Best Bets: September 2011


The always fashionable Rachel Zoe is the new “brand ambassador” for the revolutionary Exude Lipstick and just like she brought boho chic, flowy tops, wide-leg bell bottoms, supersized sunglasses and fur vests to mainstream consciousness, the stylist could revolutionize and change the way you paint your pout now that she’s partnering with Exude. Zoe is getting behind what is “shaping up” to be a game-changing product. Exude Lipstick is first a miracle of packaging that prevents your lipstick bullet from caking, cracking, breaking or melting into an amorphous (and ultimately unusable) mound, simply because its applied almost like a gloss. Packaging aside, once you saturate your lips with the lush, slick formula, you’ll make like Zoe and proclaim, “I Die!” Twist the tube so a perfectly measured amount of color pushes up through the clear bullet, swipe, blot the creamy, elastic gel, pigment rich color and voila! We were crushing on Nude, a universal neutral. Even “gloss girls” (I am one of those) will be magnetically attracted to Exude, which comes in array of shades. Red lipstick avoiders may even be tempted to try the crimson shades of Exude.

I am notorious for having lashes that I could perm, coat with lengthening mascara and curl with a heated Shu Uemura eyelash curler and they’d still be straighter than they were before I used an assortment of lengthening and volumizing products. When I layered three coats of Lancôme’s Hypnôse Doll Lashes, I was utterly struck by how my lashes looked longer, lusher and separated, like those on a porcelain doll. Hypnôse was seven years in the making and the cone-shaped, I-Conic brush makes delivery of this coal black mascara to bottom lashes and hard-to-reach corners easy. Most of all, it separates them! I was simply stunned at how the brush separated and coated each lash. I couldn’t stop looking at my lashes in any mirror I passed. Please, Lancome, don’t ever discontinue this mascara. My lashes need it! Don’t make us beg!

Givenchy’s latest take on smoky eyes is -as expected- chic and fashion-forward yet so simple. One Lune Mysterieuse pan holds two shadow shades: one light, one dark. The line’s signature logo is stamped into the shadow; you almost don’t want to “ruin” it with your shadow brush; my favorite blending brush for a product like this is MAC’s 222, by the way. Highlight, blend and buff the light shade, creating a fresh look each time you use it. Create an all-over wash, then smudge the darker shade along the lash line. One pan = endless possibilities.

Clinique’s Lid Smoothies provide a creamy wash of color won’t budge for eight hours. They’re perfectly coordinated, super soft muted pastel and neutral shades that beg to be layered underneath a thick, black, cat-eyed liner. Their kitschy names, like Cute-cumber (soft sage green) and Born Freesia (delicate lavender), are a new convention for classic-leaning Clinique but these cream shadows are necessary on those days when you’ve overslept or are running late but still refuse to be seen in public without makeup. A hint of color on your lids is the easiest way to go and Lid Smoothies will be your go-to. Call it lazy girl’s makeup, since you can just dot, dab and go.

We’re constantly seeking a durable eye makeup remover wipe, one that removes all our mascara and waterproof liner without tugging, pulling or requiring a second swipe with a brand new wipe. Atopalm Wipes are thicker than your average wipe, leaving nary a trace of the day’s shadow or dirt. They’re also perfect for picking up the fallout when applying your smoky eyes; any extra shadow dust that lands on your face doesn’t stand a chance. The name sounds sterile and scientific, but who cares since they get the job done. Each wipe contains a healthy cocktail of Vitamin E, calming Allantoin, soothing Portulaca Oleracea Extract and Olive, Grape Seed and Jojoba Seed oils for deep hydration. We love dual-purpose products and we doubly love Atopalm Wipes.

Le Métier de Beauté’s Fall/Winter 2011 Collection meshes luxe color and rich texture in its Silk Road Collection. The Silk Road Kaleidoscope Eye Kit, with its genius, stacked pan packaging, is inspired by fabrics of the ancient world, with rich, jewel-toned hues that offer a sumptuous feel and bold color, creating a prismatic look. You will feel like you are fingering exotic fabrics in a street market in India; it’s that bold.

The Silk Road Kit includes Tapestry (a shimmering, translucent plum); Damask (a polished brass); Ikat (a silk-matte pinot noir); and Brocade (a deep chocolate with sequined copper effervescence.) It’s more of a night than day look and ensures you will stand out when the sun goes down. It’ll take a few tries to perfect a smoky look with this quartet of shadows, but once you practice, you’ll look perfect. I overdid it with Damask, which looked orange against my fair skin, the first time I played with it, but with a couple strokes with a blending brush, order was restored to the brown smoked-out look I was attempting with Brocade!

Here’s a LMDB tip: Each shade is meant to be used with the Le Métier de Beauté signature eye shadow application technique, known as “Couches de Couleur,” which translates to “the layering of color:. Warm. Cool. Hot. Cold. The combination is famed for increasing the femininity of the eyes, while adding a dash of mystery. That, along with the lush shades, ensure that the “eyes” have it. The “it” being femininity.

NARS Fall Collection makes effective use of earthy, natural colors and takes them to a high-end level. Silvery taupes pop against peaches and matte grays. It’s as sexy as it is stormy. Grand Palais Duo Eye Shadow mixes a pretty rose shade with a dusty gray, which is as “right now” as it gets when the weather cools down, while Delphes Trio Eye Shadow partners sparkling sheer peach, matte dove gray and frosted sage. It’s a new season, so experiment with a host of new color combos and pairings courtesy of NARS.

Sometimes, you get super busy and can’t help but miss your weekly (and necessary) manicure because you’re on the go. If you are stuck with less than fab nails, complete with nicks and dents in the beds and in need of a sheer wash of color but can’t get to the nail salon any time soon, Dermelect’s Makeover Ridge Filler can solve that dilemma and beyond. The filler conceals any unsightly imperfections on your nails by coating them with the softest, lightest pink finish, all the while treating them with the never-before-seen protein peptide, ProSina, which is derived from New Zealand wool. We’re not sure how New Zealand wool factors into the Makeover Ridge Filler and we’re not sure we care since it works. You can wear it alone like a faint polish or use it as a strengthening base coat. You win either way.

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Love the ATOPALM face wipes!


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