J. Mendel, a five-generation French atelier has evolved into a global luxury fashion house. Continuing in the couture tradition and fur savoir-faire of his ancestors, designer Gilles Mendel is known for combining the highest quality materials and impeccable craftsmanship with a modern, award-winning design sensibility. Based in New York since the 1980s, J. Mendel’s signature luxe-femininity and effortless elegance has become a red-carpet favorite among international royalty and Hollywood stars alike.
In a world where luxury seems to be going away, Neiman Marcus is one of the few companies that still does luxury right – especially with brands like J. Mendel. Blending together great sales and high-end fashion, shopping at Neiman Marcus, even if it is just online, is an experience. You’ll have access to some of the highest end designers and with J. Mendel, there is nowhere else you’ll want to shop. Even better, you’ll find something for everyone – from a teenager to your mom to a newborn baby. They have one of the widest selections on the internet for J. Mendel and other well-known names. Of course, you can also expect some surprises.
Most importantly, Neiman Marcus sometimes gets exclusives from J. Mendel where you can’t find the item anywhere but either in a Neiman Marcus or online. You have to be quick, however.
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As women, we like choices (we pretty much demand them). And in terms of makeup choices, there are literally thousands of makeup products on the market. One of the most popular today is cream eyeshadow. I’m sure you’re more than familiar with its predecessor, powder eyeshadow, and cream shadow is not meant as a replacement for it. But they are obviously very different formulations, and best suited for different individuals and occasions. So what is it and how is it different?
Not only is cream shadow obviously a different formulation from powder eye shadow, it is more versatile. Cream shadow can actually sometimes double as a shadow base or lid primer, as long as you check the label (it will specify use as a base). This is perfect, especially if you are attempting makeup for hooded eyes. Since the hooded eye has a slight overlap of skin onto the lid, ordinary powder shadow and regular kohl liner can often be rubbed off within a matter of minutes after applying. Talk about frustrating! The best way to utilize cream shadow as a base is to pick a color complimentary to the powder shade you will be using. For instance, if you’re going for a simple smokey eye in browns, start with a shimmery taupe cream eye shadow (some excellent picks would be Clinique Touch Base for Eyes in Uplighting, Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream in 15 Taupe, and Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo in Tough as Taupe. But if you really want to pop your eyeshadow color, choose a white cream base for the lid. Any color will look bold and vibrant over that.
Cream shadows also come in very matte colors that mimic various skin tones (such as Laura Mercier Eye Canvas, Lancome Aquatique Waterproof Eyecolour Base, and L’Oreal Magic De-Crease Eyelid Primer). Such creams are mainly used as eyelid “primers,” which act to smooth out the eye area, and provide an even canvas on which to create your eye makeup masterpiece. These matte skin tone finishes can be used to anchor any color powder eyeshadow to make the powder shadow “read true,” as opposed to the bolder or vibrant examples with colored primer bases above.
Cream eye shadow in a darker color can also be used alone to create wonderful smokey eye looks. They are easy to blend, easy to drag down under the lower lash line, and easy to smudge, for the ultimate in smoked-out sexiness. And as long as the formulation is long-wear, your smoky eye should last all night!
Powder eye shadow, on the other hand, is like a comfy pair of jeans. The ones you could never do without. You know just how they will fit, and just how to work them. You also know their limitations. Matte, shimmer, glitter, holographic, baked, loose, and pigment…powder eye shadow has come a long way, in the past 10 years alone. But basically, it is what it is. You know how you can use it, and you also know how long it usually lasts on your lids (All through the work day? What about a humid summer afternoon? A party night of dancing?). So yes, powder shadow, when worn alone, does have its limits. But one thing powder shadow can do is double as some of the best brow powder around! MAC shadows, in particular, have dozens of suitable “brow shades” of eye shadow (such as MAC Charcoal Brown, MAC Omega, and MAC Brun).
Basically, what you’ll find is that it’s impossible to say that one is better than the other when comparing powder to cream eye shadow. They are both amazing and useful in their own ways. And when used together…they create an unstoppable, unyielding, undeniable eye makeup tour de force! In the end, you’re the one who wins, since you get to use them both!
We often focus a lot on what to wear and our accessories often find themselves second in the grand scheme of things when we are deciding on an outfit for a night out. It is my honest belief that you can accessorize a simple outfit and make it go from ok to wow with just a few simple statement pieces, so read below for a few simple pieces to help change your outfit from plain to amazing in just a few simple steps.
A great statement necklace
If you have selected a simple, block color outfit such as a plain black jumpsuit or a black top with a pair of black skinny jeans or trousers, a big, bright and bold statement necklace can really pull together and set off your entire outfit. If you feel comfortable select a large, chunky necklace, in block colors to add a bit of color and style to a plain outfit.
A dazzling clutch purse
If you are heading out for the evening you might want to style a simple outfit with a clutch purse. You will find a brightly colored clutch will help to either brighten up a simple outfit or keep a busy outfit looking stylish, elegant and unfussy.
Simple, yet elegant heeled shoes
Shoes are one of the most pivotal parts of any outfit and if you are looking for an elegant look a simple pair of strappy sandals really can help to bring your overall look together. If the weather does not really allow for sandals, which is especially true in many places throughout the winter, then a simple pair of court shoes or heeled boots while work just as well.
A pair of statement earrings
Earrings are a simple addition to your outfit and you can go two ways with them. If you are looking to go simple with your accessories because you have a bit more of a bright or fussy outfit, a simple pair of studs can help to make any outfit look classy. If you feel like your outfit needs more color you can consider a colourful pair of statement earrings.
Do not dismiss hair accessories
If you have longer hair you might want to consider some accessories for your hair. If you have your hair loose around your shoulders you might want to add a simple or sparkling headband. If you are attending a formal event, such as a wedding, a fascinator works well instead of committing to a full on wedding hat. Other hair options include clip in florals or a nice simple hair clip to keep your hair off of your face.
Not even the most die-hard makeup artist is completely perfect when it comes to their own makeup habits. We all get busy, forgetful, lazy. But there are some makeup missteps that could end up being detrimental to not only your makeup, but your skin. Thankfully, though, these are all easy fixes, and once you incorporate them into your routine, you’ll be back on track in no time!
- Not cleaning your brushes – Not only can this lead to bacteria growth in the brushes, but it can also end up costing a fortune! As dirt, dust, and makeup accumulate on the bristles, bacteria can thrive there too. And that same accumulation of gunk can cause the bristles of your most loved (and most expensive) brushes to break and fall out (sometimes sticking to your face during application). Yuk! Be sure to give your brushes a good cleaning with a mild cleanser every month or two.
- Blowing on your brushes – You’ve picked up a little too much product? Might as well give the brush a little blow to remove some of it, right? Wrong. Blowing on the brushes can transfer bacteria from your mouth and the air onto the bristles, which grows with each subsequent blow. Try tapping the brush on the side of the product or the edge of some other hard surface instead.
- Not washing your makeup off before bed – You’ve heard this a million times, we know. The reason you’ve heard it so much is because it’s true. Not only do your pores need to breathe, but your skin will have a harder time making room on the surface for new, pretty skin cells while the old, gunky cells are caked there. If you are really, really exhausted, using makeup wipes will do in a pinch, but you’re better off making it a practice to wash your face properly each night before bed.
- Not moisturizing before applying makeup – You might not think you need to follow this little practice, especially if your skin tends to be oily. But moisturizer has nothing to do with adding oil, and everything to do with keeping your skin hydrated. Also, skin that is not moisturized can often effect makeup application, making it look uneven and blotchy. Try adding a light daytime moisturizer with SPF to your routine before applying foundation. That way your skin stays hydrated, receives foundation more smoothly, and is protected from those harmful UVA and UVB rays.
- Using your hand to match your foundation color – Newsflash: your hand is not your face. It’s not even near your face. So why would the skin there be a good indicator of the skin on your face? The skin on our hands is exposed to sun and the elements a lot more often than that of the skin on your face, so it will almost definitely be a different color. If you’re out shopping and don’t want to mess up your makeup by swatching a new foundation across your cheek, try turning your head and applying a vertical line of foundation that is closer to your ear and one along your jawbone area. Those will give a better indication of a true match.
- Pumping your mascara – We admire your thriftiness. You want to get every last drop of that mascara out of the bottle. Or maybe you just want a little extra product on the wand. Either way, the only thing that pumping the mascara wand is doing is pushing air into the bottle…which is making the product dry up quicker. Opt for swishing the wand around the sides of the bottle instead.
- Matching your eye shadow to your outfit – Ok, so we all did this as kids. As far as we were concerned, it was a major cool thing to do. Then. But now, we know better…or, at least we should. Eye makeup, particularly shadow, is designed to make the most of your eye color. And its application is meant to make the most of your eye’s shape. So don’t cut your potential beauty short. You can Google the best eye colors/eye shadow combos, or just check out a color wheel to see what colors opposite your eye color will best make your peepers pop!