Mario Badescu Is Such a Sweetheart

As part of the Three Custom Color Sweetest Thing collaboration with Miles Ehan, Mario Badescu is putting their Orange Cleansing Soap, Almond & Honey Non-Abrasive Face Scrub and Honey Moisturizer front and center.

I’ve been using their Orange Cleansing Soap with my Clarisonic this week and I have been loving my results. The cleanser is creamy and doesn’t leave my oily skin feeling tight or stripped, almost as though I could skip my moisturizer. It is gentle on the skin while lightly exfoliating too. This cleanser is suitable for all skin types.

Their Almond & Honey Non-Abrasive Face Scrub is another product that is suitable for all skin types. It is super rich and creamy and has ground almond and cornmeal for exfoliation so it is not abrasive as the name suggests. There are no sharp granules found here. Same results with this scrub, no tightness or dryness felt afterwards, just smooth baby soft skin. It also has the most delicious almond scent to it. All I need is some biscotti and a latte and I would be set! 😉

Finally, I’ve been using their Honey Moisturizer at night. This moisturizer is for sensitive, combination and dry skin but it was a good texture to it that I figured I’d use at a time when my skin could use all the moisture it can get and I can get away without SPF. It is super light so it sinks in and absorbs quickly but also delivers on hydration. It is perfect for skin needing a little more loving this time of year.

Join @threecustom, @mariobadescu and @milesehan in a tweetup hosted by the lovely @thisthatbeauty tonight from 6-8pm EST! Use hash tag #sweetup!

New! Three Custom Color Sweetest Thing Palette

Three Custom Color is launching their newest collection as part of a collaboration with up and coming designer Miles Ehan. The fruit of this fashionable union is the new Sweetest Thing palette. This palette features an eyeshadow, lipgloss and my favorite type of beauty product… a new lip/cheek stain. The shades in this palette are perfect for spring in their varying degrees of pink and also smell so good you will want to lick them.

I have fallen in love with this palette and am crossing my fingers that Three Custom Color will keep releasing little gems like these. Even though Icing on the Cupcake is really an eyeshadow, I’ve been playing around with it as a highlighter and have fallen in love with it. It’s also lovely packed on the lid or sheered out under the brow bone  as well.

Candy Cloud 9 Gloss is definitely candy for your lips. It is deep pink in the pan but it is nice and sheer with a mix of gold and silver sparkle. This is my first time trying a Three Custom Color and I liked how lightweight and non-sticky it was.

Last but not least, the Lollipop Stain…for me the real icing on top. 😉 This hot pink stain can be as tame or as bold as you want it to be. I’ve mixed it (in true Three Custom Color fashion) with a little bit of the eyeshadow and it gives my cheeks a lovely pink flush with just a hint of sparkle.

Has Three Custom Color’s Sweetest Thing palette given you a sweet tooth? And join @threecustom, @mariobadescu and @milesehan in a tweetup hosted by the lovely @thisthatbeauty tonight from 6-8pm EST! Use hash tag #sweetup!

Quest for Big Hair: Jonathan Create Smooth Anti-Frizz Volumizing Serum

As the name indicates, Jonathan Create Smooth Anti-Frizz Volumizing Serum is a jack of all trades. And bonus points: it’s 100 percent vegan too. I tested this serum as part of my “quest” for some lift, but I really wouldn’t call this a volumizing product per say.  The “create smooth” and “anti-frizz” is really what you’re going to get.

It’s completely natural and contains no alcohol or synthetics.  Rather, it has sugar conditioner to soften hair, lemongrass water to add shine, and a blend of almond, white ginger and watercress to improve the look of damaged hair. The serum is meant to combat static and frizz – and somehow, volume and movement are byproducts.

I don’t have particularly frizzy hair, but I deal with common straight hair problems – flyaways, dullness, weighed-down, etc. After using this for the better part of a month, I have a very neutral opinion. It’s good, but not great. It doesn’t make my hair greasy, but I don’t particularly see more movement. You might fare better if frizz is a serious issue for you and volume isn’t a major priority. And if you veer vegan, Jonathan does it well. While this isn’t my favorite product from him, he does have an extensive line of  vegan options for all types of hair needs.

DIY Manicure Must-Haves

Nine times out of 10, any manicure you see in Just Another Mani Monday is a DIY-er. Don’t get me wrong, I love getting my nails done but I usually just do it myself. I’ve gotten into a Sunday ritual of pampering — hair mask, face mask and manicure. It’s really my favorite time of the week and helps me mentally prepare for the work week ahead. And I’ve come to rely on certain products to give me the spa feeling at home.

While Fresh’s Brown Sugar Body Polish lives in my shower, I take it out on Sundays to give my hands a good scrub. There’s nothing better, as far as I’m concerned. It sloughs off all of the dead skin and contains tons of moisturizing oils. I love how it leaves my hands so soft.

I began using Sally Hansen’s Instant Cuticle Remover about a year ago, and now I can’t remember what I ever did without it. I squeeze it around my entire nail cuticle, and it does the work on its own. For good measure, I use a cuticle pusher to do some tidying and then rinse. This needs to be in every woman’s bathroom cabinet!

I keep my nails a pretty short length, so if needed, I use a nail clipper to trim and then use Trim’s 7-Way Buffer. I actually hoard these and keep them at work and home. They’re just a few dollars, and one of the most useful beauty tools I own. I love side 4 “even out” as a final step in filing because it helps ride of any jagged edges that inevitably wreak havoc mid-polish.

The key to a lasting manicure is less about the actual polish but all of the other protectants, base, topcoat, etc. I have many random favorites in this area, CND Stickey Base and Seche Vite to name a few, but Zoya’s Color Lock System is a really good all-in-one kit. I use the Armor Top Coat as a refresher a few times during the week to protect my mani. And there’s also a polish rejuvenator which is a life-saver for bringing polishes back to life.

After I scrub and before I polish, I always lather up my hands with lotion. And nothing feels more salon-like than using salon lotion. I love Qtica’s Smart Spa Lotion in Papaya Star. Not many salons near me use Zoya products, so I’m happy to use it at home.

What are your DIY mani-must haves? Any tips to share?

Lancôme Ageless Minérale Blush Made for Summer, Perfect for Winter

Lancôme’s Ageless Minérale Blush first appeared in Lancome’s Bronze Riviera collection this past summer, but we can’t help but think this product was made for winter.  Specifically, the shade Brilliant Berry. You see, unlike most people who get that rosy “just been pinched” look when battling the winter elements, I get ghastly white. But Brilliant Berry, for me, is that rosy pinched look to a T.

There’s a slight golden shimmer in this product, which really warms the blush up. I find this incredibly easy to wear, but it requires a light hand. Just a sweep is so flattering on my fair skin, and think it would be equally gorgeous on deeper skin tones.

Perhaps what I like most about this product is the formula. The minerals are ultra fine and silky, and it contains what Lancome calls a White Sapphire Complex, which is intended to minimize perfections and brighten complexions. I definitely found it to be brightening, so while I typically avoid mineral foundations like the plague, I’m now jonesing to try Lancome’s!

Beauty VIP of the Week: Lisa Hoffman Madagascar Orchid Candle

This week’s Beauty VIP is Lisa Hoffman’s Madagascar Orchid candle. I’ve been burning it every evening for about a week and I don’t think I could ever, ever tire of this fragrance… it is so beautiful and graceful. It makes me feel like I’m lost in a beautiful garden and I don’t care if I ever find my way out. Madagascar Orchid has been named as one of the Top Five Fragrances in 2009 by the Fragrance of the Year Awards, it has notes of orchid, jasmine, ylang dew, mimosa mood, and pink peony in it… in short, just a gorgeous floral fragrance.

When I can’t wear this in my skin, I’m happy to burn this soy candle in my home. The 9oz. candle will burn for over 50 hours but I’m savoring it slowly by burning it just an hour a night. That is just enough to fill my (small) apartment with the Madagascar Orchid scent. It also has a wood wick. This was my first time burning a wood wick candle, I realize I was a bit slow to get on the wood wick train but now I’m not getting off. I found the wick made the candle burn brighter, more evenly and the crackling sounds it makes as it burns is so cozy.

Lisa Hoffman also makes a Japanese Arganwood candle (also a beautiful scent!) and according to the brand’s Twitter account, we can expect candles in Lisa Hoffman’s other scents Tuscan Fig, French Clary Sage and Tunisian Neroli. I’m excited to smell those, I don’t think Lisa Hoffman can make a scent I won’t like.

NARS Pure Matte Lipstick Swatches

One of my New Years resolutions for Product Girl is to show you more swatches. We all love swatches, right? I have been loving the NARS Pure Matte Lipsticks. This week Volga and Terre de Feu have been in heavy rotation. I love the matte finish and how pigmented these lipsticks are. Sometimes I go full out and glide the lipstick over my lips but lately I prefer to dab it on to my fingers and press the color onto my lips. This way the color is not as intense and it lasts longer.

From left to right: Tashkent, Terre de Feu, Volga and Bangkok

While the NARS Pure Matte Lipsticks started as a Saks exclusive, you can now find them in Sephora and Nordstrom. Have you tried these yet? What’s your favorite shade?

Under Eye in Need of a Perk? Just Eyedews It

Needless to say, the holiday season took a toll on my under eye area. The parties, the change in routine, alcohol, dry winter air — it all shows. I definitely need a little R&R under my peepers. And Eyedews, a collagen-infused under eye mask, seemed like just the remedy.

Continue reading Under Eye in Need of a Perk? Just Eyedews It

Best of 2010: Our Favorite Nail Colors

Our recap of the Best of 2010 continues with our favorite nail polishes of 2010. We were all over the board last year — glitters, smooth neutrals, bold colors, pastels. There were many amazing polishes and collections, and here are the ones that stood out the most to us.

Essie’s Resort Collection transported us to a five-star resort in the tropics with shades like “Turquoise and Caicos” and “Lapis of Luxury.” We loved every single one of these polishes, and the inclusion of the cement-like neutral Playa Del Platinum was like the tie that binds.

Continue reading Best of 2010: Our Favorite Nail Colors

Just Another Mani Monday: China Glaze Party Hearty and Sugar Plums

Usually I’m not festive with my nails but in an attempt to get into the holiday spirit (I was having such a hard time with that this year!), I wanted to show you my nails for last and for this week, both shades from the China Glaze ‘Tis the Season To Be Naughty and Nice Holiday collection. I reached for China Glaze’s Party Hearty for my Christmas mani. I wanted my nails look like a Christmas tree and the presents underneath the tree all at the same time. With three coats of Party Hearty, that’s what I had. This glitter nail polish was quite a hit with friends and family as well as out in the stores during all my last minute shopping… and it did make me a little bit cheerier. 🙂

This week’s mani is China Glaze’s Sugar Plums. I was tempted to go with one of the reds from the collection like Phat Santa but I decided to try out Sugar Plums instead. I’m not a big metallic shade gal but this plum with micro-glitter shade won me over at first pass, I’m really loving the way it looks on my nails. The finish is a little bumpy, as glitters typically are but a top coat helps reduce that a bit. I liked the formula a lot, thin enough to not get all goopy on me when I apply additional coats and it is was well pigmented. This will be the nail color I ring in the new year with.

How about you? What has been on your nails this holiday season?