Not Quite As Good As The Barbies, But Still … Mad Men Nail Polishes!

Nail Savvy by melloveschallah.Via Women’s Wear Daily:

AND NOW THE ‘MAD MEN’ NAIL POLISH: Janie Bryant must barely have time to take a breath these days. On top of working on the television show that’s all the rage, a book and a clothing collection for QVC, the “Mad Men” costume designer has partnered with Huntington Beach, Calif.-based nail polish brand Nailtini on four limited edition nail lacquers for fall. Bryant said she was inspired by fabrics used in cocktail dresses during the “Mad Men” era — velvets, satins and lamés — when creating the colors, which are a brown, gold, platinum and iridescent shade called Bourbon Satin, French 75, Deauville and Stinger, respectively. Michelle Toma Olson, founder of Nailtini, is hopeful Bryant will team up with Nailtini on a spring collection as well, but well before then the $14 fall polishes will hit CVS’ Beauty 360 and Duane Reade’s Look stores.”

Must see.

Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/melloveschallah/4110419503/


Joan Holloway and Betty Draper Barbies.


Although, don’t you think they haven’t done Joan quite enough justice in the body department? Well, I guess it is still Barbie, after all, and so we have to have our lovely curvaceous-and-sexy-as-hell starlets reproportioned into impossible hourglasses with waists that not even Scarlett O’Hara could suck it in for.

On the other hand, Betty Draper looks … pretty much like Betty Draper. And January Jones is looking much better as a Barbie doll than she has in some of her real-life looks lately.

Also, what is with this disclaimer from Mattel?

“Production doll may vary from the photo shown above. Mattel reserves the right to modify the fashion/fabrics, sculpt, hair color/style, and accessories.”

What? The whole reason to buy the damn thing (for $75, no less — $75!!!!) is for the fashion/fabrics, sculpt, hair color/style, and accessories.

I also like how the men have their chests thrust forward. Very alpha-male. And has there ever been a silver-haired Barbie of either the male or female variety?

Of course I am also longing for a Mad Men Barbie Dream Office, with little martini glasses and tiny bottles of Scotch. And cigarettes. Lots of Barbie cigarettes. Unfortunately, these are not among the included accessories — which are a mixed bag. Don comes with a brown overcoat (with red lining), a faux leather briefcase, and a fedora. Betty comes with a comb, a coral lipstick (not a real one, so don’t get excited), and a compact with the letter “B” on it. Roger apparently has no accessories; I suppose that Barbie condoms would be too much to expect. And as for Joan — she comes with a purse, but apparently she also comes with some … er, other extras. BarbieCollector.com says: “Armed with a pen necklace, she’s ready to dazzle in this stunning deep purple suit, brilliantly offset by a crimson silk collar. Her undergarments are equally stylish, and compliment [sic] her curvaceous figure.”

I really wish they wouldn’t have cheapened Joan (and, by extension, Christina Hendricks), by encouraging buyers to take her Barbie doll’s clothes off.

Anyway, if you want ’em, you can get ’em at BarbieCollector.com for the low low price of $74.95. Each.

Photo: BarbieCollector.com

Monday Mix: Things Voxy Hates, and, Sales!

Things I hate:

1. Waiting. I suck at delayed gratification. I don’t see why any available gratification there is to be had should be delayed a single second. So of course I am suffering greatly having to wait ONE WHOLE DAY (!) for the release of the single best neutral eyeshadow palette of the century: Urban Decay’s new “Naked” palette. Voxy. Wants. It. NOW.

UD’s description of it is as follows: “Office-appropriate and smoldering all at once, our long and lean Naked Palette houses 12 eyeshadows, including 7 of our best-sellers (GunMetal, Half Baked, Naked, Sidecar, Sun, Smog, and Toasted) and 5 new saucy shades (Buck, Creep, Darkhourse, Hustle, and Virgin). Matte, shimmer, satin, or sparkle, we’ve upped the ante with these essential shadows. And as if that wasn’t enough, our sleek chocolate brown velvet box features gold foil detail complete with mirror plus we’ve included a never before seen, exclusive, double-ended version of our award winning 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Zero (black) and Whiskey (a rich brown new shade similar to Bourbon without the sparkle). Also included is an essential travel-size Urban Decay Primer Potion. We’ve gone all in…it’s your turn to take it all off!”

Although in general palettes are kind of hit-or-miss with me, this one could seriously stop me from ever needing to buy another neutral eyeshadow again. Ever. Twelve super-wearable FULL-SIZE shadows, plus a double-ended 24/7 pencil, plus an UDPP sample! I hear it is available starting TOMORROW, 6/29, on UrbanDecay.com. Want to know where I’ll be at 12:01 am? Yep, you guessed it. Or I could wait a month and pick it up in-store at Sephora, ULTA, and other places Urban Decay is sold. Wait a month!? Ha! I crack myself up.

2. When the apartment maintenance guy who’s supposed to fix your broken fridge goes to the wrong apartment and fixes their fridge instead. In June. When it’s hot and you want ice cream.

3. Cilantro.

(Well, there had to be some other things for the list.)


Not much happening right at this particular moment. Nordstrom’s Beauty Exclusives (part of their annual Aniversary Sale) are available for pre-order, though, and there are some nice sets from MAC, Bobbi Brown, Trish McEvoy, and others.

Monday Mix: Voxy vs. Neutrogena, and Sales!

You all know that old chestnut about the definition of insanity being doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results, right? (Well, you do now.)

There is overwhelming evidence — anecdotal, admittedly, but that’s pretty much the best kind in this instance — that I do not like Neutrogena facial sunscreens. I am aware that this opinion pits me against much of the civilized world. Yet I have tried most of them, and they almost invariably irritate my skin, cause breakouts, or leave my face with a nasty texture. There is no reasonable doubt left in this case. I do not like them, Sam I Am.

So pls to explain to me why my little voxalicious heart has gone all pitter-pat over the idea of Neutrogena’s new Ultra Sheer Liquid Sunblock (SPF 55 or 70)? It’s the word “liquid” in there, I think — the idea that I would not have to give up my regular (non-SPF) moisturizers that I love and still get SPF protection. The idea that you only need a couple of drops, that it goes on top of moisturizer and before makeup, and that early reviews say that it has a “barely-there” texture that doesn’t interfere with makeup application. Dare I hope?

Can anyone kill this lemming?


Stila is offering 20% off sitewide with code STILASHOPPER. Expiration date unknown on this one at present.

Tarte is still offering 20% off sitewide through 4/30 with code TARTE44.

Vincent Longo is offering 30% off through 4/30 with code VFLIRT.

C.O. Bigelow is offering 20% off through 5/10 with code MOMSDAY. (Recommended: anything lemon, but in particular the Lemon Body Cream or Hand Soap; I see they have some new products out with lime in them and if they are anywhere near as good as the lemon then I will have to start stalking them.)

HauteLook happens to have several brands of interest to this blog on sale this week: Mario Badescu skincare on Monday, LORAC beauty and RapidLash on Tuesday, and 100% Pure beauty/skincare on Wednesday. All sales begin at 11 am Eastern/8 am Pacific.

And, Hourglass still has 35% off through 5/31 with code LUCKYBREAKS2.

Review: Josie Maran Argan Primer Mist

Lemming, meet Fox.

So I finally got my little paws on Josie Maran’s brand spanking new Argan Primer Mist. You know I’ve been jonesing for a spray-on serum of some sort for quite awhile, and I had some high hopes for this one, which contains the much-hyped argan oil, supposedly the most exciting cosmetic event since the discovery of cold cream.

Argan oil is produced by putting Argonauts in a blender and … no, of course I’m kidding. Really. The argan tree is native to Morocco, where it has managed to survive since the earth’s Tertiary Age, which ended a mere ~2.6 million years ago. Wikipedia has some interesting things to say about argan oil, such as that in days of yore it used to be produced by picking undigested argan pits out of goat feces and then grinding and pressing them to get the oil out. But don’t worry! Wikipedia says the argan oil used in modern products has “most likely” been harvested and processed in a “verifiably clean and sanitary way.” Most likely.

Anyway, argan oil is full of all of the kinds of things that are good for skin: vitamin E, squalene, carotenes, etc. And, you can also eat it, which I didn’t know. I wonder what it tastes like. (No, I am not going to squirt my Argan Primer Mist in my mouth, so don’t even think about daring me to.)

While I was waiting for this product to arrive in my mailbox, I just happened to find myself in a brick-and-mortar Sephora (other people find themselves on mountaintops or vision quests; I find myself in Sephora… that’s probably indicative of something) and I tested the pure argan oil on my hand. I wanted there to be light suddenly streaming down from heaven and a choir of angels and clouds and stuff, but it was sort of anticlimactic. The oil was — an oil. A light oil that absorbed into my skin and … pretty much did nothing for it. I asked the sales associate whether it’s meant to be applied directly to skin, and she said, in that certain way that says I don’t really know exactly what you’re supposed to do with it, but I bet the more things I can come up with, the more likely it is I can convince you to buy some, “Sure, you can put it right on your skin, or, uh, you can mix it with your moisturizer, or, uh, you can use it on your cuticles, or, uh, hey, have you tried these Josie Maran facial wipes?”

I did not purchase.

Anyhoo, I’m of two minds about the Argan Primer Mist. Mind number one says that it’s way too expensive and isn’t the magic product I hoped it would be. Mind number two notes that it does have an effect, that it’s not a completely useless product, and that maybe the more I use it the more results I will see.

I have tried using this two ways. First, as the package directs, by spritzing it on over moisturizer and before applying makeup. But I can’t really get much effect out of it that way, and it doesn’t seem to really do much for me as a primer. The other way I’ve tried it is after using my cleanser and toner; I spray my face a few times and pat it into the skin before applying other serums and moisturizers. This way seems to work better for me, at least so far. There is a difference in my skin when I subsequently apply another product; it feels like more moisture is retained in the skin. Of course, since we’re still in winter, and indoor heating sucks all of the moisture out of one’s skin anyway, I’m not sure whether there’s a net gain. I have also heard that you could spritz it over your made-up face as a sort of “refresher” in the middle of the day, but I’ve never really been on that train. I kind of think that after spending half an hour on making your face up, it’s kind of silly to spritz it with water midday. But there must be people for whom that works well and doesn’t result in spotty, runny makeup.

So the jury is still out on this. I might find that I notice more of a payoff in springtime as the weather gets warmer and less dry. I’m going to keep using it but at this point am uncertain about buying another bottle.


Josie Maran Argan Primer Mist: $36 at Sephora

Provenance: Purchased,

Price/Value Ratio (high-end: poor/fair/good/excellent): Poor to fair. Spritz-on things should not cost $36.

Purchase again? Highly debatable. Depends which of my two minds is in charge that day.

(Have you used this product? Love it? Hate it? Want it? Give a holler in the comments!)

Open-Thread Thursday: Cake, Lemmings, Q of the W, Sales

Cloudberry Cream Cake by hfb.If you happen to see, out of the corner of your eye, a rapidly-moving blur that might look a bit like a very excited little girl wearing a pink dress with sparkles and tearing off in the direction of your local mall, pay no attention. That’s just Little Voxy, running at breakneck speed toward Sephora.

In a few short weeks, Sephora will have on its shelves the delectable, delightful, and delicious products of a Canadian skincare brand called — wait for it — CAKE! Srsly. It’s called Cake. Little Voxy is practically falling over herself with excitement. Sephora has been doing a lot of switching lines in and out lately — CARGO: out, Tarina Tarantino: in; Decleor: out, Cake: in; Vincent Longo, out, By Lauren Luke: in. We’ll see how long they all last, but in the meanwhile, I predict that there will be some foxaliciously good-smelling skincare sampling going on.

Also, the MAC spring color collections are out (all four of them) and I have to confess that I am lemming far more of these products than my removable wallet can afford. Top of the list: Blush Ombre in Ripe Peach, lipstick in Rose Maiden, and eyeshadow in Very Violet. WANT. I am seriously considering putting my credit cards in the freezer to prevent a spending spree. Good thing I made that New Year’s Resolution about not buying makeup when angry or drunk! Because otherwise we would be in some serious trouble.


SkinStore has 20% off sitewide (with some exclusions) through 2/15 with code LUV20.

BeautyTicket.com also has 20% off sitewide through 2/28 with code INSTYLE20.

And, if you have a quick thing or two to pick up from DuWop, they are offering 30% off only through 2/5 (which is Friday) with code KISS. (Sorry, I just found out about this one, or I’d have posted it sooner.)

I have also realized that there’s pretty much no time at which you cannot get free shipping at YSL with some code or other. So if you’re craving any YSL cosmetics, let me know if you want a free ship code.

Q of the W:

While doing my daily beauty blog reading, I often come across photos of different makeup looks. It’s interesting to see what other people do, and it often makes me think I should be bolder with my own makeup (another New Year’s Resolution, towards which I have made some progress) because some of the things that I still approach gingerly look great on people who have figured out how to make it work. Example: using eyeshadow underneath the eye. It looks great when other people do it, but I haven’t managed to feel confident about doing it myself yet.

So the Q of the W is this: what makeup looks or products would you like to feel more confident about figuring out how to use or pull off?

Photo (it’s a cloudberry cake!): http://www.flickr.com/photos/hfb/ / CC BY-ND 2.0

Voxy’s Latest Lemmings

Here’s what I’ve been eyeing lately.

Too Faced Magic Wand Liquid Foundation. Tried this in ULTA and was fortunate that out of the limited color selection (only 7 shades), the lightest works really well with my skin. It went on like butter but might be too drying for long wear. Trying to tell myself I don’t need to be disappointed by another liquid foundation.

Status of lemming: Still at large.

Mario Badescu Drying Lotion. Cult favorite. Somehow I missed the arrival of Mario Badescu at ULTA, but lo! there it was. A strange two-tone product containing calamine, camphor, sulfur, and salicylic acid. The calamine settles to the bottom, so it’s an odd-looking bottle. You are specifically instructed NOT to shake it up before application; instead, you dip a Q-tip down through the top yellow portion into the pink calamine portion, withdraw it, and dab it on the pimple. Hmm.

Status of lemming: Shot and bagged.

Josie Maran Argan Oil Moisturizing Stick. Argan oil is apparently one of the best things to hit the skin care market since, well, ever. I am dying to get my hands on some. I’m lemming this because you can get a travel size version of this product at sephora.com for $6 and I really want to try it.

Status of lemming: Still at large; on Most Wanted list.

Too Faced Primed and Poreless Skin Smoothing Primer. Maybe this time is the time Lucy won’t yank the football away I’ll find a makeup primer to fall in love with. I’m only trying this because Too Faced Shadow Insurance already won my heart, so I admit I have high hopes. Maybe I should ask for a pre-nup in case it doesn’t work out.

Status of lemming: Shot, trussed, and tied to the front of my car.

Givenchy Gloss Interdit Ultra-Shiny Color Plumping Effect lip gloss in Rose Taboo (rosy mauve). Remember the little “My First Makeup Kit” I bought from Sephora in October? There was a sample of this in there and the color is fantastic — truly a “my lips but better” product. I’m almost through the sample and am sniffing around the full-size product.

Status of lemming: Still at large… for now.

What have you been lusting after lately? Tell all in the comments!

(No actual lemmings were harmed in the writing of this post.)


lemmings by laihiu.Lemming:

1. (noun): any of various small, mouselike rodents of the genera Lemmus, Myopus, and Dicrostonyx, of far northern regions, as L. lemmus, of Norway, Sweden, etc., noted for periodic mass migrations that sometimes result in mass drownings. (from dictionary.com)

2. (noun OR verb): in cosmetics cyber-parlance, wanting something with uncontrollable desire (especially if also sought by the masses), or, the thing that is the object of this desire. Often appears with the word “total” or “totally.”


“That Smashbox palette is a total lemming for me.”

or, more commonly:

“I am totally lemming that Smashbox palette.”

(It took me awhile to get over the rude transformation of that noun into a verb. I guess you can take any word with “ing” on the end of it and assume it’s a present participle. Then again, I still cringe at using “they” as a gender-neutral third-person-singular pronoun, so maybe I’m not the best person to ask.)

BTW, if you are lemming something, but then get to the store to look at it and find that it doesn’t live up to your expectations, you have de-lemminged it. For example, today at ULTA I de-lemminged Urban Decay’s lip primer stick and Smashbox Halo foundation powder. I was so, so proud of myself. Voxy 2, lemmings 0.

And then I turned the corner, and saw this.

smashbox palette 1

It is the Smashbox “Wish for a Perfect Palette” palette. I used to be a sucker for palettes, but after some serious thinking I stopped buying them, since most of the time there ended up being only one or two things I liked and a whole lot of things I didn’t, and really if I just tested more carefully in stores, I could probably do better in terms of ratio of price paid to quantity-of-things-I-like. Also, the cosmetics in palettes aren’t always the same in color or quality as their respective full-size products, which has to do with how and where the palettes are manufactured.

The exception to my no-palette rule (and you knew there was going to be one) is when you can get a palette that’s packed full of high-quality, good-as-full-size, true-to-color cosmetics from a high-quality brand that you already know, and for a good price. Particularly at this time of year, palettes are everywhere, and so are sales. (Maybe next week I’ll do a palette round-up post, if you guys are into palettes.)

This Smashbox palette is only available on the Smashbox website or at ULTA (online or in-store). For $59, you get what they say is $225 worth of product, however they count that all up. Yes, that’s more than I like to spend, but hey, it’s still $16 less than the Bobbi Brown palette I was also lemming, which has far fewer colors. Here’s what’s in it:

smashbox palette 264 Eye Shadows
8 Cream Eye Liners
6 Brow Tech Powders
1 Brow Wax
8 Lip Glosses
2 Blushes
1 Complexion Brightener
1 Bronzer
1 Highlighter
4 Mini Brushes (Shadow, Liner, Brow & Lip) [these live next to the cream eyeliners/brow powders and the lip glosses; you can’t see them here because I had to close the case just slightly so it would fit in my light box]

The amounts are smaller than what you get in full-size products, obviously, but you get a lot more variety. And, frankly, I’ve often wished I could buy smaller amounts of things. It’s really rare that I totally empty out an eye shadow or use absolutely all of the lipstick or lip gloss in a container. But this palette is, IMHO, a fabulous bargain. For example, you get all six colors of the brow tech powders, which normally run $24 apiece for a 0.03-oz container. OK, you only get 0.02 oz in the palette, but I think I can deal. Also, the colors shown in the palette are wearable — sometimes palettes are filled with shades that would only look good on the dead. This is all wearable, with the exception of one randomly yellow eyeshadow. (Bet you can’t find it.)

Palette aficionados with long memories will note that this is the same packaging that Sephora used for their palette last year, although this has a glossy rather than matte finish.


While you’re at ULTA, it would be criminal not to pick up the Smashbox “Quick Eyes” set, which contains two full-size eyeshadows in lovely neutral browns (“ASAP” and “Pronto”), plus a Smashbox Shadow/Liner Brush (#30). Full-size totally wearable eyeshadows, plus a brush, for the low low price of $12.99 (a $52 value). The kit is less than the cost of one eyeshadow alone ($16).


By the way, if you miss playing the computer game Lemmings — which, for you young’uns, is the picture at the top of this post — you can do it online here! (I take no responsibility for any ensuing loss of productivity.)