The BB cream craze has recently migrated from Asia to the Americas with big-time brands getting in on the action. Unfortunately, many of these lines cater mostly to fair to medium skin tones, but finally there is an option for darker-skinned women: Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream ($39), which comes in five different shades. Used alone, this lightweight cream acts like a tinted moisturizer to even out your skin tone and add protection from UVA and UVB rays with SPF 35. And if the darkest formula is still too light for your complexion, you can use it under your foundation as a primer and oil suppressant. The finish is matte, but you get a dewy glow that signifies healthy skin. And as an added bonus, this product contains peptides with antiaging properties. A few weeks of this, and you'll be prepared for your close-up — more like Instagram than paparazzi, that is.
The set includes six shades that range from light peach (Bliss) to a subtle shimmery, deep charcoal (Blacktop). Peel the label on the back side to uncover two looks (soft smoke and smoldering cat-eye), along with step-by-step tutorials on how to get them. You can even use a QR reader app on your phone to see a video of the brand's pro lead artist, Lori Taylor, demonstrating the looks. Holy smokes, indeed.
Want to highlight your cheeks? Or make your face look more symmetrical in pictures? Contouring is the trick. Don't let the concept scare you off, because it's easier than you think. (Promise.) Smashbox Cosmetics Lead Makeup Artist Lori Taylor shows us how to contour your face using bronzer, blush, and a highlighter. Plus, she spills the secrets of contouring the faces of leading ladies like Sandra Bullock and Rosario Dawson. Watch now!
In the business world, mergers and acquisitions are the norm, and this year, some pretty big beauty deals took place. Perhaps the biggest shopping spree, however, was done by none other than Coty, who acquired big-time brands like OPI and Philosophy, along with lesser-known brands Dr. Scheller Cosmetics and TJoy. And while Coty already holds the Calvin Klein fragrance license, the company recently acquired a Calvin Klein color cosmetics license, too.
Other major deals included Estée Lauder's purchase of Smashbox, Shiseido's acquisition of Bare Escentuals, and Unilever's acquirement of Alberto-Culver, the makers of brands such as Nexxus, Tresemmé, VO5, and St. Ives. L'Oréal purchased Essie, and there was even some talk of the beauty juggernaut purchasing Avon. Speaking Avon, they acquired British skincare company Liz Earle earlier this year. With Coty's growth exploding at the seams, it will be interesting to see what they, along with the other big beauty players, have planned for 2011.
With the release of Alice in Wonderland earlier this year came plenty of beauty products inspired by the flick. And with the premiere of Cher and Christina Aguilera's Burlesque on Wednesday, various beauty brands are getting in on the hip-swinging action, offering up several products in conjunction with the film. Check them out now, and be sure to vote on your favorite at the end.
"What I am noticing for Fall is a major cat eye with the heavy eye shadow," says Hollywood makeup artist Debbie Zoller (who has worked with stars like Patricia Arquette on Little Nicky and Christina Hendricks on Mad Men). "Last season for Fall it was more about the Mad Men look with the heavy eyeliner, but not really the eye shadow. What I am finding now, is that it's more of the heavy eye shadow that’s coming back," she adds. To find out Debbie's tips for getting the sultry, wearable look, just keep reading.
I'm not wearing any other makeup on my face, so all the focus should go to the eyes. I started with a white eyeliner (by Bourjois) and set that with a white eye shadow (from the Eye Shadow Duo Twilight by Smashbox), and then used a cream black eyeliner (by Clinique) with a very, very thin brush (by Sephora) to line really only the base of the lashes. I then used a black waterproof eyeliner (by Urban Decay) on my top waterline (try not to blink until it's dry), and then I used a black mascara (by YSL) on my top lashes only.
I get darkness under my eyes, so I'm a fan of brighteners, which liven up the under-eye area in a flash. Instant refreshment. Reader Laratf highly recommends Smashbox Photo Op Under Eye Brightener, and here's why:
It's by far the best brightener/concealer I've used. It's not just sheer shimmer that makes you look like a freak in photos (anyone else face that problem?), it provides good coverage, stays in place, and brightens without making you look sick. I'm really pleased with it.
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Over the past few years, both lip plumpers and products that change color based on your skin chemistry seem to be all the rage. Smashbox's O-Plump Intuitive Lip Plumper ($24) includes a Goji Berry-C Complex and promises to turn your lips into a customized sheer pink shade. Reader Laratf wasn't completely feeling it, though. Here's what she had to say:
"I am one of the ones who experiences neon pink lips with O-Gloss. However, I met Dean Factor (Co-Founder and CEO of Smashbox) this fall, and he assured me that the formula had been improved for O-Plump. The thought of a personalized gloss that also boosts the fullness of my pucker was too intriguing to pass up. The plumping result was less than desired and the taste is super spicy cinnamon which is a bit of a turn off. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the color situation had improved and for that reason alone, O-Plump is worth hanging on to. This one is a mixed bag for me."
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When it comes to quality makeup with a sleek image, Smashbox can stand on its own, well . . . soap box. And guess what? The line, which has been cranking out professional-style products since the mid-1990s, is having a sale. Just head over to Smashbox.com and follow the link to the Beauty Blowout Sale, where you can save anywhere from 25 to 50 percent off. While you're at it, don't forget to score some free Suave today, either.