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Photo Credit: MAC


Posted by 04.17.14

In beauty, packaging is every bit as important as the product itself (think: Chantecaille, Givenchy, Chanel to name a few brands who do it so well). The packaging ensures portability, convenience, and, of course, a pleasing look and feel.

MAC is no stranger to creating innovative packaging to house multitasking products, from its iconic Fluidline (it can be used as an eyeliner, but also artfully blended for smokey eye shadow) to its newly-launched Studio Sculpt Shade and Line, which marries two traditional eye shadows and one liner in one compact.

StudioSculptShadeLine-eggplant2Shade and Line in Eggplant. Photo Credit: MAC

The Studio Sculpt Shade & Line formulation is quite special and versatile: the biggest selling point is that three distinct textures —matte, sparkling and metallic—are available in one single case. I’ve seen few beauty brands do this, and quite frankly it’s surprising no one has thought of this before.

The compacts have two varieties of eye shadows, and one strip of eyeliner in the middle that separates the two shadow pans. As one would expect, they come in several beautiful combinations (each is $21):

  • EBONYBLEND: white frost/carbon black/dirty blue-grey (pearl/matte)
  • VIOLETBLEND: light white-pink/deep violet/iridescent cool pink (pearl/matte)
  • EGGPLANTBLEND: soft light pink/deep plum/dirty silver-grey (pearl/matte)
  • ROSÉBLEND: dirty washout pink/dirty blue-plum/metallic bright gold (pearl/matte)
  • APRICOTBLEND: champagne beige/dirty berry brown/warm coral peach (pearl/matte)
  • OLIVEBLEND: rich rose-gold/deep olive green/ dirty olive (pearl/matte)
  • ESPRESSOBLEND: rich penny-copper/charcoal black/warm brown (pearl/matte)
  • INDIGOBLEND: soft, clean sky blue/deep blue-teal/deep plum (pearl/matte)

The Studio Sculpt collection, in general, has a lot of makeup that is worth acquiring, from the concealer, foundation, and now the Shade and Line combos.  These are items I would buy and keep because one is all you need in your pocketbook to create several looks. You’d spend $21 on one eyeshadow alone: three in one doesn’t seem terribly shabby for the price.

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Posted by 04.02.14

Lipstick launches are always in season, but for spring, there are some new kids on the block that we’ve got our eyes on.

My pet lipstick peeve is that it doesn’t stay on long enough: by latte time, almost every variety is washed off or has transformed into a paler version of its former self. Makeup artist Ramy Gafni suggests the following tips to ensure lipstick longevity:

  • Fill your lip with a nude or lip-toned pencil before you apply the lipstick of choice. “The pencil gives the lipstick something to adhere to so the lipstick stays on twice as long,” he says.
  • After applying lipstick, use a one-ply tissue against your lips (the thinness helps; two-ply is too thick, says Gafni). You can also pat translucent powder on your lips through the tissue, and reapply the lipstick once you remove the tissue voile. “It’s the powder that will turn any lipstick into a long wearing formula,” he says.
  • And of course, it always pays to exfoliate and condition your lips (we’re hooked on the new Bliss Fabulips).

Here are our top three lip picks for spring, and almost all are in bright and bold floral hues.

Illamasqua Glamore Satin Lipstick ($26)

Glamore Lipsticks IllamasquaPhoto Credit: Illamasqua

All I had to do was wear Soaked on my lips for a full hour to believe its powers. The fiery red/coral color from the new Glamore collection will even make Christina Hendrick’s head turn: it is that good.

Glamore, the spring lineup by the color-obsessed brand, has both lipsticks and nail lacquers and is about true glamour, which—according to the campaign—never dies. The satin finish lipsticks come in three shades (currant-colored Glissade, fuchsia-colored Luster, and the mother of all coral reds, Soaked). It is best applied with a lip brush; use a lip liner in a slightly darker color and blend at the edges for a fuller, 3D effect. If satin is your finish, let it be Glamore.

NARS Matte Multiple ($39)

The new Matte Multiple, the latest lip and cheek wunderkind from NARS , is actually a refreshing take on the classic The Multiple, which is, by most accounts, the brand’s “hero” product.

NARS Matte MultiplePhoto Credit:

 Matte Multiple offers a different finish and texture from the original creamy multiple stick, and, like the original, is intended for use on the lips and cheeks. I tested the gorgeous brick-red Siam and was very impressed by its stain-like effect, which goes on dry (but never drying) on your lips.

Matte Multiple is best applied with a lipstick brush on the lips, and it’s is a good idea to pair with a lip liner for intense color. Siam is such a bright poppy red that it will turn heads—thanks to its marvelous blood red meets coral meets brick hue. Also, the shade does tend to last for a bit on the lips, unlike many lipsticks that promise a long-lasting finish. For $39, this is a stick that can serve you for a good three to four months.

Jane Iredale PureGloss Lip Gloss  ($24)

Jane Iredale Pure Lipgloss in TangerinePhoto Credit:

I love Jane Iredale’s products because they’re emollient, benign (as far as ingredients go), and they work. The new PureGloss Lip Gloss in Tangerine is a bold expression of spring, almost electric looking (think: Scarlet Macaw meets warm peach). Ideally for those with fair skin tones, this shade works well on my olive complexion too, and the best part is that it’s one of the longest-lasting glosses I’ve seen.

Expert tip: Gafni also advises that shimmer, cream, and matte lipsticks last the longest on your lips. “Sheer formulas are more moisturizing but not as long wearing,” he says.



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Posted by 03.31.14

Angelina, Scarlett, Rihanna, Jessica….they are some of the lucky girls blessed with naturally sexy, gorgeous, full lips (among other things). But if you weren’t born so fortunate, follow this cheat sheet for 5 ways to get your own killer pout and shhhh….no one has to know.

THE INJECTABLE: If your lips need more volume that you can get from just the right lip plumper, it’s Juvederm to the rescue. Hyaluronic acid gel is the perfect way to achieve soft, kissable lips, with a better shape and definition. According to David Shafer, MD, New York City plastic surgeon, “Hyaluronic acid fillers, such as Juvederm Ultra XC and Juvederm Ultra Plus XC, have revolutionized lip augmentation. The pre-mixed numbing medication and predictable results makes Juvederm a natural choice for lips. HA products are easily reversed or ‘melted’ with hyaluronidase for the unusual case of undesired results. There is a need for moderation and restraint as there is nothing worse than over-inflated duck lips. With the right amount of filler to add definition and replace volume, dermal fillers enhance your natural beauty and give you back a youthful, sexy, rejuvenated smile.”

THE RF LIFT:  If you’re looking for a way to smooth the skin around your mouth, and improve smoker’s lines and wrinkles in less than an hour, Pellevé may be just right for you. Pellevé Wrinkle Reduction treatment uses radio frequency energy to tighten, firm, and smooth over lax tissues around the mouth, and also helps fine lines. Think of it as framing your lips. A series of three treatments are recommended, but you can see a visible improvement after the first one. The best thing about Pellevé is that it doesn’t hurt, and it is safe for all skin types.

THE SKINCARE: “It’s not just dry lips that you’ve got to worry about, but lips get thinner and paler over time and their definition gets blurred. They lose pigment and turn from a sexy, rosy red to a dull pink tone. No one wants old lady lips,” said Beverly Hills Dermatologist Monika Kiripolsky. ZO® Medical Liprebuild Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment ($50) restores severely dry, cracked old lady lips by increasing microcirculation for subtle plumping.  It also helps gives lips a better shape and brings back the natural color. We love this daily lip rejuvenation treatment for under lipstick or gloss, and especially in cold weather or after a day at the beach.

THE EXFOLIATORS: Lips take a beating and need exfoliation, especially after winter’s dry, cold air, and sun exposure. TARTE Maracuja Lip Exfoliant ($16) gets the job done with raw sugar granules in a mixture of healing antioxidants and vitamin C. Maracuja oil leaves lips rejuvenated and smooth so lipstick glides on perfectly. The Lip Scrub™ by Sara Happ® ($24) is another beauty that wipes away dry, flaky lip skin. Comes in yummy flavors like peppermint, blood orange, vanilla bean, brown sugar, sparking pink grapefruit, sparkling peach, red velvet, creme brulee, and green apple.

THE LIP PLUMPERS: Create the illusion of full, pouty lips with a lip plumper. Most of these contain an irritant that causes swelling and tingling, such as cinnamon, mint, wintergreen, and capsicum which makes peppers hot. These ingredients boost blood flow to the lips, which makes them look fuller by making them slightly red and swollen, but only temporarily. Plumpers can come in various forms, the most common being a gloss, balm, stick, gel, tin, or pot. Laura Mercier Lip Plumper ($30) works well and is not sticky as some lip plumpers tend to be and makes your lips tingle. It comes in 7 shades, including Lychee, which is a clear white that is perfect over lipstick. Dior Addict Lip Maximizer High Volume Lip Plumper ($32) will give your lips instant shine and volume with collagen and marine-based fillers. It smells vaguely of vanilla and mint, which can be slightly addictive, and comes in a pale sheer pink tint for use over lip color or worn au naturale.

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