What They Say: "Everything you need for do it yourself well-groomed toes is in this super-sassy gift box. Pedicure set includes Bella nail polish in babydoll, foxy and top/base coat and pink flower toe-separators."
Melissa's DeLush Downlow: I have to say, Bella definitely has their packaging DOWN. It's all so pretty and has such sweet details, you feel incredibly pampered just pulling out the products to use them. That aside, this little pedicure set has the basics all put together for you. Keep in mind, there are no tools in the kit, unless you consider the toe separators that is. You're really just looking at color and a base & top coat (which may not seem like much), but these are not only full-sized polishes, they are incredibly smooth, glossy formulas that suit your needs whether you want to go bold and bright (Foxy red) or neutral and pastel (Baby Doll barely-there pink). Then there's the clear formula, for base & top coats. Just make sure to let your color COMPLETELY dry before applying the top coat to ensure a smooth finish with no little bubbles.
Retail Price: $20.00 (bellabeauty.com)
What They Say: "Chicly packaged in a petite patent black box with a built in mirror, Bella’s Essential Eye Kit epitomizes the ‘easy-glamour’ Bella products are known for. All the necessities for come hither eyes are accounted for – Bella’s mascara, kohl eyeliner, brow gel and mini tweezers – in this kit, which is small enough to stow in the tiniest of clutches."
Melissa's DeLush Downlow: This tiny kit, in a box no larger than a medium-sized box of paperclips, is an unexpected surprise. The magnetized flap keeps the contents securely inside the patent-looking container which opens to reveal a small mirror and a set of four tools for creating an eye look on the go.
The kohl liner is fabulously soft and non-tugging at the eye area. While there was a small bit of smudging, it still looked very nice and could also be used to shade the eyes for a more dramatic look if smudged intentionally on the entire lid to the crease. The tiny mascara tube creates nicely separated lashes, and the equally compact brow gel easily tames eyebrow hairs and sets them in place, giving a nice, polished look. And for those strays? There's also a small yet sharp-ended set of tweezers.
Overall, this would be a fabulous thing to pack for a trip or throw in your purse to make sure you are never stuck being bare-eyed! It creates a classic clean look which can be made more dramatic with an extra coat or two of the mascara or a bit more kohl liner around the entire upper and lower lash line.
Retail Price: $29.00 (at bellabeauty.com)
What They Say: "Bella's make-me-over finishing powder leaves the skin looking radiant and refreshed. Gently infused with lavender oil and natural sunscreen, this mineral powder hides imperfections and fine lines for a youthful glow that's as easy as a brush stroke away. Available as a setting powder, bronzer, pink shimmer and gold shimmer."
Melissa's DeLush Downlow: I tested the setting powder, bronzer, and pink shimmer versions of Bella's powders. First of all, there's one thing that applies to all three: it's kind of hard to control how much powder gets on the puff and how evenly. Now, I didn't find this a problem with the setting powder or the pink shimmer so much as the bronzer, which is dark enough that you definitely don't want to get any on your face in a big splotch. Unfortunately, that's what happens pretty easily with the way this dispenser and puff work, so I had to be EXTREMELY careful when applying it and then be careful again when trying to smooth it out without going over areas again and making them even darker.
The setting powder, because it is of course lighter, is much easier to work with. I would say if you are very fair this won't work for you, because of the tint. Used sparingly though, this creates a nice, even look with lasting freshness for medium-fair to medium skin tones. As far as I can tell it only comes in one shade.
The pink shimmer powder (also when applied sparingly) is a fabulous highlighter. Added to the upper cheekbones, brows and temples and you've got a subtle glow. If you're more fair, use the pink. If you've got tan or darker skin, use the gold.
Retail Price: $25.00 (bellabeauty.net)
Pink Shimmer Highlighter
What They Say: (About the Concealer) "Keep dark circles covert and banish other imperfections with Bella's clever concealer."
(About the Double Oh! Eye Relief) "Get rid of unsightly puffiness, while firming and brightening the entire eye area. Leaves eyes feeling fresh and looking youthful in seconds."
Melissa's DeLush Downlow: I was told that using these two together would pack extra punch behind attacking my undereye area, and so that's what I did first. The Double Oh! Eye Relief (the pink one) has a very thin and light consistency. I dotted it under my entire eye area and patted it in gently. There was a subtle brightening effect immediately, and after a few seconds there was a very slight tightening feeling. The reduction of puffiness with this isn't incredibly noticeable, but I did see a bit of a reduction. The brightening effect was more noticeable.
Now, on to the concealer! It's a lemony yellow and a bit surprising out of the tube, but on it went. For me (and I've so far used this product combo three times), the result was just a bit too light in color. I also felt the need to dot my most extreme area of darkness with a different concealer afterward. The consistency is nice though, and if you're conservative with layering it, it won't cake in fine lines. I just felt like it was far too light under my eyes, even after I dusted powder over to try to balance it out with the rest of my face.
So basically, if you've got minor puffiness or undereye shadows, the Double Oh! Eye Relief might be worth a shot. If you've got darker, more consistent problems with undereye circles it won't cover them up on it's own. And if you've used yellow-toned undereye concealers before and find they work with your skin tone, go ahead and try the For Your Eyes Only Concealer. Otherwise, you'll probably feel the same way about it I did.
Retail Prices: Double Oh! Eye Relief - $16.00, For Your Eyes Only Concealer - $13.00 (available at bellabeauty.com, and they DO ship internationally for an extra charge)
Double Oh! Eye Relief
For Your Eyes Only Concealer
What They Say: "As Seen In "O" Magazine, September 2005! This trend setting eye shadow uses a fun roller ball to evenly coat the eye with Bella's ultra rich color formulation. Simply roll it on, then blend with your fingertips. Add different shades for a sexy layering effect. Fun and fabulous! Colors: Cracklin Rosie (Pink), Be (White), Good Time Sue (Green), Red Red Wine (Plum)."
Melissa's DeLush Downlow: This cute set of 4 shades is much more wearable than you may think. The shimmer isn't tacky at ALL, it's pretty and soft. The colors can be applied incredibly sheer or built up for a more dramatic effect. The application is EASY and the shadow doesn't fall all over the place when you roll it out onto the lid. It comes out very uniformly (just make sure you angle the applicator up-and-down a bit instead of more horizontally). I only noticed the tiniest bit of fading over the course of the day, but otherwise it still looked pretty. Shown at left: Good Time Sue (Green)
Retail Price: $22.50 (beautyintuition.com)
What They Say: "Bella's fabulous face palettes offer eight complimenting shades for the worldly girl-on-the-go. Available in three flattering looks. Featured Here: Pretty in Paris - A palette of pretty pinks and perfectly complementing colors."
Melissa's DeLush Downlow: First of all, can I start with the packaging? These palettes come like CD cases, which flip open to reveal large mirrors and high-quality applicators (sturdy dual-ended shadow sponge applicator and dual-ended easy-to-handle lip brush) for sufficiently-sized squares of color. The Pretty in Paris palette colors include a peachy-pink blush, 4 shadows (a pale champagne pink, a creamy bisque, an almost-black, and a rich but soft mauve), and 3 ever-so-slightly shimmery glosses (very pale pink, a luscious darker pink, and glowing clear).
I absolutely fell in love with the incredibly soft powder-formulas of the blush and shadows; they blend nicely and the shadows have just the right amount of glow to them to help create a gorgeous eye. The gloss feels very soft and non-sticky, while having fairly nice staying power.
I was really pleased with this mix of colors and the quality of the products. If you haven't tried anything from the Bella line yet, perhaps this would be a good introduction (and a nice addition to your new spring finds!).