Beauty Abroad

2008 Year End Reflection


It feels like the year virtually flew by doesn’t it? It’s been a great year for makeup that’s for sure! My year end favorite post is upcoming shortly but I thought we could reflect on a few things first!

Some of the questions I asked myself as I was reflecting were the following:


The Muse will place her answers here and you can answer, if you like, in the comment field below! Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on this!

I think I have to take myself all the way back to Spring 2008 to get a good idea of my very favorite collection of the year. The Etude House My Lovely Face Collection (aka Peach Collection) was my absolute favorite of the year! And it’s no wonder with it’s great packaging, fresh peachy shades, and incredible Pore Erasing Peach Base! This was by far my fav of the year! Etude House Spring 2009 I Can’t Help Smiling is simply adorably but in the Muse’s opinion it isn’t nearly as kawaii as last year’s collection!

In reflecting on my tastes and whether they have changed or not from last year I’d have to say a loud YES! I embraced more natural looks this year, got really excited about nudes and neutrals, and just dramatically altered my normal bold looks to include some very mature ones! So yes indeed my tastes have changed a tad bit. This doesn’t mean I don’t still adore bold looks but I have to say I’ve surprised myself with the amount of natural makeup I’ve taken on lately!

Unquestionably my greatest cosmetic find of the year was NARS Blush in Super Orgasm! I’ve heard rants and I’ve heard hate but I simply adored it. For me it was pure perfection! Not that it tops Super Orgasm but discovering that Urban Decay Primer has a SLEW of product left in the bottle after slicing it open is definitely a highlight of my year as well!

I can’t say so much if I embraced any trends this year. I kinda march to the beat of my own drum and I’m not one for embracing a trend but more along the lines of doing my own thing! One trend I definitely couldn’t get a handle on, no mater how hard I tried, was the vampy lip! I tried with MAC Binge and tried again with the Lancome Piha Collection but it just didn’t work on this Muse!

I’d be a liar if I said I wasn’t somewhat excited about the MAC Hello Kitty Collection! Although I made up my own little ideas about how this collection should look, I do find myself getting more and more antsy for it’s release as I am eager to see it in person for myself. Yes, I know I’ll be disappointed but I just can’t seem to shake the feeling that maybe, just maybe, it’ll be great! I’m also excited to see what the Summer has in store for us! Summer releases are a great time to stock up on bold shades so of course I look forward to what MAC, Urban Decay, and other brands have on the menu for the warmer weather!

Now it’s your turn…..

Tell the Muse all about what you loved and hated in 2008?

What your greatest find was?

What trends you embraced?

I’m listening!

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NuBo Cosmetics

I’m pretty sure I’m too young to take full advantage of the new cosmetic line NuBo or at least I’d like to think so. Debuting at Harrods in November, NuBo claims to offer “cosmeceutical-strength formulations without controversial chemical ingredients, including parabens, petrochemicals and sodium lauryl sulfate”.


If you’re conscious of what goes onto your face I’m pretty sure the idea of a high street brand cosmetic that promises quality minus harmful ingredients is probably thrilling you to bits and pieces.

At the moment NuBo consists mostly of skincare and I’m unsure if they have plans to further the line into cosmetics. One product that did interest me, cosmetic wise, was the NuBo Voile.


The product is an invisible veil created to hide lines, correct skin tone, and create flawless skin. This contains Hyaluronic Acid to fill and plump fine lines while offering extra moisture.

Considering I don’t have fine lines as of yet on my face is it terribly vain to admit that I fancy the lilac packaging and that was what really got my attention? Although, if you experiencing fine lines on your face already this sounds like an absolute miracle.

NoBu does look quite interesting but unless you’re willing to pay high street prices (prices range from 30 all the way to a whooping 120) you may find that it’s something you can safely skip on. But hey I’m sure some of us have found staple products that we are willing to dish the cash out for and NoBu may contain some staple products that we all can’t live without.

The Muse may try to get her greedy hands on some NuBo Voile as all the pretty packaging is too difficult to resist.

Visit Harrods for further information about NuBo

What are your thoughts on this brand?

Tell the Muse!

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Spring Collections 2009: Kiss Chocolat Collection

There isn’t any question in the world that I absolutely adored the Kiss Chocolatier Collection for Sprng 2008 so I was really thrilled when I heard that Kiss would be following up on the theme and releasing a new chocolate collection for Spring 2009.


Sadly, I wasn’t too excited once I actually got the chance to view the collection for myself.

The Kiss Chocolat Collection is quite small so it’s nothing to get too hyper about however I will say that I’m quite disappointed in the Kiss Dual Chocolat Eye Palettes released with the collection. Now the colors are absolutely fav and keeping with the chocolate strawberry theme however the main shade is a cream shadow. Although I’ve made piece with cream shadows I think it’s safe to say that these will probably be a mess to apply, lack pigmentation, plus the liner being a powder kinda makes them a tad on the boring side.

Le sigh!

The good news is that the Lip Chocolat Treatment looks quite good! Of course it’s strawberry chocolate scented and flavored…Muse likey! Last year I enjoyed the glosses released with the Chocolatier Collection immensely! The flavors were really true to life and they smelled so yummie! I’m looking forward to this lipgloss in a major way and I’ll definately be reviewing it soon!

Although the collection’s main focus item, the duos, are a sore disappointment I do think the gloss looks like a joy!

What do you think?

Love this collection?

Not so much?

Tell the Muse!

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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!



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.


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!


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

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



“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.”

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!



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!





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!



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.



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!

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!





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.



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!



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!

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!



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!

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!





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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