Category Archives: Beauty VIP

Beauty VIP of the Week: Weleda Gentle Cleansing Milk

I crave simplicity, yet, recognize that I’m way too OCD to actually achieve that on most days. For example, take my nightly cleansing routine. I absolutely MUST get every trace of makeup off. I use an eye makeup remover, a cleansing oil or lotion, followed by my Clarisonic + face wash and a post facial mist or hydrating water pre-serum/moisturizer/etc. It’s more time intensive than perhaps it needs to be, but I dig my rituals. Except when I want to be simple. Which is where Weleda’s Gentle Cleansing Milk enters the picture and gives me exactly what I need.

Cleansing Milks have always been one of those “good in theory” products for me, but always seemed to fall short in practice. But not the Weleda. Which is why it is this week’s Beauty VIP. Aside from eye makeup, which I insist on always being “step one,” this breaks down all of the makeup on my face AND doesn’t need a follow-up cleanse. Just a one-stop shop that happens to smell like a fancy spa and leave my skin soft and supple. I love that this is an effective natural option, with natural essential oils and organic jojoba seed oil to help break down the makeup and moisturize the skin.

I snagged this at Target (Target coupon code) last month during a clearance sale, but you can find it at Whole Foods and other e-tailers like drugstore.com for about $19. L-O-V-E this new bathroom counter staple!

Beauty VIP of the Week: NARS Silk Road Duo Eyeshadow

The real VIP of the week was my Hunter Wellies, but the Beauty VIP was most definitely NARS Silk Road. This launched as part of NARS Fall 2009 collection, and it remains one of my favorite duos today. I rediscovered it and now I can’t get enough. It’s neutral with a rosy twist. The left side is a neutral icy pink that brightens up the entire eye lid.  The other half is a rose gold with specks of gold glitter. Together, these colors make me feel like a princess. To avoid being too much of a princess, a good tap of the brush before applying the rose gold side minimizes gold glitter fallout!

What beauty product were you obsessed with this week?

Beauty VIP of the Week: Phytokératine Serum

Happy Friday, all! I’m baaack….from a fabulous vacation in France and Spain. The thing about vacations, and traveling in general, is a total break in routine. The kind of routines that keep your skin and hair in check. I managed pretty well with my skin (only one travel-induced blemish!), but I was worrying about the state of my hair. The blow dryers at our hotels were completely foreign, literally. I picked up Phyto’s new wonder product, Phytokératine Serum, at a French pharmacy and it saved me. It was the Beauty VIP of my vacation, and now that I’m stateside I continue to obsessed with this stuff!

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Beauty VIP of the Week: Jouer Glisten Brightening Powder

I’m forever fixated on a luminous complexion. I look for products that enhance my natural glow, or just outright do all the work for me! Jouer Glisten Brightening Powder is a rock star in the luminosity department. I’ve reached for it every day this week and now I can’t imagine life without. It’s like peach fairy dust, and it works wonders on my complexion. I’m also obsessed with the square, weighty packaging. It’s elegant and looks so pretty on my bathroom counter!

heavy swatch vs. light dusting

As with other highlighters, I dust this along the high points of my face and watch my complexion go from dull to illuminated. It’s incredibly lightweight and becomes one with skin almost immediately.  But there’s more to the Glisten Brightening Powder than meets the eye. The powder is enriched with vitamin E, chamomile, cucumber and pomegranate extracts. The added boost of these calming ingredients makes this the perfect powder, and sets it apart from many others that currently reside in my highlighter drawer (yes, an entire drawer).

Find out more about this Beauty VIP at JouerCosmetics.com.

Beauty VIP of the Week: June Jacobs Intensive Age Defying Hydrating Masque

Historically, I’ve had normal to oily combination skin. But I’ve noticed now that I’m approaching my third decade, my skin is changing. It’s moving towards normal to dry, and for the most part, I ain’t mad about it. This shift comes with its own set of needs, and it’s very apparent when I make the wrong decision with skin care. This week I tested out a new cleanser that’s meant for oily to combination skin, and it left me with the worst dry patches around my noise. It stripped my skin completely, and I couldn’t shake the scaly feeling even after moisturizing. Enter this week’s Beauty VIP, June Jacobs Intensive Age Defying Hydrating Masque.

This masque is no joke. It completely eliminated those dry patches and provided my skin with the most intense blast of hydration. The tiniest bit goes a long way, which is great, considering the $80 price tag. The intense moisturizing properties are matched with a potent combination of anti-aging ingredients to smooth fine lines and increase collagen and proteins in the skin. There’s white, red and green extracts coupled with goji berry, pomegranate and grapefruit extracts to help neutralize signs of premature aging, which if you go outside at all, are everywhere in the form of free radicals floating around in the environment.

A few more ingredients to boast about are sweet almond oil, rich in fatty acids and vitamins A and E, and something called Konjac Mannan, which comes from the root of a tree that grows in Africa and Asia. While the ingredient doesn’t have name recognition, its effects are obvious on the skin.  It acts as a humectant to maintain moisture and helps create volume in the skin’s appearance.

Another perk? You can reap the effects of this masque overnight by applying it in a thin layer. It will perform like a balm so it doesn’t make a mess on your pillow. I tried this and woke up with plump, healthy-looking skin. Amazing! I sense a weekly winter skincare ritual coming on…

Check out the deets on June Jacobs master masque here.

Beauty VIP of the Week: NARS New Lover Velvet Gloss Pencil

I’ve documented my obsession with NARS Velvet Gloss Pencils on a few occasions, and I thought I’d follow-up. Because many months later, I’m still obsessed! Of all the lip products released this year – and there have been many – I think these might be my favorite. I remain fascinated with the gloss in pencil format and am seriously impressed with the staying power. And they never dry out my lips. It’s just an awesome lip gloss.

Currently, I’m really hot to trot for the shade New Lover. It’s a strawberry pink with flashes of gold that is supposed to mimic the look of overly kissed lips. It’s the “official lip color” of summer, at least for me! It leans a little coral, which I love. I’ve been going the light makeup route in the extreme heat, and New Lover makes me feel put together. This one is worth your hard-earned dollars, ladies. Especially if you want to fool people into thinking you just had a hot romp in the middle of the day. Get yourself a New Lover!

Beauty VIP of the Week: Sultra Natural Feather Hair Accents

Last week I went to a local style bar I had been dying to try out for awhile. I was so excited about going to this place, I had been engaging with the salon on Twitter and was looking forward to seeing what they do. It turned out their service was a bit of a disappointment but I decided to get some feathers put in my hair while I was there. That was the only part of the experience that I liked! I LOVED these feathers from the moment I walked out of the salon… I still do but I realized something, I’m stuck with these unless I pay someone to take them out and put them back in if I want to change things up with my hair. Right around that time, a box of these Sultra Natural Feather Hair Accents arrived in the mail and I realized these are the perfect solution to my problem.

You may have notice that feathers are everywhere now. Selena Gomez (she wore Sultra’s Blaze to the Teen Choice Awards), Miley Cyrus, Ke$ha and Hilary Duff have been spotted wearing them. While the feathers you get in a salon last 4 to 6 weeks and allow you to wash and style your hair as normal, they are not flexible. I am due for a touch up to my hair color and now I’m thinking I’m going to need the stylist to remove and reinstall my feathers. Had I gone with Sultra from the start this would not be an issue at all. They can be washed and styled like other feathers but their advantage (and it is a big one) is you can take them out WHENEVER you want since they snap into place like a button.

This is me wearing “Blaze”, the same shade Selena Gomez went with. These are so easy to put in, I’ve been doing it without a mirror all week. I try to snap the feathers into place as close to my roots as I can but I try to keep it as close to the top as possible, this way the snap is not visible as you can see here. Before I received this sample set, I thought $25 was a little pricey for these but that was before I paid more for a different version. The salon I went to charges $30 for three feathers and they are clamped into your hair like an extension that last 4 to 6 weeks. With these you have the flexibility to do whatever you want with your hair and could last you even longer depending on how you take care of your feathers. Sultra actually advises keeping the box they come in to store your feathers. Wise words!

So what do you think? Do you like the feathers? Some days I’m wearing my salon feathers on one side and Sultra’s on the other, I’ve put them in my little pompadour poof and even mixed them in with the salon feathers. I have been having a lot of fun with them and it has inspired me to experiment with my hair a little more. At first I was all about the stripped feathers but then this solid feather was peeking out one day and it had me thinking I need to experiment with more solid feathers. All I want to know now is when someone’s coming out with the tinsel version! ;)

Beauty VIP of the Week: Boscia BB Cream with SPF 27 PA +

When it comes to BB creams, I can’t really say I am familiar with them. I defer to the lovely Muse on all matters BB cream. From what I understand, the product is your moisturizer, primer, concealer, treatment and foundation all in one. They are all the rage in Asian markets but relatively new to the US. Boscia’s BB Cream with SPF 27 PA + is one of those new BB creams to enter the market. After using one for just a short time, I have to wonder… what took so long? I can’t believe I didn’t try a BB cream sooner.

I have a thing for tinted moisturizers but they don’t give me enough coverage, especially with the hormonal thing I’ve told you about. With Boscia’s BB Cream, I have the tinted moisturizer texture and ease that I love and then some. It gives me medium coverage while remaining light as a feather… I forget I even have it on. It goes to work evening out my imperfections and does a good job of covering up the redness I seem to be experiencing more and more of lately. It doesn’t cover up my other issues completely but I can set those areas with a powder foundation and be good to go. I like to set the rest of my face with a little powder foundation as well but I do not concentrate it as I do with my jawline.

You can see what this looks like on my skin here. I took this picture Thursday night around 10pm… after 6 hours of wear. You can see there’s a bit of a shine developing but for the most part, my skin just looks like it is glowing. By this time with other products, I’d need to pull out the blotting papers.  This BB cream doesn’t call attention to my pores, which I am now so self-conscious about, seems to let what’s good about my skin shine through and I love that! I am a dewy glowing goddess with this on. Redness and pores minimized, lightweight feel with medium coverage and long wearing… I couldn’t ask for more this summer.

p.s. Right now you can get a mini Boscia BB Cream on Sephora.com. Just enter “BBCREAM” during check out.

Beauty VIP of the Week: LUSH Big Shampoo

Sometimes, I can’t decide if I want to use LUSH Big Shampoo in my hair or pour it into a margarita glass and call it happy hour! While this Beauty VIP is intended for the former, the sea salt and fresh lime juice definitely pit this volumizing shampoo in a different category. It’s intended to give limp locks BIG volume, and the ingredients also have a clarifying effect.

The ingredients all have a special job to do. A seaweed infusion softens the hair, and strengthens in from root to tip. Fresh lime juice delivers crazy shine and gives hair that squeaky-clean feel. And the sea salt is full of minerals that blow up your hair in a way you wouldn’t think possible. The salt has an obvious gritty texture, and it feels fantastic to massage this into your scalp.

I love using this in the summer when my hair tends to fall into the “greaser” category more often. This whips it into perfect shape, and gives me that Texas hair I covet so much.  My tip to you if you too want BIG hair: use a healthy amount of conditioner on the ends of your hair after using this shampoo. Then, style and enjoy your new found BIG hair.

Beauty VIP of the Week: GO Smile Speed Whitening System

A lot can change in just four days. For example, in Chicago, the temperatures early in the week were in the 90s, approaching triple digits. Then on Thursday, they plummeted nearly 40 degrees. Not a fan of either extreme. Another example: In just four days of this week, I whitened my teeth to about eight times brighter. This, I’m a fan of. GO Smile’s Four-Day Speed Whitening System is by far the most-effective teeth whitening system that I’ve ever used. And it’s unbelievably easy, and pain-free.

I’ve got no patience for the trays they fit you for at the dentist (not to mention they’re hundreds of dollars), and I definitely didn’t have patience for the circa five years ago Whitestrips on the market (as evidenced by the half open box I eventually had to toss out after it had expired). Which, until now, had been the extent of my whitening experiences. So yes, a twice daily treatment over four days is my style – and the results were practically instantaneous. A true Beauty VIP!

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