New Pharmaca Opening in Queen Anne!

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One of my favorite beauty spots here in Seattle is Pharmaca, an integrative pharmacy that is all about natural health and wellness. It is a fantastic spot to get your green beauty fix as the stores carry brands like Jane Iredale, Dr. Hauschka, Acure and more. This where I discovered one of my favorite blemish remedies, the Sanitas Zapper.

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Here in Seattle, we have 4 stores with a new store opening in the Queen Anne neighborhood this weekend but Pharmaca also has stores in California, Colorado, New Mexico and Oregon. While the Queen Anne store is more retail than a pharmacy, each store features professionals that are always on hand to answer any questions you may have. Wondering if that cleanser your eyeing is suitable for your skin type? Pharmaca’s esthetics can help you with that.

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First CVS Opens in Washington State!

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I never thought I would be writing about a new drug store opening up in my area but here I am… doing it and I’m pretty excited about. For years, the chain most of you know and love known as CVS, eluded the NW. I remember going to LA years ago and stepping into a CVS for the first time and wondering why it had carpet and wishing I had one near me.

Now I somewhat do have a CVS near me! I was invited to check out the store that opened last week in Renton, WA (also home to the Seattle Seahawks training camp) and I have to admit, I was excited. One of the big reasons I was excited? Finally having local access to actress Salma Hayek’s NUANCE line. I’ve seen my beauty blogging friends playing with this line and now I finally can… and can easily restock if I want more.

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I learned a few things about CVS that I thought were pretty cool during my visit. The first being that the chain really wants to give women in particular, a great shopping experience. They do this in a few ways that are immediately noticeable when you walk in the store. The first is the carpet I mentioned earlier.  With the busy woman in mind, particularly for women in heels, carpet makes the sales floor more comfortable to be on.

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Looks That Rock MTV Pre-VMA Viewing Party

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Every year I watch the MTV Video Music Awards, something always happens on that show and I’m sure this year will not be any different. At the very least, there’s some awesome style and beauty inspiration on display. Tonight I’ll be watching the show with all of you and chiming in on Twitter as part of the #LOOKSTHATROCK red carpet Twitter party at 5pm PST.

CVS asked me to host a pre-VMA party to come up with our own #LOOKSTHATROCK so I had a view friends over, served up some chicken piccata  and some wine then gave each of my guests a gift bag with a CVS gift card and some Cover Girl, Olay, Gillette and Crest products to play with. When there’s good food, good wine and beauty products on the table, a good time is had by all. :)

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JINsoon’s Blue Waves of Summer Nail Art

JINsoon Wave Nail Art

Why is it that when you bite all your nails off, you suddenly want to get all artistic with them? I saw this design from Jin Soon Choi, founder of the JINsoon line, and instantly wanted to reach for some nail polish but alas… I have no nails to speak of at this moment, but I will soon. ;)

As summer comes to an end, Jin Soon Choi gives an Impressionistic nod to the blue waves of summer with a simple, DIY design. Here’s how you can create this look:

  1. Apply a base coat like JINsoon Power Coat
  2. Apply JINsoon Cool Blue to the entire nail
  3. Apply an irregular wavy line of JINsoon Poppy Blue diagonally across the nail
  4. Apply JINsoon Blue Iris and JINsoon Kookie White the same way, alternating the order and size of the line.
  5. Finish with a glossy top coat like JINsoon Top Gloss

Expert Tip: Don’t be afraid to smudge/touch the color you applied previously— it’s part of the look!

JINsoon’s Blue Iris is one of the most beautiful blues I have ever seen and one of those shades you just have to see in person to appreciate, it’s hard to capture such a gorgeous shade like this with a lens. Her entire line is amazing and you can find it online and in SpaceNK stores.

Staying Fresh & Confident This Summer

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Seattle is in the middle of some warm weather right now and frankly, I just wish it was over. I like this cool and breezy, not hot and humid. When it is this hot out, I focus on staying fresh and confident in this weather. I teamed up with She Knows to share my tips for staying fresh this summer. Pay them a visit for some easy tips you can put to use now.

Photo credit: Layland Masuda/Moment/Getty images

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Beauty Exclusives 2014

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Beauty Exclusives unveiled earlier this month are almost coming to an end so I thought I should share my picks from the sale before it ends this weekend, the things I’m lusting over as we speak.

You probably know by now that Nordstrom does not have sales on beauty but what they do instead is offer fantastic values with sets from brands we all know and love. Some items are discounted (more on that below) but most are value priced, not to mention exclusive to Nordstrom for the time being.

Ready? Here we go!

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How to Shop for a Pearl Bracelet

Bracelets are incredibly versatile pieces of jewelry that can be dressed up or down, depending on complementing pieces of jewelry and even a chosen outfit and cosmetics. Bracelets make excellent gifts or treats to indulge yourself with, and you can’t go wrong by selecting a pearl as your gem of choice. Pearls, which are found naturally all over the world and are also lab-created and refined, are a timeless classic that look beautiful no matter how they are worn. Pearls can be set into necklaces, bracelets, rings, brooches, and even hair clips. Bracelets are a popular choice due to their ease of wear and seamless blending with other jewelry.

When shopping for a pearl bracelet, consider first and foremost the length of the bracelet. A traditional length is seven inches, but smaller women may need a five or six inch bracelet, while larger-boned women may appreciate or even need an eight or nine inch bracelet. Next, think of the type of pearl bracelet you’d like to purchase and wear. A chain bracelet is most popular, but usually requires the presence of pearls strung back to back, which can be rather costly. Finally, there are bangles, which are made up of solid metal with one or two pearls placed strategically on either side; and charm bracelets, which allow pearls to dangle from metal rings.

If you’re looking for examples of pearl bracelets, consider the ones found at http://www.thepearlsource.com/pearl-bracelets.php. As you can see, there are many types of pearl bracelets available, but what they all have in common is the pearl that is present on all of them. Some pearl bracelets feature clusters of pearls, while others may offer just one or two pearls. Sometimes other gems, such as diamonds or rubies, may be placed around the pearl to help enhance the overall look. And the pearls themselves can vary in size, shape, color, and luster. Natural pearls are usually cream, opal, pink, or black in color; while cultured pearls may have certain hues enhanced for a more breathtaking finish. A pearl’s luster refers to its shine and the clarity of reflections on its surface, and this too can vary from one pearl to the next.

In the end, don’t limit yourself to a certain type of pearl or a certain grade of luster. Instead, browse around a website such as thepearlsource.com to find examples of the types of pearls and pearl jewelry that you really like, and make your selection based on that criteria.

NARS Fall 2014 Night Caller Collection

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NARS FALL 2014 COLOR COLLECTION NIGHT CALLER
A bold, yet tender palette, dramatic enough to seduce the darkest hour – NARS Cosmetics introduces the captivating scene of the Fall 2014 Color Collection and the new Night Series Eyeliners.
Eyes shine in amethyst and quartz shadows while intense black liners flecked with rich purple, gold, and green pearl provide intriguing depth. Lips smolder in warm reds and cheeks are softened with a wash of glistening pink.
The Night Series eyeliners glide on smooth with ultra-saturated color in a single swipe while luminous micro-pearls set in jet black color light up the night.
SHADES INCLUDE:

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Jardin Perdu Duo Eyeshadow, $35
limited edition
(L) metallic dove grey, (R) metallic amethyst
Dolomites Duo Eyeshadow, $35
limited edition
(L) shiny rose quartz, (R) chocolate

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Bansar Satin Lip Pencil, $25
focus item rose brown
Mondore Satin Lip Pencil, $25
limited edition cranberry

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Mauritanie Matte Multiple , $39
limited edition strawberry red

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Night Flight Eyeliner , $24
black with cobalt blue pearl
Night Bird Eyeliner , $24
black with purple pearl
Night Clubbing Eyeliner, $24
black with gold pearl
Night Porter Eyeliner , $24
focus item
black with green pearl

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Unlawful Blush, $30
focus item
amber pink with silver pearls

Available July 15, 2014 at NARS boutiques and on narscosmetics.com; Available August 1, 2014 at Sephora, Dept./Specialty Stores

Multitasking Wonder: Jason Vitamin E Oil

JASON Vitamin E Oil

I’ve been trying to simplify things lately and that means going with products that can multitask, this JASON Vitamin E Oil does just that. It’s an antioxidant rich blend of almond, apricot, avocado, sunflower and wheat germ oils you can mix in to your favorite body lotion for added oomph, use it on your cuticles and use directly on hair and skin.

I’ve talked about this before… I am obsessed with oils and have been for the last few years. For me, they have made the progression from being “body” only to now being OK to use everywhere else. I’ve been using this oil at night in place of moisturizer for the last few months and I’ve loved the results. My chronically dry spots around my jaw have improved and my skin has felt smoother and softer overall… and I’ve barely made a dent in the bottle.

By far, my favorite way to use this product is on my body. I’ve started putting vitamin E oil after I step out of the shower. I’m not a fan of body lotions and creams, they feel heavy on me and don’t absorb as quickly as I would like them to. I hate getting dressed when I feel like my skin is still moist from lotion. This isn’t the case now, a few drops is all I need for my chest, legs and arms and my skin doesn’t feel weighed down at all. I love the sweet almond scent this oil has but it is just momentary, it dissipates pretty quickly so it won’t interfere with whatever fragrance you have in mind for that day.

There are different variations of vitamin E oil out there and if you plan on picking some up, here’s the difference: the higher the “IU”, the more concentrated the oil is. It also becomes thicker as it changes in strength. At 5,0000 IU, this is not the most powerful version of vitamin E oil out there but I feel it’s the most appropriate one to use on the face and body. JASON also makes a 14,000 IU and 45,000 IU versions, these versions would be best if you plan on trying this in place of your moisturizer.

So who’s on Team Vitamin E Oil with me? You should be! It’s known for its anti-aging properties as well as scar fading prowess. :)

Summer Must Have: Jason Aloe Vera Gel

JASON Soothing Aloe Vera Gel

I’m the girl who will plan something out and think of almost every aspect of except one… and it is always something very obvious. When it comes to lounging in the sun, that thing is always sunscreen so the end result is an uncomfortable sunburn. Because of this, I have now learned to keep a few things on hand to try and calm my skin afterwards and one of those things is Jason Aloe Vera Gel.

Not only is this great to have on hand in any first aid kit to come to the rescue of minor burns (mine are always cooking related), it is much needed relief on top of sunburned skin. It’s like a tall, ice-cold glass of water for parched skin. The gel is water based so it doesn’t contain any oil and feels practically weightless on skin so it absorbs super quickly. When I get a particularly bad burn, usually on my face, I like to apply it in a thick layer and leave it on as long as I can as a manage to stay still for. The relief is instant and it cools me down while I soothe my skin.

In a pinch, it has a ton of other uses as well, some of which I employ… like as a facial moisturizer when I don’t want quite as much hydration or when I’ve irritated my skin after a peel. I also use aloe vera when I make some homemade scrubs for face and body, I’m becoming a bit of a kitchen beautician these days. The best thing about this is I get the hydration without any of the slip-and-fall-break-your-neck danger when I use the scrubs in the shower. Another shower use? Shaving, it minimizes any irritation from the razor and leaves legs and underarms feeling super soft.

The last thing I love about Jason Aloe Vera Gel? It is super wallet-friendly. This 4 oz. tube can be picked up for just under $4 and there’s also a larger 16 oz. size if you mean business. I hope you remember your sunblock but if you don’t, just reach for this…