Cheap Cosmetic Brand Worth Checking Out

After testing out beauty products for about eight years now as part of my profession, there's one brand that I'm constantly wowed by because they keep their costs at an all time low, yet make great cosmetics.  Can you guess which brand I'm talking about?  e.l.f.  They start at just $1, (seriously, what can we buy for a buck these days), I had to find how they've stayed so true their concept for so long.  Here, I talked to their Creative Director, Achelle, to get the 411. What are some of e.l.f's hero products and why?

Some of our fan favorites would be the following however:

Essential Waterproof Eyeliner Pen, $2, this long wearing eyeliner is easy to apply and creates bold lines to accentuate the eyes

Studio Contouring Blush & Bronzing Powder, $3, the perfect duo to create beautiful contouring for a year round glow

11 Pc Studio Brush Collection, $30, This is an extreme value set and the perfect assortment of quality high performing brushes.

How is it that e.l.f is so affordable, yet of high quality?

We pride ourselves on luxury products at an affordable price. We work diligently to keep costs down, which allows us to invest more in our packaging and formulas.

When was e.l.f. founded and how have things changed since?

e.l.f. was founded in 2004 and has been on a strong and steady growth process ever since. We started as an e-commerce site and now have grown to partner with retailers like Target, Walgreens, and Wal-Mart, not to mention we launched our flagship store here in NYC which we are very excited about.

What is the price range today?

Our individual products range from $1, $2 in the Essential Line, $3 and $6 in the Studio line, and $3, $5, $8 in the Mineral Line

Congratulations on opening a flagship in NYC!  What's next for e.l.f?

Thank you!! We are thrilled about the success of our store. We have some of the best customers and we very excited about giving them a new way to explore the brand. We in fact have plans to expand here in New York with a second e.l.f. studio store and potentially roll out to additional locations due to the multitude of requests we have received from our customers who are asking for e.l.f. Studio stores in their city.

Behind the Scenes with François Nars & A Peek at the NARS Fall Collection

While it may feel like summer just began, I'm already prepping my schedule for gigs during fashion week this fall.  So as you can imagine, when an email landed in my inbox from the NARS PR team about their fall collection, it was more than welcomed.  Here's a peek at behind the scenes with Creative Director, Francois Nars and campaign model, Toni Garrn. Oh yea, and the fall collection which launches July 15th.


5 Favorites from Kiehl's, Laura Mercier, Jin Soon & More

Since I'm just kicking off this feature, it's so hard not to do this post daily.  Of course, when it comes to beauty loot I have a ton of favorites, but I promise to always bring you a well edited list of the best of the moment.  When I walk into a drugstore, Sephora or department store, I am beyond overwhelmed with options so I hope this helps you cut through the clutter.  If you're looking for something specific and need a product recommendation, you can always reach me on Facebook! Truth is you hands and your neck give away your age quicker than your face.  That's thanks to the extra TLC we give our faces in preventative and corrective measures.  I was super impressed when I was introduced to Avon's Absolute Even Multi-Tone Skin Corrector + Hand Cream, because it has SPF 15 for protection, but also helps to even out your skin tone.  I use hand cream about eight times a day and now don't have to think about getting old lady fingers.

While Laura Mercier's Cavier Stick Eye Colour, $24was created to help enhance a smoky eye, I like using it in Rose Gold as a wash of faint color all over my lid.  It makes me look more alive and is perfect for daytime.  Believe it or not, it consists of a creamy texture that doesn't crease and stays put all day.  Promise.  Since it's creamy, if you plan on layering it, let it dry between coats or it will be sticky.

While I normally like wearing dark greys or almost black shades on my tips, I am completely obsessed with Jin Soon's new Nail Polish in Blue Iris, $18.  The electric blue pigment is so bold that it's a conversation starter all on its own.

Anything that's labeled "stress-minimizing" is worth a try.  My latest conquest has been the Kiehl's Skin Rescuer Stress-Minimizing Daily Hydrator, $40.  Truth is, it helps minimize and prevent the effects that stress can have on your skin like fine lines, blotchiness and inflammation.  Yoga classes are still helpful.

While It Factor's new product Simply It, $21.50 cuts drying time, I'm kind of obsessed with it because it makes styling so much easier and let's just say that this bob isn't always willing to cooperate.  It literally does everything like adds shine, acts like a detangler, adds moisture and is a heat protectant.  I like it because it smells so clean.  I start my day using it and even use it mid day for touch ups as a style refresher.

5 Favorites from Dr. Brandt, Elizabeth Arden, Valentino & More

I've gone through countless amounts of packages full of new spring makeup collections, skincare lines and hair products and am still putting new products to the test.  If you follow me on Instagram, you've been enjoying sneak peeks of the latest and greatest with me.  Some products are worth raving about as they've either become staples, blew my mind or impacted my beauty regimen in some way greater than the others.  This will be a new feature on BSS, a round up of a few of my favorite things.  Allow me to introduce you, because after all, it's my job to help you cut through the clutter.   When I was first introduced to Make, I fell in love with the concept before the cosmetics.  As part of the We See Beauty Foundation, the company partners with local artists to create products and gives a portion of the revenue to help women's start ups in the US . Make Matte Finish Blush, $22.50 in Limoges Pink has been my go to pick-me-up for spring.  Always thinking of myself as a pinky/peach girl, I've been wearing NARS Blush in Orgasm since the beginning of time, but this is a nice change.

While it's not brand new, I just tried out Dr. Brandt's Laser A-Peel System, $78, when considering it for an upcoming segment.  A bit obsessed with peels, exfoliants and masks, I underestimated the power of the at-home peel that promised in-office-like results.  It's the first peel and mask that made parts of my face tingle in a long time.  One word: strong.  After leaving it on for five minutes, I rinsed and applied the soothing gel as instructed.  Immediately, it looked as if I had a facial with extractions.

Chip free polish for up to two weeks?  Sounds great, but I'm super anal about my gel manicures and will only go to one salon in NYC to get them, which happens to be all the way on the Upper East Side!  I began using Dior's Gel Top Coat, $24, which is a thick top coat that goes on like a gel, but dries normally.  My regular polish lasts about an extra two days (yay!), but stays shiny until my next mani, which is the real benefit.

Lots and lots and lots of lashes.  No lie.  I've tested about six mascaras in the past week and while I was impressed by a few of them for different reasons, Elizabeth Arden's Beautiful Color Lash Enhancing Mascara, $24, blew them all away.  I've been partial to Lancome's Hypnose Star  Mascara since it launched last fall, and I still love it, but this one gives a different look.  Full, separated, light-weight lashes.  Lots of them.

Finally a fragrance where the scent is just as delicate and precious as the bottle.  Valentino's Valentina Assoluto Eau De Parfum, $117 is one to covet.  It's a sensual fruity floral with a hint of vanilla.

Introducing My New Intern, Plus the 3 Products She Can't Live Without

A little help goes a long way, especially when you're an entrepreneur and feel the need to be in five places at once.  Often times I hire interns to help me be in two places at once (well, kind of...) and help organize my projects like SJP did with J Hud in SATC.  That being said, I'm excited to introduce you to my spring intern, Stephanie.  I'll admit, like my former intern Emily, I was a little partial when it came to hiring her.  She's a senior at Wagner College in Staten Island, NY (where I went), English major (just like I was) and journalism minor (just like I was).  Without further ado, I'll allow Steph to introduce her three must have beauty products so you can get to know her a bit better. Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzing Powder

This bronzer is my absolute favorite. While it's matte, it still gives you a luminous look. With real cocoa as a main ingredient, it smells like powdered hot chocolate and gives you a natural post-Bahamas trip glow. It never gives me a “muddy” look so I never have to worry about looking like the tanning mom. The color's buildable so looks great on all skin tones and can be worn through all seasons. The best part: a little goes a long way so I usually only have to purchase a new one once a year.

Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture - Combination Skin

I have textbook combination skin: kind of oily in the T-zone area with occasionally dry cheeks. My skin also happens to be really sensitive so I look for anything that says “alcohol-free” and “fragrance-free.” This moisturizer is super lightweight so I use it before bed and under my makeup for a perfect base. It controls the shine in my T-zone and hydrates the dryer parts and leaves my face really smooth. One pump is more than enough to cover your entire face and neck. 

KMS California Hair Play Sea Salt Spray

This is my go-to summer product on the days when it's just too hot to even think about putting a blow dryer on. I even use it in the winter to give my hair a break from the straightener and curling iron. Even though my hair is naturally pretty wavy, this sea salt spray gives it that extra boost. I simply spray a little in my towel-dried hair and let it air dry. It gives me the perfect Colbie Caillat, tousled, beach waves without drying my hair out.


Makeup Artist Sam Fine Launches A Signature Collection & Talks Beauty Rules & Challenges

Sam Fine's know for painting the faces of celebs like Gabrielle Union, who he was working with this week, Jennifer Hudson, Tyra Banks and Naomi Campbell, and now after 20 years of working in the industry and a year of working with Fashion Fair Cosmetics as Creative Director, he's finally been given the opportunity to create a signature line.  I spoke with Fine about his beauty influences, rules and common makeup challenges for African American women. What have been your go-to cosmetics and tools over the years?

I’ve invested in several Shu Uemura brushes that I’ve had my entire career! Making investments in good tools is the beginning of every great makeup kit. I’ve also used cream foundations like, Fashion Fair’s Perfect Finish since the beginning of my career… and I still keep Brown Blaze Glo in my kit!

How have your travels influenced your new cosmetic line?

Throughout my career, I’ve traveled to many exotic locales… And most recently, I’ve traveled to Tokyo, Mumbai, Russia, Madrid, London and Brazil on a promotional tour and witnessed varying standards of beauty. My travels have helped me to curate a color collection that will inspire women around the world to enjoy rich, beautiful color!

What are some of the biggest makeup mistakes women of color make?

How are you going to find what works if you don’t make a few mistakes along the way? I appreciate the attempts made by each woman who picks up a new lipstick or eye shadow and steps outside her comfort zone!

One of the most challenging aspects of makeup for women of color is finding the right foundation formula and shade. Also, finding formulas – lipstick, eyeshadow - that payoff and appear rich against the rich hue of brown skin. These may be challenges, but many companies are beginning to expand their offerings for women of color, making it easier to put their best face forward.

What's your #1 rule when it comes to applying makeup?

Practice makes perfect and with any craft, the more you do it, the better you become. There is no art you can perfect without practice.

What's your favorite product in your line and why?

If I had to choose a favorite product in my collection, it would be the Supreme Eye Color Quads! Each quad contains four richly pigmented shadows with two, sometimes three different formulas – iridescent, shimmering and matte; the versatility is amazing!

Drew Barrymore Talks Her '90's Bad Girl Look & the Secret Behind Why Her $3.99 Cosmetics Are So Good

Talking with Drew Barrymore last week over white wine at Willow Road in NYC was like talking to Josie in "Never Been Kissed," the 90's rom-com she starred in that I adore.  She's like the girl you'd want to have at your middle school sleep over, exuding a down-to-earth, positive energy that makes her your instant BFF.  Wearing a hoodie under a flannel, a long floral maxi skirt, and dark lip pencil over her entire lip, she was Drew as the world knew her. "I'm channeling my inner '90's, bad girl red carpet look," Barrymore stated when asked about her lipstick.  "I'm doing [Flower] Toffee Lip Liner all over the lip with a baby bit of Chocolate Lily Lipstick on the inside," she explained.  

The key to her bad girl look: lip liner all over the lips.  It's one of her go-to looks.  "It reminds me of a time in life where I used to do that.  I loved wearing MAC Spice Lip Liner, those deep, rich chocolates that were on the verging of a purple eggplant and I missed it."

You'll be happy to know the former CoverGirl didn't just slap her name on a label when it came to creating her new makeup line, Flower.  After years of being in the industry she knew what she was doing.  Truth is, even though the 181 piece line is sold exclusively in Walmart with prices ranging from $3.99 to $15, the quality of the cosmetics compare to prestige brands. How?  They're created at Intercos, the same lab that formulates cosmetics from companies like Chanel.  Yes, a dirty little secret.  

Khloe Kardashian On Khroma Beauty, Biggest Beauty Regret & Lamar's Grooming Obsession

On Friday night I had the opportunity to hang out with Khloe Kardashian at the Gansevoort Park to learn about the Kardashian sister's new makeup line, Khroma.  Now, she's my favorite Kardashian.  She's real, funny, down to earth and only uses her baby voice when she speaks of Lamar, which is kinda cute.  Here's the 411 on their new cosmetic line, Khloe's biggest beauty regret, must-have beauty product and of course, some scoop on her hubby. Surprised the Kardashian's didn't launch a cosmetic line sooner?  So am I.  Makeup has always been something the Kardashian's wanted to be involved in, turns out they were waiting for the right fit.  "We've been offered to do a line for years, but the companies all wanted us to lend our name and do everything ," Khloe commented.  "That's not how we work."

The sisters were involved with everything form the formulas to the packaging, font and name, which they brainstormed at the Soho House and stemmed from a doodle Kim drew on a note pad.  Khroma means color and the packaging is chrome, so it made sense.

Beauty Must Have

While the lash strips may be Kourtney and Kim's must-have in the line, it's the mascara that Khloe claimed as her baby.  "I'm very crazy about my mascara.  It's my one go-to makeup need in my bag."  While she has the luxury of working with makeup artists all the time, she never allows them to apply her mascara.  It's not that she has any fancy tricks, she's just so particular she knows how she likes it.  Khroma's A Stroke of Midnight is favorite.

Beauty Regret

Remember the 'Single Ladies' photo shoot the Kardashian sisters did for People when Kourtney was about nine months pregnant?  It resulted in Khloe's biggest beauty regret!  "I had a pompadour and harsh makeup, which was great for a photo shoot, but that's where it should have stayed," she stated.  After the photo shoot she had to walk a red carpet with Kim and didn't adjust her look.  A mistake she definitely learned from.  "In the photo it was cool and you understood it, but on the red carpet it didn't translate and I wish I could have told everybody why I looked like that."

Lamar's Grooming Obsession

Did you ever see the episode where Khloe gives Lamar a pedi?  Well turns out Lamar is s sucker for grooming.  He loves Khiels, the Facial Fuel line and Khloe laughed as she described how he washes his face.  "He's obsessed with washing his face and his bald head," she explained.  Who knew that guys without hair look at their heads as an extension of their faces?

Khroma Beauty is available at Ulta, CVS and other retailers with price points ranging from $7 - $20.

WIN!  I'm giving away four pieces of Khroma Beauty seen above!  Follow @BeautySweetSpot on Twitter and RT my tweet about the giveaway.  

Makeup Bag Update: My 5 Absolute Must Haves Right Now

With the change of seasons comes the obligation to clean out and update your makeup bag.  For me, this is almost a monthly thing as I test out new products on a daily basis, but truth be told, it's very rare I find cosmetics I love enough to replace what I use regularly.  I have my makeup bag full of staples and then a box full of 'just for fun' or 'just in case cosmetics'.  What happens to the rest of the samples I get?  Let's just say my friends love me!  Well these five products have worked their way seamlessly into my can't-live-without, regular makeup bag.  Here's why. Lancome Hypnose Star Mascara

I went crazy for this mascara, literally.  After attending the press event for it's launch over the summer I skeptically gave it a try just like everything else.  Only this time, it ended up being the mascara that changed my look.  Seriously.  I used to love Lancome's Hypnose Mascara, but Star is a smart upgrade.  The brush is still shaped like a cone so you can get into the lashes in the inner corners without making a mess and it helps to separate and define as you swipe it through.  However, this cone shaped brush has two flat sides, allowing you to actually paint the mascara onto the length of your lashes for added thickness.  When I ran out of my press sample, I went to the Lancome counter at Lord & Taylor and Bloomingdales and neither of the stores had it!  I frantically emailed the publicist only to find that it's exclusive to Sephora for now, but she sent me another one for free.

Anastasia Brow Powder Duo

When in LA last week I visited Anastasia's salon in Beverly Hills and had my brows groomed.  While they hold a nice shape, they're still extremely sparse and I always have to fill them in.  I've been using Anastasia's brow pencil and have come to learn that the powder works better for people like me who have sparse brows.  It acts as a filler by being the background to your brow hairs, not trying to act like the hairs themselves.  Score.

Urban Decay Smoked Eyeshadow Palette 

This goes without saying.  When I received the updated eyeshadow palette from Urban Decay, I unzipped it anxiously to see what shades were about to compliment my fall wardrobe and potentially replace the ones I've been using.  I was greeted with a palette of 10 colors that help to create a smokey eye, but I like wearing them one at a time.  From matte neutrals to shimmery jewel tones, the palette once again, is a seasonal award winner.  My favorite shade: Loaded, a forest green.

 Giorgio Armani Fluid Sheer

If you've ever seen Blake Lively's glow from within look, and I know you have, it can be credited to this product.  It's a must have.  The lightweight, sheer liquid acts as a a great makeup base to illuminate your skin. I wear it alone sometimes and when I'm on shoots, I mix it into my foundation to get the radiant look.  It comes in all different tones, but I wear Pale Shimmer, because I'm not trying to look bronze, I'm just trying to bring out a subtle glow from my pale skin.

Cargo Lipgloss Quad in South Beach

I'm not normally one to carry around palettes in my bag, but this quad is done right.  It includes four universally flattering neutral shades that I quickly grew to love.  It's an absolute must have for me, because the colors are buildable and I like to customize my own shades.  Normally when I switch bags there's always a few tubes of lip gloss in the bottom of each, but I make sure this one comes with me no matter which bag I bring and where I go!


A Peek Inside Aerin Lauder's Office and New Cosmetic Line

Wednesday night I had the pleasure of meeting Aerin Lauder, the granddaughter of Estee Lauder at her office during a media event to launch her new cosmetic line.  Her products fill voids in the cosmetic industry with feminine flair.  "There really isn't anything modern and feminine, it's either modern or feminine," Lauder comments.  "I found a wonderful balance between the two."  After the jump you'll see pics of her line, office and one of Estee Lauder's chests filled with her belongings.

"I love the weekday ones, the shade Perfect Nude is really a perfect nude," Lauder comments."


"I walked the beauty departments for two years with a baseball cap on because I thought, 'Oh gosh, people would know what I was doing if they see me.'," she states.

"The beauty bags and picture frames are all a piece of Estee."

Mark Touch & Glow Shimmer Cream Cubes Review

I'm a huge fan of cream based cosmetics, especially in the summertime.  I always get excited to dig through a bag of a brand's latest offerings, but when I received Mark Cosmetic's last week, their Touch & Glow Shimmer Cream Cubes stopped me dead in my tracks.  Before I knew it I had a slew of colors painted on my hand as I wanted to see what shade each cube would look like on my skin tone. The shades melt beautifully into my skin and can all be used on the entire face: as eyeshadow, blush or highlighter.  It's really a great palette and only $16.  I wish I looked through this bag before I went to Aruba!  I would have brought it with me!  I like using the light and dark goldish shades and combining them as shadow.

You can find the Mark Touch & Glow Shimmer Cream Cubes at

*This is a sponsored post, but all of my thoughts and actions are true.

A Shadow Palette Worth Buying, Yes, You'll Use Every Shade

If there's one eyeshadow palette you need it's the Urban Decay Naked2 Palette.  Last week when I received a mailing from the brand with all of their latest launches I anxiously focused on the palette and opened it to see what the upgrade was because their first Naked palette was a huge hit. Consisting of 12 shades ranging from neutral to black it encompasses eight metallic and four matte shades that help to make up that I believe every woman should have in her cosmetic case and yes, they're universally flattering.  Because of the range you can make your eyes look as natural or dramatic as you want.  The upgrade?  Five new shades mixed within and a double ended shadow brush.  The full size mirror is always a plus.

This one's to covet and going right in my makeup case!  You can find the Urban Decay Naked2 Palette at Sephora for $50.

Kate Middleton's Favorite Beauty Products

I'll admit, like everyone else in the world, I have a bit of a girl crush on Kate Middleton.  Who doesn't want to be a princess?   I admire the way she stepped almost seamlessly into the role of royalty, yet is still very relateable.  In three days the world will be celebrating the first anniversary of the royal couple so I rounded up some of Kate's favorite beauty products.  Yes, she really uses these things, so I guess you can call them princess approved. Heaven Bee Venom Mask - given to Kate right after her engagement by the Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla, the claim is that it's a "natural alternative to Botox," but  like synthetic snake venom (which is common in skincare), the bee venom works to temporarily freeze facial muscles for immediate tightening and lifting.  Kate also had a Bee Venom Facial with Heaven Skin Care Founder, Deborah Mitchell right before her wedding.

NIVEA Pure and Natural Day Cream - throughout the year Kate was spotted at Boots on Kings Road in London purchasing this cream.  This shows the princess not only mixes highs and lows in fashion, but also with her beauty buys!

Bobbi Brown Cosmetics - right before her wedding she was seen purchasing the brand's eye and face makeup.  Remember, Kate did her own wedding makeup, and kept her look natural accentuating her features.  Bobbi Brown is known for helping you create the best version of yourself, which is perfect for brides.

Karin Herzog Skin Care - This UK brand is a cult favorite to many celebs.  The managing director for the brand, Julie Cichocki, clarified that Kate's a regular user of the Professional Cleanser, Vita-A-Kombi 1, Vita-A-Kombi 3 Spot Zapper and the Oxygen Face Cream.

Kerastase Treatments - Her long time hairdresser, Richard Ward, treats Kate's tresses with Kerastase Rituals, which are their in-salon treatments, but Kerastase deep conditioners are available for purchase and you can do your treatment at home.

Sponsored Post: A Lip Stain Meets A Lip Gloss

Besides rocking red, I normally stick with neutral lip shades in all textures, but recently found a gloss that's worth talking about, mark Gloss Gorgeous Stay On Lip Stain in Frilly.  I received all of mark's Spring launches in the mail and swiped all four glosses across my hands before deciding on which one I was going to wear for the day.  The claim is that it lasts hours so I put it to the test only to find a new favorite shade. Normally lip stains aren't glossy and glosses don't stain, which is why I was so intrigued by this product to begin with.  It surely proved otherwise.  While a bit sticky, the shade has serious staying power, until I had to wipe my mouth at lunch I didn't feel the need to reapply as I normally do.  It's almost weird because I reapply most times out of habit not knowing whether or not I really need to.

I have to say though, whether it lasted or not I really liked the color and am glad I gave it a chance.  It looked bright coral on the label, but it gave my lips just a hint of a peachy color that enhanced their natural color.  About two levels up from neutral, it's a very flattering shade.

*This post is sponsored, but my opinions and actions are honest.

A Peek Inside My (Our) Medicine Cabinet

As a complete beauty junkie and blogger, I'm sent bags full of new products to test out daily, which means my medicine cabinet (and Joe's) is like a rotating door.  Some products that enter I buy repeatedly, because after being introduced I just can't live without them and others come and go just after a few pumps.  Here's a peek at what Joe and I are loving this minute.

The Best Cyber Monday Beauty Deals

I'm all about scoring great deals this holiday season, but trust me I'm the last person you'll find waiting in those horrific lines on Black Friday.  I can't believe people still do that even though Cyber Monday exists.  Cyber Monday is the best thing ever created and here's a list of the best beauty deals that will be going on so log in and have your credit card ready! Tarte:  $10 off purchases of $50, $20 off purchases of $75, $30 off purchases of $100 or more - A free gift with purchase with every order (customers will get to choose 1 of 5 items) - Free shipping on orders of $40 & up - Code: CYBER

Butter London: 30% site wide discount until November 30th - Code: CELEBRATE11

Bliss: 20% off Bliss, Elemis and Laboratoire Remede products

Elizabeth Arden: 25% off - Free shipping on any order - Save up to 65% on skincare, makeup and fragrance gift sets - Code: BF2

Perfumania: 30% off the entire site - Code: CYBER30

Bobbi Brown: Free best seller gift trio with purchase - Free shipping until November 29th

Urban Decay: Their signature eye palette is on sale for $19 (originally $34)

Elizabeth Arden: Free 5 piece gift - Free shipping with any order of $35 - Code: BEAUTY35 40% back in the form of Bloom Dollars for future purchases - free gifts with every purchase - free shipping and free returns on orders over $49

Dr. Brandt: Slashed the prices on two of his most coveted items: Lineless Eye Cream from $69 to $29 and Flaws no more R3P Eye from $80 to $39

Ulta: Free shipping on orders of $25 or more - Code: HOLIDAYSHIP25

John Masters Organics: 25% off your order - Code: HOLIDAY11

Borghese: 25% off your order from 12pm to 4pm - Code: 25CYBER11 

Stila: Up to 80% off items until December 2nd

Lab Series: 25% off all products - Free shipping until December 2nd

Somme Institute: 40% off all skincare site wide

VMV Hypoallergenics: The site is offering 50% off select products including Glitz and Velvet Matte Lipsticks, Two True Hues Eyeshadow Duos, the SuperSkin Starts Here Kit, the entire Illuminants+ line and select Skintelligent Beauty Brushes

Lush: Spend $100 and get a free $10 Lush e-card and free ground shipping - Spend $120 and get a free $10 Lush e-gift card and free air shipping


Lust Worthy: Dolce & Gabbana Ruby Collection for Holiday, Plus A Giveaway!

Ladies, if you're putting cosmetics on your wish list this year (and why wouldn't you be?) look no further than Dolce & Gabbana's Ruby Collection.  I've been checking out tons of holiday collections and when the PR firm behind Dolce & Gabbana cosmetics told me they had something special for me to consider reviewing on BeautySweetSpot, they weren't kidding.  As soon as I opened the package I was in awe and... I'm giving it away! Every girl needs at least a piece from this collection in their stocking.  Besides the chic, gold packaging with rubies on top, the collection offers perfectly wearable colors for everyone.  Designers, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, partnered with celebrity makeup artist (and one of my faves), Pat McGrath to create the collection.

It's limited edition for holiday and includes five cream based red lipsticks, $37 each, a neutral eyeshadow quad, $75 and a universally flattering peach blush, $55. My favorite piece is the eyeshadow quad because not only will I wear all of the shades, but it's a piece I'll carry around in my bag just for the mirror.  It's about two inches by two inches.

GIVEAWAY! I'm giving away the whole collection on Twitter! Follow me @BeautySweetSpot for details!  

Benefit Opens 1st NYC Boutique

New Yorkers rejoice!  San Francisco based beauty company, Benefit Cosmetics, opened their first NYC boutique appropriately downtown in Soho last week and besides being girly-chic, the beauty bar offers a slew of services that you don't typically find at cosmetic stores.  I had the chance to check it out at the grand opening.

Always a huge fan of their products (hello, Benetint!), I'm now a fan of their services.  I used to go to their cosmetic counter at Bloomingdales and thought it was unique that they had a brow shaping bar there.  Little did I know, each individual boutique offers much more.  You can literally go to pick up your favorite mascara, get your brows waxed, a spray tan and makeup application.

I picked up some of my favorite products – The Porefessional, Brow Zings, Dallas and Watt's Up and then had my makeup done by one of their artists.  The new boutique has eight vanities for makeup applications and brow shaping and three private rooms for body waxing and spray tanning.

Live in NYC?  Stop by the boutique at 454 West Broadway at Prince St. in Soho.


New Makeup Launches

It's only the beginning of January and I already have Spring fever!  You can't blame me when I'm learning about new Spring makeup launches every day! Already anxious to rid my cashmere and begin wearing my new navy and white stripe shirt and with open toed shoes.

Here are my favorite finds from some of the hottest collections so far:

Victoria's Secret Beauty Poptimistic Limited Edition Beauty Rush Lip Glosses, $7 ea., six new hot shades inspired by the 80's.  



Bobbi Brown Makeup Facelift Collection, two words: completely genius.  A collection that includes highlighter, brow pencils and brightening lip glosses designed for faking a mini face lift with guidance by Bobbi herself.


NARS Creative Director, Francois Nars, was inspired by Catherine Deneuve's role as Lucille in La Chamade when creating the Spring 2010 collection, which includes very wearable eye shadow and lipstick shades and a polish called Purple Rain that I cannot wait to wear.


Guerlain always comes out with products that are too pretty to use, but go ahead and smear the pastel pink umbrella pattern in the blush together to end up with a brush of cherry blossom on your cheeks.  You can thank me later.  The whole collection was inspired by Eastern Asian Umbrellas.


Rimmel London is launching a volumizing mascara, bold quilted shadows, lipstick with SPF 18 and polish just to name a few.  My favorite: their Sun Shimmer Maxi Bronzer for Face and Body.  Available for only $7.99 in three shades, the compact is huge and multicolored.