Monthly Archives: February 2012

February TRIA Update + a Giveaway!

Maybe because it’s the “year of no winter” (according to Chicago’s favorite weatherman Tom Skilling), but spring feels closer than ever. The topics of conversation at work and among friends have gone from “ski trips” and “ice fishing” (I associate with a lot of Minnesotans — this is a real activity that people actually do FOR FUN) to “summer wardrobe” and “St. Patrick’s Day” (which is officially the unofficial start of “spring”). Me, I’m just excited to enter the summer season with LESS HAIR on my underarm (but more on my head. Still growing it out!) And with that, here’s the February TRIA update.

In my first piece of official update news: results continue!! Wahoo! The momentum I gained last month is getting stronger, and I’m really noticing that my underarm hair is growing in slower and sparser. I do still see growth after a few days, but it’s noticeably less. I still have a ways to go, but I’m getting somewhere and that makes me very happy. Random but relevant observation to share — I think my left underarm is seeing better results by a smidge. It could be that – my hair there is less or I’m doing a better job with the TRIA on that side. As for my bikini line, I think I’m noticing some results. It’s just more difficult to actually see (you know what I’m saying?). Also, I use a lower setting (2 vs. 4) down there because it’s just more sensitive skin. And that’s about as much as I’m interested in sharing about my bikini line. Moving on to…

….The second piece of official news: I (hopefully) talked someone off a Groupon for another “at-home laser removal.” It wasn’t TRIA, and that’s all I needed to know to say “eh…maybe you better not.” TRIA remains the only FDA-cleared device for at-home laser hair removal, and after blasting myself with a laser beam twice a month since November, I feel good knowing it’s been rigorously tested. Just don’t mess with that other business. And, if you really want to try it then you should know….

…. WE ARE GIVING AWAY A TRIA!!! Saved the best for last, of course.  Before you enter, though, we ask that you consult with the “Is This Right for Me” tab on the TRIA website and make sure your skin type and hair color will respond to the device. If so, leave a comment on this post to enter to win. We’ll pick a winner at random at the end of the day on Friday, February 24.

Good luck!

Follow along with my TRIA journey here:

January 2012

December 2011

November 2011

*Disclosure: TRIA provided me the system free-of-charge. I’m documenting my experience over the course of six months. All opinions and experiences are my own.

**Congrats to Emily, the winner of the TRIA!

Fond Memories of the Trapper Keeper? You'll Love Laura Mercier's Custom Artist Portfolio

I’m always going to be that 12-year old girl who loved shopping for school supplies every year and had the coolest pens, stationery and girly binders, ala Trapper Keeper style. I mean, really, I’m still that girl. If it was socially acceptable for an almost 30-year old woman to carry Lisa Frank stationery, hell, I’d consider it. Which is why the new, and limited edition, Laura Mercier Custom Artist Portfolio for Home & Away really speaks to me. It’s about the size of a Trapper Keeper in this awesome pewter snakeskin case and filled with removable mesh cosmetic bags, brush organizer and custom compacts to hold your Laura Mercier eye, cheek and products.

 If you’re into organizing, I can’t see how you wouldn’t love this! I saw it at Saks over the weekend and was impressed. To celebrate the launch, Laura Mercier is also introducing a limited edition “Portfolio Animation” collection to give you plenty of inspiration to fill that Portfolio up!

Look for it this March and April at Laura Mercier online and counters.

Jo Malone London Blooms: An Official/Unofficial Note Breakdown

Jo Malone’s ‘London Blooms’ collection, officially launching in  March, is just as pretty in person as it is in these campaign images. Maybe even more so. Over the weekend, I stopped into Saks and London Blooms was out early for Beauty Week. I had so much fun getting to know each of these scents a little more. A fragrance expert, I am not, but I’m starting to get a better understanding of how certain notes react on my skin. And what I think I like might not always be what works with my body’s chemistry. So with that, the official description and what my nose detects (in a very unofficial way).

Wild Lilac & Rhubarb. A daring juxtaposition, this cologne’s tart, vibrant rhubarb cuts through the soft lilac, rose and sun-loving heliotrope.
Laurie’s unofficial take: This opens up sweet, and I detect the rose. Love it. Also, what does heliotrope smell like?

Peony & Moss. A cologne contrasting the dainty and the dirty. Its gossamer lightness of delicate peonies is grounded in earthy green.
Laurie’s unofficial take: Oh my gosh, I love peonies. But wow, this is pretty powdery. Lasted on my right wrist all day.

Iris & Lady Moore. A mingling between spicy-fresh, common or garden geraniums and noble iris, this cologne is powdery and poised. Brought together on a dry-grass base of vetiver.
Laurie’s unofficial take: I don’t detect much powder, but it does have a musky smell. The spice is kind of strong.

As a whole, I love the earthy grit in this collection. I really thought that I would be a Peony & Moss girl, but it was Wild Lilac & Rhubarb that smelled heavenly on my skin. Now that I discovered the London Bloom for me, I will be investing in one of those gorgeous bottles.

Just Another Mani Monday: MAC Play Day

I went for “spring” this week with MAC Play Day from the MAC Vera collection, inspired by the art of textile designer Vera Neumann. It’s a creamy pinky peach color that is going to be so popular this season in everything —- lip color, nails and denim! Don’t you just love it? This color is amazing, but it took three coats to get this and I still see pockets of sheerness. I wish it were just a smidge more opaque, but the color is just too good not to wear it this week. I think it would make for a lovely pedicure, too.

What are you wearing on your nails this week? Feeling spring-y?

How to Wear NARS Douce France Trio Eyeshadow

I am both thrilled with and intimidated by the NARS Douce France Trio for spring. I’ve used the deep rose shade in my crease and layered it with another eyeliner along the lash line, but I’ve yet to do a look that is centered around that shade. It’s not quite fear, but uncertainty with how to make the most of this shade. Yesterday, while at Nordstrom picking up NARS Tinted Moisturizer (wow, amazing, by the way!), I asked NARS National Makeup Stylist Jake Broullard his favorite way to use Douce France.

Jake in his infinite wisdom immediately told me to pat the deeper shade all over the lid with a flat brush (his fav is the NARS Eye Shader) and use a blending brush to blend upwards into the crease and to the brow bone with the other two shadows. For blue eyed-ladies, he explained, this will make your eye color really stand out.

What about eyeliner? Do I need that? Jake shakes his head no and tells me to layer the lashes with tons of black mascara. Now what to do with the rest of the face? Jake says use the Copacabana Multiple or Illuminator on the cheekbones and to layer a soft blush over it, like Sex Appeal. As for lips, you can go bold or bare.

I chose to go barely there with MAC’s Hush Hush Tendertone (from the new MAC Shop, MAC Cook collection). Last night my husband and I had “date night,” and I followed Jake’s advice. He was right on the money — my blue eyes were very blue and it felt liberating to ditch the eyeliner in favor of an edgier color. Also, I used NARS Tinted Moisturizer, which gives skin a dewy finish. It feels so luxe on the skin, and blends in beautifully and with ease (use your fingers!)

The moral of this story? Whenever you are able to, ask the artist. And follow NARS Jake on Twitter @narsjake! We adore him!

Beauty VIP of the Week: Sue Devitt Eye Intensifier in Gold Reef

This week came and went in the blink of an eye. Between an intense week at work, Valentine’s Day and new episodes of Ringer and Revenge (which I MUST watch the second they air), I’ve had little time for makeup. Crazy busy schedule calls for crazy simple makeup. My eye makeup, save mascara and eye primer, featured one product: Sue Devitt Eye Intensifier in Gold Reef.

Gold Reef = really blue eyes!

These eyeliners, featuring a very convenient smudger on one end, make smokey rims a piece of cake. Gold Reef is a beautiful chocolate color that brings out my blue eyes. I swipe it not so neatly around my entire eye and then use the smudger to smoke it out before it sets. The lasting power is impressive — especially on the lower lash line. I experience zero migration with these, which is one less thing to worry about when you’re running around like a mad woman all day! Love love love Sue Devitt Eye Intensifiers!

Four Drugstore Beauty Gems to Buy on Your Lunch Break

There’s practically a CVS or Walgreen’s on every other block in downtown Chicago, so impromptu beauty splurges are a regular occurence. Anyone with me on that? What starts out as a run for Q-tips turns into so much more. Sometimes you hit the jackpot, and other times it’s “meh.” The four items I’m RAVING about today are so good, you should probably go run your lunchtime errands immediately.

  1. Organix Brazilian Keratin Therapy Shimmering Spray. I have a love for high-end hair oils, so it even came as a surprise to me when I began favoring this $8 version. It’s infused with hydrolyzed keratin protein, coconut oil and cocoa sead butter, and behaves kind of like a leave-in conditioner with a serious side of shine. I like to use it before I blow dry — the spray mists out the perfect amount of product and it never looks oily. Smells phenom, too. This must be the drugstore hair aisle’s best kept secret.
  2. Maybelline Super Stay 10 Hour Stain Gloss. YSL just released a similar product last month. But guess what? Maybelline’s version is AS good. The all caps is necessary. I am going nuts for this product. I love the wand, the intensity and the completely wearable shades. Berry Heaven is perfect for bold but not too bold. You can go intense with these and layer them up or wear them transparently.  And you can buy practically four of these for the price of one YSL Glossy Stain.
  3. L’Oreal Colour Riche Balm. If we’re drawing comparisons, this super lightweight balm reminds me of Chanel’s new Rouge Coco Baume. The colors are sheer and the formula is very hydrating. I love how the Pink Satin shade gives my lips the slightest glimmer of baby pink lips without it looking like I applied product to my lips. No color in this collection is off-limits because of its nature. No chance of a “meh” purchase here. Just not possible!
  4. Aveeno Positively Nourishing Energizing Lotion in Pomegranate & Grapefruit .  Even though Grapefruit is listed second, there is no mistaking that citrus in this product. Which is why it’s awesome. I’ve been having a grapefruit moment for like a year now, and this refresh from Aveeno (you’ll recall the Positively Nourishing Lotion in Grapefruit & Rosemary in a pump bottle) is something special. I love the new packaging, and the slightly tweaked scent. Definitely more grapefruit action. Don’t hate me if you can’t find this yet — it’s making its way to stores this month!

Happy Thursday to everyone! Let us know if you try any of these! And we’d love to hear about your drugstore runs lately. There is just so much good stuff happening for under $10 that our minds are spinning.

What's in Her Makeup Bag with Miss Oops Jennifer Higgins

Jennifer Higgins, founder of Miss Oops, is every girl’s BFF. Her mission? To save us from beauty oops and oh-nos at every twist and turn of life with her clever line. With products like “Butter Hands,” a moisture-rich hand lotion with a boost of SPF 30 and “You’re Not So Vein,” a tinted cream that helps cover and treat pesky spider veins, Jennifer creates innovative, yet simple solutions for women. Plus, does she not have the most covet-worthy head of gorgeous red hair? She makes us want to be gingers. Without further ado, here’s a peek into the makeup bag of Miss Oops herself…

  1. Miss Oops If I Could Turn Back Time:  I love this product because it’s usually always sunny here in Dallas and this product is great for reducing the appearance of sun spots and sun damage caused by harmful rays.
  2. Miss Oops Reign In Rosacea: I developed this product because I personally have rosacea so I wanted to create something that was going to be able to reduce flare-ups.
  3. Bath & Body Works Pocketbac in Japanese Cherry Blossom: I always carry an anti-bacterial hand sanitizer since I am a mother of two boys and busy going from activity to activity.  This one is amazing – I love the scent that it leaves behind.
  4. Smashbox Limitless Longwear Lip Gloss SPF 15 in Eternity: I love this lipgloss in particular because it’s long-lasting, contains SPF and is a shade that I can wear all the time.
  5. Burt’s Bees Replenishing Lip Balm with Pomegranate Oil: This lip balms smell and tastes amazing and leaves my lips feeling soft.
  6. John Frieda for Conair Vent Brush Sleek Finish: I like to carry a brush with me in my bag as I have long hair which tends to get knotty at times.
  7. Thymes Kimono Rose Cologne Rollerball: This roll-on perfume is great to carry around. It’s small and portable and the scent is so pretty.
  8. Orbit Gum: I always like to keep gum in my makeup bag so I have something for after meals or whenever I need a little freshening up!

Clean, Crisp and Refreshing: Crabtree & Evelyn Avocado, Olive and Basil Collection

Crabtree & Evelyn’s Avocado, Olive and Basil Body and Hand Care collection launches this month. It’s a delicious scent of avocado, olive blossom, basil, sage with hints of lemon. I’ve been testing the Shower Gel, Body Lotion and Hand Therapy for a few weeks and find it to be so refreshing. The smell is crisp and clean. I used the Bath & Shower Gel as bubble bath a few times, and it made my entire bathroom smell like a Mediterranean spa.  The scent is also man-approved. While the lotion may be too fragrant for the dudes, he will reach for the shower gel in the shower. Guaranteed.

As with all Crabtree & Evelyn collections, I tend to favor the Hand Therapy. This now lives at my desk at work, and I use it constantly. With avocado butter, shea butter, macadamia nut and olive oils, I can’t not obsessively slather it all over my hands!

Fan Favs Return in MAC Shop MAC, Cook MAC

Shop MAC. Cook MAC. I’ll be honest, this is one of the most confusing MAC collection names for me. Is it SHOP SHOP SHOP, COOK COOK COOK? Or MAC Shop, MAC Cook? I don’t know why, but for some reason, it’s really tripping me up. Just had to get that off my chest. Now that we’ve established that, let’s talk about the outer packaging of this collection. Gingham rules! It’s pretty adorable, and the collection is packed with some fan favs — Fluidlines, Tendertones and Cremeblend Blushes.

And by fan faves, we most definitely also mean Product Girl favs! MAC introduced one new shade (and two repromotes) of the Cremeblend Blush, in the rich plum Restores Dazzle. Gotta love the active tense on that product name, right? It’s very similar on the cheeks to NARS Multiple in G-Spot, but a little richer and deeper in the pan. Also worth noting, it’s nearly half the price of  a NARS Mutliple.

MAC Tendertones also reemerge in Cook MAC, and we’re always willing to welcome these soft plush pots of balm back into our makeup routines! Sheer tangerine Purring, cherry red Hot n’ Saucy, sheer gold Hush Hush and lime green with yellow pearl Tread Gently are all so fun. I’m partial to Hush Hush because it has a hint of sparkle.

As for the Fluidlines, MAC introduced three new and limited edition shades in wearable neutrals. These are not funky shades, rather, soft black Midnight Snack, blackened brown Wholesome and blackened mauve Added Goodness are wearable with any peice from this collection.

What’s your take on this collection? Are you excited about the return of Tendertones?