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

Skin Care Review: LUSH Skin's Shangri La Facial Moisturizer

This summer, I've suffered more from oily skin than usual. I'm typically very dry, so this has sort of surprised me. Being 42, I'm thinking maybe I'm hitting the menopausal years (which I'm totally unprepared to handle), but regardless of the reason for the changes, I have to deal with them. That being said, I still love the feel of a rich cream on my face at night. So what's a girl to do? 

I found a great solution in LUSH's Skin's Shangri La Facial Moisturizer. It's a rich cream that sinks readily into my skin and helps balance my oil production while still giving me plenty of moisture...no small feat, in my experience!

Although I find it to be very balancing (and it was sold to me on that premise), Skin's Shangri La is marketed as being for more mature skins. It's rich without being heavy, and it includes beneficial ingredients such as aloe vera extract, wheatgrass infusion and jojoba oil. The big selling point to this cream, as with a few other LUSH products, is their famed "Queen of Hungary Water", a vodka-based tonic with rosemary that purportedly smooths fine lines and tightens the skin. According to the folks at LUSH, there are at least 27 shots of vodka in each batch of this cream! I didn't notice any dramatic changes to my fine lines, but they were softened, as was the skin on my entire face. Best yet, there was no greasy residue on my forehead in the morning when I used this cream. Perhaps the vodka helped soak up some oil for me.

If you aren't familiar with the whole LUSH schtick, they make their products by hand in small batches, sending them out to their retail stores immediately due to the fact that they all have expiration dates. There's a picture on the back of each jar of the person who created your batch, along with the expiration date. Here's a shot of the lovely Nic, who whipped up my batch:

Bottom Line: I've found Skin's Shangri-La to be the perfect warm-weather solution for my finicky skin. It feels rich on application but doesn't exacerbate the oilier areas of my face and leaves little to no residue behind. I've not experienced any breakouts with this one, either. I'm going to continue with it until the weather cools at the very least, and if it can get me through the colder months, I may have found a Holy Grail skin cream. 

Lancome Review: "You've Got The Look" Color Design Eye Shadow Single

I'm still in the shimmery eye shadow phase from summer, so when I found the new Color Design Eye Shadow Single "You've Got The Look" from Lancome, I was smitten. It's got color, it's got depth, and it still plays nicely with others. 

"You've Got The Look" is, at its heart, a pretty plummy shadow that works well for the lid or crease. What makes this such a fun color is the golden overtone to the shade, which gives it a great shimmer without being glittery and adds depth to an otherwise ubiquitous eye color. 

You can see above just how shimmery this shade is, as well as just how much gold is overlaid with the plum base. It takes an otherwise ordinary color to an entirely new level and gives it far more versatility than a typical neutral would. 

In some lights (and when used in the depth of the crease), the neutral plum is very apparent and is excellent for shading. However, when used on the higher planes of the eye, the gold surges forth and adds amazing highlighting: 

Worn in the crease, "You've Got The Look" adds depth and dimension to the eye. Worn across the lid, it literally shades itself, appearing nearly holographic as the light plays across the higher and lower planes of the lid. There's no overt glitter shining through, either, and this color applies with little to no fallout. 

Bottom Line: On first glimpse, "You've Got The Look" is a very typical neutral plum, but once applied it becomes far more. It can carry you from day to night with ease and can be used alone or with other colors for a variety of effects. Definitely one to keep in your arsenal of shadows. 

BB Cream Review: Missha Cho Bo Yang Cream SPF 30/PA++

I haven't done a foundation review in quite some time, and there's a reason for that: I haven't been wearing too much foundation lately. When I do, it's been the sheer Armani Face Fabric, which I just realized I somehow never reviewed. But the other day I misplaced my Armani and went rooting around in my foundation drawer, and what did I find but my Missha Cho Bo Yang BB Cream. I'd forgotten all about it! Seriously forgotten. That should tell you how out-of-control my makeup situation is.

But today I'm here to right a wrong and give this little BB Cream its due...because I owe it a lot.

I bought the Cho Bo Yang cream when it was packaged as a special purchase along with the M Signature Real Complete BB Cream SPF 25 PA++. It was a good value and I couldn't decide between the two formulas, so I took a chance and got them both. I've been happy with both formulas, but the Cho Bo Yang has a few advantages over its sister cream, among them better coverage and more skin-serving ingredients.

Cho Bo Yang BB Cream is marketed as an "herbal prescription BB Cream" that is tri-functional through the use of Chinese herbal ingredients including Korean Wild Ginseng, Cordyceps Sinesis, and pure gold. These ingredients purportedly work in synergy to promote wrinkle repairing and whitening, while the SPF 30 PA++ gives sun protection. It was developed to keep skin radiant while offering no irritation during wear, and claims to be long-wearing.

The formula is fairly thick for a BB Cream, as you can see below:

Compare that to the consistency of the M Signature Complete Cream, which is much more liquid and has a slightly more yellow tone:

Due to the fairly thick consistency, Cho Bo Yang is capable of offering strong medium coverage that can easily be buffed out to a sheerer finish. It's perfect for those "not-quite-perfect-skin" days. At first, I found it a little difficult to work with because it can drag a bit on the skin. However, with a little work, I realized that if I warm it between my fingertips before applying, it glides on like silk. The finish is dewy at first, then dries down to a what I would call "luminous", so if you prefer a more matte finish you'll need to follow with powder. As far as BB Creams go, it is fairly long-lasting and has carried me through a day in the kitchen without a problem, but it won't take you into the evening. It's also not very sweat-proof, so if you're going to be in the heat or working out, I'd suggest you try something else.

The color 01 is a greyish pink typical of many Korean BB Creams. It goes on a little ghostly, but as it warms and melds with my skin it becomes much more natural...unless I apply it very heavily, it's capable of giving me a "no-makeup makeup" effect quickly and easily.

The above shot is swatched fairly heavily and not blended at all, but it gives you a good idea of the potential coverage, as it blocks out my veins very well. I find I can build this cream over problem areas such as ruddy cheeks without it becoming mask-like on my skin. You can tell from this shot that the color match is nearly perfect, and once it sets, it's an excellent shade for my pale, neutral skin.

I love that it has SPF in it, but don't like that the bottle came with only Korean writing on it so I'm not entirely sure what the full ingredient list includes. I'm assuming the sun protection consists of physical blocks simply because I'm sensitive to chemical sunscreens and I find this cream to be soothing and non-irritating, but I can't be sure. Those of you who have a lot of sensitivities or want a complete ingredients list will need to contact Missha, as I don't read Korean. I do detect a light floral/herbal fragrance to it, so beware if you are sensitive--although I'm typically pretty sensitive to fragrances and have had no problems.

Bottom Line: This is my favorite of the BB Creams I've tried, thanks to its good coverage and nice finish. It takes a bit of work to get it on, but it's worth the trouble in my opinion. I haven't had problems with the slight fragrance, and although I haven't experienced any life-altering improvements in my skin while using Cho Bo Yang, I also haven't experienced breakouts or irritation. For my dry/combination skin, it lasts well for about 6-8 hours, but will need some serious touch-up work after that since once it decides to fall apart, it does so quickly and completely. That being said, I have yet to find a truly long-lasting BB Cream, so I can't hold that against it. If you have fairly normal skin and want to try a BB Cream with more than average coverage, this just may be your answer.

Cho Bo Yang BB Cream can be found at the Missha US site and elsewhere on the web.

Beauty Blog Link Love

Looking for a great red lipstick for the fall? Jenn from Spiced Beauty shows you her current favourite!

 Addicted to Beauty has a Disney bliss out with these amazing Disney Princess Nail Decals - are you a Princess Jasmine, Princess Ariel or Cinders?

 From purple smoky eyes to cherry stained lips, Phyrra loves the gorgeous Fall 2012 Beauty Trends. Which ones are your favorite?

 Check out Krasey Beauty's party face of the day!

 If you've ever wondered about how your favourite serums and moisturizers work, this Tatcha skincare ingredient breakdown on theNotice is a must-read.

 Find out if Audrey Dao agrees with the hype of the Too Faced Better Than False Lashes Mascara

Lisamarie from Beauty Crazed loves purple so much that it's no wonder she is loving the LancĂ´me Midnight Roses collection check out her swatches and see if you fall in love too!

 Have you ever considered eyelash extensions? Lisa from Beauty Info Zone had them done and the results are simply amazing.

 Miss Beauty Nerd is packing Benefit's Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow foundation for her beach vacation. Find out why this foundation makes it into her suitcase!

 Are you ready for Fall? Jessika from polish insomiac shares her top picks from the Fall 2012 Germany by OPI collection!

 Over at Makeup Morsels, MM highlights the uncanny resemblance between one of her favorite paintings and three of her favorite eyeshadows.

 Prime Beauty shows you how to get pretty "fierce" this fall with Tarte's Call of the Wild Amazonian Clay Eye Shadow Palette.

 At Musing on Beauty, Mariella splurged and invested in the Kerastase Chroma Riche range, however she isn't liking it too much. Find out why!

 See how Tracy at Beauty Reflections defeated the evil oily eyelid curse with Make Up Forever Eye Prime!

  Ben Nye Essential Eyeshadow Palette is a HUGE hit for Christina the Glitterholic! Check out her swatches and FOTD and find out where to get this gorgeous palette.

 Has Too Faced managed to bring sexy back? Find out if that honour still belongs to Justin Timberlake in Lydia's review of The Return of Sexy Palette for Fall 2012 on The Perfectly Imperfect Beauty Blog.

 In need of gentle yet effective skincare? Pammy Blogs Beauty tries out Jurlique's Herbal Recovery Line.

 At Lipstick Musings, Shannon's got a quick tutorial to show you how to remove the toughest glitter polishes in a flash--and it's foil-free!

 Gouldylox is really bad at math, but she thinks she figured out how committing this beauty sin will impact you for the rest of your life.

 Jude reviews the Japonesque Complexion Perfection brush set on Love Lust & Fairy Dust.

 Anita drools over pictures of the upcoming Guerlain Holiday 2012 Collection. Take a sneak peek over at Pleasureflush!
If you like the look of Midnight Violets Blog why not check out her 250 follower giveaway!

Skin Care Review: Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate

Image Courtesy of  Kiehl's.

As you all probably know by now, I'm a big fan of Kiehl's skin care. I've strayed, my eye has been drawn to more decadent products, but I always seem to return to Kiehl's. The products are reasonably priced and incredibly effective. They're also fairly luxurious and feel wonderful on the skin. 

Midnight Recovery Concentrate is no exception. It's a lightweight oil that regenerates, replenishes and repairs skin, leaving it smooth and soft in the morning. When I use it layered over the Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate at night, I'm left glowing in the morning. The combination is incredibly effective at rejuvenating my skin, especially when its gotten dry and dull. What's more, this magical oil is perfect for combination and even oilier skin types due to its lightweight texture. 

Midnight Recovery Concentrate is a blend of nourishing oils such as squaline to replenish skin, Evening Primrose to repair and boost overall radiance, and eight essential oils including Lavender oil to soothe skin and stimulate its natural repair process. Together, the combination offers a knockout punch to ageing skin. It's also 99.8% natural and contains no parabens. 

Bottom Line: I love this product. I don't use it every night because I have so many other products to try, but when I do I reap amazing benefits the next morning. My skin is soft, smooth, radiant and fresh-looking. If you've never tried a skin oil, this is the place to start, and if you're an afficianado of oils like me, you need to add this to your arsenal.

Lovely Lipstick Review: NARS Funny Face Matte Lipstick

Hello, ladies and gentlemen! I know I've been gone a while, and I'm so sorry I didn't update the blog to at least tell you what was going on. I've had some setbacks with my neck that caused me to have to lay off the computer (torture), plus school started back, making my life one big, busy blur. It's hard to write intelligently at 8:00 at night when you've been up since 4:30 and at work since 6:00!

But I think I'm back now, and I'm raring to go! To celebrate, I thought I'd bring you a happy little lipstick review on one of my new favorites...NARS Matte Lipstick in Funny Face. 

Oh, there are so many reasons to love this lipstick. The Audrey Hepburn reference, the vivid fuchsia color, the creamy matte texture...seriously, what's not to love? I haven't found a single thing not to like about this one. 

Funny Face is, at its heart, a brilliant hot pink lipstick that really pops on the lips. It's bright and happy, and fuchsia is one of the hot colors for the season, which is a plus. As you all know, I'm usually a "red" girl, but sometimes I'm just not in the mood for the drama. Well, actually, I'm always in the mood for drama, but I'm not always in the mood to commit to the upkeep involved with my beloved dramatic reds. That's when the pinks and berries come into play. They still give me plenty of color, but in a slightly less in-your-face manner. Pinks and berries also tend to require less re-application, as in my experience they fade down more evenly and typically leave a lovely pink stain behind. Overall---WINNING! (OMG, I can't believe I just went there). 

Here's a shot of Funny Face on my arm in indirect sunlight: 

As you can see, it's a gorgeous mid-range fuchsia that pulls just slightly cool, but still remains primarily neutral on my neutral/cool skin. This shot also shows the matte finish, which is truly lovely. It works incredibly well with the bright color because it tones things down just a bit. I think that if Funny Face had a satiny or glossy finish, it would be waaaay over the top. However, with the matte finish reigning things in a bit, the lipstick instead manages to stay on the right side of the line between bright and garish. 

But even better than the arm swatch is the appearance on the lips. It's not visible on my arm, and it's barely visible on the actual bullet of lipstick, but Funny Face has an iridescent glow to it that's quite unexpected. 

As you can see above, this iridescence gives the effect of creaminess without adding any glossiness. It adds fullness to my lips without the stickiness of a creamy or glossy lip product. It also allows for the staying power of a true matte, which means that I only have to reapply after meals, not every few hours. 

The texture of Funny Face is excellent. It feels creamy on application, then dries down a bit within the first 10 minutes or so. Being a matte, it of course isn't moisturizing, but it's not drying either. I wore it for 4 days in a row and didn't end up with dry or chapped lips. If you do tend toward dry lips (I do), you might also consider applying a light layer of lip balm underneath, which gives the lipstick a very creamy texture while retaining the matte finish. Lasting power on me was exceptional. I found that I did have to reapply after meals, but on the day when I missed lunch, this lasted 8 hours! Plus, when it does fade down, it leaves behind a gorgeous, bright pink stain that doesn't leave an unsightly ring around the mouth. 

Bottom Line: This is a definite winner in the matte lipstick department. I love that it's so bright and happy because it puts me in a good mood. The color is dramatic, but the matte finish tones it down just enough to make it suitable for day wear. The iridescence is brightening and plumping and adds an unexpected twist. I've been wearing this nearly every day since I got it. 

We have some excitement with two of our Beauty Spotlight Team members. We are always proud of everyone but this is an extra special award. Check out Stylist.com to find out which of our beauties have earned this honor.

  The Pink Sith Reviews skincare from TATCHA which was inspired by Geisha. Plus she’s giving away a full sized Brightening Serum!

  Modesty Brown realises she has a new addiction: Sheer Lipsticks. Check out swatches of her collection, including new additions from ILIA Beauty and W3LL People.

  Visionary Beautyrealises that you can have too many lipsticks, here’s a look at her Chanel Coco Shine collection.

 Addicted to nail polish and "monthly" beauty subscriptions? Pammy Blogs Beauty sure is! Check out what she got in her Julep Maven August Box.

 Do you ever despair of finding the perfect eyeshadows to wear to work? Beauty Info Zone has the answer with Hourglass Suede Visionaire Eyeshadow Duo.

 Are you ready for Fall? Jessika from polish insomiac shares her top picks from the Fall 2012 Germany by OPI collection!

 Lisamarie from Beauty Crazed tries to give Lisa Rinna a run for her money with her newly-plumped lips - check it out and see which Lisa you think wins the prize!

 Now that you've got your summer color, Paula, from Older Girl Beauty challenges you to add some Orange to your routine.

 The return of Nars Outlaw Blush with their Fall 2012 collection has Perilously Pale wishing she had discovered this beauty before it was originally discontinued.

  Prime Beauty added another neutral/nude eye shadow palette to her collection. Find out why Anastasia's She Wears It Well is different from the pack. Hint: Youthful Synergy Complex®.

  15 Minute Beauty Fanatic shows you a quick makeup look for a quiet day at home.

What's In 15-Minute Beauty Fanatic's Desk Drawer?

15 Minute Beauty Fanatic shares the crazy amount of product hiding in the desk drawer in her office. She has to be prepared for staying a while, but this might be a bit too much!

See what's hiding in her desk drawer!

Beauty Blog Link Love

Lisamarie from Beauty Crazed is way too lazy to have to deal with sharpeners and thinks twist up pencils are the way to go - check out her Revlon, Annabelle and Clinique swatches and see if you agree!

Phyrra lets her skin shine through with Urban Decay Naked Skin Liquid Foundation. See why she loves it!

This hemp-based oil has stopped Gouldylox's nails and cuticles from looking like farm animals gnawed on them. If you have weak nails or brutal cuticles, you should check this out!

Jenny finds summer in a tube AKA Clarins Crystal Balm in Crystal Coral. See her review and FOTD on My Funny Valentine.

Bun Bun Makeup Tips shares her Makeup Tutorial for Hooded Lids - Vertical Gradient Method of Eyeshadow Application!

Love matte finishes, violet eyeshadow, or Lana Del Rey? Then you need to check out this violet and black smokey eye makeup look on theNotice!

Do you need a little sparkle in your life? If so, Shannon from Lipstick Musings has exactly what you're looking for with Deborah Lippmann's Razzle Dazzle!

Looking for the perfect lip crayon? Check out this Canadian Beauty find over at Spiced Beauty Blog.

FabDiva20 has been on a Sugarpill rampage and purchased two amazing Chromalust Loose Eyeshadows from Sugarpill! Check out her Sugarpill Hysteric and Birthday Girl reviews and swatches!

Have you ever wondered what's involved with a keratin straightening treatment? Lisa from Beauty Info Zone had the NV BKT Treatment done and explains it step by step for you.

Check out what Steal My Heart Lovee has to say about the Laura Mercier Oil-Free Tinted Moisturizer.

Check out Krasey Beauty's latest face of the day, full of brights from Sugarpill and Make Up For Ever!

Fleurissante shows you the swatches of Guerlain Shine Automatique lipsticks.

Keeping your over 40 skin youthful and dewy can be tricky. Prime Beauty gets her JLo Glow with the new BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector in Moonstone!

Shard glitter - the coolest glitter type yet! Musicalhouses shows you Cirque Potosi, a gorgeous mix of glitter shapes and colours!

Got frizzy hair? Find out which product will tame it on My Lips But Better.

At Musing on Beauty, Mariella tries a micellar lotion from the Himalaya! Will it work as good as Bioderma? Check it out!

Check out Midnight Violets informative bronzer post. Including application, favourites & tips!

Fall is coming and Anita has been enjoying testing out 3 shades of Guerlain's new liquid lipsticks, Rouge G L'Extrait. See what she thinks of them over on Pleasureflush.

Want to hear about a shower gel that cures headaches and makes you smell divine? Hear all about Lush's Flying Fox and its miracles at Adorable On Your Vanity.

Jude reviews Veet EasyWax Electrical Roll-On Kit and concludes it's the best at home kit for salon results!

Beauty Reflections shows you her favourite Fall 2012 eyeshadow palettes, the Shu Uemura Chocolat-Donna palettes!

Are you both oily and sensitive? Not to fear, Miss Beauty Nerd has the perfect regimen for you!

Makeup, Beauty& More reviews and swatches some of the hottest fall nail colors by Zoya!

Pammy Blogs Beauty is Too Faced's "Beauty Blogger of the Month" for August 2012! Come check out the announcement post and enter her $25 Too Faced Gift Card Giveaway!

It's giveaway time over at Beauty In The Mirror, with NUXE Reve de Miel (plus extras) up for grabs! Pop over and enter.

Tutorial: The Easiest Way Ever to Remove Glitter Nail Polish!

I'm a fan of glitter polishes. This should come as no surprise to those of you who have been with me all summer, given my love for lacquers like Deborah Lippmann's Razzle Dazzle and Ruby Red Slippers. When it comes down to it, I love everything that sparkles. But what I don't like is how difficult those glitter polishes are to remove. Some of them are nearly impossible to get off my nails, and as I have no patience at all, I had to find a good way to remove that glitter. 

Enter the "foil method" of removal. In this method, you soak cotton pads in nail polish remover, wrap the cotton around your fingertips, then wrap foil around the cotton to hold it to the tips of your fingers, and wait 3-5 minutes for the remover to do its job. It's an effective method, but I had some issues with it--namely, I can never wrestle the foil onto my fingertips tightly enough to hold the soaked cotton on my fingertips. If I moved a muscle, the entire thing would fall off uselessly. 

So I came up with my own soaking method and it's worked wonders. I'm going to walk you through it: 

First. you're going to need cotton pads, nail polish remover, and latex gloves (you can get a box of 100 for about $7.99 at Sally Beauty Supply). Once you've gathered your supplies, it's time to get to work. 

Okay, here are my gnarly. abused, way-past-their-expiration-date nails. I'm wearing Lippmann's Bad Romance, which is incredibly stubborn. 

First off, soak your cotton pads and wrap one around each fingertip. It gets a little tricky when you do your entire hand, but if you just hold the pads in place for a few seconds as you move onto the next step, you'll be fine. Just remember to do only one hand at a time. Once you've gotten that glove on, you'll have no trouble doing the other hand. 

Next, pull on the latex glove. This is great because the glove holds pressure on the fingertips, allowing the polish remover to really sink in, and because it's secure--no foils to fall off with no warning! As a matter of fact, I don't even sit still and wait on this. Instead, I go about my business for a few minutes. 

After enough time has elapsed you can pull the gloves (and your polish) right off! It's like a Christmas miracle, I tell you! The glitter slides right off the nails. 

So, there's my take on foil removal of glitter polishes. Give it a try--I think you'll like it!

Beauty Spotlight Team 8/4/12

The Pink Sith shows you the next in her series of Highlighters You Can't Have but this time you have a chance to win this coveted and discontinued beauty. See? She's not all bad!

 All You Magazine has released their "Best Beauty Buys" Winners! Pammy Blogs Beauty is reviewing some items and giving away an assortment of winning products! Come check it out!

 Planning a holiday and need a travel kit, Visionary Beauty looks at the current skin care routine.

 The much sought after Chanel Fleur de Lotus Collection has made it's way all the way from Asia to the U.S.! This Nordstrom exclusive has a lot to love, but Prime Beauty, thinks the star of the show is the lovely Fleur de Lotus Joues Contraste Blush!

 Have you been wanting to try the new summer blues on your nails but couldn't get up the nerve? Never fear! Shannon from Lipstick Musings has found the perfect pastel in Julep's nail lacquer in Amy!

 Lisamarie from Beauty Crazed is already thinking fall - and with amazing colours from the fall Dior collection, how can she not? Check our her swatches and see if you're ready to ditch summer!

  London Makeup Girl loves finding independent, home grown brands. Read about Soapsmith, a London based and themed bath and body company in her post this week.

 Paula, from Older Girl Beauty, got big waves with her new Sedu 38mm Clipless Curling Iron and is giving one away to a reader to try for themselves.

 Have you been debating Dior Fall? Beauty Info Zone has a palette that will push you over the edge. Go to the Golden Savannah to see what you are missing.

 Perilously Pale finally finds a skin care regime that performs with Somme Institute.

15 Minute Beauty Fanatic liked the way Revlon Overtime Mascara worked, but did it last for 24 hours?

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