March 30, 2011


It's officially spring and now is the perfect time to take inventory of your beauty and skincare products. Time to weed out the cosmetics duds that you never wear, toss containers with barely any product and to throw out makeup that's past it's prime. To help you with your beauty task I'm enclosing some helpful guidelines on expiration dates for your beauty products.  Note there are no federal guidelines when it comes to makeup expiration dates but these are recommended guidelines you should follow.  It's also a good idea to go through and review your makeup collection at least every six months.

Makeup Expiration Guidelines:
    * 3 - 6 months:  Mascara and Liquid Eyeliner
    * 6 months - 1 year:  Gel Eyeliner and Moisturizer
    * 1 year - 18 months:  Liquid Foundation and Lip Gloss
    * 18 months - 2 years:  Cream or Mousse Foundation, Concealer, Cream Blush, and Cream Eye Shadow
    * 2 - 3 years:  Face Powder, Powder Blush,  Powder Bronzer, Powder Eye Shadow, Lipstick, Lip and Eye Pencils

Products without water (like powders, eye shadow and bronzer) can last for two years or more, as can pencils that can be sharpened. Everything else should be monitored closely and thrown out immediately if doesn't seem normal. Product separation, weird odor or a change in color or texture -- uncommonly thick or watery -- can all be indicators of a product that's gone bad. Of all products, mascara has the shortest shelf life. Toss it immediately if it develops a weird smell or color. To keep mascara from drying out quickly make sure you don't pump the wand in the tube -- you want to use more of a circular swirl motion. And make sure to close the top securely/tightly after each use.  That goes for all products in pots, jars and bottles - close it tight!

In general cream and liquid products expire more quickly. Old cream blush will get a chalky white film on it that tells you it’s time to dump it. Also, if a product looks hard and doesn’t apply correctly then it’s probably best to get rid of it. Cream eye shadows are more likely to grow bacteria than powder so look for any change in the texture and color. To extend the life of your cosmetics DO NOT introduce water or saliva into the product because it will cause bacteria to grow. Use brushes, not your fingers to access products in jars. And it's best not to share your cosmetics, especially eye or lip products, with others.

PRO TIP: Keep your makeup in a cool location, away from moisture and heat, which are both factors in bacteria growth. So storing your makeup bag (or giant kit if you're makeup obsessed like me) in the bathroom is a big no-no!

It's also important to clean your makeup brushes and sponges on a regular basis.  For synthetic brushes that you use to put on your concealer and foundation I'd say clean it weekly but for your powder brushes you can clean them on a monthly basis.  My preference for cleaning synthetic brushes is Dawn dish-washing liquid, that's right, the one you use to clean your dishes. It breaks down cream and oil-based products wonderfully and it's anti-bacterial.  For hair brushes you can use any clear shampoo or brush cleanser. 

PRO TIP: Make sure that you dry your brushes laying horizontally on edge of table or counter. Drying them standing up causes water to run in the ferrule and loosen the glue holding the hairs in your brush. Good makeup brushes are an investment and you don't want to ruin them!

Well my lovelies, I hope this post has been helpful. I want all my "Karen's World of Beauty Readers" to look beautiful but most of all stay healthy. And if after cleaning out your makeup stash it's looking a bit empty what better excuse for doing alittle makeup shopping? You can start my reading up on the latest Spring 2011 Beauty Trends and Makeup Collections right here!

March 21, 2011


Reviewed below are several products from the Made From Earth organic and chemical-free skincare line.

Olive Night Creme $39.99 (Currently on Sale: $28.00)
The Olive Night Crème is formulated to recharge skin with antioxidant-packed organic olives and olive butter to mend signs of past damage and replace lost nutrients. Organic aloe juice, olive oil and butter and rosemary ingredients ensure that pure and strong ingredients get absorbed by the skin.  Best for use by mature and dry skin.  Can also be used as under eye treatment.

Organic Aloe Vera Juice, Organic Olive Oil, Emulsifying Wax, Olive Butter, Palm Stearic, Vitamin E, Neem, Rosemary, Tetrasodium EDTA*, Citric Acid.
* If you're curious "A Consumer's Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients" explains that Tetrasodium EDTA (Sodium Edetate) is "powdered sodium salts that reacts with metals. It is used as a Sequesting Ingredient - ingredient used as a preservative that  prevents physical or chemical changes affecting color, flavor, texture, or appearance of a product".  

The Aloe Vera Skin Treatment is 100% pure and organic aloe vera for cooling and deep moisturizing the skin. This Treatment is chemical-free and improves skin’s blood circulation resulting in stronger tissues and healthier skin. It also promotes the removal of skin’s dead cells so your skin has a radiant glow. The Aloe Vera SkinTreatment should be used two to three times per week only.

Organic Aloe Vera Juice, Organic Rooibos Tea Extract, Emulsifying Wax NF, Kosher Vegetable Glycerin, Organic Olive Oil, Palm Stearic Acid, Organic Jojoba Oil, Avocado, Witch Hazel, Vitamin E, Black Willowbark Extract, Rosemary Oleoresin, Neem Oil.

An organic and chemical free lip balm that contains vitamin-rich sunflower seed oil and protecting beeswax to avoid a chapped lip.  Added bonus is  the sweet taste of oranges.

Organic Sunflower Oil, Organic Beeswax, Organic Jojoba Oil, Organic Essential Oils of Orange, Lemon and Lime, Vitamin E, Rosemary Extract, Organic Calendula.

I'm always open to trying products from new and independent cosmetic companies so when I was contacted by an associate from Made From Earth I was open to trying them. After using the products for a little less than a month I'm glad that I accepted their offer.  I don't know about you but this past winter really did a number on my skin. Despite increasing my exfoliating and adding a cool mist humidifier to my home my skin still had major dryness and flaking issues. Not a good thing for a Makeup Artist folks!  The Olive Night Creme was just what my skin needed.  It was moisturizing, rich and hydrating.  If my skin was feeling irritated or dry I used in the day as well as at night.  If I did some serious exfoliation then I layered The Aloe Vera Treatment followed with the Olive Night Creme.  My skin would look and feel so soft the next day. 

I'm a bit of a fanatic about lip balms...I have them in almost every room in my house because I'm a lip licker and I hate them feeling dry.   I absolutely LOVE the aroma of Made From Earth's Citrus Fresh Lip smells like orange creamsicle heaven and makes me think of sunshine.  It has a good consistency, not too waxy but moisturizing without a strong taste. I just wish I could stop licking my lips when I wear it so it would last longer. But if you are going to lick your lips you certainly want to be wearing an organic and chemical free product!

I especially appreciate the fact that all their ingredients (plants) are from certified organic farms sourced in the USA.  There are no potentially toxic ingredients in their products and no diluting or watering down of potent organic plant ingredients.  No synthetic coloring agents or fragrances, or paraffin and other petroleum products are permitted either. Sounds like heaven for your skin right? So why not try it for yourself...I think you'll be pleased.

* Product sample(s) were provided for review but I am not affiliated with the company, nor was I paid to review any of the products mentioned in this blog post.  See my  "Disclosure Policy" for further details.

March 7, 2011

“SPRING HAS SPRUNG” – Spring 2011 Beauty Collections

It’s that time of year again when the cosmetic lines come out with their newest color collections for spring. So here’s my cherry-picked list of the top makeup collections to adorn your lovely face this season.  Now you can take the key spring trends seen on the S/S 2011 runways and make them your own. (FYI ladies – shades of purple like lavender, lilac and violet are super hot this season!)  Just keep in mind that most of these collections are Limited Edition so if there’s anything you’re lusting after get shopping now!!!

LANCÔME - “Ultra Lavande" Spring 2011 Color Collection by Aaron De Mey
This spring, the iconic spirit of the seventies shimmers back into fashion. Now Aaron De Mey, Lancôme’s International Artistic Director For Makeup, takes flower power and hippie chic beyond with the first eco-disco collection.
* Limited Edition French Touch Absolu lipstick - “Berry Rose”  $35
* Color Design Minerale Quad  - “Cool Lavande” and “Warm Lavande”  $42
* Butterflies Fever Blush/Highlighter - “Glowy Ballerine”  $40
* Color Fever Gloss - “Beige Ballerine”, “Rose Ballerine” & “Lavande Ballerine”  $26
* Ombre Magnétique  - “Ultra Lavande”, “Disco Gold” & “Disco Silver”  $25
* Le Vernis Nailpolish - “Violet Groove” & “Le 54”   $19
* L'Absolu Rouge lipstick - “Lily Rose” & “Daisy Rose”  $29
* Le Crayon Khôl  - “ Ultra-Lavande”  $24.50

NARS"Fresh, Forward Color" Spring 2011 Collection
The Spring 2011 Collection is the epitome of minimalism, reaching a sensual peak with fresh, forward color. Jeweled earth tones for eyes and nails are infused with a metallic finish that lends a subtly sleek finish. Cool compliments of sheer and sparkling lips pair with unexpected accents of parrot green and vivid blue. It all adds up to a look that's indisputably modern.
* Trio Eyeshadow (Limited Edition) - “Calanque” (gold infused platinum w/silver, matte caramel & antique bronze w/gold)  $45
* Duo Eyeshadow - “Nouveau Monde” (metallic silver lilac & olive gold) & “Bateau Ivre“ (sky blue & deep denim)   $33
* Soft Touch Shadow Pencil - “Hollywood Land” (pale gold) & “Soft Touch” (parrot green)  $24
* Lip Gloss - “Angelica” (cotton-candy pink w/gold & silver sparkle), “Super Orgasm” (peachy-pink w/gold glitter) & “Nana” (deep black grape)   $24
* Lipstick (Limited Edition) - “Tzigane” (sheer, pink brandy)  $24
* 'Pure' Matte Lipstick - “Madere” (super-rich nude pink) $24
* Nail Polish (Limited Edition) - “Desperado” (antique brass)  $17

SMASHBOX - “In Bloom Spring 2011” Limited Edition Collection
Unveil the beauty of the season with petal-soft wearable shades and pops of color.
* In Bloom Eye Shadow Palette and Brush - 10 shimmery & matte eye shadow shades (pink lily, lavendar grey, golden rose, warm taupe, bone, soft orchid, iris blue, shimmery copper, moss, & nude) $48
* In Bloom Creamy Cheek Duo - “Peony” (bright pink) & “Blushing” (soft pink)  $26
* In Bloom Soft Focus Powder Eye Liner - "Heather" (charcoal grey) & "Dark Brown" (deep brown) $22
* In Bloom Limitless Long Wear Lip Gloss - "Timeless" (soft pink) & "Endless Kiss" (coral) $21
* In Bloom Artificial Light Powder (soft shimmery powder to use as highlighter/brightener) $20

SHU UEMURA  - “Morphorium” Spring/Summer 2011 Collection
Metamorphose yourself with the mesmerizing glory of nature, just like a mysterious morpho butterfly landing softly onto your shoulder.  Created by International Artistic Director, Kakuyasu Uchiide, invites you to the world of untouched treasures in deep, tropical jungle.  Unleash your curiosity and indulge yourself in inimitable, mysterious beauty by nature.
* Morphorium Blue Palette (limited edition) – Colors: M deep purple, P vivid blue & IR fresh green (pressed eye shadows); P light brown (cream eye shadow) & glow-on P pink (blush).  $69
* Morphorium Sunset Gold Palette (limited edition) - Colors: M deep brown, P brick gold & IR creamy white (pressed eye shadows); P beige pink (cream eye shadow) & glow-on P peach (blush). $69
* “Shine Mystique” Eye Color - “khaki silver”  Loose powder eye color with olive khaki and silver reflection go in harmony with both morphorium limited edition palettes.  $30

SHISEIDOSpring 2011 Color Collection by Dick Page
The new Spring Color collection by Dick Page comes to life with a sparkling violet that makes lips pop. Infuse your lips with moisture and fullness with the new Shimmering Rouge. Eyes subtly glimmer with the Luminizing Satin Eye Color Trio.
* Shiseido 'Spring Collection' Luminizing Satin Eye Color Trio - "Bouquet" (purples), "Punky Blues" (blues & pink), & "Voyage" (neutrals) $33
* Shiseido 'Shimmering Rouge' Lip Color -  "Iron Maiden", "Desire", "Brocade", "Lounge" & "Stiletto"  (There are 13 colors in this new collection but these are my favs!)  $25
* Shiseido Smoothing Lip Pencil - "Chianti", "Mahogany" & "Tangelo"  $20

CHANEL“Les Perles de Chanel” Spring 2011 Collection
Inspired by the lustrous, natural beauty of pearls, this collection of delicate, luminous shades beautifully flatter face and fingertips.
* Les 4 Ombres quadra eye shadow - "Regard Perlè"  (deep green, rose, beige and ivory) $57
* Le Crayon Yeux - "Gris Scintillant" (shimmering silver-grey)  $29
* Le Vernis - "Black Pearl" (iridescent light-reflecting black), "Pearl Drop" (lustrous white) & "Pêche Nacrée (shimmering peach)   Limited Edition  $25
* Joues Contraste powder blush - "Espiègle" (soft peach)  $43
* Rouge Coco hydrating creme lip colour - "Peregrina" (warm peach) & "Jersey Rose" (rich rosewood) Limited Edition  $34
* Rouge Allure Luminious Satin Lip color - "Flamboyante" (vivid fuchsia) & "Coquette"  (satiny rose)  Limited Edition  $32
* Rouge Double Intensité Ultra Wear Lip Colour - "Cristal Rose" (rose-beige)  Limited Edition  $34
* Lèvres Scintillantes glossimer - "Nakkar"(rich raspberry) & "Aragonite" (iridescent white) Limited Edition colors $29
* Rouge Allure Extrait De Gloss - Pure Shine Intense Colour Long Wear Lip Gloss In "Génie" (& "Insouciance"  $32
* Le Crayon Lèvres Precision Lip Definer - "Pêche" (warm peach) & "Framboise"  (raspberry) $29
* Poudre Universelle Compacte Natural Finish Pressed Powder  - "Rose Merveille"  (delicate rose-beige) Limited Edition $45
* Inimitable Intense Mascara Multi-Dimensionnel Sophistiqué in "Noir" (Black) $30
* Vitalumière Moisture-Rich Radiance Fluid Makeup SPF 15  $55

ESTEE LAUDER“Wild Violet Pure Color” Spring Collection
New Wild Violet Pure Color for Spring 2011 created by Tom Pecheux, Creative Makeup Director. Flashes of luminous violet against a wild sky. Vibrant. Translucent. Brilliant.
* 'Wild Violet Pure Color' Eyeshadow Palette - $42
* 'Wild Violet Pure Color' Long Lasting Lipstick - "Wild Violet" "Wild Blossom" and "Wild Fire" $24
* 'Wild Violet Pure Color' Lip Gelée -  " Electric Pink" & "Electric Cherry" $20
* 'Wild Violet Pure Color' Shimmer Eyeshadow  - "Sugar Cube" (white) & "Untamed Violet (violet) $20
* Double Wear' Stay-in-Place Eye Pencil  - "Untamed Violet" $19
* 'Wild Violet Pure Color' Long Lasting Nail Lacquer  - "Wild Storm"  (silver metallic grey) Limited Edition $19
* Sumptuous Extreme' Lash Multiplying Volume Mascara  - "Extreme Black", "Extreme Brown", "Extreme Indigo" & "Extreme Violet"  $23.50