Halloween Nail Art From Illamasqua

My favorite time of year is coming up in a few short days- Halloween! This blog was founded on that spooktacular holiday two years ago, and what better way to get in the spirit than to make sure that our nails are painted with creative Halloween designs.

British beauty brand Illamasqua’s US Nail Art Ambassador Fleury Rose came up with three DIY nail art designs, featuring Illamasqua’s highly pigmented, long-wearing Nail Varnishes. Below are the step-by-step instructions on how you can get the looks.

Evil Eye 

Illamasqua products used: Nail Varnish in Scorn, Scorch and Serenity (top coat optional)

Tools needed- Dotting tool, tooth pick

1. After applying base coat, paint nails with two coats of Scorn black matte polish. Allow nails to dry for 3-5 minutes
2. Pour out a small amount of scorch onto tin foil. Dip the large end of a dotting tool into white polish and dot onto nail. Repeat step 3 times on each nail. (Pro tip: if polish gets stringy, pour a fresh puddle of Scorn onto foil and continue process.) Allow white dots to dry 3-5 minutes.
3. Pour a small puddle of Serenity onto foil. With the small end of a dotting tool dip into rubber blue polish and dot in the very center of each white circle. Repeat on each nail. Allow to dry 3-5 minutes
4. Dip the point of a tooth pick into Scorn and gently dot a tiny black point into the center of each eye.
5. After drying add optional top coat for a shiny finish, or stay matte.

Vampire’s Kiss 

Illamasqua products used: Nail Varnish in Aorta and Boosh, Precision ink in Scribe

Tools needed- small brush

1. After applying Base coat, paint nails with two coats of Aorta and let dry 3-5 minutes
2. Dip small brush in Boosh, and paint a tiny triangle at the top of the nail. This will create the bow of the lips.
3. Next, paint an oval shape in the center of the red nail to create the opening of the mouth.
4. Allow to dry for 5 minutes (Pro tip: Allowing polish to dry before drawing on nail is very important, or you may smudge the whole thing and ruin your design!)
5. Draw on fangs and lip highlight with Precision ink in Scribe. Precision ink can be layered over its-self to create desired opacity of white.
6. Allow precision ink to dry 3-5 minutes and apply Top Coat.

Witching Hour 

Illamasqua products used: Nail Varnish in Phallic, DWS, Scorch and Blow

Tools needed- Small brush, disposable makeup sponge

1. After applying Base Coat, Apply one thick coat of Phallic. (Pro tip: Do not worry about getting this layer completely even, it will add dimension to the sky we are creating!) 2. Allow this layer to dry 3-5 minutes. Dip the small brush in Blow and create a tiny crescent moon. Next dot on very tiny stars with the tip of the brush.
3. Allow to dry at least 5 minutes.
4. Pour out a small puddle of Scorch, then a small puddle of DWS next to it so they are touching.
5. Dip the corner of your makeup sponge into the polish so you get a little of each color on the sponge. Gently dab on clouds.
6. Allow to dry 3-5 minutes, and apply Top Coat.

Product Review: Pattern – Think. Wash. Repeat.

FTC Disclosure: These products were provided by a pr firm for review.

A couple of weeks ago I was introduced to Pattern, an all natural bath and body line made from essential oils and plant extracts. The body washes are unique because not only are they unisex, they are also multifunctional. The Citrus, Cucumber and Nutmeg washes can be used to cleanse the body, face and hair; and, the other formulas (Black Pepper, Eucalyptus and Sage) are gentle enough to be used as a face cleanser in addition to all over the body.

I tested the Black Pepper and Nutmeg washes, as well as the Sage Lotion.

Black Pepper

I was excited to try this formula, just because of the name alone. It’s very rare to find beauty products that use black pepper as the main ingredient. The Black Pepper wash is formulated with anti-oxidants and Vitamin E to help protect the skin from environmental damage. When the wash first connected with the water, I was a little overwhelmed with the fragrance, but after a few minutes, the notes of the ying-ylang and vetivert oils escaped and made the scent a little softer. After a few days of using the product, I began to enjoy the smell; still, I would characterize the scent as very masculine, and suited best for males.

Nutmeg

Similar to Black Pepper, the Nutmeg body wash is formulated with Vitamin E and antioxidants. It has moisturizing properties, and can be especially great to use to revive dry skin. Herbal extracts and essential oils of nutmeg, amber, cardamom and lavender combine to gently cleanse and soften the skin. It has a light aroma that isn’t overpowering and can be used as a cleanser for body, face and hair. The warm blend of spices make this a perfect holiday stocking stuffer.

Both products created a good amount of lather, and my skin always felt refreshed.

Sage Lotion

The lotion is lightweight and non-greasy. This blend contains herbal extracts and essential oils of sage, star anise, grapefruit and cotton flower. It has a very soft scent, which complimented both body washes very well.

All of Pattern’s body washes retail for about $20 and the Sage lotion is $26. They can all be purchased  online.

Register for Pattern’s newsletter AND retweet or mention them FB for a chance to win a product of your choice. Here’s the newsletter sign-up link, http://patternbodywash.com/newsletter.html

ArganBody Radiance Grain Review, Plus Get $15 off

All year-long, it’s important to exfoliate skin at least once a week in order to maintain a healthy, glowing complexion. Many people find they need to exfoliate a lot more in the winter than in the summer, since harsh, cold temperatures can dry out the epidermis. But, just because the weather is harsh, doesn’t mean your face scrub should be, too. Over the last week, I tested out ArganBody Radiance Grain Face Scrub, a gentle exfoliator made out of 100% natural active elements.

FTC Disclosure: These products were provided by a pr firm for review.

Radiance Grain Face Scrub ($35, arganbody.com)

Within the confines of a beautifully designed shiny red box, lays a tube of the scrub, which consists of small particles of cranberry seeds and argan nuts mixed together with argan oil, shea butter and beeswax. The gentle formula removes dead cells, moisturizes and fights against premature aging.

The nut and seed particles are very visible when you dispense the product. However, as you are rubbing your face with the scrub, you barely feel it. The grains are not irritating or abrasive; they gently remove impurities, as the rest of the ingredients work to revitalize the skin. My face felt pampered as I delicately massaged in the product, which felt more like a rich cream than a grainy exfoliator.  In addition to feeling good, Radiance Grain smells good. My senses were awakened with aromas of the extracts and essential oils infused in the scrub, which include organic oranges, green tea extract, rose-water, bergamot, lemongrass and peppermint.

After I rinsed my skin, I noticed it felt very soft and looked radiant. I’m excited to continue using the product, and encourage you to give it a try.

Radiance Grain is available online for $35. To learn more about products in the ArganBody line, click here. For a limited time, you can use coupon code delia15 for $15 off any order, no minimum purchase required.

Beauty Tip: Always apply moisturizer after exfoliating the skin to prevent dryness.

Cupron Cosmetic Pillowcase – A New Meaning to the term “Beauty Sleep”

Preventing premature aging always been linked to sleep. Studies have shown that sleep deprivation alters facial appearance, and makes people appear less healthy and attractive; so, getting adequate amounts of shut-eye is ideal for radiant skin. Additionally, before you hit the sack, most wrinkle-free touting face creams and serums have directions to use at night, so that these potions have time to penetrate deeply into the skin. But, in addition to getting the recommended 8 hours of sleep and slathering on a nighttime repair lotion, could the secret to looking younger be as simple as changing your pillowcase? According to the manufactures of the Cupron Cosmetic Pillowcase, it is.

The main element of the success of Cupron’s pillowcase is the copper-infused satin fibers. Copper is an essential mineral that has widely been used in beauty products because of its skin-enhancing abilities. The technology of the copper directly interacts with the skin while you sleep to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, while promoting the growth of collagen and elastin. 


Skeptical? A recent study in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology revealed that after four weeks of everyday use, participants who used the copper pillowcase experienced an average of 10% reduction in their wrinkles.

Satin pillowcases are known to keep skin crease-free because the softness allows the skin to slide around, rather than get stuck in one place. But, is it more beneficial to have a pillowcase infused with skin-saving properties? Maybe. But, since the ingredients aren’t penetrating into the layers of skin, it’s best to maintain your regular ant-aging regimen along with using the pillowcase for optimum results.

The Cupron Cosmetic Pillowcase is available online for $49.95 in beige with dark brown piping.

Illuminating Light Up Lip Gloss by Beauty for Real

FTC Disclosure: These products were provided by a pr firm for review.

Illuminating Light Up Lip Gloss

Ladies, we’ve all been there before. We’re out late at night and try to do one thing: reapply our lip gloss. In theory, this should be an easy feat, but when you can’t see to make sure you are carefully filling in the contours of your pout perfectly, the result can be disastrous. The last thing you want is to have someone say, “You look like you put your makeup on in the dark!”

So, when I was sent a sample of Illuminating Light Up Lip Gloss by Beauty for Real, the clouds parted, harps started playing, and I decided that it would be absolutely sinful if I didn’t share it with you. The Illuminating Light Up Lip Gloss is a fantastic high-tech product in terms of exterior design and formula. The lip gloss is loaded with plant derived antioxidants, essential vitamins, and marine collagen for super plump lips. The bottle has a small mirror attached to its exterior, and the wand has a LED light in the lid to illuminate lips when applying. The lid can also be used a s a small flashlight to see inside your purse, making it the ultimate must-have staple for your handbag.

I tested out the Just Lust shade ($22), which is a perfect rose gold hue, and looks amazing against my olive skin tone. The color is rich, yet felt lightweight, and lasted about 4 hours before I needed a retouch.

Swatch of Just Lust

Before applying the lip gloss, I lined my lips with The Perfect Pencil in Nude ($14) by Beauty for Real. The company only makes the lip pencil in one universally flattering shade to take the guesswork out of finding the perfect color.

Here are my results after applying one coat:

Below, I’ve included a short video on how easy it is to use the Illuminating Light Up Lip Gloss in the dark. Check it out:

Get Flawless Skin: Beauty Secrets of a Geisha

For centuries, Geisha’s have been looked at as the exemplification of flawless, perfect skin. Underneath the heavy layers of performance makeup, a Geisha’s skin remains baby soft and clear. These women do have a secret to maintaining their highly coveted porcelain skin, and now, TATCHA, a new skin care company is sharing their beauty secrets. TATCHA’s founder Victoria Tsai rediscovered the daily regimens of Geisha’s in a 200-year old manuscript, and used the foundation of their skincare regimen which included precious green teas, Okinawa red algae, rice bran and indigenous extracts, to create a luxurious 4-step skincare routine everyone can do at home.

Intrigued, I tested out the ritual for 4-step Normal + Combination Skin.

Step 1: PURE Camellia One Step Cleansing Oil

At first, this light cleansing oil, made with camellia and rice bran, didn’t feel like it was doing much, but once rinsed, I saw that my makeup had been gently cleaned away.

Step 2: POLISHED Classic Rice Enzyme Powder

The core of this enzyme powder is rice bran, which has long been used in Eastern beauty regimens for brighter, ageless skin. You pour a small amount of the powder into wet hands until it becomes a creamy paste that you massage onto your face. This was my favorite step in the entire routine. I loved the way the lather of the cleanser felt, and could not stop rubbing my face. Once I convinced myself to stop my mini massage and rinse the powder off, my dry skin was polished off and felt baby soft.


Step 3: RADIANT Deep Brightening Serum

After the skin has been prepped, it is ready to receive the benefits of TATCHA’s Deep Brightening Serum, which targets melanin production to even out skin tone and fade imperfections. My skin looked instantly hydrated and more luminous as soon as I applied the light serum, which absorbed very quickly.


Step 4: SUPPLE Moisture Rich Silk Cream

The first time I used the Deep Brightening Serum, I felt my skin was hydrated enough, so I decided to skip the moisturizer. But, now as the temperature is dropping, and my skin is drying out a lot faster, I’ve started using the silk cream, which seals in moisture and protects the skin from environmental elements. It comes with a tiny little gold spoon to use to scoop the product up; this is great because it prevent contamination from fingers. It didn’t feel heavy, and effortlessly melted into my skin.


Other: PETAL FRESH Original Beauty Papers & PETAL FRESH Evening Beauty Papers

I keep the oil blotting papers with me everywhere I go. No matter how many times I powder my face, I can still see the reflection of my forehead against shiny surfaces. The Aburatorigami all-natural leaflets, gently absorbs oil without removing makeup. Plus, they contain gold flakes, which definitely makes you feel a little regal.

TATCHA’s products are available in Barneys New York and online.

The Knot and the Wedding Channel Couture Runway Show – Spring 2013

On Saturday, October 13th, I attended a bridal couture runway show presented by The Knot and the Wedding Channel at the Hilton Hotel in midtown Manhattan. The show took place as part of Couture Bridal Fashion week, New York’s premier bridal-industry trade show. This was the first time the event featured a grand runway presentation, which showcased more than 100 dresses from top designers. Gorgeous gowns of each designer billowed down the runway with intricate detailing in an amazing display of the latest fashion trends in the couture bridal world.

The designers featured included: Cymbeline, Emmaline Bridal, Ian Stuart, Jesus Peiro, Jorge Manuel, Katerina Bocci, La Femme, Maggie Sottero, Max Chaoul Couture, Melanie Harris, Mikaella Bridal, Nilah and Company, Paloma Blanca, Ruben Perlotti, Simone Carvalli, Siri, and Victoria Nicole.

Pictures from the October 13th fashion show – Click to enlarge

In addition to fashion shows, Couture Bridal Fashion week offers retailers and designers the opportunity to showcase their latest collections throughout the week. Here are a few that caught my eye on my way to the runway presentation: