Category Archives: Beauty VIP

Beauty VIP of the Week: Fresh Seaberry Restorative Body Cream

Photo: Fresh Boutique in San Francisco Union Square

While I was in SF this week, I stopped in the Fresh boutique near our hotel. We have nearly everything in Chicago, but we don’t have a free-standing Fresh store. The experience of shopping in store at Fresh is far more luxurious than snagging my goods at the crowded Sephora. I spent about as much time in Fresh as my husband could bear (about 30 min!) I tested the new Rose Cleansing Foam (so rosey – I love it) and googly-eyed all of the holiday gift sets. And then I locked eyes on this sleek yellow tube of Fresh Seaberry Restorative Body Cream. A fan of the Seaberry in the pump bottle, this was an exciting surprise. While I love the bottle, it’s hard to get every last drop out. And when I splurge on a body cream, I want to be able to get every last drop. The smell of this is lovely — neutral but distinct. But it’s what this does to my skin that makes it this week’s Beauty VIP. The formula is so soothing thanks to the powerful antioxidant seabuckthorn oil, omega-rich cranberry seed oil and moisturizing sal seed butter. It’s a powerhouse moisturizer. And the pampering experience of shopping in a Fresh boutique goes unmatched. And worth noting, Fresh harnessed the amazingness of sea buckthorn oil into a new facial oil. It’s curently exclusive to Sephora – check it here.

Beauty VIP of the Week: La Bella Figura

The Product Girl team has been major busy as of late. Can’t complain, but sleepless nights, early mornings and a bad diet have been throwing us off of our game. Couple the craze with a shift in temps and my skin started freaking out. Stubborn blemishes and dry patches really put me in a mood. Just a total perfect storm of stress. It was kismet that I was introduced to La Bella Figura and their delicious facial oils a few weeks ago. While I’m still not getting the sleep I crave, my skin is vibrant and glowy and I owe it all to La Bella Figura.

The two oils I’m absolutely treasuring are Tesoro Mediterranean Blend – a godsend to breakout-prone skin – and Découverte Under Eye Repair Serum. The latter is just genius. An oil for your undereye area is brilliant. SO SO SO many healing botanicals to help with tired eyes and facial lines. Look for more than a dozen oils, including pure Barbary fig seed oil (a richer source of vitamin E than even argan oil!), rosehip seed oil, coffee bean oil and rosehip seed oil. I’m living for the stainless steel rollerball, which is both convenient and hygienic.

And, the Tesoro Mediterranean Blend has given my skin a much-needed boost, in addition to curbing those pesky breakouts. If you have oily skin, this is your BFF. Look for bergamot fruit oil, a known antiseptic, organic lemon and grapefruit oils and of course, argan! Skin literally drinks this up. The smell is citrusy and herbal, uplifting and aromatic. Does it get any better than this?

The beautiful duo behind La Bella Figura are based in Chicago! Check ‘em out at LaBellaFiguraBeauty.com.

Beauty VIP of the Week: Living Proof Restore Revitalizing Spray

The list of multi-use beauty products we love are almost entirely for the face. Stains that work on the lips and cheeks or highlighters that double as eyeshadow, usually. When it comes to hair, it’s generally more prescriptive. Shampoo to cleanse, conditioner to hydrate, serum to smooth, etc. One product I rarely use is hairspray, even thought it would definitely help my curls hold a little longer. Which is why this week’s Beauty VIP, Living Proof Restore Revitalizing Spray, is so brilliant. It’s a styling hairspray that protects against heat and UV damage and can be used on wet or dry hair. It gets major bonus points for being odorless and not building up in the hair. I only wash my hair (using water) a few times a week, so products that leave residue in my hair are not welcome in my routine.

This spray + Beachwaver waves = pretty, shiny, smooth, protected hair. I’m not surprised that it’s Living Proof to come out with such an inventive product. Check it out here.

Beauty VIP of the Week: Sarah Potempa "The Wrap-Up"

Meet Sarah Potempa’s “The Wrap-Up.” This bendy little contraption is the key to a perfect bun. Be it a chic top knot, a low bun or even a cute tousled, messy-ish “up-do,” The Wrap-Up can do it. Our first experience with Sarah Potempa and her brills Beachwaver Curling Iron (see here for our review) prompted us to immediately try every device she makes. Miss Potempa is the best thing to happen to my hair this year. The Wrap-Up is far easier for me to use than a sock to achieve the perfect bun. For the life of me, I cannot roll and tuck that sock. But I’ve mastered The Wrap-Up. It’s simple.

Or, you could just watch this video for a visual tutorial. I can’t get enough of this, which is why it is this week’s Beauty VIP. The proof is in the pictures….

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Beauty VIP of the Week: Vapour Organic Beauty Siren Lipstick in Au Pair

Vapour Siren Lipstick might just be the most comfortable lipstick I’ve ever worn. The more I wear it, the more I just can’t stop. One, because I’ve found my perfect shade, Au Pair, a rosy pink, and two, because it doesn’t feel like lipstick. Au Pair is from Vapour’s Summer collection, and is a total standout. When you wear a gloss, you usually feel the slip or stick. When you wear lipstick, depending on the finish, you might be worrying about it drying out your lips, fading or lasting. With a balm, it’s all about comfort—assuming it’s not too waxy or thick. With Vapour Siren Lipstick, it’s weightless and has the color intesity of a lipstick in a moisturizing balm. And, there’s no worry about prepping your lips if they’re dry, this will revive them back to their ideal, moisturized state. Honestly, where has this product been all of my life?

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Beauty VIP of the Week: Tarte Maracuja Divine Shine Lip Gloss in Tipsy

During this heat wave, I’ve been all about hues of orange. Tangerine looks great with sweat. Or something like that. I’m just being real, because there is no way to be put together when it’s this hot. But we do our best! One of our favorite summer shades is definitely Tipsy by Tarte, a bright coral. I latched on to Tipsy Cheek Stain way back when no one else was making that type of product and then, Product Girl HQ universally fell for Tipsy Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush and its long-wearing power (perfect for a heat wave!)

Naturally, I assumed that Tarte Maracuja Divine Shine Lip Gloss in Tipsy would be similarly bright, when in fact it is a soft pearly peach on the lips. It’s nude without being nude, peach without being too peach and packed with shine that isn’t too shiny. It is DIVINE. It’s a go with everything lip gloss and perfect for that no-makeup makeup look and alternatively the heat wave look. It manages to softly brighten up my face and detract from all that glisten (a.k.a. sweat).

I happen to like when my beauty products surprise me. This Tipsy’s going down in history as a Product Girl Beauty VIP.

Beauty VIP of the Week: Josie Maran Argan Balm

This picture is definitely “the before.” I’ve since dipped my hands in excitedly and slathered this everywhere, to so much satisfaction. Josie Maran Argan Balm is this week’s Beauty VIP and a product I am so happy about! Josie’s Argan Oil is a legend in its own right and “my first” facial oil. You always remember your first, right?  The Argan Balm is like Josie’s “thank you” to her loyal fans —- it’s packed with so much delicious argan oil, shea butter (second ingredient) and other fruit extracts, essential oils and antioxidants. It is also completely fragrance free — as in 100% odorless.

And the real treat is for the skin. Josie made VIP status with this product because it has not only brought my dry, callused feet back to life but it gives my skin supermodel status. My post-vacation tan is wearing well! At the advice of the brilliant Beauty Huile, I slathered a thick layer on my feet and put socks on. This is a an old trick for many, but Josie’s Argan Balm outdid the other lotions and salves by a mile. I’m not claiming lilypad soles or anything, but a substantial improvement for sure.

Other amazing tricks this cushy Balm has up its sleeve is treating flaking skin, chapping, sunburn, windburn, cracked lips and even flyaway hairs. So yeah, pretty much everything. Josie Maran crafted  this with love, and be assured, we are using it with love, too! Check it out here.

Beauty VIP of the Week: BECCA Dusty Rose Anniversary Palette

 

This week was cra-zay with a caps C. A trip to LA for work, late nights and lots of go-go-go. I needed something to be easy or I might completely have gone a little nuts. Really, I needed simplicity in my beauty routine. No brushes, no mess or fuss. Oh, and I needed it to make me look alive. The thing about travel and non-stop movement is that it strips the life out of my skin. Like, buh-bye well-rested and hydrated glow.

The product that did all of the above (and more)? BECCA Dusty Rose Anniversary Palette. A multi-tasking miracle that gives the covetable alive look that I so desperately needed. It’s one of two limited edition Anniversary Palettes released to commemorate 10 years of BECCA beauty (yay, congrats!) Dusty Rose has everything you need for cheeks, lips and eyes. Truly. 

L-R: Cassini, Turkish Rose, Tuberose, Narcissus

Aren’t these colors just awesome?

  • Cassini, Lip Gloss, is a brightening peachy pink.
  • Turkish Rose, Crème Blush, a barely there rosy nude
  • Tuberose, Lip & Cheek Crème, coral pink
  • Crème Highlighter, Narcissus, a shimmery opal peach

Using this is easy as can be — like finger painting for adults. The highlighter is gorgeous on the brow bone, and even doubles as a great eyelid color. Oh and it’s super gorgeous on cheekbones. I even used it on my coworker who was traveling with me and I thought she looked like a supermodel. Turkish Rose looks deep and rosy in the pan but is super sheer. The dew it gives skin is unbeatable. That coupled with Narcissus is radiance at its best. The combinations are endless and effortless. It almost seems too easy, and that’s why this product is our Beauty VIP of the week.

Available where BECCA is sold and online for $36. Think of it as investment in your sanity.

Beauty VIP of the Week: Dry Shampoo

The longer my hair gets, the less I want to wash it. Not only to protect the ends and keep it healthy, but goodness, to save time! It takes some serious work to get it cleansed, dried and styled. I wear it as a badge of honor how long I can go between washes. I’m currently at about 2-3, but hoping to get it to 3-4. I might actually be a little too excited about it, as my husband keeps telling to stop bragging about how “dirty” my hair is. Whatever, I think it’s awesome.

3 days (unwashed!) and going strong

All of this unwashed glory would not be possible without dry shampoo. I can’t be without it. I’ve been testing them religiously, and have become quite selective. I found some that only seem to reinforce the fact that my hair is unwashed and others that magically infuse new life into my strands for days. I wanted to share my VIP picks, in hopes you can start living the dirty hair life, too. It’s a life that involves cool shower caps and more sleep in the morning!

The scent of Lulu Organics Lavender + Clary Sage Hair Powder ($30) is unbeatable. Very herbal and soothing — I actually think in the process of absorbing excess scalp oil it also manages to relax me. It also gives my hair a nice texture. Rub a dab of this between your fingers and then massage into your scalp and brush hair. Easy and done!

This brand is new to my radar, but they seem to do it all, including hair. Acure Organics Argan Stem Cell + CoQ10 Dry Shampoo ($12.99) is another powder formula that, in addition to Argan and CoQ10, uses corn starch, white clay and essential oils of lavender and chamomile to cleanse hair. It has a very fine, almost silky, texture. I like this one on clean, “first day” hair sometimes as I think it seems to work invisibly. There is no trace of this in your hair, but it does a great job of absorbing oil.

I’ve reviewed Lush No Drought ($12.95) before, and it’s still a favorite. I have a thing for powder dry shampoos, obviously. I love how citrusy this one is, with lime and grapefruit.

If I’m going aerosol, it’s Batiste ($8.99) all the way. I really like the Blush version, but this Brit can is adorable, no? This gives me serious volume and is super convenient on the go. I stock up on this when it’s on sale at Ulta! It’s practically the only aerosol dry shampoo I will use. No weird texture issues to be had with this one, which makes it a standout.

Beauty VIP of the Week: Bright Lipstick

Have you heard? Lipstick is having a moment. Particularly the brights. This awesome piece in the Wall Street Journal by Elizabeth Holmes (@EHolmesWSJ), “Very Bright Lipstick, All the Time,” confirms my longing and NEED to rock the bold lip. Except I’m not tied to just one shade. People, there is a bright lip movement happening, and you need to join in.

I had at-length conversations with friends and coworkers this week about the mood-lifting, confidence-creating side effects of wearing a bright lipstick. Particularly on a warm sunny day when all you want to do is smile and be happy. We say leave the fear behind and dip your toes in the bright lip water. Pretty soon, you’ll be swimming in coral and pink.

For this reaason, bright lipstick was the Beauty Vip of the week. But I couldn’t pick just one.
 
NARS Mexican Rose Velvet Gloss Pencil. I deem this color universally flattering. I also found it particularly impressive that it lasted for 12 hours (with only lip balm applied a few times throughout the day). And, I had chicken wings for dinner.

MAC Sheen Supreme Lipstick in Full Speed. Quickly becoming my go-to “coral” because it has a salmon pink undertone that I find super flattering. Buy this. Then wear it, a lot. And please report back.

MAC Viva Glam Nicki Minaj. This is bright, and badass. Sure to shock everyone you see, in a good way. Also, please ignore “the face” I seem to be giving in this pic.

Where do you stand on the bright lip? All day, every day? Sometimes? Or never? Let’s talk about it!