Sephora Blockbuster Palette: Back in Stock

During my hiatus from Miss Tified, the Sephora Blockbuster palette decided to return from its very own hiatus. Of course, it's understandable that the huge value of the original, inexpensive ($40) palette contributed to its own disappearance back in winter. The folks at Sephora have brought the palette back but have slimmed it down quite a bit, as you can see from the comparison photos and descriptions (strike through represents original offering).


The original description: Who says you can't have it all? This sleek, mirrored, palette is loaded with 64 24 eyeshadows, 32 24 lip colors, seven five cheek colors, one translucent shimmer powder, four two double-ended shadow applicators, two one blush brushes, and two one lip brushes.

Creating a Canvas

Special Guest Post
I asked Krissy (the friend I'm dragging to the BE event) to tell Miss Tified's readers a little bit about her makeup regimen. Here's her response:

Whether you're wanting to play up your eyes, cheeks or mouth, make-up and color always look better when you've created an even-toned, clear canvas on your face.  Unless you were born with perfect skin, this can be easier said than done.  For instance, I've always had really dark undereye circles.   I get tons of sleep (8 to 9 hours a night), drink plenty of water and eat a fairly good diet, so I chalk up my dark circles to genetics.  My skin in this area is very delicate so I'm careful not to tug or rub on it too much.  Having very pale skin also means that any blemishes, redness and little broken veins show up pretty prominently.  I've noticed that these days I need a little more makeup than I used to, and that makeup starts to slide off my face about halfway through the day. 

Here's what I've found in my quest to create an even-toned canvas for pale skin:

I use Benefit's Dear John moisturizer every morning after washing my face.  It's a thick cream that moisturizes dry areas without making my face greasy.  There's nothing worse than a watery moisturizer that feels like it's not doing anything, and moisturizers that are too thick make me worry that they'll clog my pores.  This one is, as they say, just right.

Eyecon_1 Eye area
I follow the moisturizer with Benefit's Eyecon underneath my eyes, following under the lash line and spreading down to the top of the cheekbone.  It's a thick cream that moisturizes and feels like it forms a little protective layer over the delicate skin.  I follow that up with TouchbaseBenefit's Ooh La Lift on the same area.  It's a light pink liquid that's supposed to depuff, firm and brighten.  Mixed together with the Eyecon, it prepares my undereye area for the next step, concealer.

For the eyelid itself, I use Clinique's Touch Base for Eyes in "Canvas", naturally.  It makes my eyelids a neutral color and covers any tiny veins or discoloration.  It can be worn by itself, or if I add eyeshadow on top of it, it serves as a nice primer to hold it in place.

I've searched high and low for a good concealer over the years.  Concelears that are too solid never seem to be the right color and they are difficult to apply, and concealers that are too watery tend to slip right off my skin.  The best I've found is Fresh's Absolute Concealer in shade No. 1, the palest color.  The Fresh container is a little cylindrical pump that delivers a small squirt of liquid concealer.  I like the liquid because it allows me to apply a thin layer without tugging at my skin.  It's thin enough that it could melt away on bare skin after a while, but the combination of Benefit's Eyecon + Ooh La Lift forms a nice base that helps my concealer stay put.

Bluffing_1 For the rest of my face, Benefit's You're Bluffing - a yellow-hued stick that only comes in one shade - is great for redness or dark areas around the nose or at the outer corners of the eyes.  For paler areas, I dab on the Fresh concealer. 

Two things I haven't included in my routine are foundation and powder.  Do you use them?  Which brands do you recommend?

My Makeup Morning Routine

What better way to get advice on how to put on makeup than by posting a video of me actually putting on my makeup? Yeah, I know what you're thinking. Most. Boring. Video. Ever. And yes, it's pretty dry. The original video took about 9 minutes and through the modern marvel of video editing has been sped up to clock in at about 2 minutes.

A funny note about the video: You may notice that I keep on rubbing my nose. No, it's not a coke habit surfacing its ugly little head. At about 42 seconds, I accidently cut my nose with my fingernail as I apply my BE Mineral Veil. The rest of the video, I'm rubbing the blood off my nose. That, in a nutshell, is why I'm so pathetic. Pathetic, but professional all the way - I'm just that way for Miss Tified.


Bare Escentuals Bare Beauty Party

RaremineralsOkay, I like Bare Escentuals a lot, but I'm not quite ready to join the BE cult just quite yet. However, I've managed to convince my friend Krissy to head over to the BE Bare Beauty Party at Macy's (with special guest appearance by BE CEO Leslie Blodgett) next Thursday, the 25th*.  As part of my Miss Tified beat, I should do some serious on-the-scene reporting.

Instead of covering the scene, I'll probably just get a "complimentary makeunder," where complimentary means it costs $25 (that will be applied to anything I purchase). The site doesn't say this at all but when I called to reserve a slot, they asked for my credit card. Just attending the event is free, however, and I believe they will be giving away Rare Minerals Skin Revival.

In San Francisco? Interested in going? RSVP today.

* Something tells me that you can like makeup without having to attend events like this. Still, it might be worth a post or two.

I'm So Over This Part II: L'Oreal HiP

Purepigment Okay. Maybe it's because I'm not daring with my eye shadow, or maybe because I don't want to look like a clown, but I just can't figure out the deal with L'Oreal's High Intensity Pigment, particularly pure pigment shadow sticks.

Sure I can make this stuff look good. On my hand. That's when I can apply a lot of pressure and use it like a crayon. But on my eyes? Not so much. The contact with my skin and oils has made the stuff almost useless. On their website, they say "for best results, sharpen before each use with L'Oreal Paris dual sharpener." I assume that's part of my problem. But seriously, for drugstore makeup, shouldn't it be a bit easier?

ShockingshadowI haven't had much luck with Shocking Shadow Pigments in the HiP line, either.

Anyone have advice about this stuff? Yay or nay?

I'm So Over This: Revlon Lipstick Cap

Nudevelvet_1Seriously, Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick, is it really that hard for you to keep your cap on? You're the third lipstick from Revlon Super Lustrous series that I've owned (it has a clear cap at the top) that just won't keep its cap on. And, therefore the third Revlon lipstick that will most likely end up in my garbage. The annoying thing is that I really like the current color I'm using: Nude Velvet 125.

I know you get what you pay for (in this case I got a buy one get one free deal from my local Walgreens), but I think Revlon has been in the business long enough to know how to make a lipstick case that can keep its lid on. And when you lose things as much as I do, I don't need my lipstick manufacturer to make it easier for me.

In Praise of Bangs!

It's not makeup, but it's appearance related: Let me tell you how much I'm loving my new bangs. Um, well... I'm loving my new bangs.

Janebirkin_01Last weekend, I got to be one of those sad people who go to see a hair stylist, photo of a beautiful celebrity in hand and ask for "that." My stylist looked at the picture of Jane Birkin (my beautiful celebrity) and said "are you serious?!?" Thankfully, I knew she was just showing her concern about how drastic the cut would be.

Yeah, I didn't leave the chair looking like Jane B., but that has more to do with genetics than my hair dresser. After a day of feeling depressed about how my bangs made me look like a kid, I really started to love them.

Mena at MesaSince bangs require an amount of blow drying effort and I often wash my hair the night before work, I also picked up a bottle of Oscar Blandi Dry Shampoo last weekend. It's supposed to keep a blow-out looking clean and oil-free even if you don't shampoo for a day or two. I can't go more than a day without washing my hair, so I'm not sure if it's going to get much use. I have noticed that this stuff is good for making my bangs look a bit fuller. It has a nice scent too, though it is a tad bit overwhelming.

Bare Escentuals Test Drive

BekitWhat's the scariest way to start a new makeup/foundation regimen? I have to say it involves ditching your regular foundation, buying a new and completely type of coverage and then going on a trip for a couple of days with only the new stuff on hand. Well, I did just that when I chose to leave my regular foundation and powder at home and pack my brand new Bare Escentuals Get Started Kit for my three-day trip to Las Vegas (I attended CES, the largest Consumer Electronics Show).

If that's not scary enough, try getting a comment on your blog from from someone who says that using said product led them to get a severe case of cystic acne. How about reading the comment while you're wearing the damn stuff! I felt like I had just discovered that I was wearing something radioactive and had moments to live.

I have to say that despite the risk I took (lack of good coverage, break-outs, weird mineral poisoning, the growth of an extra appendage), I'm really loving Bare Escentuals. I find that the coverage is subtle (maybe because the DVD that came with the kit scared me into the world would end if I put too much on or if I didn't swirl well enough), yet adequate. Many of the issues I've read about Bare Escentuals Bare Minerals involve shininess and itching and though I haven't had those problems, my skin seems to be dryer than usual. Maybe that's just because I was in Vegas and that place dries skin on its own.

I like the coverage a lot -- particularly after applying "Warmth." And, I feel like it covers me all day. I did a lot of speaking over the past couple days and I felt confident that I was all even-toned and stuff. And, more importantly I liked how I looked. The Mineral Veil does a great job covering my pores, but I still worry about what prolonged usage will do. Will I break out? Will my face get completely dried out? Will my face peel off?

I'm still very interested in hearing the experiences of others who have used Bare Escentuals Bare Minerals.

The Cosmetics Restriction Diet

Img_moist_cream Thanks to Cyn for directing me to The Cosmetics Restriction Diet, published in yesterday's New York Times. It's about a movement by dermatologists to promote simple, inexpensive solutions for skin care.

They are prescribing simplified skin-care routines requiring at most three steps: soap; sunscreen every day, no matter the weather or the season; and, if necessary, a product tailored to specific skin needs, whether a cream for pimples or pigmented spots, or a vitamin-enriched moisturizer for aging skin. Each product, they say, can be bought at drugstores for $30 or less.

I'm totally convinced that it's consistent use rather than the product that makes all the difference. That's not to say all products are the same. But, it's about choosing the right stuff.

I loved this quote for the imagery:

“I am seduced by fancy packaging as much as the next person,” Dr. Brademas said. “But I have a theory that all these skin-care things come out of the same vat in New Jersey.”

Related: Drugstores Bank on Snob Appeal (But Can You Pronounce It?)

Mineral Makeup: Just what is it?

So I'm watching late-night television and suddenly Leeza Gibbons and Melissa Mineral Gilbert are peddling Sheer Cover makeup. My first instinct was to change the channel, but then I realized that's not in the Miss Tified spirit. I'm pretty hesitant to believe informercials so I did a little searching to see what people are saying about Sheer Cover. What I found was a lot of spam blogs and this.

Ok, but what's so special mineral makeup (what Sheer Cover is supposed to be)? Bare Escentuals seems to be the best, or at least most recognizable, brand out there. From the "Behind the Brand" section on Sephora:

A pioneer of mineral makeup, the brands i.d. bareMinerals line uses 100 percent pure, micronized minerals and is favored by dermatologists because it's free of preservatives, fragrance, oil, talc, and other potentially skin irritating ingredients. Thanks to its zero irritability factor, this skin-loving formula is a dream come true for millions of women struggling with sensitive skin, rosacea, and acne. The creamy, weightless minerals create a flawless finish, all while improving the condition and appearance of your skin.

So, what's the deal behind mineral makeup? Is it really all that?

Storing that Makeup

ClassiccaboodlesWhat's the best way to feel like you're in the seventh grade again? By being picked on? Sure. Or for a less traumatizing experience, just buy a Caboodles organizer. I had one in pink and I get my lipgloss and school supplies.

Thankfully, there are a lot more subtle options nowadays and your new Caboodles experience doesn't have to be completely 80s retro.

CaboodlesSince I wanted to have a nice, central (and inexpensive) place to store all my new makeup, I picked up the Ultimate Organizer in black at my local Walgreens. There are more options, online however. It's a nice sturdy organizer, though I wish that the depth of the drawers was a bit more. The makeup brush holders on the sides will help preventing me from losing my brushes -- the one downside is that the case won't shut when just a standard blush brush is in place.


Overall, a good starter case for me.

Best Beauty Tip? Take your time!

ClockI came to a very basic realization as I put on my makeup this morning: applying makeup is all about taking your time. Yeah, the reason why I've never been able to do my eyeshadow in the past is because I usually do it with two shades of color, one lousy applicator and in about 30 seconds ... in the car. Don't get me wrong, having the right tools are important, too. I can't say that having a lot of makeup options and nice brushes doesn't help. But doing a decent eye is all about taking time and blending. It's about a lot of blending!

In writing this blog, I've realized that the reason why I'm so clueless about makeup is because I just don't take the time to do it right. I don't want to take twice as long to get ready for work and therefore I rush. That's not to say that I really am invested in spending more time doing this beauty stuff. But it means that if I don't take my time to apply makeup, I shouldn't complain that it doesn't look right.

Or, I should learn the best shortcuts.

Anyway, this was just a long way of asking the following question:

Miss Tified 2007 New Year's Beauty Resolutions

Since a good beauty regimen is all about consistency, I figured January 1st would be a great time to change a few of my bad beauty habits. So I present my 7 New Year's Beauty Resolutions for 2007.

1. I Won't Hoard Old or Expired Beauty Products!
While most makeup has a pretty decent shelf life (12-18 months for most everything other than mascara; lipsticks last longer), a good rule of thumb for me should be: if I don't use it, if it hasn't been made since I was in college, if I don't love it and if it has expired, toss it. I have very limited space in my bathroom and keeping products that have either gone bad or I never use is just pointless.

Mascara 2. I'll Change My Mascara Every Three Months.
Related to resolution #1, but worth calling out by name (old mascaras: I'm talking to you). When you think about how gross old makeup can be, the idea of putting it near your eyes is just disgusting. And the fact that older mascara clumps and just doesn't look as good as newer ones makes this an easy resolution to keep. I currently have three older mascaras and all of them are due for a toss. The replacement? A new container of Revlon Lash Fantasy (Waterproof) in Blackest Black.

3. I'll Drink More Water.
It's just a good thing to do and really needs no explanation.

Outlast4. I'll Apply Sunblock Daily (sort of).
You'd be hard pressed to pick up a beauty magazine and not find this advice somewhere in the pages. But do I listen? Of course not. Why? Because I feel that I'm never in the sun. Is it worth the hassle of applying sunblock when you're inside an office for all but ten minutes of your day? This year, I'll take their word for it and go back to using my favorite foundation, Cover Girl's Outlast All Day Foundation, which has two products built into it -- a foundation and a prep coat with sunblock.

5. I'll be Consistent With My Teeth Whitening Regimen
For the past couple months, I've been using Invisalign to straighten my bottom teeth. When I was given my aligners, my dentist also threw in a supply of teeth whitening solution. I've been very very good when it comes to keeping my aligners in, but I just can't stick to the teeth whitening thing. I have the products and I have the time and in 2007 I will simply use what I've got: Nite White ACP.

6. I Won't Shave My Legs Dry.
This will be the hardest resolution to keep since I've been doing this for as long as I've shaved my legs. And I'm not talking about touch-ups. I'm talking about full leg shaving. Dry. Not only is it horrible for my legs, it doesn't give all my special razors with their special gels and lotions their opportunity to shine. Not in 2007!

Dogtags7. I Won't Lose Lipsticks.
Although this resolution is part of a larger "won't lose things" resolution, it should definitely apply to my lipstick carelessness as well. In coat pockets, in jeans, in purses, at my desk at work -- my lipsticks are everywhere but my makeup case. Well, the first part of this resolution may be solved with the new makeup case I purchased.

Why do I lose my lipsticks? Because I constantly have to reapply during the day and therefore bring them on the road with me. Finding a perfect lipstick that doesn't need tons of reapplication, but also doesn't make me look like a clown (I'm looking at you Revlon ColorStay Overtime Lipcolor) is key to making this resolution a reality. Or, I can always consider a daily makeup that somehow attaches to me.

What will your beauty resolutions for 2007 be?

Bathtopia Bath of the Month

Mid_logoWhat's the best sort of Christmas present? Anything that's "of a month" kind, of course. That's why I'm totally excited about the Christmas present I just received today (it was delivered to our office instead of home) from my husband, Ben.

Bubbleroome Bathtopia's Bath of the Month delivers 12 bath goodies over the course of a year -- from bubble baths, bath salts, bath fizzies to foaming bath oils. This month's product comes from The Bubble Roome (read their blog) and is an 18oz Sandlewood and Neroli bubble bath. Also included is a little packet of foaming bath flakes from Institut Karite Paris.

Yay gifts that keep on giving!

What's in my Makeup Bag?


Here's an A-to-ZY guide to the makeup I currently own. Note that I probably have between 5-10 various lipsticks not pictured. These have been misplaced in purses, coat and jacket pockets and weren't available for the photo. I can imagine that there will be a Miss Tified post in the near future entitled "Help Me Figure Out How Not to Lose My Lipsticks!"

My collection of makeup is pretty sparse and I probably only religiously use a handful of items (C, I, N, T, Z). However to better understand the mess that is me, it's probably good to see my hodge podge of make-up. Hopefully there will be an updated Makeup Bag post that shows a more cohesive grouping.

For comparison, I'd love to see shots of other make-up bags.

And now, an inventory:

A Bronzer, Expired - now in trash
B Physicians Formula Powder Palette Multi-colored Corrector Peach-To-Glow
C L'Oreal True Match Super Blendable Makeup (Classic Ivory)
D Aveda Tourmaline Charged Eye Cream
E Shiseido Future Solution Eye and Lip Contour Cream [1]
F Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream
G Bliss Lemon + Sage Body Butter
H L'Oreal Colour Juice Lip Gloss (Pink Grapefruit)
I MAC Lipstick (Mocha #A76)
J Burt's Bees Lip Shimmer (Cocoa)
K Revlon LipGlide Color Gloss (Glazed Almond #150)
L Revlon Timeliner for Lips (Blackberry)
M MAC Lip Pencil (Whirl & Spice)
N Sephora Blockbuster Palette
O Sephora Colorful Mono (#06)
P Stila Eyeshadow (Ebony)
Q L'Oreal HIP High Intensity Pigment (Restless #918)
R L'Oreal HIP high Intensity Pigment (Mesmerizing #338)
S Cover Girl Shadow Squease (latte chocolate #430)
T Almay One Coat Nourishing Mascara Triple Effect Waterproof (Black #02)
U Revlon Lash Fantasy Waterproof (Blackest Black)
V Almay Eyeliner (Black)
W Coverstay Liquid Liner (Icy Black #01)
X Guerlain Meteorites (Beige Chic #03, Fresh Pink #02, Mythic #01)
Y Neutrogena Skin Clearing Oil Free Concealer (correcting green #06)

[1] Just for the record. I did not purchase this $225 product. I received it as a gift from a conference I attended (Shiseido was a sponsor). And for the double record, now that I know that this thing costs so much money, I'm actually going to use the stuff!


Beauty Stuff to Buy

  • Kevyn Aucoin: Face Forward

    Kevyn Aucoin: Face Forward
    "The ultimate beauty bookboth gorgeous and practical. Face Forward showcases Kevyn Aucoins incredible transformations of famous and ordinary people alike, and reveals through its step-by-step instructions how makeup can give anyone a variety of different faces."

  • : Allure: Confessions of a Beauty Editor

    Allure: Confessions of a Beauty Editor
    "The book includes essential makeup techniques, sidebars, expert tips, emergency fixes, and information on how to get the best products for your money."