Tuesday, January 20, 2009

New Favorite Shampoo!

Mmm! I am obsessed with Herbal Essences' new shampoo, Featherweight. You've probably seen their new line, Hydralicious, featuring three new shampoos and matching conditioners (Featherweight, Self-Targeting, and Reconditioning). The bottle and product have a pretty swirl of multicolored hues, scented with floral essences.

I'm always on the hunt for a new shampoo. I have naturally light blonde hair. As with a lot of blonde hair, it's quite fine and prone to breakage. I do have a fair of amount of hair, however, which is naturally wavy in texture. My roots are oily and ends are very dry. Needless to say, I think my hair is kind of a pain some days.

Well, this shampoo is marvelous! First of all, it smells divine, scented with water lily and passion fruit. The packaging is adorable and I love the fun swirls in the product. It lathers up and rinses out quickly. I grabbed hold of my hair after using Featherweight and noticed the wet strands felt plumped up and noticeably thicker. After I dried my hair, it felt so soft, clean, and thick! I am impressed by such great results from a shampoo that retails for around $4. Featherweight is a perfect name for the light, fluffy volume, it gives your hair. I'm going to try out the conditioner to see if it works just as well. Definitely give this one a try if you have fine hair!

Packaging: 4 out of 5 stars (I'd prefer a different cap, the flip top will break easily)
Price: 2 out of 5 (1 being the least expensive, 5 the most)
Overall Performance: 5 out of 5 stars

Check out this shampoo on drugstore.com

Sunday, January 18, 2009

MAC Hello Kitty & OPI's South Beach

This past week has been crazy getting into the semester at school and my poor blog has been neglected. I've still had makeup on the brain, although my Shakespeare course is definitely dominating my thoughts right now. I've been playing with my Urban Decay Sustainable Eyeshadow Palette (love! great for night time looks), exploring the Sinful nail polish line at Walgreens (great deal, by the way) and picked up two new drugstore mascaras: L'Oreal's Voluminous and Maybelline's Colossal.

I thought I'd blog about the two beauty collections I'm most excited about for Spring. Spring is definetly one of my favorite times for makeup--I love the airy, etheral look and floral colors. Sooo without further ado...

Of course, I am ridicuously excited about the MAC Hello Kitty line. I loved Hello Kitty as a child, maybe even more than Barbie, and I love what MAC is doing with this line. If you haven't had a chance to see pictures from the line, check out this link: http://www.temptalia.com/mac-hello-kitty-pictures-and-photos. I want pretty much everything but I'm attempting to more savvy with my makeup purchases. Here are my top picks from the collection:

Cute Ster lipstick (first lippie on left in picture below). This has been described as a "sheer peachy pink with pearl". I have a lot of blue toned pink lipsticks and several frosts so I thought this one would work for me better than Strayin'. I also want to see Fashion Mews (not shown), the pale lavender lipstick, in person.

Too Dolly Eyeshadow Palette. It comes with four eye shadows: Yogurt, Romping, Too Dolly, Stately Black (L to R in picture below). This palette is my must purchase. I love the colors and I think they'll work perfectly for my light, cool toned skin. The Lucky Tom palette is also pretty and features warm colors.

On the Prowl Nail Lacquer (middle polish in picture below). I think this color looks gorgeous--I love silvery grey nails. They can transition from day to night and the Hello Kitty figure on the bottle is adorable!

For some reason, I'm a huge fan of the OPI Nail Collections. I enjoy seeing what themes and tongue in cheek nail names they'll come out with next. This spring OPI is launching the South Beach collection. The pictures don't have quick the wow factor of say, the India collection, but I think South Beach has a beautiful range of colors. My favorites so far:

Done Out in Deco- a lilac creme color.

Overexposed in South Beach-a dark magenta color with shimmer.

Feelin' Hot-Hot-Hot- a cool toned bright pink creme.

Click the promo picture below to see a bigger image of these polishes.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Bride Wars Movie Review & Beauty Looks

Bride Wars was released today and stars Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson. The plot is pretty self-explanatory from the previews. People pleasing Emma (Anne Hathaway) and her assertive, trendy friend Liv (Kate Hudson) find themselves engaged at the same time and mistakenly booked for the same wedding day. This slip up brings out the Bridezilla in the friends who go to great lengths to sabotage each other's special day. I won't give away the whole story (although my sister called the ending pretty quickly) but I will say if you've seen 27 Dresses, you've pretty much seen Bride Wars. I'd say 27 Dresses was better but Bride Wars shines in its sheer magazine like quality. More than anything, I enjoyed seeing Hudson and Hathaway's stunning outifts, fabulous wedding dresses, and trendy makeup. Overall, I'd give the film 2.5 stars out of 5. It's a worth a rental with friends.

Interestingly enough, despite the fact Bride Wars was filmed before the culmination of the current economic situation, the film reveals a shift in "of the moment" makeup looks. Hudson whose character is an aggressive go-getter is made up in heavy dark liner, bronzed cheeks, and nude lips. Her hair is stick straight, fashioned with blunt bangs. Clearly, this look is very "five months ago," denoting high maintenance, penchants for luxury, and fatter wallets.

Yet Hathaway's character depicts what we'll be seeing in beauty this season. Her skin is clear and luminous, with softly rimmed doe eyes, and full berry lips. Hathway's hair is loose and natural, styled in simple waves. A focus on low-maintenance, simple elegance has returned to beauty with our slimmer pocket books and greater financial burdens. I gather that Hudson's snow bunny meets rock star look will remain in style but stylists will be following Hathaway's lead, in an effort to remain on trend and show some of economic sensibility.

Here's a sample list of budget friendly products that can be used to recreate Hathaway's look:

Face: If you already own a natural liquid foundation and setting powder, you're set. Be sure to choose one that is perfectly matched. The key here is embrace the "my look but better" style. Suggestions for liquid foundation: Revlon ColorStay's Makeup with SoftFlex ($11.69 on Drugstore.com). This liquid foundation comes in a variety of 20 shades and in combination/oily or normal/dry formulas. Contains SPF 6.
Suggestions for setting powder: Revlon ColorStay Pressed Powder($8.99 on Drugstore.com). Oil free. Six shades.

Cheeks: You can be pretty versatile with your choice in brush. A light, pale pink powder applied with a light hand would be ideal. However, since skin tones vary, coral might be better for warmer tones. The whole emphasis with the cheeks should be sheer, used to waken up the skin without relying on a "pop" of color.
Suggestions for blush: Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Talc Free Mineral Blush ($10.95 on Drugstore.com). Comes in six natural colors. Oil free. Try Pink Glow for porcelain skin, Rose Glow for medium, and Warming Glow for dark skin tones.

Eyes: Here, you'll want to do a softly rimmed eye with a dark brown or black kohl liner depending on your preference. Be sure to create a thin line by using soft, quick strokes on your lash line. Softly smudge the liner with a q-tip so that the eyes are defined without being harshly lined or smoked. Use an eyelash curler (try heating it up for a few seconds with a hair dryer for a better curl) and apply your favorite lengthening/volumizing mascara. Be sure to separate your lashes and remove any clumps. You want long, soft, feathery lashes.

Suggestions for eye liner: Rimmel's Soft Kohl Kajal Eyepencil in Jet Black or Sable Brown (2.99 at Ulta.com).
Suggestions for mascara: Maybelline's Full & Soft in Soft Black or Brown ($5.99 on Drugstore.com). Clinique's Long Pretty Lashes in Black or Brown ($14.00 on Sephora.com).

Lips: The lips are definitely my favorite part about this look! Start with a soft, waxy lip balm like Lypsl. This product will give your lips enough moisturize to look naturally soft and somewhere in between matte and shine. For your color, use a soft berry lipstick applied fully to the mouth.
Suggestions for balm: Lypsyl Regular Lip Balm ($3.29 on Drugstore.com).
Suggestions for lip color: Cover Girl's Lipslicks in Daring ($3.99 on Drugstore.com). Or their new Outlast Lipstain in Wild Berry Wink or Berry Smooch ($7.49 on Drugstore.com).

Glamorous! A tousled bun would go great with look as Hathaway wears in the film. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Makeup Manual Review

Ok, so I'm finally getting to my review of Bobbi Brown's Makeup Manual. I meant to post this much sooner but I went out of town with family and I've been getting organized for my new semester. Anyway, I'm going to give you my thoughts and an overview of this beauty book!

Makeup Manual: For Everyone from Beginner to Pro was, of course, written by Bobbi Brown and published by Springboard Press. The first edition was released this past December 2008 and contains 221 pages. The book retails for about $32.00 new.

Onto the fun stuff! The Makeup Manual is divided into two parts: Basics and Artistry. Basics begins with Bobbi Brown's own personal philosophy on beauty, explaining her work as a makeup artist and how her skills progressed over time. Perhaps one of my most favorite sections of the book can be found in Chapter 2: Equipment. Here, coupled with beautiful photographs, Brown describes own to set up your perfect makeup kit for home, evening, work etc. The next section of this chapter has a tool guide with just about every makeup brush you could imagine and its description/uses. This section is essential for those of us who walk into a beauty store surrounded by intriguing brushes without a clue of their purpose!

The next chapters of the Part I: Basics each focus on Skin, Face, Lips, and Eyes. Brown's nutritional advice is nice but seems unnecessary as its elementary information. However, I felt her section on Moisturizers & Sun Protection as well as the Skincare Glossary were fascinating and informative. Who knew Vitamin E acts as a mild sunscreen (see pg. 45 of Makeup Manual)?

The chapter Face explains how to choose and apply corrector, concealer and foundation. Most of us with a solid makeup background probably have a good grasp on these concepts. However, we can all use visual refreshers, provided by Brown's up close pictures. Brown also explains how to work with diverse and unique skin conditions (think multi-toned skin and birth marks) as well as how to apply bronzer and blush. I think her explanation of blush was absolutely flawless and I love her descriptions of the different blush formulas (from powder to chubby pencils).

The Lips chapter was a bit a shorter than I expected. Brown reveals a guide for selecting lip color by using the natural color of your lips. This is very helpful to those who want to stay in the natural, fresh look. Again, there is a wonderful glossary defining the formulas of lip products.

If you buy Makeup Manual for one reason, buy it for the Eyes chapter. Brown covers everything from eyebrow shaping to creating glam eyes to using false eyelashes. The pictures of excellent as with the rest of the book. I love how she captures each step. I would have like to see a few more images of her blending techniques.

Part I of Makeup Manual ends with the 10 Step Guide for Perfect Makeup, tips for ageless beauty, and bridal makeup techniques. These sections are all great reference tools.

In Part II, Brown explains how to become a beauty professional. She reveals the essential equipment for every artist's kit (15+ shades of foundation in various formulas!) as well as various career options in the beauty industry. My favorite part of this section were the magazine photographs. Brown really shows off her wild and creative side we usually don't get to see with her line's focus on natural beauty. The artistry section is interesting for anyone bitten by the beauty bug, even if you don't want to go pro. It's always fun to learn and explore. Brown gives advice on makeup for photographs and reveals a fascinating time line of the history of makeup.

(Picture credit: Chris Trotman/ Getty Images North America)

I've owned two of Bobbi Brown's other beauty books (Bobbi Brown Teenage Beauty from my jr. high years and Bobbi Brown Beauty Evolution) and Makeup Manual is by far the best. I'd say Makeup Manual is geared toward those at the intermediate level- those comfortable with everyday makeup, but looking to fine-tune their knowledge and techniques. It's interesting and somewhat unexpected that Brown would combine this style with a section on makeup artistry. I'd be more likely to expect to see a section on expanding your techniques rather than one on going pro. However, I'd definitely recommend this book to all beauty bugs and product junkies. It's a beautiful reference and enlightening read.

Over all rating:
(1 being the worst, 5 being the best)
Content: 4 out of 5
Images/Style: 5 out of 5
2.5 out of 5 (Check out amazon.com, half.com for a better deal)

List of chapters in Makeup Manual
I. Basics
Chapter 1: Makeup Artistry
Chapter 2: Equipment
Chapter 3: Skin
Chapter 4: Face
Chapter 5: Lips
Chapter 6: Eyes
Chapter 7: Ten Step Guide to Perfect Makeup
Chapter 8: Special Makeup Applications
II. Artistry
Chapter 9: Artistry
Chapter 10: Essential Equipment for the Professional
Chapter 11: Advanced Makeup Applications
Chapter 12: Memorable Makeup Moments & Legends

If you're interested in other beauty books, I highly recommend checking out Kevyn Aucoin's Making Faces.

Please note that Bobbi Brown's Makeup Manual: For Everyone from Beginner to Pro is copywright 2008 of Bobbi Brown Evolution, LLC. Photographs are by Henry Leutwryler. I am merely a consumer expressing my ideas and thoughts and in no way represent or claim to represent Bobbi Brown Evolution, LLC.