Thursday, August 20, 2009

L'Oréal Paris Color of Hope

This is a compensated review from BlogHer and L'Oréal Paris
From the moment my L'Oréal Paris Color of Hope cosmetics arrived, I was intrigued. BlogHer was looking for reviewers that had a personal connection to the horrible disease, ovarian cancer. I applied for the job in the name of my cherished friend, Chris. My best friend for over 35 years, Chris was a 52 year old single mother of 2 beautiful girls when we lost her in January of 2008. In that tragic instant, the world was forever and irrevocably changed for those of us who love her. I still love her. I will always love her.

FedEx delivered a big box to the antique bench on my front porch, and its' smaller contents slid easily from side to side. Like my daughter did when she was 2, I excitedly ripped open my present while walking to round file the box. Inside was a silky-soft, zippered, silver pouch with L'Oréal Paris printed neatly near the top in my absolute most favorite color, teal. For me, now and forever, teal will remain the Color of Hope. Over the past 11 years, L'Oréal Paris has raised awareness and over 18 million dollars for the cause.

When I slid back the zipper, I was greeted with 4 distinctly shaped items swaddled in crisp tissue paper. I love, love, love tissue paper. Isn't that odd? The items felt heavy in my hands as I revealed each product. The color shades for the line are chosen annually, and this year the chosen color, mauve, is exquisitely and universally flattering. I couldn't wait to try them.

The lipstick container is the color of the lipstick itself, a warm glowing shade and my reaction to applying it was; "oh, ummm, coo." It went on so incredibly smooth, and moist that I simply wanted to lick my lips. In it's brightly-capped, tapered container, the lip gloss opened more like a bottle of expensive perfume, and elicited the same reaction from me; "aahhh." This assignment was going to be fun! I applied one product over the other. The tapered, sponge tip of the gloss applicator tilts slightly making it easy to glide color smoothly out to the edges of my lips, and there is a distinct snap when you close the lid that I found very satisfying. I will never have a leak and a ruined handbag when I know the container is truly sealed. My big, beveled mirror greeted me with shimmering lips that contrasted subtlely against my tanned, olive complexion. Exactly twice in my life have I found a lipstick shade that I truly found attractive against my skin. This was the second time.

I received 2 quad-packs of pressed eyeshadow with the names; Bouquet of Strength and Petals of Promise. Each was sealed with a protective plastic strip bearing the words; "limited edition" in both English and French. Slicing through it with my nail, I pulled back the clear, plastic covers on 3 shades of mauve, and 3 shades of teal. Each color-pack included a highlighting shade of golden or brown and a small applicator. The deep colors caused my eyes to radiate in a richer brown, whether I smudged, or left the color alone. These Colors of Hope are subtle, apply smoothly and blend beautifully.

"Are you wearing makeup?" "You look different tonight." You look really pretty tonight." Are you trying to look like a girl?" These are some of the comments that greeted me my first night on the job wearing the Color of Hope cosmetics. Please understand, I have been working at my job for almost 2 years and there has never been a night when I did not have on makeup. The teal and mauve of the lush pressed eye shadow did a number on my big brown eyes. I could see that easily enough. And the complimentary shade of lipstick and lip gloss brightened my face considerably from others I have worn. I had fun with it, and the warm colors held evenly through dinner, and laughter, and iced coffee with my co-workers. I wanted to be a bill board for this wonderful cause, and from the comments received, and the discussion generated, it worked beautifully.

This is my best friend, Chris, with her gorgeous daughters, Stephanie and Tara, whom she loved with all her might. And Chris was mighty. Chris overcame adversity, heartbreak, betrayal, 2 divorces and financial challenges. She survived it all with a loving heart, a riotous sense of humor and booming, room-filling laughter that is echoing around me even now as I write. I will never be the same without her. I will always miss her. She was taken from me, the girls, her mom, brother, sister and friends needlessly, and far, far too soon.

“The L’Oréal Paris Color of Hope Cosmetic bag will be available for purchase beginning in September 2009. Purchases can be made online via while supplies last. L’Oréal Paris will donate $5 from each cosmetic bag purchased to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (OCRF).” I recommend them highly on a variety of levels, not the least of which are beauty, quality and compassion.

If you have been touched by cancer, I welcome your comments here. I don't know about you, but I heal when I share. I found it tremendously rewarding to be a part of this worthy program. I hope you will join us, and would thoroughly enjoy reading you impressions on the products. Please feel free to leave those comments as well.