Thursday, May 30, 2013

I'll Take Potpourri for $400, Alex...Installment #1!

Above: The man himself.
This is the commemorative entry for a new type of blog post.  On occasion, due to time constraints, a plethora of beauty bits and pieces and my intense affinity for the classic trivia show, Jeopardy, a "potpourri" post is necessary to convey all that is swirling around my mind in one fell swoop.  

In this edition (be prepared for a run-on, yet grammatically-correct sentence), a great savings on high-end skincare, a beloved picture of my grandma and me, a preview image of my latest foundation obsession, a makeup and hair look I've been resorting to since the weather has become quite warm, a fairly random picture of my pup Jethro, a Beauty Professor honor and something to do this weekend if you are a Southern California resident (or fortuitously happen to be in the area on Sunday).

Above: Pre-discount, the Replenishing Daily Solution retails for $225.

First, in honor of Melanoma Awareness Month, Le Metier de Beaute is offering $75 off of their highly-regarded Replenishing Daily Solution SPF 30 through 5/31!  

Read on for the details...

May is Melanoma Awareness Month, protect yourself.

With summer and sun (lots of sun) around the corner, LMdB has decided to join the fight in spreading awareness:
• Every eight minutes, someone in the United States will be given a melanoma diagnosis and every hour someone will die from the disease.   
• Melanoma primarily affects individuals in the prime years of life
• One-in-50 Americans has a lifetime risk of developing melanoma

SPF Protection is the key to prevention. Approximately 65 percent of melanomas – the most deadly form of skin cancer and one of the fastest growing cancers in the United States – are attributed to ultraviolet (UV) exposure. Just this month, our Replenishing Daily Solution SPF 30 is available at an exclusive price.  With the code GLOSSYBOX, receive a $75 credit towards purchase at

Product facts:
• Broad-spectrum SPF30 protects the skin from damaging UVA/UVB rays.
• Highly emollient cream designed to condition and hydrate while it nourishes and detoxifies—the formula normalizes the skin's moisture content to provide unparalleled suppleness
• Key Ingredients: Vitamin E, Aloe, Sodium PCA and Sodium Hyaluronate, Asiatica and Echinacea, Squalane, Shea Butter, Avocado, Hazelnut and Jojoba, Cucumber Oil

*Visit to redeem offer. Just enter code GLOSSYBOX at checkout. *Expires May 31st.

Above:  On a side note, my love for the LMdB line knows know I am earlier this month with LMdB Director of Color Mikey Castillo and LMdB Specialist at Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills, the lovely Mischel Brown. 

Onto my picture with grandma...
Above: My wonderful Grandma Anne and I on Mother's Day.  I love her dearly! 

Foundation fixation...
Above: The Kanebo Sensai Cellular Performance Cream Foundation in Natural Beige has been on heavy rotation this month...I have taken my swatch images and now just must find the time to write the full review and edit my video tutorial!

Warm weather hair and makeup uniform...
Above: It is getting rather warm in Southern California...summertime is in the air and humidity is at an all-time high.  Once my hair is fastened into some form of a bun, the makeup I've been reaching for includes: Kanebo Sensai Cellular Performance Cream Foundation, Guerlain Four Seasons Terracotta Bronzer in Nude 00, Le Metier de Beaute Cream Fresh Tint in Mystique, a long-wear eyeshadow (lately from Bobbi Brown, By Terry or  Giorgio Armani) and a peachy pink lip (here, a hybrid of Top Shop Whimsical and Burberry Glow in Fondant Pink).

Puppy time...
Above: Here's a gratuitous picture of Jethro, being a well-behaved pup while my mom and I ate at Morels (at the Grove in LA) last weekend.  His cuteness never fails.

Beauty Professor honor...
Above: On 5/31, I will be featured on the "Fan Favorite Friday" post on the Amore Pacific Facebook Fan Page!

Weekend revelry with Seth Wegter Bags...
Above: My current Seth Wegter Bag of choice...the Princepessa.

On Sunday 6/2, my brother (whose work I've featured in blog posts HERE and HERE) will have a booth at the Patchwork Show in Long Beach, CA.  Admission is free and the event, which boasts a bevy of artisan wares and food trucks bearing gourmet edibles, runs from 11 AM-5 PM.  If you are a Southern California local, I beseech you to swing on by...I will be helping him all day and it would be wonderful to see you!
Above: The official details for the Patchwork Show...see you there?

Bottom Line: I hope you enjoyed this cornucopia of thoughts, carefully curated for this single post! What are the potpourri details of YOUR life right now? New makeup?  Interesting plans?  Moments to celebrate?


--The Beauty Professor

Monday, May 27, 2013

Top Shop Whimsical Lipstick Review!

Above: The Top Shop lipstick comes in a black and white metal case that is both sturdy and refreshingly lightweight.

While at The Grove in LA with my mom this weekend, I popped into the new Top Shop store and, before I knew it, found myself buying yet another pinky-peach lip color!

Whimsical is a creamy, semi-matte pastel that is pale enough to be interesting and pigmented enough to add a brilliant swath of color to the face.

In honor of this new acquisition, I created a brief review video...after viewing, kindly scroll on for additional images and the Bottom Line!


Above: The Top Shop lipstick retails for $16.

Above: I love the contrast and simplicity of the cardboard packaging...actually quite detailed for less-expensive lip color. 

Above: Ingredients.
Above: Whimsical in all of its peachy-pink glory.
Above: A swatch of Whimsical in natural lighting.
Below: The last three images reflect Whimsical on the lips in various lighting...

Above: On the lips!

Bottom Line: Whimsical's peachy-pink loveliness is a happy surprise.  Initially, I considered my purchase of this lip color an experiment with the Top Shop cosmetics line...upon using this for the weekend, I couldn't be happier with the results.  This lipstick is creamy, opaque, semi-matte, richly-pigmented and lasts comfortably for 3-4 hours before the need to touch up becomes exigent.  It is not drying and the scent is pleasant (kind of like dried fruit) and dissipates quickly upon application.  If you are a lover of peachy pinks (e.g., Illamasqua Obey, Burberry Pink Apricot and Le Metier de Beaute Two Lips etc.) as I am, I highly recommend this reasonably affordable option!

Have YOU tried any cosmetics from the Top Shop Beauty line?  Thoughts?

Beauty Blog Coalition for the Week Ending 5/24/13

The latest and greatest from beauty blogs everywhere...I hope you enjoy your Memorial Day weekend reading time!


--The Beauty Professor

  • Confessions of a Sarcastic Mom: Destany tries out FEVERshadow in Play in the Waves!
  • Mama Fashionista: Find out why Quinn says "Run, don't walk!" to scoop up the Total Beauty Collection Revlon Edition box!
  • Lola's Secret Beauty Blog: If you love high quality gorgeous taupe eyeshadows, then say bonjour to Fard Métal Loose Iridescent Eyeshadow in Bronze Ora No. 02 (LE) from the Guerlain Summer 2013 Collection! It's utterly stunning!
  • BeautyTidbits: Need a little hydration therapy for your lips with a naturally pretty flush of color? You got it with It cosmetics Vitality Lip Flush Butters!
  • The Advice Sisters Beauty, Fashion & Lifestyle Website: Good exfoliation and cleansing is a must, especially as the weather heats up. Alison of the Advice Sisters reviews the Spa Sonic
  • Painted Ladies: L'Oreal Power Volume mascara is fantastic and doesn't break the bank!
  • My Highest Self: Check out Tina's latest mani, nude nails with a black/white graphic!
  • D.G.S.Beauty: Want to add more nail products to your collection? Born Pretty has some fantastic nail polishes and more!
  • Beauty by Miss L: Check out this bright pink nail polish by Wild&Mild.
  • TheFabZilla: Blend, blend, blend. TheFabZilla asks what is the secret to a great eye makeup; plus she reviews Sonia Kashuk duo-fiber crease brush.
  • Geniabeme: Geniabeme tells you how she controls oily skin with four must have products!
  • Beauty Professor: 100% natural AND effective? The Beauty Professor is delighted with the pure ingredients and fantastic results of the African Botanics Marula Eye Serum!
  • Peppermint Lips Beauty Blog: Elf Studio HD Blush in Headliner Review
  • Beauty by Arielle: Revlon is Launching Some Gorgeous New Shades! Preview the Swatches Now!
  • Blushing Noir: Eyes are feeling glowy with the new Illuminating Eye Color from Laura Mercier! Check out the sultry summer EOTD!
  • Saturday, May 25, 2013

    Four Products to Update Your Look for Summer!

    Above (clockwise from top left): By Terry Rouge Terrybly in Love Me Tender, Bobbi Brown Shadow Stick in Golden Pink,  Giorgio Armani Maestro Eraser Concealer in #4 and Le Metier de Beaute Creme Fresh Tint in Mystique.

    With summertime in the air, my approach to makeup has taken a trip to the lighter side...sheer sheen, pale pinks and glowing skin are in order!  In light of this temperate weather, I've been using four products with greater frequency...I consider them my "summertime edits" due to the fact their inclusion effortlessly brings an air of warmth and radiance to my usual cosmetic choices.

    1. By Terry Rouge Terrybly Shimmer in #800 Love Me Tender: Retailing for $49, this shimmering light apricot offers medium coverage, endless hydration and a multidimensional flushed glow that leaves lips polished and subtly bright.  I bought this late last year but have been wearing it nonstop this month!

    2. Bobbi Brown Long Wear Creamy Shadow Stick in Golden Pink (not "Pink Gold" as mis-labeled in my pics!): Retailing for $28, these shadow sticks are nearly commensurate to the By Terry Ombre Blackstar eye shadow sticks and are at a much more affordable price point.  While the By Terry Ombre Blackstars are a bit silkier upon application, the overall effect of both options are similar and the lasting power is formidable!  I like to wear Golden Pink in the inner and outer corners of my eyes and along my brow bone to create light and glow.  I also have this formula in Golden Bronze and will review it soon! 

    3. Giorgio Armani Maestro Eraser Concealer in #4: Retailing for $40, this concealer is thin enough to blend thoroughly yet pigmented enough to cover the darkest imperfections.  I love using this as an eyeshadow base and also add a bit of this over a lighter foundation to add invisible extra coverage.  On my skin it lasts the entire day...#4 is a suitable shade for light beige skin in the NC20-27 range!  Swatches of all the shades can be found on my blog HERE.

    4.  Le Metier de Beaute Creme Fresh Tint for Lip and Cheeks in Mystique: I have previously reviewed this beautiful creme blush HERE.  Retailing for $28, this pale lavender pink adds a luminous flush to the apples of the cheeks; I prefer to apply this with a stippling brush for maximum impact and lasting power.  The glow this product creates is otherworldly and its sheer texture and build ability will flatter most skin!

    Above: Swatches of all four products in indoor lighting with a flash (to showcase their glowing nature).

    Above: All four products in natural indoor light.

    Above and below: All four products on the face (along with Kanebo Sensai Cellular Performance Foundation in Natural Beige and Guerlain Le 2 Mascara).

    Bottom Line: The arrival of a new season doesn't necessitate a completely cosmetics overhaul!  Rather, the inclusion of a few choice items may be all you need to update your existing stash.  I love the fact that all four of these products are a part of their respective lines' permanent collections, thereby making them endlessly easy to obtain and embrace.  What are some of YOUR favorite edits for summertime?  

    **This post contains affiliate links; my disclosure policy contains additional details on how these work.

    Thursday, May 23, 2013

    Thursday FOTD Featuring Dior, Guerlain, NARS and By Terry...

    I've had a wretched head cold for the past week but serendipitously managed a FOTD with some of my favorite products as of late.  Between tallying final grades at the college and incessantly blowing my nose, this was no easy feat!  Thankfully, it seems I am finally on the mend as I type this post!

    Products Used: 

    Above (clockwise from top left): Dior Airflash in #201 Linen, MAC Up the Amp lipstick, Rouge Bunny Rouge Feline Gaze Eyeliner in Salome, Guerlain Four Seasons Terracotta Bronzer in Nude 00, NARS Light Reflecting Pressed Powder, Tom Ford lip color in Nude Vanille and Guerlain Le 2 Mascara.

    I hope you are having a happy and healthy week!

    Have you tried any of the products in my FOTD?  Thoughts?! 


    --The Beauty Professor

    **This post contains affiliate links; my disclosure policy contains additional details on how these work.

    Tuesday, May 21, 2013

    African Botanics Marula Botanical Eye Serum Review

    Above: The Marula Botanical Eye Serum in all its simple and streamlined glory.

    My eye area has been of grave concern as of late...many years of sun exposure (and subsequent squinting) and contact lens applications have worked in tandem with the years to cultivate fine lines that, let's face it, aren't going anywhere on their own.  In turn, I have been testing eye creams like crazy, hoping to find one (or two!) to combat this invasion.  

    While nothing can beat the efficacy of a retinol-saturated serum (RoC, here's looking at you...more on this later), my desire to balance and hydrate the eye area, coupled with my intent to find something unmitigatedly natural just might have been fulfilled thanks to  the African Botanics Marula Botanical Eye Serum, which I recently had the chance to try.  

    The ingredients list of this product is remarkably brief (scroll on for details) and the brightening, hydrating, line-releasing and puffiness-reducing properties to flow from this tiny bottle are encouraging!

    Above: Retailing for $85, the Marula Botanical Eye Serum comes in a .96 fl oz. bottle.

    Ingredients: Sclerocarya birrea (Maurla Essential Oil), De-ionized Water, Clycerine BP, Glyceryl polyacrylate, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Rose Otto (Rosa Damascena), Calendula Officnalis (Calendula flower) Extract, Polysorbate 20, Phenoxyethanol Ethylhexylglycerin, D. Tocopherol (Vitamin E).

    **Formulated with NO Parabens, mineral oils, BPA, petrochemicals, synthetic emulsifiers, toxic preservatives, phthlates, DEA, TEA, synthetic colors or fragrances.  100% Vegan and never tested on animals!

    Above: Since I only use two pumps a day, I envision this bottle lasting nearly a year with regular use.

    According to the African Botanics website:

    Marula Botanical Eye Serum is formulated to immediately lift, firm & smooth the delicate eye contour area while imparting radiance & long lasting hydration. Corrects the signs of aging - puffiness, dark circles, wrinkles & lack of firmness.

    • Marula Oil is Africa’s miracle oil. Hand harvested by women in village collectives from the exotic fruit seed kernels of bio-dynamic Marula trees, indigenous to Southern Africa. Rich in Vitamins C + E & Oleic Acid. Heals skin tissue, reduces redness & transepidermal water loss, improves skin’s elasticity & firmness. Marula Oil helps nourish, moisturize and soften dry skin, while providing antioxidant protection.
    • Soy Protein – is a Plant Peptide. The building blocks of proteins, peptides have become an essential ingredient in anti-aging skin care. Peptides are a string of amino acids that are held together by bonds of nitrogen and carbon. Short chain peptides are able to penetrate the epidermis and send signals to cells, informing them how to function. Soy Protein has a tightening effect on skin. Retains moisture, stimulates collagen synthesis & encourages cell turnover to ensure smoother, firmer and more radiant skin.
    • Rose Otto – hydro distilled at low temperature from majestic freshly picked Damascus roses. Rose Otto, with its complex chemical profile of at least 275 compounds, possesses a vast number of therapeutic applications. Topically applied, Rose Otto beautifully supports skin’s health and radiance. A rejuvenating oil, Rose helps restore moisture balance and is used, both in massage and inhalation therapy, to enhance circulation, deeply nourish the tissues and to promote a healthy inflammatory response. Astringent effect on capillaries just below the skin surface – useful to diminish redness caused by enlarged capillaries. Also promotes collagen.
    • Calendula Flower Extract – Repairs skin on cellular level – can soothe and heal dry and/or damaged skin. It is often compared to Neosporin. Loaded with powerful healing substances, has been used for centuries to heal wounds and reduce inflammation. Calendula also promotes blood circulation.
    • Vitamin E (D- tocopherol) – acts as an anti-oxidant
    • Soothe tired, puffy eyes with this light yet powerful serum.
    • Intensely boosts skin’s ability to repair, accelerating recovery.
    • Restore skin elasticity, firmness & improve skin tone.
    • Reduce dark circles, crows feet, fine lines & wrinkles.
    • Rejuvenates and refreshes tired eyes.
    • Corrects sun damage in the delicate eye area.
    • Anti-pollution, anti-inflammatory, anti-aging benefits.

    The amount of beautifully-articulated information regarding this product was such that I couldn't do anything to improve the clarity of the explanations...I appreciate how African Botanics thoroughly elaborates on the purpose of each ingredient in terms that any skin care enthusiast can process.

    Above: The serum in the is clear and watery in texture and is absorbed into the skin instantly. 

    Just two pumps, twice a day has helped to reduce my AM puffiness and fine lines; since using this serum, I've also noticed that the skin around my orbital area has brightened and looks more refreshed!

    The serum itself is silky and almost watery (as opposed to being dense and viscose) in nature and has a very light floral scent (that is due to the ingredients in the serum, rather than being an added element) that dissipates quickly upon application.  

    I apply it after cleansing and right before my Le Metier de Beaute Peau Vierge and find that it hasn't irritated my sensitive skin fact, it is quite cooling and revitalizing!  

    Above: My eyes after a week of nightly and daily applications of the Marula Botanical Eye Serum.   I feel brighter and more balanced in the orbital area and can't wait for the long-term benefits!

    Bottom Line:  Like many, I am gravitating towards using as many natural, non-chemical (yet, effective) skincare and beauty products as I can.  From its succinct ingredients list to its soothing and smoothing results, the African Botanics Marula Botanical Eye Serum is fulfilling my quest beautifully... a truly delightful discovery.  I've also been experimenting with the African Botanics Pure Marula Oil (as a moisturizer) and will be reporting back soon to discuss my thoughts...first's divine!

    **PR sample provided for review, however, as always, all of my opinions are expressly and unequivocally my own