Friday, June 29, 2012

Coco's Untamed Collection

PRESS RELEASE: Cult Nails announces Coco's Untamed Collection! As many of you may know, Cult Nails is a family business and when Maria sits down to create polish colors, it's not uncommon for her daughters to have a seat and start creating their own polishes as well. They typically create a polish or two that they want to immediately wear, but Coco became a diehard in the home lab and would create polish after polish like a mad scientist!

If you have nails and you are near Coco, your hands will most likely be polished to perfection. The easily distracted Coco knows no boundaries when it comes to nails and polish. You will just have to deal with it as she paints your nails. We had this Spontaneous 12 year old pick her top 5 favorite creations and we are releasing them as her collection! Since she created the colors, we thought it was only fitting that she also name the colors. So Coco and her marketing team (Her BFF Anna) set aside about 30 minutes and began the hard work to name this collection. 

When Maria asked Coco what inspired the colors, she gave her a look that said it all. The colors themselves were the inspiration. 

The colors in Coco's Collection include:

Annalicious - A shimmery red with an orange influence packed full of red and gold shimmer.

 Deal With It - Coco's favorite color, lime green loaded with gold shimmer

I Got Distracted - A black jelly polish with holographic glitter interrupted by intense green glitter.

Spontaneous - A dark, deep and dusty purple creme with vibrant purple glitter. 

Untamed - A bubble gum pink sheer jelly polish with subtle multi colored shimmer

Coco's Untamed Collection will not have a pre-sale. I know we typically offer pre-sales, but we wanted to try something a little different this time around. We are going to offer pre-sale pricing for the first week of it's release! That means you can buy the entire collection for $40!! (1 polish free!) From July 11, 2012 (Which just so happens to be Coco's 13th Birthday) - July 17th, you can buy the entire collection for $40. We will not be offering it individually the first week. (Sticking to pre-sale tradition). Starting on July 18th, you can buy each polish individually or as a set, but it will be at full retail price of $10 per bottle. So mark your calendars and let the countdown begin, in just 12 days, you'll be able to get your hands on this collection.

Here are my swatches of her collection:

Deal with it is such a bright and beautiful color. This is two coats. I can't pull off this color with my olive skin tone, but it really is gorgeous!

Spontaneous - This is one of my favorite polishes. Not of this collection, of all my polishes Cult Nails or otherwise. I absolutely love this deep purple with purple/pink glitter. This is two coats.

I'm a sucker for anything pink, so Untamed is another one that has made it into my favorites. This one is very sheer, but buildable jelly. I am wearing three coats. I love the shimmer in this one. I thought it would have been perfect without the shimmer, but I have to admit, I think Coco was on to something, but I am loving it the way she made it! I hated taking this one off, but Coco didn't want me wearing the same polish as her, so I had to take it off. :(

Annalicious is a red that leans orange. The pink you see is the reflection of my shirt, I didn't notice it until I was posting here. The shimmer on tis one is completely in your face in person. It is red mixed with orange/gold shimmer and it is intense. This is two coats.

I Got Distracted - So easy when wearing this polish! Coco's excuse for everything is "I got distracted". It is kind of a joke in the house, so when naming this polish Coco's friend Anna said we should name this one I Got Distracted. Could there be a more fitting name? Since Coco wouldn't name one Coco, this was as close as she got to naming one after herself. This one is intensely packed with glitter and as a result is a bit thicker than your typical cream. Pretty consistent with other glitter polishes. 

I also made a quick video entirely on my phone showcasing this collection glistening in the sun. If you haven't watched it yet, here it is:

Based on the swatches above, which is your favorite?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Time For Some Nail Art

you may have noticed that I've been MIA for the last few days. Somewhere Friday afternoon I started feeling wicked sick. I was down for the count! I have pretty much been in bed ever since. I'm still not feeling 100% right now, but I need to get out of bed and perhaps get some fresh air so that I can start to feel better. As a result nothing much has gotten done around here this weekend. The kids are enjoying a  weekend free of mom demands. I don't even want to know what their rooms look like! Maybe I should just stay in bed a bit longer! HA!

Anyway we finally have some of our nail art up. We are putting up 8 nail art pieces to start. The venture into nail art is a test for us. We aren't quite sure how the addition of nail art on our site will work, so we want to tread slowly so that we can keep our customer service high. We also have ordered minimum quantities of the nail art, since we aren't sure how it will go.

Here are some photos of the nail art we are going to start with.

Gold Flakes
These real gold flakes will add flashes of golden class to your already beautiful Cult Nails manicure.   Add a few for something extra, or coat your entire accent nail to really grab the attention of those around you.  The grade of gold varies within each of these vials from 3 - 24K. Each vile is approximately 1 inch in height and contains plenty of flakes to dress up several manicures for any occasion. Retail $5.00
nail art photo, courtesy of me! 

 Multi-Colored Square Rhinestones
These square rhinetsones will add an extra dash of color to your manicure; and with a variety of colors to choose from, you'll be able to be creative with any of your Cult Nails lacquers as a base. Each rhinestone measures approximately 1/16", with about 65 of each color.  Total of approximately 780 pieces. Retail $3.00

Here are some nail art photos using the square rhinestones courtesy of blogger SmashleySparkles

Multi-Sized Bronze Nails Rhinestone Stud

These multi-sized bronze rhinetsones give you a new, decorative option when your simple manicure needs something extra. Contains approximately 750 pieces of varying size studs. Retail: $3.00

Photo courtesy from blogger ChitChatNails

Photo courtesy from blogger Obsessive Cosmetic Hoarders Unite

Photo courtesy from blogger Nail Polish Anonymous

Multi-Colored / Multi-Sized Round Rhinestones

These multi-sized, round rhinestones let you decorate in color to take yoiur Cult Nails manicure to the next level.  Package contains approximately 750 rhinestones in varying color and size.

Nail Art Photos courtesy from Blogger Chit Chat Nails

Here are some other nail art supplies we will be carrying. I don't have nail art photos of these just yet. 

 Multi-Sized Gold Studs
These studs give you the option to add a little extra to your Cult Nails manicure.  With 5 sizes of studs to choose from, the combinations and possibilities are limitless. Studs measure approximately slightly less than 1/16" (~15), 1/16" (~15), 1/8" (~ 8), 3/16" (~ 4), and slightly greater than 3/16" (~4) totalling approximately 46 pieces. Retail $2.00

Multi-Sized Silver Studs
These studs give you the option to add a little extra to your Cult Nails manicure.  With 5 sizes of studs to choose from, the combinations and possibilities are limitless. Studs measure approximately slightly less than 1/16" (~15), 1/16" (~15), 1/8" (~ 8), 3/16" (~ 4), and slightly greater than 3/16" (~4) totalling approximately 46 pieces. Retail $2.00

Small Square Gold Studs
 These square studs give you more options when you want to dress up your Cult Nails manicure.  Studs measure approximately 3/16". Retail $2.00

Small Square Silver Studs
 These square studs give you more options when you want to dress up your Cult Nails manicure.  Studs measure approximately 3/16". Retail $2.00

There you have it! Some nail art to get you going in blinking out your nails!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Nude Wedges

So yesterday's workout kicked my ass! I decided on taking a class that I hadn't tried before. You know mixing it up so I get excited again. Well this class description seemed as if it would be a bit easier than the Strong classes I'd been taking. Oh no, not so much, It was such a challenge keeping up. I couldn't do all the moves and by the end I was a limp noodle. But the good thing is I love a challenge, I'm extremely competitive, and hate not mastering something, so I will be back until I get it right! Although my water consumption apparently has not been what it should be, because I ended up with a major headache by the end of the workout. The headache kept getting worse and I was in bed early and then slept late! I still feel like I could be sleeping! So I didn't wake up early enough to go to the beach for a walk, so I am going to wait until the evening to take my walk.

Anyway today I bring you my need for a new pair of nude wedge sandals. I bought a pair of nude wedges from Payless about 7 or 8 years ago now. If I knew how much I would love those wedge sandals I would have bought like 10 pairs! They were a perfect match for my skin tone, they slide on and off, no messy straps to deal with, they had a skinny wedge with a small platform. At the time they were years ahead of the nude shoe, platform wedge trend. Which is surprising for a store like Payless. I wore them everyday. But about 2 years ago I had to admit that they had lived their life. There was no repairing them to bring them back, there was no cleaning them, they were done. Since then I have been on the hunt. I can't find ANY nude (more of a camel color to match my skin tone) skinny wedge sandals that slide on. Well I guess it is time to give up and look at alternative styles. I have searched for hours and have come up with three pairs that I like. I figured I would show you guys and you can help me decide. I love that I can just pin these on Pinterest so I don't have to remember where I found them! YAY Pinterest!

This first pair is Ivanka Trump exclusively for Nordstoms. retail: $134.95. These are my favorite of the three. The color and wedge matches my old Payless pair. They are open and airy. But $135 for sandals? I think I paid $30 for the ones I bought at Payless. Which back then was expensive for Payless but the entire sandal including the wedge was leather. And as long as they lasted and as much as I loved them, really they were a steal. So is $135 really so bad if I will always wear them? I just don't know that I can justify it at the moment.

Then I look at these and I am torn, maybe these are my favorite? I think I prefer the Ivanka Trump ones. These are Nine West and retail for $85 on Zappos. The reviews aren't great, but I have other wedge sandals in this style and I don't find them uncomfortable, so perhaps I would be fine with them? 

OK now that I see these again, I'm not liking them. That big circle in the middle, the espadrille style in the back. I mean cute sandal, but I want something that can dress up or down. I want a more classic look. Now that I look at these again, it's really not what I'm looking for. These are Guess and retail for $119.95. OK so I just eliminated one pair off the list. That was easy!

Of course my post wouldn't be complete without my asking if you know of a pair of wedge sandals you think I would love? If so post a link in the comments so I can check them out. And of course I will share which ones I decide on.

On a little side note, we are so behind on the nail art supplies. It has been such a challenge trying to branch out of nail polish. There are so many aspects and in the middle of the Fairy tale collection which was delayed by about a month on it's release and an office buildout that is taking longer than we expected, there is just so much going on that we keep pushing the nail art aside. Since this is new and a test for us, I think we are going to put out about 10 pieces a month to see how it goes. We aren't sure that we will continue to carry nail art supplies or if we will stick to what we do best, which is nail polish. But we will get there. I'll do a post once we are ready to release them. Thanks for your patience. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Back on the Saddle?

I have taken about a month and a 1/2 off from the gym. This is what eventually happens to me, I work out strong and hard, miss a day, then two and so the story goes. I absolutely love it when I go, so I'm not sure why I stop. I think it's because there are always so much to do, that I just don't have time. I also think it was easier when the girls were in school. They would go to school, I would work out and work. Or I would work then work out. It was easy.

After working their entire lives for someone else, on someone else's schedule, I finally feel like I can let my kids have fun on their summer vacation. They don't have to fly to MA to be taken care of by our parents just so they can have a fun summer, they don't have to be stuck in the house until I get home from work around 5ish. They now get to have me here to drop them off at friends houses, pick them up, bring them to the beach, pool or mall. Ok so maybe that isn't exactly a FUN summer, but it beats sitting in the house all day.

So I am trying to manage kids fun, work  and working out. So working out went. Monday I went and walked the beach and LOVED it. I remember how much I loved it. So that is back and I am glad. I just need to get some headphones and arm band to hold my phone so I can listen to some music while I do it. It's too hot to walk the beach later in the day like I do during the Fall, Winter and Spring. So I have to do it in the morning, which is when Juan works out and takes the headphones and armband. (My girls "borrowed" and ruined my headphones. YAY! so I just have been using Juan's)

I also realized when I switched my workout classes from the evening to the morning that the instructors weren't to my level. The morning instructors were, well not as hard. I left feeling like I barely broke a sweat and didn't get a workout in on two of the three morning classes I was taking. The other one is amazing and hard and I love it. So I am trying a new class this morning and I am going to try to find a new schedule that I love. I can't wait to get in there and get back into a groove.

Hmm so I was totally intending on blogging about makeup and beauty this morning, but apparently I felt like talking about my work out woes. My question is, do you work out? What do you do for a work out? Do you take classes? Go for a walk or run? Use a gym? How do you stay motivated? Do life changes get in the way for you too? Let's talk fitness, so I feel super guilty and get back to working out! LOL!

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Cult Fairytale is here!!!

Just a quick post to let you know that the Cult Fairytale collection is up and available! WAHOO!!  I am reposting the pictures and descriptions I posted previously and I am linking a few blog posts from other bloggers below. I know there are more posts out there, but our electrician just showed up and so I have to cut it short. :( I hope you enjoy the swatches!

First up is Princess. This color was made by a friend of mine one night. She came over while I was mixing colors, trying to come up with ideas for this year. She then immediately sent her hubby home to get her polishes. She had so many blues. She proceeded to tell me what she loved/hated with each blue and why she needed to make her own. I think she made 20 bottles of blue before she got the one she wanted! LOL! After all that hard work, how could I not make it a part of the Cult! This is a soft dusty sky blue with a copper shimmer.

This photo showcases the copper shimmer. The shimmer is a bit more pronounced in person, I had a tough time capturing it.
This one showcases the actual blue color, but again in this photo you can't really see the shimmer. It is more pronounced in person.

Next up is Charming. Because every Princess needs a Prince. And since my favorite Prince loves purple, I thought this one was fitting. This is a sheer purple creme with a purple metallic shimmer that can be used for layering or you can use multiple coats for an opaque look. On my index and middle finger I used two normal (for me) coats. On my ring finger I did two thinner coats and on my pinky, I did one thin coat. I know everyone has a different application method so I would say depending on your application style, how long/short your nails are, would depend on how many coats you would need for opacity. I tend to apply in not thin, but not thick coats and achieve full opaqueness in 2 coats. 

This is such a beautiful vivid purple color. The shimmer is much more impressive in person. My camera just did not want to capture this one! 
This is a horrible quality photo, but it showcases the shimmer and yes that does translate to the nail

Feelin' Froggy is a kelly green with a metallic green shimmer. This one is my favorite color!! When I went to the lab I showed them my favorite green polish and explained how I wanted it changed. I had zero intention of putting a shimmer in this one. I wanted a straight up creme. I wanted it similar to the polish I brought, but I wanted something brighter not so dark a bit more well kelly green. As we were there, my rep recommended that we just TRY adding some shimmer to it. I feel like the cremes with shimmer have somehow become my signature, and wanted to step away and just do some amazing cremes. But then we added the green shimmer and my heart stopped. I can't even tell you, I think I actually stopped breathing for a second, it was so magical! You can see the shimmer in this photo, but it is so much more impressive in person.
I did two normal for me coats on my index and middle finger. Two thin coats on my ring finger and one thin coat on my pinky. 

Evil Queen is my all time favorite red polish for summer. I created this one when I created My Kind of Cool Aid and Quench. I was so tossed up between releasing this red or Quench. But when the sample bottle was just about empty I knew this would have to be part of the Cult collection. This is a true red, but with some pink undertones to it. I didn't want a tomato red, I wanted an in your face red that would also be soft at the same time. This is a true creme. This is 2 coats. You see why I want to do more cremes? I love super smooth, shiny cremes! Every time I wear this, I am bombarded to make this a Cult color, so since we all love this, I decided to make it happen!
What more can I say. I just love this color.
The problem with the pink undertones, was it kept photographing like this! But in person is looks like the first picture. Who knew a red could be so hard to photograph! 
As you all know ever fairy tale needs a "Happy Ending", so we created that here. This is a multi colored shredded glitter in a clear base. When I went to the lab they had a room with all these colors and mix options and they had bags upon bags of shredded glitter. No one seemed to want to use them in making polishes. So of course, I jumped on the opportunity and mixed one of the bags with multiple colors in it. Of course right after I did this and ordered this, I found out someone else already made a multi colored shredded glitter polish! DOH! I debated on not releasing it, but you know what, I love this one, and I wanted it, so I went ahead with it anyway. It just feels so fun when I wear it.
Happy Ending over Evil Queen, Princess, Feelin' Froggy and Charming
So there you have it, our latest collection! I hope you all love it as much as I do!

You can check out some other blogger swatches here:

Phyrra - Entire collection

Lit From Within - Entire collection

Imperfectly Painted - Entire collection

Niftyba - Happy Ending

Let Them Have polish - Entire collection

Beauty by Cat - Entire collection

Chit Chat Nails - Charming

Chit Chat Nails - Evil Queen

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Survey Results & Winner Selected!

We've been working really hard this week to get out all the Cult Fairy Tale polishes out for those who ordered during the pre-sale, so I was finally able to take some time today to check the survey results. Would you like to know what the results are too?

First we received an overwhelming 1,723 responses to our survey! WOW! We even received 1 grammar correction! Darn it! I even had John double check me! But at least I was in good company since 1,722 of you did not catch it, or just didn't want to correct me! (:

How many days in a typical week do you wear polish?
77.6% of you wear polish 6 - 7 days a week! You really are Culties!

What is the average amount you spend on a  bottle of polish?
74.1% spend $6-10, but based on several comments you cap at around $8 per bottle.

How many bottles of polish do you purchase in an average month?
This was split across the board.

28.2% of you buy 4 - 6 bottles of polish a month! WOW! I'm in good company then! :) Yup I still buy even though I only wear my own. I have a bit of a problem I guess. Hey it counts as market research right?

25.7% buy 1 - 3 bottles of polish a month. You guys have amazing self control!

24.1% of you buy more than 10 bottles each month! Um can I come to your house and play? PLEASE??

21.6% of you buy 7 - 10 bottles each month. WOW! I am seriously impressed! I'll come play at your house too!

Do you get your nails done at a salon?
57.6% of you like to do your own nails! Love it. 23.5% of you go once in a while just because. Me too! It's nice to get spoiled every once in a while! The rest of you are evenly split among the rest of the answers, except .5% of you go regularly. So nice! I like doing my own nails, but I would love to go for a regular pedicure. Maybe one day...

How did you hear about us?
44.4% of you heard about us from bloggers! If that doesn't tell you the power of a blogger, I don't know what will? I love going to blogs to read reviews on products before I buy them, so this was great to see. That and the fact that I love blogging too, so that makes me happy! :) The rest was split between the rest of the answers.

How old are you?
Sorry to ask such a personal question, but I am constantly asked what the average age of my demographic is. Um, women who love wearing nail polish and pretty things are my demographic? I have fans from 2 all the way to 85, so I never gave this much thought. Do you guys really want to know where most Cultie's ages fall?

51.2% of you are 21 - 30. Man live it up girls! This is when you can figure out who you might want to be, or you may be on your way already. But believe me, you will still grow and change so much and if you're anything like me you'll still feel 27 at 37. I think I somehow got stuck there in my mind anyway! LOL!

29.5% of you are in my age group! 31 - 40! Woot! Woot! We are living the life aren't we? I always tell people I did this when I was 35, it's never too late to change your career or what you want to do with your life! Heck I didn't even get my degree from college until I was 31! I guess I'm a bit behind the curve on everything, but I'm loving every minute of it!

The rest of you are evenly split among the other age groups. :)

Have you tried Cult Nails polishes yet?
63.3% of you have! WAHOO! That's more than half of you! I love it! As for the rest of you, no worries, I will get to you yet...

If you haven't tried Cult Nails, why not?
35.2% of those who answered said because it was too expensive, while 28.8% said you just don't order online. Interesting. How do I change that?

Now on to the comments! Over 1,000 of you left a comment! WOW! Most of the comments were so sweet and heartfelt. I actually teared up about half way through reading so much love and support. I'm not a sappy person, but I always have this little nagging piece that reminds me that this can all go away in an instant, just like a dream. I have to keep working hard and being me. I worry sometimes that maybe I put too much out there. But after reading all your comments, I feel confident that I am working in the right direction!

There was also a lot of constructive criticism and I love that you all made your suggestions in such a nice way. No one was rude about their comments, and we can really take them and grow and learn from them. Unfortunately I can't make them all happen, but I can certainly work on them.

Here are some of the most received comments/suggestions:

I go to XYZ college. College kids are broke and we don't have credit cards! You should come to my college! 
That would be awesome! I know some companies do pop up tents at colleges and we are looking at trying it out at a local college here to see how it goes. So who knows, this just may be something we try in the future!

International shipping is expensive. 
Our shipping is actually quite reasonable for International orders. It starts at $8 and goes to $14, depending on how many bottles you order. Although if you want tracking and insurance the rates do increase drastically from there. I wish we could make it cheaper, but we are cheaper than most!

I live in England, Switzerland, Ireland, Scotland, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong... I wish you shipped to here.
We do! To all of the above and many more. If you want to know if we ship to your area, just send us an email. It doesn't matter where you live internationally shipping ranges from $8 - $14 depending on how many bottles you order. If you want tracking and insurance, email us for a quote.

I wish I could see your polishes in person before buying. Are you in any salons/stores near me?
I wish we were! We are working on making that happen, but it may be a while before we get there. If you know of a salon, boutique or store in your area that would be a perfect fit, send us an email and let us know!

I wish you would branch out a little more. I would love to see more neons, glitters, holos, opaques, jellies.... 
Ah so would we! I love hearing what you guys want, it really helps us get those colors out there. And yes we do need to branch out more. I am noticing I have a very specific style. I need to break out a little bit more.

I would love to see more reds and oranges and less blues and greens!
Gotcha! Juan agrees, although he says no more reds too! We definitely need oranges, but we will have 3 reds come July. You want more? I can make it happen though!

More blues and greens please!!
Ha! Ha! That's funny! OK if I must! :)

Bring back Clairvoyant/Unicorn Puke and Toxic Seaweed!
I wish I could! If I could, I would believe me. But as of right now, it doesn't look like it's going to happen. :(

So there you have it! There were many  more comments, but these are the ones that popped up over and over again. Thank you all again for taking the time to do our survey and all your support! We have a lot more work ahead of us and we will continue to keep pushing forward and making the colors you want to see happen!

As for the winner, a lovely girl named Lisa was selected and emailed. She has already responded to the email and we will be packing her polishes and sending them out tomorrow! Congratulations Lisa!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Kate Somerville ExfoliKate and Oil Free Moisturizer Review

It's the beginning of a new week and I'm ready to roll! In the meantime, I received some samples from the Kate Somerville line as part of our goodie bag from the Neiman Marcus Beauty Breakfast. I was so excited to see these products in our goodie bag. I was intrigued by the products when they were shown to us. I can't believe I never heard of Kate Somerville before. Apparently she is the one behind the red carpet glow on many celebrities. She has a clinic in L.A. that caters to not just us regular folk, but many celebrities as well. She has a book going over all her beauty secrets and now has an extensive skin care line. A quick search online shows nothing but rave reviews for her products. Now I was really excited to try out her products.

Of course it is almost near impossible to get a good read off of a skin care product off of one try, but I was excited to give it a go anyway. I used two of the samples I received. 

ExfoliKate Gentle Exfoliating Treatment. This is a gentle exfoliating treatment that is supposed to reduce the appearance of wrinkles right away while calming and soothing the skin. According to the product info in a clinical test, participants experienced dramatic results after just one treatment. The microbeads and fruit enzymes lift dead skin cells, Vitamin A helps fade the appearance of discoloration, the natural extracts help improve elasticity and Vitamin E helps to smooth the skin. So will just one treatment work for me?

My skin had been feeling a bit dull and drab lately. I am starting to notice more and more wrinkles, albeit just the beginnings of them (well except my forehead.) My goal in finding good skincare regimen is add that youthful glow back to my skin, tighten it up and reduce some of the wrinkles. If I can get rid of the bags under my eyes, that would be a plus. Since Exfoli-Kate says it will lift dead surface cells, reduce the appearance of wrinkles and smooth skin, I was all for it!
The directions said to gently rub the exfoliator in circles around your face in an upward motion. Leave on for 2 minutes, then rinse. I don't know if this is normal, but I noticed a very subtle tingling sensation when I let it sit on my skin. Nothing major or painful, but typical of what one might feel with a salicylic acid treatment. Once I removed it my skin felt tighter. Almost like a drying effect. It also felt incredibly smooth. Looking in the mirror, I noticed no difference, but I felt tighter and smoother. 

The next sample in my bag was the Oil Free Moisturizer. This is supposed to diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, improve elasticity and firm and smooth. Everything I am looking for again. After patting using the ExfoliKate, I pat my skin dry looked in the mirror and applied the moisturizer. My skin felt hydrated, tight and smooth. Of course it felt tight and smooth from the ExfoliKate, so who knows. Again I didn't really notice a difference in my skin when I looked in the mirror. I had two packets of the moisturizer, so I used it again this morning. 

I got ready for the day, applied my makeup and went on my way. A few hours later, while washing my hands I looked up into the mirror and noticed my skin appeared to have a nice glow. I looked refreshed. I didn't change anything else, so I attribute it to Kate Somerville. My skin looked positively lit from within, but also dewy. I love a dewy look, but I know many who do not like that look. I added a bit more finishing powder since I myself felt it was almost too dewy. It is a day later, and the glow is still here and my skin looks smoother.

Both the ExfoliKate and Oil Free Moisturizer retail for $65 each. It seems a bit pricey for an exfoliater, but as far as moisturizers go, the price doesn't seem bad. Would I buy either one of these? I'm on the fence, I would love to get a weeks worth of samples of each of these to try to see if they would really make a difference. Neiman Marcus offers the DermaQuench treatment free with any Kate Somerville purchase and I noticed they sell some starter kits for the Kate Somerville products. This may be a great way to introduce myself to her products a bit more without a huge out of pocket expense at first. Have you tried any of her products? Have you seen amazing results? What do you think of her products?

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Neiman Marcus Orlando Beauty Blogger Breakfast

Last Saturday Neiman Marcus at the Millennia Mall in Orlando invited FL Beauty Bloggers to a special breakfast event. This event was put together by the wonderful people of Neiman Marcus and Steph from Imperfectly Painted. I was so honored to be asked to be a part of this wonderful event. It was an early Saturday morning event and Neiman Marcus kindly provided us some breakfast items and gave us an impressive overview of their beauty department brands.

Of course I brought my camera, but juggling a coffee, breakfast, a notebook, iPhone and camera just proved to be more than I could handle. I should have put the coffee down, but I really needed it! LOL! I borrowed some photos from the Neiman Marcus website and some of my fellow FL Beauty Bloggers. I provided links to each borrowed photo.

The event kicked off with Neiman Marcus telling us all about an exciting event they have going on right now through June 10th called Camp Gorgeous. You receive an exclusive summer tote bag in your choice of color loaded with beauty goodies with any $85 beauty purchase now through June 10th. This promotion is going on in all Neiman Marcus stores across the country and online. 
Photo courtesy of Neiman Marcus online

The Neiman Marcus beauty professionals spent time highlighting some of the products from most of the brands they carry. I hope I do them justice, but what I did learn was these ladies (and a few men) are eager to help you with your beauty needs. And if you are like me and hate buying an expensive beauty product only to come home and find out that it doesn't work for you, they will help you out. Neiman Marcus has testers available for you to try in the store. I would suggest if you are unsure of a product or color, test it out and wear it while you shop around the mall or for the day and then go back to purchase once you know the shade is right for you. With many of their skincare, and foundation items, you can go to any counter and they will give you a small sample to take with you so you can go home and try it in natural lighting and see how your skin will react to the product before you buy. They also offer fragrance samples of most perfumes or they can decant a small amount for you to try. For me this is a must! I don't know what it is about my body chemistry, but a perfume that smells amazing in the bottle will turn on me after about an hour and begin to smell rancid. There are very few perfumes that work with my body chemistry so I can't just buy a perfume without testing it out first.

Once they let us know about Camp Gorgeous and the Neiman Marcus Beauty department, we were on our way to visit with the brands. For the sake of this post, I'm only going to highlight my favorites from the day. 

The first brand I was excited to hear more about was Armani Beauty. They showed us the Rouge d'Armani Sheers, which is a line of lipstick that is supposed to be hydrating like a lip balm, translucent like a gloss, but textured like a creme lipstick. We received a sample of three shades. I can't wait to try them out, and of course I will let you know what I think. These retail for $30 each.

They also showed us the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation. This is their award winning foundation. It is oil free and stays on with a silky texture and offers moderate but buildable coverage. It retails for $59. We received a sample of this to take home, and the shade was just a bit to light for me, but I tried it on to see how it would do. It definitely is silky and offers moderate coverage. I set it with my powder to make up for the fact that it was a shade too light for me, and it did stay on all day. The price is great for a foundation. But for myself I prefer a tinted moisturizer or a treatment/moisturizer/foundation combo. 
I was too busy trying to pick my jaw up from the floor to take a picture. Photo courtesy of Neiman Marcus online.

The brand that caught me by surprise was Le Metier De Beaute. I have never heard of this brand before. They had me at Peau Vierge Anti-Aging Complexe Tinted Treatment. (Try saying that 3 times fast in a row!) They call this a 4 in 1 product. 1. Foundation, 2. Sun protectant, 3. Anti-aging fighter and 4. Radiance brightener. Um hello where have you been hiding? I have been looking for you! This offers sheer to lightweight coverage and comes in SPF 20. It helps stimulate collagen production, increase blood flow, lessen dark circles, smooth fine lines, blur blemishes thanks to light-diffusing pigments, tighten pores, and bring elasticity back to your skin all within 7 days with once a day use! Seriously? I NEED this! It retails for $125 but she said one bottle should last you about 6 months. Well you know me and my methods of justification, that comes out to .70 cents per day for 6 months. So I guess I need to start looking for the change under the couch cushions every day for the next 6 months. LOL! But for those of you interested, on top of this meeting the Camp Gorgeous promotion requirements, they are also having a Le Metier De Beaute promotion with the purchase of $150 worth of their product, you receive an exclusive small bag with some Le Metier Samples. Oh they know just how to get ya! They showcased a few other products from the brand, but honestly, I zoned wanting to get my hands on this one so bad!

Another brand that peaked my interest was Chantecaille. This is a family brand, which was started by Sylvie the family matriarch. Her two daughters and husband are very involved in the running of the company. hmmm this story sounds so familiar! I was instantly intrigued how this family created an amazing brand and now it is in Neiman Marcus! Can you imagine? They believe in a brand where nature meets science.  Their products are based on more of a natural beauty which I find refreshing. The face you see in the photo above is Olivia, the daughter of the brand! How cool is that? I fell head over heels with this family brand!
Photo courtesy of Neiman Marcus online

Each year they create an eyeshadow palette where 5% of the proceeds will go towards a specific charity. This year they have chosen the Marine Conservation Institute in an effort to protect 10% of the world's oceans by 2020. They are asking everyone to sign their petition to help save the coral reef. You can view information and sign the petition here. 

From there we were off to check out Kate Somerville. OK, now I was beginning to feel like I have been hiding under a rock. This is another brand I had never heard of. Apparently Kate Somerville is the skin care expert behind that red carpet glow you see on many celebrities. She offers celebrities and those who can afford her a DermalQuench Oxygen Treatment which costs over $200 at her clinic in Los Angeles. Your skin is drenched in a hyaluronic serum and vitamins. Oxygen is then applied and you can literally watch the dryness and fine lines disappear to give you that red carpet glow! Can I please die and go to Kate Somerville heaven? Oh but wait dear ladies, Neiman Marcus at the Millennia Mall offers this service FREE! Yup you heard right! If you want to try this out, they will do it for FREE! (You might want to check your local Neiman Marcus to see if they offer this too!) They are so sure you will love it that much that you will buy the at home DermalQuench Advanced Wrinkle Treatment which retails for $95 to maintain your glow. I definitely want to schedule an appointment to have this done, but I am a little scared of getting hooked! We received a few samples from the Kate Somerville line, so I will give these a try and then schedule my treatment. That sounds a bit more reasonable right? 

Photo courtesy of NiftyBa

The last brand I was intrigued by was Keihl's. I have heard about Keihl's before, but had never tried their products. What perked my ears up, was that Keihl's has been around since 1851 and they started as an apothecary. To still be around and doing well is quite impressive, especially considering that they do not advertise. All celebrity endorsements have been non solicited. I thought that was great! It speaks volumes about the products. 

photo courtesy of Neiman Marcus online
I had an opportunity to try their Whipped Cream De Corps Body Butter which retails for $36. This was so rich and creamy. It didn't leave behind a greasy feeling, but a very well moisturized feeling. My skin felt soft and smelled amazing. The tub it comes in was pretty big too. I couldn't stop smelling my hands. I actually kept making some of the other bloggers smell my hands too. It smelled that good! I meant to go back and buy this after us bloggers met up, but then I completely spaced it. But this will be mine! In the meantime I will satisfy myself with the Keihl's samples they gave us!

A photo Phyrra took of Clumps of Mascara, Beauty by Cat and myself. I swear I had makeup on, I guess I need to learn to be a bit more heavy handed when my photo is going to get taken.  

We had an opportunity to see so many more items and brands. But I would be here typing all day and you would probably get bored. If you want to see what some other bloggers thought of the event here are a few other FL Beauty Bloggers that have posted about our Neiman Marcus event:

And lastly, I want to thank the beautiful ladies at Neiman Marcus and their Public Relations team who came in early and showed us all these amazing products over breakfast and sent us home with tons of goodies to try. Now how can I get a meeting with a buyer to show them the amazing Cult Nails?