Monthly Archives: April 2008

A Little Tingle…

I must say that I love any product that makes my skin tingle. It just makes me feel that said product is working. This is probably just a conditioned response to anything tingly, but I think most people need to feel like something is happening in order for them to be able to vouch or feel good about a product. The latest product to make my skin tingle, is Kinerase Instant Radiance Facial Peels.

Kinerase Instant Radiance Facial Peel This is exactly what it says – a facial peel that helps exfoliate and smooth the skin. It contains an “advanced” form of lactic and fruit acids infused with skin soothers to deliver smoother, more radiant skin. This kit is pretty self-explanatory, you just take the pre-moistened applicator from the pouch and gently apply it over face and neck. I used these for a period of about a month and my skin just glowed, which is exactly what a peel does for you. It literally peels the top layer of skin off and leaves you with the new, beautiful skin underneath. Now, I get regular chemical peels via the dermatologist 1x/month and they are probably 100x the strength of these babies, but nonetheless these are a great addition to any skin care regimen.

Please note, that I did skip my monthly session in order to test these out because too much peel is not a good thing either. Your face might react initially– peeling a bit and get red, but it goes away fairly quickly. My peeling was minimal, but that was due to the fact that it is used to a much stronger solution. My face just felt tingly and tight and you can feel that something is happening. The directions recommend to repeat this process for no more than 5 days straight using a new applicator each day. After the 5 days are up, you should wait at least 2 weeks between peels. My face was definitely more sensitive, but looked fabulous. If you cannot afford to go to the dermatologist or just aren’t interested, these are a great way to get similar results in your own home.

A few things to remember: be very careful about sun exposure while using this product. You must apply sunscreen liberally and daily (you should be doing that already though)! And, you might want to discontinue use of any Retin-A based product while you are using this as well. This box contains 15 treatments and runs about $75.

To Prime or Not to Prime?

Have I mentioned how much I love NARS cosmetics? I think I have and was fortunate enough to try another great product. I don’t normally use makeup primer; as it is I put enough product on my skin daily. But for a night out on the town, I will go all out and will use extras every now and then. The newest extra is NARS Makeup Primer with SPF 20.

NARS Makeup Primer with SPF 20 Make-up primers have always been a wonder to me, just exactly what is the purpose and do I have the time to apply? I have owned the pseudo-famous one by Smashbox for some time (years) now and that goes to show how often I use it. Primer is supposed to go on top of cleansed skin and serves to create the perfect canvas for applying your foundation flawlessly. The NARS Primer also covers any redness and improves the skin’s overall texture and quality. I must say, I did notice a difference. My skin was flawless; but it should have been what with the primer, shimmery foundation, skin perfecting powder (MAC), and bronzer that I applied.

Ultimately, the primer did not feel heavy, went on very easily and absorbed into my skin immediately. It created translucent, healthy-looking skin. You can also wear primer alone, with or without powder on top of it. To make this even better, NARS add SPF 20 protection against both UVA and UVB rays. The additional antioxidant protection also helps to fight free radical damage.

Super Shiny Minus the Sticky

Burt's Bees Super Shiny Lip Gloss Burt’s Bees has had a number of great lip products on the market since introducing their original minty Beeswax Lip Balm. Their new Super Shiny Lip Gloss is no exception.

I tried “Sweet Pink” which is a pearlescent baby pink, but goes on very sheer and subtle. Super Shiny Lip Gloss contains several natural ingredients like Sweet Almond, citrus and sunflower oils. These work to hydrate the lips and also create a really fresh, yummy scent. Best of all, the formula is silky smooth and free of stickiness! I love this product alone on bare lips, or layered over a lipstick. Super Shiny comes in 4 colors ranging from Nectar Nude to Zesty Red.

Conquering My Fears With Home Hair Color

Home hair dye is a 1.4 billion dollar market, and supposedly half of all American women who dye their hair do so at home. So why did my friend shriek in horror when I told her I was contemplating dying my own hair to save money? It seems as though home hair dye is a taboo subject, something best left to professionals. I’m no professional but I decided that if half of the country was doing it, I could play guinea pig and find out for myself.

L’Oreal Superior Preference Dream Blonde Complete Color and Care System I picked up L’Oreal Superior Preference Dream Blonde Complete Color and Care System in Medium Golden Blonde. At $15, I thought it was a bit pricey for a home kit but it was exactly the color I was looking for, so I went with it. It’s called a “Complete Color System” because not only does it contain dye, but it also comes with several accompaniments that make this kit unique. The Pre-Color Moisture Infuser is a conditioner that applied on your ends to protect them from damage prior to dying. Also included in the system are Weekly Blonde Supreme shampoo and conditioner, formulated to conserve color and prevent brassiness. Continuous Shine Cream is a lightweight alternative to popular silicone frizz styling products on the market. All of these add-ons were very generous in size, lasting me several weeks after the initial dye.

So what were my results? I am no pro, but my hair is now a very even, shiny, warm blonde. The color didn’t cover up my highlights, and the results look quite natural. After several weeks, it hasn’t faded and most importantly, my ends are quite healthy – I can’t even find a split end. I would recommend conquering your fear of home color by starting with this Complete Color and Care System.

Take Care of Your Lips

When I was little, I use to steal my mother’s Lancome rose scented lip balm. I loved it so much, she kept replacing it and I kept taking it as the one I swiped ran out. It’s been discontinued for some time now but I think I found a suitable replacement.

Dr. Hauschka Lip Care Stick Dr. Hauschka’s Lip Care Stick is an excellent lip balm and it’s the one I’ve been using non-stop lately. This lip balm features jojoba wax and shea butter to nourish your lips and is rose scented just like my old favorite. The texture is fantastic, it’s thick and a little waxy but it really coats lips well and soothes them instantly. Since it is on the thicker side, this lip balm really hangs on to lips so I haven’t had to reapply as often. Which is another thing about this lip balm, you’re as dependent on it because this improves the condition of your lips. I can certainly attest to that. And… it’s spreads nicely, which I was surprised with because the last lip balm I tried with shea butter was on the tougher side. This lip balm also leaves a nice soft shine on lips too so I’ve been using it quite a bit with a stain or lip pencil lately.

Thanks goes out to our reader Anna. She emailed me wanting us to feature some of Dr. Hauschka’s products so I reached out to the line and they were kind enough to send some products for me to test and review (which we will feature very soon). Had she not done that, I would have never tried this!

Lock and Roll

I’m not sure what the weather is like these days where you live, but in St. Paul, MN, we’re in for a month of rain followed by three of sweltering heat. While both are a nice break from the arctic blast known as winter, neither bode well for eye makeup. I’m in desperate need of eye shadow that doesn’t budge.

Tarte's Lock and Roll Creaseless Eyeshadow Duo I was given the chance to try out a product from Tarte, called Lock & Roll creasless eye shadow duo. Many of Tarte’s products are dual-ended which I personally love. Two products in one slim little package make my purse very happy. The instructions are simple- apply the cream eye shadow to your lids first, wait 10 seconds for it to set and then follow up with the shimmery, loose mineral-based shadow over it. The cream contains binding agents that work with the loose shadow to create a long-lasting look.

I really like this product- the cream base is enriched with Vitamin E so the formula slips over the lid without any pulling or tugging. The loose powder applied evenly, too, with very little drop-down. I tried Slate, a shimmery deep gray, which I would wear out at night. It was a little too pigmented and shimmery for a daytime look. Lock & Roll delivered on it’s promise- after a long night of cocktails and dancing with my girlfriends, my eye makeup was still in place. There are also new colors now, including Amethyst, Gunmetal, Patina, Quartz and Rose Gold.

I also love Tarte’s web site – under each product, you get a complete list of ingredients and step-by-step instructions for application. The instructions are, for me, key because some of Tarte’s products are pretty innovative. The web site breaks down any uncertainty you may feel about trying out something new. So smart.

Bright Eyes

My latest beauty obsession is finding products that make me look well rested (without actually having to get to bed before midnight). I’m sure I would have more time for sleep if I spent less time combing the aisles of Sephora, Macy’s, Nordstrom, and Target but what fun would that be? In this quest, enter Rest Assured from Tarte.

Tarte's Rest Assured Brightening Wand The dual-ended brightening wand features a nude-colored liner on one side and a pearly pink cream highlighter on the other. The nude liner was kind of new to me- when I think of brightening pencils, I typically think white. But Tarte feels that white can be harsh and obvious (both true on certain skin types), while nude is a barely-there shot of brightness.

I started by swiping the liner in the corners of my eyes, which didn’t do much for me. I added a little more, and then a little more by lining all the way along my lower lash line, which made me look more wide awake. I added a touch of highlighting cream to my brow bone and the tops of my cheekbones, but I didn’t notice a whole lot of difference as far as my radiance went. Overall, I didn’t feel as though I looked more rested. When I asked my husband whether he thought I did, his response was a slightly confused, “Uhm…are you supposed to?”

Of the two products, I’m most excited about the nude liner. On my skin tone, it was what made the most impact. Which brings me to my next point – I’m extremely fair and I have to wonder what kind of impact either of these products would make on darker skin tones. The highlighter might be a little brighter, but I’m not sure about the nude liner. If you’ve tried Rest Assured, let me know what your results were like.

This is one of the first products from Tarte that I’ve used. I have to say that, while my feelings about this particular product are somewhat mixed, I love the fact that the line is comprised of products that seem to target specific issues with interesting solutions. I also love the fact that a complete list of ingredients for each product is listed on Tarte’s web site.

Got Curls?

I know I do. Lots of them, in fact. They’ve always been pretty limp, as my hair is really fine to begin with. But, since having surgery in January, my hair pretty much… died! I was in the search for products that I could use everyday, wouldn’t ruin my curls and most of all, be simple and quick to use.

DevaCurl's Low Poo Cleanser I’ve found all that and more in DevaCurl’s products. In the shower I start out with the Low-Poo Cleanser. It has the same feeling as regular shampoo when it’s in your hand, but once it’s been in your hair and you’ve rinsed it out, your hair isn’t crying for conditioner. I follow up with a tiny amount of One Condition. This is the perfect conditioner for my hair. I can use it all the way to my roots and never get the greasies I would if I used other conditioners. The B’ Leave-In gel, as you guessed it, is a leave in. Most of the time I just scrunch the water out of my hair, apply a quarter size amount of this and scrunch it through. That’s all I need to keep my curls looking good. If I want more defined curls, I follow with the AnGell. It’s a really light gel, but totally gets rid of the frizzies.

DevaCurl Mist-er Right When my curls need a wake up call, let’s say after I’ve slept on them and have to get running the next morning. I just spray a little Mist-er Right on them, scrunch and they’re back to their normal ways. Mist-er Right smells like lavender flowers and never seems to get gunky in my hair. I usually follow Mist-er Right with a couple sprays of Set it Free. It’s a moisture locking spray that keeps the frizz totally out of sight. I usually only use Set it Free on the second day, after I’ve put some Mist-er Right in it. This past week I was on Spring Break and was swimming for hours each day. I was worried the chlorine would ruin my hair. Thankfully, I brought these products with me, and my hair looked good, even right after swimming. I even got my sister and niece interested in them! They noticed how much more curly and put together my hair’s looking and had to find out what I was using.

These products are perfect for us curly girls and for those who follow the curly girl routine. These products, combined with the book “Curly Girl” by Lorraine Massey and Deborah Chiel are all you need for perfect curls, every day of your life.

Win a Scent Party with L'Artisan Parfumeur

To start Spring with a bang, L’Artisan Parfumeur is holding three special Scent Parties at their flagship boutique on Madison Avenue in New York, for three lucky fans and their friends.

L'Artisan's Madison Avenue Boutique

L’Artisan Parfumeur Scent Parties are two hours filled with some sparkling champagne and chocolates while you search for your perfect fragrance. For a chance to win a Scent Party for you and 4 friends, please send your name and contact details to madisonboutique@artisan-parfumeur.us. They will be accepting entries till April 13th, 12am EST. The three winners will be chosen randomly on April 14th, and notified by phone and email.

Good luck and let us know if you win! We’d love to hear about it!

Weekends Reads for 4/5

“Might as well face it, you’re addicted to love…” Flash back to the 80s and see Lilan from The Daily Cookie recreate a look from a popular music video!

Check out Beauty Anonymous’ Current Favorite Lippy – Einstein Lip Therapy Hydrating Lip Cream

A Touch of Blusher puts on more blusher……

The Beauty Bug previews the new products that hit the counters and shelves this month.

Looking for affordable high quality makeup brushes? Check out The Makeup Divas review on these cosmetic brushes.

Girl Gloss loves Maybelline Volume XL Seduction Plumping Lip Gloss.

Product Girl tries out Avon’s Supershock Mascara and gets shockingly plump lashes.

The Muse features her very favorite, holy grail mascara from Japan (Nope, not Fiberwig!)!

Mischo Beauty has a fabulous reader who wrote in to share why she loves Sunsilk’s De-Frizz 24/7 Crème.

The Beauty of Life hearkens back to her childhood with Bonne Bell LipSmackers. Check out her favorites!

See what products Beauty Blogging Junkie has deemed promtastic.

Savvy Skin is having a contest where you can win the zit zapping tool ThermaClear. Win a ThermaClear!

In need of an awesome hair mask? Glossypink found one!

Cybelesays has found some winning makeup brushes with the new ones from Sonia Kashuk

Embarrassed by dark marks, sun damage, or age spots? Don’t get mad. Spoiled Pretty tells you how to get even!

Is your hair showing signs of frizz? StyleBell has discovered the secret to keeping those locks soft, shiny and frizz free all on a budget! Hint: Apple Cider Vinegar.

15 Minute Beauty Fanatic starts off her sunscreen review series by looking at Neutrogena’s UltraSheer with Helioplex.

Elessa of Pursebuzz.com gets a makeover by Glamour. Beauty Pro’s transform’s youtube “web stars” see it all here. Check out newsstands for May’s issue, can’t wait, go to Glamour.com.

Makeup Moxie feeds her faux glow addiction with Fake Bake Tantalizing Self-Tanning Butter.

Elke asks, if runway makeup has gotten too creative. Plus, the April Issue of The Beauty Ideal is out!

Stylish Opinion finds these truly stylish headbands.

The Beauty Blog Network spotlights their ‘post of the day’.

Toya tries 100% Pure Cosmetics – with real fruit pigments!

Karen from Makeup and Beauty Blog loves Gazelle, Chanel’s hottest and newest lipgloss.