September 30, 2010

Sonia Rykiel Summer 2010 Eyeshadows, Swatches and Review

This is probably a cruel cruel thing to do, since these eyeshadows are literally unattainable, but half the reason why I started a blog was to bring you the best bits of my stash, so there you have it.

Sonia Rykiel is a French fashion designer that, much like Paul and Joe, has a cosmetics line created to target the Japanese market. But unlike Paul and Joe, Sonia Rykiel does not have any availability in the states. After seeing an advertisement in maquilla (note to self, I should never ever under any circumstances buy that magazine, because it only leads down a road of terrible temptation!!!), I ordered all five of the eyeshadows from the Sonia Rykiel Summer 2010 collection from

The eyeshadows are gorgeous. The consistency is very smooth and easy to blend or sheer out. The sparkle might be a little too much for some, but I would still consider it to be toward the end of "sophisticated." I ordered these sight unseen, and I have to say I was tremendously disappointed that the center color is an overspray, but the quality of the shadows make up for it.

o1 is a true gold shimmer

02 is a deep purple-blue

03 is a brownish mauve

04 is a golden pink

05 is my favorite, and most unusual. It's a sparkling minty green white.
Very complex and complimentary to my eyes when used as an inner corner highlight.

from L to R: 01, 02, 03, 04 ,05

The Sonia Rykiel website can also be good fun. It's mostly in Japanese, but while the summer collection was being featured, there were all sorts of "looks" and suggestions. The theme of this particular collection was "sun rise" vs "sun set" makeup. The gold and pink colors were combined to make a sun rise makeup look, and the purple and mauve were combined to make a sun set look. The advertisement in maquilla also featured these combinations, and the effect on the model was truly lovely (hence the trippin' that led to the spendin').

All in all, the eyeshadows are beautiful, and I think worth the monies.

Rouge Bunny Rouge Like Whoa!

I've heard so much about Rouge Bunny Rouge. All of the England based beauty bloggers have been abuzz about it for the past year. That's because they get paid in Pound Sterling, lucky bastards. For those of us in the states, Rouge Bunny Rouge must be gotten at the exorbitant GBP to USD conversion on Such is life. Anyway, last month I put in my first order on Zuneta for an off the hook haul of Rouge Bunny Rouge. Today I bring you possibly my favorite product, the Decadent Duo Joys and Desires in Rumba Cubana (although it is very hard to choose, because everything that arrived was pretty fab). The Decadent Duo is a multi-tasking cream blush lip gloss combo that sort of rocks in every way, especially for ghostly pale types like myself. This particular duo is described as being "rosewood." I'm not really sure what type of color rosewood is supposed to be, a rosey wood? A woody rose? But in any case, it's lovely. See for yourself.

Lipgloss on Left, Liquid Blush on Right

From L to R: Blush concentrated, Blush blended, Lipgloss

Rouge Bunny Rouge is guilty of having really whack names and descriptions for everything. I mean, the Decadent Duo Joys and Desires is describes as such: "The night flowers in the Enchanted Garden open secretly in the dead of night. When all is quiet, they uproot and dance, weightlessly swaying in dangerously compelling movements, to mesmerise their prey, into a devoted stupor. 'Joys & Desires' were thus inspired as divinely-fashioned beauty weapons, bestowing you with the secret of travelling light and to arrive still looking delectable." OMG, the whack. I'm sure tons of people love all that, but personally, my most loathed gengre of anything is "romantic comedy" so that should explain it all. Of course, it's fine to enjoy romantic whatever, I just tend to stick to horror movies and science texts. Anyway, back to the duo.

The consistency of both the gloss and the liquid blush is very luxurious and non sticky. The blush is super easy to blend out, and looks very natural. The gloss is a perfect compliment and has all sorts of sparkly depth. The Decadent Duos come in four colors, this one being one of the two neutral offerings. These duos run at £28 which is usually about $40 on a (very) good day. Not a good value, really, considering how little of each of the two products you get. One nice thing is that Zuneta runs specials all the time, so I actually got a 20% discount on my whole order. Grace from LondonMakeupGirl often has discount codes for Zuneta, and actually, the promo code "sheerluxez20" is remarkably still valid, I just checked. I also highly recommend checking out in general for deals associated with any website.

These duos are definitely a splurge, but I'm going back for the rest.

September 29, 2010

Chanel Hydromax Active Teinte in Sunlit, and some thoughts on SPF

This past summer I finally invested in the Chanel Hydromax Active Teinte tinted moisturizer in sunlit. And what a worthwhile investment it was. Unlike lot's of other tinted moisturizers, Chanel's is very low coverage. I'm sure that's a deal breaker for most, but since I don't wear foundation and would rather my natural complexion come through, it's perfect. I find that the Hydromax Active Teinte gives me a very slight tanned look, and evens out my skintone even further. It has a very nice finish that sort of glistens in natural sort of way, and is a good base for cream blushes.

I also like it because it has an SPF of 15. Most people these days feel that SPF 15 is not enough, but that's mostly due to SPF being such a heavily used marketing tool. It's more the ingredients that protect, rather than the level of SPF. The active ingredients in Hydromax Active Teinte are octinoxate

which is liquid sunscreen, and an excellent protectant against UVB, and oxybenzone

which is also a liquid suncreen, and a UVA and UVB protectant. To put things in perspective, this is a graph showing the % UV protection as a function of SPF:

There is also evidence to suggest that any sunscreen above SPF 30 is not exactly healthy to be slathering all over the body. Look to the review by U Osterwalder and B Herzog (2009) for a more in depth look (1). And okay, fine, slather your face with SPF 1000, because none of us want to get wrinkles. But on the body, you want to get a few photons through, because after all, it's the stuff of life!

*Sorry, I couldn't find a full text article, so this is just a link to the abstract.

Y Society- Puzzles

More hip hop. I swear I actually have an extremely varied musical palette, but it doesn't seem to be very well reflected so far. Anyway, this is some seriously amazing shit. EAST COAST.

I only trust my hair with Kevin Murphy

this is an old picture of my shorter, color treated mess

Today's topic is hair. I have long hair that probably reaches close to the small of my back. I can't actually say for sure using those terms, since I can't very well look at my own back while my hair is lying nicely on it, but I can tell you that when I reach around with my hand, the longest strands reach about that far. Anyway, I'm a British mutt in heritage. Meaning I have English, Scottish, Irish and Welsch in my background. So that means that my hair tends to be very fine and delicate. Mostly it behaves as a sort of puff around my head and shoulders because of the slight natural wave. I go to great pains to make it healthy. I want it to grow, and prosper, and lead a contented life. So I've experimented a lot with different types of hair care. I can say definitively that Kevin Murphy products are the only ones I really trust my hair with.

Kevin Murphy hails from Australia, and I seem to recall an ad claiming that the big aussie stars like Kicole Nidman and such were fans. Whatever, the best part about the products is that they're all natural, and soothe the soul of even the most damaged locks. The Kevin Murphy website says: "The products are made from renewable and sustainable resources whenever possible, using pure essential oils, plant extracts and natural antioxidants. All KEVIN.MURPHY hair products are sulphate and paraben free." The shampoo and conditioner, referred to as wash and rinse respectively, were a little hard to get used to at first. The shampoo doesn't foam as much as your token drugstore brand, the conditioner is not the typical plastic-y consistency. The two lines that I've used the past several years are the "angel," and more recently, the "moisturize me." The angel rinse is good for fine hair, and obviously the moisturize me rinse is good for dry hair. Both smell divine, I might add.

So my routine goes as follows. I condition my hair intensely every time I wash it, which means I go through the Moisturize me rinse about twice or three times as fast as the wash. Additionally, I only really wash the top of my head. I swear, the bottom of my hair probably hasn't been touched by shampoo in years. I also use the Born Again Masque once a week on the ends for extra conditioning.

If I actually ever style my hair, I often use Kevin Murphy products as well. I highly recommend the anti-gravity and motion lotion products for creating body. (I really don't use my hair dryer anymore, because it's bad for my hair [in fact, only one person uses my hair dryer these days, and it's my friend Josh who sometimes visits me here in the city. He has flow-y Jim Morrison style hair, and yes, my friend Josh is kind of a rock star]). I'm also EAGERLY anticipating the new product called the powder puff. Hopefully my hair-stylist second-mother gets it in stock soon.

Like whoa, it's gonna be awesome!

One Be Lo- Axis

This song changed my life. I can honestly say it is the FIRST hip hop song that I truly fell in love with. Lo is for everyone.

If you like what you hear, you can learn more about One Be Lo here and here. Also, check out Binary Star, when he was known as OneManArmy and was paired with Senim Silla.

Paul & Joe Moisturizing Facial Mask

This past summer I attended a makeover event at the Paul and Joe counter at Bergdorf's (jeez, you must be asking yourself if I go anywhere else). I met an amazing makeup artist who hailed from Canada, and mostly worked in Japan. It's killing me that I can't remember his name, but I guess that's life. Anyway, the make over was the very best I've ever had, and the same goes for my best friend who accompanied me and also received one. I bought most of what was used, including the Paul and Joe Moisturizing Facial Mask. This was used as a base for the makeup. It's so creamy and soothing, I use it now several times a week after I wash my face. The consistency is sort of a cross between a gel and a cream.

It's definitely some of the most moisturizing stuff I've ever slathered, and it easily compares to Chanel Hydromax and Clinique Moisture Surge. I would say it's better than Dior Hydraction. And so affordable too! $38 dollars gets you 2.8 oz. Not bad at all.

This probably isn't news to anyone, but Paul and Joe can be found online at

Philosophy Going Coconuts

This past summer, philosophy released a set called Going Coconuts, consisting of three coconut flavored body washes of the "shampoo, shower gel & bubble bath" variety. (Lord knows why any one would want a shower gel to also be a shampoo, but maybe people with low maintenance hair don't care.) The three scents are pineapple coconut, orange coconut and lime coconut, and they're all perfect for the summer. I used them all season long, and even bought a backup set. The best was when I washed with these, then used the Fekkai Summer Hair products. I went around smelling like the tropics, which NYC in the summer is definitely the farthest from.

I regret to tell you that these were limited edition, and probably hard to find now, although you can still purchase them online at

J Dilla wrote the music of my heart

I dare you to listen to this and not melt.


Ellis Faas Concealer

Onward to more Ellis Faas goodness. In my humble opinion, the Ellis Faas concealer is the very bestest concealer on the market. It has medium coverage, and literally looks like real skin once applied. I use S202, and it is an exact match for my skin color. For so many years I labored to make all the high end concealers work. Dior, Chanel, YSL. But they were all too yellow, or didn't cover quite enough, or covered too much and got cakey. Mercy! But now I am saved from my own dark circled self with help from Ellis Faas!

Here is a swatch of it on my wrist. This is probably not very representative since my wrist is much lighter than my under-eye, and you could better see the color match with it applied to my dark circles. But no dice. The wrist is all you'll be getting, sorry.

Top swatch: Unblended, Bottom swatch: Blended

Unfortunately I don't think the photograph captures the color very well, even though it's taken in full sunlight. I can say that the color has a bit of corrective peach tint to it that doesn't come across well in the picture. The finish is semi-matte deliciousness. Which is another way of saying that the finish is very natural. Not sparkling highlight-y, not flat matte. A similarly finished item on the market that everyone is familiar with would be the YSL touche eclat, which I've also used for a long time. However, the Ellis Faas concealer has more coverage that the touche eclat. I have never tried the Ellis Faas foundation, since I don't wear any, but I have a feeling it would have the same quality. Ellis Faas is available online at and in store at Bergdorf's.

And just because:

Ellis Faas Eye Lights, Swatches and Review

I also picked up the new Ellis Faas Eyelights from the recent Bergdorf beauty gift card event. There are five colors, E301 through E305. The first is a warm silver, the second is a golden green, the third is a gold bronze, the fourth is a medium purple, and the last is a duochrome brown teal. I've played with them only a short time, but I can safely say that I've never seen anything like them. The Ellis Faas Website describes them as:

"Although liquid, they dry upon application to create the illusion of metallic eyes. The texture appears moist whilst being perfectly dry with a smooth finish, so you won't feel any stickiness and you'll avoid those pesky eyelid creases."

All true! They actually dry down to an almost-gritty dry feel. Not sticky in the least, although I suppose if you have dry lid problems, these might not be for you. I unfortunately have oily lid problems, so I don't mind. I generally apply all Ellis Faas products with my fingers, and these are no different. I haven't tried blending these with other powder shadows, but they blend nicely with each other. I've been using them individually as the main lid color, with some additional powder products added as highlight or emphasis once the Eye Light has dried. And word to the wise, they dry quickly, so you have to work fairly fast if you want to blend them out.

From Left to Right: E301 E302 E303 E304 E305, in indirect light

Direct Sunlight

As mentioned above, the fifth color also has a true duochrome quality that I really like. I guess it's similar to Mac Club, which I've heard volumes about but surely will never own. Speaking of which, Amy at Cafe Makeup just did a review of a brand that has a similar color here.

I had a hard time capturing the effect of the eye lights photographically, but just trust me that they're gorgeous.

Ellis Faas is definitely one of my all time favorite brands, and I own a large variety of the products. One of the complaints I often hear is that the click pens are a huge pain. And yes, I would also say that they are a huge pain. But don't be afraid! Just click your little heart out, and all will be well, I swear! When I was first experimenting with the Ellis Faas click pen, I was so timid, not wanting to waste, not wanting explosion, not wanting DISASTER! But now when I receive a new pen, I just go nuts clicking, until product comes shooting out. I've started, let's see, about 20 of these pens now, and trust me, the shooting is a good thing. Because you have to saturate the tip with product in order for application to be at all doable anyway. And sure, some product is inevitably lost, but not even close to a significant amount. The same goes for restarting the pen. I just click like a maniac, because life is for the living!

The Ellis Faas Eye Lights can be found at

Edward Bess Ultra Slick Lipstick in Midnight Bloom

For my first review, I bring you something from Edward Bess, as it seems only fitting. As many beauty bloggers have attested, once you go Edward, you never go back. Edward Bess offers a wide variety of lip, eye and cheek products that are all extremely well made and extremely classic in color. Clearly Edward is an aesthetic visionary, my favorite type of visionary. Today I bring you Edward Bess Ultra Slick Lipstick in Midnight Bloom. This particular shade I received as a gift with purchase from the recent Bergdorf beauty gift card event. I have quite a few of these lipsticks, and the formula is pretty much to die for. I also really love the scent. I sort of wish I could slather it all over myself, just for the scent. It's described as "fig," but I have no idea what that is or means. What does a fig smell like? Like Edward Bess products, apparently.

indirect sunlight swatched on lips

indirect sunlight swatched on arm

It really is a lovely color isn't it? I'm such a sucker for reds. I would say the first picture of full sunlight is the best representation of the color. I apologize for the low qual swatching, I'm new at this.

Edward Bess is available online at and neiman marcus, and obviously you can get in store at Bergdorf's. As an aside, I just about fell off the couch the first time I noticed Edward Bess on the neiman's website. Fell off with excitement.

At the Request of Mr Bess

Greetings. Welcome to my general life blog. Or rather, beauty blog, because apparently that's what my general life is all about. I've been an avid reader of beauty blogs for quite some time now, and the spirit has finally moved me to throw my hat into the ring. Actually, it was not so much spirit, as it was the dear Mr Edward Bess. You see, as a beauty-addict and New Yorker, I've gotten rather chummy with most of the beauty level at Bergdorf's. The last time I visited Eddie Bess's Counter, we fell into conversation about beauty blogging, and he urged me to start my own. And here we are.

This will be a space for mostly cosmetics and skincare reviews, but with a good dose of music mixed in. Maybe even some fashion.

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