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Holiday Collection: Make Up For Ever

By | makeup | 8 Comments

Collection: Make Up For Ever Wild & Chic Best of MAKE UP FOR EVER Kit ($103 Value) $55.00

Products Used:
Aqua Cream in #13 Warm Beige (full size)
Lab Shine in Star Collection Gloss #S4 Pearly Pink Beige (full size)
Smoky Lash Mascara in Extra Black (full size)
HD Microfinish Powder (half size)
HD Microperfecting Primer in Neutral (half size)
Aqua Eyes #0L Mat Black (travel size)

How To: I started with the HD Primer and, after my foundation, I added a quick sweep of HD Microfinish Powder (one of my fav products). I used the Aqua Cream on my cheek bones to highlight a bit and layered on my lids to create a shimmering golden effect. I lined the upper lash line with Aqua Eyes Mat Black and gave it a flip on the outer corner for a mini “cat-eye” look. I finished the eyes with a few coats of Smoky Lash Mascara to enhance the “come hither” eyes. For lips, I applied several coats of the Pearly Pink gloss for ultra sexy shine.

Did You Know: This is one of several MUFE limited-edition holiday sets available. For more options, click here.

*Unless otherwise noted, face makeup is: Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation in #6; RMS Beauty “Un”Cover-Up in #22. Brows are Anastasia Tinted Brow Gel in Espresso. Mascara is Lancome Definicils High Definition Mascara in Deep Black.

DIY: Scrubs From Actress Kelly Kruger

By | diy | 7 Comments
*this post and it’s content reflect the words and opinions of the guest editor.

I recently started making my own body scrubs. This came about after I looked around at my products (I am after all a product whore!) and realized how much money I spend on crap! Sure, some of it is amazing but a lot of it contains all kind of stuff that is not necessarily great for you or your skin. I realized that the most natural, effective, beneficial ingredients were right in my kitchen! And soooooo easy to throw together!

Here are a few of my favorite DIY scrubs:

Coffee Scrub: This one is perfect to use in the morning to wake up and get you going. The caffeine is great for circulation and preventing cellulite. The peppermint is refreshing and promotes circulation, and the almond oil is very moisturizing and makes the skin so soft!

Warning: This one is super messy so be prepared to clean your shower after!

I don’t use exact measurements, I use my eye but I suggest only making a few days at a time. If you store it in the refrigerator, it will last longer.

Mix about 2 scoops of coffee grinds, sweet almond oil and few drops of peppermint oil in a bowl or container (I use tupperware). It’s strong, so start with a little and build up If you want more. Mix it together with a spoon and it’s ready to go.

Sugar Scrub: I love this one!

Mix some brown sugar with olive oil and coconut oil. How much brown sugar you use will depend on how much scrub you want to make. This one smells so good and it’s extremely moisturizing as it exfoliates. You can also add some vanilla extract for fragrance if you want. Again, a little goes a long way!

Try raw sugar for a stronger a scrub (but it won’t smell as good).

Salt Scrub: I don’t use this one as much as the other two. It’s great and exfoliates well, but salt is a bit harsh and can dry the skin so it just depends on your skin type.

I use himalayan pink sea salt. You can buy ground salt which is finer or the regular rocks. Mix with olive oil and a bit of coconut oil. You can even use sweet almond oil, too. Play around with this one until you find the texture and scent of your choice.

My last tip is to use exfoliating gloves with olive oil while in the shower. Your skin will feel amazing after.

*About the guest editor: Actress Kelly Kruger(Entourage,Young And the Restless, Blue Mountain State) discovered her love for beauty products while on movie and tv sets, working with different makeup artists and hair stylists. She developed a very strong addiction to buying beauty products often being labelled a “product whore” by friends and loved ones. In her spare time, you will most likely find Kelly at a beauty supply store feeding her addiction.

Makeup: Lancome Holiday 2011 by Kate Winslet

By | makeup | One Comment

For some, the holidays are a time to come together with family, drink eggnog and sing carols (that’s what people do, right?). For me, the holidays are a time to play dress up with holiday makeup collections!

First up is the Lancome limited-edition color collection by Kate Winslet. The brand ambassadress and British hottie has teamed up with her favorite makeup brand to create 3 products purrrfect for the holiday vixen in you. Kate is raising awareness for  The Golden Hat Foundation that improves the lives of people living with autism. Lancome has already pledging 150 Euros to the cause. Giving back is tres tres beautiful.

Back to the products: A fire engine red lippy that screams “kiss me under the mistletoe.” A matching red nail lacquer that says, “let me tickle you under the mistletoe.” And an illuminating smooth face powder ($42.00) – dubbed the Golden Hat as homage to the charity – that begs to be looked at, adored and photographed (under the mistletoe). The L’absolu Rouge ($29.00) comes in 5 colors, the Caprice, true red, being my fave and an amazing holiday red). Le Vernes polishes ($15.00) come in 5 colors that coincide with the lippies.

I’ve already jump started my Holiday look and sported the new apple red lip and face shimmer to a SoHo House dinner with friends. And, P.S., I could totes see Kate wearing the goods (especially the red lippy as red is pretty much her go-to).

When wearing a red lip, I like to keep the focus on my mouth (kiss me, kiss me), so I leave my eyes simple: defined arches and a coat of mascara. Skin should be flawless and the illuminating sparkle from the face powder adds that Holiday glow and festive cheer.

So far, I’m loving the holidays….


*holiday collection items

Spotlight: Make Up For Ever Halloween

By | makeup | 2 Comments

I realize that this post is a few days late, but I’m still in the Halloween spirit and I’m giving myself a little shameless promotion as I did the makeup!

Here are the deets:

Who: Albie Hueston – Events and Marketing Manager for Kanon Vodka (who threw 2 epic Halloween parties: In NYC, saints and sinners at the Standard and in LA, Tim Burton characters at the LACMA. Click here for sexy party pics).

What: Halloween Outfit – Vishnu (google it!)

How To: Make Up For Ever is THE BEST for highly pigmented, face painting (also known as theatrical makeup design).

For the pale blue face, I used the the 12 Flash Color Case (which I use every Halloween when making up my fab friends). This palette comes with 12 gorgeously saturated colors that go on strong and last all night long. I mixed the white and blue (on my arm!) until it gave me that pale blue hue. I applied with a fat concealer brush to the face, neck, ears (even inside!) and belly. I used the metallic gold from the case for an electric pop under the eyes, and I continued the color with a gentle pat on the eyelids. I completed the gilded lid with Make Up For Ever’s Star Powder in 957 – saffron with green highlights (translation: GOLD). The star powder is a super pigmented loose shadow with mega sparkle. I swept this from the lash line to the brow bone. I completed the eye with Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Liner in Black to line the lower lash line. It’s smooth, precise, easy to apply and doesn’t smudge through out the night. One of my favorite liners!

I used the Aqua Liner to create a very defined arch. I lightly penciled in the brows with the black liner and extended it out a bit on the ends to give it a stronger, more dramatic feel that framed the eyes.

For the lips, I went back to the 12 Flash Color Case and mixed the salmon pink, white and a dot of bright pink colors to create the ultimate soft, matte pink hue. I made the lips oversized because botox is so “in” (kidding!) – it actually gives the mouth a more theatrical “clown-like” effect. Albie and I were both obsessed with the contrast of the “bedroom pink” lips and the pale blue face.

And, that’s it! I only used 3 products to accomplish the Vishnu face. Makeup took about 1 hour total.

Doesn’t Albie look super sexxxy?! (hair and seductive stare sold separately)

What was your Halloween face?




Bathing Beauty: Sarah Kugelman, Founder of skyn Iceland

By | bathing beauties | One Comment

Sarah Kugelman, founder of skyn Iceland, has been in the business of beauty for over two decades. She started one of the original beauty sites, gloss.com and sold it to Estee Lauder – quite the accomplishment! Additionally, Sarah has worked tirelessly for 20 years to create and perfect her promising skin care line. The result is a product collection with pure ingredients from Iceland that prides itself on removing the stress from your skin (amen to that!).

Here, Sarah (such a nice name!) dishes on skyn Iceland’s newest product launch and the secret to looking fabulous (it has something to do with a bed and a man…):

What are your top 5, can’t-live-without products?
1 – Josie Maran Argan Natural Volume Lip Gloss: I’m allergic to nearly all lip products (they make my lips dry/flakey) but these natural lip glosses don’t, so I can be healthy and glamorous!

2 – Pureology Essential Repair, Restorative Hair Mask: Last year, I was getting a blow-out and the stylist completely fried my hair. The only thing that restored it was this Pureology deep conditioner. It saved my hair!

3 – YSL black mascara: It’s just the best and I love the packaging.

4 – skyn ICELAND Pure Cloud Cream: I have dry skin and nothing hydrates and calms it like this cream. I developed it so it would be deeply moisturizing without being heavy or greasy. There’s nothing else like it and I’ve had big companies try to knock it off and no one can figure out our secret!!

5 – A new anti-aging serum I’m developing for launch in 2012: It’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever used. It has transformed my skin into flawless, glowing, even-toned skin. Stay tuned!!!

What is your all-time favorite product?
Georgette Klinger’s drying lotion. I’ve been using it since I was 19yrs old. It’s the double zap for a bad blemish. It’s what goes on top of my normal anti-blemish routine at night. It’s bright pink so you can’t wear it during the day but it really feels like it goes to work instantly and I love the way it smells (think camphor and witch hazel). I’m so upset because they don’t make it anymore. I’ve had one jar for about 2 yrs and I keep adding water to the dry bits at the bottom and shaking it up. I’ll have to recreate it somehow, someday! [Editor’s Note: Try Mario Badescu’s Drying Lotion as an alternative.]

What product do you buy in bulk?
Aveeno Body Lotion. I have the driest skin ever and have to moisturize at least 2 times a day. Also L’Occitane bath and shower gels (in Pine/Rosemary/Vetiver and Verbena). I discovered these on vacation in St Maarten years ago and have been hooked ever since.

Favorite hair product?
Pureology and John Masters conditioner. It detangles and conditions hair without leaving a residue or being too heavy. AND it’s natural! Also, love Frederic Fekkai shampoos. OK, I can’t pick just one!

You moisturize your face with…
With skyn ICELAND’s Pure Cloud Cream in the winter and Antidote Daily Lotion in the summer. skyn ICELAND’s Oxygen Infusion Night Cream at night!

Favorite body product?
That’s a hard one, I’m always on the search for a perfect body lotion and I can’t say I’ve really found one although I love Elemental Herbology body creams. They have a really nice product – natural, performance driven and nice scents. I also really like Peter Thomas Roth’s Blemish Buffing Beads Body. It’s a body wash that keeps my skin so smooth and the beads are moisturizing so it doesn’t dry.

Favorite beauty secret you’ve picked up along the way?
When I was a teenager, my mother took me to a dinner party and a French woman told me that the best beauty secret is to have a good man in your bed! Since then, I’ve also learned that a lot of sleep, drinking a lot of water, staying out of the sun, exercising and a great, natural moisturizer is the BEST beauty regimen. My grandmother who lived to 105, never left the house without ‘a little lipstick on’ — that goes without saying!

Beauty icon you admire?
I don’t know if she’s really a beauty icon, but I am inspired by Sienna Miller. She is stunningly beautiful (naturally!), has an incredible smile, beautiful skin and a great sense of personal style. She is modern, sexy, funny, and stylish. There is something timeless about her.

To explore Sarah’s skyn Iceland product range, visit  www.skyniceland.com.

Makeup: Tom Ford Color Quad

By | makeup | 4 Comments

There’s nothing like some Tom Ford to make your life a little less bleak. While his clothes were the envy of fashionistas near and far, his makeup is the must-have for the beauty obsessed (like moi!). So, I’m very excited about this product – the Eye Quad (and, apparently I am the first blogger to receive the Quad in Silver Topaz — clap, clap!).

A Quad is the perfect product for deciphering what colors to use with what. Once you choose your color group (purples, golds, greys, etc), the Quad does the rest of the work for you. For example, I’m big into golds — LOVE them. Tom Ford’s Silver Topaz Eye Quad contains four shadows in this color range. It takes the guessing out of the equation. The Silver Topaz Quad happens to be available only for pre-order (along with about a half-dozen other quads), but I guarantee this thing will sell out like hot cakes (I don’t even know what a hot cake is but I dig the expression!). They are spot-on for Holiday makeup looks.

The Silver Topaz Quad  is a collection of brown, khaki and golden hues (with a mauve undertone). Each quad includes a sheer sparkle, satin, shimmer and matte shadow to give the eye texture. This particular quad includes a light, sparkly neutral/ beige shadow (sheer sparkle), a moss green/ khaki shadow (satin), a medium mauve brown (shimmer), and a dark brown (matte) for lining or use in the crease.

Here’s how it looks on my eye (sans the khaki):

 (a terrible picture, I know, but check out the satiny finish on my eyelid – so purrrty!)

Other quads include Cobalt Rush, a collection of blues, Sahara Haze, greens, and Cocoa Mirage, browns.

HOW TO USE A QUAD: Sweep the lightest color all over your eyelid. Follow with a medium hue as a base and apply near the lash line for a pop of color. Finish with the darkest shadow to use in the crease. You can also line your eye with the darkest shadow if you’re steering clear of the smoky eye look. The fourth shadow can be mixed in – used as an alternate base or crease color.

Time for me to go smoke my eyes with some sexy golden brown pigments!

PRICE TAG: $75.00

UPDATE: After wearing the shadow in the day light, it seems that the colors are more of a slate palette – which I LOVE! There is actually no gold hues, but browns and slate with a mauve (pink) undertone. Looks fab with my olive skin and dark hair, yet it doesn’t completely take over (as gold can sometimes do). I’m thinking the Quad is perfect for a day look, golds can be reserved for night-chic.


*Holiday gift ideas

Girl Crush: Jessica Alba

By | celebrity looks | 3 Comments

This is a double girl crush: Love Jessica Alba and love Jen Atkin… put them together and it’s a full blown love affair – which is exactly how I felt when I first saw this picture of Jessica from An Evening With Ralph Lauren hosted by the one and only, Ms. Oprah Winfrey.

It’s no secret that Jessica Alba is super hot. It’s also no secret that Jen Atkin is one of my favorite hair stylist on earth. So, obvs I love love love this hair! The perfect updo with class sans the stuffiness. Tres glam.

Here’s how to get the look:

Inspiration: A Chinese-inspired, classy updo with an Asian twist

The Look: Prep the hair by applying a wave spray, such as Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray, throughout the

hair to give it volume and texture. Blow dry the hair all the way through using a round brush. When the hair is fully
dry, use a 1 inch curling iron create loose thick curls throughout the hair to infuse body. Separate the bang section and
create a strong part to one side, putting the rest of the hair in a low ponytail and secure with a bungee band. On the
ends of the hair, apply KeSARI Indian Oil Hair Serum to make the hair glossy and smooth. To create the up do, take
large sections of the hair and twist them up. Secure each twist using French hair pins. To finish off the look, apply a
small amount the KeSARI Indian Oil Hair Serum into the bangs and on the sides of the hair to maximize shine.

Jen’s Thoughts: “The KeSARI oil is perfect for red carpet events because it does an excellent job of keeping the hair healthy
and shiny, especially when cameras hit it!”

Real Life Look: Wear an updo to a black tie event, dinner party or wedding.

GIVEAWAY: Pur~lisse Skin Care

By | Uncategorized | 13 Comments

I’m in the giving kind-of mood today. Keeping in the birthday spirit (mine was yesterday – 30, again!), I decided that I wanted to share a very special giveaway with all of my fabulous readers!

We’ve joined forces with Jennifer Yen of Pur~lisse skin care to offer 3 AMAZING PUR~LISSE PACKAGES! Here’s what you can win:

3 winners will receive a package containing Pur~lisse Youth Preserve, Moisturizer and Lip Comfort! This combo pack is the pur~fect winter skin care kit for staying youthful, glowing, hydrated and healthy! (Product deets below giveaway rules).


Giveaway is open exclusively to members of Beauty Banter (to become a member, leave your email under the “become a member” tab on the right side of the site. Click “join” and follow the instructions sent to your email). 

You must be a FAN of our facebook page (click here to “like” us). Once you’re a fan, leave a comment on the Beauty Banter facebook page telling us what are your winter skin woes! Mine is dull-looking skin (nothing less attractive — except for shiny skin!). Finish off with your email address (so that we can contact you if you win!).

That’s it!

Contest closes on Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at noon PST. Winner will be chosen at random and notified via email. Only one entry per person.


Remember, there will be 3 WINNERS so get going!

Good Luck!

About the products:

Pur~Youth Preserve (valued at $76.00): “Our powerful peptide complex, Lotus Lupine 5, combines with antioxidant-rich Vitamin E, Rice Bran Oil, Peony and Wheat Proteins, and Lupine Peptides for an ageless revitalized glow.”

Pur~Moist (valued at $55.00): ” Infused with our unique, exclusive peptide complex, Lotus Lupine 5, Vitamin E and our secret blend of French Marine Plants, skin becomes dewy and supple – pure harmony.”

Pur~Lip Comfort (valued at $16.00): “Our exclusive petroleum~free nourisher brings smiles to dry pouts, as lavish fruits butters and healing vegetable oils richly hydrate. Lackluster lips become softer, moister and more youthful~looking.”

Total Value For Each Package: $147.00

WEEKLY MUST-HAVE: Arcona Pumpkin Lotion 10%

By | body, weekly must-have | 2 Comments

In the spirit of Halloween, I thought a pumpkin post would be rather fitting. So, this week’s must have is Arcona’s Pumpkin Body Lotion 10%. 

Arcona is a fantastic natural skin and body care line (their cranberry gommage is next level amazing for the face) that was established in 1989 under the pretense that enzymes, antioxidants and amino acids should work together, in synergy, for optimum results. While the skin care is superb (and a must-try) we’ll save our face-gushing for another post.

This week, we’re obsessing over the Pumpkin Body Lotion, a lightweight regenerative cream made with pumpkin extracts and glycolic acid to improve skin’s tone and elasticity and repair sun damage. I’m using it for the latter purpose; post-summer calls for extra attention to skin damage thanks to sunbathing (with SPF, obviously).

You only need to use a thin layer on the lotion as this stuff seriously works. You’ll feel a slight tingle/ burning once applied – this is how you know that the lotion is working it’s magic. The result is softer, smoother, more even skin. How, you ask? Pumpkin contains natural AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) and fruit enzymes which help to speed up cell turnover, removing the old, dull skin so that new, fresh skin can be seen and felt. TIP – Steer clear of application after shaving or you’ll feel like you just got stung by a dozen jelly fish!

But you have to keep using it to notice the benefits as they are cumulative! Yes, I know, it’s a commitment, but one your body (and your man) will thank you for. Since slathering on daily, I am amazed how seriously soft my skin feels. So amazed, in fact, that I can’t even keep my hands off of it. Imagine the impact if I had a boyfriend?!

PRICE TAG: $35.00 for 4 oz

*available in 10% and 20% strengths (I’m using the 10% one).

Click here to read up on all of the fab ways that pumpkin helps to beautify the skin.

Makeup: Ellis Faas

By | makeup | 5 Comments

Ellis Faas Beauty is fairly new to me. I first used a lip gloss from the line about three months ago. Then, while at the Sephora Meatpacking Store opening party a few months back, I came across an awesome display with all of the Ellis Faas products. Here’s what struck me: every product is in a sleek, silver pen-like tube (save for the foundation called “Skin Veil” that people rave about – although I have yet to try – and compact powder). I remember thinking, this is the coolest, most original line in the entire store – it must be European! And alas, I was correct.

The woman behind the brand, Ellis Faas, is a Dutch celebrity makeup artist who got her big break from the fab fashion photographer, Mario Testino. Ellis started her eponymous product line a few years ago, and based the collection around the colors that exist in the human body. Each product is a fluid (because the human body is made up of mostly water, notes Ellis) and comes housed in a bullet-influenced, silver pen. The applicator brush is attached to each pen so it makes application tres tres easy (and chic). For example, the liquid eye liner has a thin paint brush-like applicator while the eyeshadow and lippies have a slightly thicker bristled applicator or a sponge applicator, depending on the type of formula you have chosen (milky and glazed lips come bristled, creamy lips come sponged).


Besides being the coolest packaged makeup company I have ever encountered, the products work surprisingly well. At one point, I seemed to have overused the gold liquid shadow and, as it dries rather quickly, I simply used my finger to pat down the excess. Between fingers and applicators, I feel like a little girl painting in elementary school!

The site is awesome and worth a glance too. There is an entire section devoted to “How To” videos so you have no excuses for not understanding how to apply the various products. This video is quite interesting with its dynamic use of face color (unwearable yet very artistic) inspired by a Francis Bacon exhibit from the Tate Museum in London. The site also has fabulously dramatic images of women with loads of makeup that somehow seem so beautiful.

Products To Try:

Ellis Glazed Lips L303 – A sheer, glossy red (Ellis is known for her fabulous red hues, this one is a favorite).

Ellis Eyeliner in Black – Liquid, easy to apply, leaves an amazingly precise line. Love.

Ellis Lights in E303 – A goldish/ bronze metallic liquid shadow that dries rather quickly but still manages to maintain a “wet”look.

The classic holder is a must if you want to be hygienic and store your products fashionably.

About Beauty Banter
Beauty Banter was launched in July of 2006 as a comprehensive beauty blog covering trends, tips and tricks, insider secrets, and weekly must-haves. Beauty Banter has a reputation of being on the cutting edge of emerging trends and product launches so our readers are always the first to know what’s hot and what’s just not.