Monthly Archives: January 2012

Spa Nordstrom: Live Like a Real Housewife, Part III

Tucked away in the back of that photo is the Spa Nordstrom pedicure station. It’s private and fancy, and where your feet get some major attention. Filled with pillows and the current issues of People and US Weekly, it’s like a private retreat within a private retreat. If you’ve only ever been to pedicures at the nail salons, then you’re missing out on a real treat. And what a treat this finale was to my day of spa-ing at the Michigan Ave Spa Nordstorm.

The Spa Pedicure begins with an herbal foot soak — like the one you get at the beginning of your spa treatments. From there, begins a serious hour of pampering. It was the longest pedicure I’ve ever had the pleasure of enduring. It’s such a myth that you should not get pedicures in the winter. I can’t tell you how many times I hear the “well, no one is seeing my feet,” or “I wear socks every day in the winter.” I actually think I say those things sometime, too. Oops! All false. Pedicures are so necessary this time of year!

From foot soak to foot scrub and skin removal. My calluses have calluses, and a little part of me scoffed at the foot file the pedicurist pulled out.  I thought, “What’s that going to do? Massage my heel?” But I quickly changed my tune, for reasons that would be TMI to get into. Needless to say, I purchased that foot file that day. For the curious, it’s called the Biosana Swiss Foot File. Spa Nordstrom sells it for $18. It’s double-sided, and even the “smoother” side should be used with caution. Damp skin is best otherwise you might literally hurt yourself.

I also opted for the paraffin dip before the polish application. For as much as I’ve mastered the DIY mani, I can never shape or paint my toe nails quite like they do at the spa or salon. I think that’s why I enjoy pedicures so much. I really feel like it’s something I can’t do myself (at least not as well). But callus maintenance, that I need to do. Very excited to have found a product that is effective without me having to essentially do a full cardio workout.

And, I’m proud to report that I stuck to the esthetician-mandated exfoliation detox. I went 15 days without any physical or chemical exfoliation (save about 5 uses of the Clarisonic). I’ll admit, it was eye opening. I was sure my pores would clog and skin cells would build up, but it was a much-needed break. My skin looks and feels better. I’ve also gotten into the habit of only washing my face at night and just rinsing in the shower in the a.m. I can tell that my skin is maintaining healthy moisture levels.

After a day at the Spa Nordstrom to kick off a New Year, I feel pretty great. My next move is to figure out when I’m going back!

Disclosure: The spa services were gratis, courtesy of Nordstrom. All opinions are my own.

NARS Lhasa Eyeshadow is a Single that's Ready to Mingle

NARS Lhasa Eyeshadow is what I like to call a “single that’s ready to mingle.” These are the best kind of eyeshadows, really. By definition, these outgoing eyeshadows play incredibly well with others. They quickly earn a permanent place in the makeup bag, and are reached for at least five days a week. As much as I love eyeshadow duos, trios and palettes, there’s nothing quite like a versatile single.

Lhasa and its flattering lavender grey shimmer is the epitome of this eyeshadow category. It’s been mingling with all sorts of other eyeshadows, cream bases and eyeliners for the past week. And everytime I wear it, no matter how, it looks great. On the lid and into the crease with smudgey plum eyeliner or paired with the mid-tone rose shade in Douce France. And not to be forgotten…Lhasa on its own. It’s a single after all — totally independent and not leaning on another shade. It’s perfect in texture, wear and color. In fact, an eyeshadow hasn’t evoked such a reaction in me since I discovered MAC Moleskin. And wouldn’t you know it? Moleskin and Lhasa are stunning together. Of course they are! They’re both the mingling type.

Don’t gloss over this single. You may have similar shades, but Lhasa practically earns a paycheck it’s so good.

Hair How-To + Giveaway: Lea Michele SAG Awards 2012

One of our favorite looks from last night’s SAG Awards Red Carpet was Lea Michele in Atelier Versace. The slit was DARING, and she just totally killed it. The makeup and hair complemented the dress perfectly, too. The man responsible for Lea Michele’s soft and sultry hairstyle was Dove Celebrity Stylist Mark Townsend. Mark used several products from the new, nine-piece Dove Style+Care collection to get the look. This line officially launches March 1, and is designed to help nourish and protect hair for long-lasting style.

 “I started by applying a large dollop of the new Dove Style+Care Nourishing Amplifier Mousse to Lea’s damp hair and blow dried with a large round brush for volume.

Next, I took a dime-size amount of the new Dove Frizz-Free Shine Cream-Serum in my hands and rubbed them together to warm up the product, and then raked my hands through her hair. I am obsessed with this cream; it gives the hair amazing shine and separation, and also nourishes the hair too so it’s like having a styling product and a conditioner in one bottle.

I pulled her hair into a loose bun while Lea had her makeup done to set a loose wave in her hair. Then, I let the hair down and sprayed Oribe Après Beach Spray all over to give the hair that great sexy “second-day” hair.

Just before Lea left for the red carpet, I finished her hairstyle by spraying the new Dove Style+Care Extra Hold Hairspray all over to keep her hair in place without it looking stiff or crunchy.”

And, we’re giving away the three Dove Style+Care products used to create Lea Michele’s SAG look! Leave us a comment and tell us what you thought about the SAG styles. Did you like Lea’s look? Who was your favorite! We’ll pick one winner* end of day Thursday, February 2.

Update: Congrats to Jennifer, the winner of the Dove Style + Care giveaway!

Just Another Mani Monday: butter LONDON Slapper

I’m channeling the beach this week, with butter LONDON’s vibrant teal Slapper, part of the spring/summer 2012 collection. Slapper is this awesome color that looks turquoise in the sun and green in dim lighting. It’s bold and bright, and I totally love it. If you’re looking to inject some bright color into your winter wardrobe, Slapper makes a great accessory. This will also be one of those staple nail colors for me come June.  I stopped by Ulta this weekend, and saw the spring butter LONDON shades in the display. However, they were 100% sold out. Looks like everyone is thinking the same thing!

What are you wearing on your nails this week? And, are you as frustrated with the state of your cuticles as I am with mine? I’m going to slather them in hand salve every hour on the hour. It’s a dire situation.

What's New in Beauty: Bobbi Brown Rose Gold, Beauty Bar Sample Society and DIY Hair Ties

We are coveting the new Rose Gold Shimmerbrick from Bobbi Brown’s new Rose Gold collection.

Whole Living magazine is working on its third annual Healthy Skin Awards, and asking readers to nominate their favs. Nominate your favs here by February 13 and you’ll be entered to win some spa prizes. [Whole Living] and Allure have launched the Sample Society. $15 each month gets you 5 luxury samples, a $15 credit on and a mini Allure mag each month.  Sign up here.

Flashback! Caboodles turns 25, and they’ve got a fresh new look. [Refinery29]

Ribbon hair ties are the new non-scrunchie and have basically replaced the traditional elastic. Aren’t these bright polka dot versions from Sephora so cute? I’m not a DIY-er, but this tutorial from the folks at Martha Stewart makes it look so simple. [How Lovely]

Beauty VIP of the Week: Tarte Black Lash Primer and Black Patent Volume Max Mascara

Ever wonder why all lash primers are white and/or clear? Quite honestly, I never thought much about it until I experienced Tarte’s new Black Lash Primer. And now my mind is blown. Part of a QVC-exclusive duo, Tarte’s Black Lash Primer & Black Patent Volume Max Mascara create insanely long lashes. So insane that if you have longish lashes already, this will give you lashes to your brows. See Exhibit A….

Exhibit A: Tarte Lash Primer + Black Patent Volume Max Mascara

Lashes that long — that are mine — are the clear Beauty VIP this week! The formula is gentle, much like other Tarte mascaras, so lashes will never get that crispy feeling. There’s no clumping to fear or lash combs needed to intervene. The Lash Primer, in the black quilted tube, might be better at lengthening and separating lashes more than most mascaras. And because it’s jet black, you probably could wear it as mascara. Followed up with a coat of the Black Patent Volume Max, the shiny vinyl tube, and lashes get thicker and longer. The formula isn’t waterproof, but does not transfer or flake. Just don’t wear it while watching an hour worth of “Sh*t insert people Say” videos. I say this from experience…and I cannot laugh without crying!

Cheers to the weekend and fluttery lashes!

Four Shimmering Shades Join Tarte's Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush Line-up for Spring

Joining an already impressive spread of high-performing cheek colors, Tarte rolled out four new shimmering shades of its award-winning Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush for Spring. Think of Glisten, Adored, Buff and Frisky as the sassy, sparkly sisters to your more responsible and mature blush colors. Even the outer packaging has a shimmer to it, which is a great differentiator should you happen to stockpile these blushes (as we may or may not do!)

The brilliance of Tarte’s Amazonian Clay Blushes is that not only do they stay in place perfectly all day; the color almost intensifies the longer you wear them. I think it’s because after about 10-12 hours, other parts of our makeup, like eyeliner or foundation, begin to fade. Also, we completely tip our hats to Tarte for being the brand known for its gel cheek stains to being lauded by everyone for its powder blush. If you’ve yet to try these (what are you waiting for?!), may we suggest one of the spring shades? Here’s a look at all four in action…

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What's in Her Makeup Bag with Stephanie Johnson

Topping the list of makeup bags we want to peek into is most definitely Stephanie Johnson. Founder of the eponymous travel accessory line, we’re as curious about what Stephanie carries in her bag as what bag she carries. She launched her coveted line of travel accessories in 2000 after countless trips overseas and weeks spent packing and unpacking while a high-powered exec for a global business firm. She’s the ultimate expert, and uses that edge to create beautiful, streamlined cosmetic and toiletry bags that make life easier (and more stylish!) for women. If you even have a touch of the Type A, you will be infinitely drawn to Stephanie’s bags with removable pouches, pull-out mirrors, brush holders and detachable bags with separate compartments.

Let’s hear it from Stephanie herself what she’s toting around in her colorful Malibu Pouches. Note: we TOO are obsessed with that nail polish shade!


  1. Aveeno Positively Radiant and Aveeno Ultra-Calming Daily Moisturizers.  I’m currently alternating both of these on my face and loving.  They each have SPF 30.
  2. Frownies. What can I say?  I’m a natural girl.  No Botox for me.
  3. Neutrogena Healthy Defense Moisturizer in SPF 50. Also in rotation.  Amazing light feel and I use it for face and body.
  4. Ted Gibson Hair Sheets. Give my hair shine and tame fly-aways.  Genius.
  5. Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve. Since moving to NYC this fall my hands and feet are so incredibly dry.  Slap this on and I’m smooth as silk.
  6. Essie Bobbing for Baubles. Rocking this moody blue this winter.
  7. Arcona Triad Pads. Cleanse tone and hydrate with these cranberry-infused pads.  No problem getting through airport security either!
  8. Maybelline Expert Eyes Eye Makeup Remover.  100% Oil Free.  Been using this for 25 years!
  9. Stephanie Johnson Malibu Pouches in Medium and Large.  I’m obsessed with these patent pouches in 6 great colors.  Perfect to organize and sort everything in my bag using the color system.  Soft like butter.
  10. Tweezerman Tweezers. Never without!
  11. YSL Black Mascara. Simply the best.
  12. YSL Easy Liner for Eyes in Black. All I need to go from day to night.
  13. NARS Lip Gloss in Foul Play, Risky Business and Super Orgasm. Don’t the names say it all?
  14. Stephanie Johnson Snap Mirror in Malibu Lemon.  Useful and adorable.

Sephora Makes a Statement with Prisma Chrome Eyeshadow

Are you seeing what we’re seeing? That’s the look of Sephora stepping up its makeup game in a BIG way. With the launch of Prisma Chrome Eyeshadows, Sephora is showing us makeup lovers that they’ve got what it takes to catch our attention. With that striking pattern, how could you not look twice?

Sephora Prisma Chrome is equal parts baked/powder and cream, intended to capture light and deliver a “prismatic” effect. The finish is smooth and the colors are true to form. We like what we’re seeing – in the pan and on the eye.

Of the 10 shades in total, we put three to the test: Shimmering Sand (#10); Gold Reflection (#20); and Purple Prisma (#40). Shimmering Sand is one of those lid-perfecting shades that makes you look like you spent much more time on your eye makeup than the actual 30 seconds you did. Gold Reflection is more yellow than it is metallic, and is very pigmented. As for Purple Prisma, I was expecting more of a vibrant purple, but the description calls for lilac, which is semi-accurate.

So, what’s the final verdict on Sephora’s BIG makeup moment?

On the plus side:

+ awesome wave pattern
+ strong color payoff
+ ease of use
+ staying power (all day with primer!)

A few cons to note:

– $15 price tag (same price as MAC eyeshadows!)
–  Packaging is a little bulky and shadow doesn’t seem totally secure in the pan (i.e. DON’T DROP!)

What are your thoughts on Prisma Chrome? Yay or nay?

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Join Us For a Kiehl's LIVE Skincare Chat Today at 3:00 p.m. EST

What you got going on today at 3 p.m. EST? That’s usually about the time I take an afternoon coffee break (and/or consume 1-2 sweet snacks!) But today, the afternoon is going to be all kinds of exciting. Are you up for a live video chat with Kiehl’s President Chris Salgardo and dermatologist Dr. Adam Geyer? Together, they’ll answer YOUR questions about daytime and nighttime skincare regimens and targeted treatments for skin concerns, such as uneven skin tone and fine lines. Basically anything you need to know to get the healthy skin you deserve in 2012.

Also, expect to learn more about Kiehl’s newest launch, the Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution, which features a brand-new Vitamin C derivative that works to minimize dark spots, prevent new ones from forming and boost clarity.

You can click on over here at 3 p.m. EST to access the chat, or stay right here and view it in the player below. If you don’t catch it live, it will be playing on Kiehl’s Facebook continuously so you can watch anytime! We hope to see you this afternoon. We’ve already submitted a few questions!

Watch live streaming video from kiehls at