Monthly Archives: June 2012

Shiny Happy Hair: the How-to Guide

In the ongoing saga that is my hair (I’m truly happy with it at the moment), I have reached another major breakthrough. For as long as I can remember, I blow-dried my hair every day. Then I discovered that weaning it off of sulfates and only washing every few days meant I didn’t have to blow dry as often. And, now, I think I’ve weaned myself off of the blow dryer (save for the occasional Blowtique blowouts, of course!)

I get my hair trimmed very infrequently — to the horror of hair stylists everywhere. But, I find that with the right products and treatments, my hair does not damage easily. I tested my theory during my visit to Blowtique. I asked Rhona, “How long do you think it has been since my last trim?” It’s been about five months, so I was actually nervous to hear her opinion but to my surprise she said in her adorable Irish accent, “I’d say about four weeks.” She pretended not to hear me when I revealed the truth.

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Beauty Black Book: Westlake Dermatology

Westlake Dermatology

Our friends at Westlake Dermatology wanted us to help spread the word about their practice’s new location. The practice has several offices but is opening a new location in Austin, Texas at the Four Seasons Residences Tower next month. They offer a full suite of dermatology services including different laser technologies and cosmetic surgery, if that is what you’re looking for. One of their most popular services is Botox, in fact their quarterly Botox parties are all the rage. I’ve never had any kind of cosmetic procedure but if I was to give one a go, I think it would be Velasmooth… how about you?

If you’re in Austin, stop by their offices for a consultation and tell them Product Girl sent you. In the meantime, visit their website at Westlakedermatology.com.

Revlon and Makeup for a Beachy Waves Look + a Givewaway

Beachy waves, how I love thee. Effortless (truly, wait until I tell you about my new hair obsession next time!), chic and so summery. In this next video we teamed up with Revlon on, I show off some waves and feature three products to complement the look.

  • Revlon ColorStay Smoky Shadow Stick
  • Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain
  • Revlon PhotoReady 3D Volume Mascara

 

The Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Romantic is the perfect cherry color (see swatches here), and the Smoky Shadow Stick is a fun double-ended shadow and/or liner. It’s less of a precise liner, but the darker end does have a pointed tip. Our tip with that: wear a primer both on the eyelids and dab it on the lower lash line. It makes a dramatic difference with wear — especially in the summer!

You may have a chance to test it yourselves. Revlon’s provided us with 10 Smoky Shadow Sticks to giveaway to Product Girl readers. Just leave a comment here and tell us your favorite way to wear your hair in the summer! We will pick 10 (ten!) winners on Wednesday, June 20.

As always, click on over here to see the rest of the bloggers Beachy Waves looks.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. Revlon has contracted us to develop videos each month to highlight trends on InStyle.com.

Science for Beauty Gals: Aromachology

I’m a common sense scientist (a.k.a. I prefer layman’s terms when it comes to complex matters of chemistry and physics). True story: my worst scholarly moment in college was my “Age of Dinosaurs” class. It’s almost embarrassing. I like to think it was my 1980s Catholic school upbringing — the sciences were just not stressed on me (but I can speed read, so take that!)

But a science that interests me in a way T-Rex never could is the science of scent, a.k.a. Aromachology. There’s a reason that what smells good on my skin might be completely off-putting to you, right? The “aromachologists” behind Aromachology actually study the connection between psychology and scent and the affect it has on behavior.

You may recognize Aromachology, they launched two years ago at Henri Bendel’s in New York with a Custom Perfume Bar.  The line is centered around five base scents: Floral, Fresh, Oriental, Woodsy and Gourmand and comes in fragrances, body lotion, hand wash, room spray, candles that can be for you (truly) and also would make a great gift.

I like the idea of something just for me, so totally appreciate this concept. I tested out the five core scents and had some fun “blind” sniffing them. I also took Aromachology’s scent test to determine what was the best match. It was actually a match in both cases — the Floral Sophisticated & Sensual with notes of white lily, magnolia, tuberose, amber and sandalwood. While it may not be a perfect match with my personality, I also totally love the “totally edible” Gourmand — with notes of Sicilian orange, lemon drop, vanilla, apple, sugar cane and chocolate. It’s delish, truly!

Hop on over to Aromachology and see how your scent story comes together — you may be surprised!

Box O' Powder Inspired, Benefit Ultra Plush Lip Gloss

Benefit Box o’ Powders are an addiction we never want to quit. Naturally, our hearts are going all pitter patter over Benefit’s new blush-inspired Ultra Plush Lip Gloss. The names you know and love, Dallas, Coralista, and Bella Bamba, now in a tube of gloss.

Launching officially this July, Benefit Ultra Plush Lip Gloss ($16 apiece) will be available in six familiar shades:

  • Bella Bamba, sheer, bright watermelon
  • Coralista, sheer coral
  • Dallas, dusty rose
  • Dandelion, pearly pink
  • Hoola, shimmering golden nude
  • Sugarbomb, shimmering pinky nude

Major plus: Packaging (doesn’t get any CUTER!)

Bonus points: Flavor (a light fruity aroma), and feels plush on the lips (as the name would indicate)

Semi-bummer: About 1-2 hours before you need a re-app

These are available right now on HSN, in tandem with their Box o’ Powder companions for just $29. You can catch the Benefit gals on-air today as well — (eastern times) 6/13 at 6pm, 11pm and 6/14 at 6am!

Here’s hoping for a Hervana in the future!

It's Almost Here! The Makeup Show Chicago

 

Of course I’m going to The Makeup Show Chicago! We look forward to this every year, and while we didn’t make TMS in New York, it’s OK, because the Chicago show is going to be amazing. It’s the second year in the Windy City, and the list of exhibitors keeps on growing. It kicks off on Sunday, June 17 (Father’s Day, actually) and continues through Monday, June 18.

I’ll be in on the show floor Sunday, and can’t wait to see all of the brilliant artistry in action. Here are a few other things on my agenda:

 1)       NARS Pop-Up Shop. Obvi, right? I was so excited to hear that my fav brand is bringing its 413 Blkr Pop-Up to the show floor — the shop is in the actual boutique’s signature black, white and ‘Jungle Red’ décor! 

2)      Artist Brushes. TMS is all about artists, and The Makeup Show’s Artists, led by James Vincent (who has worked with countless celebs, including Lady Gaga), are selling a limited edition brush line exclusively at the show. The brushes are personalized with the artist’s signature and includes their must-have tools. I love learning from the best, so can’t wait to see!

 3)      Embryolisse. Somehow I was unable to track down any Embryolisse in the 20 pharmacies I stopped in while in Paris last fall. What gives? At least I know they’ll be at TMS!

 4)      Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics. Can’t wait to see the newly packaged Lip Tars and pick up a tube of the raved about Tinted Moisturizer. I missed out on it last year, and I’ve been kicking myself since.

Also, for those coming to town, it’s also the Taste of Randolph (yum). Randolph is “restaurant row” so not only will you be beautified, you will also be well-fed. Can’t wait! If anyone reading is going, let us know. Would love to say hello on Sunday!

Birchbox Preview: Cynthia Rowley + Band-Aid “Beach Sport Kit

Tucked inside my handbag is my “mom kit.” I’m not a mom, but you’d never know it by the endless aspirin, hand sanitizer, dental floss, Neosporin and Band-AidsI carry around. I’m basically a walking CVS. Which is good, since I happen to injure myself quite often (curling irons are my nemesis as are the corners of desks and tables). Oh, and I average 1-2 blisters a week from all of the walking I do. I’m really awesome at life, at least I like to think. Now that you have some context, it will come as no surprise that I am JAZZED about these Cynthia Rowley BAND-AIDs is selling in their shop. Like an excitement level 10.

The prints on these “Beach Sport” Band-Aids make me want to go get all athletic at the beach. I especially love the wetsuit zipper one. And the Beach Sport Kit from Cynthia Rowley doesn’t get any handier. The packaging is so cute (my kind of “mom” kit) and there’s tiny packets of Neosporin inside.

The prettiest boo-boo cover-up!

Birchbox is selling both the Cynthia Rowley Band-Aids and the Beach Sport Kit in their store this month. Trust me, the resealable Beach Sport bag makes this so worth it — and honestly, I almost want to get a paper cut just so I can sport one of Cynthia’s designs! What do you think?

 

Just Another Mani Monday: Illamasqua Stance

Illamasqua Stance Nail Polish

This week I’m wearing Illamasqua’s Stance on my nails, the shade is part of their current Human Fundamentalism collection. I haven’t been able to get into the new neon pinks, yellows and blues so I went with something a little darker and funkier. Don’t let my attempt to capture this shade fool you, this image came off more magenta-ish on two different cameras in outdoor light than I was going for. In person this shade is truer to its fucshia violet with a glossy finish description. Indoors and in the shade, it is dark and lovely but in the sunlight it really comes alive.

This formula seemed a little thinner to me than your typical nail polish but that’s how I like my polishes, this made it easier for me to control. Two coats of polish gave me completely opaque coverage but opting for a third coat just makes the shade a little more livelier. The finish is not as spectularly shiny as it should be, as you can see here, but that is easily remedied with a glossy top coat. Lately I’ve been reaching for Nails Inc Kensigton Caviar Top Coat for a wet, glossy finish.

You can find Illamasqua Stance at Sephora, a bottle retailing for $14. What’s on your nails this week? Tell us in the comments.

Try This: Delta Labs Hair, Skin & Nails and Green Tea + Supplements

Delta Labs Hair, Skin & Nails and Green Tea +

With me, good skin and nails comes and goes… I get back what I put into it, if I make an effort to drink plenty of water, actually stay within a skincare routine and eat a little better, I ride the wave of good skin, hair and nails. Right now I owe my skin’s good behavior and better manicures to all of that plus a few supplements I have recently introduced to my day to day: biotin and green tea.

Green tea has been said to help with quick weight loss as it helps boost your metabolism but it has also been linked to reducing risk against several types of cancer and heart disease. It is loaded with antioxidants and if there’s one thing we all know now is to get your antioxidants in, in any way that you can. I’m not much of a tea drinker, I can only stand it when I’m sick and need to soothe my throat so for me, a supplement like this is perfect.

The other supplement, and perhaps the most important is biotin. Not too long ago I foolishly decided to get acrylic nails and it was a disaster, my nails were paper thin and I would break them all the time. Thankfully they have recovered 100%, my nails are now strong and the ridges I would obsess over are long gone. I’m still surprised at how flexible they are while remaining in tact. My hair has always been thick, strong and healthy so I can’t comment on its effectiveness there but I have noticed my skin has also improved. I still have some of the hormonal issues I’ve touched on in the past (and I’ll finally share what those issues are in a post coming soon) but what has changed lately is the clarity in the rest of my skin. Much of the redness around my nose has dissapated and my overall tone is better. Anything that lets me get away with less foundation is a godsend!

How about you? Any supplements that you have introduced to your beauty routine? Tell us about it in the comments.

NOTE: This is a sponsored post but all opinions are my own.

Ain't No Party Like a Birchbox + Benefit Party

Earlier this week, the folks at Birchbox took Chicago by storm, hosting events for subscribers and beauty lovers in the Windy City at the Benefit Boutique on Armitage and at Maxine’s Salon. When Birchbox comes to town, beautiful things happen! Birchbox night at Benefit included bubbly, brows, Sweet Mandy B’s treats and tons of those familiar pink boxes. Benefit has been a partner of Birchbox since the beginning, and I can recall getting several Benefit goodies in Birchboxes over the yearh and a half I’ve been subscribing.

Love this display of Hervana!

Benefit’s brow services are the best in town. Did you know that you get a free brow shaping on your birthday? With mine coming up in July, I’ll be sure to make a trip back! La-La at the Armitage location is the best (she’s in the top picture at right) and she gave my brows some major TLC. I think her words were, “Wow, girl, you needed this.”

The team of artists were on standby for makeovers and touch-ups as well, as was Benefit’s new super hero, SpyGal. With her secret weapon, The Porefessional, SpyGal helps minimize pores and perfect complexions everywhere. Benefit actually teamed with Marvel Entertainment to create a SpyGal comic book — which is so cool. Think she could hang with the Avengers crew?! 

If you haven’t yet used The Porefessional, now’s the perfect time. I love this product in the summer. I carry a mini with me (thanks, Birchbox!) at all times and use it to refresh my T-zone and under eye area at the end of the day. I also like to mix a bit into my TM or foundation (it’s perfect with Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow!) to help smooth everything out.

With the purchase of a ticket to the B + B event ($35), we got a $30 voucher. I’m all stocked up on SpyGal’s weapon of choice, so I picked up a new tube of They’re Real (when I repeat buy – you know it’s a good product!) and Benefit’s Blush Brush. I’ve been wanting to try their new brushes for awhile, and I’m really liking this one because it is smaller. I have a little face and sometimes large brushes spread too much product on my cheeks.

What are your must-have Benefit products?