Monthly Archives: August 2011

Just Another Mani Monday: Nails Inc Warwick Way

This weekend my friend and I went to became obsessed with the Nails Inc. display at Sephora. If you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen my tweets. We tried on a new shade of nail polish on each one of our nails and compared our results with each other and even other shoppers. We we were impressed with so many of the shades we tried, many of them gave us almost completely opaque bottle color with just one coat. Out of all of the shades we tried, Warwick Way was the one we fell in love with hard. This shade is described as a bright emerald on Sephora’s website but it is really a gorgeous teal that leans a little more green than blue. The image here, which I tried to capture in different lighting, does not do this shade justice. It is just gorgeous.

I have to say that right now, I’m loving everything about Nails Inc. The colorful display reels you in and the price is just right. Each bottle retails for $9.50 which is just like the Sephora by OPI shades. Each shade I have swatched leads me to believe the formula is pretty solid and well pigmented. The line also has effects and treatments as well. There are glitters and crackle top coats in addition to the Westminster Bridge Matte Effect Top Coat, this doesn’t dry completely matte. Instead it gives nails a shine free buffed look. My absolute favorite is the Special Effects Electric Lane Holographic Glitter Top Coat. It is not on the website but you can find it in stores. Adding a coat of this to anything on your nails is just makes it magical. Nails Inc. is stealing my heart, this line is mostly made up for cream shades with a few sheer and metallic shades thrown in. Except some swatches soon!

Is Nails Inc luring you in? I definitely hope so! What’s on your nails today? Let me know in the comments.

Biore Launches Prove It Rewards Program

Today Biore is launching a unique new loyalty program for consumers on Facebook. Biore fans can sign up for the “Prove It” program to earn points towards exciting prizes by completing surveys and purchasing Biore products. All you need to do is “Like” Biore then click on “Reward My Routine” to begin.

Biore wants you to be recognized and rewarded for the little things you do. Every day, the small steps you take lead to big results. You take care of your skin. You spend an extra five minutes at the gym. Now it’s time for Biore to give back to you. Build up points – instead of dirt and oil – that can be redeemed for coupons, prizes and free products. Here’s how:

  • Correctly Answer Daily Trivia Questions and Complete Prove It Reward Challenges: How much do you know about maintaining healthy skin? Did you wash your face today?
  • Make your Purchases of specially marked Bioré Pore Strips Count: Look for the Prove It! Reward Points product code in specially marked packages, and enter it to earn points.
  • Return to Earn: Get points by visiting 5 days in a row, answering a string of questions correctly, and more!
  • Get Bonus Rewards: When you sign up, you have the chance to get a bonus reward like products or points instantly. If you received a free product code from a friend, it will count as your bonus reward.

When you sign up, enter “product” in the “Blogger Keyword” field. Using this as your keyword will automatically earn you 100 points, spelling must be correct for you to get points. In the spirit of full disclosure, Biore has asked me to help spread the word about Prove It. In exchange, they giving away one ultimate “Trip to the Strip,” worth $10,000! The blogger who generates the most new members of the “Prove It” program between August 15th and September 15th will win the trip to Las Vegas. So please do me a favor, sign up for Prove It and this way we could both win prizes!

Ten or Less: Almay Oil-Free Makeup Eraser Sticks

We’ve all been there: Racoon-eyed and irritated when we woke up in a hotel room with traces of last night’s makeup still under our eyes. It’s actually one of my biggest annoyances when traveling. I refuse to pack actual makeup remover for fear of it spilling (especially since I roll with the oil-based miracle that is Lancome Bi-Facil), and sometimes makeup wipes don’t get everything. Hence trace evidence when you wake up in the morning. Which is why I squealed with joy at the sight of Almay’s Oil-Free Makeup Remover Sticks. Can I get an Amen here? Why haven’t these existed sooner?

They’re quite simple. Pop off one end of the Q-tip and turn it upside down so the solution drops and soaks the other end of the tip. Then simply remove your eye makeup. It is perfect for getting right at the lashline. I reserve them just for travels, and love that they come in a handy case. No more looking makeup-removal troubles traveling, and my waterproof mascara still gets to come with, too!

Growing Out Your Hair? Meet Amika Oil Treatment

Good things come in amber bottles. Like Miller Lite and my new hair obsession, Amika Oil Treatment. And while we’re talking about bottles, isn’t this one just beautiful? I love the print. What’s inside the amber bottle is even better though. It’s an oil serum intended to strengthen hair and eliminate the frizzies. There’s Argan Oil, Omega 7 and Vitamin C, but the power is in the Obliphica, a.k.a. Sea Buckthorn Berry. This ingredient has a high percentage of the rare Omega 7 (about 40%) and is a workhouse at replenishing your hair. It’s also got mad anti-aging properties and is cropping up in skin care products as well.

Two years ago, I set out on a mission to grow my hair. You can see the “before” image on our About page. I get about two trims per year, and that’s because I don’t have split ends. I only run to the salon when my layers need a refresh. And it’s been working for me. But the key is protecting the ends of my hair and preventing heat damage. Amika Oil Treatment is a savior! The consistency of the oil is a little thicker, but it doesn’t feel heavy in the hair. I massage it into the ends of my hair before blow-drying (which I only do about every 2-3 days). If I know I’m going to be outside or in the sun all day, I also apply it then. I fend off crispy ends like its my job.

Can we also talk about the smell? It’s euphoric. Like a tropical getaway. I want to live in the place where this smell comes from. But for now, I’ll just continue to treat my hair with the magic of the Sea Buckthorn Berry.

Vote in the First-Ever Nordstrom Beauty Awards!

My home away from home Nordstrom is holding their first ever beauty awards and you can vote on your favorite cosmetics, skincare and fragrances. By voting you’ll be entered to win all of the winning products so you’d have an entire beauty wardrobe ready for fall. Only three lucky winners will be chosen at random. Voting ends Monday at 1pm EST so go vote quickly!

Also, Nordstrom is having a gift with purchase from now until the 14th.  Customers will receive, while supplies last, a cosmetics bag with 12 deluxe samples (worth $90) if they spend $125 on any cosmetics or fragrance purchase. The chic bag includes products from Laura Mercier, Trish McEvoy, Lancôme, Kate Somerville, Philosophy and more. I don’t know about you but I’m always a sucker for the bags Nordstrom puts out with GWPs and trend shows. I have a lot of them in my closet!

Chanel Black Pearl Nail Polish Revisted

Pretty much every week, I don a new nail color. It’s all in the name of beauty duty, of course. But still, there are some colors that I could happily wear every single day. Chanel Black Pearl is one such color. This launched in the dead of winter with Chanel’s 2011 Spring Collection. It was a fantastic, seasonally apt shade in January when we featured it but I love it even more in the summer heat! My summer style has been a lot of color and a lot of prints, and the metallic edge of Black Pearl complements everything.

I do believe this shade was limited edition, but I still see it hanging around some Chanel counters so fear not if you missed out the first time. Do you have a go-to nail polish? Let us know!

Fall Beauty Snapshots: Lancome, Estee Lauder, Bobbi Brown

Hands down, our favorite season is fall. What’s not to love? Cozy sweaters and boots, leaves changing color, pumpkin spice lattes and of course, fall makeup collections! While we are savoring summer (especially Carla, since Seattle totally spaced out on the heat wave the rest of America got!), we’re looking forward to incorporating the best of fall beauty into our makeup routine.


Lancome’s Fall 2011 Collection has us excited! Isn’t the campaign image chic? The collection is named after the original Lancome boutique in Paris, 29 St. Honore. Love the red lips and red nails, courtesy of Bang Bang Red Polish. Don’t you see it as a perfect holiday shade?  I’m going to Paris in October with my husband, so I’m feeling the need to snap up some of these items — especially the Eiffel Tower imprinted blush!

Estee Lauder’s Modern Mercury Pure Color collection created by Tom Pecheux has its fair share of chic going on as well. But it’s not the red lips and semi-smokey eyes that I’m drawn to; rather it’s the stunning Pure Color Illuminating Powder Gelée. A must-have! Other highlights include a new Velvet Lipstick formula and that oh-so-complex green/gold Pure Color Nail Polish.

Bobbi Brown’s Fall 2011 Tortoise Shell collection is about standout eyes, just like a great pair of glasses. In fact, it’s inspired by her dark-rimmed glasses! Bobbi may forever have the market cornered on eye shadow palettes that you compulsively just need. Because, quite simply, I see a need for both the Bronze and Sand eye shadow palette. The shades are ideal for anytime of the year, and hey, I wear glasses, too!

Any standouts from your perspective? Let us know!

NARS Acapulco Candle

There is a new fragrance gracing the air in apartment these days and it is NARS Acapulco Candle. Here in Seattle, we have not had much of a summer. The weather here has resembled fall more than summer. Sometimes when I get home from work, I light this candle and pretend I’m somewhere else. This candle helps me pretend I’m in the tropics and it smells divine!

When you first open the box and smell this candle, you’re hit with a note of chocolate but if you keep inhaling and devouring this scent like I do when I have the candle in my hands, the creaminess of the vanilla and whipped cream comes out. There’s also a note of coffee in this scent. These notes go on to make sweet, sweet love together. Is that even possible? YES.

I’ve burned chocolate based candles in the past and sometimes the scent is too rich to enjoy for more than a half hour. This is not the case with this candle at all, I can burn it all evening and the smell does not overwhelm me. I’ve never been a gourmand candle kind of gal but Acapulco has turned me into one.  Best of all, the candle burns cleanly and evenly. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve spent money on expensive candles only to have them burn unevenly and waste so much of the candle. This is my candle pet peeve!

Yes, this is a pretty pricey candle but when I consider some of the candles I have been coveting cost more and burn for less time, I make peace with the price tag. Acapulco burns for 70 hours. I was gushing about it to my friend and I didn’t even need to tell her the name, for us it is “that” NARS candle. I received this one from NARS but plans are being made for backups as we speak. 🙂

Just Another Mani Monday: CND Shellac vs. Orly Gel FX

This week’s Mani Monday is actually from last week’s trip to Cosmoprof in Las Vegas. While I was there, I had a chance to see the new CND Shellac shades coming out and experience the new Orly Gel FX manicure for myself. I wanted the best of both worlds so I decide to keep my Shellac mani on one hand and try the new Orly Gel FX on the other so I could compare the two at the same time. It may look a little odd in person but I don’t care, I’m loving these two shades.

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Love the Sun, But Love SPF More

I can get pretty preachy when I’m passionate about something. Like how Boston Terriers are the cutest breed of dog and how The Bachelorette is quality television, for example. The importance of wearing SPF is also something I step on my proverbial pulpit for. It’s the single most important step in preventing skin cancer, and if that doesn’t quite resonate, hello, the anti-aging benefits should!

Here’s our picks for the best sunscreens of summer, and beyond.  Remember, SPF is a year-round necessity!

Best in Multitasking. Kate Somerville SPF 55 Serum Sunscreen. We trust our faces with Kate completely, and SPF is no exception. We especially love that this antioxidant-rich sunscreen doubles as a serum, eliminating an extra step in our morning routine. $45 for 2oz.

Best in Natural. Josie Maran Protect Daily Sun Protection Argan Oil Infused SPF 40+. Sometimes natural sunscreens can be tough to blend, but not this one. This is infused with Argan Oil, and works to repair skin and improve skin tone. I love the mild, lightweight formula. I find it’s a great base for makeup in the summer, too! $32 for 2 oz.

Best in Texture. SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50. Absolutely weightless, this is a powerhouse at fighting off the sun’s harmful rays. It contains only physical blockers, as well as a plankton extract (called artemia salina) to increase the skin’s ability to defend against UV and heat stress. As an added bonus, it comes in a universal tint that makes makeup-free days a reality. $30 for 1.7 oz.

Best in Powder. Jane Iredale Powder-Me SPF™ Dry Sunscreen – SPF 30. Ancient clay rich in minerals is at play in this product, and this might be my favorite for the purse. It starts working upon application, and layers well over moisturizer and other products. The tanned version is great for giving arms and legs some sculpt, and the translucent seamlessly disappears while protecting. The only downside? It’s kinda pricey. $44, Jane Iredale

Best in Lips. Bobbi Brown Treatment Lip Shine SPF 15. This formula covers off on the SPF, and is the perfect summery lip. Bright colors in a sheer, juicy formula that’s packed with cocoa and shea butters and jojoba, apricot kernel and avocado oils. It really is a treatment for your lips! $23,

Best in Budget. Aveeno Smart Essentials Daily Nourishing Moisturizer SPF 30. Aveeno does sun protection very well, and I really appreciate how they included SPF 30 in the Smart Essentials day moisturizer. Another multitasker! The star ingredient is southernwood extract, an antioxidant that helps soothe stressed skin. $15 for 2.5 oz. Ulta

Best in Ingredients. PCA Skin Perfecting Protection SPF 30. There are so many rock star ingredients in here, it’s mind-blowing. Caffeine, Silybin (a.k.a. milk thistle), bearberry, licorice root extract, lactic acid, kojic acid, among others, work to reduce skin discoloration and prevent future hyperpigmentation. Sun spots, you’ve been warned. I use this mainly on my arms, chest and neck but it is also good for the face. $24 for 1.7 oz.

What are your SPF must-haves? Share with us, and tell us why!