Give Your Look a Spring Pick Me Up

After the dry air, grey skies, and dark colors of winter, spring can't get here fast enough. From bright eye-shadows to carry you through festival season to organic foundation and skin repair serums, check out our favorite products for this season.

1. Zuii Certified Organic Powder ($34) Made with vitamin C and rose petals, this organic powder foundation goes on smooth and light and is a perfect transition foundation for slightly dry winter skin, because it moisturizes as protects.

Beauty Trends for the Season
Stuff We Love: Stila In the Garden Eyeshadow Palette

Summertime always brings a slew of bright, new beauty options. From nail polish to lipstick and bronzer to eyeshadow, there is little that can make a girl happier than taking a stroll through a make-up store between June and August. One of our favorite recent additions to our daily beauty routine comes to us from Stila. The "In the Garden" eyeshadow palette is versatile and includes a smudge-stick (waterproof eyeliner) in Starfish, a pretty black with gold and dark green undertones that compliments the ten nature-inspired shades.

Ricky Gervais Helps Launch New Global Animal Rights Organization

Ricky Gervais is officially a spokesperson for Cruelty Free International, a newly-established worldwide campaign to ban testing cosmetics on animals. Launched by the long-standing British Union Against Vivisection, CFI will work with governments, companies and partner organizations to place animal testing at the forefront of policymakers' agendas.

On the issue, Ricky says: "Animal testing for cosmetics is still allowed in most of the world. That means thousands of animals can continue to die for the sake of a new shampoo. We urgently need a worldwide ban on this cruel and unnecessary suffering. Get involved. Please join me in supporting Cruelty Free International in its global mission to consign animal testing for cosmetics to the history books.”

While the European Union has banned the testing of cosmetics on animals, 80% of countries still allow the practice. Common test procedures include force-feeding large amounts of chemicals to assess toxicity and applying caustic ingredients to eyes and skin to measure irritation (one now infamous mascara test measures how long a chemical ingredient takes to burn away a rabbit's cornea). Rats and mice are the most frequent test subjects, but guinea pigs, rabbits, cats, and dogs are also commonly used. Cosmetics companies are not required to use animals to test for safety and can instead use human skin cultures. Numerous studies, including several published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and the British Medical Journal have concluded that animal tests do not reliably predict outcomes in humans due to basic biological differences.

Consumers can now find cruelty-free cosmetics for every need and at every price point. Some mainstream examples include Revlon, wet n wild, Burt's Bees, Prestige, Bare Minerals, Stila, Urban Decay, Bath & Body Works, The Body Shop, Paul Mitchell and Aveda. Because there is no regulation of "cruelty-free" labeling, be sure to check the label for the BUAV's leaping bunny logo. View a complete list of cruelty-free cosmetics and household cleaning products here.

Learn more about Cruelty Free International and how you can get involved.

Eye Equipment: A Crash Course in Eye Makeup Brushes

As we stroll the isles of Sephora or the local drugstore for a set of face brushes, one can often wonder what they are used for and how to use them. More specifically, eye brushes are usually misunderstood and used incorrectly. Here is a brief how to and which brushes you need.

Brush #1: The Brow Brush: A stiff, short cut bristled brush cut an angle for the perfect styled eyebrow arch. It's also used for applying some slight "fill-in" color to your brows, giving you a defined look.

Brush #2: The Eye Blender Brush: A semi-long bristled, soft, fluffy brush. Ideal and designed for the perfect application of eye shadow without the crease because of the stupendous blending this brush achieves. You can use this for applying some correcting powder around the eyes also.

Stila Summer 2011 Launches

Just in time for summer, Stila releases a whole new array of bright and colorful products! These include multi-product palettes and collections, mascaras, bronzers, foundations, and eye liners, which are all created by innovative new formulas!

1. Garden Bliss Palette ($28.00) (Limited Edition). The Garden Bliss Palette is inspired by fresh, organic flowers, and will leave your skin looking radiant as ever! It’s available at Stila, ULTA, and select Macy’s.

2. Garden Bliss Collection ($32.00) (Limited Edition). The Garden Bliss Collection is inspired by springtime garden parties and wild flowers. The collection focuses on natural-looking makeup, and includes a far beyond adorable makeup clutch! It’s available at Stila, ULTA, and select Macy’s.

Where To Shop This Weekend

Elizabeth and James Sample Sale featuring current and previous seasons items

Ends Today May 21, 2010- Open 10-6pm

250 West 39th St between 7th and 8th Ave, Suite 1701

Mara Hoffman Sample Sale with up to 80% off Resort and Spring Collections. Perfect pieces to add to your summer wardrobe

Holiday Gift Guide 2009