The Best Home Spa-ing Experience I've Ever Had

Now that we’re into cozy season, my tea intake has increased substantially. I sip it most afternoons for a boost of antioxidants. Good for the body, soul and skin. Which is why La Bella Figura Healing Facial Steam Tea is genius. Tea for your face. So brills. A few Sunday’s ago, I experimented with my first facial tea steam. Just as you would if you were drinking tea, boil some water, but instead of pouring it in a mug, fill up a medium-sized bowl and steep the tea. Then, drape a towel over yourself and the bowl and let the steam from the tea purify your face (make sure it’s clean first!). I felt like I was at the spa and not hunched over my kitchen island with a towel over my head.

Chicago-based La Bella Figura actually grew many of the flowers and herbs used in the tea in a Chicago community garden. Love! This tea smelled phenomenal with a mix of jasmine flower, calendula, lavender and marshmallow root (all known for soothing properties) and cardamom which delivers anti-inflammatory benefits. It was a gentle detoxifier. After steaming for about 10-15 minutes, I took advantage of my open pores and masked with LBF’s Bio Active Healing Mask which has so many fantastic ingredients, one primary being manuka honey sourced from New Zealand, known for its healing enzymes and unique antibacterial components.

Before rinsing the tea down the drain, I soaked a cotton pad and used it as a toner post-mask.  My skin was glowing after this adventure, and the ritual was good for the soul. Sundays are notorious for the mental “Monday’s coming” games and a little pampering is what a girl needs to prepare for the week.

Check out the Facial Steam Tea, as well as this adorable gift set which gives you a chance to try a bunch of LBF skin treats. And maybe wait to Cyber Monday…our sources tell us that there is going to be an unbelievable deal at LBF (we’re not being cute, we truly don’t know what it is yet!)

Balance Oily Skin with the Avene Cleanance Line

As I have gotten older, I’ve learned to appreciate my oily skin. After all, that excess oil will help my skin looking younger than my dry skinned counterparts. I’m always trying new skincare, I like to say it’s part of my job but it also makes it hard to stick with a routine consistently. Recently I have incorporated a few products from the Avene Cleanance line help me balance my oily skin.

The first is Avene’s Cleanance Emulsion Lotion. This has been my go-to moisturizer for the better part of this year. I picked it up for the first time during a trip to New York in January and I’m now on my third tube. This is a cream-gel that quickly sinks into skin and disappears without a trace. It does a good job of hydrating my skin even now in drier weather and is rich enough for me to use as a night cream. I’ve yet to find a product that keeps me shine free all day long but this lotion gives me just enough hydration and helps keep my skin matte well into the afternoon. Oh, and it’s a 1/3 of the cost of the moisturizer I was previously obsessed with!

Continue reading Balance Oily Skin with the Avene Cleanance Line

On Gaining Perspective and One Love Organics Chia Whip

We’ve been a little quiet on our ends this past week, but our hearts have been heavy thinking of all of our friends and others on the East Coast. Our life stresses and busy schedules seem trivial in comparison to the tragedies we’ve been seeing others experience after Sandy stormed through. Our hearts truly go out to all, and we hope all of our readers and their families are in a good place. We know we’re counting our blessings.

A few weeks ago, I made a skincare discovery that has given me a new perspective on the most routine of tasks; washing my face. I picked up One Love Organics Chia Whip from the Birchbox shop, mainly because I love everything this brand puts out. That remains fact and this face wash is the best foaming face wash ever. The pure organic plant oils of chia, olive, jojoba and coconut make this superior in every way. Bold statement considering I love me so foam, but so many times the formulas disappear quickly and don’t remove makeup.  Right?  Because I use a cleansing oil to start, this isn’t necessarily a deal breaker. I love my rituals, and spend a good chunk of time each day cleansing and moisturizing.

Well, OLO’s Chia Whip has made me blissfully lazy. A swipe of eye makeup remover on the eyes and a nice massage with Chia Whip and this girl is done. All traces of makeup gone. No fragrance or other unnatural nonsense to worry about. $28, One Love Organics.

Beauty VIP of the Week: Michael Todd True Organics Intensive Organic Cream Eye Treatment


By now you’ve heard me say that eye creams and I have a fickle relationship. We are very on-again, off-again. Right now we’re on-again and I’m seeing Michael Todd Organics Intensive Organic Cream Eye Treatment exclusively.

I’ve been experimenting with products from the Michael Todd Organics line and this eye treatment has been my favorite so far. This eye treatment is rich and hydrates the under-eye area so well. Initially I thought this was a bit too rich for my skin type but what I quickly realized is that my under-eyes were fully absorbing the treatment and it wasn’t excess product I was feeling, it was a smoothness like I had never felt before. A bit like dimethicone but with a more natural feel. I’m a little addicted to how good my eyes feel now!

Continue reading Beauty VIP of the Week: Michael Todd True Organics Intensive Organic Cream Eye Treatment

DIY Pumpkin Facial Recipe

Has pumpkin infiltrated your life as it has ours? We can’t get enough and will not let the season go by without slathering some of the real deal on our skin. I have to carve because I need the seeds to satisfy my sodium needs, so may as well put the gook to good use, right? Pumpkin contains vitamins A and C and enzymes to help encourage cell turnover.

Helping us master the DIY Pumpkin facial is Cecilia Wong, founder of namesake salon/skincare line and master of fresh holistic approach to skincare.


What do you think? We’re excited to try this! I think I may enlist the blender to help give this the creamy, pasty texture.

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

Buh-Bye Blemish: Murad Clarifying Wipes

I’ve been cursed with blemishes that will not disappear. There’s three in total. Two on my forehead and one to the left of my lips – same spots, always.  No matter how much drying lotion or salicylic acid-based treatment I use, they always come back. And the timing is suspect. These blemishes have cropped up in a perma way these last few months, which have been some of my most busy and stressful. Enter Murad Acne Clarifying Wipes, an on-the-go version of the brand’s renowned acne line. I’ve been using these wipes for a few weeks and am finding these stubborn blemishes are going away faster.

These wipes aren’t a traditional cleansing wipe, and I like to use them on clean skin once a day. They have this phenomenal cooling sensation on the skin and make me feel like my skin is truly clean (not stripped, though). Look for witch hazel (a natural form of salicylic acid) to tighten pores, algae extract to regulate oil and grape seed extract and vitamin E.

I’m hoping with regular use and a trip to see a professional for extractions, I can finally get rid of these pests once and for all.

Murad Clarifying Wipes just launched last month, $18 for 30-count. Available here.

NIVEA Fall Skin Care Giveaway

How about a giveaway to kick off this Monday? The very first Monday of fall, actually. Are you as excited as we are? To transition into fall, our friends at NIVEA have a special giveaway for Product Girl readers. Did you know that September is National Skin Care Awareness Month? Well, it is, and NIVEA is reminding us all to readjust our skin care regiment to keep up with changing weather.

Here’s what one (1) winner will receive:

NIVEA Touch of Renewal Lathering Body Scrub. Prime your skin for winter (yeah, it’s coming sooner than later). Look for Nivea’s ‘HYDRA IQ’ technology, which delivers a balance of exfoliation and a rich cleansing, moisturizing lather.

NIVEA Smooth Sensation Daily Lotion. Formulated for dry skin, this lotion, enriched with Ginkgo, Shea Butter and Vitamin E, intensely moisturizes and absorbs quickly.

NIVEA Kiss of Olive & Lemon Soothing Lip Care (new!) We love the ‘Kiss’ balms (cherry is our fav) and this new kiss on the block is pretty yummy, too.

$50 Visa gift card. For you to stock up on some skin care essentials.

To enter to win this NIVEA prize package, leave us a comment on this post with a fall skincare tip! We’ll pick a winner on Saturday, September 29.

Good luck!

Disclosure: NIVEA provided Product Girl with product samples and a $50 gift card.

Elite Serum – A Doctor Recommended Alternative to Botox

Every now and then we find items that are coming across social media channels faster than an Olympian Sprinter.  This week’s winner:  Elite Serum.

Elite Serum is an alternative to botox injections that works to force skin rejuvenation at the cellular level.  Recommended by a Doctor from the University of Kansas, Elite Serum works to significantly reduce the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, puffiness, and even dark circles that form around the eyes and forehead.  We noticed the popular facebook page of Elite Serum and took to the web to find out more information – and we were impressed!

Elite Serum is mentioned on a number of skin care websites and gets high ratings from consumers.  It’s also among the top selling dark circle treatments DAILY on, the world’s largest shopping portal.

Continue reading Elite Serum – A Doctor Recommended Alternative to Botox

The Summer of TATCHA Skincare

Summer time memories are some of the strongest. For me, the summer of 2012 will always be known as the summer I discovered TATCHA skincare. I’ve been in a pretty committed relationship with the Japanese skincare regimen inspired by ancient rituals passed down from one generation of geisha to the next.  TATCHA launched the skincare line last year after rediscovering a 200 year-old manuscript filled with rituals and ingredients from traditional Eastern beauty regimes. In this modern version, TATCHA formulated the line with precious green teas, Okinawa red algae and rice bran. Living like a geisha feels and looks good on the skin, let me make that point very clear!

TATCHA’s regime, available in several varieties based on skin type, includes:

Step one: TATCHA PURE Camellia One Step Cleansing Oil ($48) is hands down the best cleansing oil I’ve ever used. It’s unique in the sense that you truly don’t need to “double cleanse.” Two pumps of the cleansing oil, which does its magic with rice brain oil, camellia japonica seed oil, algae extract and green tea leaf extract, removes everything and leaves no residue behind. The texture is perfection.

Step two: TATCHA POLISHED Classic Rice Enzyme Powder ($65) is a fabulous cleanser that doubles as a gentle exfoliator. It’s ideal for clean, makeup-less faces. You start with a wet face and wet hands and a few shakes of the powder and and it turns into this silky formulation. The active enzymes include rice bran and papaya and hydrolyzed pearl. Skin is immediately gleamy and baby-soft.  I LOVE this stuff.

Step three: TATCHA RADIANT Deep Brightening Serum ($150) is a hydrating serum that brings geisha-like luminosity to skin. TATCHA formulated this with time-tested Asian botanicals, making this truly unique. It feels like liquid silk and skin drinks it up instantly.

Step four: TATCHA SUPPLE Moisture Rich Silk Cream ($150) pampered my skin on all of those hot summer nights. I’m convinced this moisturizer, which is as silky and creamy as the name would indicate, helped restore balance to my skin with its weightless power combo of liquid silk, squalane and royal jelly.

One thing is for sure: this is a summer romance that will continue into the next season.