Stories for: Beauty

Beauty, Home, SkincarePerfect Pairing: Winter Remedies

plants-dry-oil-body-mist-cactus_pink-pepper-highAt this point in the never-ending winter with snow in the forecast every week, I fear the groundhog was right and spring is not even teasing us yet! With romantic Valentine’s just past, there’s a lingering sweetness and hankering for all things pink and pretty. I have a couple favorites to share so we can all get through ’til the blooms peek out.

I’m convinced that Ahava’s Dry Oil Body Mist in Cactus + Pink Pepper was created with this time of year in mind, for both beauty and function. Just laying eyes on the beautiful pink frosted bottle on a chilly morning injects some of that elusive blossomy hue into my visual palette for the day. It’s amazing how a little color can warm the soul! A few spritzes of the mist absorbs instantly, leaving a satiny smooth feeling on my parched skin, especially on legs, knees, and arms. I really don’t feel oily or greasy, but still get the benefits of having moisture locked in with the Dead Sea plant oils. The unique light scent is feminine and sweet without being cloying, and is derived from the pink peppercorns of the berries of a South American tree. The cactus component offers its natural antioxidants along with magnesium, amino acids, flavonoids, and vitamin C. Jojoba and Sesame Seed Oils work with Vitamin E and Dunaliella Algae which are effective in smoothing and hydrating while protecting skin from free radical damage.

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Beauty, SkincareDead Sea Essentials by AHAVA: Witch Hazel Skin Repair Balm

ahavaEver since I laid eyes on Ahava’s new Restorative Witch Hazel Skin Repair Balm, I’ve been obsessed with it: it’s literally like oversized chapstick for the body! The genius tube is so easy and fun to apply, a quick and effective fix for rough dry patches with no risk of over-squirting. My crackly knuckles, knees and elbows are spoiled by the satiny slather of rich witch hazel. While enjoying my moisturized hands, I did some quick research on witch hazel, which was used hundreds of years ago by Native Americans to lessen inflammation, treat itching and insect bites. It also contains antioxidants that can help protect against sunburn and aging from the sun.

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BeautyA Fresh New Year’s Eve

lipWith the Big Kiss looming tomorrow night, here are two beauty treats that are fun and functional, just in time to be fresh and sexy for midnight! A fierce but classic red lip is always alluring and kissable, and Rimmel’s Lasting Finish in 01 (true red, of course) surpasses expectations with its intense pigment, edge, and longevity. It was created by the beautiful Kate Moss in her first lipstick collection. The fierce red lip lasts for up to 8 hours, and the formula is infused with Black Diamonds to reflect light! The lipstick is surprisingly affordable at $5.49 and is available in drugstores.

marvinI brush my teeth at least three times a day (it’s an obsession!), and the event just became a little more luxurious with Italian-made toothpaste Marvis in Cinnamon Mint. It’s hard to go back to prosaic brands after experiencing the rich and creamy luxury formula with a spicy sweet flavor that’s sure to make a kiss linger. Besides uber-important removal of plaque, the sorbitol and glycerin base conditions and fortifies teeth and gums, leaving a spicy aroma of mint and cinnamon. Happy New Year!

Beauty, MakeupHoliday Eyeshadow Extravaganza

Smashbox-Full-Exposure-PaletteI am definitely an overpacker.  I can admit it.  From shoes to clothes to makeup, if I even have a hint that I might need it, it’s usually going in my suitcase. But I’m trying to get better because not only are my suitcases always ridiculously heavy, but I never, ever use half the stuff I bring with me. So this Christmas when I head back east, I’m throwing caution to the wind and only taking two (that’s right – TWO) eyeshadow palettes.  It’s not as crazy as it sounds though because they’re both filled with tons of amazing shades that can get me through both day and night.

Smashbox’s Full Exposure palette has fourteen different shades, ranging from light ivory to deep black, with most of them falling into the brown/bronze category. It’s a great selection for daytime looks, but the four darker shades also allow you to create an amazing smoky eye, so it’s super versatile.  And I love the fact that the shades come in two different finishes – there are mattes and shimmers, so unlike some palettes, you can choose how much you want to shine. There are a plethora of hues in this one and I know I’ll use it almost every morning to create a neutral, daytime look for when I’m shopping or visiting friends.  As a bonus, it also comes with a dual-ended brush and a mini Full Exposure mascara, so I can just toss the entire package in my suitcase and be good to go.  Genius!

Laura-Geller-20-Shades-of-Baked-Eyeshadow-PaletteFor my more colorful looks, I’m also packing Laura Gellar’s new 20 Shades of Baked. This one is exactly what it sounds like: 20 shades of their baked eyeshadow– that can be used wet or dry–everything from blues to greens to purples, with some neutrals thrown in for good measure.  With this palette, I’ll be able to create the looks that are a little more creative and fun – maybe for a night out with friends or a holiday party.  I’ve always loved the formula of Laura Gellar’s shadows – they’re smooth and blend well – and this collection is pretty close to perfection, shade-wise.  (And it’s a $215 value for $49, which is amazing).

And think of how much lighter my suitcase will be without the twenty or so palettes I usually drag with me!  My back (and baggage fees) are already happier!

Beauty, MakeupHoliday With Marc Jacobs

s1630433-main-hero-300I’ve said it a bunch of times here, but I love Marc Jacobs.  Just… everything he creates.  So I get giddy with excitement whenever I can own any of the makeup items in his collection (if only I could afford the shoes and bag too!)  And when I managed to get my hands on a few pieces for the holidays, I couldn’t wait to share.  The Sky Liner, a new 7-piece set of petite-sized eyeliners, is super adorable and a great deal.  For $45, you get a wide assortment of shades – five previously released bestsellers and two new limited-edition hues. And the limited-edition shades are stunning – Sunset is a Golden Bronze Shimmer and Midnight in Paris is an Inky Indigo Blue – both colors that I see myself reaching for again and again.  I love the formula of the liners themselves too – they’re a gel texture that blends easily and they’re super pigmented (and waterproof!) so they stick around forever.  I’m really in love with this set – it’s perfect as a treat for yourself, but the sleek black box the liners are housed in also makes it great for a gift.

imgI also managed to get my hands on a few shades of Marc’s Kiss Pop Lip Color Sticks and those are great too.  I love, love, love the shape of them – they’re so adorable and so different from any other lip product I already own.  Every time I take one out of my bag, every woman around oohs and aahs (and rightly so).  They’re all infused with honey so they’re soothing on your lips, and again, I’m totally obsessed with the shades I tried. I tested out Tangerine Red, Strawberry Red and Burgundy Berry and they were all great.  (I’m especially into Strawberry Red – it’s the perfect bright shade for the holidays).  One of these would make a great stocking stuffer for any of your makeup obsessed friends.

And a new Marc Jacobs bag would make a great holiday surprise for me too. Just throwing it out there, universe…

Bath & Body, BeautySo Smooth, Olivina

Olivina

Have you heard of Olivina? This Napa Valley-based beauty company is inspired by the ingredients that surrounds them and handcrafts their products in the USA. I’ve been much more mindful of the ingredients of products that I’m putting on my body, and love that these vegetable-based products are thoughtfully formulated free of parabens, phthalates, petroleum and SLS. Even better, they’re packaged in PET plastic (the gold standard in recyclable containers!). READ MORE

Beauty, NailsAu Natural

Zoya Naturel Deux

This is the time of year when, as much as I love summer nail polish shades, I start to get sick of them and get ready to put on winter colors again.  I don’t know what it is, but I just feel like they look better on me.  Especially creams.  They’re my jam (…is what I would call them if anyone still used that phrase!)  So of course I was super excited about Zoya’s new fall collection, Natural Deux (2).  It has exactly the kinds of shades I’ve been craving and can’t wait to put on.  Here’s what you’ll find in the collection:

  • Spencer – A full-coverage, rich camel cream
  • Chanelle – A full coverage, toasted almond cream
  • Emilia – A full-coverage, dark chocolate cream
  • Marnie – A full coverage, deep warm plum cream
  • Aubrey – A full-coverage, medium mauve cream
  • Madeline – A full-coverage, muted rose cream

I love that these are all full-coverage – two coats is all you need of these (and some you could definitely get by on one).  Spencer and Chanelle are my favorites – they’re basic neutrals, but just look so great on.  You could wear them to work or for a night out and it would look equally as good.  (I love polishes that are versatile like that.  You don’t have to worry that you’re ever wearing the wrong thing).  I also really like Marnie.  I’m not usually a plum girl, but this one just looks gorgeous on.  The entire collection is just really wearable – definitely one to covet for when the weather gets a little cooler.  (Or now!)

Beauty, MakeupAll The Intensity

NARS Dual Intensity Shadow

You know you have a makeup problem when you actually shriek in excitement when you see a display of new eyeshadows from a brand you love.  Sadly, this actually happened to me in the middle of a crowded Sephora, but the best part is, since I was amongst my other makeup-loving people there, no one even batted a (fake) eyelash.  Some people even oohed and aahed with me!  It was a great moment in makeup history.  And now that I’ve tried NARS’ new Dual-Intensity Eyeshadows, I’m happy to report that all our excitement was worth it. 

The new shadows come in twelve shades and can be used dry or wet (for deeper color), so it’s almost like getting two shades in one.  (Which is nice, because at $29 each, they’re definitely a little bit of a splurge).  My favorites shades are Desdemona (a rich shimmering burgundy), Lysithea (a shark grey) and Giove (a dark navy), but honestly, I could’ve happily scooped them all up (you know, if someone else was paying…)  The shadows themselves lasted all day on me and blended like a dream – definitely splurge-worthy if you’re looking to add a few new shades to your fall wardrobe.  Thanks, NARS!

Beauty, MakeupDiorskin Star

starDespite my reluctance to fall in love with a foundation, Dior’s latest innovation, the new brightening Diorskin Star collection, left me no choice! My usual complaints of heaviness, a touch too matte or shiny, or a non-natural looking shade, are all distant memories. Diorskin Star steps it up to the next level in terms of picture-perfect illumination, and it’s no wonder that it is a favorite for photo shoots! I’ve had to do a double-take of photos of myself, trying to remember if they have been photoshopped, before I recall that I had on Diorskin Star foundation that day. I definitely feel more of a glow through my newfound flawless skin which has magically gotten younger by a few years. I apply the foundation in the morning and even after running around all day, it’s still going strong when I wash my face at night. I love the higher SPF 30 rating, so I feel completely protected from sun damage.

Diorskin Star was originally inspired by Dior’s own expert makeup artists, and it transforms skin like no other foundation to mimic the glow achieved in photography studios. One of the secrets of Diorskin Star’s unified complexion is its Light Pulsion Complex which erases dullness and color imperfections. Even my red patches are virtually gone with a light application due to color-filter pigments which recreate perfect light. Light-trapping extracts include Immortelle Extract, Paquerette Extract and Licorice Extract which work with hollow silica beads capture to diffuse light minus the shine. I had no trouble matching my finicky skin color, as there is such a wide spectrum with minute tweaks in between each shade. Diorskin Star goes on looking very natural but silky and works best for combination skin.

Beauty, TravelTatcha Jet Set Travel

kitThe waning days of summer are bittersweet, the perfect backdrop for one last hurrah – an island vacation, in my case. As I jetted off to the Caribbean, I was most excited to have the new Tatcha Travel Set to keep me fresh and in tip-top beauty shape to complement a few days of rest and recuperation. The Japanese-inspired line was born from founder Victoria Tsai’s chance encounter with a geisha in Kyoto, whose legendary beauty and timeless porcelain skin is preserved in legend. Tatcha’s products draws from generations of beauty wisdom coupled with scientific research to produce a precious collection indispensable for those seeking the best of all worlds.

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