There’s a reason this site is called The Daily Obsession — there’s nothing better than when you find a great new… well, anything, to obsess over. It’s so fun, isn’t it?
Right now, my fragrance obsession is the new Fresh Vanilla Lemon fragrance from LAVANILA. You guys, it smells sooo amazing. (Three o’s for emphasis!) The scent was inspired by the versatility of Madagascar vanilla and also has notes of lemon, watery fruits and fresh bamboo: it’s very clean and fresh, but also warm and sweet at the same time. I also like that it’s subtle and not overpowering… because if it were too in-your-face, it would smell like you rolled around in a bakery and well, no one wants that! Also, I love that LAVANILA infuses their scents with essential oils that contain vitamin-rich antioxidants instead of chemicals so they’re better for those with allergies or sensitive skin. The fragrance is limited edition, so get your hands on it now before it vanishes and you never get a chance to smell its lemony-vanilla goodness. That would just be tragic.
I am living proof that you can change your bad habits, overnight. Ok…so this has only applied to dental care so far, but recently I’ve become obsessed (obsessed, I tell ya) with keeping my teeth as perfect as they can be. For example, I never used to wear my night guard even though I ground my teeth to hair away from needing oral surgery, until one day I decided that I would really like to have legit teeth, not nubs, and have since worn my night guard religiously, every night, home or away. In fact, I can’t even sleep now until my guard is securely in. I even tell everyone how obsessed I am with it — people think I’m straight up crazy.
Then…the same thing happened with flossing. I went for some 20+ years lying to all my dentists about my flossing habits (yeah I floss…um once a week, why do you ask?) until my last visit when my dentist had to do unspeakable things to my gums to get.. well let’s not go there — it’s gross. But afterward, it made me realize that I really do have to start taking better care of my teeth better unless one day I want to end up with a mouth full of porcelain. So that very night, I took out the floss I’d gotten in my dental goodie bag and never looked back. However, I still find it a little hard on my gums, especially towards the back where the space between my teeth are really tight. Also, I still haven’t figured out how to hold the floss correctly as not to get the gunk all over my hands.
Recently, I was introduced to the Philips Sonicare AirFloss, and it was a game changer. For one, it’s actually really fun to use and it’s also incredibly effective, yet quick. The AirFloss looks a lot like an electric toothbrush but has an angled nozzle at the top that delivers a pressurized burst of air and water that removes 99% more plaque that builds up between teeth than by brushing alone. You fill the device with about two teaspoons of water and then simply align the nozzle in between your teeth, push a button, and a stream of air and water gets right in those crevices and helps remove stuck food and buildup. I’ve also tried water based flossing machines before and found the AirFloss to be much easier to use: you don’t have to worry about water leaking everywhere, it’s much quicker, and the product is sleek, saving space on my already-limited bathroom counter top. But the best part is that you can actually fill up the AirFloss with fluoride rinse instead of water to give your mouth an even deeper clean and protect it from cavities forming in between teeth in the future. To me, this is the best thing ever, because as crazy as I am about dental care, gargling Listerine hasn’t quite made it up there on my obsession list yet — and now I can take care of it all in one go. The peeps over at Sonicare told me that my dentist will be in for a very pleasant surprise the next time I visit her and I totally believe it — I can already feel a huge difference! Check it out — $80 on Drugstore.com.
It’s the perfect season for cheerful new shades, don’t you think? I was so happy to discover the great spring colors from Benefit’s new collection of eyeshadows — not only is the stuff fantastic (more on that below), the retro packaging is pretty, feminine, and cheerful — perfect for both my handbag and vanity counter.
I can’t go any further without gushing a bit about the Creaseless Cream Shadow. Here’s the thing: I had a seriously scarring experience with finger-applied eyeshadow years ago and since then, I’ve been reluctant to jump back in. But in the name of beauty blogging, I slid my ring finger across the richly-colored pot of creamy shadow and cautiously applied to my eyelid. I was ecstatic. It was easy to spread and went on like silk — not at all messy or uneven as I had expected. Feeling more courageous, I layered My Two Cents onto the whole lid, then applied Bronze Have More Fun just north of my lashes, blended a bit and ended up with a perfectly coppery smokey eye. For me, long-wear is of utmost importance, and the cream shadows pass the test. I spent all day in them, even took a short cat nap, and still managed to dash out the door for dinner with only a 30-second touch-up .
Along with the new cream shadows (my new faves!), Benefit has also released a collection of Longwear Powder Shadows, which are ideal for mixing and matching to create custom look. Blingo silver is one of my favorites to wear alone layer over a cream shadow for some extra shimmer. For something a little darker, Rain check? is a purple hue that works for almost any complexion, even if you don’t normally wear color. As someone who usually reaches for neutrals, I was pretty surprised at how flattering the violet looked with my dark brown eyes. In fact, it’s almost become a bit of a daily fave — I apply with a heavier hand for a more dramatic evening and sweep on lightly over lids for a day shadow. With 22 new spring colors, the possibilities are endless… so channel your inner kid-in-a-candyshop and play with Benefit!
When the weather is hot outside, I have to take a lot of showers because I find it impossible to get into bed at night feeling dirty from the day. (Ed. note: This New Yorker is so jealous right now.) I’m also on the lookout for great new products I can use to switch things up a little (hate being bored using the same ol’ thing every shower) and I’ve recently discovered Whish Body.
So far, I’ve tested the Three Whishes Body Wash in Coconut and the Three Whishes Sugar Scrub in Almond and I’m loving them both! The Coconut body wash has such an exotic, tropical vacation scent to it — sort of warm and a little spicy, but the coconut note stands out and it’s intoxicating. When I use it, I can close my eyes and pretend that I’m showering in Hawaii instead of in my condo in Los Angeles. It lathers up nicely and a little goes a long way, so you don’t have to use a ton of it to get results, which I always appreciate. (How annoying are those body washes that make you use like, half the bottle before you get any suds? The worst, right?)
The Sugar Scrub is one of my favorite scrubs that I’ve tried this year. I’m all about the exfoliation, but I have sensitive skin so I don’t want my scrubs to be too rough or abrasive and this one isn’t at all. It has a delicious nutty scent to it and gets rid of all my flakey dead skin without taking off any “good” skin along with it. It creates a great base for your favorite moisturizer (maybe their Three Whish Body Butter? I haven’t tried any of those yet, but now I’m dying to!) I also really appreciate the fact that the scrub is thick – it’s not liquidy so you get more bang for your buck AND there isn’t any liquid to slide down into your tub, creating a slippery standing hazard (I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wiped out in my tub from scrubs like that. I’m fairly convinced I’m going to wind up in the hospital one day after one of those incidents and that is going to be super embarrassing).
Curious? Check out all of their yummy products on SkinStore.com.
Kiehl’s kicked off Earth Day weekend this week by celebrating its Limited Edition Ultra Facial Cream — one of my favorite Kiehl’s products — to benefit Recycle Across America. Which celebrities partnered for the cause? Alanis Morissette and Zachary Quinto, who designed cool limited-edition labels for the product. (Fans, shop the collection while you can!) One-hundred percent of the collection’s proceeds will go toward Recycle Across America, and $50,000 will be used to create 65,000 recycling labels for select K-12 schools nationwide.
The benefit was held in Santa Monica, Calif., and as usual, a crop of stars came out to support the cause — including the lovely Anthony Mackie (The Hurt Locker), Amy Smart and The Misshapes. (Speaking of which, I am LOVING Leigh Lezark’s short, blond hair.)
Luscious. Pouty. Sexy. Everyone wants beautiful, healthy lips, and underneath the lipstick and gloss we all know and love, lips need a lot of TLC. Since I’m gaga over anything that has to do with lips, I figured I’d pay homage by doing a kiss-worthy roundup! I’ve pooled all my favorite lip products and done some hard-core testing to bring you the best of the best. So pucker up, here goes!
1) Ultra Repair Lip Therapy. I love how this sumptuous moisturizer coats my lips, and with this product I purposely don’t “stay within the lines.” I make sure a little extra balm goes on the corners and outside my lips so that everything is healthy and hydrated. Over the winter when I had a bit of a cold, a dash on my nose was the only thing that would soothe it. The consistency is quite thick, but not sticky or tacky. It’s there for emergencies when the wind is chafing, and also for extra TLC anytime. The handy lightweight tube is easy to grab on the go.
2) Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Lip Repair Balm. This little jar has earned its place on my nightstand. By what merit, you ask? It’s the perfect texture (soft and richly thick) and nourishing enough to last all through the night. Your body rejuvenates itself every night while you’re sleeping with cells dividing rapidly, so it makes sense to give it the best boost you can. Since I started using the balm, I’ve noticed the vertical lines on my lips getting softer, and overall texture is softer and healthier. For very dry lips, this is a must-have. The light eucalyptus scent calms like a cup of chamomile tea, perfect for evenings. For a daytime treatment, the Nourishing Lip Balm comes formulated with SPF 20 in a tube for convenience. The consistency is a little different but better for squeezing on the go. Sun protection is often overlooked for lips in favor of a facial SPF moisturizer, but lips are just as important and can show age quickly, so don’t forget to protect them. (more…)
I’ve always considered myself lucky that I was born in the month of April — not only are flowers blooming (just not this year yet), but my birthstone is, of course, the diamond. Naturally, it’s always been my excuse to pass over other stones, because well, I was just born that way. When I first heard about the new 50-minute Diamond Facial at The Spa at Equinox, I couldn’t wait to try it since it combines two of my loves — getting pampered and diamonds! The “diamond” part of the facial is a collagen mask formulated to give the same effects as a diamond microdermabrasion, and it is actually platinum-infused to illuminate and revive the skin. (more…)
A quick refresher — you may have noticed the pretty blue bottles of Moroccan Oil hair treatments in the windows of all the best salons around town — it’s like a hair revolution! The line is getting international attention and the hair products have won the coveted Stylist Choice Award as the “Favorite Product You Can’t Live Without” for five years in a row. There are stories, legends even, of how severely damaged hair has been tamed, shiny and reingivorated with the oil treatment. I set out to test a few products (including one new launch!), and have been converted over a matter of weeks.
The base of the treatment is the Hydrating Shampoo and Conditioner. The shampoo is great because it’s gentle enough that I can use it daily, and it really does the job- my hair feels clean without residue. It also contains powerful antioxidants, Vitamin A and red algae which also retain moisture and slow the aging process, and there are no parabens, sulfates or phosphates. It’s a perfect primer to be a canvas for the conditioner and beyond. The hydrating conditioner feels incredibly rich when it’s allowed to work for a few minutes, and because it’s a “water-loving” formula, it is activated as you rinse out, leaving silky, healthy hair.
Newly launching from the brand is their Heat Styling Protection Spray and the star of the line in my opinion. I blow dry my hair quite frequently, but a lot of product will weigh it down. The spray protects and gives a touch of gloss while providing a soft hold so I don’t have to add in another product t unless I’m going for a really styled look. After towel-drying my hair, I’ll spray about 8 inches away on sections of hair concentrating on the ends, then blow dry sans worries! (more…)
What’s a great way to test waterproof makeup? Jump in a pool, of course! That’s exactly what the Aqualillies, the country’s leading water ballet troupe, did at the Annenberg Beach House in Santa Monica, Calif., yesterday — each wearing a full face of new Aqualillies for Tarte makeup.
By the end of their 15-20 minute performance, they looked just as great as they did when they made their entrance.
Longtime readers of this blog will know that the product which first turned me onto Simple Skincare is their Cleansing Facial Wipes, a product that I’d been hoarding ever since I first came across it in 2008, long before I was a Simple brand ambassador. Given my longstanding love affair with the wipes, I was particularly excited (maybe a little too much so) to get my hands on three more wipes that Simple has added to their collection. Below, I review one of my favorite new products from Simple, their newly launched Oil Balancing Cleansing Wipes.
When I tried the Oil Balancing Cleansing Wipes, I thought that they must’ve been made just for me! I have combination/oily skin and these wipes are so great for refreshing mid-day and really keeping that oil production in check, without drying skin out or accentuating the few dry patches I have. I always start developing a film of shine by early afternoon, which incidentally, is also around the time when my makeup starts to feel a little messy. A simple (haha, no pun intended) swipe of the Oil Balancing Wipes across my T-Zone and cheeks helps to remove any makeup that’s strayed and refresh my skin for the second half of the day. I simply wipe, reapply a bit of BB Cream and blush and am back on my merry way.
The Oil Balancing Cleansing Wipes contain Zinc PCA, which is effective as a sebum inhibitor and keeps my oil production in check and reducing the buildup of dead skin cells. Incidentally Zinc PCA is also an antibacterial and is known to fight odors. I don’t really think my face is secreting anything offensive smelling, but it’s also good to know that the ingredient also fights bacteria that could come into contact with skin. I find that after using the wipes as a mid day refresher, shine and greasiness is controlled for the remainder of the day so I don’t have to worry about it again later in the afternoon. I still keep the Cleansing Facial Wipes by my bed for evenings, but the Oil Balancing Wipes have made its way into my handbag for every day use!
This post was created in partnership with Simple Skincare.