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

Beauty Spotlight Team: What's In Everyday Beauty's Dressing Table?

It's Zuzu's turn for the "What's in my ..." series, but she had such a hard time deciding what to highlight, she just decided to show the whole thing. Check out Everyday Beauty and see what's on--and in--Zuzu's dressing table.

The Perfect Summer Palette: Anastasia See and Be Seen

I was lucky enough to receive an advance look at Anastasia's new "See and Be Seen" summer palette, and I'm loving it! The colors and textures are perfect for warm-weather looks and there's something for just about everyone.

This collection includes the On-Set eyeshadow duo, two Hydrafull Glosses in Plastic and Heiress, and a Tinted Brow Gel in Caramel. The colors work well together to give a lovely summery, bronze glow.

Plastic is a vivid mid-tone pink

Heiress is a brilliant coral 

Both glosses have plenty of pigment, but are still lightweight and comfortable to wear. They leave a bit of a stain behind, so as they wear down there's no "ring around the mouth".  Since they're both cream textures, there's also no issue with glittermouth as they fade. 

The only thing I'd change about these fantastic glosses is the applicator, which is a thin plastic paddle with no foam over it. I've never seen an applicator like this. It works as well as a doe-foot or brush, but I prefer to have a bit more substance in my applicators. That being said, the glosses themselves are fantastic, and I've been getting a lot of wear from both colors. 

"On Set" is a shimmery, bronzed duo with a deep champagne highlighter and a warm bronze for the crease or lid. They apply incredibly smoothly and blend easily. They do have a very shimmery finish, but they don't cause my eye area to look old or crepey. These shadows do a great job of helping my eyes stand out without overpowering my face. 

Finally, there's the Tinted Brow Gel in Caramel: 
Caramel is a light, warm brown. It should work for most people, although it was a bit light for me. However, when I used it over my regular pencil, I found that it really helped groom my brows and keep them in place all day. Definitely a win!

Bottom Line: The "See and Be Seen" palette is a great introduction to Anastasia products if you've never tried them, and a fantastic addition to your summer makeup wardrobe. I was impressed with every single product. and can recommend them wholeheartedly.

Nail of the Day: Deborah Lippmann Ruby Red Slippers

I'm still having a lot of trouble typing, so I'm going to keep the commentary short and give you lots of pictures on this review. My NOTD today is fun, fun, fun for me, given my predilection for red and sparkly. Ruby Red Slippers is one of Deborah Lippmann's flashier polishes, to be sure. It gave me a surprise on application, because in the bottle it looks like pure glitter and that's what I was expecting. However, on application it has a black base, and it requires 3 coats to get the sparkle on my tips. That being said, it's a great polish and I get compliments every time I wear it. 

See what I mean? It looks like pure glitter. 

It took 3 coats to achieve this look. 

Even though it took some effort, I'm loving the results!!

Bottom Line: Ruby Red Slippers is a fun, festive polish that's perfect for a night on the town. Although it takes 3 coats to really get the full glitter effect, the payoff is the 3D look on your fingertips. Wear time is good--it lasted me about 6 days with only minor tip wear. The consistency is fairly thin and easy to work with, meaning I had no issues with uneven application or goopy polish settling at the edges of my nails. If you're into sparkly goodness like I am, you'll definitely want to check this one out. 

Deborah Lippmann polishes can be found at Nordstrom.

Eye of the Day featuring Laura Mercier

Hi all! I'm still having a lot of issues with my arm so I'm not up for doing full reviews yet, but I thought I'd show you the eyes I did yesterday with Laura Mercier's Rubellite (Limited Edition), which I will be reviewing soon. It's a bit shocking in the pan, being a vivid pink, and I was afraid it would make me look as if I'd been crying. Luckily, it turned out to be absolutely gorgeous and perfect for summer!

Here are a couple of shots of Rubellite, the color I used as inspiration for this look:
In bright sunlight, you can really see the sheen. 

In indirect light, the color shows more accurately. 

The products I used for this look are as follows: 

  • Laura Mercier Baked Eye Color in Rubellite
  • Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream #18 (pale, iridescent violet)
  • Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in Denim Ink (reviewed here)
  • Diorshow Iconic Mascara (review here)
Here's a closer look at my eyes: 

I applied MUFE's Aqua Cream #18 on the mobile lid, followed by Laura Mercier's Baked Eye Shadow in Rubellite in the crease. I lined my upper lash line using Bobbi Brown's Denim Ink Gel Eyeliner and applied 2 coats of my favorite mascara, Diorshow Iconic.

So, there you have it. I'll post again tomorrow if my arm is up to it. Otherwise, just know I'm going to do as much as possible without re-injuring anything. Hopefully by this time next week, I'll be back up and running!

And for the time being, I have a question for you: Have you ever purchased a product because it was so pretty, even if you felt it might not work for you? What was it?

Beauty Blog Link Love

Read about how Beauty Reflections got her Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate for a great laugh!

 Check out a gorgeous taupe and violet eyeshadow duo this week on theNotice - and make sure to give the accompanying look a read, too!

 The Pink Sith reveals what was in her June Birchbox and if this was it's third strike or a home run!

 Is the Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Eye Pencil a more convenient form of their best selling gel-liner? Head over to Makeup, Beauty and More to find out!

 Get beauty schooled, with Krasey Beauty and Make Up For Ever.

 This week, Lisamarie from Beauty Crazed discovers the wonders of Yves Saint Laurent La Laque Couture - check out her swatches and see if you agree that the polish looks just as nice as the bottle!

 Phyrra has over 25 reasons for you to be happy this summer with the Meow Joys of Summer Collection! 

Gouldylox discovers a hair treatment that is nothing short of a miracle. The shampoo and Leave In Treatment work so well, my hay-like hair isn't missing a traditional conditioner!

  bareMinerals Marvelous Moxie Glosses have become Prime Beauty's best friends!

 Don't know why your hair is perpetually flat and greasy? Silicones could be your issue! Here are a couple of tips to prevent silicone buildup on The Beauty Nerd, so that you can put some volume back into your hair! 

Hellcandy introduces Bex Londoner, a luxury range of unisex fragrances that capture the many distinct scents of London city.

What's in Polish Insomniac's Polish Station?

This week, the Beauty Spotlight Team has yet another example of outstanding organizational skills. My nail polishes are always dumped together in a big mess in a box or bag, but Jessica from Polish Insomniac has a much better system.

See what she's got in her Polish Station!

Forced to Take a Short Leave of Absence

Hi all! I know you may be wondering why I haven't posted this week, and I have an answer for you. Unfortunately, it's a rotten answer.

It seems that I have a pinched nerve in my neck which is causing excruciating pain, burning, numbness and tingling down the length of my right arm and into my right hand. Sadly, I'm right-handed, so this is causing unbelievable frustration for me. I currently am unable to feel my ring or pinky finger on my right hand, can't make a fist or grip anything with that hand, and have very few fine motor skills.

Because of all of this, I've been instructed to completely rest my right hand and arm until we get an MRI done next week, at which point we will assess the situation and determine a course of treatment. However, until that time, I can read but not write blogs, so I'll be out of commission.

Please be patient with me as we resolve this problem. Thank goodness it happened when school is out for the summer so I have some time to try treatments. I have a very physical job that can't be done without both arms.

I hope you all still visit while I'm out of commission. If you feel like dropping me a line, please do so at lipstickdiva at comcast.net. I'd love to hear from you!!


Lacquer Review and NOTD: Illumasqua Phallic Nail Varnish

I've not tried any Illumasqua makeup items yet, as they aren't available in my immediate area and I can't stand going to the nearest mall that carries them. I've heard great things, just not experienced them myself. I may have to re-think that, though, since I picked up a Nail Varnish the other day and have fallen in love. 

First off, let me state that I pay little, if any, attention to nail trends. I can honestly say that I don't know what the current trend in summer nails is...I'm assuming it's some rendition of the usual "fucshia-teal-orange" theme that seems to pop up every year. I am bright enough to know that summertime typically calls for brighter and lighter shades. I just don't care. I hold the opinion that, in both makeup and nails (and clothing, for that matter), one should stick with what inspires and flatters, not necessarily what's trending. Don't get me wrong--if a trend works for you, all the better. But please, for the sake of everyone, concentrate on what actually WORKS for you above all else. There's nothing sadder than seeing sickly-looking fingers or toes that have fallen prey to their fashion-victim owners, coated in layers of unflattering color just because it's "hot" at the moment. Lavender hair comes to mind. 

Anyhow, back on point, I was at Sephora a couple of weeks ago looking at polishes. This is a favorite summer pastime of mine because I work in a school kitchen for 9 months of the year, where I'm not permitted to wear any polish at all...not even clear. For the record, don't underestimate the lengths to which school system nutrition programs will go to ensure no foreign materials are ever introduced into the food! Hair nets, no nail polish, no jewelry...it's enough to make any beauty blogger cry. 

Because of my decidedly un-glamorous job, the first thing I do when summer hits is head to the nail salon and beauty stores for new polish. So when I stood in Sephora in front of the nail display, I was nearly overwhelmed by my choices. Glitter! Duochromes! Creams, shimmers, frosts, sheers! But of all the bright and lovely colors displayed, one caught my eye as the fairest of them all. It was Illumasqua's Phallic, a deep midnight blue with mesmerizing shimmer. Not frosty, not creamy, this polish has the perfect amount of shimmer to catch the eye and prompt deeper inspection: 

Oh, the gorgeousness! Even if you aren't a fan of blue polishes, even if you aren't a fan of the color blue, period, I defy you to try to tell me that's not stunning. The blackened blue base, the midnight shimmer--how could I resist? I snatched it up in a red-hot second and headed home to give it a test drive. 

On the fingertips, Phallic is just as gorgeous as it is in the bottle. Two coats gave me the intensity I desired. The shimmers are nearly three dimensional, seeming to float in layers on top of one another rather than in a single layer. Phallic has a hypnotic effect on me, and I find myself staring at my tips, moving them this way and that under the light, mesmerized by the play of color and shimmer off of each other. 

Up close, the shimmer effect is more evident. It's truly lovely to behold. For those of you who managed to get your hands on Tuxedo from the Dior Blue Tie Collection last year, this is a very similar color. Very, very similar. If you longed for Tuxedo (as I did) but were too late to get it, this is a good substitute. And if you're a fan of dark polish, this is one you need to give a serious look. 

Bottom Line: I'm in love with Phallic. The formula is excellent. Wear time was excellent. With Seche Vite top coat, I went 4 days of fairly hard use without a chip. It applied smoothly and evenly, with a well-sized brush that was easy to manage. Dry time was average, and the polish only required 2 coats for full opacity and intensity. Most importantly, the color is devastatingly brilliant. I suppose next I'll be headed into Atlanta proper to peruse the makeup line. 

Beauty Spotlight Team 6/9/12

The weather's getting warmer, and The Beauty Spotlight Team is heating up right along with it! This week, we've got sample boxes and nail how-to's, previews and new collections, and even a review from a cat!

Nail polish and Monthly Beauty Sample Subscription lovers: Pammy Blogs Beauty continues to love her Julep Maven subscription with this month's "Classic with a Twist" box. Check out Pammy's thoughts on the box and her NOTD!

 Jessika from polish insomiac shows us How To Smooth Bumpy Glitters.

 At Everyday Beauty, Zuzu*s Petals finally found her perfect MLLB shade in her beloved Chanel Rouge Coco Shine formula. Come see what's so fetishistic about Fétiche.

 The Pink Sith tells you a story. Once upon a time a fair maiden & a gallant Knight created magic and Medicine Mama's Apothecary sells it!

  Modesty Brown turns the clock back 12 months to see what she was loving this time last year and feels pangs of guilt for neglecting such beautiful items.

  Prime Beauty has a BIG crush on Dick Page, Creataive Director for Shiseido, find out why she's smitten and what's in store for summer!

  Visionary Beauty shows us some everyday shadow essentials from Burberry.

 Living, raw skincare? What's that? Find out in London MakeUp Girl's review of Live Native Skincare.

  Perilously Pale finally gave in and ordered the Ellis Faas Spring Gift Set for her first foray into the world of Ellis Faas. Was it worth the wait?

 Summer's here, and Shannon from Lipstick Musings has Lancome's new limited-edition Color Design Eye Palette in Desert Sunset . Get it while it's hot!

 Paula, from Older Girl Beauty talks to Emmy Award winning makeup artist Kevin James (KJ) Bennett about his new makeup brush collaboration with Royal and Langnickel called "[R]evolution".

 Beauty Info Zone has a fabulous tool that you won't believe you don't own. Check out Minerals Mate Mixing Palette to learn about it and WIN one for yourself.

15 Minute Beauty Fanatic reviewed the entire Somme Institute Skin Care Line. She had a favorite product, which one is your favorite?

Review of LUSH Skin Care: Aqua Marina Cleanser

I've had an on-and-off relationship with LUSH over the past few years. While I love some of their moisturizers and masks, I've had less than stellar luck with their cleansers. They're just too gimmicky, I think, sitting there in their odd rolls that get sliced off according to how much you need. They look really cool, but when you actually use them, they're a pain in the ass to deal with. But, being the glutton for punishment that I am, I keep going back for one more try...and one more, and one more. My latest venture into the world of LUSH cleansers, however, once again failed to "wow" me. Shock and awe, people. Shock and awe. 

LUSH's Aqua Marina cleanser sounds fantastic. Formulated with calamine, aloe vera, and nori seaweed, it's touted as a savior for sensitive or irritated skin. The claim is that its ingredients will calm and soothe sensitive or aggravated faces, especially sunburned skin. Since I have relatively sensitive skin that's very prone to flushing, I thought it would be perfect for me. 

Well, in theory it is perfect, what with all of those beneficial ingredients packed into it. Unfortunately, it's too much of a pain in the butt to use for me to get any kind of real benefit from it. 

Aqua Marina looks a lot like a sushi roll. You can't really see it in the picture above, but one side of the cleanser is wrapped in seaweed, which is said to be gentle and moisturizing. You can see some of the seaweed in the picture below: 

The color is the pale pink of calamine, which means it's pretty. It's got an odd texture, very thick and pasty. I'd liken it to the consistency of plumber's putty. It's stiff and you need to pinch off a piece of it each time you use it: 

According to the directions. you're supposed to pinch off a pea-sized piece of the cleanser and place it in the palm of your hand. You then add enough water to form a thick paste. To clean your skin, apply to the face in small, circular motions. Then rinse thoroughly and pat dry. 

There are several problems with this whole deal: 

  1. A pea-sized amount really doesn't seem to make enough cleanser to cover the entire face. When I make it a true paste, it doesn't go far enough to cleanse the entire area. When I add more water to make it go further, it gets too watery to do much good. Therefore, I end up using more product than I should. 
  2. The paste itself is really hard to work with. If it's too thick, it won't spread. If it's too thin, it's like rubbing plain calamine lotion on my skin. Getting the exact right consistency has turned out to be a bigger aggravation than I want to deal with. 
  3. There is just no way this cleanser is removing oil and dirt properly, much less makeup. The reason I'm so sure of this is that IT WON'T RINSE OFF. Every time I used it, I rinsed and rinsed and rinsed and yet there was still a thin pink layer of product left on my face. I basically had to scrub it off with a wet washcloth. Then I had to use a real cleanser to get the residue completely off and to make sure my makeup was properly removed. And of course, in the process, I removed all the benefits I'd supposedly gotten from those great ingredients. 
Bottom Line: This is another loser from the LUSH line of cleansers. I wish, wish, wish I could find one that worked for me, because truth be told I love most of their other products. I've really enjoyed several of their moisturizers, I adore the Eau Roma Water, and I've had success with every single mask I've tried. But for me, the cleansers are a bust. I think LUSH needs to stop with the cute, gimmicky rolls of cleanser that look so fascinating when you're in the store and concentrate more on making cleansers that actually clean. 

YSL Rouge Pur Couture Vernis À Lèvres (Glossy Stain) #13, Rose Tempura

A short while ago, I reviewed the new YSL Glossy Stain in #14, Fucshia Dore. I said in that post that I loved the formula so much, I planned to head back to Nordstrom for more...and I did. I now am the proud owner of 4 Glossy Stains, and today I'm going to tell you about #13, Rose Tempura. 

The official name for these little lip wonders is Rouge Pur Couture Vernis Á Lèvres Glossy Stain. For the sake of my typing fingers, I'm going to stick with the much simpler (and English) Glossy Stain. Glossy Stains are amazing products. They apply as a liquid but set within about 30 seconds to a lipstick-like consistency. According to my SA, you should apply the stain and then refrain from rubbing your lips together for 30 seconds to allow the stain and gloss to set. Apparently, rubbing your lips together too soon will interfere with the gloss of the product. I, however, have a terrible habit of pressing my lips together immediately after applying any lip product, and even when I've been unable to avoid that temptation, I've found my Glossy Stain to be just that...a glossy stain. 

The applicator is a flexible (but not flimsy), angled, doe-foot applicator that allows for precise application. The first coat is fairly sheer, while subsequent coats build. I find two coats to be more than enough for full opacity and color. 

The texture of the stain is similar to that of a liquid lipstick. As a matter of fact, it feels a lot like Rouge Allure Lacque from Chanel in the way it applies. However, it dries down somewhat as it sets, leaving a lightweight but substantial feel on the lips, much like a gloss. The finish is glossy, as well. What I love most about the Glossy Stains is that they give shine and color without being overly sticky or slick. While there is a bit of tackiness left even after it sets, it serves mainly to make the lips feel moisturized rather than gloppy or gooey. I also find that my hair doesn't get stuck to my lips every time a breeze blows by---a huge plus in my book! Even more important is the longevity of Glossy Stains. They literally last for hours and hours. The gloss stays unmarred for 4 hours or longer even through drinking, and the stain lasts up to 8 hours and wears down evenly. 

The color Rose Tempura is a stunning rosy-fuchsia-red color that if I had to compare, I'd say was close to watermelon but with more depth. There are very slight sparkles, but they aren't really obvious to the naked eye when applied. I love this color because it seems to be a cool pink with warmth. It works well with my corals, yet pulls cooler when I'm wearing teals, blues and purples. It goes with everything I own. 

Top: #14, Fuchsia Dore. Bottom: #13, Rose Tempura

Above, you can see how much warmer Rose Tempura is than Fuchsia Dore (which is, admittedly, a very cool fucshia). However, even when compared to such a blue-based color, you can see the blue undertones of Rose Tempura. They're simply intermingled with a much warmer rose, which is why the color is such a chameleon. 

On my lips, and with no clothing undertones to play off of, (I was wearing a white shirt), Rose Tempura is a lovely watermelon rose. It's warmer in the recessed portions of my lips, while the parts that catch the light clearly show the blue undertones.

Bottom Line: Rose Tempura, while being undeniably pink, is an extremely versatile shade that goes with virtually anything. I have extremely neutral undertones, which is probably why I pick up both the warm and the cool tones in this one. Those of you with warmer or cooler skin will see the undertones reflect on you accordingly. The formula is outstanding, as it's lightweight yet long-wearing, and it retains its gloss for hours and its color for hours longer than that. I'm truly addicted to these, and will be bringing you more shades soon!

EOTD Featuring Lancome and YSL

Today I'm going to show you one of the eye looks I've come up with using YSL's Dessin du Regard Waterproof Eye Liner and the new Lancome Summer Eye Shadow Palette in Desert Sunset. The Dessin du Regard has been a little tricky for me since it's such a vibrant color and I'm used to neutrals, but I think I like this one.

For this look, I primed with the Bare Minerals Brightening Eye Primer. I must have gotten a sample of it recently, because I found it floating around in my purse the other day. It's a great primer with a pearly, iridescent finish that I love.

So, on to the eye:

  • Bare Minerals Brightening Eye Primer
  • Pink Coral eye shadow from the Lancome Desert Sunset Palette
  • YSL Dessin du Regard Waterproof Eye Liner in Azure Blue
  • Dior Diorshow Iconic Mascara
  • Ultraflesh gel liner from the Black Magic collection
I began by priming with the Bare Minerals and then used Pink Coral in the crease. I applied the black gel liner from the Ultraflesh collection on the upper lash line, then applied the Azure Blue below and in the waterline. I finished with Dior Iconic Mascara. 

I love that this gives me a pop of color, but I'm still not totally sure about it. I used the Azure Blue again yesterday in conjunction with some purples, and it really looked nice. I'll try to do that one again next week and post pictures. For now...here's what you get!

Do you have items in your collection that you absolutely love, but have difficulty figuring out how to wear them?

Beauty Blog Link Love 6/2/12

Looking for a bright lippie to wear this summer? Be sure to check out Revlon's Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Lovesick over at Makeup, Beauty & More!

 Were there any colours in the Dior summer collection other than orange? While viewing the swatches of Lisamarie from Beauty Crazed, one would think not... check them out and see if you agree that orange is the awesome-est!

 Phyrra shows you her newest lust, the Sugarpill Heart Breaker Palette. She compares it to some of her other favorite shadows and shares some looks, too!

 At Eyelining Obsessions, Claire sums up her review series talking about 6 high street BB Creams.

 Rae tries out a bright, summery, colour-blocked makeup look at theNotice. Find out what fuchsia and coral lipsticks she picked to create the lip!

 Bun Bun Makeup Tips reviews some good quality eyeshadows from Makeup Geek! Shimma Shimma and Shimmermint are her favorites!

 Love nail polish? Check out Krasey Beauty's review of the Zoya Beach collection!

 Shannon at Lipstick Musings has found the perfect way to fake the sunny with Chanel's Soleil Tan de Chanel in Sable Rose from the Summertime de Chanel Collection. If you're a fan of bronzers, you may just need this one!

 Jumping in on the BB Cream Craze, Pammy Blogs Beauty is determined to find one that works for her! Find how how she likes Clinique's Age Defense BB Cream.

 Find out which OPI polish is a wallet-friendly dupe for Chanel Peridot on My Lips But Better.

 Miss Beauty Nerd is opting for Maybelline's Dream Nude Airfoam as her go-to foundation in this muggy weather.

 K from Beautifully Addicted To gives you a look at L'Oreal Rouge Caresses in Dating Coral.

 Christina the Glitterholic welcomes her makeup sensei Lisa in a guest post reviewing the new MAC Collection, Casual Colour Lip and Cheek Pots. Check out her swatches and read her review.
The Pink Sith reviews the Exclusive to Neiman Marcus Tysons Galleria Le Metier de Beaute Lip Creme in Cebu and she is giving away a mini lip palette from Le Metier de Beaute. Enter for your chance to win today!

What's In My Drawers?

Well, it's my turn for the biweekly Beauty Spotlight Team feature "What's In Your...?", and I've decided to bare my soul and show you all my makeup drawers. Yes, that's plural...drawers. And there are 6 of them. And that's pretty much just for my most-used items (for the most part), not the items I only use on special occasions, and not the items I didn't care too much for but kept anyway, because you never know when things will change. No, these are more or less my makeup essentials, plus items I'm currently testing for the blog for upcoming reviews. So, now that you know I'm a total glutton, let's get started. 

The top drawer contains eye shadows and concealers. I know there are a ton of them in there, but a lot of them are samples from Fyrinnae that I'm playing around with on occasion with plans to review in the future. I also have a few regular singles and a few palettes, in addition to some concealers and the exquisite Touche Eclat eye illuminator.

My current favorites are:

  • Lancome's Summer Color Design Palette in Desert Sunset
  • Urban Decay's Naked Palette
  • The new Smashbox Shades of Fame Palette
  • Fyrinnae's shadow in Te Amo
  • YSL's Touche Eclat
Next, we have my mascara and eyeliner drawer. As you'll see, I'm fairly insane for mascaras. I try them and try them and always go back to my chosen few favorites. In this drawer, there are quite a few items that are simply being tested and may or may not make my list. I also have a couple of eyebrow products in there. 

Favorites from this drawer include:

The third drawer in the Vault of Excess contains face products such as blush and highlighters. This is by far my barest drawer, as I'm not much of a blush girl. I need color on my cheeks, I just don't really care what it is as long as it doesn't look muddy on me. 

Okay, so it isn't exactly bare, but there are only 10 items in there and 2 of them are being evaluated for reviews, so I don't count them. 

Favorites from this one include: 

As we move down the line, we enter the Foundation Nation, which also has a limited number of items, although still excessive for a mere mortal. This drawer also includes foundation primers and setting powder. 

Loving right now: 

We've now arrived at my favorite drawer, the lip products. As you all know, I'm a sucker for a pretty lipstick or gloss, so I'm sure you're imagining 100's of lippies crammed into the drawer. However, it's pretty tame, all things considered. There are two reasons for this: First, I have a ton of lipsticks and glosses packed away into each of the three handbags I use, and second, I recently cleaned out all of my winter lipsticks and put them away...in other drawers. 

For summer, I'm focusing on: 

  • Chanel Glossimer in Jalousie
  • The new YSL Glossy Stains, which are unbelievable. I am currently using #11 and #14
FINALLY, we have my "potions" drawer, where the real magic happens. This is the drawer where I keep my favorite skin care products, particularly serums and moisturizers. I love this drawer because it loves me. It's been treating me right for a long time now, helping erase all those nasty signs of age, fatigue, and stress that plague me on a daily basis. 

I switch up my skin care quite a bit, as I believe you should use products that work for you each individual day instead of looking for catch-all products that are supposed to fit every circumstance. For instance, I have several eye creams, each of which serves a separate purpose, be it intense hydration, makeup base for concealer, or de-puffer. The same goes for my facial products, as I'll switch things up from day to day according to whether I need additional moisture, mattifying, brightening, etc. 

I love pretty much every item in this drawer, but right now I'm getting a lot of use out of: 

Whew!! Well, if you're still with me, you're a trooper, because this has been a looooong post. But now you know the truth...I have a ridiculous amount of beauty products, more than any human needs and definitely more than I should have. I'm actually in the process of trying to pare down my routine. Even though there's a ton of stuff in there, you can see I really only love, love, love a few in each category...and I certainly don't wear them all at once! 

Tell me, do you go overboard with your beauty products? 

Lancome Summer Eyes: Color Design Palette in Desert Sunset

Over the last few years, I haven't paid much attention to Lancome. I was busy branching out into other lines, and basically decided to avoid the Big 3 (Lancome, Clinique, and Estee Lauder) because I felt that they already get enough press. Recently, my eye was caught by a lipstick display and I ended up purchasing Hypnose Doll Eyes mascara, as well as one of the new Rouge In Love lipsticks and a Color Design lipstick, all with good results. So when Lancome went into gift at Macy's last week, I decided to drop by and see what they had to offer. And it was gorgeous. 

The Lancome Summer Collection, Bronze Diva, is truly lovely. It includes a 6-shadow eye palette, three new Artliners, 4 Juicy Tubes, 3 Color Design Hydra-Balm lipsticks, 2 powder bronzers, a blush, and 2 nail lacquers. Wow! Quite a collection. They're all beautiful and focused on shades of bronze and pink. I limited myself to just two items (so far) from the collection, the Artliner in Gold Passion and the Color Design Palette in Desert Sunset. 

Desert Sunset is a stunning palette of varying shades of cream, bronze, copper, orange, deep brown. It's the perfect summer combination for any eye color, especially brown eyes like mine. The colors are soft and subtle, yet vibrant in an understated way. 

Top Row: Light Beige (matte), Pink Coral (shimmer), Shimmer Pink Peach (which I found to be more matte than shimmer, and more orange than pink).
Bottom Row: Beige (shimmer, and slightly lighter than the Light Beige, interestingly enough), Copper (shimmer), and Deep Brown (shimmer). 

As you can see above, it's beautiful to look at, and the colors are fairly universal, with the possible exception of the orange--admittedly, not for the faint-hearted. I, however, am pretty much up for anything. I'm loving it. 

These colors are a dream to work with, applying evenly and blending easily. They are fairly soft and powdery, but there is minimal fallout. The gradation in the depth of color from the lightest beige to the deepest brown, with color shining in between, allows for any number of different looks ranging from the most natural to the smokiest and most dramatic, from totally neutral to colorful and playful. 

I did two different looks to give you an idea of the versatility of the palette. They're actually fairly similar, but do showcase different application techniques and colors. 

Here, I used the Shimmer Pink Peach on my lids with Copper in the crease, Light Beige at the brow bone, and Deep Brown as liner. 

Here, I used Pink Coral in the inner corner with Shimmer Pink Peach on the outer half of the lid. I used Copper in the crease and Light Beige on the brow. I finished with the LE Artliner in Gold Passion. 

Bottom Line: This is an absolutely stunning palette that's versatile and very fun to work with. I'm going to continue playing with it to see how many variations I can come up with...there will be many. The colors are universally flattering, especially for dark eyes. The quality is excellent, and ease of use is outstanding. Wear time is also very good over primer, with no creasing or fading. If you're looking for some summer eye shades, this is a great place to start. 

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