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The gift of Shu Uemura is 20% off during their Friends & Family sale event
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Thursday, December 13, 2007 8:19 PM (Eastern)
Where: Shu Uemura USA (not in boutiques)
When: December 13th (12:01am EST) through Monday, December 17th (11:59pm EST)
Code: HOLIDAY07 at checkout
Register to receive free shipping on purchases over $75.
Discount not valid on the purchase of gift certificates, taxes or shipping and handling charges.
You may also browse The Lipstick Page Forums Beauty & Fashion Blog Shu page and our Shu product reviews.
image courtesy www.shuuemura-usa.com
Fashion Notes: If I didn't make jewelry, I would buy it here.
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Tuesday, December 11, 2007 7:19 PM (Eastern)
It takes two to three years to make jewelry, even from a non-metalsmithing perspective. Sounds like a trifling period, but you need dedication to start from nothing and continue on for upwards of three years.
After the first two years, you undergo a transformation. No longer are materials and methods an issue. You know exactly what to use--which temper and gauge of wire, where to buy it, how much to buy, what tools to use, what techniques to employ. Now it is far more a matter of what you wish to convey, which is a variation on the concept of design. Mass-produced jewelry tends to be all about selling a pretty design, and I'm not knocking it, but handmade jewelry tends to be one-of-a-kind and far more intellectually conceived.
It's also an easy way to buy American. The best form of charity, after all, is not charitable: you give someone the opportunity to work, to produce. Our decline in major production...the United States was once at the forefront of manufacturing...has spawned cottage industries such as jewelry-making, independent clothing houses, perfumery, and so forth, at an ever-increasing level of quality. So if you're looking for baubles this year, you might try some of these sites first.
Ava Luxe on etsy.com
I first encountered the hands, heart and soul of Ava Luxe when I tried some of her perfume oils. I had mentioned a copy of Chanel No. 5, which I love but am allergic to, and was amazed she had replicated it perfectly. Another scent I loved was Ingenue, a resurrection of the long-discontinued Deneuve fragrance (yes, Catherine Deneuve once had a celebrity scent).
Ava Luxe was on sabbatical recently; a small selection of the perfumes are available now on the Etsy site. Her recently-added jewelry really strikes me though, as having jumped forward into that intimate, almost spiritual zone.
The Golden Lotus Necklace ($99) just looks sweet, from its long-and-short golden chain to its (Hill Tribe?) vermeil lotus bead, delicate pink topaz accents and limpid rose quartz drop.
There's more, of course, from a wicked good pair of fine silver earrings to an ethereal elf bracelet and beyond.
Midori Jewelry is my personal jewelry-making hero. There is a quality of peace in her pieces, a languor, a leisure in her careful selection of exactly what to put in each. I feel Midori Jewelry has been widely copied (in fact I borrowed one of her handmade hoop designs, it was so good) yet there's nothing quite like the original.
I love the Hecate necklace ($70); it's sheer genius. You get the look of a lariat, without the annoying strangly or loose feeling.
The Plum Blossoms necklace ($70), with its hand-etched sterling silver dog tag pendant, bequeaths a gentle touch of Spring to your mood.
There are several "water" pieces on the site that are truly lovely as well.
SkyDreams on etsy.com
Sky Dreams' pieces are opulent and gem-oriented (she also has a "Sky Dreams Light" site on Etsy for less expensive jewelry).
What's been on my mind is this piece:
This Peridot, Amethyst Sterling Silver Necklace ($159) is not something I'd normally consider. It's, well, a whole lot o' gems, but its thoughtfully-chosen spring green color, popped by purple, of all things...it works. It makes me think of a lush green meadow with a touch of violets.
There's a close-up of the wrapping detail on the site; each green briolette has been worked into the chain by hand.
images courtesy AVALUXE.etsy.com, www.midorijewelry.com, SkyDreams.etsy.com
NARS: The Consummate Stocking Stuffer
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Thursday, December 06, 2007 3:02 PM (Eastern)
So you want to snag a lil' something for your best girl's stocking this year. And you're thinking: "I have no idea what to get. What if she hates it?"
Enter the makeup palette, which performs for cosmetics what perfume samples do for fragrance. You give your gal a whole bunch of options, the opportunity to try various shades of this or that, at her leisure. The key is to choose a good brand, a universal brand even, so that some of the shades are bound to work.
Here is the whompin' Nars Artist Palette. $60 at Sephora.com
Palette includes eye shadows in India Song (soft butter yellow with a hint of shimmer), Night Star (sheer peach with gold pearls), Night Clubbing (black with gold pearls), Ondine (plum with gold shimmer); The Multiple in Copacabana (glistening pearl) and Malibu (pinkish brown); and lipstick in Honolulu Honey (satin flesh toned beige), Dolce Vita (sheer dusty rose), Gipsy (sheer warm berry), and Trans Siberian (semi matte ruby rose).
On a personal note, this palette contains several shades I've been meaning to try since forever, plus one shade that is my holy grail blush (the Malibu).
The Fame lipstick palette $65 at narscosmetics.com (scroll down some) contains a full dozen shades of lipstick in a range of hues.
For a more compact, red-oriented lip palette, consider the Nars Hot Sauce palette $30 at Sephora.com:
Palette includes lip colors in Tobago (sheer warm taupe-grape with soft shimmer), Dolce Vita (sheer dusty rose), Gipsy (sheer, warm berry), Catfight (semi matte nude-rose), Flair (sheer burnished berry), and Captiva (sheer currant).
If all of these seem a bit too practical to you, you might go for something more luxe and sensual (not a bad idea this time of year), such as the Nars Body Glow set $98 at Sephora.com (also available on the narscosmetics.com site):
"In the tradition of French Polynesia, Monoï de Tahiti oil is the result of macerating the native Tiare flower (Tahitian gardenia) in refined coconut extract for at least ten days, a process that slowly infuses the oil with Tiare's delicate, natural fragrance." The set includes a bronzed version of the oil, to rekindle the heat of summer (sighs), and an untinted oil containing an authentic tiare flower. (You'll note either bottle may be purchased individually as well.)
Finally, if she's already pretty Nars-savvy, you'll want to skip the palettes, and maybe even the body oils, and get straight to the Nars e-Gift Certificate (available in denominations of $50, $100 and $200):
Make Up For Ever: Diamonds For Ever Holiday Set
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Wednesday, December 05, 2007 6:43 PM (Eastern)
Fishing around for gifts to give this holiday season? How about this sparkling Make Up For Ever Eye & Lip kit? $49 at Sephora.com (a $110 value)
Within a shimmering gift box is a tote-able, black Vanity Pouch with a built-in mirror, containing: