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

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· Nars Collections 2003 to 2004
· Nars Spring 2008: Shanghai Lily
· Beauty Notes: What I've been into, lately #2
· More Nars & other porn...
· Another handy source of Nars and other porn...
· NARS: The Consummate Stocking Stuffer
· Nars Holiday 2007: Siren Song
· Beauty Notes: What I've been into, lately
· Beauty Notes: Mom Makeup: The Early Years
· Beauty Notes: Mom Makeup
· The perfect blush: then and now
· Beauty Notes: Chanel Moiré lipstick part 2
· Major Nars blush porn link
· Nars Fall 2007: Modern Odyssey
· Eye makeup for green eyes: then and now
· Nars Jezebel Duo Eyeshadow, plus a link to some nice Nars "porn"
· Nars The Multiple in Malibu
· Sephora Emeryville review
· Nars duo eyeshadow ponderings...
· Closing in on a signature lipstick
· Stash musings
· Finally, Nars Summer 2007 has been sighted, Net-wise...
· Ever bought a beauty product purely for its shade name?
· Nars Summer 2007, brief commentary
· Cosmetics ennui
· Favorite "high end" beauty products
· MAC Strawberry Blonde lipstick
· Beauty breakthroughs

· January 18, 2008 4:31 PM by Blogger Dain
· January 18, 2008 4:57 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· January 18, 2008 8:54 PM by Blogger Dain
· January 19, 2008 3:28 PM by Blogger Dain
· January 20, 2008 1:53 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· January 1, 2008 9:42 PM by Blogger Dain
· January 3, 2008 11:17 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· November 7, 2007 3:14 PM by Blogger Dain
· November 7, 2007 5:13 PM by Blogger Dain
· November 7, 2007 11:49 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· October 25, 2007 3:35 PM by Blogger Dain
· 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
· July 22, 2007 11:23 PM by Blogger Dain
· July 23, 2007 12:18 AM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· June 20, 2007 6:44 AM by Blogger Dain
· June 20, 2007 6:45 AM by Blogger Dain
· June 20, 2007 1:06 PM 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

Nars Collections 2003 to 2004
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Monday, January 28, 2008 6:45 PM (Eastern)

Nars Raw Glamour - Fall 2003
Nars Flirtatious Fantasy - Spring 2004
Nars Tropical Heat Wave - Summer 2004

These are from our now-defunct New Releases blog, and are included here for reference purposes.

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Nars Spring 2008: Shanghai Lily
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, 6:34 PM (Eastern)

nars spring 2008 collection shanghai lily

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Beauty Notes: What I've been into, lately #2
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Friday, January 18, 2008 3:14 PM (Eastern)

I think we need a label for this, somehow...a blend of favorite things and Jack Bauer and Tony Almeida at a Drive-Thru.

Anyhow. Shall we commence?

Ava Luxe Voyage earrings

ava luxe earrings

I'm not affiliated with Ava Luxe, I should mention. I just like her stuff. Here I thought this was beautiful, a binary combination of kyanite and labradorite, strung on karat gold. Sometime I will do something similarly binary...I can't wear 14KT gold earrings, but I'm hoping someone will come up with a wearable golden leverback cheaper than 18KT gold. mumbles...

handmade sapphire earrings

Here is my own stuff. Less spectacular for sure, but keep in mind, there can be a difference between making something to wear, and making something to sell. With the emphasis on "can be."

It's been on my mind lately, because I tend to acquire less for the sake of owning something beautiful, and more for that of owning something useful. Sometimes the twain meet, oh, take this for example:

nars eyeshadow duos

I've gotten the most mileage from Island Fever (far right). In the pan: a gorgeous shimmery sea blue shade, plus a medium shimmery iridescent grey. It should be pretty, but useless; something you bought on a whim because it looked nice. But it isn't useless by far. The blue shade, applied very lightly, is the most natural, unobtrusive shadow I own. It shouldn't work but it does.

Hence, the Ava Luxe earrings could well correspond to this concept. Bright and pretty, but potentially utile as well.

My little hoops (these are the most conservative earrings I've made thus far) would be more like this:

nars mambo eye pencil

Nars Mambo, the unsung eyepencil. I paid $19 for you at Sephora, and momentarily felt a complete idiot; you can buy a perfectly decent deep brown eyepencil at Longs Drugs for four bucks. Then I started using you.

Mambo is deep brown, yet possesses hints of purple and red--making it subtly ideal for green or blue eyes, and making it go with everything. Thereby replacing brown, purple, and bronze pencils for me. No, you don't swatch particularly well, but on, you are a minor genius.


The Scented Salamander follows up on the Bond No. 9/Liz Zorn Perfumes story:

Trademark Questions Over The Use Of The Word "Peace" / Q & A with Laurice Rahme of Bond No.9, Liz Zorn of Liz Zorn Perfumes, & Sarah Horowitz -Thran of Creative Scentualization

Dwelling in lawyer-infested California, I suspect the entire thing was less of a shock to me. And I found some people seemed to turn it into a girl-on-girl fight--not good for business, for either party. Oh well. I see Zorn has some samples on her site; you might want to check them out.

aspirin mask screenshot

And finally, for your perusal--Michelle Phan, aka RiceBunny, demos the aspirin mask (here with honey): RiceBunny's Xanga Site - Aspirin = Beautiful Skin

No, I'm not into this myself. I'm far too lazy. But the idea of using aspirin and honey as a mask makes perfect logical sense. You are exfoliating. Exfoliating is good.

Have a great weekend!

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January 18, 2008 4:31 PM, Blogger Dain said...

I've been trying "just notes" for random things, but I'm not sure how it might work.

I like labradorite; from a design perspective, it would go with so many things. Pearls, watery green amethysts, mm... it's just pretty to look at.

I think the reason why the blue might work is the fact that it may be a perfect contrast. A perfect contrast works better than a near match. Someone with brown hair, for example, might do well with green.

Hm, it's interesting that she was able to get an interview with Laurice Rahme. I don't really buy it, though, it is insincere. But I'm tired of the issue, and I still think Bond is a silly brand, just from a purely aesthetic standpoint. It is really the sort of thing that could go back and forth forever, and I think it was very wise for Liz Zorn to drop it.

January 18, 2008 4:57 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

Yeah...I just didn't want to leave it hanging. There was a big splash about it, then nothing. From the article, it would appear this sort of thing happens fairly regularly...and from what I've seen of lawyers, I wouldn't be too surprised.

Every few months in California, you get something in the mail informing you there is a class-action lawsuit you might be able to participate in. At first I thought hey, great...then I read the thing. Usually it boils down to, you sign a form and mail it back. By signing, you agree the settlement is final, yadda yadda...and if the suit is successful, you are entitled to a $15 voucher toward, say, renewing your contract with your wireless phone company for another year...or $50 toward the purchase of a new stove.

It's a joke! The settlement "terms" are invariably next to worthless. It's clear to me that lawyers simply file these "class-action lawsuits" against major corporations...the corporations probably settle (cheaper than taking it to court)...whoever bothered to sign the form gets their $15 gift certificate. And the lawyers collect a fat percentage of the settlement. If I were cynical, I'd say they split the take with the lawyers for the major corporation, but I'd like to think they're far too honest for that. lol

January 18, 2008 8:54 PM, Blogger Dain said...

It seemed absurd to me at the time because in cosmetics, people copy each other all the time, and it's not something trifling like names, it's like, NARS makes a gold-pink-peach blush with a clever title, and everyone from Chanel to Milani has something like a year later. It seems like copycatting in this business is a given.

Oddly enough, it has come up in fashion, too. I was just reading an article on Marc Jacobs' derivativeness in W today. Apparently, it caused quite the furor, and all things considered, it must have been far nastier. Fashion is bitcher than even Hollywood.

January 19, 2008 3:28 PM, Blogger Dain said...

I think that gold-and-sapphire earring is especially rich. The colors kind of resonate with each other in a way that the silver doesn't. If it doesn't get too heavy, some vivid green drops at the bottom would add some extra intensity.

January 20, 2008 1:53 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

Mmmm...the gold ones did come out prettier. I got some 14KT gold beads to try usual, the cost per bead is relatively low, but they go so fast. Suddenly every piece "could use some of those." rolls eyes

I've found it's entirely different buying jewelry, and making it. If you're buying, then I can see jewelry minimalism. That's when you would want to get the most impact out of your pieces, because you have to pay the markup.

If you're making it, there's no point to minimalism. That's when you want to experiment and develop your own designs--which tend to be specific to you. When I'm making anything, I don't tend to lay it out, I tend to put it on. I'll try it on as I'm making it.

Now if you're selling it...that's when the design itself would take precedence. Because you have no idea who's going to wear it.

I have some tiny emeralds actually, I got them at the same time as the sapphires. It's amazing how tiny these things are. Imagine cutting and drilling them.

I was going to make something similar to these hoops using emeralds...but also thinking of combining the stones somehow.

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More Nars & other porn...
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Tuesday, January 01, 2008 12:30 AM (Eastern)

Happy New Year!

I'm not exactly sure what attracts me to Nars. I seldom feel like buying a lot of it...because...I just don't. It's well to be judicious about an expensive brand; a few carefully-chosen items from such a brand will be cheaper, over the long run, than quantities of less expensive makeup, even at a lower overall cost: the better stuff works better. But you will lose that edge if you acquire many expensive items. Then it becomes the same as buying masses of cheaper stuff,'ll be way more broke.

And yet...I really like Nars porn. (There are some other brands there too, such as YSL, Bobbi Brown, Majorica Majorca, et cetera.) There's something a bit touching about someone carefully setting out their Nars and taking tender photographs of it. If I'm honest I'll admit I don't like makeup porn in general, only Nars (and you will note I don't link to makeup porn in general).

Anyhow enough preamble, bring it on!

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January 1, 2008 9:42 PM, Blogger Dain said...

"There's something a bit touching about someone carefully setting out their Nars and taking tender photographs of it." lol

January 3, 2008 11:17 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

Yeah sometimes you can feel the love. :D

MAC porn tends to be prosaic, practical, like a picture of...wrenches. It's great if you need a wrench. But Nars porn has that odd intimate feel to it. I'm not sure there is such a thing as an objective photograph of Nars.

It's not the cost; Chanel porn is just as wrench-like as MAC imo.

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Another handy source of Nars and other porn...
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Wednesday, December 12, 2007 9:13 PM (Eastern)

nars holiday 2007Nars Duo Eye Shadow

This site contains various other brands of makeup porn including something called Lunasol (owned by Kanebo?), Bobbi Brown, Laura Mercier, Shu Uemura, Sisley, and sundry other brands. I linked to the page above because that's what I was looking for...

Here's the previous one for your reference.
Major Nars blush porn link

image courtesy

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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.

nars artist palette

Here is the whompin' Nars Artist Palette. $60 at

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).

nars fame palette

The Fame lipstick palette $65 at (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

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 (also available on the site):

nars body glow set

"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):

nars e gift certificate

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Nars Holiday 2007: Siren Song
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Wednesday, November 07, 2007 2:24 PM (Eastern)

nars holiday 2007
nars holiday 2007

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November 7, 2007 3:14 PM, Blogger Dain said...

Hm, I think NARS collections of late have been rather lackluster. Though... I don't really mind, how cares about color stories so long as they have good products?

November 7, 2007 5:13 PM, Blogger Dain said...

I have been suffering from the oddest spelling mistakes today. Maybe I woke on the dyslexic side of the bed today. "... WHO cares about color stories..."

November 7, 2007 11:49 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

Those double-ended doodads look kind of cool.

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Beauty Notes: What I've been into, lately
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Thursday, October 25, 2007 3:07 PM (Eastern)

nars mambo

Nars Mambo eyepencil. I haven't felt like wearing eyeshadow, much, so eyeliner is key (and faster to put on, anyway). I had three liners back in August of this year, and found I reached for this liner more and more, to the point I tossed the other two (which were getting old) without needing to replace them.

dr. hauschka lip products

Dr. Hauschka lip products. I wouldn't have guessed these would be so good (no offense, but I always thought of Dr. Hauschka as the skincare guys, not the color cosmetics guys). It makes logical sense though, if you think of lip products as (tinted) skincare for lips.

nars malibu

Nars The Multiple in Malibu. This is really useless as a multiple-purpose product, at least this shade is. It's too dry to use as lipstick, and mediocre as eyeshadow. But it's my ideal shade of warm-toned bronzed-rose blush, wearable year-round.

montale aoud blossom and boise vanille

Montale perfumes. These are so strong, I spray some in the palm of my hand and apply it that way. Perhaps the perfect cure for ephemeral scents, and the ordinary.

24 - Jack Bauer and Tony Almeida at a Drive-Thru

24. If you've watched this show even once (or eaten at an In 'n' Out), you'll immediately recognize the references in this parody. If you haven't, I would highly recommend both!

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October 25, 2007 3:35 PM, Blogger Dain said...

Those Montales sound amazing... I hate weak, derivative perfumes!

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Beauty Notes: Mom Makeup: The Early Years
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Tuesday, August 28, 2007 1:16 PM (Eastern)

Hm. Last night, after I published Mom Makeup, I realized that was "old Mom Makeup," and that the average new Mom would probably burst out laughing at the idea of having time to wear eyeshadow, so...

new mom makeup

The top row is what I considered necessary (actually minus the blush, since I didn't own it back then): sunscreen (here it is tinted) and powder (because I have oily skin).

Eyepencil is the quickest way to look as if you bothered, so you will need at least one good eyepencil.

Lipstick is something you can put on in the car (not while driving obviously, I never really got that). In fact to this day, I keep the lipstick I'm using in my purse, in a mirrored case like these:

lipstick cases

There are some years when you will need to get by on the items you consider bare necessities. These items have to work, since you won't have time to fuss with them. I never bought into the notion that a woman suddenly becomes a different creature when she gives birth. Don't give up your makeup, or the concept that you're still entitled to looking good, but do hone your routine to fit into the time you have.

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Beauty Notes: Mom Makeup
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, 1:08 AM (Eastern)

mom makeup

Along with Mom Clothes, there should be Mom Makeup.

I already had one of my kids, and was pregnant with the second, back when I discovered beauty messageboards. Part of my makeup quest has always involved time. Quick application, minimal touch-ups or fuss...minimal shopping. Something affordable, both in terms of money and of time.

Here is a quick collage of the makeup I wore today. Top row, left to right:
  1. Tinted sunscreen. It's an old pic, from my old site, most of which dates from 2000-2001. You can see how long I've stuck with this same concept; it's much faster and easier to apply and blend than regular foundation and already includes SPF.

  2. Nars the Multiple in Malibu. This is relatively new to my stash. :D Before Malibu, I usually skipped blush, but this is so quick and easy to apply, after tinted sunscreen and before pressed powder. It lasts well too; no disappearing blush.

  3. MAC Blot pressed powder. The date on this pic is December 2003. Blot is, thus far, simply the best pressed powder I've found for oily skin. In the San Francisco Bay Area climate, I need apply this only once, in the morning, to keep my face from getting greasy all day.

Bottom row, left to right:
  1. Nars duo eyeshadow in Jezebel. The Nars duos are incredible time-savers, since they already contain two shadows that work perfectly together. Of the four duos I own--Babylon, Ireland, Island Fever and this--each contains a perfect lid shade, paired with an ideal crease shade. These keep well too; they don't turn hard and funny.

  2. Nars Mambo eyepencil. At first I thought, wha'? $19 for an eyepencil? I tried it mostly out of curiosity, plus I had no chocolate brown eyepencil after my Prestige Expresso got old. The more I use it though, the more I like it. It holds a lovely point and goes on, if not satiny-smooth, at least without dragging, and goes with everything, including the Island Fever and Ireland duos that I used deep grey liner with before. It's a quiet pencil, but with an odd bit of genius within.

  3. Dr. Hauschka #01 Amoroso lipstick. As much of a no-brainer as my previous go-to lipstick, MAC Strawberry Blonde, but still in production. Amoroso is a lovely coral red, works well with warm coloring, doesn't require liner, doesn't have too much transfer (I find that highly annoying), lasts reasonably well on, feels good on lips, and is next to edible, to boot.

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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'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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Major Nars blush porn link
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Wednesday, August 08, 2007 2:54 AM (Eastern)

my NARS blush collection

The blog itself is in Chinese (drat!):

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Nars Fall 2007: Modern Odyssey
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Tuesday, August 07, 2007 2:08 PM (Eastern)

nars fall 2007: modern odyssey

I feel a bit remiss here, if only because it occurred to me only today that taking screenshots of the Nars collections was way easier than downloading the images. And I'd like to keep track of the collections.

So what looks good here? Brazil looks kind of cool actually.

image courtesy

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Eye makeup for green eyes: then and now
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Friday, August 03, 2007 1:48 PM (Eastern)

Eye Makeup for Green Eyes #1
Eye Makeup for Green Eyes #2
Eye Makeup for Green Eyes #3

I was going back on some older posts to index them (you can now pull up posts by clicking the Features, Categories and Tags labels to the right ->), and came across this series of posts I made two years ago.

Some of the images are missing--likely linked to images in the reviews section, which we've also recently overhauled--is it worth restoring the images, or even indexing the posts?

The short answer is no. I no longer have even the same philosophy regarding eye makeup as I had back then. Things have changed...I'm no longer willing to buy products I know will last less than a year, either quality- or interest-wise. To me it's not worth it; my time is worth something, and has to be figured into the cost of the item.

cheap chic by caterine milinaireThere is also the classical Cost Per Wear factor, which I first encountered in Caterine Milinaire's Cheap Chic (1975). I don't remember how that book got into my was a library book...but I found it fascinating. Ms. Milinaire went through an exercise calculating the cost per wear of a dress...I want to say it was an $80 dress, extravagant back then...and how, if the dress were of good quality, in a style that lasted some years, its cost per wear was less than that of a $20 dress that didn't wear as well.

I've come to have a similar philosophy regarding makeup, although I do believe it's important to draw a line. Higher cost in cosmetics does not necessarily translate to higher quality. Sometimes it does; sometimes it simply means you pay more. It's been well pointed out that women are new to the concept of having their own money, and like any other nouveau riche, we are surrounded by an infinite number of people with their hands out, trying to grab a chunk.

So! what has ended up in my green eyed makeup stash these days?

Nars Jezebel duo eyeshadow:

nars duo eyeshadow in jezebel

This is to die for. Although, to my eye, it is a teeny bit warm, and may not suit you if your overall coloring is cool. The darker shade is purple-tinged, coppery brown; the lighter shade is matte lilac with a hint of pink.

When I put this on, I don't get anything screaming "brown eyeshadow!", I think largely because of the shot of purple in the coppery shade. (I have not seen this exact color anywhere else, in nine years of avid makeup junkie-dom.) The lilac shade is the perfect foil for it.

Prior Nars duos, left to right: Babylon, Ireland and Island Fever:

nars duo eyeshadows in babylon, ireland and island fever

These are still going strong. They haven't turned hard, the way most of my other shadows have (knock wood). Nars duos currently retail for $31, meaning I buy them very slowly; however it's well to mention the cost is comparable to that of two single shadows from any number of "less expensive" brands.

Eyepencils: Nars Mambo; MAC Bordeauxline and Grey Utility:

eyepencils: nars mambo, mac bordeauxline and grey utility

The Mambo is new to me. It's described on the Nars site as "chocolate brown," but when I swatched it, I detected a definite hint of red (perhaps plum as well) that I knew would look good with green eyes.

The MAC's I've had for two and a half, and two years, respectively. Quality is still good.

Um...that's it. I've tossed my cheaper shadows in the main, and put aside some others. I'm seldom in a hurry to throw out expensive shadows, but I do see the solution as simply buying less to begin with, or buying more slowly.

Cheap Chic image courtesy

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Nars Jezebel Duo Eyeshadow, plus a link to some nice Nars "porn"
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Sunday, July 22, 2007 11:01 PM (Eastern)

nars jezebel duo eyeshadow

Isn't it perfect?

Some nice Nars "porn"

It's in Japanese...nice pics!


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2 comment(s)  
July 22, 2007 11:23 PM, Blogger Dain said...

I've always wanted Jezebel, but always convinced myself otherwise because I know I don't use browns. If only one could customize!

July 23, 2007 12:18 AM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

Normally I don't do browns. At least not often. I like bronzes, maybe "brown and"...brown cut with gold, something like that.

But this is a brilliant brown. It's purplish. I swatched it at Sephora and got purple...and copper...a little bit o' taupe. The purple is what attracted me. I was swatching Stage Beauty too, even had it in my was the purple in both shades of Jezebel that sold it to me.

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Nars The Multiple in Malibu
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Tuesday, July 17, 2007 9:07 PM (Eastern)

nars the multiple in malibuFinally got around to taking a picture of this. waves to Arabella

It's gorgeous, and I'm not sure this pic does it justice. It's the perfect blend of rose and bronze, more rose than bronze. It doesn't look shimmery on, at least not that I can detect (it's a bit shimmery in the tube). It's fine for my acne prone skin, blends like a dream, and lasts well on.

It's a bit warm-toned, and I hope this pic captures that, but it's not truly orange here.

Normally I hate bronzers, to me it's a hassle and an extra step.

Likewise, though I like blush, I'm also lazy about using it every day. I have blushes, and a spandy nice blush brush, and these tend to sit quietly in my makeup drawer, taken out only for special occasions.

Enter The Multiple...there are different Multiples, some of them more akin to highlighters. This is one of the blushy ones, and it's good.

Since it's a stick, it's easy to fit in between your foundation product (I use tinted sunscreen) and your powder. It's there, you're there, you've already got foundation on your fingers so you have to wash your hands anyway; let's use it!


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Sephora Emeryville review
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Saturday, July 07, 2007 10:19 PM (Eastern)

It's already open! It's at the Bay Street mall, near the (also quite new) H & M.

I ducked in there wasn't the first time I'd been to a Sephora, but it was the first time I'd been able to spend an appreciable amount of time in one.

First impressions: yup, every brand you ever thought of even thinking of. Vincent Longo, Urban Decay, Nars of course, wall o' perfumes, wall o' skincare, yadda yadda...everything quite neat and inviting.

Service: friendly staff, no hard sell.

Me: spent most of the time in the Nars section. They don't have everything 100% in stock yet, so they didn't have the Urban Decay "Bourbon" 24/7 eyepencil I was going to check out. They did have UD "Lucky" eyepencil, which was an interesting deep coppery shade, but it wasn't dark enough for what I needed.

Nars: they didn't have "Rebecca" duo eyeshadow, or "Habanera." In the Habanera slot, they had what appeared to be half the "Bohemian Gold" duo.

Still, who cares. They are open, and I did get a couple of things. :D

First up, an eyeshadow duo. As tempting as the singles looked, the duos are a better deal for me, as long as both shades are useful to me. I don't use tons of eyeshadow at a pop; I've barely dented the three Nars duos I own (Babylon, Ireland and Island Fever), after three years of happy ownership.

I almost got the "Stage Beauty" was in my basket. It's quite pretty: a soft, creamy shade, paired with a deeper, brown-coppery shade tinged with rose. I knew it would flatter my green folks are always drawn toward shades with a form of red in them.

But with Nars, I tend to not use them for neutrals. If you're heavily into neutrals, I can see it..."Surabaya," for example, struck me favorably, and of course there is the classical "All About Eve."

What to get? Swatched "Blade Runner"...but realistically, as with "Surabaya," two deep shades might not cut it for me. I much prefer the dichotomy of a lid shade and a crease shade (I don't highlight, since I have small lids and too much browbone).

And, I don't use eyeshadow as liner; I'm far too lazy. I have a perfectly good eyeliner brush from Ecco Bella, that I haven't used in...years.

"Caravaggio" and "Divine" popped out...strong rose, magenta tones...both too young for me (throw "Mediteranee" in there too).

Finally..."Jezebel" beckoned to me, more and more. I have no idea yet if this is going to work on me; it all hinges on the soft lavender shade. This is the kind of shade which tends to disappear quickly; I'm hoping the Nars version lasts.

Jezebel comes with a deep brown shade, cut with purple, perhaps a more purply version of the deep coppery rose shade in Stage Beauty.

Since I couldn't try Urban Decay "Bourbon" eyepencil, and I no longer own a deep brown eyepencil, I swatched some of the Nars pencils.

I'd heard the Nars eyepencils tended to be hard in texture. The Urban Decay 24/7 pencils I swatched were silkier, certainly, comparable to my MAC Powerpoints and Eye Kohls. Still, the Nars pencils I swatched weren't what I'd call hard or draggy, just not super soft. I'll report back later on how well they wear, because some eyepencils turn hard after a while.

"Kyoto" looked pretty...deep soft olive green, probably better for hazel or brown eyes. "Patmos" was very green. They had only part of the collection out..."Parrot Cay" was an interestingly different, light green.

It was "Mambo" I got...deep brown, but tinged with enough red to make it different.

I passed on the lipsticks altogether; thinking of trying lipsticks more toward the "health food store" or natural variety.

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Nars duo eyeshadow ponderings...
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Tuesday, June 19, 2007 5:59 PM (Eastern)

Okay. So we're finally getting a Sephora. By that I mean half an hour's drive, not driving into the City (where parking is atrocious-to-nonexistent), and so forth.

Meaning, I'll likely wait until the Sephora opens to buy anything new, because I have a couple of Urban Decay 24/7 eyepencils, a Nars lipstick (which I want to see before buying) and maybe a Nars duo eyeshadow on my wish list.

Why Nars? I have tried Dior and Lancome eyeshadows. They're both wonderful, Dior in particular, no doubt about it. But they tend more toward conventional colors, at least compared to Nars. I need more unconventional (however subtly so) shades.

nars eyeshadow duos
swatches courtesy has reasonably accurate color swatches, better imo than the Nars site itself, but not the full array:

nars eyeshadow duos
swatches courtesy

I have seen some of them "on," so at least have some idea which ones not to buy. But right now, it's an open book. I own Babylon, Ireland and Island Fever (and still love them all...interestingly, the quality of them has not changed over three years).

So, any thoughts?

Bueller?... Bueller?... Bueller?

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3 comment(s)  
June 20, 2007 6:44 AM, Blogger Dain said...

The ones I want are Habanera and Pandora, but for your coloring, I would recommend looking at Rebecca first. Spring green and peachy-rosy, so fresh and flattering on green eyes. They are almost nonexistent on my skin tone, but they might suit you. Judging by your taste in blush and lipsticks, I think we have very different undertones. Key Largo would be very, very basic, but good.

June 20, 2007 6:45 AM, Blogger Dain said...

If you were in the mood to go all out, I'd throw in a single, too. Maybe something plummy shimmery like Ondine, if you ever wanted a crease or (soft) liner color to match.

June 20, 2007 1:06 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

I was hoping you'd show up. :) Those sound like good recs.

I'm guessing the new Sephora will be totally mobbed for the first two weeks. After that I might go check it out.

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Closing in on a signature lipstick
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Thursday, June 07, 2007 3:59 PM (Eastern)

Oh well, I've already decided to lose my Nars lipstick virginity. Now, which one?

I'm thinking sheers. Yes, sheer has become a dirty word, when it is used to mean "next to no pigment in product"--and I have no desire to select a "why bother?" lippy...yet, I've never read a gripe that Nars sheer lipsticks lack pigment.

Internet photographs of women wearing Nars lipstick are in ridiculously short supply btw. I can buy it that they cost more than some other lipsticks, but these days, they don't cost that much more. I'd sooner pay Nars prices for one lipstick that works and gets used all the way down, than pay more for two other lipsticks that end up getting tossed after a few uses.

Dolce Vita? Not likely...I'm sure it's a great shade. But after some experimentation, I've become convinced that "my" lipstick (other than Chanel Moiré, which I'm not worried about now) has got to be a little bit bright. It should not be too neutral, too natural, really.

Hindu? Check this out: SM Memo: Nars "Hindu" is Very Brown. Nice pic. Too brown for what I'm after.

Gipsy? Doesn't everyone own Gipsy, if they own a Nars lipstick? Or Flair? They both look pretty, that's for sure.

Sexual Healing, Barbarella, Belle de Jour and Viva Las Vegas are all quite light, from what I've seen Net-wise. Light lipsticks are good if you use a certain amount of eye makeup, otherwise you get the dead fish look. Hum.

That narrows it down a bit. Not really; I think you do have to see the lippies in person, swatch 'em, get a feel for what you're getting.

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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" 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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Finally, Nars Summer 2007 has been sighted, Net-wise...
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Wednesday, April 25, 2007 3:18 AM (Eastern)

Summer 2007

It's been amazingly difficult finding actual photographs of this collection online. Given that it's new and hasn't hit all the stores, yadda yadda...still it's a bit of a mystery.

Sexual Healing lipstick stays on my wishlist.


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Ever bought a beauty product purely for its shade name?
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Friday, April 13, 2007 12:28 AM (Eastern)

nars sexual healing lipstick

This isn't even out yet; not even on the Sephora site. The name is just so eye-catching, would appear to be a frosted pink lipstick (even though the Nars site images seldom match the actual products). Not a shade I'd gravitate toward.

Still...who's to say? The MAC Strawberry Blonde lipstick I've deemed a Grail was not a shade I'd be drawn toward, either, when I bought it. The Catherine Deneuve name was what caught my eye, made me try it out. For about a year I didn't wear it much at all, then I fell in love with it.

I almost bought Sexual Healing sight unseen then realized that would be ridiculous, given I can just drive less than half an hour, when it does hit the stores, and see it for myself.

I've already decided Nars is my next lipstick purchase, one way or another.

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Nars Summer 2007, brief commentary
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Monday, April 09, 2007 5:43 PM (Eastern)


Okay I just posted this on the New Releases Blog for posterity, but I'd like to add some comments here.

The cream shadows are out for me. I don't do cream shadows. To be fair, I don't do eyeshadow base/primer either. I rather believe these would fly with the base, possibly without it, but eh...I'll wait for powder shadows.

The body glow set...let's leave that to the "yutes."

Vinny Gambini: It is possible that the two yutes...
Judge Chamberlain Haller: ...Ah, the two what? Uh... uh, what was that word?
Vinny Gambini: Uh... what word?
Judge Chamberlain Haller: Two what?
Vinny Gambini: What?
Judge Chamberlain Haller: Uh... did you say 'yutes'?
Vinny Gambini: Yeah, two yutes.
Judge Chamberlain Haller: What is a yute?
Vinny Gambini: Oh, excuse me, your honor...
Vinny Gambini: Two YOUTHS.

Young people can dig body glow. They're entitled to it, but I'll pass.

Gloss...this would appear to be the ideal sexy summer "look at my lips, they're perfect" gloss, but I'm not heavily into gloss for the laziness factor...hate to touch up.

Now the lipsticks...they're both sheer. Not sheer for the sake of sheer...because Nars doesn't seem to be stuck in a sheer lipstick rut...these would be special sheers. Here is my weakness.

all images courtesy

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

It's just crossed my 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

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

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

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

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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.

  • 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
  • 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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MAC Strawberry Blonde lipstick
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Sunday, February 11, 2007 10:26 PM (Eastern)

Reviewed here: MAC Lipstick (Lustre) Strawberry Blonde
Blogged here: Catherine Deneuve thoughts... Why I passed on the rest of the Deneuve collection

I got this from the Catherine Deneuve collection, a year ago. Up until now it hasn't been my "go to lipstick," since I was using up MAC Sophisto. Sophisto is used up now though, so Strawberry Blonde has assumed its place.

And, the thing is, I'm starting to really like it. And it is, or was, limited edition, so once I've used this one up, I can't replace it.

On a philosophical note, I've never been one to stock up on limited edition items. In some cases, it does make sense to do so...I just find it...annoying. If it's that good, why is it limited edition? I usually look around for a look-alike instead.

So far, from tooling around on, I've gleaned two candidates:

Julie Hewett "Gem Noir" (this appears to be the discovery of cordysmum)
Nars "Niagara" (Satin formula)

Gem Noir looks more promising than Niagara; the latter seems pinker, a pretty shade in its own right rather than a true copycat.

There was a rumor that MAC Legendary Femme lipstick would prove to be a "re-promote" of Strawberry Blonde, but the pics and reviews I've seen indicate that it isn't. Even if it were though, Legendary Femme itself is limited edition.

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Colleen Shirazi continues to blog here: Life of Colleen
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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) gets rid of flakes, makes my face feel nice and soft--not 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 (

  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 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 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 would work for any eye color, but it's stupendous with green or'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'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's got brick red, plum, rose, a neat little twist of fuchsia shimmer (as the shade name implies)'s on the warm side. If lipsticks easily turn orange on you, it may not do.

    It's nice and moisturizing, lasts well 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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Colleen Shirazi continues to blog here: Life of Colleen
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