Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Beauty Without Pain

Few things are more terrifying than entering a Sephora or walking through the cosmetics floor of a department store in full holiday mode. There is a very real danger that it will swallow you whole and you might never make it out alive (well, most likely you will emerge an hour later, caked in product and reeking of perfume). Overwhelmed by the dizzying array of products and choking on the fumes created by a thousand girls spraying a thousand different fragrances in unison, the thought of having to carry out your mission makes you want to bolt for the doors, shrieking in terror. Daunted but not deterred, you quickly scan the pathway to your intended target, and make a run for it as if you're in an obstacle course (no, video game!), dodging the frighteningly eager, commission-hungry salespersons and the eau de parfum they wave about to distract you. You somehow manage to shake off the upsell and decline those sneaky add-ons, emerging triumphantly with your preferred brand of moisturizer . . . only to discover you've forgotten to pick up a lip gloss.  Damn. Before you reenter that dangerous den of maquillage and go cross-eyed from trying to choose from among the endless color options, consider a few surefure hits you can order from the comfort of your living room or office cube, far from the madding, holiday crowds. Here are a few magic wands any girl would want to have in her bag of tricks:

Bobbi Brown Extreme Partying Mascara. Newly released and already wildly popular, the densely packed brush delivers a dramatic, falsh lash effect. $22 @ Saks Fifth Avenue.

The girls over at The Cut are raving about the new Nars Easy Lover gloss, a universally flattering pink from the Spring 2010 collection. Though it looks bright pink in the tube, the effect varies from subtle to sultry, depending on how many layers you apply. It's not due out until January 15th, but you can opt to have Sephora notify you when it becomes available. Here's how it shows up on different skin tones:

I got to sample Australian Scent's Gloss Pot this weekend at their booth at the Brooklyn Flea's Winter Pop-Up Flea. It's a non-sticky, nourishing organic lip balm with an amazing, yummy taste and just a hint of rosy color. $16.

I've turned more people on to this champagne gold shadow than I can count. It looks amazing on all of skin tones, from the fairest to the deepest of complexions. It's also buttery smooth to the touch and supremely blendable. Since I can rarely be bothered with eyeshadow and am extremely picky when it comes to shades, I really appreciate that one quick sweep is all I need to light up the eye area. It's one of the only eyeshadows I own and the one I reach for most often.   My friend Hillary actually invented it and it's now sold as part of The Balm. Mischievous Marissa Eyeshadow, $16 @ Sephora.com

Photo credit:
1) www.saks.com
2) www.nymag.com
3) www.australianscents.com
4) www.makeup.com

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