Winter 2005 Beauty Review forums

Help Support forums:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.
Jun 13, 2004
Reaction score
Winter 2005 Beauty Review

written by Alison Blackman Dunham

In March, Clinique will be unveiling a brand-new set of six beautiful makeup brushes: Powder Blush $30.00, Blush $25.00, Eye Shader $20.00, Eye Shadow $18.50, Eye Contour $28.50, and Concealer $16.50. These have eye-catching, dressing-table worthy silvery handles and natural hair bristles (*concealer is synthetic) that are perfect to give yourself, or to get from a friend. Makeup tools are essential to getting the results you want. We loved these modestly-priced brushes that are expertly shaped, high performance tools to help you apply makeup just like the pros. They also have a bonus -- a patent pending anti-microbial technology which protects the brushes from mold, fungus and bacteria. Good tools deserve good care. To keep all your makeup brushes in top condition, pump a bit of Clinique's Brush Cleanser $12.50 through a wet brush, massage it into the bristles, and rinse. This quickly, easily and effectively disinfects the brush and removes all traces of makeup, so your makeup is always applied clean and fresh.

Makeup Brushes are a fashionista's essential toolkit.To make the 20th birthday of MAKE UP FOR EVER, the company created a magnificent Mongolian Goat Hair Brush $35.00 that is great fun to use. It's very large and luxe with super-soft black-tipped goat-hair bristles. Use this ultra-wide brush with black lacquer handle for blush or contour, or as we liked it best, for applying powders in one, even, swoop. If you travel, the Mini-Brush Set $55.00 will give you maxi results! It contains a beautifully shaped, generously-sized, blush brush (fine goat hair), a great, all-purpose eye shadow blender brush (sable) and a blending applicator (sponge) in a slim, oblong, zippered, black matte nylon carrying case. There's also a nylon pocket build-in so you can carry a few other essentials as you choose. The handles are approx. 3 1/2" so they're not tiny--just right for accurate application. If you want three professional quality, easy-to-use essential makeup applicators, this is the set!

AVEDA's color choices are not only beautiful, they are universally wearable. The newPetal Essenceâ„¢ Duo Eye Color $15.00 brighten eyes in 6 color combos. "#983 Snowdrop/Bluette" has a pearly beige coupled with an amazing blue-grey that goes with everything, and every one. Pick Petal Essenceâ„¢ Single Eye Color $11.00 in one of 18 shades, and make your own combo. Great for smoky eye or liner is "#973 Vinica," a deep slightly shimmery purple, or #979 Sunset," a stunning, coppery brown that will make your lids look sunkissed even if it's gloomy outside, and stay true to color! Line lids with a new Eye Definer $12.00. "#918 Wild Indigo" is a dark-as-the-night blue-black softer than stark black. TIP: These liners are soft enough to make a precise line, but still blend-able.

Dreary days ahead? brighten them up with an Eye Palette $14.99 by Sonia Kashuk. There are several "six packs" of colors in various combos. For Winter into Spring, the chic, "Creamy Dreamy"gives sexy shimmer mixed with subtle neutrals for soft, pretty eyes. The shadows smooth on easily without a greasy feel. They'll stay put without creeping into dry patches and fine lines, too! TIP: you can also layer these over powder colors to give them shimmer.

Eye Liner Duet Pencils by N.Y.C. Color $1.99 give you two colors on one pencil, basic black with either green, purple, brown, silver or blue. The super-soft liner pencils blend beautifully, by the way! We especially liked "Through the Storm," a rich purple and black combo and "Endless Love" pairing black with soft silver. For a light on your lids and just for glam fun, try a bit of Sparkle Eye Dust $3.99. Lift the cleverly-packaged brush-applicator out of the clear, reservoir of powder and dust lids with a soft, sparkling wash of color. These remind us of pricier brands but work just as well. "Baby Blue" is a romantic, light silvery-blue. Ditto "Champagne," a sparkly nude, and "Pink Champagne" a rosed-up version.

Beleaguered lids rejoice! The Makeup Hydro-Powder Eye Shadow $21.00 by Shiseido goes on cool to the touch, adding a surprising refreshment to your makeup application. But that's just the first thing you notice. The five, jewel-toned, light-catching, shimmery colors are beautiful. They glide on effortlessly with a finger or the enclosed applicator. Use this for 4 days and notice that the moisturizers in this shadow hydrate your skin, too! Lastly, appreciate the way the colors stay fresh and true even after a long day at the office, or a hot night of...dancing? For cool toned skin we love "Aqua," an eye-catching sea green sure to brighten eyes, For warmer complexions, the coppery "Tiger Eye" looks stunning. It'll be pretty in the summer to flatter a tan, too!

Lovely Laura Mercier cosmetics have been raved about in our reviews for years. The colors are always natural, modern, and beautiful, and wearable. Light-catching formulas help even tired eyes look young and vibrant, and the colors are long-lasting and true to color. For Winter, try some of the silky, soft, super-sheer, layerable, Shadow Duos $21.00 in "Burgundy," (light peach and browned wine), "Violet" (light and dark greyed violet), "Bamboo" (soft ivory and taupe), "Azure," (deep teal and white) and our favorite: "Moss," a soft greyed green and yellow combo that makes brown eyes "pop" and blue eyes, brighter. TIP: Emphasize your eyes even more by using the darker colors of powder as a liner, or try a Cake Eye Liner $20.00 that can be used wet or dry. These produce looks from nearly natural to the deep, obvious lines of the retro 60's! "Eggplant" is a greyed purple that looks more modern than brown, "Emerald Green" perks up tired eyes and looks wonderful with pale shadows right into Spring!

Colour Surge Bare Brilliance Lipstick $13.50 by Clinique warms your lips, even when the weather's chilly. Silky, subtly shimmered color smoothes on beautifully, even over chapped lips with complexion-enhancing colors like "Vivid Berry" (bright hot pink), "Blushing Coral" (coppery, shimmered rose) and "Poppy Shine" (bright shimmery coral). For high shine, we like Glosswear for Lips Intense Sparkle $13.50 in "Sun Burst," a stunning, super-sheer peach with subtle hints of glitter and a nearly-magical brilliance. SNEAK PEEK! In April, makeup counters will be deluged by women asking for the awesome, super-wet-look Colour Surge Impossibly Glossy $18.50 tube glosses. These have dazzling shine and semi-sheer color that feels amazingly silky. There are a dozen fflattering colors in nude, pink orange, rose, pink, brown, berry, and red. We love "Sure Thing," a warm-your-lips shimmery pink that is sexy on everyone.

"Crystal Beach" Lipglass $13.50 by M·A·C is a barely-tinted, pale gold with a crystal-ice shimmer gloss. It's nice on it's own as a wet-shine no-color look, but we found that layering over a lipstick warms up lips, instantly! Slick it on over a brown or brown-red lipstick or color in lips with a long-lasting Lip Pencil $11.50 like intense warmed-coral "Lure," and watch out! TIP: make any lip liner work double-duty. Line lips and color them in with your pencil, then slick a super-sheer, shimmery gloss like this one over it for long-lasting lip color that looks beautiful.

A new, soft, long-lasting Lip Liner $19.00 by Scott Barnes could be your key to making your lips look fresh and modern this season. We loved the way this pencil slides over even chapped lips to line and define. We tried "Raisin," an ambery-y-brown that looks great with semi-sheer glosses, too. There is also a pale pink, a soft brown, and a sheer fuchsia! For patent-leather shine and full, currant-berry colored lips, Flossy Glossy $22.00 in "Scarlet Starlet" is our pick for V-day and evening glam. Those with cool, deep complexions will wear it every day. Not to worry if red isn't for you -- there are a dozen other chic, colors in sheer and full coverage formulas ranging from white pearly-pink to tangerine, bronze, peach and even magenta.

BATH & BODY MAGIC: Bath and body products can make a mundane chore into a fun experience! These products create sumptuous fun with luxe formulas and fun fragrances!

The packaging for Lucky Chick products feature ultra-feminine girly graphics and bright, pleasing colors. They're so pretty they are a treat in themselves -- but the real treats are inside. Dealing with dry skin can be a bore, but not with Lucky Chicks's mimosa, jasmine and violet-scented bath and body products. Start by exfoliating with a big, 17oz jar of Sugar Body Scrub $22.00. A little goes a long way, so you can have scented, smooth skin all Winter. Smooth on Body Butter $22.00 to soothe and soften. Apres bath, keep a tube of Hand Cream $12.00 at your desk. Enjoy the thick, easily absorbed moisturizer with Vitamin E, aloe vera, and dead sea salts (to exfoliate while it moisturizes). Bye bye, dry!

Possibly the sexiest moisturizing product for this season is the Chocolate Body Glosser $20.00 2.05 oz by Sephora. It's a body moisturizer with a hint (not a load) of highlight to soften and brighten your body. Rich avocado oil, soothing cocoa butter, and vitamin E makes skin soft without sticky residue. Even better is the rich, chocolate scent that smells so good you'll be tempted to eat it. Rub this one on each other for Valentine's Day and anything can happen! Another sweet-scented treat that we are raving about is Sephora Indulgences Triple Layer Cake Hair & Body Wash $16.00. The scent is so incredible we are literally swooning - the true, rich, vanilla and butter aroma of cupcakes without the calories. But we want to tell you that this is also a moisturizing, creamy, hair and body wash that does what it's supposed to, beautifully.

Shanghai has been winning our attention and favor since we first reviewed the fragrance in Spring 2004 . This is a sophisticated, complex scent that reminds us of a meritage wine -- a showcase of the perfumer's art. It has top notes of bergamot, green pineapple, cinnamon oil and magnolia flower, middle notes of carnation, jasmine, patchouli, Chinese osmanthus flower, and a drydown of vanilla bourbon, balsam woods, ambergris and wild plum. The fruity-floral scent seems to "personalize" itself to everyone who tries it. Now there's a Shower Silk Gel $40.00 6.08z and a Body Lotion $42.00 6.08 oz that gives you two more ways to layer on generous doses of this fabulous fragrance. We recommend both products, but particularly the body lotion. It softens skin well, leaving your skin with a generous, long-lasting scent!

If you can't get away to an enchanted, desert isle this Winter, you can at least treat yourself to Caribbean Therapy spa products by Aveda! We tried two products from this Caribbean-inspired, line, scented with essential oils such as bay leaf, lime, amyris, and vetiver (great for both men and women). Bath Soak $24.00 8.5 fl. oz is a non-foaming moisture bath with mango and cocoa butter and aloe vera oil that leaves your dry, itchy skin behind while soothing and relaxing your body and soul. Apres bath, smooth on the rich, highly moisturizing Body Creme $26.00 6.7 fl. oz. Gilligan and his crew never had it so good as you!

Trish McEvoy Super Enriched Body Cream $48.00 (photo) a super skin smoother and a treat you can enjoy every day. This rich body treatment not only softens and moisturizes as you would expect from high-quality Trish McEvoy products, but also has the added bonus of leaving your skin lightly scented and shimmery! The substantial, clear lucite container, topped with a silverplated lid looks as beautiful in your bathroom or dressing table as what is inside is great for your skin! We tried "#9 Blackberry and Vanilla Musk" a bright, fruity fragrance softened by vanilla and musk that without enough staying power to easily span seasons.This is a treat to buy for yourself, or give to a special woman.

We recently reviewed Smoothies $6.00 2oz, $15.00 8 oz by Essie but we loved them so much we're mentioning them again, in case you missed our first review! Six yummy, fruit-scented hand creams are packed with natural emollients and alpha hydroxy acids. These lotions absorb faster than any we've used and instantly makes skin incredibly soft. For under $6.00 (travel size)! we have to say it's a miracle!

Share some relaxation on V-day or any time. Just light candles, pour champagne, and soak with your sweetie in a bath into which you've dropped a Tisty Tosty Bath Bomb $4.95. The heart-shaped bath bomb is scented with Turkish rose absolute, rose petals, and rose buds and looks are pretty as it smells. Ditto the French Kiss Bubble Bar $7.95, a purple and white swirled bubble bar scented with lavender, rosemary and thyme to help you relax-- think South of France! Both rose and lavender are tension reducers! Flying Fox Shower Gel $8.95-$20.95 is a sexy combo of honey and jasmine flowers that moisturizes, sooths, and scents with jasmine absolute and essential oils of ylang ylang, cypress and palmerosa. LUSH says this is great for PMS but why limit it? It's great for the most erotic shower you've ever had!

Many people enjoy the ritual of moisturizing with a cream after bathing, but some just don't like the feel of cream on their newly-cleansed skin or the additional time it takes to apply it. Olay Moisturinse in Shower Body Lotion $4.99 8.04 oz, $6.99 15.2 oz. in normal and extra dry formulas lets you apply moisturizer in the shower and rinse it off, leaving your skin soft without a greasy coating. This new product works much like a hair conditioner, using the moisture of shower and your damp skin to work. We also liked the way it shaved a few extra minutes off our morning routine. Traditionalists will love Olay Quench Body Lotion $5.99 debuting this February. We won't go into the complex chemistry of this new product, but we will say that it helps the skin become hydrated, renewed, replenished and repaired. We didn't test this for the three weeks needed to help establish the moisture barrier needed to break the continuing cycle of dry skin, but we did see an immediate improvement in our very dry arms and legs! The lightly scented cream feels silky and absorbs quickly. It's inexpensive, high-tech skincare you can afford to use. In four words: we really liked it!

If you'd like a romantic bath experience to share with your special someone, Red Flower Cleansing Body Wash $18.00 8 fl. oz. in Japanese Peony is a romantic but unisex choice. You would think Japanese Peony would be floral and sweet, but, in fact, it has a fresh-smelling, botanically-based scent that has hints of lemon and green tea. Honey from the peony flower, silk extract, and green tea help moisturize effectively while providing lots of lather that will enchant both men and women. We like the simple, clear plastic bottle with white top and pink, red and silver label, and the rich, moisturizing lather

A moisturizer is not just another moisturizer when it helps to make the world a better place, as well as helping to make your skin look and feel better, too. Collective Wellbeing is a new company whose website (see buying guide below) allows consumers to vote for a slate of non profits that will receive a part of the profits from Collective Welbeing sales. What an incredible idea! The products are nicely packaged, effective and affordable. We particularly liked the tightly-fitting squeeze and snap top on the Body Lotion Daily Moisturizer n $8.99. Watercress, jojoba, vitamins A and C work together to quickly moisturize and help protect and encourage healthy skin. We also liked the unscented Hand Cream $7.99 with Illupe Nut and Aloe Vera and other good-for-your-skin ingredients that absorb quickly leaving nothing but soft, smooth-feeling hands.

If you want to indulge your body with a lot of luxe moisturizer at not a lot of money, dip into the generous 6.08 oz jar of Nivea Soft $5.99. This moisturizer has a whipped texture that makes it light and refreshing, but even though it's not greasy, it packs a punch against try skin with long last, ultra-hydrating moisture. At this price you can afford to smooth it on everywhere, with wild abandon! Use it often, enjoy the sensation, and have the softest, smoothest skin ever!

Hip, Hip Hooray--for Shea! Shea butter, that is. The shea butter in De~Luxe products is important from France, and of the highest quality to provide relief from the driest of skin, even those with eczema and psoriasis. Their 100% Shea Butter with Lavender and Essential Oils $9.99 3.5 fl. oz smells delightful, and delivers 100% pure shea butter directly to whatever itchy, dry, crawly part of your body needs quick hydration. A little goes a long way so use it often to help heal, soothe, and protect your skin. 25% Pure Shea Butter Balm 8oz $8.99 is a less concentrated, super-rich body cream with glycerin and vitamin E to moisturize and soothe even sensitive skin, affordably and effectively. Open a silvery tube of 25% Pure Shea Butter Hand Crème $7.99 5 oz and keep your hands and cuticles soft. We really loved the way this cream smoothed and absorbed quickly, leaving a silky "glove" of moisture.

Molton Brown has made it back into our reviews after a long hiatus. Based in the U.K., this beloved purveyor of spa, bath & body products is coveted in hotel rooms and spas around the world. The Sensual Hanaleni Moisture Bath & Shower $23.00 10 fl. oz is an attractive, orange-colored foaming bath product that not only leaves skin clean and soft, but blends exotic ylang-ylang, cinnamon and vanilla together for a sexy, satisfying bathing experience that leaves you wanting to linger, just a bit longer. The scent is very complex, a bit spicy, floral and musky, totally a winner for both men and women. This is the one to select for your next spa night a deux, or to use when you're hoping to get close to someone special!

We've been falling in love with the high-quality, serious skincare products by LATHER. If your elbows, knees, and heels are moisturizing nightmares, Lather's Shea Butter Dry Skin Treatment $17.00 1.08 oz enriched with aloe versa, chamomile, linden flowers and lavender oil, is your RX. A heavenly, herbal/lavender scent makes application luxurious -- even men will want to use this one. The solid cake of shea butter effectively softens even stubborn, super-dry skin areas. A little goes a long way so it's worth every penny.

Menges & Curtis Pharmacy has been creating products in Saratoga Springs since 1860. This is their first review here. We couldn't wait to try the snowy-white, unscented, whipped formula Hydrating Body Emulsion $22.96 10 oz in simple packaging that will please everyone, including men and children. The light-as-air cream banished our itchy, flaky skin (especially the hard to hydrate heels and elbows) in a flash! There's also an unscented Nourishing Hand Cream $13.75 that stands ready to assist your seriously dry or overworked hands.

Give your true love (or treat yourself) to roses that will last longer than a bouquet. Provence Santé Shower Gel $12.50 6.8 fl. oz by Baudelaire is imported from France (what could be more romantic?) and bathes your body in a true tea rose that lingers. The simple, clear, plastic bottle reminds us of another famous French Fragrance line, but at less than half the price! There are more than a dozen scents if rose isn't to your liking. We also liked the Body Lotion with Olive Oil $15.00 6.8 fl. oz from Baudelaire's Jardin de L'Olivier line. The plastic packaging cleverly mimics expensive French olive oil products (an optional pump is available to keep hands clean and product, handy). More importantly, we liked the beautifully scented (with lavender, artemisia and lemon and hints of tarragon and oak moss), easily absorbed, lotion packed with Vitamins A, B1 and E and yes, olive oil This one will appeal to both men and women, looks great in a bathroom or guest room, and makes an affordable house gift.We hope to review more of these lines in the future!

Dessert Beauty's Deliciously Kissable Whipped Body Cream $34.00 comes in 8 oz "spray" cans of whipped body cream scented with signature scents: Creamy (vanilla and caramel scent), Dreamy (chocolate-coconut scent) or Juicy (sweet, fresh., strawberry and raspberry scent). These super-whipped body smoothers make a body feel good and look good, and what's even more, they're erotic, good fun! We think a can will work miracles for your love life! Oh! Did we mention that as a sexy compliment these come with a topping of edible, round, red, candy sprinkles. You and your special someone will know exactly where to put them! We can't think of a sexier gift for a bridal shower, a new mom, a pick-me-up for a special friend, or for yourself!! On a more serious note, if your skin is dry and needs exfoliating, why not do it with Deliciously Kissable Sugar Scrub $42.00 12 oz. A generously-sized jar of this gentle exfoliator combines sugar cane crystals and a rich silky, hydrating base scented with Dreamy, Creamy and Juicy, same as the body cremes. Body care just doesn't get any better than this!!!!

Apt. 5 amazed us with their new, spa-inspired bath line last year. For this season we suggest the bright orange colored "Salsa, an excellent Bath & Shower Gel $7.99 8 oz. For starters, we love the handy plastic pump bottle which makes it easy to apply just the right gently cleanse and moisturize. Secondly, we can't give enough quodos to the energetic, uplifting scent of mango, orange blossom, tangerine, and lemon exotic bergamot. But if relaxation is on your mind, try a spritz of "Forest Zen," a light green after bath Fragrance Mist $7.99 8 oz. which (to avoid all the jargon) just smells wonderfully of relaxing pine while it deodorizes and moisturizes. Looking for a great sleep aid? Slather on Vitamin Enriched Moisturizing Lotion $7.99 8 oz called "Pillow Talk." Let the violet colored creamy lotion and the soothing scent of lavender lure you into a relaxed state. You'll not only sleep better, you will wake up with softer skin!

NEWEST NAILS: Bright reds to palest pinks are the news now, in everything from super-sheers to pearls and glitters. The application of a new nail color can change your mood from dull to "diva" in a flash!

We love Bourjois Very Vernis Nail Varnish $9.00 because it applies smoothly and leaves a shiny color that lasts without chipping. For Winter drama, especially for Valentine's Day, slick your nails with glamorous, "Violet Laqué," a deep, raspberry red that flatters every complexion with a wearable, intense, raspberry red. We think this is the perfect color to give to a friend as an instant pick-me-up for whatever ails her!

Wet Shine Diamonds Nail Color $4.12 dresses up your nails with shine, glitter and hearts for V-day! "Red Hot Hearts" has a clear, super-shiny base into which ruby red hearts and tiny red sequins are suspended. Perfectly adorable! Or, go with "Sparklin' Kiss." which infuses silvery, holographic hearts and bits of parti-glitter into the same, super-shiny, clear base. These are cute as a top coat over your favorite nail color, or just use them as-is for a shiny bit of glitz! Need full coverage nail color in a hurry? Express Finish $4.12 goes on super-smoothly and gives long-lasting color that amazingly, sets in just 60 seconds! We like the browned "Berry Boucle," a chic, shimmery mauve; "Rapidly Rosy" a deep rose with bits of golden shimmer and "Racing Rubies," a ruby-red metallic. All are romantic and "glam" for v-day or any day!

Even though your feet may be in shoes most of the time now, that's no reason to ignore them. EssieSpa Pedicure $50.00 is a do-it-yourself pampering treat in-a- box that helps you soften, exfoliate, revitalize, massage, moisturize and polish. You get 2 oz sizes of EssieSpa Marine Sea Salts, an aromatherapy treatment that soothes, softens and cleans, Exfoliating Foot Scrub to help banish dry, flaking skin with apricot, mandarin, and orange peel oil. Take 10-20 minutes to pamper your feet with Hydro-Masque, a leg and foot treatment with cooling aloe vera extract and peppermint oil. Smooth it on, wrap your legs and feet with plastic wrap, relax! Then rinse. Next up is Ylang Ylang Leg & Foot Massage Oil with a super-moisturizing blend of jojoba, ylang ylang and coconut extract to soften calluses and heel cracks. If you wish, moisturize with your favorite moisturizer, then apply polish. We suggest any one of more than 200 colors of Essie Nail Polish $8.00. For Valentine's Day or a special occasion, think red. We like "Aperitif" (warm red), "Valentine Red" (warm, heart-colored slight shimmer), "Long Stem Roses" (deep clear rose), "A-list" (deep blue-red) and "Final Answer" (deep blue-red metallic) and "Bonded" (rich cherry red flecked with red and pink glitter). If red isn't your thing, "Sweetie Pie" is a soft, warm beige perfect for a nude look and "Pink Diamond" is a superbly girly, pearly light pink. If you want to be trendy, "Chocolate Kisses" is a super-dark brown that is all the rage, right now.

Could you fall in love with a nail polish remover? Yes, if it's The Stripper $16.00 4 fl. oz by The LIppman Collection. The pleasant, lavender-scented remover quickly but gently whisks away even hard-to-remove glitter and shimmer polish and even moisturizes the nail bed as it cleans! If that's not enough, the plastic bottle has a clever push to release product top just like the ones manicurists use that keeps application precise and clean. A great product in a great package! No wonder this product received an Allure Magazine "best of beauty" award! and if you've chipped a nail and you need to remove polish any time, any where, we recommend The Stripper to Go $5.00/6 pads (photo) which puts the same wonderful remover into little, portable sponges in tote-able packets. Afterwards, buff up your bare nails with Smooth Operator $11.00, a multi-purpose buffer wand that shapes, buffs, smoothes, and polishes! It not only works wonderfully, but we like it's tote-ability in its clear travel pouch. Re-polish with luxe, long-lasting, Lippman Collection Nail Color $14.00 in My Funny Valentine" a true red that not only makes fingers and toes look V-day perfect, but has Biotin (a cell regenerator) and Green Tea extract to make them healthy!

Virgin Cosmetics Company's Secret Passion Perfectly Polished Nail Colour £6.50 (approx. $12.30) is here in time for Valentine's Day in two very pretty, eye-catching, shimmery, sheer shades perfect for day or evening. The colors coordinate perfectly with the blush and lip glosses in the new, Secret Passion collection. "Pink Diamonds" is a super-sheer pink infused with tiny bits of silvery glimmer, and "Pink Champagne is a pretty pink blush, infused with gold glimmer." Wear them over bare nails for just a hint of shimmer and a romantic, ladylike look, or over one of your favorite colors, to add an entirely new dimension!

If you want an instant, totally inexpensive, fun, fun fun way to create Valentine's Day drama or perk up nail for parties, Nailene 3D Monogram Nail Art $2.99is your answer. Stick-on decals of curvy script letters, stars and hearts embellished with tiny pink or white crystals are cute anytime - just press on, cover with clear gloss, and go! TIP: want a novel way to tell you true love how you feel? Spell it out with these sticker on your fingertips and toenails!

Sally Hansen is a recognized leader in nail care. New Diamond Strength for Nails strengthens with a new ingredient made with micro-diamond crystal It bonds to your nails with a shatterproof, protective coating! Our reviewers tried Diamond Strength for Nails $5.95 and Nailgrowth Miracle $5.95 as a base coat. We can report that our nails felt harder and didn't split so easily! You can also protect and beautify your nails with 24 pretty colors of Diamond Strength No Chip Nail Color $4.50.We liked the feminine, curvy bottle decorated with faux"diamond" crystal, and the way the polish went on quickly and smoothly, drying to a glossy finish. For classic glam, try rich, shiny "Honeymoon Red." Other standouts are the ladylike "Lavender Marquis," a slightly iridescent, pearly light lavender that looks right now into Spring and "Platinum" a stunning, iridescent pearl white that looks gorgeous on fingers and toes. If you're not into color "Flawless" is a shiny clear to gloss up less-than-perfect nails without calling too much attention to them. Sally Hansen Beyond Perfect Nail Color $5.00 is another option, providing intense, shiny color and moisturizing conditioners of French lavender and rice brain protein. This polish is supposed to last 10 days. We didn't test it that long, but we worked our hands, hard, and found the polish stayed shiny and chip-free. There are a dizzying array of sheers, reds, pinks/mauves, neutrals, reds, brights, and even clear and white tip. Deep, blue-red "Oriental Red" gives shiny, intense color. For shimmer, "Scarlett Sanctuary" has a touch of metallic in a deep, scarlet base!

The Lucky in Love $30.00 gift box byLucky Chick looks like an adorable box lunch, but it's full of "enhance romance" treats! The featured scent is mimosa, jasmine and violet which is sweet but light and oh-so seductive. There is a travel candle in a tin, a red-colored (Love Potion) shower Gel (Full sized Shower Gel $16.00) a spray body mist (Lucky In Love),a soothing body lotion (Emotion Lotion), a Massage Oil (Magic Moment), and a violet-colored mesh bath sponge. Enjoy this one solo, or share it with your sweetie. TIP: This would make a unique and welcome wedding shower gift, too!

For an adorable gift and a good value, choose the Sister Glitter Duo $15.00 (photo) by Zhen. You get to choose 2 glitter powders for the price of one (6 color choices) and you also get an red, satin, Cheongsam Dress purse to carry them in! For V-day we suggest "Susan," a medium pink glitter with tiny, light-reflecting, purple flecks and "Teresa," a holographic silvery/multi combo that will look lovely dusted over hair, shoulders, anywhere! For a bit less glitz but still a lot of glamour, give a friend (or yourself) the Element Lip Gloss Duo $`20.00, a champagne-colored makeup bag with red carry strap holds two opaque, patent-leather shine glosses. "Ally" is a slightly shimmery deep red. On the other end of the color spectrum is "Sara," is a glossy, medium taupe.

If you're looking for an easy, instant, inexpensive way to perk up your "digs" or send an erotic message to someone, simply place a box of Hanky Pankies $15.00 by Agent Provocateur in view! This is a glossy, black, cardboard cube filled with pink tissues lightly scented with Agent Provocateur's exotic, signature fragrance -- saffron oil from India & coriander from Russia married to Moroccan rose oil, Egyptian jasmine, French magnolia oil, and amber & musk. Lighthearted cut-outs on the box entice with: "feel me," "breathe me," " desire me!" on the tissue box and on the tissues, themselves. No one will be able to resist these tissues, or your charms -- the object of your affection will get the message!

Looking for an innovative way to scent your home or office without constantly having to spray or light candles? Stick Scents Fragrance Diffusers $24.99 are a new, unique aroma diffusing system that deliver a continuous fragrance wherever you place them. Open the fragrance bottle in one of four fruit or floral scents and insert the small bunch of thin, natural wood sticks (like pick-up sticks) through the hole in the wood top. This glass and wood "bouquet" transfers the scented oil through the sticks and into the air and looks pretty, too. The scents are subtle, not overwhelming. We tried "Morning Dew," a light combination of honeysuckle, musk jasmine, violet, melon and rose perfect for bed or bath. These come in an attractive, substantial metal tube and make a great gift, too.

During dark, winter days and long, Winter nights, lighten a beautifully fragranced candle can really lift your spirits. Our top pick this column is Trish McEvoy's Scented Candles $38.00. We love Trish's cosmetics so much it's no wonder that we also love these round, white candles in substantial glass containers with shiny, silver plated tops embossed with Trish McEvoy logo. These are strongly scented, so they smell great even before you light them. When lit, a blend of waxes and a lead-free wick light up your mood as they scent your environment. Packaged in clear cellophane with a black grosgrain bow, it's the perfect gift for a everyone, male and female. Indulge yourself too with three of Trish's newest fragrances: sexy Egyptian Jasmine,Vanilla Cream, and our favorite, Orange Ginger, a bright, spicy citrus that's a definite mood lifter.

The Rainforest Plant Pure-Fumeâ„¢ Aroma Candle $16.00 (refill $10.00) is a long name for an intoxicatingly scented candle created with pure beeswax and plant-derived waxes and oils, housed in a refillable, recycled, green-glass container. Our choice of five calming-to-invigorating fragrances is "Rainforest," a beautiful blend of peppermint, clove and coriander that is relaxing and exotic. Fire one up for your next spa night, or any time you feel the need to indulge, affordably! For Valentine's Day, light up a Circle of Loveâ„¢ Candle $22.00, a re-usable,substantial. green glass recycled votive into which a scented tea light in a tin, is nestled. We tried "Sandalwood," sexy and intense, but you can also select Tealights $6.50 each in jasmine, rose, organic ylang, ylang, bergamot, or frankincense and myrrh.TIP: These make a romantic gift, especially if you splurge for the entire set of scented tealights to suit any mood.

The Lucky Chick Flickering Florals Candle $14.00 comes in a tin covered in such colorful, girly graphics that it's almost too pretty to use, but definitely, do! The long-lasting, bright pink-colored, mimosa, jasmine, and violet-scent will fill your days (and nights) with a hint of romance. When the candle is finished, you'll be tempted to keep the tin to store little treasures in.

Burn Baby Burn Candles $20.00 24/hrs, $35.00 40/hrs by Lola Cosmetics are brand new, pretty to look at and their intoxicating scents create a very sexy atmosphere. The first thing you notice is the deep red candle in signature Lola color with curvy, black logo screened on one side and "Lust often love always" on the other. Suddenly, you're sensing the strong, sexy scent of bergamot, currant and mandarine, jasmine, iris and nutmeg, with hints of patchouli, oak moss, and musk to make any night, special. This would be a wonderful, romantic gift for a man or woman for Valentine's Day, or for yourself, any time you want to feel sexy.

The Red Flower Candle $32.00 is a deluxe one with 35-45/hr. burning capacity. "Moroccan Rose" has a juicy, deep, rose-red color and a unique topping of red rose petal potpourri. Remove the rose petals to light the candle, and savor the intense, erotic atmosphere you're creating by releasing the perfumed oils extracted from the petals of the sensual, Moroccan rose.If you aren't into roses, there are eleven additional, exotic fragrances. We just love the way these look and smell - there's one for every personal taste. TIP: Don't throw out that rose petal potpourri topping. Why not toss it into a warm bath, make a hand soak, a face steam, a mask or an exfoliator? Or, put them in a bowl as an offering to Cupid, or whomever you wish to adore!

<SMALL>Agent Provacateur:</SMALL>

<SMALL>Aloette Cosmetics:</SMALL>or 800-ALOETTE

<SMALL>Apt. 5 Cosmetics and at Duane Reade drugstores</SMALL>

<SMALL>Aveda:</SMALL>or call 800.328.0849 for locations or more information.


<SMALL>Avon BeComing:</SMALL><SMALL> or call 800-I-BECOME </SMALL>

<SMALL>Babor:</SMALL>at Takashimaya and select destination spas, and Nordtsrom stores

<SMALL>Barielle: </SMALL> and <SMALL></SMALL>

<SMALL>Bath by Bettijo: </SMALL>


<SMALL>Bobbi Brown:</SMALL>

<SMALL>Bonjour Fleurette: </SMALL>

<SMALL>Bourjois: Bourjois at Sephora.com </SMALL>

<SMALL>Bumble & Bumble: For locations call: 888-7-bumble or </SMALL>

<SMALL>Bye Bye Blemish:</SMALL>and selected mass market drug stores



<SMALL>Collective Wellbeing: </SMALL>

<SMALL>Cover Girl: and mass market retailers</SMALL>

<SMALL>DDF Doctors Dermatologic Formula:</SMALL>

<SMALL>De~luxe: at Target, Costco, Walgreen's and other mass market retailers </SMALL>

<SMALL>Dessert Beauty: </SMALL>


<SMALL>Easy Straight</SMALL>

Essie: <SMALL> call: 800-232-1155 for product and store info or visit</SMALL>

FACE Stockohom:

Garnier:<SMALL>and at drug and mass market retailers</SMALL>

Gucci Envy Me: www.Sephora.com

IMAN Cosmetics:

Indigo Wild:

Insitut DerMed:

Jan Marini:

Jane Iredale:



John Freida: mass market retailers or call 800-521-3189 for retail information

<SMALL>Lancome: </SMALL>


<SMALL>Laura Geller: www.laurageller.comor 1-800-MAKEUP-4-U</SMALL>

<SMALL>Laura Mercier: http://www.lauramercier,com and fine department stores</SMALL>


<SMALL>Lippman Collection: www.sephora.com'>'> call 888-929-9950 or </SMALL>

<SMALL>Lola Cosmetics:</SMALL>and<SMALL></SMALL>

<SMALL>Lucky Chick: www.luckychic.comor call 888-920-0800 </SMALL>

<SMALL>LUSH Cosmetics:</SMALL>




<SMALL>Maybelline: and drugstores & mass market retailers</SMALL>

<SMALL>Max Factor: info at at drugstores & mass retailers</SMALL>

Menges & Curtis Pharmacy:

Molton Brown: Barneys, Neiman Marcus and<SMALL>www.sephora.com</SMALL>

Nailene: <SMALL>mass merchandisers and drug chains nationwide </SMALL>

<SMALL>NIVEA: mass merchandisers and drug chains nationwide and at </SMALL>drugstore.com

<SMALL>N.Y.C. New York Color: at chain stores and mass market retailers and info: </SMALL>

<SMALL>Olay: www.olay.comand mass food & drug stores</SMALL>


<SMALL>Paul Mitchell:</SMALL>

<SMALL>Phyto:</SMALL><SMALL></SMALL>and Sephora stores

<SMALL>Pop Beauty</SMALL>and department stores including Bloomgindales and Nordstrom


<SMALL>Prestige:,mass market drug stores or call 800-722-7488</SMALL>

PÃœR <SMALL>Minerals:</SMALL>

<SMALL>Red Dress: www.perfumania.comand perfumania retail stores</SMALL>
<SMALL>Red Flower: www.redflowerworld.comand Barneys New York, Bergdorf Goodman, Harvey Nicols </SMALL>

<SMALL>Redken: drugstore.comor 800-REDKEN8</SMALL>

<SMALL>Revlon: www.Revlon.comand at mass market retailers </SMALL>

<SMALL>Rimmel London: </SMALL> <SMALL>and at Wal-Mart stores. </SMALL>

<SMALL>Sally Hansen: chain stores and mass market retailers info at: </SMALL>

Sasha Cosmetics:

Scott Barnes:<SMALL>and select Saks Fifth Avenue stores</SMALL>

Sephora Products: Sephora retail stores and<SMALL>www.sephora.com</SMALL>

Shanghai:, Sals, Bloomingales and Bergdorf
FAnd this is why this message board is my favorite. We are always so informed. I love it!

I will be checking and testing the Clinique stuff for you ladies. But I do hear the cleaner is GREAT!

Awesome, Diane.... absolutely awesome! You are the best!!!! You are our official "Information Expert"!!!



Latest posts