Luxebeaute's Blog

July 1, 2016

ABH Modern Renaissance Eye Shadow Palette Review

Filed under: Cosmetics — luxebeaute @ 10:06 pm

Believe it or not, this is my first Anastasia Beverly Hills palette purchase. I know, I know, these have been all the rage since ABH first began cranking them out. Thing is, color and formulations (upon the good old fashioned swatch test) just never really made me swoon. Well, until this gem of a products release!

This palette is chalk full of striking warm toned and berry shades. These all apply like a dream and are easy to blend. These shadows are incredibly silky as well as opaque, This palette is a complete collection in terms of various finishes, and the inclusion of transition, brow bone, highlighting, and inner corner shade options.

Shades:  Tempera (beige with an ultra-matte finish), Golden Ochre (earthy yellow with an ultra-matte finish), Vermeer (iridescent shell with a metallic finish), Buon Fresco (antique lavender with an ultra-matte finish), Antique Bronze (metallic sable with a satin finish), Love Letter (raspberry with an ultra-matte finish), Cyprus Umber (dark coffee with an ultra-matte finish), Raw Sienna (neutral amber with an ultra-matte finish), Burnt Orange deep orange with an ultra-matte finish), Primavera (shimmery gold with an ultra-matte finish), Red Ochre (sienna with an ultra-matte finish), Venetian Red (crimson with an ultra-matte finish), Warm Taupe (earthy gray with an ultra-matte finish), Realgar (brick with an ultra-matte finish).

I find myself reaching for this palette near daily. The only con I have is that this formula is so buttery soft that I do get quite a bit of fallout, but hey, I can live with that.

This palette is said to be Limited Edition, although demand might change this. It can be purchased at Sephora and the ABH website for $42.00




May 18, 2016

Artisan Beauty Product Review: Amrita Aromatics

Filed under: Cosmetics,Cult Beaute: Artisan Product Reviews — luxebeaute @ 7:58 pm

Yet again I was lucky enough to receive a lovely package for review from Amrita Aromatics (Northampton, MA.), an amazing artisan Indie Company which specializes in unique fragrance, facial product, and lip treatment creations.

Company Description: Amrita Aromatics & Apothecary is a small artisan line of pure botanical creations by perfumer and herbalist Ananda Wilson. Each item is carefully crafted completely by hand with a deep investment of creativity, inspiration, love, time, and over 20 years of skill and practice. Every product is all natural, utilizing synergies of wildcrafted botanicals, handmade extracts and preparations, carefully sourced pure essential oils, absolutes, attars, and exquisite rare aromatics. Many hours of inspiration and critical thinking is given to each creation. I am continually inspired by nature, trees, water, art, rhythms, dance, music, myth, and life phases. Working with plant aromatics is my devotion and specialty; with a knack and nose for blending unique and highly praised, sacred, therapeutic perfume blends – both perfectly simple and evocative ones as well as deeply complex, sophisticated, and rich compositions. They are designed to elicit pleasure medicine, amplify intentions, catalyze sensory bliss, self care ritual, emotional support and seduction, and to ignite your imagination with a powerful terrain of scent imagery and narrative.

If you love facial oils or are looking for a miracle in a bottle, look no further than the potions created by Amrita Aromatics. As someone who suffers from extremely dry skin, trust me when I state my opinion here is no exaggeration. I tend to rotate between Isis Hydroactive Cellular Face Oil ($125.00, 1 oz), Caudalie Polyphenol C15 Overnight Detox Oil ($52.00, 1 oz.), Life-Flo Pure Rosehip Oil ($6.00, 1 oz.), and Acure Certified Organic Pure Argan Oil ($11.00, 1 oz). I use these products nightly, every night, without fail and they are wonderful products with amazing results – yet somehow Amrita Aromatics has managed to magically create some sort of amazing mystical blend which knocks the above oils out of the winning circle. Amrita Aromatics carries 3 staple facial beauty oil Elixirs: Precious (Argan, Turkish Rose, and Red Tea), Aromatic (White Sage and Blue Chamomile), and Neroli (Green Tea). While these may sound like somewhat simple recipes, they are actually complex blends which include skin loving botanicals and additional oils. These absorb beautifully into the skin and leave no residue or excess oil to lay atop the skin; it is as if your face is drinking this oil down to its deepest layer. After using these, I awoke to glowing and baby soft skin and I didn’t even bother to put any foundation or powder on. While I would be hard pressed to say one is better than another my skin seems to favor Precious, which is specifically made for skin toning and anti-aging ($36.00, 1 oz.). For those who prefer a lighter oil or are normal or oily skin types, Aromatic will work wonderfully for you.

I am a lip balm addict. So much so that I embarrassingly admit that my night stand holds lip treatments ranging anywhere from good ole fashioned $1.00 Chapstick to $75.00 Sisley Paris and all in between. So when I opened my package from Amrita Aromatics to find Cocoa Rose lip balm I was “woo hoo-ing” on the inside (hey, I was at work so I couldn’t perform the dance of joy which usually ensues when I package of goodies arrives!). Cocoa Rose is made of deeply moisturizing butters and oils, and is an excellent blend of Cocoa and rose which leaves a unique combination of scents to linger. Ordinarily I am not a fan of chocolate type products nor would floral on my lips appeal to me – however, there is just something about this combo that works. When I use this scented lippie, I feel like Victorian royalty. After using Cocoa Rose for a week straight, I can honestly say it is a much better workhorse than my two faves: Natura Biss Recovery and Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Balm – Which came as a VERY pleasant surprise to both me personally and my wallet. Cocoa Rose is indeed heavily scented and therefore won’t appeal to those who are smell sensitive. Yet the end results (IE dry lip solution) were so great I suggest trying out one of their other lip treatments. Amrita Aromatics carries Cocoa Rose ($9.95 ea.), Absinthe Vanilla ($12.00), and The Kissy Fit Set ($22.00) which includes Crushed Rubies Lip & Cheek Glow (Vedic Spice), Smoked Coffee Kiss (Lapsang Souchong Tea & Coffee), and Jasmine Cooling Lip Tingle. Amrita Aromatics also offers membership for their perfume club, which often gives special discounts on limited addition releases.

I have nothing put positives to say about Amrita Aromatics. This is an up and coming artisan beauty brand in which blows many high end skin care lines away. I highly recommend you give them a try.



Photography by Ananda Wilson, Marlaina Donato, all rights reserved. Photos used with permission. 


February 29, 2016

Colourpop Ultra Satin Lips Review

Filed under: Cosmetics — luxebeaute @ 9:36 pm



Hallelujah! I am like a kid in a candy store when it comes to CP’s new lip line launch – which is a major surprise for me considering how disappointed I was with their Ultra Matte line. But this one… can I get an Amen along with my animated proclamations  of Hallelujah?

The Ultra Satin line is nothing short of brilliant, and the formulation is a dream. Pigmentation is outstanding and the color selection is perfection.These are extremely comfortable and not drying in any way, nor have I encountered any patchiness or feathering. These go on creamy and somewhat mousey – application feel is similar to the Stila Stay all Day formula.

Not quite a stay all day formulation, however, I personally categorize this line as a liquid lipstick in the similar vein of Ofra and Nyx as far as texture, feel, and basic wear time goes. It dries down matte but not too much, and provided I am not eating anything oily, these last on my lips aprx 4-5 hours. The launch includes 16 shades, although CP is sure to add more as time goes on. Did I happen to mention these are $6.00?


November 18, 2015

TBR: MAC & Dita Von Teese

Filed under: Cosmetics,Vintage and retro — luxebeaute @ 1:53 am

“Inspired by the launch of Dita Von Teese’s new book, Your Beauty Mark, her vivid red lipstick is the signature shade for the seductive spirit. Available exclusively online in select markets December 2015.”



TBR Dec 8 2015 Online exclusive

Mac & DVT have teamedup yet again to bring us a lovely product – this time a limited ed. lippie in a vibrant tomato red matte, aptly and simply named Von Teese. I would say this shade is more of a classic red with a modern twist to it; its bright and not deep, and there is somthing both modern and retro about it.

While indeed this is a lovely shade, I have to admit there is something… I dunno, rushed or incomplete about it? Not the shade itself I suppose, but the product line – or lack thereof. I was surprised to only see a lipstick released and not a set or any other products. I also found the plastic packaging to be quite lackluster, considering that I really thought if its only one product it would be a real deco looking show-stopper. I dunno, it may just be me but I am growing tired of some of the latest MAC collabs that seem rushed and thrown together. Not to mention I have enough limited ed. reds in the same ole’ Mac packaging. Even so, this is gonna sellout quick and its def worth picking up if you are a crazed LE collector such as I. So grab it while you can before it ends up on Ebay for 3X the original price.

TBR Dec 8th 2015 – online exclusive


June 25, 2015

TBR: MAC Giambattista Valli Collection

Filed under: Cosmetics — luxebeaute @ 1:14 am

“Fashion designer Giambattista Valli brings his effortless elegance and luxurious celebration of the female form to a stunning collection of timeless lipsticks.”

To Be Released: July 9th 2015


February 20, 2015

TBR: MAC Bao Bao Wan Collection

Filed under: Cosmetics — luxebeaute @ 1:06 am

MACBao Bao Wan and Mac have teamed up and released a lovely limited edition collection of bolds and golds!

I am a sucker for my bold lippies and nail colors mixed with gold toned illuminating shiny distractions for eyes and highlighting, so my adoration for this collection will come as no surprise. The collection consists of the Veluxe Pearlfusion Shadow palette (5 shimmering shades), a light bronze Beauty Powder, 4 gorgeous bright limited ed. lipsticks (3 matte and one Lustre formula), and 3 pearlescent nail polishes. This collection is sure to sell out quick, so mark your calandars!

Release date First week of March


May 15, 2014

The MAC Maleficent Collection and Review

Filed under: Cosmetics — luxebeaute @ 12:27 am


Maleficent is my all time fave Disney villain. Given that, I was beyond excited to hear that MAC was releasing yet another collection in her honor. The inspiration for this collection is based on a combination of the original animated dark diva and the look given to Angelina Jolie for the upcoming Disney film Maleficent in theatres May 30th. The collection is said to consist of the actual colors and products used for the film. This limited edition collection is made up of different color-tones and uniquely different packaging design than 2010’s Venomous Villains collection. This time around MAC chose to go with a much more subtle yet chic and sleek design: double winged black raven imagery.

The Collection: The collection is made up of 12 products, although not all of these are limited edition packaging and/or colors. The Lipstick ($17.50), Lip Glass ($22.00), and Nail Lacquer ($17.50) are the only products released which are truly limited edition, as they are both special release shades and package design. The eyeshadow quad ($44.00), Sculpt Powder ($23.00), Beauty Powder ($30.00), Eyelashes ($17.50), and lip liner ($21.50) come in the limited winged design, yet the colors and actual products are in regular rotation. There is also an eyeliner, lip liner, brow stick, and Prep + Prime highlighter in this collection, yet they are in regular rotation at MAC and the packaging has not been changed.

 My Opinion: I felt this collection was marketed oddly in that MAC didn’t go all the way in changing the packaging design on all to reflect the theme. The eyeliner, lip liner, brow stick, and Prep + Prime highlighter should have been listed as an additional way to achieve the look, not actually included as “limited editions”. Minimally they could have made mini’s of these left plain, packaged in a cute bag, and upped the price to suit their desires for profit. This was rather boring to me and since I wasn’t purchasing these items to transform myself into the Disney Diva herself, I didn’t purchase these. I also did not purchase the shadow quad because I already had all the included colors , the Beauty Powder (it’s too light for my skin tone), the nail polishes bc I leave that up to the salon, nor the lashes (I use Latisse so no need for falsies)… I opted for the lipstick, lip glass, and the sculpt powder and I have to say I am impressed. Although the sculpt is not limited, I wanted to give it a try and I found it makes a lovely and subtle contour for my NC25-30 skin tone. The lippies are both limited red shades and they are wonderful in both color and formulation.

 There are some hits and some misses in this collection, that is for sure. However, luckily all items are sold separately so fans can pick and choose to their liking. That alone gets a huge “thumbs up” – I don’t know about everyone else but I can’t stand when I buy a collection and only end up liking 1 or 2 things out of 5 or more, so this is a great alternative for such disappointment. If it’s not so much about the colors or products but about the collector appeal, I personally feel MAC did a great job. Although there are rumblings amongst many who find the design rather lackluster, I find it to be a great depiction of symbolism; as the story goes, Maleficent lost her wings and she also had Diablo her beloved messenger raven and I love how MAC utilizes this aspect of the story.

November 11, 2012

The eyes have it: All about Eyelash Curling

Filed under: Cosmetics,Tips, Tricks and Advice — luxebeaute @ 10:31 pm

I admit it- I am neurotic when it comes to creating the perfect eye. I have tried every single mascara and lash curler under the sun from $3-$30. It’s true, I have proof, just look in my drawer and view all of the products that never made the grade.  Here’s a day in the life of my eyes…1) Curl with Shiseido lash curler 2) use Preo side curler for smaller lashes 3)apply eyelash primer 4) apply light coat mascara (wipe excess off) 5) before it dries, divide lashes. 6) let dry and curl again using Revlon or heated lash curler. 7)quickly divide again 8) apply another coat of mascara, this time lengthening formula. 9) Gently divide lashes again with plastic comb. 10) Use Japanese side curler on bottom lashes (no mascara applied). And this is a normal day, skipping eyeshadow and fiber lash or single lashes at the corners.

Curling  is the holy grail of creating a perfect eye. Start here period whether used with mascara or alone- you can purchase the best curling mascara on the planet but it’s not going to work its magic to the best of its ability without it. If you are on a quest for perfect, long and luscious curled lashes I suggest no one go without ALL the following investments:

  • #1 Shu Uemura or Shiseido eyelash curler  ($20.00)
  • #2 The Preo Japanese eyelash curler ($25.00)
  • #3 Sephora Professional Heated Mini Eyelash Curler or Revlon ($4.00-$10.00)
  • #4 Lash divider- metal or plastic ($2.00-$20.00)
  • #5 Disposable mascara wands in various shapes ($5.00 pr pack)

Step 1- Pre Mascara Curling: Being that we all have different preferences, needs and eye shapes, it is very hard for me to say what the best brand is when it comes to Getting an overall pre mascara curl out of all the millions available (see mascara blog). Since I am pretty sure everyone reading this has heard that hands down, Shu Uemura makes the best eyelash curler, let’s start there. The Shu Uemura has a special shape to it in which has yet to be seen in American drugstore brands. The curve to this LC allows better lash definition and is very precise; it will catch the majority of lashes, as opposed to drugstore brands which IMHO work well only if your lashes are extremely long to begin or already “painted” with due to the high curve top. Is the Shu worth it? Yes. Then why is it I do not personally use it you ask? Well, the Shu LC comes with one curl pad refill only and when that has seen its day, so has the LC and another curler must be purchased- this I don’t understand. A lot of people have questioned why all the hype over the Shu and not a lot re the Shiseido if they are so similar- here is why: The Shu has more money for advertising and more professional promoters, period. I was told this by a makeup artist; I have also never known anyone who used both brands and done a side by side comparison who could notice any difference. But the Shu does happen to be available in 24K plate which is great for those with silver allergies. The Shiseido LC is exactly the same as the Shu in both outcome and price (give or take 2 or 3 bucks), but pad refills are available for the Shi. I (and everyone else I assume) would much rather spend $5 on pads every 4-6 months as opposed to the $20 for an entirely new Shu. Since the only difference between the two is convenience and a nice chunk of pocket change, which is important, I suggest going for the Shiseido and saving upward $60 pr year. [There is only one other comparable LC on the market to Shu and Shi- the Fanny Serrano Slim Thin Eyelash Curler. This has the same shape as above for precision and costs about $3. [But I spoke with an FS rep and was told there is no U.S. distributor].  To catch those pesky short inner lashes, the Preo eyelash curler is a must, not to mention a little known secret. Used for centuries in Japan where women traditionally have shorter lashes, the Preo LC is for individual lash curling and curls the outside, inside, or center of the lash line, as well as the bottom lashes. It is stainless steel and replacement pads are only $3.00. A bit on the pricey side but a must have; while I do not use mascara on my bottom lashes, this wonderful little invention really makes the eyes pop. Well worth the money.

Step 2-Post Mascara Curling: Once that initial pre mascara curl has been achieved, clean your Shu or Shi and put it away. You want to get the most out of it. Because these are high end (ie pricey) curlers, if you are one of those ladies who curls after mascara application as well, I always suggest using either the Sephora professional heated LC or Revlon for one’s post mascara continual perfect curl quests! I rotate between both, depending on event, mood etc. The Sephora was created specifically for use after a coat of mascara; it will not work otherwise. After it has heated, hold it to the lashline as well as tips- I have found it does work well and the heat seems to help with thinning out excess mascara just enough to avoid clumpage. The Revlon, on the other hand, gives amazing definition and curl when used post mascara application but sure does create some serious Tammy Fae lashes which are hard to comb out.

Step 3-Avoiding Spider Eyes: If you are a “more than one coat” kinda gal (as are 99.999+% of all mascara users), combing out lashes is a must!  But forget those old bulky plastic lash divider brow brush combos- they do nothing in comparison to newer alternatives. The Perfect Lash Comb($15)  is supposed to be the best of the best- it divides, extends, lifts and Intensifies Lashes. Coming in close second is the Tweezerman lash comb ($7). These metal toothed type lash separators indeed do work wonders; unfortunately for me, I have had too many close calls using these so I have forgone them altogether. Warning: They are VERY sharp! I prefer (and use) the Ribiglo eyelash comb($2.75) as well as disposable mascara wands to eliminate clumps and separate lashes. The Ribiglo is a very affordable tiny plastic toothed comb with top and it works magnificently.

Step 4-Adding that extra “oomph”!: I love all of the little eyelash extras that have come onto the market recently and have pretty much tried them all from primers to fibers, falsies to lash extensions. Eyelash primers are mascara bases which (depending on the formula) contain vitamins and moisturizer or fibers and other thickening agents to maximize the results of mascara.  My three favorites are Shiseido Mascara Base ($23) Lancôme Cils Booster XL ($21.50), Estee Lauder Lash Primer Plus ($18.50), and Trish McEvoy’s Lash builder ($20). While these all work equally and having used them all I notice no real difference between them, the Shiseido, Lancôme and McEvoy go one white (requiring more mascara for coverage) and can be difficult to remove, while the Lauder primer is more translucent and comes off easily with remover. Lash extenders are an excellent alternative to false eyelashes, tho they take patience, careful application (they are messy) and are best for non sensitive eyes. I highly recommend giving Fastlash (15) and DivaDerme Tripple Action Lash Extender ($32) a try. Fastlash delivers amazing length is best applied to lash ends only to avoid clumps, while DivaDerme delivers … The main differences between the two are Formulation (DivaDerm incorporates Cellulose, Panthenol and vitamin E while Fash Lash is all fiber), color (DivaDerme is black and Fast Lash is white), ease of application (DivaDerme is a pain to use), and price. Both products deliver as promised. If lash extenders are not your thing (pricey, doesn’t work for you, or simply too much trouble) I say go with falsies! Not too difficult to apply and well worth the results. I recommend individual lashes and not strips; indies can be applied just where needed or desired, look natural, stay put and wash off easily while strips are bulky, very unrealistic looking, tend to loosen and the glue is difficult to remove which can result in loss of natural lashes. Individual falsies are extremely inexpensive and come in a variety of lengths, thickness and colors.

August 24, 2010

MAC Venomous Villains Disney Collection

Filed under: Cosmetics — luxebeaute @ 11:06 pm


Move over Barbie and Hello Kitty, there’s a new gang in town! Next month marks the release of the highly anticipated Venomous Villains collection by MAC Cosmetics. The VV collection is based on the most famous of Disney villians: Cruella de Vil (101 Dalmations), Queen Grimhilde (Snow White), Maleficent (Sleeping Beauty), and Dr. Facilier (The Princess and the Frog). Product shades were formulated to reflect both the look of characters and the actual Pantone shades used by Disney animators.

I am excited for this one and plan on getting two of everything! Grab them as soon as you can, they are sure to sell out quick.

U.S. Release Date: September 2010

June 9, 2010

Best 2010 Summer Trend: Bold Purple Toned Lippies (Fuchsia, Hot Pinks and Lavender)

Filed under: Color Trends,Cosmetics — luxebeaute @ 9:57 pm

Yes it’s true… I have removed all my usual neutral lipsticks from the purse in exchange for some bold and brash new hues. So long to my beloved Blonde Venus (Nars), Totally Nude (Too Faced Cosmetics) and Fresh Moroccan (MAC), hello amped vamp! Think multi colored rose garden this summer.

Hot bold Pinks: My #1 hot pink shade pick so far is definitely MAC lipstick in Girl about Town ($14.00). I picked this one up in March or April on a whim (aka when utilizing the Back to Mac program getting 3 free lipsticks) and I must say it was a surprisingly fine choice. It’s a creamy opaque in a bright pink & fuchsia shade and there is absolutely no color change from container to lips, which is incredibly rare for bright shades. It’s a rich deep bright pink, if that makes sense! Coming in at a close second would be Centrifuchsia by Lime Crime ($16.00) and Rebel by Mac ($14.00). In comparison to GAT, Centrifishcia is a tad shinier and thinner while Rebel is not quite as rich in pigment, a lighter hot pink yet just as bright. While the color difference between the two shades is only by a smidgen, I would say (IMHO) based on undertones that Girl About Town really pops on more pale skin while Rebel is amazing on darker skin.  Show Orchid (MAC) is comparable to the above two but is more “see through”. Being that this is the case, I imagine that it goes on differently for everyone and can be enhanced (either lighter or brighter) by layering. While I wouldn’t dare add gloss to Girl about Town, Show Orchid would be a great back up if you desire to have a “Mac Glass”look.  If your looking more for a transparent brightness that doesn’t overwhelm, go with Sunrise Fuchsia by Givinchy or Magenta by Motives.

Lilac/Violet/Lavander(ish) Shades: My Hands down, #1 pick here is Up the Amp (MAC)- I wear this one at least once a week. This creamy deep shade is amazing. It’s like magic and looks gorgeous on all skin tones. There’s something crazy about this formula- in fact when I’m grabbing lippies out of my handbag, this one looks like any of my beige neutrals at first glance bc its sort of mauve but then goes on amazingly deep Violet color. [MAC, please someday start putting the names of shades on the side of containers for us addicts, will ya?!]. Also good are Airborne Unicorn by Lime Crime, Lavender Whip by Mac, and the more subtle Iced Lavender by NYX.. And don’t forget: Lavender-ish shades can be a little unforgiving, they really need to be tried out to find what works. I don’t suggest ordering on line and please whatever you do, don’t go Matte. Understandably, if this color trend continues into Winter (which I am betting it will with variations), save it for then. That is, if you can get away with it- these bright and purplish hues are much more flattering in a non mutted state of color.

Magenta & Purple Shades: While I haven’t personally hit the electrified Magenta lippie market yet simply because Purple and reds have always been my staple “go to” look when I feel like something different, little birdies are telling me its all about Rock Chick by Lancôme. If you’re a brave soul with a darker edge,  go deeply bold with Rebel (a vivid purple) or Cyber (a majorly bright deep purple), both by MAC.

The key to these bright trends is you want the shade to pop out as Pretty and complimentary, not as 1980’s bright. You know, be subtle in your not so subtleness! And nix the eye shadow, or leave it totally neutral flesh tone. Remember, these shades stand alone. When I’m doing these lippies, I tend to go with just mascara (curling lashes a wee bit more than my usual daytime look to make up for it) and at night I nix the black liner for beautiful bright yet subtle one  in in a complimentary but not overwhelming shade, usually VaVaVoom gel liners in Peakock or Marcasite (by Pritty Kitty of course!).

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