Camouflage: Top 6 Concealers for Every Issue

Camouflage: Top 6 Concealers for Every Issue

CYMERA_20141010_215205Girl, we ALL have issues. I’m not talking about having an unhealthy obsession about wire hangers. Dark circles, redness, blemishes, spots…all the lovely and complexion marring issues that we all have. Concealer can easily get rid of most issues – but only if you pick the right formulation. 


Dark Circles & Spots: Laura Mercier High Coverage Concealer ($28, Formulated to cover dark circles, the warm tones of this highly pigmented cream concealer also doubles as a coverup for dark spots.

Blemishes: Cover FX Blemish Treatment Concealer ($25, 1% salicylic acid treats pimples and 30% pigment load covers them up without effort.

Dark Spots: Bobbi Brown Corrective Spot Treatment SPF 25 ($38, I think this is being discontinued because it isn’t available at the Bobbi website. Unfortunate, because this is one of the few concealers that effectively covers my dark spot on my cheek. It has a thick creamy texture that dries down to a impenetrable matte finish. The SPF helps keeps spots from getting worse.

Dullness & Shadows: Marc Jacobs Beauty Remedy Concealer Pen ($39, essentially eliminates signs of dehydration, shadows and tired skin. I use Bright Idea under my eyes in a V shape after covering the darkest areas with the Laura Mercier High Coverage Concealer. Nobody knows I haven’t had a good night’s sleep in years. It also works nicely around the lip area without getting cakey.

Redness & All Over: Cle de Peau Concealer ($70, has the ideal texture – pigmented without being heavy – giving this cult-status stick the ability to cover anything. Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place High Cover Concealer SPF 35 ($24, offers long wear and impressive coverage in a portable compact.






Juliette Has a Gun ‘NOT A PERFUME’ Review



Juliette Has a Gun - Not a PerfumeJULIETTE HAS A GUN NOT A PERFUME
$120 100 ml. | $$$
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Product Rating: ★★★★★★★★☆☆ (8/10)

BIRCHBOX SAYS: Even if you’ve never heard of Cetalox, you’ve undoubtedly picked up its scent. Used as a back note in thousands of fragrances, Cetalox (a synthetic substitute for grey amber) takes center stage in Not a Perfume. The result is elegant, pure, spicy, and completely allergen-free.

MONSTER SAYS: I’ve been wearing the same fragrance for years – Comptoir Sud Pacifique Vanille (or one from that line) which is simply the BEST vanilla fragrance on the market. I also love Jo Malone fragrances (Nectarine Blossom & Honey and Grapefruit are my favorites). I’ve never been inspired to buy a new fragrance based on a sample, but when I received the Juliette Has a Gun Not a Perfume from Birchbox I was instantly hooked. Not a Perfume has a warm, clean scent that is comforting, soft and glorious at the same time. While it won’t make people say “I smell yummy cupcakes” or guys stop mid-conversation to find out who smells like cookies, people will just think you naturally smell warm and cozy.


SMASHBOX Double Exposure Palette Review and Swatches

Smashbox Double Exposure Palette Review and Swatches

SMASHBOX Double Exposure Palette Review & Swatches

Smashbox Double Exposure Palette DOUBLE EXPOSURE PALETTE
$52 14 shadows + mascara + brush | $$
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Product Rating: ★★★★★★★★★☆ (9/10)

SEPHORA SAYS: This innovative eye palette features coated pigments formulated with coating technology to create multiple effects when wet, allowing the shadows to transform in one of four ways—allowing these 14 shadows to become 28 shades in just one palette. When wet, these colors amp up vibrancy, become deeper, turn metallic, or create sparkle for endless, customizable eye looks.

MONSTER SAYS: Eyeshadow palettes have been my latest obsession. The Smashbox Full Exposure palette that features coordinating matte and shimmery shades is one of my all-time favorites, so when Sephora launched the SMASHBOX DOUBLE EXPOSURE PALETTE ($52) as a VIB Rouge exclusive – I didn’t hesitate. Each shade can effectively be used wet or dry – adding additional intensity or transforming it into a rich metallic.

Smashbox Double Exposure Palette Review

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BOBBI BROWN Warm Glow Eye Palette Review & Other New Products


BOBBI BROWN Warm Glow Eye Palette Review & Other NEW Products

Bobbi Brown Warm Glow Palette - Product ImageWARM GLOW EYE PALETTE
$75 9 shadows | $$$
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Product Rating: ★★★★★★★☆☆ (7/10)

BOBBI BROWN SAYS: This limited edition Eye Palette has everything you need to make eyes sparkle with rich, bronzy metallics, rose golds and deep browns. Comes in a gorgeous faux-croc case that you’ll love to pull out at parties. 

MONSTER SAYS: One of Bobbi’s prettiest palettes, thankfully void of any dull grey-based beige tones. Works well with my medium-tan skin tone, but would be notably warmer on lighter skins. A few of the colors are a bit redundant and this palette could have used a matte brown (like Rich Brown) to really pull it together. A great palette, but not quite a must have – unless you’ve been waiting for a truly “warm” collection.


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Cosmetic Monster Then (1990) and Now (2014)


Cosmetic Monster Then (1990) and Now (2014)


I was fortunate enough to grow up in the era of jelly shoes, piles of plastic bracelets, giant neon earrings, Breakin’ & Mannequin, Metal, Wham and leggings. While there were several huge fashion disasters (my hair included) – it was a time when there was no such thing as too much.

Graduating in 1990 (and the start of Heroin Chic and Nirvana) I ditched the neon green crop tops for my boyfriend’s flannel shirts. There were brief stints of girlishness (Cherry Blossom Pageant in mid-90’s), bad plaid dresses and t-shirts with cartoon characters. After discovering surfing toward the end of the 90’s – it was pretty much black tank tops from there.

24 years later, I still have chubby cheeks, a crooked smile and incredibly unruly hair that is remarkably flat iron resistant. While I often get the gratuitous “You don’t look 40″ thanks to boat loads of eye cream and an obsession with sneakers – the realization has become clear that aging isn’t what ages you. While I have passed my prime (and right to have firm abs without starving myself) looking forward is no longer something to dread. With two kids (who can simultaneously make me laugh and scream), a great husband, an enjoyable job & amazing co-workers and my health – I welcome everything that each day brings. Wrinkles and all.

Smashbox Double Exposure PaletteHappy Birthday to Me! I picked up this Smashbox Double Exposure Palette ($52, Sephora VIB Rouge Exclusive Early Launch) during the 20% off sale. I’ll definitely do a review as soon as it hits my doorstep.

For the first time in years, I’m also not going to our usual karaoke bar to celebrate. I’m opting to have a nice dinner with my husband (sans kids) and celebrate with the family another night since the 5 year old loves to sing “Happy Birthday”. Life is good.


Cosmetic Monster | Natto Ice Cream Sundae


Natto Ice Cream Sundae

Natto Ice Cream Sundae#JENN20 Update: I hate making excuses, but there was no time to really focus. Again, I haven’t gained anything – but really bummed I haven’t made more of an effort. November seems to have a few more open time slots and my first free vacation in a year – so we’ll get this done!!

I realize that the ice cream part of this photo isn’t “healthy” – but the NATTO part is. Half of you are probably wondering what natto is and majority of you who know what it is are saying “Ewww!”. Yes, slimy fermented soybeans normally has the opposite effect than – let’s say – BACON. Still, natto is one of the sleeper health foods – rich in probiotics, a good source of protein and low in calories. It also has both types of Vitamin K (K1 & K2) and studies suggest it could provide treatment for Alzheimer’s!

Personally, I love natto and can eat it out of the box with or without rice. While I’ll agree that it sometimes has a funky smell, I love the taste. So I’ll be including lots of natto in my “diet” going forward. Without the ice cream – of course.

Monster Read & Source:

Natto Ice Cream Sundae

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream SPF 15 | Product Review & Ingredients


Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream SPF 15 | Product Review & Ingredients

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream$95 / 1.7 oz. hard plastic jar with rose gold cap or
Product Rating: ★★★★★★★★☆ (8/10)

*Robot by OMGoshShop at

Charlotte Tilbury’s secret is out. Her Magic Cream is a secret mix of patented anti-aging ingredients combined with a hyaluronic booster and floral extracts to lift and transform tired skin in an instant.

Experience/Skin Type: Medium weight cream with light floral scent. For most skin types – except for extremely oily.

Key Ingredients: A break-through multi-tasking ingredient, the BioNymph Peptide Complex, fights the aging process on all fronts: it stimulates collagen production and cell energy and fights free radicals, to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and smooth the skin.
A hyaluronic acid booster called Sodium Hyaluronate floods skin with moisture, re-plumping the skin. And an infusion of rose hip oil and vitamin E bring your complexion back to life.

Quick Review: Affordable luxury in a richly textured cream that transforms tired skin into a glowing, healthy complexion. Is it magic? While it won’t banish all your skin woes (dark spots and acne still require specific attention) it certainly WORKS.


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Tatcha Moisturizer Guide and Reviews | Cosmetic Monster



Tatcha Moisturizer Guide & Reviews


(L-R): The Tatcha Moisturizer Line Up: Luminous Dewy Skin Mist, Luminous Deep Hydration Firming Serum, Supple Moisture Rich Silk Cream, Gold Camellia Beauty Oil, Ageless Enriching Renewal Cream

TATCHA is a remarkably simple, effective and elegant skin care brand that started with gold-flecked blotting papers and has quickly evolved into a brand to watch (and maybe to aspire to). While the brand started with a single, brilliant moisturizer – Supple Moisture Rich Silk Cream – there are now several curated products that can be used individually, or in tandem to achieve glowing, healthy skin for a spectrum of skin types.

Here is a comprehensive list of Tatcha moisturizing and nourishing products from lightest to richest.


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Cosmetic Monster LOVELY ❤ HEALTHY ❤ HAPPY | October 2014



Estee Lauder Evelyn Lauder Dream CompactOctober is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Coincidentally, at 41 years old, I’m getting ready to schedule my first mammogram. Thankfully I’m not a high-risk candidate and haven’t found anything during breast self-exams, but this disease has affected so many women close to our family and our hearts. If you haven’t had a mammogram and are over the age of 40 – it may be something you want to discuss with your doctor. Come on, we’ll do it together.

Estee Lauder Evelyn Lauder Dream Compact ($125, 20% of the suggested retail price will be donated to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (August 2014 – June 2015). This elegant compact refillable compact is filled with Lucidity Translucent Pressed Powder in Transparent which is perfect for touch ups. Did you know 1% of men are affected by breast cancer? The touch of blue represents them.

BCRF is an independent, not-for-profit organization that was founded in 1993 by Evelyn H. Lauder to fund the most promising breast cancer research worldwide. It’s mission: prevention and a cure within our lifetime. For more information about BCRF visit

Check out WHAT’S NEW in October, featured products and more:

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SeneGence LipSense in Caramel Latte Review and Swatches | Cosmetic Monster


Senegence LipSense in Caramel Latte Flash Review & Swatches

Product Rating: ★★★★★★★☆☆ (7/10)

LipSense is the premier product of SeneGence and is unlike any conventional lipstick, stain or color. As the original long-lasting lip color, it is waterproof, does not kiss-off, smear-off, rub-off or budge-off! Create your own color palette by combining shades. Your customized look will last even longer and your lips will stay moist and plump with LipSense Moisturizing Gloss.

Presentation: Standard lipgloss tubes with doe foot applicator

Color Reviewed: Caramel Latte (pink nude with slight shimmer) and Matte Gloss

THE REVIEWLIPSENSE CARAMEL LATTE SWATCHESSeneGence LipSense is the original long-lasting lipstick and it’s serious stuff. It has a very fluid consistency (like thin ink), a non-aggressive scent and MUST be applied according to the extensive directions, or you will be left disappointed. No cheating!

Caramel Latte swatches – 1,2 and recommended 3 coats (top).→

While I normally prefer a more hydrating product, and Caramel Latte was a little too pink for my taste – I really liked using this and was impressed at how long it stayed on. Unlike other long-wear lip products, it didn’t crack or peel off. Yes, it felt like I had a thin coat of nail polish on my lips at first, but and application of the Matte Gloss remedied that right away. The Matte “Gloss” felt like a silicone primer on the lips – but smoothed things out without any unwanted shine. After applying, I easily used my own liner (MAC Stripdown) to tone down the pinkness of the edges.

This isn’t something I would use everyday – I can see how this could dry out your lips since it does have a bit of alcohol and no nourishing properties, even with the gloss. However, I work some 14 hour days and this is definitely the best long-wear lip color I’ve used to date.

LIPSENSE LIQUID LIP COLOR INGREDIENTS: SD Alcohol 40-B, Acrylates/Octylacrylamide Copolymer, Isostearyl Alcohol, Silica, Fragrance (Parfum), Water (Aqua), Paeonia Suffruticosa Root Extract, Hypericum Perforatum Extract, Tilia Cordata Flower Extract, Isodonis Japonicus Extract. May Contain: Mica (CI 77019), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Bismuth Oxychloride (CI 77163), Ultramarines, Yellow 5 Lake (CI 19140), Orange 5 (CI 45370), Red 33 Lake (CI 17200), Blue 1 Lake (CI 42090), Red 7 Lake (CI 15850), Red 28 Lake (CI 45410), Red 6 Lake (CI 15850), Red 27 Lake (CI 45410:2), Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Palmitic Acid, Methicone.
**This product was submitted by a Senegence Independent Distributor for review consideration. This is not an advertisement for this product. All reviews and information is gathered independently by Cosmetic Monster or from press releases – and no compensation is received based on the outcome or sales generated from this review. Cosmetic Monster pays WordPress to be AD FREE and does not participate in affiliate programs – all links are provided to promote products, but without compensation. Only REFERRAL links for sites like Hautelook or Birchbox yield compensation (usually points or credit).


Cosmetic Monster LOVELY ❤ HEALTHY ❤ HAPPY | September 2014



CYMERA_20140523_224932Metallic eyes, bold lips and full brows are slated to be the “new” Fall 2014 beauty trends. Since layering clothing in Hawaii means throwing on a hoodie or light jacket over your tank top – I’ll actually be lightening up the eyes with just a nude eye base to even out tone (like Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Eye Base $27,, defining the brow and wearing lots of Dior Addict It-Lash Mascara ($26,

CYMERA_20140508_201730I love the look of dark, velvet lips (M•A•C Nightmoth Lip Pencil ($16, and NYC Ultra Moist Lipwear in Mahogany ($.99, but it isn’t a practical look for someone who doesn’t like to reapply during the day. I prefer to blend a touch of Givenchy Magic Lipstick 62 Noir Revelateur ($32, which is the prettiest sheer berry. I originally reviewed this back in 2012 when it first launched as Liv’s (as in Tyler) Lips – and I’m so happy its become a Givenchy staple. It stars as a smokey black balm and transforms into a transparent berry tone when applied. The glossy texture also adds to the feeling of lightness.

GIVENCHY Rouge Interdit Satin Lipstick 62 Swatches, Photos

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Venin Royale Concentrated Neuropeptide Renewal Serum Review | Cosmetic Monster



Venin Royale Concentrated Neutropeptide Renewal Serum Review


$150 / 1.7 fl.oz. pump bottle |
Product Rating: ★★★★★★★★ (9/10)

Venin Royale Concentrated Neuropeptide Renewal Serum is the first and only cosmetic to use NRT-27™, a patent-pending blend of natural, non-synthetic peptides and neuropeptides from King Cobra Venom.

This hypoallergenic, non-irritating and gluten free serum offers unique age defying skincare properties that help immediately, and over time, renew visibly aging skin by smoothing fine lines, replenishing the look of dry skin and returning skin to a softer, firmer feel and more youthful complexion.

Experience/Skin Type: Creamy, yet lightweight serum texture that absorbs quickly and doesn’t leave a residue or sticky film. Neutral scent with no added fragrance.

Key Ingredients: NRT-27™ – Available exclusively from Venin Royale, patent-pending NRT-27™ scientifically blends natural, non-synthetic peptides and neuropeptides from King Cobra Venom with hydrated silica to provide a multi-tiered solution to renew visibly aging skin. With its abundant level of highly positively charged cell-penetrating peptides, NRT-27™ calms and renews the appearance of skin to a more radiant complexion while boosting the delivery of the serum’s additional age defying ingredients – providing optimal penetration for more enhanced skincare benefits. Considered one of the first truly innovative skincare ingredients to be introduced into cosmetics in over a decade, NRT-27™ represents the next generation skincare technology. (Source:

Quick Review: It’s a little jarring that this serum has a warning “Not to be ingested…” and has KING COBRA VENOM listed as one of the ingredients – but unless you’re a hardcore vegan, this serum delivers calm, plump, even toned skin within weeks.


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