Saturday, August 2, 2008

Bobbi Brown Mauve Face Palette Review

This fall, Queen of everyday basic makeup, Bobbi Brown shows the world that basic does not mean boring with her limited-edition Mauve Face Palette. This alluring palette features the following new and exclusive shades: 3 lip colors (Dusty Mauve Creamy Lip Color - sheer shimmery brown; Mauve Lip Sheer - sheer dark brownish rose; and Vintage Mauve Lip Color - darkest color of the 3, red with brown undertone); 3 eye shadows (Navajo - Ivory Beige, Vintage - soft gray, and Chocolate - grayish brown); and a blush (Mauve - dark rose). Even if you are not a fan of her Nude Lip and Eye Palette, this is one that will win you over.

As with all things Bobbi Brown, what I love about this palette is it accomplishes everything she wanted it to be: wearable, blendable colors for everyday use with a nod to vintage. Gray is huge this fall with all major designers debuting accessories in various shades of it. This Mauve palette is a perfect compliment to fall's accessories.

I'll be the first to say that I am not a fan of her Nude Lip and Eye Palette because of the lack of pigments in the collection, but the Mauve makes up for it. The cool tones work well for any skin colors and all ethnicities. For my day look, I like to use the Navajo and Vintage, and to take it to a night look I blend Chocolate into my crease with liquid liner and plenty of mascara!

What do I think? You can always count on Bobbi Brown to create shades that work for women; especially, working professionals, and those who are afraid of colors. But if you are looking for intense colors and pigments, stick to MAC.

Check it out at Neiman Marcus, $55: Limited-Edition Bobbi Brown Mauve Face Palette.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Stila Backstage Beauty Eye Shadow Palette - The Front Row Look Review

Stila is set to wow the crowd this fall with its limited edition, Marchesa-inspired Backstage Beauty Eye Shadow Palette that comes in a gorgeous faux leather (for all you animal lovers out there) wrapped with a rosette that can also be worn as a fashion accessory.

Included with this palette is a Kajal eyeliner and helps even the most novice makeup users perfect the simple smoky eyes look (think cat eyes!) or the nude makeup look. Stila - and MAC - is famous for how blendable their eyeshadows are and this palette is no exception! I love the versatility of the colors and they work well alone or with my other existing makeup collection! Definitely a purchase that will go the distance! The best part? They are highly pigmented and lasts all day!

Sign up to be a beauty insider today and grab this palette, $40: Backstage Beauty Eye Shadow Palette.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Lancome Oscillation Mascara Review

Good things are worth the wait. Maybe I did not exactly wait, but I did have friends in really important places (J, I love you!) who hooked me up this morning with the first batch of Lancome's Oscillation Mascara before its official launch this Fall. I heard from many reliable sources, unless you are a model or celebrity or a VIP, this is the toughest find of the day!

This breakthrough vibrating mascara, a first for Lancome, does 7000 oscillations per minute to wrap each individual lash with an amazing coat of the most velvety smooth mascara imaginable - 360 degrees! You go figure!

What do I think of this revolutionary mascara? God sent! Combined this with my Revitalash'ed lashes (see post on Revitalash) I now have these amazing Kim Kardashian lashes - all at the press of a little button on my mascara wand! I have never achieved such separated, lengthened, thick, feathery lashes - like ever!

If you were not one of those lucky few who managed to grab/beg/steal an Oscillation, $34, today, sign up for the email notification at Sephora when the shipment comes in and be the first to experience what is arguably the best mascara Lancome has every launched: Oscillation. And Lancome is famous for their mascaras, think High Definicils.

Update: So many people asked me what I did to my face today and many more commented on my gorgeous lashes! Ladies, this mascara is definitely worth the wait! Lancome, the luxury mascara giant, did it again by setting an incredible bar!

Sonya Dakar Drying Potion Review

Ever wonder how celebrities like Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, Gywneth Paltrow, Jessica Biel, Fergie, and Madonna always look so picture perfect on the red carpet while normal people like us combat zits? Look no further than the fairy godmother of skin, Sonya Dakar! If you are not among the lucky few who can score a facial with Ms. Dakar, worry not, Sonya Dakar Drying Potion, to the rescue.

The Drying Potion was named Best Zit Cream by the prestigious Allure magazine and lives up to its much hyped reputation. This is universally recognized in Hollywood as the last and only resort to banish those pesky blemishes before a red carpet event.

The formula consists of Dead Sea sulfur, lavender, chamomile, sage, peppermint and works wonder under the most extraordinary circumstances. I turn to this trust worthy lotion every time I notice a zit forming. I dab a bit of the potion on the problem spot, go to bed and wake up to a less noticeable bump. Granted it is going to take Harry Potter to make zits disappear completely but this comes as close to it as humanly possible.

Check it out at Sonya Dakar, Drying Potion: 0.5oz for $25; 1 oz for $45.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Mason Pearson Boar Bristle & Nylon Hair Brush Review

Mason Pearson is to brushes what Birkin is to handbags - ultimate, timeless luxury. Katherine Heigl, Marcia Cross, Anna Friel, Brooke Sheilds, Ginnifer Goodwin, and Jennifer Garner are just a few of the Hollywood celebrities who have enjoyed the "Birkin" touch on their gorgeous mane.

Growing up, I heard of this legendary brush, and have always wanted one. But on my $10/week allowance, this was an idea I dare not entertain. So when I finally started working, I scrimped and saved my tiny internship salary and did the once unthinkable: I bought a Mason Pearson Boar Bristle & Nylon Hair Brush! Now I finally have something in common with Victoria "Posh" Beckham. We both swear by our MP Brush! Although, I secretly wished we shared her husband, David Beckham, instead :)

Mason Pearson brushes are all handmade from pure boar bristle and you can definitely feel the difference when brushing your hair. I have never achieved such perfect blow-outs. The ends of my hair are smooth, straight and shiny; even strangers compliment how glossy my hair looks!

The best part? 6 years later, my brush is still going strong. I reasoned with many people that if I had amortized this brush, it would have paid for itself many times over, considering my old brushes never lasted more than a few months (note, blow-drying is my life!) And you wonder why this brush is a regular on the InStyle Best of Beauty Buys?

If you can afford it, why wait, go to and start experiencing the smoothest, most voluminous or straightest blow-out you can every imagine. Mason Pearson Boar Bristle & Nylon Hairbrush, $126.

Look of the Day: Leighton Meester

(Picture from Just

Leighton Meester looked stunning at the premiere of The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants 2 so I was inspired to do a "look of the day" on her.

Here is how to get her look:

Note: No products or color recommendation; please tailor to your skin type/color.
Step 1: Start with clean face, tone and moisturize, then apply a primer all over the face.
Step 2: Since her look is more of a freshed face look, I would recommend using a face tint as opposed to a foundation. Apply with fingers all over the face. Blend well to ensure no demarcation or spots.
Step 3: Use a concealer and go over areas that need more help, such as undereyes, blemishes, etc. Pat on and blend with gently.
Step 4: Set face with loose translucent powder using a big fluffy brush, focusing on T-zone.

Step 1: Apply Nars, Gilda (coral color) on the apples of the cheeks and blend out towards hairline.

Step 1: Apply primer all over eyelid. I recommend Urban Decay Primer Potion (see review) to help eyeshadow adhere.
Step 2: Using a slightly darker colored eyebrow pencil, fill in sparse spots with light feathery stokes and brush to blend with an eyebrow brush. Apply brow gel to set brows. This is like hairspray for your brows and helps your brows stay in place all day long.
Step 3: Apply a neutral color all over lid. I recommend MAC's naked pigment.
Step 4: Apply a grayish eyeshadow (MAC Scene) from lashline to crease and blend.
Step 5: Using the same color, use an eyeliner brush and line the bottom of your eyes.
Step 6: Line the outer corners of your eyes with a gray eyeliner and smudge into the lash line. Go over your lash line with the gray shadow using your eyeliner brush to blend the colors.

Step 1: Line your lips with a pinkish-red liner like Pink 340 from Shu Uemura.
Step 2: Using your fingers, blot some lipstick (Shu Uemura Rouge Unlimited in OR 532) onto your lips, you do not want the look to be too "done" so do not use a brush.
Step 3: Apply a clear gloss over your lips.

Enjoy! Carry blotting paper to blot your face as-needed since no Gossip Girl should be caught with excessive shine! You can purchase this look online at Sephora and MAC.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Anthousa Cliff Rose and White Carnation Home Fragrance Review

When Maria Christofilis, founder of Anthousa, went to Italy to be an apprentice to a perfumer, little did she realize she would go on to create room fragrances that would fill the home of many celebrities. Anthousa, means the perfect bloom in Greek, launched in 2004 and it was not long before it became a household name among the well-heeled.

Anthousa's collection of fragrance diffusers boosted a wide variety of spell-bounding scents to satisfy even the most discerning shoppers. Kate Bosworth counted on the White Tuberose scent to unwind after returning home from her hectic worldwide Superman Returns promotion. Mandy Moore, Kate Hudson, and Jennifer Garner are just a few of Maria's celebrities and models following.

My favorite from the collection, one that I use all year round in my bedroom, is the Cliff Rose and White Carnation scent. I love the soft white floral blend that lingers around the room all day long and the hint of rose hidden amongst it. Although the website says that it lasts for approximately 9 months, mine have, at times lasted for as long as 12 months.

Anthousa's home fragrance diffusers come in three size, Grand (495ml; $90; lasts 9 months); Demi (245ml; $65; lasts 6 months); and Petite (100ml; $35; lasts 3 months). I always buy them in Grand because it just makes more economical sense.

Try my favorite scent today at Anthousa: Cliff Rose and White Carnation.

T3 Bespoke Labs Evolution Dryer Review

T3 Bespoke Labs Dryer Series is like no other out there on the market. It has consistently been featured in all the top magazines such as Instyle, Allure, Elle, W, Harper's Bazaar, my beloved Vogue, etc. It is also the winner of countless prestigious industry awards such as:
  • Winner of InStyle magazine's Best Hair Dryer award, 2008.
  • Winner of InStyle magazine's Best Travel Blow-Dryer award, 2006.
  • Winner of InStyle magazine's Best Beauty Buys, Editors' Pick Best New Product, 2008
  • Winner of Allure magazine's 'Best of Beauty' Editors' Choice Award for 2007.
The Bespoke Labs Evolution Dryer has been included in many gift bags (Salma Hayek and Jessica Alba are huge fans) for award shows such as MTV Video Music Awards, Annual Academy Awards, etc; and therefore, it is no surprise that this amazing dryer is used on many Hollywood A-list sets such as "Sex and the City", "Will & Grace", "America's Next Top Model", "Ghost Whisperer", etc.

On the fashion front, this dryer pretty much dominates backstage in New York Fashion Week and all the major runway shows in Europe. Stylist to the Stars, Adir Abergel even used this dryer on Anne Hathaway for her Oscar look while she chatted away on the phone - yes, it is that quiet.

I first bought the Bespoke Labs Featherweight Dryer, $200, wondering how I could ever justify the purchase, but after just one use, no justification was needed. This dryer is worth its money in solid gold! I was so impressed that I went out and got the Bespoke Labs Evolution Dryer, $300, a month later and left the Featherweight dryer at my then boyfriend's place in Soho. Needless to say, my boyfriend also took a special liking to the Featherweight. It has been rumored that he has since gone out and bought his very own Evolution dryer - I guess he will always remember me as the girlfriend who introduced him to the dryer that changed his life.

I get asked all the time why would anyone go out and spend $200 - $300 on a dryer when you can get one from Target for $20 that will dry your hair just fine. All I can say, is for all the skeptics out there to just give the Bespoke series a try. You will experience faster drying time, smoother ends, and did I mention how quiet it is? It works especially well on my thick hair. Before Bespoke, it used to take me an hour to blow dry my hair straight; now, it takes 30 mins and, I swear, I have never gotten my hair this straight before.

Try it today and watch it change your life. Get yourself one at Sephora for $300: T3 Bespoke Labs Evolution Dryer. If you want to save $100, try the Bespoke Labs Featherweight Dryer for $200.

Shu Uemura Tweezers Review

A good pair of tweezers is every celebrity makeup artist must have. Shu Uemura Tweezers delivers perfectly arched brows with its amazing precision. It is no wonder why this is the tool used on many models during New York Fashion Week!

Before my first Shu Uemura Tweezers, I was accustomed to $2 tweezers from the drugstore. Sometimes, I plucked 3 strands of hair as opposed to just 1, but I always thought it was part of the game. Not anymore!

I received this tweezers as part of a beauty gift bag and it changed my life completely. This slanted tip tweezers is extremely versatile and can pluck even the finest of hair. In addition, its super sharp ends really aids in precision plucking!

Get one today at Sephora, for $32: Shu Uemura Tweezers.

No! No! Hair Removal System Review

This is hot shit! The new revolutionary hair removal system, No! No! kicks major ass. I held back reviewing this product until I had properly tested it. At $250, I do not want to recommend a product that I would later regret. So test it I did, for the past 5 months, No!No! in my favorite color, pink ;)

What I had initially failed to realize, is that No!No! is not a razor, my bad. I was wondering why it did not give a clean, smooth "shave." Stupid me, I did not check the labels until 3 weeks into it when I thought it was weird that this so called "revolutionary" product would leave me with stubbles.

It was then that I went to Sephora's website, for I had received this as a complimentary gift and long tossed out the box and instructions booklet. It clearly states the following: "no!no! is not a razor: Using no!no! in conjunction with the buffer will remove the majority of hair, but not all. For smoothest results, especially in the first few weeks of your hair reduction program, use a razor along with no!no! for a clean shave. Use the buffer to remove residue and maximize smoothness, then shower or bathe and follow with body moisturizer."

This product is a hair density reducer and not a shaver! Yes, it does emit a semi-pungent odor, but there is always a price to be paid for beauty; and in my case, hair-free does not equate odor-free. That, I will gladly live with. How does it compare to a wax job? Not even close. No! No! is pain-free! Please note, No! No! is not for use on the face!

As for the hot blade, simply replace it with a new one when you feel that it is not working like it should. I replace mine every 5-6 weeks. Also, you need to make sure you are using the correct hot blade according to your hair length. One is for hair over 1mm and the other under 1mm. The first time I used it, I used the one for hair over 1mm; and since then I stuck to the blade for hair under 1mm since I use my No! No! every other day!

So after 5 months of using it every other day, I am proud to say I have seen a SIGNIFICANT (at least 50%) reduction in my hair density on my legs, arms, and underarms. I especially love that I no longer have to deal with in-growth hair which has plagued me all my shaving career. Yes, I am whole-heartedly endorsing this product.

Buy it now at Sephora, $250, No! No! comes in black, blue, and my favorite pink.

Dr. Perricone Nutrient Face Fortifier Olive Oil Polyphenols Review

Ok, so I used to smoke 1 pack a day back, behind my parents' back, when I first started high school to look "cool." Those years left me with fine lines around my lips and lots of regret.

Enter Dr. Perricone, MD, who is often consulted on everything skin related and featured in countless celebrities and fashion magazines. The Perricone specialist at Sephora recommended the Nutrient Face Fortifier to me even though it is usually reserved for slightly more matured skin - I was 19 then - but because I was combating fine lines, that made my problem, a slightly mature one :)

An excerpt from Dr. Perricone's website reveals "The polyphenols that are found abundantly in Olive Oil are extremely efficient and multifaceted antioxidants. Polyphenols are exceptionally stable and protective. The most powerful member of the polyphenols group is hydroxytyrosol. Extremely rare and effective in even small concentrations."

Despite containing olive oil, a major ingredient, this product is not greasy like I imagined it would be. Instead, the smooth texture wraps around my lips to nourish the damage years of smoking had caused and protects my skin from drying out.

Thanks to the concentrated doses of polyphenols, the lines around my lips are not as visible as before. And I am fortunate enough to stop smoking before it becomes too late for any doctor, no matter how saintly or famous, to save me!

Buy it today at Dr. Perricone for $90, Nutrient Face Fortifier.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Kate Somerville Enzyme Scrub & Mask Review

Created by Kate Somerville, the skincare guru to celebrities like Debra Messing, Geena Davis, Sandra Oh, Kate Walsh, etc, the Enzyme Scrub & Mask has the dual purpose to exfoliate and cleanse your pores to reveal dewy, flawless skin.

I received this product last year and has since added it to my list of favorites. I could feel the fruit enzymes dissolve, or was it wishful thinking, my backheads and clogged pores while the microbeads gently polish away all impurities on my face.

I used this scrub/mask consistently once a week, and after two months, everyone was commenting on how clear my complexion looked! I warn you, this can get really addictive. I splurge at times before an important event and use it as a hands and feet scrub. It works miracles.

Grab one today at Kate Somerville for $65: Enzyme Scrub & Mask.

Cle De Peau Concealer Review

Cle De Peau Beaute, by Shisiedo, is considered a luxury line adored by many celebrities and models such as Pamela Anderson, Catherina Zeta Jones, Cameron Diaz, Mary Louis Parker, Kim Kardashian, etc. Cle De Peau makes amazing products, but is best known to makeup artists for its innovative concealer. Frequently featured in all major fashion magazines as a best concealer buy, it was listed as an InStyle Best Beauty Buy for undereye concealer from 2005 - 2007. Even Kim Kardashian shared on her official site, she cannot live without her Cle De Peau concealer!

The concealer comes in a slick navy/gold packaging and unlike most concealers, the case feels solid to the touch and is in every sense a pure luxury. At $72, it had better be! Although many might squirm at the initial thought of spending so much money on a concealer, this gold encased stick is highly pigmented and does a flawless job of concealing undereyes circle. One small dot of this is enough to banish those evidence of all night partying to the abyss. I also like to use this concealer as a blemish cover up. The Ocher shade is perfect for my skin tone and coupled with my MAC concealer brush, I am able to fake it as if I was born with glowing skin. One other use of this concealer stick, as I sometimes do, is to use it as a stick foundation. Since it is highly pigmented I only need a few swipe of it on my face and the smooth creamy texture just melts into my skin.

The only downside - it comes in only three shades: Ivory, Ocher, and Beige. I highly recommend all of you ladies to run out, and get yours today since this concealer is regularly sold out. It took me three trips to Barneys on my last hunt, and yes, I bought all that they had left, which was a measly two. Find a store near you or get it at your nearest Saks, Neiman Marcus, Barneys, or selected Nordstrom stores.