things you don’t need

Friday Snark: Bobbi Brown Peony and Python, MAC Wonder Woman

Friday Snark is a new feature that may be regular, irregular, or completely unpredictable. It may show up on days other than Friday. It will, however, be snarky.

Who (or what) is Snark Bait in this installment?

Bobbi Brown Peony and Python Eyeshadow Palette

Quoth Bobbi’s website: “Inspired by lush peonies & the playful, feminine chic of cult label Tibi, Bobbi introduces the NEW, Limited Edition Peony & Python Palette. Soft pink lilacs play off cool grays to create a distinctive eye that’s equal parts lovely & edgy…. Comes in a gorgeous Peony & Python case, designed by Tibi exclusively for Bobbi Brown.”

Here is the palette:

Question: Has Bobbi Brown ever actually seen a peony? Because they don’t come in any of them there colors. Oh, wait, she mentioned lilacs. Yeah … not the same. Also, those purple shades are hardly “pink-toned.” They look pretty blue from here.

And as for the case, Bobbi says gorgeous, I say ZOMG fugly.

I do not know why cosmetics companies have to come up with such horrible-looking bags, cases, and palette coverings. Someday I think I will do a blog post with all of the horrendous bags I’ve acquired.

This palette will run you $50, but for $95 Bobbi is also offering a Neiman Marcus exclusive set in which it seems more likely that she has, in fact, seen a peony. Here is that:

Hey! That compact in the upper right is a color found in a peony! Is that a blush? No? Oh. I see. It’s called Pink Peony Illuminating Bronzer. Um… maybe I’m being a silly academic, what with insisting that words actually mean things, but a “bronzer” is supposed to give you a color that is, well, bronze. Bronze is a real color. It is not pink. There is no such thing as a “pink bronzer.” But how about that lip gloss? Oh, that’s called Pink Lilac. In Bobbi’s defense, there is also a peony-colored lip gloss available separately that’s called Pale Peony. It is significantly darker than Pink Lilac. But there is also a lipstick dubbed Lilac which is not the color of any lilac I’ve ever seen. Swatches aren’t out yet, but in the tube it looks… well, dark brownish pink. In fact, it’s much closer in color to a … oh, never mind.

MAC Wonder Woman

Speaking of fugly bags, I would be remiss if I did not share with you this gem from the MAC Wonder Woman collection, which I skipped entirely for various reasons that I’ll rant about separately if you like. Dear readers, I do not quite know how to prepare you for the shock, other than to entreat you to sit down. Behold — the MAC Wonder Woman utility belt:

Is MAC serious? Oh, yes, indeed they are. Sayeth their website: “To meet the demands of the Wonder Woman life, a Utility Belt Brush Set! Wear as an accessory.”

The demands of the Wonder Woman life apparently require … a gold fanny pack.

When I was five, the demands of the Wonder Woman life pretty much only required a set of Wonder Woman Underoos. Because I was an overachiever, I also made a tiara out of cardboard. It never occurred to me that I needed a gold fanny pack. You have to wonder if MAC actually telling people to wear these as an accessory is some sort of giant prank.

(And no, there is no invisible plane. Sorry.)


What Is There To Say, Really?

I dare you. I double-dog dare you.

(from whence the photos are taken)

Open-Thread Thursday: Really, Chanel? Really? — Q of the W (bronzers!) — Sales

Finally! I can FINALLY upgrade to the kind of cotton pads that my extraordinarily special skin-care routine demands. All of these years I’ve been suffering with mere 100% cotton balls from Target or <shudder> CVS. But now I can finally treat myself to the quality products I deserve! Behold: Chanel Le Coton Cotton Pads, complete with the Chanel logo. (Let me tell you, if you have ever tried to stamp the Chanel logo on a cotton ball, well … let’s just say it’s harder than it looks.)

For a mere $20, you too can finally bring this aspect of your regimen up to snuff so that no one who visits your house and snoops through your bathroom will be dismayed by your lowbrow choice of cotton balls. That $20 bill gets you 100 — count ’em, 100! — cotton pads with the Chanel logo. Of course, $20 at, say, Walmart would get you about 2000 cotton balls, but really, it makes such a difference when you wipe your face with something with the Chanel logo on it. Those leftover bits of dirt and makeup are just shamed into leaving your face, and good riddance to them, sez I. I’m hoping for Chanel toilet tissue next. What? A girl can dream.


Q of the W

Hey, remember the Q of the W? This W’s Q of the W comes to us from Indianalitchick, who is wondering about bronzers. (‘Tis the season, after all!) She writes:

“Can we talk about bronzers? I have oily skin that is light-neutral and have been using a matte powder, but it seems too muddy. However, one with shimmer seems like it would make my skin look more shiny. Any suggestions?”

Here’s my take, but I absolutely encourage suggestions from other people.

As a fair-skinned girl, I have always had a big problem with bronzers. They always made me look dirty, or orange, or both. However, I recently found a bronzer that does none of these things, which I thought was pretty astonishing. That bronzer was Tarte Park Ave Princess, which I received as part of a Beauty-Insider package from Sephora. So that one is definitely on my “could actually use” list. I’ve also heard good things about Clinique’s Almost Bronzer, but haven’t tried it personally.

Some things that are not marketed as bronzers can be used as bronzers, too. For example: I have two Tarte mini cheek stains that work better as bronzers than blush for me: Exclusive and Delighted. Neither one is sold in stores, but both are available on eBay for not too much money.

Finally, I have to pimp one of my all-time favorite products: Dr. Hauschka Translucent Bronze Concentrate, which you add to your moisturizer to give an all-over bronzy glow. I love this stuff.


Er… it’s another tumbleweed week in the Sale department. Oh, wait, this one just came in: if you’re a L’Occitane fan, then you might want to take advantage of their F&F sale which starts today and goes through 6/6. 25% off with checkout code FNF25.

Of some interest is the recent announcement that Editors’ Closet (a site similar to HauteLook or Gilt) will be launching a whole separate division for flash sales of cosmetics, skincare, and spa services. This new division is called Beauty Story and is set to launch on Monday, 6/7.

Image via Chanel.

Open Thread Thursday: End-of-Year Splurges, You Won’t Believe What They’re Doing at, Sales

Finish Line by jayneandd.Oh! So! Close! to the end of the school year. At this point I am crawling tortuously (yet glamorously) towards the finish line. I am not sweating, of course, because that would be unglamorous, but it would be fair to say that I am dripping with glow. In fact, I think “Blood, Glow, and Tears” would be a very good way to describe it. And don’t we all deserve an end-of-school treat for being such hard little worker bees? Yes, I think we do. I celebrated (albeit a little prematurely) by buying two sample-size containers of Creme de la Mer off eBay. I can’t really afford to plop down $100+ for the full-size container, but these were an affordable splurge.

From the “Every Day We Get A Little Closer To Idiocracy” department: is now offering (I cringe to even type it) a “Daily Beauty Forecast,” in which they not only give you the temperature and forecast (which is, presumably, why you went there), but also a “check list” of beauty items you might need to cope with the vagaries of whatever weather is coming your way. Here is Wednesday night’s Beauty Forecast for NYC:

Oh my God — I didn’t bring a scarf! I need a scarf! says I need a scarf! It’s on the checklist and I don’t have one! But wait — is that a woolly winter scarf or a pashmina or a Pucci scarf that we’re talking about? And the lip balm — should it be tinted? Scented? Flavored? HOW CAN I MAKE A DECISION BY MYSELF!?!?!?!!?!?

Sorry. Got a little carried away there.

Let’s talk about Sales!


Right then. Nothing much new. The Hourglass sale is still going on, and will be through the 31st, so you’re probably sick of hearing me mention that. (In case you’re not, 35% off with code LUCKYBREAKS2.) The Shu Uemura sale is going on through Friday (20% off of $50 and up, plus free shipping; code HAPPY).

That’s about it for the kind of sales I usually bring you here; as usual, I’ll update if something rolls into my inbox.

Photo: / CC BY 2.0

Skeptic Files: I Have No Words

Just in case you didn’t get enough with the previous “pink button” product… BellaSugar says it so much better than I can:

Have you ever thought, “My life would be so much better if only there were a facial for my crotch”?

Photo: / CC BY 2.0

Santa Baby

Santa Chair by ladydragonflycc.Dear Santa,

I have been a very good girl this year. I have managed not to kill, maim, set on fire, trip in the hallway, throw coffee on, arrange to have whacked, or otherwise inconvenience any most of my coworkers this year. For that I think I get a gold star. Pardon me while I go over to my MAC Fluidline review and steal the one I handed out there yesterday.

Anyway. Dear Santa, I would love a little teeny tiny sparkly present for Christmas. Maybe a nice necklace. Diamonds are, as you know, a girl’s best friend, and pearls are always elegant. Maybe a necklace with a couple of each?

Oh, look, Santa! Here is one on HauteLook that would be just perfect. And it’s on sale, too! Wow, 70% off!



Look how much money you can save! It’s only $15,295.50 — 70% off of the regular price, which is $50,985.00. OMG, what a bargain. At that rate I hope you will throw in some matching earrings. They have some nice white South Sea pearl and diamond earrings for only $11,812.50, 70% off the regular price of $39,375.00.

Of course I have no self-interest in this; I’m just trying to save you money in this difficult economy. No, no, don’t thank me. Just doing my bit for the team.

I’ll leave you some nice chocolate-macadamia nut cookies and a glass of organic milk next week. Chances are that we will also have received some fruitcake and/or springerle cookies that we would be happy to shove off on someone else share with you.



Photo: / CC BY 2.0

Things I Wonder About: Lancôme Ôscillation Micro-Vibrating Foundation


Really, Lancôme? Do we really, really need this?

What you can’t see in the still photo to the left is that the applicator vibrates. Yes. You heard me correctly. Because a “micro-vibrating” applicator is better than … well, one that just sits there in your hand, I guess.

Now, if you tell me that “yes, we really do need this, because it actually is five billion times better than any other application method,” then maybe I’ll try it out, especially if you send me one.

According to the product hype:

The first micro-vibrating mineral foundation. See a pixel-precise complexion with 14-hour wear. Never messy. Never so simple. Feel newborn skin: Every day, micro-massagers work with gentle minerals to revitalize skin, making it smoother, softer and visibly healthier, even after makeup removal.

How to use: Simply push the button and let the velvety cushion applicator glide effortlessly across skin for perfect coverage. 7,000 micro-vibrations per minute break down the featherweight mineral powder for seamless blendability.

Safe for all skin types, even sensitive. Talc-free, oil-free, fragrance-free. 0.28 oz.

It’s also SPF 21, and retails for $48. For fuller detail (with animation!), see Lancôme’s website.

I’m a huge fan of the Clarisonic (review coming as part of November’s skincare focus), and of the Sonicare toothbrush, but the whole vibrating mascara thing pretty much didn’t do anything for me, so I’m a bit skeptical.

However, Voxy is never afraid to admit when she is wrong, so … who wants to convince me?