Preview: NARS Summer 2012 Collection

Bet you all thought I forgot about the Summer 2012 offerings from NARS, right?  Nope, I’ve just been slow about it.

NARS Summer 2012 Collection

And rolling right along with the Summer preview posts we continue on with the pieces I picked up from NARS’ Summer 2012 collection!

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My favorite pieces from the NARS Summer 2012 collection

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Trouville is a gorgeous seashell pink--stunning!

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A hurried full-faced look featuring NARS Summer 2012 collection (Desire blush and Hungry Heart highlighter on cheeks)

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Preview: Guerlain by Emilio Pucci [Summer 2012]

At times like this, it pays to be a Sephora Beauty Insider.  Why? Because I got first crack at ordering pieces from this collection I’ve been waiting for w/ baited breath.

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Finally in my possession--the Guerlain by Emilio Pucci collection for Summer 2012.

The collection is only available for purchase now by Sephora Beauty Insiders but should be available for sale to the general public in time for it’s publicized May release date.  My advice is to keep stalking Sephora, Nordtrom and Neiman Marcus websites for the launch.  Considering how fast the Cruel Gardenia highlighter went, the limited edition meteorites from this collection should go just as quickly if not faster due to the Pucci name.

Individual product reviews to come in the next few weeks or so but in the meantime check out the picspam and comments!

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These smell absolutely divine! Even if you bought them to scent your lingerie drawer they'd be worth it.

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Pucci print all over in my favorite colors.

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The eye shadow palette in warm colors are perfect for women of color.

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The cult classic returns in a striking indigo color.

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The Emilio Pucci brush. You cannot call yourself a Pucci fan and not get this.

Wen Spring Gardenia Cleansing Conditioner: The Rundown

The Gardenia, both domestic and Tahitensis, is my favorite fragrant flower.  Florida is rampant with them and the smell reminds me of springin the South.  The lush, sophisticated and heady scent is what makes it a favorite floral note in most fragrances I’ve ever worn.  So when I got wind that Wen Hair Care had come up with a Gardenia scent, I jumped onto the QVC website and scored myself a bottle.

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Spring has sprung from Wen! Introducing the Spring Gardenia Green Tea Cleansing Conditioner

Wen’s Spring Gardenia Green Tea Cleansing Conditioner is a limited edition fragrance.  It is sold in 16oz bottles and comes with a pump to replace the cap with.  The bottle is a boston round brown plastic and the product inside is white and has no perceived added color.  At first whiff the smell is fresh and inviting but frankly it does not smell like the gardenia flowers I know and love.   It smells more herbal than floral so that let me down a bit.  Still it is a It is a very soothing scent and not jarring to the nose.

I first used this cleansing conditioner in Pennsylvania just to check the results but was more interested in what would happen when it was used in extreme temperatures.  When used in Florida after swimming in a highly-chlorinated pool both to cleanse my hair and as a leave-in conditioner/styler, both my hair weave and natural hair at the temples and scalp were soft, moisturized and didn’t feel hard or brittle.  Granted the humidity in Florida wasn’t nearly as oppresive as in the summer, ar around 50 – 80% humidity I didn’t notice any frizz or swelling even after walking around the Magic Kingdom at Disney World for several hours afterwards.  I also tried this on my daughter’s naturally kinky-curly hair and the Gardenia cleansing conditioner not only left it soft and moisturized, but further defined the curl pattern of her hair when I used it as a leave-in conditioner. Very nice bonus!

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A gorgeous gardenia I shot while on vacay at Disney's Port Orleans Riverside resort in Florida

As with the Tea Tree formulation (which I will review at a later date) I divided my weave hair into two sections and used approximately 5 – 6 pumps per section.  I used one pump to distribute at my hairline and neckline where my natural hair sticks out.  After working into the weave hair I used another 2 – 3 pumps per section to work into my scalp and inbetween the weave tracks.  I left the product on for about five (5) minutes while I completed my shower and then using a genuine Denman (UK made, not Chinese) wide styling brush, gently detangled my hair from the ends to the roots. This helps to detangle curly hair and to further cleanse/condition the hair with the cleansing conditioner.  I then rinsed the hair completely with warm water, towel dried the hair and then used another 2 – 3 pumps per section (2 sections) another one pump for the hairline and neckline.

There is no denying I am absolutely estatic about the results I’ve gotten with this Wen fragrance and the Tea Tree one (which I prefer due to my cranky scalp).  While I’ve always loved the smell of Philosophy’s 3 in 1 Bodywash/Shampoo/Conditioner, the sulfates just stripped my hair.  Carol’s Daughter’s Rosemary Mint Shampoo & Conditioner give comparable results but they are two separate products.  This product is so wonderful to have on hand and importantly for travel I consider it a staple in my hair regimen.  And if you are an impatient Type-A like I am and/or have squirmy kids this is one less step you need in order to wash their hair.

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Check out all the great stuff in this Wen Cleansing Conditioner

Wen Gardenia cleansing conditioner is a nice spring scent and I’m glad I tried it but it won’t replace my love for the Tea Tree formulation. It doesn’t give my scalp that cool tingly feeling like with the Tea Tree and I’ve also noticed it doesn’t keep my cranky scalp under control very well.  From what I hear this is a limited edition scent for the  spring season so if you’re interested in getting it please keep that in mind. Once the supply is all gone it’s all gone.

Retail price for a 16oz pump bottle is $40.00 USD.  While the price does seem quite steep, remember this is a sulfate-free formula which is great for ethnic hair, and combines shampoo, conditioner, leave-in conditioner & detangler all in one product.  Wen does sell a separate replenishing mist in other scents but if you combine 4 parts distilled water (I prefer Fiji water) to 1 part Wen cleansing condntioner and put it in a pump bottle you’d essentially have the same thing.  Mix 3 parts wate with 1 part Wen cleansing conditioner for a nice detangling spray.

Wen’s Gardenia cleansing conditioner is available at QVC.com, NotShampoo.com but I prefer to order mine from Amazon.com where it is now available and usually for a cheaper price.

Preview: Deborah Lippmann Mirrored Chrome Nail Polishes

Let me just give a HUGE shout-out to Neiman Marcus customer service. These polishes would up shipping way earlier than planned and were headed straight for my old address. One call to NM and they were rerouted safely to my new doorstep.

And here are photos and swatches of these new chrome finish colors from Deborah Lippmann! Review to follow at a later date but let me just say if you are a fan of the metal finishes, you need these in your stash. They are now available for order at NeimanMarcus.com and LippmannCollection.com.

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Deborah Lippmann's new Chrome finish polishes in Sugar Daddy, Private Dancer and Swagger Like Us.

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From top: Sugar Daddy, Private Dancer and Swagger Like Us. 2 coats.

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Deborah Lippmann Chrome Finish polish in Sugar Daddy

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Deborah Lippmann Chrome Finish polish in Private Dancer

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Deborah Lippmann Chrome Finish polish in Swagger Like Us

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Preview: Rescue Beauty Lounge Fan Collection is Here!

Finally! After voting over a year ago, I finally have in my hot little hands the Fan Collection from Rescue Beauty Lounge.

I am currently testing the colors and will post reviews along with any comparable shades (I’ll tell you right now my Color Hack senses aren’t going off). In the meantime enjoy the picspam/swatches and start making that shopping list. See RescueBeauty.com for updates on the general release date to the public.

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The Rescue Beauty Lounge fan collection--Selected from RBLs, by RBLs, for RBLs!

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Collection clockwise from top: Halcyon, Aqua Lilly, Cuprum(Cu), IKB: 2012 (No flash/HDR)

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From top: IKB: 2012, Cuprum, Aqua Lilly, Halcyon (3 coats each over bare nails)

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Preview: Sephora’s New Nail Bar!

Hello, dear readers!

I’m back from vacay at Disney World but am in the throes of moving to a new place.  Moving stinks but where I’m moving to is just amazing.  Plus I’ve got a great garden view right where my blogging ‘workshop’ will be.

Anyways, this past weekend I was at Sephora in the Willow Grove Mall and  happened to notice the new nail bar. Why is this nail bar so exciting? Because the top row of polishes was all Illamasqua! ::makeup addict squeal::

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Illamasqua polishes line the top row of Sephora's new Nail Bar like tropical Skittles

DISCLOSURE > I own stock in LVMH which is the parent company of Sephora and Dior.

There are very few Sephora stores that carry Illamasqua.  For me the only two I know of are in King of Prussia, PA (which I frequent) and 5th Avenue in NYC.  Illamasqua is my favorite nail polish in the $12 – $16 price range and the fact that it is available in a Sephora closer to me in location is an excellent bonus.  No more motoring to the KoP mall or waiting for the order from Sephora or overseas directly from Illamasqua.

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And look what was on the Illamasqua row? Nail Varnish shades in Nomad and Stance from Human Fundamentalism.

Speaking of Sephora, has anyone seen the Human Fundamentalism nail polishes in stores yet?  I lucked out and found Nomad and Stance among the polishes at the Nail Bar and yes, pickings were very slim for these two shades.

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2nd row is all Dior polishes while the 3rd row is all Julep polishes.

Nicely ensconced in the second and third rows of the Nail Bar display were Dior and Julep polishes.  Dior polishes are an indulgence I’ve recently gotten into as I adore the long-wearing formula of the nail polish and the sophisicated yet edgy chic of the color palette.  Julep is a brand I’ve heard very good things about but haven’t tried as yet.  From what I saw in the display, Julep has a color palette very similar and ‘out there’ like Illamasqua. Julep polishes are definitely on my ‘must try’ nail polish list.

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Bottom rows: SpaRitual polishes!!! Love these!

Just when I thought the Nail Bar couldn’t offer any more goodness, what do my eyes spy? A whole slew of SpaRitual polishes!  I was introduced this wonderful brand when I got a manicure at Disney’s Grand Floridian Spa.  The innovative rubber cap aside, the color palette is very diverse, exciting and the formula is one of the smoothest I have ever used at around a $10 price point polish.  Previously I could only get SpaRitual at Disney World or from etailers such as Beauty.com and SkinStore.com. I’m so glad Sephora is now stocking their shelves with a sampling this wonderful brand.

From what I hear these are gradually rolling out to some Sephora stores so keep an eye out. Nail Polish is getting bigger and bigger in the beauty biz so I’m very pleased to see all of these great brands in one place. If a nail bar isn’t in your local Sephora (and I don’t believe Sephora @JCPenney will be getting them at this time) ask when it’s coming.

So who’s excited?