Tuesday, September 30, 2008


hello readers! when it comes to addictions, i'm the first one to admit that i have many, but recently i have become addicted not to a substance, not to a product or a brand, but to a place...THE MALL! lately i have been a bonified mall-rat, seeing as how i bought and then returned the Chanel Exceptionnel mascara, then bought MAC's Creemsheen lipstick in Creme D'Nude (more on that later), then bought MAC's Prep + Prime Face Protect SPF 50 along with a bottle of their Mineralize Satinfinish Foundation SPF 15, and then had to return that the next day because the SA had accidentally given me the wrong shade! so that makes for...ahem...four straight days of mall-going for this kitty. but that also makes for many, many posts and product reviews for all of my lovely readers!
colors left to right: Antique Green, Blonde's Gold, Copperbeam, Heritage Rouge, Mauvement, Museum Bronze, Vintage Gold, Mega-Rich.

so what i really wanted to bring to your attention today were the newest MAC pigments from the Overrich Collection. for those of you who aren't familiar, pigments are basically loose-powder eyeshadows in little screw-top pots which are very concentrated color-wise. a lot of brands do mineral versions (Bare Escentuals, Everyday Minerals, Fyrinnae, etc.), but in my opinion, MAC does them best. MAC's pigments are a whole addiction of their own, separate even from an addiction to eyeshadow (which is the most popular use for pigments), because these little pots of gold can be used for various different beautifying purposes. want a brand new, custom-made lipcolor? just take some balm or clear gloss and add some pigments! want to make your own shade of nailpolish? take your favorite pigment(s) and funnel them into a bottle of clear nailpolish, shake well and enjoy! need a highlighter to define your cheekbones? a neutral pigment will work gorgeously (some popular shades for highlighting are Vanilla and Pink Opal). want to stick to the classic use and create a beautiful eyeshadow look using pigments? i find the best brush to use is a firm, flat, synthetic-bristled one (like the 242) to pack the color on, and then a fluffier one (like the 217) to blend out any harsh lines.

although MAC releases pigments periodically with their collections, the ones from Overrich are outstanding in color, texture, and finish. there are 8 colors to choose from, and a ninth color (Royal Flush) available exclusively at Nordstrom's. my favorites are Heritage Rouge, Antique Green and Copperbeam, with Royal Flush clocking in very highly on the list as well. although a jar of pigment will cost you $19.50, it will last FOREVER! literally, i can't imagine using one up even if i wore it everyday for 2 years straight. stop at your nearest MAC counter ASAP to get a look at them before they're all gone!

have you ever tried MAC pigments? if so, what's your favorite color? mine's Blue Brown, and i'd love to know some of the ones you can't live without, so let me know in the comments!

picture of the pigments courtesy of the lovely Supa from MakeUpAlley.

Monday, September 29, 2008


Hola readers! lately i've been a very busy kitten collecting and testing new products so expect lots of reviews and info-fests in the days to come! today i'm going to be telling you about my experience with Chanel's newest mascara, Exceptionnel de Chanel, $28 (YES, twenty-eight dollars!).

i should first tell you that in this particular case, the marketing got to me 98% and my love of mascara was responsible for the other 2%. i ADORE Chanel-- the clothes, the PURSES! the shoes, the jewelry! the CLOTHES! and the makeup. however, my being a basically champagne-taste on a beer-budget kitten, i don't have the opportunity to own very much Chanel at all. since i'd never owned a Chanel mascara before and heard many good things about them, i decided after seeing the amazing brush that comes with Exceptionnel that i'd jump and go for it once and for all. so after $30 had been liberated from my purse, i blamed it on the lure of the brush, not on my own lack of self control!

so let's get down to this mascara and i'll tell you what it's all about. first off, that wicked brush is a six-sided hybrid of a regular, basic mascara brush and the new silicone-bristled versions popular today. it has short, densely-packed regular bristles (the black ones) that are for amping up lash volume and long, thin silicone bristles (the white ones) that are for separating lashes and encouraging curl. the formula is a thicker, wetter one than i normally like, but that's just personal preference. it comes in four colors (Smoky Noir, Smoky Brun, Smoky Violine and Smoky Marine), and has a special 'rolling' application technique that is recommended. to get a better look at the brush and the how-to on application, go here and check out The Film (for fun), The Design (for a good look at that brush), and The Application Technique (which is self-explanatory).

so my personal experience with the mascara? i'll sum it up in a few words: not worth the money or the time! i hate to spit blaspheme on the name of Chanel but this is just an average volumizing mascara with a very fancy brush (that, btw, doesn't actually DO anything fancy). when i got it home i was so excited to try it out that i immediately washed off the mascara i was wearing and got to work on my application technique. on one eye i applied as i normally do, sweeping straight up, NO WIGGLING, with a light touch, and on the other eye i did the Application de Chanel, which is basically just rolling the wand as you sweep it through so that all sides of the brush come into contact with your lashes. not only did the lashes i did the Chanel application on end up overloaded with product, uncurled (the HORROR!), and clumpy (not in an actual 'clumps of mascara' way but in that other horrible way where several eyelashes fuse together and end up looking spidery and gross), it also was a gigantic pain in the ass to try to do all that rolling and rotating while putting it on. i kept having to pull the brush away from eyes and squint to see what i was hitting my lashes with, long or short? black or white? grrrrr! too much stress for one tube of expensive mascara! i'm going to stick to my beloved Covergirl Volume Exact for days and my Diorshow for nights (a mascara i've had a giant change-of-heart towards lately) and count all my money while laughing maniacally. oops, that's right, Chanel has all of it!

have you tried the new Chanel Exceptionnel mascara? if so, what did you think: heaven for a reasonable price or brush-luring highway robbery? let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

New Mac Collections!

even though MAC comes out with a new collection every 5 minutes, i don't usually post about them because every other beauty blogger in the world covers them and i try to give my readers something new to digest when they visit my blog. regardless of the fact that i usually don't cover them, this new Cremesheen collection has really caught my attention (and now yours, too)! it consits of 14 new shades of lipstick and one new nail lacquer (shown in above picture). i think my excitement has something to do with the fact that A. i've never been a big lipstick person but B. MAC is the only makeup company that has ever been able to get me really, truly excited about buying lipstick. it's their colors, textures, finishes, and just general 'MAC-appeal' that have hooked me many times before and from looking at the swatches online, unfortunately may hook me again soon!

also exciting on the new MAC front is their upcoming Suite Array collection which consits of 8 new eye shadow duos and 8 new Pearlglide Eyeliners which are creamy, kohl-like liners in pearly, metallic finishes! how perfect will those be for the holiday season when you want something sparkly to glam it up without looking like a trashy disco-ball? i am extremely anxious to get my salivating self to the nearest counter and swatch these eyeliners on my hand to see what they truly look like. since MAC's online color swatches can never be trusted, seeing the colors in person is the only way to really know if you'll be head-over-heels for any of them, but if you want to get an idea what they'll look like, check them out here.

Recipe for Perfection!

just a quick note to mention that i have found THE perfect recipe for smooth, sleek, shiny, blown-out hair! after trying out this styling treatment cocktail, you'll be getting stopped on the street by screams of "MISS ANISTON!" from 'Friends' fanatics who want your autograph and the secret to your famous mane! the ingredients that make up this recipe, Kiehl's Heat Protective Silk Straightening Cream, $16.50 and CHI Silk Infusion, $14.99, are two products that i have raved about many times before, so i'll skip the long, drawn out reviews of them (since they've already been written!) and just let you read about each one of them individually here and here if you're interested.

and now, onto the Pretty Kitty Sleekest Hair Cocktail! the recipe is very simple, just grab your tube of Kiehl's Heat Protective Silk Straightening Cream and shake (why, i don't know, but i do it everytime) before dispensing a blob about the size of a dime (or slightly larger depending on the length and thickness of your hair), then take your CHI Silk Infusion and add about 3 drops. mix together in your palm and distribute through hair before blow-drying and flat ironing. VOILA! gorgeous, soft, healthy hair that will shine like glass and feel like silk. although i absolutely adore each of these products used on their own, when combined they provide results that are truly spectacular! kinda like Jen when she was combined with Brad, if you know what i mean? fireworks!

what are your favorite homemade recipes for perfect hair? do you usually mix products or prefer to use one at a time? let me know in the comments!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Neglected Treasure

have you ever had a brand new product sitting in your bathroom that you never got around to trying? maybe you weren't very interested in it, or it wasn't too thrilling of a product, or you just plain forgot about it, but this product sits sadly untouched for a very long time. then when you finally try it, you end up LOVING it and could just kick yourself for not trying it sooner?

it was about a year ago now that i was at Sephora, shopping around and attempting to use up a $50 giftcard when i found that everything i'd picked out came to about $47 (yay for Oregon's greatest feature-- NO SALES TAX!). i was determined to use every penny on that giftcard but the only thing i could find at the right price was the Sephora FACE Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover To Go, $3. i didn't really need eye makeup remover seeing as how i'd been a longtime user of Clinique's Take the Day Off but i decided to pick it up anyways and keep it in my purse for any desperate makeup-removal-related situations. since that day it's been rumbling around in the pocket of said purse until recently when i did a purse cleaning and decided to take that cute little blue bottle out of hiding and give it a shot. why not atleast try it out once, right?

since the beginning of my waterproof makeup wearing days, i've been pretty consistently faithful to Clinique's Take the Day Off Makeup Remover for Lids, Lashes, and Lips, $16.50. i was always reasonably satisfied with this formula; it took difficult makeup off without a ton of tugging and scrubbing and the greasiness left behind was washed away easily with whatever cleanser i was using at the time. there was one occasion when i tried a drugstore brand of makeup remover (i'm almost sure it was Neutrogena) and it was so horrible and ineffective it sent me running back to Clinique! maybe this is why i wasn't in any hurry to try the Sephora remover, i'm not sure, but i'm certainly glad that i did!

much like Clinique's makeup remover, Sephora FACE Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover is a 'two phase' formula, meaning it has oil and water in it that will separate in the bottle and will need to be shaken up thoroughly before use. i prefer these two-phase makeup removers to the single phase versions (usually labeled 'non-oily') because they seem to work much better and are gentler on the delicate skin around your eyes. the moment of truth for the Sephora FACE Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover came when i needed to remove not only waterproof mascara but also a good deal of MAC's Blacktrack Fluidline gel eyeliner. i squirted a small amount of the remover onto a cotton pad (far superior to a cotton ball for makeup removal, the balls just soak up the product), pressed it onto my eye to give it a moment to loosen things up, and swept away. it was amazing! the Sephora remover completely melted all of the hard-to-remove eye makeup in mere seconds. there was no tugging or scrubbing necessary, and with a few gentle sweeps everything was removed. although i've had a long run with Clinique's Take The Day Off, i'm happy to say it's being replaced by Sephora FACE Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover. Sephora's formula worked better and took less time to get the job done, and the best part? for the exact same amount of makeup remover (4.2 oz), Sephora's regular size version is $10, clocking in at $6.50 cheaper than Clinique's! who doesn't like to save a few precious pennies where they can?

and just a little tip: when buying cotton pads to use for makeup removal, toners or astringents, try to steer clear of the ones that are square-shaped and sectioned ('quilted'). i found these to be utterly useless because as soon as they're moistened, they start to tear apart at the little seams! the round ones, however, have no sections and work wonderfully. i usually buy my cotton pads at Walgreen's, so here is a picture of the type to avoid that are sold there. meow!

Friday, September 05, 2008

Target Beauty High-Ends It!

if you didn't already know readers, your Kitty is a Target fanatic. lately a good 50% of all my new clothes are purchased there and everytime i go, i find more and more i want! i think the reason why i love Target's clothing so much is because it's cute, stylish and affordable (especially this adorable cardigan i picked up the other day for $19.99!). i am somewhat of a fashion obsessive who spends hours pouring over every available fashion mag and although i would love nothing more than to be able to spend $200 on a simple shirt, it's just not a feasible option for me. i need to be able to buy clothes that i love for reasonable prices, and that's where Target comes in. i think one of the greatest marketing ideas ever dreamed up was for Target to do their GO International lines, where different high-end designers create a line of clothing to be sold through Target at affordable prices. so successful was this venture that the next logical step was for Target to take that same high-end approach to their beauty department!

the new additions to Target's beauty world are less expensive makeup lines from Jemma Kidd ("JK"), Napoleon Perdis ("NP Set") and Petra Strand ("Pixi"). when i first saw them i was very impressed, they have testers for all the products and mirrors and q-tips and the whole shabang set up! although i was in a hurry, i did get to check out the different lines and saw promising things from each of them. i have to admit that i was most interested in the line by Jemma Kidd, whose makeup i have read a lot about but never had the opportunity to see in real life. her I-Tech Liquid Liners, $18 each, come in a rainbow of gorgeous colors and seem to be almost exact dupes of MAC's Liquidlast Liquid Liners. the I-Design Eye Color Collection, $18 each, are beautifully rich eyeshadows that have a very soft, velvety, blendable texture. what really caught my eye were her lipsticks, which come in two formulas: Classic Couture Collection, a creamy, high pigment formula for saturated, classic color and Sheer Vanity Gloss & Glaze Collection, a sheer, glossy lipstick that's heavy on moisture and light on color. when i tried on Belle De Jour from the latter group, i was instantly smitten! i am eternally on the hunt for the perfect nude lipcolor and this has become my new favorite. it has a similar texture to a very glossy lipbalm but significantly lightens your lip color, turning my naturally rosy lips into the pale, baby pink color i'm always chasing after. only problem is, much like MAC's Lustre lipsticks, Belle De Jour is the kind of lipstick that only looks good on lips that are perfectly smooth and flake-free. my solution for flaky lips? sleep with a thick layer of Carmex lip balm on and exfoliate with a warm, wet washcloth in the morning. your lips will be in the perfect condition for your trickiest lipsticks!

as for NP Set and Pixi, i can't share much information since i didn't get to try them out but i'll definitely be checking into them further the next time i'm at Target and will share my conclusions. although i'm very excited about these new additions to Target, i must say that their prices aren't so low-end. as a matter of fact, if you compare products from the artists regular lines to the Target-made lines, there is sometimes only a few dollars difference! if we just apply our regular high-end attitudes to these lines, only buying what we absolutely can't live without, then they will be a worthwhile addition to the Target beauty department, but don't get too caught up in the fact that these lines are supposedly 'inexpensive' and break your budget. happy Target shopping kittens!

have you tried any of the beauty products from the new Target line-up? if so, let's hear what they were and how you liked them!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Guess who's back...

hello readers! are any of you still out there? i hope i haven't been deleted from your favorites list yet! your Pretty Kitty is back in action, all computer problems are fixed and i am ready to do a whole lotta bloggin' about all the things i've tried in my absence!

today i'm going to talk about cleansers, since i've been very interested in them lately. i have always been the type of girl who just washes my face in the shower with whatever soap i'm using at the time (usually Dove) and was totally loyal to Olay Daily Facial Cleansing Cloths while washing at the sink. after severely irritating the skin on my left cheekbone area with AHAs and retinol, i decided that i needed to start using something a little bit more gentle to soothe my angry skin. thus began my search for the perfect cleanser, and i've found several great ones that you've heard me talk about in past posts such as Clinique Liquid Facial Soap Mild (here) and Garnier Nutritioniste Nutri-Pure Detoxifying Gel Cleanser (and here). since i suffer from the terrible "there's gotta be something better out there!" condition, i'm always trying new things even when i already have products that i love, and that's how i found these gems...

LUSH Coal Face Soap, $10.95 for 3.5 ounces, is something i never would have tried if the wonderful employees at LUSH hadn't offered to make me a goodie bag full of samples of their products upon my first visit. this black, slightly gritty soap wouldn't win any beauty contests, but i'm proud to have it sitting by my sink because of the great job it does at cleansing my skin! made with powdered charcoal to remove impurities and exfoliate, licorice to heal naturally, and sandalwood oil to tone the skin, Coal Face packs a powerful punch to regulate misbehaving skin. although it's recommended for those with combo/oily/troubled skin, it worked wonderfully on my normal/slightly dry skin without stripping it or making it feel tight and uncomfortable. it easily removes my makeup and cuts through the grime that accumulates on my face over the course of a long, hot day, leaving my skin feeling squeaky clean (but in a good way!). i even used it one night in the shower to wash my body with, and i loved it for that, too! the only time i would avoid this soap would be if my skin was being unreasonably dry, because it does give you a deep cleansing that might be a little too deep for say, the middle of the winter. stop by your local LUSH store and ask for a sample of Coal Face so you can see what all the fuss is about for yourself!

this next cleanser on my list is a true bargain for those times when you don't have the money to splurge but still want something that gets the job done. Clean and Clear Deep Action Refreshing Gel Cleanser, $4.99, is another product from this line marketed towards teenagers that my 25 year-old skin loves! (i recently wrote a post about Clean & Clear's Dual-Action Moisturizer) i picked this product up about a month ago when i was away from home for the weekend and forgot to pack my regular cleanser, so i just went for the cheapest thing at the drugstore i could find to use for a few days. the Deep Action Refreshing Gel Cleanser really exceeded my expectations by gently but thoroughly cleansing my skin without overdrying it, removing every trace of my makeup and leaving my skin with a refreshing tingle. i love anything minty/tingly and this one does not disappoint! because this cleanser is so inexpensive, i even use it as a bodywash after a hot, sticky day because it leaves my skin feeling so clean, smooth and refreshed. it now lives in my shower and gets used on a regular basis, and all this for the fabulous price of $4.99!

what are your favorite cleansers? do you have any suggestions for a face wash that really stands out from the rest of the pack? let me know in the comments!