Sunscreen Plus… SPF’s With a Kick

I’m going to assume that you’re wearing some sort of sun protection daily, no matter what. We all know that even the smallest doses of daily sun can bring on spotting, wrinkling, and a loss of firmness.

If you’re looking for more than just a sunscreen, here are a few skin protectors that offer more than SPF alone.

Sunscreen Plus… A Sheer Skin Perfecter:

Sheer Tint Release is Esteé Lauder’s latest addition to their best-selling DayWear collection, it has all the benefits of the original moisturizer (antioxidants, SPF 15, quick absorption) but with an added skin-perfecting tint that blends perfectly into most skin tones. It’s a subtle hint of color that gives skin an even, more polished look that’s totally undetectable.

Sunscreen Plus… Age Prevention:

Of course the best age prevention for your skin is the sunscreen itself, but Daily Defense SPF 30 from Priori’s Advanced AHA line offers a blend of Lactic Acid to increase moisture and encourage skin cell renewal.

Sunscreen Plus… Primer:

Even the most sensitive skin can rock Coola’s FACE Mineral Sunblock as a tinted primer because it’s a gentle chemical-free SPF 20. Just because it’s mineral based (Titanium and Zinc), don’t expect the old school chalky finish, this light lotion gives a gorgeous glow you’d expect from a serious makeup line.

More Fantastic Eye Creams

Since I’ve been off Botox, I’ve been busy testing out a whole slew of treatments to curtail my crow’s feet. Here’s another tested and approved array of eye creams I’ve used that help you not to look as haggard tired as you feel.

For Dry Eyes with Early Signs of Aging:

Advanced Night Repair has been one of my very favorite eye creams for years. Lauder created this little miracle potion with a unique texture to it like a thick serum so you can slather on as much as you’d like without a thick build up. It feels like a quenching gulp of water for that delicate eye area that’s so vulnerable to dryness and fine lines.

For an All Purpose Cream

If you aren’t protecting that delicate skin under your eyes yet, you really should be. Noah’s Naturals has a popular ‘green’ Eye Cream that delivers light hydration and antioxidants for just $10.

For Quick Wrinkle Erasing

I like feeling the intense tightening brought on in minutes by Freeze 24/7′s Anti-Aging Eye Serum. Everything from this line is designed to give quick, visible results and this eye serum is no exception. Use it sparingly and go easy on the concealer over top, it causes makeup to drag a little bit,  but considering how it erases crow’s feet, eh who cares?

For Tired Looking Eyes

Everything in Glytone’s Anti-Aging Eye Cream is meant to take the tired look out of eyes; Caffeine to reduce puff, Licorice to lighten dark circles, and Red Tea to protect from future damage. There’s even a shot of Glycolic Acid to mildly exfoliate the skin to allow brighter skin come through.

For De-Puffing Naturally

I’ve been using various things from Desert Essence for years now and I’m glad they finally got into the skin care game. They created a (big tube of) Coconut and Olive Oil rich cream that helps reduce eye puff. Daily Essential De-Puffing Eye Cream gets the moisture level perfect, use it solo or mix a little in with your concealer for a custom tinted eye cream. If you’re super puffy in the morning, store the tube in the fridge and make a habit out of using it when you stumble into the kitchen for coffee.

For Firming

I’ve been on an Osmotics kick lately. Sure I’m a sucker for a Denver-based company, but I’m also sucker for a line that’s edited and focused. Anti-aging is their thing, and Blue Copper 5 Firming Eye Repair is an anti-aging treatment for the eyes. It’s a best seller for them because of its dreamy gel-cream texture packed with healing Copper, Peptides, and Vitamins to firm and contour skin while incidentally acting as a nice little primer for makeup as well.

Sexy Eye Shadow Palettes for New Year’s Eve and Beyond

Open up a door to a sexy new look this New Year’s Eve by saying sianara to your used-to-death brown eye shadow and take the plunge to discover that shades of plums, blues, and golds are twice as sexy and just as wearable. Here are a few palettes that will help you achieve a bold look when you’re ready to turn some heads.

Estee Lauder: Blue Dahlia

I think this was one of Lauder’s best palettes in years. It was a limited edition (you can still round one up at a counter I’m sure) that quickly sold out online. Looks like women were thirsting for these striking blues with a unique neutral hue that makes them especially wearable and totally sexy. Use the charcoal black as a liner or to add smoke to the look, and highlight away using the pearly white which has tiny specks of blue sprinkled throughout. These colors weren’t just tossed together, they were well thought out to coordinate one another and they’re insanely gorgeous.

NYX: Jazz Night

Not all lines have color offerings as bold as NYX, and even fewer offer them up for less than $1 per shadow. Jazz Night has the smokey standards like grays and charcoal, but offers up a bold blue, violet, raspberry, copper, and even a light yellow for highlighting. It’s smokey basics with a kick.

Stila: Adventurous in Aspen

Stila has been happily misbehaving lately, trying to shake off their goody goody image of shimmery muted makeup. Don’t get me wrong, they’re still the go-to line if you’re into that sort of thing (and I am), but in order to get your fill of fun-loving colors you typically had to mosey over to MAKE UP FOR EVER and the like. Adventurous in Aspen isn’t particularly wild, but the icy blues, sexy gold, and golden flecked black will give you some new looks, and are probably as wild as a Stila girl wants to get anyway.

Had some fun recently with a new shadow palette? Send me your photos and you could be featured on an upcoming Hooked on Beauty post!

Carissa [at]

Estée Lauder Extravagant Pearl Nail Lacquer Sneak Preview

Remember last month when Estée Lauder provided the makeup genus for Derek Lam’s spring 2011 show at NYFW? (You can see the post HERE.) The nail color used in the show is now a part of Lauder’s 2010 Extravagant Holiday collection (out in late October/ early November).

I’ll review the full color collection in the coming weeks, but for now I’ll show you the nail color because it’s such a fun one. Here it is on a model at the show.

Here it is on me.

A swatch of Extravagant Pearl Nail Lacquer.

So here’s why it’s perfect for fall; it’s lightly textured with bits of glimmer which gives it a rich, multi-dimensional look and it’s a pearly neutral – almost a rose gold which looks great with both the neutrals and vibrant plums that are so hot for fall.

Look for the Extravagant collection to hit counters in the next few weeks, you can pre-order this nail color (and the rest of the limited edition collection) right HERE.

The Beautiful, Blushing Bride Kassie with Photography by Studio JK

When one of my favorite brides of all time chose one of my favorite photographers of all time, I knew I was going to love the end result. This picture is by Studio JK, the excellent-as-always photography duo here in Colorado from a recent wedding where I was the Makeup Artist.

Kassie and I decided on a punched up eye using neutral brown shadows and black liner, a deeper-than-usual variation of her daily routine. Her big beautiful eyes also allowed my to use my favorite wedding lash, Ardell 120 for a dramatic, feathery lash that’s perfect for pictures.

Now this is a bride.

Nothing says ‘bride’ like rosy pink cheeks, so I swept Estée Lauder’s Pink Kiss Signature Blush across her cheeks focusing on the apples to give a blushing look that isn’t too precision.

Stila’s Long Wearing Lip Colors are still my go-to for stay-in-place color that doesn’t dry your lips out. It’s so dry here in Colorado, so chapped lips are a standard year-round event. These will stay on for hours without bleeding or fading while adding a good amount of moisture that isn’t typically present in a long-wearing formula.

I can’t wait to share more photos as they come in, but if I were you, I’d click HERE to see photos of a recent wedding shot by Studio JK. I wasn’t their Makeup Artist and I have no idea who the couple is, but the pictures are stunning (double rainbow and sunset shots, incredible!) His photography is epic, we’re lucky to have him here in Denver (and I was lucky that he photographed my recent headshots.)

When considering wedding makeup, remember to be as bold as the gown, the day, and the event itself. Don’t hold back, let that glamour flow.

Estée Lauder Sensuous Noir

I don’t typically write about fragrance, scents are so personal and once you find a perfume you like you typically stick with it for years. Case in point, my half-full bottle of Jovan White Musk, a mainstay in my bathroom, even if I don’t wear it daily its nostalgia factor alone has earned it a spot in my cabinet forever. My loyalty, however, doesn’t keep my nose from wandering from time to time trying to find my next favorite way to smell.

I fell in love with Estée Lauder’s Sensuous Noir bottle long before Lauder sent me a tiny purse-sized sample to try, its sleek, rounded purple bottle was enough to make me fall in love with the look of it alone. Right when I spritzed it on, I could feel how warm and sexy this scent was. It has a spicy richness about it with a touch of créme so it isn’t too heavy. I looked over its notes; Molten Woods – ok, Creme Noir – great, Night Blooming Florals – fine, Patchouli – wait a minute… Patchouli? Yuk. How could I love something with Patchouli in it? From what I can tell, it warms up the scent but somehow remains undetectable (thank God).

Although I’m not at all easily wowed by fragrances (they all kinda smell the same), Sensuous is a totally unique, sexy, addictive fragrance that begs to be warn over and again. My bottle of Jovan may have just found a new buddy.

Sensuous Noir