Jul 22, 2014

Get the look: Megan Fox's natural beauty look at the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Sports Awards

Who: Megan Fox
What: Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Sports Awards
Makeup: Monika Blunder 

Blunder started with a super thin layer of La Prairie Skin Caviar Concealer Foundation in Honey Beige, applied with a Beauty Blender.  
Next, she defined Fox’s brows with Anastasia Brow Wiz Pencil in Brunette. 
On the eyes, Blunder applied Chanel Illusion D’Ombre in Impulsion all over the lids, followed by Laura Mercier Caviar Stick in Amethyst on Fox’s upper and lower lash lines.  
To add depth to the crease, Blunder used Nars Duo Eyeshadow in Kalahari.  She finished the eyes with a few coats of Lancome Definicils mascara and a few individual lashes at the outer corners of the eyes.  
To achieve Fox’s golden glow, Blunder used Charlotte Tilbury Film Star Bronze and Glow to sculpt, and a little Charlotte Tilbury Blusher in Ecstasy on the apples of the cheeks.  She went back to the Film Star Bronzer and Glow to highlight the upper cheekbones, bridge of the nose, and just under the eyebrow.
For the finishing touch, she used Chanel Rouge Allure in Rimpante #90.

Jul 20, 2014

Clover Canyon's "Sun Kissed Siren" makeup look by Stila

Who: Clover Canyon
What: Miami Swim Week
Makeup:  Sarah Lucero (Global Artistic Director for Stila)
Is this the perfect summer makeup look, or what?  Fortunately for us that it doesn't just look good, but it's pretty much fool-proof for us thanks to Stila.  Here's how to achieve the look at home:  
Face:  Use a little light concealer as needed, and get that beautiful, dewy skin with Stay All Day 10-In-1 HD Illuminating Beauty Balm.  
Cheeks:  Lucero custom blended Stila Convertible Color in Gladiola and in Peony according to each model's skin tone to give the most perfect tan glow.  Great idea to mix and match your colors at home!    

Lips:  Color Balm Lipsticks in Avery and in Valentina were pressed into the lips for a perfect pop of color.  
Eyes:  The eyes were as easy-breezy as you can imagine.  It was just a light dusting of the Jezebel Eyeshadow shade from the Fall 2014 Eyes Are The Window eyeshadow palette in Spirit.  To finish the eyes, Lucero used Stila's Fall 2014 Mile High Lashes Mascara (both Fall 2014 products are in stores on August 1st). 
Brows:  To finish the look, Lucero framed the face with Stay All Day Waterproof Brow Color and Tinted Brow Gel. 

Jul 16, 2014

Jonathan Adler Online Warehouse Sale

There's few things on earth I like more than a good sale.  It's right up there with mac n cheese or margaritas.  I can't resist a good deal.  Well, Jonathan Adler's warehouse sale is now online (you're welcome, non-New Yorkers) and it starts tomorrow.  From July 17th through July 22nd you can get up to 70% off this fun home decor.    
I wouldn't miss out if I were you.  Check out some of the deals you may or may not find on the site.  

Bobo Waves Pillow $88, but is $25.99 for the sale

Pop Sugar Candle $38, $18.99 for sale

Unicorn S&P shakers $48, $27.99 sale
Lena Lamp $595, $356.99 sale
Siamese Cat $88, $23.99 sale

So I think you all know where to find me tomorrow.  I'll be spending all my money.  Don't make me do it alone.  

Post-beach necessity: Sun Bum Cool Down Continuous Spray

Kids, I've used about 1,000 lbs of aloe on my skin since my epic burn in Martha's Vineyard.  It wasn't pretty.  Now I'm in the amazing peeling stages, but GUESS WHAT.  Even though I'm peeling, I don't look like a leper.  Which is unusual, but I'm going to credit the amazing after-sun products I told you about, as well as a new one that I discovered after I already told you about those.  A friend of mine sent me a bottle of Sun Bum Cool Down Spray (and some Sun Bum SPF50 Moisturizing Sunscreen) with a note that said "Hey Loser, don't burn anymore!".  Both hilarious and eye-opening at the time.  I was already in the midst of using every aloe product on the planet, so I didn't really need another one, but since this was a spray-on formula... well I wasn't NOT going to try it.  And let me tell you, it's brilliant.

A spray-on formula so you don't have to touch your already painful sunburn?  Seems obvious, yet I don't know anybody else who's done it.  It sprays incredibly evenly so you can get a fine layer (or a thick one) on all the affected areas.  It contains aloe, obvs, as well as cucumber extract to help soothe, and Vitamin E to hydrate the skin.  It's super lightweight and absorbs easily into the skin.  It actually smells faintly of cucumbers, so it feels and smells fresh.  It's actually so great that I've been using it on my legs every day even though I'm no longer burnt.  It's just great for moisturizing the skin and extending the life of your tan.  I don't know where this stuff has been all my life, but it's getting 2 thumbs up from me.

Jul 14, 2014

Urban Decay Perversion Mascara

In the event that I were stranded on a desert island, the one makeup item I’d take with me is mascara.  No doubt in my mind.  As the ship’s going down I’d have a life jacket in one hand and a tube of my best black mascara in the other.  That being said, I find mascara to be the most polarizing makeup product out there.  You have your people who either LOVE Maybelline Great Lash or they hate it (I’m in the hate category on that one).  Same love/hate situation with the popular Dior Show (I love).  Some people want volumizing.  Some want length.  I want it all, and I want it in a formula that doesn’t irritate my eyes, doesn’t clump, lasts all day without smudging, but easily comes off when I wash it off at night.  So basically I’m looking for the impossible, but a girl can still dream.  So I bring you my review of Urban Decay Perversion mascara knowing you fully might not agree with my opinion on its competitors, but I’m willing to bet you won’t be able to resist the texture of this newcomer to the mascara market. 

For those of you who like the shiny, jet black pigments of Great Lash or They’re Real, you’ll love the pigment on this.  The slogan on the bottle is “Bigger, Blacker, Badder” and they’re not kidding.  My gripe about the aforementioned competitors is that usually when you get something that black and shiny, you usually get clumps or spider lashes.  But not with Perversion!  The formula is somehow clump-proof, regardless of how many coats you apply.  And it never gets crunchy on your lashes either.  You won’t get that weird powdery black fall-out situation under your eyes at the end of the day.  It will absolutely stay put.
Ok, another thing I don’t like about a lot of other mascaras is the brushes.  Those weird plastic-y, spikey brushes that look like a medieval torture device are NOT for me.  I like more classic mascara brushes, like the Dior Shows and the YSL’s of the world frequently have.  Perversion’s brush is more like the latter, appearing like a traditional mascara brush at first glance, but it actually has twisted bristles to coat all of your lashes sans clumping.  Which brings me to my FAVORITE thing about the mascara.  The texture.  This has to be the smoothest mascara application on the planet.  The texture is super creamy so it just glides right on.  I absolutely loathe when a mascara is too dry and it takes several coats to get all the lashes and get all the clumps out.  This formula is certainly not dry, but not wet enough that you feel like you can’t blink for five minutes (which tends to happen with super black mascaras).  It’s actually perfect.  And, even though I’m a 3-coat type of gal, you really could walk out with one coat on.  It’s smooth enough that it coats all your lashes on the first go-round, and smooth enough that if you DO choose to wear 3 coats, you won’t clump or tear your lashes out.  I mean, how did they do that?  I’m confused and scared and excited, like Jessie Spano on pills.

Last, but certainly not least, I have to tell you that the good things about the fomula don’t end with its smooth application.  Oh, no.  They gave us a formula that actually makes your lashes healthier whilst wearing it.  How are we supposed to resist Perversion now?  The formula contains a proprietary complex of proteins and amino acids that they’re calling Hairdensyl.  It’s got Marine Glycogen, honey extract, and other random marine nutrients that nourish the lashes and possibly stimulate hair growth!  I could certainly use that right now.
So pervs, I am daring you to try this mascara.  I’m triple-dog-daring you to try it.  And let me know what you think.  I hope you’re all as amazed as I am. 

Don't miss the Nordstrom Anniversary sale

If you're a Nordstrom card holder, then you're aware this sale is already yours for the taking.  If you're not a Nordstrom card holder, then you will have to wait until July 18th to take advantage of the incredible deals on beauty products that last through August 3rd.  The sale is always highly anticipated by folks like myself, not just because of the giant value-sized products that I long for, but for the exclusive items that you'll only find at Nordstrom.  Check some of the deals I'm psyched for this time around:
Jo Malone Exclusive Anniversary Cologne Collection $88 ($110 value)
Jo Malone pretty much NEVER goes on sale, so if you're a fan of the brand take advantage of this collection of five of their fan favorite colognes for a value price.  Set includes Nectarine Blossom & Honey, Blackberry & Bay, Grapefruit, Pomegranate Noir, and Orange Blossom.  

Bobbi Brown Nude on Nude Color Set $85 ($208 value)
Queen of natural looking makeup, Bobbi Brown gives us another nude eyeshadow set to add to our collections.  The set contains 12 color eyeshadow palette, a full size Perfectly Defined Gel Eyeliner in Pitch Black, and a full size Smokey Eye Mascara in Black.  

Butter LONDON 10 piece nail lacquer set $49 ($104 value) 
This is a real steal if you ask me.  10 of Butter LONDON's best shades (there are no lame shades in this box) that you can keep all for yourself of split up and give as gifts.  But let's be serious, you'll probably want to keep all of them for yourself.  Set contains Brick Lane, Macbeth, La Moss, Giddy Kipper, Petrol, Slapper, Yummy Mummy, Chimney Sweep, and Nail Foundation base coat.

Estee Lauder gift with $45 purchase ($150 value) 
This gift with purchase contains a Nutritious Cleanser, Advanced Night Repair, and Sumptuous Mascara, all housed in a clutch that's shockingly cool for a gift with purchase.  You also get your choice of a moisturizer, mini 10 palette eye shadow, and a lipstick (in a warm or cool shade).
MAC Look In A Box Face Kit $49.50 ($101 value) 
Why wait until the holidays to get some awesome MAC gift sets when you can get them now at the Anniversary Sale?  The Face kit comes in All About Beige (pictured above) or All About Plum.  It Contains 6 eyeshadows, 3 blushes, and 2 lipsticks. 

MAC Look In A Box $39.50 ($70 value) 
A smaller, but still awesome, MAC gift set comes in All About Pink (pictured above), All About Coral, or All About Nude.  The set comes with a 3 shadow palette, a lipstick, a Lip Glass, and an eyeliner.  

NARS cheek palette $49 ($72 value) 
NARS blushes and bronzers are pretty much the best thing going, so a blush palette that lets you get new colors, best-selling colors, AND a best selling bronzer?  Pretty solid deal.  This set contains Laguna Bronzing Powder, limited edition Mistinguette Blush, Orgasm Blush, and limited edition Devotee Blush.   

Jul 9, 2014

Beauty By Benz Approved: Urban Decay Naked Skin Ultra Definition Loose Finishing Powder

A lot of powders come across my desk.  Full coverage, next-to-nothing coverage.  Some are that chalky white stuff that became the nightmare of Angelina Jolie, and some are a “one shade fits all” kind of lackluster beige tone.  (On what planet do “universal” shades really work?)  I’m actually not a giant fan of loose powders, but when I do makeup for weddings and/or photoshoots, the stuff is pretty much a necessity.  When I have used powders in the past, you can guarantee it was always begrudgingly.  I even prefer cream blushes and bronzers to the powder ones.  Until, one day, a jar of the Urban Decay Naked Skin Ultra Definition Loose Finishing Powder fell into my lap.  Life was subsequently altered forever.  I’ve used it almost every single day since I first tried it (with the exception of lazy Sundays where not a stitch of makeup touches my face).  I find EXCUSES to wear it, that’s how much I love it.  I use it on clients for their weddings.  I recommend it to friends.  IT’S THAT GOOD.  
So I’m sure you’re curious as to WHY I’m so obsessed with this powder if I’ve never liked a powder before.  Generally my disdain for loose powders is the texture and the way it falls into all your little fine lines/wrinkles, making you look older.  It usually feels heavy &/or cakey on my skin, which is something I just can’t get on board with.  Well THIS STUFF doesn’t feel like that at all.  It’s the finest powder I’ve ever felt touch my skin.  Seriously people, I have no idea how they got those particles to be so small.  It’s something about how the powder is “jet-milled”.  I’m not even going to pretend to know what that means.  But I know my love for this stuff doesn’t end with the texture.  Because let’s be serious, makeup is about how it looks way more than how it feels.  Well, you’re welcome, because it looks amazing.  It automatically gives you this blurred, airbrushed, soft-focus effect that normally you would need a professional photo retoucher to achieve.  I’m not Kim Kardashian, so nobody is trying to airbrush out my lumps and bumps, and I need all the help that I can get.  The finish is just perfectly natural, not overly done.  People will wonder if you’re wearing makeup or not, so we’ll keep this little secret between us.  I hate to break the news to Urban Decay, but the jar is pretty darn large.  It’s going to take me a while to get through it, even using it almost daily.  I almost feel like I’m ripping them off somehow.  Is that weird?  I don’t know if I should be putting these things out into the universe because I NEVER, EVER want this powder to go away.  It’s been a life-saver in these sticky summer months. 
Just a few sidebars before I let you go run off and buy a jar of your own:
-It’s free of all the yucky stuff.  No parabens or sulfates here.
-Alcohol-free, oil-free, and fragrance-free.  Great for sensitive skin types!
-Comes in five shades, which are pretty all-encompassing.  Urban Decay does a great job at realizing that we live in 2014 and people don’t fit into a one-shade-fits-all box.
-Shameless Urban Decay plug here: It happens to work incredibly well with Naked Skin Liquid, which is a favorite of mine.  The shades of the powder correspond with foundation shades, in case you’re more of a makeup rookie.  (ex: I wear a 4.5 in the Naked Skin Liquid, so I use Naked Medium in the powder).     
-Inside there’s a sifter (in the shape of the UD icon) to make sure you’re dispensing the right amount each time.  No worries about it being all over the bottom of your purse.
So I can talk about the stuff all day, but you really need to try it for yourself.  Urban Decay is often at the forefront of the “cool shit” department in my opinion, but I have to say this really took me by surprise.  Next time you see me, pay no mind to the fact that my skin looks flawless.  It’s just because I’m wearing my new favorite powder. 

Jul 7, 2014

I've been a bad, bad girl

Before I left for my weekend jaunt to Martha’s Vineyard with my boyfriend, I preached to anybody who would listen about how important sunscreen is.  I packed like 1,000 sunscreens, from amazing new ones I just found out about, to old favorites.  So you may be surprised to learn that I got a wicked sunburn all over my legs.  Sigh.  I made a rookie mistake and went out to read Saturday morning in the sun with no sun protection.  Completely enthralled in my latest book, I didn’t notice that I was getting a burn.  It sure didn’t look like I was.  I mean, it was FREEZING outside and I had goosebumps up and down my arms, so clearly I wasn’t thinking that I’d get burnt.  Well I was so, so very wrong.  Now going to put on a pair of jeans is like someone raking me over hot coals, so I beg you, please use sunscreen regardless of whether or not you THINK you might get burnt.  I’m usually so nuts about wearing REALLY high SPF’s that I can’t believe I’ve done this to myself.  But now that I have, 1) please learn from my mistakes, and 2) take note of some amazing after-sun products that you can use if you ever have to deal with a lobster-status sunburn.

Alba Botanica Very Emollient After Sun - 98% Aloe Vera Gel  
It's really hard for me to walk into a Whole Foods and walk out without some sort of product from Alba Botanica.  (I swear that their Good & Clean line has changed my life, but I digress).  After this weekend's little mishap, I'm happy to have their After Sun Aloe Vera Gel on hand to calm my skin.  I keep my aloe assortment in the fridge for times like these, but I like Alba because it is certified by the International Aloe Science Council.  Bet you didn't know a place like that existed!  But it does, and the point is that not all Aloe Vera Gels are created equal.  This one is top notch, and it just works.  Like all Alba products, you can expect only natural ingredients.  No parabens, sulfates, or artificial colors here.  Oh, and there's also a After Sun Aloe Vera Lotion that has green tea and Vitamin E in it.  Don't worry, you can thank me later.          

JĀSÖN Soothing Aloe Vera Organic Oil
Speaking of brands that I can't resist buying whilst at Whole Foods, Jason has a great Aloe Vera oil that is USDA Certified, that is also free of sulfates, parabens, and artificial colors.  This guy is great to just have on hand year round for any type of irritated skin.  It's as great for sunburns as it is for windburns, dry skin, chapped skin, or minor wounds.  Rumor has it that it's even good for people who are susceptible to acne scarring.  And, quite frankly, it's a heck of a lot cheaper than the fancy skin oils I've grown to love so much.  Why pay $40 for a luxury oil where the ingredient list bunch of stuff you can't pronounce, when you can buy this all-natural goodness for under $10?

Arcona Chamomile Balm
Since we all know that aloe=awesome, I'd like to take a moment to give chamomile some props as well.  While Arcona's Chamomile Balm is not meant only for sunburns, it can be helpful in calming your skin after one, or after certain intense cosmetic treatments like chemical peels.  Like the oil above, it's great for winter skin or summer skin.  This guy contains Blue Chamomile, licorice extract, and white tea (among other things) to really reduce redness and take away the pain that certain skin conditions can cause.  While it calms, it's helping to plump the skin and protect against future damage as well.               

Jul 1, 2014

Beauty By Benz Approved: Kate Somerville IllumiKate Concealing Eye Cream

Let me tell ya, my 30’s have been interesting thus far.  While I’m still in the low-3o’s, I’m quickly discovering that those who came before me were not lying about the signs of aging.  The slowing of the metabolism, the sagging of skin, and, my favorite, undereye bags.  I don’t think I had every used a concealer before I turned 30, unless you count the occasional hickey in college.  (Just kidding mom and dad!).  Basically the minute that I turned 30 I got a verbal spanking from a makeup artist about the fact that I hadn’t been using undereye cream, and it wasn’t long after that when I started noticing I probably needed to put a little concealer under there.  Fast forward to now where my undereye routine is nothing short of Picasso-worthy.  Always looking for an easy way to cover up, brighten, and moisturize, without spending all my hard-earned cash, I’ve recently discovered this time-saving Kate Somerville formula.  The IllumiKate Concealing Eye Cream ($42) is your eye cream and your concealer/brightener in one simple step.  I’m kind of already hooked on a Kate Somerville eye cream, so I know it’s good stuff, but the fact that this is a concealer as well just blows all others out of the water.  Warning: if you’re the type that likes really full coverage, I don’t know if this is for you.  The thing I like about it is that the formula is so wonderfully lightweight.  You don’t feel like you’re wearing caked-on makeup under your eyes.  But don’t be fooled because of its lightness, because it has a ton of anti-aging ingredients in it.   There is an anti-aging Peptide Complex to support collagen production, a Ceramide complex to reinforce the skin’s natural lipid barriers, Hyaluronic Microsponge Technology to pump some life into those wrinkled areas, and, finally, a “Diamond Complex” for a diffused, soft-focus undereye effect.  Basically it’s like combining all your favorite products into one.  That old twist-pen undereye brightener that you’ve been using for years?  Check.  Your standard concealer?  Check.  Nourishing undereye cream with all the skincare benefits you can possibly want?  Done and done.  It’s safe to say I’m pretty impressed with the stuff.  Looks like my usual Kate Somerville eye cream is going to have to move to nighttime use only, because the IllumiKate will definitely be my morning go-to.  


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