Thursday, November 29, 2012

Guerlain Shine Automatique in Lou-Ling 760

Perfect timing. Just as I was complaining that the season would no longer allow me to wear my summer color, Chanel Rouge Allure Belgravia, along comes the winter version of this shade in the form of Guerlain Lou-Ling (760) Shine Automatique.

Lou-Ling is a stunning fuchsia-raspberry with sparkles. I defy you not to smile when you see this shade on your lips.

This is definitely a holiday party shade: the sparkles are chunky and highly visible. Since this is Guerlain, however, you look elegant rather than a teenybopper.

Lou-Ling appears much darker in the tube than it does on the lips. I was expecting a vampish color, and discovered instead a semi-sheer wash that requires more than a few passes to build up. The result is so alluring, however, that I must forgive Lou-Ling's false advertising.

Unique and beautiful, Guerlain Lou-Ling is the perfect unexpected antidote to the winter blues.


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Design Gem: 3.1 Phillip Lim Wool, Leather, and Sheer

Wool and sheer sound like they oughtn't go together, but Phillip Lim marries them in one flawless outfit from his A/W 2012 collection.

The layers are tantalizing: asymmetric chunky wool sweater, leather miniskirt, and sheer ankle pants. The combination makes you look twice, then covet the whole ensemble.


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sunday's Mask: Tracie Martyn Enzyme Exfoliant

Diane von Furstenberg is one of my heroines. At 65 years old, she eschews plastic surgery yet is confident enough to pose for one of Chuck Close's Polaroid portraits -- bare-faced. Her anti-aging weapon? Tracie Martyn skincare. I had decided to start my exploration of this line with Tracie Martyn Enzyme Exfoliant.

Behind this little jar is a lot of Holy Grail hype: Powerful Enzymes, Botanical Skin Lighteners and balanced fruit acids combine in a synergistic formula aimed at gently, yet efficiently resurfacing the skin: softening fine lines and wrinkles, minimizing large pores and safely lightening the complexion. This unique facial treatment while deeply cleansing and exfoliating, actually calms the skin, reducing redness and sensitivity. And so forth.

At $90, it better do all that. I ordered mine from Beautyhabit, and was nonplussed to receive a tiny box containing a small jar. For the price, I was expecting more product. After three uses, however, I can say I would dearly pay every penny for a second jar.

The Enzyme Exfoliant is a thick cream with abrasive flakes embedded. The scent is strong and unique: an aquatic accord of minty algae. I find it uplifting and soothing. I scoop out a tablespoonful and rub it in circular motions onto my damp face. (The damper my skin is, the better the exfoliant seems to work.) Then I leave the mask on for about ten minutes and relax. During this time, the cream dries just like a clay mask, but I never get that tight or dry feeling. Instead, there is a powerful cooling sensation. I rinse off with tepid water, and the mask comes off easily.

My skin is left incredibly smooth and plump. As promised, there is absolutely no redness; if anything, I look fairer. My skin feels soft and tender, but also protected. The following serum and moisturizer glide on and absorb beautifully. The enzyme exfoliant transforms my face into a perfect, glowing slate. I use this as a nighttime mask because that's when I have the time, but this would be an amazing morning pick-me-up. And imagine applying this before a holiday party.

The ingredient list is all natural and chock full of good acids: aqua (purified water), pineapple enzymes, glycerin, caprilic/capric triglycerides, diatomaceous earth, cetyl octanoate, kaolin, kojic acid dipalmitate gallic acid, squalane, albumin, silicone dioxide, titanium dioxide, salicylic acid, malic acid hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel) extract, gamma aminobutyric acid (gaba), menthol lactic acid. D-alpha tocopherol (vitamin e), jasmine extract, xantham gum, mexican tea extract, algae extract, azulene, vitamin c ester, amla extract, blend of natural essential oils.

Tracie Martyn Enzyme Exfoliant is indeed a Holy Grail exfoliator, for it does so much more besides exfoliate. I shouldn't use "exfoliate" three times in a sentence.

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