Sunday, November 27, 2011

❧❦ My Makeup Vanity - Storage and Organization ❦❧

My Makeup Vanity Table
In my fantasy there is nothing I would love more than to inhabit a large, elaborate bedroom decorated with pale green damask fabrics and filled with pricey antiques.  I have always yearned for a makeup vanity table like Rebecca's in the Alfred Hitchcock classic Rebecca (1940).  As grandiose as my dreams are, the reality is that I don't live on a massive estate in the English countryside called Manderley and my bedroom is not very big.  


Also, at heart I'm a much more modern girl and I needed a narrow table in a dark chocolate finish that matched my existing bedroom furniture.  Like many others, I found the perfect vanity table by watching YouTube videos.  Almost everyone has one of two versions of the Malm vanity (in various colors).  I got the smaller version (now only available in white), and it's perfect for my needs.


The two table lamps are the Smart Twig Table Lamps and the mirror is the Stave Mirror in Black-Brown also from Ikea. The lamps are hand-blown, and therefore no two lamps are exactly alike.


Makeup Vanity Lighting
I like my vanity to be immaculate and organized.  I'll put anything on there or in there that pleases me.  Most often I'm busy painting my nails or experimenting with new products, and so the top of the vanity is cluttered with whatever products I'm in the mood to play with.


The glass top is easy to clean and I never have to worry about spilling anything on it because it won't stain. 


Nothing horrifies me more than makeup residue/powder/eyeshadow all over makeup bags and stuck on makeup packaging. If you are wondering how I keep my makeup containers/packaging looking brand, spanking new, I use Beauty So Clean cosmetic sanitizer products. These products are designed to sanitize makeup without the use of chemicals.  Their Cosmetic Sanitizer Wipes remove makeup residue from even the most (cool-looking but) dreaded NARS rubber packaging!  


Zadro Cosmetic Lipstick Holders (Acrylic)
I chose two Zadro lipstick holders (they hold 9 lipsticks each) for some MAC lipsticks and for a variety of other brands.  I like the fact that I can store the lipsticks upright, and if I want to see what color the MAC lipsticks are, I can lift pick up the whole thing in one hand and read the names underneath with ease.

I didn't want one long lipstick holder - instead, I can move the two around and I find this much more versatile.  Each lipstick holder has 4 slots for lipstick liner (or eyeliner) pencils, although I'm not using that feature here.

They are very good quality and inexpensive.  They can usually be found for around $12 here.


Mirrored Vanity Tray for perfumes and body sprays
I found this silver mirrored vanity tray at TJ Max for around $17.  My latest perfume/fragrance discoveries/obsessions are kept here. 


The Urban Decay 15th Anniversary tray & acrylic makeup drawers
I did a video and a blog post about these clear acrylic makeup drawers.  I stacked two sets of three drawers for a pretty and convenient way for me to store my most used eyeshadows.


I use the purple velvet tray that came with the 15th Anniversary Eyeshadow Palette by Urban Decay for face and body brushes.  

Anna Sui nail polish
Nail polish is one of my obsessions and I have nail polish bottles all over the place!  Anna Sui nail polish in these adorable rose shaped glass bottles can be purchased from Urban Outfitters for $15 each.


The white kitty cat with blue eyes reminds me of the other man in my life - my kitty cat Coco!  It looks just like him!  I introduce him in the video.


Lisbeth Dahl makeup bag, Venetian Mask and Chanel Le Coton
The Chanel Le Coton was a spur of the moment purchase.  This is what Chanel has to say about it:

CHANEL brings the highest-quality cosmetic cotton pads to the U.S., lending pure luxury to a woman’s daily cleansing and toning ritual. LE COTON is an exquisitely soft tri-layer pad developed in Japan: its outer lining, made from delicate, handpicked Egyptian cotton, and its inner filling, comprised of lightly entwined, elastic Australian fibers. Combined, this ultra-absorbent, lint-free composition increases the effectiveness of CHANEL Cleansers and Toners, treating even the most sensitive skin to unparalleled gentleness. Each LE COTON pad is generously sized and delicately embossed with the world-renowned CHANEL logo.

Who writes this stuff?!!

The Venetian mask is left over from Halloween.  I want to hang it on the wall but I haven't gotten around to it yet.
Lisbeth Dahl cosmetic pouch
I love Lisbeth Dahl products but they are virtually impossible to find in the USA so I had to order all of my LD items from Instant Vintage in the UK.  I was enthralled by this makeup bag!  It's like a large coin purse with a jewel-like clasp.  I have two - this one and an even larger one in gray satin.
Paul & Joe brush holder used for eyeliners, lip pencils and lipstick
This is a makeup brush holder from Paul & Joe.  I reviewed it here.  I have a matching Paul & Joe beauty mirror (featured in my video above).


I like to use one side for eye pencils, and the other side for lip pencils and lipsticks.


Pirates of the Caribbean OPI mini nail polish collection and Paul & Joe Butterfly Tin.
I reviewed the Paul & Joe Butterfly Tin here.  Now I use this tin to store makeup samples.


I'm obsessed with pirates, nail polish and the Caribbean and so I had to get this set the moment I laid eyes on it! The Pirates of the Caribbean OPI Mini Nail Polish Collection includes:

  1. Skull and Glossbones
  2. Planks a Lot
  3. Sparrow Me the Drama
  4. Stranger Tides
I'm giving away one of these OPI mini sets (not this one!) in my Favorite Things of 2011 Giveaway here. The giveaway ends December 27th, 2011.


Kristina Chadwick makeup brush holders
Artist Kristina Chadwick makes makeup brush holders of all shapes and sizes (and she does custom orders/colors, etc.)  I ordered a custom purple brush holder (right) and I was given the black textured brush holder (left) as a birthday gift this week.  I love the fact that each one of these is hand-made and unique.  Kristina sells makeup brush holders with matching ring holders for $30 on Etsy.


Kristina is offering a coupon code of 10% off! Use code "Sassi"


This decorative glass vanity box is from the Valerie Bertinelli home goods collection
This decorative glass vanity box is a part of the Valerie Bertinelli line for Home Goods and I picked it up at TJ Max for around $20!


Inside the vanity box 
I usually keep lipsticks (i.e. lipsticks that are packaged in square tubes that will not fit in the acrylic Zadro lipstick holders) in here, along with brand new products that I need to photograph for my blog.  Sometimes I have photographed the makeup (I keep an archive of photos for every makeup item I buy so that I can use them in blog posts) and I haven't had a chance to use the items yet.  

The rest of the items are just things that I'm busy with or have plans to use in the near future.  Whatever takes my fancy, whatever interests me now.

(L) Sephora stackable vanity trays (discontinued) (R) an Ikea Anordna tray 
Inside the vanity drawer I use the long discontinued Sephora stackable trays.  These are easily removed from the draw and the two small trays can stack on top of the single large tray.  I have more white Ikea Anordna trays (I think they are also discontinued), but right now I'm only using two Anordna trays inside the vanity drawer.  These trays are far more practical than the Sephora trays, because products are easier to see against the white of the tray, and because they can be washed with soap and water.  The Sephora trays are lined with fabric, so it's more of a mission to keep them clean.  Lint rollers and a keyboard vacuum cleaner does the trick.

Ikea Anordna pull-out tray
The Ikea Anordna trays are the perfect size to store MAC and the old style Stila eyeshadows on their sides.


Nail polishes, a Kristina Chadwick ring holder and Lisbeth Dahl coin purse
I don't know how many nail polishes I have.  I have a fairly decent OPI collection too, but I like to keep my favorite polishes close by on the Ikea Malm chest next to my vanity table.  Some favorites include Chanel, Deborah Lippmann, Zoya, Rescue Beauty Lounge and Paul & Joe.  This particular nail polish rack holds up to 36 bottles and it can be purchased here for $24.99.  Other sizes are available.


Additional makeup, makeup bags, nail products and other paraphernalia are stored in the Malm 6-Drawer Chest. 


The roses were given to me by my husband for my birthday :-)



Click here for a link to my YouTube Channel: The Sassi Wench
- The Sassi Wench

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Eco Emi Box November 2011 - Head to Toe Beauty Samples



November 2011 Eco-Emi Box
The 2011 November Eco-Emi Box arrived and as I opened it up I noticed something different - no fabric pouches to house the products.  Instead, the items were wrapped in green tissue paper tied with red ribbon, and placed into a plastic (Cough, cough.  How is that eco-friendly?) makeup bag.

On the accompanying product card Eco Emi states that this is the first of two holiday boxes!  Very nice.
Hugo Naturals Vanilla & Sweet Orange 
The Huge Natural Essential Mist in Vanilla & Sweet Orange is yummy - to me it smells like an orange cupcake!  It's actually a multi-use product - body spray, hair mist, linen spray.  Lovely.

Keeki - Lip Shimmer in Ooh La La
 A little diversion from the usual inclusion of lip balms is appreciated - this month they included a tinted "lip shimmer".  It's very nice and leaves a subtle sheen on the lips.




Sweet Riot Dark Riot
I have tried something from Sweet Riot from a Birchbox, but this particular chocolate bar was yummy!  It's 70% dark chocolate with cacao nibs and raisins and I ate the whole thing the day I got it!  It's 45 calories per block and there are 4 blocks per bar.


Blissoma Refine Clay Renewal Treatment
Earth's Beauty - Sunlight Eyeshadow
The eyeshadow is beautiful - a peachy gold color perfect for the holidays!

Organic Excellence Wild Mint Shampoo and Conditioner
Planet Botanicals Shea Butter Hand Cream in Cape Lavender 
Deep Steep Foot Cream in Candy Mint
Keeki Pure and Simple - Ooh La La organic Lip Shimmer
Earth's Beauty - Sunlight Eye Shadow
Deep Steep & Royal Labs Inc. - Candy Mint Foot Cream
Blissoma - Refine face mask
Sweet Riot - Dark Chocolate
Organic Excellence - Wild Mint Shampoo and Conditioner
Hugo - Vanilla & Sweet Orange Essential Mist
Planet Botanicals - Shea Butter Cream
Soul Flower - Button

The Eco-Emi box is $15 per month.

Click here for a link to the: 


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Click here for a link to the: 
January 2011 Birchbox
February 2011 Birchbox
March 2011 Birchbox
April 2011 Birchbox
May 2011 Birchbox
June 2011 Birchbox
July 2011 Birchbox
August 2011 Birchbox

Click here for a link to the website: Birchbox
Click here for a link to Beauty Fix: Beauty Fix
Click here for a link to my YouTube Channel: The Sassi Wench

- The Sassi Wench

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Lancome Magnifique Eau de Toilette

Lancome Magnifique
As Summer is vanquished by Fall, I find myself drawn more to the woodsy, spicy scents on my vanity table.  Light fruity, sugary scents are my preference in Spring and Summer, but for the chilly days ahead I love indulging in heavier fragrances that would be too cloying and overbearing in warmer months.

Lancome Magnifique
I'm always looking to add to my fragrance/perfume collection, but I'm very selective when choosing them. 
Lancome Magnifique
A while ago I was at a mall and I discovered Magnifique by Lancome.  I find that Lancome tends to produce heavy, spicy, often sickly sweet strong scents (can you say "Miracle?") and I suppose Magnifique is no exception.  This is why I chose the Eau de Toilette instead of the actual perfume.
Lancome Magnifique
This lighter version is a floral infused with something elusive that is apparently Nagarmotâ Wood (whatever that is), saffron, amber and roses.  At the heart of it, it is a very warm, spicy, sophisticated scent.  I noticed that it lasts a very long time, but that's not too surprising considering the fact that this is a rather complex scent.
 Lancome Magnifique
In addition to the perfume and Eau de Toilette, Magnifique is available as a body lotion and a shower gel.


The Eau de Toilette comes in two sizes:


1 oz. is $39.50
1.7 oz. is $49.50


You can purchase Magnifique directly  from Lancome, or check on availability at a department store near you.


- The Sassi Wench

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Paul & Joe Brush Holder

The Paul & Joe Brush Holder Box
The Paul & Joe brush holder comes beautifully packaged!

Although this Paul & Joe makeup brush holder has been available for years, I only recently decided to purchase it.  

It is well made, compact, and easy to keep clean.  I have other brush holders, but I find that this particular one is perfect to place used makeup brushes in, or any brushes that need to be cleaned.  Once I have washed my makeup brushes, I use Brush Guards and place the washed makeup brushes inside one section of this brush holder where they can dry.  

The Paul & Joe brush holder has a pleated fan shape pattern.

The brush holder is patterned in a pleated fan shape, with raised chrysanthemums for a Paul & Joe signature look.


My Rock & Republic makeup brushes in the Paul & Joe Brush Holder
It's also practical to use for makeup pencils, and I store my pencils in one half of the brush holder.

The divider inside the Paul & Joe brush holder cannot be removed, it's built-in.
There is a divider inside which separates the brush holder into two compartments.  It is a permanent divider though, and it cannot be removed.
Paul & Joe makeup holder divider
The brush holder definitely looks like it belongs on a makeup vanity from a by-gone era - a little art deco, a little glamorous.  The only drawback about this brush holder is that it is small.  Measuring 4' at the base, 5 1/2" across and 3 1/2' high, it's not practical for someone with a large brush collection.  It would have been nice if this brush holder was available in a larger size.

Paul & Joe brush holder
Paul & Joe Brush Holder is available at the Dermstore for $23.


- The Sassi Wench











Monday, November 7, 2011

Birchbox November 2011 Zoya Nail Polish

November 2011 Birchbox 
Zoya Sooki
Thymes Eucalyptus Body Lotion
Thymes Kimono Rose Body Lotion
Guerlain - Shalimar
Elizabeth Arden Youth-restoring luxury Ceramide Gold Ultra Restorative Capsules
Paperdoll Coasters!




My November 2011 Birchbox is like a blast from the past!  Elizabeth Arden, Shalimar and Eucalyptus body cream?  1985 called and wanted their stuff back!


The standout item in this months Birchbox is undoubtedly the Zoya nail polish in Sooki.  Zoya is a repeat for me with Birchbox - so far this year this is my third Zoya sample.  But I love Zoya nail polish so I really don't care!  

For the July Eco Emi Box, click here!
Sign up for New Beauty Magazine's TestTube here: 



Click here for a link to the: 
January 2011 Birchbox
February 2011 Birchbox
March 2011 Birchbox
April 2011 Birchbox
May 2011 Birchbox
June 2011 Birchbox
July 2011 Birchbox

August 2011 Birchbox

Click here for a link to the website: Birchbox
Click here for a link to Beauty Fix: Beauty Fix
Click here for a link to my YouTube Channel: The Sassi Wench

- The Sassi Wench

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The NARS Hanamichi Kabuki Eyeshadow Palette

NARS Hanamichi Kabuki Eyeshadow Palette Packaging
The NARS Hanamichi Kabuki Eyeshadow Palette is encased in a little pouch.

The NARS Hanamichi Kabuki Eyeshadow Palette comes with a Kabuki Eye Brush
I spied this beauty online a few weeks ago, and it literally took my breath away!  I don't know if I've ever seen such a beautiful eyeshadow palette!  

Made in Italy, the Hanamichi Palette is a limited edition 2011 holiday palette, available for $65, and it includes an eyeshadow brush and a mirror.

The NARS Hanamichi Kabuki Eyeshadow Palette in sunlight
Right now, this palette is still available from Nordstrom and from NARS EU
The NARS Hanamichi Kabuki Eyeshadow Palette up-close
Hanamichi is Japanese for "flower path", and the inspiration for this palette was the walkway that extends into the audience in a Kabuki dance/drama theatre. 


The elaborate makeup worn by some of the performers is highly stylized, and this is clearly reflected in the NARS Hanamichi Palette.
The NARS Hanamichi Kabuki Eyeshadow Palette - inspired by a Kabuki Theatre
NARS Kabuki Eye Brush up-close
NARS Kabuki Eye Brush
The NARS Kabuki Eye Brush is tiny, and I'm too afraid to use it!  The handle is hand-spun with wisteria, and the bristles are so short that I'm worried that I'll destroy the brush if I wash it!  Because of the size I don't know if it's going to be the most practical brush, so I'll save it for another day when I have more time to wash and test it.


Something that I don't like about this palette is that it does contain talc as the main ingredient.

NARS Hanamichi swatches


While NARS claims the eye shadows are "highly pigmented", I did not find this to be accurate.  I have certainly used very deeply pigmented eyeshadows that pack a punch, but here even the matte black eyeshadow is a little sheer.  


These eyeshadows are pretty though, and blend beautifully.  It's certainly not for everyone, but I love it.


- The Sassi Wench