Dec 092014

I’m obsessed with entrepreneurship. Of course, not everyone has access to venture capital funding, or is part of large company, and many cosmetic companies require a large (read: expensive) infrastructure to formulate cosmetics that meet all of the standards. Still, I can’t help but applaud “the little guys” who are out there swinging. It’s so easy to write  a blog that evaluates, it’s so much harder to really create something from scratch I think.

Anyway, I thought I’d write about a few “little guys” that caught my eye recently.

One Etsy company called PatentPrints that caught my eye makes artisan prints from issued patents. I asked them to make one of a Chanel handbag that could hang in my office (the price is so much more modest than an actual bag!). They did, and now they’ve put the print up for everyone to buy. This is in a chalkboard-styled print (they have other choices, like Blueprint, which I chose). How cool is this?


In the recent past, a few Kickstarter projects have caught my eye:

Bitch Beauty Box has a ways to go before meeting its goal (many Kickstarter projects don’t reach their goals, and so they are left to find funding elsewhere). Still, the idea is intriguing. They replicate on-the-runway shades, and send them out to customers within weeks of a show.

Sphynx is an on-the-go razor company is very close to their goal. Only ten more days to go! This product has a refillable water container, an all-natural organic soap that can be used like lotion, and two top-quality razors included in the case. Pledges at the $16 level get one of the razors, and at $28 get two (assuming that the product is ultimately made).

sphnx B+W sphynx- Twist.68(1)Thanks to all who have continued to check in on my little blog over the past few months. It’s been a rough transition, and I’m slowly starting to feel back to my old self again. I think we all need to guard against burnout and stress, it’s a difficult challenge. Especially if you love things to be perfect, which of course is impossible. I think doing these little posts is really getting my excitement back. I hope that you are doing well and trying to stay calm and even during this very busy (and sometimes stressful!) holiday season.

Please follow us on....

Dec 072014

That last few months have been interesting–as the weather turns colder, my desire to walk outside in the evenings has forced me to look seriously at down and fluffy things to wear. Here are a few things from Lululemon that I’ve loved. These seem so highly functional–with little touches like sleeves that cover my hands–and stretch just where I want it.

The Define Jackets has been awesome for layering. It’s thin enough to wear under a down jacket or vest. The waist is super flattering, too. I have it in Black and Coco Pique.

LW4F85S_9692_2The Fluffed Up Jacket has been a great addition for temperatures that run into the low ’40’s. With a Define under it, I can get down to the low 30’s and stay plenty warm.  I love the flattering fit.  I have it in Stained Glass, below.

LW4F51S_016213_1Although I’m sure it’s overkill, I picked up a Fluffed Up Jacket as well (in black). I love layering the Fluffed Up jacket with the Define underneath.

LW4E59S_0001_5Liz and I both fell in love with Lululemon’s Vestigan, and its now been reduced to $64. Liz likes the light heathered grey, and I like the heathered black.

LW4E32S_8650_1Very few people will love the Cardi All Day, but this smooth merino wool wrap feels like heaven to me (it feels like a robe). I must warn you that the extra small/small size is plenty big for nearly everyone. The medium large is so huge. I got this in Inkwell.

LW4G74S_0023_3Although I’ve spent some coin at The North Face for my under 30-degree needs, I have to say that my Lululemon items have been amazing. I like feeling comfortable as I run to and from the gym, and even running errands. For those looking for more makeup inspiration, thank you for indulging in my newest “avoiding frostbite while still looking good obsession.”

This post contains affiliate links (for more information (see About Cafe Makeup)

Please follow us on....

Nov 252014

Continually updated…

NARS has a 20% off sale from November 28th through December 2nd.
Give & Take Event! Exclusive 20% Off - Give in. Take more. Shop It. Ends December 2nd.


Starlight Limited Edition

The Christian Louboutin Starlight nail polish is up for sale on Neiman Marcus priced at $675. In addition to the Scent Event Clutch (free with $100 purchase of fragrance or cosmetics), Neiman’s also has some intriguing Guerlain candles and French Kiss Eau de Parfum (” a glossy floral that celebrates the French art of kissing with a sexy rose, litchi and raspberry accord”):



Marc Jacobs will be featuring some exclusive items for #BlacquerFriday (the link is not live with product yet but will be):

Shop the Marc Jacobs Beauty #BLACQUERFRIDAY Sets! Exclusively available online for a limited time only. Don’t forget to pick up the Holiday Sky Linder Eyeliner Set–you won’t regret it!

Marc Jacobs Pencil Liner Set7
Missha, the BB Cream masters, have a 40% off sale right now.

Becca has a 20% off sale for orders over $50 with the code GOLD20. It might be time to try those shimmering skin perfectors if you haven’t already.



Also, I’m still loving the soufflé blushes that I got last summer. They had a beautiful, non-sparkling glow.

Becca Tint Shimmer Souffle6

Becca 2

Also, Laura Mercier is having a 25% and free ship discount through 11/30/14 with $100 minimum purchase (no code needed).


Lenore Greyl is giving away a free Huile de Magnolia (value $57) with any $75 purchase (use code VIP). This offer is valid until Friday November 28th at Midnight.  This hair oil is perhaps Lenore Greyl’s premium, flagship product and so this is a very generous offer.23b0cb6b-c28a-46f2-997e-af396038c8e4

Chantecaille is giving away a yummy Macaron palette with the promo code HLDYSWEETS14 with a $125 purchase from November 26 through 30th (while supplies last).


On Black Friday November 28th, Make Up For Ever Boutiques will have the following products on deep discount


MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Shadow: 2 for $10- all colors
MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Eyes Lagoon Green: 2 for $10
MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Liner, Sepia Collection: 2 for $10
MAKE UP FOR EVER Make Up Artist Picks Set: was $300, new price $150
MAKE UP FOR EVER Artisan Brush Set: was $65, new price $34
MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Shadow Kits: was $38, new price $19
MAKE UP FOR EVER Extravagant Eyes on the Go Set: was $18, new price $9

Additionally, on Black Friday MAKE UP FOR EVER will be launching the “Get Glossy” kit exclusively in Sephora stores, featuring Lab Shine Lip Gloss in shades #D14 & #D16 for $10 (the glosses retail separately for $19 each). For readers, I am waiting for the PR to send me some images–if/when they arrive I’ll post them here.


On Tom Ford’s Black Friday radar are fifty (50) new colors released under the Lips & Boys collection.  These are said to be “mini” in size and sell for $30 each. They can be previewed here.

lips and boys tom ford

Starting on Tuesday, November 25th, Kate Sommerville has a 25% off friends and family sale through December 1st with code FRIENDS2014.
Kate Somerville Friends and Family Event

I’ll update as more information comes in that I think will be interesting to you.

This post contains affiliate links (for more information see About Cafe Makeup)

Please follow us on....

Nov 202014

Armani Friends and FamilyGird your loins!  It’s the Giorgio Armani Friends and Family Sale, which is 20% on all orders over $75 through December 7, 2014. In my mind, Giorgio Armani is one of those lines that always has my back. When I’m heading for a challenging day, or making an important first impression, Armani is absolutely a go-to line. It’s products are beautifully formulated, long-lasting, and enhance my natural features. I cannot resist calling this sale to your attention, as well as listing a few of my favorites. The sale code is FAMILY14.

Armani Light master primer

The Giorgio Armani Light Master Primer ($57) is one of those products that has to be seen to be believed. I tried this one day, bought it immediately, and never looked back. It gives my skin a noticeable luminosity when worn under makeup, and it increases my foundation wear time exponentially. The effect is noticeable but not obvious. If you want to look like someone turned a light on under your skin, without any noticeable shimmer or glitter, this one will become a staple. This gives a little “something something” that makes all the difference.

Armani Lumious Silk Foundation Seriously worth the praise, Armani Luminous Silk Foundation ($62) looks amazing when applied. This is a gold-standard, the one to beat. It photographs beautifully, the texture is sublime, and it lasts beautifully in all kinds of challenging conditions. This is my third bottle, but that’s because I returned one and then gave another one away because I did not understand this foundation on my first two attempts. This is truly a foundation that professionals love, but of course professionals know how to work with foundation and I did not. First off, this foundation must be fully removed at the end of the day with an oil cleanser. Second, this looks best applied with a foundation brush. This is one of the only foundations on the market that can be anywhere from light to full coverage, because it’s miraculously buildable. The brush makes coverage controllable, so I can cover my problem areas with a few more brushstrokes, and leave other areas with with the lightest coverage possible.

Armani Liquid Summer3

I am still using the Giorgio Armani Maestro Bronzer ($64) every day. To be honest, part of the reason for this is much of my makeup is still in storage as my new (well, new to me) home is being torn up and renovated, and this is the bronzer that I chose to be in my temporary sized-down working stash. As it turns out, it was a smart choice. This melds to foundation (or directly on skin) and looks completely natural. The Maestro texture is undetectable, and the color is layerable and controllable because of this texture. Completely awesome, and an ideal winter (and summer) bronzer.

Armani Liquid Summer2

I’ve been wearing the Armani Eye & Brow Maestro ($34) in my brows for the past several weeks, and find that the color and texture work well. It has texture that looks natural all day, and can be used to hold the brow in place (as well as swept across lids as a matte eyeshadow). I was matched at a counter to #6 (Medium Blonde) which is a good match. Although I prefer the convenience of a brow mascara (like the NARS one, which has good grey-toned choices), Armani’s is an excellent, excellent choice.

Armani Eye & Brow Maestro I might pick up Armani’s brow brush as part of the sale. Then again, I might not. One trick I’ve learned that if I use the MAC brow brush in the photograph, above, I need to brush through the brows again with a clean spoolie to even out my application. So I’ve switched to the Nars Brow Defining Brush #48 ($26), pictured below:

Nars 48a Brow Defining Brush

Seriously, I don’t know why the NARS brow brush works better than any others I’ve tried. Get it. It’s a great brow brush. The Armani Palette Clutch ($100), has caught my eye because, oh my, just look at it.

armani clutch

I am also planning to pick up another color from the Armani Luminessence CC Cream ($50). I was counter-matched to #4, but now that I’m living in an East Coast winter wonderland, the time has come to switch to #2. My paleness (and a few go’s with Makeup Artist’s Choice Fade Peel) have made this any easy decision.

Armani CC Cream13

Also, this seems like the perfect time to try more colors from Armani’s Lipstick and Gloss lines. A little Rouge D’Armani? Why yes! As you likely know, Armani products are beautiful, flattering, and some give your lips that little extra “Armani something” that looks so beautiful.

Rouge D'ArmaniI wanted to try some of the Armani Ecstacy CC line, but I found that the colors from the Rouge D’Armani line seemed to work better for me. I already own #102 and #103, now is the time to branch out. I also want to play with Armani Lip Maestro collection–as a reminder, her is #400 Lip Maestro on Liz (an epic color!)

Armani Maestro Lip11a

The Armani Fluid Sheers are heavenly, in case you haven’t tried them. I love all of the ones that I have–these are sophisticated highlighting at its best.

GA Fluid Sheer Bottles02a

There are a few more in the range that I need, so this looks like the right time to pick them up.

GA Fluid Sheer Swatches2a

Hopefully this gives you a good starting point for the Giorgio Armani Friends and Family sale–do not forget to use the FAMILY14 code!

This post contains affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup). The NARS brush was provided to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review, and has since become a beloved part of my everyday routine.

Please follow us on....