Thursday, January 28, 2010

LUSTING: HerCut: Haircare For Your Haircut

Wow, a hair product that suits your cut, not just your hair type? I love it!

These styling products are designed for certain hair styles - the pixie, the blunt, the bob and the shag - and will emphasize the specific attributes of each. It also promises to be the only styling product you will need to make your hair look its best.

My hair is fine and very straight and currently it's cut in an angled bob with slightly asymmetrical bangs. So really, I could probably use both the products under The Blunt although I obviously want to try The Bob. But you could just go with the products that offer what you want in a styling product.

The line offers shampoos and conditioners as well, though these are tailoured to your hair's type, not its cut or style. The styling products go for $28 US for 100 mL and the shampoos and conditioners are $22 US for 300 mL.

Available at and at Sephora.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Smoky Eye with Blacktrack Fluidline, Coral and Grey

I love to do a smoky eye when I go out. Here's one that incorporates a bit of colour to make my eyes pop even more and give it a rock n roll edge.

Okay, apologies for the "Blue Steel" look I'm doing here. It was the only good full-face shot I got!

The darkest part of this look is the liner, which I did using MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack for intensity and longevity. If you've never used it before, Fluidline has a gel-like consistency that dries and is almost waterproof. I use it for doing a cat eye that I'd normally use liquid liner for but this was the first time I used it for lining my waterline (I normally use eyeliner pencil). It didn't last completely intact, but it did last much longer than a pencil normally does and it didn't irritate my eyes like pencils tend to.

Fluidlines take more effort to blend than a pencil or a powder as it dries very quickly and doesn't smudge easily. I used a Q-tip to dry out my waterline before applying the Fluidline to help it adhere better.

Here's the step by step to how I did this look.

MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack

First, I used an angle brush I applied Fluidline in Blacktrack to my waterline and my lashline, working it into my lashes. I used a touch of black eyeshadow to fill in any gaps and to smudge the black out.

I applied Smut eyeshadow on my lid up slightly past my crease, heaviest in the outer corner and crease and slightly below my eye as well.

Full Flame

For a pop of colour, I used Full Flame on my lid, heavier towards the outer corner and lighter as I moved towards the inner corner. I chose a corally colour because warm shades emphasize my blue eyes. If you have brown eyes you can try a purple or a silver shade or a warm brown. If you have green eyes you can use a red or warm burgundy-brown. If you have hazel eyes you can choose any of these shades depending on the tones in your eyes that you want to emphasize.

I wanted a touch more edge to the coral on my lids so I dusted a little bit of Cranberry on top. As you can see, my eyeshadow broke and I'm almost out, but Cranberry is a rich, sparkly red. Use with caution!

The rest of my look:

Lips are MAC Loving Touch See-Thru Lip Colour (similar to a lip stain) and MAC Sugar Trance Lipglass.

Blush is MAC Strada applied to the hollows of my cheeks and MAC Silver Dusk Iridescent Powder on the tops of my cheekbones.

I used Benefit Moon Beam along my browbone and down onto the tops of my cheekbones. Bare Escentuals Foundation and Mineral Veil is my base, Maybelline concealer and Bare Escentuals Buxom mascara in Black.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

American Apparel Nail Polish Reviewed

* Please note that hours after posting this entry, I became aware that American Apparel has pulled their nail lacquers from their stores and online retail store, citing that the glassware is dangerous. There's no official word just yet but here's where I heard it:

The direct quote is here: American Apparel is pulling their line of nail polishes. The official line is that there’s a problem with the glassware, but an employee is now saying the company is telling them it’s “hazardous material.”

It appears to be the bottles and not the product that is the problem. I will keep you updated as I learn more. 
C - 01/26/2010 

I blogged about the new American Apparel nail lacquers last month and finally picked some up. They retail for $7.50 CDN or three for $18.50 so I picked up three - Factory Grey, Peacock and Hunter.

 L to R (here and above): Hunter, Peacock and Factory Grey (view of bottle sides)

Hunter is a deep forest green and if you're looking for the perfect on trend polish, this is it. Peacock is a turquoisey blue that just screams peacock. Factory Grey is a cool soft grey, very on trend as well.

All of American Apparel's colours are matte. There's no sparkle, glitter, shimmer or iridescence to them. They're all colour, gloriously so. I adore these polishes. They're deliberately different and appeal to me since I like dramatic, sophisticated, edgy, creamy colours over glitter and girliness. Give me a black-red or dark blue short nail over a French manicure or neutral nail anyday.

With that being said, onto the review. My thoughts on these three polishes? I wore each shade until it began to chip or wear and wore 2 coats plus bottom and top coats. Each lasted about five days which is about average for me. With reapplication of top coat every few days, it'd last longer.

The scent is very light, markedly less so than other polishes. The consistency is smooth and creamy and goes on well. I needed two coats and no more. The first coat could be enough but with two the colour is more intense and the application fully opaque. I love the rectangular shaped bottles (easier to store!) although the script is of course, a bit too Miami Vice for me. My only complaint is that the brush is too long and difficult to navigate over your nails.

Of the three, my favourite was Factory Grey. I just love how it's neutral but not brown! I got the most compliments when I wore this shade as well.

Photos of the polish in action! (click on the image for a closer look)

Hunter Green

Factory Grey


I recommend these polishes if unconventional, matte colours are your thing. American Apparel, it should be noted, carry more traditional shades like red and pink but these polishes are more like model car colours than nailpolishes. Would you expect anything else from American Apparel, really?


Dior: Edition Dentelle 5 Couleurs Coquette 743

Dior's latest collection features two quints, the dramatic Pearl Glow 059, and the understated and elegnant Coquette 743. Coquette 743 offers a range of lovely sophisticated shades.

Dior Edition Dentelle 5 Couleurs Coquette 743.

A beautiful lace embossment adorns the four outer shades which have the trademark buttery, silky texture Dior shadows are known for. Swatches on NC 35-40 skin, indoors, no flash. Swatches are clockwise, from top left, with the center shade at the end.

The shades are: a beigey taupe, a pale peach, a medium neutral smokey grey, a medium greyed purple and a matte pale pink with silver sparkles. The four outer colours are a satin finish, which means they are cross between a matte and a frost - luminous without being obviously frosty, an eye shadow texture which Dior does very well.  The center colour is a matte finish - this is the only shade I don't care for, as the silver sparkles fall out immediately upon application. I think the four outer shades are wonderful though.  They can function as neutrals but are a little bit more interesting than your avaerage brown. I think the purple is particularly gorgeous!


Monday, January 25, 2010

Chanel: Particuliere Le Vernis Nail Colour

Ever since the advent of Chanel's Vamp in 1994 (Rouge Noir in Canada and Europe), nail polish has benefited from increasing status as a cosmetic and fashion accessory. Fast forward a decade or so later and the originators of the "must have" nail polish are still at it. We've had Black Satin, Blue Satin, Kalidescope, Nuit de Russie, Jade and now...Particuliere!

Particuliere is a slightly greyed taupe.  It reminds me of mushrooms, cafe au lait and cement.  When I first saw it, I thought it would be too brown on me, and I don't like brown polishes.

On my NC 35-40 skin, it looks less brown than in the bottle and more like cement, which is a good thing in my books. It is well pigmented and flows on the nail smoothly - 2 thin coats (as pictured) is all you need for full opacity. This polish sells for $26.00 CA and is of course, limited edition. It is out right now on counters, so if it strikes your fancy run down and grab it.

What do you think of the latest "must have" polish?


Friday, January 22, 2010

The Tip Off: A simple trick to make you look rested!

I have fair skin which I love, protect from the sun and enhance as best I can. However, fair can often look pale, as in unwell, which is not a flattering look. I frequently neglect to get enough sleep, whether it be restlessness, insomnia, or simply out late (or a combination of all three) and have gotten comments "Are you feeling ok?", "You look pale." from coworkers, friends and family on occasion. My trick: blush!

Of course, undereye concealer and de-puffing is probably necessary (everyday for me, not just too-soon-mornings) but the key for me is blush. Rosy cheeks can make a pale complexion look healthy, well-rested and youthful. It works for me. I never get told I look tired or that I look like I'm not feeling well when I have rosy cheeks.

Something bright is key - think rose, peach or coral - and apply it in thin layers to the apples of your cheeks for a natural glow. Creams and liquids tend to look more natural than powders but you can also layer a cream or liquid blusher with a powder for a more 3D effect.

You'll never look exhausted again!


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Dior: Edition Dentelle 5 Couleurs Pearl Glow 059

As per my post on Monday, you will know that I fell hard for Dior's spring collection. Today I will be reviewing one of the "must have" products from the Dentelle collection, the Pearl Glow 059 eye shadow quint ($59.00 CA, LE).

Dior 5 Couleurs Edition Dentelle Pearl Glow 059

I believe this quint qualifies as part of the iridescent line, as it's number begins with a "0" and its texture certainly follows suit.

As you can see the quint has a gorgeous lace embossment on the shadow that makes this almost too pretty to use. It would be a shame though if you didn't use it, because it will look even prettier on your eyes! Swatch done indoor light, no flash on NC 35-40 skin. Shadows swatched clockwise from upper left corner of quint, center colour last.

The quad contains a smokey purple, a frosty white, a delicate pale pink, a silvery taupe and a greyed blue. All colours have a frost/iridescent finish and are buttery soft to apply. I can see this quad being very versatile - you could go light for day by using the taupe as a base, the white as a highlighter and a hint of purple or blue at the lashline or in the crease, or for night you could go smokey with the purple or blue over smudged black liner and one of the lighter shades in the center or inner corner of the eye.

Catch anyone's fancy?


Monday, January 18, 2010

Dior: Edition Dentelle Spring 2010 MEGA HAUL!!!

Here's a little makeup porn to make your Monday more exciting. I recently did a mega haul of Dior's spring collection thanks to a very large collection of Shopper's Optimum points.

Left to right (top row/bottom row): 5 Couleurs Edition Dentelle Pearl Glow 059 & Coquette 743
Poudrier Dentelle Pink Lace 001, Dior Vernis Silver Pearl 604 and Diorblush Edition Dentelle Vintage Pink 839

I am usually indifferent to spring collections because I don't like pastels, but Dior shows us that spring can be filled with smokey neutrals, deep iridescent purples, blues and taupes. Everything in this collection is beautiful, sophisticated and of course haul worthy!

I had been saving up my Optimum points for more than a year to splurge on something really luxurious and outstanding and I think I picked just the right collection to cash in on.

Stay tuned for swatches!


Sunday, January 17, 2010

MAC: In Lillyland Cremeblend Blush

MAC's In Lillyland collection is a collaboration with Lilly Pulitzer, the clothing designer. Lilly Pulitzer is a fun, springy clothing line for women and children and their current line focuses on resort wear. No surprise then, that the collaboration with MAC has yielded a bright, fun springy selection of colours.

I skipped everything in the collection save for the Cremeblend Blushes, which I think are an outstanding product. Swatch done indoors, with flash, skin tone NC35-40.

Left to Right: Optimistic Orange, Florida, Joie-De-Vivre and So Sweet, So Easy

MAC Cremeblend Blush LE ($22.00 CA/18.50 US)

Optimistic Orange - a bright true carrot orange.

Florida - a cool, bright fuchsia.

Joie-De-Vivre - is a bright pink that has a hint of coral.

So Sweet, So Easy - a cool, bright bubblegum pink.

General Comments

Cremeblend Blushes have a beautiful consistency, they are incredibly bendable, soft and with no hint of stickiness. Unlike emollient based creme blushes (such as MAC's Blushcreme) these blushes are weightless and have a "slippery" creme/gel to powder feel. All shades are well pigmented, so you hardly need any product to achieve a lush glow. However, because of the "slip" from the silicone in the product, you don't need to fear over applying as much as you would with a strong powder or emollient creme blush. Application with fingers, brush or sponge will work and if you should accidentally over apply, simply use a clean foundation sponge to blend out and mute down the colour.

My must have pick is So Sweet, So Easy because bubblegum pink blush looks beautiful and fresh on everyone. I also think Joie-De-Vivre is another good, versatile colour. Optimistic Orange and Florida are the strongest hues and will be amazingly natural looking on darker skin tones. I do think that lighter skin tones will be able to wear them too, just with attention paid to the overall balance of the makeup look.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

LUSTING: NARS Cruising Lipstick (and the rest of the Spring 2010 Collection)

A friend sent me this link from The Frisky featuring a lip colour from NARS Spring 2010 Collection. She was lusting over the lipstick (Cruising) that Amber Valetta is wearing in the promo photo. I admit, it looks completely lustworthy but nude lip colours are a tricky beast and you MUST MUST MUST try them before you buy them. So I'm not completely in lust over it just yet. I will definitely be trying it out once it's at my local Sephora!

Let me wax poetic over the looks of the entire Spring Collection, however. The photos and colour collection are inspired by the legendary Catherine Deneuve in the 1968 film La Chamade and I am a sucker for ANYTHING 60s-inspired. Now, I'm not sure I could pull off the yellow eyeshadow but I love the otherwise softly emphasized 60s-style eye and nude lip. Not to mention the amazing mane of hair that only exists for me in my dreams...

More photos of the colour collection:


 Top Left: NARS D. Gorgeous Single Eyeshadow $23
Bottom L to R: Camargue Duo Cream Eyeshadow $32, Kuala Lumpur Duo Eyeshadow $32 and
Glitter Pencil $24
 L to R: Cruising Lipstick $24, Easy Lover and Ophelia Lip Glosses $24 and Purple Rain Nail Polish $16

Oh dear, I'm lusting after that GORGEOUS nail polish too! AND the glosses! AND the Kuala Lumpur Duo!

Lusting, lusting, lusting...and fanning myself.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

MAC: All Ages, All Races, All Sexes Blushes

There are two new Beauty Powder Blushes from MAC in this collection, both LE. Beauty Powder Blushes are some of my favourite blushes due to their silkiness and good pigmentation.  They also have fine but subtle shimmer throughout.

Swatch done on NC 35-40 skin, indoor light and flash.

Left to right: Personal Style and All's Good

Blushes ($22.00 CA/18.50 US)

Personal Style - described as a "light mauve taupe".  I would describe it as a pale pink taupey beige.  As you can see it is very close to my actual skintone, just a tiny bit pinker.  I see this working as a subtle contour for most and only as a blush for the lightest of skintones.  Similar to A Perfect Cheek.

All's Good - a deep brown rose.  Initially I was worried because it looked very brown in the pot and fairly brown swatched.  Probably best for skintones in the NC range, I found this blush a lot rosier once on my cheeks. Very pigmented, best applied with a very light hand and a duo fibre brush.

General Comments

Both of these colours are not exactly typical blush colours.  Personal Style is quite pale and All's Good is on the deep side.  I wouldn't say either of these are must haves, but are wearable in their respective fashions.  I can say I don't own another blush like All's Good.


Monday, January 11, 2010

MAC: All Ages, All Races, All Sexes Pigments

MAC's All Ages, All Races, All Sexes collection ushers in the new downsized pigments jars.  This collection offers two new, LE shades - Universal Mix and Rich Life.

The new bottles are similar to their polish bottles and feature a new twist and lock cap, and a narrower jar. All swatches done on NC 35-40 skin, indoor light with flash.

Left to right: Rich Life and Universal Mix

Pigments ($23.50 CA/19.50 US)

Rich Life - a rich, matte cocoa brown with a slightly cool cast, with fine silver shimmer mixed in.  Applied dry, the shimmer falls out quite a bit and dosen't look much more than regular matte shadow. To really capture the beauty of this one, it needs to be foiled (applied with a wet brush). Upon foiling, the somewhat standard brown becomes a stunning shimmering brown that can look both cooler (more like a taupe) and warmer depending on what angle it's viewed from.

Universal Mix - a shimmery, sheer white gold that has tiny multi coloured sparkles in it.  Depending on the angle it's viewed from it can look whiter, golder or greener.  A fanastic highlighting shade for every one.

Left to right: Rich Life (dry), Cross Cultural Eye Shadow, Rich Life (foiled)

As you can see foiling Rich Life really makes it come to life.  I was actually going to return my jar after giving it a try dry - it looked almost exactly the same as Cross Cultural shadow, but with annoying glitter fall out. I decided to give it another go with foiling and layering on top of a cream shadow and I'm happy to say that both methods work well. The effect reminds me of Bobbi Brown's Diamond Dust Eyeshadows, glittery and slightly wet looking. The interesting thing about this pigment is that when foiled, a sheerer application creates a warmer tone and a denser application looks quite ashy and cool (as in the swatch).

General Comments

Out of the two, my favourite is Universal Mix, which will look good any skintone. Rich Life is an interesting one - I wouldn't say it's a must have, but certainly I don't have another pigment like it (and trust me, I've got lots!). Glittery, metallic neutral lovers might want to scoop this one up though.

Have you picked up either?


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Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Beauty Squared Closet: SOAK

I discovered Soak when I went for my first proper bra fitting (as an adult) just a few years ago at the fantastic Secrets From Your Sister. It's a laundry detergent for delicates that is gentle, rinse-free, lightly fragranced and actually revitalizes the fabric of your clothes so they last longer. It's also biodegradable and non-toxic so it's just as safe in your sink as it is going down the drain.

I love this stuff. It's made "hand-washing" almost fun. You simply fill the sink or basin with cool water, add your clothes and teaspoon of Soak, let sit for 15 minutes and then gently squeeze out the excess water before laying flat to dry. There's NO RINSING! I love it! How much easier could hand-washing be without the actual hand washing? Wet fabric is prone to stretching so the less you have to handle it when it's wet, the better!

Another thing I love about Soak are the scents. My favourite is definitely Celebration but there are none that I dislike. They're delicate fragrances that don't assault your senses or irritate your skin and there's also a Scentless Soak for those who are sensitive to any fragrance.

It works for all delicates whether they're lingerie or wool and the places you can get it are listed here.

Where has this been all of my life?


Saturday, January 9, 2010

MAC: All Ages, All Races, All Sexes Eye Shadows

MAC relives their annual neutral collection with their latest offering, All Ages, All Races, All Sexes. Reminiscent of the N Collection, this collection offers an array of neutral shades for all skin tones. All swatches on NC 35-40 skin, indoor lighting with flash.

Left to right: All Races, Banshee and Cross Cultural

Eye Shadows ($17.50 CA/14.50 US)

All Races - a matte, pale slightly greyed mauve.  Good pigmentation and smooth application.

Banshee - a medium toned neutral pink with a sliver flake sparkle.  Like most lustres the sparkles have a tendency to fall out when applied.

Cross Cultural - a rich, matte, neutral medium brown.  Good pigmentation and smooth application.

Showstopper (not swatched) - a matte, rich dark black-brown.  Has been repromoted several times.

Generally the eyeshadows are quite wearable and well pigmented. Banshee is a good pink for many skintones, but is a lustre formula and has a tendency to create fall out.  My only must have pick from the four shadows is All Races, which gives a slightly cool neutral base and is an unique colour for MAC. My second pick would be Cross Cultural, which I can see working both as a shadow and brow colour for brunettes.

What eye shadows did you pick up?


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

LUSTING: Benefit Cosmetics Sugarbomb Face Powder

I'm a huge fan of Benefit Cosmetics - their Eye Bright pencil, High Beam highlighter, Dr Feelgood complexion balm, BeneTint cheek & lip stain, Posietint cheek stain, Bad Gal mascara, Dear John face cream and their little shimmering boxed powders are all favourite products of mine.

They've just released a brand new box o' powder - Sugarbomb! It's similar to their 10 powder which combines a bronzer and a highlighter, but Sugarbomb has four (FOUR!) shades of flattering soft rose, plum, peach and pink to add a soft glow to anyone's cheeks.



Tuesday, January 5, 2010

TWO new MAC Collections Launch this week!

MAC launches two new collections on January 7th - the internationally flattering neutral-toned All Ages, All Races, All Sexes and the retro-beachy MAC in Lillyland by Lilly Pullitzer.

All Ages, All Races, All Sexes is the first collection to feature the new pigment packaging. From this collection, I do like the look of all the shadows, especially Banshee, and Rich Life pigment. This collection is all about the neutrals and focused on eyebrows and claims that all the colours will work on all ages, all races and all sexes. There is definitely something here for everyone.

MAC in Lillyland is a colloboration with American fashion designer Lilly Pullitzer and features retro, Key West, beachy inspired shades and products. From this collection, I'm loving the Paint Pot shades, Purple Dash, the PearlMatte Face Powder and all the Cremeblend blushes.

What are you lusting after? Anything you're definitely checking out once these are in stores?


MAC Pigments...Downsized!

I have sad news - MAC pigments are, like the rest of the world, downsizing.  Starting now, MAC pigments are decreasing in size from 7.4 to 4.5 grams.  A 40% decrease in weight. The worst part?  The price is remaining the same ($23.50 CA/19.50 US)!  So we will be getting less product for the same price.

While I understand MAC is probably suffering in this economy (who isn't?), it pains me to see how they are dealing with this situation.  I don't know if it's psychological, but I would rather them increase the price of the old size rather then decrease the amount of product.

Pigments in the old size are still available in stores, so if you've had your eye on a few colours, now is the time to strike before all the old stock is sold out and replaced by the new, smaller jars.

Dissapointed? I am.


Monday, January 4, 2010

Lashes! Lashes! Lashes!

I am often asked what kind of mascara I use. Admittedly, I lucked out in the lash department when my DNA was being sorted out and it's not really fair to just answer the question without such a disclaimer.

I find that mascara is almost as personalized to the user as foundation. There's tonnes of mascaras out there to choose from - from your drugstore brands to your luxury tubes to your prescriptions for longer, lusher lashes. It can be confusing, I know! For example, what is with this crazy brush from Givenchy? Granted, I've never tried it, but from my experience it looks like it'll be all kinds of blotchy, clumpy messiness.

Start at the drugstore. My first piece of advice when looking for a mascara is to start with the cheaper brands. Mascara formulas don't vary all that much from brand to brand - that Covergirl tube at WalMart is similar in recipe to the Dior ones at the department store. However, some brands are wetter than others and this will have the same effect on your lashes as rain on curled hair.

Maybelline and Cover Girl, specifically, are a good place to start. L'Oreal has some good ones as well, but Maybelline Great Lash is the go-to for many a make-up artist (we Beauty Squared girls too!).  Start cheap and work your way up to the more expensive brands. Chances are you'll find an inexpensive tube that you love!

The brush. Another important thing to consider is the brush. Unfortunately for many drugstore brands you can't always see the brush before you buy the product but some brands, like CoverGirl are now selling their mascaras with the wand outside of the mascara tube. Personally, I like the smallest brush I can find because it really gets to every lash, root to tip.

Reuse and Recycle. I bought a Too Faced Mascara last year and while the mascara was ok, what I really liked was the brush, so I cleaned it and kept it once the mascara was used up. I recommend doing this if you find a brush you really like. It's a bit of a pain to clean it after each use (otherwise the product will dry, harden and get crumbly) but worth it when you find a brush that really works for your lashes.

Currently, I have 4 mascaras in my make-up kit - JoeFresh mascara, Bare Escentuals Buxom Lash, Benefit BADGal Mascara in Blue and Maybelline Great Lash. I use them all, but JoeFresh for day and Buxom for drama, the most frequently.

Clockwise from top left: Benefit BadGal Mascara in Blue, JoeFresh Mascara in Black, 
Buxom Lash in Black and Maybelline Great Lash in Blackest Black

A close-up of Buxom Lash's brush.

A close-up of JoeFresh's brush that I've bent on an angle to better get to my lashes.

TIP: One of the most important tips any make-up artist can offer about applying mascara is to blot the wand/brush with a tissue before applying. This allows the excess product to be removed and you'll have less clumps, less wetness and less difficulty applying.

The eyelash curler. It's hardly just mascara to take the all the credit for gorgeous lashes. The secret is the eyelash curler. If you've never used one before, please put aside your fear, I know it looks like a torture instrument but once you get the hang of it, you'll want to cuddle with it and never let it out of your sight. My eyelashes are long, naturally straight and point slightly downwards, so curling them is a necessity for me. It does just what you've heard - it opens up your eyes, making you look bright-eyed and awake and it makes your eyes look bigger!

Shu Uemura. I've used a number of eyelash curlers - plastic, metal, Tweezerman, Cover Girl, Revlon, Sephora brand - and the best by far has been Shu Uemura's. It's quite a bit pricier than drugstore brands, but it makes curling your lashes so easy, quick and effortless, it is definitely worth the price! The difference lies in the curve and the control you have over the "pinch".  The Shu Uemura curler has a shallower curve than other curlers so it works well on most eyeshapes and lashlines. It's easy to place over your lashes and slides right to the base for an effortless fit and curl. Unlike many of the more inexpensive lash curlers, the Shu Uemura curler has a narrow opening with just the right amount of give in its hinge to create a gentle, natural curl with limited pressure.

My Shu Uemura eyelash curler

Here is a good little video instructional on how to curl your lashes if you've never done it before. Always remember to use a clean curler and only curl clean lashes.

And those are my tips for how to make the most of your lashes. Feel free to ask any questions and let us know how it works for you!


Sunday, January 3, 2010

Beautiful Ones: Sharleen Spiteri

Sharleen Spiteri is the occasionally shy, charismatic frontwoman of the Glaswegian band Texas. They've been making music since the late 80s and although they've never managed to crack the American market, they've had multi-platinum success in the UK and Europe. In 2008 Sharleen released her first solo album, Melody.

Sharleen has a voice that's been described as "distinctive burnt caramel carapace" and she's often seen at fashion shows and is involved in children's charities in Scotland. She has a 6 year old daughter. Her look has evolved throughout her time in the spotlight. The singer has had a characteristic fresh-faced look, often with little but a stained-lip colour, throughout her time with Texas, but with her solo album, a 60s inspired affair, she has adopted a style to match. .

In the late 80s and early 90s, Sharleen and her bandmates adopted the moody, dark looks of the shoegazers crossed with a typical Glaswegian attitude.

Sharleen's trademark look has always been capped with her chic, thick dark locks. I went through period after period lusting after her hair, but eventually gave up trying to imitate her look because my hair is just nowhere near thick enough to achieve her sexy, tousled, piecy cuts. I also envied her gorgeous cheekbones and gorgeous full lips.

As Texas grew in popularity, Sharleen became a star, photographed for magazine covers and befriended by fashion designers. In music videos and photos, she showcased a natural sultriness, something that appealed to men and women alike. Her make-up was always very minimal and natural, with perhaps a pop of colour on her cheeks and gorgeous lips, but little else. She has never really needed more. Photos here, here and here.

With the 2008 release of her first solo album, she adopted a swinging 60's look with sideswept bangs, Peter Pan collared dresses, liquid eyeliner and lots of eyelashes.

Some more images and links to videos showcase her looks further:

Texas' first video for 'I Don't Want A Lover' from 1989 features Sharleen as a young, unstyled lead singer, in denim, a popped collar and a lip colour very similar to MAC's classic liner colour Spice.

In the video for Can't Resist from 2005's Redbook, Sharleen has two alter-egos: one very natural and minimalist, the other with an uncharacteristic but gorgeous smoky eye.

The video for In Demand from 2000's Song Book: Greatest Hits feature Sharleen in the back of a convertible speeding down the highway at night. She's bundled in a mod-style parka, looking very youthful and being snuggled by Alan Rickman.

When the car stops at a service station, the pair start to tango seductively and it's revealed that she's wearing a low-cut, nearly backless evening dress, hardly youthful at all.

The video for 2003's I'll See It Through finds Sharleen and Jean Reno stoic, almost statuelike on rooftops.

But the Inner Smile video (2000), a song you might recognize from the movie Bend It Like Beckham, Sharleen plays a young, leather-clad Elvis and does a pretty good job.

Real Sharleen meets Sharleen-Elvis.

And Sharleen's most current incarnation, the 60's girlish chanteuse in sequins, bouffant hairstyles, nude lips and eyeliner.


PS. Here's a link to an interview Sharleen did with Graham Norton in 2008, telling the story of when she met Paris Hilton.