Notes from the Editors of The Lipstick Page Forums: A Dedication to the Art of Beauty and Fashion.

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· Fashion Notes: Is the bride too beautiful?
· Montale Powder Flowers review
· Angelina Jolie, Keira Knightley
· The perfect blush: then and now
· Beauty Notes: Chanel Moiré lipstick part 2
· Beauty Notes: Chanel Moiré lipstick
· How to choose a lipstick shade: then and now
· Stash musings
· Cosmetics ennui
· Favorite "high end" beauty products
· Beauty breakthroughs

Comments
· October 11, 2007 3:08 AM by Blogger Dain
· October 11, 2007 12:58 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· August 13, 2007 7:16 PM by Blogger Dain
· August 13, 2007 8:41 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· August 10, 2007 8:18 PM by Blogger Dain
· August 10, 2007 8:35 PM by Blogger cmm
· August 10, 2007 8:47 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· August 11, 2007 7:46 AM by Blogger cmm
· August 11, 2007 8:25 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· August 9, 2007 2:32 PM by Blogger cmm
· August 9, 2007 9:10 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· August 9, 2007 11:25 PM by Blogger Dain
· August 7, 2007 12:31 AM by Blogger Dain
· August 7, 2007 3:59 AM by Blogger Audrey_H
· August 8, 2007 2:20 AM by Blogger Dain
· August 8, 2007 2:41 AM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· June 3, 2007 8:36 AM by Blogger cmm
· June 3, 2007 9:49 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi

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The Lipstick Page Forums Beauty & Fashion Blog


Fashion Notes: Is the bride too beautiful?
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Thursday, October 11, 2007 2:28 AM (Eastern)

"I want to give women an artificial perfume," said Chanel. "Yes, I really do mean artificial, like a dress, something that has been made. I don't want any rose or lily of the valley, I want a perfume that is a composition." No. 5 is famous for being the first perfume to heavily rely on synthetic floral aldehydes as a top note. Before synthetics, perfume either had to be applied very heavily before going out to ensure that the fragrance would last, or frequently throughout the night.

Chanel applied the French aesthetic theory that "ugly" placed next to "beautiful," by contrast, makes the beautiful object appear more so. In this era almost all perfumes were floral and "pretty" - designed to enhance a woman's beauty with more beauty. Instead of the scent of flowers, Coco wanted a perfume that "reflects my personality, something abstract and unique." She believed that a perfume should serve to spotlight a woman's natural beauty using contrast - i.e. the artificial perfume would make the woman's natural beauty more evident.


From Chanel No. 5 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I read the Chanel quotes quite some time ago, about No. 5 being a deliberately "un-beautiful" scent, but it took me a long time to fully grasp the theory. I think we are conditioned to perceive if we choose the most beautiful cosmetics and accessories, it will make us the most beautiful overall, but it's been some time since I believed that.

I feel there is a balance, or should be, between the beauty of your accoutrements, and your own natural beauty. In short, whatever you're wearing, should not be too much more beautiful than you are. (Nor too much less so.) It should complement (often misread as "compliment") and enhance, rather than dominate.

It's a fine balance, and I've seldom seen it done well these days. I suppose the obvious example would be modern celebrities, who are dressed by modern stylists. Most of the time I hate their look. Not that I hate how they look, most of them look great, if a tad thin these days; what I dislike is few stylists seem as interested in enhancing their clients' looks as in making some kind of artistic statement (presumably to get other, better stylist jobs). It's not the same thing.

I stumbled across this amazing, if short-lived, blog: An Alabaster Brow, and was struck anew at how customized the older film stars' clothing, hair and makeup were, relative to what you see today.

joan crawford

Check that smokin' Joan Crawford! (Crawford was incredibly beautiful in her youth, before The Brows.) Some of the looks are really quite simple, others lush, even jaw-droppingly elaborate; what's consistent is how perfectly each look is tailored to the actress.

I also propose that online shopping has contributed somewhat to a gap between what looks good "on paper" and what looks good on. Where women would have tried on each item before even considering buying, we now tend to decide first what we might buy and then try imagining what it looks like on. I'm not saying it can't be done, but it is well to be conscious that that's what we're doing; that the focus of clothing and accessories has subtly changed from (or reverted to) "is fabulous on" to "looks fabulous in a picture" or "sounds great in a description."

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October 11, 2007 3:08 AM, Blogger Dain said...

It's freakin' Lucky! The whole wear-it-all-at-once, reference-everything, describe-cheekily thing is such a plague. They're always yammering about new talent and "ideal counterpoints", which usually means weird clothing that looks interesting on the rack but isn't really that flattering on, and some outfit that has six items layered willy nilly, like sartorial throw-up. When you've got to dissect every single piece--it's about the clothes, not the woman. I mean, it's great to break the rules and follow your own intuition, but it's like what they say about poetry, it stretches language to its limits, you've got to know in your bones the rules of language before you break them. I think it's the same with style.

[sighs] I love old Hollywood. I'm glad that retro is back, except... I suspect it's the same contemporary obsession with the possession rather than the woman, just in a different guise. I once heard, of all things in an anime, "When you look back on it, fashion is always born and cultivated in an idle era".

 
October 11, 2007 12:58 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

I rather think our "capitalism returns with a bang" period has already peaked.

Americans are a funny group...America is still more "a country people go to," than "a country people come from." Since most of us came from somewhere else, often quite recently, we do have first-, second- or third-hand (still not bad) experience with at least one different culture.

Ultimately it's hard to sell us a way "we have to be." It works temporarily but never over the long run. You're talking about people who didn't accept it wherever they were from. Why should they accept it here?

 
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Montale Powder Flowers review
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Wednesday, October 03, 2007 11:05 PM (Eastern)

Mmmmm...day two of this stuff. I tried a bit out on my wrist yesterday, then, deciding I liked it, applied it properly, and did the same today.

This begins as the kissing cousin of Chanel No. 5, indeed. I even get a bit of the aldehydes, as if Montale had initially decided to replicate No. 5...soft abstract rose, sweetish powder and white flowers, perhaps a hint of violets in the background (you'll have to forgive me if I'm off about violets, I haven't smelled nor seen them in at least 22 years)... When first applied, I'm getting No. 5, but sweeter, and light on the aldehydes.

Sometime in Hour 2, approximately, Powder Flowers veers off into pure baby powder, à la Johnson & Johnson. Strong, sweet, baby powder. (At this point the fragrance imo could be a touch more complex.)

Powder Flowers sort of toggles between the two...J & J baby powder and Chanel No. 5...for Hours 2, 3, maybe 4. After that it changes again, into something heavenly, "I can't stop smelling myself," a cloud of ambery goodness that lasts at least an hour or two. (Here you will want to have applied some closer to your nose, so it can waft right into your face.)

After that it fades some...becomes a soft baby powder/ambery thing, which, as in the other Montales I've tried, lingers softly for more hours, and remains on clothing until the following day.

Only in the beginning does it resemble No. 5, (sort of) down to the aldehydes. What's constant is the baby powder note. If you don't like baby powder, or powder in general, you're not going to like this.

But Powder Flowers stays pure baby powder only temporarily, and generally moves in and out in a dance with Chanel No. 5 (the original one I should say, there is a new one out), and a sort of dense ambery vanilla and woods thing.

This is a fine perfume. As much as I've been trying to narrow down which Montale I want, I almost feel as if each new one I try is a bit more delightful than the last. Right now I'm dithering between this and Jasmin Full (part 1, part 2).

chloe from 24


Bet you weren't expecting that! I've decided Chloe from 24 is my favorite tv character of all time, narrowly edging out Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Fred from Angel.

What brings this image to mind is the hour-by-hour quality of Montale perfumes. They're far from linear; they are the opposite of linear. If you're not head-over-heels over how it smells now, wait an hour. Or two. Or eight.

image courtesy www.geekmonthly.com

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Angelina Jolie, Keira Knightley
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Thursday, September 13, 2007 1:22 PM (Eastern)


Angelina Jolie ad for Shiseido

Again with the utterly colorless background and dress, making her sublime blue-green eyes jump out at you.

You'll note how simple her makeup is here. Just a little eyeliner and neutral shadows, nude lipstick, and mascara.




Pub coco mademoiselle

I'm less crazy about the Keira Knightley ad for Chanel's Coco Mademoiselle perfume. I actually like Keira Knightley, thought she made a bold and brilliant debut in her films. What I find disturbing, is this trend toward 1970's-style anorexic thinness. It didn't work in the 70's. What's up with bringing it back?

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The perfect blush: then and now
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Monday, August 13, 2007 1:41 PM (Eastern)

Then: The Lipstick Page Forums Beauty & Fashion Blog: The perfect blush

Now: Hm. I agree with Dain, that blush should be regarded as a foundation product, rather than as a color cosmetic. It's true you can create entirely different looks using different blushes, and if you employ a wide variety of lip colors, you might want a few blushes to coordinate with these (warm blush with warm lip, cool blush with cool lip, delicate blush with red lip), but the word is "might." You might not want to, or need to, if you have already found the perfect blush.

nars malibu

I love this blush! It's Nars The Multiple in Malibu. Note how it works with the different lipsticks (left to right): Chanel Moiré, MAC Strawberry Blonde, and MAC Sophisto. I could have gone through the bother of coordinating blush with lipstick, but there's really no need to.

I have never found a drugstore blush that could do what a spendier one does, although there are good drugstore blushes. L'Oreal tends to make good ones...they're not as complex as their Lancôme counterparts, with less, but still respectable, staying power. Jane used to make good blushes too but I haven't tried the "new new" Jane...the original brand produced some excellent blushes, then blushes with utter mediocrity, like half an hour's worth of lasting power; now I have no idea.

Milani was another shooting star of the drugstore blush world, with their beauty-board "lemmings" of Luminous and Mango Tango blushes. Now I understand they've tanked their blushes in favor of a bronzer-blush duo (with the bronzer outranking the blush). Luminous lives on--I believe it was the only one Milani kept, albeit in bronzer-blush form--as the famous look-alike to Nars Orgasm blush.

Imo there is no easy way to choose a blush. I went through a lot of beauty advice rigamarole, such as going for a peach blush (my coloring is on the warm side), or rose, or mauve, or...? You really have to try some on. Ultimately what worked for me was a complex blend of rose, the slight warmth of peach (the defunct Lancôme Rose Charmant) or bronze (the Malibu), slightly muted but not too brown. A definite base of rose, not red, peach, pink or brown.

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August 13, 2007 7:16 PM, Blogger Dain said...

I think it may have much to do with the fact that I'm a minimalist, but I invariably wear the same family of lipcolors, and I think it's true for most women, at least insofar as "best fit" colors are concerned. In that case, a single blush will do, except in cases where you don't want the blush to dominate, then you'll just want something subtler...

Perhaps La Femme Golden Amber Dew will suit you when your NARS Malibu runs out. It's cheap, but pigmented, and the color is complex. It reminds me of Malibu.

 
August 13, 2007 8:41 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

I'll be sure to check that out. I've never seen La Femme around here, but I'm sure I can find it online. :)

 
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Beauty Notes: Chanel Moiré lipstick part 2
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Friday, August 10, 2007 5:45 PM (Eastern)

chanel moire lipstick, nars jezebel, mambo and malibu

Okay, I give up. It's not that plummy. To my eye it seems plummy, but it's more rose than plum. I also have Nars Jezebel, Mambo and Malibu on in this pic, and my hair is completely wet.

Happy Friday!

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August 10, 2007 8:18 PM, Blogger Dain said...

Mebbe you could call it mauve?

 
August 10, 2007 8:35 PM, Blogger cmm said...

Its really pretty. Alittle different than your usual everyday choice of color,no?

 
August 10, 2007 8:47 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

I suppose it could be sort of mauve-y. It has some red in it...it's just an odd color...bricky red, plum, a bit o' brown...

It is different, but even I have become sick of sheers and YLBB. The newer lipsticks seem subtler than the old...I remember a time when just about every lipstick I tried, screamed "lipstick!" and required a lot of other makeup to balance it off. This is still pretty much wear 'n' go.

 
August 11, 2007 7:46 AM, Blogger cmm said...

I like it!
You have lovely lips! LOL!
I suffer from lip envy though. I've got itty-bitty little Betty Boop lips.

 
August 11, 2007 8:25 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

I have hair envy...but I figure, you can make whatever you have look good. It's just not as effortless. I'm jealous of y'all having to wash hair as if it were heavy silk. I'm happy that at least mine doesn't look stringy anymore. :)

 
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Beauty Notes: Chanel Moiré lipstick
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Thursday, August 09, 2007 2:02 PM (Eastern)

I finally chased down my sample of Chanel Hydrabase "Moiré" lipstick and wore it yesterday.

Wearing is believing...I'd forgotten how good this stuff is. Zero bleeding: the outline stayed exactly as I had applied it, hours later. It faded a tad in the center, but not much; simply a matter of dabbing some back in (or, conversely, applying slightly more in the center to begin with). Basically it was, put it on and forget about it. And it looked good.

The color Moiré is plummier than I'd remembered. It's primarily warm-toned plum, with some brown, some brick red, and the finish is matte, although the lipstick itself is moist. It's a classical, rather than trendy, shade.

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August 9, 2007 2:32 PM, Blogger cmm said...

Sounds pretty, did you take a pic?

 
August 9, 2007 9:10 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

I have a really lousy picture of it in the image gallery lol. But I hesitate to link to it (it's still there, but I took it when it had faded...it looks more rose brown than plum there).

 
August 9, 2007 11:25 PM, Blogger Dain said...

I say go for it! A superlative lipstick, no matter how expensive, will do the work of many.

 
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How to choose a lipstick shade: then and now
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Monday, August 06, 2007 8:26 PM (Eastern)

How to choose a lipstick shade

Since writing the original post, I used up MAC Sophisto and Strawberry Blonde, all the way down to their inner metal tubes. They're sitting in my Back to MAC empties bag. Even though I have six MAC empties, sufficient to qualify for a free lipstick, I want to try something different.

Spice It Up...really didn't get worn that much. It's not quite "it" for me, a tad too dark, too cool and too dry (it's the one MAC Lustre formula lipstick I've tried that struck me as being at all dry).

Clinique Apple Brandy is what I'm wearing now, until I can find a replacement for Strawberry Blonde. Said replacement doesn't have to be a similar shade, just one I find versatile. As it is, Apple Brandy is going fast, probably due to the softness of the Butter Shine formula, so I anticipate using it up as well. But I won't buy any more Butter Shines...I find the formula too soft.

So where does that leave me? When I started seeking look-alikes for Strawberry Blonde, before I decided to not go with the same shade...I suppose you could say it was eye-opening. For one thing, most of the look-alikes were in the $22 to $24 price range. It's more than I've paid for a lipstick, but then this is the first time in a long time (coughsince discovering beauty boardscough) I've used up lipsticks. I don't buy them that often anymore; what I do buy has to work.

Current candidates:

* Dr. Hauschka lipsticks in Amoroso and Adagio. I've swatched these; the colors are actually quite good. It's the formula I can't be sure about, since I haven't worn them properly all day, but they don't seem prone to fading quickly.

* Chanel Hydrabase lipstick in Moiré. This is surprisingly wearable, a blend of brick red, plum, twist o' fuchsia shimmer. I'll have to get hold of my sample of this and try it again. But even if I vote against Moiré, I'm already sold on the Hydrabase formula. It doesn't feel moist on, but it's way moisturizing, more so than lipsticks that feel moister on. Plus I like the medium coverage, it's hard to find...more color than a sheer, yet not as high maintenance as full coverage.

It's also quite scented (candied rose)--if you're looking for unscented, keep looking, or else try the faint vanilla of MAC.

* Something entirely different. Julie Hewett? Kevyn Aucoin? Sue Devitt? Ramy? YSL? Haven't decided yet.

And now, the incredible Patsy Cline; I included this so you would have something to listen to while reading this post! (The original video I had here, "Leavin' on Your Mind" by Patsy Cline, 1963, is no longer available.)


Patsy Cline - A Tribute

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August 7, 2007 12:31 AM, Blogger Dain said...

I love Patsy Cline!

 
August 7, 2007 3:59 AM, Blogger Audrey_H said...

I think you should go for Chanel Hydrabase! :) It's the best Chanel lipstick formula, no doubt.

 
August 8, 2007 2:20 AM, Blogger Dain said...

Hey, I'm really surprised to say this, but I'm really loving my Cover Girl Tru Shine (I got Wine Shine). the colors are misleading, I could have sworn this would be like this YSL lipstick I have, but this is far superior in color, and the formula is actually quite as good as any highend sheer. And it's almost a fifth of the price. They have quite a few shades similar to what you're looking for, I think. I want more now... as a cheap way to investigate shades to come up with some fall looks, for which lipstick will be major. The colors were blended by the mastermind behind Giorgio Armani cosmetics, Pat McGrath, so they're surprising (shades you might think would not work will), but that's in its favor, I dare say.

 
August 8, 2007 2:41 AM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

Audrey: Yep...I'm thinking Chanel Hydrabase too. I've tried only the Moiré one, but I was very impressed.

Dain: hermmm...I tried finding this the last time I went to Longs Drugs. All they had was some sort of liquid lipcolor, and the lip-plumping lipsticks.

 
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Stash musings
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Saturday, June 02, 2007 1:23 PM (Eastern)

As my cosmetics stash gently ages (see previous Rambles...), I feel I should rethink what it means to have a stash to begin with.

I've never been much of a "collector" in the sense that owning a lot of makeup, for the sake of owning it, has never appealed to me. By this I do not mean that owning a lot of makeup is bad. It can be very good, as long as you find a purpose for it. If I had use for two hundred lipsticks, I would own two hundred lipsticks. And I would love each one.

But two hundred lipsticks is not "me." One or two lipsticks is becoming, more and more so, "me." That could be seen as next to insane in this era of thousands upon thousands of lipsticks, but, again, a stash is personal, and must be customized to the customer.

So far a close candidate for the One or Two Lippy Policy is Chanel Moiré.



It looks nothing like that little swatch btw. Moiré is a luscious blend of many colors, starting with a warm, brick red base, laced with plum, rose, a bit o' brown, a twist of fuchsia shimmer, altogether Your Lips But Better, but not as bland as some YLBB shades tend to be.

Why Moiré, well it's the only Hydrabase I've tried. I would probably investigate the other Hydrabases before plunking down anything.

So, next...

Nars. Which Nars? I have no clue. Unlike MAC, Nars is a brand not incessantly photographed. The price of Nars is comparable to Chanel's, so again I would investigate before buying.

Those are my two candidates, when my MAC Strawberry Blonde lipstick gets used up. I'm leaning more toward Nars than Chanel, if only because Nars lipstick is the "evil I never tried before."

Now, eyepencils...what I have: MAC Powerpoints in Permaplum, Grey Utility, Bordeauxline. MAC Eye Kohl in Heirloom. Prestige waterproof automatic pencil in Expresso.

Expresso is genuinely getting old, I've tried wiping a few layers off with a tissue; it's still difficult to get a good thin line out of it, or blend the line I do get. It's a good brand...easily the best drugstore eyepencil. But I'd like something more special in terms of color.

Enter Urban Decay 24/7 eyepencil in Bourbon.



Bourbon would appear to be a brown pencil swirled with gold, perhaps a bit of red; all that good stuff. I'd have to swatch it, but basically I'm looking for a brown eyepencil that would go with all the eyeshadows that brown eyepencils go with, but be special enough to be worn on its own.

I'm not in a hurry to replace my MAC eyepencils as the quality seems to be holding out, but if Bourbon works out, I might look at the purple 24/7's.

Blush...more than happy with Nars the Multiple in Malibu.



"Pinkish brown"...eh...does not do it justice. Malibu is a bit warm, a bit bronzy, essentially a deep rose color. It functions as part blush, with an element of a bronzer. You can use it as eyeshadow or lipstick...I don't, since I have better eyeshadows, and as a lipstick, it's too dry. As a blush, it transforms. Can't ask for more, there.

Eyeshadow. Now here I must echo Dain. You've got to replenish your Nars duo eyeshadows periodically. They do pay for themselves; the duos I acquired three years ago are still going strong, still look perfect, still...inspire.



Habanera is the "obvious" choice, if only because it's different. Not "different unwearable," from what I can glean (never seen it in person), but "I can create something amazing" different, "how did she do it?" different. But I'll probably end up getting something else. Forget it, Jake. It's Nars.

Okay so that's it for color cosmetics for me. I don't wear mascara, don't wear eyebrow products, don't do gloss or lipliner (shhhhh...). For that matter I don't do concealer, have no interest in full coverage foundation, have never actually worn liquid eyeliner. I need a few color cosmetics to keep me entertained/make me look good when I need to look good...the products have to perform, have to elevate, otherwise why bother?

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June 3, 2007 8:36 AM, Blogger cmm said...

I have a Chanel lippie and I also have a NARS.

Colorwise, the NARS rocks, but the formula stinks. Its drying. Really,really drying. Which is fine, cause its a red and so it wears like iron and does not move. But it is drying. Good for special occasion wear, not so good for everyday use.

Chanel, the color is not as rockin', but, ahhhhhh, the formula. It is a pleasure to wear! This one is also a red. Its moist, creamy,light, balm-like. Of course, it doesn't last as long, but it does wear well for a red

I have ultra-sensitive lips though, so maybe the NARS won't bother you. I would definitely buy another Chanel, but I wouldn't repurchase another Nars lippie.

 
June 3, 2007 9:49 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

Hermmmmm... I had heard that about Nars lipsticks. Not sure if they're all like that, or if some formulas are drier than others.

That's the bugger about Nars, there isn't much consumer info about it on the Net. There's an overload o' MAC, but next to no Nars.

I'm game to try *a* Nars lippy, most likely one of the sheers. If the sheer is dry, that will likely be the last Nars lippy for me. I don't do dry too well.

The Chanel lippy I tried was the Hydrabase formula, and it was good. It felt dry on the surface, but kept my lips really soft.

 
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Cosmetics ennui
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Saturday, February 24, 2007 6:52 PM (Eastern)

It's just crossed my mind...as I'm sitting here typing, on this cold, grey, rainy Saturday afternoon...that I've become so unspeakably bored with my cosmetics collection, that I haven't even felt like wearing any of it lately.

It's a fabu-licious collection, mind you; I can't knock a single item. They're very dear cosmetics, and I'm still happy to see them nestled in their drawer. I really don't know what my problem is. I'm trying to put my finger on it I suppose.

I went on a "zen haul" at Longs Drugs fairly recently, just to see what was happening at the drugstore. Not much temptation. The L'Oreal Colour Juice Sticks looked inviting enough, with their fruity scent, but they were $10 a pop. The Milani rack had completely disappeared--don't know if it's coming back or not. Was going to check out the Milani sheer lipsticks I keep reading about, but no dice.


image courtesy milanicosmetics.com

That Longs never did carry NYX--and that was the extent of my d/s queries: the CJ sticks, Milani sheer lippies and NYX. mumbles...

Department-store wise, I'd say I am slightly intrigued by the Urban Decay Ammo eyeshadow palette:


image courtesy urbandecay.com

I'm sorry, but that has to be one of the worst photographs of an eyeshadow palette ever. Still, at $34, you can try 10 different, interesting-looking shadows. You could do a lot worse.

That, and their 24/7 eyepencil in Bourbon, described on the site as "brown w/ teeny gold glitter." How cute is that?

I've been drooling intermittently over getting a full size of Chanel Hydrabase lipstick. The one shade I've tried is Moiré, in lovely sample form (that's not Moiré in the pic, just a stock photo).


image courtesy chanel.com

This is just really good lipstick. Medium coverage: more "there" than your sheer, less maintenance than full coverage. The candied rose scent is a bonus to me; it's addictive, and the formula is nourishing...almost dry on the surface, yet intensely moisturizing, so the whole works stays put and gives you baby soft lips.

Nars eyeshadow duos are always drool-worthy:


image courtesy narscosmetics.com

How about that for mouthwatering? It would take me days to figure out which ones to buy. Although I suspect, somehow, that each duo would work for me.

These are all mainstream brands. I would be curious to try something smaller, too.

Okay I feel better now.

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Favorite "high end" beauty products
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Friday, February 16, 2007 8:28 PM (Eastern)

Conversely, some products are worth their higher price tag. The colors, staying power, texture, versatility, sometimes even the shelf life--I've had cheaper lipsticks and eyeshadows turn on me relatively quickly--all of these factors can make a more expensive item into a cheaper item in the long run.

Face

  • Nars the Multiple in Malibu. The ideal blush in convenient stick form. Of course there are other shades, it's just that I find this neutral to slightly warm, bronze-kissed (yet not brown/muddy/dirty) medium rose shade ideal.

    I've observed that the majority of drugstore blushes fade more quickly than their department store counterparts. I'm not willing to touch up blush; time can be money too (plus you get a ginormous stick of color here; I've barely dented mine, considering I use it almost every day).


  • MAC Blot pressed powder. The grail powder for oily skin...I stopped using loose powder altogether after I tried this beauty board gem (although they do make a Blot loose powder, I haven't bothered trying it). Blots oil like a dream, doesn't darken, nor look caked, nor look orange. Not much coverage, but I prefer that since I use a foundation product.


Hair

  • Alba Botanica Honeydew Nourishing Hair Wash. Not majorly expensive, not cheap either (around $9 for 12 ounces). One of the nicest shampoos I've tried in a long time, won't wreck even frequently-washed hair, lathers decently for being a SLS-free product, smells wonderful. There's a Plumeria version of this also that I'll probably try next.


Body

  • Perfumes in general...I have yet to find a lower priced perfume that I like. Of course even higher priced perfumes can fade quickly; I prefer stronger scents. The sole exception here might be Etro Heliotrope, which doesn't last as well as, say, Givenchy perfumes, but it makes up for it in being versatile. I've used Heliotrope as a layer with other perfumes, to stretch them out and add complexity and depth.


Makeup
  • Dior eyeshadows. At $52, these quints ain't cheap. Still, if you wanted a single compact of shadows that would run the gamut from casual to formal, contain five shades at $10.40 each (ounce for ounce, cheaper than MAC), provide divine subtlety and coordination of color (thus removing the "shadow klutz" and "color blind" factors), this is your baby.


image courtesy sephora.com
  • Nars eyeshadows. Here you have colors that may appear improbable. Particularly the duos, which add an unexpected combination to the existing improbability of the individual shades. Still, they work. I've had my duos for almost three years now. The quality hasn't changed; they still look terrific.

  • Chanel Hydrabase lipsticks. I'm starting to get into these; they're amazingly complex and intensely moisturizing (while the surface of the lipstick feels almost dry, my lips are very soft after the color wears off). Yes, they have a candied rose scent that may be a love-hate thing (try a sample before buying). But I like it, and I don't always like scented lipsticks.

    Another factor that's become increasingly important to me is--is there a word for it? I'm sick to the gills of limited edition and discontinued makeup. Perhaps the word is "longevity." I've kept an eye on Chanel for some months; they don't discontinue frequently. That's worth an extra $14 for me not having to go through the headache of finding a look-alike (I do use up lipsticks, being a reformed "lipstick ho").

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Beauty breakthroughs
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Friday, November 17, 2006 1:08 AM (Eastern)

Once in a while, there comes along a beauty product that actually does change your life. Most of them don't, of course, but some of them do.

This has been on my mind for a while...because once such a product becomes part of your life, you tend to forget what your life was like before.

Here is my personal list of breakthrough products, starting with:

  1. Johnson & Johnson Head to Toe Baby Wash. This has been my facial cleanser for years, literally. It seems to me it was already a "board lemming" (something everyone on the beauty board has to own!) when I joined The Lipstick Page forum in 1998, and I tried it at that time.

    Why is this revolutionary? It is the perfect cleanser for my oily/combo, acne prone skin. It cleans without stripping (though I doubt it would work for dry skin; too astringent), removes makeup (at least the level of makeup I wear...I don't wear mascara, so I don't know if it works for that), does not irritate eyes--being baby wash--making it ideal for removing eye shadow and liner...has a light pleasant scent, is overall pleasant to use, no breakouts...and best of all, it is cheap. It comes in ginormous bottles at Costco...yes, the price has risen, but it's still a mere $10 for two huge bottles.

    And--if there needed to be an "and"--it's terrific for washing makeup brushes and puffs, hair brushes, I use it to wash out my haircolor bottles; any time you need a mild, yet effective, cleanser, there it is.


  2. A daily multi-vitamin. This has made a tremendous difference in my (acne prone) skin and overall well-being. Do some research...and, especially if you are of child-bearing age, consult your doctor before starting on a vitamin regimen.


  3. For acne: consider switching your birth control pill. Some are better than others. Some are horrible in fact. I've gotten the best results from Ortho Tricyclen and Yasmin.


  4. For acne: analyze your diet and check for allergies. My own acne is triggered by particular foods. If I eat a lot of beef that was raised with growth hormone, I'm sure to get blemishes and extra-oily skin. I've heard of people getting acne from allergies to foods such as tomatoes, citrus, or milk. I've heard of someone who got acne because she was allergic to parabens. Give it some thought, see what you're eating and what's in your environment.


  5. Jojoba butter/jojoba oil. The butter form is superior to the oil if you're going to use it as a night cream or moisturizer. The oil is better if you're going to mix it into something else, such as a tinted moisturizer or shampoo.

    This is my ideal moisturizer, and--like the J & J Head to Toe above--it is way cheap (I'm still working my way through my original jar), and the perfect thing for oily/combo, acne prone skin. I use it only at night (I don't use a moisturizer during the day)...it gets rid of flakes, makes my face feel nice and soft--not greasy...it sinks in--and, it helps keep pores clear.


  6. MAC Blot pressed powder. Worth the $18 price tag (did I just say that?), if you have oil or shine to deal with.

    I didn't believe it either, until I tried it.


  7. For thin hair: a biotin supplement. Disclaimer: I am an ordinary person, not a medical professional. I've had thin hair the greater part of my life, I wrote it off as hereditary...but this stuff really does work. Here are some links for your perusal:
    Vitamins (BBC site)
    Treating Hair Loss Naturally (Webmd.com)


  8. L'Oreal Feria deep conditioner. How did I ever live without this? I started out coloring my hair with Preference and used the Preference deep conditioner before, but I like the Feria one better...and you don't need to use the Feria kits to use the conditioner. Just buy it at Sallys Beauty Supply.

    This is "the cure for colored hair"...just use it after coloring, for the next few days. Your hair will feel as if it had never been colored, and ladies, I bleach. No crispy, crunchy hair here.


  9. Nars the Multiple in Malibu. Not necessarily ideal as a multi-purpose product...as a lip color it's gorgeous, but imo too dry. As an eyeshadow it'll do, but I have better shadows. But oh, as a blush, it is perfect.

    I say this because I have been, by and large, far too lazy to put on blush. This cool stick form means I can grab it after I put on my tinted sunscreen, dab it once or twice on each cheek, blend with my fingers, voila! Done! Painless!

    Moreover, this somewhat bronzy, neutral rose color (if anything, it is ever so slightly warm) is perfect year round, because of the bronze. As my skin gets paler, this stuff looks more bronze...it morphs into something of a bronzer. In summer the bronze fades into my tan and I'm left with a lovely rose blush.


  10. Nars Babylon duo eyeshadow. I still love this duo; it's foolproof. Okay, you have to be able to wear orange eyeshadow. If your coloring is cool, I don't think it would work. But for neutral-to-warm coloring, and green eyes...it would work for any eye color, but it's stupendous with green or blue...you've gotta have it.

    I am of the opinion that there is a Nars eyeshadow duo for everyone. Babylon is mine but there are many more to choose from.


  11. Christian Dior Beige Massaï eyeshadow quint. This is the "subtle" version of Babylon; again it is ideal for green or blue eyes and neutral to warmer coloring. Instead of the shimmery tangerine of Babylon, you get a soft cantaloupe shade, along with a surprisingly useful creamy light shade (makes a divine wash), a neat shimmery terracotta shade (looks great with the creamy shade) and a couple of browns (look great with the cantaloupe shade).

    Likewise, I feel there is a Dior eyeshadow quint for everyone. These are $ so pick carefully, but you will get a lot of mileage out of it.


  12. MAC Permaplum Powerpoint eyepencil. By far my favorite eyeliner, both the color...it's a deep, slightly blue-toned purple, with a smidge of (largely invisible) pink shimmer...and the formula, which neither smears nor fades (in fact it's a bit difficult to remove, be forewarned), holds a point perfectly, sharpens without crumbling (at least not yet, and I've owned mine for about two years), it hasn't turned hard yet, still goes on silky smooth... The color is quite versatile.


  13. MAC Lustre formula lipsticks. These are great, especially if you've been avoiding lipstick because most lipsticks look unnatural on you. The Lustres are sheer (the sheerness varies from shade to shade) and come in a range of wearable shades. Plus, MAC lipsticks taste faintly and pleasantly of vanilla, and you can do a Back to MAC (see Back to MAC and Back to MAC expanded for MAC freestanding stores). Plus, these wear quite well for being sheer and shiny.


  14. Chanel Hydrabase lipstick in Moiré. I dream about this lipstick. I do. I have a sample size of it; it's addictive.

    Note: some people hate the scent of this lipstick. I happen to love it, but, well, it's likely to be either love or hate, so you might want to try it before buying it.

    This has a rather strong, candied rose fragrance, which only makes it more addictive to me. The coverage is interestingly "medium" rather than "full" or "sheer." It really is medium. You get quite a bit of color, yet it's more forgiving than a full coverage lipstick.

    Moiré is many colors in one. It goes with everything and always looks right, from business/office/meeting to casual to festive. It's almost YLBB (Your Lips But Better) but it's more color than that...it's got brick red, plum, rose, a neat little twist of fuchsia shimmer (as the shade name implies)...it's on the warm side. If lipsticks easily turn orange on you, it may not do.

    It's nice and moisturizing, lasts well on...no smearing or bleeding...feels light as a feather.


Oh I'm sure I'll think of something else right after I publish this.

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