Friday, February 29, 2008

Lady Gray

Ebony and ivory
Mixed together in perfect harmony
Side by side on my eyelids, fingers, toenails
Why don’t we?

I’m not going to say anything silly like “such and such is the new black”…because, really, we hear enough of that nonsense every season. There are so many makeup trends right now that even a beauty buff, like me, can’t keep up. But I will tell you that one craze I’m digging is the color gray.

Unlike brown or beige, this basic is anything but boring. It’s neutral, with an edge – yet very versatile. Which cloudy colors am I crushing on?

Essie’s Great Expectations (from the Spring 2008 ‘In The Mood’ color collection) is the lightest, softest, sheerest gray with a subtle hint of glimmer. It goes on creamy and lasts for-evah.

MAC Eye Shadow in Alum is a mid-tone blue grey with soft blue pearl (Satin). A few weeks ago, while browsing at Bloomingdale’s, I was eyeing up this shade for about 10 minutes - when a MAC makeup artist offered to dust some on my lids. A few minutes later, I had the sexiest (but somehow effortless-looking) smoky eye!

Lush Lower Lashes

To lash out like the lovely Courteney Cox, recommends wiggling a waterproof, no-flake mascara wand along the roots of lower lashes, then tapping each lash while holding the wand vertically. Wait two minutes, then gently curl lashes with a Sephora Lower Lash Curler.

Which mascara to use? CoverGirl LashBlast, my hands-down new favorite mascara, is now available in a waterproof formula! Lash Blast supersizes and volumizes, with no clumps. I love how it makes me look like “that girl” - you know the one with the ridiculously fab lashes? Yeah, well…that’s me now.

Here’s another lower lash tip: Last month, I had an opportunity to learn some tricks of the trade from CoverGirl celebrity makeup artist, Molly R. Stern. She said that if you wear a slightly lighter shade of mascara on your lower lashes than on your upper lashes (i.e. – very black on top, black on bottom), your wide-eyed look will look more natural. And at $8 a pop, you can afford to splurge and buy two tubes.

Cover Girl Lash Blast Mascara is available at your local drugstore.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Get 25% Off Jaqua Cosmetic And Travel Bags

Get 25% off Jaqua’s cosmetic and travel bags, just in time for Spring break!

The Getaway Bag, with a cute Jaqua heart logo zipper pull, is perfectly sized for a weekend getaway and it's so lightweight you can fill it up without it dragging you down.

The Necessary Bag is made with pink faux leather (for easy rinses!) and a removable clear PVC pouch for access to all of your hair and body products. It opens out to hang on a hook or a bathroom door, and has zippered pockets for accessories. I have this one...I luvre it!

To carry smaller cosmetic items and precious jewelry, Jaqua’s set of three Treasure Bags is perfect. They are elegantly designed with a sturdy, lightweight nylon oxford front and a faux pink leather back, each lined with fabric in chocolate brown. These precious bags are tied together with a pink grosgrain bow and ready for travel!

Get 25% off these wonderful bags as Jaqua’s way of saying "happy spring!"

Promotion Code use: (1) Add any travel bag(s) to your Shopping Cart (2) Enter the promotion code TRAVL1 below the contents of your shopping cart. (3) Click the "Go" button, next to the promotion code. (4) Confirm your 25% discount has been applied. (5) Check-out.

Promotion expires on 3/5/08.

Halle In A Bottle

You may not look like Halle Berry, but soon you’ll be able to smell like her. Today, Women’s Wear Daily announced that Coty has signed Academy Award-winning actress Halle Berry to a scent development deal, which will involve the star developing a fragrance portfolio and appearing in its advertising.

"Halle is an iconic actress and symbolizes beauty to many generations," Steve Mormoris, senior vice president of global marketing at Coty Beauty US, told WWD at the Personal Care Products Council's annual meeting here. "She adds another dimension to the celebrity fragrance market. Halle has always been a little more mysterious, not quite as open with her personal life as some other stars. Her fragrances will allow her to present another facet of her personality to her fans."

I don't know if this fragrance deal will proclude her from being a Revlon spokeswoman. guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Halle's first fragrance products are expected to launch globally in spring 2009. Coty's celebrity portfolio also includes the scent brands of Jennifer Lopez, David and Victoria Beckham, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kimora Lee Simmons, Gwen Stefani, Celine Dion, Kate Moss and Tim McGraw.

Darphin Special Offer

Darphin is offering beauty blog readers an exciting incentive. Receive a staff picks sample duo including 8 Flower Nectar and Hydraskin Light with any order of $75 or more.

Just follow these 4 easy steps…

Step 1: Place an order for your favorite Darphin products (offer valid on purchases of $75 or more on
Step 2: Simply enter BEAUTYBLOG at checkout.
Step 3: Receive samples of 8 Flower Nectar and Hydraskin Light.
Step 4: Your order will be processed with FREE standard shipping.

Girly Girls: The Growing Trend of Marketing Makeup To Children

In today’s New York Times, the paper takes an interesting look at the growing phenomenon of pre-pubescent makeup use. Analysts say this is part of a trend called KGOY (kids getting older younger) – a trend which is only enabled by pushover parents.

Years ago, I was shocked when pre-teens started carrying Dooney & Bourke handbags and wearing 7 For All Mankind jeans. And don’t get me started on the sweatpants with “Juicy” splashed across the ass. I used to find fault with just the parents, but the article points out that retailers are also to blame.

“Today, cosmetic companies and retailers increasingly aim their sophisticated products and service packages squarely at 6- to 9-year-olds, who are being transformed into savvy beauty consumers before they’re out of elementary school.”

According to the article:

*In a study last year, 55 percent of 6- to 9-year-old girls said they used lip gloss or lipstick, and nearly two-thirds said they used nail polish, according to Experian, a market research company based in New York. In 2003, 49 percent of 6- to 9-year-old girls said they used lip gloss or lipstick.

*Sweet & Sassy, a salon and party destination based in Texas for girls 5 to 11, includes pink limo service as a party add-on, which starts at $150 a ride.

*At Club Libby Lu, a mall-based chain, girls of any age can mix their own lip gloss and live out their pop idol fantasies. Last year, the chain did about a million makeovers in its 90 stores nationwide.

*Dashing Diva franchises often offer virgin Cosmos in martini glasses along with their extra-virgin nail polish, free of a group of chemicals called phthalates, for a round of services for a birthday girl and her friends.

Virgin Cosmos?!?!?! Huh?

I don’t know about you, but I am sickened by this. It doesn’t quite rise to the level of Big Tobacco marketing to adolescents and teens, but it’s pretty damned close. And the parents who can’t say no just add fuel to the proverbial fire. I’m all for buying your pre-teen some Bonne Bell Lip Smackers (that’s what my mom did, and I turned out just fine)…but limos and faux cocktails? I think this trend will only lead to bad things – like girls begging for rhinoplasty and boob jobs to commemorate their sweet sixteen.

Photos courtesy of The New York Times.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

C.O. Bigelow's New Mentha Lip Tints

C.O. Bigelow’s new Mentha Lip Tints are the lip balms we all know and love – now available in six gorgeous shades (bare mint, coral mint, pink mint, magenta mint, plum mint, and violet mint). Lips stay moist, look ultra-glossy, and peppermint oil gives breath long-lasting freshness. One tube will set you back $7.50…but pick up three tints today for the low, low price of $15!

Available at Bath & Body Works and C.O. Bigelow.

Shu Uemura Spring 2008: Rebirth

This Spring, shu uemura introduces their 126th collection, aptly named REBIRTH, in which Mr. Uemura tells a story about nature blooming in spring.

REBIRTH embraces the energy of the season, and translates these elements through vibrant colors. The collection features an abstract image of a flower blooming, drawn by Mr. Uemura himself. This collection is very special, as it was his last before passing away in December.

The REBIRTH collection includes the following limited-edition products:

*Tri-Color Eye Pencil in Aqua Flow and Energy Flow
*Pressed Eye Shadow in Spring Breeze, Earth Brown, Sun Stream, Yellow Elation, and Pristine Green
*Rouge Unlimited in Dewy Beige, Pink Bloom, and Serene Pink
*Glow On in Harmonious Orange and Tranquil Pink
*Nail Enamel in Gold Zest and Innocent Beige

As a tribute to this collection and Mr. Uemura’s work, shu uemura Principle Makeup Artists Jason Hoffman and Misumi Kitano created three very special looks.

Rita Brown, shu uemura Principle Makeup Artist, created this look (left), entitled BREEZE, exclusively for Spoiled Pretty readers!

Matte skin
Subtle highlight around the eye area

Rocket Eye Pencil in Aqua Flow – use grey pencil from lashline to mid-crease and under the eye
Pressed Eye Shadow in Spring Breeze – layer on top of pencil and blend up into the crease and under the eye
Pressed Eye Shadow in ME Beige 800 – inner corner of the eye
Liquid Eyeliner in Black – very tight line on the top and bottom
Precise Volume Mascara in Black – top and bottom
False Eyelashes Luxe in Black – top and bottom

Glow On Tranquil Pink – apply to cheekbone

Rouge Unlimited Pink Bloom – apply on top and bottom of lip

I’ll be testing the products soon, so check back for my review. To shop shu uemura, visit

Perfect Condition-er

Do you know what my favorite hair conditioner is? Likely, you don’t.

I wrote a review back in the day - when I had, literally, 50 readers. I even bought two jars and sponsored my first giveaway. I think I received 8 or nine entries. Boy, times have changed.

Click here to read the review. Then go get you some.

Pink Eyes

I am absolutely infatuated with Lily Donaldson’s pink eye shadow in the new Spring 2008 ads for Max Mara.

I don’t know if I’m daring enough to rock this look. But for those of you who are, no need to purchase pink eye shadow (though MAC has a great selection). Just find a matte/satin pink blush that compliments your skin tone (I’m a fan of Bobbi Brown blushes), and apply with an eye shadow brush.

Let the shadow be the focus, and leave the rest of your face alone – think natural lashes, bare cheeks, and a nude, understated lip.

New York Mag Gives Spoiled Pretty Some Link Luv

I love New York Magazine, so imagine my glee to learn that recently gave Spoiled Pretty some link love. On Monday, Amy Odell's 'the Cut' column gave a shout out to my post on Fresh’s new color collection.

Check it out!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Look And Smell Like A Wino: Amy Winehouse To Launch Beauty Line

Dear Spoiled Pretty,

I love beauty products. But as much as I try, I can’t find the right products to recreate the crackhead look that’s all the rage these days. It seems that I’ve been to every department store and beauty boutique – and while many of the makeup brands have a Park Avenue vibe going on, I’m looking for products that scream skid row. Help!?!?

-Wino Wannabe

Dear Wino,

If looking sober and hygienic isn’t your thang, you’re in luck. The Sun reports that Amy Winehouse is launching her own line of beauty products, which will include hairspray, liquid eyeliner, and perfume.

Crack rocks sold separately.

Spoiled Pretty

Free Kiehl's Lip Balm

Shop now and get a free Lip Balm #1 (reg. $8.50) with any purchase. Enter code CANDY at checkout.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Starlet Cosmetics Giveaway

Last month, I introduced you all to Starlet Cosmetics’ 7 piece Folder Brush Set – which has since become a staple in my purse. Now - just in time for Spring - they've released the Theatrical Palette, which contains 15 covetable colors.

From red to yellow to blue eye shadow shades, wearing the season’s most stylish looks involves equally bright colors for both eyes and lips. Both daytime and evening looks can be achieved by incorporating neutrals, grays and black applied for an intense finish.

“This spring is all about color, which allows for so much creativity when it comes to makeup application,” says Debbie Chow, Founder and CEO of Starlet Cosmetics. “I challenge every woman to select an outrageous shade they never thought they would wear, like a purple or orange, and experiment with it.”

The Theatrical Palette retails for $50 and is available at But one lucky reader is gonna get Spoiled Pretty, because Starlet Cosmetics is generously sponsoring a giveaway!

To enter, send an email to - be sure to include your full name. The subject line should read "Starlet Cosmetics Giveaway.” The contest ends at 9 pm EST on Sunday, March 2nd. A winner will be chosen at random from among the entrants. On Monday, March 3rd, I’ll announce the winner's name. Please, only one entry per person; duplicate entries will not increase your chances of winning. Contest is open to U.S. & Canadian residents.

And for those of you who can’t wait to get better acquainted with Starlet Cosmetics, add them as a friend on Facebook (just reference 'Spoiled Pretty' in the message) and get a code for 20% off your next purchase! This is an exclusive deal – only for Spoiled Pretty readers. You see? Membership does have its privileges.

Enter the giveaway now. And good luck!

Milani Runway Eyes And Color Brilliance Eye Pencils

The other day, I received a package in the mail. When I opened it, I was surprised to find a generous assemblage of beauty bounty – courtesy of my friends at Milani.

My favorites of the bunch are their new Runway Eyes. Each compact contains a single powder shadow that can be used dry for a shimmery, sheer wash of color – or wet, for a more intense look (and as a liner).

The colors are absolutely yummy to look at. And though many of the color options appear quite bold, they are surprisingly wearable.

Now that I’ve had a chance to play around with the products, I can honestly say that anyone can wear these shadows. The lighter colors are so sheer that they compliment a wide variety of skin tones. And the darker shades can be used to create a very easy smoky eye when applied with a dry brush – even for those of you who typically gravitate towards paler eye colors. The only warning I have is that these shadows aren’t particularly long-lasting; so I would advise prepping the lid with a primer. My recommendation is Urban Decay’s Eyeshadow Primer Potion. Otherwise, these get the Spoiled Pretty seal of approval. Scroll down for more color swatches.

I was also impressed by Milani’s Color Brilliance Eye Pencils. The pencils go on very creamy, apply smoothly – so they won’t tug on your eyelid, and the color payout is very good. In the pic, you can see the colors I received (black, purple, aqua, and green).

Milani cosmetics are available at your local drugstore.

Fafi Contest Winner Revealed

Good Monday, beauties. I know you’re anxious for me to announce the winner of the Fafi Giveaway. I stayed up late last night so that you could enjoy the Oscars Red Carpet recap with your morning cup of caffeine; which means I’m exhausted, and all out of clever things to write. So I’m just going to get to it.

Congratulations to Kelly Skahan!

She is the winner of $175 worth of cosmetics from MAC's newest color collection, Fafi! Yay for Kelly!!!

I know what you’re thinking (if your name isn’t Kelly Skahan). You’re thinking, "What about me? I wanted me some Fafi. When is it my turn?"

I realize that many of you were really looking forward to this one. But unfortunately, I only had so many products to give away. Trust me, I love giving away these prizes as much as you love winning them – so don’t get discouraged. I’m on a roll, y’all. And I’m going to keep the contests coming so that everyone has a chance to be a winner. And in between the contests, I’ll try to squeeze in some actual beauty reviews and articles.

Check back later today, when I announce your next chance to get Spoiled Pretty. Until then…

Daneen :)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Oscars 2008 Red Carpet Recap

The 80th annual Academy Awards are a thing of the past, and by now you probaby know that the big five went to Javier Bardem (Best Supporting Actor, No Country For Old Men), Tilda Swinton (Best Supporting Actress, Michael Clayton), Marion Cotillard (Best Actress, La Vie En Rose), Daniel Day Lewis (Best Actor, There Will Be Blood), and No Country For Old Men (Best Film). I'm no expert, but this could be the first time in 80 years that no American took home a statuette for an acting performance. Right? Anyway...

But what about the red carpet? Read on to hear my take on the night's big winners and losers (click on the photo to enlarge the image).

Best Dressed, Tressed, with Makeup to Impress

The ladies in red reigned supreme on the red carpet. Heidi Klum looked regal in this custom-made Galliano gown. And I'm absolutely obsessed with her hair! The exaggerated bun is like a crown. Flawless.

If anyone was still questioning Lancome's choice for their new spokesperson, Anne Hathaway surely quieted those naysayers tonight. Anne was a grecian goddess, from all angles, in this draped dress by Marchesa. She has the prettiest ponytail I've ever was simple, classic, and glamorous - all at the same time. And her makeup, from the bold brow to the subtle lip stain, is pitch perfect.

The Runners Up

Jennifer Garner was one hot momma in Oscar de la Renta. The dress, as you can see, is anything but basic black. And I'm loving the un-fussified updo, winged eyeliner, and pale lip. No wonder Gary Busey attacked her on the red carpet. This is the best she's ever looked.

Mommy-to-be Jessica Alba makes third trimesters look terrific, with a little help from Marchesa. Notice the braids in her hair? You're going to see them everywhere this Spring.

Miley Cyrus looked like an old pro, pouting and posing in her Valentino frock.

I don't really know who Kristen Chenoweth is (I looked her up on, and turns out she stars on Pushing Daisies) - but she looked stunning in Armani Prive. I really love her understated makeup; her natural beauty shines through. Bravo.

Hillary Swank never disappoints. It's like she has the magic formula (or a genius stylist). Her body was made for Versace.

Katherine Heigl is another actress I always look forward to seeing on the red carpet. She looks fierce in this red Escada gown, but you can tell that she's genuinely enjoying herself and she's comfy in her own skin. And what's more beautiful than that?

For a while, I couldn't decide whether or not I liked Penelope's Oscar 2008 look. Blasphemy, you may say. Don't soon as I saw Miss Cruz take the stage as a presenter, I was convinced that this Chanel gown was a work of art. It moved like water. And the feathers? Inspired! As usual, her hair and makeup were perfection.

Photos don't do Helen Mirren's dress justice. You probably can't tell from these pics, but the sleeves of her Georges Chakra gown were made of Swarovski crystals. When she presented the Best Actor Award, she dazzled. It was quite beautiful. And much like last year, Helen gives those young starlets a run for their money.


Cameron Diaz looks like she overslept, threw on her dress, and did her hair and makeup in the limo - without a mirror. Her Dior gown is ill-fitting, wrinkled, and the color washes her out. Yes, she's a natural beauty. But for the Academy Awards, even former models like Diaz need some cosmetic help. Cammie, what happened? When did you stop caring? I expected so much more.

Marion Cotillard was a winner last night, but I'm not convinced that her Jean Paul Gaultier dress deserves top honors; it reminds me of fish scales. And I'm no makeup artist or hairstylist, but I'm confident that I could re-create her look with drugstore cosmetics and some hot rollers. Bottom line, the look was comme-ci, comme ça.

Normally, Keri Russell is a bohemian beauty - which is why I was surpised to see her in this Nina Ricci gown. It's a very pretty design, but it almost seems like she was playing dress up in someone else's closet. I expected something more edgy from her. The color is also quite bland. Perhaps I might be more wowed if she chose the gown in a less safe shade. I'm also feeling a bit blah about the hair and makeup.

Amy Adams. Hmmmm. Where do I start? Well, wasn't thrilled about her Proenza Schouler dress. The silhouette is nice, but the color didn't wow me. Her hair and makeup were alright, but at the risk of sounding snarky, I was distracted by the bags under her eyes. I kept thinking, "Why didn't her makeup artist do something to correct that?" I really wanted to reach through the TV screen and hand her some Kate Somerville Line Release Under Eye Repair. Poor thing.

Sorry - but I still can't get down with Renée Zellweger's short hairdo. It's looking a little better now that it's grown out a bit. Luckily her breathtaking Carolina Herrera gown distracts us from her hairdon't.

I like Jennifer Hudson's bangs and makeup (her skin looks especially luminous). But her Robert Cavalli dress looks like it needs to be let out a little. But a marked improvement from last year. She's getting there.

What Was She Thinking?

What the hell is wrong with Tilda Swinton? She looked like an alien at the SAG Awards, but I didn't write anything because I figured she was having an off night. Last night, she seared my eyes yet again with this black Lanvin monstrosity and no makeup. Now that she's won her perfomance in Michael Clayton, this ridiculous look will be immortalized (she looked better in the movie, by the way, than she did at the awards ceremony). Is she thumbing her nose at awards shows? Or is she really so kooky that she thinks this "look" looks good?

Worst Hair

John Travolta. The photo speaks for itself.