Tuesday, September 26, 2006

One Hour, Thirteen Minutes Left

of one of the greatest makeup sales EVER!!!!! New brand e.l.f. (eyes. lips. face.) is having a ridiculous sale for today only. 90% of their makeup is on sale for just $1. Yes, just a buck!!!!!!!! Shipping is guaranteed for only $5. These are prices that just don't happen, so when they do, you take full advantage. I just bought a full makeup brush set, all kinds of lip gloss, eye shadow, and other goodies for less than $30.

And, despite the ridiculous sale prices, e.l.f. has some really great products. I'd already read about them in magazines for the past few months, so this sale was all the motivation I needed to try them out. The standout product so far is the fully customizable compact kit. You get a palette with four blanks that can fit a huge range of eye shadows and lip glosses. You an put all your makeup needs into one palette in your purse. They also have premade compacts for those of us who needs less choices in life, not more. Another cute, but probably useless item is a mini lip gloss that clips onto your cell phone. Now, nobody really ever needs something like that, but it's cute and when it's only a dollar, why not try it????

Sorry for posting this so late in the day ladies. I was out to dinner and didn't hear about it until I got home. But, after I finished purchasing my stuff, you know I came right over here to inform the rest of the world. The sale is only going on until 11:59 pm tonight, so get over there quick.

Go quickly, buy all kinds of goodies, and don't forget that Ms. New Beauty sent you!

Update - so apparently the $1 makeup at e.l.f. isn't a sale, that's the normal price for all of their products. If you're just now reading this post, you can still knock yourself out; it's never too late.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Local Favorite

This post will only be relevant for those pretty ladies in the Boston area, but all others are welcomed and encouraged to continue on, just for the fun of it.

It's always been hard for me to find a good pedicurist. The thing is - I don't need pedicures. I take the pumice stone to my heels every day in the shower, and religiously use Kerasal and Aquaphor on my feet. So, there's no need to pay someone else to decrust my tootsies. Pedicures for me are more of a mental health benefit. Letting my feet soak and having someone else paint my toes does wonders to reduce stress. This is my weekly bit of me time.

The problem is finding a good value in pedicurists. I find that most spas and salons don't give pedicures that appropriate attention. The result is a rushed experience that surely isn't worth the $75 I'm paying for it. The only other option was the corner nail salon, but most lack sanitary environments. That foot spa has always looked like a germ and bacteria soup to me. I so cannot relax and go to my peaceful place when I'm constantly wondering if I'm going to contract a life threatening infection in the pursuit of perfectly painted toes.

I finally found a great pedicurist - Wet Paint Nail Spa. This shop is so cute. The decor makes you feel like you and your girlfriends are having a toe painting party at home and the girls who work there are great.

Decor and personnel aside, the service is past outstanding. First, they give you ample time to just let your feet soak. Truly this is the best part of the pedi for me and I'm always so annoyed when nail techs gloss over this important step. This sets the mood for the rest of the service. Michelle, my nail tech today, let my feet soak for at least fifteen minutes in water that was just hot enough to relax me, but not so hot that I started to sweat or got slightly burned. She then continued on with cleaning, trimming and scrubbing my nails. Every spa pedicure at Wet Paint is guaranteed to last at least an hour and includes a fabulous foot and leg massage. And, all of their foots baths and tools are cleaned with hospital strength sanitizers. So, I can truly relax with no germophobe worst case scenarios running through my head. I swear this place was designed just for girls like me.

Go, pamper yourself and your feet, and don't forget to tell them that Ms. New Beauty sent you!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Everyday All-Stars

As you probably noticed, I've added my Everyday All-Stars to the right of the screen. These are the products that carry me through every day, even the ones were I feel like ca-ca and look even worse. Days that are my "no makeup days" still include these four products. Now I reviewed the last two, my mascara and my mattifier, before in this blog. And, although I've reviewed and recommended the first two, Biotherm Aquasource and Tarte Cheek Stain, I did that review on my myspace page. So the info is available only to the select few who are my friends over there. I'm reposting those reviews here so that everyone can benefit.

Biotherm Aquasource

Despite my flawless matte finish, I naturally have oily skin. So finding the right moisturizing products is always a challenge. Regular moisturizers are too greasy and leave my nose shining like Tiffany diamonds. The problem with a lot of moisturizers for oily skin is that the product is
composed of millions of molecules that have to break down before they are absorbed into the skin. While they are breaking down, the oil glands start producing sebum because they think
that the skin is dried out. So the result is natural oil plus the moisturizer, hence my shiny nose.

I've finally found the perfect moisturizer for oily skin - Biotherm Aquasource Oligo Therapy Gel. But this Biotherm gel is different. It's composed of thermal spring water that sinks directly into the skin. There's no lag period so the oil glands don't start producing more oil. It leaves my skin feeling perfect, like I'm underwater. And, because it's a gel, it's light enough to use throughout the summer. Plus, it includes vitamins E and F to nourish the skin.

Tarte Cheek Stain

For blush, Tarte Cheek Stain is perfect. It leaves the perfect amount of color for your face. The color looks like it's coming from within, not like it's sitting on top of your face. It gives you a natural flush, like you just ran up a flight of stairs. The solid stick makes application beyond easy. Just dab directly on your cheeks and blend a little with your fingers. That's is. For real. And, most of the time, I don't even blend with my fingers. I've been using it so long that I've figured out exactly where to apply and how many dabs it takes to achieve my desired look.

I only use Tarte in Flush, a raspberry shade. Brightly colored blushes can look scary at first, but for darker skin, you need a brighter color for it to even register. As long as you use a light application, bright colors make the glow look so much more natural than light ones. On me, even those shades that are supposed to be universally flattering (read: Nars Orgasm) can look ashy and ridiculous.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The More Things Change

This is a slightly random post, but I don't like the new format of Marie Claire. The content is the same, no doubt about it. Still a good place for layouts and hair and makeup, but I just don't like the new delivery of it. The whole magazine has changed to more grown up and serious format, I guess that's what it is. All the bright colors and fun pictures are gone, and replace with something far more serious and stern. They've made the magazine look kind of like a look book that someone put together. It's not bad, just different. I guess I just wasn't ready to open up my monthly MC and not recognize the inside.

The one thing I don't like is the quotes they've added to the fashion spreads. Instead of just shooting the clothes and models and letting the reader establish the context in their own mind, they have these little quotes that are telling you what's supposed to be going on. That part I don't like and can really do without.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Your Inner Iman & Heavenly Heels

I've always been giving product recommendations to friends and acquaintances. I've turned some people into lifelong users of certain products, like a not-so-bashful girl I know. Now, I do get questions randomly. Although I like to think that I know everything and have all the answers, but sometimes I don't. A while back, a sweet girlie asked about setting sprays and finishers. I hadn't tried one yet, so I had no personal knowledge of a good one. But, things do change.

Model in a Bottle

I've found my inner Iman, literally one of the world's most beautiful women (inside and out from what I've seen and read). Well, my inner Iman isn't really "inner." Model in a Bottle is a great finishing spray. After the whole makeup routine is finished, I mean after concealer, foundation, blush, powder, eye shadow, eye liner, whatever else you use, just spray this evenly on your face and let it dry for a few seconds. Your makeup won't run, it doesn't mess with the effectiveness of sunscreen, and it will keep you matte all day. Now, it wasn't enough to tame the shine on my nose, but one product will never be enough to handle that. But, it did keep my blush perfectly in place, no touch ups necessary. This is perfect for anyone who likes to do makeup in the morning and not even have to think about it for the rest of the day.


I raved about this product years ago and every person who's tried it has loved it just as much as I have. I've never heard a bad review about Kerasal. The package claims that it can soften even the driest feet, and I believe that it's possible. Kerasal contains salicylic acid to exfoliate dead skin on your feet, and urea, a chemical that really helps moisturizers penetrate through thick layers of dead, dry skin. It comes in either an ointment, lotion, or creme. The ointment is the original formula and in my opinion, the best. Just apply the ointment after bathing and at night before bed and you'll notice softer feet after a week. Cotton socks help lock moisture in and protect your sheets. People with the crustiest of crusties may even want to add Bliss Softening Socks to the regime for increased penetration. The best part of it all, youask - Kerasal is sold at every drug store or pharmacy in the foot care aisle.

Two products - one new, one old, but both amazing. Buy, try, love, and don't forget that Ms. New Beauty sent you!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Like a Kid in a Candy Store

So you know I went to the Neiman's beauty event last night and had a ball. (I know I posted that it starts today, but I got my dates wrong, and yesterday was the kickoff, mea culpa). Well, Neiman's pulled out all the stops for us. They were doing a Breakfast at Tiffany's theme party and had actors and actresses there dressed in character and free cocktails for shoppers of drinking age. The gift bag was great!!! There's a nice size bottle of Marc Jacobs perfume, a sample of Jo Malone French Lime and a coupon for a sample of their body creme, Freeze eye creme, and my favorite a coupon for a sample of La Mer Eye Cream. Those in the know can attest that La Mer does not give out "free" samples - you have to buy to try.

My favorite sample was the Fresh Rose Rejuvenating Face Mask. I love, love, love the scent of fresh roses in any beauty product, so I was destined to fall for this one. The mask went on so smooth and didn't leave my face feeling dry or tight after rinsing off. I will definitely go and get a full jar of this one for fall, especially since I need to replace my Brown Sugar Body Polish anyway (2006 Best of Sephora Best Body Scrub winner).

Moving on, one of my favorite things about shopping in Boston is the fact that Neiman's, Saks, Sephora, and C.O. Bigelow are all downtown and connected in the same mall. So, after leaving the beauty event with a bag full of goodies, I figured "when in Rome . . . " and hit up the other stores and had a full fledged fall beauty spree last night. My two best finds - brushes and brows.

Kevyn Aucoin Beauty

The more I blog on beauty, the more I realize just how far back my deep, deep infatuation (I refuse to call it an obsession) with beauty and fashion go. Making Faces and Face Forward were two of my favorite books as a kid, thanks to a mom with good taste in literature. I was just amazed by the way this makeup artist could transform people with cosmetics. Kevyn Aucoin actually made a young man look just like Linda Evangelista. I was so saddened by his passing.

But his greatness lives on in a great beauty company. My fav, and most expensive, purchase from last night is his large blush brush. So worth the price. The size of your brush can determine if your brightly colored blush just awakens your face and makes you look like you've just been giggling for 30 minutes or if you look like you just graduated from Bozo U. The larger and fluffier the brush, the more evenly you can dispense your blush for just that natural hint of color. This one is so perfect. Plus, the Kevyn Aucoin brush line has been voted Allure's Best by Allure Magazine (b.k.a. The Beauty Bible).

Anastasia Beverly Hills

Anastasia is the Queen of Eyebrows, literally. Oprah Winfrey flies her private plane from Chicago to Beverly Hills every other week just to have this guru personally shape her brows. For everyone else who isn't Oprah, Anastasia has her own line of brow powders, stencils, waxes, and brushes so you can get Anastasia quality brows at home on your own.

Anastasia Brow Ex-press has everything that you need for beautiful brows. The kit, shaped like a small book, comes with two brow powders (blonde or brunette), four stencils, a brush, sealing wax, and an under brow highlighter powder. The two brow powders let you mix and match to find the right shades for you and the wax seals your look so you won't walk past a mirror at 3 pm and realize that the brows you painted on at 9 am are gone. The stencils didn't quite work for me, but they will probably be really helpful for those who are still determining the best brow shape. My only word of caution, be sure to apply the powder with a light touch and mix the colors so that they are believable for your complexion and hair color. Too much or too dark brow powder will leave you looking like Helga from Hey Arnold!

Try it, love it, and don't forget to tell them that Ms. New Beauty sent you!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The Things We Live For

There are things that each of us shopaholics and beauty junkie live for - the day after Christmas (which real shoppers know is waaay better than Black Friday), new colors for fall and spring, resort collections, sales at the outlets. Two of mine come every year around this time.

The Neiman Marcus Beauty Event

True confession, I'm in love with Neiman Marcus and I have been since I turned 16. Just a store that speaks to me. I can always find something there that I love. I count all of my Neiman's purchases as money well spent. Handbags, shoes, dresses, pants, and best of all - makeup. This is my all-time favorite beauty event. They really roll out the red carpet for you on Beauty night - samples galore, lots of attention, tons of people fawning and trying to make you look even more beautiful than you were when you walked in.

The best part is the gift bag. The actual bag itself is nothing to get excited about (I think this year is some red patent leather montrosity), it's what comes in it. With every $85 purchase, you get a giftbag full of tons of samples from some of the best products on the market. This year's bag has samples from Estee Lauder, Frederic Fekkai, Fresh (a company that has yet to disappoint me), Marc Jacobs, Clinique, La Prairie, and Jo Malone, among others. You can get the giftbag from either an in-store or online purchase, but really, you need to be in the store to feel the merriment of it all. This is like Christmas and who opens Christmas presents online. The only excuse is if you live more than 2 - 3 hours from a Neiman's.

The beauty event starts Friday and those who know will be there Friday before all the good stuff is gone.

Lucky Shops

This is the world's biggest sample sale. Imagine all the things that you love to see in Lucky magazine under one roof, for sale, at up to 70% off. Oh, I could faint from the excitement right now. This year, there will be vendors selling Marc by Marc Jacobs, Theory, See by Chloe, Tory Burch, and Catherine Malandrino. Plus, there's going to be handbags, accessories, jewelry and home furnishings all for sale. It's literally like the pages of Lucky have exploded.

Another confession, I missed Lucky Shops last year. I did, I did. I was interviewing for jobs and school was crazy and I just couldn't make it down for the sale. I hang my head in shame. I regret that to this day, especially since my shopping partner in crime bought the Botkier bag that I was contemplating spending $700 on for just $165!!!!! This year, I shall be redeemed. I just bought my ticket online today, so I will definitely be there.

Lucky Shops is November 9 - 10 in New York City. Those who know me know that I don't live in NYC, but three hours north in Boston. Those who really know me know that I don't give a damn and will be there shopping anyway. If you have to question why a woman would drive three hours for this sale, this just isn't the event for you. But trust, I will shop in your honor on that day. Oh, and it's a credit card only event, so make sure you pay those balances down to have plenty of room to have fun on that Platinum Visa.

Go, shop, buy great things, and don't forget to tell them that Ms. New Beauty sent you!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Lazy Is as Lazy Does

There just aren't enough hours in a day for all the beauty products and routines that I would love indulge in, so something's gotta give. In my case, it's the fingernails. I can't invest my time in painting my nails and then waiting for an hour for the polish to dry without smudging. And, nail colors bore me pretty quickly. Monday's purple is wearing me out by Tuesday.

The solution is simple enough. The look of a French manicure with none of the work and it's simple enough to do while walking down the street, riding the subway, or driving (that last one might be pushing it). It's two slim pencil products that work wonders - Sephora's White Nail Pencil and Cuticle Care Pen. Rub the white pencil under your tips and lightly brush the cuticle oil onto your nail beds. The white pencil gives you a more realistic Frech manicure look (the corner nail shop calls it an American Manicure) and actually lasts through a few hand washings. The cuticle oil moisturizes and adds shine without having to wait for a top coat to dry. All of this for less than $25 total. And of course, they fit right in every purse for instant touch ups.

Try it, love it, and don't forget to tell them Ms. New Beauty sent you!

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