Beauty: Stellar Products I Never Want to Be Without Again...

Finding "the one" is a life changing moment. That initial rush of euphoria evolves over months into true, deep love. Rather than looking elsewhere for options, you dig deep and commit to a long term relationship filled with trust and admiration. That's how I feel about these absolutely fantastic items in my beauty arsenal. Some are longtime loves, others have replaced previous favorites and earned top rank all on their own for their next-level excellence (I'm looking at you, Tom Ford products). From a pretty jar of moisturizer that makes my heart flip and my skin glow (hello, dewy & plump visage) to a lip liner that makes my lips every bit as juicy as Kylie's these are the products making my skin glow.

I'll start with my moisturizer first. Wow, do I love this. It plumps, offers major hydr ation and is beyond great for daytime under makeup. My only wish is that Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Face Cream arrived in a larger jar. I love it that much.  You've heard me gush about Charlotte Tilbury "Light Wonder" Youth Boosting Skin Perfecting Foundation many times now. I think "foundation" is a bad label for this. It's far more like a tinted moisturizer (think, Laura Mercier's) and is never ever heavy or opaque.  I'm shade 2 in winter and 3 during the summer.

I fell HARD for Estee Lauder's Summer Goddess palette this summer, and if you can find it I suggest you hoard it. Easier to find and AH-mazing is om Ford "Weekender" Bronzer + Blush + Highligher Palette. Pricey, but like all Tom Ford items the quality is truly a luxurious experience unlike any other. Which brings me to my eye shadow obsession. Tom Ford Eyeshadow Quad in "Nude Dip" is a palette you'll want to own forever. The perfect pigmentation, the opulent shimmer without a hint of disco ball glitter, this is a sexy quad worth the splurge.

Now, let's get lippy! The discovery of Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat Liner in "Pillowtalk" will forever keep me smiling. I can cheat just enough to give my lips the boost they need. Its creamy consistency means you can color them in and ensure your lip color stays put without risk of dryness. Pillowtalk is the perfect pink nude that is just... pretty. It's so truly pretty I only like adding a balm over top. I try many, and By Terry Baum de Rose Lip Sheer in Rosy Babe is "my lips but better" and packed with enough emollients to turn even the driest pout into a pair of pretty, plump, healthy lips. On days I'm steering more neutral, Toffee Cream is another excellent nude. 

I finish with a flick of Loreal Voluminous liner and the legendary mascara of the same line (sorry Diorshow!) and I'm done. I hope this mix stays the way it is for a while. It's giving me a major good glow and streamlining my morning routine. These products are all stars on their own as standout winners, yet for me it's how they work in concert with one another that makes this mix so stellar. I hope you find you magical mix as well!

MY STELLAR LINEUP OF WONDERFUL BEAUTY PRODUCTS

Beauty: Vegetarian, Cruelty-Free Makeup Goes Ultra Luxe...

While I've long been a fan of their legendary body butters (bye bye, dry winter skin), The Body Shop has now stepped up to the makeup plate to delight those of us seeking toxin-free, cruelty-free options. Their collection of color products for eyes and lips just arrived and I had to give it a try. I must to admit... the quality impressed me.

LET'S TALK PACKAGING

Ladies, you know packaging matters. It's often where well-meaning brands fail. These eye shadow quads (I tried two) are housed in glossy black clam shell cases with interior mirrors. Sleek closures. Nice weight and scale to them. The shadow pans are very generous. The twist-up eye color stick tips are rounded like Laura Mercier's caviar sticks and the packaging is somewhat similar. The matte lip color is in a more modest black matte tube with silver interior sleeve. The packaging isn't going to be an Instagram star a la YSL or Dior's gilded lippies, but the ultra-smooth twist-up mechanism and elegantly shaped product tip definitely impress. 

SURE, BUT WHAT ABOUT THE PRODUCT?

So let's talk about the color products themselves.  The day my products arrived it was dreary and blah, so naturally I i was attracted to the the hot pink lip color. Hello, mood boost in a tube! As soon as I began to swipe it on I realized I hadn't exfoliated my lips. Much to my surprise it didn't matter. Even with the matte finish, the product is infused with Brazil nut oil and beeswax for a supple, full-lip finish. Very pretty and already tossed in my on-the-go makeup bag.

Next, the shadows. The plum palette is truly spectacular and was really drawn to those shades with my current winter skin tone. It is very difficult to find a matte ivory shadow (a makeup drawer basic, in my opinion) and this palette has a superb version. The three additional shadows are an array of shimmering plums that veer towards super-neutrals. Super sultry shades. The shadows were shimmery without being glittery and the texture was velvety smooth. Pigmentation was exactly as I hoped and I loved that texture was smooth during application. Did I mention the pans are very generously sized? I think these quads will last me quite a while and are easily used day to night. Will be dabbling in the brown quad (which houses warmer clay tones) next.

The eye gold shadow stick? I found it ideal for adding a pop of sparkle to the center of the top lid. Smooth, shimmery but not glittery. On dash & go days this would be a pretty color to use as an all-over lid color with a swipe of mascara & gloss. Very versatile. (Note: I have got to get my hands on the purple & bronze versions. I love the idea of mess-free shadow application that leaves lids looking glam!)

SO... THE VERDICT

Going in with no expectations, I was impressed by both the texture and feel of the makeup and the packaging. Compared to my normal color lines (Chanel, YSL, Tom Ford) these still read as elegant options. Sophisticated colors. Luxurious packaging (not quite as opulent as my normal quads and lip color packaging, but definitely in luxe territory). Vegetarian ingredients. If you're looking for a cruelty-free option for your makeup arsenal, this well-priced collection should absolutely be high on your list. See the full holiday collection

BODY SHOP MAKEUP FAVORITES

Beauty: Burberry Brings Enviable Luster to Your Makeup Edit...

Leave it to Burberry to take highlighting to the next level. Their recent collection of metallic shimmer dust products and glitter-infused makeup has arrived in stores and is poised to bring the Midas touch to every glamour girl's beauty routine. While the loose glitters and bold lipsticks might be best reserved for editorial looks and New Year's Eve fêtes, the rest of the collection easily translates to daytime glamour. Subtle, sophisticated and - most of all - there's something for everyone from the most demure to the most outré of us. Did I mention they also have black glitter powder? Hello, sultry smokey eyes!

SHOP THE FESTIVE COLLECTION