalty points by inviting friends and writing reviews on the products you have received. It's a fantastic way to introduce yourself to new products and try items you may not have otherwise tried...and it's a steal of a deal!!

It's a New Look for Lipstick Musings!!!

Hi everyone! Do you like my new look?

I decided a while back that I wanted my blog to be more customized, but I was having a heck of a time finding someone who seemed to share my vision. I looked and looked, and finally I found her...Zoe of Chic and Sassy Designs! I reserved space on her waiting list and patiently waited for my turn to arrive.

Last week, Zoe contacted me and we began communicating about what I wanted. She was amazing! She knew exactly what I meant when I rambled on about what I thought I wanted, and she came up with a design I liked even more than I expected.

I hope you like the new look of the blog. I know it's slightly more subdued than my previous template, but I thought toning down the colors a bit might make it more work-appropriate (ie, allow you to sneak a peek without your boss noticing). If you are having trouble with any aspect of it, please let me know so I can have revisions done.

Please give me your feedback. I'd love to hear what you think. And if you've been bouncing around the idea of a custom blog but haven't acted on the urge, I highly recommend you contact Zoe!

The Beauty Spotlight Team: What's In Your Bag?

The Beauty Spotlight Team has a mystery makeup bag to share with you. Twice a month our team will be featuring one of our member’s current makeup bags. This week the honors go to Marcia from Beauty Info Zone. Click on this link to find out what she has hiding!

Marcia's Makeup Bag!

Nordstrom Exclusive: MAC Cine-matics "On-Screen" Pro Palette Eye Shadow Duos, Double Feature #7 and #8

This year I was lucky enough to gain access to the Nordstom Anniversary Sale pre-buy, as my best friend of 20 years has a Nordstrom card (and a lot of friends in the Cosmetics department). We hit the sale last Saturday. To be honest, I didn't see all that much that was terribly fantastic (gasp!), or so I thought until I got home and realized that I'd neglected to purchase a couple of apparent must-haves like Chanel's Rose Tourbillon Jous Contraste blush (my bestie got it, though. Maybe she'll tire of it one day and pass it along to me) and Le Metier de Beaute's Rock n' Romance Nail Lacquers (seen here as swatched by the lovely Karla Sugar...I don't know what the hell I was thinking when I passed these over!). 

Anyhoo, I'm trying to get over my regret, and I've had a bit of help because I did pick up two little goodies exclusive to the sale...MAC Cine-matics "On-Screen" Pro Palette Eye Shadow Duos, Double Feature #7 and #8. Their colorful goodness has helped ease my pain. 

On the Cheap: Maybelline The Colossal Volume Express Mascara

Mascaras are one of the few cosmetic items I really, really don't like to spend much money on. Because they need to be tossed every 3 months for sanitation reasons, it seems a huge waste to spend a lot of money on a mascara. As a matter of fact, with the exception of my Dior Iconic mascara (and that purchase hurt...a LOT), I have yet to find a department-store brand of mascara that is good enough to truly justify the expense.

That being said, it's quite a chore to find a really good drugstore mascara. Typically, they just don't perform well, either clumping or not giving enough volume/length/definition. However, I'd heard a lot about Maybelline's The Colossal Volume Express Mascara, so I decided to give it a shot.

It's Party Time! Stila Sparkle Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner Review

So I was at Ulta the other day, feelin' a little frisky and looking for something unique and different to try. I wanted something I would normally not wear, seeing that I've been having success with my "out of the box" kick this season (refer to my Guerlain purchase and my new Lancome lipgloss). I decided I would jump off the cliff with a new eye look or two this time, and started a-hunting.

Lo and behold, before my eyes did appear the most sparkly, shiny, colorful eyeliners I've ever seen! Stila's Sparkle Waterproof Liquid Eye Liners literally jumped off the shelf at me. As in, one of them fell off the display as I was passing by, and when I picked it up I was transfixed. This must be a match made in heaven, right?

Preview of Dior Blue Tie Makeover Review! Plus, Eye of the Day

I went in for another Dior makeover today, again with Vincent Lee. He decided to do a VERY dramatic look on me with the new Blue Tie palette (review soon!). He wanted to achieve the type of look he'd do if he was working on a magazine shoot. It's more dramatic than even I'm used to, but I love it! This would be great for going out on the town (if I ever went out on the town to somewhere more exciting than O'Charley's or Chili's). 

Here's another shot, taken at a slightly different angle: 

The Blue Tie palette is truly a thing of beauty, and I'm really looking forward to my review. More pictures coming soon!

Easy on the Eyes: Dior 5 Couleurs Eye Palette #970, Stylish Move Review and Swatches

Dior eye shadow quints are to die for, which is why I love to review them. Simply put, in my opinion, they are universally flattering, highly pigmented, easily blendable, and the powders are so finely milled that they seem creamy. Unlike the hit-or-miss factor associated with other brands, every Dior quint I've tried has been exceptional. So when I went to my Dior counter a couple of weeks ago for a makeover with Vincent Lee, one of the National Diorshow Artists, I was thrilled when he applied the palette "Stylish Move" on me. 

Back To Basics: Makeup Primer by Reviva Labs

We all know the foundation for makeup is actually foundation makeup, right? It smooths the appearance of discoloration, hides blemishes, brightens the face, and provides the perfect canvas for everything else you plan to apply. However, a truly professional and flawless finish actually needs a foundation for your foundation. This is where primer comes in. It can adhere to the makeup, fill in pores and smooth fine lines, and decrease the appearance of oil production, preventing that oh-so-lovely "pooling" effect that foundation gets when your skin is oily. Foundation primer can add immensely to the wear time of your makeup, and is a step that's far too often missed. 

Best. Red. Lipstick. EVER. : Chanel Rouge Allure Lipstick, Rouge Byzantin!

I've managed to stay away from the Chanel Fall 2011 Collection, for the most part. I did cave and purchase the Peridot nail colour and the Khaki Platine liner because they're Limited Edition and gorgeous, but as for the  rest of the collection, I feel I exercised amazing restraint. However, when it came to the Collection Byzance de Chanel, I'm beside myself. I plan to (hopefully) soon own the entire collection, which is something I never, ever, do. 

Of course, when Collection de Byzance came out last week, I was fairly broke and had to limit myself to one item. Those of you who know anything about me will understand how simple the choice was for me: I simply HAD to have the Rouge Allure Rouge Byzantin lipstick. HAD. TO. HAVE. IT. I was certain that my little heart would break if I didn't obtain this gem, and now that I have it in my hot hands, I'm sure I was right. 

Nail of the Day: Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour, #531 Peridot (finally!)

Now that everyone and their sister has reviewed the new lacquers from the Chanel Fall 2011 collection, I'm going to jump on the bandwagon and join them with my review of what has become the "must have" color of the collection, Peridot. I was drawn to it from the start, given my predilection for glittery or duochrome polishes, and Peridot has not disappointed! It has the uncanny ability to be both green and neutral, which I attribute to Chanel magic, because for the life of me I can't figure out how that combination is possible. However, Peridot manages to do it...to be a completely unique and frankly weird color while still being absolutely stunning and work-appropriate for all but the most conservative offices. 

Beauty Spotlight Team 7/9/11

The last two weeks have brought some makeup excitement to many of our Spotlight Team. From travel to California to shopping in the US and UK, we have wonderful articles to share with you.

A new lipstick from Chanel? Lisamarie from Beauty Crazed knows you are dying to see swatches so here you go already!

Beauty Info Zone went to California for shopping and the IMATS showFind out why their suitcases were overweight on the way back home.

Zuzu's Petals at Everyday Beauty had a blast debating the merits of  the nude makeup invasion with fellow readers.

Over at Lipstick Musings, Shannon's brown eyes turn blue with Lancome's Eye Brightening All-In-One 5 Shadow and Liner Palette #401, Midnight Rush. Will you fall in love, too?

Now the UK is finally getting some Summer, London Makeup Girl had a look at the Sue Devitt Beausoleil Summer 2011 collection.

This week Jeanie at Makeup Merriment has once again fallen under the spell of the Rouge Bunny Rouge cosmetics line.  This time she's enchanted by a gorgeous eye color named Delicate Hummingbird.  With a name like that how can we blame her?

Modesty Brown gets her rouge on, Kevin Aucoin's liquid lipstick in Aquarouge to be precise.

Paula, from Older Girl Beauty tells us how she refreshed her hair color and how we can all refresh ourselves this summer, with the help of Natural Instincts.

Its time for monthly favorites! Find out what made Pammy Blogs Beauty's list of Star Products for the month of June.

Chanel Peridot Le Vernis Nail Colour from the Fall 2011 Illusions d'Ombres de Chanel Collection has Perilously Pale is contemplating buying her first ever "backup".

Styrch shows what a dramatic difference weight loss can make in just YOUR FACE on Pretty in Dayton. (People saying she looks like a teenager again).

See what Vincent Longo Pearl X eye shadows and a Chameleon have in common over at Prime Beauty!

Described at the “new classics” Visionary Beauty has a look at the Sand eye palette from the Bobbi Brown Tortoise Shell Collection.

Would you like to win one of Tarte Cosmetics fantastic new Amazonian Clay Blushes and a fabulous natural mascara? Are you a luxury eye shadow and brush lover who missed out on the wonderful Rock and Republic cosmetic line?  Makeup Merriment has two giveaways that are ending soon- have you entered?
Pammy Blogs Beauty is giving away Clinical Organics "Try Me" Packs to two lucky winners! Each prize is worth $352! Visit Pammy Blogs Beauty for more details and to enter!
Prime Beauty has a Perricone Cold Plasma for one lucky winner. Enter by July 14th.

On the Cheap: Milani 3D Glitzy Glosses in Fashion Diva and Starshine +LOTD

About a year ago, I did a review on Milani's 3D Glitzy Glamour Gloss in En Vogue, a warm, vivid fuschia pink with plenty of pigment. I love the gloss and use it all the time, as it's a good dupe for Dior's Ultra Gloss in Extravagant Grenadine when on the lips. So the other day when I was in CVS and noticed that Milani had added a few new colors to the line, I couldn't resist the temptation to try some more. 

Lip of the Day! Lancome Color Fever Gloss in Metallic Sunburst

I've been on a bit of an orange/peach kick lately. Normally one for the dramatic red lip, summer brings about a longing for lighter, brighter colors, and orange is a perfect option, and a great alternative to the more popular (and predictable) fuschia shades. When done correctly, orange can lend a pop of color to the face without overwhelming it, and when you find the right shade for you, it can complement just about any skin tone, from warm to cool and light to dark. Add a few sparkles, and I'm there! That's why I was so happy to discover Lancome's Color Fever Gloss in Metallic Sunburst.

Versatile Product Review: Bobbi Brown Ivy Shimmer Ink Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner

Bobbi Brown's Long-Wear Gel Eyeliners are universally considered to be some of the best in the business. They are creamy to apply, easy to use and manipulate, can be smudged or used for fine lining, and they last all day and then some. The colors are lovely...I already have the Black Mauve Shimmer Ink, and it's one of my go-to liners for neutral looks. When I saw the Ivy Shimmer Ink, I knew I had to have it!

Foundation Review: DiorSkin Nude

Any good makeup artist will tell you that the one of the most important aspects of a well-made-up face is good skin. Without it, the overall look cannot truly come together in a polished, flawless way. That's why good skin care is so important. Keeping the skin in good condition helps form a smooth canvas for everything else you plan to add to it. 

However, no matter how good your skin is, there are THOSE days. The days when skin is tired, blotchy, uneven, or blemished. The days when it needs some help to achieve that perfect canvas--and that's where foundation comes in. The proper foundation can make the skin luminous, radiant, and even-toned. It can enhance your look and make you look younger, better rested, and generally brighter. That's where DiorSkin Nude foundation comes in. 

Dior Review: 5 Couleurs Designer Eye Palette #408, Green Design

Let me start by saying that this post is all about me stepping out of my comfort zone. I don't ordinarily do cool greens--actually, I avoid them like the plague. But when I visited my Dior counter a couple of weeks ago and saw the beautiful Green Design palette, something in me just couldn't resist it's absolute beauty and I took the plunge. My decision turned out to be a very, very good one!

Lancome Review: Eye Brightening All-In-One 5 Shadow and Liner Palette #401, Midnight Rush

I may be  a Lipstick Diva, but I love me some pretty eye shadows, too. I love a smokey eye, and one of my favorite beauty pastimes is to see how I can incorporate color into the tried-and-true black and gray smokey look. Adding a pop of color lends depth and dimension to the eye while keeping it from being overly dark and potentially goth. So when recently during a Lancome Gift With Purchase event my eye was caught by one of the 5-Color Palettes, Midnight Rush, I couldn't resist. Besides, in honor of Independence Day, I thought you could do with some nice patriotic blue!

Happy 4th of July!!!

Happy 4th of July, everyone!! As we celebrate our country's Independence Day, amidst the parades, fireworks, and hotdogs, remember to look around and take note of everything our country stands for and the freedoms it affords us. We are all so blessed to live in such a wonderful country, and I, for one, am so proud to be an American!

Also remember the service men and women who aren't able to celebrate Independence day in their backyards this holiday because they are overseas helping protect our freedom and win it for others. 

And as an added bonus, here's my Independence Day nail, courtesy of my 11-yo daughter Katie:
Have a wonderful holiday...see you tomorrow!

Nail of the Day: Essie "Sexy Divide"

I know I'm not supposed to be wearing dark polish this time of year, but whatever. I wear what I like when I like it, not according to the rules. It's my big ol' rebellious streak, I guess. Plus, when I was at Ulta the other day they were having a Buy 2, Get One Free sale on Essie polishes (go check it out!), and I fell in love with this color. I mean, who can resist purple polish?!

My Dior Makeover with Vincent Lee!

Me with Vincent Lee, National Makeup Artist for Dior. 

Today I went to my favorite Dior counter for a makeover with Vincent Lee, National Makeup Artist for Christian Dior. I was extremely excited about it as I'd heard some wonderful things about Vincent, and he didn't disappoint me! The entire experience was very educational, and just as importantly, when I left the counter I truly felt beautiful!

Nail of the Day: Teal Glitter!! Finger Paints Art You Wondering?

I've been changing up my nail polish a LOT this summer. I can't wear it to work during the school year, so I go a bit mad during the summer months and have total ADD with colors. It's rare for a color to stay on my fingertips for more than 2 days before I'm bored and looking for something else. But I have to say, "Art You Wondering?" is one of my faves, and is so fun to look at I end up keeping it on longer than most of the others. 

I chose this color as a nod to this summer's hot color, teal. At least, Allure told me teal was this summer's hot color. Can't say I've seen that many people wandering around in it, but whatever. That was my motivation for purchasing...that and the glitter. Did I mention this has glitter? Lots of it! Sparkly silver-teal glitter all throughout. Awesome!

On the Cheap: CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion

I've spent some crayyyy-zee money on night creams in my life. This is not my fault. This is the fault of the companies that make the creams who promise me that their cream will make me appear to be a 16-year-old girl again. Seriously. According to various claims, by using specific creams, I can even out my skin tone, increase firmness and suppleness, decrease the appearance of wrinkles, and generally turn back the clock. Of course, the fact that I believe all this says a lot about me, namely that I'm fairly delusional and a patsy. However, there are plenty of beneficial ingredients that can be packed into a cream that really do help improve the skin, and I've found several of them in a very inexpensive product that can be found at your local drugstore.

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