November 24, 2010

Amy Winehouse- Love is a Losing Game

This song actually reminds me of a roommate I had a few years ago. He listened to Amy Winehouse on repeat, totally sucked, and ultimately ripped me off for a couple months' rent. With all that, this song still breaks my heart. 

November 23, 2010

Estee Lauder Extravagant Golds Palette, Swatches and Review

Can we please talk about my love for Estee Lauder? Admittedly, it's a fairly recent love. Ever since the Tom Pecheux Pure Color Night collection, I've been paying attention to their new products. Not only have I found a few gems among the mascara, but I'm really digging the eyeshadows. This holiday, Estee Lauder brought us the Extravagant Golds Five Color Palette, which instantly won me over with that light milk chocolate-y taupe in the upper right hand corner. All of the colors are a buttery soft consistency, and have a delicate frost texture once applied to the skin. Obviously except the matte brown in the center, which is incidentally the highest quality matte I've ever come across. I wish I could have a whole rainbow of colors in this perfect smooth matte finish. 

The colors are, from upper left clockwise: true gold, warm brown taupe, orange copper, cream frost, and matte chocolate brown. They're all coordinated beautifully, and blend very well into one another. The amount of product is also very generous, especially for the low price. The palette is pretty hefty, comes with a huge mirror, and clocks in at $42. So affordable for a high quality department store brand.

You can probably see how pigmented the eyeshadows are in the swatch photos. I tried to photograph the swatches from different angles to show how the colors change slightly, depending on how you look at them. I've really have been enjoying wearing this palette. Highly recommended.

November 22, 2010

Winter Wonderland

I'm away visiting my relatives in Washington State, and there's a full on blizzard up in this hizzy. And of course, my dog is really enjoying it! 

Le Metier de Beaute Lipgloss in Summerland, Swatches and Review

Today I bring you Le Metier de Beaute lipgloss in Summerland. I have one word for this lipgloss: glitter. Not a word you normally associate with an ultra fancy brand like Le Metier. But seriously, this gloss is so heavy on the glitter, it basically makes your lips look metallic. Which is kind of nice, if you're into that sort of thing. The color of this gloss is a very natural bronzey peach, and the effect once it's applied is flesh toned robot lips. How studio 51.

The glitter in this gloss is decidedly irridescent, an interesting mix of silver bronze and the occasional green. The glitter also lasts and lasts on the lips. At the end of the day I actually need to use a makeup remover to get the last of it off, and god forbid I wipe any on the back of my hand. This is also the least sticky gloss that's ever touched my lips. Which is a big bonus. The quality is unquestionably there, but I do wish that the glitter could be taken down a notch. Although I'm definitely looking forward to wearing Summerland for the holidays. If you want something to really bling out the lips this season, then this is surely the gloss for you. 

Below is an out of focus close up of the applicator to give you an idea of the glitter

I had a lot of trouble swatching Summerland, probably because of all the reflective glitter bits. The below photo makes the color look ridiculously orange. I swear, it really is not that orange in real life. It's definitely more of a my-lips-but-better color, very similar to the YSL Rouge Volupte Perle in Stellar Pink. 

Le Metier de Beaute is available from Bergdorf, Neiman's, and Nordstrom. Le Metier also put out a cream gloss that I'd really like to try, maybe during the upcoming beauty gift card event at Bergdorf's. 

November 21, 2010

The Daktaris- Quiet Man is Dead Man

Let's see. The Daktaris released Soul Explosion on the Desco label in 1998. I think it's somewhat safe to say that all this business going down in the mid the late nineties marked the start of the Brooklyn Afrobeat revival. For those of you not obsessed with all these increasingly less obscure Brooklyn labels, Desco predated and eventually melded into Daptone, once Gabriel Roth and Philip Lehman went their separate ways. 

Anyway, this was billed as being an authentic 1970s recording from Nigeria, but these dudes is white. As white  as a sheet. Which is hilarious. 


November 20, 2010

Givenchy Rouge Interdit Satin Lipstick in Vintage Carmine, Swatches and Review

So Givenchy Lipstick in Vintage Carmine is yet another item that I ordered during the sephora friends and family sale. There are about a million sephoras in nyc, but I couldn't find this in store to try out before ordering online. Whatever, reds are rarely disappointing, right? Right. Well, I wouldn't say I'm disappointed with this lipstick, but it's decidedly NOT what I was expecting. The color is describes as "deep red" on the sephora website, and as "red with brown undertone" in the press release. When I opened this lipstick up, I noticed that the color in the tube looks (deceptively) dark. I immediately thought, "oh no, it's just a dupe for the Dolce & Gabbana amethyst shade!" So I went over to my vanity, and compared the two under directly under the lamp light. No real resemblance. The Givenchy shade is much more brick red (and yes, brown in undertone) in comparison to both D&G amethyst and orchid. Phew. 

I thought, great, I love brick reds. And this one seemed plenty original for my stash. I felt confident that all of the surprises were over. That was, until I applied the lipstick. As a preface, I've owned several other Givenchy Rouge Interdit Lipsticks. I have "Absolutely Irresistable Red," "Maharani Henna" and some coral number. All of these lipsticks have been creamy with medium to full coverage. So of course this would be the texture of Vintage Carmine, right? Wrong. Vintage Carmine in shockingly sheer and glossy, and applies very burgundy. Jeez. Way to throw me for a loop. 

Above and below you can see the color of the tube. Is it not brick??? 

You can see how pink in tone the swatch is in comparison to the brick color of the tube. It's really sort of a shame, because I much prefer the color of the tube to the swatch. What's more is, the formula is almost reminiscent of a stick gloss, and totally bleeds. By mid day, the color was all over the place. I had messy clown mouth. Lame lame lame. But that's only because I didn't take proper measures to make sure that wouldn't happen. All of my previous Givenchy lipsticks have not really needed lipliner, but clearly this one does. I wore this again with my go to Paul & Joe lipliner, and the results were much improved. 

So all in all, I don't regret the purchase, I just wish I had tried it out before ordering. Now that I know how to wear this lipstick, I'm actually getting into the color. It's a pain that I have to take an extra step and line my lips, but whatever. Sometimes I like a really long and involved makeup application, because it tends soothes my internal savage beast. I also don't have too many reds that are similar, and the formula is forgiving as long as it's been properly lined beforehand. Surprisingly, it's actually shaping up to be a somewhat of a sheerer, glossier version of the Nars Pure Matte Lipstick in Terre de Feu that I just reviewed. 

November 16, 2010

Nars Pure Matte Lipstick in Terre de Feu, Swatches and Review

Nars recently came out with the Pure Matte Lipstick line. The advertisements are actually all over NYC, and problems with the (glossy??) presentation aside, this lipstick is pretty damn awesome. This is a legitimately moisturizing matte lipstick. Whoa, right? When is matte ever synonymous with moisture? Well, Nars really did it. Pure Matte isn't actually the most moisturizing lipstick out there, not by a long shot, but it's definitely the most moisturizing matte that I've ever found. I've long been a fan of the Velvet Matte Lip Pencils, and this formula definitely beats it.

As for the other aspects of the formula, it's a total win. Pure Matte is extremely long lasting, and totally smooth in application. I don't even need a lip liner to make this lipstick look totally bold and perfect. And talk about pigmentation. A little goes a long, long way. One tube of this lipstick could seemingly last a life time. Even though the pigmentation is through the roof, it doesn't get everywhere, it stays on the lips without a much transfer. I kind of really love the matte lip look, and it's super exciting to find such a great formula. I hope Nars releases more colors, like maybe a matte hot pink. Though it might be a little out of even my comfort zone, I might have to try the deep eggplant color that supposedly limited edition for Fall 2010.

Below is a swatch in full sunlight. Ah, mattes are so ridiculously easy to photograph. Maybe I'll only review matte things from now on, and have nothing but accurate, beautiful swathes...

I bought Terre de Feu to emulate a certain J Crew look. This is the effect that I was going for: in the November J Crew catalogue, the below model was rocking this awesome berry red color. Gazing at these pictures, I went wild with lemming, and I knew I had to reproduce it. I have absolutely no idea what the color or brand of the lipstick is in the photo shoot, but J Crew has been using a lot of Nars products lately (they've recently featured Nars Lipstick in Funny Face), so Pure Matte in Terre de Feu probably isn't that far off. 

Photo credit: J Crew (obviously)

November 15, 2010

The Gories- There but for the Grace of God

So uh, everything is better when it's from detroit. Obviously. 

Lady drummers represent. 

November 14, 2010

El Michels Affair- C.R.E.A.M.

Holy shit, this is actually the coolest thing since sliced bread. This track just blew my mind right into the stratosphere. El Michels Affair got together and covered a bunch of Wu-Tang Clan classics and somehow I didn't know until recently. This is their take on the juicy classic C.R.E.A.M, but I assure you, the whole album is pure GOLD. I could literally listen to this song on repeat for a year. That's 365 solid ya'll. More evidence of the artistic power of Hip Hop. I wish J Dilla were around to listen to this.

Hand cuffed in back of a bus, forty of us, life as a shorty shouldn't be so rough. . .

And by the way, if you want to buy this awesomeness on VINYL(!) go to truth and soul

Edward Bess Ultra Luminous Bronzer in Daydream

I was so resistant to the Edward Bess Ultra Luminous Bronzer. I'm extremely pale to the point of translucency (partially  because tall buildings and working full time don't lend themselves to sun bathing) so the huge majority of bronzers look strange on me. They're either too dark, or the wrong color match, or they have too much sparkle, and so on in that fashion. Finding a bronzer that just imparts a subtle warmth, and really nothing else, can be hard to come by. Ever since I started to frequent the Edward Bess counter, Edward himself has been very persuasive about the virtues of the Ultra Luminous Bronzer. So I finally broke down and bought it at the last Bergdorf beauty gift card event, and he was so thrilled. He told me, you are going to love this bronzer. And he was so right.

Ultra Luminous Bronzer is the perfect shade for a pale complexion. Not too dark, not at all orange, and absolutely no glitter. There is a slight hint of sparkle in the pan, but it doesn't translate to the face. It's presence just allows the powder to blend with the skin naturally, and not look too flat matte. I don't wear this all that often, but when I do, I use an XL powder brush to pick a little bit of color, and sort of smear it all over my cheeks, temples and forehead. The powder is just sheer enough that you can start light and build. I really do get a subtle bit of color, like I might have sat out in the sun for fifteen minutes. Sometimes when I'm wearing a dark and dramatic lipstick, the contrast can be too harsh with with my skin, and this is such a good way to take the drama down a notch (wouldn't want to resemble a vampire, because vampires are WHACK). With the dark lip being so popular these days, I guess having a good bronzer on hand is important. 

In conclusion, if you're not the bronzer type, and you want something to warm up your skin a little bit, then this is definitely the bronzer for you. For those of you that aren't so pale, this bronzer also comes in a darker shade called Desert Sun. I don't have any personal experience with that color, so I can't say whether or not it would be good for dark skin tones, but hey, at least there are options. Again, Edward Bess Ultra Luminous Bronzer is available from the usual places: Bergdorf in store, Neiman's online, and Zuneta if you're elsewhere in the world. I'm sorry that there aren't any swatches, I just couldn't get it to photograph at all. But I guess that's further indication of how subtle this bronzer really is. 

Rouge Bunny Rouge Long Lasting Eyeshadow

"Long Lasting Eyeshadow- When Birds are Singing" is the shimmer eyeshadow offering from Rouge Bunny Rouge. I ordered Solstice Halcyon, a heart stoppingly beautiful warm taupe, and Abyssinian Catbird, an equally beautiful rich bronze.

The formula of these eyeshadows is total perfection. Smooth and highly pigmented. The glitter chunks are a nice size: subtle, but with a bit of a kick. Applied to the lid, these shadows really stand out in quality. And of course the eyeshadows get points for having the cute Rouge Bunny Rouge packaging.  

Solstice Halcyon on the Left, Abyssinian Catbird on the Right

It was thanks to Grace London at londonmakeupgirl that I ordered Solstice Halcyon. She's been praising it for ages, so I was guaranteed to include it in my first Rouge Bunny Rouge order from Zuneta. And you know, I've been wearing Solstice Halcyon non stop since it arrived early september. Grace would agree, this sort of color is the perfect shade to give a little definition to the eye. I wear it as a soft color wash all over my lid. 

If Rouge Bunny Rouge seems unattainable, or you prefer to see colors in person before buying, then I would recommend you check out Chantecaille's Sel single eyeshadow, or Este Lauder's Tempting Mocha single eyeshadow, which are both very similar in color.

The decoration on the top of the packaging 

It was thanks to Theglossgoss that I ordered Abyssinian Catbird. There are a few color categories of eyeshadows that I obsessively hoard, Taupe being one, Bronze being another. I can say that Abyssinian Catbird holds up as one of the nicest bronzes in my stash. This shade is a nice accent or crease color. I've also been wearing it as an all over lid wash. 

There aren't any truly comparable colors in my collection (or at least none that would be at all useful to you), but Abyssinian Catbird is very close to the middle shade in Dior's Impression Cuir palette that was released two years ago. Although, Abyssinian Catbird is much more richly pigmented, and easier to apply to the lid, than the Dior shade. 

Swatch in full sunlight

Swatch in partial shade

So basically, both of these shadows are absolutely necessary to own. At least for someone like me. I really can't recommend this formula enough, and I'm excited to go back for more. As always, I have to thank my fellow beauty bloggers for reviewing products like these, that I can't see in person, because otherwise I would be  at a complete loss as to what colors to order. It's because of them that I was able to order confidently. Rouge Bunny Rouge is available worldwide from Zuneta, and holy damn, "sheerluxez20" is still valid.

November 11, 2010

Sweater Weather

This is the view from my bed room and living room. It's a cool autumn day here in NYC.

November 10, 2010

Horace Silver- Senor Blues

I really love jazz. I love jazz so much, that opening my heart to Hip Hop was a natural progression. Because really the two are analogous. In my opinion, there are only three truly intellectual music genres: Classical, Jazz and Hip Hop. Disagree if you want, but that's just how I feel. I'll regale you all with my philosophy on Hip Hop on another day. Because today is all about the jazzy jazz. 

My favorite jazz is Hard Bop. And nobody does Hard Bop better than Blue Note. Horace Silver did all sorts of good things with them, but this is my favorite track. Without fail, every single time I listen, the piano solo raises the hair on the back of my neck. No joke. 

November 9, 2010

YSL Rouge Pur Couture No 6, Swatches and Review

Ever since I got Yves Saint Laurent's Rouge Pur Couture in No 6, I've been wearing it practically every day. The color is just right: a peachy nude that imparts a nice healthy color. The lovely ladies at the YSL counter at Bergdorf's sent me a card with three samples of the new Rouge Pur Couture colors, so I knew that the formula was good stuff. And theglossgoss reviewed this very color just recently, so I felt confident ordering this sight unseen from the Sephora friends and family sale. 

As I've mentioned, I'm already a pretty big fan of the YSL lipstick range, and this new lipstick does not disappoint. The formula is not the most moisturizing, but the coverage is a very agreeable medium to full, and it glides onto the lips. The scent has changed, and I think I like it even better than the traditional "mango" (although everyone knows that "mango" must be used in the loosest of terms when actually describing the fragrance...) The new fragrance is a sort of a sweet vanilla-y, but I can't really describe scents, so just ignore me. I actually liked this lipstick so well that I went right back out and bought another color in red, and that almost never happens to me. 

Again, this is not the most moisturizing lipstick, if you have extremely chapped lips, or just can't stand the feeling of dry lipstick, then go with the Rouge Volupte line from YSL or with anything from Rouge Bunny Rouge. If I'm being very lazy, and not paying any attention to the state of my makeup, this lipstick can settle into chapped lip lines. So basically the upshot is that this lipstick is slightly more work than an extremely moisturizing one.

As an aside, I just got my C14 certificate of fitness from the FDNY, which required taking an ID photo. I was wearing this color in the picture, and it totally looks bangin'. I'd recommend this color, or a similar one, if you're getting your picture taken for a photo ID any time soon.

November 8, 2010

Sam Cooke- Nothing Can Change This Love

This song resonates very deeply in me. I still get misty eyed when I listen to it. Sam Cooke was such a pioneer, in music and life, and in death. Way before Biggie, way before Tupac, Sam Cooke was gunned down at the tender age of 33. The day the music died, there are too many to count.

November 7, 2010

Edward Bess Blush Imperiale in Soft Orchid

Soft Orchid was the first blush brought to us by Edward Bess, so you know that a lot of thought was put into it's creation. Edward Bess is king of aesthetics, and he never disappoints. Soft Orchid is a cool pale pink, that looks unexciting in the pan, but has an unidentifiable quality that makes it something really special. Once applied on the cheeks, this blush lights up the skin in a way that I've never really come across previously. When applied lightly, it's almost more of a pink toned highlighter than a blush, because the powder is so luminous. When wearing it, you really do look lit from within. 

With all that going for it, you know it's going to get a lot of wear. I really like subtle. Subtle highlight, subtle mascara, subtle blush. So this has been a complete staple since I bought it during the Bergdorf gift card event. I almost always wear blush of some type, and this one compliments such a wide variety of colors and looks. The formula is sheer, but it can be built up to a nice healthy flush, so it can always be made to suit. 

This is a relatively heavy swatch to show off the color

Edward Bess can be gotten at the usual places, online at Neimans, and in the store at Bergdorf. Zuneta is the newest carrier, so anybody in the world can order his products now, and I happened to notice that Zuneta is offering a neat Edward Bess starter kit as a holiday special. Go check it out. 

November 6, 2010

RMS Beauty: An Introduction and Review

RMS beauty is the brainchild of Rose Marie Swift, makeup artist extraordinaire. I had the extreme privilege of going to Rose Marie's own apartment, and getting an introduction of the line from the genius herself. And I mean that, not only is she a riot and a nice person, she's also one hell of a genius. After years in the beauty industry, Rose Marie started to suffer from mysterious health problems. With some research, she began to realize that the synthetic chemicals in basically all cosmetics were impacting her health very negatively. Since then, she has striven to spread the word about chemicals, and to introduce people to her philosophy. RMS beauty is the ONLY cosmetics brand that is honest for god 100% organic. Also, none of the formulas are heated above body temerature, so none of the naturally beneficial ingredients are compromised. Most, if not all, of the formulas are based in coconut oil, which is naturally anti-bacterial and all around good for your skin.

To introduce you to the brand, I bring you the Lip Shine in Moment. You might think, "why on earth did you think this weird brown goop would be a good introduction??" Now, don't be deceived. In the pot it's like, "holy damn, it's so brown, brown, brown is all I can see!" but on the lips, it's seriously true love. I have pretty neutral undertones, and very pale skin, and it looks ah-mazing. I would actually go so far as to say that this is a universally flattering color. I could image all sorts of skin tones rocking this sultry sheer brown. It's so damn sexy, I can hardly get over it. Rose Marie whipped this sucker out, and I thought, "hm, really?" But she put this on my lips, and I immediately went, WOW. It was after that she told me that she had developed this color for Giselle Bündchen, which is sort of a neat factoid.

I tried really hard to capture the color in pictures. I hope it comes across, because it's very unique. The only color that is comparable would be the Ellis Faas Glazed lips L305 that I reviewed previously. I feel like this color is so cutting edge. Its so in line with the soft natural tones and naked lashes that were shown during fashion week.

The formula consists of mostly coconut oil, and is completely non sticky. It's actually just barely a lipgloss. I would categorize it more as an extremely moisturizing tinted lip balm with luster, based on how it feels on the lips. The packaging is sort of to die for also. All of the pots in the RMS beauty line are made of frosted glass, with tinned screw on tops, which means they're also 100% recyclable.
Swatch on skin, still looking brown and scary
Here it is on the lips. I had to really pack it on in order to show the color, so the lustrous quality is very much showcased. I hope you can see how amazing it looks on the lips.

Swatch on lips, now do you see!?!?!
Seriously, if you are into eco-beauty and organic, then RMS beauty is the only line worth using. In another life, I use only these cosmetics. Every time I put them on my face, I feel like I'm doing my skin a service, a good deed. I've been using and loving the Un-Coverup Concealer for the past month, and that has quickly become a holy grail product for me (review to come shortly).

If this color is still really scary, then the Lip Shine also comes in a safe pink called Bloom. If you want to learn more about Rose Marie Swift (and even set up your own appointment with her if you live in NYC) then please go to her website, RMS beauty is also available from Nature of Beauty, and Spirit Beauty Lounge.

Meet Coco

This is Coco. She is a very well loved and spoiled Japanese doggie.

CUTEST DOG EVER. And I say, but of course, she is related to mine afterall.

November 5, 2010

YSL Rouge Volupte Perle, Swatches and Review

I sure love me some Yves Saint Laurent, particularly the lipsticks. And Rouge Volupte Perle is yet another home run product for me. I got two of the pink colors: 103 Sparkling Pink, and 104 Stellar Pink. The former is a cool toned pink that brightens up my face, the latter is a surprisingly natural my-lips-but-better color. And the formula!! Bow down to the perfection that is this formula! This lipstick just glides on, and feels so luxurious and moisturizing. It's even better than the creamy Rouge Volupte Original. As is the general consensus, the Perle-ness is also much more forgiving than the Original when applying to the lips. You can just slap these on, no need for liner.

Left: 103 Sparkling Pink, Right: 104 Stellar Pink
Aren't the colors absolutely gorgeous? As for the wear time, I would say it is decent. I generally have to reapply lipsticks throughout the day no matter the formula, because I snack and drink and mess about with my lips, but I have a feeling these are not as long lasting as a less moisturizing counterpart. Any of the Chanel lipsticks, for example, would outlast these, but they are also much more moisture zapping. Although, the sparkle particles in the Rouge Volupte Perle formula seem to last forever. The color may fade, but the particles remain until they are forcibly removed.

One thing to note, these Voluptes do not have a mirror on the top of the lid. I never did get much use out of that tiny mirror, but it's still nice to have (my typical usage: check my teeth for foreign food particles, because yes, I am that classy). Sort of a bummer that these are the same price ($34, but my cheap bone made sure these were acquired at a discount), but come with less. I forgive them though, because they're damn near perfection otherwise.

Left: 103 Sparkling Pink, Right: 104 Stellar Pink
A last consideration is the size of sparkle particles. These two colors have very subtle particles, that really do impart a pearlescent quality. 101 Beige Caress on the other hand, had some nasty ass giant particles. Which is why it's not being reviewed here today. I swatched that business and was like, awww hellll noooo.

These are a permanent addition to the YSL Lip wardrobe. And so the color selection may be limited now, but there are more to come I'm sure. So the verdict: go forth and buy Stellar Pink, it's the shit. Sparkling Pink is less necessary, but seriously, go swatch, you won't be disappointed.

If the $34 is not agreeing with you, YSL will be available at a 20% discount through Sephora very shortly, that is, if you're a VIB like me. So if you missed out on these during the friends and family sale, fear not. If you're not a VIB, then I'm also thinking the YSL website might have a discount soon, for the upcoming holiday rush.

Mark Ronson - Oh My God (ft. Lilly Allen)

I would not consider myself a Lilly Allen fan, but I'm definitely a Mark Ronson and Dap Horns fan. This is a great song, so enjoy!

Speaking of Mark Ronson, I was at the knitting factory a while back when he was DJing between sets, and I have a message for him: turn that shit DOWN.

November 1, 2010

Budos Band- Monkey See Monkey Do

A classic from The Budos Band I. This is my favorite tune off the album, and probably the most complex. Let me tell you, these dudes were high off of some Mulatu Astatke when they cut this track. I wish they would do more songs like this. Why is it that, nine times out of ten, the first album a group puts out is by far the best?

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