Monthly Archives: February 2011

Ten or Less: Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Facial Cleanser

If you haven’t yet, you will likely soon see a display featuring the new “Naturals” line from Neutrogena. And when you do, you should absolutely give these products a second glance and try them out. I picked up the Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Facial Cleanser and am pleasantly surprised at the quality and the “natural-ness” of the product!

As my profession, I do CSR communications and natural is definitely a word that in itself doesn’t mean much.  When I picked up this product, I was excitedly showing it to a coworker, a former journalist who covered marketing and PR agencies, and he scoffed a bit at the word “natural.” But I’ve got to give it to Neutrogena — this product has legs.

If you’re making any sustainability claims, the first step is definitely transparency so I was thrilled to see Neutrogena list the ingredients and the source. The plastic bottle is also made of 50% post-consumer recycled material.

I’ve always liked Neutrogena’s face washes, but this one takes the cake. And for some weird reason, my Clarisonic is dirtier when I use this than this as compared to other Neutrogena cleansers. A deeper clean perhaps? This contains Willowbark, a natural source of salicylic acid, which helps detoxify pores and treat acne. Whether it’s truly a better clean or not, this is a hard-working yet gentle cleanser. No stripping, no tight skin feeling or irritation to be found.

I’ll add that this smells deliciously of apples, and while it is one of the only unnaturally-derived ingredients, Neutrogena claims it’s necessary to blend the ingredients and maintain product effectiveness. I dig it.  And the icing on the “cake?” This costs less than $8.

Rescue Your Hair from the Dry Winter Air

Yesterday, one of my coworkers asked me for a solution to help heal dry winter hair. As you can see, she has the best hair — long, wavy and blonde.  From my perspective, every day is a good hair day for her. But for those who have dry hair to begin with, like my coworker, winter can be so tough on the locks.

She does all the right things — washes infrequently, uses a deep conditioner regularly and always applies heat protectants before styling. But even this regimen isn’t able to do the trick as it would in the summer.

I thought I’d put together a list of products that work great for me, but also invite everyone reading to give some recommendations. I am able to combat dry hair fairly easily because it’s not something I suffer from. But I know that I am in the minority.

Here’s what works for me, but please — pile on in the comments!

I’ve been really happy this winter using Phyto Phytolactum + Intelligent Shampoo. It’s designed to purify and gently cleanse dry hair without stripping. I like it because it’s also good for those who wash their hair frequently. It smells amazingly of almond, which is because it contains 35% hydrating almond milk. For my coworker, I’d probably recommend looking into other Phyto shampoos, specifically ones for color-treated hair.

A leave-in conditioner goes a long way to infusing moisture and also preventing static. I love Living Proof’s Leave-In Conditioner. It is intensely hydrating and does so without weighing down the hair. When I use this, I always seem to have a better hair day.

For hydration and shine, I’m all about the oils: Oscar Blandi Jasmine Oil Serum and Josie Maran Argan Oil. I first tried Oscar Blandi’s in the January Birchbox and it is a fast favorite. It smells like heaven and helps smooth my ‘do. I like using a few drops of Josie’s Argan Oil on the ends of my hair to moisturize them. I don’t trim my hair often and I’m convinced these oils help keep my ends from splitting.

These are the products that work great for me, but please help my coworker out by letting us in your dry hair saviors! Thanks in advance. 🙂

NARS Opens its First Boutique!

If I ever needed proof that dreams could indeed come true, the opening of NARS first stand-alone boutique in Manhattan’s West Village is that proof. While that is a tad dramatic, the hope of one day having a NARS boutique in Chicago is no longer a pipe dream. There’s a stake in the ground, and it’s at 413 Bleeker Street in New York.

NARS boutique opens officially February 10. I can’t wait until Carla and I make our next trip to New York to see it live and in-person. From the images and description, this is definitely a space that could only belong to NARS. The design aesthetic resembles the black and white packaging we know so well, and there’s a glossy red (ala Jungle Red lipstick) block at the back of the boutique against a matte black wall.

The best part will be the exclusive products, a new version of the Bento Box from Holiday ’10 and a new shade of Pure Matte Lipstick in a warm-rose brown named 413 Bleecker. Also look out for other, non-beauty favorites of François Nars (from books to film) to be sold.

MAC Cosmetics Wonder Woman Collection

This weekend I searched through my mother’s photos to try and show you a picture of me as a kid dressed up like Wonder Woman but I struck out. As a child of the 80’s, I know I dressed up as her for Halloween at least once. How about you? The new MAC Wonder Woman collection will let you re-live some of the Wonder Woman magic.

Just when the fate of the world is careening toward disaster, cue theme music! It’s Wonder Woman! She Kicks Sass! Her mission: Collaborate with MAC to fight the supervillains of the world – criminally outdated color, evil, un-dimensional skin finish, the disasters that drain drama – with that famous spin, a double-cuff of her wicked wrist bracelets and shazam! MAC Spring Colour 2011 is the feminine force (with a dash of comic fun) that saves the day! No nemesis can match the stamina, agility and speed of her SUPER-SIZED Mineralize Skinfinish, bold Eye Shadow quads, Pigment, Opulash, Lipsticks and OVERSIZED Lipglass, JUMBO-BIG Powder Blush and Penultimate Eye Liner, Nail Lacquer and Lash for this larger-than-life transformation! Our Artists work wonders every day – now with the help of one of entertainment history’s most exciting feminist figures…Since 1944, Wonder Woman is the original incarnation of what makes women forever wonderful!

No one understands the importance of a bag of tricks quite like our MAC Spring 2011 heroine! Her legendary bracelets were made from remnants of the Goddess Athena’s all-powerful shield, to award her The Sign of the Champion…In that same spirit of fantasy and wonder, M∙A∙C creates a vivid collection of accessories that are sure to bring you a sense of feminine infallibility, totally peerless power – you ARE Wonder Woman if you want to be. Bright, bold, superhuman designs in Makeup Bags – from raging Red to Bulletproof Blue, Utility Belt Brush Sets that Superman secretly covets, and exclusively online, the WW T-shirt and Invincible Mirror to make your mission – kaboom! – complete.

Let’s take a look at what’s in this collection:
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Eye Love Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye

I’ve reached a point in my life where I want more than moisture from my eye cream. Hydration remains important, but I need an eye cream that really goes to work. I’ve been using Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair Eye for a few months now, and let me tell you, she puts in some serious work.

The skin around our eyes is much thinner (around 4x) than the rest of our face which makes it vulnerable to environmental stressors. Estee Lauder uses a proprietary technology in this product to help combat every key sign of aging – fine lines, wrinkles, puffiness, dark circles, dryness, uneven skin tone – by infusing hyaluronic acid and powerful anti-oxidants in the under eye area.

According to Estee Lauder, this product also neutralizes up to 90% of environmentally-generated free radicals before they do any damage — so UV light, smoke, pollution and even your own stress which can accelerate aging.

What I love? That my under eye area looks and feels hydrated and radiant.  But also: the texture. It’s described as a silky serum, and that is spot-on. It’s a silky gel that just melts into the skin. I can’t stand greasy lotions or watery gels, and there are many products on the market that don’t meet my texture test. This does. And, it’s decently priced at $49.50. I already have a pricey Opal habit. Don’t need to add another!

Plump up the Volume: Beauté Luminous Volume Gloss

While the words “luminous” and “volume” used together as such may lead you to believe that this is a review about a hair product, this is all about the gloss. I get really excited to try new lip glosses, as I’m definitely a connoisseur. Having heard good things about Beauté Cosmetics Luminous Volume Gloss, I was pumped (pun-tentional) up to put them to the test.

(L-R: If, Paramour)

I really like both of these shades, especially “If,” the creamy cantaloupe. These glosses should have mass appeal: no fragrance, no stickiness, somewhat moisturizing, nice packaging and beautiful color pigment. They give lips a luminous shine which does make the lips appear plumper. I found the gloss easy to wear, but hard to apply.

See what I mean? The brush, while conveniently shaped, frays like no other. It’s manageable, but does make application a bit sloppier than I’d like. Essentially, it just means a mirror is required at all times and the occasional clump needs to get smoothed out.

Let us know if you’ve delved into the Beauté brand. Have you tried this gloss?

Just Another Mani Monday: OPI San Tan-Tonio

I have needed a mani/pedi in the worst way… in fact, I still do. Can you tell? A week ago I stopped at Target after work then was going to get a mani/pedi. Right as I was walking to the car, I fell right in front of everyone walking in and sprained my ankle. It was so embarrassing but worse yet, painful! Since then I’ve been trying to avoid putting any weight on my ankle and unable to go to the spa!

In the meantime, I made due with a quickie polish change and decided on San Tan-Tonio from the OPI Texas collection. I am completely in love with this shade and I can’t stop looking at my nails.
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New! OPI Texas Collection

After months and months of teasing from our UK beauty blogging ladies, the OPI Texas collection has finally landed in stores. Of course we can always count on OPI to come up with clever names for their shades but this time I’m really cracking up with the names in this collection, particularly with It’s Totally Fort Worth It. Here’s what’s included in this collection:

  • Don’t Mess With OPI – lean, mean kick-grass green
  • Suzi Loves Cowboys – rich campfire chocolate
  • San Tan-tonio – the perfect honey tan
  • Austin-tatious Turquoise – bodacious blue green
  • It’s Totally Fort Worth It – shimmering lavender grey
  • I Vant To Be A-Lone Star – starry silver-blue

  • Do You Think I’m Tex-y – a ‘berry’ sexy shade
  • Houston We Have A Purple – galactic violet
  • Too Hot Pink to Hold ‘Em – a hot pink winning hand
  • Y’all Come Back Ya Hear? – Texan tangerine
  • Big Hair… Big Nails – rosy blush
  • Guy Meets Gal-veston – “engaging” coral

These last 6 shades feature a new finish OPI says is “sorbet like”, which I am interested in trying. I picked up 1 shade from this collection so far, San Tan-tio, and am loving the way the tan/caramel shade looks with my skin tone. This was a shade to wet my appetite so to speak but I’m going back for more later today, It’s Totally Fort Worth It is calling my name.

How about you? Have you picked up anything from this collection? What shades are calling your name?

What's New in Beauty: February 6, 2011

Jennifer Aniston launched a perfume, self-titled, currently available online at Sephora (in-stores in March). Eau de Jenn is described as a sensual, floral and clean scent.

NARS first boutique is set to open February 10 in Manhattan’s West Village at 413 Bleeker Street. We can’t wait to visit! More info to come on the brand’s Facebook tab – 413 BLKR.

More celeb fragrance news: Kate Walsh of Private Practice launched her first scent, Boyfried, at Sephora as well. Boyfriend is her take on a feminine version of a man’s cologne. [StyleBistro]

Kate Moss is the new face of Dior Beauty. To start, she’ll be featured in new ads for Dior Addict lipstick. [Stylelist]

Do you love Laura Mercier’s Translucent Powder? If so, you might be interested in checking out her new Invisible Loose Setting Powder.

Weekend Reads: Beauty Beat 2/5

It may be winter outside, but spring is in the air! Kelly from Gouldylox Reviews shows us the latest from the new Stila Spring 2011 Collection. What catches your eye this spring?

Kari from Fab Over Forty spent time in New York last week and got a sneak peek at the new Le Metier de Beauté Valentine release eye shadow palette. Take a look, you might want it on your sweetheart list!

Tired of spending the money on a manicure that doesn’t last? Jennifer from BeautyXposé gives us the rundown on the latest long lasting nail craze Shellac manicures by CND.

Charlestongirl shows us at Best Things in Beauty the latest blushes from Tarte. These Amazonian Clay blushes come in a wide variety of shades and are said to last 12 hours. I don’t think anyone will be able to resist these!

Are you afraid of using a cleansing oil on your face? Gaia from The Non-Blonde explains why we embrace them and why the Kanebo Sensai Silky Purifying Cleansing Oil is a must-have on her skincare list.

Debbi from DivaDebbi is busy preparing for New York Fashion Week, which features the designer Fall Collections. She stepped back and showed us what we should be looking for this spring. Is there are trend in the group for you?

Need to put a little happiness in your life? Check out Physicians Formula Happy Booster Blush here on Product Girl.  It’s made with plant extracts said to make you happy. If not, at least looking at the pretty palette will make you happy!

Amy from Café Makeup received the NARS Calanque Trio. This beautiful eye shadow trio for Spring 2011 is sure to be a hit on everyone’s list. Check out her images and swatches of this latest NARS beauty.

Do you love a gloss, but not the stickiness usually associated with a gloss? Then the NARS Velvet Gloss Lip Pencils may just be the thing you are looking for. Sabrina from The Beauty Look Book loved these so much she bought the whole collection!

As we learned from her profile, Jane from Daly Beauty is all about the hair. She has gorgeous hair and some favorite hair products. Read why Terax Crema Conditioner has made it back to the top of her hair beauty list.