Tuesday, May 31, 2011

As Promised... A few of my favorite (cheap) things!!

Essie Nail Polish in "Cute As A Button" is the perfect light coral polish for Summer.  I’ve been searching high and low for a good pale coral and finally settled on this one.  I actually prefer Essie to OPI – I think it stays on better and find that their matte colors have a better finish. You can buy this color on Amazon for $4.00 – can’t beat that.  Mine came from the Cosmetic Market at the Hill Center but I paid closer to $8.  I typically buy my own polish so that I can touch-up chips myself.  Here is a link  to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Essie-Button-Summer-Polish-Lacquer/dp/B002ADK0HS/ref=sr_1_fkmr1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1306853051&sr=8-1-fkmr1

Nivea Sun Kissed Radiance – This is a great self tanner/lotion – it is truly error proof and doesn’t have that odd odor that so many self tanners do.  The formula is super light-weight in consistency which makes it very easy to apply evenly ensuring that it doesn’t streak at all.  I have found that the “light to medium” shade works perfect on my slightly tan skin without being the least bit orange or fake looking.  The formula supposedly “firms” as well…  I’ve not really noticed more firmness in my skin but honestly, I’ve not really been checking.  Bottom line: this is a perfect daily moisturizer and gradual self tanner.  I use it about every 2 days on my arms, legs and chest to maintain a nice hint of a glow and to disguise bruises and broken capillaries. You can find Nivea products at most grocery stores and pharmacies.

Zum Soap
I’m obsessed with this soap – which I buy in bulk at Whole Body/Whole Foods. My favorite scents are the Frankincense & Myrrh and the Orange Patchouli.  They lather up so nicely, are all natural, make your skin so smooth and hydrated & smell incredible.  You can buy Zum products on Amazon as well:
Keep reading!  I'll be doing almost all drugstore/inexpensive products for the next several weeks!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Dior Mascara (you know the one!!!)

Dior DiorShow Iconic Mascara
I’m generally a fan of  Dior mascara.  I’m still partial to Trish’s Curling Mascara but this Dior is my definite  #2.  Dior, in my opinion, has mastered the wand, and consequently you really do end up with fuller, more voluminous long lashes. The Iconic formula has 24-hour “hold” power – so lashes remain curled for a REALLY long time.  This formula curls, defines, and lengthens.  Need I say more?  Oh, yes, it never clumps!!!  Here’s a link to the product at Sephora below:
I’m not going to go on and on about Dior’s mascara because, honestly, if you’re reading this blog… I’m just going to go ahead and assume that you’ve tried it or are at least aware of the brand’s stellar reputation!  J

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sorry I've been MIA this week...

My lovebug of a dog, Teddie, "Teddie Bear" as we affectionately call him, has been very sick with a stomach ulcer (after falling last week too and hurting his leg -- bless his heart) and I've been completely consumed with his health & happiness.  I will be back at it next week. 

I hope everyone has a great Memorial Day weekend if you don't hear from me before Friday!

P.S. Next week/month I will be doing a series of my favorite cheapies to give my wallet a much needed break.  Also in store... a trip at the end of June... my husband & I will be traveling to L.A. & Santa Barbara to spend the 4th with my BFF and her bf.  I promise to make time for a West Coast store review.  Stay tuned!!

& say a prayer this little angel feels better soon!

Monday, May 23, 2011


Clarins UV Plus-HP SPF 40
I’m finally realizing in my 30s just how damaging the sun can be… I can actually tell the left side of my face is more damaged than my right from driving my car – I confirmed this with my dermatologist.  So, I’m finally starting to be religious about protecting my skin and especially my face on a daily basis.  This is one of my favorite selections right now.  Clarin’s UV Plus HP is an SPF 40, 100% mineral day screen that is ultra lightweight and oil free.  It absorbs pretty much instantly into the skin and leaves none of that white chalky residue that many SPF products do.  This formula is so nice and in my opinion actually acts as a primer and gives my skin a matte finish.  This weekend I applied it to my freshly washed face after my serum and used nothing else but a little NARS Orgasm illuminator (which I got as a sample – review to follow) on my cheeks.  In addition to protecting from the sun, this product also protects from pollution and free radicals.  I think it’s perfect for all skin types.  Another added plus, it fights wrinkles and DNA damage.  For only $38 – how can you pass up adding this protective product to your daily routine??


Thursday, May 19, 2011

DEFENCE!! (yep, I meant to spell it that way!)

Kevin Murphy –Heated Defence Spray
I have been majorly struggling with fly-aways lately… honestly, they came out of nowhere and they’re all over my head.  No pomade, serum, oil, gel or hairspray really helps all that much.  I was about to try a new spray by Bumble & Bumble (see last week’s post) when my hairstylist introduced me to a new product from Kevin Murphy.  I also use Murphy’s Luxury Rinse shampoo & conditioner – which I’ll review later -- fantastic.  The product is designed to be sprayed on damp hair for a volumizing effect but, it has control too.  Trust me, “volume” on any hair product is something I stay away from but, I was amazed after my blowout at how smooth and relatively flyaway free my hair looked & it lasted for several days!!  Plus, the product (obviously) protects your hair from heat styling which is likely what is giving me fly-aways in the first place!!  J This spray is paraben-free and antioxidant rich.  It adds shine & volume and/or control depending on how you use it. Here is a link to the spray on Murphy's site:

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Blast from the Past

The Caboodle
One of my nearest and dearest friends bought me a Caboodle as a little gift and a nice way to say “I’m proud of you for starting a blog” – but mostly because she was horrified at the way I was storing thousands of dollars (& I mean high thousands) worth of out-of-rotation products in a ziplock bag tucked away in the back of a dark hall closet.  My hot pink Caboodle is both hilarious and functional!!  Now all my Chanel, YSL, Bobbi, etc. is packed neatly away in a cute little carrying case that looks like it’s right out of a Cyndi Lauper video from 1985!  I just had to share a picture of it with you.  Love it!!  Thanks Gin – you’re the best!!  If I ever make it big and end up as a beauty editor (my dream) I will so carry this puppy into my first meeting – just to get a good laugh.  J  I would seriously recommend this caboodle to anyone as it is still the perfect way to organize, store, and carry cosmetics.  I’m actually surprised you don’t see makeup artists schlepping them back and forth more often.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Crème de la Mer (because I’m a high rolla now…)

La Mer
Well, I just couldn’t pull the trigger on the Natura Bisse Diamond Cream – even though I did love it so!!  Instead I went with a constant beauty award winner & long time celebrity and fashion world favorite… good ol’ La Mer.  I’ve only been curious about this stuff for like 15 years!!  I love it.  I recently came to the conclusion that while I’ve got combination/oily skin my typical gel moisturizers were not giving me the hydration I really needed.  As a result baby fine lines and crinkles were looking magnified (& freaking me out big time at age 31!!) so I ordered the La Mer when my Natura Bisse sample ran out. 
Again, I love it!  La Mer is a potent mix of sea kelp, vitamins, & minerals that goes through a special distilling and fermentation process.  It is thick and creamy and smells clean and fresh.  A little goes a very long way and I’ve been following the directions by warming a small amount in my palm to “activate” the ingredients before applying it to my face and neck and my skin has been just soaking it up.  My foundation is going on smoother and staying in place longer.  My skin looks plump and smooth and feels hydrated and firm.  Seriously, everything you’ve heard about this cream is true.  It comes in a dainty white glass jar and is packaged nicely in a box decorated with La Mer’s signature pink and green colors.  Too bad I’m not uber-rich otherwise I would be applying it to my entire body. Here is a link to the product @ Neiman Marcus.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Pla Lip Gloss

Pla Beauty Lip Gloss in “Girlie Girl” Pronounced like (Play)
I was introduced to this new brand over the weekend and, the creator has such an inspirational story that I am posting a link to her website so you can read the story for yourself.  I LOVE that she’s in my hometown of Atlanta, GA as well.  I’m always happy to spend/support for a good cause too.
I tried on several glosses and ended up going with a neutral/natural pink shade fairly close to my own lip color.  You all know I’m a gloss fanatic & I really cannot say enough good things about this one.  It has my favorite sponge-like applicator and really has major staying power (seriously hard to find in a gloss).  It goes on very smooth and not the least bit sticky or gloppy.  I had no issue with my hair blowing in the breeze and getting stuck in my gloss as I perused the East Nashville flea markets this weekend. J
Pla has some glosses that are very sheer, some very sparkly, and some super highly pigmented.  I know I will be trying another one sometime very soon.  Oh, and you can’t beat the price of only $20 -- & this is not a teeny tiny tube.  If you’re in Nashville you can purchase Pla @ Woo on Bandywood.  There is also a Woo in Atlanta.  I’m adding a link to Woo’s site as well.  I am also interested in trying some of Pla’s other products.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Bobbi's Eye Pencil

Bobbi Brown Creamy Eye Pencil in Navy (#3)
I love the look of a dramatic eye lined in cobalt blue or bright purple – unfortunately, unless you’re Gucci Westman or Jillian Dempsey – odds are if you try this look on your own you’ll end up more Bozo the clown than avant garde fashion rebel.  So, I’m opting to change things up a bit by using navy eyeliner instead of basic black.  I think it’s a little fresher and lighter for Spring!  After testing several options I went with a pencil by Bobbi Brown. This pencil blends smoothly and easily and has a built in smudger (added plus, it comes with a sharpener) – it’s the perfect pop of creamy pigmented color.  I wore it today with my Armani Eyes To Kill… and I think this combo will be my new Spring/Summer staple.  Moreover, it only came to $21 and change (tax included) – I cannot even remember the last time I spent only $20 on a non drugstore product. Here is a link to the liner @ Saks.  I bought mine @ Woo in Nashville.

Thursday, May 12, 2011


Oribe Shampoo & Conditioner for Beautiful Color
I was lucky enough to receive a sample of this duo while visiting Charleston and it will definitely be my next purchase when I’m out of my current shampoo and conditioner.  The formula is ultra gentle and protects your highlights or color – it also seeks out areas of damage and works to repair and restore them!!  How cool is that??  It made my hair very smooth (I’ve suddenly got crazy fly-aways in my early 30s!!??) and super manageable.  It also has UV protection.  This will definitely be in my bag when I head to the beaches of the Bahamas this October…. If you’re a blonde, you know you’ve got to protect that color!!  Oh, it smells fabulous too! Here is a link to Oribe's website:
The line is also available @ Neiman Marcus.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Eyes To Kill (or to die for!)

Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill -- #8
This eye shadow is so cool & creates such a gorgeous shimmer.  It can be applied dry or wet, with a brush or your fingertip.  It comes packaged loose in a little glass pot – I’m usually hesitant to use loose eye shadow because it can be so messy but I did not run into any issues with this one.  The glass pot is tightly packed with a helpful little stopper to keep it from getting all over the place or you!!   It can be layered with shadows, applied over the entire lid, or just in the crease.  This product is, I think, something really new & different on the market.  I’ve noticed the shadows have names in magazines and on certain websites (see link to Neiman Marcus below) but when I bought mine at Woo in Nashville they were listed only by number.  #8 is a pink flecked gold/bronze/pewter – depending on what kind of light you’re in.  This stuff is really pretty and not at all over the top disco/studio 54 glitter.  I promise you, I’m not sitting at my desk right now looking like Ke$ha. J  This is a must try for Spring!!  I cannot wait to pick up another color.  The formula promises to last for 24 hours, is crease-proof, water-proof, flake-proof & sweat-proof.  Need I say more??

I also cannot wait to do my entire lids in a light wash of this color with mascara only and a dramatic statement lip color -- perhaps my ruby YSL.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The next things I’m buying…

Hopefully some this week/weekend when I’m out running errands…
Bumble Shine On (and On) Finishing Spray ($25)
Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill Intense Eyeshadow ($32) in Rock Sand or Sweet Fire
MAC nail polish in Little Girl Type ($14)

Monday, May 9, 2011

A diamond in the rough...

Natura Bisse Diamond Cream
I received a deluxe sample of this while visiting Charleston and I’m in love.  What I’m not in love with is the whopper price tag ($275 for 1.7 ounces).  I really think it might be worth it though!  I put a bit (a little goes a long way) on my face and neck before bed last night – then again this morning after I applied my daily serum and no joke, my skin looks the best it’s ever looked.  I am plump, smooth, even and hydrated and not the least bit oily!  Honestly, no afternoon makeup touch-up needed!  I’m hoping my deluxe sample gets me through the week and when pay day rolls around on Fri. – I might just have to spring for this puppy!!  It is heaven in jar.  With a name like diamond cream – I’d expect nothing less.  I got so excited about it that I couldn’t even wait until tomorrow to post my review!  It counteracts aging, decreases fine lines and completely regenerates and reenergizes skin!!  It’s formulated with vitamins C & E, and pure ursolic acid among many other high-tech ingredients.  A link to the product is below:


Sight for Sore Eyes

Naphcon A Eye-Drops
Everyone in Nashville has allergies.  When you first move here, people tell you that and you think they’re nuts – then a couple months later – reality sets in.  My eyes have been dry and irritated for basically the last 8 years.  I always get 8 + hours of sleep at night, yet I look like I haven't slept in days because my eyes are so bloodshot.  I see an ophthalmologist regularly, switched to hydrating daily contacts, and am never without a lubricating eye drop of some sort.  I am always lusting after these celebrities and models with milky white eyes – not an ounce of red or vessel in sight.  Well, if you’ve ever got a special occasion, special photo opp, whatever – these drops will temporarily help you achieve this!!  I’ve been reading about this trick in magazines for years  and am here to tell you – it 100% works.  You cannot depend on them daily but once in awhile they’re a total lifesaver and completely harmless.  Sold @ CVS, Walgreens, etc.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Translucent Setting Powder

Shiseido Translucent Loose Powder (Finishing or Setting powder)

I’m one of those people who always wants to look perfect.  Perfect hair, skin, makeup, nails, & outfit.  Do I achieve this every day?  Definitely not!!  But I try my hardest to do so.  I will never forget when a nice older man stopped me at a Coffee Bean in L.A. -- when I was there in Oct. visiting my best friend (sidebar: see her awesome blog listed on my blog list: Between The Boxwoods) -- & told me I  was “very well groomed” – guy went so far as to mention nail polish shade, eyeshadow and brows.  I felt like hugging him!!  Anyway, part of the product lineup in my daily perfection striving look is finishing or setting my makeup with a loose translucent powder.  I love this one by Sheseido.  It works with all skin tones, goes on super satin-like smooth & cool, & works to keep pores and uneven skin texture looking flawless.  It’s invisible and immediately improves the look of your foundation (I swear!).  It comes with a great powder puff applicator but I usually apply mine with a large brush (I primarily use Mercier & Chanel brushes).  Oddly, Macy’s online store carries Shiseido (it can be hard to find) and I’m posting a link to the website below:

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

NARS lipgloss -- where have you been all my life??

NARS lipgloss in “Angelika”
I cannot believe that I’m just now trying NARS lipgloss for the first time!!!  Gosh, have I been missing out!!  So you know I’ve been on the quest for the perfect pink this Spring and now I’ve found two (my Tarte crayon and this one)!!  I first tried this gloss in Charleston weeks ago and had been thinking of it ever since… I finally caved and bought a tube last night.  The gloss is so smooth, non-sticky, perfectly pigmented and long lasting!! It had my favorite type of sponge applicator and the shade is this semi-sheer “cotton candy pink with gold and silver sparkle” – It reminds me of the trendy orchid-pink colors I’m seeing on so many models in ads for Spring/Summer. Let me tell you, orchid pink is not an easy look to pull off for the non-supermodel population!! So, I was really pleasantly surprised when this one worked.  Helpful hint... Don't be put off by what the color looks like in the tube.    I will definitely be buying NARS glosses again – I cannot wait to try another shade!!  I also think it will look amazing layered over the Tarte crayon for a more dramatic/evening effect.
Here is a link to the product @ Sephora: http://www.sephora.com/browse/product.jhtml?id=P2862&shouldPaginate=true&categoryId=3976#BVRRWidgetID

Monday, May 2, 2011

Maison Weiss Oxford, Mississippi -- Store Review

Here are a couple of pics I snapped while visiting Maison Weiss this past weekend. 

My husband sat patiently on that cute little white sofa while I looked around.

A view of their incredibly large stock of Bobbi Brown & Mercier products...

I had the pleasure of meeting with Kathy Hickman, the stores' cosmetic manager, she was so cute & delightful (as most MS ladies are!!) and hooked me up with Laura Mercier's bronzing gel -- which I've been so wanting to try & several Bond No. 9 perfume samples.  I am a big fan of Bond scents & they're pretty tough to find so I was really impressed to see this fabulous little boutique in Oxford had such a large stock! Maison additionally carries Bobbi Brown, Natura Bisse, Fresh, and Trish McEvoy -- just to name a few!!

Maison carries beautiful clothes and accessories from names like Milly, Trina Turk, & J. Brand too!!  This is a store not to be missed if you're in the Oxford area.  The staff are super friendly (& well dressed) and all the items are tastefully hand picked!  I loved everything in there!  Here is another shot of the store from the front door:

Maison Weiss is located @ 130 Courthouse Square in Oxford, MS 38655.  (662) 236-LIPS. Or online @ http://maisonweiss.com/.

If you've ever been to or even heard of Ole Miss -- you probably know that it's known for having an exceptionally attractive female population.  I think this store epitomizes the chic Southern flare of your typical glam and polished Ole Miss gal.  As we say in Oxford... Hotty Toddy!!

I'll follow up with a bronzer and Bond review shortly.