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A childhood interest for art and design grew into a passion for all things beauty. Currently, I’m still smitten.


The ZOYA Color Box Gift Set

Need a polish that survives dish washing, won't chip or dull after two days? Plus it's eco-friendly?

Look into the ZOYA Color Box Gift Sets. "Green" formulas are available in luxe packaging. Housed in a crushed velvet collector's box, each trio is individually wrapped in "ZOYA" tissue paper. There's literally a dozen sets to choose from. Shades range from reds to neutrals and grays to metallic finishes.The Spectacular Sparkle Zoya Color Box/$24 features festive shimmery shades: Alegra (pink), Charla (blue) and Ivanka (green). The perfect thank you gift for teachers, co-workers, friends and family! Exclusive to their website, each purchase qualifies for free shipping. For each gift, the company removes all pricing and allows you to include a note for a personal touch.

For more information, click here.

*All ZOYA products and nail treatments are formaldehyde free, free of camphor, toulene and DBP.

Cyber Monday Beauty Booty 2011

You should be done shopping for computers, flat screens and bulky bedding from Black Friday. Today is THE day to get deals and price cuts on your favorite beauty and grooming products. Best thing is they're just a click away so there's no need to camp out all night.

ANTHONY.COM: 20% off any purchase plus a free tool kit and free shipping with any purchase $50 or more.

BEAUTY.COM: A $100 purchase lands you free shipping and an Erickson Beamon makeup kit filled with deluxe samples.

BUTTER LONDON: Score 30% off all online orders with the code CELEBRATE.

CLARSONIC: Purchase two tools and get 20% off, a travel bag, body serum and free shipping!

EVERY MAN JACK: Save 10% on all orders. Orders over $75 are entered into drawing for a gift basket worth $75.

L'OCCITANE: Receive a $10 gift card with a $50 purchase with code GIFT10 today only.

SMASHBOX: Enter SBXFF11 for 20% off any purchase.

THREE CUSTOM COLOR SPECIALISTS: Enjoy 30% discount site wide with any purchase. Use code CYBER11.

If you have a hot tip on great product, share in the comments section below.


Rihanna Launches Armani Collection

Already the face of EMPORIO ARMANI Underwear and ARMANI Jeans campaigns, RIHANNA is set to launch a capsule clothing collection with the luxury brand, ARMANI. The line includes classic rocker items like femme biker jackets, jeans and tees with an animalier background (love this)! And to keep it sexy, look for delicate lace unmentionables in deep cobalt blue and pearl grey. Although the line mirrors RIHANNA's style, it's perfect for personal interpretation. Available worldwide in December.

(Details and photos about the launch from ARMANI.COM.)


Mani Monday: Season's Best Nail Colors

Looking for a new nail color to try? InStyle Magazine polled their FaceBook fans to get their favorites. Here's a look at a few that I like.

Must Have Mauves:

BORGHESE Nail Lacquer in Buon Viaggio Mauve/$8.

SONIA KASHUK Nail Color in Mauving It Up/$5 at Target (Pretty & cheap!)

BUTTER LONDON Nail Lacquer in Toff/$14. (Check out Scoundrel on the site too.

Shades of Gray:

NARS Nail Polish in Galion/$17 (DBP free and lots of shine.)

SALLY HANSEN Complete Salon Manicure in Oxide (Festive shimmer.)/$7 at Ulta.



Nude Awakenings:

DIOR Vernis in Safari Beige/$22 at

GINGER AND LIZ Nail Lacquer in Skin Tight/$12 (Toxin-free universal shade that's office friendly! What's not to love?)

LE METIER de BEAUTE Nail Lacquer in True Romance/$25 in a set of four at select Nordstrom stores.

Go to for more options for your next mani/pedi. Then let me know what's your new favorite nail find...

(Post inspired by Fall Beauty Trends 2011)


LANCOME Visionnaire Advanced Skin Corrector

A few weeks ago, I received a package containing LANCOME's Visionnaire Advanced Skin Corrector. Apprehensive about giving up my normal skin care routine which is working really well for these days, I did just that.

Although recently launched, this serum took twelve years to develop....a patented scientific breakthrough with LR 2412, a molecule that's said to reprogram the skin to "auto-correct" problem areas. Perfect for all skin types for women 25 + with claims to diminish pores, smooth wrinkles and even skin tone. It also sort of preps the skin for makeup application with a bit of luminosity.

Today is day 14 since I initially tried the product. During that time, I admit I had my standard breakout -- a pimple that surfaces and sits in the center of my cheek for a few days. I was impressed to find that the serum shortened the life of the blemish -- flattened it and reduced the redness. Although you can see the pearl reflects, it dries to a matte finish which I love. Fortunately, wrinkles are not a concern but I felt it gave my skin a fresh look. Finally, I have a stubborn acne spot that hasn't lightened YET but I haven't been using Visionnaire too long. I may alternate it with a botanical treatment (lemon juice) for quicker results (vanity wins this time around).

Overall, I was happy with my trial. A few pumps of the product is all it takes for great results. I'll post again with my findings in a few more weeks! Meantime, check it out for yourselves....get a sample or purchase at your favorite department or Sephora store/$84.

PLEASE NOTE: This product was received as "a beauty insider," by BLACKswan Beauty, as a trial for personal use and review. I have no affiliation with Lancome and received no compensation for my commentary.


The Makeup Show/Holiday Pop-Up Shop

They're back...

THE MAKEUP SHOW will be open to pros AND consumers next month in NYC. Shop makeup must haves and get the beauty secrets of celebrity artists to vamp up your look or reinvent yourself for the new year.

The Holiday Pop-Up Shop

Friday/December 2nd 5 pm to 10 pm

Saturday/December 3rd 10 am to 6 pm

@ The Metropolitan Pavilion

123 West 18th Street/4th Floor

New York City 10011

Brands to Shop include: Stila Cosmetics, Mario Badescu Skincare and Crown Brush. For additional vendors, click here. To purchase tickets, click here.

(image from


Attention NYC NARSissists

(Pardon...I had to repost since the format was amiss!)

Feed your obsession with glam goodies from NARS this Thursday. Score a 20% discount at the NARS Flagship Boutique with this sweet Friends & Family deal.

413 Bleeker Street/NYC

GLAMOUR Women of the Year Awards 2011

The GLAMOUR Women of the Year Awards honored some amazing women once again. The annual event was held at Carnegie Hall but makeup, hair and a pre-celebration with bubbly went down at the Empire Hotel sponsored by L'OREAL. The staff at GLAMOUR, the bloggers and of course, my fellow L'OREAL Pro Team members made for an easy evening. We chatted about everything as the beauty gurus were curled and glossed.

On trend for fall, smokey eyes were a hit with blogger, Rachel Adler. I used Studio Secrets Professional Color Smokes Eye Shadow in Lavender Smokes/$5.99 at local drugstores. This color palette is perfect since the color is buildable.

And we know there's no time for touch ups when you're on the red carpet. For staying power (that's six hours of wear) and a full gorgeous mouth, I used Infallible Plumping Lipgloss in Plumped Tawny/#806 /($7.99 at topped with a bit of Color Riche LeGloss in Naturally Nude/#150. She loved!

For more pretty looks from the event, click here.


Mani Monday: OPI & The Muppets Collection

Just in time for Disney's release of "The Muppets," OPI has created twelve shades inspired by the fun colorful characters we know and love. OPI Executive VP & Artistic Director, Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, was excited to collaborate with Disney from the beginning. "...Miss Piggy lends her name to three high-shine pink-based hues, ranging from bold red flecked with silver to a multi-dimensional strawberry shade."

In time for the upcoming party season, choose from six glitter shades, shimmery reds and neutrals to accessorize any outfit. shades from left to right:

Fresh Frog of Bel Air
Rainbow Connection
Warm and Fozzie
Designers De Better
Getting Piggy With It
Excuse Moi
Meep, Meep, Meep
Gone Gonzo
Divine Swine
Wocka Wocka
Pepe's Purple Passion

My must haves include: Meep, Meep, Meep and Pepe's Purple Passion.

The UnFROGettable collection is available this month at, ULTA and JCPenney/$8.50.


TOM FORD Sunglasses for Fall

I fell in love with TOM FORD sunglasses when he first launched. So much so that I replaced the same shades after leaving them on a flight (along with my iPod and mini me's stud earrings -- but that's another story). The oversized frames scream femininity to me. I appreciate a good retro look and TOM FORD's sunwear collection delivers this season. My picks include:

Nico --Huge bowtie shaped frame featuring slender metallic insets at the temple for a dramatic retro-inspired look/$445 at Nordstrom (pictured above).

Ali -- Transparent circular frames with T-shaped metal insets in soft colors/$475 at Nordstrom.

Nikita -- Exaggerated acetate cat eye shades for an everyday glam look in tortoise and black/$360 at Neiman Marcus.

Each style is classic yet modern and I love them all. Which do you prefer?


L'Oreal PARIS Carbon Black Extra Intense Liquid Pencil Eyeliner

Have you ever tried a winged look with a "black" eyeliner only to find it wears to some random shade of grey? Or you've rimmed your entire eye with "black" liner that takes on a greenish hue later in the day? Unacceptable!

With L'OREAL PARIS Carbon Black Extra Intense Liquid Pencil Eyeliner/$9 you won't have to worry about that at all. This liner delivers a deep, inky black color onto your lid in the creamiest formula that won't transfer and can be smudged for a softer look. Even doubles as a base for powder shadows to create a strong smokey eye.

I like to use my angled brush to take the color directly from the tip of the liner to apply a precise line. It creates THE perfect cat eye look. You can also dot the liner along your lash line then smudge it.

What I Love: You can use it in your waterline and the pigments...a true carbon black! Glides on easily.

What I Don't Love: Sharpening it eats up alot of the product.

Check it out at your local drugstore, look out for those BOGO deals and stock up!