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…

Monday, November 21, 2011

Zap Dull Skin For Good!

Winter is my favorite season by far, but beauty and skincare routines can require a little tweaking this time of year.  Indoor heating systems can deplete your skin of moisture, making it appear dull, dry, and sallow.  Luckily, there are lovely products to combat these effects and leave your complexion luminous!  Think luster, like pearls, rather than sparkly diamonds for your face.  You want glow rather than glitter! 

Kate Somerville's Exfolikate is, without a doubt, the creme de la creme of exfoliators everywhere.  It employs fruit enzymes to really get skin glowing and even out your complexion.  Getting rid of your skin's dry, dead cells truly makes a difference, and a tube lasts forever.  

A moisturizer that contains brightening properties will keep your face hydrated and glowing.  I swear by oxygen creams, and this one by Bliss also contains vitamin C to give skin an extra brightening boost.  

In addition to keeping your makeup smooth and in place, primers can also multitask like mattify or brighten your complexion.  I like Urban Decay's Brightening Complexion Potion; Benefit also makes a great many luminizing primers, like Girl Meets Pearl.

Tarte's Smooth Operator Illuminating Serum is like magic in a bottle.  It looks especially great when you apply a thin layer over your forehead, cheeks, nose, and chin right before you put on the rest of your makeup.  I like to mix a a drop or two right in with my foundation, or even just wear it alone (it's juuust tinted enough!)  This will literally transform your entire complexion and make it look like your skin is magically lit from within. 

Start squeezing fresh lemon juice into your water and sip all day.  This will work wonders for your skin more than anything else.  Drinking lemon water has an incredible variety of health benefits, and a lovely glowing complexion is one of the many.  Try to use fresh lemons when you can, but if that's inconvenient there are little powder packets called True Lemon that you sprinkle into your water like sugar packets!  It tastes exactly the same, and you're still getting the benefits of lemon.  If you insist on drinking Coke, well, lemon is really delicious in that, too!

Are there any other luminizing tricks you use to get your skin glowing?

Monday, November 14, 2011

If Money Were No Object...

...what beauty products would you own?  A Clarisonic?  La Mer creams?  Expensive, exclusive perfume?  A makeup bag of nothing but Chanel?  Here's a little peek into my own indulgent luxury wishlist.  Some are more attainable than others, some are a bit outlandish, but that's part of the fun!  Let's dream big, shall we?

La Mer The Eye Concentrate: This is the only eye cream I've heard of that honestly, truly reduced undereye circles.  I trust Beauty Bets, y'all.  $165 for 0.5 oz.

Rodin Olio Lusso Face Oil: The most luxurious-sounding oil contains jasmine, primrose, argan, neroli, rosemary, and a host of other lovely essential oils.  Its creator, Linda Rodin, sounds like someone I'd want to hang out with as well.  Or at least explore her fabulous madcap apartment.  $140 for 1 oz.

Dior AirFlash Foundation: Nothing could be more glamorous than misting on your foundation, am I right?  I want to know how long a bottle lasts.  Anyone tried it?  $62 for 2.3 oz.

Guerlain Rouge G Jewel Compact Lipstick: As pricey as Tom Ford but infinitely more gorgeous, this lipstick is encased in a stunning silver compact.  Engraved with the word "glamorous", of course.  $47 for 0.12 oz.

MAC Makeup Brushes: Not just one brush; ALL the brushes.  I don't even want to know what this would cost.  Part of the fantasy, you know.

Cartier Panthere Ring: If you've never read about the Marchesa Casati, the woman who inspired Cartier's iconic panther jewelry, you need to right now.  $55,500 (I wish that was a typo!)

Diptyque candlesI'd have one (or three!) in every room.  The leftover glass jars would be lovely for storing all those MAC brushes, too.  $60 for 6.5 oz

Guerlain personalized perfume: Yes.  Legendary perfumers Guerlain will custom blend your own fragrance.  You get 24 different-sized bottles, totaling up to two liters (and five years' worth) of eau de parfum.  This is the holy grail of luxury.  Price available upon request.  Sighhhh!

Your turn!  What's on your luxury wishlist?

Friday, November 11, 2011

Bobbi Brown Party Shimmer Brick

Isn't this new limited edition Party Shimmer Brick from Bobbi Brown the Best Thing Ever?!?  It's perfect for all those holiday parties and will look just as gorgeous in summer, too.  Use the full compact for shimmer on your face and decollete, or use each individual side as an eyeshadow.  So pretty!  Plus, clever martini packaging?  This girl is sold!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

An Accidental Foray into Faux Tanning

I swore I'd never do it.  As Jersey Shore reminds us all, faux tanning can take a bad turn into orange and tacky territory much too quickly.  I've heard way too many horror stories about unattractive streaks, foul-smelling formulas, and faux tans that washed off almost immediately.  I've always been content without a tan and embraced my own natural paleness.  And then...

God only knows what possessed me to grab a can of Sephora brand faux tanning mist off the shelf and impulsively spray my leg one night.  Chalk it up to boredom and curiosity, I suppose.  Initially, nothing happened.  My leg looked slightly darker, but it wasn't noticeable by any stretch of the word.

I had forgotten about it until the next afternoon when I finally noticed that one leg was pale while the other was indeed very, very tan.  And strangers had noticed it too, if the odd looks I got in the doctor's office waiting room were any indication.  To my surprise, the tan actually looked good.  Without even meaning to, I had spray-tanned my leg evenly and effectively.  Even after a long hot bubble bath, numerous showers, and active attempts to fade the color, it still remained.

In short: the product in this little can is idiot proof, even to the most inexperienced spray tan novice you'll ever meet.  It gives flawless, even color that will actually last and look natural.  It's worth every penny. 

Do you use faux tanning products?  Got any great results (or horror!) stories you'd like to share?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Guest Post Opportunities Abound!

Paloma Faith

Lovelies!  Life is rather hectic as of late -I'm a month from graduating college!- and while I don't want to take Applied Glamour on hiatus, posts may be a little bit sporadic or short & sweet till exams are over.

You know what that means: this is the perfect opportunity for guest posts!

Is there a beauty product you've been telling all your friends about?  Would you love to dole out a little beauty advice of your own?  Have you always wanted to be interviewed about your beauty routine?  Are you dreaming of driving extra traffic and exposure to your own blog?  Now is your chance to guest post for Applied Glamour!

Contact me at appliedglamour (at) hotmail (dot) com and we'll get things rolling!  I can't wait to hear from you!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Beauty Inspirations, Pretty Pictures, Lovely Ephemera

Because everyone loves pretty pictures, here are a few of the most recent photos saved in my inspiration folder. 

Mia Farrow as Daisy & Robert Redford as Gatsby--perfection


Kate Spade lipstick

Baba Beaton

Baby Jane Holzer

Rita Hayworth--hair idol

Vogue 2008
Daphne Guinness & gentleman

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things...!

A quickie list of the products I'm obsessing over lately:
1. Josie Maran Bare Naked Makeup Removing Wipes: I'm very much an advocate of everyday luxuries and these magical cleansing cloths are the epitome of luxe.  The cloths are thick, smell amazing, take off everything, and are super moisturizing; they contain Josie's signature ingredient, argan oil.  Plus, a portion of sales from each package is donated to help protect polar bears.  What's not to love?

2. Rose scented everything
I'm extremely drawn to rose scents as of late and couldn't resist purchasing this Rose Body Oil from Dr. Hauschka.  It absorbs into your skin much more quickly than lotion, so instead of feeling oiled up and greasy, you just feel soft and moisturized.  It's glorious.  I also couldn't pass up this Persian Rose roll on perfume by Pacifica.  It smells exactly like a rose garden at first, then quietly fades to reveal soft violet and myrrh notes.  It's very elegant and subtle.

3. Glitter manicures
I'm layering Sephora's Only Gold For Me gold glitter topcoat over every single nail polish I own lately.  Even other glitter polishes.  My nails have been looking like a disco party!  The gold topcoat looks especially great over this moody wine shade from Spa Ritual, Spice of Life; I got tons of compliments on it!

Your turn!  What beauty products are you loving and can't get enough of lately?  Spill it!