Posts From August 2008

Target Steps It Up: Pixi, Jemma Kidd, and Napoleon Perdis

A few weeks ago a friend of mine and business associate mentioned the Lipstick Index while we were out for dinner. In all my economic courses I’ve never heard a reference to the Lipstick Index prior to this but turns out if you Google you’ll find a ton of extremely interesting articles on this. It’s referred to in many terms one of which is the Lipstick Index but it’s also been called Lipstick Economy, Leading Lipstick Indicator, etc…

What the hell are you on about anyway Muse?

Well….

I’m referring to the fact that their is some theory and fact that lipstick and cosmetic sales actually rise during tough economy times because women tend to turn in smaller indulgences when money is tighter.

The term Leading Lipstick Indicator was actually coined by Leonard Lauder (chairman of Estee Lauder). The theory turns into fact as Estee Lauder reported sales go up during tougher times and during the September 11th terrorist attacks, lipstick sales were twice as much.

Interesting eh?

Target seems to have done it’s homework and realized now would be a great time to introduce three brand new line ups to their cosmetic selection. I’m betting Target has done some research and realized right now would be a great time to extend it’s line to include some higher end products that might sell very well.

It still remains a gamble for me however.

A few things about Target if you’re not within the US. It’s a large scale department store that sells cheaper lines of everything from clothes, to accessories, to home goods. Generally the cosmetic department consists of low end lines such as Covergirl, Almay, Etc…

Now I admire Target for being way ahead of the game by importing such brands as Boots (both skincare and cosmetics) and Soap and Glory. I feel further interest and admiration to Target for paving the way for a rather interesting import of posh cosmetics. Selling high end cosmetics in drugstores or larger scale department stores such as Target is rather unheard of. If you seek Dior, Smashbox, Urban Decay, Etc…you’ll have to head to a counter, Sephora, Ulta, or find some place online to buy however walking into common drugstores will not greet you with high end cosmetics but cheaper brands a plenty.

Bringing together Pixi, Jemma Kidd, and Napoleon Perdis seems like a very interesting venture by Target however as I mentioned I see it as a gamble. Since the lines are on the kawaii side it may not be as appealing to the masses as one would hope for. I’m always all over cute packaging and shimmery shades however I do believe those of us who enjoy these styles of cosmetic may just be in the majority and women my own age and older may not see the appeal of the “cuteness” of these brands.

I wandered into Target last night to see for myself what the hype was all about and I was wow’ed by the selection of cosmetics and I indulged in far too much of it for my own good but tempted I was.

First off I found it rather fantastic they had actual testers available which is unheard of in drugstores and department stores. I swatched to my little heart’s delight without any MA’s to interrupt me and try to sell me something I didn’t want, a girl could get used to this!

I find myself curious what audience Target hopes to well..target….with these brands. Are they hoping the failing economy will shoot sales of these brands through the roof? Are they gearing it towards teens who are seeking funky, fun cosmetics for back to school? Do they hope to get a glance from the 20 something year old who loves cute packaging?

I know I’m 30 and absolutely love the lines! Sadly, my Target did not yet have the Jemma Kid line up however I have seen it online and it’s simply stunning.

Interestingly enough Pixi is basically the same line up that Sephora used to carry and that Pixi itself now carries within the UK. I was quite surprised and delighted when I noticed Pixi now sells online where as before it was an exclusive UK site. Click to visit the Pixi site.

I was pretty shocked at the prices a teeny tiny bit as I’m not used to venturing into places like Target and being faced with price tags that read $18, $22, $38, etc….that’s MAJOR wow for cosmetics when it comes to such a department store as this. People are generally not used to these prices for makeup and it tickles my curiosity to see how people will react to it. Funny story…as I was browsing, swatching, and happily smiling to myself at the array of goodies, two girls walked up to the displays and began browsing. They were about to try a shadow or something when they noticed it read $18, one turned to the other and said, “$18? Hell no!” and both proceeded to walk away. I found this interesting and wonder if this will set the scene for how most women will feel about the prices.

I was hopeful the prices would be a little bit cheaper and I can’t help but feel slightly shocked when I did noticed that the cheapest item was around $15 USD. Pixi’s price range was around the following:

Palettes $28 USD
Blushes $20 USD
Various Lip Items $18 USD
Larger Kits $35-$38 USD

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As you can see the prices are WAY up there.

Napoleon Perdis did a few things different with his line which surprised me. As I mentioned Pixi is the standard line and nothing is new so if you’re familiar with Pixi Beauty this isn’t anything new to you however Napoleon Perdis took a new route. Napoleon Perdis’s line is entitled NP Set and introduces both old and new items. The NP Set line happens to be much cheaper compared to Pixi as well which I was quite happy to see. Prices vary as follows:

Lip Items $15 USD
Blushes $20 USD
Foundation/Primer $15 USD
Eye Shadows $15-$26 USD

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Although still priced high the items are considerably lower costing then Pixi.

I wasn’t able to see the Jemma Kidd items for myself however they look amazing online. The price range are the following:

Eye Shadows $18 USD
Lip Items $18 USD
Palettes $36 USD
Foundation/TM’s $28 USD and up

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As you can see Jemma Kidd follows along the lines of Pixi Beauty with the price selection available.

Out of the two collections I did see and purchase from I’m happy to report the items are wonderful. Pigmented, good quality, beautiful packaging, all the things you’d expect from items you’d purchase at a counter or your local Sephora.

Although I was a bit disappointed dishing out $144 USD for my little stash of goodies as I really didn’t expect to pay as much in Target of all places. Aside from this minor rant I’m happy I did indulge and yes I’ll definately be going back for more.

I hope that the introduction of brands such as these will start a chain reaction and we’ll begin seeing other brands offered in drugstores and low end department stores soon! Who knows this could be like the mineral/organic range that’s swept the drugstore beauty world!

I’ll be reviewing items from both the NP Set and Pixi Beauty collections very soon so stay tuned! Tomorrow I’ll bring you pictures of the items I purchased.

Above are only some of the selections available. I was very impressed with the amount of product covered face, eyes, lips, etc…I was also quite loving the vast color selection for items available. It was quite like walking into Sephora to have a nosy at the latest collections!

If you’d like to see more from NP Set, Pixi Beauty, and Jemma Kidd see the links below! Happy Surfing!

Jemma Kidd
NP Set
Pixi Beauty

Are you excited about these collections?

Want anything from ‘em?

Does the introduction of high end cosmetics into lower end stores excite you?

Tell the Muse!

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Did you know Target sold Philosophy?

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Shu Uemura White Recovery Ex Cleansing Oil Review

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Remember how excited I was when I originally introduced you to Shu Uemura White Recovery Ex Cleansing Oil?

White….pale….milky skin..yes very Muse-like I’d say!

Strangely enough Summer brought about some dull skin for me this year. Normally I get dullness in the Winter, I imagine we all do. Stuffy, stale air, cold weather, plus a combination of both is definately hell on the skin. However, this year Summer somehow took it’s toll on my skin. Although perfectly clear and blemish free my skin was feeling kinda blue. I’ve had some dull spots, some darker spots (which I HATE), some dry spots, some oily spots, and generally some nasty shadowing that just made my skin go from bright and dewy to dull and uneven. Foundation saves the day but what about the days I just want to moisturize and go?

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First of all I think Shu Uemura Cleaning Oils in general are pretty awesome to have in your beauty arsenal. What’s not to love about one step cleaning? These remove pretty much your entire face plus everything in between! That goes for waterproof mascara too my dears! I’m quite partial to the “green” version as it’s known to it’s lovers. It’s pretty strange how everyone has taken to calling Shu oils by little nick names…the pink one, the green one, and so on and so fourth. I guess we can start calling Shu Uemura White Recovery Ex, the whitening one or the lavender one. Whatta ya think?

So you might wonder why I’m so hyped about cleansing oils. Fact of the matter is Shu Uemura is one of the very few select companies that does a cleansing oil within the US. Cleansing Oil in Asia is fair game and can be found in pretty much all drugstores and if you desire a higher end oil you can hop over to a counter to nab one. However, here in the US we do not have as many options in the drugstore category and maybe two high end companies, one of which is Shu, sells cleansing oils. Sad little country aren’t we?

I’ve tried hundreds of cleansing oils from all over Asia. Japanese ones, Korean ones, Etc…but honestly the hassle of getting them, shipping them over, etc..is a pain in the neck. So we have Shu Uemura to provide us with great cleansing oils until the rest of the cosmetic world catches up! Plus it’s local! Yay Shu! Thanks for bringing us all the good things about Asian makeup removal and sticking it into a cool bottle with a pump!

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About that Shu Uemura White Recovery Ex Cleansing…I got sidetracked didn’t I?

Does it work?

Yes. It does.

It’s a weird little formula that does whiten up your complextion and takes dull skin back to dewy and fresh. I didn’t feel it was fair reviewing this as soon as I got it so I’ve been using it over the course of a few weeks actually it’s been nearly a month now I think. I wanted to see for myself if I was imaging the change or if it was really there.

The change is there. My skin is not so light you’d take notice but it’s more the fact that the oil gave back a freshness to my skin and removed the dull areas and unevenness of my skin tone do to the heat, hours in the sun, etc…

It could be me but the formula appears to have a certain illuminating factor to it that you can almost clearly see results right away upon your first washing. It’s rather interesting how good a job it does bringing your skin back to some normal level. Over time you may experience some signs of lightening however I don’t believe it’ll bring your skin down a shade or two. I feel like it’s more of a treatment for erasing damage and removing any dull areas, brightening them up and creating more of a fresher appearance.

Although price wise Shu Uemura White Recovery Ex Cleansing Oil and any of the other oils are an indulgence however when you add it up the fact is that using two pumps a day of the oil, twice a day and you’ll notice that a large bottle will last you a year. In my humblest definately worth it.

I like this one. It gave me back my skin again.

I’m slapping a Muse Approval on it. If you’re a Shu cleansing oil user already this will be a nice item to replenish your dwindling bottle that you already use and if you’re new to Shu cleansing oils you’ll be happy to try out a remover that makes makeup removal simple again. One step cleaning is always in fashion plus the benefits of taking your skin from icon sad to :)!

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Tried this?

Which Shu oil are you using now?

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Because Shu Wants Your Lashes To Be Pretty……….

Viktor & Rolf for Shu Uemura

Summer Collection 2008: Shu Uemura Fleur de Source Eyeshadow Palette Review

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Shu Uemura Instinct Fall Mode Makeup

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Ahh leave it to our beloved Shu to create an outstanding Fall collection shrouded in mysterious and sensual colors.

Shu Uemura Instinct consists of several interesting pieces. Of course the shadow palettes are what caught my eye first. Each palette is a duo that consists of a powder shadow and a cream base that can also double up as a liner. The palette is housed in the standard slick, clear Shu compact and sports a gorgeous design on front. The combination of doubling up a shadow and a base is an interesting concept and is sure to be loved and hailed by those who fancy using MAC Paint Pots as base prior to shadow.

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Turns out, for once, we get the better end of the collection as the Japanese release actually sells the base and the shadow as single pieces ranging in prices from 2,940 yen and 2,415 yen where as we get the entire palette for $36 USD. I find this particularly interesting because I think the design of our palette is actually quite gorgeous in comparison to buying a single shadow and a potted base. I’m unsure how many other countries will have the palettes available to them but I do know for a fact that Singapore and the UK has the palettes for purchase and not the singles. Although purchasing the singles turns out to be a bit cheaper I rather like the idea of having both in one palette.

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The collection also consists of an array of flattering, Fall shades of blush, highlighter, and lipsticks which all compliment the shadow palettes beautifully.

I think they did an outstanding job with this one and it’s definately on my favorite list this season! I’ll be reviewing some of the Shu Uemura Instinct Fall Mode Makeup collection later this week for you. Excited?

Love this collection?

Nabbed any of it for yourself?

Want to?

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Smashbox Wicked Lovely Fall Collection 2008

Smashbox has certainly redeemed itself in the Muse’s eyes after her disappointment with the Spring collection entitled Green House. I just wasn’t feeling Green House but I’m definately feeling the love for the new Smashbox Wicked Lovely.

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This collection looks outstanding and I’m very eager to try it! The collection consists of a selection of makeup that can be used to create a wicked or a lovely look hence the name eh?

I like the idea of a collection that can be played up against your darker side (an evening look maybe?) and your lighter side (a daytime, playful look perhaps?). The contrasts of shades definately has something for everyone whether you prefer a softer nude look or a bolder, vampy look.

I’m partial to the new design of the palettes as well in their slick, black compacts sporting a bit of goth. Although the packaging has a dark edge it gets a bit of it’s innocent and “lovely” look from the lighter shades in the collection.

I’m liking the looks of Smashbox Wicked Lovely for sure so much so that I’ll be reviewing some for you later next week!

Loving this collection?

Are you Wicked or Are you Lovely?

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Smashbox 14K Golden Effect Top Coat Mascara

Smashbox Glambox

Check out what Smashbox items made it onto my Ghosts of Christmas Past List!

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Demeter Tootsie Roll Pick-Me-Up Cologne Spray Review

I think Mister Owl should be taken out and shot! How the very dare he eat the entire lollipop! I bet that kid went home and bawled afterward!

The Muse is smarter then that and she refuses to share her new Demeter Tootsie Roll Pick-Me-Up Cologne Spray with Mister Owl!

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Mmmm all the goodness of Tootsie Rolls and none of the calories. Although Tootsie Rolls are supposedly low in fat…hmm why don’t I believe that?

Demeter Tootsie Roll Pick-Me-Up Cologne Spray recaptures my childhood for sure with this new edition to it’s fragrance line up. Too cute right? You may mind walking around smelling like a Tootsie Roll but I don’t. It adds to the Muse’s awesome quirky personality!

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If you love really fun scents where people stop and ask “What in the world are you wearing?” this would be for you.

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Yes, the scent does indeed smell identical to a Tootsie Roll. Sweet, chocolaty yum! The Muse likey! The fun factor alone on this totally makes me grin!

Love this?

Love Tootsie Roll?

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Check out more of the Tootsie Roll Collection from Demeter by clicking here!

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Demeter Tropical Dots Pick-Me-Up Cologne Spray Review

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