Top 3 Picks at the Nordstrom 2011 Anniversary Sale

July 13, 2011 at 10:17 am | Posted in Body Care, Fragrance, Jewelry, Makeup | Leave a comment
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Sale Starts Friday, July 15

Two days until the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale! After much stalking of the Nordstrom Beauty department (with sale item previews), the Dior Fall Ready-to-Wear palette won out as my “top pick of the 2011 sale!” The Chanel eyeshadows and lip colors are stunning (pink and berry shades), but the significant value of the Dior palette stole the show ($52; the eyeshadows alone retail at $58). View the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale catalog here.

Dior Ready-to-Wear Palette

1. The Dior Ready-to-Wear palette (a Nordstrom exclusive) includes four eyeshadows (colors are 739, 959, 689, 804, which translate to pale pink, iridescent pink (looks white but surprises!), light plummy taupe and dark taupe; blush in 950 Raspberry, Forever Compact finishing powder in 020 Light Beige; two Addict Ultra Glosses in 183, 483, a light pink and mauve; and three mini brushes. The shadows and glosses work for all skin tones; the powder and blush are too light for darker skintones, wish they would have put in something more universal.

Signature Dior Blue Velvet Case

(L) to (R): (4) Eyeshadows, Blush, Powder, (2) Lip Glosses

Wearing Dior Ready-to-Wear

2. Philosophy Pure Grace 3-piece bath and body set is a stock-up must. For $70 (a $137 value), you get an 8 oz body spritz, 32 oz body lotion and 32 oz bath and shower cream. I’m just nearing the end of last year’s set, which is my go-to clean scent (and also works as a base for layering with other fragrances). Pure Grace is the only fragrance I wear that consistently elicits “you smell good” comments (I’ll take 2, right!).

Cara Leather Wrap Bracelet

3. In jewelry, I’m really liking the Cara leather crystal studded wrap bracelets — hip, yet chic at the same time. Wear just one or stack three for a statement bangle look without the weight and noisy clanks (your office mates will thank you). The Cara leather bracelets come in white, tan and black ($29.90, one-third off the regular price of $48).

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Beauty Hits & Misses of 2010

January 6, 2011 at 7:00 am | Posted in Beauty Must-Haves, Fragrance, Makeup, QVC, Skincare | 4 Comments
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First off, I have to tell you that Beautypedia.com is FREE during January and February! I just visited this normally subscription-only site and no forms to fill-out. Access 45,000 beauty product reviews to find great products (I hope I get some sleep tonight)! I don’t agree with every conclusion but it’s a valuable one-of-a-kind resource.

The good (and bad for your wallet) thing about the beauty industry is the steady stream of new makeup colors, formulations, skincare miracles, etc. There are a few “aha’s” and many “oh my’s.” Far and few between are new product discoveries that are must-haves. In 2010, a handful of product launches and new to me discoveries impressed and disappointed more than others.

Light Up Like Pink Lipgloss (The Best Products)

5. Neutrogena Brightening Eye Perfector: This multi-tasker combines sunscreen and concealer where we need it most: undereye. It gives light coverage, you’ll need a heavier concealer underneath for dark circles, and the pen with brush makes it easy on the go.

4. Lancome Teint Miracle Foundation: I posted about this makeup base being too silicone heavy for me; still true but the formula gives skin an amazing glow and who doesn’t appreciate “your skin looks good” compliments. For going out this is a must product. Or if silicones don’t irritate your skin, try it for everyday.

3. Pink Sugar Sensual Fragrance: I’m secretly in love with the regular Pink Sugar but find the cotton candy scent too young. This is the grown up version that I’ve been wearing everyday since getting it for Christmas, yet is sexy enough for an evening date.

2. Mally Illuminating Blush: Never would I have guessed a blush would excite me as much as this one. The glow is applied underneath color for a beautiful luminosity. And it lasts for hours, an amazing feat for oily skin!

1. ULTA Self-Tanning Mitt: So simple yet so superb! As a self-tanning enthusiast, this is by far my most life changing product in 2010. And it’s only $4.99. Pinch me 🙂

Stay Away from that Red Lipstick (The Worst Products)

5. Physicians Formula Healthy Wear SPF 50: I’ve learned to avoid certain sunscreen ingredients, so a friend tried this tinted moisturizer and while the color and texture were good, ended up with large pimples (glad it was her not me 🙂 )

4. Dry Shampoo: I wash my hair just a couple of times per week to keep it from drying out, but it starts feeling itchy by day 3. I thought a dry shampoo was the answer and tried a few (so many lines have launched one lately), but they left my hair dull and powdery, and my scalp still itched. On a good note, the formulations with color nicely cover gray hair.

3. Olay Regenerist Anti-Aging Eye Roller: Put this in the “too good to be true file.” My eyes were just as puffy after I spent a full minute massaging (a really long time in a morning routine). I’m guessing other “eye roller” brands would deliver similar disappointing results.

2. Venus Breeze Razor. The first (and only) time I used this, I had to double-check that it included blades, as much of my leg hair was still intact! It’s an innovative idea to build-in shave gel with the razor, but removing hair is a must.

1. Bio-Oil: I should have known better than to believe the hype around this oil that promises to improve scars, stretch marks, uneven skin tone and aging skin. After 3 months of diligent use on stretch marks, I’m sad to report they are still there, as annoying as ever.

Please let me know your beauty faves and flops, I’d love to hear from you!

Holiday 2010: Beauty Gifts that Keep Giving

December 3, 2010 at 1:02 pm | Posted in Fitness, Fragrance, Hair, Makeup, QVC, Skincare | Leave a comment
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Gifts that make long lasting impressions are often the most exciting. Here are a few of my favorite gifts this season that show love over and over…

Beauty Bloggers for “Doctors Without Borders

Do good for others and score fabulous beauty products for yourself. A handful of beauty bloggers donated products for an auction benefitting Doctors Without Borders, which provides medical relief in disaster areas. Bid on items from MAC (including the insanely popular and sold-out Pink Friday/Nicki Minaj lipstick), Armani, Lancome, YSL, Redken and much more. I am in bidding wars for a Mally Beauty kit and Lisa Hoffman Madagascar fragrance set. Don’t bid against me, pretty please 🙂 Auction ends December 20.

BirchBox

Have a beauty junkie on your list that has everything? She’ll love Birchbox. For $10 per month, a box of 4-5 deluxe product samples arrives in the mail. Each box features the latest products, hand-picked based on preferences, along with tips and advice. I’ve watched some YouTube videos featuring the hauls and it’s a great way to try high-end products before investing. Here’s a video review from missglamorazzi. Not knowing what’s inside the package is half the fun!

Philosophy Gift of Grace or Love Fragrance Kit (one day special price)

QVC is offering the Philosophy Gift of Grace or Love 5pc Fragrance Collection as a Today’s Special Value on Saturday, December 4. Your choice of Pure Grace, Amazing Grace or Falling in Love scents. You can order now through the special link above. The kit includes an exclusive fragrance stick (perfect for your handbag) and is priced at $59.98 (or 4 easy pays), half the retail value of $132! Pure Grace is my all-time favorite fragrance, a clean shower-fresh scent. Each time I use the scented body products, I not only smell good, but am also uplifted from the “romance copy” on the bottle. On Amazing Grace for example, it reads “how you get up the mountain or get down, it all comes down to one word “grace.”

Reebok EasyTone Clothing

Once just a tennis shoe, now a clothing line. I already swear by the EasyTone shoes and can’t wait to try the new Reebok EasyTone workout pants and shirts with built-in toning bands ($55-$80). What will they think of next?

Magazine Subscriptions

What beauty fanatic doesn’t devour beauty magazines!? I smile every time I go to the mailbox and find a new issue. I regularly read Allure, InStyle, More, Town & Country and People Style Watch. BTW, this month’s Town & Country includes a 2011 calendar with shots of major jewelry bling for some wishful thinking.

Photos from Birchbox, QVC, Reebok and InStyle websites.

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