Monthly Archives: February 2012

VOTE for Product Girl in the Zoya + Birchbox Custom Nail Polish Sweepstakes

Calling all Product Girl readers!

We need you to help rock the vote for us in the Birchbox + Zoya nail polish sweeps. We created a mood board with our color inspiration for spring and summer, along with 11 other fabulous bloggers, and the top three winning mood boards will be turned into a Zoya Nail Polish that will be sold exclusively via Birchbox.

Our Mood Board is all about Papaya. A delicious blend of orange and pink. Don’t you just want to wear this shade everywhere — shoes, shorts, cheeks, and of course, NAILS?!

Voting is open now for one week, and you can vote once a day! We’d love if you could show Product Girl Papaya some love! Click here to vote on the Birchbox Facebook page. By voting, you’re also automatically entered to win the entire collection.

The Bold and the Neutrals: Maybelline Color Tattoo 24HR Cream Gel Shadow

Well hello, Maybelline. We hardly recognized you in these Color Tattoo 24HR Cream Gel Shadows. You really know how to keep the product girls on their toes, don’t you? These creamy eyeshadows can hang with the best of the best, and even outperform many. This might be the most exciting drugstore launch we’ve seen in years. Here’s why.

Bright colors and staple neutrals.  All-day wear (truly, if you want) and intensity. Creamy texture. For $7.

Too Cool, Bold Gold and Tough As Taupe are sensational. The frosty white makes an excellent base and can double as a highlighter — seriously, some major cheekbone action as a result. Bold Gold and Tough as Taupe are fab on their own and really amp up my eyeshadow game when I wear under the Urban Naked2 Palette.

But back to the brights. Painted Purple, Tenacious Teal, Fierce  and Tangy and Edgy Emerald are not for the faint of heart. They are for the girls who want to have some fun with their makeup. At Maybelline prices, fun comes at a dollar amount we can all agree is worth it, right?  Have you tried these out yet? Let us know what you think!

What's New in Beauty: Bobbi Brings Back, Trish McEvoy Effortless Beauty and the Making of Hervana

Love the new Effortless Beauty Collection from Trish McEvoy. That peony pink bow planner is precious! [Nordstrom]

If you’re a behind the scenes person, you must read this blog post from Benefit about the making of Hervana blush! [Secret Life of a Benefit Gal]

It’s been awhile, but new shades of Laura Mercier Nail Lacquer are coming out this spring! These shades, Flamingo and Ooh La La, feel very Valentine’s Day! [Nordstrom]

The ladies of Refinery29 showcase bold and bright lips. [Refinery29]

It’s an election year. Bobbi Brown wants your vote….to decide which discontinued shade of Lip Color to reintroduce. Vote now through February 29 on Facebook, where Bobbi will exclusively sell the winning shade this October. Let’s make Tulip happen, guys!

Beauty VIP of the Week: Spornette Luxury Cushion Brush


I knew it was going to be a great week when the forecast called for spring-like temps. I mean, 45 degrees in Chicago is not supposed to happen in February. And yes, my idea of spring might be a bit depressing. BUT, the spring-like reprieve was fantastic. Throw in five good hair days, and this week was just mine. My locks have a new (to me!) brush to thank, the Spornette Luxury Cushion Brush, this week’s Beauty VIP.

Spornette has been making brushes since the 1950s, and the Sporn family still runs the business (making good brushes must be in the DNA).  In fact, they’re based just south of Chicago. The second best part of Spornette’s Luxury Cushion Brush? It doesn’t come with a luxury price tag. The first part, of course, is how this little diddy treats your hair. I’ve been using the smaller size, which is great for travel (or toting in your purse!)

The brush features a duo of bristles in a combo of boar and tourmaline-infused nylon. The result is a brush that glides gently and smoothly through the hair. I use it on damp and dry hair, and before bed, just like Marcia Brady used to. It manages to smooth out tangles when damp without tugging at my hair and doesn’t cause static when used on dry hair. Also, the handle is very easy to hold on to and has a nice satin finish. If you tend to drop things out of your hand a lot, then you would appreciate this feature. This brush is my new companion. Won’t leave home without it!

Super Bowl Style

Wardrobe malfunctions, botched Black Eyed Peas songs, talking babies and men in tights – yep, Super Bowl Sunday is just a couple days away.  Can’t decide who to root for but still want to dress for the occasion? Lucky for you the New York Giants and New England Patriots have nearly identical team colors so you can still be in spirit without choosing sides.  Check out my style picks for the most watched TV event of the year and if in doubt, stick to reds and blues. I guarantee no one will know you’re only at their viewing party for the beer and halftime show.

I’m lucky enough to be heading to Indianapolis for the game this weekend and I don’t know which performance I’m most looking forward to – Tom Brady’s or Madonna’s. Either way, I can’t wait!  Will you be watching the game (or at the very least the commercials) this Sunday?

Clockwise from top left: Splendid sweater; Super Ciccio Eyeglasses; J Crew bracelet; J Brand Jeans; Rouge Dior Lipcolor; Butter London in Royal NavyBuxom Mascara in Blue Noir; Rebecca Minkoff MAC

From the Expert: Q&A with Beauty Huile's Nav Kaur

Some people read romance novels. We read Beauty Huile blog. Written by Nav Kaur, a.k.a. N.K., Beauty Huile is the ultimate resource on oils in skincare. Her product reviews are expertly crafted and written like a juicy, steamy romance novel. A love story for oils, truly. Her insights are unparalleled. By day, N.K. works in strategic marketing and communications and by night, serves as feature beauty writer for a national publication in addition to blogging at Beauty Huile. Lucky for us, N.K. spared some time to share her knowledge here on Product Girl. We suggest you bookmark this and then head directly to Beauty Huile to read her salacious reviews!

PG: There’s a fear factor associated with using oil. What’s your advice for people who aren’t sure where to start?

NK: Yes, most women assume if it’s an oil, it’ll cause skin to break out. It’s a common misconception that face oils will exacerbate acenic conditions. But, really, it’s the exact opposite. Stripping away the oil sends your skin into overdrive, producing more of the spot-inducing shine.  By using nutrient-rich oils on oily skin, you send it a message that there is sufficient hydration, so the sebaceous glands can relax and stop the cycle of overproducing oil. Acne-prone skin responds well to oils that boast essential fatty acids or are vitamin-rich. Did you know that acneic skin has naturally low levels of fatty acids or oils? For these skin types, they should be seeking out oils with a spiky freshness from omega-3 and omega-6 to make up for that deficiency.

Demonizing the ‘oil’ has long been a marketing myth, perpetuated in the media from the original intent of trying to educate consumers of crudely produced mineral oil. Since the 90s, we have seen the launch of some highly purified, pharmaceutical grade qualities of oils. And, some of today’s face and body oils are actually certified USDA, which is the strictest of organic standards because it is really a food standard. It actually requires 95% organic content to use the logo on the packaging and prevents synthetic preservatives from sneaking in and any chemical processing of those wholesome ingredients. Good enough to eat – try it!

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Products on a Pedestal for January 2012

It’s a new year and us gals here at Product Girl decided to introduce a new monthly feature dishing on our favorite products from makeup, skin care, hair, and anything in between. We call it “Products on a Pedestal.”  If you’re like me and love hearing people’s favs, check in at the end of every month to get the scoop. I’m kicking off the first edition!

To start, my favorite blush.  Is it possible to talk too much about a single product?  Tarte Amazonian Clay blushes are just so good! We’ve yet really talk about the color Exposed, though. It’s such a unique tan, plum color. My everyday, perfect blush.

A new obsession for me is highlighters (following in the footsteps of my sister and Laurie!) Current favorite? TheBalm’s Mary-Lou Manizer, such a cute name! The champagne shimmer is suitable for cheeks and eyes.

Now, since it is winter, had to mention my moisturizer. I’ve been using Benefit Total Moisture Facial Cream and let me tell you, ahh-mazing!! It smells incredible, doesn’t feel greasy and makes my skin so soft. It also isn’t too much for my oilier skin.

Mascaras are an obsession of mine, so I had to include one. I’ve been head over heels for the Tarte Gifted Mascara. That’s exactly what it is, gifted. Does it all – lengthening, separation and volume in just one coat. Hardly any mascaras are up to my liking with one coat! Clump and flake free, this is something to talk about.

Undereye circles are something pretty much every woman faces at some point. As a teenager up late at night studying and chatting with friends, waking up in the morning is not my favorite thing. But when I need a pick me up, I reach for my Garnier Skin Renew Anti Dark Circle Roller. Roll on a bit, blend, and I’m instantly (looking) more awake with laser sight!

Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen WOW Foundation is Worthy of its Name

WOW. I uttered this simple, yet powerful, word on many occasions in the last day. Wow, is it really 60 degrees outside in JANUARY? Wow, is this Shrimp and Corn Chowder soup from Chicago Organics the best thing I’ve eaten all week?  Wow, is this Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen WOW Foundation all sorts of awesome? Yes, definitely and COMPLETELY.

Benefit needed a foundation in the line, and did they ever do it right. It lives somewhere between a foundation and a tinted moisturizer, and the texture is more liquid than cream. I love putting this on my face. Wow! It really feels great. But there’s more behind the “WOW” than just the expression. Benefit’s “Oxygen Wow Hydrating Complex” is what makes this brightening foundation uniquely theirs. It helps boost cellular respiration for a “plumping up” effect and contains vitamins C & E derivatives known to prevent signs of aging.

Also, the pump is genius. Never underestimate the power of a perfect pump. One single press down and out comes the perfect amount to cover your entire face. No more, no less.

Benefit’s Oxygen WOW launches in March, but Maggie and Annie of Benefit will be demoing Oxygen WOW on HSN February 2 at 3 a.m., 10 a.m., 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. (all times EST). The foundation will run you $34, and if you purchase on HSN February 2, you’ll also get $5 off Benefit’s Hello Flawless powder, which is available in complementary shades of the same name.

Get in on the WOW early and often. Hint: it’s available for sale now here!