Posts Tagged ‘Sephora’

Friday, August 22, 2014

Sephora Class Revelation: Evidently I Don’t Know Everything

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I was invited to a press event at Sephora this past week to experience one of their complimentary classes at their San Francisco flagship store on Powell Street.  I sauntered in (late of course) to a small group of style writers and makeup artists discussing the “if you were stranded on a desert island, which beauty product would you bring?” conundrum. The makeup artists went first. Of course they were pragmatic, naming multi-use makeup palettes like Smashbox Master Class Palette III Color & Contour and other multi-use products and palettes. Then, the style writers went around the room choosing generic makeup items like mascara, lipgloss, etc. When it was my turn, I chose AMOREPACIFIC ‘Color Control’ Cushion Compact Broad Spectrum SPF 50  because if I’m going to be stranded on an island, you better believe I’m not leaving my grass hut without a flattering, buildable CC Cream packed with high sunscreen. (Leave it to me to choose something not offered at Sephora. Whatever.)

After we had gone around the room divulging our most beloved products, Makeup Artist Kenya Garrett gave an interactive  tutorial on how to contour and highlight. Now, I’m no stranger to contouring and highlighting. Meaning, I know how to do it, but I don’t aspire to look like Kim Kardashian in any shape or form. Occasionally, I’ll lightly contour the hollows of my cheeks with a matte bronzer and slap a cream highlighter on my cheekbones. But, I usually end up blending away the contour powder because it just never looks natural.

Well, Kenya must have been reading my mind because she declared the Kim Kardashian way “wrong” and gave us a thorough tutorial on how to make contouring and highlighting actually look flattering and natural.  She also gave some pro tips I hadn’t heard before:

1) Wear a foundation with more coverage when contouring and highlighting so that redness and other discolorations do not show through.

2) Apply highlighter first so that your face tells you where to contour. Meaning, once you’ve applied your highlighter and you tilt your face down in front of the mirror, you will more clearly see the hollows of your cheeks (where the contour powder goes)

3) Do NOT use a matte bronzer when contouring. Use a taupe with grey in it so that it more resembles your natural face shadows. BRILLIANT! MADE A HUGE DIFFERENCE!

After Kenya’s demonstration, we were teamed up with makeup artists for one-on-one sessions. I was paired with the knowledgable Elisia Huck, who showed me how to color correct my puffy eyes to make them look flattened and brighter. Then, when I told Elisia I already had the coveted Anastasia Contour Kit  but I was only using it as eyeshadow, she showed me the right shade (you guessed it grayish taupe) to use as a contouring powder and how to apply it.

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Okay, so I’m the first to admit this class showed me that in fact I don’t know everything. (Yes, it was shocking for me as well) The classes range from “Contouring and Highlighting” to “Day-to-Night Smoky Eye” and you can make a reservation online here. Added bonus: every class attendee gets a little goody bag with fun samples! Classes are complimentary to Beauty Insiders. If you’re not a Beauty Insider yet, well quite frankly, I’m shocked you read my blog. It’s free to join the Beauty Insider program and as beauty addicts like myself can attest to, membership (and spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora) has its privileges.

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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Total Game Changer: My Love Affair with Bite Beauty Cashmere Lip Cream

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.

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Saturday, April 13, 2013

What’s Better Than a Free Birthday Gift from Fresh and 15% off at Sephora? Nothing! (Except Maybe a Day at the Spa)

Welcome to my happy place…

Free Birthday Gift from Fresh: You all know Fresh is one of my favorite brands of all time and I happen to collect their Fresh Sugar Lip Treatments in every color and stash them all over my house and in every handbag.  They glide on creamy, hydrate my lips instantly, drop the perfect amount of pigment, and even have SPF 15.  You can imagine my joy when I found out that as of April 1st, Fresh will gift customers with a free Sugar Kisses Mini Lip Duo during their birthday month. This exclusive sweet treat includes a Mini Sugar Lip Treatment Sunscreen SPF 15 and Mini Sugar Rosé Tinted Lip Treatment Sunscreen SPF 15.

Simply sign up for the program in any Fresh store and you’ll receive a postcard during your birthday month inviting you to come and pick up your gift (one per customer, per year). Then you can pucker up at your party or whatever celebration you have planned!

In July, program participants will also have the option of redeeming their gift on Fresh.com with a purchase of $40 during their birthday month.

15% Off ALL BEAUTY for Beauty Insiders! Use code: CHICThis one is a no-brainer. It’s the only thing that’s going to hold me over until November’s Friends & Family 20% off. And by hold me over I actually mean it’s the only thing that’s going to allow me to rationalize making a ridiculously  large Sephora buy.

Happy Shopping my lovelies!


 

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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Podcast: Trends that Annoy Me

I refuse to bow down to every beauty trend that the magazines, celebrities, and beauty “powers that be” deem to be hot, in fact some of these trends just all out annoy me. Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t love them (if you in fact you love the trends because they are your taste, not because Sephora told you to like them), they are just trends that I refuse to like…

Download the podcast from iTunes or listen to it streaming on your computer here (it’s the 1st podcast) and it’s free! If you hit the “SUBSCRIBE” button in iTunes you will automatically get all my podcasts!

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Thursday, January 3, 2013

My Torrid Love Affair with First Aid Beauty Reaches a New Level of Love

We all know I have sensitive drama queen skin (mainly because I won’t shut up about it) which means most anti-agers are strictly off limits. You can imagine my elation when I heard one of my favorite brands, First Aid Beauty (FAB), is launching a line of anti-aging products specifically for sensitive skin called FAB Dual Repair.  My elation hit a ridiculous level (like chanting OHMYGOD OHMYGOD over and over again until my husband demanded to hear the news) when I found out they wanted me to be a FAB Dual Repair Blogger Ambassador, representing their brand and their new product line.    Now, you should know I’ve had the chance to work with brands prior to this but I was never interested because I wasn’t passionate about the brands (which means this was my first OHMYGOD OHMYGOD since I was made a finalist in the Allure Beauty Blogger Awards).  What got me about this opportunity was that I knew I would have zero problem raving about the FAB products since I’ve been doing it since the inception of my blog…

My review of First Aid Beauty’s 5 in 1 Face Cream SPF 30 was my second blog post in the history of this blog and the very first product review. This means that among my piles and drawers (and let’s face it closets) full of beauty products, I was more passionate about this face cream than any other product.  That’s love I tell ya.  I declared it “the soul mate for my sensitive skin” and that it was one of the very few beauty products I would never cheat on (though I’m cheating on it now with the FAB Dual Repair, but that doesn’t really count since I stayed in the family. Note: this rule does not apply with husbands, only skincare).

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

3 Holiday Gift Sets You Should Buy Yourself (Did I Just Say That Out Loud?)

Okay, yes I know this is the season for giving but it’s also the season for taking advantage of when the top beauty companies put out gift sets that that combine their best-selling products for much less than you would pay a la carte. I mean come on, you deserve a little self-love, right?? Obviously if you have friends and family members who share your beauty addiction buy them one too!

1.  Tarte Set of 5 Full-Size Maracuja Divine Shine Lip Glosses $34.50 ($105.00 value): This set can actually make you feel a little better about buying it for yourself since you can just keep your favorite shades and slap a bow on the rest and give them as gifts.  These unique glosses are both hydrating and long-lasting and thankfully don’t leave your lips looking like a frosty mall chick mess (which I forbid; frost is bad).  Active ingredient Maracuja Oil moisturizes while minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, giving lips a fuller, plumped appearance.


 

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Sunday, July 8, 2012

Makeup Meltdown Mayhem! Battle the Heat with a Few Tricks and Tools


I can’t get over this f’ing heat!  Okay, I know I just wrote about a melt-proof eye, but with this ungodly heat you’re going to need more than just a waterproof eyeshadow stick.   We’re officially in crisis lock-down mode.  When my husband and I traveled to Columbus, Ohio this past week for the 4th, I was genuinely traumatized (and I hate to admit it but visibly sweating, gross!) by the humid 97 degree conditions.  We went to my 20th high school reunion (yes, I’m old) at around 7 pm and I was a disaster by 7:07 (and by disaster I mean fellow classmates were picking little pieces of napkin off my sticky face because I was couldn’t stop blotting with taco truck napkins).  BUT despite the Vietnam-like conditions, guess what?? MY MAKEUP ENDURED!  
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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Red Carpet Beauty Report: Movie Premiere Mayhem!

I was shocked and awed at the images from the red carpets at the London Snow White and the Huntsman and Los Angeles What to Expect When You’re Expecting premieres.  Shock came from the horror show of Jennifer Lopez’s homely hair and eye-closing makeup, and awe hit when I saw the perfection of Kristen Stewart’s metallic smoked eye and the gold chains that were intertwined into her updo.

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Let's start with Snow White and the Huntsman... First of all, I LOVE that her stylist was probably like, "Let's just F the matchy matchy rule of metallics and give you a silver smokey eye and a gold-chained updo." That's the kind of beauty brilliance that goes down in the history books. By adding the gold chain the stylist made a usually classic updo into an edgy, textured artistic creation.

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Now take a look at the close-up of the eye: the cool silver of the eye shadow make her green eyes look almost steely blue and her natural yet groomed eyebrows and light mauve lipstick subtly complement the bold eye. By the way I love how naked her skin looks. If I had to guess I would say she's just wearing a tinted moisturizer and some primer.

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Charlize Theron also personified perfection at this premiere with her sculpted flip updo and structured smokey eye. The simplicity of the hair complements the drama of the eye makeup and bright emerald earrings. While Kristen's smokey eye was diffused, Charlize's smokey eyes were defined (hence "structured") into an opaque shape using black and grey shadows and a touch of metallic to make her eyes look like they are sparkling. I obviously love the dusty rose lipstick and cheeks. The one thing I'm iffy on with this look is her roots. I'm assuming they are meant to be darker (if not someone in her entourage needs to be fired), and I think it just looks like a forgotten detail and takes away from the sophistication of the look.

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Onto the red carpet road kill at the What to Expect When You're Expecting LA premiere... Really, JLo?? Serious or kidding? You know better than to let your makeup artist line both your waterlines with dark pencil. You looked like you were squinting in every photo. I would love to wax poetic about the gorgeous dark wine lipstick (one of the biggest trend on the carpets right now) because it looks fantastic with her skin tone and hair color, but I'm so distracted by the terrible eye makeup and grandma ponytail I simply can't give JLo's beauty team any gold stars on this one.

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Is she kidding me with this ponytail? What happened here? Is that really just an Ouchless ponytail holder? It seems like maybe her hair was annoying her (perhaps it was that unbecoming zip-zip middle part) and she just got frustrated and pulled it back. But even then, wrap some hair around the ponytail holder or something. My God, she's getting dangerously close to scrunchy territory and I don't like it.

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Oh, hello Anna Kendrick. Don't you look stunning. Maybe next time you can lend JLo your beauty team? Because Anna darling, you looked amazing from every angle with your timeless, sophisticated makeup and romantic tumbling curls (and notice Anna has a middle part but her's seems soft and natural).

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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Skin Regimen for the Non-Girly Girly

My friend Kelsey is one of those All-American girls — blond hair, blue eyes, light freckles on her nose, and a kick-ass body that makes you want to hate her (she’s a total cyborg athlete). But you can’t really hate her because she has no clue she looks like she just stepped out of an American Eagle ad (See left photo. No, that’s not Kelsey nor is that her husband Jordan. I’m just trying to make a point!)

She grew up with brothers (also cyborgs, taking after cyborg mom and dad) and spent her youth excelling at every sport including becoming a scratch golfer rather than playing with Barbies and raiding her mother’s makeup bag (wasted childhood, obviously).

Kels and I were at dinner. I was busy examining her makeup-free skin (I won’t lie, a little hate brewed. She may have had on lip balm, but that’s it.) when she turned to me and said, “Janna, I love the blog and all, but I don’t really get all that girly-girl stuff.” I could tell by the look on her face I must have looked wounded, especially since she quickly followed up with, “Not that it’s girly-girl! I just don’t use a lot of product!” Read the rest of this entry »

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Friday, March 9, 2012

Bright Lights, Big City: Neon, Neon Everywhere

From the runways to the subways, I’m seeing nothing but neon.

Neon makeup and hair started lighting up the runways last year, and since then this 80s staple trend quickly blinded  the masses with an explosion of day-glo fashion and beauty products.  Walking down the streets of NYC, I see everything from young girls with fluorescent hair streaks and matching lipstick to career fashionistas furiously typing away on their smart phones with nails painted in the season’s latest electric colors.

Don’t be intimidated into thinking that if you incorporate a little neon, you’re a couple of leg warmers away from becoming Pat Benatar. Just be careful to tone down your outfit and the rest of your makeup (think neutrals across the board) to avoid anything aggressively offensive.  Kidding.  (kind of kidding)

Eyes

If you’re not in the mood to do a full eye of makeup, just add a little pop of color with neon mascara, as seen on the models at Stella McCartney AW 2012 Paris.  Makeup Artist Master Pat McGrath used Cover Girl Lashblast 24 Hour Mascara coated with a blue pigment gel to achieve the look. At home, apply two coats of your favorite volume-pumping mascara in black, let it dry, and then coat with an electric blue mascara like Tokidoki Punk Lash Mascara in Baby Rocker.

Backstage beauty at Stella McCartney AW 2012 Paris (photo via WWD)

Or, for a more subtle look, you can swipe a brightly-colored liquid liner along your upper lash line like my minxy blonde friend Kat (see below).  Kat used Sephora Liquid Liner in Fancy Blue to achieve her look:

Kitty Kat in her electric blue liner

 

Lips

Go bold or go home.  Maria rocks a different day-glo shade every day. She doesn’t care if it’s 8 AM in Midtown Manhattan on a Monday, she’ll be wearing a fluorescent fuchsia.   Try a bold pink like Mirabella Lip Colour in Over the Top, which is highly pigmented color yet doesn’t bleed.  Or, add a pop of orange (after all, Tangerine Tango is the Pantone color of the year) try  MAC Pro Amplified Creme Lipstick in Neon Orange, or go for a more sheer shade like Bobbi Brown’s Sheer Lip Gloss in Citrus.

 

Milly Backstage Beauty Spring 2012, photo via Creative Nail Design

 

Twinkle by Wenlan Backstage Beauty, Spring/Summer 2010, photo via nymag.com

 

Nails

If you feel like you’re on the cusp of being too shy to pull off this look,  take baby steps and paint your nails a different blinding hue every week (or day, if you happen to have the time and dedication). Every brand seems to have a color story this Spring involving neon. Have fun experimenting with the under $10 brands like China Glaze Poolside Collection ($6.50 per bottle / $17.75 for set of 6)  and invest wisely in the premium lines like Dior ($23 per bottle).  Make sure you test the level of opacity.  It may look bold in the bottle, but sheer once its on your nail.  To make a neon pop even more, apply an opaque white like Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear in White On as your base coat and then paint two coats of your neon.

 

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