August 31, 2009

Hollywood Makover by Arbonne!

Hey Beauties!

We had a fabulous gathering at my house this weekend! Rhonda (my Arbonne manager) brought her stash of Arbonne makeup and an eye opening video to guide us through a "Hollywood Makeover." I am an Arbonne consultant, but had never tried any of the makeup, SO...I had a couple of Arbonne loving friends over and voila, we all became movie stars...or at least we looked like them! Sorry, no friends are camera-shy!

The video had some interesting techniques that I hadn't heard of so I'll do a run down of the steps we went through to become movie stars:

The first step was Virtual Illusion Makeup Primer. The makeup artist in the video said we should always use a sponge to apply primer. Looks like I've been doing it all wrong by using my fingers...oh well! This primer has a blend of vitamins and anti-aging ingredients to help tone, smooth and minimize the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and enlarged pores. It has a nice silky texture that goes on of my favorite primers!

The next step was concealer because we were trying out the mineral powder foundation. The three of us palefaces used the About Face Cream Concealer in Fair. This concealer has anti aging ingredients to help minimize fine lines-bonus!! The makeup artist in the video had us first put the concealer under our eyes from the inner corner out only as far as the iris of the eye to avoid emphasizing fine lines. Ok, my fine lines START in the corner of my eye and my circles are legendary...but I followed directions. Then the concealer was applied in the center of the forehead, tops of cheekbones, bridge of nose, chin and just above the jawline. Seemed like a lot of concealer to me, but again, I followed directions. I liked the creaminess of this concealer, but I think the color was a bit pink for me.

Then we got to the foundation itself. I'm a fan of mineral powder foundations in general, so I was thrilled to try the About Face Mineral Powder Foundation SPF 15 (sunscreen, yay!) in 3N. The application was the same as any other mineral powder: swirl the brush in the powder, tap off excess, swirl on face. The powder is silky and has decent coverage, but it also includes the ingredient bismuth oxychloride, which some people are sensitive to. If you like Bare Minerals, you'll love Arbonne.

After the foundation, we used a product I love in a surprising new way. We used the Awaken and the Unwind Rejuvenating Body Mists from the Aromassentials personal fav...spritzed our foundation just once, lightly with our favorite fragrance, to set our foundation. I've used Evian before, but not anything like this. These body mists have the Essential Oil Blends unique to each fragrance. The makeup artist cautioned against using the toners from the skin care lines because those would dissolve the foundation instead of just setting it. The jury is still out for me on using this technique.

The next step was a laugh riot for a while! We used the BefoRE Sun No Sun Intended Bronzing Powder and a fan brush to do contouring in the hollows of our cheeks, temples and under the jawline. The video instructed us to use the fan brush sideways to apply the bronzer. The funny part was when I drew what looked like stripes of warpaint on my pale cheeks and my friends' eyebrows went up and we all just howled. Rest assured, I'm a blending freak, so it did not end up so war paint-ish.

We also used the FC5 Mattifying Powder to reemphasize the highlighting. The bronzer is really blendable, but it has a little shimmer, so I'll stick with my matte bronzer or darker pressed powder. The mattifying powder is very fine, oil absorbing and is tinted a very pale green, intended to reduce any redness. My skin has never been oily, so I will probably pass on this one, but if you are oily, this stuff is great!

We recovered from our laughing fit and attacked our eyebrows...ok, maybe attacked is a little strong, but just wait. The first part was to fill in the brows with a pencil. I started with the Virtual Illusion Eye Definer in Hepburn, dark brown, because my hair and brows are dark brown, but it was way too warm of a brown so I went with Monroe, blonde instead. The directions were to color in the brows from the outside in, kind of like petting a cat backwards. After using this soft automatic pencil, I had some crazy wild brows!

Then we used the About Face Brow Wax in Blonde with a brow brush, to basically glue them down the other direction. I usually use brow powder, so I was feeling like my brows were glued to my face. The Arbonne Eye Definer pencils are very soft and blendable and have great color payoff....I just won't be using them for my brows. There was just too much product for me. I'm still considering the Brow Wax...maybe for those wild brow days?

Next we moved on to color, my favorite part! First was the About Face Blusher in Savvy, a warm rusty color. The trick now was to put the blush just on the apples of our cheeks so that we didn't mess up all the highlighting and contouring we had already done (concealer, bronzer, etc). No sweat: using a fluffy blush brush, smile, put blush on the fleshy part. I actually ordered this blush in Flirt because the colors are so silky and blendable. It is also SO close to NARS Orgasm, I just had to try it.

The eye look we did is called the Audrey Eye and the products actually come in a set. Virtual Illusion Liquid Eyeliner (black) on just the top lid was first. Applying liquid liner takes practice. The other girls were chicken, so I did it just to show it could be done. The video instructed to start in the corner of the eye and make one stroke to the outside of the eye. WELL, my eyes are aging and one smooth line was not to be had by these instructions. FYI, on crepey eyes, you have to do small strokes, close to the lash line and then smooth out the line with a finger or other clean up tool. This was where I had to deviate from the directions. (who me?) I really liked this liquid liner! It has a nice skinny, but not too soft brush and it stays on really well. It might even give my gel liners a run for their money.

Then we put a base of About Face Eye Shadow in Linen, third one down in the picture, from lashline to crease with a medium shadow brush. Next was a matte brown shade, Smudge, top color in the picture, in the crease with a crease brush. The next step was interesting. We used Petal, pale pink, bottom color, with our medium shadow brush, over the crease color and up towards the brow. I get that it blends that
crease color out a bit, but when I want to blend out a crease color, I usually use something closer to the crease color, not pink on brown. But it looked nice. The last was Tulle, a light shimmery ivory, second one down, that we put on the lid again. I also snuck some up on my brow bone...shhh...don't tell on me! The shadows were very silky, blendable, with great color payoff. I ordered three colors: Inkling (seriously dark navy bluematte), Flannel (the perfect medium gray shimmer), and Demure (pale taupe matte). Eclipse Eye Definer Pencil went on OVER the liquid liner, then ANOTHER coat of liquid liner. Seems like a lot of liner steps to me. Finally, Virtual Illusion Dual Volume Mascara, Black. Thank goodness!!

Time for lips. The makeup artist in the video said we should always use at least 2 colors of lip liner and lipstick and always use a lip brush to apply. It was then that I realized that us mere mortals couldn't compete with movie stars because we slicked on one measly color, no liner, at the stoplight on the way to work! I used the Virtual Illusion Lip Definer in Sienna from the outside corner to about a third of the way across on both top and bottom. Then the color Nice for the rest. About Face Lipstick in Bravo went over the Sienna lip liner and Hula lipstick over the Nice we see a trend here? And if that wasn't enough, we dotted concealer in the middle of our bottom lip and feathered it into the lipstick. I've used a frosty lipstick, shimmery eye shadow and shimmery gloss for this effect, but never concealer. I'm going to store that for future reference. We topped all that off with About Face Prep & Plump gloss in Delicious. The lipsticks are uber creamy and very pigmented, while the gloss had a generous amount of color also. My lips felt pampered!

Recap of products used:

Virtual Illusion Makeup Primer, $32.50
About Face Cream Concealer, $20
About Face Mineral Powder Foundation SPF 15, $34
Rejuvenating Body Mist, $16
BefoRE Sun No Sun Intended Bronzing Powder, $28
FC5 Mattifying Powder, $25
Virtual Illusion Eye Definer, $16
About Face Brow Wax, $18
About Face Blusher, $14
Virtual Illusion Liquid Eyeliner, $18.50
About Face Eye Shadow, $12
Virtual Illusion Dual Volume Mascara, $28.50
Virtual Illusion Lip Definer, $16
About Face Lipstick, $16.50
About Face Prep & Plump, $28

We had a great time being silly and trying new techniques and new products, but if I had to do all this stuff everyday, I'd never get out the door. I've since incorporated some of the contouring tips, but I still use just one color of lipstick...yes, applied at the stoplight on the way to work!

Next week, Smashbox! I can't wait!

Until then, Stay Beautiful!


P.S. Arbonne products are loaded with skin loving botanicals and are formulated in Swizerland, but manufactured in the USA. If you are interested in purchasing Arbonne products, let me know and I can help you with that. All products can be viewed at

August 24, 2009

MAC Fall 2009 Collection

I had the opportunity this weekend to have my makeup done by a makeup artist at our local MAC counter using the new Fall '09 collection, MAC Makeup Art Cosmetics ( It was such fun! I really like all of the makeup artists at our counter. We had fun rocking to the Black Eyed Peas while Jen did my face.

This is one of the more versatile collections I've seen in a while. The collection is in three parts, each with it's own artwork by a separate artist (check out the website above to view the videos of each artist and how they interpreted their part of the collection).

The first artist (and my personal fav!) is Richard Phillips. Here are the products in his group:

Notoriety: Skintone 1-Light White Pink, Skintone 2-Dirty gold, Notoriety-Dirty Brown with Gold Pearl, Rich and Earthy-Rich Coral Bronze (bought this one!) Notoriety looks almost matte in this picture, but it is definitely has a nice gold pearl in it. This whole quad is pretty sparkly. I probably won't wear them all together, but mixed in with some matte textures. The Rich and Earthy color goes really well with Beauty Burst from the MAC Loves Barbie collection a few years ago.
Photo Realism: Photo Realism-Gold Shimmer with Gold Pearl, Fresh Approach-Cool Mint Green, Image Maker-Dirty Grey Green, Grey Range-Deep Blue Green (bought this one too!) I totally love this quad. I don't even wear much green, but these colors are so soothing and beautiful together that I just had to try them. This is the quad used in my makeover. Stunning.

My eyes done with this quad:

In the Gallery: Lightfall-Pale Pink, Look at the Eyes-Light Violet, In the Gallery-Dirty Blue Pink, Private Viewing-Deep Brown Plum. These colors are very pretty and I love purples because they make my eyes look really green, but I didn't buy it because the cool palette I got from last Christmas's collection is all pinks and purples too and I thought I had enough of those!(for now)

Lipglass: Young Thing, New Spirit, On Display, Personal Taste. Didn't buy any of these, but they are all simply gorgeous and have that yummy vanilla scent!

Lipsticks: Front Lit, Full Body, High Strung (bought this too!) , Hold the Pose, Lovin It. I don't usually go for light, frosty lipsticks, but when I use High Strung with a pale pink lip liner underneath, it is wonderful and goes so well with the smokey green eyes from the makeover!

Powder Blush: The Perfect Cheek (It is! Of course I bought it too!), Notable. MAC blushes are just luscious. This one, The Perfect Cheek, is a matte and goes on like silk. And it creates the perfect cheek!

Mascara: Plush Lash

The second artist is Maira Kalman. I didn't try any of these because I wasn't in the market for the bright colors...but the yellow (Crest the Wave) eyeshadow did catch my eye! The products this group are bright clear colors:

Eye Shadows: Crest the Wave, Maira's Mood, Violet Trance, Purple Shower, Off the Page, Haunting. These colors are so pretty! Of course you wouldn't wear them all at the same time (geez I hope not!) but they would be very nice as an accent color or a sheer wash of color. I have the Haunting color from the Alexander McQueen collection from last year.

Technakohl Liners: Artistic License, Graphblack, Full of Fuchsia, Obviously Orange, Colour Matters. I love Technakohl liners, but I've never really gotten into bright colored liners (maybe I should try it!). I think these would create some fun faces for Halloween maybe?

The third artist is Marilyn Minter. I do like pigments and have several, including the Cocomotion in this group. You know how I feel about glitter! 'Nuff said! The pigments and glitters in this group are:

Pigments: Brash & Bold, Push the Edge, Cocomotion, Heritage Rouge

Glitters: Gold, Reflects Copper, Reflects Rust, Fuchsia

Clear Gloss: I think the artist used this with the glitters in this group, but this stuff is great by itself!

My new picture is me with the Photo Realism quad, The Perfect Cheek blush, Blacktrack Fluidline, Very Black Cover Girl Lash Blast mascara (that's a review for another day) and a mauve lip liner with High Strung on top, all of it done by me. When my mom saw me after I had my makeup done, she said, "They didn't do it any better than you do!" Thanks Mom!!

Coming up next week: Arbonne cosmetics! I love their products but have never tried the makeup. I'm going to try their powder mineral makeup!

August 17, 2009

To line or not to question!!

Last week, my brown cream eyeliner started to flake off into my eyes...not exactly a great look. So this weekend I went in search of the perfect brown cream, gel or liquid eyeliner.

I love eyeliner and I am always looking for interesting colors and textures, even though I typically use black or brown on a daily basis. I had seen an ad for a metallic liquid liner by Too Faced (Metal Eyed Liquid Shimmer Eyeliner, $17.50 @ Sephora). Since metallics are all the rage these days, I thought I would at least see if it was something I would like. Now when I think of metallic, I think of super shimmery, like more shimmer than color. While this eyeliner had a nice thin brush and good texture, shimmery it was was a fine, iridescent GLITTER!! Some people love glitter, but they are usually under 30 and don't have a professional job. I'm over 40 and generally don't do glitter (I'm sure my CPA boss appreciates that). It was very pretty liner and comes in 8 beautiful colors (my favorite is Get Lucky, a glimmering forest green), but definitely not for Moi.

I decided to skip looking for metallics and focus on the brown I was in the market for. I found two candidates and decided to put them to the test.

I picked up Bare Escentuals' new cream eyeliner, Buxom Lashliner ($15 at Sephora). The black (Leatherette) looked like it might be shiny like patent leather when it dried (oooh, something to try later!) but the Suede color was the dark brown cream I was in the market for. Using a MAC 209 brush, I applied it as I usually do, first under my upper lashes, then on the top of my lower lashes, then on top of the upper lashes, making sure no lid showed between the lashes. This is the most silky soft liner I can remember using! It went on smoothly and stayed on perfectly all day. At the end of the day it came off completely with my usual eye makeup remover. It doesn't get much better than that. Don't tell anyone, but I think this may be better than MAC Fluidline...SHHH!

As I was shopping, I came across Clinique's Brush-on Cream Liner in Deep Brown ($14.50 at Sephora), which I have used before. As I was trying to decide between the BE and the Clinique, I discovered a Clinique color I hadn't seen before: Black Honey, a nice medium brown with a very fine shimmer. That settled it, I needed BOTH! It comes with a teeny little brush, but I like a longer brush, so I chucked it. The liner went on smoothly with the MAC 209 and that fine shimmer was perfect, even better than the Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel Eyeliner ($21 at in Chocolate Shimmer that I was replacing! It is a slightly lighter brown than the BE liner, but darker than the BB Bronze Shimmer I already have. The lower price and availability of the Clinique make it a hands down winner.

As a side note, I have several friends that swear that MAC's Fluidline in Graphic Brown (dark brown with shimmer) was the best eyeliner ever made, but because it isn't a part of the permanent line and is only rarely repromoted, we are all in search of a suitable replacement. This creme liner might just be comparable!!

So this morning, I reach for my HG eyeliner, MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack, and OMG, I saw the bottom of the jar!!! I wonder if they have any more of the BE Leatherette at Sephora... :-)


August 13, 2009

In Search of the Perfect Lip Gloss...

Welcome to FOTD (Face Of The Day for you newbies)! I am obsessed with makeup and skincare in general, probably sparked by my 40th birthday mid-life crisis. I am in search of the perfect products, from wrinkle cream to lip gloss. Of course product performance is subjective...everyone can have a different experience. All I can give you is my opinion of the latest product, trend or technique. Here goes:

I recently made an impulse purchase (I think this is the only kind involving lip gloss) of Bare Escentuals Buxom Lips Full Color in Raquel. It is a shimmery brown/beige lip color/gloss with plumping properties. Now in the interest of full disclosure, I already own the same brand/type of lip color/gloss in Vanessa and Carmen, but I'll share the differences.

When I first purchased this particular brand/type of lip gloss, I really loved the texture, the color and the staying power and I still do. What I did not like was the applicator brush. Lip gloss is typically simple to apply, but this stuff is packed with color, so it is more like applying lipstick. The brush was just too imprecise, held too much product and got weird when you put it back in the tube and one or more of the bristles got stuck going the wrong way. I still used the product, but cussed that stupid brush. But that has all changed with my recent purchase.

The company has replaced that nasty brush with a doe foot applicator and this is me applauding! Much less product, more controlled and no wayward bristles to put stray marks on your face! They also made the fragrance/flavor better: more vanilla to go with the minty finish. My boyfriend, who is all honesty loves it when I wear almost any lip color/gloss LOVES this one! He first tasted it when I kissed him goodbye and it made him think of me the rest of the day!

I love the color of this one too...I was in the market for more nude colors and this one is really pretty. I have fairly pigmented lips, so the usual pale shades look like a mask on my lips. This stuff is just dark enough but not too pink and lots of shimmer, not glitter.

Let me know what you think if you try it! I'm thinking of trying some more colors and maybe the new eyeliner brown liner is starting to flake.

Until next time,