Beauty Best Bets


ABLE is revolutionizing the cat eye eyeliner pen with this new option — the ABLE CatEYE 101. You ready for this? Formulated in Milan, the liquid liner is cruelty-free, gluten-free, paraben-free, and phylate-free. In addition, the liquid itself is smudge-proof, as opposed to waterproof. Why is that distinction important? Well, you won’t damage sensitive skin when removing the liner, which is packaged in a refillable case made of aluminum. It’s ergonomically engineered and therefore easier to hold when applying the liner. A steady hand is essential for a flawless flick. There is also a soft, rubber, and bendable edge that acts as a trace guide.

Okay, so here is my take. The pen was a bit daunting at first and you are talking to someone who does a cat eye daily and who starts with the flick, creating this look with many different pens, formulas, pots, and brushes. So I had to acquaint myself with the design. You basically draw the lashline line first. Then to create the flick, which I usually do FIRST, you hold the rubber cap up to your eye and use it as a guide for the pen to create the flick. It takes some finagling and some digital dexterity, but you’ll get there. I am always down for a new cat eye tool and this one is now in my kit.

Wet n Wild products fall into that cheap ‘n’ chic category. I co-sign the brand’s vegan, and cruelty-free makeup brushes. The white handled bristles are dip-dyed with white and pink brushes and are therefore mega cute. They are also constructed of a thermoplastic polymer complex. What does that mean to you? Well, animal hair brushes apply product better due to the imperfections in those hairs. This material mimics the hair shaft breaks, leading to better applications. Ain’t that something? There are 17 brushes in all, with the most expensive topping out at $2.99. Shop the range at drugstores like CVS in January. These aren’t investment pieces but they are serviceable and cool. Plus, there is that whole cruelty-free thing that is always a “Yes!”

Cristina Bartolucci, one of the founders of the DuWop brand, known for its Lip Venom, is back with Peek Beauty, a fresh makeup line whose products are packaged in slide-top tin containers and that remind you that you can be “just natural enough” with your look; that is, these products help enhance that natural beauty is a non-obvious way and they give you a boost. A percentage of the brand’s sales are donated to Girls Not Brides, which works to end child marriages in one generation. I am already a total devotee of one of the products and that’s the Expresso Natural Stain Brow Powder, which I used in Double Shot for my dark brows. It combines the softness of powder and the long-lasting nature of a stain in one tin. You can custom blend to your heart’s, er, brow’s content! It’s like a temporary tattoo for your brows and coffee and henna are in the ingredients list. #Luv

I am deeply committed to my relationship with Glossier’s Boy Brow Pomade. It’s a mini mascara tube and it does EVERYTHING FOR YOUR BROWS at once. The spooly brush lets you comb and tame errant hairs while the wax-based pomade adds a little color to sparse spots. I have only one word for this browscaper: gamechanger. Oh, and a little love letter to the Glossier team: You’ve created my fave new cosmetics line of 2015. Let’s be BFFs… although we already kinda are.

Rimmel’s Keep Calm and Lip Balm range is so cute. No, really! The balms are shaped like lipstick bullets for easy application. But they lippies are incredibly sheer, adding just a dash of flushed, just kissed or bitten color, while the tubes come stamped with phrases like “Keep Calm and Party” (Violet Blush); “Keep Calm and Rock” (Berry Blush); “Keep Calm and Play” (Rose Blush); and “Keep Calm and Kiss” (Pink Blush). Each shade moisturizes and hydrates; my lips felt plush and fully conditioned. The packaging and concept reminds me a bit of Maybelline’s mega Baby Lips range.

I never get bored of seeking (and trying) the perfect cat eye liner pen. My latest obsesh? Oh, just Kiko Milano’s Ultimate Pen Long Wear Eyeliner. The Italian brand is now stateside and the thin, felt tip pen makes use of capillary system technology, which basically means that the proper amount of liner is dispensed along the lashline. I can attest to that. I was able to do super thin flicks without relying on Q-tips to fix my flick mistakes. I like a “one fell swoop” product. I’m also a relatively new convert to the brand’s Extra Sculpt Volume Mascara, which comes in a diamond-cut tube. The creamy texture is clump-free and leads to a fan-like lash effect. Meow.

Do NOT fear Chosungah 22 Tiny Lip & Cheek Face Color! The mini tube packaging of this Korean beauty innovation is adorbs but it’s the concentrated color of the raw product that may scare you off. Chill. Once you dab and apply to cheeks or lips with fingers, it disperses, fades down, and adds just a glowing wash of color. I love 22 because it’s so pretty, so pink, and blends like a dream. Welcome to the new era for blush and cheek color, ushered in by Chosungah.

If you cannot afford Isaac Mizrahi apparel, then dress your lips in luxe, creamy color thanks to his True Lip Crayon Set, which features two semi-matte chubbies and two gel chubbies. Apply directly to lips from the crayon and then proceed to blot or dab with fingers for a post-smooch flush. The autumnal neutrals are perfect for holiday parties, when you are blowing excess air kisses at festive fetes. They have a slight mint flavor. My favorite shade was the Barbie pink shade, dubbed “Marilyn.”

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