Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Can’t-miss-out-promo: Save 25% on!

I love MAC, you love MAC, we all love MAC! So how excited am I to pass you the scoop about MAC’s rarer-than-rare online offer: Save 25% off of all MAC products today and tomorrow at only, excluding VIVA GLAM products. Just use the offer code MACFF9 at checkout. Plus enjoy free shipping with purchases of over $75 or more (not hard to do). For the nitty gritty, check out: You have until midnight tomorrow!
Image courtesy of MAC Cosmetics

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Lip service: C.O. Bigelow Lemon Lip Cream

One of my countless gripes about the winter season is the toll it takes on my lips. Enter: scrumptious smelling and tasting C.O. Bigelow Lemon Lip Cream – reminds me of lemon pie (so yum!). Not your typical, run-of-the-mill variety, this lip conditioner is packed with oodles of super-saturated emollients that hydrate and soothe chapped lips. The glossy texture will give your lips a lusciously drenched pout, without the sticky factor. Application tip: layer under and over lip colour to up the moisturizing factor. Run to your nearest Bath & Body Works to pick up this stuff.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Victoria Beckham for Indian Vogue

Posh graces the cover of November’s bridal issue for Vogue India. Donning a flowing hairpiece, Victoria traded her micro-minis for designer Indian bridal wear, including a Tarun Tahiliani lehenga along with a traditional bridal jewelry including a tikka. Victoria is said to be blown away by the details and embellishments of Indian outfits, and is quoted to “feeling like an Indian princess” after the shoot. While I think that putting her on the cover is probably a calculated decision to increase newsstand sales, I feel that the readership may have mixed reviews about foreign celebs, so it’s wise to limit their exposure to occasional appearances.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Cause-worthy: Estée Lauder’s Pink Ribbon Collection

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and to bring attention to the cause, Estée Lauder has launched its Pink Ribbon Collection. The limited edition collection includes Elizabeth Hurley Lip Color Collection, a compilation of the star’s 3 favorite lip glosses: Pink (limited edition), Rose and Pearl, tucked in a pink (of course!) zippered travel case.

Next is the Evelyn Lauder Lip Color Collection which consists of 3 lipsticks: Bali Rose (limited edition), Candy and Rich Berry also featured in a pink case.

You can moreover show your support by purchasing a twinkling, gem encrusted pin to support the worthy cause.

Part of the proceeds will help the company donate $500,000 to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, so you can feel good about drenching yourself in shades of pretty pinks.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Red carpet ready: Thandie Newton

Spotted: Sultry actress Thandie Newton dropped by in Toronto during the Toronto International Film Festival, looking striking in the pixilated graphic mini-dress. Thandie, which means ‘beloved’ in Zulu, has a Zimbabwean mother and English father, and grew up in the UK. For me, she defines global beauty, with her luminous skin and stunning features. This shot captures her graceful elegance impeccably.

Photo courtesy of Celebrities Wonder

Monday, September 15, 2008

Hand therapy: Biotherm Biomains

Moving is hard work; that’s where I’ve been these past few weeks. All that pointing of where the boxes should go has taken a toll on my hands :). The fix: Biotherm Biomains hand treatment. This silky lotion spreads smoothly, leaving soft, moist (read: not greasy) hands, and is also touted as an age delaying and nail strengthening formula. Super rich ingredients include glycerin, D-panthenol and UV filters, creating a protective barrier for sun spots, while nourishing skin texture and up-ing the suppleness factor. The light scent is not overpowering or lingering. At least my hands look good – far from what my new house looks like right now ♥.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Makeup brushes 101: Powder brush

Creating a flawless complexion calls for investing in proper, quality powder brush, so go ahead and splurge on one – guilt-free. What to look for: a full, dense head of soft natural fiber bristles such as squirrel, pony or goat hair, otherwise a blend of these in a tapered, dome shape. The ferrule (the metal part of the brush connecting the wooden handle and bristles together) needs to be tightly secured and hold the hair tightly in place – the best kinds are made of nickel or brass. A superior quality brush will likely be hand crafted with birch, ramin or linden wood handles. I heart this Smashbox Powder Brush # 1 for its weight-y aspect and seamless application of powders, just swirl in your powder compact and sweep all over face for even, blended coverage. Tip: Don’t be afraid to pick up brushes and run the bristles through your fingers for a quick fall-out test. A few strands falling out are acceptable, but if hair continues to fall out, move on to another brush, until you find one you are happy with.

Makeup brushes 101 is a series of articles focusing on an assortment of brush types, brands, accessories as well as use and care.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Product Review: Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge

For rushed mornings (and I have plenty of them) I like to rely on multi-tasking products like Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge for Lips and Cheeks in Blushed Rose. It’s offered in a cream formula so is best applied on top of moisturizer or foundation, before setting powder. What I am fond of is: it’s easy to apply – you can simply use your fingers or a synthetic fiber brush to dabble on cheeks for a stained, dewy texture, or build hue intensity by depositing added layers to the skin. Blot this 2-in-1 emollient with fingers onto lips for a sheer, supple consistency or use a lip brush for a vibrant effect. Best part: it doesn’t hog too much space in my makeup bag.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Buzz-worthy beauty ingredient: Coffee

Even though I’m not a coffee drinker, I feel the need for one today, to get me out of weekend mode. Besides providing a morning jolt, java is being touted as the latest beauty fix ingredient in skincare products. Indonesian spas are distinguished for using ground coffee as exfoliating body scrubs and cellulite treatments. Caffeine contains smoothing agents that work as antioxidants, dehydrating fat cells and shrinking blood vessels, resulting in decreasing the appearance of dimpled skin, when using cellulite products. Bear in mind, these results are temporary, as nothing rids cellulite completely, but it’s good to know there are products available to reduce the look of it. Topical application of caffeine-based eye creams can help you look more wide awake; thanks to its de-puffing properties. Who knew caffeine had beauty benefits? ♥

Friday, August 15, 2008

Hair therapy: Schwarzkopf Spray Conditioner

Memories of waking up to a tangled mess that was my hair are thankfully, just that now: memories. My sanity-saver is Schwarzkopf BC Bonacure Moisture Kick Spray Conditioner (a mouth-full, I know). This stuff transforms my hair from Bride-of-Frankenstein to…simply normal hair. Problem: My hair is fine yet dense, making for knotted locks. Solution: I spray on this leave-in conditioner post shower to restore moisture balance and smooth the ends of my hair. This two part formula consists of pro-vitamin B-5, a miracle ingredient for re-hydrating hair, combined with amino acid for deep penetration, repairing inner hair structure and protecting dry, brittle ends. I found that using this conditioner improved the overall touch and feel as well as the condition of my hair, over an extended period of time (I’ve been using it for 2 years). Best part: Unlike scores of other leave-in treatments, this blue and white potion does not weigh hair down.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Editor’s pick: Beautyblender makeup sponge

My first encounter with this genius, egg-shaped makeup marvel happened when fellow beauty addict and workmate offered me one (thanks, Kristen!). I’ve now been using this hot-pink, oval device, a.k.a., the Beautyblender (available at Holt’s) for over a month now, and am impressed. Apparently I’m not the only one; the egg-sponge has a staunch and obsessive following, from pro makeup artists to celebs alike, in addition to a myriad of rave reviews in beauty magazines. The cheap-o, measly, standard-variety sponge – with its pointy corners – has got nothing on this, especially on the streak-free front. With its elliptical form, the Beautyblender allows for no-brainer blending, resulting in a streak-free, almost airbrush-effect application. Plus the soft, tapered tip let’s you get into the contours and hard-to-reach spots of your face, while the rounded base works wonders for the forehead and cheeks. The trick to using this sponge is by stippling and feathering the makeup onto skin. This “why-didn’t-I-think-of-it!” invention was produced by dynamic-duo, Hollywood makeup artists, Rea Ann Silva and Veronica Lorenz. They recommend washing it after each use (note: it’s normal of this sponge to expand when wet) and placing it in the insert pedestal to dry. Since it’s non-allergenic and latex and odor free, the sponge should last up to three months with proper care. Best part: once you’re done with the sponge, you can recycle it, instead of tossing it out. Info about the Beautysender program is on the packaging.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Gift-worthy: Crabtree & Evelyn soap

What do you give to your friend who has everything? I stumble on this dilemma from time to time, and try my best to avoid resorting to gift certificates. My usual approach is to find a present that is luxurious, indulgent and something that the recipient probably won’t end up buying for themselves. Crabtree & Evelyn’s Triple-Milled Soaps are all that, and then some. Produced in traditions of 19th century French soap makers, each soap is concocted by following a 30-step process, and are offered in an array of skin-nourishing assorted oils including almond, jojoba, rosewater, lavender, aloe vera and others. I’ve tested and adore the Avocado one; it left my skin supple with a subtle scent, minus any residue. The soap comes in a box of 3, ideal for dispensing some well-intended decadence.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Backstage scoop: India Fashion Week, F/W 2008

Sweeping, Amy Winehouse-inspired black eyeliner dictated runway glamour during India’s Fall/Winter Fashion week. This look requires a little practice, and a steady hand. Using a pencil liner, line your upper and lower lash line, then switch to a liquid liner (I’d recommend a felt-tip variety) and trace over upper lash liner. Next (and here’s the somewhat tricky part) extend the liquid liner towards the outer corners of your eye, making it gradually thicker, flicking it in an upward motion at the tail. The key to this look is balance between both eyes. Smudge lower lash liner for a smoky effect, if desired. Polish off with mascara, and pair these dramatic eyes with matte skin, sheer blush and pink gloss, to mimic the look. Here’s a behind-the-scenes-glimpse at a model getting primped for Vijay Arora’s show.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Trend watch: Fashion mags go global

Style bibles such as the likes of Vogue, Marie Claire, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar and GQ have established worldwide appeal by launching versions in foreign languages. Dominating the pack is fashion and beauty heavyweight, Vogue, which has a current international roster of British, French, German, Greek, Indian, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Australian, Japanese, Korean, Taiwanese, Chinese and Mexican editions, along with its American publication. These glossies are not mere translations of the English kind, but are produced in, and focused on their respective, unique cultures, drumming up devoted readership. After the flourishing success of Vogue India in October 2007, GQ India is gearing up to follow suit, with its debut issue, expected to drop in October of this year. Marie Claire China, where brand names are all the rage, has swiftly become a platform for designers to promote their lines. Advertisers are taking note, and tapping into the ethnic model and celeb circuit for ad campaigns and endorsements, so readers can relate to their products. Despite a plethora of national publications, internationally iconic titles with cultural flavour have proven to be the winning formula for these magazines.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Product review: Bare Escentuals Get Started Eyes

I picked up the BE bareMinerals Get Started Eyes kit a couple of months ago, to see for myself what all the fuss of mineral-based makeup is all about. This 7 piece package contains 3 top quality brushes: a contour shadow brush, an eye liner brush and an eye defining brush. The collection also includes 3 universally-appealing mineral eye shadows in Vanilla Sugar, Peach Puff, Soft Focus Explore (a subtle taupe-y brown) along with an eye lining shadow in Fashionista (a rich, chocolate brown), in addition to a how-to, instructional DVD for makeup rookies. I tested out the shades, and found them suitable for daily wear. The refined powder blends together pretty much flawlessly, delivering understated contour and highlight for a natural, no-makeup look. The portability factor is low – I had a few spills, and plus, loose powder tends to dust away and scatter easily, so it’s best to leave this kit on your dresser. Verdict: I consider it a decent, basic-colour kit that is simple to apply, if you are just starting to build your makeup collection or need to replenish your stash with neutral shades.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Editor’s pick: Label Whore by Too Faced

Too Faced: Label Whore. Hmm…how about that for an eye shadow name? You shouldn’t expect anything less from the edgy-glam, celeb-craved brand, Too Faced Cosmetics. I have to admit, I was lured just as much by the name as by the shade. This vintage inspired, iridescent blue and metallic brown blend with flecks of shimmer is my favourite eye shadow right now, for its smoky-eyes-in-one-sweep abilities. Packaged in a black lacquered, retro-Hollywood style compact, this shade delivers saturated pigment with no crease-setting, so it’s best to dip a tiny amount on your eye shadow brush, and work the colour in. The external pink box packaging cleverly exclaims: Forget Wall St., invest in makeup! I couldn’t agree more.♥

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Makeup brush 411: How to clean your brushes

High quality, natural bristle makeup brushes are a splurge-worthy investment. So it’s essential to keep them clean and germ-free. Washing your brushes regularly will deliver a consistent and true colour application, not to mention keep your skin in the clear. For daily-brush-use makeup mavens, I recommend scrupulous washings every 2 weeks. Start with mixing 1 tablespoon of mild-formula shampoo (like J&J’s Baby Shampoo) with lukewarm water filled in a large container – avoid water touching the wood handle (long-term exposure to water may loosen the handle from the metal tube, called ferrule). Let brushes soak in the sudsy water for about 10 minutes – this will dissolve impurities; hence the murky water. Rinse brush hair under running water and lay flat to dry overnight. To freshen up brushes in-between washes, try a spray brush cleaner such as Vincent Longo’s Hygienic Professional Brush Cleaner to remove built-up and residue.

Makeup brush 411 is a segment of articles focusing on an assortment of brush types, brands, accessories as well as what each brush is, and how to use and care for it.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Cult Classic: Shu Uemura eyelash curler

It takes more than a medley of innovative mascara formulas and wands to get fab lashes. Those on the mission for truly dramatic peepers can reap from the benefits of an eyelash curler. Using a curler helps pick up and separate droopy, pin-straight lashes – creating an up-swept curve, opening up the eye area and amplifying the flirty, batty appeal. Shu Uemura, legendary Japanese makeup artist and international icon in the beauty industry, engineered perhaps the perfect eyelash curler. The shu uemura eyelash curler, a makeup addict must-have, is designed to fit every eye shape, including Asian eyes, and those with less-than-ample set of lashes. The “mushroom” shaped, rounded silicone pad forms a curved angle, instead of a crimped, zigzag effect produced with square pads. What sets this curling tool apart from the bunch is quality (the difference is noticeable), attention to balance of the contour cage and ergonomic handles for precise pressure. For wider, brighter, awake-looking eyes, open the curler and position it snugly to base of upper lash roots (make sure lashes are mascara-free), slowly squeeze handles to clamp and hold (about 10 to 15 seconds is enough) and gently release and repeat. Best part: with my shu uemura, my lashes stay curled throughout the day.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Premiere pose: Blake Lively

Spotted: Blake Lively, at the New York City premiere of “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2" yesterday. The 20-year-old actress, who plays Serena on Gossip Girl, sizzles in a Gucci summer-tangerine, tiered maxi dress, while strutting for paparazzi. She pulls off the glam factor with an air of breezy chic – her beach-wave blonde tresses, mixed in with a couple of thin braids up top spells fresh elegance. Makeup wise, I’m loving her peachy-pink flushed blush, paired with a hint of overall gold iridescent shimmer and coral lips. Lively, along with America Ferrera from Ugly Betty, Alexis Bledel of Gilmore Girls fame, and Amber Tamblyn, stars in this chick flick sequel, based on Ann Brashares’ best-selling novels of the same title. The movie, opening August 6, follows four lifelong friends gearing up for college and a getting a taste of independence, all the while keeping in touch with each other. Even though her on-and-off-screen beau Penn Badgley skipped out of the limelight, Lively’s Gossip Girl cast mates Leighton Meester and Chace Crawford were in attendance. On a side note, I can’t wait for the new season of Gossip Girl to start on September 1, and catch up with juicy scandals of snobby, rich teens.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Sneak Peak: Manish Arora for MAC Cosmetics

Manish Arora, India’s vibrant fashion designer is creating an absolute frenzy amid of beauty addicts (including yours truly) by collaborating with MAC Cosmetics for a Rajasthani-themed makeup collection dubbed MAC Manish Arora Collection, rumoured to be launched in October of this year. Arora, renowned for his bright and pulsating designs and fantasy makeup creations on the runway, catapulted India on the international fashion scene by showcasing his collections at London and Hong Kong fashion weeks during the late ‘90’s. His makeup collection consists of a dazzling 6 eyeshadow palette, although the shades are from MAC’s permanent collection with 2 shades brought back as re-promotes from other limited-edition collections, so in other words, no original eyeshadow colours have been produced. Not that it matters, especially after you lay eyes on the brilliant fuchsia, gem-encrusted compact, which is reason enough to get your hands on one. Same story goes for the 2 blushes; Devil and Pink Swoon are from MAC’s permanent assortment, repackaged in orange, gold embellished casing. The limited edition hues are Kiss Manish Lipstick, Pink Manish and Shine Manish Lipglass. The grouping of colours, along with Arora’s vivid packaging design makes this makeup line too tempting to resist.♥♥♥♥