Celebrate Chic Week with Sephora!

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Calling all cosmetics connoisseurs! Don’t forget to take advantage of Sephora’s Chic Week! All beauty insiders get 15% off with code CHIC, 4/12 through 4/21. VIBs can take advantage beginning 4/11 through 4/22 (same code, VIBCHIC). Or you can print your email and bring the bar code to your local Sephora store.

If you’re anything like me, you keep a running list of products you’re dying to try. On mine this month are Hourglass’ ambient lighting powders (particularly Mood Light), NARS Belle de Jour lipstick (a classic NARS nude lipstick that believe it or not I have yet to try), NARS matte lip pencils in Sex Machine, Never Say Never and Roman Holiday, Urban Decay lip pencil in Paranoid, and Tarte’s cheek stain in Awakening.

With new products on the market and new collections launching what seems like monthly at least, it’s hard to resist temptation and not become a total junkie. Of course if you do give in, you might have yourself your own beauty blog! And find your wallet a little lighter. Lovelies, as we know, this can be an expensive habit so we should take advantages of discounts and perks whenever and wherever we can.

Get on over to your local Sephora or sephora.com and indulge a bit without paying full price.

What products are you eyeing?

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theBalm Nude ‘Tude palette- Sale!

Eyeshadow palettes seem to be taking over the world of cosmetics as of late, in fact palettes are in general. Women seem to like the idea of having everything in one compact and the portability factor doesn’t hurt.

One of my favorite eyeshadow palettes is from a line called theBalm that used to be carried at Sephora but it is now only online and at a few select boutiques here and there. I wanted to let you know of the Nude ‘Tude palette now because theBalm is being featured on HauteLook today so you can snap it up for half price! It’s free to sign up on HauteLook and you can find some great deals on brand name items ranging from cosmetics to clothing to home furnishings.

The reason this palette is my favorite and most reached-for in my collection is because of the variety and quality of the eyeshadows it contains. They are smooth and incredibly pigmented, and blend together seamlessly to create beautiful gradient looks. The shades range from a deep smoky burgundy (my favorite) to a pure white, which I like to use to highlight my brow bone and tap on the inner corners of my eyes to brighten them and give some lift. It makes for a great travel palette as you have almost every color you’d need to create a look, plus it’s fun to pull out of your makeup bag. This palette is unique because of its ability to give you a neutral or colorful look, while most palettes are exclusive to one or the other. There is also a mix of matte and shimmer which is a nice surprise.

The packaging of this palette and of the line as a whole is beyond adorable, and I’m quite gullible to marketing efforts and product design. That being said though this palette delivers on quality as well as aesthetics which makes it all the more enjoyable. It features vintage pin-up girls as a display for each color with names like “Standoffish,” “Sophisticated,” and “Sassy.” There are two different palettes, one called “Naughty” with the pin-up girls, the version that I have, and one called “Nice” which is a vintage living room setting. Both contain the same shades, it’s just about your packaging preference.

You get 12 shades and a brush for $36, but as I said you can get it from HauteLook for $18 if you’re interested and act quickly. The offer is available through Friday 5/18 but this line tends to sell out quickly so check it out.

What’s your favorite eyeshadow palette? Or do you prefer singles? Do share!

 

Urban Decay at a Discount

Be careful not to assume that Nordstrom Rack’s inventory is confined solely to last season’s undesirables. Quite the contrary, not only does Rack carry trendy clothing and accessories but it also offers great beauty finds from time to time. I experienced one of these times yesterday. While I was browsing the accessories section, a favorite pastime of mine, I stumbled across loud and colorful packaging that screamed Urban Decay. I struck cosmetic gold.

Sitting on a display were Urban Decay’s Book of Shadows Volume IV (the brand’s most recent Book of Shadows release) and a 24/7 eyeshadow pencil set. The best part? The discounted price tags. If you’re a beauty junkie like me (my condolences) you know that cosmetics rarely, if ever, go on sale. I snapped these up pretty quickly and I suggest you do the same. The Book of Shadows Volume IV originally sold for $64 and I paid $28. The eyeshadow pencil set was originally $36 and I paid $11.

I neglected to purchase the Book of Shadows when it came out originally because the packaging was bulky and quite frankly, unnecessary. Its design is elaborate, and comes with a speaker system that you can hook an iPod to if you choose. I won’t be using it for this purpose. The more important component here appears when you open the drawer to reveal 16 gorgeous eyeshadows. There is a nice variety of wearable brights and neutral shades. My only complaint is, and this seems to be true of most of Urban Decay’s palettes, there are almost no matte shadows. This proves difficult if trying to create a look using just this palette, as using ALL shimmer and/or glitter on your eyelids is almost always a no-no. The colors are beautifully unique and they look just as vibrant at the end of the day as when you first applied them in the morning.

Besides the shadows, the palette also comes with a travel-size eyeshadow Primer Potion, a travel-size SuperCurl mascara and a full-size black liquid liner. These three items are just bonuses as I mainly wanted the shadows, but not bad extras to have. I do like the mascara; its light-weight formula allows your eyelashes to hold a curl for hours.

The eyeshadow pencil set certainly isn’t a must-have, but it’s mighty convenient for on-the-go application. If you’re a no muss no fuss kind of gal, these might be for you. There are three neutral shades and two vibrant ones that offer a fun pop of color. I tend to make use of the brighter colors by smudging them under my lower lash line for a subtle brightness to my look. They are amazingly pigmented and don’t crease throughout the day. In terms of blendability they’re not the best, but using your fingers rather than a brush helps a lot. At a little over $2 a pencil, the set is well worth it!

The Eyes Have It

There’s big news in the beauty world again, and the buzz word is eyeshadow. One of the brands that’s known for it is Urban Decay, and that’s exactly who is headlining recently. Urban Decay is the notoriously edgy company that was one of the first to release excellently pigmented eyeshadows in shades other than run-of-the-mill browns, greys, pinks and taupes. It has been sold at Sephora for as long as I can remember, and used to be one of the only truly innovative and exciting brands there.

Over the years Urban Decay has become famous not only for its eyeshadows, but for its palettes. In my opinion Urban Decay was instrumental in creating the palette craze that has taken over the cosmetics industry, steering customers away from purchasing a single eyeshadow for $18 when they can buy a palette of 6+ for anywhere from $40-$50. Customers are getting more product, more variety and convenient packaging while (seemingly) saving a buck. Although we all know that we set our minds to just spending that $18 and wind up shelling out more than double, but my previous reasoning is almost always our justification. That and they’re pretty.

The point of today’s rambling is to let you know of Urban Decay’s recent reformulation of its single eyeshadows, claiming to be smoother, more pigmented and more blendable than ever. Urban Decay has released a total of 68 shades for us to choose from, all coming in 5 possible finishes: satin, duotone, shimmer, sparkle and matte. With the variety of finishes and shades, you’re sure to find one that you like. The best part, however, is that you can choose 6 colors to place in your very own Urban Decay palette.

Customization is another sizable trend in the industry right now, and hats off to Urban Decay for making it even more enticing. Not only can you select whatever 6 shades catch your eye, but they are easily popped into the palette without any anxiety like that of depotting a MAC eyeshadow. With Urban Decay’s product, the eyeshadow has a magnetized backing that clicks into one of the 6 slots in the palette. This is quick, painless and interchangeable, so don’t think you have to limit yourself to ONLY choosing 6 shades.

You may have to restrain yourself.

All 68 eyeshadows ($18 each) and the palette (sold separately for $18.00) are now available at urbandecay.com and will be available shortly at Sephora.com and in Sephora stores. And never fear if a beloved shade of yours has been discontinued, Urban Decay has a dupe/suggestion list to give you a similar look. Go have yourself a swatch fest!

Beauty Tip: Concealer

I’ve been asked a great deal lately about concealer and how to keep it from settling into fine lines and wrinkles. I have a sneaking suspicion that we have all succumbed to concealers that claim to be crease-resistant, which they never are. Our faces naturally move throughout the day (unless you’re Joan Rivers) and our makeup moves with it, causing creasing and shifting in products we applied. There are, however, ways to minimize the alteration in appearance of the products we put on.

As far as concealer goes, my number one tip has to do with eyeshadow primer. Most brands, both drugstore and high-end, have come out with many different eyeshadow primers in many different formulas. Depending on your skin type, you may favor one primer’s texture over another.

My primer of choice is Urban Decay’s Eyeshadow Primer Potion. I like this particular product because it provides a smooth base for eyeshadow to cling to, which increases its longevity. While the primer allows the eyeshadow to stick, it also allows for it to blend easily which not all primers do. The same concept applies to concealer. There are many primers on the market, though, and a very affordable one is put out by Palladio which can be found at Ulta, Sally Beauty Supply and select Bed Bath and Beyond stores.

Before beginning, always make sure the fragile skin under your eyes is well moisturized, but don’t use too much product or anything you put on top of it will appear cakey and unnatural. When applying your primer, don’t limit your canvas to just your eyelid. Instead, carry it down under your eye and into the inner corner where you see any darkness. Blend it in with the warmth of your finger tips and let it set for a minute, then apply your corrector and concealer as you normally would. After they are blended tear a tissue in half and use one sheet to gently blot the under eye area. This will remove any excess oil while leaving the pigment. An oily finish under the eye attracts light which brings attention to anything you’re trying to conceal, while mattifying the area does the opposite. It avoids catching the light and helps to direct attention elsewhere on the face.

Finish by setting everything with a minimal amount of powder using a fluffy blending brush rather than a sponge. These steps will noticeably increase the wear of your concealer and keep it looking fresh and flawless all day.