Saturday, January 31, 2009

Weekend Inspiration

"Beauty without grace is the hook without the bait" -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, January 30, 2009

Soleil Boutique Has Gone Live!


It's Friday! I will be spending the weekend reviewing processional music for a very important upcoming event...how will you spend it? Perhaps shopping online? If so, I'd like to inform you that one of my very favorite boutiques has made the move to the online world, and needs fashionable island women like you to peruse the cyber racks!

Engagement party getup? No problem! First birthday ensemble? It's here! Soleil Boutique is the I-kid-you-not, one stop shop for all things Polynesian and fashionably innovative. Owned and operated by a young and hip island sister, you'll find lines that you could only dream of in the mainland. You've seen them featured on the runways of NZ Fashion Week, such as Cook Islands' TAV and Samoa's MENA. But now you want them for your very own? Well, help yourself! Get to shopping and supporting our very own Polynesian entrepreneurs!

Enjoy the weekend, and follow me on Twitter if you're extra bored! Just don't follow too closely now...

xo

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Lengthening Begins...


It has officially begun. After much thought, and back and forth-ness about the options at hand, I have decided to be my very own guinea pig with Enormous Lash. I have heard amazing things about this eyelash growth product, and plan on seeing a huge improvement, in what I believe to be my already rather healthy and longish lashes. There's a one year guarantee on the product! Before and after pictures will be taken, and...probably posted! Hey, why not, right?

In the meantime, I leave you with yet another "set" from Polyvore. I just can't get enough of this site. This is my Vacay-A-Go-Go ensemble. Thoughts?

Vacay We Go Go

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Men's Mane: Rey Maualuga


Back in December, when Rey Maualuga won the Chuck Bednarik top defensive player award, I remember glancing at the tv and saying out loud (ya, I'm not sure who it was directed to..) "hmm..I like how he pulled his hair back, in contrast to that suit he's wearing.."

Was it just me (well, I'm pretty sure it was just me that was talking out loud to herself)? I couldn't find a great profile picture from that evening, but it was actually pulled back very neatly and fastened higher up on his head. I have this love-hate issue with guys and long hair...I typically always think it looks great, and often times even healthier than mine (jealous much?!), but yet when it's my guy, I'm never really diggin it. I don't want to have to remind him that his ends are split, or that he needs to re-adjust his ponytail. But then...I see it on someone else, and I think..ahhh..that's why I like it!

Anyway you look at it, I think that Rey really pulled it together (ah, pun totally intended) for a nice clean style on this important occasion. What do you think and prefer? Short, long...extensions? ;)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Palette, Remover, and...Yogurt?


I think the person that voted that I should write on my day, was kidding. But I'll try to keep each post a little more personal...while not making this some sort of diary entry. Btw, more mens things coming right up! The Mr is constantly at work trying to come up with some sort of review on the things he likes and doesn't like. I think we have a good one coming!

Have you seen the Sephora Moroccan Sunrise Palette? I've purchased only one full palette from the Sephora brand before, and have always been pleased with their shadows and pigments. I wouldn't say they're the best that I've ever run across, but they are most definitely on par with some of the other lines in the store. The casing and the colors are so pretty and everyday wearable in this one...I seem to have such an affinity to things Eastern, so I'll probably be checking this out later this weekend.

And now for the final review of the week. I have been searching high and low for an eye makeup remover that will do a few things, and do them best.

1. Be non-oily
2. Remove everything, even stubborn mascara and liner
3. Not leave me with blurry vision (you just went omg, I know what you mean! Right?)
4. Do all of the above stated things very quickly, preventing me from having to rub my eyes

It has been a long journey! Bliss was too gentle, not removing a thing...while Lancome's Bi-Facil is no longer oily (it's been reformulated), but no longer removes as it once did. Alas, I have found the winner, and it's something that I drove a girlfriend out of her way to purchase yesterday as a testament of the impact it's had on me! I'm talking about Mandom's Makeup Cleansing Lotion (I use the Age Care version--there's three types). It's a Japanese brand that is water-based and alcohol free, but I tell you...works beautifully! The bottle states "Ready for bed as soon as possible". Gotta love that! Usually by the time I'm washing my face, my eyes are nearly shut anyhow, and I'd probably be better off sleeping! Just a couple of pumps of this water-like solution applied to a cotton pad, then you lay it on your eye for oh..3 seconds. Voila, everything's gone! There's no leftover mascara running down your cheeks when you actually begin washing your face. It's like a little miracle, and even removes waterproof formulated makeup. You'll never know why you paid twice the price on anything else, and then you'll begin pushing it to your friends like a crazy addict (or maybe that's just me).

Have a fabulous weekend! Mine is starting with a bowl of maple yogurt..mmm...and ending with one too many dress fittings. Ugh. Any plans?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Rio We Go!


Brazil it is! Four months and counting! This little swim set is too cute, right?--and affordable at under $35. So here is my question. Who has been to Brazil and what must I see, eat, buy...smell? I need some basics on Portuguese as well, so if any of you have any pointers...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Monthly Surprises!


I promised a handful of reviews from products that I received or picked up during the holidays, but stated that I needed some time to test-run them before really touting their pass or fail status. Once I get my camera skills checked, they will be up for show!

But speaking of gifts--one of my favorite gifts this holiday was that from Yellow Box Beauty! I had been wanting to see for myself as to whether or not it would be worth signing up for this makeup-of-the-month club, but sure enough I luckily received a subscription under the tree. My first box has in fact arrived, and inside I discovered a collection of goodies from Face Time Cosmetics. I was taken back by the number of products, and the fact that they all matched my skin tone perfectly. I later found out that my Santa was able to choose between "warm" or "cool" when signing me up for the service. Blush, shadow, lipstick, liners...they're all gorgeous, and from a line I would have never known about otherwise! I found that Face Time offers special bridesmaid packages as well--hmmm... ;)

If you're on the hunt for a gift, but aren't completely sure of which products that special someone would be interested in, this may be the perfect solution. Each month, you can look forward to a surprise mail delivery full of some of the happiest things on earth!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Ace of Bases...


Mineral Makeup. It's everywhere, isn't it? I can vaguely remember the very first Bare Escentuals commercials, and running to the store to pick up my own shade. They promised me it was everything natural and more...and then it broke me out (not to mention, at the time the skin match left a bit to be desired). What was I to do? Swear off mineral makeup of course!

And now...it is as though we are barraged with lines swearing that they are mineralizing everything from their blushes to shadows. I've stayed far, far away from all of these "silent killers" on the exception of one visit to my facial lady. She insisted on matching me to yet another mineral veil, and I looked at her with the eyes of someone on the verge of being slain. No...please don't irritate my freshly revived skin with that crap! A few swipes here, another couple dabs there...voila. Perfect coverage, no telling that it was makeup, and whaddya know...no breakout!

I waited--I know, it's hardly believable--two years before purchasing. Why? I don't know...I can exert patience at times when I try really really hard ;) The good stuff? It's Jane Iredale'sPurePressed Base (SPF 20) . My shade is Fawn (part of their "Global" line...hahaha). It goes on like a breeze, and sets--healthy finish, not cakey or matte--within a minute. This and some mascara, and I'm off to work!

PS. Happy Inauguration Day! Isn't the First Family just so lovely?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Weekend Inspiration

"If I can't be beautiful, I want to be invisible." -Chuck Palahniuk

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Mario Mario


A week or so ago, I went to the Mario Badescu skincare website to take a "skin regimen" questionnaire. After completing it, they gave me a play by play recommendation as to what their experts felt would suit me best. I opted not to buy right away, although I must say that I have LOVED everything that I have ever purchased from the line. Their drying lotion works wonders on blemishes and the rolling face peel may be the most exfoliating thing money can buy. In general, the line doesn't do a whole lot of advertising--which is possibly due to the huge celebrity cult following that they seem to have held over the years. Just a couple (or maybe a few?) days after filling out my info, I received an email in my inbox asking whether or not I would like to receive sample sizes of each of the recommended products...for free! You already know I clicked the Send it to Me NOW button, and I received it yesterday. Normally I don't do reviews on products until I've had ample time to test them, but I'm so happy with how my skin has felt throughout the day, I just had to post. This is what I received, and how I'm feeling thus far:
  • Enzyme Cleansing Gel: I've used enzyme cleansers in the past, and I think papaya may really be one of the best things for my skin. It leaves it squeaky and smooth.
  • Cucumber Cleansing Lotion: Let's just say I forgot how effective toners can be...
  • Hyaluronic Eye Cream: Very thick and moisturizing. As moisturizing as my castor oil.
  • Hydro-Moisturizer w/Vitamin C: A perfect morning base lotion for makeup
  • Chamomile Night Cream: This is where I almost lost it. I've never even touched a cream with this sort of consistency. It sunk in immediately but had a hydrating finish that was beyond me.
  • Strawberry Face Scrub: I've been meaning to purchase this for some time now, and just haven't. It smells just like it says, and is gentle yet effective.
As you can tell, I'm really enjoying the line, and everything I've tested so far was totally complimentary! I completely recommend filling out the questionairre as you'll never know otherwise if you'll end up loving the line as much as I have (so far)!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Wig Out!


And...the music is done! It was fun while it lasted, but I want to thank those of you who responded to the quiz about whether blog music is annoying. For me, it is and it isn't, but I suppose a lot of that has to do with whether you like the song choices in the first place. "I'm way too cooooool for you boyyyy..." I'll miss it. Ah well, I can listen to it on iTunes ;)

First and foremost I want to congratulate Enchante, who is the winner of the giveaway. Great job on your answer...makes me want some blueberry pancakes right now! I'll be sure to get those shadow liners to you right away. Enjoy!

Thirdly, I have found something so perfect that I can hardly type fast enough to reveal it. It's a new mascara. There are many favorite things that make up my list of must-haves, and I'm always open to replacing older ones with new discoveries--if they make the cut! Unfortunately, in the process of finding new discoveries that are worthwhile, I end up with a lot of duds...which probably can be given away to anyone interested...but that's neither here nor there. So, let's get down to business. One big problem I have with mascara is that it either doesn't lengthen enough, or provide my lashes with the fullness that I crave. Once that situation is taken care of, I have to face the obstacle of my constant squinting. I'm sorta kinda blind (and desperately need lasik eye surgery...any sponsors?!), so the result of not wearing glasses or contacts is...um, blindness. I squint, therefore I smudge. How have I been avoiding this? By never ever using regular mascara on my lower lashes, and instead using Blinc's Kiss Me. The idea is that the mascara coats each lash with a tube-like paint that only is removed under water with fingers. It's pretty fantastic. However, because of the lengthening issue, Kiss Me doesn't really do it for me on the upper lashes.

There always has to be better, right? And if there is, I'm determined to find it. I have. It's called Imju Fiberwig Mascara, and it is the best-selling mascara in Japan--for good reason. I shouldn't even go further...get to Sephora.

Okay, so back to this.

Like Kiss Me, the removal process is identical, which assists me in avoiding all smudging. However, because of the fiber bits that are part of the formula, it lengthens to no end. NO END! As in, I accidentally ripped out a quarter of my lashes on my right eye last month (nevermind about it..I was in too much of a hurry. Lesson learned), and they are growing in as little baby hairs. After using this stuff, they were the same length as the rest of their friends! Want longer lashes? Just keep swiping!

I was informed about this stuff by an amazing makeup artist (more on her later), and to her I will be forever grateful! Thanks to her, I may..just may, forgo the lash extensions I was considering, come four months!

Monday, January 12, 2009

More Lining Goodness...


It's been a couple of years now, but it didn't seem like too long ago that my little sis made her way to the Middle East to spend what felt like ages away from her family (no, she's not in the military). She saw many amazing things--but what I wanted to know about was all things beauty. When she returned, her hair was blacker than black and her arms were henna'd to the nines. How were women lining their eyes with such precision and everyday stamina? It seemed to me that in all of her photos chronicling her time there, those beauties had amazing sultry and darkly lined lids. She had seen the great things that women had to share about beauty and was ready to divulge a must have secret.

Surma. Kohl. Kajal. Kehal. Whatever you prefer to call it. However you recognize it is irrevelant...because it is simply phenomenal. I kid you not, when I say that these women have the lockdown on lining. Traditionally, Kohl is a mixture of various ingredients (including soot) that is used to line (often the waterline) in one quick swipe. It is debateable if this is the only way to use it, but I must say that it trumps all other methods. Either way, it's easy to find a quick tutorial online. One thing that must be kept in mind, is that many formulas have a high lead content (unfortunately, these ones tend to be the brands that are cheapest and most common!), which leads you to one of the very few that are without lead. For this reason, Guerlain has been very good to me, but because of the price tag, I knew that there had to be better.

This month, L'Oreal released their dupe--High Intensity Pigment Kohl. It's part of the HIP line (which offers the very pigmented paints and shadows that are similar to MAC), and comes in a variety of colors. This was surprising to me, as all I've ever known in loose kohl, is black, brown or blue. I was able to pick up the gold shade, and it is fabulous! I wasn't sure that it would have the same smoldering effect, but it is in fact eye brightening with just a hint of glow around the rim of the eye. If you are planning to be in a Walgreens or Target anytime soon, I suggest that you pick them up and give them a try. The applicator is a tad more angular than its Guerlain counterpart, but there is no need to worry if the powder falls in the eye. It's actually healthy for the eye and helps to clean it! Could it get any better? Only picking up the burgundy shade now, shall tell...

PS. Today's the last day to enter the giveaway! Don't be shy ;)

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Read and Mix Up!


If I were to have a top ten list of things I like to do, reading would fill one of the top positions. I just can't help myself. As a kid, I won all the awards you could, for reading the most books throughout the year (this resulted in a lifetime of glasses and lots of squinting in the dark), which only led to prizes of gift certificates for even more books! The one non-negotiable thing that I know I'd like in a custom-made home is no, not a walk-in closet, not a pantry the size of Texas (although those would all be nice too!), but a library. One where all the walls are actually built-in shelves, and one needs a ladder to reach the stuff up top.

Which leads me to this...a book by one of my favorite makeup artists, chalk full of beauty recipes from around the world (Can you imagine? Recipes having to do with beauty? I'm unaware of a better mix!) Enter, Shalini Vadhera's Passport To Beauty. There are seven chapters--six of which are devoted to different parts of the world. Chapter six just happens to be about the "Lands Down Under", which of course spans the tricks of the trade from Australia to Fiji. Try out this quick recipe with items from your kitchen, to fight aging skin. With kiwi as the main ingredient, you can be sure that the fruit's essential fatty acids and huge doses of vitamin C will jumpstart your tired looking canvas!

Kiwi Moisturizing Cleanser

1 kiwi fruit
2 tbl plain yogurt
1 tbl orange juice
1 tbl almond oil
1 tbl honey (manuka, if there's any lying around!)
1 tsp finely ground almonds

Puree the kiwi fruit in a food processor until liquid. While it's processing, add yogurt,
juice, almond oil, and ground almonds. Process until thick.

Massage mixture gently over neck, face, and decolletage to cleanse. Rinse well.

Monday, January 05, 2009

It IS the Balm...


There are few things that I can convince the Mr. to indulge in. Okay...even as I type that, I feel as though I'm fibbing fibbing fibbing (remember what that's from? Nevermind). Truth be told, there are few things that I can get him to indulge in that he'll admit to. As for what that includes, it's lip products (he's always caught somewhere between Carmex and something too difficult to re-order), and skincare. Christmas threw me for a loop, when it hit me that everything he really needs, he pretty much has. What was I to get him, to add a little extra giving to the season?

The scene: Pre-Christmas, and I'm walking through Nordstrom. Something catches my eye, and I know it only too well. It's Jack Black's Intense Therapy Lip Balm, but in a 3-pack. I was first introduced to the stuff a few years ago, when a friend's husband pulled it out of his pocket at dinner. I asked to try it, and then the next thing you know we were passing it around the circle. It was so minty and sort of masculine, in a way that even the kinds of guys who sport lifting belts at the gym (and moan and groan all super loud so that you know they're lifting HEAVY weights) could not be embarrassed for owning. So after all that nastiness of lip product sharing, he picked up one (which later became 2, 3, 4...) of his own. It was all normal mint flavored until this 3-pack came along. Now he's able to choose from Acai Berry and Lemon Chamomile as well! They're still available, and are packed with SPF25 so you don't have to worry about your lips turning ten shades of darker-than-your-face. It was the easy answer to the guy who has everything. Only thing is, if he doesn't get to utilizing them all very quickly, they will disappear into the black hole also known as my purse.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Weekend Inspiration

"Beauty without expression is boring." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year!


Happy New Year! I hope that all of you had a great time celebrating--regardless of what you did. As for myself, last night was wonderful. It was perfectly chill, and full of laughter and only the slight chance of rain. We began with a delicious meal at an Italian restaurant I've been aching to try--and that is where I rediscovered my love of gnocchi. After, we just barely made it to the lounge that our friends were at, in time to make the countdown to midnight. Not more than 30 minutes past the new year, did we call it a night and shimmy ourselves back to the car to go home. Party animals? Not really. Full and so very tired? Totally.

2009 is going to be full of all sorts of crazy. I'm ready for it. But because of the events that are lined up for the next 12 months, don't be surprised if my posts will circulate widely around all that bridal and travel goodness. Btw, is the idea of a free gift just not your cup of tea? You only have until the 12th!
Anyways, in other news...I think I have found a gloss that I am loving even more than NARS' Turkish Delight. If you really really know me, then you probably are well aware of the fact that I like Kim Kardashian. Sort of her look, sort of her weird personality...sort of, I don't know why. That's irrelevant though. When I found out that she loved Turkish Delight, of course I had to figure out if I did too! Well...it's just okay. It's one of those colors that look really nice if you're making an effort at a nude lip, but because of the formulation, it tends to glob up a bit at the middle of the lip. Before applying, you must ensure that your lips are well moisturized--which if you don't wait long enough, can alter the finished look by the time you finally apply the gloss. Although I don't want to keep adding on the negatives, it also has a very plasticky smell...so for $24, it leaves a bit to be desired. I do admit that I really enjoy the colors that the line offers, but these are just some things to keep in mind before purchasing.

Which brings me to what I found. NYX's Goddess of the Night Lip Gloss is amazing. That's the easiest way to put it. It's not sticky, and is super moisturizing--while offering many of the same shades that NARS does. I picked up the color Perfect, as an attempt to create the same look as Turkish Delight, and I am in love. The applicator tip (which is bent) feels soft like a little mit brushing over your lips, and reapplication is very infrequent. Although it's just a tad more sheer than TD, it only feels as though reapplication is necessary about every hour and a half or so (which I think is very good for a gloss). My girlfriend was also so pleased with the gloss that she's forgoing the NARS line to order this online. How much, you say? $5! My luck with finding these dupes, is sure to bring me pure joy in the new year :)

What did you do to ring in 2009?
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