July '09
You owe it to yourself to look good
By Liz Armstrong
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Yves Saint Laurent
It didn’t feel right until now, with the blazing hot sun mercilessly tap-dancing on our faces, to talk about Yves Saint Laurent’s Trésor d’Afrique limited-edition eyeshadow compact. It’s impossible to have full appreciation of this type of color and saturation when it’s raining for months on end and only three weak rays of light are shed upon the ground a day. And unfortunately, that’s when this was introduced. So we’re seeing this blinding chlorinated turquoise, crushed plum, burnt toffee, and mysterious lurker navy with new eyes—and these eyes are now dazzling. $62 at Bergdorf Goodman

Zoya, Uslu Airlines

You know a mani is good if you can practically use your polished nail’s reflective surface to apply your lipstick—the more liquid it looks, the more perfect it is. But sometimes when a beauty standard has been around for so long, it’s just really, really hard to deny the allure of a new gimmick. So we’re just gonna fess up to kind of liking this whole matte sensation for fall that’s already started kicking up dust. Zoya, the only polish that’s free of all the harmful chemicals in most other polishes and comes in shades other than total hippie, has released their Matte Velvet line ($6 each—yes, you read that correctly—at its website), three lacquers that go on all shimmery and metallic and dry with the dull thud of car primer paint. And that’s the point, duh. Our favorite, Dovima, looks like you used a Sharpie to black out your nails, just like you did as a goth poetry-writing Skinny Puppy fan glowering into your textbook during class. But it has a luminescence from within, so if you can somehow shake all your Pier-One nightmare associations with frosted glass, this is your stuff. Of course, we’re appreciative of a good old-fashioned healthy backlash to any trend, so if you feel like being a rebel to all this flatness, Uslu Airlines has a preposterous royal blue confetti polish with jagged discs of glitter so big it only takes like five of them to cover one fingernail. Appropriately named after the Las Vegas airport, LAS is so loud you can practically hear that oddly soothing drone of overworked slot machines. €22 at Colette

Eve Lom
Last month we told you how much we adore Bulgarian rose otto. As it turns out, we were wrong. The stuff is even more of a dream ingredient than we previously thought. While it’s known for its ultra-nourishing properties, it’s not always the best choice for skin during weather that perpetuates what we’ll delicately call “its own moistness.” Okay, you need us to spell it out? Put something with rose otto on your face in the summer and for the next couple hours you’ll look like you just bathed in Vaseline. Unless that product is Eve Lom's TLC Radiance Cream, which lifts and illuminates without the need for several rounds of paper towel blotting. It’s a magically light daily moisturizer designed for skin that’s seen quite a few parties but is nowhere near ready to settle down. $85 at Space NK and Bloomingdales

Elemental Herbology
Tan in a bottle generally smells like a tan from a UV bake bed—the stomach-churning fragrance of sweet, microwaved meat. And even though the former doesn’t give you the cancer of the latter, it's still gross. Elemental Herbology’s Sun Kiss ($39), a body moisturizer and self-tanner, uses plant-derived pigment activators instead of chemicals, plus boosts its formula with all sorts of crisp botanicals so the eau de human hotdog factor is nil. The degree of intensity is passive but layerable—and product restraint is key when dealing with self-tanners. Recommended beforehand is Beach Prep ($37), a body scrub that truly does work but almost feels like a balm and smells like orange Chuckles, with the same level of sugar grit that decays your teeth as soon as you even think about it (so go hit the toothbrush right now). Both available at Space NK