1.31.2010

Why Kate, Why?


I was looking through one of my favorite fashion sites last night StyleList when I stumbled up this very scary picture of Kate Moss. It seems as though she has decided that grey is a good color on her. It is not. As StyleList put it, if she were in her 20s it would be one thing, but at 36 it's a no no. But the real issue that I have with this picture is not so much the hair, but the white, wrinkly elephant in the room: Kate's skin.

What the hell Kate? My icon looks like she's been out in the sun for hours, smoking cigarettes and downing champagne...Oh right, she has been.

That's fine. We have all had ruff times and periods in which we did not drink the recommended 8 glasses of water a day. My issue is that Kate is loaded, so why doesn't the girl get a glycolic peel, some microderm, some age spot lightening gel**? There is no need to age gracefully ladies; dye that hair and moisturize your face!

That means you as well Kate. If not for you then for me.

XO


** A wonderful spot lightening gel that works wonders for age spots and fine lines (I use it and have seen a difference) is Murad's Age Spot & Skin Lightening Gel. It is worth the $60 and I would even say that it works a lot better than some creams I've tried that are much more.

1.28.2010

china glaze gussied up green


I have a feeling that before long my nails will be lacquered up with various shades of pastel, so to end the winter season, I went with green. I love this color by China Glaze that came out a while back (like maybe two years ago even). This color is green and shimmery and looks very classy on, which is not easy to do with green polish.

1.27.2010

Improve Your Skin With mySkin.com



I have always been one that had a hard time passing up a new skin care product, even those that I knew were likely not for my skin. Unfortunately it is often hard to know what will work for your skin without a lot of trial and error. That can get expensive and be very hard on your skin.

Recently I was introduced to a new website called mySkin.com. It is a beauty database that uses your skin profile as well as the products that you are currently using to create a list of products that would likely work for your skin type. It also uses member product ratings to determine how well certain products are working for people overall.

First you fill out a personal skin profile. This does not take long, and the more thorough you are the better your product suggestions will be. After that is complete you create a list of products that you are currently using. At that point mySkin.com gives you other products that may work for you based on the information that you have entered. There are also skin care forums, a personal skin diary, and a list of beauty and skin care bloggers. I think that this site has the potential to be very valuable to people by stopping them from spending money on products that are not suitable for their skin type.

I was excited when I logged in this morning to see that mySkin.com had recommended a product to me that was similar to my current daytime moisturizer but $10 less!


The site is by invitation only at this time but you can register before its official launch with the code “velvetdoll” .


XOXO

1.26.2010

5 Easy Steps: How To Clean Your Makeup Brushes


I recently watched a friend throw her makeup brushes in a sink full of Dial. Naughty, right? My horrified expression prompted her to ask the question "well how am I suppose to clean them then"? Brushes are not inexpensive and they are a very important part of the makeup application process, so it is important to take good care of them. Here are the 5 steps that I take to clean my babies:
  1. Pour a dime size amount of baby shampoo into your palm.
  2. Wet your brush and swirl it around in the shampoo (makeup will start to come out of the brush and end up on your palm).
  3. When it appears that you have removed most of the makeup from your brush, rinse it under warm water GENTLY (remember the $52 you spent on that 138 brush?) squeezing any remaining product from the brush hairs.
  4. Place the brush flat on a towel, forming the hairs into the shape that they were in when you purchased them.
  5. Allow to dry over night.
This is how I clean all of my brushes once a month and I have had many of them for 5+ years. There are cleaners specifically for brushes, but I think that baby shampoo works just fine and its only about $3 for 12oz. It's not a good idea to soak them in soapy water because many brush handles are made of wood and it would eventually soften them, as well as remove the glue that holds the brush to the handle.

I hope this helps!

1.25.2010

the urban decay alice palette is finally here

So I am aware of the fact that these have been on all the beauty blogs for a month now, but this one is MINE! I am a huge Tim Burton fan, so I conned convinced Mr. Doll that I would perish if I did not own this palette ASAP. It finally came on Friday and I have been playing in it ever since..

This book of shadows includes a pop-up scene from the book of Alice wandering through a forest. The shadows are arranged in a pull-out drawer along with 2 pencils and a mini primer potion. It is very pretty in person.


 
16 Shadows included:
Underland, Alice, Oraculum, Queen, Chessur, White Rabbit, Wonderland, Curiouser, Muchness, Mushroom, Midnight Tea Party, Vorpal, Absolem, Drink Me Eat Me, Mad Hatter, Jabberwocky

 PLUS:
24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Zero (Travel size)
24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Flipside (Travel size)
Urban Decay Primer Potion (Travel size)




I cannot keep my fingers out of this! I know that there was talk about the fact that the shades are not new to Urban Decay, but I don't think that this is a shocker. Urban Decay often puts together these amazing combos of their most loved shadows under different names. The point is that you get to try 16 shadows from UD for $52 instead of purchasing them individually for over $100. They are a great deal in my opinion (and I am correct). I had never tried any of UD's liners, but I tested these over the weekend and they go on very smoothly and stay put.









This is me playing in the palette (literally with my fingers; I do that sometimes) with no primer and no other makeup on other than mascara. I applied White Rabbit all over lid, Absolem from the middle of the lid to the corner of the eye, and Alice in the crease.



XO




PS: This is sold out online, but will be in stores (Sephora for sure) in February!



There are also polishes from OPI inspired by the movie as well. This is "Alice"





XOXO

1.23.2010

i'm feeling nude: chloe flats, nine west spumanti and more




I was online earlier today and stumbled upon a great site for those who are fashion-crazed (such as myself) called fashiontrendsetter.com. One of the spring trends that they discussed was an homage to nature that includes earthy tones and neutrals. I welcome this trend, seeing as how the last few seasons have been full of neons and sparkle. I found a few items that I am lusting after for spring and though that I would share.

From right to left:

Chloe Flat $395

Banana Republic leather hobo $198 - Now on sale for $148! (Free?)

Nine West Genarose $160

Nine West Spumanti $89

Banana Republic Silk Ribbon Link Necklace $45 


1.22.2010

are my lips on fire or is that just the duwop lip venom?



The other day I was aimlessly walking through Urban Outfitters when I came across a table of lip products. One of those products was DuWop's notorious Lip Venom. I had always wanted to try this product but for some reason had never purchased it. I bought one and put it on as soon as I got in my car. Wow. It was very tingly. I checked DuWop's website to see what it is that creates that slight "burny" feeling. The main ingredients responsible for the tingle and the plumping are:


  • Cinnamon
  • Wintergreen
  • Ginger



Lip Venom also contains jojoba and avocado oil which give your lips a lovely sheen. Honestly, I feel like this stuff works. My lips looked as though they had been stung by a bee. They also felt as though they had been stung by a bee, but only for about 5 minutes. I will be in pain for 5 minutes if for the next few hours my lips look plump and glossy.

One thing to consider though is warning those who may come in contact with your lips. Mr. Doll still looks at me warily if my lips are even the tiniest bit shiny. He insists that his lips were numb for days...whatever. My lips looked good, and that was the whole point, right?

This is a picture that I took 45 minutes after I had applied the product. I have no other makeup on, so as you can see Lip Venom also gives your lips a bit of a rosy glow. I would spend another $16 on this product.



1.21.2010

china glaze venti triple shot latte



Today I decided to try China Glaze polish in Venti Triple Shot Latte. I have never worn a polish in this color family, but I am loving it! The color goes with everything and I feel like it makes my fingers look longer. This also looks really lovely on your toes!


1.18.2010

chanel color collection spring 2010




In a time where it seems as though everywhere you look cosmetic companies are coming out with one bright, bold color after the next, I am so excited to see this color story by Chanel. Their spring makeup is full of natural, neutral tones that are wearable for day or night and inspired by Coco Chanel. I first fell in love with Chanel while working at a cosmetic counter many years ago. Their shadows are silky and glide on effortlessly and their glosses somehow manage to feel exspensive (maybe because they are exspensive).

I have reached my makeup limit for the month, but come February these are my two "must haves" from the collection:


A bit pricey, but I have owned powder from Chanel and it lasts forever and feels lovely on. And it has the double C logo on it, so I need it.



This is the most perfect glossy nude. I tride it on at the store and I think that it makes your fingers look longer because of the way that it blends in with your skin tone. Love it!



1.17.2010

I Just Learned That I'm Not Patient (JK, I knew that already)

I have been attempting to mess with the layout of my blog on my own, but have finally decided that I cannot handle trying to revamp it by myself. I am shopping around for some help on a new design, but until then pardon my mess and all of the confusion. I am ridiculously a tiny bit OCD, and cannot have anything that I do not be esthetically pleasing to moi. That means that I keep making changes to the blog at all hours of the night. It is fun, but also very frustrating! I am going to give changing it up on my own a few more shots because I would love to come up with my own little design, but I am not going to hold my breath!


My plan is to have it looking fab by Valentines Day, one of my favorite holidays (um..the theme is pink and everything is covered in hearts?!) but we will see.

Thank you to those of you that have been reading!

XOXO

the new beauty test tube is so worth the money


In 2004, before I became a broke college student, I signed up for New Beauty's TestTube program. For $29.95 a month (plus $8.95 shipping) you get a TestTube every 3 months. They are always filled with different products from companies such as GoSmile, Shu Uemura, Dr. Brandt and Jane Iredale (to name just a few).

You try the products that are in your tube and then are able to go online and rate them. When I participated in this program I was very impressed by the content of the TestTubes. Every tube that I received within the year was filled with at least $150 worth of product, and there was rarely a product that I did not like.

The content of the TestTube is at their discretion, meaning that you are not able to choose what you are sent. Some people that I attempted to get signed up for this program did not like that aspect of it; personally I think that it is so exciting! Many of the products that I tried through the TestTube program were ones that I would normally not have tried on my own, but are now some of my favorites. GoSmile is one of those products that I was introduced to in one of my tubes that I now cannot live without!

This is a product-junkies dream and worth the money!

1.12.2010

Product Review: Olay ProX Intensive Wrinkle Protocol

I have never really tried Olay products, mostly due to the fact that I have access to many salon brands that I love and used when I was doing facials. Recently though a friend of mine who is nearing 40 told me that she had been using the Olay ProX Intensive Wrinkle Protocol, a starter kit of products from the company's high-end skin care line. She insisted that she had noticed a significant improvement in the wrinkles around her eyes and mouth. She also said that here skin felt smoother than it had in years, so when I was given the chance to try this product I jumped at it!

The kit contains:

Age Repair Lotion with SPF 30 - This is to be applied liberally in the morning. It contains lactic acid which is a mild AHA and vitamin A. This product seems primarily be for protection (SPF 30). You may also get mild exfoliation from the lactic acid.

Wrinkle Smoothing CreamThis product is meant to be used at night. The cream contains vitamins A, B, and E, all of which are known to refine skins appearance and smooth wrinkles.

Eye Restoration Complex - This is meant to be used around the eye area. The directions say to use it day and night for best results. The main ingredient in this product appears to be caffine, which is known to reduce puffiness. * I wish that the directions on eye creams stated that you should apply with your ring finger, not your index finger. The ring finger is weaker than the index and using it will eliminate tugging around the eye area. Also, pat eye cream on, do not rub it in or pull at the skin around the eye.

I have been using this now for about 2 weeks. I noticed a definite improvement in my skin's texture within a few days, but it has not been long enough to tell if it will really help eliminate wrinkles. The one product I do not care for is the eye cream. It is mostly silicone and when I used it my eyes feel slightly irritated for an hour or so afterwards, so I have stopped using it. My eyes are sensitive when it comes to creams and lotions, so the problem may be me and not the product. For the $60 price tag I expect to see some noticeable results over the next few months. I'll let you know!

XO

1.11.2010

the next best thing to tattooing liner on: l'oreal extra intense liquid pencil eyeliner

The other day I was at Target and decided to check out what was new in one of my favorite lower-end brands, Loreal. I am a big fan of their HIP products as well as their True Match foundation. One of the first new products that I noticed was their extra-intense liquid pencil eyeliner. I am always looking for great liners, so I decided to give this one a try since it was only $7 (I purchased it in black).


I have to start by saying that this is a very pretty liner on. I prefer pencils over liquid liners, and this one gives you the look of liquid with the control of a pencil. I swatched it next to Cover Girl's perfect blend pencil to demonstrate how smooth and dark the Loreal liner is. The Loreal is the bottom swatch.


Here is the problem though; this liner does not want to come off. Below is a picture of my eye with the liner on. When I say "on" I mean still on the next morning after cleanser, makeup remover and baby oil were all used the night before in a failed attempt to remove it. I have dry skin right now so makeup is a bit harder to remove, but still, when I want my eyeliner to come off I expect it to come off.



I Conclude:
I would definately buy this product again and I will use it often most likely. It goes on easily and has real staying power**. It it however ridiculously hard to remove. If you choose to try it, arm yourself with makeup remover and be prepared to have that "last night was CRAZY" look for at least 24 hours after you have washed your face.


**By real staying power I mean it does not come off.

1.10.2010

opi black onyx polish is the new chanel vamp maybe?


As it continues to snow in Kansas City, my mood has become a bit darker with each snowflake that lands on the cold, wet ground. I have chosen to express myself with this very lovely dark polish from OPI.  It says "if you choose to speak to me, be careful of what you say", while still remaining classy. This color reminds me of the cult-classic Vamp by Chanel, minus the $30 price tag.

Unless you are trying to look like Elvira, mistress of the dark, please only wear black polish on short, squared nails.



1.07.2010

the mud cares palette - review

I was very lucky in December to win this eye palette called the Mud Cares Palette from Make-Up Designory on twitter. I was excited not only by the very wearable colors in the palette, but also that 100% of the proceeds go towards building a safe and sustainable home for children in Africa that have been orphaned by AIDS.  The Palette contains four shadows which I used to create the look below.





What I found to be a really nice surprise in regard to this palette is that the colors are far more pigmented than I would have thought just by looking at the picture on the MUD website.

For this look:

I first filled in my brows with Spanish Gold. Then I used Cashmere along my brow bone as a highlighter. I used Dolce Deleche all over lid and up to brow bone as a base. I used Spanish gold in the crease. I then blended all of that and lined eyes using a wet brush and Moss (which is my favorite color in the palette). All of the colors are very pretty, but Moss is my favorite in the palette because it is a gorgeous shade of green with gold flecks weaved into it that doubles as a liner.

I loved that I was able to do the entire eye - brow and liner included - with one palette. I think that this would looks really amazing on a darker skin tone as well.

i love pottery barn candles, so much..


I am a picky bitch individual when comes to just about everything, right down to the candle on my dresser. I am not a fan of Yankee Candles (the smell of vanilla makes me ill, the same goes for country apple) and I also have a hard time finding candles at places such as Target that I like. I love candles though, so I am on a constant search for the "perfect" one.

I do believe that I have found it. The cherry blossom line from Pottery Barn (or as I like to call it The Land of Grey and Beige) I rarely go into Pottery Barn, but I was given a gift certificate for Christmas so I decided to check it out. That is when I found the most amazing candle in the world. These candles smell like a mix of rose and jasmine and they burn forever. They were on sale, so the one pictured was $8 instead of $16. They also had larger sizes as well as diffusers. They do not sell this online, only in stores. I may buy them out though...

1.04.2010

extra virgin olive oil for skin, hair and body


We all know that olives are fabulous in a martini, but did you know that when turned into E.V.O.O. (extra virgin olive oil) they are also amazing for your skin, hair, and nails? High quality olive oil has many different health benefits due to the high amount of antioxidants found within it, as well as numerous vitamins and nutrients. High quality does not mean the "most expensive", just that the olive oil is as least processed as possible. Generally speaking E.V.O.O. is oil that has only been through one pressing, meaning it should still have many of its natural properties.

Olive oil contains antioxidants that assist your body in neutralizing free radicals which would otherwise damage skin, causing signs of early aging. I purchase organic olive oil at the local market and in the winter I literally bath in it. I add several tablespoons to my bathwater (usually along with lavender essential oil). I also apply it directly to my hands and feet and even use it as a makeup remover! At around $15 for a large bottle, it actually seems very inexpensive in comparison to the many beauty creams on the market for upwards of $50. I really feel that since I have been using it regularly I can see a definite improvement in my skin and hair.

1.03.2010

opi skinny dip'n in lake michigan


So, I never thought that I would say this, but I am sparkled-out. For the last few months every nail color that I have tried was full of huge (well, good sized) particles of glitter. This made me very happy for a while, but seeing as that it is a new year and all, I feel it is time for a change.

This color by OPI is one that I have had for a while but ignored. I was going to give my nails a break and put on a coat of clear, but that sounded sooo dull. This is the perfect beige with just a hint of sparkle. I am only wearing one coat. Two or three coats of this polish makes it no longer sheer and the sparkle in it stands out more. I think this is the perfect "every day" nude nail color. I bought this over the summer and now can't find it on OPI's website, but it is on Amazon and eBay for around $6.

1.02.2010

korres wild rose mask


New Year's Day I was forced to go out into the cold for necessities (champagne and false lashes). By the time that I got home, this fair-skinned German girl looked not unlike a tomato. My face was bright red and dry, my lips were hideously chapped ~ I was a mess. Luckily, I recalled that I had several samples of Korres Wild Rose Face Mask that I had been saving. I ♥ Korres and had purchased several products from their website in December. When you make a purchase from them you also receive several samples and one of mine was this mask.

I applied the Wild Rose mask and left it on for about 15 minutes. It was slightly tingly at first, but not to the point of being uncomfortable like some masks I have tried. When I removed it the first thing that I noticed was that the redness was gone from my face. That was a miracle in itself because it normally takes my face hours to calm down once it becomes irritated. My lips were no longer flaking away and my skin felt incredibly smooth.

I had not looked at all of the product ingredients prior to applying the make (obviously it has rose oil in it), but after such great results I got online to see what was in it. From the website I learned that some of the main (active) ingredients are:


Wild rose, a source of vitamin C that helps with wrinkles and hyper pigmentation

 Waltheria Indica extract, a powerful skin lightener

 Argan tree oil, an oil that protects skin and makes it soft

 Shea butter, an ingredient that acts as an anti -inflammatory agent

 Avacado butter and vitamin B5, both excellent sources of moisture


 After trying the sample I would definitely purchase this mask. Few products are able to soothe my skin quickly after extreme cold or heat and this one did that and more!

1.01.2010

Happy 2010!


♥ I have been a "blogger" for a month now, and I just want to say thank you to those that have taken the time to follow my little blog. It makes me even more excited to review products and find new ways to be glam when I now that someone is reading, so kisses to you all ♥

Okay, so my first New Year's resolution was to spend less time online. Then I found polyvore.com. Resolution out the window. All I want to do is create sets. It is like paper dolls for adults! So the above set is a look I created yesterday. If I were to title this look, it would be called: What I Would Have Worn, Had We Left the House. But alas, we did not. This year has been long and arduous for my husband and I, so we concluded that staying in was the safest bet. Champagne was had at midnight and that is all that really matters anyway, right?

If I could give every girl in the world some advice for 2010, it would be to be nice to yourself. That can mean anything from buying that $20 lip gloss that you have been eyeing, taking an hour long bath, or just not being so hard on yourself. It isn't easy to be a girl. Trust me, I know (I'm about as girly as they come). So this year be nice to you. I give girls everywhere permission to be the glamorous diva that has been hiding deep inside of them...

(That does not mean that you get to go JLo on everyone, demanding only red M&Ms be brought to your dressing room that is filled with 100 thousand rare orchids and draped in fur)

Happy 2010! Now go spend hours on Polyvore.com...


XO


happy holidays!



Happy Holidays!