Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Bronzed in the Dead of Winter

Our First Christmas Tree

Sorry to have left you all hanging, but the holidays are a busy time around these parts. Having family in town has made it more exciting and memorable, but doesn't leave a lot of down time for blogging! We had an absolutely lovely Christmas--complete with food, drink, and antics from my 4-yr old nephew that would have you on the floor laughing and gasping for air. Right off the bat, the below sign was placed on his bedroom door.

I thought a little Christmas cheer on the nails would keep things upbeat--and no, I don't mean candycane or santa designs. But I did go the "different color finger" route, and slapped China Glaze's 2NITE on the ring fingers. I see it this way--red is the color of the season, while the holographic blue reminds me of the icy outdoors. A little over the top, I know.

One thing I've been forced to work on during this cold month, is a natural looking tan. I can't stand how sallow I appear as the sky becomes grey. Literally--with this color skin, I'm a fascinating shade of yellow. So to bronzers I turn. This month, I've been going a little nutso over Lancome's Star Bronzer in Bronze Terre. It had been on the mind for some time--but it wasn't until a couple of weeks ago that I actually picked it up. Lancome products are typically uninteresting to me, but as of late, there have been a few things that have grabbed my attention. This is an excellent bronzer. It has the very slightest shimmer--so slight, that it can be a tad comparable to Korres' Monoi bronzer. I appreciate it in compact form, as there is another version to be found in a brush (no thanks). Word is, they're discontinuing these compacts soon, so if you're a bronze fanatic like myself, get thee to a store quickly.

The other bronzer that has been keeping me happy is Too Faced's Snow Bunny. It came to me via an epic and ridiculously generous swap (next post), and for the last five days of ownership it has made its way to my face each day. Looking at it reminds me of neopolitan ice cream, and the shimmer is not intrusive at all. That must be something I dislike. Shimmer that feels intrusive.
If you've yet to test this gorgeous bronzer, these cold months provide the perfect time. It truly leaves you with a "just got off the slopes" kind of effect.

Is there a bronzer that's getting you through the Winter? What changes in your regimen as the weather changes?

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

I hope that you are all enjoying time with those that you love today. It's my favorite time of the year, and I'm loving every second with my family. The happiest of holidays to all of you!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Last Minute Beauty Gift Ideas

Ladies and gentlemen, Suka & Spice now has its very own domain name! A little home in the big world of the internet. It's like we've moved from renting an apartment to buying property. As if that weren't enough, we've finally got the new header up that I've been promising! I'm so obsessed with the drawing, which was created by my dear (handsome..single..intelligent..*ahem, ladies*) cousin. My vision was an island girl relaxing in the ocean--he took that and ran with it. I'm not at all shocked. What do you think?

With just a handful of days left until Christmas, I'm sure there are a few of you out there who are contemplating a late night trip to the mall to pick up last minute gifts. I finally had it two nights ago, and completed the bulk of my shopping online. People are crazy at this time of year, and I swear the shops bring out the best in them. Sometimes I have to stop just to tweet something ridiculous that I hear when waiting in line at the register.

Oh right. Last minute gifts.

So, if you happen to be one of those last minute shoppers, and you're just not sure what to grab your best girl, friend, or beauty-obsessed pal--these are a few of my favorite recent palettes. You'll be bumped to the top of their nice list in no time.

Urban Decay Book of Shadows II

Sixteen vibrant shadows, two liners (which can undoubtedly be used daily), and a mini eyeshadow primer. This is sold out in Sephora (still available at Ulta), and all the more reason to gift it. Who doesn't like something limited? Best for: The girl who is a bit creative, and likes to experiment with color.

Too Faced Glamour Revolution

Glosses, blush, bronzer, shadows and primer. The fact that there is a chocolate scented bronzer included in this one, is enough reason to justify this as a gift. Add to that, the fact that one of the nine eyeshadows is called George & Weezie. Best for: The one who does her makeup in the car, or the bathroom at work--so she'll be needing everything in one place.

Benefit Powderazzi

Although the smallest of the three gift ideas, this may be my favorite. Benefit has delivered on a trio boxed blusher/bronzer, consisting of Dallas, Hoola, and Coralista. I picked this up because of Coralista (top left), and have been using that blusher nearly every day since. It's a shade that would suit nearly any skin tone, and leaves you with a glowy and natural effect. Available exclusively at Ulta and Best for: The chic who goes au natural most of the time. This way, she can contour with variety.

Are you finished with your shopping list? H
ave any beauty-related items fallen onto it?

You know I couldn't leave this girl, with her snowflake bow, out of the festivities...

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Chocolate in a Tub

Ladies, has it been a tough month or what? Chocolate has been on the mind lately. I think I've reached for a bar nearly every day (a dentist appointment definitely needs to be made right about now), and the end of my Cadbury's Fruit & Nut stash has arrived. Which means *cough cough* if there are any lovely family members reading this who would like to do a trade-off, please let me know. I can't live on these yuck American versions of the bar!

Typically, I steer away from chocolate scented beauty products, as they tend to smell more of a scratch 'n sniff sticker than they do an authentic cocoa treat. Well, I've found something different--and oh is it tasty!

Sweet Beauty is an organic chocolate spa treatment line. They use organic Theo chocolate (which is a favorite of mine--local, too!), as the base of all of their products. But that's not all. In the Cherish Sugar Scrub, you'll discover chocolate, coconut creme, and cane sugar. It's not the most appetizing site, but the smell is divine. It smells like something you'd want to stuff in your mouth--and I'd be lying if I were to say I haven't tried a little bit in the shower. So yes, it is edible (and good at that)! It ain't all sweets though--there's a lot of scrubbing goodness that comes from this guy. But to be totally honest, since it leaves you feeling as though you've jumped in a mud bath of chocolate, I guess that's neither here nor there.

Anything from the line would be a fantastic gift, as they all smell exactly as they are described. With the 10% off promo that the site is running, now is a great time to get those last minute orders in for the holidays!
As many of you can attest to, it's difficult to avoid the shopping temptation when there are such great blogs circulating in the online beauty world. Both Su-pah (Treasure Trove of Makeup), and Tali (The Gloss Goss) got me hip to the Jane Iredale Chocoholicks lipgloss collection. Four little pots of chocolate inspired goodness, nestled into Reese's peanut butter cup-like wrappers. You get truffle, caramel, strawberry cream, and chocolate orange. I was a bit leary (although I'm a huge fan of the Iredale line in general), and wasn't sure that I wanted to dip my finger into a brown-tinted pot each time I reapplied the product.

No need to fear, as I was given a complimentary retractable lip brush with purchase. This tool alone, could have made me buy anything else that was stored in a pot. It's genius! I know that this is the typical route for many people who don't like to repeatedly stick their finger into a lip product--but it just happens to be a small detail that I tend to overlook.

The shades are all just brown yet sheer enough, but each have a slight bit of shimmer to them. I like them especially for the fact that they come out so nicely on a brown girl like myself. The "barely there" lip that is similar to that of a concealer stick, is so 1999.

Our ornament of the day:

Pineapples are such a huge part of the island diet. My ma still manages to search out ones that are perfectly sweet and ripe, even in this 20 degree weather! I don't know how she does it--it's as though it is a part of her genetic makeup, to be able to locate and serve us tropical fruit year-round.

Are you a fan of chocolate? What do you turn to when the going gets tough?

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Holiday Collection Time

There a handful of Holiday collections that have arrived on the scene this season, yet very few that I have found myself interested in. One that caught my eye, was Cargo's Hands of Hope palette. Do I need more eyeshadow? No. Are they exceptionally large for a palette, and a very good price? Yes. Were they worth adding to my collection in terms of quality and pigmentation? Absolutely.

Although the above factors were taken into account when purchasing, I think the most unique thing about this palette is the concept. I love the hamsa hand on the cover of the cardboard casing, as much as I enjoy it impressed in each of the individual shadows. I think that this sign of hope works perfectly with the theme of the Holiday season. I appreciate the integration of the religious/spiritual, with...well, beauty products. Why not?!

Each shadow is quite pigmented, yet I haven't done a lot of looks with only the colors from the palette as they're quite unique on their own. Cargo's Holiday offerings, are all a bit of the Mediterranean or Eastern-tone variety (you know, whatever that means...I'm still disappointed that their Tonga blush is nearly untraceable on my skin).

swiped straight from the pan...

...and in no particular order

For those of you who follow me on Twitter, you know I was so excited to get my hair done last week. I love my stylist. He gets it right every time--so straight, that I don't know what to do with myself, and I almost always use it as an excuse to eat out, or do something where it can be seen in public. This last time around, it literally felt like I was wearing a wig because it was so flat.

And in other news, Advent is upon us again. It's one of my favorite times of year, as we lead up toward Christmas. I prefer to celebrate the twelve days of Christmas beginning on Christmas day. But as it is, there are holiday parties and celebrations that require things to be in order prior. Our Advent wreath, is our way of taking things slow, in an otherwise whirlwind season. I used to mark this time with a calendar, which had little chocolates behind every day of the month. Anyone else have one of those?

And for the ornament of the day...

This bright birdie reminds me of Brazil. The colors, the sparkle, and that tail feather. Ooh lala!

There are so many holidays and feasts around this time. What are you celebrating? What are the festivities and how do you prepare? Any Holiday collections that you've had your eye on?

Friday, November 27, 2009

Peace Out With a Cold Weather Staple

For the next couple of months, I'll have the fireplace roaring daily and you can find me wrapped in a Snuggie on the couch. It's that cold. We've been having windstorms throughout the night, and sometimes I wake up in the early hours, thinking I'm in some sort of Halloween movie gone wrong. It's the sounds--they're creeky and loud, and with my 3am reasoning, it makes me wonder if the house will just split or topple over.

Since cold weather typically means long sleeved shirts and thermal underwear (hey, I get chills even in 80 degree weather--you can imagine what I go through now), to me that means slapping on some extra body moisturizer. Just because it's all covered up now, doesn't mean it'll never resurface--and if come April, your legs look like ashy abandoned poles, you'll have no one to blame but yourself after reading about this new fave.

Introducing, Vaseline Intensive Rescue Clinical Therapy Skin Protectant Body Lotion. What a mouthful. But that's neither here nor there, as all of my other moisturizers have been kicked to the curb. Over a Vaseline product? Yes. This penetrates deeper than a body butter, with zero mess. It soaks right into the skin, and even at eight hours later, the effect remains. Although it claims to be unscented, I think it has one of the most pleasant airy scents that I've come across in some time. The sort that won't mix disgustingly with perfume or body sprays. Of course, being the girl that I am, I still apply coconut oil as soon as my shower head has been shut off--but on the off chance that I forgot to do that, this lotion did its job. Not only is it inexpensive, but a few bottles of this will clear you right through Spring with skin that you can be proud of!

Another indoor/rainy day project? Nail painting. Thanks to a little shipment from 8ty8beauty, I've been able to collect a few shades that I couldn't get my hands on at the local beauty shops. They sell China Glaze, OPI, and a few other brands for a huge fraction of the retail price. I'm saying never again to $8 polish. Well, at least $8 polish that I can otherwise purchase for $2 on this site. Check out FYI from the OMG Hologram Collection (China Glaze).

Check the pointer and pinky finger. Still doesn't
do the polish justice.

Scrangie's images catch the holo effect much better than mine do. It reminds me of Minx, but at a much better price--say, three dollars-ish?

These three are the hologram polishes that I settled on. I have to admit, I'll probably be back for the rest. They're sort of addictive in a non-chunky glitter, shiny kind of way.


Non-beauty related, this is the Mr. and I's first Christmas as a married couple. Since today is the day after Thanksgiving (aka. crazy person shopping day), I'm feeling that we'll need to get on a Christmas tree hunt pretty soon. I don't have a huge array of Christmas ornaments, as I've always left that up to my mum--but for the last few weeks, I've been on a bit of a Christmas ornament buying craze. I'll feature them from time to time, as they each have a reason for belonging on the new tree :)

First up is a thin peace sign. I remember wearing peace signs on black leather cords around my neck when I was in Junior High. I guess I've never fully recovered from the desire to welcome peace.

How do you decorate for the Holidays? Are you one for Minx-ish type nails?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thankful For You!

Since we're only 30 minutes away from a day of total gluttony and indulgence, I'd like to wish everyone a big Happy Thanksgiving! I can't wait to grind on some of that turkey, stuffing, and haka Tonga...because, you know we can only get so American with the food at mom's house. Truthfully, I'm meant to be preparing some desserts right now--but then I thought "oh, the blog!" and got a little distracted.

I have to tell you right off the bat--I've had Alicia Keys' new single on repeat for the last couple of hours. It has a smooth early 90's vibe to it...but the lyrics. Oh, the lyrics. Gone are the days of pausing the cassette tape, rewinding, and then jotting down the lines. With the likes of YouTube, you can figure out the lyrics in a matter of minutes! Have you seen it?

So, who's a fan of Le Metier de Beaute? I am, I am! I got a little wrapped up in the line a couple of weeks back. I don't think there's a whole lot of turning back from here. The shadows have a really fine mill to them, which makes it pretty difficult to go wrong with them. Although they're known for their Kaleidoscopes, I knew that as a newbie I had to start slow with some single shadows. I decided to try Spicy and Innocence.

Both are on the neutral side, with a bit of shimmer. I like to use Innocence on the inner corners of the eye, or even the brow bone. Spicy on the other hand, is great in the crease--and so nice to just stare at in the case. Both come with mirrors in the lid.

Remember when I told you that I'd find something to pair the shockingly bright Colbalt Clutch Stila Smudge Pot with? These two were the lucky winners.

Next up, concealer. It's difficult for me to stray far from Cle de Peau's wonder of a product--but this one has caught my attention. And it will keep it (at its slightly lower price point) for the time being.. I'm not convinced that I got the perfect shade match (shade VIII), but the Classic Flawless Finish Concealer with SPF 18, is so soft and creamy that I can totally overlook that. It doesn't settle, crease, or appear the least bit cakey.

And now for the shining star of the group--Sheer Brilliance Lip Gloss in Captiva. I just can't get enough of this golden-flecked gloss. It tones down the pinkiness of the lip, and adds a subtle sparkle that is different from most shimmery gold glosses that tend to lean towards the copper tones.
One thing that I wasn't so pleased about, was the mislabeling of colors. Unfortunately, I returned home with boxes of Innocence and Captiva that had those very names on the product, but were completely different ("Innocence" was a light peach shade, and "Captiva" a muted pink). I thought I was seeing things, until I returned to the counter for a closer inspection. The makeup artist couldn't understand why the products had been mislabeled and gladly exchanged them. After, I did a bit of blog searching, and it seems that others out there are being sold the same products with problem labeling. I can't begin to tell you how different the shades were--they didn't have any other shades like them! Additionally, this is a line that is best tested in person. The color swatches that you find online, are nothing as though they appear in reality.

So, are you a fan of Le Metier de Beaute? And just how will you spend your Thanksgiving holiday? I'm thankful for all of you, and your friendships and interaction that have been rooted in this blog. I look forward to chatting with you each day, whether it be here, on email or twitter :)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Barbie Loves Stila Event

As a kid, I never played with Barbies. Mama didn't buy them, so I didn't own them. She said they didn't look right--and I sort of agreed. So when Stila launched their Stila Loves Barbie line this year, I wasn't too intrigued. If I didn't want a girl with a plastic face sitting in my room, I sure didn't want one now, plastered on a makeup palette.

But then...Ulta called. They were having an event with Sarah Lucero, Stila's well-known and sought after makeup artist. I decided to give the whole thing a try, and arrived to cupcakes and pink m&m's. The place was packed, with several artists working on girls.

Sarah is the extra tall one in the boots

And needless to say, I walked out of the store a good hour later, with Stila products...complete with Barbie plastered on the front. No, it doesn't take a whole lot to twist my arm--and even less so when you throw in vibrant shadows and liners.

The popular All Dolled Up quad palette contains twelve buttery shades. The typical Stila fallout has not be experienced with this palette, and I'm pleased to say that they even stay put when I failed to remember a shadow primer one day.

At less than thirty dollars, this gives you a lot of bang for your buck. I don't get stressed about the size of shadows, as I feel that it's very rare to hit pan on a bright blue or purple.

Side note: The trio in the top left corner reminds me of Neapolitan ice cream, right? Right?!

I thought that would be the extent of my Barbie-related products, until I saw the bright blue Smudge Pot liner in Cobalt Clutch. It's just so bright. I figured that instead of using it as a base (as suggested), I could use it to pep up an otherwise boring nude/brownish eye.

Stila brushes in my opinion, are some of the best out there. I still own (and use) a powder brush from 1999, and it's in perfect condition. It's among the softest of those in my collection, and I wish they still had the range they once did. One that caught my eye, was the double-ended shadow brush. The tapered side of the brush is much thinner than its typical competitors, which meant it would be a unique addition. Only problem is, as there are hairs on either end, I'm never quite sure how to store it.

I did pick up the Kajal Liner in Topaz, as it's as creamy as the infamous Onyx sister, but in a flesh-toned shade (when I say flesh, I'm clearly speaking of someone else's flesh..not mine). It works great on the bottom waterline as a means of opening the eye and making the general area appear more awake. Typically, many people will use a white liner for this purpose--but I think that gives more of a "I don't know what I'm doing" effect on women with brown skin. However, using this liner on the actual lid--where you would typically apply an eyeliner--similarly gives you the look of a Russian matryoshka doll. Freaky.

So then there was the gift with purchase. The items that typically remain unused, but in this case had enough appeal to make me want to use them immediately. There were three paint tins, stuffed with a shadow palette, lip glaze and mascara. The tin itself was much better than a cheesy leopard print bag that comes with perfume samples *cough cough*..Neiman's..*cough*. I could definitely use it to differentiate brushes that need to be washed, from those that haven't been used. I picked Black Barbie. Of course, because they sure didn't have Brown Barbie..or Polynesian Barbie for that matter.

The palette is also cute, with two office-appropriate eyeshadows and a blush.

The gloss reminds me of orange jello. Leaving the store, I ended up with purple eyes (the artist used the purple and pink from the palette), and a purple hoodie--only to realize that I was stuck in a swarm of fans that had just left our University's Football game--the team colors are purple and gold. Meaning, I looked like one crazed, overdone fan.

Did you pick up anything from the Barbie line? Classic Disney, a big yes. Fafi, for me--a double yes. But it just too much?

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Gilded Finds

From one liner to the next. If you're not a fan of the creme liner, than this one is for you. I have officially found a pencil that is softer than Urban Decay's 24/7 liners, at a much more affordable price. With...twice the pigmentation! I'm turning a bit into a drugstore addict...but that's alright, if they've got what I'm looking for. Presenting L'Oreal's HIP Chrome Eyeliner in Silver Lightning and Black Shock.

L'Oreal is making a huge comeback with these sorts of products--their pigmentation easily rivals that of MAC. Lining on the waterline is a breeze, as it lasts for hours. Although that's the case, I still pop mine in the purse for touch-ups. They are extra creamy and soft, so they glide one without any tugging whatsoever. And look at the intensity--need I say more?

Well I will say more. I'm going back for the remaining colors. When items like these are buy one get one free, it's nearly impossible not to snatch backups.

Speaking of chroma-type shades, check out this nail varnish that Sally Hansen has released with her current Hi-Definition line. Hot!!!

It's perfect for night, but just so gorgeous under the daytime sky, as it turns from shades of purple to a bullet-like silvery gold. The shade is Opulent Cloud. I've just learned that it is the one that is inspired by Tracy Reese (only one of my favorite designers!), and was the exclusive shade of her Fall 2009 runway show. It's no wonder that I love it! It is limited edition, so if you're a fan, get thee to a chemist!

One last thing--in the theme of all things golden or gilded, I was tagged by Miss Dila over at Bubbly Mubbly Bubblegum with a Color Tag. The color of choice? Gold! Easy peas for me, as everything in my life needs a little gold in it--in fact, it was one of the colors for my wedding! I chose five random things that were gold, and have captured them on film:

Shown, are Illamasqua's Liquid Metal in Solstice, a bikini top, a pair of satin shoes (that I'm sure I'll get to wearing over the holidays...size XXXL , I know), L.A.M.B. fragrance (which was purchased for the rasta colored bottle that hides under that ginormous cap), and my gold OLO Mt. Carmel scapular. Oops, I did five items and you were supposed to find seven.

I know that many of you have done this before, so if you haven't, feel free to do so now! And Gold is still the color of choice :)

Are you a gold fan? Or do you sway more towards silver or copper?
Blog Widget by LinkWithin