Father’s Day Shopping Guide: The Art of Shaving

On the occasion of Memorial Day I can’t help but remember my grandfather. He was a WWII vet who would recount to me on what seemed every chance to tell me stories of the war over in the European theatre. The most intersting ones were always told when he was shaving.

The Art Of Shaving–reclaim it this Father’s Day

I remember being a little girl, dressed in my best Sunday dress waiting to go to church with Grandaddy in his big gas-guzzling Cadillac. I’d always have fun just being mesmerized by how careful his shaving ritual was and how much pride took in it. I’d have fun ‘painting’ the shaving cream on my small hands and laughing as he would bend down for me to pat it on his face.  It had to be the second-coolest thing he’d ever done aside from taking out his false teeth on playful demand from me.

The shaving ritual is as cool from old school guys like my grandfather to the likes of Vin Diesel shaving his head with a makeshift knife and engine grease in the movie Pitch Black. But for the men in your life who only know the likes of a disposable razor, propellant-based shaving cream and the dreaded Axe body spray, it’s time for a shaving intervention. And for those who are already firmly entrenched in the Brotherhood of Shaving, check out some new items to freshen up the routine. For your consideration, I present two brands I believe have the most in variety and product innovation to offer for a memorable gift this Father’s Day.

Jack Black

Straight out of Texas, home to Walker, Texas Ranger, this mens grooming collection consists of premium quality, high-performance, easy-to-use grooming products for men.  It’s unimstakably masculine packaging takes its style cues from old-school liquor labels and cigar boxes.  Frankly this is the line I’d steal things from to use myself and would admit to it. Winner of the ‘holy grail lip product’ award on Beauty blogs for their SPF25 lip balm, the product line is both old school yet modern.

It’s very easy to say everything is a ‘must have’ from this line because it is–it’s that good. Its unabashed masculine design makes it perfect as a ‘mans man’ Father’s Day gift. Personally I think Chuck Norris would approve.

Top Jack Black Gift Picks:

First Class Five Gift Set

First Class Five Gift Set

Jet-set traveller’s set

Jack Black: Jet Set Traveller’s set

On The Road Travel Pack

Jack Black: On The Road (Beauty.com exclusive)

Clean and Clear Body Care Basics

Jack Black: Clean and Clear Body Care Basics (Beauty.com exclusive)

Jack Black products are available at Nordstrom stores and at Beauty.com, Sephora.com, Ulta.com and of course at GetJackBlack.com.

The Art of Shaving

A luxury line of locations offering an old-school shave at their Barber Spas, it also has a line of products and hand-crafted shaving implements dedicated to, you guessed it, the Art of Shaving.  If you’re shopping for the man who has everything, this is a great place to start.

Top Art of Shaving gift picks:

The Four Elements of the Perfect Shave

The Art Of Shaving: Four Elements of the Perfect Shave

Fusion Chrome Collection Shaving Brush

The Art Of Shaving: Fusion Chrome Collection Brush

The Carry On Kit

The Art Of Shaving: The Carry On Kit in Sandalwood

Ocean Kelp: The Four Elements of the Perfect Shave

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The Art Of Shaving: The Perfect Shave in Ocean Kelp (Nordstrom)

The Art Of Shaving products are available at Nordstrom.com, Sephora.com, and at their website at TheArtOfShaving.com (where you can get gift certificates for their Barber Spa services).

So what kind of shaving products do you recommend for a guy like me?

So what kind of shaving products do you recommend for a guy like me?

Not sure what to get? Luckily for you Sephora has you covered as they offer The Finest Shave Deluxe Sampler. This is a gift box consisting of six (6) deluxe samples of various shaving items from the likes of Anthony Logistics, The Art of Shaving, Jack Black and more. For only $25, he gets an assortment of items to try and can redeem the enclosed certificate for a full-size version of his favorite item from the set. This is an extremely good deal considering the total value of the set is $65.

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Sephora’s The Finest Shave Sampler Kit

So now that you’ve decided, you have to get something to put all that stuff in, right? How cool, how unique, how downright impressive is it to put everything in something like this?

Harvey’s Seat Belt Shave Kit Bag. Also available in Camo and Grey.

Built in the USA, Harvey’s produces this shaving kit bag made from automotive seat belts, retails for $68 and is guaranteed for life. You can purchase at SeatbeltBags.com.

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Makeup Intelligence: Rescue Beauty Lounge Georgia On My Mind Collection 2012

Just when the Fan Collection came out, a new one by Ji Baek of Rescue Beauty Lounge is almost ready for pre-order.  The theme? The illustrious American painter, Georgia O’Keefe!

Usually Ji’s collections only have a max of four colors.  This time around it is a whopping SEVEN (7) polishes.  The color craziness is so awesome that I’m going to pack as much into this post as possible.  Get comfortable–you’re going to be clicking for awhile.

RBL’s Georgia On My Mind 2012 Collection! From left: Abiqui, Bella Donna, Faraway Nearby, Ghost Ranch, Jack In The Pulpit, Oriental Poppy, Santa Fe Road

Bella Donna

It would be insulting not to include white in an homage to Georgia. My challenge was to make a porcelain white or to convey bleached bones in all of its glorious opaqueness without making a streaking mess. This was difficult to achieve and Bella Donna took the longest time to perfect, but I was finally able to produce a self-leveling second coat. I envision luscious blooms of Bella Donna in every hand gesture and blossoming Bella Donna petals beautifully resting on your toes. — Ji Baek

Bella Donna Swatches:

[KellieGonzo] * [Polish Police] * [Scrangie] * [Fashion Polish] * [Nails and Noms]

Faraway Nearby

Picture yourself standing in a strikingly sweeping and voluminous desert. A shimmery heat wave flirts with your vision, producing huddles of dancing mirages. Your eyes are tricked by a desert hallucination. The heat wave levitates and soars up into the spacious, serene, cloudless desert sky. — Ji Baek

Farway Nearby Swatches:

[KellieGonzo] * [Polish Police] * [Scrangie] * [Fashion Polish] * [Nails and Noms]

Abiquiu

Clusters of brushed desert plants sway mesmerically with the wind. After a thunderous rain that cleanses off dust and sunburns, Abiquiu captures the moment when that first sunbeam appears and flashes them with a warm kiss. — Ji Baek

Abiquiu Swatches:

[KellieGonzo] * [Polish Police] * [Scrangie] * [Fashion Polish] * [Nails and Noms]

Santa Fe Road

I was offered a trip to Santa Fe when I was working on this collection, but turned it down. I wanted to capture the soul of Santa Fe solely through Georgia’s images. This color would be an aerial view of my imaginary Santa Fe—the baked earth tones of ocher with the shimmery, glisteningly ubiquitous dotted greens. — Ji Baek

Santa Fe Road Swatches:

[KellieGonzo] * [Polish Police] * [Scrangie] * [Fashion Polish] * [Nails and Noms]

Oriental Poppy

Finding yourself amongst a sea of poppy fields, you toss your bike aside to lie down for a rest to swallow and inhale the beauty. Lusciously vibrant petals bob their heads up and down with the flirting wind. As a sign of approval, the glorious, piercing golden sunlight casts a spell and what you see is the electrifying vibrancy of a mysterious red with spots of color aglow with the sun. — Ji Baek

Oriental Poppy Swatches:

[KellieGonzo] * [Polish Police] * [Scrangie] * [Fashion Polish] * [Nails and Noms]

Ghost Ranch

This is the magical place that captivated Georgia’s heart—her home. “…the shadows are long and the sun hits brightly on unexpected spots,” she wrote to Stieglitz–taken from Portrait of an Artist: A Biography of Georgia O’Keeffe by Laurie Lisle. In the twilight, the adobe casts its nebulous glow, and the mistress is on her rooftop wrapped in a Navajo blanket, walking stick in hand as she watches the first appearance of the muted, twinkling stars. – Ji Baek

Ghost Ranch Swatches:

[KellieGonzo] * [Polish Police] * [Scrangie] * [Fashion Polish] * [Nails and Noms]

Jack in the Pulpit

Her Jack in the Pulpit series totaled six pieces. The way Georgia used greens, blues, and especially that bastardized teal, put me in a hypnotic state. When I actually saw the paintings in person, the oil paint brush strokes that mixed the three colors came alive in certain lights. — Ji Baek

Jack In The Pulpit Swatches:

[KellieGonzo] * [Polish Police] * [Scrangie] * [Fashion Polish] * [Nails and Noms]

I have to say I am extremely impressed at the color palette Ji has come up with as drawn from Georgia O’Keefe’s paintings.  While I am far from an art fan, I’ve always loved Georgia’s paintings of flowers.  Even without seeing the pantings, I got the impression from the colors Ji came up with that they were truly inspired by Georgia’s iconic work.  As a fan of cool colors, my favorites (in no particular order) are Abiquiu, Faraway Nearby and Jack in the Pulpit.

As with the fan collection these polishes will retail for $20 USD each. Pre-order is scheduled for early June but if the date slips a bit please don’t freak out.  Make sure you get on over to RescueBeauty.com to sign up for the VIP list if you’re not already on it.

So are you planning on ordering? Of course you are!  As you wait to be able to whip out that credit card, be sure to check out the individual shade reviews from the bloggers lucky enough to get a hold of these shades first:

Preview: Chanel Summer 2012 Haul

I know I said I wasn’t going to pick anything up from this collection but when I saw the pieces in person, I just had to have the lipgloss and nail polish.

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Chanel Summer 2012: Calypso Glossimer and Les Vernis in Delight

Glossimer in Calypso

In general I’m not a big fan of Chanel’s glossimers because while it is big on shine, most of them are bland in color.
Calypso (and also Jalousie if you can find it) is VERY pigmented which make it a must-have for me. Caylpso is a tangerine orange with shimmer and will give your lips a nice tropical kiss of peachy orange with or without lipiner.

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Swatch of Chanel’s Calypso Glossimer–a beautiful Tangerine shimmer lipgloss (w/ flash)

Les Vernis in Delight

It reminds me of SpaRitual’s Laughing In Pink. A beautiful warm beachy color that reminds me of the sun reflecting off of the hot sand on Miami Beach. Gorgeous next to tanned, deep and especially dark skintones. While it is paque in one coat, I can’t speak to the longevity of the wear until I’ve worn it for more than 1 day. The finish is slightly gritty but I like how it reminds me of beach sand.

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Chanel Summer 2012 Nail Vernis in Delight–shimmering sand for your nail

Retailing for $29.50 and $26 respectively, the Calypso Glossimer and the Les Vernis in Delight are limited edition products.

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Preview: NEW Make Up For Ever Aqua Creams!

Score one for the Sephora inside JCPenney for this one!

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It’s late May, which means Miami Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week approaches…and so does new MUFE launches!

It turns out not only has Estee Lauder surprised me this week, but so has Make Up For Ever. They have added four (4) new aqua cream shades for eyes and cheeks that are so vibrant, so gorgeous, I had to acquire a few of them.

The four (4) new shades are:

  • 23 — Acid Green (straight up frosty chartreuse green)
  • 24 — Yellow (semi-matte taxicab yellow)
  • 25 — Pastel Blue (frosty pastel blue–stunning!)
  • 26 — Purple (looks a lot like the legendary #19 that never made it to the US on initial product launch)
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The Aqua Creams I bought–so happy! (w/ flash)

Make Up For Ever Aqua Creams are my favorite cream shadows to use in the summer and in hot humid climates like Florida. I have tested these extensively in the hot July Florida weather and they hold up beautifully! The price has gone up to $23 per pot but you only need very little to get intense color payoff. If you think you can get the same kind of payoff with Maybellene’s Color Tattoo cream shadows, you are sadly mistaken. They are extremely good for a drugstore product but nowhere near the longevity and pigmentation as MUFE–especially if you have oily eyelids like I do.

These aqua creams are available NOW at Sephora.com. GO, GO, GO!!!  But before you leave skid marks, check out the picspam!

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Swatches from top: #26, #23, #24, #25 (flash)

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The Aqua Creams I bought–so happy! (w/o flash HDR)

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Gorgeous, perfect for summer and could probably withstand a nuke blast w/o creasing

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#23 Acid Green: Stunning alone or under NARS Rated R green shadow

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#25 Pastel Blue: An excellent choice to make brown eyes pop

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#26 Purple: A long time coming and the PERFECT base for MUFE Eyeshadow #92.

Preview: Deborah Lippmann 3D Holographic Nail Lacquers

Yet again Neiman Marcus thrills me by shipping me the new Deborah Lippmann 3D holographic nail lacquers before the promised ship date.   These are such fun, playful polishes that you should start stalking your store of choice for.  Review to follow at a later date but in the meantime, enjoy the picspam!

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Two more polishes from Deborah Lippmann for Spring 2012!

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Brand-new 3D Holographic Glitter polishes from Deborah Lippmann

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Ray of Light 3D holographic glitter nail lacquer by Deborah Lippmann

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Sweet Dreams 3D holographic glitter nail lacquer by Deborah Lippmann

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Deborah Lippmann’s news 3D Holigraphic Glitter Nail Lacquers — I’m partial to Sweet Dreams (Outside Natural Light)

Preview: Estee Lauder Brasil Collection

So who knew about this Macy’s exclusive Estee Lauder Brasil Dreams collection in advance because I sure didn’t!

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Estee Lauder’s Brasil Dream collection–exclusive at Macy’s!

I’ve recently gotten into taking Samba classes so when I saw this display in my local Macy’s my eyes were immediately drawn to the bright colors. However, the real stars of this collection are the insanely pigmented blushes! Check ’em out!

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The real stars of the Brasil collection–the blushes! Women of Color, haul these immediately!

I can tell you that after swatching these in store they are all very, very pigmented and you need very little to get it to show up on you if you have dark skin. Whether swatched with my finger or with a brush I was pleasantly surprised at the color payoff and how easy it was to build intensity. Out of all three of these, Fearless is my favorite with The Siren close behind. None of them contain any shimmer so for those of you who are glitterphobes I think you will enjoy these. I ordered mine from Macys.com and they are scheduled to arrive early next week. I will do swatches as soon as I can and a review a few weeks later.

The blushes retail for $28, are limited edition and are available at Macy’s counters and at Macys.com.

Deborah Lippmann Mirrored Chrome Finish Lacquer: The Rundown

How intense are the new Deborah Lippmann Mirrored Chrome finish polishes? So intense that each time I open a bottle of it I hear the legendary Grace Jones belting out, “Pull up to the bumper, baay baayyy!”. Don’t know the song? I suggest watching the below clip first:

As regular readers will know, I’ve already posted a preview of these polishes. I’ve had a little while to play with the three colors of this collection which are Sugar Daddy, Private Dancer and Swagger Like Us. So let’s pull up to these chrome bumpers, shall we?

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

Sugar Daddy (antiqued champagne/mirrored chrome)

A sweet, young light pinkish beige chrome with eyecatching pink shimmer. This has more of a warm yellow cast as compared to the cooler pink cast of Glamorous Life. For those who want the chrome look but not so ‘in your face’ this is the color for you. It is opaque in two coats but I think it looks darling with just one light coat on the nails. Definitely a great color choice for a conservative office, church services or the bride wearing a cream-colored gown who wants her nails to look just a little bit different than the usual.

Private Dancer (gilded ultra violet /mirrored chrome)

This deep purple shade is efinitely darker than Wicked Game without the green duochrome.  Even without the duochrome it has a wicked chrome finish that will appeal to purple polish fans. As nice as this is, it just can’t compete with Baptiste by Illamasqua (hardly any metallic finish purple nail can). Still, this is more violet where where Baptiste is more purple. Still I had to have this color as the name reminds me of a song by one of my favorite rockers, Miss Tina Turner.

Swagga Like Us (oxidized copper teal (mirrored chrome)

At first glance this Chrome finish shade reminds me a little of Chanel Peridot but upon closer inspection Chanel Peridot reflects more green while Swagger Like Us is more copper-teal.  In addition to the finish, it is  because of this close comparison which makes this color my favorite out of the three.  For those who hauled the color en masse, Chanel Peridot is definitely unique and eyecatching, and so is Swagger Like Us. Wear this color with your favorite pair of jeans and heels for a casual yet edgy appeal and ‘swagga’.

In Conclusion

In general, all three colors perform as well as I’ve come to expect from Deborah Lippmann.  As with her other metal finish polishes I own, drying time is speedy and the finish is eyecatching.  If you’re a shiny metal polish junkie like me, you’ll want these for your stash.  Definitely consider using one of her topcoats to punch up the shine and wear.  Deborah Lippmann polishes usually wear about a week on me with some tip wear but absolutely no major flaking or peeling.

The Chrome polish collection from Deborah Lippmann retails for $18 each for .4oz bottle and is available at Bloomingdales , NeimanMarcus.com and LippmannCollection.com.

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Deborah Lippmann’s Glamorous Life vs. Sugar Daddy (no flash/HDR)

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Deborah Lippmann’s Glamorous Life vs. Sugar Daddy (flash)

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Sugar Daddy Chrome Finish nail lacquer by Deborah Lippmann (no flash/HDR)

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Sugar Daddy Chrome Finish nail lacquer by Deborah Lippmann (flash)

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Private Dancer Chrome Finish nail lacquer by Deborah Lippmann (no flash/HDR)

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Private Dancer Chrome Finish nail lacquer by Deborah Lippmann (flash)

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Deborah Lippmann’s Wicked Game vs Sugar Daddy Chrome Finish nail lacquer by Deborah Lippmann (no flash)

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Deborah Lippmann’s Wicked Game vs Sugar Daddy Chrome Finish nail lacquer by Deborah Lippmann (flash)

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Deborah Lippmann’s Swagga Like Us Chrome Lacquer (no flash/HDR)

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Deborah Lippmann’s Swagga Like Us Chrome Lacquer (flash)

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Chanel Peridot vs. Swagga Like Us by Deborah Lippmann (no flash/HDR, fashion kitteh in background)

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Chanel Peridot vs. Swagga Like Us by Deborah Lippmann (flash, fashion kitteh in background)