eyeliner on a cat

eyeliner on a cat
beauty, scent & style scrutinized for pleasure

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Beauty Spotlight Team Round-Up! Week-End of 10/17/14

Prime Beauty checks out a few Holiday Collections and finds The Marc Jacobs Beauty Sky-Liner 7 Pc. Petite Highliner Collection--the perfect gift for the beauty enthusiast but she won't give it up! 

With all of the gorgeous and luxurious beauty oils on the market, Lola's Secret Beauty Blog has found four more to love from : African Botanics, Sisley, Aesop and evanhealy!!

The holidays can be a stressful time, but you still want your nails to look good! Nail polish strips (like Sally Hansen Salon Effects) are a great way to get a fabulous mani in minutes. Check out Jessika's Tips & Tricks for Applying Nail Polish Strips (and Making Them Last!) over on polish insomniac!

1. Smell good. 2. Get gorgeous lips. 3. Support Breast Cancer Awareness. How can you do all three? Check out Beauty Info Zone's review of Coach, Origins, and Smashbox BCA limited edition goodies!

15 Minute Beauty is in the mood for pink! Is it October, is it the baby girl she's expecting any day, or maybe just a really pretty pink lippie? She created an easy every day look tutorial, inspired by the pink lip crayon.

Check out Carrie from eyeliner on a cat's review of aroma M Camellia Perfume and an interview with its creator, Maria McElroy. This is one GORGEOUS floral fragrance you'll not want to miss!

Contour and highlight might not be the most "exciting" part about makeup, but it adds so much to the face without seeming obvious! Sunny from Mostly Sunny gave Burberry Trench Sheer Eye Shadow and Earthy Blush Light Glow a go to see if they are the perfect candidates for the job!

Phyrra shares one of the prettiest palettes for Fall, the Anastasia Tamanna Palette. See her review, comparison and tutorial!

The Painted Rogue NEEDS YOU! :-D She's trying to put together the best ever Ultimate Pocket Guide to Pink Lipsticks and, while she has a lot of lipsticks, it's your suggestions that will make this guide as complete as possible. Come on over and share your favourite MLBB lipstick!

Perilously Pale shares a review of her favourite pieces from the NARS Laced With Edge Holiday 2014 Collection. The Lip Glosses!

How about some fun and spooky bath treats for your tub? Pammy Blogs Beauty scopes out LUSH's Halloween bath collection! Cute stuff!

Friday, October 10, 2014

The WINNER of the aroma M Camellia Beauty and Perfume Sample Bundle!

We have a winner for the aroma M Camellia Beauty and Perfume sample bundle:

Congratulations, Carole!

Please contact me via email with your mailing address at the following address:
eyeliner on a cat at gmail dot com.

Thanks again to Maria McElroy and to all who entered!

List Randomizer

There were 8 items in your list. Here they are in random order:
  1. Carole
  2. Lindaloo
  3. Jen
  4. monster
  5. Hazel
  6. rachlovespenguins
  7. shabra99
  8. burntsienna
Timestamp: 2014-10-11 00:04:23 UTC

Monday, October 6, 2014

Aroma M Beauty Camellia Perfume Review + Interview + Fabulous Giveaway!

Edit: The draw is now closed. Thanks to all the entrants! (7:05pm, 10/10/14)

As the weather here in Chicago begins to chill its natives to the bone, a beautiful new pure floral perfume has graciously moved in with me to warm my soul and to offer just a whiff of tradition. Maria McElroy, the creator and founder of Aroma M Perfumes and my friend, has launched Camellia Perfume in a concentrated oil and eau de parfum. It joins her Camellia Beauty collection of ridiculously luxe oils for hair and skin, and bears an intensified, refined version of the fragrance so elegantly employed for those very beauty oils.

camellia flower

The fragrance's focus is of course the camellia bloom, or tsubaki in Japanese. The camellia's leaves are made into many varieties of the tea that the world voraciously consumes. In Camellia Perfume's case, it is joined with jasmine, gardenia, neroli, geranium and rose, rounded out with a bit of brightly intoxicating frankincense. Many of you know that I'm not a huge rose lover, but it's precisely the judicious use of it in this perfume that allows me to appreciate it so much for how it can transform the mood of a fragrance blend. It provides a touch of warmth to this largely cool yet seasonless blend, and that's what really does it for me.

I just need a few deep breaths and I'm enveloped by smooth, peaceful waves of warmth.  The natural freshness of this fragrance graces me with true, unfettered happiness, wholeness and wistfulness for something that I haven't yet remembered. Camellia Perfume is the olfactory equivalent of a drop of red sealing wax on pure white paper. The past, present and future all collide here, with a nod to traditional Japanese Geisha culture, modern fashion and thoughts of what kind of legacy we will leave for future generations of girls and women. I'm not ashamed by my frequent cravings for this beautiful poppy in the field-- my life is simply less colorful without it.

I was so happy to do an interview with Maria recently, which you'll find below. After you read her inspiring words, leave a comment answering the question at the end of this post, BECAUSE...

...up for grabs is a complete set of Aroma M Camellia Beauty Oils and a set of Camellia perfume samples. You can get the full Camellia experience with a total of 5 samples to indulge yourself with, compliments of Aroma M! Trust me, this is one contest you need to enter.

Camellia Perfume Oil (7.5 ml $150)

CM: What was your main inspiration to create Camellia Perfume on the heels of your coveted Camellia Beauty trio (bath & body oil, face oil and hair oil)?

MM: Aroma M got its start as an artisanal perfume house, so of course I wanted to add a perfume to the aroma M Beauty collection. The inspirations are the natural heady floral notes that the Camellia Beauty Oils are known for. I was very inspired to create a natural perfume that included Camellia essential oil. I knew when I finally sourced this rare, delicate, and almost fruity fragrance, that it would be the namesake of the perfume.

CM: Historically, how does fragrance play into the daily rituals of geishas? Why is the camellia flower in particular so important?

MM: The Camellia flower is sometimes used as a symbol of the Geishas, but Camellia essential oil is quite rare. I had not seen it until I went on my yearlong search for the essential oil, after creating the aroma M Beauty Oils.

camellia flower

CM: The vibe of Camellia Perfume (both versions) is intense but fresh—a memorable and beautiful contrast. I see it as a modern-day Joy—a classic, but with a more faithful and almost affectionate rendering of the floral notes. Was one of your goals to create the type of fragrance that multiple generations of women could wear?

MM: I love that you see it as a modern-day Joy! I did give a lot of attention to the floral notes which are classic in combination. But as with all the aroma M perfumes I feel that it has a firm footing in the present and is modern, specifically with the subtle Japanese incense note. I created the Camellia Perfume with the intention for it to be worn by a young ingénue or a Grande dame.

CM: Including your last big fragrance launch, Geisha Amber Rouge, I feel that your aesthetic is becoming a bit more refined, lush and extravagant. Did you will the pendulum to swing this way?

MM: I feel that my style with the Camellia perfume is more refined also, and more opulent. In creating the aroma M Beauty Oils I worked with a lot of heady, voluptuous floral notes. They have influenced my aesthetic and inspired me to add even more gorgeous natural florals, like the addition of the Gardenia note. I swooned over it when I first smelled it!

Camellia EDP (30ml, $110)

CM: I love the timing of Camellia Perfume’s launch. I happen to think a rich floral for cooler seasons is super-chic—especially if it contains whispers of incense, as Camellia does. In terms of fashion, what would pair nicely with Camellia? Do you have any new and fabulous things stirring in your closet this Fall?

MM: The whisper of incense as you beautifully put it, gives the Camellia Perfume its aroma M signature I think. I love wearing a rich floral in cooler seasons also, they go wonderfully with flowing scarves and cashmere sweaters. I have been wearing a lot of vintage DVF dresses with chunky sweaters as the temperature cools; the Camellia Perfume pairs glamorously with these pieces.

CM: The experience of wearing this perfume has the same fluidity as music—no individual notes stand out as obvious, but there is a sweetness of character that emerges as soon as it hits skin. Highs and lows exist, but no one point is better than another—just different. I know that among other things, you studied music in Japan. Do you believe that art of all disciplines, including the design and creation of fragrance, springs from the same well?

MM: What a lovely way to describe the Camellia Perfume's fluidity like music. I created this perfume so that it would flow evenly over you as you wear it, each note merging into each other much like music, with the Camellia at the heart. I do think that all art, including perfume come from the same place of inspiration.

CM: Camellia might be the ultimate Aroma M perfume because of how tightly it’s connected to the heart of what your brand is. What do you hope that your new fragrance says to the world about the old world Japanese tradition of the geisha?

MM: I feel that the Camellia Perfume is very symbolic of the 20-year history of aroma M; our anniversary will be Feb 14! It is part of the new aroma M Beauty collection that embraces all natural ingredients, and it still has the ever-present influence of Japan and the geisha running firmly through it.

Maria McElroy-- Photo by Axel Oberg

CM: I mentioned the word “classic” before, which for me, speaks to the element of time in perfumery and its fleeting nature. It seems to me that the signature of Aroma M has always given a nod to the past while allowing us to languish in the moment for as long as possible. What does the near future hold for Aroma M?

MM: I especially love the poetic quality of fleeting beauty that perfume has. The images of cherry blossom petals fluttering down like pink snow, and the moon covered with a wisp of clouds. These are the essences that I try to translate in my perfumes. I create aroma M perfumes to help us linger in the moment for a bit longer. As for the future, I have a new aroma M Beauty Camellia Oil product that will launch next year that I am very excited about, and another aroma M Beauty perfume is in the works!



Leave a comment on this post to have the chance to win a full Aroma M Beauty Camellia sample set: that's one of each formulation of Camellia Perfume, and one each of Camellia Face, Hair and Bath and Body oil (a total of 5 samples). Just tell us how (if at all) beauty oils have made their way into your daily beauty regimen. Or, if you prefer, which Aroma M perfumes or skin care products appeal to you the most and why?

The winner will be chosen at random via random.org. The giveaway is open to residents of the US and Canada only. The winner will be announced in a separate post on this blog on Friday, October 10th at 7pm Central. At that point, the winner will be responsible for contacting me via email with their mailing information at: eyeliner on a cat at gmail dot com. If the winner does not come forward within 5 days, a new winner will be announced in the same manner.

Good Luck, everyone!

[sample provided by Aroma M for my editorial consideration]

Friday, September 26, 2014

The Beauty Spotlight Team Round-Up: Weekend of 9/26/14

Phyrra shares Great Makeup Tips for Hooded Eyes!

Helen from Lola's Secret Beauty Blog learned the secrets of Tom Ford Beauty when she attended a Master Class with Todd Davidson at Neiman Marcus in Beverly Hills, and it was a true game changer! Now you can learn Tom Ford's secrets too!

You gotta love a gloriously rich reddened berry lipstick and a metallic nail polish for autumn! Sunny from Mostly Sunny found her favorite lipstick and nail polish of the season with Givenchy Poupre Inouï Le Rouge and Bronze Insensé Le Vernis. Maybe they'll steal your heart, too!

15 Minute Beauty shares some of her favorite Merlot Nail Polishes for Fall. What color are you wearing obsessively on your tips this fall?

Stop being so sensitive and check out the Crest giveaway at Beauty Info Zone. Enter to win an awesome gift pack plus a $75 Walgreens Gift Card!

Does your daily skin care regimen need a quick fix? Carrie from eyeliner on a cat wants to help! Check out her list of 6 products which are Most Likely To Succeed.

Who doesn't love a palette that offers not only multiple eye looks but also blush, bronzer and highlighter? Christa from Perilously Pale reviews the amazing Tarte Rainforest After Dark Cheek and Eye Palette.

What are your Top 5 Handbag Essentials for Fall? Pammy Blogs Beauty shares hers as well a Freebie/coupon link for U by Kotex!

Have you brought back any new Holy Grail loot from your recent quests? If you're still searching, The Painted Rogue has a lead that's worth chasing up with her new HG friends, Laura Mercier's African Violet shadow and Amethyst Caviar Stick!

Most Likely To Succeed: 6 Ways to Update Your Skin Care Regimen

We all know how hard it is to get your skin regimen just right. Once you find your balance and get into the groove of it, something happens to disrupt it. Maybe the change in the weather is the culprit, stress hormones, exposure to pollution, or any number of possibilities. There's no need to start over by rearranging your entire regimen-- sometimes you just need to add one thing or switch one product out for different one. Here are 6 products that I've had great success with by adding them as an a la carte product as needed. These are my favorite fixers.

ATOPALM Moisturizing Skin Revitalizing Complex (1.0 oz, $35)
Note: get 30% off sitewide now with code: FALL30
If your biggest skin complaints include: Dry areas, redness, sensitivity, scaly or red patches, eczema or psoriasis flare-ups.

The benefits you can expect are: Consistent daily use will erase fine lines and wrinkles, fortify the skin barrier, smooth out the complexion and deeply hydrate. This impressive formulation supports the skin's ability to heal itself. This is a highly reliable moisturizer that provides a much-needed cushion between your skin and the world. I've been using it on and off for years with pretty amazing results. Atopalm has an entire range of products developed specifically for dry and sensitive skin on the face and body, and if you fall into this category, I'd urge you to try their other products as well. Other favorites: Moisturizing Facial Cleansing Foam, Moisturizing Cleansing Wipes, Intensive Moisturizing Cream.

Key ingredients: Peptides, vitamin C, niacinamide, camellia seed oil and leaf extract (green tea), squalane, licorice root, hyaluronic acid, panthenol, grapeseed oil

Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant (4.0 oz, $26)
Note: Get 15% off sitewide right now, no code needed (plus get $10 off if you're a new customer and you click on my REFERRAL LINK-- I get $10 too. I'm not affiliated at all with the brand, I just love 'em to death!)

If your biggest skin complaints include: dullness, breakouts (hormonal, cystic, whatever ya got), wrinkles, dehydration, sun damage, sensitivity

The benefits you can expect are: This product works so well and so fast (even on sensitive skin)-- that you'll likely be shocked. I was. It clears out pores and actually reshapes the pore lining, literally improving skin from the inside out. Cell turnover rate is increased and the surface of the skin looks more and more beautiful each day as it starts to function like a well-oiled (and well-behaved) machine. Paula's BHA and AHA exfoliants give you the biggest bang for your buck when your skin needs a serious attitude adjustment without the expense and pain of in-office derm procedures. This particular version is their strongest, yet is very kind to my sensitive skin. I've never gotten more than a slight tingle from it. When was the last time you were told to expect a tingle and in reality, all there was was a tingle? I've been lied to for so long that I feel like I've hit the lottery. There are 6 basic exfoliant formulations and another several treatment formulations for specific conditions like acne or if you're looking for a weekly treatment.  I'm not exaggerating when I say that twice daily use for a couple of months has changed my skin completely. It is now whole, firm, clear and happy. I like to use it underneath my nightly retinol serum.

Key ingredients: salicylic acid, camellia leaf extract (green tea)

Raw Gaia MSM Beauty Spray (50 ml, $54)

If your biggest skin complaints include: Oil imbalance, dehydration and/or dryness from the elements and indoor heating, you need an extra layer of hydration before bed to seal in your serums, treatments or other moisturizers, you want a refreshing, anti-aging toner that delivers lasting moisture or if you don't want to use a heavy cream.

The benefits you can expect are: the revelation of a hydrosol and a face oil in one product. I like to spray 3 pumps into my hands and massage over  my face while the frankincense hydrosol and argan and rosehip oils merge. It simultaneously delivers the instant penetrating quenching of the hydrosol and then seals it in with healing, soothing organic oils. Frankincense and MSM (a form of sulphur, nicknamed The Beauty Mineral) are both effective, natural anti-inflammatory and anti-aging elements. Next to the sun, inflammation is your skin's worst enemy, and Raw Gaia's luxe, lightly fragrant facial spray is like sending out the cavalry to do battle. Those who need a bit of a product overhaul might just find that the MSM Beauty Spray is the answer to simplifying your regimen and making sure that your skin gets the royal treatment every day and night. One caveat: you do need to remember to shake it up well before you use it, because it naturally separates.

Complete ingredients: MSM crystals, cold-pressed, wildcrafted argan oil, wildcrafted frankincense essential oil and hydrosol, cold-pressed, organic rosehip oil

Koh Gen Do Spa Cleansing Water (300 ml, $39, 480 ml, $52)

If your biggest skin complaint is: You have sensitive skin, and you inadvertently rub your skin raw trying to completely remove your makeup (including waterproof mascara), your eyes are super-sensitive.

The benefits you can expect are: Quick and easy makeup removal-- no matter what kind or how much you've got piled on. I already loved Koh Gen Doh's All In One Spa Gel, so I figured that their micellar-type cleansing water would be a hit too. Best used with a good-sized, smooth-surfaced cotton pad (Koh Gen Do makes an excellent one). The product's effectiveness keeps the number of swipes required to get the job done to a minimum, and the inflammation-inhibiting extracts it contains really caters to those who have skin and eyes that are easily irritated by most cleansers. Never again will I use icky bi-phase eye makeup removers-- the Spa Cleansing Water quickly and kindly makes my skin clean, soft and ready for the next step in my regimen.

Key ingredients: Onsen-sui hot springs water, lactic acid, rosemary, lavender and sage extracts, ginger root extract, glycerin, birch, Perilla leaf (shiso mint), Japanese mugwort leaf extract

Trilogy Active Enzyme Cleansing Cream (5.0 oz, $42)

If your biggest skin complaint is: Your cleanser is drying you out, but you still need something that will exfoliate. You want a creamy, hydrating cleanser without the strain that physical exfoliation can exert on your skin.

The benefits you can expect are: Thank goodness for natural enzymes! This amazing cleanser has papaya and pineapple enzymes which gently exfoliate as you massage it in. It's got a texture that acts like whipped, slippery mousse (real mousse, not like whipped cream out of a can). It's luxurious-feeling and very kind to skin. I like to take my time massaging it over my face and neck, then leave it on for a minute or two for the enzymes to do their job. I easily remove most of it with an organic bamboo flannel in circular motions, then rinse away any extra with water. It provides a truly refreshing deep clean with the soothing effects of a moisturizing cleanser. This stuff is a good one to have in your corner for ongoing use to combat skin aging and it's brilliant when used with a Clarisonic or similar device. Definitely one of my favorite cleansers of all time. Ever.

Key ingredients: coconut-based cleansing agents, papaya and pineapple enzymes, licorice root extract, rosehip oil, chamomile, glycerin

Wildrose Magnolia Face Mask (3.4 oz, $20)

If your biggest skin complaints include: clogged pores, blemishes, dullness, unbalanced oil production (either dry or oily)

The benefits you can expect are: Smooth complexion, deep detoxification, reduction in frequency and duration of blemishes, balanced oil production, very clean feeling and appearance to skin without stripping and drying. I adore this powdered wonder. You can mix it with water, honey, organic extra-virgin coconut oil or yogurt, depending on your skin's needs at the moment. This jar contains all the power of millenia of holistic Ayurvedic wisdom, and Wildrose Magnolia serves it up in a no-nonsense formulation and a pretty jar to boot for only $20. It's enough to last at least 6 months with weekly use, Your face will be sooty for about 30 minutes, and then it washes away surprisingly easily with just water and a warm, wet face flannel. You can also use it as an exfoliating cleanser by mixing some into your regular cleanser or just with extra water. I like to use my little rubber mixing bowl and a spatula to mix it up and then a taklon fan brush to apply it. I beseech you to give up the semi-violent and potentially irritating and damaging effects of those nose pore strips, and clean out your pores with this beauty of this spa-at-home treatment. You'll be as obsessed as I am, I promise! More reviews of Canadian indie brand Wildrose Magnolia products to come very soon, including their delicious shampoo and conditioner and highly pigmented lip gloss.

Complete ingredients: fuller's earth (multani mitti), Morrocan lava clay (rhassoul), activated bamboo charcoal, raw cacao, ground sandalwood, green tea extract, seabuckthorn extract, raw Himalayan salt

[samples sent by Trilogy and Wildrose Magnolia. All other products were purchased by me]

Friday, September 19, 2014

The Beauty Spotlight Team Round-Up: Weekend of 9/19/14

Phyrra has the Best Mascaras You Seriously Need to Try Now! Don't buy another mascara until you read this!

Find out the Top 10 Nails Color for Fall over on polish insomniac!

Carrie from eyeliner on a cat has been spoiled by a mini of a devastatingly beautiful luxury face cream from Tatcha. Find out exactly why her skin was living the charmed life while it lasted.

Beauty Info Zone is giving away $940 of Onsen Secret Skin Care. Enter now and you could be one of two lucky winners!

If you seek a magical balm, with amazing ingredients, that is good for all that ails you--then Lola's Secret Beauty Blog recommends the truly amazing Heaven + URTH Beelieve Hydration Balm!

Prime Beauty shares 6 Beauty Problem Solvers that will curl your lashes, remove deodorant stains, untangle your tresses and get every last drop of product out of the tube!

Sunny from Mostly Sunny is officially a Dior Diorskin Star convert! Find out more about the foundation, concealer, and Backstage Blender. Maybe you'll find your new holy grail, too!

15 Minute Beauty shares her favorite cuticle products to keep her hands looking perfect, no trips to the salon required! Looking for a polished adventure?

The Painted Rogue has the scoop on a neon pink and shimmering orange quest through the heart of a volcano with Sephora Formula X and Nailstation Paris loot!

Get ready to pucker up for the new, reformulated for Fall 2014, Guerlain KissKiss Lipsticks. Christa from Perilously Pale shows us the beautiful Baby Rose and Sexy Coral.

The cream I didn't know I needed: Tatcha Ageless Enriching Renewal Cream

One thing I didn't really think I needed right now is a night cream. That was, of course, before I received a deluxe mini of Tatcha's Ageless Enriching Renewal Cream as a prize from Charleston Girl's giveaway on her blog, Best Things In Beauty. Tatcha had something like 300 to give away, so I know there were lots of happy entrants.

This velvety, rich cream features some very nice ingredients that fit very well into my current regimen: camellia japonica seed oil, rice extract, camellia sinensis leaf extract, peony root extract, gardenia jasminoides fruit extract, artemisia princeps leaf extract, mallow flower extract and other well-loved and proven skin-plumping ingredients like olive oil-derived squalane, glycerin and hyaluronic acid. You need very little product to cover the entire face and neck, which is very nice, since the full sized jar is a splurge-- $185 for 1.7 oz. You can also try a small 10ml jar for $39.

Tatcha describes that the core purpose of this cream is to promote microcirculation which helps to reduce and reverse signs of skin aging, including dark spots. I've discovered that this is a product you can apply in the evening with hope in your heart, and know that you will wake up looking refreshed and still hydrated. It can also function as a rich day cream and will certainly go a long way towards protecting your skin from harsh winter elements. It makes my skin look incredibly dewy, not greasy, and makeup glides over it and blends like a dream. It's a cream that soothes my dry and sensitive skin, doesn't clog my pores or contribute to the occasional breakouts I experience. Best of all, it legitimately fortifies the skin barrier.

I did not expect to fall so hard for Tatcha's intense moisturizer, but boy, did I. If I have felt and seen such overwhelmingly positive results with a little trial-sized jar, I would absolutely love to see where my skin would be with months of use instead of weeks. Sadly, my little jar is empty, but I'll hold a place in my heart for Ageless Enriching Renewal Cream.