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!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Match of the Century:
Retail-vs-Wholesale Pigments

If you're a true beauty junkie, then you've likely noticed a HUGE beauty trend over the past year. Independently run mineral pigment retailers are cropping up like mulberry weeds (they're rampant, trust me!) I've tried a few, and overall have been impressed with the smooth texture, vivid finish, and endless range of colors that these retailers provide.

Ignorance was bliss, until my friend Anastasia over at Lipsticks & Lightsabers did a post pointing out the extreme similarities between pigments from companies like Lime Crime Makeup and Beauty From The Earth and those from wholesalers like TKB Trading. I'd been thinking about ordering some wholesale samples for quite some time, and I decided this was the perfect excuse. Here's what I found.

So, a picture is worth 1000 words- but here you get both! If you're thinking this is a trick, I can assure you, it is not. Here's what you're looking at, read from left to right like a book!

Top: TKB Lemon Drop Pop!, Lime Crime Circus Girl, Calypso Mineral Beauty Bandana

Middle: TKB
Apple Green Pop!, Lime Crime Elf, Barry M Dazzle Dust Mint Green #82 (don't worry about the darker green to the right, I've got another pic for that one!

Bottom: TKB
Grape Pop!, Calypso MineralsTramp, MAC Violet Pigment

As you can see from the photo, the differences in the shades are almost imperceptible. (BTW, click the images to see the photos supersized!) Looking at the yellow and green shades, Lime Crime's and TKB's are virtually identical, both in color and texture. I tried to be as scientific as I could when applying these, but any small difference I noticed (are the Lime Crime colors slightly more sheer, maybe a tiny bit more pearlized?) could easily be attributed to the amount applied, or the difference of the skin texture in the areas I applied them.

Even the notable differences weren't that drastic. Most apparent, Calypso's Bandana yellow was more opaque than it's doppelgangers. The Barry M Dazzle Dust seemed like the same base shade as the other greens, but had a dose of fine silver sparkle. Even the MAC pigment looks fairly similar to it's counterparts, though the texture of MAC's pigments are almost moist and spongy, and the finish is more metallic. I think it's safe to say these products are different than the others, because though close in color, they'd definitely achieve different effects.

Lets ponder a few more:

Top row is shown with MAC Blackground Paint Pot as a base.

Left: Lime Crime Fairy Wings Right: TKB Hilite Violet

With these pretty violet duo-chromes, I could not tell the difference no matter how they were applied.

Left: Star Gazer Eye Dust #33 Right: TKB True Green

Two more that look identical. If I were going to say any of these pigments were the EXACT same, it would be these two.

So here's my final opinion (for now, anyway.) Other than the exceptions that I talked about, all of these pigments were virtually identical. I'm not going to say they're the same exact formulations, but I'm also not ready to say they're not. All it would take is a pinch in a pound to say a shade is custom blended, that doesn't mean it will look much different on the skin.

Is it somewhat nefarious to repackage wholesale product and mark it up (literally) 4000%? Maybe, but I can assure you, this is nothing new, nor is it limited to small businesses. One major (and I mean MAJOR) cosmetics company I worked for paid around $2.00 for lipsticks that retailed at $22. The justification is that you're not just paying for the product, you're paying for the image. That means that the retailer is including all of the costs involved in producing the item you're purchasing; things like packaging, website production and maintenance, models, makeup artists and photographers that make the company's promotional images, the cost of placing those images in magazines, on-line in banner ads- the list goes on and on. That's capitalism, kids.

There's nothing wrong with buying a particular brand because you like the way their compacts look, or because you prefer supporting small businesses. Just be aware that there are alternatives out there. For anyone shopping around, here's a price by the ounce comparison of the brands I've shown in this post:

Lime Crime Makeup Magic Dusts: $12 for .07 oz= $171.43 per ounce

In October '09, Lime Crime doubled the size of their Magic Dusts, which now come in .14oz sizes for the original $12 price. The adjusted price is $85.71 per ounce.

Calypso Mineral Beauty Pigments*: about .052 oz for $6.00= $115.38 per ounce

Barry M Dazzle Dusts*: about .07 oz for $7.43= $106.14 per ounce

Stargazer Eye Dusts: about $4.96 for .063 oz= $78.73 per ounce

MAC Pigments: $19.50 for .26 oz= $75 per ounce

UPDATE: In January, '10 MAC repackaged their pigments, reducing the size to .15oz with no price change. This brings the current cost of MAC pigments to $130 per ounce.

TKB Trading: prices vary, ,most are $4.00-4.50 per ounce (no, that's not a typo, the $1.25 SAMPLE size has more product than some brand's full sizes!)

*Calypso weight per 5g jar is approximate. According to Jen, the owner, jars aren't weighed, they're just packed until they're full. Price is also an average price provided to me by the owner.

Barry M Dazzle Dust weight was determined by me weighing my own jar (after swatching) I have contacted the company for an exact weight and will update this if I hear back.

Prescriptives Closing Worldwide

It was announced today that by January 31st, 2010 cosmetics brand Prescriptives will end all retail operations, save for it's online sales, which will continue for a time period in order to sell through remaining inventory.

Parent company Estee Lauder says this move will allow the company "to focus on those areas which we expect to benefit the Company, our shareholders and business partners." Estee Lauder claims they are committed to placing as many impacted employees as possible into open positions within the company.

Established in 1979, Prescriptives became widely known for it's Colorprinting service and wide range of foundation shades. They remain the only widely available brand to offer custom foundation blending. Unfortunately, that means there's one fewer place we pale girls can find a foundation!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

This Week's Sales:
Lorac, Too Faced, Flashy Lights & More!

Check out the sales this week as brands clear out summer stock to make room for this fall's rich, vampy shades. Keep an eye out for warm golds and bronzes that work no matter the season. If the sale sites seem a bit quiet to you this week also, make sure you're following me on Twitter since I have a strong feeling we'll be seeing some last minute additions (Gilt Groupe's Friday and weekend sales weren't posted as of press time, and I'd put money down that something good is coming up!)

Start your week off at HauteLook when they feature Lorac Monday September 14th. It's pronounced "la-rock", it spells Carol backwards (as in founder/celebrity makeup artist Carol Shaw) and the Porcelain Coverup is the fairest concealer I've ever seen. They do have some great VIP deals on their web page, so make sure you check those out too! Next, preempt some of the damage you're likely to do with all of those Pumpkin Spice Lattes (yum!) with Go Smile this Tuesday. Finally, give into the the light therapy buzz with EViS MD on Wednesday, September 16th.

On Gilt Groupe this week, the only beauty sale scheduled thus far is Too Faced Cosmetics, which starts Tuesday the 15th. If you're in the market for a lip plumper, I recommend their Lip Injection Extreme; it contains capsicum to instantly plump and peptides to stimulate your skin's own collagen production, which can increase volume and reduce lines long term. And, yes ladies, it's gonna burn a bit- capsicum is hot pepper extract! Like I said, Gilt's weekend sales aren't posted yet, so stay tuned on that front.

Finally, the slate of upcoming sales on The Fairest: Juara, Bodyography, Clark's Botanicals, Panpuri, and LaROCCA Skincare. Week one at the beauty only site saw 4 or 5 separate sales, while week two only cycled through 3, so it's a bit hard to tell what to expect- regardless, I'll be checking daily!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Quick Tip: Choosing the Right Illuminator

If the impending fall/winter season has you scrambling to pick up something to restore your skin's glow, here's something to bear in mind. Despite being touted as skin tone perfectors, many iridescent illuminators and skin brighteners can actually call attention to the very thing you're trying to correct.

If redness in the skin is a concern for you, whether it's something chronic like rosacea or just a few inflamed pimples, be aware that many illuminators (like MAC Strobe Cream, Estee Lauder Spotlight, or Benefit High Beam) have pearly particles that will actually emphasize red or pink tones in the skin. While they might be a great choice for brightening some skin tones, putting this type of opalescent shade on skin that it already plagued with redness is likely to bring about a glow that's more stoplight than spotlight. Many moisturizers that are billed as "luminous" also have this added pigment. While this red cast is quite apparent in some products, it's much more subtle in others. If you're not sure, put a good sized dab in the palm of you hands and rub it it. The particles are likely to settle into the fine lines and become more obvious.

A better bet for ruddy skin is a white or champagne shade, like Benefit Moon Beam or Illamasqua Illuminator in Odyssey. For an all-over glow, mix a pea sized drop into your foundation or moisturizer, or just pat it on key areas. Keep in mind, if you wear foundation, choosing a dewier formula (rather than a matte or satin finish) may eliminate your need for a separate illuminator all together. I love Face Atelier Ultra Foundation for it's fresh, natural look on the skin- it offers good coverage and allows my skin to retain that "just applied moisturizer" look without feeling heavy or greasy.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Product Review:
Illamasqua Rich Liquid Foundation

Last week, I brought you part one in my review of the Illamasqua foundations. Now, continuing the "series", here's my opinion of the company's other liquid offering, which they call Rich Liquid Foundation.

I have the Rich Liquid in shade 135, which is a fair, very yellow based shade.

This has the same light, cake-batter scent that the Light Liquid has to it, and it's one that I quite enjoy. The plastic squeeze bottle is perfect to travel with- shatter-proof, yet sturdy enough that it won't accidentally squirt out all over the bottom of your bag!

The name "Rich Liquid" is very suitable for this formula. It is very thick, about the consistency of peanut butter thinned with honey (or so I imagine.) For any of you familiar with middle eastern cooking, I'd say the molecular weight of this foundation would have to be somewhat close to that of tahini. Please notice my lacking description, and feel free to take it to mean that this makeup is quite different than any other liquid foundation I've ever tried. Consequently, it has to be applied differently, but when done right it creates a flawless matte canvas, suitable for day or nighttime.

I will admit, it took me a few applications to understand this formula. You really need to work this makeup into the skin, but when you do, the full coverage is impeccable, yet unbelievably lightweight on the skin. Because of the texture of the makeup and the fact that it really needs to be spread and then worked into the skin a bit, I found that more delicately bristled brushes, like the MAC 187 or 131 had no chance. A traditional, stiffer synthetic foundation brush, like MAC's 190, will work, but the circular buffing motions that best blend this foundation will damage to this type of brush. After trying an arsenal of different application methods, I found that I prefer a dense, flat topped, natural bristle brush, like a small kabuki. An old school latex sponge wedge works well also.

Despite the thick texture and great coverage, Rich Liquid didn't feel even a bit heavy on my skin- it blended down to a powdery texture and a very matte finish. I will say that I feel this is best suited to those with normal or slightly oily skin. As I said, it has an extremely matte finish, which on dry skin (like mine) can call attention to any fine lines, flakiness, or uneven skin texture. I should point out that I do not feel that this product was at all drying to my skin- it just made my existing dryness more apparent.

I feel like I should also mention that the Rich Liquid Foundation is actually NOT designed to be a daytime makeup, as I was reminded by Illamasqua artist Aga, who works at the brand's Selfridges Oxford Street location in London. She mentioned to me that the full, opaque coverage is ideal for stage and night-time looks, and ensured that I was aware of what I was getting. Though I have used the Rich Liquid by itself, I have actually started mixing it with the 0- by Face Atelier and LOVE the results- it still gives fantastic coverage, but blending the two foundations gives me a much better color match, thins out the texture and gives it more of a satiny, natural skin finish.

I give this product a 7 out of 10, and honestly, if I had the correct shade the score could be higher. Indeed, if I was a fan of matte foundations, I'd likely rate this an 8 or 9. I like this foundation, and will be purchasing it again in an attempt to find my correct shade.

-Wide shade range available (25 shades)
- caused no irritation to my sensitive skin (despite the yummy cake batter scent!)
- Provides excellent coverage (no concealer needed, even on my worst days!)
- Absorbs excess oil and shine
- minimizes the appearance of pores
- long wearing
- feels light and soft on the skin
- blends well with primer or other mediums

-Limited availability; Illamasqua is currently only available in the US at the Sephora Times Square store, though 26 other Sephora locations in major cities will begin to carry the brand this month. Also available online at Sephora and Illamasqua's websites.
-not transfer resistant- I didn't detail this elsewhere simply because I can't think of a foundation that I've tried that was completely transfer proof, plus I can't know for sure that my custom blending of the product didn't produce this result.
-can emphasize fine lines, flakiness and uneven skin texture.
-Contains added fragrance, which is a known irritant. Not to mention the fact that you may not want to smell like baked goods (Neither were problems for me!)
-even for a pro artist like myself, it's virtually impossible to choose a shade online. Illamasqua's website offers no individual shade descriptions (not even a warm/cool designation), and shades do not necessarily appear to be arranged in a light to dark manner.
-after shipping, the price tops $43, making this pricey even amongst prestige foundations. (If you're a professional, Illamasqua does offer a discount.)

Monday, September 7, 2009

This Week's Sales:
Cover FX, Smashbox, Tarte...
the list goes on...

This week, we start off bright and early (8am EDT) over at Billion Dollar Babes with Skyn Iceland on Monday morning. If you're interested in being as green as you can be, this is the place: Skyn Iceland products are 100% Vegetarian, PETA certified cruelty-free, and their products contain no parabens, sulfates, mineral oil, petroleum, formaldehyde or paraffin. Wow, that was a mouth full!

HauteLook has two heavy hitters this week, beginning with DDF on Tuesday the 8th, then Cover FX on the 10th. This DDF sale could not come at a better time, I'm down to the last bit of my Glycolic 5% Exfoliating Wash (I'm eking out a few extra days from a travel sized bottle I got for free with a previous order!) I'm also excited to see what kind of deals Cover FX has. I'd jump at the chance to pick up the #160 Cream Foundation Brush- it looks like just the thing I've been looking for to apply my Illamasqua Rich Liquid Foundation! Both sales start at 11am EDT.

Over at Gilt Groupe this week check out the designer fragrance sale featuring scents by Herve Leger, Judith Leiber, Jil Sander, and Karl Lagerfeld. As if that weren't enough, Gilt will be hosting Smashbox Cosmetics the same day: Wednesday, Sept 9th. I would be doing you a disservice not to mention that the Smashbox website itself has some pretty good deals right now- tons of items are 25-50% off, plus Smashbox offers free shipping on any online order, and 3 deluxe-sized samples to boot! If I were you, I'd check out both sales to make sure you're getting the best deal! Then, on Thursday the 10th, check out Dr. Brandt Skincare. Dr. Fedric Brandt is board certified not only in Dermatology but also in Internal Medicine, and is all about advanced solutions that allow you to "take the doctor home with you." All Gilt sales start at Noon EDT. I did notice there are no sales posted yet for Sat and Sun, so make sure you're following me on Twitter so that you don't miss out on any last minute sale additions. (Not to mention my charming daily antics and zippy wit!)

Finally, my new personal danger zone, The Fairest, graces us with Cosmedicine, Tarte, Korres, Juara and Bodyography this week. Though dates for the sales aren't listed, it seems as if they keep at least two or more rolling at a time, but be sure to check daily or you're likely to miss something!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Product Review:
Illamasqua Light Liquid Foundation

Thrilled by the incredible shade selection offered by newcomer brand Illamasqua, I jumped on the British company's website and ordered both versions of their liquid foundations, each in a different shade. (The Light Liquid is not available in the US, even on Sephora's website, so if you want to try it, you'll have to pony up for the international shipping!) Stay tuned later this week for my review on Illamasqua's Rich Liquid Foundation.

I ordered the Light Liquid Foundation in shade 105, a pink based white.

Light Liquid #105 (Left) Rich Liquid #135 (Right)

It is lighter, by FAR, than any other shade I've tried (and I've tried literally hundreds of foundations.) According to Illamasqua, this is their lightest skin tone shade (the lightest shade, 100, is pure white) but I would caution anyone considering this shade as skin tone match. If you are totally unable to wear main-stream brands like MAC, Estee Lauder, Lancome, etc...then the sheer coverage that the Light Liquid provides might make this shade an option for you. Having said that, I myself am about 2 shades paler than MAC NC/W15, and this shade is still considerably lighter than my natural skin tone. This shade in one of the fuller coverage formulas (certainly the Rich Liquid, but the cream too, I suspect) would be best reserved for theatrical uses, or perhaps as a mixer to lighten deeper shades. Basically, if you can wear ANY other brand's lightest shade, then 105 will be too light for you!

I had actually ordered this with the intention of blending it with the Rich Liquid, but the two formulas do not seem to be compatible- when combined, they produced a gel-like texture that almost seemed to congeal as I was mixing! I'd have to guess that the Light Liquid and it's odd texture were mostly to blame. I found that even applied alone, it had a filmy, plastic-like feel that did not blend well into the skin. As I tried to blend, the makeup just seemed to move around until it dried down a bit, at which point it actually began to roll off! The film clung to my hairline quite obviously, and only seemed to stick to my skin where it had found a comfy resting spot- in my pores!

I tried this foundation with and without primers, and applied it with a variety of applicators- MAC 187,190, and 131 brushes, a sponge, and then finally my fingers. I did get a somewhat passable result using my 190 brush on moisturized, unprimed skin, but still found the texture unappealing. Though the formula's primary ingredients are all good moisturizers, it also contains kaolin (clay) and talc, which I think explains the chalky, mask-like feeling.

As I mentioned, this shade is too fair for me right now, and I'll admit, I'm curious to see if the blending issues would be as obvious if the shade was correct. I actually like the soft, cake-batter scent and the easy to dispense, unbreakable plastic bottle. I even think the odd texture is something I could get used to, if only the foundation looked right on my skin.

In all honesty, I actually wondered if there might be something off about the foundation that I received; perhaps it was old or had gone bad after sitting in a hot delivery truck for too long. I did contact Illamasqua, who graciously told me I could send the product back for inspection, despite the fact that I was well past the return period. If the foundation was not as it should be, they would, of course, replace it free of charge and refund my shipping on the original order. In the end though, after talking to a few other people who have tried the makeup (some who love it, mind you) I decided that, though odd, the foundation I recieved was most likely the intended texture. Since shipping it back to the UK would have cost me $12, I decided to just keep it. Though the texture and finish are a bit strange, I do think this will have some uses for editorial and theatrical work, so in to the kit it goes.

I give this foundation a 2 out of 10. If I say odd again, I think I'll shoot myself, but the texture certainly left something to be desired. While I would never re-purchase this shade, I would be curious to try another shade, just to see if that would blend out differently. The 2 points I am giving it are for the possibilities it may have as a mixer or theatrical product, and for the off chance that some of the major problems I had with this makeup could be corrected with the correct shade.

-Wide shade range available (25 shades)
-moisturizes with squalane, an ingredient derived from olives that is almost identical to skin's natural oils
- caused no irritation to my sensitive skin (despite the yummy cake batter scent!)
- did not settle into or accentuate creases or fine lines.

-Limited availability; only available at Illamasqua's UK based website.
-left a plastic-like film on my skin that rubbed off in a chalky residue.
-settled into pores and clung to my hairline
-Contains added fragrance, which is a known irritant. Not to mention the fact that you may not want to smell like baked goods (Neither were problems for me!)
-even for a pro artist like myself, it's virtually impossible to choose a shade online. Illamasqua's website offers no individual shade descriptions (not even a warm/cool designation), and shades do not necessarily appear to be arranged in a light to dark manner.
-after shipping, the price tops $43, making this pricey even amongst prestige foundations. (If you're a professional, Illamasqua does offer a discount.)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Beauty Only Sale Site!
The Fairest Launches Today with
Stila and Coola Suncare

As I promised in this week's members only sales post, BIG things are happening in the world of beauty sales. The first members only sale site devoted exclusively to beauty products opened today! I found out about the site several weeks ago and, of course, wanted to tell everyone right away, but as wary of a customer as I am, I decided I should check it out before I passed it on to you.

The Fairest opened it's metaphorical doors today, with Stila and Coola Suncare on sale at prices 50% lower than retail. Refreshingly, shipping from the fairest is the most reasonable I've seen from one of these sites; their 3-5 day UPS shipping costs just $5.95! Other sites charge around $10 to ship a purchase which , if you're only buying one or two items, can just about negate the discount you're getting.

The Fairest offers new beauty brands every 2 days, and promises prices up to 75% off. Another great difference between The Fairest and other members only sites is that apparently, returns are given in the form of a full refund. Other sites often do not allow returns at all on their beauty sales; when they do, your money is refunded to you as a CREDIT to the site. To me, this says that while other sites need to give you a credit to ensure you'll return to their site to shop, The Fairest seems confident you'll return, even if you have that money in your pocket to spend elsewhere. Of course, since the site launched TODAY, I have not had any experience with their return process or customer service, so please read the return policy on their website for full details!

So where is The Fairest? How can you become a member? If you're in a hurry, you can hop on over now, BUT if you'd like to save $5 on your first order, and thank me by helping me earn $5 too, then CLICK HERE for a personal invite from me. If you take the latter option, thanks, but regardless, have fun shopping!
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