Monday, December 31, 2012

NARSskin Travel Skincare Sets

 If you want to take your NARSskin on the go with you, the brand is bringing out 2 travel skincare sets on Jan. 1st.

NARS if you didn't know makes some great skincare. Their Total Replenish Eye Cream is fabulous and I like the Purifying Foaming Cleanser as well.

These sets  of both travel and full size have it all. One for skin needing more moisture and one for the oilier among us.  Both come in a NARS cosmetic bag.

Optimal Brightening Concentrate (Full Size)
Total Replenishing Eye Cream (Full Size)
Multi-Action Hydrating Toner (Travel Size)
Purifying Foam Cleanser (Travel Size)
Aqua Gel Luminous Oil-Free Moisturizer (Travel Size)
Travel Cosmetics bag

Optimal Brightening Concentrate (Full Size)
Total Replenishing Eye Cream (Full Size)
Multi-Action Hydrating Toner (Travel Size)
Gentle Cream Cleanser (Travel Size)
Luminous Moisture Cream (Travel Size)
Travel Cosmetics Bag

Each set is $140 at

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Scala Fascinator Headpiece

I love hats .  I rarely wear the fancy ones but I have a nice collection including vintage ones. I like to think if I lived in the UK I would wear them a lot. There, they get hats.  And even start trends.

Thanks to the young royals like  Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie and the Duchess of Cambridge , over the past few years it's been all about the Fascinator. These are fun and often over the top.    It's an easy look that doesn't mess up or cover up your hair as opposed to a full size hat.  

On our side of the pond, you can get this look with this cute Scala style. It's not subtle but not over the top either.  You have a bow and feather attached to a small , comfortable, not tight, headband.

It's a fun look for New Year's parties or if you are somewhere there happens to be a Twelfth Night event . If you have a fancy  day wedding coming up , take a page out of the royals and rock it to the church service.

Style No. LDF7 comes in black, white and pink and is available at Hartford York for $ 30.

More Scala styles are also available at The Village Hat Shop

Friday, December 28, 2012

Chanel Captivante Rouge Allure- Spring 2013

Captivante from Chanel Spring 2013 is  a "me" shade.   While I wear a lot more plum in winter  this new Rouge Allure will be getting a ton of wear starting now.

It's a gorgeous  brown-bronze shade . It's not too deep or too brown , but a very warm   red brown with flecks of gold. My fellow redheads will want to give this a look.

Chanel Les Printemps Precieux de Chanel  is on counters now.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Maybelline Volum'Express The Rocket Mascara

  Maybelline's The Rocket is their newest mascara and is under the Volum'Express line.


It's been awhile since I tried a  Maybelline  mascara and I haven't used the previous Volum'Express like Colossal or Cat Eyes so I can't give a comparison.  I have always liked their One by One mascara , but that's totally different from this one , and a more defined but not bold look mascara.   I can say The Rocket definitely amps up my lashes.

 One coat does  ok, 2 coats is much better, and with that I get  a lot more length than many other formulas and a good bit of volume with very little clumping unless I overapply.  On me , it's a big lash look .Possibly the biggest I've ever gotten with mascara.

The wand is the large rubber type with "micro bristles" per Maybelline.  We see a lot of these wands these days and  I can be hit or miss with those, but this one I like. I found it easy to work with.

The formula here isn't too wet or dry and I haven't had any smudging issues , which is unusual for me with a non waterproof mascara. I get all day wear.  It  does come in waterproof but I have the regular.

 The Rocket gets a big thumbs up from me  .  Available in  three shades in regular and two in waterproof  and on sale now .

A New Look

For the New Year I've got a new look . It's needed a change for awhile,  and some I wanted to make, some I had to be  persuaded, but it's here and live. Although I may be making some tweaks for a couple days yet.

 The look is a little more clean and less cluttered. It's been almost 6 years with the old look.  Let me know in the comments what you think .

A big thanks to my graphics maven , Kathy Patterson aka The Minx.  For being  a friend as well  as my graphics go to. She  does great work and is available if you need any help of your own.

Kathy also is a Baltimore based food blogger who recently co-authored with her husband  The Food Lovers Guide To Baltimore, set for a February release. You can find her at

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas

With the holiday approaching, I'm taking a brief break . I wish you a very Merry Christmas and hope it's filled with beauty of all kinds. Beauty both tangible and intangible.

I'll be back with new posts  a couple days after Christmas.

Photo: Alsace c. CRTA-Meyer

Friday, December 21, 2012

Featured on Retail Me Not

The folks over at Retail Me Not asked me to pitch in for their best of new fragrances piece. I had fun picking a top 3 and you can read the article on their Insider Blog  here

Elizabeth Arden Red Door Aura

Red Door from Elizabeth Arden is a classic in fragrance. It's also a bolder, richer scent  than many seem to gravitate towards today.

In the spirit of introducing some younger noses to the brand as well as longtime fans, they lauched Red Door Aura this  fall.

Red Door Aura is a lighter ,  fruitier floral than Red Door .  With notes of raspeberry, bergamot   and orange blossom at the top it  has a floral burst tinged with red fruit. It's sweet but also has musks and watery florals in the mix which help it become less sweet as it dries down and more dewy floral with a good  dose of soft rose.

There is good lasting power here and I love the  revamped Red Door bottle which is now a see thru  red door.

Full note list:

Raspberry, bergamot, orange blossom
Jasmine, rose
Amber, sandalwood and musk

Red Door Aura is an EDT . 1.0 oz is $ 32, 1.7 oz is $49

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Chanel Frivole Joues Contraste Blush- Sping 2013

Continuing  my look at Chanel Spring 2013,  Les Printemps Precieux de Chanel , here is the blush of the collection, Frivole.

Frivole is called a luminous apricot by Chanel, but in the pan it's quite orange. I like orange  and can wear it but at first the brightness gave me pause. Once I tried it, I realized that it's very wearable as it goes on fairly sheer if you use a light hand in applying. It's a lovely shade that brightens you right up , which is nice in winter and will be a great shade for warmer temps into  summer.   Frivole should also be great for deeper skin tones.  There is little shimmer here, more of a  satin finish.

What's odd to me is that with the whole Spring line is based on pinks, beige and plums  and the blush is orange/apricot. It doesn't really go.  While I love the shade, I don't think I would pair it with pink or plum eyes and lips. There are some copper based lipsticks in the collection though ( Captivante Rouge Allure and Attirance Rouge Extrait de Gloss)  and they will be spot on with Frivole.

Frivole Joues Contraste and Chanel Spring will be on counter in January or sooner.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof - Or Rose & Beryl- Spring 2013

Three waterproof Stylo Yeux eyeliners are part of the new Chanel Les Printemps Precieux de Chanel Spring line.

Beryl and  Or Rose ( LE)  are are two of them with Santal, an LE brown shade not shown.

Both of these are very light and  are great for highlighting the inner corner or lower lashline . They coordinate well of course with Raffinement eye quad.

Beryl is a light, shimmery lilac  and Or Rose a very pretty golden rose that  has a rosy bronze feel almost.

Both will be on counters in January or sooner  and are $ 30 each

Chanel Raffinement Eye Quad- Spring 2013

The eye quad from Chanel Spring- Les Printemps Precieux de Chanel- called Raffinement  is a mix of neutrals that all lean mauve-y brown .

They all have a little plum  to them even the  deepest shade which is more brown but with hints of plum. The lightest shade has a little mauve pink to it.

It's very pretty , with the shades being very soft except the deepest. None of the others is  bold but they still have pigment as you expect from Chanel. It's a soft focus Spring eye look with these .

Raffinement and all of Spring 2013 Chanel will be available in January, but might show up sooner.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind The Lifter Foundation

 Maybelline is adding to it's Instant Age Rewind line. Back in 2010 when it came out  Instant Age Rewind The Eraser   was one of the only foundations I felt could stand close to dept. store versions.  It had good, almost full coverage and made skin look great.

I also loved and lament it's discontinuation of Instant Age Rewind Cream Compact which also provided good coverage.

New is Instant Age Rewind The Lifter Foundation .  The swirled formula  has a built in primer with glycerin in it. Maybelline says the foundation itself has peptides for firming. 

You'll be familiar with the swirled look if you shop mass market foundations, but it still looks neat.

Instant Age Rewind The Lifter is  a very thin formula which gave me pause at first. I prefer thicker ones. It comes out thin and goes on that way, feeling very liquid and slick. So I was surprised when after a few seconds to set, it looked pretty good. My skin looked smoother and brighter. The coverage was good as well- light to medium , more medium than light,  really. Not as much coverage as The Eraser , but good.

It's not super moisturizing but isn't light either. I had some oil breakthrough in the T- Zone after a few hours but that's not surprising with any moisturizing foundation for me. If you have normal to drier skin, you should fare better.

This won't replace the original Age Rewind in terms of which is best in my mind, but if you're looking for light, weightless feeling foundation to help perfect skin, it's worth a try.

There are 12 shades and shown is Classic Ivory which goes on lighter than it looks and will work on pale skintones  but not the very palest.

Retail is $ 13.99 . Available in January. 

mark Fired Up Bracelet

Need something sparkly and pretty  for your last minute gift list ? This fireball bead bracelet from mark is one that wil do the job.

Pretty with shades  of copper, gold with a fireball for extra sparkle.  It's on sale now for $ 22 at

It looks great on , one thing to note, it works for average to smaller wrists only. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

MAC Mineralize Tinted Lip Balm- Coming Soon

How excited was I to see new tinted balms from MAC coming the Apres Chic collection? I love my tinted balms, so very. These are new and under the Mineralize umbrella. The image looks  like they have sparkle, but it's hard to tell how pigmented they are. I'll love them either way, but high pigment gets my vote. 

  • Stay Warm!- Creamy light pink
  • Slightly Nude- Nude coral and subtle pink pearl
  • Pure & Tender- Plummy creamy nude
  • Nice & Simple -Bronzy gold with multi dimensional pearl
  • Rosy Romance -Bluish plum with subtle pink pearl
Apres Chic is on sale December 24th online and in stores December 26th thru February 6 . Mineralize Balms are $ 19.50

Chanel Spring 2013

Here's a look at what's in store for Spring from Chanel called Printemps Precieux de Chanel. It looks totally lovely and  I hope to have  swatches and images later this week. The collection hits stores in January. 

Poudre Signee de Chanel Illuminating Powder $68 (LE)
Embossed with iconic emblems of Chanel, the powder creates a naturally luminous effect in two ways. The blend of soft peach and warm beige shades applies with a new sponge applicator for a sheer, radiant glow on cheekbones or with a powder brush for natural, allover radiance.

Chanel Les 4 Ombres Quadra Eye Shadow in Raffinement $59
An ultra-feminine palette of refined beiges and velvety browns offers subtle-to-seductive eye looks.  Mauve , pink beige, lilac, eggplant

Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof Long-Lasting Eyeliner $30
New shades of soft brown, vibrant lilac and light rosy beige accent the eyes.

Or Rose- Light rosy beige ( LE)
Beryl-  Lilac

Chanel Joues Contraste Powder Blush in Frivole $43
A ripe-apricot shade reveals refined cheeks and a softly sculpted face.

Chanel Rouge Allure Luminous Intense Lip Colour $34
Lips captivate, revealing nuance and depth, in luminous shades of copper brown, soft rose and fresh peach.

  • Fantasque- Soft Rose - LE
  • Precieuse- Peachy Beige- LE
  • Envoutante- Violet Plum
  • Captivante- Copper Brown
Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour $27
Nails flirt with Spring in classic pink, haute brown and impassioned pink-red

  • Emprise- Rosy Beige
  • Fracas- Pink
  • Accessoire- Red Brown
ROUGE ALLURE Extrait de Gloss

Merveille - Lilac Rosewood
Attirance- Coppery Beige - LE

Rouge Allure Velvet 

L'Ecalatante- vibrant pink
La Favorite- coral

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Maybelline Color Tattoo Metal by EyeStudio

Color Tattoo Cream-Gel Shadows from Maybelline are a big favorite here and from what I hear, they're loved by most .

I love them because they stand up to my makeup melt and last longer than most shadows. They also make great bases and blend well with powder shadows.

Now hitting shelves in January are new  Color Tattoo Metal . These are more metallic than the originals. It's interesting since some of the first ones were fairly metallic.  I love a metallic eye so I am thrilled to see more.

My favorite  of the first ones was Bold Gold and I use it constantly . We have a new gold  in Gold Rush this time, which is more of a yellow gold and brighter.

Also there is Electric Blue , a  pretty royal/navy , Barely Branded, a barely there pearly nude and Silver Strike, a shiny silver. Not shown is a pink shade.  There are 5 new Metal shades in all.

These have the same consistency as the others and I feel have good pigment but I needed 2 layers of Electric Blue to get the color I wanted. The gold went on in one layer.  Also the blue isn't as metallic as the gold and silver. The blue is definitely shimmery but the gold and silver are total pretty disco balls. In fact  Gold Rush is a nice dupe for the new , fabulous Chanel Illusion D'Ombre in Vision, although believe  it or not, the Chanel has far more glitter. 

All are very pretty and will find a place in my stash. I see myself , again, using the gold shade , Gold Rush, most of all, but  Electric Blue will get more use too, I think. I am not a big blue shadow fan , but this shade of blue is the only one I  wear. It reminds me of Urban Decay's 24/7 in Binge,  the only blue I have that I use.

Look for these next month ( or sooner) for $ 6.99

Friday, December 14, 2012

Peter Thomas Roth Camu Camu Power C Moisturizer

In winter , Peter Thomas Roth products have been among my go to's. For the past two years it was Retinol Fusion AM & PM.  They were, and are wonderful.  But  there is always new to try out and brightening is at the top of to do list after summer so I was looking to try the brand's newest Camu Camu Power C Cream.

Camu Camu is am Amazonian Berry  and superfruit that is said to provide 30 times more Vitamin C per ounce than an orange.

This cream is a thick formula but not too heavy for my oilier skin, which is more normal in the cooler temps. I was afraid it might be too much at first but it hasn't been at all. It absorbs  quickly  and smells amazing, very orange/citrus. I've been using it for  a week, so not a long test period overall, but enough to see some definite improvement.

My skin is brighter , softer ,  and clearer if you get what I mean.  It looks smoother as well. Now mind you , my skin is generally in good shape but I do have some hyperpigmentation from summer and summers past even though I work the SPF. I am seeing this fade more. 

Ingredients besides Camu Camu include Avocado Oil, Lactic Acid, Vitamins A & E, Ginger, Lemon Peel and Grape Seed extracts.

The  container has a push down top, where you get a small amount of cream with each push and keep the rest away from light and fingers, and is 1.7 oz. There is also a  serum.

$72 at Sephora   and

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Dior Cherie Bow- Spring 2013

Yes , it's time to talk , a little, about Spring '13 makeup.  I know, but  these launch in January.

Dior's Spring line is called Cherie Bow and is very much about  the pinks and greys.

The packaging on the  palette was created by house jewelry designer Camille Miceli. It's hard to see in the image but it's a wide bow shape in 3 shades with  a pearl accented kiss lock clasp.

The bow was Christian Dior's favorite finishing touch   and the bow  known as the “Fontanges Bow,”  is re-worked here and serves as a charming echo of the ribbons that Louis XIV’s mistress wore in her hair, and quickly became a recurrent reference at the House of Dior, decorating, among other things, the oval medallions of the House, per Dior.

The star product is the Cherie Bow palette  with  three eyeshadows, a black eyeliner and lip gloss. While I adore Dior's palettes in general , and think this one beautiful as they usually are, the colors are not really me.  I'm not one for pink, or light grey but charcoal I love.

In looking at the  full list, it looks like in the US we will not be getting some of products popping up on overseas sites like the Twin Set eyeshadows and Nail Glow.

Cherie Bow hits counters in January and some items will be exclusive to Sephora.

Full list:

The Dior Cherie Bow Collection:

Dior Cherie Bow Palette in Rose Poudre #001 $80.00
Dior Sweet Cherie Pinks Palette ( At Sephora Only) $59.00
Dior 5-Couleurs Eyeshadow in Rose Ballerine #724 (Not avail. Sephora) $61.00
Dior 5-Couleurs Eyeshadow in Rose Charmeuse #854 $61.00
Dior Addict Lipstick in Charmante #437 $31.00
Dior Addict Lipstick in Candide #457 $31.00
Dior Addict Lipstick in Espiegle #687 (Not  avail. at Sephora) $31.00
Diorblush in Pink Happiness #729 (Not  avail.  at Sephora) $43.00
Dior Vernis in Gris Trianon #306 $24.00
Dior Vernis in Rosy Bow #355 $24.00

Elizabeth Arden Best Seller Fragrance Set


How nice is this set of Elizabeth Arden fragrances ?  They're all here including the elegant duo of Red Door and Fifth Avenue , one of my favorites ,  as well as light and refreshing Green Tea , another favorite here.

Each bottle is a good size and  while not full size  , is not a mini. These will fit in the purse and also be an instant collection for the vanity. 

If you're not sure what scent to buy, why not buy several at once ? It's really  nicely done.  And of course, you could break up the set and tuck  them in stockings , gift bags perhaps one for your own.

While last minute gift buying isn't here yet, this is one of those gifts that can be grabbed last minute and still be a very good gift. 

The Best Seller Fragrance Set  is $ 38 and has :

.5 oz/15 ml Green Tea Scent Spray
.33 oz/10 ml Red Door EDT Spray
.33 oz/10 ml 5th avenue EDP Spray
.33 oz/10 ml Pretty EDP Spray
.33oz/10ml Provocative Spray
.5oz/15ml Green Tea Lavender

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Good Gifting with Robert Verdi

 Last week I had a chat with the always endearing and funny Robert Verdi about gifts and gifting. Ok, mostly we gabbed about shopping and our dogs  but at some point we did get down to some  gift talk.

One topic- how to make a gift more personalized. Robert feels that often people think  personalizing gifts will take  up more time or more money , but he says, that doesn't have to be the case.

In his recent Tweet This Twitter party one gift vessel was a lacquer Container Store box  filled with a  Moleskine  appointment book and Parker pen.  He said this gift can easily be adapted to any budget. Hit up a Hallmark store or similar and grab a calendar book, and pick a nice pen  from anywhere, Target etc., making sure to remove it from the package ( My pick here- the Stainless Steel Sharpie).  Put them together in the box with tissue and you're done. 

Robert also says , take that same box in multiples and tailor it to your giftee. You can do makeup for the glam gal, or fill the whole box with Hershey Kisses ( I loved this idea) and take it in as the gift for the whole office to enjoy.  For the guys how about filling a tool box  with Gillette  Fusion razors and shave cream along  with soap or shower gel. 

The takeaway- you can buy the boxes ( any nice box, you can find them everywhere from drugstores to craft stores) ,  line them up and fill as you find  the items for each person. Put a bow on it and  gift.

 Photos: Robert Verdi Facebook

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Men's Gift Guide- Holiday 2012

I wasn't sure  whether to do a men's gift guide this year but after a Twitter convo  with someone who was trying to find a fragrance for her hubby I decided to put some suggestions together. This lady basically just left the mall frustrated and so I gave her some tips and those very same fragrances are included here as well as a couple other great guy gifts for Dad, Brother , etc.

Remington Black Diamond Series - Electric shavers are always big at the holidays. I've seen more diaplys than I can count lately. One of the newest is the Remington Black Diamond Series Rotary Shave # R5150DS. Black Diamond is 4x smoother than steel . This shave pivots 360'  , has an LED battery gauge , is re-chargeable , and has a pop up trimmer for sideburns etc.

It gives a nice, very close shave with little to no irritation. It holds a charge for  awhile too, so can be most likely be taken on weekends without the charger .  That charger also does  a 5 min quick charge for days you forgot to plug in .

Find it at Target and also online  at Remington here for $49.99

 Kiehl's - Looking for a nice skincare set for the guys? Kiehl's makes men's only products that are manly but  take good care of their skin. There are 3 different gift sets. The Essentials for Men is $ 30.50 and has:

•  Ultimate Man” Body Scrub Soap (3.2 oz)
•  Facial Fuel Energizing Face Wash (2.5 oz)
•  Facial Fuel Energizing Moisturizer Treatment for Men (2.5 oz)
•  Ultimate Brushless Shave Cream -White Eagle (1.0 oz)

Bath and Body Works Oak- I was very impressed when this came out a couple years ago with how good it smelled for the price.   It's a great choice whether you are on a budget or not  with a deep, woodsy scent.  Find my full review here

Molton Brown- Fresh Black Pepper  has become  one of the company's top scents. It's  deeply spicy with the pepper and  bergamot .  Grab the Shower Gel/ Deodorant Gift Set for $52

Lacoste- The L 12.12 series is comprised of 4 scents each in a color, Blanc, Bleu, Vert and Rouge. I've tried and really liked Rouge and Blanc.  Both are light and easy to wear. What's nice here is that in one stop you can sniff 4 choices , saving going  to more counters, brands etc. I picked these as a Fathers Day gift and that post  is here .

Acqua Di Parma Colonia - Acqua Di Parma is a brand that basically can do no wrong in my book , on both the men's and women's sides.  Colonia is herbal , fresh and yes, Mediterranean. It's smells rich as does a newer version , Colonia Intensa, which has more citrus , and bottom notes of leather and patchouli.  Both come in a wide variety of products  including soap, shaving , and deodorant. Find them at Sephora, Nordstrom, Neimans, Saks.