Beauty Abroad

Art Deco Glamorous Highlighter Review

The Muse would never admit it but she has one too many pretty face powders. Pretty face powders are somehow her downfall and she can’t resit ones that sparkle, shimmer, or are just generally pretty.

Of course when she laid eyes on the Art Deco Holiday Collection one of the first items that jumped up and bit her on the butt was the Art Deco Glamorous Highlighter.

Oy vey…another shimmering powder to add to the big stash growing in this Muse’s vault! But hey a girl can never have one too many right? Just nod yes to make your Muse feel more comfortable about her obsession!

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I guess we can chalk Art Deco Glamorous Highlighter up as being a really good deal considering it can be used as both a highlighter and an eyeshadow palette! W00t! That means I don’t feel nearly as guilty as I normally would adding it to my beauty vault of obscene powders.

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The palette consists of three warm shades that range from a creamy vanilla, a light brown with hints of peach, and a coffee brown shade. The colors aren’t really anything to get too excited about and I was actually a tiny bit scared to bother using them on my face as they look like they might be a bit muddy once combined. Although the shades start out as shimmery it sadly ends up quite matte as the powder contains a fine layer of shimmer that quickly disappears after use. Oh well so much for pretty shimmering powder!

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The powder actually worked quite well as both a blush and a highlighter as it was pigmented enough to give my cheeks a little pinch of a peachy finish. I haven’t tried it on my eyes yet but I think it’ll work equally as nicely as a sheer wash of shadow for the days I’m too lazy to do a complete look. In the photo below I’m wearing the highlighter on my cheeks

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All in all the only disappointing factor was the lack of shimmer after just one use but by now I am used to products being sprayed down with a top layer of shimmer considering most Japanese palettes and compacts favor this method to make a particular item appealing and pretty. Even without shimmer the powder successfully creates a nice, natural finish on the face.

I think it’s kinda worth tracking down if you’re interested in collecting obscure European cosmetic compacts or you just love powders in general like the Muse! I’m not Muse Approving it for purchase but I will say I did like it overall.

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Ghosts of Christmas Past Collections

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“Are you the Spirit, sir, whose coming was foretold to me?” asked the Muse.

“I am!”

The voice was soft and gentle. Singularly low, as if instead of being so close beside her, it were at a distance.

“Who, and what are you?” the Muse demanded.

“I am the Ghost of Christmas Collections Past.”

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The Muse is quite fond of rehashing her past and remembering collections that caught her fancy over the years. Take a step back in time with her and remember Holiday Collections from 2007 that brought joy and excitement to us all!

The Muse has always had a special fondness for Aube Shower Jewelry Eyes, just the name along has been an endless source of joy and amusement for this Muse and she did so love and adore the Aube Shower Jewelry Eyes Holiday Palette in EX02. Cool shimmering shades of light blue, white, and brown topped with a grayish liner created the perfect sophisticated holiday eye! With the release of the palette Aube also gifted us with two loose shimmering powders which came in a lovely little glass bottle! Truly a Holiday Collection that excited this Muse!

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Step into my past and check out the Aube Holiday Collection 2007 Review

On the heels of Aube’s release came Majolica Majorica’s Holiday Collection which granted our Christmas wishes and brought to us two shimmering Majolook Palettes that would later become my very favorite shades when brought together with my other MJ palettes. Keeping in the theme of sparkling colors MJ also released a shimmering silver mascara overcoat and a sparkling white face, eye, and body powder! This collection has since topped the Muse’s list as a favorite collection released from Majorca Majolica!

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Follow the path to a review of Majorca Majolica Holiday Collection 2007

Jill Stuart always keeps a special place in my heart even though many releases are quite repetitious of colors past. This year I didn’t feel the need to indulge in the Holiday Coffret but last year I did get tempted by all the sparkling, light hues of the Christmas palette!

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Remember Jill Stuart’s Christmas Coffret 2007



Although the Muse sometimes gets a bit ranty and disappointed over Bobbi Brown Shimmer Bricks she’s almost always on the bandwagon to purchase a new one, especially limited edition ones, as soon as they release. Last year she dove fully into her purchase of the Bobbi Brown Pink Quartz Shimmer Brick and although she never truly made proper use of it she still looks at it fondly and is happy it graces her collection.

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A glowing ranting review on Bobbi Brown Pink Quart Shimmer Brick



This year the Muse liked but didn’t love the Bare Escentuals Ruby Collection but last year she fondly recalls loving each and every release that Bare Escentuals graced us with! The Holiday Collections from BE last year were something that the Muse still can’t forget!

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The crisp coolness of the Bare Escentuals Classic Rock Collection thrilled the Muse to bits and she still gets hyper each time she whips out her BE Diamond Gossamer powder!

A tale and a review of Bare Escentuals Classic Rock Collection



Following closely behind Bare Escentuals Classic Rock Collection was the QVC release of Bare Minerals bareGold Luxury Color Collection and soon after the Nordstrom release of Bare Escentuals Pure Platinum Collection!

The amount of gossamer powder that the Muse ended up hauling with each gift set should last her well into the years to come!

Read on about Gold!



Read further about Platinum!

The Muse let the holiday get away from her this year and in doing so she forgot a few small pieces here and there she wanted to pick up! The NARS Holiday Palette this year was on this Muse’s list but never quite made it into her cart (maybe soon) but she does so remember getting her NARS Night Series Palette last year and holding it in her greedy, sweaty palms as she gleefully smiled down at it!

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Drool over a review on the NARS Night Series Palette



Thinking back on the Lavshuca Winter Make Collection the Muse recalls her excitement however she does feel kinda let down that the cardboard palettes from this collection didn’t fair well into 2008! But it doesn’t keep her from recalling how truly lovely and brilliant she thought they were when she first laid eyes on them.



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Recall beautiful things with the Lavshuca Winter Make Holiday Collection 2007

To this day the mystery behind Stila’s “Asia” Only palettes amuses this Muse…Asia only? What? Huh? Confuddled am I! Even though the mystery remains the Muse still loving caresses each of those palettes as they brought back her beloved Stila girls! The packaging was too delightful to resist and the Muse pleads with Stila please more Stila girls! Some of us, after all, miss them crazily!

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Enjoy a review on the release of Stila “Asia” Only Palettes from last Holiday Season!

Disappointment sometimes reigns supreme with MAC Holiday if you’re an old school collector but the Muse does still give thanks and praise for the release of the MAC Royal Assets Metallic Eyes Palette!

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MAC Royal Assets Holiday 2007

It wasn’t too much of a problem falling deeply in love with a few items from MAC’s Antiquitease Color Collection. The Muse was particularly thrilled to bits and maybe pieces too by Red Romp Lipglass, Queen’s Sin Lipstick, and Uppity Fluidline! The Muse sends blessings to MAC each day for introducing to red lippie items that actually work well for this Muse!

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Jump ahead to a review on MAC’s Holiday Color Collection from 2007

Fall in love with Red Romp and Queen’s Sin!

Is there any ever doubt that perfection and luxury is housed in all Guerlain compacts? Purple was the order of business for Guerlain Holiday 2008 but last year gold…gold reigned supreme over Guerlain Holiday 2007!

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Learn about all good things gold by reading my review on Guerlain Holiday 2007

Diamonds were a girl’s best friend this year and they happened to be just as friendly last year when the Muse got her claws into the Givenchy Diamantismme Holiday Collection! To this day the Givenchy Prisme Solitaire All Over Diamond Powder holds a special place of honor on my vanity!

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Learn what true love is all about by visiting my review on Givenchy’s Holiday Collection 2007

The Muse hopes you enjoyed her trip through Christmas Past! Check out last year’s Christmas Past post and read up on all good things the Muse loved from 2005 and 2006!

Don’t forget to share what collections you absolutely loved from past holiday releases! The Muse is dying to hear all about it!

Can’t get enough of Holiday ’07? That’s ok neither can the Muse! Check out all good things under the Holiday 2007 category! TAG! You’re it!

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MeMeMe Pussycat Cheek and Lip Tint Review, Swatches, and FOTD

Contrary to popular belief not everything cosmetic in England is expensive. Truly. Honest. The Muse swears it’s true.

All our friends on the other side of the pond suffer from jacked up cosmetic prices and cry in agonizing woe at the deals we in the US are so very fond of and take for granted. Within the US we enjoy fantastic prices on brands like MAC, Urban Decay, Etc..but these prices aren’t customary in the UK and most times what we pay is 30 to 50% higher in the UK (and other countries of course).

But as I was saying you can find a few cheaper cosmetics that are well worth checking out! Budgeting your beauty in England? Why not!

If you’re not feeling Benefit Benetint’s £22.50 price tag or in our case $28 USD you can always head to your local Superdrug and snag some MeMeMe Pussycat Cheek and Lip Tint and call it a day. At £4.99 it’s a steal and a deal or so the Muse thinks.

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Benefit might be pretty upset if they got their hands on a bottle of MeMeMe Pussycat Cheek and Lip Tint. The product is virtually an exact dupe of Benefit Benetint right down to the rose scent. Although MeMeMe’s version has many of the same characteristics as Benetint one thing remains very different, the price tag. At £4.99 compared to £22.50 you do the math.

MeMeMe Pussycat Cheek and Lip Tint is quite a nice little stain although some may complain that it’s a bit too red (this compliant is legendary in regards to Benetint as well) but personally I think it gives just the right touch of color to cheeks and lips. It sports the same water like consistency as Benetint and only gives a very subtle glow to cheeks, nothing too dramatic, just a very sheer touch of color to cheeks and lips. The similarity in packaging is quite obvious aside from the fact that MeMeMe’s version has a longer bottle where as Benetint is a chubbier bottle. The packaging sports the same nail polish design with brush applicator as well, just like Benetint.

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For the most part I think MeMeMe Pussycat Cheek and Lip Tint is rather a nice little replacement for Benetint. At a great price it gives cheeks just the right amount of a natural flush!

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Getting cheeky with the stain on my lips and cheeks!
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As you can see above the stain is quite sheer and nothing too loud or outrageous just a very natural flush of color!

Yes, yes don’t worry the Muse hasn’t failed to mention that those of us in the US do not have Superdrug nor do we have access to MeMeMe products but the Muse does suggest cozying up to your favorite Brit and asking nicely if they’d buy one for you and send it on over! Plenty of MUA’ers are very helpful as well so do check around your local makeup forum haunts to see who in England is willing to fulfill your MeMeMe wishes!

I do think even with International shipping costs that MeMeMe Pussycat Cheek and Lip Tint is well worth checking out if you’re looking for a nice, natural flush but you’re not willing to shell out $28 USD for Benetint!

As for my UK’ers you’re lucky enough to wander down to your local Superdrug and nab some for yourself! Happy Hauling!

What about you?

Anyone tried this?

Love it?

What’s your favorite stains?

Tell the Muse!

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Lepoze Esthe Gommage Lepoze Blackhead Cleaning Nose Gel L’epoze Esthe Gommage aka Lepoze Blackhead Cleaning Nose Gel Review

I was going through product with my best friend Jai on Friday and I realized that I never truly dove into the ridiculous amount of Asian skincare bits and bobs I stash around my bathroom. As we went through it I suddenly had the idea that I needed to share ridiculous Asian skincare products with the beauty blogging world!

The Muse is a self proclaimed Lush lover for all good things skincare but she’s been known to tempt the hands of faith and indulge it stupid amounts of Asian products that are both useless and items she can’t live without.

Here was an untapped territory for Musings of a Muse readers that I haven’t yet covered aside from a few minor bits and bobs. Hey, who could forget the Sony Black Head Off Stick I reviewed a few months ago right? Imagine the amount of other crazy rubbish I have hanging around from Japan, Korea, and Taiwan!

So the Muse (and kinda sorta Jai) came out with the idea to review all the items I have stashed in my washroom that I use daily or use once a week or maybe kinda used once. Who doesn’t want to hear about more Asian products right? I know I never get tired of ‘em! And since my obsession with cosmetics is fully established here why not delve deeper and get into all the good skincare bits you can find that work and mmm sometimes don’t work.

Anyway speaking of blackheads and that weird black head off stick how about I start my review up with L’epoze Esthe Gommage aka L’epoze Blackhead Cleaning Nose Gel which makes big promises to remove dirt, oil, and pesky little black heads from deep inside the pores of my nose.

Whoa.

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Hey, like all good things that sounds too good to be true…normally are…and you guessed it…this is WAY too good to be true!

I deem L’epoze Blackhead Cleaning Nose Gel a glorified version of a Biore Nose Strip, granted it doesn’t work nearly as well as a Biore Nose Strip but I do deem it glorified because that sounds important and stuff. The Muse makes this stuff up as she goes along so just deal with it.

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So what is it anyway? It’s basically a paste that you apply on your nose (they have a version for your face as well but I’ll tell you about that gem another day) and it dries to a clay like consistency wrapping your nose in a warm cocoon for 10-15 minutes (timing is entirely up to you). As you sit and wait the paste dries to a harder slightly crumbly texture which after a considerable wait you’ll be rubbing off. Yup, no water here folks! Simply rub the mask off and as you rub supposedly dirt, oil, and evil, nasty blackheads all go bye-bye.

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Yea well….this Muse looked close and the pesky blackheads on her nose are still there….as for oil and dirt….who knows as my nose wasn’t dirty or oily going into this joint.

In reality the mask kinda sorta works like a Biore Nose Strip once dry however it doesn’t quite have the power that a simple nose strip has. Why that is I’ll never know. Personally I feel like a nose strip really digs in deep and adheres well to all the gunk on my nose and lifts it clear away where as this is simply rubbing off and not really adhering to anything that I can see. I guess if you’d like a gentle version of a nose strip this may work out well especially if you have larger pores or even an oily nose area.

The moral of the story is that you’ll run across many similiar masks in and around Asian drugstores but I haven’t really run across one that works. If you want my two cents I say stick with simple nose strips as they work a treat. Lepoze Blackhead Cleansing Nose Gel retails for around $6-7 USD or so which is what I paid for it however I have seen it retailing for about $10-$12 USD on Evil-bay and other online retailers. Honestly, if you can find it cheap it might be worth taking a look at but personally I think it’s a bit of a waste. This is made my a company called PD-C which also happens to put out a rather awesome brand called Soda Salon…I’ll be bringing you some fab reviews from Soda Salon soon. It’s nice to know that PD-C may have failed miserably with the entire Lepoze range of product but they do excel at a few other brands they have out on the market.

Blackheads on your nose?

The Muse says skip the mask and go straight for the strips! You’ll thank me for it later!

And yes of course you get gratuitous idiot shots of the Muse wearing the mask…would I disappoint you?

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I feel like I should be saying “hey dude, surfs up man!” with this mask on my nose! I happen to have great ones of Jai too but sadly he won’t let me share them with anyone but his adoring public aka his boyfriend…le sigh….that just sucks as he looked way better in the mask than the Muse did!

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Isadora Diamond Eye Shadow Palette Review, Swatches, and FOTD

It’s that time of the year when the Muse is all about frosty shimmering shades. The snow is laying on the ground outside and the wind is blowing so hard it feels like it’ll knock you clear off your feet so hues of frosty white, peach, blue and purple are definitely in style today.

I think an icy, cool look a la the Ice Queen for the Holidays is so very chic and fitting with both the season and the weather!

Let me show you the perfect palette for creating a gorgeous shimmering Ice Queen look that’s sure to be a hit this season!

The Isadora Dazzling Diamond Collection totally caught my eye this season due to it’s gorgeous packaging and shimmering shades. Of course the Isadora Diamond Eye Shadow Palette ended up on my hit list right away with it’s gorgeous mirrored compact design and five cool, frosty shades of shadow. The Muse can’t resist all that goodness!

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The palette contains five shades of extremely soft, silky, pigmented shadows that include frosty blue, shimmering white, sparkling peach, and two shades of purple. All the shades would be wholeheartedly approved by the Ice Queen herself I’m sure. I loved the finish of the shadows and they are like nothing I’ve ever tried before formula-wise in the eyeshadow world. They are quite light and soft with nice pigmentation however they do crease a fair bit so proper prepping prior to application is required to avoid a mess later in the day. I noticed the shades work best on their own and not combined with other colors in the palette. They blend nicely however when applying two or more shades you end up with a fair bit of a muddy look. Personally I think they look best on their own anyway so in keeping with that theme you’ll end up with five separate looks from the one palette.

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The palette’s design is just as gorgeous as what it holds. The compact is a complete mirror design with Isadora’s logo on the top lid. This does cause major fingerprint problems but I simply wipe off with a soft cloth after I’ve used it and it’s back to it’s gorgeous self again!

Using the white shade from the palette
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Using the blue shade from the palette
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At a tiny price tag of $21 USD I think that the palette is well worth picking up! I loved the cool look the shadows created and think they are quite flattering for not only the upcoming Holiday but also the cooler weather!

All in all the Isadora Diamond Eye Shadow Palette is definitely a nice little item to tuck into your stocking this season!

If you’re wanting to indulge in the Isadora Holiday Collection 2008 do visit

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