Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Indulge: Fresh Sugar Lip Treatments

I've always scoffed at Fresh's cult favorite Sugar Lip Treatments.  I mean, $22.50 for a lip balm?  How great can they be?!? that I've finally given them a whirl, I can safely answer: greater than any drugstore lip balm ever.  Cherry Chapstick is so dead to me.  The contents of those little metal tubes are magical!

You know the silly things you indulge in for yourself?  The completely unnecessary yet totally luxurious whatsits that never fail to make you feel like a queen (or maybe Kate Middleton)?  That's exactly what Fresh's Sugar Lip Treatments are.

Frivolous?  Yes. 
Outrageous?  Kind of. 
Decadent?  Definitely!

If you find yourself lacking in a little indulgence lately, or are suffering from the bane of winter beauty, chapped lips, I highly recommend you pick up one of these lip treatments.  Without a doubt, I've never come across any formula as nourishing and moisturizing.  For those who like their lip balm with a bit of color, there are also tinted versions in addition to the original formula. 

If you're dying to try them but the price point freaks you out (as great as these are, $22.50 is pretty steep), never fear!  Become a Sephora Beauty Insider and they'll send you a voucher for two mini-size lip treatments during your birthday month!  It's how I got mine, seeing as my birthday is this weekend (!!!).  Whether it's for your birthday or a year round indulgence, Fresh's Sugar Lip Treatments are exactly that: a treat.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Link Link, Hooray! What Interesting Things Have You Missed Lately?

If you visited Applied Glamour yesterday, you were directed to the SOPA Strike page and given an opportunity to contact Congress.  I usually avoid politics on the blog, but censorship is deeper and far scarier than party lines or lines on your face.  If you feel as passionate about this issue as I do, I hope you contacted Congress yesterday.  I hope you're involved and aware and contacting your Senators and Representatives on any issues that are important to you.  As dangerous as censorship is, apathy is even more lethal.  As little as you may think government and politics affect you, I assure you, they do.  Stay informed!

Clueless about SOPA?  Here's a nifty infographic that will give you all the nasty details.


Onto the beauty stuff, right?  In the spirit of our free and open Internet, I've rounded up some fascinating and clever links.  I hope you enjoy them! 

  • I can't wait to try this hair tutorial from Elle Sees on how to get perfect waves without heat styling tools! Just look at those pictures!  Gorgeous!

  • Have any of you ever tried a fragrance from CB I Hate Perfume?  This scent, At The Beach 1966, sounds heavenly!  I love the smell of sunscreen.  And the concept of smelling like I spent an afternoon cavorting in the waves with a Mr. Don Draper...!

  • Were your school supplies bedecked with unicorns, rainbow leopards, psychedelic butterflies, and anthropomorphized ballerina bunnies?  I was a Lisa Frank addict of the highest order.  You too?  Check out this tutorial for some Lisa Frank inspired nail art.  Send pics if you try this! 

  • Gil Elvgren often worked from photographs to produce his alluring and innocent renderings of pinup girls.  These pictures of his models reveal just how much artistic license he took in creating his pinups!

  • You guys.  Elizabeth Taylor's Cleopatra is up on YouTube in its entirety.  This is a must see!  (So is Cleopatra Jones, if that's more your thing.)

  • Makeup and Macaroons put together a piece on celebrities who have influenced her style, hair, and makeup.  I love reading others' style inspirations!  Who are yours?

  • Speaking of inspirations, I can't believe I'd never seen these photographs of Marilyn Monroe meeting the Queen of England before!  Look at that curtsy!

  • Yes, we're all Pinterest addicts now, aren't we?  I especially love this Grown Up Goth style board of sophisticated black clothing, gorgeous nail polish, and metal accessories. 

  • I can't stop playing this blast-from-the-past song by the Stefani Germanotta Band.  So catchy, so good!  Recognize the singer/keyboardist?  Yeah, she grew up to be Lady Gaga.  Impressive!

  • Last summer's "feathers in the hair" trend is making its way down south...and no, I don't mean geographically.  The guy (guy?!?) who invented vajazzling now offers feather and fur options, too.  Why is this A Thing?  Seriously, who is having this done to themselves?  I wanna know!

  • And because I couldn't just leave you with vajazzling: French confectioner Laduree, famous for their macarons, is expanding into a cosmetics line as well!  I can't wait to see the packaging.

What awesome links and news have you discovered as of late?  Let me know!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Daphne Guinness for MAC: Red Dwarf Lipstick & Interior Life Eyeshadow Quad Swatches

I've lost count of how many times I've mentioned Daphne Guinness on Applied Glamour.  As regular readers are aware, I hold her style and aesthetics in the highest regard.  Ever since details for her collaboration with MAC were announced, I've been plotting and scheming exactly which pieces of the collection I wanted in my hot little hands.  During a trip to the MAC counter the day after Christmas, this is what I came away with: Red Dwarf Pro Longwear lipstick and the Interior Life eyeshadow quad.  I knew I wanted Red Dwarf but Interior Life was something of an impulse decision and I'm so, so glad I bought it.

Stratus, Bruised Sky, Interior Life, Heather Belles

The cool toned colors of the Interior Life eyeshadow quad are lovely neutrals without being shades of brown.  There's a LOT of versatility in this palette.  You can use all four colors for a vampy evening look or use the three lighter shades for a dreamy, subtle daytime look.  They're extremely easy to apply and go on very well.  Apologies for Stratus being nearly invisible on my skin, I assure you it's there!

Stratus, Bruised Sky

Interior Life, Heather Belles
Day: Stratus on brow bones, Bruised Sky on lids, Interior Life in creases

Night: Same as above, with Heather Belles blended into outer corners
The eyeshadows pair wonderfully with the lipstick I chose, Red Dwarf.  MAC describes it as a dusty blue-pink shade, but in different lighting it can look quite dark and vampy, even more brown than blue-based.  It's the perfect color for day or evening, and I'm wearing it in both the eyeshadow looks I did above.  Red Dwarf is a Pro Longwear lipstick and while for me it didn't last the promised 12 hours, I didn't need a touch up for at least seven.  As with most long wearing lipsticks, toward the end of those seven hours my lips are feeling pretty dry and looking a bit flaky, so I keep lip balm on hand to lock in moisture before reapplying the color.  Aside from that, I adore this lipstick!  I may even get another tube of Red Dwarf for backup, I love it that much. 

Red Dwarf

Despite being obviously cool toned colors, I think these shades could work on any skintone, really.  Especially the lipstick, since it looks so radically different depending on the lighting (I wish I had thought to show this in the photos!).  Interior Life and Red Dwarf can be as vampy and dramatic or as light and airy as you want them to be.

The words "limited edition" strike fear in my heart but as of yet, none of the collection has sold out online.  If you really want these or anything else from the collection though, I'd act fast!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Parabens- What's the Big Deal? Guest Post on Everblossom!

By now it seems like everybody and their mama is aware that parabens are bad, bad, bad and should be avoided as much as possible. Yay for awareness! Yay for making healthier choices! But have you ever wondered exactly WHY we’re avoiding this chemical in our personal care products? What are parabens, anyway? Are they really that dangerous? How can they be avoided?

I explain all these in a guest post over on Everblossom!

Read the rest of the article!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Buxom Amplified Lash Mascara

At one time or another I've been suckered into every single mascara gimmick on the market; some work, most don't, but this Amplified Lash mascara from Buxom is in a league all its own.  You may recall my glowing review of Buxom's original mascara formula (aka the BEST mascara I've ever tried) and just when I thought this mascara could not be improved upon, those Bare Escentuals geniuses have topped themselves with something even better.

I never fully realized just how much mascara brushes affect the application until I used Amplified Lash.  It features a twistable cap to make the wand long with widely spaced bristles for volume, or short with tight bristles for definition and length.  It's like having two mascaras in one!  The difference the adjustable brush makes is incredible.  I never would have believed it until I tried it.  Want to make your very own eyelashes look like falsies?  You need this.  No mascara has ever, ever impressed me this much!  That's extremely high praise.  Seriously, quit reading this and try it for yourself.

I wonder how the Bare Escentuals people will top themselves next?  I can't wait to see!

Friday, January 6, 2012

How To Curl Your Hair With a Straightener

I’ve finally figured out a method to style my hair into full, bouncy, Rita Hayworth-esque curls.  And gorgeous movie star ringlets.  And beachy, bohemian waves.  I’m letting you in on the technique and the best part is that you probably have exactly what you need in your hairstyling arsenal right now.  Yes!  All you need is a straightener.  How do I curl my hair with a straightener, you ask?  Here are step by step instructions!

The straightener I'm using is a 1-inch flat iron by ProFashion.

Step one: Start heating up the straightener!  I like to use it on the highest heat setting since my hair naturally resists curl, but set it to whatever temperature works best for you.  Separate your hair into workable sections.  I gather one side of my part at a time, pin up the top layers, and start working from the bottom on one side.

Step two: Take about an inch (or half inch) bit of hair and clamp the straightener VERTICALLY at the root, close to your scalp.  This is the key.  Holding it vertically will give you curls and ringlets; holding the straightener at a more horizontal angle results in loose, beachy waves. 

Step three:  Next you give the straightener a 180 degree turn.  Twist it to the right so that the back plate is now facing front and your hair is wrapped around the plates.  Pull your hair through until you reach the ends, as if you were straightening it like normal.  It helps to go a little slowly and hold the lower end your hair even with the hair that’s already passed through the iron.

And tah-dah!  Volume and curl, right before your eyes!

Step four: Continue taking each section of hair at a time until your head is all bouncy, magnificent curls!  Style however you please!  Keep the definition of the curls with hairspray, pomade, or your hair product of choice.  For loose glamour waves brush your hair very, very gently.  

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Eat Pretty! - 5 Foods to Nourish Your Hair, Skin & Nails

So it's the beginning of January and a brand new year, and everybody is motivated with goals and resolutions and ambitions to be better.  Or maybe you're the type of person who loathes resolutions and sees them as precursors to failure.  Whichever camp you fall into, the fantastic Kylie of Everblossom has made us all a wonderful list of the foods that nourish our hair, skin, and nails the most.  Often referred to as superfoods, it's amazingly easy to incorporate them into your diet -- whether you've resolved to or not! 

I've been squeezing fresh lemon juice into my water, snacking on a tasty mix of nuts and seeds, and adding spinach whenever possible.  Not because of a "resolution", but because it's delicious!  And the benefits to my hair, skin, and nails have been unbelievable.  Check out Kylie's list and adjust your own foods accordingly; you'll be amazed at the changes!

1. Salmon - Oily fish like salmon, tuna and sardines provide the healthy omega-3 and omega-6 fats our body needs. Those good fats ensure that our skin and scalp are well hydrated. It's also an excellent source of protein, which is the building block for healthy nails and hair.

2. Leafy greens - Spinach, kale and other leafy greens are full of Vitamins A and C, which is needed to produce sebum, your body's natural skin and hair conditioner. It's also chock-full of iron and calcium, which are wonderful for strong, healthy nails.

3. Nuts & Seeds - Those omegas again! Grab a handful when you need a snack to get a good dose of healthy fats and protein. Almonds, pecans, sunflower seeds and other nuts are also full of zinc, which is proven to ward off hair loss.

4. Yogurt - Yogurt is full of calcium and zinc - lovely for strong hair and nails. What I really love about yogurt is that you can use a plain variety as a facial mask - the lactic acid makes it a wonderful exfoliant.

5. Citrus fruits - Vitamin C promotes collagen production, which plumps up skin to reduce wrinkles and signs of aging. Citrus fruits are also full of wonderful antioxidants, protecting your body from ugli-fying toxins like pollution and cigarette smoke.