Thursday, February 28, 2008

Ice, Ice Baby

Brrrr! It's colder than a mutha outside today! Here in New York, the temperature would not budge above 25 degrees today and the wind was whipping around corners like The Fast and The Furious. But, it's not just in the North that people are freezing, Ms. New Beauty heard from a friend in Miami that people down there had to bust out the parkas. Granted, Miami peeps put on the winter clothes when the temperature gets close to 60, but cold is cold. MNB has finally gotten herself back home and put her toes firmly in front of the heater. A status check shows that her tootsies are still cold, so a hot bath is going to be the only cure for this case of chills. Ms. New Beauty has the bad habit of making her bath so hot that her skin can barely take the heat. Once her skin does adjust to the water, it's the rest of MNB that starts to revolt. Her brow starts to sweat. Her throat gets dry and thirsty. She can't take the heat, but Ms. New Beauty won't get out of the kitchen, or bathroom as it were. Well, she's not going to run cooler bath water, so MNB will just bring herself a bottle of water and a tube of some very chilly face product into the bath with her.

Lumene Arctic Touch Deep Cleansing Peat Mask

As a general rule, I'm not really a mask girl. I'm all about exfoliating. All about toning and moisturizing. All about spot treatments and special attention for the eyes. With all of that everyday, I very rarely remember to use the masks that I have. And so, I pretty much rely on the drugstore offerings when it comes to face masks. If something's gonna sit in my medicine cabinet, largely untouched, I'd rather that something only cost me $9, and not $90. I was killing some time in a CVS a few months ago when I just picked this up on a whim. It looked interesting enough and the price was right, so I bought it.

The last time that I was planning a bath, I happened to reach for this. I wanted the whole "spa experience" and I knew that I was going to be sweating within five minutes, so this seemed the perfect pick from my product closet. This mask is thick and a brownish-gray like most clay masks. What I loved about it though was the icy cool feeling on my skin when I applied it. At first, I just figured that was the basic cool of any liquid, but the feeling lasted. It stayed cool and tingly for the entire 15 minutes that I had it on my face. So much so, I thought that the mask hadn't dried. The feeling was downright delightful and the perfect companion to an almost skin scorching bath. After rinsing, my skin was soft, but not anything out of the ordinary. It's the cool feeling that really makes this mask special.

About $8, available at CVS

Come in from the cold, but stay cool while you warm up, and this time tell a friend that Ms. New Beauty told you!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The J-List

Ms. New Beauty knows that now is prime time to talk about all the A-list stars who floated down the red carpet at The Oscars on Sunday. But, MNB has got to let you all in on a little secret. Come close. Closer. Closer. This year, Ms. New Beauty didn't care! Maybe it was the writer's strike, or the fact she wasn't "rooting" for any one of the nominees to win, but whatever it was, MNB did not spend Sunday night watching the Oscars. And, from what she's read about it being the most boring broadcast in history, she's glad she skipped it and watched The Wire instead, which by the way was chocked full of excitement. (Omar's dead?!?! And killed by a child?!?! Who could have ever seen that one coming?) Nonetheless, Ms. New Beauty knows that the Hollywood fever still has a hold on beauty junkies, so instead of doing a red carpet wrap up, she's contributing in her own way - by singing the praises of a product that was proudly on The J-List, way before it hit The A-List.

Clarisonic Skin Care Brush

This holiday season, the Clarisonic brush was the hottest beauty commodity. Oprah mentioned it as one of her favorite things and then the shelves cleared out. But, I have to admit, it wasn't Lady O who first sang the praises of this brush. It was my girl Johnica, one of my first beauty blogging friends and the first that I actually knew in real life before the blog. She loved this brush almost a year and a half ago. Can we say way ahead of the curve?

Clarisonic is made by the same people who brought us the Sonicare Toothbrush, which I used from age 12 until about a few months ago when it finally died on me. The brush uses sonic waves to vibrate the bristles and clean your face deep down. The beauty of this brush is not just the vibrations or the extra clean feeling your skin has. It's the little extras that make it special. Unlike other face brushes that only work with that brand's cleanser, you can use anything with the Clarisonic. Just wet your face, smooth on your normal cleanser, and away you go. And, the brush also comes with two brush heads, two pressure settings and two timing options. It emits a subtle beep to let you know to move on to the next section of your face. I've already noticed that my chin and nose area which tend to get milia are cleared up from the extra exfoliation. My skin has never been softer or smoother.

$195, available at

Forget about boring old Hollywood and stay ahead of the curve on your own, but just don't forget that Ms. New Beauty told you!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Plump, Plump, Plump It Up

Well, Ms. New Beauty is finally back online. Despite losing absolutely everything that was on her hard drive - documents, pictures, music, everything - she's just glad to have a computer again and be able to spend endless hours in bed playing on the internet. You don't know just how hard it was for her to miss her almost daily dose of the Evil Eye Baby. But now she's back and ready to get back to blogging! MNB had lined a whole Valentine's beauty series that was going to be absolutely fabulous, featuring specific recommendations for ladies going out on dates, hanging with the girls, or staying home and pampering themselves, but sadly, that's no longer relevant. So she'll just jump right into a new product review just for you New Beauties that want a little more pout for your pucker.

Physicians Formula Plump Potion

I got this lip plumper in a gift bag for an event I attended. Whenever I get beauty products in gift bags, I follow the same little ritual. I dump everything out onto the floor and thoroughly review what I got and what I'm going to use. For makeup, I try it right on the spot to decide if I want to keep it, give or throw it away. Then, I use that time to edit my current collection to see if anything I already have needs to get thrown out too.

So, by the time I tried this lip plumper, I had already been under my sink, reaching into the depths of my product stash pulling things out, rearranging and throwing stuff away. I swiped some on my lips and then stopped in my tracks trying to figure out what the horrible smell was that had just overtaken my bathroom. I was sure that it was something in the plumbing under the sink that I had mistakenly let loose. It took me a good minute to realize that that strong chemical/plain old funky smell was coming from the lip plumper. That alone was enough for me to drop it in the trash. But then, my lips started burning. Not a friendly tingle, a straight up burn. There must be cinnamon extract or oil in this formula because it felt as if an entire jumbo pack of Big Red had been crushed up and put on my lips. Obviously, I didn't let the burning continue to see if it did make my lips plumper. If you have a weaker sense of smell and a higher tolerance for pain that I do, you might still be intrigued. But I recommend just skipping this one altogether.

$8.95, available at drugstores

Now, onto a much more satisfying plumping experience.

Freeze 24/7 PlumpLips

I think I may actually be addicted to this lip plumper. I keep one in my purse and another by the side of my bed. I actually slick a little bit on before bed, a habit that my boyfriend thinks is completely ridiculous. But I can't help it. I just love the way it makes my lips feel. This tingles a little when you first apply it, but unlike the Physicians Formula, it's not painful. It's just a pleasant little tingle that makes you go "hmm, that was nice." No mad dashes to the sink to wash off your lips and definitely no weird eerie smells.

What I love so much about this is the texture and staying power. This isn't thick and isn't goopy. But it's also not too thin or runny. It falls right into that happy medium area. The texture reminds me of BioSilk or another hair serum serum - thick enough to get the job done, but thin enough not to be heavy. But it also leaves my lips crazy shiny but stays on all day. The only time I need to reapply is after eating or drinking.

I am actually quite happy with the fullness of my lips. In the lip lottery, I feel like I hit the big one. I love the shape, size and fullness of my lips. So, I can't say that I've ever noticed a real plumping effect on me with this. But I have seen it work on other people's lips and make them fuller and pinker.

$40, available at Saks

Plump up your pout, but skip the stinking and the burning, and don't forget that Ms. New Beauty told you!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

After These Messages

Hey there New Beauties! MNB knows she's been MIA for a while, but trust her, it's not her fault. She recently discovered that she got a rotten apple. Not the fruit - the computer. Her semi-brand new MacBook froze last week and her entire hard drive had to be replaced, which, by the way, means she lost all of the pictures, documents and software that was on the computer (the lesson here is "always back your isht up!").
So the laptop is in the shop, and Ms. New Beauty is spending her time playing Wii Tennis. And, since her arms are ridiculously sore right now, at least it counts as exercise. She'll be back with new products and new posts as soon as her computer gets fixed.

Stay tuned, and just wait a few more days for Ms. New Beauty to tell you!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Sexy Time

February is here. That means all of Coupledom is aflutter arranging plans for the 14th - Valentine's Day. Lots of twosomes are scrambling to get reservations to the city's most romantic candlelit eatery or tickets to the hottest show in town. Of course, some guys will just present the obligatory bouquets of flowers and boxes of chocolate or maybe even tiny boxes only big enough to hold pretty, little things that sparkle. For others, Valentine's Day will bring intimate nights at home showering each other in love. If your plan involves hanging the "Do Not Disturb" sign on your front door, Ms. New Beauty knows being everyday beautiful might not be enough to really set the mood. This night might be the night that Pretty Paula wants to vamp it up a bit and Sexy Susan for a night. So MNB encourages you to try some of these products to make the most of that sexy night with your special someone.

Laura Mercier Diamond Duster

One of the most indisputable laws of sexy is "when you feel sexy, you look sexy." That subtle shot of confidence, just knowing you are hot stuff, is enough to let the rest of the world know it too. Start your night off right but treating yourself to the sexy delicate touch of this light duster. It has all the glamour of a feather boa without the all the hooker/brothel-esque connotations. Lightly dip this into your favorite loose shimmer powder, like this one from Too Faced. Then, dust along all the places where you want his eye to travel, like your collarbone and sternum, gently along your shoulders, and just atop your cheekbones. This brush will tickle both your skin and your inner goddess.

$22, available at Sephora

Victoria's Secret So Sexy Natural Hold Hairspray

To make sure sexy is the first thing he thinks when he sees you, you definitely want to have a head full of sexy, shiny hair. Regardless of what your texture is or the style that you choose, you absolutely want to have hair that moves. Helmet head is never sexy. But if your hair needs a little more help to stay in place, reach for this hairspray. It'll give your hair and style the volume and definition that it needs but it's flexible enough so that your lucky guy can run his hands through it without getting stuck. This will also make your locks look shiny and healthy. Remember, with hairspray, less is always more. I prefer to spray a mist up in the air and let it settle down onto my hair rather than spray it directly on my head. For any flyways, spray a quick shot on comb and gently slide through to tame without making your hair sticky and tacky.

$8.50, available at Victoria's Secret

Trish McEvoy Sexy #9

For Valentine's Day, you want to smell as sexy as can be. For some women, that means wearing a heady musky scent. For others, it can be something light, fruity and floral. But regardless of your choice, you certainly don't want to rely on that old reliable scent that you wear day in and day out. The last thing you need to be reminded of at Valentine's is sitting in your cubicle and staring at a computer screen. Try this sensual scent that is a complete break from everyday and will get you in a sexy kind of mood. Even the bottle is a departure from the average and is a throwback to those days of Old Hollywood glamour when women got done up for dinner regardless of whether it was downstairs in the kitchen or uptown at the Russian Tea Room.

$95, available at Saks

Agent Provocateur Titillation Lip and Nipple Balm

The sexy lingerie brand known for its exquisitely detailed pieces and cult-like celeb following also makes sexy little fragrance and beauty offerings. This kitschy, tongue-in-cheek duo is the perfect beauty gift to give your man. One of these black orbs is packed with a rich and moisturizing lip balm to keep you kissable. The other, well it's got a nipple balm inside to moisturize and, ahem, stimulate your senses. I bet you never knew your nipples needed balm until now. And, I'm sure your date for the night will enjoy kissing both balms off of you!

$40, available at Bloomingdale's

Feel sexy, look sexy, and stay sexy all night long, and you don't have to tell your man that Ms. New Beauty told you!

Oh, and just in case "sexy" isn't in your Valentine's vocab, stay tuned for a beauty recommendations for a night out with the girls, a date with someone special, and for a night in with numero uno.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Almost Perfect

A while ago, Ms. New Beauty went to beauty blogger event at Space.NK. There, she met and chatted it up with the beautiful faces behind some of her favorite blogs. Of course, she also picked herself up some pretty little things from all the offering at the hip, Soho apothecary. Ms. New Beauty should have known that the question "what else should I buy?" would be met with so many raves about so many different products, lines, and brands. The one that stood out came from Elke, the fabulous, bi-coastal makeup artist. She picked up a makeup brush and said, "get this, it makes you perfect!" That was all MNB had to hear - she took the brush from Elke's hand and headed straight to the register. And, after following her advice on how to use it, Ms. New Beauty can positively report that she is now perfect, when it comes to her makeup that is - she still has the habit of starting laundry and taking a week to finish it. But, this post is just about that wonderfully perfecting brush, and an even cheaper version that still gets the job done.

Fiber Optic Face Brushes

Laura Mercier Finishing Brush, $42


Sephora Brand Professional Stippling Brush, $35

Fiber optic face brushes are so amazing, and I had never even heard of them until Elke insisted that I get it. The brushes are made up of two layers of bristles, as you can see. The short black bristles are tightly packed goat hairs that are design to hold onto product while the longer white bristles are synthetic, meant to come behind and smooth everything out. This is the tool to reach for when you're applying your fine shimmer powders and don't want to end up looking too Disco Fever.

I use it differently though. First, I do my entire face of makeup - primer, foundation, concealer, blush, loose powder. Then, I grab this brush and my trusty Evian Brumisateur (honestly, how many uses are there for that that can of water? I swear I could figure out a way to decorate my house with it). I spray a light mist to just dampen the bristles of the brush and then I buff it over my entire face. What this does is blend out my makeup and pick up just enough to that everything looks really sheer and natural, exactly the way makeup should look. You can say goodbye to harsh lines and that tell tale border along your jaw once you use this. And, both brushes do the same job, it's just that one costs less.

Stay perfect, or get that way if you're not already, just don't forget that Ms. New Beauty told you!

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