Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Tis The Season

The holiday season is finally upon and Ms. New Beauty couldn't be happier! She's looking forward to the big family gatherings with so much food that she'll either have to wear pants with an elastic waistband or a long tunic to conceal her undone top button. She cannot wait to hit the stores and start shopping for perfect presents. And, her favorite part is heading out to pick out a Christmas tree and then coming home to decorate it. Now, she knows you're thinking - "MNB it was just Halloween, it really tisn't the season!" Well, for Ms. New Beauty, as soon as Macy's hangs up those red and gold garlands, the holiday season is here. And, MNB knows she's been a little MIA lately, so she definitely wants to start celebrating early by giving back and showering New Beauties with gifts. That's right, just like any other absentee relative, Ms. New Beauty is planning to make up for neglecting you and buy back your love with a big old gift!!!! MNB is packing her present box with all kinds of goodies from the M.A.C. Holiday Collections and she's giving them away! Read below to see just what you could get and what you have to do to win.

The M.A.C. Holiday Collections


These lipcolors are just so perfect for day and even better for night. It took a lot of real selflessness to part with them but I had to. My cup, and the lip color sections of my makeup case, runneth over. But you can enjoy these four petite purses each filled with three lipcolors in Plum, Coral, Tan or Pink color schemes.

$32 each


Curiositease is a collection of five unique canisters filled with your M.A.C. favorites - Lipglass, Lustreglass, Plushglass, Pigments and SoftSparkle Eye Pencils. These would make perfect gifts for any fab lady in your life because they come in the prettiest packaging and all of the colors are so flattering.

$29.50 each

Viva Glamourous

Viva Glamourous is the special holiday edition of M.A.C.'s best selling and charity giving lip color - Viva Glam. As part of the giveaway, you'll get three cool toned shades of M.A.C.'s signature Viva Glam lip colors in a beautiful burgundy compact that benefits that M.A.C. Aids Fund.



The tools of the trade can really make a difference between a sultry and sexy smokey eye and looking like you got your ass kicked for trying to hold onto your lunch money at the jungle gym. Heirloom will make sure the former is in your future with this metallic clutch purse filled with five basic beauty brush essentials.


Royal Assets

Now, we all know how much a sucker I am for pretty packaging. These metal compacts look like something passed down to you by your dear great-great-Aunt Margaret (because aren't great aunts always named Margaret?). The giftbox will include three eye palettes featuring six shades each in Cool, Warm, and Smokey shades and three lip palettes featuring three shades each in Coral, Red, and Pink shades.

$36 each for the eye palettes and $22.50 each for the lip palettes

So far, that's a retail value of over $500! And, that's not counting some other M.A.C. goodies I'm including from the Antiquitease collection and a few from this season's Smoke Signals collection. These holiday collections are beautiful to look at, beautiful to wear, and make beautiful gifts. You'll definitely want to win this one.

The rules couldn't be simpler - just sign up for an email subscription on the sidebar to the right. That's all you have to do. And, if you're already a Ms. New Beauty subscriber, you'll be automatically entered to win. The only stipulation is that if you've won a previous Ms. New Beauty giveaway within the past 12 months, you won't be eligible for this one. Gotta give everyone a fair shot to win. I'll be announcing the winner on November 30 so you have between now and 11:59 pm on November 29 to enter to win.

Enter to win, and remember that you always get more by giving away, and never forget that Ms. New Beauty told you!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Looking for a Master Plan

Ms. New Beauty has a pretty standard routine when it comes to checking her email. First, she checks the personal and chats back and forth with the girls about whatever random goings on are taking place in their lives. Next, it's the spam mail. Ms. New Beauty has one email address dedicated to all of her online purchasing, banking and mailing lists. Life is so much easier when all the spam is grouped together and not getting mixed in with messages that are actually important. Finally, she checks the Ms. New Beauty address. Most times, she gets messages from publicists about the newest products coming out or emails from other member of the fabulous Beauty Blog Network about the latest innovations in beauty blogging. This week, she got a message from a New Beauty in need of a little help and the perfect issue to tackle in this installment of Ask Ms. New Beauty.

Ok Ms. New Beauty here is the dilemma.

I am a 26 year old woman who has never understood the complexities of makeup. I don't know how to use it, how to apply it, what brushes to use, etc. You must be asking "How could you have made is so far in life without learning these skills?" I honestly don't know. Anywhoo, I am in the process of giving myself an image makeover (think tomboy to girly girl as seen on any generic makeover show.) I am starting a new career, and this is one of the final touches. Right now I just need to understand the basics. Are there any tips you can give me or books you can recommend? Thanks in advance.

Makeup Master(Less)

First things first, no one is born knowing all the intricacies of cosmetics. Some of us just start a little earlier than others. Take me for example, by age 10, I was preening around the house in my mother's red lipstick and begging her to let me wear one of her wigs to school. The kitchen was about as far as I got, as this picture proves. But other New Beauties don't hit their makeup stride until much later, and there's not a damn thing wrong with that.

In an effort to keep this post from blowing up into a full grown treatise (which could easily happen since I have the day off), I'm going to consolidate the answer into just the basics that any woman needs to get started and the books that can help her on her way.

Reading Material

When I first heard that the editors of Allure, the first magazine truly dedicated to beauty, were publishing a book, I was elated. I rushed out to the store, purchased Confessions of a Beauty Editor and then came home and blogged about it. I thoroughly recommend this book, and a subscription to Allure, as a great primer on the basics of makeup. It'll take you through starting a skincare regimen (which is the most important step because glowing skin makes makeup so simple) and then how to apply and use a myriad of cosmetics.

For women of color, I really think you should complement your beauty library with The Beauty of Color by Iman. It gives you the same primer through skincare and cosmetics application, but does so with a focus on the special needs that brown skin can have like finding a foundation that doesn't look ashy or picking out the right red for your lips.

Both about $15, available at bookstores

The Great Triumvirate of Cosmetics

Now that you've learned about all the beauty options available to you by reading, let me boil it down and give you the bottom line. There are three beauty products that will take care of 99% of your cosmetic needs. And here they are - Foundation, Mascara and Blush. These three couldn't be easier to get and to get right.


Here is the one area where I will always recommend paying for the better brands, especially for women of color. Drugstore brands don't let you test the color or coverage and for women of color, the pickings are normally pretty slim. Most brands only offer three shades for brown skin and some don't even offer that. So, head to the nicest department store in your area and go to a beauty counter to find the right foundation for you. The brands that offer the best options for women of all skin tone are MAC, BECCA, and Prescriptives. MAC and BECCA have enough shades to make your brain boggle so you'll definitely find the one that's a perfect match for you. Prescriptives offers the fabulous color matching service that allows you to perfectly customize any foundation to match your color and lets you add in any number of skin soothing benefits.

About $25-40, at better department stores.


To start, all you need is Maybelline Great Lash. The formula is thin enough not to clump but still thick enough to give your lashes a boost. This is a basic mascara formula that will let you see exactly what kind of lashes you are working with. Use this and you might find it does every thing you need it to do. Or, you might find you want a little more and move on to another mascara that focuses on volumizing, lengthening, or reaching the teeniest tiniest lashes. And, the best part is you can always find a great mascara in the drugstore for no more than a few bucks.

About $5, available at drugstores


Blush adds just the right hint of color to your face to keep things from being boring. And, when it comes to blush for novices and vets, I just have three words - Tarte. Cheek. Stain. I just blogged about this last week and here I am again. But that's because it really is just perfect. This is the easiest blush to ever use. You literally just dab it on your cheeks for the sheerest most natural color. Flush truly works for every woman of every shade. It's a deep raspberry red that is ridiculously sheer. A few dabs and you look like you've been giggling with your girlfriends.

$28, available at Sephora

You might me thinking, but MNB "you left out my lips." I didn't. There are no rules for lipgloss. Buy whatever shades you love and make you feel pretty, whether they cost $2 or $20. And there you have everything get your Geek-to-Chic/Stacey & Clinton/Tim & Veronica full fab girly makeover on.

Go ahead, make yourself over into whatever you want to be, just don't forget that Ms. New Beauty told you!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Gimme, Gimme More

Ms. New Beauty has been getting a lot of feedback lately about nail color trends for fall. A few weeks ago, MNB definitively declared the black nail trend of last fall dead, dead, dead. It's been done, it's over, let it go, move on. In the meantime, New Beauties have been asking her "if not black, then what?" The beautiful blue shade from M.A.C. that Ms. New Beauty raved about was part of a limited edition collection and sold out faster that Spice Girls Reunion Tour tickets. Other New Beauties have complained that dark blue nails are no better off in their conservative workplaces than the black tips of seasons past. They need something traditional enough to avoid the ire of stuffy higher-ups but still trendy enough to let other women in the know see that the latest beauty styles have not escaped them. Basically, the New Beauties are singing like Britney and need MNB to offer up more nail options for this fall. Well, Ms. New Beauty aims to please, so she's giving you more shades to suit more tastes.

Sally Hansen Salon in Cerise Noir

This shade is perfect for New Beauties who can't sacrifice a 9-to-5 for their nails. Rest assured, you can still stay on trend and be perfectly corporate acceptable. Cerise Noir is a deep burgundy brown shade. It's deeper and darker than your average burgundy and more interesting than most chocolate browns. And, it's a hue that will flatter a variety of skin tones. Unlike a lot of dark nail polishes, this will work on the fairest and the darkest complexions. Some of the other shades of dark polish look good on fair fingers, but some ebony-hued New Beauties can't pull that look off.

The best part is that this shade is still all occasion appropriate. It's not so far out there that it would stand out in an office or conservative environment. It's close enough to the original shades to be comfortable, yet dark enough to still be on trend and fashionable. I wore this on my toes to my sister's wedding last weekend and it fit right in. Lucky me that her colors were shades of brown, so it blended beautifully. I actually got a few compliments from people who noticed it peeking out beneath the layers of chiffon on my dress.

Everything in this post is about $5, available at drugstores

OPI in Russian Navy

Like I told you before, this season blue is the new black. Beautiful navy nails are going to be everywhere this fall, which means beautiful navy nail polishes are disappearing off of store shelves quickly. M.A.C.'s Whirlwind is already sold out and going for more than twice the retail price on eBay. So, it's time to find replacement shades that will still achieve the interesting indigo look.

Enter OPI in Russian Navy. Part of the Russian Collection, Navy is a deep, midnight blue that will look beautiful when painted on. It is still as interesting as other dark polishes, but has a deep inky, almost purple feel to it. This will perfectly complement all of the charcoal clothes that you will no doubt be wearing this season. Just a touch of navy like this can keep gray from going dowdy, which is gray is oft prone to do.

This shade is getting a lot of hype around it, so scoop it up if you see it otherwise someone else will. Just in case you can't find it, also keep your eyes open for Sally Hansen Salon in After Midnight. The shades are quite similar and achieve the same look.

OPI in Lincoln Park at Midnight

OPI has done it again so they get two hits on this post. Lincoln Park at Midnight is this season's update on last fall's tremendous Lincoln Park After Dark. This keeps all the mysterious beauty of the original deep purple shade, but takes it up a notch. It's deliciously dark but softer and more feminine than deep blue shades.

What I love best about this shade is that it is a more red-based, as opposed to blue-based purple. That means that it will complement a lot more skin tones, especially my beautiful New Beauties with the darkest ebony and mahogany complexions. Sometimes, dark blues and grays don't read well on dark fingers. The contrast that makes this nail trend so beautiful isn't there and it just looks, for lack of a better words, bad. But this shade will actually complement darker skin tones. The purple will pick up on the undertones of your brown skin and look fabulous. If you have a little more leeway at your job, you can probably get away with this one at work too. Though, I would save this for relaxed offices or more creative industries.

Satisfy your cravings for dark nails with even more options, and know that MNB tries her best to address your concerns, but don't forget that Ms. New Beauty told you!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Faux Naturale

Ms. New Beauty is not really one for assumptions. She tries not to assume too many things about other people and she certainly is no fan of people making assumptions about her. Often, when those assumptions are based on nothing but outward appearances, she doesn't even correct them. MNB will let people continue on assuming things about her just for her amusement. She found it particularly funny her a few of her college classmates assumed that the $7 sneakers she found in Marshall's were by some famous Italian designer. When they stopped to complement her on her new "Moschino" shoes, she simply smiled and said thank you, giggling to herself as she walked away. And, when people remark on how beautiful she looks with no makeup even when her cosmetics bag is filled to the brim, she does the same. Ms. New Beauty really likes the latter assumption because it means two things - one, that she's applied everything with the right, light touch, and two, that her products are doing exactly what they should, blending in and letting MNB's natural beauty shine through. So, today's post is all about those products that are so good, the results look completely natural.

Tarte Cheek Stain in Sunkissed

If you know me, then you know I've been in love with Tarte Cheek Stain for years. I've convinced most of my friends and even some of their mothers to try it. Flush is my go to shade and was one of the first products I blogged about. It gives me the perfect hint of just-ran-up-the-stairs color and goes on so smooth and so easy. I've been using it for so long that I can apply it without out a mirror. But now, I'm totally in love with Flush's chocolatey caramel sister.

Sunkissed is the perfect bronzer shade. It's a rich caramel that is impossibly sheer. It's almost the color of a self-tanner, just without the cheek-staining, streaky palms, lasts for two weeks side effects. Just a dab on cheekbones gives the most authentic looking, back from the beach hint of color. But what really makes it stand out is the one thing that it doesn't have - shimmer! Most bronzers have some sort of shimmer or glitter in them that looks flattering on skin but completely ruins the "what? I wake up looking like this" effect we're talking about today. But this one is all color and no glitter to even out your skin and give you a subtle glow. For brown girls, it can even take the place of your foundation. Just apply and blend and it'll even out any discoloration or uneven complexion problems you may have.

$28, available at Sephora.

I know at first glance, almost thirty bucks might be a little much to pay for blush/bronzer, but trust me it's worth it. The color is fabulous and it lasts forever. I bought my first Flush four years ago and I'm still barely halfway through it.

Bourjois Glossy Wet-Look Mascara Top Coat

This little tube is one of the cutest cosmetics in my case. It's designed to snap right into any Bourjois Mascara and give a shiny top coat but I like it way better all by itself. Just glide onto clean lashes for a subtle yet defined look. The clear formula gives you all the benefits of mascara but without the black lashes that are a dead giveaway that you're wearing makeup. This tube doesn't come with a brush, just a slim rod that you run against your lashes, so make sure you curl and separate before application. Just use an eyelash curler and a clean mascara brush or comb to separate and then use this on top. It makes me eyes look wide open and clean. And, don't let that shimmery blue scare you, it goes on completely clear.

For an extra bright-eyed and bushy-tailed feel, line just your lower lashes with a white or fleshtoned eye liner to really open everything up. This is the perfect look for New Beauties who never leave the house without makeup but don't want to feel too high-maintenanced or pretentions by wearing a full face to something like a spinning class or a Habitat for Humanity build.

$7.50, available at Ulta.
Go faux naturale, but make sure you're wearing the right cosmetics when you do, and don't forget that Ms. New Beauty told you!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Marathon Makeup

Ms. New Beauty has been leading an incredibly busy life lately. Most days, she's up by 5:45, out of the house by 6:30, and doesn't come back until 9 pm, if she's lucky. With that kind of schedule, she's pared her daily makeup routine down to just the basics - concealer where needed, a dab of blush, and a quick slick of lipgloss. These were the only cosmetics that MNB could count on to stand up to her long and sometimes grueling days. But where's the fun in that? Ms. New Beauty is a girly girl. She likes to do different things with her look everyday. She wants to do a deep and dark smokey eye one day and then sport a bright wash of color the next. She longed for a way to look done without having to lug a million cosmetics in her already back-breaking bag. Luckily, she found two things in her makeup that claimed to do just that. And, to her surprise, Ms. New Beauty found that they really did work.

M.A.C. Painterly Paint Pots

I got the painterly eyeshadows about two months ago and I instantly fell in love with the colors and the smooth textures. But, it wasn't until this past week when I realized how wonderful they really are. My eyelids get hopelessly oily. It really is just ridiculous. By the end of the day, powder eyeshadow basically just evaporates off of my lids. There only remains just the slightest hint of eyeshadow past in my creases. So, I either have to bring my shadows to reapply them throughout the day or just go without it all together. Considering that I hate those little sponge applicators and don't want to lug my whole brush collection in my purse, I typically just skip eyeshadow for all but the most important events. Not anymore.

The Paint Pots really do last all day long. I mean ALL DAY. Thursday, I gave my eyes a sweep of a pretty aqua blue at 6 am and the color was still exactly where I applied it when I got home at 8:30 that night. Yesterday, I used a lovely pearly chocolate shade and it lasted through my sister's wedding ceremony and all night reception. I've even had success in using some of the neutral shades as a eyeshadow base and layering other colors on top of them. I am truly in love!

I'm no cosmetic chemist, but I think what makes the color last is its light and smooth texture. Most cream shadows feel a little oily and heavy, but this one feels like its formula is water, not oil, based. Whatever the science, I can truly say that these colors last until you take them off. And, that is so helpful in preserving my sexy and keeping my look together. The best part is that these Paint Pots are now part of the permanent M.A.C. Collection so you'll be able to use and love them for years and years to come.

$16.50, available at M.A.C. counters

Prescriptives Here to Stay 24-Hour Longwear Mascara

My eyelids don't just stop at melting away my eyeshadows. Sometimes, especially those long tiring days when I'm given to rubbing my sleepy eyes like a toddler, my mascara tags along with the eyeshadow on Destination Evaporation. So, I definitely need to find formulas that will last all day long too, lest I end up looking like I expend absolutely no effort on my face in the morning.

Prescriptives has introduced what they call the first 24-Hour Mascara. The formula is waterproof itself and can be used on top of other mascaras to make them water resistant. It also comes with the flexible fiber brush that really hits each lash with no clumps that I absolutely love. It really separates and lengthens my lashes without clumping at all. I used three coats yesterday to prepare for the wedding and it went on smooth with no clumps or spidery lashes.

Now, I put this mascara through its paces to see if it really does all that it claims. I went swimming with it on and it was gone by the time I was done doing my laps. I slept in it and my lashes were clean when I woke up. But, it certainly does last through normal, awake, non-aquatic use.

$19.50, available at Prescriptives counters

Put your eyes on in the morning, and have them last throughout the night, but just don't forget that Ms. New Beauty told you!

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