I have what can only be described as an unnatural amount of lip products stored all over my condo. I’m not exaggerating — there are some in the garage, some in my bathroom, some in the hall closet… Lip stuff takes up a lot of space in bulk! But even so, I’m always down for discovering a new brand because, really, can one ever have too much makeup?
Kaplan MD is a brand based in Beverly Hills and they were nice enough to send over some of their LIP 20 Treatment Glosses for me to check out. LIP 20 is the first anti-aging treatment gloss that does a ton of different things besides give your lips a shot of color — it moisturizes, repairs, enhances your lip’s natural fullness and has an SPF 20 in them so you’re protecting them from the sun every time you apply it. I tried out three different shades – Tangerine Sparkle (a bright coral), Candy Sparkle (a light pink) and Plum Sparkle (a medium plum) and liked them all. They also have an interesting scent to them — something like licorice maybe? Hard for me to tell, but it’s pleasant and not overpowering, so that makes it a winner in my book, whatever it is.
The glosses themselves are a bit of a splurge at $30 apiece, but they do have a luxurious feel to them – they’re not tacky or sticky at all, and they really do moisturize incredibly well. Plus, they have a little mirror at the top so you can use it to apply the gloss if you’re running around. Such a nice touch!
Usually getting me to finish a skincare regime to the bottom of the bottle is pretty challenging, but when it came to Olay’s Pro-X Even Skin Tone Protocol, I found myself loving the products so much that it wasn’t too hard to stick with it for the entire month. To recap, about a month ago, Olay approached me to give their new products a whirl, and report back — honestly — how I enjoyed using them. And since skin discoloration is one of my biggest concerns, it wasn’t too hard to get me to say “yes” to the challenge. Olay’s approach to this issue isn’t just attacking skin with aggressive bleaching ingredients, but rather, addressing the problem in a 360 degree approach, by taking into consideration factors that contribute to hyper-pigmentation including improper sun protection, lack of hydration, surface free radicals, and a weak skin barrier. As such, the Pro-X Even line of products is more of a wholesome skincare regimen that is designed to be used long term.
I thought I would approach this review in a bit of a different way, by ranking the different products in the kit from my most to least favorite. as well as benchmarking each product against two of the product claims: brightening and lightening. This way, readers who are curious about the products can figure out which ones to try first. More »
It’s always fun to see a fellow blogger snag a modeling gig with a cool brand. In this case, I’m referring to actress, model and Trop Rouge blogger Christina Caradona, the new face of Ready to Wear designer Valentina Shah‘s Spring-Summer 2013 collection, which debuted this month.
Already seen on celebrities such as Alicia Keys and Cindy Crawford, Valentina Shah clothing is an sexy hybrid of old world beauty, inspired by Valentina’s days in Rome uncovering her grandmother’s vintage pieces, and modern chic, likely inspired by her 10+ years as a fashion executive. I was immediately drawn to this collection — her second thus far — because of its timelessness and versatility. More »
The moment my husband and I stepped into the stunning open-air atrium of the Rosewood Mayakoba, we knew we had just entered not just a resort, but a fantasy. As we were greeted with a freshly blended green mojito welcome drink as we overlooked the lagoon and pool, I felt the stress of city life getting left far behind. The warm, breezy air invited us to shed layers both literally and figuratively (work projects begone!) as we took in the staff’s warm welcome which would follow us throughout our visit. The contemporary luxe style of the resort complemented the natural surroundings so well and mirrored the property’s attitude of respect for the local Mayan culture and traditions. More »
Imagine this: getting a facial every night while you sleep, only you’re lying in a fragrant bed of roses. Sounds too good to be true, right? Leave it to Korres, the leading skin care line based in Greece to come up with the product that does it all: Wild Rose Advanced Brightening Sleeping Facial. Started over two decades ago by a pharmacist, Korres’ goal has always been to use carefully sourced herbal ingredients. Greece is one of my favorite places in the world, and the natural beauty of Santorini is heart-stoppingly gorgeous. With over 5,000 varieties of plants and herbs, the Greeks have done their homework (centuries-worth!), discovering the medicinal value of their flora as natural healing remedies. I think that’s why I love using Korres — it’s like having a healthy Mediterranean diet for your skin. More »
Celebrity endorsements are nice and all, but like any savvy consumer, I take those commercials with a grain of salt. But the actual beauty products that celebrities are using…well that’s quite another story — and the one that I actually want to hear! A month ago or so I was introduced to a line of skincare by Mila Moursi, who is a legend in Hollywood, but who I hadn’t heard of before because, you know, I don’t run in those circles. She counts many of my Tinseltown crushes including Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Cox, and Jessica Biel devotees, and the proof of how well her products work is all over the Internet. Luckily for plebs like myself, Mila is expanding beyond her A-List clientele with a new partnership with Barney’s New York. Now her line of incredible skincare is available online at Barneys.com as well as in select stores. More »
My mind goes to a terrible place during the dry phase of a manicure. Mostly to a place of boredom, slight neuroticism as I wonder idle thoughts like, “Why do I continue to hate-watch the Bachelor? I really hope he picks Catherine.” “Ugh, I could be doing my taxes instead of waiting for my nails to dry.” “I should really look harder to find a cheap Pilates center.” “I should really start calling my mom more.” So, any way I can cut down manicure drying time and get away from that terrible, idle place in my mind, is a huge plus.
Sally Hansen’s Gel Polish Starter Kit takes care of that in two forms: by delivering the gel experience in the comfort of your home and ensuring that the entire manicure process from start to finish, takes roughly 30 minutes. When Tracylee, Sally Hansen’s Nail Ambassador first quoted the 30 minute time to me, I was skeptical. “Yea, okay,” I thought. “Maybe for a master nail artist that is used to working on the high-flying tips of celebrities like Natalie Portman and Emma Watson.” But after begging my friend Dani to lend me her steady, although non-expert, hands in trying out the kit, I was pleasantly surprised. Tracylee wasn’t kidding–a quick 35 minutes later (5 minutes allotted for reading the instructions) and my nails were quickly ensconced in a glossy, deep-purple red. The kit contains multiple mini bottles of base coat, polish in one color, and top coat, along with a cuticle stick, file, buffer, acetone remover, and LED lamp. Its quick drying time is attributed to time under the LED lamp of roughly a minute for each coat. As far as its long-lasting appeal, it falls a tiny bit short of the typical 4-5 week lasting time for most gel. But it exceeds the longevity of most regular polish manicures by at least 1-2 weeks. And I won’t ruin the surprise for you, but taking off the polish is a surprisingly joyful experience (I say this with zero irony.) The Sally Hansen Gel Polish Starter Kit retails for $69.99.
As the seasons change, so does my skin, going from parched winter skin to a bit more oily the warmer it becomes. Transitions are particularly tricky as pores awaken and need a little extra TLC. Babor’s Cleansing Gel and Tonic 2-in-1 is both a time-saver and a skin-saver! I first came across Babor in a luxurious European spa years ago and I appreciate that their line is evolving to meet skincare needs while maintaining top quality and integrity in formulations. As experts in the professional cosmetics industry (they’ve earned the title after over 50 years in the business!), they understand treating the mind and body with luxury and innovation.
If you are prone to the occasional blemish like I am, you’ll love the cleansing properties that combat impurities to keep the bad stuff out (it’s naturally antibacterial!) to result in visibly clean and soft skin. The active ingredients, pansy extract and salicylic acid, are gentle enough to be used once or twice daily, working especially well if you have makeup to remove. I quickly realized after my first use that the thinner consistency makes sense due to the toner being integrated. I squirt a palmful out and then work it into a nice lather with a touch of water, then apply using fingertips in a circular motion. I guarantee you’ll feel refreshed within seconds, and it seems to do a number on minimizing my pores as well. It’s perfect for my “fickle” skin, which I call my combination skin when it can’t make up its mind whether to be dry, normal, or a touch oily. I noticed right away that my skin looked more radiant and felt smoother, and was primed perfectly for moisturizer. Hello spring, hello new skin!
When it comes to beauty supplements, my feelings towards them can be summed up with one sound: meh. For the most part, dermatologists and nutritionists have confirmed that vitamin waters and anti-aging pills don’t really work so I’m always skeptical when I see another fruity concoction promising to erase wrinkles and clear skin. However, experts do agree that the one exception is marine fatty acids, such as Omega-3 and Omega-6, which have been proven to have all kinds of health benefits from protecting your heart to treating rheumatoid arthritis and even depression (in fact, you can even get a prescription strength dose of Omega 3 pills). So when I learned about Ascenta Skin, the new beauty supplement that is composed of various Omega acids and fish oils, I was pretty willing to give it a try — and, as it turns out, I’m never going back to the regular ol’ vitamin shop pills.
Ascenta Skin is the beauty arm of Ascenta Health, the leading manufacturer of natural health supplements in Canada. Unlike the usual Omega 3 pills, Ascenta Skin is composed of a mixture of fish oils, borage seed oil, and antioxidants that are specially combined to maximise benefits for skin health and beauty. For example, the EPA and DHA found in the fish oil are proven to protect skin against inflammation and UV damage and the GLA in the borage oil helps to retain moisture and reduce dry skin. The product is also infused with Vitamin D, which is important for overall skin health but only comes from being in the sun (a big no.) More »
Do you have a hatred of tiny, yappy dogs and getting lost in the rain, and a love of red lipstick and Rihanna? Or are you more into sparkle, princess dresses, dogs you can fit into your purse, and Taylor Swift? Be careful how you answer: Your response may indicate whether you’re more of a good or a bad witch. Or, more simply, you can take a look at Urban Decay’s duo-personality themed makeup palettes, created to celebrate the launch of Walt Disney’s Oz: The Great and Powerful to determine whether you’re more of the green or fair complexioned type. If your eye is drawn towards brown smoky tones, mossy greens, topped off by a fiercely, glossy merlot red lip, you may be a Theodora or a Mila Kunis-type. If you love metallics, shimmery champagnes and pinks, and pop purple, you may be a Glinda or a Michelle Williams-type. Each of Urban Decay’s palettes contains 6 wells of character-driven eyeshadow color, including a glossy lip pencil and an insert showing how to replicate the movie’s signature looks. So have at it– it’s good to be bad and it can be bad to be good.