Photo Credit: The Charu Polish
More than ever, customizable bespoke items are taking center stage in beauty from hair color to nail polish.
British brands have taken nail couture up a notch (we’ve always loved Ciate) and now Nails Inc. presents a luxury nail must have in the form of its Couture range. It’s bespoke at its finest, just like the suits you’ll find at the British Saville Row. It’s also affordable.
Basically the Couture by Nails Inc. allows you to pick your color, packaging, and label for a personalized presentation, all for $20!!. Just think of the possibilities in terms of shower gifts, hostess gifts, or holiday presents.
Just go to the Nails Inc. website to design your polish, using the following step:
1. Choose your personal color from the brand’s shade collection—from best-selling nudes (subtle beiges to sweet nothings akin to Essie’s Ballet Slippers; I like Pall Mall ) to the full-throttled blues and purples;
2. Choose your nail polish lid: you can adorn your polish with pearls, crystals, plain and shiny kinds in all sorts of colors. It’s wonderful when nail lacquers become jewelry on your vanity;
3. Create the label and name your polish;
4. Design your own personalized gift box complete with sticker logos.
The polishes themselves go on well, and two coats (sometimes three, with the paler ones) lasts a week with no chips provided you put a good base and top coat on. But because this is so unusual, the results (the hefty bottle, the sparkling cap, the personal shade you pick out) are a bit like you shopped with a good nail stylist. It obviously also makes for a great gift, particular for the younger set who wants a one of a kind item.
Photo Credit: Aedes de Venustas
Some of my favorite beauty products of all time are Tocca’s perfumes, and they come with a wise saying on each bottle: Love Yourself. Of course, Tocca didn’t come up with that saying, but it rings true to both beauty and Valentine’s Day.
For this year’s gift guide, I focused on innovative products that make you look and feel good about yourself. These could be gifts that you present to yourself—or your loved one—and they’re clever, beautiful, and smart enough to make anyone feel truly special.
This elegant million dollar looking purse spray is all about the bling: so much so, that people will think you’re part of the Shahs of Sunset cast. But take heart, the new purse spray with the iconic Aedes motif is all about a mysterious and sensuous iris and incense accord. The Iris Nazarena Eau de Parfum combines one of the world’s most precious aromatic materials (the Nazareth iris) with one of the most ancient (incense). This rare flower mostly grows on the mountains east of Nazareth, and became the muse for perfumer Ralf Schwieger. The spray is a collectible and a hefty romantic gesture, and comes with three refills.
Photo Credit: Sephora.com
Nude is always sexy, and now Urban Decay’s latest Naked 3 Palette celebrates neutrals in 12 shades, from a pale, shimmery pink to a deep, black matte with red micro glitter. It has matte, pearl, and glimmering metallic finishes, running the gamut of a modern nude rainbow.
Think of it as a Clarisonic for your lips (yes, can you believe a purring machine takes care of your pout?). The new fabulips ‘pout’-o-matic is the first whirling lip perfecting tool that uses a custom-designed oscillating polishing head and massaging nubs to stimulate and exfoliate the lips (you’ll need to use the sugar lip scrub for best results). It’s a major boon if you want lipstick and gloss to go on evenly. We tried it once and were instantly hooked because everything from moisturizing balm to lipstick got a major boost in the longevity department. The best part? Our lips were baby soft and all buttery—just the kind you want every day, especially on Valentine’s Day.
This glamorous, ombre colored seven-piece brush set will have you feeling like Marilyn Monroe when you use it. All the brushes are made with synthetic fiber and the pink, purple and orange ombre design adds a pop of color to your regular brush routine. You get everything from an angled Blush Brush, Flat Powder Brush, and Pointed Foundation Brush to a Large Shadow Brush, Small Shadow Brush, Crease Brush, and Angled Liner Brush.
Juara Coffee Scrub ($37)
Say “I love you” with this fine addition to any one’s shower routine. Juara’s Coffee Scrub will wake you up in the morning with its energizing zing (it’s made with fresh Indonesian coffee beans), and also contains gentle sulfate-free cleansing agents, so those who want a greener routine will be happy. Coffee has long been used to stimulate circulation in the skin, and is also a good antioxidant. Follow your shower routine with a cup of your favorite pour over coffee to be fully awake.
Photo Credit: Make Up For Ever
Sometimes I forget how the right blush can change your day. That tiny bit of color can turn a workday look glamorous even if you’re wearing warm winter trousers and rugged boots. Case in point: the new HD Blush ($26) from Make Up For Ever. With just one application lesson, I found it incredibly fun to use and spirit lifting (perhaps, one and the same).
A cream blush that acts like a powder, HD Blush is the latest addition to the brand’s HD range that is so loved by makeup artists. During a launch event in New York City, a Make Up For Ever artist taught me the proper way to apply this little touch of sunshine. She used the slanted side of the brand’s Double-Ended Sculpting Brush ($53) and just patted on the color. Then with a figure eight sweep, she brushed on and blended the color all at once. A little awkward for me at first, but honestly it has been a breeze ever since.
The result is utterly natural and reportedly looks as great on camera as in person. Silica powders and synthetic mica deliver a smooth, comfortable texture and a soft-focus finish. My perfect shade is #225, a peachy pink, but the company says that #410, a rich coral, is universally flattering. The launch features 16 shades ranging from pink sand to blackcurrant that were chosen to complement a plethora of skin tones.
This new blush hits Make Up For Ever boutiques and Sephora locations this month.
At the same time, the company introduces HD Pressed Powder ($36), a compact version of HD Microfinish Powder—very popular for reducing shine on sets. The new purse-friendly version offers the same line-softening benefits and soft focus effect as the original. Once again, a special brush was recommended for application—the Kabuki Brush ($52)—used in a downward and outward motion. The powder appears white in the compact, but goes on clear, so it works with all skin tones. If it looks white on your skin, you’ve applied to much and the excess can be brushed off.
The right tools and makeup really make a huge difference. The blush and powder are fun to use and give me an extra boost to face the day.