When it’s time to give a gift, it’s time to look at Mont Bleu

Mont Bleu key ring

Mont Bleu key ring

Mont Bleu is one amazing company. Every time Beauty Info Zone receives a package from the company we are more and more in awe of the beauty of the products they create. We’ve been fortunate enough to review glass files, pens, tweezers, mirrors and earrings. The list of products that Mont Bleu manufactures goes on and on. It’s easy to get lost in their website and it’s easier to want to buy everything they make. They are known for hand setting products with SWAROVSKI® ELEMENTS crystals. They are the producers of their own products, they aren’t resellers. They take pride in absolutely everything they create and when you actually see and hold them you’ll be fascinated with the precision work and the gorgeous colors of the crystals.

Beauty Info Zone believes these make the best gifts ever. We’re coming up on Mother’s Day, graduation and bridal showers and we can’t think of better gifts to give. We have some products to share with you to show even more of the beauty of the line.

MARCIA’S GOODIES:

Ask anyone in my family what I love most (besides my grandson that is) and they’ll say hearts. I’m known for collecting heart items. Mont Bleu has a whole section called Gifts with Heart which I’m sure they created just for me. Beautiful glass nail files, cell phone charms and key chains are in this part making me drool. Well my drooling is over. Take a look at this fabulous key chain.

Mont Bleu Key Ring

Mont Bleu Key Ring

When I saw it on the Mont Bleu website I thought it was perfect. When I had it in my hand I knew it was perfection for a heart lover. I’m afraid to leave my car with valet since I can’t imagine anyone not drooling over this. It looks like you’ve spent a fortune on this but it’s under $16US.

Mont Bleu - two in one!

Mont Bleu – two in one!

Having the two parts is great for me since I have 3 keys just for my mom’s senior living so I have hers on one and mine on the other. If I need to I can take one with me to lessen my load. This is sturdy and looks heavy but it really isn’t. I’m in love with my hearts!

Mont Bleu has also created some of the most beautiful bag hangers I’ve ever seen. Who wants their purse on the dirty floor of a restaurant? You can instead use their bag hangers to keep your handbag clean and safe. You can position this where you want on the table so that someone can’t just come by and snatch up your purse. It folds up small and you store it in the purse, ready to take out when you need it. Genius.

Mont Bleu bag hanger

Mont Bleu bag hanger

Mont Bleu bag holder closed

Mont Bleu bag holder closed

how you attach the bag holder

how you attach the bag holder

There are 24 to choose from too, priced from $14.29 to $21 US. They are packaged in a box ready to wrap and give. But do yourself a favor and buy one for yourself too.

Mont Bleu bag hanger open

Mont Bleu bag hanger open

LISA’S GOODY:

What does everyone need these days? A business card holder. Actually, in my world everyone needs a business card holder with some BLING. Mont Bleu comes to the rescue with business card holders emblazoned with Swarovski Elements.

Business Card Holder

Business Card Holder

Mont Bleu says, “We brought a fresh look at the highly underestimated personal accessory, a business card holder. Sleek and functional design combined with high-quality hand-decorating work will add an unforgettable attitude to your image.  Get your own chic accessory right now, whether it’s a gift or you want to treat yourself.”

inside

inside, beautiful black velvet

The outside is so pretty with the black, pink, and white crystals in a floral pattern.  The inside is impressive too – it’s not just plain metal, it’s a comfy looking black velvet that looks luxurious and impressive when you open the card holder.

even better with cards!

even better with cards!

And check out how fantastic it looks with my cards inside! It holds probably 20 cards easily. I love how I was able to coordinate the outside of the card holder with the colors of my cards. Mont Bleu has eleven different choices from completely plain to total BLING (around $25US) so take a look – I know there is a perfect choice for you.

*samples were sent for review

 

Valentina Assoluto has launched! Plus a review of Valentina EDP

Warning:  You will want both of these fragrances just for the bottles.   Proceed to read at your own risk.

valentino assoluto

Valentina Assoluto, the latest Valentino fragrance, launched on April 1st – just in time for Mother’s Day.  The BIZ was lucky enough to be sent a sample of this gorgeous fragrance along with the original Valentina Eau de Parfum.

Valentina

Valentina

Valentina Assoluto is a companion fragrance to the Valentina Eau de Parfum which was released a few years ago. Assoluto is a deeper version, sort of the evening fragrance whereas the Valentina EDP is the day fragrance.

Valentino says, “from the sensual grace and majestic femininity of Valentina, master perfumer Olivier Cresp has recreated the quintessence of Valentina by giving it an intense fragrance, adorned with a new, chypre signature.  Creating a magical formula that comes to life on the skin and transforms it into an unmistakable and necessary final touch:  a designer fragrance.”

Valentina

Valentina Assoluto

My first question was, what the heck is chypre??

Chypre, according to Wikipedia (what did we ever do before Wikipedia?  Oh yeah, we looked for things in moldy old encyclopedias and then couldn’t find them. But I digress…) is “the name of a family of perfumes that are characterized by an accord composed of citrus top-notes, a middle centered on cistus labdanum, and a mossy-animalic base-note derived from oak moss and musks.  Chypre perfumes fall into numerous classes according to their modifier notes, which include but are not limited to leather, florals, fruits, and amber.”

In congruence with the definition of chypre, the top notes of Assoluto are Smeggia Peach enhanced with Alba truffle.

The middle notes are white flowers (jasmine, tuberose, orange blossom) that are complimented with a delicious vanilla. And the base notes include what Valentino calls “the mystery of a voluptuous Chypre signature”, a  fusion of patchouli, oak moss and cedar wood.

Valentina

Wow it is beautiful!!

I am totally in love with the packaging.  I think the round bottle with the single large modernist flower is elegant and chic.  I also love the unique spray head, it’s a round ball topped with a flat round metallic coin. Press the top and the fragrance mists out – and there is a convenient plastic top that protects the bottle from leaking or accidental sprays. In terms of how the fragrance wears on me, it’s definitely a more intense version of the EDP. I find that the deeper notes are more prominent  and there also seems to be more jasmine in it. This is a definitely assertive fragrance, but it’s not too ‘perfumy’ and the combination of notes is tremendous.

EDP

The start of it all – Valentina Eau de Parfum

You couldn’t have Assoluto without the original Valentina Eau de Parfum. The notes between the two fragrances are extremely similar – the EDP’s top notes are Calabria bergamot and Alba truffle. Middle notes include Amalfi orange blossom, sweet jasmine, tuberose, and wild strawberries. Base notes are cedar, vanilla, and amber.

edp

The beautiful Valentina EDP

The packaging is also similar, with a round glass bottle adorned with cream and light pink flowers. It has the same unique spray head that I think all fragrances should have.  The bottle is sheer beauty. I can’t even begin to choose which bottle I prefer – I guess I prefer that they both adorn my vanity!

EDP

so gorgeous I can’t quit staring!

The Valentina EDP is a light daytime scent that is also very sensual. I love scents with vanilla and this one has a lovely warmth due to the amber notes. It’s one of those scents that make people hug you twice because you just smell so good and cozy. It’s a very feminine fragrance, I think it’s great for summer because it’s woody but not too earthy.

edp

What mom wouldn’t want this for Mother’s Day??

While I wear them both, if I had to pick a favorite it would be the Eau De Parfum. It’s lighter, and I tend to be more comfortable with less assertive fragrances. But both scents are gorgeous, they make a terrific duo that take you from day to night with ease. – Lisa

Eau De Parfum Spray (2.7 oz.) $117

Eau De Parfum Spray (1.7 oz.) $88

Mother’s Day Set (2.7 oz EDP spray and 6.8 oz. Body Lotion, $117)

You can find Valentina fragrances at Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Lord & Taylor, and Bergdorf Goodman.

*pr samples provided for consideration for review

Makeup Wars introduces our personal Holiday Wishlist items

“I want nothing for Christmas” said me NEVER! Of course I want a gift. I may not get anything beauty but I can dream can’t I?? The Makeup Wars bloggers have decided to put together our wishlists of what we’d like to see under our menorah or Christmas tree this year. My wishlist is 100% beauty related which comes as no surprise at all. The good news is that these are all pretty easy to get, the bad news is that I bought some of it while waiting to publish.

Let’s start with what I bought! After our Favorite Metallic Makeup Wars I was terribly tempted by the Laura Mercier Art Deco shadows that so many of the bloggers put on their list. They were sold out at Sephora which made it even more important for me to buy them. So Nordstrom.com and my reward certificates came in handy and now I own some of these. While they aren’t on my wishlist since they are on a UPS truck coming to me, they should be on yours!

Laura Mercier Art Deco eyeshadows

What I also bought was one (I promise only one) of the new Burberry Complete Eyeshadow Palettes. I just kept looking at this picture and had to wipe the drool off my face several times. I bought Smokey Grey No. 1 because I have been buying brown shadows galore in 2012. On my wishlist though are more of these. Luckily these are permanent ($59 each). Take a gander:

Burberry Complete Eye Palettes

  • Smokey Grey No. 01 Grays
  • Mocha No. 02 Warm neutrals
  • Pale Nude No. 03 Cool neutrals
  • Dark Spice No. 05 Smoky neutrals
  • Plum Pink No. 06 Plums
  • Pink Taupe No. 07 Pink neutrals

Next on my wishlist is more Too Faced, in particular the Too Faced Bon Bons Set. There’s something so girly and appealing about this $42 box set. Their description makes it even more appealing to me: “As enticing as a box of scrumptious sweets, Shadow Bon Bons features a delicious range of shadows from soft vanillas to rich coffee, an ultra-black LashGASM mascara, a built-in mirror, and a shimmering gold Candlelight shadow primer, making it easy to create bountiful looks. Go from sweet and sassy to subtle to dramatic with this one versatile set.”

Too Faced Bon Bons

Prime Beauty introduced me to the Eye Candy Full Face Collection from Lorac on her blog and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. Doesn’t this sound like fun for $59??

– 4 x 0.68 oz Eye Shadow Palette in Ooh La La Vanilla (Nude Eye Shadow Palette), Caramel Love Affair (Golden Eye Shadow Palette), Tantilizing Cocoa (Bronze Eye Shadow Palette), Blackberry Truffle Seduction (Smoky Eye Shadow Palette)
– 0.17 oz Cream Eye Liner Palette in Mesmerizing Dark Chocolate
– 0.17 oz Cheek & Lip Tint Palette in Indulge in Berry Kisses

Lorac Eye Candy

Let’s move away from the eyes (which is difficult for me). When Lola’s Secret Beauty Blog reviewed the Armani Nude Lip Set ($49) I suddenly had a desire for it.   The set includes Rouge d’Armani #103 and Gloss d’Armani #103. I love my light shades of lipstick and even though I probably have dozens of similar shades there’s just something I like about this.

Armani Nude Lip Set

I have the Chantecaille Rose Petals Highlighter ($74) on my wishlist because it’s just so pretty. I’d probably never use it, I’d just look at it.  Read this and weep: “A kaleidoscope of colorful powders blend together beautifully to impart a sheer, flattering glow on all skin tones. Unique light-perfecting powders provide a veil of subtle radiance, while flexible polymers ensure long-lasting, comfortable wear. Innovative technology allows the soft, iridescent pigments to be evenly sprinkled throughout the entire powder.”

Chantecaille Rose Petals Highlighter

On the practical side I’d love the Le Metier de Beaute CHEM60 Pro-Peel & GLOW10ai Mask Set ($265). After seeing it work in person I’d love to have that glowy skin.

Le Metier Ready, Set, Glow

And one more for the road – I am a Swarovski crystal nut. I love those crystals so when I saw this Tweezerman Swarovski Crystal Mirror ($150) I fell in lust. “Add some glam to your beauty routine while isolating even the finest hair for precise, easy tweezing. The optically correct 1X/10X magnifying mirror is clear from edge-to-edge with no distortion. This gorgeously decorated two-sided vanity mirror will be a beautiful addition to any household. *Made with Swarovski® Elements

Tweezerman Swarovski crystal mirror

Thanks for reading my very long wishlist. My address is available upon request (LOL). Let me know if any of these would be on your wishlist too. Curious minds want to know. Now I’m going to read the rest of the Makeup Wars Holiday Wishlists and probably add many more items to mine just like I did after the metallics. — Marcia

Click on the icons for all the Makeup Wars bloggers to discover their finds.



Some holiday ideas that aren’t quite run of the mill

We’ve reviewed a few brands on Beauty Info Zone that don’t come to mind instantly when you are thinking of products to buy as gifts. They aren’t owned by the big cosmetic companies and don’t have big advertising budgets but their products are fabulous. We thought we’d share a few items with you that might be nice to see under a Christmas tree/Chanukah bush.

VMV Hypoallergenics is a brand we’ve shared before. They have gifts for the people that have sensitive skin. My favorite is the MistleGlow gift but that’s currently out of stock.

VMV Hypoallergenics Mistleglow

What is in stock at Dermstore though are three different sets of skincare: Very Merry VMV Happy HoliDew kits for combination skin, dry skin or oily skin at $25.00.

Very Merry VMV Happy Holiday kit

One of the products most sensitive women moan about is mascara since most won’t work on their eyes. That’s where VMV Ooh La Lash shines. Finally a product that won’t burn or turn their eyes red. ($23 at VMV Hypoallergenics) This will help the person who normally can’t wear mascara have a special holiday look. This would be a great stocking stuffer.

VMV Hypoallergenics Ooh La Lash

“Each application adds a new sleeve, coating each lash, building an ever-thicker cocoon of rich, beautiful color, and creating s-tube-pendous, non-smearing volume. Non-clumping, smear-free (and therefore skin-friendlier). Why? Because instead of applying layers of looser pigments across a swath of lashes, it creates a clean, “sealed” tube around each lash.” 

SKEEM is a brand that makes beautiful candle sets that your candle loving friends won’t find in every store in town. Here’s one of our favorites:

Pillar Pack 2

This is the Pillar Pack 2 that includes Night Jasmine and Fig & Black Pepper Pillars, and a Night Jasmine Half Pint. This set may be our favorite but there’s also 5 other sets ranging from $25 to $48. Read Lisa’s reviews on Skeem and you’ll see why it’s a favorite.

For your friend that would never wear Estee Lauder, Lancome or even Dior; the one that wants to be noticed; check out these amazing OCC Metallic Lip Tars.

OCC Metallurgy Lip Tars (photo borrowed from http://gouldyloxreviews.blogspot.com/)

These lip tars have a metallic sheen and give you the amazing long lasting color of the original Lip Tars. “Apply even less product than usual in this newest iteration of our groundbreaking Lip Tar™ formula for a fully metallized lip look.” These are available at OCC’s website and at Sephora.com for $16.00. ICED: OPAQUE SNOW WHITE FROST
TRIPTYCH: TRUE 24K METALLIC GOLD
AUTHENTIC: FULL STRENGTH COPPER METALLIC
ELECTRIC GRANDMA: ELECTRIFIED TRUE, CLASSIC CORAL
SUPER NSFW: TRUE RED WITH A GOLDEN METALLIC FLOURISH
YAOI: PERFECTLY PINK PEARLESCENCE

Last but not least, we love everything from Mont Bleu. We’ve recently reviewed some great files and gorgeous mirrors but they also have amazing jewelry, tweezers, hair brushes and cosmetic brushes. Plus they have a Black Friday sale at Design Glassware. You can’t go wrong with Mont Bleu.

Two Hearts Key Ring by Mont Bleu

Have fun shopping – only 36 days left!! — Marcia

Mont Bleu mirrors make your smiles even better

Mont Bleu Pink Flowers Pocket Mirror

Is there a woman reading this that doesn’t love some extra beauty in their lives? All of my friends and the women I’ve worked with appreciate having something with a special touch that will bring a smile to their face. Mont Bleu is the place to buy something to showcase a smile with their gorgeous Compact Mirrors and Pocket Mirrors set with SWAROVSKI® ELEMENTS crystals.

The quality of these mirrors is not to be believed. These are hand set with SWAROVSKI® ELEMENTS crystals. I just gasped when I opened the black leatherette gift box that contained my particular mirror, Pink Flowers. Mont Bleu carries two types of mirrors in an amazing amount of styles and colors. They make both metal and plastic mirrors in a wide variety of prices. The mirror I have is a Pocket Mirror that is made of high quality plastic. I honestly didn’t know it wasn’t metal until I checked out the website to get the price for this review (10.80€=$14US). The mirror is just perfect.

Box that all Mont Bleu mirrors come in

Pink Flowers in the box

First it comes in a gift box so it’s ready to wrap for any occasion (like the upcoming winter holidays). Second you can pick out just about any color or design that you like. If you have a long list of people to gift there are so many choices that you don’t have to repeat the design for any of them. They are glitzy without being gaudy. More important though is that the mirror is such great quality. There are two mirrors inside, regular and magnifying. The size is 84x74mm (3.31×2.91 inches) so they are a good size for a cosmetic bag or purse. Design and precise hand work is made by Mont Bleu | Made with SWAROVSKI® ELEMENTS”.

Top is a regular mirror, bottom is magnifying

Pink Flowers pocket mirror by Mont Bleu

Here are a few mirrors that I’m totally lusting after:

Mont Bleu Black Sun mirror

This is the Black Sun compact matte metal mirror that sells for 19 Euros/$24.65US.

Mont Bleu Butterfly

This pretty butterfly mirror is 12 euros /$15.60US. Giving this as a gift would make me as happy as owning it.

Mont Bleu Corals IV Compact Mirror

This stunner is when you need to go all out, 55 Euros/$71.30US.

You can’t go wrong with a gift from Mont Bleu. From the nail files, foot files, and earrings that we’ve previously reviewed to the gorgeous hair brushes and key chains I could find a gift for every female on my gift list without breaking the bank.

Whenever you need to put on your lips or fix your makeup, you’ll have a smile twice as big as usual when you pull out one of these mirrors. — Marcia

OMG – I have the best news for you. While I don’t have a giveaway for Mont Bleu a blogger friend has a brand new one and gave me permission to link you to it. So now you have a chance to win a Mont Bleu gift card. I’m so jealous since I’d enter if she wasn’t a friend. Moxie from Moxie Reviews has a g.c. for $33.20 for one lucky winner to use on the Mont Bleu site. Go enter NOW on her site!! You won’t be sorry. — Marcia

*my mirror is a pr sample