Monday, August 31, 2009

This Week's Sales:
Erno Laszlo, MD Skincare, Borba and more!

This one is gonna be short and sweet folks, the few hours I spent today restoring the hard wood floor in my daughter's room kicked my butt! Be that as it may, I would feel simply horrible if anyone missed out on a great deal because I failed to keep y'all in the loop, so here's the scoop!

The week starts out pretty quietly this Monday, August 31st as Rue La La hosts anti aging skincare line Freeze 24-7. Then on Thursday, catch MD Skincare when it goes on sale. Both sales begin at 11am EDT.

Gilt Groupe is only slightly more happening this week, starting on Tuesday with the rescheduled Erno Laszlo sale, followed by Antica Farmacista fragrances on Wednesday Septmember 2nd.

Also on Wednesday, check out Borba Skincare over at Billion Dollar Babes.

Apparently, the action is over at Haute Look this week, with visits by Cosmedicine on Tuesday September 1st, Neil George haircare on September 2nd, and Lollia by Margot Elena on Friday the 4th.

If this week seems suspiciously quiet to you, make sure you're following me on Twitter so that I can keep you updated on all of the last minute info (including last minute sale additions!) I also may have some exciting news to share on the beauty sale horizon, so stay tuned this Tuesday for an update. If you don't already know, these sales are by invitation only. Don't fret though, this is your personal invite! It's totally free, and you can join now- just follow the link by clicking on the from name of the site! Hope your favorite is on sale this week! Have fun shopping and I'll see everyone (everyone, right?) later this week for a review and picture tutorial of Sleek Makeup- coming soon to an internet near you!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Localized Breakouts:
Is Your Skin Trying to Tell You Something?

If you're plagued by localized breakouts, your daily activities may be more at fault than your skin care routine. If a particular area of your face seems to constantly erupt, analyzing your daily habits and making a few quick changes could be all you need to have clear skin.

For instance, if your breakouts tend to prefer your jawline or chin area, be aware of whether you habitually prop your head up on your hand while you're sitting at your desk during the day. It's highly likely that oil and dirt from your hand could be transferring onto your skin and causing irritation. If that's not your issue, ask yourself if your job (or your gossip habit!) has you on the phone a lot. The receiver of a phone can harbour dirt and bacteria and is constantly exposed to germs from the multitude of people touching and breathing into it all day (eww, right?) Try to keep your hands off of your face as much as possible, and wipe down your telephone receiver each morning with alcohol or an anti-bacterial cleansing cloth (you can buy wipes specifically for this purpose!)

Is the inner bridge of your nose a problem area? Do you wear glasses? Using an alcohol wipe each day to wipe off the part of your glasses that rests on your nose can help to eliminate the problem.

Is your forehead prone to bumps, no matter what you do? If you wear bangs, the oils from your hair, not to mention any hair product you use, could be exacerbating the condition. Try pinning your bangs up for a few days to see if the problem begins to subside. If you decide that your bangs are part of the problem, don't go for the scissors quite yet. Try spraying your fringe with a bit of dry shampoo to help absorb excess oil and keep it from transferring onto your skin.

So, you can see, with just a little Sherlock Holmes style observation and a few easy remedies, you may just find that the answer to your most mysterious breakouts was right there the whole time!

Monday, August 24, 2009

This Week's Sales:
Philosophy, Erno Laszlo, Juice Beauty and more!

Look for their famous Hope in A Jar moisturizer, my personal favorite cleanser, Purity, or some of their (almost) good-enough-to-eat scented body care when Philosophy goes on sale this Wednesday, August 26th at Rue La La. The sale begins at 11AM EDT, so don't be late!

Also on Wednesday, HauteLook hosts Juice Beauty. Made with up to 95% certified organic ingredients, Juice uses their own patent pending Organic Juice Base instead of water to nourish and protect skin of all types. Of course, you still have time to get some great deals on Kings & Queens body care, an off-shoot of Greek gift-of-the-gods line Korres. The sale goes until tonight at 2AM EDT, so saunter on over and check it out.

At Gilt this week, check out Malin+Goetz on Thursday, August 27th. This NY based apothecary and lab is a fusion of natural and high tech designed to treat various skin concerns with no added dyes or fragrances and hip, minimalist packaging that appeals to both men and women alike! On Friday the 28th, 29 Cosmetics offers up a unique concept- color cosmetics that offer the antioxidant protection of grape seed oil straight from the Napa Valley. Bonus points for anyone who has noticed that founder Lydia Mondavi shares a surname with a well known California winery! (She's married to the grandson of wine mogul Robert Mondavi.) Last, but certainly not least, check out legendary skincare pioneer Dr. Erno Laszlo's eponymous line. Laszlo is to skin care as Chanel is to chain link and tweed. A favorite of legends like Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn and Greta Garbo, this old school line and it's trademark black soap epitomizes glamour in a skincare ritual. Gilt sales all start at Noon, EDT.

Look for their famous Hope in A Jar moisturizer, my personal favorite cleanser, Purity, or some of their (almost) good-enough-to-eat scented body care when Philosophy goes on sale this Wednesday, August 26th at Rue La La. The sale begins at 11AM EDT, so don't be late!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Green and Mean:
Pushing "Natural" Cosmetics

Have you started to feel the pressure of going green with your beauty routine? Are you wondering if your choice of shampoo is poisoning you, or if your lipstick is ruining the earth? Or are you, like me, sick of having to wade through the high waters of toxic misinformation permeating our society at the moment?

In this case, I'm referring to cosmetics companies who are trying to guilt us into using their products with all the finesse of a Jewish mother of 4 (or a Catholic mother of 8) by insinuating that their "natural" skin care products have an advantage over skincare that is chemically engineered. Case in point: Burt's Bees.

If you've flipped through a beauty magazine in the past few months, then perhaps you've seen their current ad campaign, which focuses on using scare tactics to imply that using natural products is somehow better for you. They do so by juxtaposing the benefits of their product's key ingredient with more commonly found ingredients.

Let us consider the advertisement for Burt's Bees Replenishing Lip Balm which pits it's beeswax base against petrolatum, a base found in tons of popular lip soothers, from ChapStick to La Mer-even cult favorite Rosebud Salve. (In fact, most major companies, including MAC, Estee Lauder, Murad, Cargo, Laura Mercier, Philosophy, Peter Thomas Roth, and more, make lip products that are petrolatum based.) According to the ad, beeswax forms a "hydrating barrier that keeps lips moisturized" while petrolatum "moisturizes with an oil based film." Notice how Burt's uses nice words like "hydrating barrier" to describe their lip balm ingredient, but describes the competitor's as an oily "film"? Really, it's semantics, but by using a word commonly associated with the grime on your bathroom wall, they attempt to plant a negative bias in the consumer's head without using any pertinent factual information.

I represent no company, and am not selling either product, so I'm not scared to give you the facts. Oil is not bad. Skin is naturally moisturized and protected by the oil that is produced in our very own bodies. Petrolatum has been proven safe, gentle and effective in study after study. It repairs the barrier of damaged skin and helps to reduce inflammation and water loss, and it does so about as well as the skin's own natural defenses. Beeswax is a thickener that contains some emollient properties. Like petrolatum, it helps to seal in the skin's own moisture, which makes the skin feel softer and more soothed. Unlike petrolatum, it does not help to heal the skin or do anything to reduce inflammation.

Another comparison that Burt's Bees makes is that beeswax is "naturally replenishing", while petrolatum is non-renewable. I'd challenge this notion by pointing out that there have been alarming declines of bee populations in recent years; since we don't know why bees are disappearing, we don't know how to fix it, and thus, can not really say that beeswax is infinitely renewable. Petrolatum is a by-product of oil refining (or in Burtspeak: "derived from crude oil") which means that as long as we're drilling for oil, we'll have petrolatum. As much as I'd like to think we're close to independence from fossil fuels, I think we all know that's far from a reality.

Another tactic Burt's Bees uses is comparing it's apples to the competitor's oranges. The ad for their Naturally Ageless Day Lotion compares their key ingredient, pomegranate, to dimethicone, which is found in many leading anti-aging products on the market. Burt's tries to turn you against products that contain dimethicone by pointing out that while pomegranate is a powerful antioxidant, dimethicone is a silicone "film" (there's that nasty word again!) that temporarily fills in lines. No arguments here; both statements are factual, but the side by side comparison is meant to lead us, the consumers, to the impression that the Naturally Ageless Lotion protects the skin while the competitor's offering is filled with worthless ingredients that only offer a temporary pay-off.

In fact, dimethicone is added to anti-aging products for the exact benefits that Burt's Bees condemns- it makes the skin soft and smooth, fills in pores and fine lines, and helps to lock in moisture. It is not, as is implied in Burt's advertising, added to serums to provide protection. Any anti-aging product worth it's salt has SEPARATE antioxidants added to fight the damaging effects of the environment. Some, like Murad Energizing Pomegranate Moisturizer SPF 15 and Cosmedicine Global Health Face UVA/UVB, SPF 30 use both dimethicone and pomegranate extract, proving that the two ingredients are not mutually exclusive.

While there are several more versions of the "natural-vs-chemical"campaign that I could debate, I don't want to belabor the point. Sure, I could talk about the ad where they compare the buttermilk in their Baby Bee lotion to parabens, which are preservatives. I might ask why you would even want a lotion that contains a volatile dairy ingredient that has no proven benefits. I'd probably point out that preservatives keep products from spoiling- something I would want to ensure, especially on my baby's delicate skin. I could tell you that this baby lotion that Burt's Bees calls "gentle" contains Sodium Borate, an ingredient that was determined by Cosmetic Ingredient Review to be "Not safe for use on infant skin." But hey, it's natural, so it's got to be good, right? In short, no. Might I remind everyone that Poison Ivy is all-natural too? I might even offer some personal testimony by slipping in the fact that Burt's Baby Bee Buttermilk Lotion actually broke my baby out in hives (that added fragrance sure does make it smell good though!) I could do this, but I think that qualifies as beating a dead horse. I could do all of these things, and more, but I think you get the point.

Though the "natural is better" marketing ploy is certainly not new, Burt's Bees' recent campaign seems to have taken it to a new level. If you weren't aware of this trend, scan the face mags on your coffee table. If you're lucky, you may even run across "The Burt's Bees Guide To Your Well Being", a 6 page digest of the ad campaign I've been talking about (speaking of which, isn't a bit ironic that a brand touting their "commitment to The Greater Good" is printing up 6 page magazine inserts? That's a lot of wasted recycled paper and soy ink!)

I encourage you to really think about the relevancy of the comparisons that are being made. Be aware of marketing tricks that lead you to assume benefits that the company can't overtly claim because they have no proof to back it up. Use the internet as a tool of truth- sites like PubMed, Paula Begoun's Cosmetics Cop (check out the ingredient dictionary), and are out there so that we don't have to take their word for it. Knowing something is true because you've seen the proof is so much more powerful than thinking something is so simply because someone else says it is. But don't take my word for it...

In the year since I wrote this, I've come to question the bias of the Environmental Working Group, who runs the Skin Deep database. I no longer trust it as an impartial source. I have removed my recommendation of their database, and added a link to PubMed, the online archives of the US National Library of Medicine.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Quick Tip: Be Cool to Your Skin

Avoid using hot water to cleanse your skin, especially your face. Using water that is too warm will strip away too much of your skin's own moisture and protective barrier, leading to dry, irritated skin.

Use lukewarm water to wash, and make the last few splashes as cold as you can stand; the chill will help to close pores and reduce any puffiness.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Two Huge Friends & Family Sales!
Urban Decay and Tarte

Until next Monday, use code FF09 when you check out and save a whopping 40% on your entire purchase online at Tarte Cosmetics! They pitch in a free sample with every order, plus, if you spend over $60, Tarte will kick in on the shipping and send it all to you for FREE!

I've been waffling over some of Tarte's famous cheek stains (particularly the limited edition A Perfect Whirled) for ages; now may be the time for me!

Though I'm a bit late on the take (blame untimely e-mails!) you still have until this Thursday to get in on Urban Decay's fall Friends & Family event. Save 30% on your online purchase- anything from their awesome 24/7 eyeliners (1999 is a favorite of mine) to their gold standard Primer Potion, when you use the code FNFF1. As an added bonus, get a free sample packet of Primer Potion with every order, and free shipping on orders over $50- as if that's difficult!

This Week's Sales:
Jemma Kidd, Kinerase, Mario Badescu and more!!!

This week is second chance week in Salesville! We've seen most of these around (some just last week) but if you've been lemming something you let go last time, you may just be in luck!

HauteLook starts us off on Tuesday, August 18th with Perricone MD skincare. I'm in the market for a good night cream, so I'll be on the look out for a good deal! And if you missed it on Gilt Groupe last week, check out Rock & Republic Cosmetics on Wednesday, August 19th. I personally consider $135 (on SALE) a bit out of my price range for a bronzer, but if the refillable Swarovski encrusted compact sweetens the deal enough for you, don't miss this sale! Both sales start at 11am EDT.

Midweek over at Billion Dollar Babes, check out Kinerase skincare and Amazing Cosmetics. I'll be hoping to check out Amazing Concealer from (who else?) Amazing Cosmetics, a 2005 Allure Editor's Choice winner. And, though I'll admit I wasn't fond of Kinerase's SPF 30 Cream, I could be tempted to try their Ultimate Night Moisturizer if the deal is hot enough. Both sales start Wednesday, August 19th.

Gilt Groupe also waits until Wednesday this week to tempt us beauty addicts, bringing in Brit offering Jemma Kidd Makeup School on the 19th followed by D.L.& Co. on Thursday, August 20th. If you're into romantic Gothic images ala Burton or Gaiman, D.L.& Co.'s gloriously dark fragrances, candles and other home goods will be perfect for your aesthetic; what else would you expect from the company that refers to themselves as "modern alchemists and purveyors of curious goods"? Also on Thursday, don't miss star-touted skincare line Mario Badescu. If you keep up with my blog, you're already familiar with this line, which uses age-old, proven remedies in their no-nonsense approach to skin care and treatment. I'll, of course, be looking for my favorites: Glycolic Acid Toner, Drying Creme and Drying Lotion.

Finally, if you're new to my site, here's the deal: these sales are by invitation only. If you don't have an account yet, this is your personal invite! It's totally free, and totally easy- just follow the link to the sale by clicking on the name of the site that's hosting the sale! I do my best to write up all of the sales that are listed ahead of time, but since they are subject to change at any time, make sure you're following me on Twitter for the most up to date info!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Product Review:
Freeze 24-7
Instant Targeted Wrinkle Treatment

A few years back, a store I was working at started to carry Freeze 24-7, an anti-wrinkle line that supposedly boasted Botox-like wrinkle freezing properties. Freeze 24-7's miracle ingredient, GABA (short for Gamma Aminobutyric Acid) is naturally occurring in our bodies, and in conjunction with other chemicals, it inhibits the speed at which nerves fire. When applied topically, Freeze 24-7 claims its products can relax the facial muscles that cause lines. The key demo product in the line, the Instant Targeted Wrinkle Treatment (which I hereby dub "ITWT") caught my eye, so I thought I'd look a bit deeper.

At $65 for a 10g jar (that's about $186 per ounce, if anyone is counting) Freeze 24-7 Wrinkle Treatment is not exactly a bargain, but honestly, I'd pay much more than that for a viable alternative to sticking a needle full of botulism in my face. Unfortunately, after a quick review of the training materials provided by Freeze 24-7, I decided to pass on this miracle product. Why?
According to the company, the ITWT's benefits last up to 24 hours, and only while the product is on the skin. Frankly, there was no way I was going to pay that much money for something that washed away at the end of the day, especially when there are proven, effective treatments that cost the same or even less. Prescription Renova, for instance, runs about $100 per ounce and provides actual, measurable reduction of lines.

Still, I was curious about Freeze 24-7's claims, so when I came across a jar of ITWT for a whopping 75% off, I grabbed it and headed home to experiment. I also decided to do a bit more research.

The first thing I learned about GABA is that the topical benefits are completely unsubstantiated; there are NO studies that support the idea that topically applied GABA (or anything else applied to the surface of the skin for that matter) can do anything to affect muscle actions. There's also the fact that in the body, GABA does not act alone. It takes a host of other chemicals to help GABA produce it's inhibiting effects, chemicals that skin care products do not contain.

Then, of course there's the big catch 22- if putting GABA in skincare really relaxed muscles enough to eliminate wrinkles, what would stop it from doing the same thing to other muscles it comes into contact with? The muscles in your hands would be subject, since you likely use your fingers to apply the product. Potentially, even airway passages you use to breathe could be affected if you used the creme around your nose, mouth or throat. Curiously, there are no warnings about this on Freeze 24-7's product packaging.

It would seem GABA's effect in skin care is a bit iffy at best, so I turned to the product's other ingredients. Since the first three to five ingredients comprise the bulk of a product, it's usually there that you will see a product's true nature revealed. Here's a breakdown of ITWT's first five ingredients:

- Aqua (Water)
- Glyceryl Stearate (an emollient and thickening agent)
- Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil (this mimics the skin's own natural moisture barrier)
- Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (another emollient/thickener)
- PEG-150 Distearate (this basically binds the mixture together and keeps it from separating.)

A few more binders and one antioxidant later, we find a middling amount of the highly touted ingredient, GABA. What didn't I find? Anything that would get rid of wrinkles or help to rebuild collagen. What I did find? Eugenol- a potent irritant that can act as a mild anesthetic on the skin. I'm guessing that this explains the tightening feeling I got when I tried it. Sadly, the product was only tricking my mind into thinking my skin was tighter, while at the same time putting my skin at major risk for contact dermatitis. Luckily, I didn't react, but I also saw absolutely no difference in the appearance of wrinkles on my skin.

When it comes down to it, I'd have to say this product is pretty useless. Though it holds a decent concentration of emollients, the texture is rather filmy, almost waxy, on the skin, and did not work underneath my makeup- it made my foundation look cakey and dry in the areas I had applied it. Considering the fact that it has an ingredient that carries a high risk of irritation, I wouldn't even say this is a viable moisturizer for non-makeup days (granted, it is not marketed as a moisturizer).

I give this product 0 out of 5 stars.

I'm not even going to bother listing the pros and cons as I usually do, because in this case, I honestly can't see any pros- the product's claims are misleading, and there really is no alternative use for it (maybe it would dull the itch of a mosquito bite? I'm really reaching here...) If you want to spend an exorbitant amount of money on something to pamper your skin, there are tons of options out there, but I say skip this one for sure!

Monday, August 10, 2009

This Week's Sales:
New Additions:
Clarisonic and Thierry Mugler!

This week on Gilt Groupe we see Freeze 24-7 again, this time on Monday, August 10th. Then on Thursday August 13th, Rock & Republic Cosmetics makes their sale debut, I can't wait to see what goodies they have to offer. I'd buy almost anything that comes in such an awesomely designed compact! Wrapping up the week, if you've been waiting to try cult favorite Clarisonic, this could be the chance we've all been waiting for when the beauty brush to beat all beauty brushes hits the sale site on Friday, August 14th. All Gilt sales start at noon, EDT.

Haute Look starts their week in beauty with Laura Mercier on Tuesday, August 11, at 11am. And since I missed a great deal on their 24/7 eyeliner sets, I'm hoping to find them again when Haute Look features Urban Decay on August 13th.

New to the rotation (thanks for the invite, Adina!) Editor's Closet will be featuring Thierry Mugler on Thursday, August 14th. Of course, I would have been remiss to not mention this, as Mugler's Angel is one of my all-time favorite fragrances!

You guys know the drill; these sales are by invitation only, if you don't have an account yet, here's your personal invite! It's totally free, and you can join now- for Editor's closet, CLICK HERE for a personal invite from me, for all of the other sales, you can just follow the link by clicking on the from name of the site! As always, I do my best to list all of the sales that I know of, but since they are subject to change at any time, make sure you're following me on Twitter for the most up to date info!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Quick Tip: Where to Apply Eye Cream

If you read my previous post, you now know that you don't necessarily need to run out and purchase a special eye cream just to hydrate the area. However, since the skin around the eyes is thinner, it absorbs product more readily. As Mariella commented on my last post, using a product on the eyes that is too rich can cause tiny white bumps, called milia, to form. It should be noted that even eye creams can cause this if they're not designed for your skin type.

You can reduce the chances of this happening with this simple application method. Moisturizer, whether you're using eye cream or just your daily facial lotion, should not be placed any closer to the eye than the orbital bone- the circular bone that makes up your eye socket. A fool proof way of doing this is to apply the moisturizer in a triangle pattern to the bone around the eye- use no more than a small, pea-sized dab for BOTH eyes. Apply one dot to the brow-bone above the pupil, one on the bone below the pupil, and one on the outer corner, again, on the actual bone. Use your ring finger to gently pat the product into place, and that's it! Since the skin on your eyes is paper thin, it will literally pull the moisture into the areas that need it.

As an added bonus, you may notice less eyeshadow creasing and mascara smudging, since too much eye cream and incorrect placement are often culprits that cause these isses!

Beauty Revelation: Eye Creams

Recently, while having a discussion on the merits of eye creams, something occurred to me that had never crossed my mind. Well, perhaps it did flicker in every once and again, but my years of training shut it out. I had asked Cora (YouTube's VintageorTacky) why she didn't mention using an eye cream in a video she did on her skin care routine. As we all know, the skin around the eye area is thinner than the skin elsewhere on the face, making it more sensitive. This is why the skin around your eyes is usually first to show signs of stress, sun damage and age. Cora's answer: "I've read a lot of info saying that there is noting innately special about eye cream..."

This got me thinking, and reviewing ingredient lists in my head. I did some quick research and discovered something that I should have noticed a long time ago: most of the ingredients in my eye creams were the same type of ingredients as those in my facial moisturizer! Now, I've been trying to get myself in the habit of using an eye cream for the past 7 or 8 years, and for some reason, it's part of my routine that never sticks. I can use 3 treatment serums and 2 moisturizers during one application, but for some reason I can not remember to put on one of the 10 eye creams I own. Now, I know why. My mind was secretly rebelling against the establishment that has been selling us 1/2 ounce sized jars of moisturizer, telling us that it's special for the eye area, and charging the same price as they do for a 1.7 ounce jar of face cream!

I thought that I had to be missing something, and I needed expert back up, so I wrote a quick e-mail to renowned dermatologist Dr. Jeffrey Benabio. I explained my question, posited my hypothesis, and hit send, only half expecting a reply. Dr. Benabio has been featured in Allure, Glamour, and O, The Oprah Magazine; to expect that he would reply to a lone little beauty blogger would have been silly. The very next morning, however, I got my reply. It was simple and concise, and I will reprint the good doctor's answer here, in it's entirety so that there is no mistake:

The difference between eye cream and a facial moisturizer are insignificant. The only real difference is the label.


There you have it folks. Don't waste your money. Use whatever the hell you want on your eyes, it makes no difference. OK, so maybe that's taking it too far, but I do feel I owe an apology to the hundreds, nay, thousands of women I've sold eye cream to. If there's one thing that makes me feel a bit better, it's this: the concerns a woman has about her eye area may not be the same concerns she has about the rest of her face. In other words, don't expect your facial moisturizer to get rid of under eye puffiness or wrinkles unless it is designed to do those things for your face.

So what have we learned today? If your skin care concerns are consistent from your eyes to the rest of your face, save yourself a wad of cash and let your facial moisturizer pull double duty. If, on the other hand, you have separate concerns for your face and eyes, you may want to stick to your tiny-weeny little jar of eye goodness. Better yet, find a big old jar of facial moisturizer that treats your eye area concerns, and pick it up instead- the price per ounce will be a much better deal- just think of it as buying in bulk!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Illamasqua Store List

We've all waited long enough, so here it is: the full list (for now...) of US Sephora stores that will be carrying the Illamasqua line. The roll-outs will begin in mid September and will take no more than a month to complete. So without further ado (though just saying that is further ado, isn't it?) here's the list:


ALA MOANA, Honolulu

POWELL STREET , California
SANTA MONICA, California
SOUTH BEACH, Miami Beach
VENETIAN , Las Vegas
GEORGETOWN , Washington DC

ROSEVILLE, California (added 9/9)

Hopefully you live near one one of these stores. As for me, it looks like a road trip will be necessary, but what a great excuse! Thanks to Alex from Illamasqua for the info- it sounds like the brand had a phenominal launch in Times Square, they were the the second highest selling brand throughout the whole store that weekend!

BTW, for all of the latest news from the brand, as well as tips, tricks, artist advice and even product swatches, check out their official blog. Happy shopping!

Also, Thanks to my fiance Brad for taking the picture (above) of the brand new Sephora at 5 Times Square, the day before it's grand opening! He actually stopped to swatch some things for me (and therefore, you) but they were closed for their private launch party! Thanks for trying, Brad!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Beauty Buzz Words: Fragrance Concentrations

The forms fragrances come in are various, here's an easy guide to the most common types that you'll see. These terms refer to the concentration of the oils that compose the fragrance. The more oil a scent contains, the less you need and the longer it will last on your body.

When fragrance shopping, take into account that while a mist may be less expensive than a perfume, you're more likely to spray more mist, and you'll have to touch up more often throughout the day. The average body mist user goes through a bottle every 3 months. The same scent in perfume form is likely to last over a year, simply because it is not being reapplied as often.

In order of lightest (least concentrated) to heaviest (most concentrated):

Body Mist or Splash has the lightest concentration of oil (anywhere from about 1-3%) Mists are comprised of about mostly of the carrier base, usually alcohol. (Eau Fraiche is a mist that is generally alcohol free, but contains a similar amount of fragrance oils.)

Cologne More common to men's fragrance terminology, a cologne (or Eau de Cologne) is only slightly more concentrated than a mist, having around 5% fragrance oil. Though women's fragrances aren't generally marketed as colognes, many fragrance houses make lighter (usually limited edition) "summer" versions of their popular permanent fragrances that would fit into this category.

Eau de Toilette (EdT) Typically the lightest version of a scent that a fine house of fragrance will produce, an EdT has anywhere from 5-15% aromatic compounds. If you like to layer your fragrance by using scented shower gels and lotions, then an EdT is a good way to ensure you don't overload, especially if your favorite is on the bolder side.

Eau de Parfum (EdP) is one of the most concentrated forms of a fragrance that you can buy, with oil concentrations up to around 20%. Because of variations in the formulation from one brand to another, the difference between Eau de Parfum and Parfum may be negligible; indeed, an EdP from one line may actually be more potent than a perfume from another.

or Perfume is the most concentrated version of a fragrance. Parfums usually contain around 20% aromatics, but can contain upwards of 40%. As I mentioned above, many modern parfums are essentially the same as their Eau de Parfum counterparts. Those that do have a higher oil concentration are usually sold in a stopper bottle (not a spray) and should feel slightly oily on the skin.

Monday, August 3, 2009

This Week's Sales:
Annik Goutal Fragrances, MD Skincare, Tarte and More...

Strut on over to Gilt Groupe at noon today and check out Tarte Cosmetics- I've been ruing the fact that I passed on a set of their famous cheek stains the last time they made rounds on the sale sites, so I'll be on the look out this time around! If at-home pulsed-light treatments sound like a good idea to you (I'm not so sure, myself!) check out Baby Quasar on Wednesday, August 5th. Also on Wednesday, Gilt features Clark's Botanicals. After his son was in a debilitating accident, Dr. Harold Clark combined his background in both traditional and homeopathic medicine to developed effective treatments for his son's unbalanced skin when even prescription products failed.

To my great excitement, this week HauteLook will feature high fragrance house Annick Goutal. I dreamt of her Eau d'Hadrien for about 2 years before I broke down and bought it, now the only thing I don't love about it is having to try to pronounce the name when someone asks me what I'm wearing! Check it out on Tuesday, August 4th at 11am EDT. On Thursday, August 6th, stock up on your skincare needs with MD Skincare by Dr. Dennis Gross.

Oh, and BTW, since shipping tends to be a bit hefty on these sites, HauteLook is helping by offering free shipping on everything you purchase until August 12th, after your initial purchase. This means that you pay shipping once no matter how many times you shop!

Of course, these sales are by invitation only, if you don't have an account yet, consider this your personal invite from me! It's totally free, and you can join now- just follow the link by clicking on the name of the site! As always, I do my best to list all of the sales that I know of, but since they are subject to change at any time, make sure you're following e on Twitter for the most up to date sales and invites.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Top 5 Fragrances (that I don’t want you to wear!)

Having worked in cosmetics for as long as I have, I’ve amassed quite a fragrance library. I have limited edition Escadas and huge bottles of Chanels that sit untouched. I honestly feel I own a fragrance for every mood, season and outfit- I even have one that feels distinctly purple. The list below is a compilation of my favorite scents, the ones that I travel with and buy time and time again. These scents are the ones that define me; knowing them gives you, the reader, a direct insight into who I am.

1. Lolita Lempicka- my all time favorite, signature scent. I actually considered not listing this, because I want it to be mine- all mine! Top notes of Ivy and Anise Seed dry down to combine with middle notes of Violet, ending with creamy Vanilla and Musk base notes. Sweet but not cloying, Lolita reminds me of a grown up version of cotton candy.

2. Gucci Rush- Quite frankly, this smells like sex to me. A sultry, not too woody oriental, Rush was my first “grown up” fragrance- a step away from the light, fruity florals of my youth, though there are florals present- notably South African Freesia and Madras Jasmine. These top notes combine with the pop and spice of Coriander Seed which lay on top of an unmistakable base of Java Patchouli, Vanilla and Bourbon Vetiver. Gucci Rush is one of the many reasons I look forward to fall, though it’s too good to restrict to cool weather- it’s overt womanliness makes it the perfect date night scent.

3. Thierry Mugler’s Angel- Arguably the most popular or my favorites, and not to be confused with the powdery sandalwood of the Victoria’s Secret Angel fragrances, Thierry Mugler’s star shaped masterpiece is a groundbreaking elixir of Vanilla, Caramel, Chocolate and Patchouli. It's earthy but edible vibe marked the launch of a new fragrance catagory, called gourmand, and was the first to take a complete departure from floral notes.

4. Chanel Chance- Though many purists would argue for the classics, I’ve always found Chanel’s scents a bit too…let’s say “vintage”…for my tastes. When Chance debuted in 2002, it was described as the classic house’s “decidedly young” scent, but make no mistake- it’s still Chanel. Chance is chic and energetic: a complex blend of Pink Pepper, Hyacinth, White Musk and crisp Citrus notes which, at it’s Patchouli and Fresh Vetiver heart manages to feel luxe and fresh at the same time.

5. Miss Dior Cherie- with notes like Strawberry Leaves, Caramelized Popcorn, and Green Tangerine, you might imagine Cherie to smell like a teenager’s lip gloss, but factor in the soft woodiness of Crystalline Musk and the herbal notes of Pink Jasmine, and you’re left with a fresh floral that is grown-up but unpretentious. Somewhat similar to Chance, with less of a citrus accord, Miss Dior Cherie is the perfect scent to dress up a pair of jeans.

And one I’m loving right now:

Sud Pacifique Vanille Pineapple- This one sounds like exactly what it is- bright frothy Pineapple mixed with the smoothness of vanilla in a way that gives the scent warmth without too much sweetness. Perfect for summer, but like the season, the scent is all to fleeting. Since the Pineapple is the sole top note, it is very obvious at the onset, but fades quickly, giving way to a velvety vanilla crème and coconut milk base that just feels like an island vacation (and makes me very thirsty!)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Illamasqua Swatches!

Well, now that it's here in the US, many of you may be wondering what all of the hubbub is over Illamasqua Cosmetics. This cult favorite is full of unique shades and textures- here's a few for you to mull over until you can make it to Times Square! Click on any image to see a super close up, and stay tuned for full looks and reviews featuring Illamasqua products!

Left: Light Liquid Foundation 105
Right: Rich Liquid Foundation 135

Creme Blush in Rude

Powder Eyeshadow in Vapour

Left: without base
Right: with base (Urban Decay Primer Potion)

Top: Sheer Lipgloss in Torture
Bottom: Intense Lipgloss in Absorb

Liner in Cane

Glosses on my actual lips (both me, the difference in skin tone is just different lighting!)
Top: Absorb, Bottom: Torture
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...