Saturday, August 9, 2008

Laura Mercier Eye Basics Review

I love almost all things Laura Mercier so when I was given a sample of the Eye Basics from her collection I was elated! This eye primer is advertised as not only water-resistant but also crease-proof and is formulated with aloe vera, chamomile, and many botanical extracts to moisturize the eyelid while providing a canvas for makeup to grip onto.

Do we have a challenger to Urban Decay's Primer Potion? Sadly, it is not even close. The Eye Basics is a cream-based primer that goes on to create a matte finish. The texture is hard to work with and does not blend seamlessly onto my eyelid. It left me with an inconsistent wash of color and varying results. The verdict: stick to Urban Decay's Primer Potion and only try Eye Basics if you are given a sample, and spend the $22 on a MAC Paint.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Estee Lauder TurboLash All Effects Motion Mascara Review

Estee Lauder: TurboLash All Effects Motion Mascara, $30. I consider this mascara the ugly sister to Lancome's Oscillation. For $4 more, you can get the better mascara (Lancome's) of this vibrating mascara battle of the year. Although Estee Lauder's micro-pulse bristles work great at separating and defining each lash, the formula simply isn't as good as Lancome's. Once again, Lancome has proven itself worthy of its crown. I know tagging beauty items as "exclusive" or "sold out" tend to make them more appealing; but unless you have wads of cash lying around, don't rush to buy this. Wait for Lancome's Oscillation official launch this fall.

Sweet Lily Natural Nail Spa and Boutique Review

Featured in this month's Harper's Bazaar is one of my favorite nail salons, Sweet Lily, frequented by many models, such as Christy Turlington, and discerning beauty insiders. I heart Sweet Lily's amazing line of manicures and pedicures and its cozy shabby-chic like decorations. I drift off to a place far beyond every time I sink into one of their ultra plush and comfy chairs.

I highly recommend its seasonal Orange Ginger Pedicure. Every bit of this pedicure is a luxurious experience in itself. From the moment you sink your feet into the mix of orange juice with gorgeous slices of floating oranges, to the spicy ginger scrub used to exfoliate all the dead skin and cells. And to top it all off it ends with a relaxing foot massage! An hour of pure bliss for $64 with a nail color application of your choice! This is a worthwhile investment because no Manolo-wearing lady should be caught committing a horrendous cuticles crime!

This seasonal pedicure ends 09/30/2008, so call for an appointment today: (212) 925-5441, or check out its wide range of selection online: Sweet Lily Spa. Sweet Lily is located at 222 West Broadway NYC 10013.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Chanel LES 4 OMBRES Quadra Eye Shadow in Smoky Eye Review

I love the smoky eye look so when I saw the Chanel LES 4 OMBRES Quadra Eye Shadow in Smoky Eye at my girlfriend's (fellow beauty junkie) place I knew we had to play makeup! This palette of white, silver, gray, and black colors can be combined to achieve many variations and intensities of the smoky eye look.

I went home determined to get one for myself, and after researching I discovered that, sadly, this collection is available only in Asia. I don't see why it should not be launched in the US as it would be a perfect complement to Fall's sultry berry and gray colored accessories.

Yves Saint Laurent Top Secrets Flash Radiance Skincare Brush Review

Today is a very exciting day! I received a bag of beauty goodies containing 25 must have item-of-the-moment! Look for reviews over the next few weeks!! I am in heaven trying all of them!

One of the items I received is the Yves Saint Laurent Top Secrets Flash Radiance Skincare Brush. If you recall, YSL earlier launched the very successful Perfect Touch Radiant Brush Foundation which quickly became a beauty editors and insiders favorite! The best part of the Top Secrets Flash Radiance primer is, again, its built in brush.

Like its predecessor, the brush allows for even, flawless distribution of the product to create a velvety smooth canvas for foundation or makeup application. In lieu of my regular primer, I used Top Secrets and layered it with a liquid foundation. The staying power is phenomenal. It lasted all 14 hours with minor blotting throughout the day. I love how smooth and radiant my skin looks just after using Top Secrets! This is one product that will stay the course and become as famous as the Perfect Touch Radiant Brush Foundation. I can feel it when I positively glowed throughout the day and received a few compliments from my coworkers!

This product is worth a try, Sephora, $52: Yves Saint Laurent Top Secrets Flash Radiance Skincare Brush.

Laura Mercier Illuminating Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20 Review

What I love better than an iconic product is a reissue, updated version of it (like Chanel 2.55). This fall, Laura Mercier does just that, updating its signature Tinted Moisturizer with micronized pearls, so that dewy, luminous skin within all of our reach.

I love how buildable the formula is to cover imperfections. Mix it with your regular foundation for heavier coverage, or blend with another moisturizer for a sheer application. With its built in SPF 20 protection, you are automatically covered for sun protection.

It comes in three shades: Bare Radiance, Natural Radiance, and Warm Radiance. Buy it at Sephora, $42: Illuminating Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20.

Tracie Martyn Enzyme Exfoliant Review

An appointment with Tracie Martyn can set you back $300, that is if you can get in, the wait list is 2-3 months long. But if you might run into Brad Pitt, the wait and cost are well worth it! Yes, Tracie Martyn counts Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston, Oprah (no last name needed), Sandra Bullock, Liv Tyler, Madonna, Rachel Weisz, Kate Winslet, among many of her elite clients. This women is the secret weapon of supermodels and celebrities alike!

Have no fear if you don't have the money for a personal facial, Tracie Martyn's line is available on her website and for a fraction of the cost, you can have a piece of her. Tracie's products are highly sought after by her celebrities clients, and Liv Tyler once begged for a preproduction sample of her favorite product to take home!

One of my favorite item from her line is the Enzyme Exfoliant which leaves my skin soft, supple, and glowing from one application. I found the gentle acid blend to work remarkably well on lightening pigmentation and dark spots from years of picking on my face (I am trying to quit this bad habbit!) and sun damages. The enzymes also penetrates deep into the pores for a deep clean, leaving my skin with a more refined, shrunken pores feel. As with all her products, the enzyme exfoliant is made with all natural ingrediants and free if all harsh chemicals.

Buy it online at Tracie Martyn, $90, Enzyme Exfoliant.

Lancome Bi-Facil Double-Action Eye Makeup Remover Review

Lancome is the queen of luxury mascara, so it is only fitting that the Lancôme Bi-Facil Double-Action Eye Makeup Remover is inducted into Allure's Hall of Fame Master List of Best of Beauty. Getting on the Allure Best of Beauty list is by no joking matter, and the Hall of Fame? Extremely tough! This makeup remover has also been featured many times in InStyle magazine as a Best Beauty Buys.

Lancôme Bi-Facil Double-Action Eye Makeup Remover is extremely popular with models and celebrities alike and amongst commoners like myself. This remover comes in what I call a dual layers liquid and is activated only when shaken before use. I wear contact lens and oftentimes waterproof mascara when going to the beach and this remover is gentle enough for my lens, yet tough enough to remove waterproof mascara without stripping the skin around my eyes dry. We know how important the skin around our eyes is, since it is so thin, excessive tugging and pulling can damage it. That is why I love the Bi-Facil. When shaken, the oil and makeup remover mix together and conditions the skin while stripping away makeup. It is also ophthalmologist-tested for safety.

Grab one today at Sephora, $26: Bi-Facil Double-Action Eye Makeup Remover.

Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Eye Mask Review

Bliss latest companion to its highly acclaimed Oxygen Mask, the Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Eye Mask, is Red Bull for your eyes! I am a huge fan of the Oxygen Instant Energizing Mask and the Eye Mask is simply icing on the cake!

The unique packaging allows for the active ingredients to stay fresh until you are ready to use it. I love to use mine cold, granted I have only used it twice, the first time I used it at room temperature. Then, I heard from those lovely models that they chill theirs in the freezer for 10 minutes before using so I did the same - and boy, were they right on target again!

After chilling it in the freezer, highly recommended, simply squeeze the liquid end of the pouch until you feel/hear it pop and let the fluid saturate the eye mask, peel off the foil and apply to under your eyes! The collagen, vitamin C, cucumber extract, and oxygenation will banish all signs of puffiness, and reduce dark circles - just like you had gotten a full night's sleep! I really need that with all the late nights of partying.

Buy a month's supply, 4 packs, $54, today at Sephora: Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Eye Mask.

Ted Gibson Goodnite Hair Repair Serum Review

When Angelina Jolie's go-to hair guru, Ted Gibson, is not busy working on the tresses of his celebrities clients, he is busy creating products that will help everyday women achieve to-die-for hair.

Ted Gibson's Goodnite Hair Repair Serum Review is the ideal hair tonic/potion for damaged hair. Formulated with lavender oils, wheat proteins, orchid extracts (his signature flower), and a potent blend of amino acids, this serum attacks all hair problems with startling results. When Anna Hathaway hair needed some extra TLC, she counts on this serum to do its magic.

Yes, at $200, it is enough to make mere mortals like us scream, but a little goes a long way for this concentrated serum. I suffered from oily scalp my entire life, seeing how my models friends all swear by it, I had to try it. The benefits of having friends in the modeling industry is not only can they get you into all the hottest clubs/restaurants at the flash of their model ID, but they have tried all the latest and greatest products (and sometimes I get their leftovers or unwanted items) so they save me time - and money- navigating through the heaps of products.

Every night, especially during those hot summer months, I squeeze a dime size serum from the dropper and massage it into my scalp and ends before I go to bed. This product absorbs so well that I have no residue on my pillow. The soothing scent of the lavender does not hurt either. I float to Neverland in my dreams and wake up to a more balanced scalp, soft, manageable silky mane! All my damaged cuticles? As if I ever had them =) I especially love to use this after a long day at the beach because it really restore my scalp and hair back to normal and reverse all of the environmental damages. This serum not only works for oily scalp but also for dry scalp to restore luster! A 4oz bottle usually last me 4 -5 months.

$200 is a lot to pay for 4 oz of hair serum, but if it gets you Gisele Bunchen's locks, it is all worth it. Get it at Sephora: Goodnite Hair Repair Serum.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Givenchy Phenomen'Eyes Mascara Review

What an exciting year in the world of mascara! With the fashion world buzzing about Givenchy's Phenomen'Eyes Mascara unique spherical wand, I had to give it a shot. Christina Ricci, Liv Tyler, and a few other celebrities swear by this. I admit I was a little hesitant due to the hefty price tag, $27; but that is also the price of being a beauty junkie.

The first time I used it, I experienced some clumping because of how much mascara the spherical wand picked up. This is one mascara that takes some getting used to. But trust me, you will get better with practice. The results are amazing, one coat will give you eye-popping, curled, separated, long lashes. The shape of the mascara allows for more precise application to each individual lash as compared to a normal mascara wand; but, it also takes much longer to apply with Phenomen'Eyes. I experienced some trouble applying mascara to my bottom lashes since they are relatively shorter. I would not recommend using this on your lower lashes if you have short lashes. I ended up with smudges under my eyes. One tip for all of you, have your lash comb handy because this mascara is prone to clumping.

Although this concept is new and fresh, I am going to stick to the tried and true. At $27, I was expecting something magical. This mascara takes too much time to apply, is prone to clumping, does not work too well on shorter lashes, and at this price, I can get 4-5 drugstore brand that does the same thing, or pretty darn close to it. So even though it gave me amazing top lashes, the cons outweigh the pros. I will still being using this for the next 3 months, but do not plan to purchase a new one when I am done.

Try it today at Sephora, $27: Givenchy Phenomen'Eyes Mascara.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Sheer Cover Mineral Foundation and Concealer Review

When Charmed hottie, Alyssa Milano endorsed Sheer Cover, I knew it was time for me to try it. I always wondered what her beauty secrets are to looking so flawless all the time - now the cat is finally out of the bag. Ms. Milano said the following about Sheer Cover on her blog, “I use Sheer Cover, a mineral makeup with sunscreen in it. It doesn’t clog your pores and you can sweat in it and it still stays in place.”

The kit comes with a face wash, moisturizer, concealer with two shades, and two mineral foundation for me to blend my own "perfect" shade. Sheer Cover is "100% natural infused with skin soothing botanicals, natural sun protection, and anti-oxidant green tea to help protect your skin from the visible signs of premature aging. It contains NO oils, perfumes, dyes or talcs, so it’s gentle and non-irritating – even for sensitive skin. It also helps filter the sun’s harmful rays with SPF 15."

Having tried Bare Minerals, Sheer Cover pales in comparison to the brand that started the mineral makeup hype. I like having SPF 15 in my foundation, but to truly cover my imperfections I needed to build my coverage up and ended up with a slightly more made up face when I wanted a "Sheer" cover look. Also, as I have combination skin, by midday (imagine how humid New York summers are) my shine was out of control. Alyssa, please teach me how to properly sweat, because my Sheer Cover did not stay in place. It took me some getting used to the texture of the concealer as it is on the waxier side. Granted, it covered my undereyes circles well, but the lighter color was too light, and the darker color was too yellow. Thank you, I shall stick to my Cle De Peau concealer because it works for me.

The face wash is nothing spectacular and the moisturizer, well, it smells and feels like sunscreen. Maybe that is what you get for the bargain price of $29.95. I ended up using it all over my body as a sunscreen. I know this is a brand that is heavily endorsed by celebrities like Alyssa Milano, Leeza Gibbons, etc. Sadly, it did not work for me. I have many friends who have purchased and enjoyed it, but I am not one of them.

Anyway, that is just my two cents, but please keep in mind that Sheer Cover is backed by an amazing 60 days money back guarantee, so if you are not completely satisfied you can return it (yes, even the empty bottles) for a full refund (less shipping and handling). Check it out at, $29.95: Sheer Cover Face Kit.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Benefit Eye Bright Pencil Review

Have you ever wonder why makeup artists, models, and celebrities swear by lining their eyes with a white pencil to make them look less tired yet it never worked for you? I finally figured out the trick! It is all about finding that perfect shade of color, and no, it is not white. Someone should have said pink. Yes, you hear me right. Benefit Eye Bright is the perfect color for the perk-me-up-look after a late night of studying, working, and partying.

I use it as a highlighter on my cheekbones, under my brow bones, apply to the inner corners of my eyes and line my eyes to brighten it, around my nostrils to minimize the shadow, and down the bridge of my nose to highlight! And for those special times when my dark circles are really bad, I layer this on top of my Cle De Peau concealer to brighten my eyes! The possibilities are endless; simply unleash your creativity.

This is a staple in Molly Sims makeup bag, and here is her tip: "If you line the insides of your eyes with this, it opens them up. Add mascara, and they look even bigger."

If you are unsure of how to use this magic pencil, check out this easy how-to by celebrity makeup artist, Carmindy, on YouTube. I swear, this pencil works on all skin tones, regardless if you are African-American, Latino, Asian, or Caucasian.

Buy it today at Benefit, $20: Eye Bright Pencil. This is one product you should not live without!