We SAID: OCC Summer Capsule

Staff Writer

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics salutes the Summer with a capsule collection worthy of the season. The cozy ensemble features Lip Tar, Nail Polish, and Lip Pencil in three bestselling colors, including the covet worthy neon-fuchsia shade of Anime.

occ summer capsule

The capsule collection launched today…

Get it while it’s hot!


We SAID: SS/16 Skin

Staff Writer

With fingers crossed and bated breath, we await new ‘fresh’ ideas on Summer skin that translate from runway to reality, and do not involve the (hopefully) dated contour. Fresh picks are already in the pipe from some of biggest brands in makeup; The Makeup Show LA wrapped its 10th year with attractive offerings from the likes of NARS and Make Up For Ever… that might just do away with the contoured cake face.

Many brands are already looking forward to Summer with glowing offerings. Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics laid out the new Metallics, with the dark bronze color Artifact clocking in as the most wearable. At the show, Beautylish highlighted Professional Makeup Artist liquidlagunaNatasha Denona, who is known for her glowing products. Of note are the All Over Glow powders, which give a nearly skin like finish to a wide range of skin tones. The result is more subtle than full-on shimmer, and the finely milled formula makes it easy to apply with brush or fingers.

The biggest prize may come from NARS, who released a liquid version of the bestselling Laguna Bronzer. The fluid shimmer is opaque enough to be worn as a sheer to medium coverage foundation, or can be buffed out for the most subtle glow. Layered under foundation, it gives skin just the right glowing boost. Worn alone, it can be tempered with a loose or pressed powder. Even less than flawless skin will benefit; the formula helps blur imperfections and makes your skin look like your skin on a sun-kissed beauty steroid.

She SAID: And the Best Dressed Goes To…

Terri Kennerson

Oscar (and pretty much any other show that requires some sort of formal carpet) are always a mixed bag in the fashion department. Some people look effortless, while others look like they couldn’t decide on an overall look and opted for all the things. It’s rare that the people ‘off’ the carpet manage to outdo the people ‘on’ the carpet at any given awards show. But the local network regulars outdid themselves this year. Dear local Los Angeles hosts: please get some sleep and drink lots of water… maybe get a peel before the big day. HD sees everything and will make a point of showing everyone that you partied last night, didn’t see your esthetician about those pimples, forgot to powder your nose, or forgot to make good use of your razor or hairbrush. If you’re going to criticize fashion, please at least make a point of looking… GROOMED. Please don’t show up in front of an HD camera looking like you  need friends. And mirrors.

Fortunately the national network (YAAAAAAS to Robin Roberts) did a little better in the hosting department, as did the actual stars who graced the red carpet. Most of them showed up looking like they spent the weekend lounging in a spa, before effortlessly sliding into a gorgeous frock and stepping out. Statue or no statue, there were some serious wins on the Oscar Red Carpet.

Priyanka Chopra managed to be both opulent and understated in a stunning strapless number that read more elegant than overdone. Saoirse Ronan managed to look both innocent and daring in an emerald gown with thin straps and a plunging neckline. And the incomparable Alicia Vikander (sporting her natural skin tone. See her Vogue interview about avoiding sun and wearing SPF 100 to satisfy studios) was bright and sweet in a strapless yellow number with just the right amount of embellishments and an interesting red carpet 12bubble hem.

Charlize Theron just stays WINNING. She knows her strengths and she dresses them effortlessly and elegantly. Theron consistently has more red carpet hits than misses, and this red carpet 10year is no different. The plunging red number she wore was only slightly upstaged by the massive jewel that danced just above her belly button. The strong color of the dress was gorgeously complemented with bronzed smokey eyes and a soft shimmering lip. Theron was simply stunning from head to toe, and she wore the entire look with confidence and grace.

Rooney Mara dared to be different, and I dare say it worked. She wore a dress that was not quite business, not quite party, but an interesting hybrid of both. The high buttoned neckline was disrupted by a midriff baring parting and a high center slit from inner thigh to the carpet. What really made this dress work was the hair and makeup. Mara’s hair was pulled up and back into multiple tiny buns, and her makeup made a statement with a strong brow and dark lips.

Some of the rest were a mixed bag. I loved Kerry Washington’s hair and makeup (the dramatic eyeliner was incredible), but her dress looked confused and uncomfortable. Julianne Moore looked amazing in her Chanel dress, but seemed to forget to pay attention to her hair and makeup.

And honorable mention goes to Cate Blanchett, which should have been a slam dunk, but ended up doing the most in all the wrong ways. Her embellished dress should have looked like wearable art (particularly since she was presenting for best costume), but ended up looking overdone. There were too many things hanging on her… including earrings, and that hair. Blanchett has the figure to carry off such an opulent dress. She might have actually done it if maybe she ditched the earrings and didn’t feel the need to show us that she cut her hair. Then we’d be able to see the gorgeous shimmering orchid eyeshadow she wore to complement the seafoam color of her dress.


She SAID: Haute Mess

Shahada Karim

We all know that more expensive doesn’t automatically mean better. But that doesn’t stop millions of people from collectively shelling out billions of dollars in hopes of capturing the ultimate ‘haute’ experience in skin care and makeup. From serums to finishing powder, it’s easy to get taken by the fancy packaging and life-changing claims. But in the end, a high price tag does not guarantee a high-end experience. In fact, alternative brands are doing more with less, and easily deserve to be at the head of their collective class.

SK-II Facial Treatment Essence

Actress Cate Blanchett (she of the flawless skin) made this brand uber-famous. But honestly, it just doesn’t live up to its claims of boosting the skin’s renewal process. The idea of pressing a fermented sake derivative into your skin sounds great, but the results aren’t nearly enough to justify the price. With the smallest bottle going for $100 and largest demanding a whopping $290, it simply needs to perform better.

ALTERNATIVE: May Coop Raw Sauce

Sunday Riley Start Over Active Eye Cream

There is no reason on earth that an eye cream should burn. None. I don’t care what miracle ingredients are in the formula, if it burns then it should be discarded. This is such a fundamental requirement that I remain baffled that Sunday Riley has not reformulated this eye cream. It smells fantastic, and it feels amazing going on. But within minutes the burn kicks in. The ingredient list offers no clues about why, but something is definitely funky in the formulation.

ALTERNATIVE: Tata Harper Restorative Eye Cream

Glycelene Lip Remedy

This little pot of balm claims to moisturize and renew the lips upon application. But the first thing it actually does upon application is turn your lips white. Plus, the long term effects mean more peeling than healing. No one likes peeling lips. No one.

ALTERNATIVE: By Terry Baume de Rose

La Prairie Skin Caviar Foundation & Concealer

La Prairie is known for making the most out of this world claims about their skin care, and this product is no different. At a whopping $215 a jar, you’d think that it would do more than maximize pores, sink into fine  lines and wrinkles and (in my case) trigger a horrifying bout of cystic acne. But there it is for the world to see, and you don’t even need a magnifying mirror for proof. On the up(?) side, the concealer is excellent, if a bit ‘flat’ (I wonder if they missed the memo about undertones) in color. They’d do better to market the concealer separate, and go back to the drawing board with the foundation.


ALTERNATIVE CONCEALER: Charlotte Tilbury Retoucher

NARS Audacious Mascara

I don’t even know where to start. Is is possible to demand the person responsible for this fiasco seek employment elsewhere? The obnoxious red brush assaults the lashline with its plastic prickly texture. The formula requires about 10 coats just to look like there ‘might’ be something on your lashes. In the end, your run of the mill drugstore mascara is head and shoulders above this one. NARS has never done mascara particularly well, but the Audacious variety might be their worst yet.

Honorable Mention goes to Chantecaille’s Faux Cils Longest Lash Mascara. The formula is lovely, but certainly not life changing. And the biggest crime is, it dries out very quickly. The formula begins to thicken and clump within weeks of purchase, making it even more expensive to keep than its initial $70 purchase price.

ALTERNATIVE: Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara

YSL Rouge Pur Couture Kiss & Love Lipstick

We’ve come too far in the land of lipsticks to have a  highly pigmented matte that feathers within minutes… MINUTES of application. I cannot imagine what they did to this lipstick to make it so subpar. It is possible to get a creamy matte finish that doesn’t dry the heck out of the lips;  MAC releases some version of their mattes every five minutes and that formulation is much better (and much cheaper). Bottom line: it can be done. This latest offering from YSL simply doesn’t make the grade.

ALTERNATIVE: Burberry Lip Velvet Lipstick

She SAID: Oh Glow On

Shahada Karim

‘Tis the season to get the glow! The latest beauty offerings promise to keep you luminous and bright as you float from one holiday shindig to the next.holidaymakeup

First things first. No makeup application is complete without the perfect set of brushes. Consider the latest design collaboration with Sephora and sunglasses designer Karen Walker. The 6-piece gilded brush set features tortoiseshell handles and golden ferrules… luxe enough to bring out the glamorous touch in every makeup application.

Marc Jacobs continues to expand his beauty range, with a 20-palette of eholidaymakeup4yeshadows that range from subtle matte to full on glitter. What makes this palette unique is the inclusion of 18 completely new shadow shades (a departure from many brands who simply re-promote the same shades in new packaging). Jacobs named the palette (Style Eye-Con No. 20 in The Free Spirit) after model Charlotte Free. Each shade blends together effortlessly, and we found that a few of them can even pull off a quick blush look in a pinch. Suffice to say the only limitations exist in your imagination.

Not to be outdone, Chantecaille decided to pull inspiration from the the Far East with the Himalayas collection.holidaymakeup8 We are over the moon for the new Le Chrome Luxe Eye Duo in Tibet, which features two wet-and-dry shades. The colors are described as warm washes of platinum and slate, but we’ll just say they translate more like grey and silver. If that’s not your jam, not to worry. The duo comes in four other color combinations, each suitable to a wide range of skin tones. The best part about these shadows is the formula. They build from sheer to opaque, taking you from subtle to glam with just a few passes. Plus,  the holidaymakeup9crease-free finish really can’t be beat.

Makeup brand Becca wants you to put your best face forward with the new Shimmer Skin Perfector palette. The effort is a collaboration with makeup artist and Youtube sensation Jaclyn Hill. The three shades: Pearl, Blushed Copper, and Champagne Pop can holidaymakeup6be used alone or combined for a unique highlight shade. All of the colors translate beautifully; even Pearl is subtle enough to be used on the warmest skin tones.

Dior absolutely nailed it this season, with the Gris-Or nail polish. Not grey, not gold… but some magical hybrid of both. The result is decidedly neutral, and will work on just about anyone. The formula is exceptional enough for one coat, which looks like your nails on their best day with just a hint of fairy dust. Two coats turns everything opaque… and if you’re feeling fabulous, an extra coat of shimmering glitter (Dior State of Gold is perfectly suited) will shoot you to the top of your glow game.

She SAID: Eyes, Lips, Face

Shahada Karim

These days, we have a distinct need to ‘de-clutter’ our surroundings. For makeup, that means no little pans of single eyeshadows, blushes and the like. The truth is, those individual pots end up getting buried in whatever bag or kit they happen to fall into, only to be rediscovered well past their expiration date. These days, we’re all about the multitasking palette.

COVER FX Contour Palette

When Cover FX came out with their contour palette, the first thing we wanted to know was if we multitask3could cheat by using it for foundation. Answer: YES. Each palette features four shades (one of which is bound to match your exact skin color) for purposes of highlighting and contouring. You can use fingers (please sanitize between uses) or a brush (beware of hairs getting stuck in the cream formula) or a sponge.

SEPHORA Ombre Obsession Eyeshadow Palette

Always on the quest to solidify the company name, Sephora’s latest makeup release includes multitaska palette of ombre eyeshadows that can be mixed and matched to one’s heart’s desire. We recommend a smaller brush to pick up individual color… otherwise you  might end up with an unexpected color combination. The good news is, this palette is great in a pinch; a few swipes of color and you can head out the door in record time, without worrying about coordinating colors and finishes (because they’re all in the same place. Yay!).

TARTE Bling it On Amazonian Clay Blush Palette

Okay, that’s a mouthful. Tarte probably decided to do the most with that product name, to make it truly worthy of the product itself. Five full sized blushes in a single palette are multitask1nothing to sneeze at. The limited edition palette features Tarte’s five bestselling colors. The brand is known for pigmentation and long wear in the blush department, so we’d say all is mostly forgiven for that name… mostly.

BOBBI BROWN University Lip Palette

Not to be outdone, Bobbi  Brown released 10 of the original lip multitask2colors in a single palette, including two shimmer shades. The idea is that you can use them straight out of the pan, or mix the them for a bespoke shade. Bobbi Brown is predicated on the idea that there is a color to flatter every skin tone, and offers this palette as proof. At $60 (and for the moment exclusively at Sephora), it’s much cheaper than trying out each individual shade in a single bullet…

Plus, we’re so over that singular stuff.