Category Archives: Phyto

Product Girl's Top 11 of 2011

Narrowing down the best beauty releases of the year can be a daunting task. But when it comes down to choosing the best of the best, all we really had to do was look in our makeup bags and on our bathroom counters. From there, it was pretty clear what products we can’t live without and will happily  carry into the New Year. Without further ado, we present to you the Product Girl Top 11 of 2011.  

While this list is officially in no particularly order, NARS Velvet Gloss Pencil is definitely our favorite lip product of the year. We can’t get enough of these. Frivolous and New Lover are my top two, but the deep raspberry of Baroque is a close third.We absolutely love how these look and feel on the lips – the subtle gloss, burst of color and moisturizing properties make them a major winner.

We purchased countless tubes of Burts’s Bees Tinted Lip Balms this year. For ourselves and for others. The Rose is the perfect tint of sheer red, and Honeysuckle is a lovely peachy nude. The formula is 100% natural and the price, at $7, is just right. These are a standout drugstore buy of 2011.

We continue to be mesmerized by this seafoam green tub of youth! Kiehl’s Rosa Arctica is such an  interesting moisturizier. It’s thick in texture, very balm-like, but doesn’t feel like it on the skin, and seems to instantly make our skin look brighter and healthier. Plus, we love the way Rosa Arctica looks on our bathroom counter!

Thank you, Dr. Dennis Gross, for reviving our pale skin and helping me fight my Vitamin D deficiency with the Alpha Beta Glow Pads. Since these launched in February, they’ve been a constant in my beauty routine. I don’t let actual sun rays get near my face, so these were a godsend. Unlike self-tanner, these are skin care. They give you a legit bronze and unleash anti-aging + exfoliating properties into your skin.

Perhaps the most difficult category for us to choose the “best of” was nail polish. But, Chanel Black Pearl managed to take home the honors. This gunmetal green is like an edgy accessory that goes with everything. It looked good no matter the season, and on fingers or toes.

Benefit Cha Cha Tint was worth waiting until 2011 for. It is a delicious mango-colored stain that looks intimidating in the bottle but is like magic on the skin. If you think you can’t wear coral, Cha Cha Tint can prove you wrong. Plus, it’s a stain so it lasts forever.

Another cheek product that dominated our makeup bags the majority of 2011 was Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush. We can’t pick just one favorite, so consider ALL of them the best of 2011. (Although, we might be partial to Amused and Tipsy!) They are the longest wearing powder blush you’ll ever use and the color stays vibrant all day. And the colors are phenomenal and importantly, flattering on the skin.  

2011 will go down as the year the U.S. got a taste of the BB Cream. And we couldn’t be more smitten with Boscia’s B.B. Cream SPF 27 PA++, a skin perfecting “blemish balm” that is like a super-powered tinted moisturizer. It manages to blur out imperfections and moisturize our skin. In the summer, we could get away with using this for coverage, moisture and SPF!  

A serum that actually helps repair and heal damaged hair and split ends? Yes, it exists.  The exotic oils and silk peptides in Phyto Phytokératine Serum  helps strengthen strands and restore moisture to dry hair (and is silicone-free). I truly believe that by slathering the ends of my hair in this, I can go a lot longer without a trim.

The central weapon in our fight against aging is sunscreen. It may not be the most exciting part of our beauty routine, but it’s very necessary. Skinceuticals Sheer Physical UV Defense is the best facial SPF we’ve ever used. We like that it contains only physical blockers and a special extract that increases skin defenses and resistance to UV and heat stress. But the best part? It feels weightless on the skin.

Each month, we looked forward to the arrival of the pink Birchbox! What a treat – which is why this beauty delivery service deserves a spot in our best of 2011 list. We’ve been introduced to some great brands, like Sunday Riley and Oribe, and fabulous products, like Orofluido Elixir and Atelier Cologne Vanille Insensee.

What beauty items topped your list this year? Let us know what you loved!

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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Therapeutic to the Scalp, Mind and Body: Phyto Phytopolleine Universal Elixir

You know those statistics about how much time we spend doing ordinary things across a lifetime? Like brushing your teeth, blow-drying your hair or sleeping? They always seem to shock me.

But then I started to add up how much time I spend in the bathtub in just a week (about 4-5 hours), and then realized that is probably the most shocking statistic. What can I say, it’s my happy place. My favorite way to relax and unwind after a long day. And now that I’ve been using Phyto’s Universal Elixir once a week, bath-time is even more relaxing.

Phyto’s Elixir is a scalp stimulant that contains 72% essential oils of rosemary, sage, cypress, lemon and eucalyptus and 28% corn oil extract. It purifies the scalp and is so soothing. The aroma is therapeutic when combined with steam. I apply all over the scalp by sections, throw my hair in a bun and massage and rinse about an hour later.

This product works wonders on a fatigued scalp, but also helps to tone your hair. And if you happen to be a bath addict like me, it’s also a therapeutic experience for a stressed mind!

Rescue Your Hair from the Dry Winter Air

Yesterday, one of my coworkers asked me for a solution to help heal dry winter hair. As you can see, she has the best hair — long, wavy and blonde.  From my perspective, every day is a good hair day for her. But for those who have dry hair to begin with, like my coworker, winter can be so tough on the locks.

She does all the right things — washes infrequently, uses a deep conditioner regularly and always applies heat protectants before styling. But even this regimen isn’t able to do the trick as it would in the summer.

I thought I’d put together a list of products that work great for me, but also invite everyone reading to give some recommendations. I am able to combat dry hair fairly easily because it’s not something I suffer from. But I know that I am in the minority.

Here’s what works for me, but please — pile on in the comments!

I’ve been really happy this winter using Phyto Phytolactum + Intelligent Shampoo. It’s designed to purify and gently cleanse dry hair without stripping. I like it because it’s also good for those who wash their hair frequently. It smells amazingly of almond, which is because it contains 35% hydrating almond milk. For my coworker, I’d probably recommend looking into other Phyto shampoos, specifically ones for color-treated hair.

A leave-in conditioner goes a long way to infusing moisture and also preventing static. I love Living Proof’s Leave-In Conditioner. It is intensely hydrating and does so without weighing down the hair. When I use this, I always seem to have a better hair day.

For hydration and shine, I’m all about the oils: Oscar Blandi Jasmine Oil Serum and Josie Maran Argan Oil. I first tried Oscar Blandi’s in the January Birchbox and it is a fast favorite. It smells like heaven and helps smooth my ‘do. I like using a few drops of Josie’s Argan Oil on the ends of my hair to moisturize them. I don’t trim my hair often and I’m convinced these oils help keep my ends from splitting.

These are the products that work great for me, but please help my coworker out by letting us in your dry hair saviors! Thanks in advance. :)