Posts From December 2008

Tarte Purse Your Lips Review and Swatches

The Muse thinks the best value of the season comes tucked in a purple and silver clutch! Tarte Purse Your Lips Limited Edition LipGloss Clutch is the hostess with the mostess when it comes to stashing away not 3, not 5, not even 6….but 9 glosses!

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If you’re looking for a nice little luxe gift to give someone special this is honestly a super little kit (but then again you know you’re so keeping this for yourself!). I couldn’t resist it’s evil lure for long and now it’s mine, mine, mine! This is one of the only gloss sets I’ve seen with so much choice available. Most gloss gift sets include 5 or at the most 6 mini glosses where as the Tarte Purse Your Lips includes 9 shade selections! Sweet! The Muse likey variety! Remember she thinks it’s the spice of life!

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I’m normally a big supporter of Tarte’s standard purple quilted packaging but I was actually pleasantly surprised by how much I liked the new gold and purple design. The clutch the glosses come stashed in is quite a nice, heavy clutch with a snap front closure, a hard shell, and a croc-like feel. It’s a welcome addition to my holiday wardrobe and great for toting around to holiday parties and such! Honestly half the price tag is well worth the clutch alone as it’s a nice quality item.

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The glosses tucked inside range from reds, to shimmering golds, to browns, and clears…a little something for everyone is included and I can’t honestly say any shade didn’t work for me! They are all quite gorgeous and pigmented too! The glosses are tiny so don’t expect full size or normal standard mini sizes, they are cute little pocket friendly pieces. I actually don’t mind the size in the least as I have so many glosses already that these are nice to tuck into my purse for touch ups and I’m not worried about whether or not I’ll be able to use it all up.

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Breaking down the price of $39 USD you’re looking at $4.33 USD per a gloss….I think the glosses themselves, taking size into consideration, are worth about $3.50 USD so the Muse says throw the change in for the cute clutch and I think it’s well worth it’s price tag.

If you love Tarte you’re so going to want it! If you have a cosmetic junkie in your life it’s an ideal gift or if you’re just wanting to expand your growing gloss collection then the Tarte Purse Your Lips Lipgloss Clutch Gift Set is definately for you!

The Muse Approves it for purchase! She thinks it’s cute, chic, and has tons of variety…variety is always approved by this Muse! Likey!

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Did you already grab one of these?

Want to get one?

Spill it to the Muse!

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Excel Gradation Cheeks Review

The Muse admits she’s picky, finicky and possible a snob. Oh well ok I admit that the last part I am about 100% of the time.

According to the Muse’s virtues as stated above she pours over, selects, and chooses only the most gorgeous of cosmetics to grace her collection. It must be pretty, it must be girlish, it must be princess-like, it must be gorgeous, and it must have some shimmer, sparkle, shine, and glitter!

Sometimes…the Muse has to remind herself that even the most basic of cosmetics in the most simplest of packages are actually well worth her while.

For example take Excel Gradation Cheeks palette…..

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Now the Excel Gradation Cheeks Palettes are possibly the most ugliest and cheapest looking palette I’ve come across from Japan. Where as most of the Japanese cosmetic market chooses to go the pretty route, Excel decided to gaudy cheap plastic gold packaging was the way to go! Your lesson today is sometimes it’s not a good idea to judge a book by it’s cover.

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I’m a long time fan of Excel Gradation Cheeks since being introduced to them by my mate Iris and I must say aside from the rather crummy packaging the quality is super. I do prefer my blush to pop as you may have noticed from my FOTD’s however when I’m looking for a nice, natural finish with a bit of shimmer I turn to these! The shades are all quite flattering and very wearable! I actually like using these to top off a blush I’m already wearing as these add a bit of highlight and sparkle to my look!

Each palette contains not one but four shades of blush in a strip arrangement. The shades vary from lighter to darker and when combined create a softly focused highlighted face look. The formula of the powder is silky and easy to blend. As I mentioned they do have a shimmering finish but nothing too dramatic so even shimmer haters can love these.

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The palettes come with a super soft brush that’s easily stored on top of the powder….have no fear a small plastic sheet is included to place over the powder so the brush doesn’t make a mess of it laying on top. Normally it would bug me that the brush lays atop the powder but I actually notice no mess or problems with it arranged as so.

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If you’re looking for a softer blush with a hint of shimmer I’d definitely recommend indulging in these! At 1,890 yen per a palette it’s not alot to spend as they are quite large and will last ages. The Muse Approves ‘em since they contain a healthy dose of shimmer and give her cheeks a flattering dose of color!

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If you’re wanting ‘em do have a look at my Japanese Buying Guide to see where they might be located online!

Tried these?

Love ‘em?

Tell the Muse!

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Contests! Contests! Contests!

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Hey guys!

Just wanted to remind you that the contest for the signed bottle (signed by Vera Wang herself! W00t!) of Vera Wang Look Parfum is ending tomorrow! Be sure to get your name and email address in the widget before tomorrow so you can get your chance to win!

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My Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual Giveaway is ending as well so hurry over and comment with your name for your chance to win tomorrow!

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The Muse wishes she had one of each for everyone as she loves you so much! Good luck, may the best cosmetic junkie win!

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Laneige The Snow Eye Palette 02 Review, Swatches and FOTD

Ahhh snowflakes…so delicate, so pretty! When the Muse seen the Laneige The Snow Collection she knew she had to have it immediately.

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The collection consists of two new eye palettes and a highlighting powder. The Muse will be bringing you a review of one of the eyeshadow palettes today and follow up with the highlighter and other eye palette later next week! Two eye palettes were released with this collection which both contain cool shades. I was feeling a bit pink today so I used the Laneige The Snow Eye Palette 02. This particular palette contains a soft shimmering white gold base, a shimmering pink shade, and a deeper shimmering cranberry.

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I think the main appeal of the palettes was the gorgeous snowflake motif. Laneige is legendary for including snow, snowflakes, snow crystals, just about anything snow in their collections. I loved how they stepped that theme up this year and embedded tiny little snowflakes into each of the powder palettes. The snowflakes are all raised so they won’t disappear with one brush stroke! The shadow palettes contain two different snowflake shades and one base shade. I’m pretty partial to the compact design as well with it’s cute raised snowflakes which are actually made of velvet. The palette is a dual compact that has the shadows and mirror on one level and two applicators housed below a la Givenchy compact style packaging. The applicators included are a dual ended sponge tip and a dual ended shadow brush and liner combination.

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Today I did a look using Laneige The Snow Eye Palette 02 which consists of softer pinks and golds. The base shade is a lovely white gold with two contrasting, deeper shades of shadow that are pink and cranberry. The compact includes instructions for doing two complete looks using the palette but I felt like you could get a few more with a little imagination. Using the shadows by themselves offers three color options plus combining them can create any number of looks.

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I found the instructions for creating the two separate looks a bit hysterical as they throw around some fancy words when they could have just said “use this on the lid….use this on your crease…etc…”

Here’s the instructions for the looks:

Soft Pinky Eye Look
Apply beige color as base shade and express authentic pureness with pink color along lash line.

LOL whoa…that’s some seriously fancy instructions! The Muse says use the beige base as an all over color wash and line your eyes using the pale pink shade!

Luxury Smoky Eye Look
Apply the beige color as a base shade and express premium luxuriousness with the point of purple color along the lash line.

Ummm yea ok! The Muse says slap some of that beige color all over your eye and follow up by lining with the shimmering cranberry!

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I thought the shades were nicely pigmented and had a beautiful shimmering finish. Blending was a tiny bit difficult but with a little work you can get it just right. This could be because the formula is slightly crumbly which causes a tiny bit of fall out. I wouldn’t compare the formula to Korean or Japanese drugstore brands which are normally chalky…these were much silkier…maybe a tiny bit gritty but overall quite nice. I honestly love the soft romantic look you can get from this particular palette. For my look below I used the white gold base as an all over color wash and I blended some of the softer pink shade onto my lid and crease.

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The palette cost me $23 USD or so which wasn’t a bad deal but sadly it’s exclusive to Asia only as we do not have the base makeup line from Laneige in the US.

The Muse thought it was a welcome edition to her Laneige collection and Muse Approves it for purchase if you can locate it! A very nice palette for not only the Holiday but the cooler weather!

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What do you think?

Loving this palette?

Wanting it for yourself?

Tried it already?

Tell the Muse!

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DermaDoctor Ain’t Misbehavin’ Intensive Skin-Correcting Sulfur Mask Review

The Muse is pretty lucky as she rarely gets pimples or acne or spots of any kind. Her skin is nice and clear thankfully with a pimple that pops up on a rare occasion. This could account for the Muse is well past the age to be bothered by acne or it could be Lush skincare that takes good care of her skin. Whatever the case may be it’s pretty rare that I have any problems in regards to acne.

When I decided to try out DermaDoctor Ain’t Misbehavin’ Intensive Skin-Correcting Sulfur Mask I was having a rather good day in regards to my skin so I decided to tuck it away for a day I really needed it. That day happened to come this week when a big fat pimple popped up on the side of my face…actually thinking about it…it’s kinda a crop of pimples…ewww! I’m unsure where these came from but they did decide to take up residence on my face and hang out with me for a bit. Here in lay a perfect excuse to try the mask out!


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First things first I think it deserves to be said that the mask is a tad bit intense or at least I felt like it was so I’m unsure how those with sensitive skin will fair. When I say intense I mean it does have a slightly warm almost burning feeling as it does contain a healthy dose of Benzoyl Peroxide. I have a normal skin type and I wasn’t really bugged over much by the burning however if you’re a bit sensitive this could cause redness or burning so do a spot check prior to doing a complete treatment. The mask also contains 10% Sulfur which is the highest level of sulfur approved to kill blemish-causing bacteria and aid in exfoliation of the skin.

DermaDoctor Ain’t Misbehavin’ Intensive Skin-Correcting Sulfur Mask can be used either as a mask or a spot treatment. I used it as a full mask treatment this week to clear up the crop of pimples that were happily vacationing on my face however if you think your skin is on the sensitive side you can dab a bit on before bed to zap away unwanted pests.

I’ve used masks like this before and have always had one main problem with them….drying…they are terribly, terribly drying. So drying in fact that my skin flakes and peels off! Gross! The good news is that this mask is actually quite gentle and it washes clear off without leaving a dry spot behind! For me that’s pretty amazing as it does contain ingredients that are normally very drying to my skin.

In order to use the mask you’ll simply be applying a thin layer of the product to your face and leave it on for 15 minutes before washing off with cool water. The mask dries fairly quickly and it’ll start to feel quite tight on your face. For the crop of pimples on my face it took two mask treatments to rid myself of the pesky demons. I used the product once in the evening prior to bed, again the next evening, and on the third day I seen that the pimples had disappeared completely. Pretty good results. In regards to heavier acne you may want to try it out for three times a week for a month to see results. I think it’ll do well at clearing up moderate to heavier acne woes but results will vary from person to person. One aspect of the mask that you may find helpful is it’s quite drying for oily skin types so this could help rid yourself of oily skin which sometimes is the root of all evil when it comes to acne.

The formula boasts quite a nice floral scent which I liked very much however once it dries down and you’re washing it off you’ll get a very faint rotten egg smell which is of course the sulfur but honestly it’s not bad at all when compared to some products and for the most part I really loved the floral scent during application….it’s quite fresh and herbal like almost. The packaging is fantastic! It comes in push applicator which allows you to push to release the mask a la Kate Somerville moisturizers and exfoliators which means your fingers aren’t dipping in the product.

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Who should use it?

At $45 USD it’s not cheap so if you rarely get pimples you might not want to indulge in such an expensive product however if you have acne regularly or suffer from it daily it’s probably well worth trying out to see how well it does clearing up your skin. The formula penetrates pores and eliminates and prevents acne blemishes so in conjunction with other DermaDoctor skincare you may successfully be on your way to clearer skin in a month or so.

I actually liked the mask alot and will probably repurchase it in the future since it worked so quickly. It’s a nice item to have in my medicine cabinet on the days when an ugly pimple rears it’s head. Personally I’d buy it again simply because of the lack of unpleasant drying that’s associated with most acne products I’ve tried. This is a key selling point for me because I seriously can’t stand how flaky and dry my skin gets after using simple spot treatment products.

All in all if you’re looking for a quick recovery, a spot treatment, or something for heavier acne woes this is worth checking out. I thought it did a great job of banishing my pimples and getting my skin back to normal minus all the fuss of dry skin!

If you’re wanting to try out DermaDoctor is offering Free Shipping on all skincare orders $25 USD and above using code SHIPDEC

Visit www.dermadoctor.com

How about you?

Have you tried DermaDoctor Ain’t Misbehavin’ Intensive Skin-Correcting Sulfur Mask?

Love it?

Have you tried any DermaDoctor skincare items?

The Muse uses DermaDoctor Wrinkle Revenge Eye Balm daily and loves it!

Tell the Muse all about it!

The Muse wants your skin to be nice, shiny, and new for the Holiday Season! So she’s giving away one DermaDoctor Ain’t Misbehavin’ Intensive Skin-Correcting Sulfur Mask! Just enter your name and email into the widget below and one reader will be randomly selected to win the mask! Yay! Good luck guys! Remember my contest is open to US and International readers! It’s more fun when the everyone gets involved dontcha think?

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