I need another peach blush like I need a punch in the stomach, but my peachy comrade-in-arms should still know about this one by Josie Maran. It's the dewy, radiant, perfect shade I've been looking for in a cream blush. I've been wearing more cream blushes lately because I really like how the formula is translucent and blendable. This shade is particular is just sheer, pure peachiness. No shimmer or other juvenile nonsense. Anyway, I sound like ad copy but I loved it instantly.
$22 for a .12 oz compact at Sephora.com.
A latecomer to this shade but it's sheer perfection for fall. One coat is close to the color of cranberry sauce, and two is more of a chocolate-covered cherry. Like most Essie colors, it's an easily buildable thin formula with plenty of shine. No streaks and on short nails, Wicked is elegant, not gothic.
I bought my bottle for $7.99 at Target.
Other -Josie Maran Cosmetics - Argan Oil Moisturizing Stick
carinnemj 9/22/2010 1:54:00 AM
I bought the mini for $6 to push me over the free-shipping threshold at Sephora and I was pleased to find this makes an ideal undereye moisturizer. I know other reviewers have had problems with the menthol in it, but I haven't experienced any stinging at all and I have sensitive, rosacea-prone skin. On the contrary, my undereye area feels soft and smooth -- no puffiness or dryness at all since I started using it. Granted, at my age I have only the very beginning of fine lines around my eyes, but argan oil fits the bill given my needs. I also use it on lips and dry patches (which makes it a godsend living in a high-altitude desert climate).
Skincare - Body -Bliss Labs - Problem Salved 20-in-1 Wonder Balm
carinnemj 9/8/2010 1:13:00 PM
I first came across this when Sephora was stocking it, but $18 was too much to pay. Now they're at Nordstrom Rack for under eight bucks and that was more my speed. It's par for the course for Bliss -- soothing spa-influenced scent, neat packaging, and just so-so efficacy. One weird thing, though: I swiped it on my lips and it tasted awful. Then I read the directions and it says, "Stick it to your beauty woes by applying Problem Salved anywhere from head to toe. (Just be sure to skip the lips.)" Really? I've never seen a multi-purpose balm that couldn't address chapped lips. It's too thick to be easily applied to cuticles, but I'll keep it for dealing with runner's chafing and eyebrow taming. Not exactly 20 uses, but oh well. $7.95 for a 13 g tube at Nordstrom Rack.
Bad Landing is a Barbie-fied coral pink with subtle metallic shine. Like all China Glaze polishes, it wears well and doesn't chip easily. It's a fun shade for toes but too garish for me to wear as a manicure. I took off one lippie for its lack of versatility.
Lip Treatments -Neosporin - Lip Health Overnight Renewal Therapy
carinnemj 8/26/2010 11:55:00 AM
I've never used a lip balm that is as emollient as this. The white petrolatum is not the same thing as Vaseline -- it's an opaque white cream that feels really slippery on the lips and lasts for hours. And it works a lot better than I bargained for! Even my husband likes to use this, I think because it's in clinical white plastic (aka not girly) packaging. $4.99 for a .27 ounce pot at Drugstore.com.
Bath Treatments -Avalon Organics Botanicals - Rosemary Bath and Shower Gel
carinnemj 8/18/2010 11:52:00 AM
I can't speak to it as a bath gel but for showering, it's lovely. While you're lathering, the rosemary scent is clear, invigorating, and genuine -- not a trace of chemical fragrance because there isn't any. The downside is that my skin feels dry if I don't follow it up with a moisturizer immediately after stepping out of the shower. I prefer to get some hydration out of my shower gels, but if you're looking for one that would be good after a long hike or a sweaty run, this would be perfect. $11.99 at Whole Foods or Drugstore.com.
I don't know how I've gone so long without reviewing this magical oil. I live in a high-altitude desert climate and even though I have oily skin, I need a workhorse of a moisturizer. This fits the bill. I was expecting a woodsy smell like Kiehl's version or Moroccanoil, but this pure oil has no scent at all. Best of all, a bottle lasts forever because 2-3 drops covers my whole face. I bought the travel size (.5 ounce) in April and it's only now running out. $48 for a 1.7 ounce tinted glass dropper bottle at Sephora.com.
Make room for me on the bandwagon. I bought this because of the glowing review in Lucky by Jean Godfrey-June -- the only beauty editor in the world who wears hardly any makeup. But generally her recommendations are spot-on for me since I prefer a natural-but-polished look. The texture is divine, not too shiny and just creamy enough that my lips seem fuller and poutier. And the color is perfection against my skintone (NC25). It's a rosy pink that can add elegance to everything from jeans and a sweater to a cocktail dress. This is a weird comparison but it's the precise color of a mosquito bite -- basically your skin but naturally flushed. Pricy at $30 for a tube but if you're only going to buy one lipstick this fall, make this it.
As far as dirt-cheap thrills go, this is one of the best. I'm usually drawn to pink or nude lip colors, so this deep red is a bit of a departure for me. But for 99 cents, I figured I had nothing to lose, and I'm so glad I took that stylistic chance. My favorite way to wear it is to apply a little lip balm first and then push the color onto my lips, rather than swiping it on. It gives a pretty raspberry stain that lasts through the second round of cocktails.
If you're having trouble finding it, I got mine at Target and the success I've had with this color is going to bring me back for more.
Treatments -Kiehls - Midnight Recovery Concentrate
carinnemj 8/9/2010 2:50:00 AM
I have not experienced the malabsorption that other reviewers describe -- for me, this oil sinks in immediately and keeps my skin baby-soft through the following morning. I live in a desert-dry, high-altitude climate where even oily skinned people like myself need serious hydration out of a moisturizer, and two drops of the Midnight Recovery Concentrate mixed with Josie Maran's Argan Oil is my magic combination. Plus the lavender/evening primrose scent is incredible -- I just wish it lasted longer because it might lull me to sleep.
$42 for a 1 ounce tinted glass bottle at Nordstrom or Kiehls.com.
I was really sad to move 500 miles away from my L.A. colorist since he was responsible for the best hair I've ever had. (He also does hair for Rachel Bilson and Kate Walsh, so the guy knows color.) Before I left, I asked if there were any at-home color kits that stack up to a salon job, and he said this one was better than most and recommended that 8N ("Christie," medium blonde) would be the closest match to his formula for me.
I gave it a shot and I'm super impressed. He was right, it matches exactly and it lifted my roots seamlessly. The pro brush makes it easier to apply right to the roots, and it doesn't smell as nasty as drugstore dye. And he gave me a tip: Halfway through the roots touch-up process, "baste" the color by swiping the brush through the full length of hair at random intervals. It gives nicely blended highlights.
I am no longer looking for a new colorist since this kit is able to give me exactly what I want. It may be $30, but the results rank up there with a single-process dye job several times that cost. I'm stockpiling it now.
Styling Products -Living Proof - Full Thickening Cream
carinnemj 5/24/2010 8:33:00 PM
This stuff is the real deal for me. It gives my hair fullness without sacrificing touchability or shine and it smells wonderful. I have collarbone-length fine hair and I like this product best when my hair has been air dried. It coaxes the waves out and makes me look like I have naturally full, tousled hair.
$24 for a 3.7 ounce bottle at Sephora.com.
Mascara -Christian Dior - Diorshow Extase Flash Plumping Mascara
carinnemj 5/24/2010 8:21:00 PM
I got the deluxe sample from Sephora to try it out and I'm just kind of meh about it. It's a nice inky black and the brush is very cool looking, but the thin formula means it defines and lengthens more than it plumps. And it smudges every time. I have better luck with CG LastBlast, so I've returned to the orange tube.
This product has been renamed as the Moisturizing Face Screen + SPF 30. It comes in both tinted and untinted formulas. I got a free sample and find the tinted version is a bit too pigmented to be used as an effective sunscreen -- if you applied enough for suitable sun protection, it would look a little mask-like. But it's a great medium-coverage tinted moisturizer, and you have to love that it's organic and paraben-free. Definitely best for dry and normal skin; it's too moisturizing for oily skin. $45 for a 2 ounce glass pump bottle at MVOrganics.com.