Author: Jennifer Graham

DS Diva’s Luxury Christmas List

Now​ ​that​ ​we​ ​are​ ​officially​ ​in​ ​the​ ​holiday​ ​season,​ ​it’s​ ​time​ ​to​ ​think​ ​about​ ​gifts.  Because​ ​I am ​also turning​ ​50​ ​two​ ​days​ ​after​ ​Christmas,​ ​I’m​ ​thinking​ ​luxury​ ​gifts—high​-​end,​ ​high-cost, prestige​ ​goodies.  ​A​ ​girl​ ​can​ ​dream,​ ​right?​ ​ Here​ ​are​ ​some​ ​of​ ​my​ ​to​ die​ for​ ​products.

Natasha​ ​Denona​ ​Sunset​ ​Palette​ ​(retails for $129)​ ​

natasha

​I​ ​used​ ​to​ ​think​ ​that​ ​spending​ ​this​ ​much​ ​for eyeshadow​ ​was​ ​downright​ ​criminal.​ ​But​ ​then​ ​a​ ​couple​ ​weeks​ ​ago​ ​I​ ​was​ ​able​ ​to​ ​see this​ ​beauty​ ​in​ ​person​ ​and​ ​swatch​ ​the​ ​colors.​ ​I’ve​ ​never​ ​felt​ ​anything​ ​like​ ​it. The creamy,​ ​easy​ ​to​ ​blend, rich,​ ​beautiful​ ​colors​ are completely ​out​ ​of​ ​this​ ​world​! ​ ​I​ ​applied a little​ ​at​ ​the store​ ​with​ ​a​ ​Q​ ​tip​ ​and​ ​it​ ​looked​ ​unbelievable.​ ​The​ ​colors​ ​in​ ​the​ ​Sunset​ ​palette range​ ​from​ ​coppers,​ ​nudes,​ ​browns,​ ​oranges,​ ​reds,​ ​golds.​ ​ The​ ​Lila​ ​palette​ ​is​ ​a close​ ​second,​ ​but​ ​I​ ​prefer​ ​these​ ​shades​ ​to​ ​Lila’s​ ​purples​ ​and​ ​plums.​ ​ You​ ​truly need​ ​to​ ​see​ ​and​ ​feel​ ​this​ ​beauty​ ​to​ ​appreciate​ ​it​ ​and​ ​understand​ ​the​ ​high​ ​price​ ​tag. ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​

LA​ ​MER​ ​Soft​ ​Fluid​ ​Long​ ​Wear​ ​Foundation (retails for​ ​$110)​ ​ ​

la mre

I’ve​ ​had​ ​an​ ​obsession​ ​with​ ​LA MER ​for​ ​years.​  ​Formulated​ ​with​ ​their​ ​world​ ​famous​ ​“Miracle​ ​Broth”,​ ​this​ ​foundation ​​claims​ ​to​ ​soften​ ​lines​ ​and​ ​wrinkles,​ ​plump​ ​skin​ ​with​ ​hydration,​ ​energize​ ​and ​soothe​ ​while​ ​also​ ​making​ ​pores​ ​and​ ​imperfections​ ​disappear.  The formula has​ ​SPF​ ​2​0 ​and​ ​two of​ ​the​ ​most​ ​beautiful​, light​ ​shades​ ​that​ ​I’m​ ​positive​ ​would​ ​match​ ​my​ ​ultra​-​fair, ​ winter​ ​complexion.​  ​I’ve​ ​been​ ​blessed​ ​with​ ​a​ ​sample​ ​of​ ​LA MER’s​ ​Moisturizing​ ​Soft ​Cream​ ​and​ ​I’m​ ​only​ ​using​ ​it​ ​a​ ​couple​ ​times​ ​a​ ​week​ ​so​ ​I​ ​can​ ​make it last as long as humanly possible.  ​Despite the limited use,​ ​I’ve  ​noticed​ ​a​ ​nice​ ​change​ ​in​ ​my​ ​skin – smoother,​ ​not​ ​as​ ​red​ ​and​ ​my​ ​makeup​ ​looks ​ lovely​ ​on​ ​the days​ ​I’m​ ​using​ ​it.​ ​ I​ ​can​ ​only​ ​imagine​ ​that​ ​adding​ ​the​ ​foundation​ ​to​ ​my  ​daily​ ​routine​ ​would​ ​only​ ​make​ ​this​ ​50​ ​year​ ​old​ ​look​ ​a​ ​little​ ​younger! ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​

Tom​ ​Ford​ ​Lip​ ​Color​ ​in​ ​Blush​ ​Nude​ ​(retails for $54​) ​

tom ford

​Visions of this lip color have been dancing in my head​ ​since​ ​I ​saw​ ​Jaclyn​ ​Hill​ ​use​ ​it​ ​on​ ​her​ ​You​Tube​ ​channel.​ ​ Then​ ​I​ ​saw​ ​my​ ​friend​ ​pull​ ​it​ ​out​ ​of ​her​ ​handbag.​ ​ It is ​the ​perfect​ ​combination​ ​of​ ​nude,​ ​peach​ ​and​ ​pink,​ ​that​ ​would​ ​coordinate​ ​with​ ​any​ ​eye ​look​ ​you​ ​create,​ ​dramatic​ ​or​ ​casual.​ ​ IMO, it is the epitome ​of​ ​all nude​ ​lipsticks.  ​It​ ​took​ ​everything​ ​in​ ​my​ ​being​ ​not​ ​to​ ​ask​ ​my ​​friend​ ​if​ ​I​ ​could​ ​use​ ​it.​ ​But​ ​I​ ​did get to​ ​hold​ ​it,​ ​and​ ​gracefully​ ​handed​ ​it​ ​back. ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​

​Jo​ ​Malone​ ​Wood​ ​Sage​ ​and​ ​Sea​ ​Salt​ ​Cologne​ ​(retails for $135)​ ​ ​

jo malone

Imagine​ ​sitting​ ​in​ ​the​ ​woods ​with​ ​a​ ​beautiful​ ​shore​ ​of​ ​crashing​ ​waves​​ ​in​ ​front​ ​of​ ​you.​ ​That’s​ ​the​ ​feeling​ ​I​ ​got​ ​the​ ​first​ ​and​ ​only​ ​time​ ​I’ve​ ​smelled​ ​this​ ​incredible​ ​fragrance.  I sprayed​ ​it​ ​quickly​ ​on​ ​me,​ ​and​ ​it​ ​lasted​ ​all​ ​day.​ ​ The​ ​collection​ ​also​ ​includes​ ​a​ ​candle, hand​ ​wash​ ​and​ ​body​ ​cream​.​ ​ ​ ​Since​ ​this​ ​is​ ​my​ ​luxury​ ​wish​ ​list,​ ​I’m adding  ​those​ ​to​ ​this​ ​list too, just​ ​in​ ​case​ ​anyone​ ​is​ ​feeling​ ​extra​ ​generous ​ ​;)

I​ ​could​ ​go​ ​on for days,​ ​but​ ​these​​ ​are​ ​the​ ​ultimate​ ​luxuries​ ​that​ ​I​ ​dream​ ​about.​ ​They​ ​can​ ​all​ ​be found​ ​at​ ​Sephora,​ ​Neiman​ ​Marcus,​ ​and​ ​Nordstrom.​ ​ I’ve​ ​been​ ​a​ ​very​ ​good​ ​Dark​ ​Lord​ ​this year​ ​so​ ​I’m​ ​putting​ ​them​ ​on​ ​my​ ​list​ ​to​ ​Santa.​ ​ Merry​ ​Christmas​ ​everyone!​ ​ I​ ​hope​ ​you​ ​find your​ ​dream​ ​items​ ​under​ ​your​ ​tree!

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DS Quickie!

Sephora Favorites Give Me More Lip

Sephora holiday collections are highly anticipated and tend to sell out in stores rather quickly. They really outdid themselves with this one! Here are some fast facts about this beautiful lip wardrobe.

sephora lip

Limited Edition, Mega Lip Set

15 lipsticks, glosses and creams

5 full size and 10 deluxe sizes

Well-known brands such as: ABH, Too Faced, Bobbi Brown, Dior, YSL, Sephora, Tarte, Urban Decay, Laura Mercier, Smashbox and Marc Jacobs

Up & Coming Superstars such as: Huda Beauty, Touch In Sol, Hourglass and Wander Beauty

$254 value for $68

Colors range from berries, reds, mauves and nudes

Wearable colors and formulas for everyone and every style

Excellent gift idea for the Diva on your list. There is a shade for you, your mother, grandmother, daughter, niece, friend, you name it. Age appropriate for teens on up.

My only wish is that the set included a lip liner or two that would coordinate with the colors. But that probably would have jacked up the price another $20. I’ll survive using what I already have in my beauty collection!

The Dark Side Diva recommends this set 100%! Let me know if you get it and if you’re able to part with any of them. I’ll let you know if I did!

The Dark Side Diva’s New Face

By now you all know my love of both high end and drug store makeup, especially foundations. Well I have rediscovered a new/old product that I simply adore! Several years ago I worked for Lancome when they launched the Teint Idole line. At the time I was hooked on their Photogenic foundation, which I still love to this day. The TI was ok for my skin, a little lighter coverage than I would have liked and, by the end of the day my face was a little shiny. By the time they came out with the TI Ultra Wear version, I had moved on to other beauty pursuits. But after seeing a couple high profile beauty influencers using it, I decided to give it a try. TI Ultra Wear claims to be a long-wearing, 24-hour foundation — claims that get me every time. Seriously. Who in this galaxy wears their make up for a full 24 hours? I decided to try it with the new Fenty Beauty Invisimatte Blotting Powder and Morphe’s Continous Setting Spray. Here are my thoughts…

newface

I got the TI Ultra in shade 110C Ivoire, which is the third lightest shade and it’s a perfect match for my skin tone. It blends beautifully and covers all my pores and redness. It was very comfortable to wear and didn’t transfer. The Fenty powder set the foundation nicely, is completely translucent and undetectable. It didn’t cake or settle in my fine lines and pores. It does come with a flat puff, but I prefer to use a big powder brush, so I use one from IT Cosmetics. I will certainly keep this powder in my bag at all times. I finished with the Morphe Continuous Setting Spray. This product is a dream! It’s a fine mist that comfortably sets your face and doesn’t drench certain parts of it. It’s also the kind of spray that you can use several times throughout the day if needed and won’t ruin your makeup. And it doesn’t have that toxic smell like so many other setting sprays do.

This new threesome has made my skin bulletproof from shine, pores, caking and all the other unpleasantries that can happen during the day. Recommend trying this trio I do!

Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Wear $47

Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Invisimatte Blotting Powder $32

www.sephora.com

Morphe Continuous Setting Spray $15

www.morphebrushes.com

Anastasia Beverly Hills Prism Eye Shadow Palette

Over the summer of 2017 you couldn’t get away from the ABH subculture controversy. I’m not going into that, or the fact that I just might be the only person in this galaxy who is not impressed with the Modern Renaissance palette. I was however, impressed with the limited edition, Holiday 2017 Prism palette. It’s a truly gorgeous, 14 shade collection of what I would call very wearable neutrals, metallics and a few pops of color.

prism

The shades are very pigmented and it’s easy to blend out the colors. I’ve created several beautiful looks using them both wet and dry. There is some kickback but if you use a light hand it’s not bothersome. A couple colors had some tiny fallout, but for easy blending and gorgeous colors I can tolerate that. While at first I thought I was only going to be able to create dressy looks, I’ve been able to come up with a lot of very neutral, daytime looks. And it actually comes with a very nice, double-ended eye shadow brush that can be used with other products. It’s not just an afterthought. I have used it with my ColourPop shadows and it blends them out nicely as well.

I consider ABH to be one of the classier prestige lines on the market today. I highly recommend the Prism palette. At $42 it’s about the same price as other palettes that you can find at Sephora, but this one is limited edition so it won’t be around for long. Pick it up while you can!

September 2017 Allure Beauty Box – Allure Best of Beauty

WWW.ALLURE.COM/BEAUTY-BOX

This is my first Allure Beauty box, which is your standard, monthly beauty box subscription. Unlike IPSY, the editors of Allure magazine choose current products that all subscribers will receive. It’s $15 a month but when you sign up your first box is $10. Here’s the 411 on September’s box.

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Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush

I received the shade “Blushing Bride”, a pretty petal pink that’s very wearable. This is a full sized blush that retails for $30, so this one product is worth the price of the entire box. I’m a big fan of Tarte products, especially the Amazonian Clay line so I’m thrilled with this!

Living Proof Full Dry Volume Blast

At first I thought this was a dry shampoo, which I absolutely hate. But it’s actually a spray-on mist that claims to volumize your hair to make it look like you have twice as much. I’ve played with this several times and it does give great volume to second day hair. I’m not usually a fan of Living Proof products so I’m pleasantly surprised with this one.

Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream .5oz

I couldn’t wait to try my first Drunk Elephant item! This whipped, unscented, velvety cream made my combination skin feel wonderful. It hasn’t made me shiny and my makeup has stayed on all day. I’ve used it at night also. This cream has a combo of oils, glycerin and hyaluronic acid and I can see it becoming a staple in my skin care routine.

Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Eye .1oz

It says .1oz but the itty bitty tube was MAYBE filled halfway. I doubt that I’ll see any results with this tiny amount of product. Kiehl’s has been around forever and I’ve used several of their products so I’m disappointed with this embarrassingly small size. It smells like lavender, absorbed very quickly but will be gone long before any true results are seen.

Beauty Blender Micro Mini

Beauty Blender can do no wrong in my eyes. This miniature size is perfect for blending under eyes and around the nose. Love it!

I give 4 of the 5 products in Allure’s September Beauty Box positive reviews and truly it could have been 5/5. Getting the full size Tarte blush was worth the price of admission, but when will these subscription boxes start to realize that teeny tiny skin care products are a waste of time and effort? I’d rather get a tiny fragrance sample so I can try the scent to see if I like it. Three days of an eye serum mean nothing to me!