Sunday, December 27, 2009

This Week's Sales:
It's Semi-Annual Sale Time!

OK folksies, here's your sales fix for this week. I'm about 3/4 asleep at the moment, so you'll have to forgive any typos or off-topic ramblings. Fortunately for my bank account and my sleep schedule, there aren't a ton of sales this week, though many sites are having year-end "blow out" sales that may or may not contain beauty booty. Here's what I do know:

HauteLook has a couple of heavy hitters this week, starting with Kevyn Aucoin this Monday, December 28th. On Wednesday the 30th the site hosts Becca followed by aMENity (the brand's typography, not mine!) on Friday, January 1st, 2010.

The only other news in on-line beauty sales is Cake Beauty and Clark's Botanicals over at The Fairest, and The Skinny's return on the 30th when they'll be showcasing MBeze.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention that two GIANTS of the retail world are currently having huge sales in their brick-and-mortar stores. Bath & Body Works started their Semi-Annual Sale this past week, and in an unheard of move, Victoria's Secret will be starting their winter Semi-Annual Sale tomorrow at 8am! Victoria's Secret has traditionally started SAS in January; I'd take the early start as a sign that the holiday season wasn't as big as they'd hoped, and I can tell you with comfortable authority (I was a manager with the company's beauty division for 5 years) that the deals will be KILLER!

For those of you who don't usually shop there, be aware that some Bath & Body Works and Victoria's Secret stores have at times carried prestige vendors like Frederic Fekkai, Jaqua, Nars, Vincent Longo and more- some still do, but those that don't anymore are likely to have most of it on clearance. If your store doesn't carry 3rd party, don't fret: both stores have great in-house lines like BBW's Wexler skincare and VS makeup. Due to a re-launch of Victoria's Secret's makeup line that took place this summer, I can promise you're likely to see great deals on makeup in the old packaging (I got a bunch at the last sale for 75% off!) For my suggestions on what to snatch up from VS, check out this post, and have fun shopping!

Monday, December 21, 2009

This Week's Sales:
Warren-Tricomi, Lotus, Baby Quasar and more!

For the week of Christmas, beauty sales are few and far between on the exclusive sites. I guess they know how responsible we all are- who hasn't had their shopping done for weeks, right?

::chirp chirp::

While it may be too late to take advantage of the sales for purposes relating to giving (shipping on these sites aren't exactly the speediest) you can still receive plenty. Consider them make-up gifts for the reindeer sweaters, tube-sock value packs and stale cookies! Now get to it!

Gilt Groupe starts the week with Warren-Tricomi haircare, which actually started Sunday (my bad, I was lost in the Hanuchristmakkah triangle.) You have until Tuesday at 11am EST to peruse the selection, at which point Baby Quasar takes over as the last scheduled beauty sale on the site this week.

Other sales this week are both Monday offerings: HauteLook will feature Lotus Pure Organics and Billion Dollar Babes has Alison Raffaele. Make sure you're following me on twitter in case any surprise sales pop up (and because you miss me so much between posts, huh?)

Of course, the folks at The Fairest always have a bounty of beauty to choose from. Coming up: Mojo Cosmetics, Enzo Milano, Skin Nutrition, Clarks Botanicals and Cake Beauty.

The Skinny is on hiatus right now, to return on December 30 with MBeze Natural Skin Care and Cosmetics. Until then, take care, keep warm, and have a great what-ever denominational yule time gift-giving (or non-gift giving as the case may be) holiday. Or not.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Product Review:
UPDATE on Glowelle Beauty Drink Mix

Ah, wondrous technology! After tweeting about my previous review of Glowelle, I was contacted by a representative of the company, who shared some information with me, and generously offered to send me the mix in the other flavor option, Pomegranate Lychee.

Since one of the major cons from my review was flavor, I was pleased to accept Glowelle's offer, and also learn that the company is working on flavor issues in the drink mix. I was also told that they are working on the calorie issue. Though at 50 calories per serving Glowelle is not exactly a Twinkie-in-a-bottle, those are calories I generally would prefer to use elsewhere in my diet.

Upon receiving the Pomegranate Lychee flavor, I immediately mixed it into 16oz of ice water, noting that it had the same heavy mineral smell as the Raspberry Jasmine that I'd originally tried. I braced myself and took a sip, expecting the same metallic, earthy taste. To my surprise, it was actually quite enjoyable. Whereas I had found the Raspberry flavor overly sweet, the Pomegranate had a bit more tartness, with the nice, slightly fragrant finish of lychee. My first thought, in all honesty? Why in the world do they even make the other flavor?

My original rating of Glowelle was 4.5 out of 10. After tasting the Pomegranate Lychee flavor, I would raise that to a 6.5 out of 10. In my original review, I wondered if a better flavor would convert me into a daily user. I have to say, my reservations about the price would still prohibit that. $112 for a 30 day supply still seems quite steep for a vitamin supplement. On the other hand, I once supported $5.00 a day Starbucks habit that really puts the $3.73 Glowelle price* into perspective. Having said that, I'm hopeful that Glowelle may show up again soon on one of the many members only sale sites. When Gilt Groupe recently featured them, prices were slashed about 50%, moving the drink into more approachable territory. Since I am curious to see if the supplements produce any long-term results, I would definitely be tempted by a lower price, and would encourage anyone else who is curious to take the opportunity should it arise.

*Price arrived at by averaging Glowelle's most economical option, the 30-day stick pack kit, assuming the recommended one stick pack per day use.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Eye Brow 101: The Ideal Shape

The perfect brow is a bit like the comfortable stiletto. It's rumoured to exist, but you could easily spend your entire life trying to find it with little success.

Brows are probably the most important overlooked feature on the face. They frame the eye; providing structure and balance. The right brow shape can not only make they eyes seem larger, and more lifted, it can actually change the appearance of the face itself. A round brow can soften an angular face. Flat, shorter brows can help those with long faces look softer and rounder. Though it's important to work with the shape you were given, there are a few simple guidelines that can help you make the most of what you've got.

The easiest way to figure out the proportions of your brows is to grab a pencil or makeup brush and use it as a visual guide. The following picture illustrates the "ideal" brow shape. Universally flattering, it can be worn by a variety of face shapes to create a cleaner, more groomed, brighter eye. Here's how to get them, in three simple steps:

Step One
The Inner Corner- this is where your brow should begin. Using your pencil, lay it against the nostril on the same side as the eye you're measuring. The pencil should go straight up, intersect the inner corner of your eye, and go up onto your brow. The point at which the pencil lies on your brow is where your eye brow should begin. If you're coming up short, consider filling in a bit with a brow pencil. If you're coming in any closer toward the other brow, grab your tweezers and pull the errant hairs one by one until you're at your desired point.

Step Two
The High Point of the arch. Keeping your pencil against your nostril as before, angle it so that the pencil goes across your eye to the outside of your pupil, and over on to the brow. The part where the pencil intersects your brow should be the highest point of your brow. The area between the inner corner (Step 1) and the highpoint of the arch (Step 2) should all be pretty much the same thickness, it is at the high point that the brow should begin to slope down and slightly taper off.

Step Three
The Outer Corner- again, start with the pencil along your nostril. Angle it toward your temple so that the pencil lines up with the outer corner of your eye and reaches outward. The point where the pencil touches your brow is where it should end. As you can see, the model in the picture falls a bit short, as do I. I like to use an angled brush and a brow powder to extend the line of my brow a bit.

So, there you have it. In parting, there is one thing I feel like I need to mention. I poured through several hundred stock images searching for a model with perfect brows to use for the diagram above, and what I found was that NO ONE, including the model I used, has perfect brows. Technically, this model's brows are too close together, and not long enough. Does that mean they're not beautiful, or that she looks hopelessly out-of-proportion? Of course not. Remember- guidelines are just that, follow them as closely as your shape allows, and take the tweezing slow!

Monday, December 7, 2009

This Week's Sales:
Stila, Dylan's Candy Bar, Pur Minerals, LORAC, and more...

If you have any beauty junkies on your list, HauteLook is the place to be this week, with tons of beauty sales. Monday, December 7th starts out with a double feature: Emjoi, and Stila. Tuesday the site hosts Armani Fragrances, with Dylan's Candy Bar and LORAC on Wednesday. We have a bit of time to breathe (or visit other sites!) Thursday, but the discount mayhem resumes on Friday with Bio-Theraputic.

In other news, check out Rue La La on Tuesday, December 8th when they feature MD Skincare. They'll also be having a "Gifts She Craves" boutique on Thursday the 10th, I'll be checking that out to see if they really have what beauty junkies like us crave. By the way, if you don't already belong to the Rue, now's the time to sign up- until December 24th, they're giving all new members a $10 credit (plus a 10-spot for me when you make your first purchase, so we all win!)

Also on Tuesday, Gilt Groupe features Anthousa Fragrances. I'm not content that that's the only beauty sale that they'll be having, make sure you're following me on Twitter for the latest of up-to-now updates, plus a whole bunch of other stuff (spoiler alert: I'm a real person, and I tweet about more than beauty. But also, I tweet a lot about beauty :) I should also add that Friends and Family sales have been running fast and furious in beauty land, and have been popping up way to often for me to detail here. Another great reason to follow me on Twitter.

At Billion Dollar Babes this week, the Click & Gift continues, accompanied on Wednesday December 9th by a designer fragrance sale, and a visit from DermaNew on Friday the 11th.

On Thursday, Editor's Closet has Seduna, Swiss Care Treatment. If you're not a member, CLICK HERE for a personal invite from me!

The Fairest was silly with sales last week, several unlisted brands popped up, and they actually had five or six different brands running at once. Check them out this week when the offer up Beaute Cosmetics, Elave Dermo-Cosmetic, Whish, Pur Minerals, Raw Essentials, Air Repair and Avocate.

Finally, over on The Skinny, Tammy Fender Skincare finishes up and Lisa Hoffman takes over at the crack of dawn (6am) this Wednesday, December 16th.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Quick Tip:
Don't Pluck Amok!

To create (and maintain) the perfect brow shape, try penciling in your preferred shape before you tweeze. If you're uncertain about the shape, stop by a cosmetic counter and ask an associate to pencil them in for you. Also, stay tuned for my next post: a quick primer on brow shaping (complete with an easy to follow diagram!)

It's a good idea to make sure the rest of your eye is clean, you don't want to introduce any ickyness when you tweeze. Stand back from the mirror and draw in your brows quite heavily- since this is an aid to shaping and not for wearing outside of the house, you'll want to be able to see where you put the pencil. When you close in on your mirror, you'll be able to see exactly where you need to groom- only pull hairs that are NOT covered by your pencil.

If your brows have never been shaped, or are very grown out, follow the same technique as above, but use a white or nude pencil to draw over the hairs you'll pull. This will give you a more clear idea of what the shape will look like, and will keep you from over tweezing!

Monday, November 30, 2009

This Week's Sales:
Lierac Paris, Peter Thomas Roth, 100% Pure, and more...

Editors' Closet wins the coin toss this week and goes first with Lierac Paris this Monday, November 30th (sale starts at 9AM EST.) Click here for a personal invite to Editors' Closet. For a quicker response, contact me on Twitter.

Also Monday, HauteLook starts out with EViS MD Light Therapy, and moves on to Peter Thomas Roth on Tuesday, December 1st. HauteLook has been a hotbed of beauty sales lately, and as of now these two are the only ones scheduled. Sales for Thursday and beyond are still a secret, but you know I'll fill you in as soon as I can!

Moving on to Rue La La, check out Lisa Hoffman Skincare, also on Tuesday, December 1st.

Over at The Skinny, they're featuring 100% Pure. The sale ends and switches over to Tammy Fender Skincare on Wednesday, December 2nd at 6AM, so if you're planning on waiting until the last minute make sure you set your alarm!

Thursday, Gilt Groupe has an all-out multi brand beauty blast that they're calling "Beauty Essentials to Dazzle in December." With promises of brands like Decleor, Jemma Kidd and Clark's Botanicals, I'd have to say: dazzle, indeed!

Through out the week, get your gift on with Billion Dollar Babes and their Click & Gift sale- up to 70% off, with new items added daily. In addition to the daily sale goodness, the site ends the week with a feature on Rodial Skincare this Friday, December 4th.

Of course, don't forget to check out The Fairest this week to see what's being featured: on the block are Jemma Kidd Makeup School, Mama Mio Skincare and Fruits and Passion. Knowing The Fairest, there will be a couple more added to the mix also, just to keep us on our toes!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

This Week's Sales:
Urban Decay, Tarte, Cover FX and more...

HauteLook has a full week for us starting with Urban Decay on Monday, November 23rd. Tuesday brings us Fusion Beauty followed by Clean and Cover FX on Wednesday, Borba and Lady Primrose on Thursday and Demeter on Friday.

The week is starting out with a bang over at Gilt Groupe with Tarte Cosmetics on Monday. Tarte is also listed on Gilt's little sister site, Gilt Fuse. I'm not sure if the sale will be the same or not, I plan on checking both. You know, just to be safe.

On Wednesday, check out Editor's Closet when they present Functionalab Beauty Nutrition. If you're not a member of yet, click here for a personal invite. By the way, if you're up early Wednesday morning is your last chance to pick up Duchess Marden on The Skinny, the sale switches gear at 6am. The next feature hasn't been announced, but I'll update y'all as soon as I know.

On The Fairest roster, we're still waiting on Butter LONDON, Cake Beauty, and PeaceKeeper Cause-Metics with Mojo Cosmetics and Juara added to the mix.

For more great deals, (including friends and family deals from Lancome and Shu Uemura) skate over to fellow blogger Karlasugar's site: The Next Best Thing to Going Shopping Yourself. Karla is well known for her swatching prowess- if you ever need to see how a shade looks on an actual live person, Karla's the gal with the goods. This week, she stumbled upon so many great deals that she strayed from her norm to share them with us. Go for the discounts, but stay for the glory of swatch.

Friday, November 20, 2009

My Favorite You Tubers!

As a beauty junkie, I'm always on the look out for the greatest new products and tips. Though I've been in the business for a long time, I'm a big believer in the idea that a true scholar never stops learning. Because makeup artistry is just that, an art, there are always alternate opinions and points of view share. It's why I write my blog, and it's also why I read so many other beauty blogs.

You can easily see my favorite blogs, I list them in the side bar, and highly suggest you pay each one a visit. These are the people I share with and pull inspiration from. I communicate with many of them, I count them as friends and find them an infinite source of encouragement.

I also am a fan of the YouTube beauty community, and since my favorite blogs are listed here for all to see, I thought I'd share some of my favorite "gurus" with you as well. Here's just a few of my favs:

BlancheBabcock is a true southern belle (except, perhaps, for what's under her dress) She offers a look into alternative lifestyle makeup (drag, folks) and just seems to be a genuinely good person, which makes her a joy to watch.

gossmakeupartist Wayne is a professional makeup artist in the UK. His philosophy is one that I'm very at home with: he says that "a good makeup artist is someone that will not only make you look good but will teach YOU how to look good everyday."

jennac0re (with a zero not the letter "O") is the poster girl for no-nonsense, I feel like she'd be down with my "if you don't like me the way I am, that's your problem, not mine" attitude. She's also pretty talented with a makeup brush, and presents her tutorials in a real, not overly edited manner that makes you feel like you're getting a lesson from a good friend. (She also loves her kitties, like me!)

juderivera covers everything from easy facial contouring to blending your own lip color in her clear, easy to understand tutorials. She's always out looking for the next best thing, so Jude is a great resource for new brands and products.

MakeupByRisa Risa is a freelance makeup artist with a wealth of knowledge and a great understanding of the art. She talks you through her work and is honest when she comes upon a challenge. I also love how she encourages creativity and experimentation through her videos and contests.

MakeupGeekTV another pro, Marlena specializes in colorful but wearable looks, adding in lots of detail. She's careful to explain exactly how she blends, what brushes are best, and even suggests alternative shades and brands along the way. Though she uses a lot of MAC, she also isn't shy about trying and using more accessible, economical brands.

MissChievous Julia's channel is a great place for unique theatrical makeup; she excels at bold, almost architectural, eyes! She also does great haul videos, sharing swatches and mini-reviews as she shows her purchases, making them educational rather than just a brag-fest.

Petrilude is the YouTube diva. Not one to sugar coat things, he challenges his viewers to use what they have and learn the process rather than simply copy the look. Always dramatic and bold, Josh's looks are not for the faint-of-heart. He fills in his channel with great tip and trick videos, and come Halloween, there's no better place to go for amazing yet approachable special effects looks.

QueenofBlendingMUA Lauren is an incredible makeup artist and a great girl that has truly earned her designation as the Queen of blending (I would also add Queen of cut-crease to that moniker!) A true goof-ball at heart, Lauren brings lightheartedness to her videos that's proof that not all makeup artists are snotty know-it-alls.

sayanythingbr00ke (again, zeros, not letter "O"s) Brooke's channel has a little bit of everything- she does tons of reviews, hauls, face and nail tutorials and the odd bit of daily life. Like Jennac0re, the way she presents herself is very genuine, you truly feel like you're in a gab fest with a buddy.

vintageortacky Cora is a self-described makeup goober who's motto is "Be Bright, Bold, Beautiful, Just be yourself." A little retro, a little punk, a little rockabilly, Cora often showcases bold looks with unique color combinations- including her statement hair color and style!

xsparkage is last, but certainly not least. In fact, she was one of the first YouTubers that I found. Leesha's tutorials are always perky and upbeat. She's known for her series inspired looks: she's done superheroes, Twilight, even Alice in Wonderland. Though she often does bright, colorful looks, she mixes in plenty that are soft and wearable, so there's a little something for anyone. She's also an avid reviewer, her approach always seems honest and well-rounded, and very of the moment- if it's hot now, Leesha will be there to share it!

Well, that's it, for now! Hope you guys enjoyed & met a few new people in the process. I should mention, there are tons of other great makeup artists and beauty junkies out there on the web. I easily could have made a list twice this size, but since some people I love are not currently making videos and others are too new to me for a true evaluation, I stuck to these, my tried and true. I'm sure in time you may see another such list. In the mean time, I hope you'll check these people out- they all put tons of hard work in to sharing their own unique perspective on beauty. Thanks guys and gals!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Holiday Fragrance Gifts on the Cheap!

If the economy has forced you to take a red pen to your holiday gift list, here's an idea that may allow you to keep a few friends on your list and keep some money in your pocket at the same time!

Come "Holiday" time (which, in retail-land starts in mid-October) keep an eye out at the fragrance counters and you're bound to see coffrets pop up in almost every brand that makes more than two scents. A coffret (which is pronounced CO-fray, and literally means casket in French!) is basically a boxed assortment of purse-sized fragrances from one particular house. Think of it as a greatest-hits collection of perfumes; they're meant to be collected and given as a set, but I'm actually fond of buying one or two sets and separating the fragrances. In coffret form, one $50 set can yield 5 0r 6 gifts that often cost around $30 each, if purchased separately.

To make separating your coffret easier, make sure you smell each scent in the set using the in-store testers. Spritz some of the fragrance on a blotter card (most counters provide these, just make sure you sniff the card before you spray to make sure it's blank) then mark down the name of the fragrance and let it dry for a minute. Fan the card gently under your nose to get the scent, and see who on your list comes to mind- then mark her name on the card and move to the next scent. Your nose can only distinguish between about 3 scents at a time, after that they'll all start to smell the same, so it's a good idea to situate your fragrance testing around your other shopping so you can take breaks and return with a fresh nose!

My favorite way to gift fragrance minis is simple and easy- pick out a beautiful card and ribbon. After penning your most heart-felt sentiment, seal the envelope. Then, take a small hole punch and punch 2 holes side by side- about a half-inch apart, near the corner of the envelope (you can tap the card to the opposite side so that you don't punch through it, if you wish.) Thread your ribbon up through the holes and tie the mini into place with it.

At around $10 a pop (or less!) this is a great way to remind the ladies in your life that you appreciate them. These make perfect little hostess/teacher/coach/baby-sitter/co-worker gifts that are just enough to let them know you care.

This Week's Sales:
M Lab, Pür Minerals, Bliss and more...

OK, third time's a charm! For those of you who don't check in daily, I've had a few snafus where this post is concerned, but never mind that- here's what's up in sale land this week.

Head on over to HauteLook on Monday to check out the Ralph Lauren Fragrances sale. Even if you're not in the market for a new perfume, it's guaranteed to be a great place to pick up a gift or two. No luck on Monday? Try again Tuesday, this time with Giorgio Armani Fragrances. The site will also be featuring Go Smile on Tuesday, Designer Fragrances for Men on Wednesday, Pür Minerals on Thursday, and Kerstin Florian on Friday, November 20th.

Though they haven't been spied on the beauty sale circuit in a while, I'm more than happy to welcome back Ideeli on Tuesday, November 17th when they host M Lab Skincare. Maybe to make up for their neglect of us beauty fans, Ideeli has also partnered with to give us 15% off of any Bliss or Laboratoire Remede purchase until February 1st, 2010- just use code "IDEELI" at checkout.

Another rare sighting this week when Beyond the Rack pitches in and offers up Mindy Shear Makeup on Wednesday, November 18th.

Also on Wednesday, over at Gilt Groupe, check out Baby Quasar. It's an awful quiet week in beauty over at Gilt, I wouldn't be surprised to see some unscheduled sales popping up, so stay tuned and make sure you're following me on Twitter for updates as they happen!

Over at The Skinny, Tuesday is your last chance to take advantage of Organic Apoteke, as the site switches over to a week long Duchess Marden sale at 10AM (EST) Wednesday.

Rounding out the week, Billion Dollar Babes has Pangea Organics and Rue La La hosts June Jacobs Spa Collection both on Friday, November 20th.

Last, but not least, The Fairest offers quite a menu in the upcoming days, starting with Skin Alison Raffaele, DoshaCare and Kama Ayurveda. Also coming up: Bodyography, Butter LONDON, Cake Beauty, and PeaceKeeper Cause-Metics. More than enough to keep us busy!

A quick blurb for those of you that are always out for a deal. Check out and subscribe to their mailing list to get discount codes and education on the hottest new products. Also, if you're not already following the amazing Temptalia, make sure you check out her Money Saving Mondays, with discounts on brands like Nars, and Too Faced.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Halloween Looks:
Lucent Rainbows & Pink Calamari!

As I promised on Twitter earlier this week, here's a peek of a couple Halloween looks I created this year, one on myself and one for Stacey Vest, wig guru and the talent behind Sweet Hayseed's Wearable Wonders.

This was the first year we took my daughter Trick-or-Treating (she was Abby Cadabby, if anyone is curious!) so I had a busy day on the 31st- this culminated in me having to slap on my own makeup as fast as I could, as my fiance, mother and daughter waited anxiously. I wouldn't say this is a great representation of my work- I spend a ton more time on my clients. Still, it was fun, so here it is! You'll also have to excuse me if my photo quality isn't great- I think you'll still get the gist!

This first one is a close up of me wearing the Shu Uemura Lucent Rainbow Eyelashes that inspired the entire look. Honestly, I wanted these from the moment I saw them. When Nordstrom opened here last month and I realized they had a Shu Lash Bar, I had to get them; Halloween was really a convenient justification!

Though the picture is not in the sharpest focus, hopefully you can also see my Geo circle lenses- cute and freaky at the same time! I got them relatively last minute from CandyOps for only $10! They're just cosmetic- no script, but for that price, they could have been disposable for all I care!

Unfortunately, this was the best picture we were able to get of the actual eye makeup, but who are we kidding, the lashes were the star anyway! Still, it was a pretty rainbow look, and something I might like to re-create some day.

I created the entire look with my Sleek I-Divine Acid Palette, which is (as it promises) acid bright! It's so bright, in fact, that when I tried to photograph the palette itself in sunlight several of the neon shades (which are matte) actually glared back at the camera like a bicycle reflector!

To get this look, I started with yellow on the inner corner (I know you can't really see it, but trust me, it's there!) I packed the palette's neon orange shade onto the outer 2/3 of the lid, then added the hot pink in the outer corner and crease. To add a bit more dimension, I worked just a bit of a slightly deeper magenta into the outer V and blended it into the crease. On the bottom lash line, which is more visible in the other photos, I rimmed with purple, blue and neon green from the outer to the inner corner.

In case you're wondering, right now Sleek Makeup is only available overseas, something the company promises it's working hard to remedy. The Acid palette itself was actually a limited edition; I had to hunt down mine down on the UK EBay, but it was totally worth it. Aside from great, original colors, Sleek Makeup is ridiculously inexpensive- the palette itself retails for £4.99, which is a little over $8.00. Combine my purchase price with overseas shipping and it was about the same price you'd pay for a single MAC shadow!

This one is the lovely Miss Stacey, wearing the look she coined Calamari. Up until the day before Halloween, I was working under the assumption that Stacey was going to dress as Little Red Riding Hood. In all fairness, she had told me that something snake-like was also a possibility- knowing how kooky Stacey is, I should have known the look would morph into this!

After prepping Stacey's skin with primer, foundation and concealer, I created a mottled pattern with Kryolan's UV Purple Aquacolor. Using a piece of netting from a pair of crocheted stockings as a stencil, I sponged the pattern onto Stacey's forehead and under her cheekbones. I also used the UV Purple to fill in her brows and cut her crease. Though the picture cuts it off, the cut crease wings out and up to meet her extended brow line, which reminded me of tentacles. Keep in mind, the UV Aquacolors all glow under black-light, an effect that I hope Stacey was able to make use of!

After blending the crease upward with the purple and white shades from my Sleek Acid palette, I used the neon pink shade from the palette on Stacey's lid, forehead and cheeks. I topped of her lids with a coat of Mehron Paradise Glitter in Electric Magenta. Truth be told, I wasn't thrilled with this product- it was a plastic-like material with almost no reflective quality; it looked more like pink sanding sugar (the kind you decorate cookies with) than glitter. It's times like these I most wish we had a MAC Pro store nearby, but alas...

To finish things off, I lined Stacey's lips with NYX lip liner in Prune, filling in all but the center of her lips. I topped this off with an bright coat of true blue-based fuchsia lipstick.

As a finishing touch, I wanted to add a bit of sheen to mimic the opalescent glow that you can see on the skin of many underwater creatures. I used TKB's Hilight Violet on the center of the upper portion of Stacey's forehead. I also mixed a bit of the pigment into Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics' Clear Lip Tar, which made an incredible iridescent gloss. A pair o' big pink lashes and a quick snap with my iPhone camera later and Stacey was out the door.

Though I wasn't able to see Stacey's full calamari getup in person, she did have some images taken for promotional use. Hopefully, I'll be able to get more shots, but I couldn't resist giving you guys a peek of the look complete with one of Sweet Hayseed's custom wigs!

So, that was my Halloween. In addition to my makeup and blue wig, I wore a HUGE rainbow tutu, made by the multi-talented Ms. Vest. Though the extent of my festivities was Trick-or-Treating with Rorschach and a 21 month old fairy-in-training, it was one of the best Halloweens in memory (and not just because we got 3 full sized Reese's Cups from one house!) So, any ideas for next year?

This Week's Sales:
Super Star Week Feat. Shu Uemura,
LuminessAir & Urban Decay Friends & Fam!

Haute Look has us busy every day of the week- and you'd better believe I'll be among the first in line to check out Shu Uemura this Monday, November 6th. On Tuesday, MD Skincare shares the spotlight, followed by regulars MOR Cosmetics on Wednesday, and Juice Beauty on Thursday. The week ends with high-tech newcomer Tei Spa Essentials on Friday, November 13th.

Gilt Groupe is a bit quieter, but just as tempting this week when they host Luminess Air on Wednesday, November 11th followed by a personal favorite, Mario Badescu on Thursday November 12th.

On Billion Dollar Babes this week, check out DermaNew Microbrasion on Wednesday and Belli Skincare on Friday.

The newest addition to our line-up, The Skinny, finishes up it's inaugural week with International Orange (Tuesday's your last chance!) and moves on to Organic Apoteke on Wednesday, November 11th.

On the bench over at The Fairest this week: Anastasia, Skin Nutrition, Air Repair, Avocate, and Global Goddess. I can't tell you what the batting order is, you'll have to tune in daily to see for yourself!

Not to be forgotten (though I always recieve my emails AFTER the event has begun) Urban Decay is having their online winter Friends and Family event. Get 30% off your entire order now through November 20th with the code FNFW1, plus free shipping on any order over $50!

Of course, substitutions are par for the course, so make sure you're following me on Twitter to keep up with all the latest sale updates. Let it be known, you will also be subject to random musings, trivial tidbits, and off-the-cuff ramblings that often are, but definitely are not always, beauty related- don't say I didn't warn you!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Mineral Makeup Mutiny:
A Letter to Doe Deere

If you follow any number of beauty blogs, You Tube gurus or makeup tweeps, you may have seen the term "Mineral Makeup Mutiny" flying around. Controversy has been swirling around small makeup companies that are reportedly repackaging pigments and micas exactly as they come from the wholesaler and selling them for an astronomical markup.

I myself weighed in on the issue back in September with my post comparing several retail pigment sellers with wholesale micas. Though I compared several companies, I did use several examples from Lime Crime Makeup. For many, Xenia (aka Doe Deere) the ingenue behind Lime Crime Makeup, is the face of the enemy- the Captain, if you will, in this mutiny. I have featured Lime Crime in the past. I was a fan of Xenia's artistry long before she started Lime Crime, and after the line launched, she was generous enough to send me some of her pigments to try. I have since purchased several more.

Because of my respect for both my readers and Xenia, I felt I needed to appeal to her personally. I sent this email to her Tuesday, and I'd like to share it with you. This is an exact copy of the email that was sent to Xenia; the text has not been altered or edited in any way.


I know that recently you have come under a lot of fire about the formulation of your Lime Crime Makeup Line. As you know, I have been a long time follower of yours and have myself featured your products several times on my blog. I consider myself a conscientious blogger and try to be as fair and impartial with my posts as possible- especially where brand profiles and reviews are concerned. I enjoy Lime Crime makeup; the quality as well as the brand ethos. I respect you as a makeup artist, and out of the respect I have for you as well as that which I owe my readers, I'd like to ask you to reply directly to the accusations that you are facing.

I implore you to answer definitively, do you personally formulate and blend your own products? Do you now or have you ever sold any product exactly as it came to you from your wholesale supplier?

I have done my best to remain objective and supportive of your brand, and it is with the most honest intentions that I send you this request. It is my hope that you'll take this opportunity to clear the air once and for all.

Best Wishes,
Jessica Allison

Though I have not received a personalized response, Today Xenia did post a response to the allegations on You Tube, as well as on her website. Of course, should I hear anything directly from Doe Deere, I'll update you all.

I thought it important to bring you both sides of the story. I am neither advocating for or against the mutiny- frankly, no line is completely original or un-dupable. I have Estee Lauder shades that appear to be exact matches of Lancome shades and MAC shades. When MAC released their Rated R eyeshadow, no one made a big deal over the fact that Nars has an extremely similar shade that actually has the same name! Does this mean they're all the same repackaged product? Of course not.

The reality is, there are only so many marketable colors in cosmetics, and I find it completely likely that even someone who is blending their own shades could end up with something that appears to be an exact match for another company's shade- wholesale or not. Does this mean that I think that no one is selling repackaged wholesale makeup? Again, of course not.

I have seen mineral makeup gurus from companies like Calypso Minerals and Beauty From The Earth openly admit that they have sold either un-blended pigments, or have blended only to affect texture and not to change the shade of the mica. I appreciate the honesty, and reject the notion that these companies should have to reveal their trade secrets in order to prove themselves innocent.

While I commend those that have been honest about this particular controversy, from my fellow bloggers to the companies themselves, when it comes down to it, I really think it's our responsibility as consumers to do our research and know what we're putting on our skin & in our bodies. I personally don't blame any of these businesses for trying to make a profit-after all, it's the "American way", isn't it? Will my knowledge affect my shopping choices? Yes, and it is for that reason that I share it with you. What you do with that knowledge is your choice.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Quick Tip:
Cleansing Your (Makeup) Palette

With mineral makeup and loose pigments becoming more mainstream by the second, you're bound to have already started experimenting yourself. Cheap palettes from an art supply store are great for mixing up custom colors, but they can be a bit of a pain to clean. Even a trip through the dishwasher may not remove a stubborn pigment that's been cemented on with mixing medium.

Don't waste your time or your expensive makeup remover in a last ditch effort to remove stubborn stains. Sure it'll work, but so will plain old veggie oil from your pantry! Apply the oil with a cotton ball and even waxy lipstick bases will wipe away easily. When your palette is bright and shiny, make sure you remove any oily residue with a run through the dishwasher*, or do it the old fashioned way with some Dawn and a scrubby brush- good as new!

*The heat from a dishwasher also sanitizes palettes, a must for professional artists or anyone who will be working on faces other than their own. In lieu of a dishwasher, palettes can be sanitized by a 10 minute soak in 70% Isopropyl Alcohol or by using a disinfecting product like Barbicide.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

This Week's Sales:
The Skinny Launches!
(oh...also Jemma Kidd, DDF, Borba and more!)

Short and sweet this week- hope you all had a great Halloween! Stay tuned later this week for some candid shots of my Halloween look, as well as a peek at my Halloween collaboration with wig guru Stacey, from Sweet Hayseed's Wearable Wonders!

Monday's a shopping day off, but pop by HauteLook on Tuesday November 3rd, for Jemma Kidd Make Up School, and Hydroderm on November 5th.

If you missed your chance last week but are still curious about Glowelle beauty drinks after last week's review, check out Gilt Groupe on Tuesday, November 3rd when they feature Glowelle, followed by NuFace on Wednesday and DDF Skincare on Thursday the 5th.

Last but certainly not least, new sale site, The Skinny finally kicks off this week. The Skinny promises to offer up not only good deals, but expert advice and education to help you choose what's best for you. They begin on Wednesday, November 4th with International Orange . If you're not a member yet, sign up now and be one of the first to check it out!

Lately lots of last minute sales have been popping up- but don't worry, you won't miss a thing if you're following me on Twitter!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Product Review:
Glowelle Beauty Drink Mix

You are what you eat, and what you drink too- at least that's the theory behind Nestlé's new Glowelle brand. Representing a new trend in beauty "treatments" Glowelle is a dietary supplement marketed as a beauty drink. According to the company, the ready-to-drink bottles and stick pack drink mixes are loaded with antioxidants and extracts that "nourish your skin from within." At $42 for a 6 pack of bottles, or $112 for the more economical 30-day stick pack kit, Glowelle is indeed a tall drink of (vitamin infused) water. So is it worth it?

I recently tried the 7-day Powder Stick Pack Kit ($40) in the Raspberry Jasmine flavor. At first glance, I could see that Glowelle is chock-full of antioxidants. It has well over the recommended allowance for vitamins A, C, and E as well as other sources of antioxidants, like Pomegranate and Green Tea extracts. Ingredients like Lycopene, Lutein and Coenzyme Q10 are present, along with the company's "proprietary beauty blend." While many of Glowelle's ingredients have proven antioxidant properties (purported to fight off everything from wrinkles to skin cancer) some, like Lycopene and Maritime Pine Bark Extract, have an unproven track record.

I've never been able to get myself in the habit of popping a daily multivitamin pill, so I really liked the idea of a stick pack for just this reason- I'm much more likely to drink my vitamins than take than a pill. I like the idea that I can pop a stick in my purse, dump it into a bottle of water while I'm out and about, all the while nourishing my body. Unfortunately, that benefit alone doesn't justify the cost. I was also a bit bummed when I saw that each pack contains 50 calories (the pre-made bottled version has 100!) While that's not a deal breaker for me, those are extra calories that I'd prefer to use elsewhere! I also noticed that while Glowelle is full of antioxidants, it is missing several essential vitamins an minerals that every woman should be taking, like B Vitamins, Vitamin D, Calcium, Iron and Folic Acid. My thought: since I'd have to take a separate supplement anyway, why not just look for one that contains everything in one pop?

All of this is a moot point though, if one doesn't actually drink the product. The stick packs I got are meant to be mixed into a pint bottle of water, so this is how I originally tried the product. My initial impression was, well...yuck! The earthy red powder produced a sweet, fruity, extremely metallic tasting beverage that had a distinct mineral smell; had I not known I was drinking a health beverage, I certainly would have guessed it. In fact, I was only able to convince myself to drink it for two days before I put my packets aside for a break.

After a trip to the grocery, I was ready to try again, this time following a serving suggestion from the package insert. Using my handy Magic Bullet* I blended the mix into a smoothie with blueberry yogurt, frozen strawberries, and some ice. This first attempt was headed to the garbage disposal when I decided to add a spoonful of Splenda. This made a big difference, and while it went a long way in making the drink much more palatable, the metallic twang was still present until the very last sip. Though not the tastiest smoothie I've ever made, I didn't feel like I was choking it down like I did with the water/mix combo.

So, the big question is: did I notice a difference? I can't say I did, but I have to admit, knowing that skin takes around a month to fully cycle, I didn't really expect to. I also have to give some pause for the fact that I did not use the mix for 7 consecutive days; perhaps my results would have been more noticeable if I had. Having said that, I did notice that the testing Glowelle refers to on the website used a 45 day trial period. For anyone who is counting, this would cost anywhere from $168-$315, depending on which form of the drink you prefer. For the cost, I can't say I'll be running out to buy more Glowelle, as curious as I am to see if the other flavor (Pomegranate Lychee) is any tastier. Would a better flavor convert me into a daily user? Probably not, but it would probably add a point or two to Glowelle's overall rating.

I'd give Glowelle a 4.5 out of 10. It's an intriguing idea, and I'm curious about whether the proprietary blend would have any significant long term effect. Unfortunately, The cost and, to some extent, the taste, have me choosing more conventional methods for the time being.

- Contains antioxidant vitamins and extracts proven to aid in skin protection.
- Convenient stick pack is portable and easy to blend on the go.
- Comes in two flavors (Raspberry Jasmine or Pomegranate Lychee)
- Stick packs can be mixed into water, juice, yogurt or blended into an iced beverage to suit the user's taste.

- Some may find the metallic, mineral-heavy taste unpleasant (I did.)
- The product is quite expensive- you could buy a 30 day supply of vitamin supplements in pill form for about what one serving of Glowelle costs.
- Glowelle is not a substitute for a multivitamin supplement, since it does not contain a spectrum of important vitamins and minerals (I should also note that most multivitamins include several of the same antioxidants that Glowelle does.)
- Glowelle contains 50-100 calories, depending on the form you use.

*By the way, if you're a fan of the frozen drink and you don't have a Magic Bullet, RUN- don't walk- and get one! Milk shakes, frozen coffee beverages (similar to the trademarked Starbuck's Frappuccino!), piña coladas, smoothies, hell, I even made my daughter's baby food with it!

Monday, October 26, 2009

This Week's Sales:
Three Custom Color, 100% Pure,
Becca Cosmetics & more...
Plus, I Need Your Feedback!

Hey folks! Here's the deals this week. I also have to say, sorry about last week's lack of substantial posts- I'm working on a few that I was waiting on company feedback for (company comments, official ingredient lists, that type of thing.) I suppose I could have knocked out a review or two, but then we went to visit family over the weekend and all was lost!

Speaking of which, I'd love to get your feedback on which kind of posts you like to see here. There's tons of great beauty blogs out there; I know, I myself regularly visit around 30 (and that's not including YouTube!) What do you like about OutInAPout, what makes it part of your list? Likewise, what would you like to see that perhaps you feel we're missing? Leave your thoughts in the comments, or feel free to message me directly by clicking the link in the upper right corner! Now, on with the show!

HauteLook is the first to go this week with Whish on Monday, October 26th. On Tuesday, they'll be hosting June Jacobs Spa, followed by 100% Pure on Wednesday, Apivita on Thursday, and Ambrosia Aromatherapy on Friday.

Gilt Groupe offers up two sales this week, with Juice Beauty starting on Tuesday, and Becca Cosmetics on Wednesday.

Thursday, October 29th Rue La La will host Miami Beach get-away spot Canyon Ranch Hotel & Spa.

And finally, don't forget to drop by The Fairest, with upcoming sales by Three Custom Color Specialists, Pharmacopia, and Bodyography.

By the way make sure you check back here on Wednesday for my review of Glowelle's signature beauty drink mix, the line goes on sale Friday over at Billion Dollar Babes. Of course, as always, make sure you're following me on Twitter for last minute updates, daily tidbits and the more than occasional bit of irrelevant nonsense!

Monday, October 19, 2009

This Week's Sales:
Sephora Friends & Family! (oh, and some others!)

First things first- while I'm sure I can't say you heard it here first, I would be remiss if I didn't tell you that Sephora's fall Friends & Family discount starts today! On line only, use code FF2009 and get 20% off of almost everything. I don't have exact restrictions yet, but as soon as I can find them, I'll update this! Sale ends November 2nd, so while I wouldn't exactly dawdle getting there, there's also no reason to break your neck getting to the computer. (Of course, things do sell out...just saying...)

Elsewhere in the beauty sale universe:

HauteLook has a full week this time around, starting with Rodial Skincare today, Monday October 19th. Next comes M Lab on Tuesday the 20th, Baby Quasar on Wednesday and Ouidad, The Curl Experts on Friday, October 23rd.

This week, Rue La La hosts Exhale Mind-Body-Spa on the 21st, but don't miss Tuesday's boutique benefiting the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, in case you weren't sure what all of those pink ribbons were about!) I'm not sure what's going to be featured, but knowing the Rue, it'll be top notch, and since 25% if the proceeds go to BCRF, it's charitable to boot!

Gilt Groupe is having a rather quiet week, starting out on Tuesday with Freeze 24-7 (which seems to be popping up somewhere almost weekly, doesn't it?) Balancing out the over exposure of it's first offering of the week, Gilt offers up a line that I personally have never seen on the sale circuit. It's definitely worth checking out Decleor Paris Skincare on Thursday, October 22nd.

Not to be forgotten, Billion Dollar Babes has Clark's Botanicals (another brand we've been seeing a lot these days) starting on Wednesday, October 21st.

Last but not least, here's a peek at the menu at The Fairest this week, which has thus far eluded any discernible pattern of when sales begin and end- some weeks they only seem to have 2, last week I do believe they powered through 5 or 6 brands. In any case, for your consideration this week The Fairest offers: Peacekeeper Cause-Metics, Exuberance, Juicy Jewel, Panpuri, and Mojo Cosmetics (and maybe more. Make sure you're following me on Twitter to stay up to date!)

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Quick, Painless, Free Way to
Look More Beautiful in an Instant!

The simple trick? Back away from the mirror! While it sounds like a mean joke, I'm actually quite serious. Unless you're severely near-sighted, there is no reason to stand closer than, say, a foot away from the mirror when applying your makeup. Many people (myself included) have a tendency to stand far too close to the mirror, in an effort to seek out and destroy any visible flaw. Thing is, this method can actually backfire.

Realize that you are looking at yourself much closer than anyone else will likely see you, which means you're going to notice imperfections that no one else will see. Meaning that you could be caking concealer over a spot that no one would have noticed anyway, or creating an angry red bump where a fine, virtually invisible hair once was.

Worse yet, a tiny whitehead may seem like too big a temptation when you're looking at it in it's magnified glory. While, in truth it likely would go unnoticed, I know few who could resist a squeeze. We all know what happens next: a big, red, crusty spot that lasts for days. You're left thinking "I wish I had just left it alone." Standing to close to the mirror not only exaggerates minute flaws, it also distorts lighting and perspective, creating shadows and highlights that may not be there. What looks great close up may not translate when you step back and look at the entire picture from afar.

Obviously some detail work requires a closer look- liquid eyeliner for instance, but for everything else, give yourself some breathing room. After all, anyone standing six inches from your face shouldn't really care about a tiny (or even not-so-tiny) zit.

Monday, October 12, 2009

This Week's Sales:
Smashbox, Dr Hauschka, Beauté & More!

Haute Look is the beauty sale hot spot this week, tempting us straight through the first half with Lawrence Moy MD Skincare Monday, October 12th followed by Smashbox Tuesday the 13th, and finally Clark's Botanicals on Wednesday. By the way, if you're a Smashbox fan you may also check out the company's "curtain call" section on their website for deals up to 50% off! .

Jumping over to Gilt Groupe this Tuesday, October 13th Warren Tricomi Haircare pops up on the sale circuit again. Then Dr. Hauschka Skincare gets gilded on Wednesday the 14th. Maybe it's my glowing adoration of Martha Stewart (who often touts the line) but this is my most anticipated sale of the week.

And in the coming days on The Fairest peruse selections from McBride Beauty, Beaute, Apivita, Mama Mio and Lucy B Cosmetics.

As always, make sure you're following me on Twitter for daily updates, changes and other terribly interesting tidbits!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Quick Tip: Vampire Chic on the Cheap

Believe it or not, there was a time, not so long ago, when goth was actually a SUBculture and vampire chic was the farthest thing from mainstream. This fall's makeup collections from Nars to Chanel to MAC are showcasing inky lips and raven eyes, making us beauty junkies feel as if we've been missing something by not having a black tube of lipstick in our kits. I'll admit, I was tempted by the tarry tubes- not just black, but deep plums, rich sooty reds, even night-sky eggplant shades. These shades are not daily-wear by any means, but they do impart a certain opulence that you won't see with fall's usual terracotta and brick shades.

Still, when it came down to it, I just wasn't willing to plunk down the cold hard cash for something I'm unlikely to wear outside of the month of October. Especially when I already have the means to create an arsenal of shades, including the rich black lip I've been craving ever since I saw the promo images for MAC's Style Black collection. The secret? So do you. Basic, every day eyeliner pencil.

This is one of the most basic tricks I learned, way back in junior high when I decided I needed blue lipstick to match my outfit. Experimenting in my bathroom before school one day, I learned my first lesson in makeup artistry: makeup is multi-purpose. Just because it's called "eyeliner" doesn't mean you can't use it else where. So I did.

Ergo, all you need really need for this season's perfect black lip is a black pencil liner and something to impart a bit of moisture. Simply line your lip line with a black pencil, then fill in the entire portion of your lip. For a glossy look, top with your favorite clear gloss or balm. If you're after a more matte look, you could, of course, leave the liner as is without a topcoat but since liner alone can tend to feel a bit dry on the lips, I'd suggest topping it with a wax based lip moisturizer (like good ol' ChapStick). If you're happy with this more satiny finish, you're done. If you're craving a truly matte finish, pat a bit of black powder eye shadow over your lips.

With two minor revisions, you can use this same technique to get richer blackened red or plum shades. Line lips with a black liner like before, but this time only fill in your lips about 3/4 full, leaving just the very center blank. Layer a red, plum, even pink shade over and use a lip brush (or your pinky finger!) to blend the edges gently. The lack of liner in the the center of your lip will give an automatic highlight, making your lips look fuller despite the dark shade!

Take this lesson for what it is- an invitation to experiment with your makeup in a no-holds-barred manner. Use blush on your eyes, eye shadow as high lighter, anything goes. Sure, sometimes you'll end up looking ridiculous, but you may just stumble upon next season's hot trend.

*Keep in mind, certain color additives are not approved for all areas of the face. If you're sensitive, always test products in an inconspicuous place. Also keep in mind that the eye area is particularly prone to sensitivity and infection- it is imperative that you sanitize any product not meant for the area before you apply to lessen the chance of cross contamination.

Sorry: No Sales Post This Week!

Truth be told, I had a long weekend out of town and simply couldn't find the time to post this week's sales here, it takes longer than you'd think to track them down, add in the links, etc...

I have, however, been posting daily updates on Twitter, so if you're following me, you've not missed anything. If you're not, well- serves you right :)

I will resume the Sales post this Sunday, so stay tuned!

Monday, September 28, 2009

This Week's Sales:
Introducing...The Skinny

We have a full slate this week, starting off at Rue La La when they host hair-care guru Oscar Blandi on Monday September 28th.

When you're done there, skip over to Billion Dollar Babes and check out luxury skin care line Z. Bigatti. On Friday, October 2nd the site features anti-aging skin specialists, Kaplan MD. (BTW, for other mommies out there, it's a great week for kids clothes over at BDB!)

On Tuesday, September 29th, HauteLook has Fusion Beauty, followed by skincare from Freeze 24-7 on Thursday October 1st.

Gilt Groupe introduces us to Rodial Skincare on Wed the 30th, followed by D.L. & Co. Thursday October 1st. Their personal fragrances may grant them a spot on this list, but with Halloween right around the corner, it's their delightfully dark decor that I'll be eyeing!

Forgive the repeats, I still haven't gotten the pattern over at The Fairest, but we can look forward to Sonya Dakar, Burn, Primal Elements, Pop Beauty and Pixi in the coming days.

I'm also excited to bring you a new site that goes one step further than just great deals. Of course, with a focus solely on skin care, The Skinny does promises access to unbelievable prices, but they'll also have educational videos and personalized recommendations if you're not sure what you need. The site launches this Thursday, October 1st. Hop on over now, and they'll enter you to win a Bliss moisturizer when you sign up for your free account!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Foundation 101:
Finding Your Best Shade

I'm decidedly a cosmo-anarchist. In my makeup land, there are no rules, no laws- anything goes. However, if there were one, it would have something to do with the abolition of what we makeup artists know as "lines of demarcation." We've all seen them, the horrid mask lines on the jaw that appear when someone has applied a shade of foundation that is appallingly wrong. Lines that leave you asking yourself: "Can't she see it? Who does she think she's fooling?" As obvious as this condition is to the rest of us, it is rarely the choice of the afflicted. Choosing the correct foundation shade can be a daunting task; with an ever widening span of shades and tones available, how's a girl to tell what's the best for her? Believe it or not, a little 4th grade math can help. Confused? Read on.

The first step is to decide what depth your skin is: are you light, medium or dark? This is most likely something you're already aware of. If you're lighter or darker than most, then it's probably pretty obvious where you'll fall. If you're not sure, then you're most likely in the medium range. For now, don't worry about your undertones, just the depth of your skin.

When you get to the store, look at the entire range of foundation you're considering, and divide it into 3 equal parts- for light, medium, dark. If a line has 15 shades, you'll end up with 5 light, 5 medium and 5 dark shades. Realistically, most lines have more shades that will fall into the medium category than the light and deep, so if you can't divide the range into equal parts, lump the extras into this middle category. Ergo: If a line has 17 shades, consider 5 light, 5 dark and the other 7 medium.

Next it's swatch time. You're always going to swatch 3 shades to begin with. Say it with me- 3 shades! Even if you're positive where you fit in the spectrum, testing a few shades will ensure that you get the best match not only to the depth, but also the tone of your skin. So, going back to our example- say you've decided you're light. That means one of the first five shades should be your match. How do you decide which one without swatching all five? Simple- just decide where you fall in the spectrum of "light"; are you the lightest of the light, or more light/medium?If you decide you're definitely among the lightest, then the first 3 shades in your light group will be your test shades. If you're fair, but not super pale, go with the last 3 in that group. The same goes for medium and deep tones, just evaluate where you fall in that individual category.

When you're ready to swatch, make sure you're doing it on bare skin along your jaw line, since the goal is finding a match that blends seamlessly from your face to your neck. Testing on the back of your hand or the inside of your wrist won't cut it, the shades of skin from body part to body part can vary widely. Take a clean Q-tip for each test, and draw a vertical line with the makeup along your jaw, spacing the shades about an inch apart.

Chances are, at least one of the 3 you've tested will jump right out and scream WRONG!!! If the shade looks chalky or dry, it's probably too light. If the shade looks orange or muddy, it may be too dark or the wrong undertone for your skin. Obviously, this one is out of the running. Keep in mind, any foundation striped on is probably going to be visible, so you may want to lightly smudge the bottom half of each line to see how the shades blend. If you're still not sure, step away from the mirror, squint your eyes, and see which shade disappears.

It's not uncommon to find you may be able to wear more than one shade, especially with sheer formulas. Of course, some skin tones are harder to match than others, and some lines may not work for some people, so if you're having a hard time finding a match in one line, try another formula, or another brand all together. Luckily, most major brands have associates that are trained to help you find your best shade. Take advantage of color matching services when they're offered, and if you're unsure, there's nothing wrong with asking for a sample to take home (as long as your planning to buy when you find the right shade!)

Hopefully this makes sense to you all, when I was a manager, this was the technique that always seemed to click with my associates; I think it translates just as well to the home shopper. Nest time you're out, give it a try & let me know how it worked for you!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

This Week's Sales:
ICS, Sonya Dakar, Purlisse, and more!

This week on Haute Look: If the idea of a prenatal wax sounds appealing to you, then you're obviously much more considerate of your OBGYN than I was- it's just one of the serviced offered by the hair removal specialists at Completely Bare. Check out their boutique this Tuesday, September 22nd!

In a last minute change of plans (very last minute, as in 2 minutes before the sale!) Gilt Groupe removes the Whish, Methven and Neil George sales. Now on the slate: men's skincare specialists Task Essential on Thursday and ICS Skin Therapie on Friday.

Finally, here's what the folks at The Fairest have coming up: Skin Nutrition, David Kirsch Wellness, Purlisse (try the "pur-lip comfort" if you can!), Sonya Dakar, and BURN Candles, designed by the famous Fred Segal studios.

Of course, according to my source at Illamasqua, their highly anticipated Dystopia Eye Shadow Quads are due in this week. Combine that with the facts that MAC's Style Black collection launches this Thursday and Nordstrom Cincinnati opens Friday, and I'm really kind of hoping the online sales have a lot of passes for me!
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