Best Bets: August 2014 – Featuring Christian Louboutin, Hourglass, Elizabeth Arden, bwc and Allure


It’s a(lou)bout(in) time that stiletto crafter Christian Louboutin cracked the prestige beauty market. The shoe brand is equated with sexiness, because the shoes are sex on stilts, and they are known for their signature, lacquered red soles. The brand is dipping its stiletto-clad toes into the beauty pool, but not in a subtle way. The Rouge Louboutin nail color, available exclusively at Christian Louboutin e-commerce sites worldwide and selected U.S. boutiques retail partners, including Saks 5th Avenue in New York, is as blood red and as glossy as a Louboutin sole because of course it is. Rawr! Be well-heeled and well-digited, but for a steep price when it comes to nail polish.

OMFG! Hourglass has just made life a LOT easier for those of you who still have difficulty with gel liner and with the much-desired cat eye flick. The brand’s new 1.5MM Mechanical Get Liner pencils, which come in a set of three, have the tiniest, thinnest and cutest tip, which allows more control when lining your upper lash line and going for that ever-elusive, hard-to-achieve flick.The micro tip ensures ease of application; it’s much thinner than Benefit’s new (but equally amazeballs) They’re Real Push Up gel liner pen.

Clearly, gel liner pens are a “thing” in 2014, since the product is normally reserved for pots and separate brushes due to its creamy formulation not really being designed for pen packaging. Kudos to cosmetic brands for working to make the process easier, since who doesn’t desire a perfect cat eye, with product gliding across the lid, easily applied by a tool? Yeah, the Hourglass pencils allow for that. One stroke and boom, you’re dunzo, unless, of course, you want to retrace your step for a darker concentration and more staying power; thankfully, there is little-to-know transference when your blink! Each pencil offers about 20 applications. Oh, and be careful when you twist and dispense the product. It doesn’t retract and has nowhere else to go but on your lid when it’s on the tip, so don’t waste it! If you twist too much, just smudge it on your lower lash lines.


Anyone remember that 1990s song “Black Velvet” by Alannah Myles? She was a total one hit wonder, but a sultry one at that. While the song is emblematic of an era, I can always get down with Black Velvet, especially when it’s Elizabeth Arden’s Beautiful Color Precision Glide Eyeliner. Fall is a mere six weeks away and you are likely going to need to do a makeup bag overhaul so why not start with a classic and an essential that we all need in our makeup bags and that’s black liner? The self-sharpening pencil has a fine tip but offers wearable, smudgable and waterproof kohl that slides softly across lids. Plus, the tip shape is aces for creating a cat eye flick, but I recommend tracing lines a few times since this formula can migrate. You can smudge it with the rubbery tip on the opposite end for maximum blendability. Or use your fingers to rock it out. Blackberry is also a fabulous fall shade that goes with every eye color. Why not swap out black for purple? Go ahead. I dare ya!

Guys, there is one thing I love more than a good mascara, and it’s not a good liner or lip gloss. I love those equally. The thing I love more than a good mascara is one that is cruelty-free. And my newest lash obsession is bwc’s Ultimate Conditioning Natural Mascara Lash Kind Volume and Definition. I have been trying, with varying degrees of success, to recreate Twiggy x Barbie doll lashes. Well, I get ’em on the top and bottom with this pipe cleaner-like brush. bwc stands for beauty without cruelty, too! It’s a U.K. brand, but that only makes me love it even more.

Beauty boxes are so much fun. In addition to the luxe samples they offer, with little commitment and allowing a try-before-you-buy period, the packaging is so pretty. I store tons of stuff —Sharpies, old concert ticket stubs, dog collars— in the boxes once I use the samples. Allure, the magazine, is getting in on the beauty box trend with Allure Sample Society. Not only do subscribers get highly curated samples selected by the magazine’s staff but it will come packaged with mini magazines featuring editorial related directly to the samples, all for $15.

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