Monday, February 28, 2011

Think Pink!

Just like Kay Thompson (who wrote the Eloise books!) in this amazing and ridiculously over-the-top clip from Funny Face, I'm thinking pink these days. And mostly I want pink nails and pink lips.

I kicked off my obsession by purchasing OPI's Do You Think I'm Tex-y? from the 2011 Texas-inspired line of spring and summer nail polishes.  This polish features a brand new effect OPI just launched called "sorbet".  It's glossy and more opaque than jelly nail polishes, but still has a faint translucent sheen even with two or three coats.  This shade is gorgeous!  It looks deep fuschia in the bottle but is brighter and more sheer on my nails.  Five other polishes from the Texas collection feature the sorbet effect if pink isn't your thing.  Again, my sad camera doesn't do the color justice, so I'm borrowing this lovely perfect picture from Nailstah.

I then went on the hunt for a new pink lip color to match my new pink nails.  After swatching what seemed like every single pink lipstick in the entire Sephora store, I finally settled on Dior Addict Lipcolor in Hollywood Rose.  The formula is what really sold me.  It's incredible.  I am so sick of matte lipstick right now; Dior Addict feels like glossy lip balm but somehow has the lasting power of a matte lipstick!  It's saturated color while still remaining translucent, like OPI's sorbet concept in a lipstick.  Hollywood Rose is a beautiful berry pink shade that pairs perfectly with my nails (and Daphne eyeshadow!).      

Runner-up pink lip colors were Dior Addict Lipcolor in Show, Korres Mango Butter Lipstick in Natural Pink, and Make Up For Ever #34. 

Friday, February 25, 2011

Inspiration: What Would Marilyn Do?

Marilyn Monroe Beauty

The legendary Marilyn Monroe will always be my ultimate beauty inspiration, as I'm sure she is for countless others.  Marilyn had some pretty fantastic makeup tricks up her sequined and fur-covered sleeves.  She carefully guarded most of them in the competitive atmosphere of Hollywood, but luckily for us, many of her favorite products and beauty routines are known today.  Applied Glamour is excited to present the beauty secrets of one of the most beautiful women, well, ever.

Nivea moisturizer
Marilyn kept her complexion hydrated, radiant, and protected with Nivea creme.  She stated this was her most essential beauty product in numerous interviews, and it's still available today at any drugstore.  Nivea creme is one of the best bargains you'll ever find and it works wonders on all skin types.  

Oil-based cleanser
This product isn't for everyone, but an oil based cleanser is another way to keep dry skin hydrated and moisturized.  Marilyn used Shu Uemera's, but I imagine she would have been equally enthusiastic over Lancome's Huile Doucer Deep Cleansing Oil.  It's a little more widely available.  Marilyn once said she washed her face with cleansing oil, then splashed cold water on her face fifteen times to seal her pores.

Erno Laszlo Duo-pHase face powder
Marilyn acrually didn't wear a lot of base or foundation, but she was a fan of Erno Laszlo's powder (and his other products, too).  She would alternate between layers of Erno Laszlo powder and thin layers of Erno Laszlo's Active pHetityl cream to give her complexion that famous dewy glow.

Shaped eyebrows
It's kind of unreal how the shape of your eyebrows can change the appearance of your features, and Marilyn was well aware of this.  She had her eyebrows shaped in a sharp arch, which made her forehead appear wider and balanced out her cheeks and jawline.  Go to a salon and have your eyebrows shaped professionally, at least for the first time so you're almost guaranteed a flattering look that suits you.  Maintain them on your own with a kit like this one from brow gurus Anastasia, which comes with stencils, a brush, powder, tweezers, and brow gel. 

Alluring eyes
Marilyn referred to her own eye makeup as "the Greta Garbo eye."  She used Elizabeth Arden eyeshadows and would apply a shimmery white shade from her lashline to her brow bone.  She would then use a brush to fill in her crease with a dark color, usually brown or blue but occasionally green.  

To line her eyes, Marilyn used black or brown Elizabeth Arden pencils, or Guerlain liquid eyeliner.  She lined her upper lashline from the inner corner to the outer corner taking the line slightly upward, and lined her lower lashline from her iris to the outer corner and took the line just a teeny bit downward to make her eyes look extra wide.  She would take a white eyeliner pencil to fill in the "gap" between the two lines so her eye sparkled even more. 

Finish with Shu Uemera false eyelashes (cut them in half for a more natural look) or an eyelash curler and mascara for your own Marilyn/Greta eye!

Kissable lips
Would you believe that Marilyn used up to five different shades of red lipstick at once to achieve her famous look?  She took a genuinely artistic approach to applying all her makeup, but it's perhaps most evident in her lipstick application.  First she lined her mouth with a slightly deep red lip liner.  Then she'd take a lip brush and apply at least three layers of lipstick, usually by Guerlain, Max Factor, and Elizabeth Arden.  She would wear darker shades toward the edge of her lips and lighter shades toward the center, topped off with a highlighter for extra glossy shine and fullness.  Also mixed in between the lipstick layers was her own secret wax concoction to help shade and seal in the colors.  She never revealed what it was!  It's a mystery to this day.

A nice set of brushes
In order to take such an artistic approach to makeup application, one must have the proper brushes and tools!  Another one of Marilyn's frequently quoted beauty tips was to always apply lipstick with a lip brush, but of course she used brushes for eveything else as well.  A good set of brushes can be an investment, but they'll last much longer if you clean and disinfect them regularly.                    

A signature scent
For Marilyn, this was Chanel No. 5, a fragrance as iconic and classic and she is.  She famously quipped "What do I wear to bed?  Why, Chanel No. 5, of course!"  Finding a signature fragrance can be difficult, but the best way is to actually wear the perfume before making a purchase, rather than spraying it on a card.  This takes trial and error, but the process is worth it, don't you think?


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Hair Gadgetry That Actually Works

I've been mistrustful of hair gadgets ever since my much-campaigned-for Topsy Tail failed to deliver its promised hairstyles in the late 90s.  After over a decade now of wariness, imagine my surprise when one of my co-workers revealed that the secret to her gorgeous curls was a mysterious thing called a Whirl A Style.  It's marketed as a gadget to create the perfect bun, but perfect curls are another benefit to this silly sounding product.  I begged her to bring it in and show me exactly how it worked.

I couldn't believe this little piece of silicone was responsible for her tumble of curls and the perfectly shaped bun she sported the day before.  In fact, I wouldn't have believed it had I not seen the Whirl A Style in action, in person.  In less than three minutes, I too, had a perfect bun.  The way you loop your ponytail through the gap was a little challenging with my layers, but after a little practice I got the hang of it. 

To get the curls, all you have to do is make a bun when your hair is damp and let it dry overnight.  I think I've mentioned before how resistant my hair is to holding any sort of curl, but somehow with this ridiculous sounding gadget I have pin-up girl worthy hair (!!!) that actually lasts.

The best part is that it's only five dollars at Claire's!  I can't even begin to total up how much I've spent on curling irons, hot rollers, and mousse to coax my hair into curls before finally accepting my straight hair fate.  The Whirl A Style is definitely worth it.   

Monday, February 21, 2011

NARS Daphne Eyeshadow

Heiress Daphne Guinness is my number one fashion icon.  She wears mostly black or white couture (that she actually pays for, unlike most celebrities who borrow), along with the most incredible sky-high heels, jewelry, and accessories.   She's a fascinating English eccentric with over-the-top style, beautiful photographs, and crazy interviews I can't get enough of.  Ms. Guinness seems she'd be interesting to hang out with, or at least shop with.  Check out this article she wrote a few years ago on bargain shopping in NYC.  She's also mentioned her Sephora addiction in a few interviews.

Turns out I'm not the only one inspired by Daphne Guinness.  Fran├žois Nars chose her to be the face of several ad campaigns and created an eyeshadow for her, appropriately titled Daphne.  It's a gorgeous deep rich violet shade, and after attempting to create my own version, I finally decided to treat myself and buy the real deal.

Via Temptalia

And oh, it was WORTH it.  When applied without primer, the color is sheer yet still vivid, and appears as more of a reddish purple than blue-based.  It's really lovely.  When applied over an eyeshadow primer, the colors looks exactly as it appears in the pan.  I also experimented with applying it as eyeliner and that look was gorgeous as well.  I can't wait to experiment more and try it out in different looks, like Daphne's ad in the top picture.  It's a perfect versatile color and I'm so happy I finally bought it!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Inspiration: Andy Warhol's Silver Factory

Inspiration comes from anywhere and everywhere.  This weekly series will display some lovely hair and makeup inspirations along with fanciful products.  I've been listening to the Velvet Underground and reading several books about Andy Warhol and his Superstars lately, so it's only fitting that the inaugural inspiration is the Silver Factory.   
Silver Factory
From 1962 to 1968, Andy Warhol's art studio, the Silver Factory, was the ultimate in decadent hedonism and a center for art and fame.  Films, silkscreens, painting, recordings, music, drugs, and parties could all simultaneously be found occurring there on any given day.  Warhol Superstars mingled with rock stars and movie stars, who all influenced the artist himself in a grand collaboration.  Every conceivable surface in the Factory was covered in silver paint or aluminum foil.  Silver helium-filled balloons floated lazily around the space, and a giant red couch salvaged from an NYC sidewalk was another focal point of the room.  By all accounts, the Factory was a piece of living art before the concept even existed.         

Put on a Velvet Underground CD and add one of these gorgeous silvery beauty products to your vanity or makeup bag for a little piece of your own Factory glamour.  Edie Sedgewick would definitely approve.

Clockwise from top left:
NARS Single Eyeshadow in Night Life ($23);  Bobbi Brown Lash Glamour Lengthening mascara ($24);  Kevyn Aucoin The Eyelash Curler ($20);  Dior Five Colour Eyeshadow in Gris Gris ($58);  Tarina Tarantino Jewel Box palette ($39);  Urban Decay Original Eyeshadow Primer Potion ($18);  Bare Escentuals Foiled Eye Tutorial ($32);  Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner ($18);  Clinique Long Last Lipstick in Pink Penny ($18);  Sephora by OPI Top Coat in Flurry Up ($9);  I Heart Sephora Bling Brush Set ($25);   Bond No. 9 Andy Warhol Silver Factory eau de parfum ($240)                  

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Clueless About Eyeshadow?

Eye Kit
Some of the most frequent questions I'm asked regard eyeshadow application.  You've probably mastered applying one shade, maybe you can even apply another color to your crease, but then what?  Is your eyeshadow completely gone, or worse, smeared by the end of the afternoon?  Here are the best products for those who want their eyeshadow to stay put and look professionally applied.  Which, I suspect, is pretty much everyone!

The first step is to prime your eyelids.  Primers provide a thicker base for your eyeshadow to "stick" to, so it will last longer.  Urban Decay makes a variety of amazing eye primers to suit everyone's tastes, but my favorite is Sin.  It's lightly shimmery but won't show through underneath your eyeshadow.  I like to wear it alone sometimes when I'm in a hurry.  If you blend it well, it can even multitask as a highlighter. 

Next, I recommend one of these fabulous eyeshadow kits from Too Faced.  There are four different kits, each containing nine eyeshadows for three different looks: daytime, classic, and night.  The best thing about these kits is that they come with an instruction card for each look, detailing step-by-step how each color should be applied plus clever tips.  Also included is a dual ended applicator, one end with traditional sponge tips and the other end an eyeliner brush that also works in your crease.  Purchasing each eyeshadow separately would total up to $73, but each of these kits is a super deal at only $35!

Like Urban Decay's primers, there's a kit to suit everyone.  The Natural Eye shadow kit is a lovely collection of a variety of shimmery neutrals; the Romantic Eye kit contains gorgeously soft feminine colors; the Naked Eye kit is filled with nude shades that flatter everyone; and the Smoky Eye kit is the most dramatic with darker colors.

Keep a bottle of makeup remover and a few Q-Tips close by just in case you make a mistake and need to touch up again, especially if you aren't so confident about applying eyeshadow.  It can take a bit of practice.

Lastly, spritz your face with Urban Decay's All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray.  It provides extra hold for the eyeshadow you painstakingly applied using something they call "Temperature Control Technology".  It prevents all your makeup from melting when it's hot and humid and cracking when it's cold and dry.  The spray is lightweight and nonsticky and supposedly even lasts through a crying spell.  I can't personally vouch for the tears, but this is nonetheless a fantastic product.  I keep it by the door so I can spray my face on my out and my makeup lasts all day, eyeshadow included!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Spring Trend: 1970s Inspired, Naturally Gorgeous

1971 makeup
It's all over the pages of every March issue...the Seventies are back!  The daytime makeup look of that decade was all about health and natural beauty.  Heavy foundation, eyeliner, and false eyelashes were decidedly out of style.  Women now wanted sheer, effortless makeup shades to compliment a "healthy" tan, and when it was time to go dancing, pearlescent eyeshadows in pinks and blues were as ubiquitous and necessary as a disco ball.  Want to try the trend for yourself?  Here's how!

Skip foundation and instead use a tinted moisturizer, preferably one with sunscreen like this one from Sephora that's SPF 20.  Dust a little translucent powder over it for a modern touch or if you're feeling a little too greasy. 

Eyes are amazingly simple, especially with these eyeshadow palettes.  The one from Urban Decay comes with a shimmery eye primer and has shades in gorgeous browns, greens, and blues.  Another plus is that it's vegan!  Malibu Barbie made her debut in 1971 and Stila put together this collection in her honor.  It features pale lip gloss and sheer eyeshadows, plus mascara for a modern take on the Seventies look.  Mascara actually declined in popularity back then, so use a clear version to subtly define your eyes if you'd rather be authentic. 

Add blush and bronzer on your cheeks for a sun-kissed glow, like you just got back from an afternoon of tanning (please, please don't actually go tanning).  NARS has the perfect duo of both in a convenient compact featuring Orgasm blush and Laguna bronzer.   Finish with some clear lip balm like Rosebud Salve and you're set!

Side note: also pictured is Glamour magazine's July 1971 cover featuring a then-unknown Cybill Shepherd, my mom's personal 70s makeup inspiration :)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Up for Grabs: Black Shatter!

A few weeks ago, OPI's much-hyped collaboration with Katy Perry arrived in stores.  Jewel tones and glitter are the mainstays of the collection just like in K.P.'s videos (and wigs!), but one nail polish stood out among the rest.  Yep, I'm talking about Black Shatter, and I'm giving one away!

In case you need a refresher from my previous post, you apply Black Shatter over any nail color you choose.  As it dries, the black polish will crackle to reveal the color underneath!  I was blown away by this concept and so were a lot of readers.  Now here's your chance to win your very own bottle!

To be considered for the giveaway, all you have to do is leave a comment with your name and tell me what color polish you'd wear underneath Black Shatter.  The lucky winner will be drawn at random and announced Monday evening, so make sure to check back here.  You've got all weekend to think it over, good luck!

UPDATE:  Congratulations to Kubu, you won!  Thanks to everyone who entered the contest, I loved reading your responses!  Look for more contests in the future!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Then vs. Now: Grown Up Versions of Products You Loved as a Teenager

All Grown Up 
Long term use of products keeps your skin looking great, but maybe you're still devoted to products you loved as a teenager.  It's time to move on!  Swap them out for versions that are more grownup and work better, too.  I did!  Here's a comparison of products I loved when I was thirteen versus the products I use now:

Then: Clean & Clear's Blackhead Eraser Scrub
Now: Kate Somerville's ExfoliKate
I no longer deal with blackheads (whew!), but I haven't lost my affinity for scrubs and exfoliators.  You won't find anything more powerful or effective than ExfoliKate.

Then: Body Glitter
Now: Urban Decay Urban Ammo Eye palette
I used to smear body glitter over my eyelids and wander around the halls of my junior high thinking I looked just like Britney Spears...yes, really.  Now whenever I'm in the mood for sparkle, I use some of these shimmery eyeshadows from Urban Decay.  Much improved!

Then:  Victoria's Secret Body Splashes (remember Love Spell?!)
I usually dislike celebrity fragrances, but this one is a grand unique exception.  With notes of mandarin, strawberries, gardenia, and honeysuckle, this perfume is fruity and floral like those VS Body Splashes but much, much better.  Plus the bottle will look prettier on your vanity!

Then:  Ten-O-Six Deep Pore Cleanser  
Now: Clarisonic
I used to constantly strip my skin of oil with harsh alcohol cleansers, thinking I was doing my skin a world of good.  Not so!  That causes your skin to produce even more oil to compensate, and nobody wants that.  Now I use a Clarisonic to deep clean my pores and my skin is better for it.  Yours will be, too.

Then:  Herbal Essence shampoo
Now:  Philosophy Pure Grace Foaming Shower Cream
Herbal Essence has some sketchy ingredients, so consider yourself warned.  This Philosophy all-in-one shower cream is super gentle and extremely moisturizing!  The scent is also pleasant and calming.

Then:  Mood changing lipstick 
Now:  Too-Faced Mood Swing lipgloss
Technology has improved a bit and so have these "mood changing" lip products.  Too-Faced's lipgloss reacts with your skin's natural chemistry to create your own perfect customized shade of pink without the drying effects of lipstick.  It smells amazing, too.

Then:  Neutrogena Oil-Free Healthy Defense Sunblock
Now:  Peter Thomas Roth Instant Mineral Powder SPF 45
As a teenager I was loathe to apply liquid sunscreen on my face and mistrusted the "oil-free" label.  Actually, I still kind of do and was thrilled to discover mineral powder sunblock!  No more horrible greasy creams on my face, just a light dusting of powder!

Then:  Stridex Daily Care Acne pads
Now:  First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance pads
Again, acne isn't too much of an issue for me anymore.  Instead I'm concerned about aging, but I still want a glowing complexion.  First Aid Beauty's pads resurface skin, while still remaining gentle without any harsh chemicals and with aging prevention rather than acne treatment. 

Then: LipSmackers
Now: Well...
I think we can all agree that there is simply no replacement for LipSmackers.  Come on, they make a Dr. Pepper flavor!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Link Link, Hooray! What fascinating and fantastic things have you missed out on lately?

Beware the avocado/egg yolk/honey mask...
this does not belong in your hair!

-One writer for Glamour magazine's beauty blog asks readers to share the worst beauty advice they ever recieved, and the comments are pretty hilarious and horrifying.  I'm thankful I never bothered to try any food-based, at-home hair masks, that's for sure!  What's your worst advice story? 

-A clever little guide to living decadently on a budget by choosing your indulgences really spoke to me this week.  Ex: Yes I'll spend a little extra cash on lipstick and fancy eye cream, but I'm also addicted to bath fizzies from the Dollar Tree.  Not a bad trade-off!

-This amazing photoshoot with the lovely Melina Bee makes me want to run away and join the circus.  Or at least wear a tutu and sequins more often.

-I don't even own a hair straightener and use my hair dryer twice a week, yet somehow my hair gets ridiculously damaged at lightning speed.  Go figure.  I'm trying out a new ultra-moisturizing shampoo line called BioMega. They only sell products to independent salons, so go support your local hairstylists!

-Is there anything more perfect than the Fashion Forward Spring 2011 makeup set Francois Nars put together himself just for Sephora?  No, there is not.  I think I'm overdue for another indulgence : )

-I've never read about anyone more fascinating and over-the-top than the Marchesa Casati.  She was legendary in every sense of the word.  Her beauty routine was just as extreme as her costumes and parties, too; she used eyedrops made of deadly belladonna (read: poison!) to "make them glitter like emeralds."

-WalMart launches GeoGirl this month, a line of earth friendly beauty products marketed to tween girls.  Alexandra at No More Dirty Looks brings up an interesting point among all the shocked reactions.  What do you think?

-I've been misting my hair between shampoos with this miracle product from Ojon.  My hair is now almost blindingly shiny and I can't get enough of the scent.  Plus it protects my highlights from fading!

-Would you wear turquoise eyeliner?  Allure magazine insists Urban Decay's 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in FlipSide is flattering on just about everyone.  I'm kind of intrigued.

-Lots of beauty products are now claiming to "prevent free radical attack" or "reverse free radical damage."  So...what in the world does this mean, what exactly prevents it, and why is it damaging?!  CareFair offers a plain and simple explanation.

Friday, February 4, 2011

My Nails Look Like Lace. Yours Can Too!

I adore lace and ever since I saw a woman with a lace manicure, I've wanted one too!  Unfortunately that meant hours spent meticulously cutting out bits of lace in the exact shape of my nails (not fun), or spending lots of cash at a manicurist.  Until  now, that is.  Enter Sally Hansen's Salon Effects nail polish strips.  Each little package is like getting your very own salon manicure in a box!

I was unimpressed with Sephora's pricier Chic Prints nail polish strips, so I honestly wasn't expecting much out of Sally Hansen's.  But they are brilliant!  For only $8.50 at WalMart (!!!), you get sixteen stick-on nail polish strips, a cuticle stick, and a nail file/buffer.  It did take some time to apply each sticker to my nails and shape them properly.  I wouldn't make the effort for a solid color, but for a lace effect (or leopard, or houndstooth) it's definitely worth it.  The stickers are made of real nail polish and stay on forever.  You'll get tired of it before it starts to chip, but if not, that's why there are extra strips included!  Out of every product I've tested to write about for Applied Glamour, Sally Hansen's Salon Effects is by far my favorite.  Quite a statement, no?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

No More Discontinued Lipsticks!

Is there ever a more frustrating moment when you hear that one of your favorite lipstick shades has been (or will be) discontinued?  Sure, you could buy several tubes and stock up, but lipsticks have an expiration date of about a year.  Beyond that, the pigments and binders and other ingredients begin to degrade and just don't look or apply quite like they used to.  Not to mention the bacteria that can accumulate if the tube is opened.

Enter Three Custom Color Specialists, a company that specializes in customizing and recreating discontinued lipsticks!  In addition to an extensive searchable database of lipstick shades they've previously duplicated for other customers, the company allows you to send in the remnants of your old lipstick favorite for them to copy exactly.  Genius!   At $55 for two tubes it's kind of pricey, but I'm tempted to purchase them as a happy birthday present to myself.  I'm looking at MAC's Isabella Blow lipstick for sure!  It's the amazing fuschia shade seen in the accompanying picture and hasn't been available for a few years now. 

In addition to lipsticks, Three Custom Color Specialists will also recreate or custom blend eyeshadows, blush, eyebrow powders, concealer, and loose and pressed powders for the face.