I tend to test more skin care than I probably should. I’m always in search of that perfect combo to make my skin look radiant. Because when my skin is in good shape, my makeup looks better and I don’t wear as much. The testing process can lead me to a sweet discovery or give me breakouts. I recently tried a line that falls into the former and I am beyond excited by the discovery. Meet My, launched in 2012 with five anti-aging products. The secret to My is a blend of antioxidant-rich Asian botanicals, namely Pili and Moringa oils indigenous to the Philippines. Pili is naturally restorative and rich with omega fatty acids, vitamins A and E, and Moringa does that as well but also has a high concentration of vitamin C (hello brighter skin!)
I’ve been experimenting with My’s five and was blown away in the first few days. My skin is so incredibly soft and supple — not easy to do when the temps keep fluctuating on a daily basis (today is in the single digits). I cannot wait to see how My performs over the rest of winter. I admittedly have a short attention span with skin care, but these moisturizers and serums can be weaved into just about any skin care regime.
Let me introduce you to what I’m deeming the fab ‘My’ five:
Skin Recovery Formula wears a lot of hats. It helps brighten skin and even out discoloration from sun damage and acne and also has a special peptide that helps increase collagen production.
Multi-Purpose Mattifying Moisturizer – I was most scared of this product (the look of truly matte skin conjures up images of dry and flaky to me) but it turned out to be my favorite. If you try anything in this line, start here! It is so moisturizing and smoothing and doesn’t take the life out of your skin. The opposite – skin looks glowing (in a controlled, non-oily way!) Bonus: it can double as primer.
Weightless Eye Cream – The botanicals in this target everything from puffiness and dark circles to wrinkles. I love how light it is and how quickly it absorbs into skin….just in time for me to layer on my La Bella Figura Decouverte Eye Serum. Wrinkles…I’m stopping you before you start.
Dynamic Lifting Serum – I love the gel texture of this serum that works to make everything more taut and firm. It absorbs quickly which I appreciate since I tend to layer on treatments. This is a great first step on clean skin morning and night.
Transformative Night Cream – The most intensive moisturizer in the line, for sure. It gets to work while you’re sleeping with a ton of amazing ingredients. I think I credit this for my softer than ever skin. I wake up and my skin just looks more plump like it had its 8 glasses of water. My favorite part? Instead of digging your fingers into a container, you just press down on the container and out squeezes out the perfect portion.
My really brought the goods with these five debut items and I cannot wait to see what the brand introduces next.
This week I’m wearing OPI’s Anti-Bleak, a shade from the Mariah Carey collection. This collection features eight shades, including one glitter and four new “Liquid Sand” shades, but this is the shade I gravitated towards immediately…being a sucker for cremes and all. I’ll have more on the rest of the collection soon but for now, I’m having an Anti-Bleak moment. This rich, deep, creamy purple is just so gorgeous. I didn’t have any issues with the formula, it was great and easy to work with, no dragging and totally opaque in two coats. Next phase of this Anti-Bleak moment is layering it with some various glitters but for now, I’m enjoying this shade in its simplicity.
I’ve been a loyal body wash user for so long. Since I was a teenager and made a hobby of visiting the Bath & Body Works practically weekly. Juniper Breeze and Pearberry, anyone? I’ve had a penchant for all wash in a bottle, be it a gel, foam, cream, oil or mouse. It’s accurate to say I all but abandoned perhaps the most classic form of cleanser: a bar of soap. I think I’m making up for lost time. Bar soaps are all the rage in my shower and I have to say getting back to the traditional with body cleansing is a refreshing change in routine. Plus, the bar soaps of today seem so advanced to the drying white bars of my youth.
For those mornings when I just need to be alert, I opt for Molton Brown Re-charge Black Pepper Bodyscrub Bar. Black peppercorns srub away dead cells and the spicy blend of pepper and bergamot is invirograting. I take the time to really enjoy the aroma when I use this. The scent is unisex but be warned: if you buy this for the man in your life, you will end up stealing it back for yourself.
Natural body washes can be light on the lather (due to no sulfates) and sometimes leave you wanting a more thorough cleanse. But that’s not the case for a natural bar of soap. The vegan Metropolis Soap. Co artisan soaps have just a handful of ingredients, including shea butter so you know it’s moisturizing, and essential oils and detoxifying French clay. What I really love is the unexpected combinations and spa-like aromas that result. Plus, they’re under $10 and handmade in Brooklyn!
While I admit that its tempting to leave Fresh Citron de Vigne Soap in its gorgeous outer packaging, it’s just too good of scent not to indulge with during a hot shower. It gives me such a feeling of luxury and I’m addicted to the scent. It literally has notes of every scent I love — rose, grapefruit, neroli, pinot noir and amber. I find it brings me comfort in this cold weather.
We think that bar soap is in the middle of a major comeback, as evidenced by my newfound obsession. What do you think?
It’s only fitting that the last Mani Monday of the year have a little sparkle to it and we picked a few things from the L’Oreal Diamonds collection for our looks. The collection includes gorgeous, shimmering color for lips and eyes (including a Diamond Voluminous Million Lashes mascara!) but it was the Colour Riche Nail polish and Colour Riche Nail Lingerie stickers that reeled us in.
The color seen here is called Sparklicious and two thick coats gave us moderately full coverage. It is chalked full of silver and gold glitter that is gorgeous packed on with a couple coats or layered over any other shade. This is a limited edition shade but it would be a good layering shade to stock up one when you spot it…back ups, ladies, back ups!
While it took me well past the knockout rounds to truly appreciate The Voice’s Cassadee Pope, I’m a total fan girl now. She is everything I loved about 2002. Chunky highlights. Angsty girl music. At first I was all how much Avril do I want to hear, but now I’m all give me as much Kelly Clarkson, Michelle Branch and Natalie Imbruglia as you can possibly cram into a season. Last night’s Faith Hill ‘Cry’ cover (watch and obsess) really just has me waiting for her album to come out.* In true fan girl fashion, it also has me replicating Ms. Pope’s gorgeous, and not at all 2002, signature glossy nude lip. No official word on the actual color and brand, but my lips look exactly that shade with BECCA Ultimate Colour Gloss in Fallen Angel. It’s a perfectly balanced nude spice. Opt for the sparkly brown smokey eye ala Cassadee or pair it with a rosy cheek and swipe of liquid liner. It’s the nude gloss that looks good with any pairing and while belting out punk girl rock with a sometimes country twist.
Fan girl PSA: there are four songs on Spotify from Cassadee!
That smile on my face is most definitely a result of the cheer that the tri-colored Benefit Fine One One brings me. Benefit’s latest cheeky cheek and lip product contains three stripes of sheer color – coral, watermelon and shimmering pale pink – that blend together for a soft pink or deeper cherry hue. Part blush, part highlighter and even lip color. And I actually apply it directly to my cheek from the tube — a very big deal for me. I’d say 97.2% of the time, I use a fluffy brush to apply cream products. But Fine One One is best applied directly from that gorgeous rose gold tube, highlighter facing up and onto the cheek in a slight upward swoop. The cream to powder texture is so forgiving and it blends beautifully. I’m in love with the healthy pinch of color this gives cheeks and even happier with the staying power (8+ hours!) Though, if you’re like me, you’ll be popping a smile and swiping Fine One One throughout the day.
Our friends at Birchbox have the most helpful video showing how to apply it featuring Bene-babe Maggie Ford Danielson. A must-watch before you try this! Benefit Fine One One, $30, officially launches later this month, but you can pre-order now on Birchbox and snag a sample of Benefit Porefessional with any $25 purchase with code BBLOVESBENEFIT.
Holler at us if you’re dialing up Fine One One when it launches!
Lip and cheek stains tend to have a liquid consistency, which is exactly the opposite of why we we love BECCA Beach Tints. Unlike its category counterparts, BECCA Beach Tints are creamy to touch and blend down dry on skin. They also smell subtly of the fruit they are named which is a nice bonus. These are somewhat of a cult favorite in our makeup bag. BECCA has the mystique of being a little difficult to find and it’s one of those brands worth tracking down. Trust. I live for the pinky nude Fig Beach Tint, but have to admit the three new shades: Lychee, Dragonfruit and Papaya, are all I want to wear lately. As you can see, this trio of Beach Tints are anything but nude. All three are vibrant and brightening, and their creamy consistency is what we’ve come to know and expect. Lychee is a wear your sunglasses bright hot pink whereas Dragronfruit is a medium bright poppy pink. And Papaya is a hot red orange that is brighter than it appears. Yes, that’s possible. Naturally, we love this shade.
And have you heard? BECCA is making its way to a Sephora near you. Already available on Sephora.com, BECCA will debut at a select few Sephora stores in 2012 (23 in total) with plans for more in 2013. Good news for those in smaller markets, as it appears it will also be in at least 50 Sephora in JCP locations in March with plans to expand into 150 locations by the end of next year.
Cheers to more BECCA and new Beach Tints!
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!)
Perhaps the most universal and widely-used item in a makeup bag is black eyeliner. For nearly two decades, I’ve been using this staple. There’s been good times and bad times. Smoky and precise. Smudges on purpose and many more due to experimentation gone wrong. My technique vastly improved when I hit my 20s and discovered Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner. That phase lasted for years — it was literally all I used (Black and Violet Ink were my go-tos). I’ve since expanded my options, but I do think of Bobbi Brown as the eyeliner guru. It’s a category, among others, that she owns. So it makes sense that she would release an entire collection dedicated to black eyeliner. Bobbi’s “Choose Your Black” is like a menu of personas. An eyeliner suited to match your state of mind, or your schedule.
Let’s meet the line-up.
The Classic. Like the grey t-shirt of eyeliner, Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner never goes out of style. Impossible to mess up, beginners and pros alike rely on this formula.
The Artist. You will literally paint your makeup on with Bobbi’s new and limited edition Kohl Cake Liner. Get your brush a little wet and then dab it in the compact and build up the product to a consistency you like. I like to create an intense paste and do that whole tightline thing. It’s just like art class, but the masterpiece is your eyes. Bonus, this stuff has SERIOUS lasting power.
The Rocker. Indulge your inner baddie with Bobbi Brown Kohl Eyeliner (limited edition). Meant to be smudged and sexy, a few swipes of this Kohl (don’t forget the waterline!) and you’ve gone from day to nightlife. Better make plans! We find the Kohl is also excellent layered under eyeshadows.
The Over-Scheduled. a.k.a. Us on most days. When Bobbi first released the Long-Wear Eye Pencils, we were straight giddy. All the benefits of the original but in a time-friendly format. For the always busy woman, this option is quick and portable.
Bobbi Brown “Choose Your Black” was released with Bobbi’s holiday collection. Available now!
This past weekend, I had the urge to put up a Christmas tree. I know, I’m what’s wrong with this world. I blame my sister who had the same thought and planted it in my head. It’s contagious, and you’re all welcome in advance. I’m ultimately waiting until Thanksgiving to put up the tree, but in the meantime, I will be indulging in a little holiday makeup action. First up, MAC Glamour Daze. This collection feels very January to me, in that it’s not overly red and gold as so many other holiday collections usually are but instead cool and neutral. We’ve got a fab-tastic taupe eye shadow and the re-launch of the best highlighters MAC has put out in years.
Here’s the collection rundown and the glamour goods we think are musts!
First, the Extra Dimension Skinfinish ($29, limited edition) is back. And when we are given a second chance at amazing highlighters, we take it as a sign that it’s meant to be. They are extremely metallic at first glance but look beautiful on the skin. I think they’re universal for all skin tones, and both work on me. Superb is a more rosy gold that is just stunning!
- Superb, Soft peachy nude with multidimensional shimmer *Product Girl pick!
- Whisper of Gilt, Light soft white gold with shimmery sheen *Product Girl pick!
We’re also welcoming the re-launch of the Extra Dimension Eyeshadow ($19.50, limited edition), albeit in a tinier compact. While the higher price/less product ratio gets an eye roll, the extremely wearable colors get a thumbs up. Honestly, they’re all stunning.
- A Natural Flirt, Soft peachy nude *Product Girl pick
- Evening Grey, Steel silver
- Divine Blue, Mid-tone aqua
- Ready to Party, Pale lilac
- Round Midnight, Dark burgundy
- Stolen Moment, Dark taupe *Product Girl pick
- Stylishly Merry, Mid-tone dusty violet
- Tall, Dark, & Handsome, Black with pearl
Always one to get excited about new Fluidlines ($16.50, limited edition), I actually thought these were a bit off. I wish they were Paint Pots instead.
- Catch My Eye, Cool taupe grey with dazzle pearl
- Feminine Edge, Pink mauve with dazzle pearl
- Little Black Bow, Charcoal with dazzle pearl
Glamour Daze brings three lovely Powder Blush ($22, limited edition) options.
- Easy Manner, Light dirty peach
- I’m the One, Mid-tone blue pink
- Small Vanity, Dusty rose tan *Product Girl pick
Maybe I’m used to MAC collections of yester-years, but it feels that with every new launch the Nail Polish ($17.50, limited edition) costs more. That said, there are a few worthy colors of your dollars.
- Endless Night, Pale grey pink with iridescent pearl
- Girl Trouble, Super glitter pink *Product Girl pick
- Everything that Glitters, Black with super multidimensional glitter *Product Girl pick
- In the Limelight, Mid-tone creamy mint
The Lipsticks ($16.50, limited edition) are pretty fun, though there’s only one color I feel stands out. It’s also a Cremesheen, which is my fav MAC formula.
- Beauty, Pale cool pink (Glaze)
- Innocence, Soft coral (Frost)
- Outrageously Fun, Mid-tone magenta violet (Cremesheen)
- Glamourdaze, Mid-tone creamy plum (Cremesheen) *Product Girl pick
- Dramatic Encounter, Deep purple (Amplified)
A bevy of Lipglass ($16.50, limited edition) options to choose from. Pretty colors, but with everything going on in this collection, we say save for the highlighters.
- Impossibly Sweet, Sheer soft pink with multidimensional pearl
- Pink Fade, Light creamy pink
- Talk Softly to Me, Light creamy coral pink
- Deliciously Demure, Soft cool brown with pearl
- Flight of Fancy, Rich purple
Rounding out the collection is False Lashes Mascara ($20) and four Kohl Power Eye Pencils ($16.50).
What do you think? Let us know!