Sunday, December 31, 2006

oh! oh oh! She's my Cover Girl!

He he! Anyone know where that's from?

Since I was in the CoverGirl section when I came across the mascara mentioned below I thought I would grab MY MOST FAVORITE BLUSH IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD! This is one product I find myself replacing all the time.

CoverGirl Cheekers Blush in Iced Cappuccino #130 is a GREAT neutral color for anyone - not too much blue so it just gives you a sheer, healthy tint to your cheeks.

A real steal for around $3.50.

lipstick kisses!



I came across this CoverGirl Volume Exact Mascara during an "oh my God Christmas is 2 days away and I have nothing!" excursion to Target the other night. The brush caught my eye but I'm sad to say I am not impressed. I really, really wanted to like it!

The brush is different from the run-of-mill brush (they're usually made from nylon bristles) in that it's made from a rubber polymer and CoverGirl has made a smart move by packaging the mascara so you see the brush (Max Factor has done the same - their brush is a pretty Freon green). But it just doesn't deliver. I bought the Volume Exact Mascara which promises definition AND volume. I got the definition but I don't gots the volume.

I don't think you can get volume - not matter what the brand is - with a brush like this. This brush does a great job of separating and lengthening but you need a bottle-cleaner type brush to really get volume.

I think this mascara would work GREAT! in combination with L'oreal's Voluminous mascara - it's got a great brush - since I get the volume there but not necessarily the length.

lipstick kisses!


Friday, December 29, 2006


So I know that Thanksgiving is the time to give thanks for all you have, and in some instances, things you don't have. But I like to reflect on my blessings at the VERY end of the year. So here goes...

I am thankful for socks, spell check, and body loofas. And for not having to use an outhouse in the middle of winter - or any other time of the year for that matter. For Old Navy flip flops. For IPOD. For NPR podcasts. For my portable heater. I am thankful for those little colored Post-it note flags and that Target now carries my favorite spiral notebooks. I am thankful for my mother's boundless energy and my father's linear thinking. For my Lobster and the way after almost 9 years he still makes me laugh. And for his hugs. For scalding hot coffee that I never actually finish but keeps my hands warm and for Robin who will brew a fresh pot for me when she sees me walking into the cafeteria. For 100 Calorie Packs and ice-cold Riesling. I am thankful for the bus driver that doesn't pretend that he doesn't see me when I'm running to catch the bus in the morning. For people in my life who unknowingly remind me not to take life too seriously. For love. Lots and lots of love! I am thankful that my bubble is getting smaller and for Max. For date nights, Lost nights and for the hostest with the mostest. That I am never too far from a Taco Bell. For Grey's Anatomy and DVR and complete season DVDs. I am thankful that my bad days can be fixed with some chocolate, a fountain coke, and a hot shower. That spring is not too far around the corner. I am thankful that if 2006 is indicative of what is possible in the span of just 12 months, then 2007 has endless possibilities.


To a Healthy, Wealthy, and Happy 2007!

this is what you shall do:
love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning god, have patience and indulgence towards people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mother of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem...

-walt whitman

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Lunch Buddy!

I've been enjoying my Lean Cuisine with daily doses of Procrastination Station - it's an Engineering Humor Blog written by someone with more facets than Paris Hilton's engagement ring! She's smart, she's funny, she's extremely creative, and she puts Rachel Ray to shame!


Friday, December 15, 2006

Two new additions to the family!

I downloaded two new songs this week (and yes I pay for my downloads). It's interesting to see how itunes and ipod categorize songs according to genre - they seem to think some White Stripes songs belong in the "Blues" category. Anyway, the newbies fall under "Electric" and are quickly becoming favorites...

The first - "The Mating Game" from Bitter:Sweet. Favorite line - "Tonight I love you, but tomorrow go away". Love it!

The second - "Galvanize" from The Chemical Brothers. A mix of strong acoustic strings and core electric beats that melds into so much contagious energy - it's my morning caffeine.

You can sample at itunes!



Yeah right! This YSL bag is $1295 but I gotta say it was love at first sight! She is so, so pretty!


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Saving the world one PERFECT pair of jeans at a time!

Some liken it to the search for the Holy Grail - for those us out there, this site just may be what we've been waiting for!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Beam me up, Scotty!

There is beauty in these pictures. Besides the obvious, there's beauty in the pictures because of what they invoke. The first one was taken Saturday evening (using time exposure) over a marina in Daytona Beach, Florida after Discovery's lift-off. The second picture was taken today after the shuttle had docked with the International Space Station. I could stare at both pictures all day - they take me back to when I was a kid and I'd wonder and imagine and create stories about what it must be like to travel to space and then I find myself wondering all those things now! If I only had $20 million.


The Devil is FINALLY here!

It's so rare to find a based-on-a-book- movie that is as good or even better than the book. Plot lines fall flat because of creative license, you already have an image of what someone or something looks like and it doesn't gel with what's on the silverscreen... "The Devil Wears Prada" is the exception. The movie absolutely does the book justice and then some!

I LOVE this movie for so many reasons - it's such a guilty pleasure. The clothes, the handbags (oh the handbags!), the soundtrack, the eye candy - all so much more than what I created in my head when I read the book. Did I mention the clothes?

Available on DVD today! Watch it!


Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Merry Christmas to Me!

Santa Clause is coming early this year!



Black nailpolish is everywhere right now. Well everywhere but on me. It's really hard for me to keep black nails looking fresh and besides - too many flashbacks from junior high.

I've been obscessed instead with brown ongles! But do you how hard it is to find a brown or brown-base nail polish right now? I have looked for weeks - Target, CVS, Chanel, Bobbi Brown (who by the way are doing away with their basic line of nail polishes are will only do colors for seasonal color stories), Lippmann, OPI - nada! Everything is pink or white or red or berry or purple or BLACK!

So during an ice-day last week I was in the mood to nest so I made my way to Wal-mart for some baking supplies but scoured the beauty aisles first (duh!). I thought, "Who knows? Maybe Mary Kate and Ashely has what I'm looking for." (I was that desperate.) Now they didn't have anything but Sally Hansen did. It wasn't the chocolate brown I was looking for but it will do for now - just a tad too much red but let me just say that the polish has staying power I never expected!

Revlon - crap! Don't like ANY of their cosmetics ESPECIALLY their nail color (takes a lifetime to dry!) but that's an intense blog for another day.
Chanel - Great colors but not worth the price. I've got Vamp (not the original which is so dark it's almost black) but it starts to chip and goes dull in 2 days
Bobbi Brown - One of my favorites even though the bottle is itty bitty - the color is sheer (not overly saturated) and the consistency is thin enough to build color
OPI - Love! My favorite colors are "Grand Central Carnation" - the spring/summer color for my little piggies and "I'm not Really a Waitress" for winter.
Sally Hansen - Best bang for your buck! My nails in this picture were painted Saturday and narry a chip (yes I know my cuticles need help) and still pretty glossy! And that is very impressive and unexpected for a red based polish because red molecules are the largest from all other colors. Red polishes, therefore, take the longest to dry and are usually the first to chip.

The only thing lacking with Sally is their color selection - their prices are great for the quality and range from about $3 - $6 a bottle.

A marriage between Sally Hansen (great price) and OPI (fantastic colors even though they don't have the brown I'm looking for) would be a wonderful union indeed.

lipstick kisses!


To the Moon and beyond!

In light of NASA's decision to explore permanent living quarters on the Moon, the Lobster and I were talking last night about what it would be like to live on the moon. Not forever but if we were stranded on the moon for a finite amount of time what would we expect etc. The Lobster wasn't having as much fun with the idea as I was - he's afraid of heights so getting him there would be a feat in and of itself but also, there's no football on the moon so end of discussion. I on the other hand was having so much fun playing pretend - what would I see? what I would do? I won't bore you with details but this morning I got thinking - the question is always "What products would you take with you if you were stranded on a tropical island?". Well, what if you were stranded on the moon?

I have problems packing for anything (Ofcourse I need 4 pairs of shoes fora 2 day weekend trip!) so I have to set boundaries or the list would get out of hand.

If NASA said I could only take 10 beauty products here's what I would take...

Neutrogena's Foaming Face Wash - There's no soap in this face wash so it's not drying and I imagine that living inside of what is basically going to amount to a refrigerator is going to be pretty drying for my skin.

Natura Bisse Glycopeel 50% - great for exfoliating

Natura Bisse Sensitive Skin Toner - great alcohol-free toner with lots of botanicals that soothe my skin

Proactive Oil-Free Moisturizer SPH 15 - Great basic moisturizer since I have oily skin- great for those moonwalks and doesn't leave that white sheen so many other sunscreens can leave behind.

Origins Eye Cream - Another good basic product.

Bare Essencuals Foundation - Great coverage that works as a foundation and a concealer.

Benefit's Benetint - a pink, rose petal-infused lip and cheek stain(another 2 for 1!) that gives you the just-bitten lip look. Very important since I can't imagine we're going to be getting much sun!

Burt's Bee's Beeswax Lip Balm - if I could only take one product this bad-boy would be it! can't live without. Just can't. And more than any other lip balm out there this is the best one to wear under lipstick because it doesn't have too much slip so your lipstick doesn't slide all over the place.

Vaseline Intensive Care - Healthy Body Complexion Nourishing Body Lotion -love this moisturizer! It smooths out your skin tone and isn't greasy. Note: Because it has alpha hydroxy acids (to smooth out skin) you don't want to use this on your legs right after shaving. Think "Home Alone I" on your legs.

YSL Paris - My favorite fragrance of all time. It's like an old favorite t-shirt - just comfortable, reliable, and makes you feel so good.

lipstik kisses!


Friday, December 01, 2006

Juicy's Juice is Juicy. Sort of.

I was smitten when I first saw this bottle for Juicy Couture. It's nice and heavy; the weight of the bottle feels just right in the palm of your hand. And the charms around the neck are, well, charming. The stuff inside the bottle isn't that bad either...

At first whiff it reminded me of a younger version of Vera Wang's eponymous fragrance - similar to what Coco Mademoiselle is to Coco. A fun and playful version of the sophisticated Vera. The juice is very sweet out of the bottle - top notes of melon and apple (the description also includes marigold, water hyacinth, and crushed leaves but my nose isn't that good). Then you get nice warm roses with a nudge of musk. The dry down is supposed to give you vanilla creme brulee with wood and patchouli but the scent doesn't last that long on me!

This scent is a great winter-spring scent - it would turn in the summer sun but smell great on winter sweaters wear after wear. I would have to use it liberally on my skin and clothes for it to stick - maybe even layer with the scented cream and powder.

I give it 2 1/2 lipsticks out of 5. It's not "oh my god I smell so good I'd jump myself" incredible but a good first attempt for Juicy Couture (now owned by Liz Claiborne) - a brand that is trying very hard to become a lifestyle brand but then again, who isn't these days?

lipstick kisses!


Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Favorite Favorites

The Fray is on my favorites list right now and I have to share...I've been listening to "Look After You" and "Hundred" over and over and over. And over again. My commute is a little over 2 hours everyday - that's a lot of repeats.

Give it a listen...


Too much of a good thing?

I have a problem.

I know that.

But I don't use all of them. Not all the time anyway. And not all at the same time either - my standard brushes are the ones on the right in the black brush case.

I refuse to count the number of brushes I have. Ignorance is bliss. But if I had to pick the basics for myself or someone else, here is what they would be...

-blush brush*
-bronzer brush (if you use a bronzer but it also does a good job of over all blending)
-2 eyeshadow brushes: 1 all-over & 1 small*
-1 eyeliner brush*
-1 eyebrow brush
-1 powder brush*
-1 concealer brush (if you use a concealer)
-1 foundation brush (if you use a liquid foundation)

A total of 9 brushes give or take a few - I could do with 5 of them (*).

Most of them were gifted but some I did purchase. Here's my brief rundown...
Chanel Brushes - don't' bother - the cost-to-value ratio just isn't there
Bobbi Brown - good brushes but the blush and powder brushes shed - I love the little Kabuki brush though (it doesn't shed)
Sonia Kashuk (for Target) - great bang for your buck but the white handles look beat up after 2 uses otherwise a fantastic buy
Fresh - grood (better than good but not quite great because of the price) brushes for a basic, no fuss approach to color - the entire line only consists of 7 brushes
Giorgio Armani - their foundation brush is the softest thing in the world but other than that he needs to stick to clothes
Shu Uemura - if you're a professional make-up artist go for it! their too fancy for me in functionality and price
Bare Escentuals - crap! crap! crap!
Laura Mercier - love! - great weight, great handles, great investment if you want to splurge
Trish McEvoy - great - great weight but I like tapered handles, also a great investment if you want to splurge; (Trish started out as a brush company)

lipstick kisses!


Sunday, November 26, 2006

Wake-Up Call

This ad has been making the rounds and responses have been interesting. For some, the end product is conservative when compared to the possibilities available with PhotoShop etc. - "So she's just a little more polished - what's the big deal"? For others it's a crime in the war of weight obsession and plunging self-esteem that women have to fight everyday.

I personally am not shocked by the ad - if you didn't know that practically everything we look at is retouched then you've been living under a rock. I like that the model in this case still looks like herself but I am glad that Dove has taken the first step to shake-up the public with a bold wake-up call. It's a given that we shouldn't hold our ideals of beauty and perfection to what we see in any form of media but this commercial takes you somewhere beyond the rhetoric of loving who we are just as we are. Images in any form should be something to be inspired by - not ruled by.

I would love to hear your thoughts...


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Quote of the Moment

Richard Buckminster Fuller
When I'm working on a problem, I never think about beauty. I think only how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.

I came across this quote in high school when I had become obsessed with fullerenes and buckyballs. [A little bit of history first because I can’t help myself: Fullerenes were discovered at Rice University in 1985/1986 (can’t remember which) and were named after Richard Buckminster Fuller – a renowned architect known for his dome structures. Anyway, fullerenes are molecules composed entirely of carbon and the buckyball is a type of fullerene that resembles a hollow soccer ball (also called C60). I won’t go into the story of the discovery here but it’s a very exciting one – one that I’ll be telling the kids at bedtime (not anytime soon though!). The team that discovered this new form of carbon received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1996 or 1997 - again I can’t remember which – I’m really bad with remembering dates. ]

Now back to what I was saying…
I came across the quote when I was reading about Fuller and wrote it down because it sounded nice but I couldn’t quite connect the problem solving and the beauty part. I’d read it again here and there hoping something would leap out and hit me in the head because the words were simple enough – why didn’t I understand what they were saying? It wasn’t until college when I fell hard for Organic Chemistry (we’re talking holding-up-a-boom-box-outside-a-window kind of hard) that the pieces clicked – I understood without a doubt what Fuller was saying.

And since then it’s been one of my favorites. Esoteric but when you get it – you know you’ve earned it and it kind of becomes yours. I can find beauty in an aldehyde reaction just as easily as I can find it in a Dior 5-colour Eyeshadow compact (once I figure out how to use all 5 colors!).

lipstick kisses!


Monday, November 20, 2006

One Layer at a Time...

I recently read somewhere that Cindy Crawford started getting botox injections and all sorts of other injections when she turned 28! 28! Yeah I just turned 28 and that is so not happening. I know that Cindy's livelihood is her face so I can understand the need for her to take preemptive measures but I'm not into needles. I'm into products!

I got married this past August and because I'm me my face broke out like it has never broken out before. It was bad - really, really bad. Now people being people everyone had advise - from pills, to treatments, to ground up plants soaked in water and then applied to the face on a full moon - I heard it all. And tried it all. But one thing that I started using and LOVE is GlycoPeeling 25% (also available in 50%) from Natura Bisse. It's a family owned spa skincare line from Spain that has been around for about 30 years.

First - the science (thanks to my aesthetician!). We all know that we have layers and layers of skin. The skin we see on top is actually the old stuff - the new, fresh, dewy stuff is underneath just waiting to come up. But the new skin sometimes has trouble coming up when it's being held down by the old skin. That's why we exfoliate - to get rid of the gunk and allow the new skin to surface. But because I have oily skin I need to exfoliate EVERYDAY! Because it's the oil that traps deadskin cells into pores that causes those damn things to fester in the first place! And sometimes the everyday scrub isn't enough for me. I like to use St. Ives Apricot Scrub to get everyday gunk off like the oil and make-up and product build up but I needed something stronger to really get my skin into gear.

Second - the product. That's where GlycoPeeling came into play. It's an fruit acid peel treatment that I started doing at home. And it works. I've been doing do 2-3 treatments a week and after about 2 weeks I can see a difference - my skin doesn't look like a burlap sack anymore. And the hyperpigmentation is getting lighter and lighter to where now with some bare escentuals you can't very much of the spots at all. I've got a couple of residual bumps but they're healing a lot quicker than B.T.P (before the peel).

And the best part is that the peel also helps prevent wrinkles because the fresh skin just keeps coming up.

I'm clearing up my skin AND preventing wrinkles! Cindy would be so proud!


Sunday, November 19, 2006

Chocolate Mousse Under the Influence

This weekend the Lobster, Cusak (the Lobster's brother), and I went down to San Antonio to celebrate my uber good friend Mo's birthday (Happy Birthday Mo!). She planned a party with a great South American menu sans birthday cake. Now you cannot not have a birthday cake on your birthday - but she insisted and we compromised on a birthday cupcake with sparkler candles and chocolate mousse for dessert!

I found this amazing recipe in an even more amazing book called Luscious Chocolate Desserts by Lori Longbotham. I have never, ever had mousse this good (Shister - it's better than Whole Food's) and it couldn't have been easier to make (something like one egg, 1/8 cup sugar, 1 ounce chocolate, 1/8 cup cream per person so it's a super easy recipe to double or even triple). But the ENTIRE book is full of dessert recipes that sound almost too simple to be so, so good. The pictures are good enough to eat but my favorite part of the book are the stories the author links to each recipe - it gives the entire book provenance - something that you just don't get very often from recipes.

I know all this sounds too deep for a cookbook but seriously. If you like to bake, and you love chocolate, you want this book. Or someone you know who likes to bake and loves chocolate wants this book. (Hint Hint!)

I think this one is going on the list as well.

Eat chocolate!


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Confessions of a Logophile

I love words. I mean I really, really love words. I keep a journal full of words that I revisit every now and then like old notes from high school and journal entries – the words a memory of what was going on in my life or a reminder of what I was reading at the time. I love words on their own - words like “miscreant” and “pugilistic”. And I love words in lyrics. And in quotes - words that are strung together so well that the quote itself deserves a word.

I have a mini library of quotation books that I’ve collected from resale shops and bookfairs but nothing that’s a solid compilation of quotes. So you can imagine my excitement when I found that Yale University Press had just published a book of 12,000 quotations. The book itself is a beautiful thick hardback with a smooth white jacket with such a nice hand that you can’t help but hold it to your chest and feel the weight of it and just savor it and never want to put it down. All this hit me before even breaking the spine but the pages inside did not disappoint. The book is organized alphabetically by author, and then within that chronologically by when and where the words were first uttered. The not so good – it’s difficult to find a quote for a particular topic. The great – you can read it “from the top of the first page to the end of the last day” (bonus points if you know where that’s from) like a novel. Want to know what unexpected insightful gems J.K Rowling has penned? You’ll have a page worth of quotes. Anything from Rumsfield? Done. Tupac? Present!

I’m adding this book to my list. A must have on any bookshelf.

Even if the shelf is in the bathroom.

lipstick kisses,


Wednesday, November 01, 2006


So yesterday I learned two things about myself. One, I don’t like yellow Skittles. And two, I don’t like Guerlain’s MaxiLash Mascara.

Now I’ve never really been a big Skittle fan (I am a true chocolate lover) and wear glasses most of the time so mascara was never an issue because my lashes would just end up swiping against my lenses every time I blinked but I will take an increased sense of self-awareness anytime.

That said, I thought I would give the tube of MaxiLash I was gifted a try in an attempt to expand my horizons. I’m trying to change my look and dramatic, smoky eyes are a part of the plan. And you can’t have “look at my eyes” eyes without the lashes…

To be blunt, MaxiLash is highly overrated for the price. My biggest pet peeve of any mascara is the flakes and MaxiLash delivers a storm by mid afternoon. And to add further insult to injury, I looked like I hadn’t slept in days from the dark remnants that were left behind when I tried to brush, swipe, and flick off the flakes. It also doesn’t give you the volume you would expect from the brush. My lashes were visibly longer, I suppose hence the “lash” but I didn’t get the “maxi” – no lash volume in sight. I can't see any difference between MaxiLash and Maybelline’s Great Lash Masacara (Of which I do have a tube but only because make-up artists say time and time again that no make-up bag is complete without one and god forbid I have an incomplete make-up bag.)

Now since I am a sucker for packaging, I can’t sign off without a mention of the beige box that doesn’t connect with the black tube off mascara itself. But I hear that Guerlain is changing their packing this spring…until then I’m going to continue working on the perfect smoky eye…

Lipstick kisses,


Saturday, September 16, 2006

The Purpose Driven Life

So I spent the last eight months and some change in one of the top cosmetic departments in the US. and along the way I learned a lot and picked up a plethora of do and don'ts and never-ever-evers!

I wanted to share everything I had learned so I created this blog to explore different aspects of the cosmetics world - new launches, advertising, formulations, tried and true products, tools of the trade. But then I got thinking - there are so many other things out there that I love - I can't just write about cosmetics. I also have a deep rooted penchant for shoes and handbags and music and books. And it's my blog so I thought "I can write about whatever moves me" so you may also find the occasional non-cosmestics finds, and the "oh my God I have to have it"s!

The purpose of the blog is just to have fun - it's not to push products. Cosmetic departments are very intimidating and it's not always easy to get through all the muck and women clad in black so if I can shed some light on the world of color, treatment, and fragrance, then yay! And if I can write about some of my other favorite things along the way as well then even better.

Thanks for reading!

lipstick kisses!