Stories for: Skincare

SkincareL’Occitane pour L’Homme

l-occitane-cedrat-pure-cleanserIt’s not often that an inspiring men’s line comes up that my hubby will actually use and enjoy! If left to his own devices, this is the guy that will use bar soap (or even dish detergent if in a pinch, scary!) for his face and SPF moisturizer at night. So when I cajoled him into trying L’Occitane’s Cedrat line, I was completely surprised when a couple days into using the cleanser, he volunteered, “All joking aside, I really like this facewash. It just feels luxurious!” He actually looks forward to washing his face when getting off a long day of work. I love the scent as much as he does, and he even enjoys the gentle exfoliating beads. Cedrat, or citrus, originated from Asia and eventually landed on the shores of Corsica. The Cedrat extract from the pulp was found to have skin energizing properties. L’Occitane harvests cedrat during the winter months from a small organic cooperative on Corsica. The exfoliating beads are actually derived from lemon rind to refine texture and reveal soft skin. The scent reminds me of eating juicy citrus fruits in Provence in the evenings on our balcony, so for me there’s even a hint of romance wrapped up in it.

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Beauty, Skincare, TravelBordeaux: Sources des Caudalie

chateauBordeaux and its surrounding vineyards in southwest France, is a dreamland for me. It sacrifices nothing: the most revered wine, stellar cuisine, chateaux in droves, and French sensibility. For 36 hours one June weekend, we feasted with our eyes and tastebuds through vast vineyards and Michelin-starred restaurants. I loved every minute exploring the cobbled and sloped walkways in our small town, St. Emilion, and savored evenings on the terrace at the lovely Hostellerie de Plaisance. Our adopted home was full of charm with historic substance and the best service we’ve ever experienced in Europe. We didn’t have a lot of time to visit multiple vineyards, as each appointment is typically over an hour long, complete with a personal tour and tasting. We chose strategically, experiencing two vineyards, each with its own distinct personalities. First was Chateau Grand Mayne, a beautiful boutique winery in St. Emilion, and the second one, much larger, folds out into a beautiful story.

Nestled in rolling vineyards atop a gentle slope is the family-run Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte, a producer of superb red and white wines whose history dates back to 1365. The vineyard takes exquisite care of each step of the wine-producing process, from honed techniques of nearly all-organic growing processes to having their own barrel maker who works with tasters to cater each piece of wood to a desired taste of wine. The estate hosts a luxury inn, two restaurants including the decadent and delicious La Grand’Vigne which has the distinction of two Michelin stars, and a spa. The beauty brand Caudalie is part of what makes the chateau so special as it utilizes the rich resources of grape by-products in production of the line. Even the name ties into the equation, the word Caudalie is derived from the word caudal (tail), this is the unit used to measure the the persistence of a wine’s finish, with one caudalie representing one second.

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Beauty, SkincareDiary of a Skin Regenerist

pad I’m on a mission! With the wedding of an old classmate of mine coming up, I am suddenly feeling the anxiety of an approaching reunion and the pressure of looking just as good (or better!) than when we graduated a decade ago. So I decided to go into full-out cram mode, focusing on getting rid of the dull, both inside and out. It’s high time that my skin reaches it’s potential for being as smooth and bright as possible! Culling invaluable knowledge from beauty experts and tips from girlfriends, I’m embarking on a month-long journey with one of my favorites, philosophy. While I get inspired by their pithy messages on each package, my face will be uplifted as well.

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Beauty, SkincareSummertime

encantoFresh off a getaway weekend in Santa Barbara, I’m missing the clean breeze mingled with sea salt and organic fresh food. We spent a lot of time in the sun, and I brought along Kiehl’s Multi-Corrective Cream SPF 30 to keep my skin hydrated and protected from the California rays. The rich cream hits two birds with one stone, working on existing dark spots (so pesky!) and fine lines while protecting against future damage. I made sure to coat my face, decolletage and shoulders with it before eating al fresco or going for a swim. I could feel the cream hugging my face and nourishing it while keeping harmful rays away. The absence of heavy scent was appreciated, and it also doesn’t have that unpleasant “sunscreen smell.”

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Nails, SkincareMother’s Day: Spoil Her Hands

Molton-Brown-Coco-Sandalwood-Hand-Cream_KTD067_XLI’ve learned firsthand that as a mom, my hands go through major manual labor- from washing bottles to folding laundry, to the point of cracking and rough skin. So when I was brainstorming gifts for my mom, I decided it was high time to treat her hard-working hands to some extra TLC with replenishment and fresh nail color to reward them for making it through the toughest and often thankless tasks.

My Molton Brown Coco & Sandalwood Replenishing Hand Cream and I have been inseparable for weeks since my hands won’t let the tube get out of sight. The fresh scent has a touch of the tropics mixed in to remind me of summer travels to come. Amino acids and minerals effectively moisturize, and I find the thicker texture is more satisfying than so many runny lotions. The size is great since it’s compact and light enough to throw into any size bag and go! The light fragrance reminds me of an exotic white sand beach, a daydream any mom can indulge in.

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Beauty, SkincareSpring Beauty with Guerlain

meteorPink is in the air! Gorgeous sunrises, cherry blossoms, and illuminating Guerlain Météorites Pearls are a few of my favorite pink things. From the glamorous etched tin which is a work of art in itself to the pretty pink-hued pearls nestled on the inside, the Meteorites are my absolute must-have item for welcoming warm breezes. Whether I’m looking for that finishing touch to perfect a look and boost radiance or want a subtle flush to highlight cheekbones, I always reach for the versatile pearls. Guerlain’s stardust technology refracts light to create a “halo” effect, a.k.a. that perfect glow around skin! Another little side effect of the powder is that it does a magnificent job hiding some of my larger pores (in my case, around my nose). I use a large soft brush to apply it to accent my cheekbones, then do a quick dusting all over to achieve a dewy look. It evens out my skin tone and leaves a faint floral and feminine scent which doesn’t last long, but is a sweet touch with application.

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SkincareSkin Routine, Redefined

dennisLeave it New York-based skincare guru Dr. Dennis Gross to come up with a cleanser that has been completely rethought, top to bottom. The new Color Smart Cleanser & Mask was inspiring to try, as there is nothing else quite like it. The most innovative part of the cleanser is that you can actually see and feel it working. Once activated, the Citrus Enzyme Bead Complex releases anti-aging actives a change in color from a light cream orange to a deeper pigmented hue to let you know that the brightening, firming, and polishing activities have begun! The formula capitalizes on Vitamin C and actually uses three different forms of it for different purposes. The first derivative enhances collagen repair, lightens, and moisturizes. The second allows for a powerful concentration of the vitamin to be absorbed into the skin, improving elasticity. Finally, the third uses Vitamin C for its skin lightening properties.

The neat thing about this cleanser/mask is that it goes on dry skin using dry hands, and will change colors as soon as exfoliating agents have been activated. I love this aspect simply as a time saver- it allows me the option last minute of doing an effective mask without having to cleanse, dry then apply the mask, wait, and wash off. I can multi-task after putting the formula on my face, pick up a few things and turn on the shower, and voila! In 3-4 minutes, I glance back in the mirror and see the deeper orange color and feel the tingle so I know the citrus enzyme is hard at work.

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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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Mom & Kids, SkincareP-R-E-P for the Future

kidsI was quite surprised during a recent conversation with a close girlfriend to find out that she doesn’t use SPF on her face on a regular basis, and she was in turn shocked that I do, even if I know I’ll be in the office or inside for most of the day. She happens to have lovely skin, a genetic blessing from her mother, which is priceless and so worth preserving. I realized then that good habits start young, so I was delighted to come across PREP, a newly launching dermatologist-founded and tested line of skincare for girls. It stands for Powerful, Real, Everyday, Protection and is entirely plant and mineral based, free of petroleum and parabens, and chock-full of yummy anti-oxidants. PREP is not only dedicated to improving the lives of young women, but gives back by participating in charitable campaigns.

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