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Easter 2015: Purple

photo-69It’s Easter/Passover weekend, and one color that reminds me of Easter is purple: purple marshmallow Peeps, purple Easter eggs, and purple packaging on Easter candy. You get the idea. So I got out this Bobbi Brown palette and purple Lancome kohl eyeliner.

The palette is from the Lilac Rose collection that Bobbi Brown came out with a few years ago. It has enough shades of eye shadow to be flattering for everyone, and the colors are very soft. The collection was limited edition, but Tarte’s new Rainforest After Dark Eye and Cheek Palette looks close enough to me. You can also try the Monochrome or Exposure palette from Hourglass.

If you aren’t sure about the look, or just don’t want to spend too much, check out Revlon’s ColorStay 16-Hour Eye Shadow in Seductive or PhotoReady Primer, Shadow, and Sparkle in Watercolors.

The eyeliner is Lancome’s Le Crayon Kohl in Purple Dusk. I do not think this is the most flattering color on me, to be honest. Don’t get me wrong. I love Lancome kohl pencils, and have a few. They go on very smoothly and wear well. But I am fair and have blue-gray eyes, so I tend to wear blue, brown, and gray eyeliners. I think Purple Dusk is better for brown- or green-eyed girls, and olive skin tones.

If you want to try purple, Physicians Formula has Kajal eyeliner trios for green and brown eyes, and there is a purple shade in each.

Hoppy Easter everybun! #Easter2015 @bobbibrown @lancomeusa

A photo posted by Charlotte LoBuono (@clobuono) on

Hoppy Holiday Weekend, everyone! It’s officially a three-day weekend here Chez Fabulous Forever. Do you have any special plans?

And BTW, thanks for the love for my Artis Makeup Brushes post. Glad you liked it!

Artis Makeup Brushes

Artis Brush Oval 4

Artis Brush Oval 4

I just got a makeup brush from Artis, after I saw this writeup about the company in the Huffington Post.* Artis founder, makeup artist Matthew Waitesmith, believes in the importance of how products are applied. As he told HuffPost Style, “The same set of products can give a result that looks like a glamorous cover of a magazine or can make someone look like a circus clown.” And how you apply your makeup has as much to do with the brushes you use as it does with your technique.

I tried the Artis Elite Mirror Oval 4. According to the company, this brush is best used for applying eye shadow to the lid, applying concealer under the eyes, and highlighting the brow bone. I have used the brush to do my eye makeup, and it did a great job. It was easy to handle, because it is, I think, shaped like a dental instrument. I told a friend of mine it actually reminded me of a Reach toothbrush. Remember when those first came out? It also has rubber grip on the handle, which helps.

The fibers of the brush are the company’s trademarked CosmeFibre, which is created by machines. The structure of these fibers should allow for more consistent product application compared to animal hair, the company said in the insert that came with the brush. They are very soft, and did spread the eye shadow evenly.

Here’s the Instagram I took of my brush. And check out the box it came in. The areas where you should use the brush are circled on the model’s face. Pretty genius!

@artisbrush love my Oval 4 from the #EliteCollection #beautifulbrush

A photo posted by Charlotte LoBuono (@clobuono) on

I’m going out tonight, and I’ll use the brush to do my makeup using the Hard Candy palette!

Artis Elite Mirror Collection brushes are available online, and its new Fluenta Collection is available at NeimanMarcus.com and BergdorfGoodman.com.

And btw, the next brush collection from Artis is based on the curve and shape of the human finger! “The finger is the first tool an artist had to create, and it is pretty remarkable in its abilities,” Waitesmith, a former senior vice president at M.A.C., told HuffPost Style. “A tool should make something easier to do, not harder. And it’s time the makeup brush did the work.”

What makeup brushes do you love? Do you invest in good brushes? Let me know in the comments!

*The brush was sent to me for my review, but opinions are my own.

Hard Candy 20th Anniversary

Hard Candy 2oth Anniversary Collection

Hard Candy 2oth Anniversary Collection

Children of the 80s and 90s, this one’s for you. I saw this post in Glamour about the 20th anniversary of Hard Candy Cosmetics, and it brought back memories. Some of them cringe inducing. To celebrate 20 years, Hard Candy is launching a Limited Edition Collection of makeup and nail polish at Wal-Mart. Check out the gorgeousness to your left.

The collection features eight nail polishes, including Sky, a light blue that became famous when Alicia Silverstone wore it on Letterman 20 years ago; an eyeshadow palette I can’t wait to play with; four liquid eyeliners; three lip glosses; and two baked blush compacts shaped like a heart. And yes, the nail polishes come with those plastic rings we thought were so cool. Here’s a better pic.

Hard Candy 20th Anniversary Nail Polishes

Hard Candy 20th Anniversary Nail Polishes

Here’s an Instagram of the eyeshadow palette the lovely PR ladies for Hard Candy Cosmetics were nice enough to send me.

Happy 20th @hardcandylife! #middleschoolmemories #topteneyeshadowcollection #skysthelimit

A photo posted by Charlotte LoBuono (@clobuono) on

 

Everything in the collection costs less than $12, so it’s an affordable way to relive your Wonder Years.

The collection launches April 25 at Wal-Mart and online.

I’m in it for the nail polishes and the blush compact. Who’s coming with me?

 

 

My Little Blog is One!

Happy birthday little blog!

Happy birthday little blog!

Yup. One year ago yesterday, I posted the first post on Fabulous Forever, a post about makeup boutique RougeNY. (Still haven’t made it there, BTW. Boo.) I just wanted to say thanks for reading, and to those of you who gave of your time so generously and spoke with me, thank you! I have had an absolute blast writing this.

And a big thank you to my PR peeps who sent me goodies to try. I appreciate it!

Stay tuned. I have some great ideas and fun posts coming up.

xoxo

Charlotte

 

 

CocoMe Bodystick and Lipelixir

CocMe Bodystick and Lipelixir

CocMe Bodystick and Lipelixir

A few weeks ago, I went to the Healthy Brand Showcase here in New York City. There, I met Lisa Wurtz, the innovative entrepreneur behind the new beauty brand CocoMe. Frustrated by how messy and impractical it is to use coconut oil that comes in a jar, Wurtz figured out a way to mix it with beeswax and package it as a bodystick and lip balm. The whole idea is to make coconut oil feasible and fun to use as a skin care product, said Wurtz. I have been using the CocoMe Bodystick and Lipelixir lip balm, and love them! They smell great and yes, they are easy to use.

Necessity: The mother of this mom’s invention

After her daughter, Charlotte, was born, Wurtz switched to more natural skin care and beauty products. She really loved using coconut oil. “I just thought it was the best thing I’ve ever used on my skin, even including all the moisturizers that I’ve tried,” Wurtz told me on the phone. She said the only thing she didn’t like about using it was that it was not user friendly.

“Its in a jar, its hard at room temperature, and you have to use a spoon to get it out,” Wurtz explained. Yuck. “It is great to use because it does absorb so quickly, but it was ridiculous! I was dripping it all over myself and my carpet,” she said. Wurtz knew there had to be a better way to use coconut oil. “If I could just put it in a stick, that would really solve my problem,” she said.

And so CocoMe was born. “I didn’t want to mess too much with the coconut oil, and organic beeswax was a natural fit,” said Wurtz. The coconut oil and beeswax bodystick and lip balm are stable at room temperature. You can take it with you or keep it in your house, and it stays intact, Wurtz said.

Nature’s most perfect beauty hack

You may have heard coconut oil has many uses as a beauty and skin care product. Kelli Bartlett, director of makeup artistry for Glamsquad, told me that, among other things, it can be mixed with a shimmery, loose powder to make a luminizer or dabbed on a cotton pad for a makeup remover.

Coconut oil also has antimicrobial properties, and people with skin conditions like eczema often find it very soothing, Wurtz said. I did not know this. So much for my Master’s in bio. FYI, the bodystick has really helped the itchy patches I get behind my ears. You’re welcome.

Down the line, Wurtz said she has a few ideas she’s looking into. She would love to do a line of lip balms tinted with natural, plant-based tints. She would also love to do something with a natural SPF. I’d definitely try those.

You can buy the CocoMe Bodystick and Lipelixir online. At $3 to $15, it won’t break the bank, but will spare your carpet.

What are your favorite beauty and skin care hacks for coconut oil? Would you use it in a bodystick like the one from CocoMe?

 

St. Patrick’s Day 2015: Green

I just saw the first sign of spring here in Hoboken. The city has issued its annual warning about the $2,000 fine for disorderly conduct during the St. Patrick’s Day pub crawl on Saturday. Can the first flowers be far behind?

To celebrate the holiday, I thought I’d post about green eye makeup and nail polish. I don’t own a lot of green, so I went to Target, because they have a decent beauty department.

#stpatricksday2015 #gogreen @essiepolish @lauramercier @maccosmetics @pixibeauty @target

A photo posted by Charlotte LoBuono (@clobuono) on

 

The Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Colour in Mint Snow and M.A.C. Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Clearwater give a soft wash of turquoise. This subtle color payoff is good for those of us who are shy about wearing green. At Target, I picked up this Pixi Mesmerizing Mineral Palette in Emerald Gold. I also saw this eye shadow trio in Jaded from Mineral Fusion and the Stay Perfect Eye Shadow Trio from Boots No7 in Forest. Fans of prestige brands might like this Lancome Color Design 5-Pan Eye Shadow Palette in Jade Fever. A little something for everyone.

I was planning to feature Essie nail polish in Mint Candy Apple. I still love it, but I decided at the last minute to go with Turquoise and Caicos. So pretty.

Do you wear green eye makeup or nail polish? And has anyone tried Pixi Beauty? I haven’t. What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

 

 

 

O.P.I. Hawai’i

Dear Old Man Winter:

I appreciate your interest in snowing frequently and making me endure an endless string of overcast, below-25-degree days. However, I cannot allow you to stay any longer. You see, I recently saw the new collection of nail polishes from O.P.I. This spring’s theme is Hawai’i, and I’m jonesing to try all the tropical-inspired pretty.

O.P.I. Hawai'i S/S 2015 @opipolish #thatshularious #ismaitaicrooked #alohafromopi #hawaii

A photo posted by Charlotte LoBuono (@clobuono) on

 

I am not usually a green polish kind of girl, but I will do a mint green sometimes in spring and summer, especially if I have a tan. I will definitely be trying That’s Hula-rious! as soon as you leave.

Is Mai Tai Crooked? is a light, creamy peach that’s perfect with a pedicure and killer gold sandals.

Aloha from O.P.I. is a coral that looks effortlessly chic with gold jewelry.

I’ve always loved O.P.I.’s destination-themed collections, inspired by the travels of O.P.I. creative director Suzi Weiss-Fischmann. Recently, she’s been to Scandinavia and Brazil. Every season, I can’t wait to see where Suzi will go next.

And her (sometimes naughty) color names are hysterical. Who couldn’t love a polish named Lost My Bikini in Molokini?

So I need you to vacate the premises as soon as possible, Mr. Winter. These new warm weather polishes are calling my name. Consider this your final notice.

Charlotte

 

SkinOwl

SkinOwl Beauty Drops PM with mangosteen

SkinOwl Beauty Drops PM with mangosteen oil

I recently came across this article about a company called SkinOwl and I couldn’t help myself. Product junkie that I am, I had to try it out. I also had a chat with SkinOwl founder Annie Tevelin.

Tevelin, a former Lancome makeup artist, was kind enough to send over the company’s newest product, Beauty Drops PM with mangosteen oil.* She also let me try the Beauty Drops with geranium oil.

I use the geranium Beauty Drops in the morning, and the mangosteen drops at night. They smell amazing. The geranium has a light floral scent that is not too overpowering. It actually smells a little herbal, if you ask me. The mangosteen smells sweet and fruity, like a strawberry milkshake. Yum.

The geranium Beauty Drops are SkinOwl’s best seller, said Tevelin. She said it is popular among women ages 30 to 45. The geranium oil in the drops brightens and decongests tired skin. “Its very enzymatic, so some people will notice an exfoliation from it,” Tevelin said. I will say I did notice some light sloughing the first time I applied the drops to my face, but they made my skin glow.

The mangosteen fruit is rich in antioxidants called xanthones, which fight free radicals and protect skin cells from further damage. Hence, its magic powers. Overall, I found that both oils really moisturized and revived my skin. I felt my skin tingle when I put them on my face, as if they were already working.

Tevelin said she likes to work with oils because the molecule of an oil is much smaller than that of a cream, so they can go deeper than creams into the layers of the skin. “That’s why people notice amazing results,” she said.

SkinOwl evolved over time, from a private Facebook group to its current incarnation as a natural skin care company, said Tevelin. The Facebook group was all women asking questions about skin care. “It was unbelievable. There was so much loyalty within the group,” Tevelin told me.

At the same time, Tevelin completed a postgraduate certificate in cosmetic chemistry at UCLA. She also did a lot of independent research. “It got to the point where I felt, ‘Why am I recommending everyone else’s products, when I could probably develop my own?,'” she explained.

And so SkinOwl, the company, was born. Tevelin introduced the first product to her Facebook group, which became SkinOwl’s fan page.

Tevelin said she is definitely interested in adding a few more products to the SkinOwl line. “People look to us for a lip product every holiday, so I’d love to bring a lip product to market,” she said. She also wants to do a face wash, and maybe an exfoliator.

“I’m really interested in bringing something to the table that is unique to the U.S., seeing as so many of our product ingredients are sourced from overseas,” said Tevelin. Her goal is to create a completely different category within skin care.

Think you’ll check out SkinOwl? Do you try to use natural skin care products?

*Products were sent to me for review, but opinions are my own.

Receutics Active Skin Repair at Rite Aid

T131930RWCRite Aid recently announced that it is getting into the skin care game with its proprietary Receutics Active Skin Repair products. Since the line includes two anti-aging products, I had to check it out.

I tried the Rapid Wrinkle Corrector and the Rapid Dark Spot and Complexion Corrector.* They felt great on my skin, and have a light, herbal scent, much like the face oils I’ve tried. The wrinkle corrector uses retinol, antioxidants, and amino acids to firm and plump the skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The dark spot corrector fades spots and boosts radiance with niacinamide (a.k.a. vitamin B3), vitamin C, and hydroquinone.

I also tried the Therapeutic Hydration and Repair Treatment, an amazing lotion. It really made my hands feel moisturized, even in polar vortex-powered winter weather. The Therapeutic Gentle Hydrating Cleanser is great, too. My face felt clean, but not tight or “stripped.” I cannot wait to try the Sun Care SPF 40 Advanced Sunscreen.

The company decided to develop Receutics after talking with its pharmacists. Rite Aid seeks feedback from its pharmacists on a regular basis, Jocelyn Konrad, group vice president of clinical services and pharmacy initiatives for Rite Aid, told me. “Our pharmacists were looking for something to recommend to patients for common skin concerns, such as acne or dry skin,” she said. Based on that feedback, the company developed nine products in four categories: sun care, anti-aging, acne clearing, and therapeutic.

Konrad said that Dr. Zoe Draelos, a former vice president of the American Academy of Dermatology, oversaw all of the clinical research on each product. In a 12-week clinical study, the company said that 82 percent of women saw improvements in their skin within three days of starting to use Receutics anti-aging products; 88 saw improvements within seven days; and 100 percent saw improvement after 12 weeks. The company also said that 81 percent of women had more even skin tone after 12 weeks.

All Receutics Active Skin Repair products are currently available in Rite Aid stores in New Jersey and Seattle, as well as two stores in New York City. The company plans to have them in all its stores by January 2016, Konrad said. For now, you can buy Receutics at Receutics.com and RiteAid.com. The prices are wallet friendly, too, ranging from from $9.99 to $39.99.

Think you’ll check it out?

 

*I received these products for review, but opinions are my own.

 

Shea Terra Organics

Shea Terra's Namibian marula oil

Shea Terra’s Namibian marula oil

I have been wanting to post about Shea Terra Organics for a while now. Shea Terra is a skin care company founded by Tammie Umbel more than 10 years ago. Its products contain ingredients sourced from Africa. The goal is to raise awareness about the conservation of Africa’s wildlife and its natural resources. You can read more about Shea Terra’s legacy here.

Tammie first contacted me via LinkedIn and offered to send me a sample of the company’s new cold-pressed Rwandan maracuja oil. She also threw in a sample packet of the Baobab Olive Tree Age Wise Face Cre’me and a tiny jar of the Rose Hips Black Soap Deep Pore Facial Wash. For my story on face oils, she sent me a bottle of Namibian marula oil. I have become a fan of all of these. I love the smell of the baobab-olive face cream, and the maracuja and marula oil have saved my skin during the brutal Northeastern winter we are having. My face and hands just drink it up.

Tammie is an interesting person in her own right. As a little girl, she would sneak the TV show Feed the Children. That program inspired her to empower the African people by developing training programs so they could live sustainably. She studied peacekeeping and politics in college to help her reach her goals. Tammie and her husband live in Virginia with their 12 children.

As you might have guessed, Tammie is a hard lady to pin down. She did however, answer some quick e-mail questions for me.

How did you first get involved in working with African conservation groups and cooperatives?

It is a childhood promise of mine. As a young girl, I vowed I would create jobs for people that were poor and starving. I don’t know why I thought the way I did. On Feed the Children, they would ask for donations. I was very affected by the condition of these poor, pitiful looking children. To me, a young child, the answer was easy. I kept asking myself, “Why doesn’t anyone create jobs for them?” So I decided that one day I would create jobs for them myself.

What is Shea Terra’s newest product?

We have new products all the time! The maracuja oil is relatively new. We have kala-bash oil coming out shortly.

What African ingredients are the best for anti-aging?

The best ingredients for anti-aging are African Black SoapShea Nilotik’ East African Shea Butter, Kigelia Africana, and Kala-bash Oil.

This isn’t the first time I’ve heard of African ingredients in skin care products. (See my post on nyakio Skincare, which I linked to above.) Has anyone tried argan oil or marula oil? If so, what did you think?

 

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