Apr 29, 2011

Throwback to the 1960's and 1970's OUTFIT...

Throwback to the 1960's and 1970's OUTFIT...

I totally went for it today! I'm channeling styles from the 1960's and 1970's with wide legged denim pants from Express (I refuse to think of this material as 'jeans') and a billowy ivory blouse also from Express. I accessorized with a wide camel colored belt and camel fringe platforms from Love My Shoes. To top it off my hair is also different...blunt cut chin length bob with straight bangs...


Apr 28, 2011

Tarte Smooth Operator™ Micronized Clay Finishing Powder with PM20™ - THOUGHTS...

Tarte Smooth Operator™ Micronized Clay Finishing Powder with PM20™ - THOUGHTS...

smooth operator™ micronized clay finishing powder with PM20™ perfects and mattifies skin, while reducing the number and size of pores by 20% after 4 weeks.
The breakthrough technology of this micronized clay finishing powder improves the production of keratin, a building block of skin synthesis, to promote the tightening of skin and effectively shrinking oversized pores. Amazonian clay, nature's most perfect ingredient, acts as a total skin balancer by reducing dryness and flakiness, improving clarity and texture and removing surface oil to mattify skin for a soft focus and flawless finish.

To apply, use a large fluffy brush and lightly dust colorless finishing powder over skin alone as a treatment or over concealer and foundation to keep makeup in place and add a natural finish. Smooth operator™ micronized clay finishing powder with PM20™ can also be used for targeted application; use your ring finger to gently pat finishing powder over undereye or blemish concealer to keep product from migrating into fine lines, wrinkles and dried, damaged skin.

  PM20™ clinical results: 20% reduction in the number and size of pores after 4 weeks

  Skinvigorating™ benefits:

PM20™: proprietary pore minimizing molecular compound clinically proven to reduce the number and size of pores by 20% after 4 weeks
         Amazonian clay: this nutrient rich clay is extracted from the banks of the Amazon River  
         where the nutrients are at their highest concentration. This multitasking and total skin balancing clay has
         been known to:
þ Remove surface oil to mattify skin
þ Hydrate dry skin
þ Nourish all skin types
þ Give skin an overall smooth and even appearance
þ Reduce the appearance of dryness and flakiness
þ Improve the appearance of skin clarity and skin texture

  skinvigorating™ ingredients
 Amazonian Clay: nature’s most perfect ingredient providing total skin balance

  þ formulated without mineral oil & petrolatum
  þ formulated without paraben                             
  þ formulated without phthalates                         
  þ cruelty free                                                       
  þ formulated without sodium lauryl sulfate        
  þ formulated without synthetic dye                    
  þ formulated without synthetic fragrance           

Size: 0.32 oz
Price: $28


My Five Ps

The Smooth Operator™ Micronized Clay Finishing Powder with PM20™ (quite a mouthful...say that 3 times fast) is priced at $28 for 0.32oz. Similar products on the market retail for roughly the same price: MUFE HD Microfinish Powder is $30 for 0.35oz and MAC Prep+Prime Transparent Finishing Powder is $23 for 0.28oz.

I'd say this product is competitively priced and while it is not the cheapest on the market, it certainly isn't overpriced. So the real test is quality and performance to see if it's worth the cost to you.

The Smooth Operator™ Micronized Clay Finishing Powder with PM20™ is available at Sephora stores, Sephora.com, Ulta stores and Ulta.com as well as directly from Tarte. There is a new Bronze shade available at Sephora that is described as 'matte suntan' which may be great for darker skintones or for use as a contour/bronzer.

The packaging is similar to most loose powders which is a clear plastic jar with an integral sifter insert and a screw-top lid. The lid is a fun purple color imprinted with the Tarte logo and product name on an arbor backdrop.

The sifter insert sports only one hole to release the product from the jar which is great at preventing waste and spillage but not so ideal for getting to the product. You can easily remove the sifter insert to get full access to the powder but I wouldn't recommend this since loose powders are renowned for getting everywhere! My advice is to simply turn the jar (closed) upside down and tap it against your hand or hard surface to deposit enough product into the lid. It may take a few shakes but it beats having too much loose powder flying all around.


Product & Performance

Now the proof is in the pudding or powder in this case. Tarte makes some serious claims for the Smooth Operator™ Micronized Clay Finishing Powder with PM20™ which, funny enough, leads me to scrutinize the product even more. If you make these claims then you better live up to them in my eyes!
And do this it did! Except for the 4-week pore minimizing which I don't really have issues with and therefore can't attest to.

The product itself is an ultra-super-micro-fine white powder that transforms to clear on the skin. This is key for me because I hate the feeling of a gritty powder so I love that this powder feels like silk between my fingers and more so on my face. It is smooth and silky and even a bit creamy against the skin.

The color also plays a big part for me since other 'white' loose powders can translate as ashy and show white residue in pictures (MUFE HD Microfinish Powder does this to me). This melts into the skin and shows no signs of white as long as it is well blended. I say this because if you add too much powder and forget to blend then obviously there will be tell-tale signs of white...but do not blame the powder...blame your application. In pictures it can make your skin look a bit lighter so be sure to blend well!

As an oily-skin girl I was of course intrigued by the mattifying claims and had enough oil to fry a chicken as well as out this product to the test. And I was pleasantly surprised! It worked like a dream on my t-zone. It zapped the shine and oils that often lurk on my skin and left my skin (naturally) matte for at least 8 hours.
There was a little bit of a sheen after a long day but hey I'm oil-central usually so a little sheen is okay by me.

While I cannot attest for long-term pore minimization I can for sure say that this powder blurs the appearance of large pores and fines lines on my skin. I was seriously amazed at how well this powder covered the pores on cheeks and nose and made them completely unnoticeable. I get a similar effect from the MAC Prep+Prime Transparent Finishing Powder which is also a nice product. The result is an airbrushed prefect finish to my skin.

Although I do not have overall dry skin I do have a few dry spots left over from the brutal winter. So I deliberately applied the powder in these areas to see how it faired. And ha! Look ma no hands! Oh...oops...I meant to say the powder did not accentuate the dry spots but rather helped to conceal them. So I feel comfortable saying that is works well for dry skin as well.

But how about the finish? It is matte and flat and boring? Not at all. It is actually a nice natural looking matte finish. There is no shine at all to this powder but it does not leave your skin flat and dry looking. But it's doesn't illuminate either....so you may want to add a bit of highlight in areas if that is your preference. I actually loved the natural matte look of the powder and even used it to dull down some high shine blushes.

I have also used this on its own without foundation and it gives a great natural finish to the skin. I can't vouch for redness since I don't have issues with that. I also can't say that it evens out skintone since it's colorless but it does even out the texture of the skin in a flawless even texture.

I love this powder and I am in love with the Tarte Amazonian Clay products. This powder works great for oily skin and should work equally well for all other skin types. It also works perfectly for my darker skin so dark skin ladies this should be great for you too. The finish and texture is superb. It works well to set foundation or even on its own for a very light coverage. I highly recommend this one for sure!   



No foundation, noticeable pores

No foundation w/ Tarte Smooth Operator™ Micronized Clay Finishing Powder

Before                      Face                               After
No foundation w/ Tarte Smooth Operator™ Micronized Clay Finishing Powder

 Before                      Face                               After
Foundation w/ Tarte Smooth Operator™ Micronized Clay Finishing Powder
See the blur effect?

M·A·C Magically Cool Liquid Powder Collection - INFORMATION...

M·A·C Magically Cool Liquid Powder Collection - INFORMATION...

In summer 2011, M·A·C will debut 3 shades of their Magically Cool Liquid Powder. Two of these shades were previously released with the M·A·C Venomous Villains Collection (Fall 2010) and together with an additional new shade will be added to the permanent line of M·A·C Face Products. The Magically Cool Powders are an inheritance from the acquired Prescriptives line and are quite "refreshing" for those hot summer months...

You've longed for it and now it's captured: M·A·C Magically Cool Liquid Powder. This feather-light silky powder goes on with the refreshing impact of an ocean mist. What's more, this magical melange contains just enough optical blurring via its light-diffusing pigments to render skin's surface into line-softened, natural luminosity. How magical is that?

In Stores: May 5, 2011
PRO Discount Available


Magically Cool Liquid Powder
A silky, feather-light powder, formulated with 70% water, dusts on to the skin as a cooling mist to set and enhance the look of any foundation. Beyond sheer: light-reflecting and translucent. A virtually invisible way to add luminosity and a soft radiant glow to the skin.

Truth & Light - Sheer shimmer that reflects silver and pink
Honey Rose - Sheer rosy beige with multi-dimensional shimmer
Cajun - Sheer bronze shimmer that reflects gold 

187 Duo Fibre Brush

A large full circular brush used for lightweight application and blending of face powder or pigments. Use to create soft layers or add textures. Made from a soft blend of goat and synthetic fibres.
18 cm

"Ahhhhh! The Magically Cool Liquid Powders! I know these are a bit gimmicky and all but I'm happy I picked one up. They are meant to be highlight powders that give a nice dewy glowy look to the skin. The neat thing about these however is the cooling liquid effect.

M·A·C says that these are made from some of the same ingredients as Fix+ and is 80 or 90% water. Cajun is great! I used it as a highlight powder on my cheeks and forehead and it felt so great on my skin. It's cooling and refreshing and I think hydrating as well. It gave my face a great glow rather than shine which I love (I am oily so dewy and shine are not my friends). Thumbs up! Check this out for sure.

M·A·C Magically Cool Liquid Powder in CAJUN

Apr 26, 2011

'Royal Teal' Look

'Royal Teal' Look

This look was very quick and simple. It reinforced my love for MUFE #92 and the Inglot Loose Eyeshadows. I am also finding new loves with the Real Technique Brushes that I will talk about later.

I started off with Too Faced Shadow Insurance all over my lid up to the brow bone. I applied MAC Layin' Low Paintpot (creamy beige) all over my lid and slightly into the crease as my primary base. Real Techniques Base Shadow Brush

For the inner lid and tearduct area I used MAC Pink Opal Pigment (iridescent white w/ pink pearl). MAC 239 Eye Shader Brush
On the middle of the lid I applied the Inglot #70 AMC Loose Eyeshadow (shimmery teal). MAC 242 Small Shader Brush
On the outer lid and crease I applied the MUFE #92 Eyeshadow (matte brilliant purple). Real Techniques Deluxe Crease Brush
On the browbone area for blending and highlight I used the matte nude eyeshadow from the Sleek Storm Makeup PaletteSonia Kaskuk Large Crease Brush
For highlight I used Bare Escentuals Clear Radiance All Over Face Color (shimmery light pink). MAC 252 Large Shader Brush 
For my lower lashline I used MAC Push The Edge Pigment (shimmery deep purple). MAC 228 Mini Shader Brush

My brows are filled in with MAC Eyebrow Pencil in Stud and NARS Coconut Grove Eyeshadow (matte blackened brown). Paula Dorf Eye Definer Flat Top Brush

I lined my upper lashline with Wet 'n' Wild Crème Eyeliner in  Black. MAC 266 Small Angle Brush
I lined my lower waterline with L'Oreal HIP Cream Eyeliner in Black. Sigma Eye Liner - E05 Brush
I used L'Oreal Carbon Black Voluminous Mascara for my lashes and added #213 Eyelashes from Nigels Beauty Emporium for effect.

For my lips I used Clé de Peau Extra Rich Lipstick in T5 (satin rose).

I primed my skin with a test moisturizer. I used Tarte ReCreate™ Anti-Aging Foundation in Walnut 20 - Sigma Flat Top Synthetic Kabuki Brush - for my face and set my t-zone with Tarte Smooth Operator™ Micronized Clay Finishing Powder - Sigma Round Top Synthetic Kabuki Brush.

I used Tarte Blissful Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush (matte warm peach) for my cheeks - MAC 129 Powder/Blush Brush and MUFE #2 Sculpting Kit for contour - Sigma Angled Top Synthetic Kabuki Brush.

M∙A∙C Packed To Go Collection - INFORMATION...

M∙A∙C Packed To Go Collection -

The M∙A∙C Packed To Go Collection is M∙A∙C's annual travel collection that is available online and at airports duty free shops ONLY. They are not available at  M∙A∙C counters or department stores. It is now available while supplies last.

Ready, Set, Jet! Then grab these connecting flights - Look In A Box: Girl Next Door, Look In A Box: A Very Stylish Girl, Or Look In A Box: Rocker Chick. Also includes Eye Shadow, Lip/Powder compacts and Brush kits...all great portable palettes for touching up on-the-go.

Pro discount is not applicable.



Packed To Go: 6 Cool Smokey Eye Shadows
If you like it cool, intriguing, with a waft of smoke, then make this your get-away choice. Enjoy the sultry impact created by Satin Taupe, A Brown Suit, Beauty Marked, Carbon, Tendersmoke and Seedy Pearl. Brush. Includes the 213SE Mini Brush.
5.3 g / 0.19 US oz

Seedy Pearl - Chilled lavender pink (Frost) 
Tendersmoke - Muted silver lilac (Frost) 
Satin Taupe - Taupe with silver shimmer (Frost)
A Brown Suit - Rich deep red (Frost)
Beauty Marked - Black/red with sparkle pearl (Velvet) 
Carbon - Intense black (Matte) 

Packed To Go: 6 Warm Smokey Eye Shadows
A coordinated palette of six shades offering you the variables you need to create that warm and smoky look. Features: Shroom, Stormy Love, Naked Lunch, Greensmoke, Tempting and Showstopper. Includes the 213SE Mini Brush.
5.3 g / 0.19 US oz

Shroom - Soft beige w/ shimmer (Satin) 
Naked Lunch - Minimal pink with shimmer (Lustre) 
Tempting - Sinfully rich coco (Lustre) 
Greensmoke - Tarnished olive (Frost)
Stormy Love - Dirty brown with green frost (Frost) 
Showstopper - Deep blackened brown (Matte) 

Packed To Go: Three Assorted Black Eye Liners
To line the eye, a choice of three very different eye liners, all of them black. The versatility lies in the application and the graphic quality of the line. For cognoscenti of the cat's eye and beyond: Engraved Powerpoint, Feline Kohl Power and Penultimate.

Engraved Powerpoint Eye Pencil - Black 
Feline Kohl Power Eye Pencil - Black 
Rapidblack Penultimate Eye Liner - Black 



Packed To Go: Three Lipsticks
A triple mix array of Lipstick that conveys the potential of pink in three amazing lustre-finished shades. This packed-to-go assortment contains M∙A∙C must-have shades of pink: Pretty Please, Plumful and Hug Me.
3 g / 0.1 US oz EA.
Pretty Please - Blossoming rose pink (Lustre) 
Hug Me - Flesh pink (Lustre) 
Plumful - Pale pink pearl (Lustre)

Packed To Go: Three Lipglass
M∙A∙C Lipglass C-Thru, Lust and Cultured boxed to go -anywhere! Carefully selected to be universal and glamorously good for all, this is a mix that works every day, everywhere, on everyone.
4.8 g / 0.17 US oz EA.

C-Thru - Peachy beige with shimmer 
Cultured - Opalescent mauve pink 
Lust - Soft muted pink 

Packed To Go: Three Cremesheens
Triple the Cremesheen! This three-in-a-box does just that! The utter indulgence of this fabulous creamy shine found in popular shades of Boy Bait, Over Indulgence and Double Dare.
2.7 g / 0.09 US oz EA.

Boy Bait - Light natural beige with pearl 
Double Dare - Coral red 
Overindulgence - Neutral brown 



Look In A Box: Girl Next Door
She's fresh, natural, the Girl Next Door. This is her look, and how she achieves it. This Look in a Box provides neutral through peach colourways in two Eye Shadows, an Iridescent Powder, Cremesheen Glass and Zoomlash. Limited edition.
Grand Entrance Eyeshadow - Soft peachy nude (Starflash)
Smoke and Diamonds Eyeshadow - Silver taupe (Starflash)
Zoom Black Mascara - Black
Deelight Cremesheen Glass - Mid tone neutral 
Belightful Iridescent Powder - Gilded peach bronze

Look In A Box: A Very Stylish Girl
For the high-style girl who understands the art of bronzing. An all-in-one Look in a Box featuring two Eye Shadows, Bronzing Powder, Cremesheen Lipglass and Zoomlash. Limited edition.
Dreammaker Eyeshadow - Light gold (Starflash)  
Glamour Check Eyeshadow - Deep copper (Starflash) 
Zoom Black Mascara - Black
Looks Like Sin Cremesheen Glass - Sheer deep beige      
Refined Golden Brozing Powder - Finely spun golden with soft pearl 

Look In A Box: Rocker Chick
The powered-up eyes and shocking pink lips of the contemporary Rocker Chick given an all-M∙A∙C twist in this one-of-a-kind Look in a Box. Features Dazzle Lash, two Eye Shadows, Eye Kohl, Lipstick and Lipglass. Limited edition.
Electra Eyeshadow - Silver with icy shimmer (Frost) 
Black Tied Eyeshadow - Black with silver sparkle (Velvet)   
Dazzle Lash Mascara - Black
Smolder Eye Kohl Pencil - Intense black 
Oyster Girl Lipglass - Freshwater pink 

Packed To Go: 4 Lips & Pressed PowderA double-decker compact featuring an all-you-need selection for lips and face. On the top, poured versions of Lipglass Rosehips, Quick Change and Riviera Ready and Lipstick, Poetic License. On the bottom, Iridescent Pressed Powder in Belightful.
Belightful Iridescent Powder - Gilded peach bronze 
Riviera Ready - Warm light nude 
Poetic License - Pale apricot 
Rosehips - Mid tone rosey pink 
Quick Change - Mid tone cool blue rose 



Packed To Go: 5 Shape & Perfect Brushes
The five brushes required to shape and perfect your look in one packed-to-go box. An essential everyday mix! Includes 168SE, 187SE, 212SE, 219SE and 275SE.
8" x 2.5" US$49.50

Packed To Go: 5 Define & Blend Brushes
The five essential brushes needed to perfect the define-and-blend of makeup. Eyes, lips, face, these brushes have them covered. Includes 129SE, 190SE, 224SE, 242SE and 266SE.
8" x 2.5" US$49.50

Hue Lipstick - Soft pale pink (Glaze)