Thursday, February 28, 2008

Laura Mercier Seduction Makeup Collection for Spring 2008

The Laura Mercier Seduction Collection for Spring 2008 is a great collection for ladies of all skin tones. The products that stand out most in this collection are those for the eyes. There are some truly pretty colors that can be used year-round.

The collection consists of:

1. Eye Color Quads: The limited edition quads come in Shy Violet (deep eggplant, shimmery maroon, mauve, and pale ivory pink) and Wild Violet (black violet, eggplant, pink mauve, ivory pearl).

2. Brilliant Eye Liner: The slightly shimmery liquid-cream liner comes in a pot in Cobalt (navy with blue brilliance), Golden (brown with gold brilliance), Onyx (black with pewter brilliance), and Violette (eggplant with purple brilliance).

3. Lip Colour - Creme: The creme lipsticks comes in Mistress (pink based red) and Passion (yellow based red).

4. Lip Colour - Shimmer: The shimmer lipsticks come in Pixie (soft rose pink), Plum Wine (cool mauve wine) and Seduction (cool blue red).

5. Faux Eyelashes: There are three sets of eyelashes. Center is placed in the center of the eyes, Corner is placed at the outer corner of the eyes and Full is used to cover the entire lash line.
6. Violette Eau de Toilette: a fragrance inspired by the delicate violet flower.

7. Nail Lacquer: The long lasting nail polishes come in Avante Garde (deep eggplant) and Daring (rich burgundy).
Best of the Seduction Collection:
Go for the eye cosmetics in this collection as they are wearable year round. The beauty of the shadows and liners are that ladies can wear them in all seasons and also for work or play. The colors of Shy Violet Quad is a better choice for duskier ladies and Wild Violet Quad is a good choice for fairer laides. All of the Brilliant Eye Liner colors are lovely and work on a variety of skin tones. Skip the nail lacquer and fragrance. The lip colors are pretty but most of them don't work with the eye quads which makes me wonder why they are part of the same collection. Pixie and Plum Wine are pretty, muted colors for day that do work with the quads.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Bollywood Makeup - 2008 Filmfare Awards Beauties

One of our readers requested a beauty breakdown for Kareena Kapoor at the 2008 Filmfare Awards that took place recently, so of course, we are happy to oblige her with Kareena's look as well as the makeup looks of a few other desi ladies.

I can see why our reader loved Kareena's look. She looks gorgeous. For her look:

Eyes: A light gold shimmer eyeshadow such as MAC Retrospeck shadow or Stila Kitten shadow is perfect for her look. Apply a good amount of the shadow only on the lids to really see the shimmer. For a little depth, apply a darker matte peach shadow such as MAC Tete-A-Tint shadow in the crease. Line both top and bottom lashes with black eyeliner such as L'Oreal Le Kohl Eye Pencil in Black Sable. Finish with black mascara.

Face: For all looks, skip the foundation and wear a tinted moisturizer to let your skin shine through. Apply a light dusting of translucent powder on the t-zone area. For beautiful pink cheeks like Kareena's, apply NARS Angelika blush on the cheekbones. Highlighting powder such as NARS Albatross highlighting powder is a must. Apply it directly on top of the cheekbones.

Lips: Kareena's lips are a creamy petal pink. Skip the lip gloss and apply pink lipstick such as Bobbi Brown Rose Lipstick for a more sophisticated look that won't compete with the shimmery eyes.

I'm not usually a fan of Karishma, but I do like her subtle yet glam makeup look at the awards show. For her look:

Eyes: Apply a neutral taupe shadow such as Bobbi Brown Taupe or Cement shadow all over the lids. Apply the same taupe shadow in a thin line next to the lower lashline. To thicken the upper lashline, apply black liquid liner such as MAC Liquid Liner in Boot Black to the top lashline only, from inner corner to outer corner. Apply a medium to dark brown liner such as L'Oreal HIP Eye Liner Pencil in Brown to the bottom lash line. Finish with black mascara.

Face: After applying tinted moisturizer and a dusting of powder, apply a peach colored blush such as NARS Amour blush to the cheekbones. Top with NARS Orgasm blush for a little shimmer.

Lips: Karishma wears a shimmery nude lip gloss such as NARS Orgasm lip gloss that steals the show. Be sure to apply a nude color lipliner all over lips prior to the gloss to make the color adhere and to control the amount of color on the lips. I like Lancome Le Lipstique in Bronzelle.

Deepika could wear a paper bag on her head and still look stunning. For her look:

Eyes: Apply a shimmery medium-tone peach shadow on the lids with a deeper bronze such as in the crease. Use NARS Key Largo shadow duo. The lashes have centerstage here. Go with a supervolumizing mascara such as Cover Girl Lash Blast Mascara in Very Black or try false lashes on the outer corners.

Face: After tinted moisturizer and a dusting of powder, lightly apply a slightly reddish bronze such as NARS Lovejoy blush to the cheekbones. A light applicationof the blush is key. A champagne colored cream, rather than powder, highlighter such as NARS Copacabana Multiple on the cheekbones will really bring out the glow.
Lips: Apply NARS Dolce Vita lipstick to the lips and top with NARS Dolce Vita lip gloss.

I will not be doing a breakdown on this look. I love Gauri Khan. I think she looked beautiful on the cover of Vogue India and she is obviously a risk taker. I hate to end on a negative note, but too much tanner and the Proenza Pink ("Pepto Bismol") lipstick is not working on her. Hopefully, she will take a cue from the other Filmfare ladies for next time!

Makeup with a Mind of It's Own: Boots No.7 True Identity Foundation


The latest product I'm loving from the Boots No.7 line is their True Identity Foundation (Target, $12.49). Forget about testing shade after shade to find the perfect foundation to match your skintone. Now, thanks to this new high-tech formula, the perfect foundation finds YOU. True Identity Foundation is specially formulated to adjust to your unique skin tone after you apply it, like magic. And the best part is, it doesn't feel like a heavy foundation, it just looks like your own skin, only better.

My local Target has a very customer-friendly Boots display, so I was able to try all the shades. What I've found is the shades come in three basic color ranges, Light, Medium, and Dark, with each color accommodating a range of skintones. Here's what you should know when looking for a color to match you.

Light is for very fair skin tones, like Keira Knightly and Anne Hathaway. Choose this shade if you have alot of pink undertones and don't have much tan to your skin.

Medium is the shade for women with light to dark golden tan skin. This is also the the shade for you if you have yellow/golden undertones. Most Asians and Latinas of color could wear this, such as Eva Longoria and Deepika Padukone.

Dark is best if you have brown, or dark brown skin, like the beautiful Iman or Oprah Winfrey.

Of course, it's best to always test the shades yourself before you buy. I tried both the Medium and the Dark since I wasn't sure where in the gamut of shades I would fall. I tried them on the back of my hand, which I know isn't the best way to traditionally test foundations according to makeup artists, but with True Identity, all you're really looking for is the range you fit into so it's all good. After swiping both Medium and Dark onto the back of my hand, I found Medium to nearly disappear within a few minutes, so I knew that was the shade for me. Keep that in mind when you're testing out shades on your own, the right shade should be the one that disappears and is barely noticeable on your skin.

The only negatives about this foundation are that it has no sunscreen, but that problem can be solved by wearing a SPF moisturizer underneath the foundation. Also, if you've got spots to conceal, don't count on this to do that for you. You'll need to use a separate concealor or one of Boots No.7 medium coverage foundations for that. But for everyday light coverage, or just for smoothing out your skintone, this stuff is amazing!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Oscar 2008 Beauties

By now, you've been indundated with the Oscar winners, Oscar fashion, Oscar beauty...but that's not going to stop me from giving you my two cents on the three best beauty looks!

1. My winner for favorite beauty look is Jessica Alba. The bronze eyes, nude lips and beautifully braided hair made her just glow. Bella Sugar did a great makeup breakdown for Jessica. Click here for it.

2. My second favorite is the ethereal looking Marion Cotillard. Beauty Addict had the scoop on the makeup used. Makeup artist Angela Levin for Chanel used copper and pink-gold eye shadows from the Multi-Use Makeup Palette in Lumiere Naturelle, Sheer Brilliance blush in Sunkissed, Powder Blush in Narcisse, and Aqualumiere Sheer Colour Lipshine in Somoa.
3. Last, but not least, is Penelope Cruz, who always looks glamorous. If she didn't have makeup looks I love to copy, I would probably hate her, especially as she is dating my man, Javier. Makeup artist Rachel Goodwin for Chanel did a navy cat eye by lining the eyes with Precision Eye Definer in Blue Jean smudging Quadra Eyeshadow in Blue Celeste over the liner. Rachel used Rouge Allure lipstick in Naive to her lips.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Steal the Look: Rihanna

Rihanna is a star that likes to switch up her makeup look frequently and more often than not, no matter what her look, she looks stunning. I loved the glowy makeup she wore at the Brit Awards in London so here's a breakdown:

Eyes: Apply a shimmery gold shadow such as MAC Gorgeous Gold from lashline to crease. Next apply a rose shadow in the crease. I use NARS Sin Blush both as a rose shadow and blush. Apply a highlighter such as NARS Albatross Highlighting Powder to the browbone. Lastly, apply black liner such as MAC Smolder eye pencil around eyes and finish with black voluminizing mascara such as L'oreal Voluminizing Mascara.

Cheeks: Apply a shimmery rose blush such as NARS Sin Blush on the cheekbones. Sin is a gorgeous color on tan skin tones. Apply the same highlighter used on the browbone, NARS Albatross Highlighting Powder, on top of the blush for a glow.
Lips: Tie the whole look together with a little nude gloss. I recommend MAC Big Baby Plushglass lip gloss.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Lakshmi Menon in Spring Hermes Ads

Looks like one desi model is ready to take on the western modeling world...Indian-born Lakshmi Menon is the face of the Spring 2008 Hermes advertisements. The ads are regal and colorful, with hints of the upcoming Holi holiday from the use of colors as well as colonial India via the nehru jackets and jodhpurs Lakshmi wears in the ads.

In addition to these spring ads, Lakshmi walked in the Spring 2008 Hermes and Jean Paul Gaultier shows.
Lakshmi is a well-known model in India already, who has appeared in numerous Swatch ads (below) and graced the cover of the first Vogue India issue. Let's hope we see more of her in the U.S. and Europe!

photos courtesy of

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

London Fall Beauty Preview

London's Fall 2008 Fashion Week took place last week and a recurrent beauty theme of dark lips popped up at most of the shows. Lips were painted various shades of red, burgundy, brown and almost black but no matter what the actual shade, where strong and serious.

Westwood is to the U.K. what Betsey Johnson is to the U.S. A master of theatrics, its no surprise the makeup look at her show featured both bold lips and super smokey eyes for a "glam rock meets Greta Garbo" face.

The models at Ossie Clark veered from the wine stained lips and wore orange red lips.

Models also sported wine colored lips at Mulberry. Charlotte Tilbury created the sophisticated lips by mixing MAC Cherry and Vino lip pencils with the Ruby Woo lipstick. Done right, its a very wearable red lip.

At Jaeger, burgundy, almost brown, lips were again paired with a clean face for an almost Goth look. MAC makeup artists used MAC Mahogany and Plum lip pencils.

The Issa show featured wine stained lips and clean lips reminiscent of Lauren Bacall. Makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury used MAC Viva Glam III for the lips.

At Giles, a dark purple, almost black lips were a stark contrast to models' pale faces. The look reminds of Chanel Vamp from the last decade.

Nicole Farhi's makeup was my favorite beauty look. The lips were strong yet soft. Both lips and cheeks were rubbed with MAC House Wine lipstick.

photos via

Monday, February 18, 2008

MAC Fafi Collection

MAC's Fafi Collection, named after the French grafitti artist, Fafi, is here!! The colors bright and wild, perfect to lift your spirits out of the winter doldrums. Read below for all the colors and the BEST colors for brown ladies!

The Fafi Collection consists of:

1. Fun ‘n’ Sexy - blue pink with blue pearl (glaze)
2. Not So Innocent - sheer tan with pink and peach pearl (glaze)
3. Utterly Frivolous - rosy coral with pink pearl (lustre)
4. High Top - grey purple with blue pearl (glaze)
5. Flash-n-Dash - intense tangerine red with pink pearl (glaze)
6. Strawbaby - coral rose with rainbow pearl (lustre)

1. Cult Fave - blue mid-tone pink with white pearl (frost)
2. Sugar Trance - creamy soft pink with white and rainbow pearl (frost)
3. Squeeze It - brassy plum (frost)
4. Totally It - sheer bright pink with intense pink pearl (frost)
1. Fafi Eyes 1 - Howzat (Deep grey with silver sparkle (satin)), Hey (Neutral tan with white pearl (veluxe pearl)), Pink Venus (Washed pink (lustre)), Vanilla (Soft pale-peachy-ivory flecked with shimmer (velvet))
2. Fafi Eyes 2 - Bold as Gold (Yellow gold with gold pearl (lustre)), You’re Fresh (Pale green with silver sparkle (lustre)), Shockwave (Intense orange with silver sparkle (velvet)), Prankster (Muted dark blue (satin))
1. Hipness - Intense coral with soft white pearl
2. Fashion Frenzy - mid-tone blue pink

1. Nice Vice - Dirty purple with purple pearl (frost)
2. Girl Friendly - Creamy grey pink (cream)
3. Layin’ Low - Creamy beige (cream)
4. Cash Flow - Green gold with gold pearl (frost)
5. Perky - Cream coral with white pearl (satin)
6. Rollickin’ - Aqua blue green with white pearl (frost)

1. Sassed-up - Soft coral pink with gold sparkle
2. Verve-acaious - Intense yellow gold with gold pearl
3. Belightful - Gilded peach bronze

1. Girls Will Be Girls - Pink with coral pearl
2. Boom! - Rich eggplant with purple pearl


The best lip colors were the Strawbaby (love this one!!) and Utterly Frivolous lipsticks. They look beautiful against tan skin and I posted a picture of myself (or my lips) above wearing Strawbaby this weekend! The best lipglass was Cult Fave...the rest were too light or bright for my skin. I didn't love the eyeshadow palettes but Fafi Eyes 1 is definitely the most wearable of the two and has everything you need for a smokey eye. Of the paint pots, I liked Nice Vice the most, and the rest of the pots didn't show up well on my skin. Similarly, I would skip the nail lacquers...way too expensive. Both the powder blushes, Hipness and Fashion Frenzy, are super bright in the pan but go on very sheer and are great for building depending on your skin tone. Saving the best for last, you can't go wrong with any of the the iridescent powders...Sassed-up, Verve-acious and Belightful go on sheer and sparkly so you have to like a little shimmer. I couldn't resist and walked away with Sassed-up, a peachy pink with sparkle.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Walk, Don't Run, to Sample OPI's India

Colors shown on model: Lunch at the Delhi on lips and nails.

Last weekend, my friend and I headed over to our local Ulta to check out the much hyped about India Collection by OPI. With all the buzz generated on the net about this collection, I think I was expecting colors much more extraordinary than what we actually found. Out of the 12 shades in the collection, we only found a few of them to be actually wearable on a daily basis.

Let's start with the most nasty shades first:


Curry Up Don't Be Late!
Honestly, this was the most hideous shade I have ever seen. I know yellow is all hot for spring, but this was just the ugliest color of the bunch. My friend was trying to give it a chance thinking, "Well, how about for a wedding, with gold or yellow clothes?" Umm, no. Not even for a wedding with gold or yellow clothes. There was only one word that was coming to mind looking at this color, "hoochie", and we were not gonna wear a color that made us look hoochie.


MonSooner Or Later
You know what killed this shade? The orange mixed with the red. Orange-based reds are hard to pull off by most desis, I think you have to be very fair have this color look good on you. If you're a darkie like me, avoid this color. It looked terrible on me.

Some of the colors were so pretty, we couldn't stop looking at them and actually picked them up. Here's what we went home with:


Yoga-ta Get This Blue!
Never has there been a shade more aptly named. In the bottle or on your nails, this color is gorgeous. A deep royal blue with sparkle that is bound to make you look hip and happening. If you're having trouble finding Chanel's Blue Satin nailpolish, give OPI's version a try. Not only will you get an equally phenomenal color, your wallet will thank you for it. It's true, Yo (Really) Go-ta Get This Blue!


Get Me To The Taj On Time
This was my friend's favorite shade, and mine too. Perfect for both the office or at home, this pink opal shade glides on sheer (you can make it look more opaque with a basecoat, or two-three coats of polish). And since it's so light, chips don't appear that obvious, giving you more mileage between manicures.


Royal Rajah Ruby
This is a great shade, but definitely not "ruby". On me it goes on like a dark burgundy brown (more brown than burgundy) with sparkle. This is one of three shades that also comes with a matching lipstick. I didn't try the lipstick, but judging from how great the shade looks on my hands, I'm sure it's equally flattering. This is one shade that would look great on both fair and dark desis.

The other shades in the collection were nothing to shout about. The hot pink shades like I'm india Mood For Love and ElePhantastic Pink weren't really our style, I think you need to be wearing really colorful clothes and like pink ALOT to pull those two shades off. The Black Cherry Chutney and Keys to My Karma were okay and suitable for daily wear, but nothing that hadn't been seen before. The Black Cherry Chutney was actually a bit like Lincoln Park After Dark, which I still haven't finished yet, so I passed on buying it. Moon Over Mumbai was nice and sheer, but a little too grey for our taste. When it came time to chose between Moon Over Mumbai and Get Me To The Taj On Time, the latter won hands down.

Charmed by a Snake and Lunch at the Delhi, these were the other two polishes that came with matching lipsticks. Bottom line, these colors are too difficult to pull off for everyday. We found for both, you have to wear really colorful clothing and bright makeup to make these colors look good. Probably a great choice if you live in the tropics, but not if you're wearing mostly black and freezing your butt off on the East Coast.

Overall, there's probably something for every nail personality in the OPI India Collection, but don't worry about rushing to the store to buy these. Unlike some "it" shades out there in the beauty world, I don't think there's a risk for any of these shades becoming scarce, with the exception of course, for Yo-ga ta Get This Blue. This nifty blue shade really is the cream of the crop.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

2008 BAFTA Beauties

Many hours before the Grammys, way across the pond, the British Academy for Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Awards took place. Below are some of my favorite beauty looks from the BAFTA Awards.

Thandie Newton, above and below, is one of my favorite beauty icons. She always look elegant and beautiful without piling on too much makeup. At the BAFTAs, Thandie went for subtle, winged black liquid liner and soft petal pink cheeks and lips. She kept her hair simple but chic with a side-swept style. For blushing pink cheeks like Thandie's, try MAC Blushbaby blush (one of my favorite products of 2007 that I blogged about back in December).

Natassia Malthe, below, looks stunning in a red dress. Her rust red lips and contoured cheeks work well with both her tan skin tone and her outfit. For rust red lips like Natassia's, try Yves Saint Laurent Touch Brilliance Sparkling Touch for Lips in #9.

Kate Hudson, always one to start new trends in beauty and fashion, wore her hair in a super simple, sleek braid. I love it!! This is my go to hairstyle for the gym...who knew one could wear it on the red carpet?! For a sleek braid like Kate's, use any shine serum like Pantene Smooth & Shine Anti-Frizz Serum to keep strands in the braid. Use a hair tie that is the same color as your hair so the style looks uniform.

Monday, February 11, 2008

2008 Grammy Beauties

After the New York fall 2008 runway shows, the 2008 Grammy Awards on Sunday brought us more glamour. Unlike years' past, the star power was a little lacking but there are still makeup looks to emulate.

Beyonce's new hair was all anyone was talking about after the Grammy's and for good reason. Her new hairdo is a far cry from the extensions she has been sporting for years. I love the length of the cut but am not in favor of the color. With a warm skin tone like hers, a cool ash blonde is completely wrong. She should have stuck with warm caramel and honey tones, as in the past.

I did like her makeup. Soft brown shadow on the eyes and a mauvey-brown lipcolor gave her a soft, muted look. For muted eyes for day or night like Beyonce's, try MAC Shimmerstick in Taupographic.

Alicia Keys is definitely a risk taker when it comes to dressing up and making up. I don't love the hair but the matte, bright pink lips are on par with the Spring 2008 runways. For a similar lip look, try Bobbi Brown Pink Popsicle lip gloss over the Wild Raspberry lip pencil from the Raspberry Collection.

This is Alicia's look at a pre-Grammy party. Very different from her arrivals look, no? My favorite part of her look is her glowy skin. Recreate that glow with MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Warmed from the N Collection.

Rihanna always looks gorgeous but especially so on Grammys night. She works the golden eyes, bronze cheeks and light pink lips to perfection. For shimmery eyes like Rihanna's, try MAC Eye Shadow in Gleam.

Fergie's clean, nude makeup is so fresh and makes her skin looks so healthy. For perfectly nude lips like hers, try MAC 4N Lipstick from the N Collection, a nude that will work on many desi skin tones.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Fall Beauty Preview, Part V

This is the last installment of the New York runway beauty looks...but plenty more will be coming your way once the European shows kick off. Plenty of strong, traditionally fall/winter looks were showcased in the last days of the New York runway shows.

Zac Posen featured a dark red lip paired with chocolate brown and charcoal eyes. The makeup and the hair, which was severely pulled back, resulted in a very strong face. I'm just not so sure of the pom-poms attached to the hair...

The light, shimmery shades on the models' faces were a stark contrast to the dark clothes on the Reem Acra runway.

Naeem Khan's makeup look resembled a toned down Zac Posen face. Lips were a soft red and eyes were softly blended in grays and dark browns. Hair was ironed to a sleek and shiny finish.

Both Donna Karan (above) and Carmen Marc Valvo (below) both dropped the smokey eye in favor of letting red lips do all the talking. The lips at Donna Karan were soft and matte, and almost a pink-red. The hair at Donna Karan soft as well, pulled back loosely with plenty of wisps framing the face. In contrast, the lips at Carmen Marc Valvo were a creamy, rich red. Hair was pulled back into a clean bun.

Bill Blass had another one of my favorite looks of the season. The makeup at this show was unlike the makeup at any other show. The strong face was perfect with the equally powerful, masculine clothes. Models sported a layered, dark brown smokey eye and nude lips. The real focus of the face, though, was a shock of fuschia pink at the very top of the cheekbones, bringing attention to the models' bone structure and mysterious eyes.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Fall 2008 Beauty Preview, Part IV

When reviewing fall beauty looks, I tend to focus most of my attention on the cosmetic colors and textures and often, ignore the hair. In the looks below, however, the hair styles are so beautiful, they are hard to miss.

The windblown waves at Terexov were stunning. The hair looks tousled and undone yet retains a healthy sheen.

I also loved the lightly curled ends of models' hair at Temperley London. Still, the hair was not overly styled and had tons of body and movement.

Philip Lim showcased a intricate take on the bun. This is a sophisticated variation of the regular bun.

At Nanette Lepore, big spiral curls fell down models' shoulders while the top of the hair remained smooth. Sexy hair was paired with equally sexy eyes, smoldering in a dark bronze smokey eye.

The models at Michelle Smith quite literally had doll faces. Precisely lined eyes and pouty, matte coral lips were topped off by a halo of curls.

Michael Kors showed a chic alternative to the updo. Models wore low ponytails with height at the crown. Makeup was equally simple with rosy cheeks and rose colored lips.

I love the headband + updo look at Isaac Mizrahi. It is so easy yet chic and ultimately, real women can translate it from the runway to reality.
At Derek Lam, the models showed off another bouffant hairstyle but this one is much more wearable. Models also sported interesting combination of yellow shadow on eyes and burgundy lips.

Hair at Carlos Miele took a different turn from most of the makeup looks this week. Whereas most shows had curls, poufs, and do-it-yourself waves, Miele showcased sleek, straight ironed hair. Maybe its a little tired, but as a curly head, I am always in love with this hair. The smokey black eye and peach lips round out the cool girl look.
Anna Sui had by far the best blowout of the all the runway shows. With muted pinks on eyes, cheeks and lips, the silky, swingy hair definitely stole the show.