Monday, December 19, 2011

Revlon Lip Butters

These brand new beauties from Revlon boasting an incredibly moisturizing formula are nearly impossible to find.  Imagine my delight when I stumbled upon a display of Lip Butters at Target that was surprisingly not yet picked over!  I narrowed my selection down to two and came away with the shades seen above: Berry Smoothie (left) and Raspberry Pie (right).  Isn't the diamond packaging just gorgeous?  They come in a fairly wide range of shades as well.

At this point, very few drugstore lipstick formulas blow me away, but Revlon is almost always an exception and the Lip Butters don't disappoint.  The texture is smooth and feels exactly like a slightly heavier lip balm, but has the pigment and color payoff of a lipstick, plus a bit of shine like a gloss.  Hello, miracle formula!  Revlon has nailed the best of all three worlds with these Lip Butters!  They'll be especially great for chapped lips in winter.  No wonder they're so hard to track down!  If you spot these, take advantage!  I'm sure I'll be back for more. 

Berry Smoothie

Berry Smoothie
Raspberry Pie

Raspberry Pie
 Berry Smoothie is subtle and is a perfect everyday lip color, or useful for when you're playing up your eyes.  It's definitely not a nude, but doesn't quite pack the visual punch that Raspberry Pie does, either.  It's my opinion that every lady needs a fuchsia lipstick shade in her beauty arsenal, so if yours is lacking, Raspberry Pie is a great one! 

Perhaps the best part of all, though, is the price.  These were just over $6 each at my local Target, practically a pittance for such a great product!  Lip Butters would make a lovely present for anybody who likes color on their lips, whether it's balm or gloss or lipstick.  Seriously, they're too amazing too pass up!  I've also seen them for sale at Walgreens but have yet to find them anywhere online.

Anyone else tried the Lip Butters yet?  Thoughts?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Never Enough Sparkle: Sephora by OPI Spark-tacular Top Coat!

One of my vices at the moment happens to be crazy glitter bomb nail polishes.  Regular readers should know, I yammer on about it enough!  And I found Sephora By OPI's Spark-tacular! glitter top coat too magnificent and sparkly to pass up.  It's a little difficult to tell from the picture, but this polish contains small and chunky bits of silver, gold, pink, and blue glitter.

Such a grand polish required some experimentation, so I painted each nail a different color and used the Spark-tacular! top coat over each.  Here's how it turned out!

Thumb: Orly Opal Hope
Index: Essie Trophy Wife
Middle:  Essie Big Spender
Ring: Zoya Jem
Pinky:  Essie Your Hut Or Mine

I love how the glitter top coat looked over all the polishes, but my favorites to layer it over are Zoya Jem and Orly Opal Hope.  Which do you like best?  What else would look cool underneath this Spark-tacular! top coat?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

20 Great Beauty Gifts 20 Dollars Or Less

Everyone loves a good bargain and everyone loves giving a great gift; here, you have the best of both worlds with a collection of beauty goodies that won't ruin your budget.  Everything is $20 or less!  You'll find something for your mom, sister, BFF, co-worker, girlfriend, and any other lucky lady in your life.  What will you be giving this year? 

eos Lip Balm Triple Pack ($9)
My number one favorite lip balm in a clever pack of three!  Sooth chapped lips all winter and protect them from sun damage this summer.

Tocca Mini Eau de Parfum ($15)
Three of Tocca's most popular scents (Cleopatra, Florence, and Stella) in tiny travel versions just as lovely as the full sized bottles.

Japonesque Professional Touch Up Tube set ($19)
Good brushes are a trade secret of flawless makeup application.  These five for eyeshadow, lipstick, blush, and foundation fit into this sleek pink metallic case.  Touching up your makeup in public has never been so tempting.

King Crown Flat Pocket Mirror ($9)
Because every woman needs a beautiful compact mirror.

Sephora Collection Nano Eyeliner Set ($20)
Eight perfect eyeliners in an amazing variety of shades from matte to metallic

Marshmallow Sparkling Lickable Body Powder ($20)
When your holiday outfit doesn't have enough sparkle and when mistletoe just doesn't cut it - take matters into your own hands!

Josie Maran Holiday Glow Argan Kit ($20)
Get luminous skin and glowing cheeks with this kit featuring Josie's signature ingredient, argan oil

Stila Daydream Palette ($18)
22 eyeshadows with artisitc packaging inspired by dreams and flights of fancy

Weleda Body Oil Essentials Kit ($15)
A sampler pack of Weleda's famous body oils in lavender, citrus, and rose scents.  They're extra fabulous poured in a hot bath!
Mor Lip Macaron in Sorbet ($10) 
A decadent lip gloss in the prettiest packaging I've ever seen.  Very Marie Antoinette, no?

 Sonia Kashuk Geo Foldover Makeup Bag ($10)
A cosmetic bag lovely enough to double as a clutch!

Lush Out Of This World Giftbox ($13)
This is just ONE of the stunning variety of gifts Lush boxes up for the holidays!  It includes Space Girl, a glittery blackcurrant scented bath bomb, and Rock Star, a creamy vanilla star-shaped soap.

Pacifica Take Me There Tuscan Blood Orange set ($18)
A travel-sized luxury trio of perfume oil, body butter, and lip tint scented with notes of strawberry, raspberry, mandarin, and of course, blood orange.

Philosophy 3 in 1 Shower Gel, Shampoo, & Bubble Bath in Holly Berry Bubbly ($16)
Oh, you knew it was coming.  What's a gift guide without my beloved Philosophy bubble baths?  The Bubbly collection is my favorite scent EVER, and since it's becoming a bit difficult to find, better snap it up while you can!

Too Faced Glamour To Go II palette ($20)
A gorgeous pocket palette of eight eyeshadows, four lip glosses, blush, and a mirror for perfecting your makeup anytime, anywhere

Stila for Urban Outfitters Nail Polish Collection ($20)
Four glitter bomb nail polishes of iridescent, sparkly fabulousness

Kat Von D Art of Elysium Kimberly Palette ($20)
The pale pink, pearly taupe, shimmering purple, and charcoal grey eyeshadows in this palette look stunning wet or dry. 

Bare Minerals Keychain Kisses Lip Gloss set ($15)
This trio of peach, plum, and pink lip glosses will always be available on your keychain!  The formula is unbelievably moisturizing and perfect for cold weather.

An entire rainbow of loose glitter for eyes, nails (mix with clear polish!), or anywhere a lot of sparkle is necessary!

Alterna Caviar Spun Gold Hair Pomade ($20)
Does it get any more luxe than this?  Tame frizz, add shine, hold hair in place, and add subtle golden highlights with this stunning hair product.  And the scent?  Coconut and lime.  Sold.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Giveaway: Pure Fiji Bath and Body Products!

Pure Fiji products are perfect for when your holiday wish list includes a tropical spa vacation, but your budget unfortunately does not.  Luckily, with scents like Starfruit, Passionflower, Frangipani, and Coconut, this collection of bath and body goodies smells just like an exotic island.  The entire line will bring an element of luxury to your daily routines.  I was lucky enough to try two of them, the Coconut Milk Bath Soak and the Hydrating Body Lotion.

I've never been a big fan of lotion, so for me to say that Pure Fiji's lotion is now one of my go-to products is a once-in-a-lifetime deal!  The formula is incredible: smooth and creamy without being greasy.  It absorbs into my skin quickly like an oil, which I looove.  Best of all, it eliminates my dry, itchy winter skin (and is much more glamorous than anti-itch drugstore cream!).  The coconut scent is alluring and exotic.  Even my mom, who is a lotion fanatic, swiped this from me one more than one occasion!  She's just as impressed with Pure Fiji's Hydrating Body Lotion as I am.  I dare you to find someone who wouldn't be!

 If you can believe it, the Coconut Milk Bath Soak is even more wonderful.  It will literally transform your bathtub into a luxurious spa.  Thanks to the variety of moisturizers and nut oils, my skin has never felt so soft!  Soaking in a hot bath is one of my favorite indulgences, and this soak makes it that much better.  I found that it doesn't mix well with bubble bath and the creamy formula was unlike anything I'd tried before (like bath salts, it doesn't foam or fizz), but after one relaxing soak I was hooked.

You can buy Pure Fiji products online and in fine spas around the U.S....
OR!  You can participate in my giveaway and win your very own!  There's no liking, tweeting, or following necessary.  Just leave a comment here or at the original giveaway announcement post with your email address to enter!  It's that easy!

A set of Pure Fiji products would be perfect for holiday gifts or a relaxing escape from holiday stress for yourself!  You deserve it!

Full disclosure: Although these bath & body products were sent to me gratis by Pure Fiji's very nice PR department, the opinions are, of course, my own.  And I'd never recommend a product I wouldn't pay for myself.  The giveaway is also sponsored by said very nice PR department.  Thanks Stephanie!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Giveaway: Eylure False Eyelashes!

Innovative UK brand Eylure is finally making its way to the States, and I couldn't be more thrilled.  These false eyelashes are the EASIEST to apply out of every brand I've ever tried.  And believe me, it feels like I've tried them all! 

Eylure is amazing, whether you're a false eyelash aficionado like myself or especially if you've never worn fake eyelashes before.  The Ready to Wear set comes pre-glued so you don't have to worry about the annoying glue steps that traditionally accompany eyelash application. I found that the glue band remains adhesive long enough for about three wears; luckily, there's an extra glue band included for each lash!  And once both bands lose their adhesive properties, you can use regular eyelash glue and still wear them.

Although the Naturalites lashes aren't pre-glued, the little glue container that comes with them is designed to apply the perfect amount of adhesive every single time.  You need a LOT less glue than you'd think! 

In addition to being ridiculously easy to apply, Eylure lashes look lovely when you're wearing them.  I wore the Naturalites set for my Edie Sedgwick costume and I've worn the Ready To Wear set out and about with many compliments and much success!  You can purchase Eylure eyelashes in the U.S. at Ulta.

OR!  You can participate in my giveaway and win your very own!  There's no liking, tweeting, or following necessary.  Just leave a comment here or at the original giveaway announcement post with your email address to enter!  It's that easy!

False eyelashes will be a fabulous touch to any holiday party makeup, or even for everyday wear!  Eylure lashes are the easiest to apply I've ever found.

Full disclosure: Although these false eyelashes were sent to me gratis by Eylure's very nice PR department, the opinions are, of course, my own.  And I'd never recommend a product I wouldn't pay for myself.  The giveaway is also sponsored by said very nice PR department.  Thanks Stephanie!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Giveaway: Batiste Dry Shampoo!

Confession time: being an artificial red head means that I shampoo my hair as little as possible (like, once or twice a week) to keep the color from fading.  Therefore I rely on lots and lots of dry shampoo.  Remember the dry shampoo showdown I wrote about a few months ago?  Yeah, I've developed some pretty exacting standards, and let me tell you: Batiste wins hands down in every single category.  This is one fantastic product!

It made my hair look much more clean than any other dry shampoo I've ever used, had very minimal residue that brushed out easily (no gunky buildup!), and the brand new Fresh scent is fantastic.  I'm keeping a small arsenal of this in my bathroom, I never want to run out!  You can purchase Batiste at Ulta and a variety of drugstores.

OR!  You can participate in my giveaway and win your very own!  There's no liking, tweeting, or following necessary.  Just leave a comment here or at the original giveaway announcement post with your email address to enter!

Batiste is perfect for refreshing your hair before holiday parties, on trips out of town, during finals week, or any hectic morning when you just don't have time to wash your hair!  It will still look fresh and amazingly clean.

Full disclosure: Although this dry shampoo was sent to me gratis by Batiste's very nice PR department, the opinions are, of course, my own.  And I'd never recommend a product I wouldn't pay for myself.  The giveaway is also sponsored by said very nice PR department.  Thanks Stephanie!

Super Awesome Announcement: GIVEAWAY WEEK!

Pop the champagne!  Throw some confetti!  We've got a LOT of celebrating to do!

First, duh: it's the holiday season!  Whether you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah or Festivus (or all three!), it's definitely time for generosity, laughs with friends and family, and drinking too much hot chocolate.  Yay!

Second: Applied Glamour is one year old!  This grand anniversary officially took place at the end of October, but hey, a fashionably late celebration is better than none at all, am I right?  

So!  Here's the deal.  ALL the products I review this week will be yours for the winning!  How amazing is that?!?

Since three prizes are up for grabs, there will be three individual winners! The products will be reviewed Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so check back to enter and see what you could win.  The contest will end Friday, December 16th and the winners will be chosen at random.

The best part?  No liking, tweeting, or following required!  All you have to do is simply leave a comment with your email address to enter.

It's like three contests in one, and three chances to win!  I hope you enjoy this as much as I have!  Thanks for one incredible year, I hope there will be many more to come! 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Top 5 Insider Beauty Secrets

Have you read Into The Gloss yet?  It's a beauty blog with the all-time greatest feature: The Top Shelf.  Models, stylists, designers, photographers, and makeup artists share their beauty arsenals and routines, and it's fascinating.  I'm the kind who'll take any opportunity to snoop in your bathroom cabinets, so I'm unabashedly hooked.  The luxury/weirdness factors are astonishing; Lauren Santo Domingo reveals she can't remember the last time she washed her own hair (!!!), while Linda Rodin tells about mixing her signature face oil in a paper cup in her bathroom.

As an avid reader of The Top Shelf, I began to notice certain products were in nearly everyone's cabinets, drawers, and purses.  Although Chanel and NARS were by far the most popular makeup brands, most of the real commonalities were skincare related.  Here are some of the items that appeared most frequently.
into the gloss top shelf

French Pharmacy Goods: More than a few interviewees mentioned the amazing products to be found in Parisian pharmacies.  Embryolisse, an ultra rich moisturizing miracle cream for the face, is one such product these beauty insiders seem to stockpile.  Another miracle cream, Homeoplasmine, has an astonishing variety of uses, but the most popular is a super luxe lip treatment.  These are both excellent winter skincare picks and are both great unexpected bargains at only $25 each.

Viviscal: This is a supplement taken to make your hair thicker and longer in record time.  If the hundreds of glowing testimonials are any indication, it really, really works.  Viviscal is sold on Amazon at $36 for a month's supply.  This one intrigues me the most.  Any readers tried it?

Jurlique Skincare: Several ladies mentioned the Jurlique skincare line had revered space on their bathroom counters.  The Purifying Foaming Cleanser got especially rave reviews; it balances and nourishes skin while removing even waterproof eye makeup with ease.

Face Oils:  There seemed to be two camps of women featured on The Top Shelf: those who love skin creams, and those who prefer oil.  The latter all had a bottle of either Rodin Olio Lusso ($140) or Aesop Fabulous Face Oil ($65) on their vanities.

Dr. Hauschka Skincare: This natural line of German skincare products was also very popular.  Cleansers, moisturizing creams, oils, you name it; Dr. Hauschka was everywhere.  In fact, The Top Shelf inspired me to get my own Rose Body Oil a few months ago.  A bit pricey, but so, so worth it.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Gift Guide: Lindsay's Picks

Lindsay, of the charming and informative blog Belle Belle Beauty, chose to share with us her favorite picks for the 2011 holiday season: lovely package deals to give (or treat yourself!) for every beauty aficionado. 

Probably no surprise to you, but beauty gifts are on the top of my wish list this holiday season.  Here are some of my favorites: 
  1. Bobbi Brown Party Eye Palette: A set of beautiful, classic nudes that every girl could use
  2. Laura Mercier Travel Brush Set: hauling around full-size brushes can be a drag during a holiday getaway. These are perfect to keep in your purse or for packing. 
  3. Deborah Lippmann Get This Party Started Nail Lacquer Trio: festive shades from the queen of glitter polishes
  4. Malin + Goetz Essentials Kit: fun way to introduce yourself to this brand
  5. Laura Mercier Mini Lip Glace Set: high shine gloss with loads of shades to play with
  6. Dior Beauty Deluxe 2011 Palette: true essentials in a classic, Dior tweed case
  7. Bliss Six-Pack Lemon and Sage Travel Pack: mini-luxe skin and bath treats
  8. Le Metier de Beaute Ken Downing's Lip & Nail Duo - Red My Lips: Lady-chic set from Neiman Marcus for the on-trend elegant lady
  9. NARS Sea of Love Set: cult-classic shades all in one box 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Daphne Guinness for MAC: Photos and More Details Announced!

Fashion icon and artistic soul Daphne Guinness is very much predictable in her unpredictability.  That is to say, I wasn't sure what sort of colors or theme to expect from her collaboration with MAC, but I did know they would be as gorgeous and inspiring as her outfits and other projects.  Photos of the collection have been released and they definitely don't disappoint.  The shades are elegant, dreamlike, and surprisingly wearable, with lovely space inspired names like Nebula and Red Dwarf.  Says Daphne, "This collection is a window into my imagination."

The Ombre blushes are especially stunning, no?  I also plan to pick up the deep pink lipstick and likely a pigment once the collection hits U.S. stores December 26th.  What do you think?  Would you purchase any? 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Interview: Christina of Red Lip Gloss

Christina, the brains and beauty behind the fabulous blog Red Lip Gloss, was kind enough to let us peek into her beauty routine.  She has some amazing tips and product recommendations! We both share a deep appreciation for cleansing oils, Audrey Hepburn, and fuchsia lipstick; I definitely plan to check out her must-haves!  Not only is Christina gorgeous (I kinda want her haircut...!), she's also getting married soon and sells Avon in her spare time.  If you haven't read her blog yet, you need to.  It's full of more great product reviews (she's a palette junkie!), plus a regular feature of DIY Beauty Fridays!  I'm thrilled to have been able to interview her.  Thanks, Christina!

At what age did you first start wearing makeup?
I began using make-up at a very young age as I was a dancer. Whether it was for competitions or recitals, make-up was a must! However, outside of the dance studio, I began wearing make-up when I was 12. I can still remember my first lipstick color and how it always smeared around my mouth. (Before the days of nude lip liner).

How did you learn to apply it?
I was extremely lucky as my mom was a cosmetician so she taught me everything she knew. And I’m so glad she did because when I first started wearing make-up, I had no idea what I was doing or how to apply anything!

What products were your favorite back then?
Ooo, good question. I was OBSESSED with a Mary Kay Lipstick back in the day. It was a slightly orangey nude tone. (Not flattering at all.) I also used some of my mom’s concealer and she was an avid Clinique fan.

What are your current favorites?
Ha, how much time do you have? My current favorite products are Joe FRESH Lipstick in Fuchsia, Youngblood Concealer in Fair and Clinique’s Pore Minimizing Instant Perfector. (It’s the best primer around!)

What is your usual makeup routine? How does it change from day to night?
I never plan my makeup before sitting down in my vanity chair because I never know what mood I’m in. However, a typical work make-up look consists of a primer, tinted moisturizer, concealer, powder if I’m covering a blemish, bronzer, blush, highlighter, tons of mascara and a super bright lipstick. If I’m going out in the evenings then I play up my eyes with bronze tones or greys. I LOVE the smoky eye look!

What product could you never live without, and what will you never try again?
I have three products that I can not live without – Revlon’s Super Lustrous Lipstick in Pink in the Afternoon, Avon’s SuperSHOCK Mascara in Black and Batiste Dry Shampoo in Tropical. This lipstick is the PERFECT shade of pink and works with both a smoky eye or a simple classic look. This mascara has slowly become my favorite and I honestly will never go back to anything else because it makes my eyes POP. This dry shampoo is very inexpensive and works just as well as the expensive brands. The product I would never try again would be Benefit’s Bad Gal Lash Mascara. With all the hype I’ve read about it, I thought it was going to be a miracle product. It was the biggest letdown of anything I’ve ever tried.

Got a special tip or trick you'd like to share?
Ooo, I have so many!!! Alright, here are two.

Trick: If you’re looking to buy some new make-up brushes look no further then a painting supply store. Their paint brushes are just as good as brand names but cost a fraction of the price. Plus, they last way longer since the brushes are made to take a beating.

Quick Tip: Never buy a lip scrub again. Make your own with extra-virgin olive oil and sugar. It works exactly the same as a store bought scrub but you can customize the amount of grittiness yourself.

AND, last one, I promise. Use a nude lip liner instead of colored. A nude will hold your color in place and as your lipstick wears off, you won’t be left with a bright red or pink ring around your mouth.

How do you take care of your skin?
I am a huge believer in skin care as it was something my mother instilled in me at a very young age. For a cleanser I use DHC’s Deep Cleansing Oil. I wasn’t sure how I felt about using an oil to cleanse my skin but it removes all make-up extremely easily and leaves my skin very moisturized. For a toner I use Burt’s Bees Rosewater and Glycerin Toner. The smell is divine and it leaves my skin very smooth and blemish-free. For a moisturizer, my go-to right now is Clarins HydraQuench Rich Cream. Whenever winter hits my skin needs added moisture and this cream is perfect for that. For an eye cream I use Clinique’s All About Eyes. I’ve been using this for years (even before the time I needed it) and love how easy it is to use and how long a container can last. Last but not least, I use a scrub about twice a week and love anything by St.Ives. Their sensitive skin apricot scrub is a dream.

Who are your beauty inspirations?
This is a tough question for me as I have quite a few. I would say that Audrey Hepburn is not only my beauty inspiration but also my style icon as well. She was such an iconic beauty without even trying to. Plus, she was a dancer like me so I feel we would have had a lot in common. Ha. Next would be Zooey Deschanel. She is one of my favorite actresses and I would give ANYTHING to have her hair…