Okay, it didn’t hurt that I also got to sip pink champagne during my introduction to the MAKE UP FOR EVER Boutique in Santa Clara, CA (don’t worry there are more locations throughout the U.S. and Canada), but I would have made the trek anyway! Experiencing one of my favorite makeup brands in boutique form rather than the confines of a Sephora kiosk… We’re talking 1600 products in the boutique vs. 300 – 600 at Sephora. BINGE ON!
Forget the products for a second (I know it’s tough…) but the main draw for these boutiques are the cute little makeup school stations in the back. Every Monday, the boutiques host Make Up School ($25 a class) on how to achieve a certain look — smoky eye, contoured face, etc. And don’t think for a second you’re just going to watch in the mirror and hope you remember how to achieve the look once you get home… Oh no! The makeup artist is only going to apply the makeup to half your face, then it’s your turn! If you don’t paying attention, expect to look more like a Picasso than a makeover after shot.
Some of the boutiques even have a Video Make Up Lesson Recording Studio so you can record your lesson with the makeup artist and take it home with you and watch it on loop.
Getting back to the products… My top 3 products (which by the way if you can’t make it to a MUFE Boutique, you can find all these products in Sephora):
-MAKE UP FOR EVER HD Blush 210 This cream blush literally melts into your skin, leaving no visible texture. It’s really easy to blend and gives my cheeks a pretty “just pinched” look.
-MAKE UP FOR EVER HD Microperfecting Primer 1 Green Redness has really become an issue for me since my pregnancy. I apply this green (yes green!) primer ONLY where I’m red and blend until the green hue goes away. Then I put my normal primer on over it. It’s the only thing that works as far as covering my redness without looking heavy.
-MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Eyes Black Purple 6L I literally have these long-lasting, highly pigmented waterproof eyeliner pencils in almost every color. My new favorite hue is black purple, which brings out the blue in my eyes but is a subtle enough purple that it doesn’t look wild.
MAKE UP FOR EVER Boutiques are currently located in California, Texas, New York, Pennsylvania, Nevada, New Jersey, and Canada. To find the nearest boutique click here.
Posted by janna Tags MAKE UP FOR EVER, Makeup Artist
And on the eighth day, God created the Neiman Marcus Beauty Event…
Sure, other department stores have their share of Gift with Purchase (GwP) bonanzas but none top Neiman Marcus in terms of brands and goodies. Neimans is the granddaddy of them all… Not only does this iconic institution offer a bag stuffed with samples from the likes of premium brands like ReVive, Cle de Peau, and Oribe, but most of the brands offer their own fabulous GwP incentives.
Granted, the spend minimum on some of the GwPs are ridiculously expensive (like you have to spend $650 at ReVive) but then there are some totally attainable goals like spend $150 at Armani Beauty or $100 at NARS.
Take it from me… with all these amazing GwPs it’s a little TOO easy to go a bit crazy and wind up spending the rent money. So take the beauty event in stride, especially if you plan on visiting a Neiman Marcus in person. The bright pretty products and delicious-smelling air can be a quite intoxicating. Though, the brands do offer all kinds of special in-store events like facials and makeovers, which can be fun as long as you don’t lose yourself and buy out the entire counter.
So what should you buy? Here are my top picks:
Cle de Peau Concealer ($70): Um, obviously. Anyone who reads my blog knows I’ve been using this celebrity secret weapon for the past couple years. Now is the time to stock up!
Sisley-Paris Botanical D-Tox ($240): I know it’s a hefty price tag but beauty addicts swear by this detoxifying serum. Supposedly women have seen a total turnaround in terms of visible pores, lines and frequency of breakouts. It’s supposedly safe for sensitive skin so I’m going to give it a try.
Sulwhasoo Overnight Vitalizing Mask ($50): I’m a whore for overnight masks as it is since skin repairs itself at night and is most conducive to products. I’ve been using this mask for three weeks now and I’m in love with the results. I seem to wake up to brighter more hydrated skin. Bonus: It absorbs right away so you don’t have to worry about getting it all over your pillow.
Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Complex ($46 – $120): I’ve been using this elixir of essential oils and distilled botanicals as a serum under my Sulwhasoo mask. It smells lovely and seems to be calming and hydrating. For those of you with oily skin, you could wear this alone at night to get the full benefits.
Giorgio Armani Rouge d’Armani Sheer ($34): This is the queen of all lip sheers. Forget all you’ve known before of tinted lip balms and sheer lipsticks — this ultra-hydrating confection takes the cake. Not only does it drop the perfect amount of color, it locks in the color and hydrating for several hours. Winner.
So, as you can imagine I personally do not have the willpower to go to Neiman Marcus in person, even though their stunning San Francisco location is only 30 minutes away and their well-appointed facial room beckons to me. I will be a good girl (relatively) and do my shopping online.
The Neiman Marcus Beauty Event lasts until March 2nd, so whether you decide to do your shopping in-person or online, just remember to binge responsibly and even Sisley-Paris skincare isn’t worth spending the electricity bill money. (On the other hand, your skin will look amazing in candlelight…)
Posted by janna Tags Armani Cosmetics, Cle de Peau, Georgio Armani, GwP, Kiehl's, Neiman Marcus, Sisley-Paris, Sulwhasoo
Forget lingerie this Valentine’s Day… lingerie can make you feel fat and that’s simply not sexy. What makes me feel sexy? A fire engine red lip. Granted, not all reds are created equally. Many reds tend to look too orangey on me so I’ve always gone tore towards the berry side. But, I’ve always been searching for that perfect bombshell red — the color of lipstick I imagine Ingrid Bergman to have worn on her perfect pout. Alas, my search is over…
Illamasqua was kind enough to send me their “I’m the One” Collection, which includes Lip Pencil in Fiesty, Lipstick in Maneater, and Intense Lip Gloss in Touch. And I’ve gotta tell you, wearing all three products together — first outlining with the pencil, then applying the lipstick, and then adding a dollop of gloss to the center of my lower lip — makes magic happen.
The lip pencil has vivid color and glides on seamlessly. The lipstick is just to die for… I don’t have words. If you’re going to buy one item from this collection I’d go with the lipstick. Of course, I’m not a lip gloss girl. The publicist who sent this to me said she’s been wearing the lip pencil with the lip gloss over it and she’s in love. I will say this is the kind of lip gloss that could turn me — hydrating, intensely pigmented color with a subtle sparkle, and long lasting.
There is just something about this classic red lip that instantly transforms me from Janna in pajamas into sexy, sultry Janna in pajamas. Well, um of course I’m still wearing pajamas! Didn’t I explain the whole lingerie thing?? It’s all about the lip!!janna Tags Illamasqua, Lip Gloss, lipstick, Valentine's Day
Once I laid eyes on the three brushes from the MAC Masterclass Brush Collection — Linear 1 Brush, Oval 3 Brush, and Oval 6 Brush — the rational side of me said, “Janna, you have about 50 makeup brushes and you don’t need anymore” but the irrational beauty addict side (who incidentally has a record of winning these battles by a landslide) said, “Janna, you owe it to your readers to buy these strange toothbrush / baby hairbrush-looking makeup brushes.” We all know who won…
What are these strange looking brushes?
M∙A∙C introduces a unique, breakthrough range of brushes that deliver a high level of performance and revolutionize personal makeup application. Ergonomically designed for even and effortless application, lush, silky, synthetic fibres are engineered to expertly pick up and apply product seamlessly. The brush handles feature a special grip design and a tilted brush tip for ultimate precision. M∙A∙C store exclusive.
What I Thought...
Linear 1 ($25): MAC describes this brush as “With a short, narrow shape, the brush delivers a firm, precise stroke to line lashes and lips. Also defines and fills brows.” I personally thought the head was way too big to line lashes or lips. Though, I did love the brush for blending liner and shadow into my lash line. I also liked it for filling in my brows, but it wasn’t a game changer. Verdict: Leave it.
Oval 3 ($32): MAC describes the Oval 3 as “The ultimate multipurpose tool, with an elongated oval shape and slightly pointed tip. Smoothly shades and blends powder or cream eye shadows, powder, and liquid or cream concealer in the hard-to-reach contours of the face.” Now, this brush I love… It is by far the best concealer brush I’ve ever used. Not only does it leave my face streak free, but because of it’s unique shape, it makes concealing the tough-to-reach places like my inner eye area and around the nose super simple. As for eye shadow, I definitely don’t recommend using this brush to apply shadow to the crease. The head is just too big and it drops way too much color. Instead, use this brush to blend the crease with a back-and-forth windshield wiper motion. Verdict: Love it!
Oval 6 ($42): MAC describes this brush as “Ideal for blush, foundation or powder, the rounded, medium-sized brush applies, blends and contours all over the face or cheeks for even, flawless coverage.” Okay… now this brush is a total game changer. Once you ladies get your grimy little fingers on this brush you will never use another foundation brush again. It is soooo soft and luxurious and blends foundation flawlessly, leaving you with a natural streak-free face. I also use this brush for contouring my cheeks. It seems to have the perfect width and shape to fit in the hollows of my cheeks. I also find myself reaching for this brush to blend bronzer and blush. Verdict: BEYOND Love it!
I have to say, using these brushes have made putting on makeup fun again. You’ll find yourself looking for excuses to use them. Tip: Make sure you’re cleansing the brushes in between uses! Like an idiot, I used the Oval 3 to blend my brown eye shadow and then used it to apply my concealer. You can just imagine what that looked like. (Bad Halloween)Posted by janna Tags MAC, Makeup brushes
Now that I have a baby girl, the days of me turning my makeup application process into a long, enjoyable ritual — taking an hour to carefully plan and execute the perfect smoky eye or shadowed winged eye while downing a couple glasses of chardonnay — are long gone. Now, I’m lucky to have five minutes before my husband is calling me to the door.
People who aren’t true makeup lovers never understood how it could take me so long to get ready… It was never that I felt naked or ugly without a full face of makeup or that I’m so vain that I needed 60 minutes to perfect my face… I actually relished the process. It was almost a form of meditation for me.
I’ve found that even though I can’t take the time to create new dramatic makeup looks (and let’s face it, my social schedule isn’t quite demanding cat eyes and electric fuchsia lipstick), I enjoy the fact that I’ve been able to whittle down my routine significantly, still be pleased with the final product, and even get in 5 minutes of my own personal meditation:janna Tags Amore Pacific, Bite Beauty, Bobbi Brown, Cle de Peau, makeup, Makeup How-to, Marc Jacobs Beauty, Nars, Tarte, tarte cosmetics, Urban Decay
That’s it. All my other lipsticks are going on the Velveteen Rabbit shelf. Why would I wear a lipstick that could dry out my lips or disappear after an hour when I could wear super creamy, ridiculous pigment, and long-lasting Bite Beauty Cashmere Lip Cream ($28)? Ladies, I know I sound like a commercial but I can assure you I’m not getting paid (though I would certainly appreciate a life time supply of product). I’m seriously in love with this stuff.
One of the perks of being the writer of E! Online Beauty Police is I get sent tons of beautiful makeup for possible inclusion in my columns. Bite’s publicist sent me the Bite Beauty Cashmere Lip Cream in Muscato and I immediately slicked it on (obviously I insist on testing every product I recommend) to see how it looked. I wasn’t expecting sparks since I’ve always been a lipstick vs. lip gloss girl, but this is no lip gloss my friends. It is a rich pigmented cream that applies with precision, doesn’t feather, and lasts for hours and hours.
The true test — my baby shower. 11:30 AM I applied the lip cream after lining my lips with Bite Beauty Contour Lip liner Cabernet ($24) (by the way, I was SO confident in the lip cream’s ability to perform I didn’t even fill in my lips with the liner. I knew this lip cream wouldn’t budge and dare leave me with just a lip liner outline). For the next five hours, that’s right five hours, I talked my head off, drank several glasses of water, stuffed my face with enough food to feed a football team, and when I looked in the mirror at 4:37 my lips looked the exact same as when I first applied the lip cream.
That my lovelies, is what we beauty addicts call pure magic.Posted by janna Tags Bite Beauty, lip cream, lipstick, Sephora
I know we are only three days into NYFW SS 2014 but I’m already loving on some of the makeup looks that are being sent down the runways. The good news? Most of the looks are totally wearable off the runway and flatter most skin tones.Here are a few of my favorites:
Creatures of the Wind SS’14 – Lead Makeup Artist: James Boehmer, NARS Director of Global Artistry
It’s such a myth that you always have to spend a lot of money to get good cosmetics and skincare… There are treasure troves full of well-performing drugstore products that rival their most expensive department store competition. But then sometimes they don’t… Occasionally I’ll find that even though the drugstore brand is good, the department store brand is better — way better. So how did the Marc Jacobs Beauty Magic Marc’er Precision Pen ($30) measure up to L’Oreal Infallible The Super Slim Liquid Eyeliner ($8.99)? Let the battle of the long-wearing black felt-tip eyeliner pens begin! For those of you who love a good winged cat eye but you’re terrified you’ll mess it up, you’re about to find your new baby.
Marc Jacobs Beauty Magic Marc’er Precision Pen ($30): This long-wearing liquid liner just looks expensive. In fact, it reminds me of a lighter Mont Blanc pen. The color is a deep, rich black and flows continuously without fading or running. I’ve never experienced such a precise, fine tip, yet if you press the pen tip harder your line will get thicker. It literally lines like a calligraphy pen. The downfall? Of course there’s a downfall… It stayed on too well and lasted too long. After trying to remove it with several Q-tips full of waterproof eye makeup remover I simply gave up. Every night I tried to get more off and it became a terrifying tar that came off in chunks. After three days I was free. Now, keep in mind because I have eyelash extensions I’m very limited in what I can use as eye makeup remover. I’m not allowed to use any oil-based products so I can’t vouch for how an oil-based waterproof makeup remover would perform.
Verdict: Unless the removal process is worth it to you because you’re attending a day wedding, a rave, an outdoor concert, or you’re a working actor who needs her makeup to last 16 hour days, despite all it’s strengths, I would skip this one.
L’Oreal Infallible The Super Slim Liquid Eyeliner ($8.99) This long-wearing liquid liner pen is by far the best drugstore version on the market. In fact, I think it beats quite a few of the department store brand versions as well. While it doesn’t have the exact fine tip of the Marc Jacobs pen, it’s pretty damn close. Just like the Marc Jacobs pen you can press harder to create a thicker line. The color comes out in a rich black (though the MJ black is slightly richer) and does not fade, run, or flake. It gives a precise, smooth application and allows you to easily create winged eyes. The downfall? It’s advertised as lasting 12-hours. I would say it starts fading at around 6 hours. Now, for someone like me who goes out for 3-4 hours max to a dinner with my husband or a party, this is the perfect eyeliner because I don’t want it to last any longer.
Verdict: If you’re looking to wear this eyeliner to work, keep in mind it’s going to fade before your mid-afternoon coffee buzz. If you’re like me and you just want to use it to create a nighttime look, this is the perfect eyeliner pen.
Coming Soon: Keep your eyes out for a review of the entire new Marc Jacobs Beauty Makeup collection.Posted by janna Tags Drugstore Cowgirl, Drugstore Makeup, Eyeliner, L'Oreal, Liquid Liner, Marc Jacobs Beauty, Steep vs. Cheap, Winged Eye
As you know from last week’s post, my beauty binge at Veer & Wander, a salon / apothecary in San Francisco, was so ugly I had to break up my beauty spoils into two separate posts. This week has given me more time to continue testing the products, but my opinions actually didn’t waiver from where I was at least week. (It’s called shopper’s instinct)
So I’m not playing mind tricks on you when I begin my product counting at 4 this week. Do the math. I went through 1-3 last week!
4. RMS BEAUTY – Living Luminizer($38): This luminizer / highlighter is a total game changer. I banished all my other highlighters to the beauty graveyard when I saw how this ultra-sheer highlighter literally made me look like I had just gotten an oxygen facial. There is no glitter or shimmering bullshit to make you look like you’re hitting the clubs; it just gives you a touch of light-reflecting glow. This stuff is so natural-looking I wear it during the day without any other makeup. I can’t help myself! I apply it to the tops of my cheekbones and pull it up to my temples, my brow bones, at my cupid’s bow and a small dab at the center eyelid above the lash to give my eyes a little sparkle. Oh, and did I mention it’s organic??
*Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, *Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, *Cera Alba (Beeswax), *Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary) Extract, and may contain [+/- Titanium Dioxide CI77891, Mica CI 77019] * Signifies* CERTIFIED ORGANIC
Results: Um, did you read the first paragraph? The results are I’ve had people compliment my skin wherever I go, and keep in mind I wasn’t wearing any other makeup. Total game changer.
Verdict: WILL BUY FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE!janna Tags Curly Hair, Dry Shampoo, Mousse, Organic Makeup, Oribe, RMS Beauty, Serum
I know you ladies must think I’m jaded now that I get free goodies sent to me from the publicists. But let’s be realistic here… An addict is an addict. Do you honestly think I will ever get to a point where I look at my room (that’s right room) full of beauty products and say to myself, “I have enough?” Please. As a true beauty addict I simply cannot walk past a Sephora, apothecary or makeup counter without making a purchase. Sure, I can rationalize “it’s for my job” but we all know that if I was in a completely different profession I would be buying the same amount of products (actually I would be buying more because I wouldn’t be getting any freebies).
I blame my latest beauty binge on my friend Cat. She wanted to introduce me to her friend Connie McGrath, founder of Veer & Wander, a salon / apothecary in San Francisco. As soon as we walked in the door of the industrial chic apothecary, I knew I was in trouble. It reminded me of one of my former problem
binge spots — Woodley & Bunny — a Willy Wonka of an apothecary carrying independent brands in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Woodley & Bunny is dangerously located 2 blocks from the subway and I would ALWAYS find myself “stopping in” to see if they had anything new, even though my loft was in the opposite direction. Now that I’m in California I thought I would be safe from such temptation. Right…