Tuesday, September 30, 2008

YSL's Touche Éclat Lives Up To The Fame

I've been meaning to find out why everyone is so in love with YSL's Touche Éclat Radiant Touch Luminizer but it wasn't until Sephora finally started carrying the brand (in select stores and online) that I had the impetus to buy it. Well, now I get it. It is an AWESOME highlighter and concealer. It really knocks the socks off any other under eye concealer I've tried. I LOOOOVE the bottom click gold pen. It is so glamorous and yet so practical. I can throw it in my mini makeup bag in my purse and have it available anywhere.

I purchased the lightest shade, Luminous Radiance, which works well for me to hide dark shadows and light blemishes. I might try the next shade darker as well, Luminous Ivory, for other areas of my face like my nose and chin. A professional makeup artist (who did not work for YSL) told me she didn't use foundation personally, only two shades of Touche Éclat to hide imperfections and highlight her features subtly. And she certainly looked radiant, and foundation free.

I highly recommend trying the Touch Éclat, even if it is pricey ($40). It is a piece of luxury, the only one you might be able to budget in during these crazy times of economic turmoil. At least we have makeup, right?! Argh. Well, if you are losing sleep over money worries, at least this will hide the shadows!

Radiant Lovely!

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Monday, September 29, 2008

Anastasia's Brow Duality

A well known trick used by makeup artists is highlighting the inner corners of the eyes to make you look more awake and your eyes look bigger and brighter. I've used varies different highlighting pencils over the years, but Anastasia's are my new favorites. They have a new set out called Brow Duality in two shades so that everyone can get the highlighting they want, whatever your skin tones.

The Brow Duality pencils are dual ended (hence the name) and they come two tones. You can get either Sand/Camille, pink tones of matte and shimmer highlighters, or Lace/Shell, tan tones of matte and shimmer highlighters. Personally, I used the matte end under my brows, to give them definition without adding any darkness to the actual brows. Then I use the shimmer end on the inner corner of my eye and under my bottom lashes a bit. The effect is a beautiful subtle glow. But you could use either side anywhere really. It's all about what your are trying to highlight and how much you want things to pop!

So try one out, which ever will go with your skin tones the best or sounds like the color tones you usually use. I like the Sand/Camille most of the time but the Lace/Shell looks nice if I'm doing a golden glowy look on my eyes. The matte end may not work for all darker skin tones but I think the shimmers could compliment anyone. Brow Duality will be available at Sephora stores starting around October 23 for $23.

Highlight Lovely!

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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Weekend Beauty Reads from the BBN

If you are looking for a 100% organic perfume that is free of phthalates, parabens and other toxins, then come check out what solid perfumes The Makeup Divas reviews and recommends.
Beauty Anonymous reviews La Mer The Hydration Infusion.
Jeannie from The Daily Cookie gets invited behind the scenes at Three Custom Color to chat with co-founder Chad Hayduk on fall trends as well as see how he mixes a custom lip gloss just for her!
A Touch of Blusher looks at YSL's holiday 2008 collection.
Cybelesays is giving away some of Gwen Stefani's new Harajuku Lovers fragrances. Click here to enter the contest!
Musings of a Muse looks at the new Vincent Longo Diamante Quad in Aquila with Product Photos and Swatches!.
Beauty411 shares the best online beauty shopping websites from the NovemberShopSmart by Consumer Reports magazine! Did your favorite site make the list?
Beauty Banter dishes on MAC's most fabulous Fall collection - hint: it maybe a collaboration with a MAJOR fashion house!
Beauty and Personal Grooming shares some easy DIY hair-conditioners using raw eggs.
What anti-aging skincare brand does Beauty Blogging Junkie swear by these days? Find out here!
Christine from Beauty in Real Life lets you in on her fave shampoo and conditioner combo. Find out which ones made the cut here.
makeup loves me gives you the skinny on sensa, magic sprinkles that help you lose weight!
Glossypink gets a site makeover and tells you about the red lipsticks that are a must for your makeup wardrobe!
Beauty Junkie in SF figured out how to hide those evil shadows under her eyes with the help of Benefit's Powderflage and its pretty fan brush.
15 Minute Beauty Fanatic has found a great natural mascara, Tarte's Lash Hugger!
Yummy411 wants to know if you're 'Politically Pretty'!
Pursebuzz.com shows you how to color your eyeshadow primer. Brights never looked brighter and whites never looked whiter! Color my primer here!
Spoiled Pretty is giving away a Junior Drake handbag worth $528. What are you waiting for? Enter today!

Link Lovely!

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Nude Skincare Advanced Eye Complex

I've never used eye cream. There. I said it. I know, weird coming from a beauty junkie that has tried and tested tons lotions and potions. My daily skincare routine is complex enough! I know I should get into the habit of using one now, before I actually need to. I'm still wrinkle free (thank you youth and great genetics!) but I may not be so lucky forever.

I may have found an eye cream that i could use on a daily basis, at least at night to start out. Nude skincare's Advanced Eye Complex is formulated with milk peptides to stimulate collagen production and firm the skin. It also has acacia to lift and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It has CoQ10 and argan extract which protect against free radical damage. My favorite is the phytoactive organic mountain ash that reduces puffiness around the eye area. No one likes puffiness!

It all sounds high tech without being full of werid chemicals, right? Part of the reason I don't use eye cream is I wear contacts and have very sensitive eyes. If anything gets near them, they sting and water like crazy. Well, so far this stuff doesn't do that! It goes on smooth and gets absorbed fast. And once again, I freakin love their packaging! So we'll see if I can keep it up.

Eye Lovely!

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

ShopSmart's List of the Best Beauty Sites!

If you are like me, you’re willing to sacrifice some things to save money, but not your makeup. So how can you save without giving up your favorite brands? Go online. Whenever my parents (the smartest shoppers I know) make any big purchases, they consult Consumer Reports. It is the best resource out there for any purchasing decisions, including beauty!

ShopSmart, from the publisher of Consumer Reports, checked out more than two dozen beauty sites to find the best ones, screening out sites with bad Better Business Bureau records, no contact information, poor return policies, or high shipping fees and ones where items were bundled (Amazon’s best cosmetic deals were in multipacks). Here are the results:

Best Overall Selection: Beauty.com

  • Shipping Free if you spend $49 or more.
  • Return policy 30 days on unopened products or, for certain items, if you don’t like the color. Returns cost $4.99 unless a product is damaged or incorrect or the color is wrong
Great for Hard-to-Find Products: Beautyhabit.com
  • Shipping Free on orders of $100 or more; otherwise $5.95.
  • Return policy 14 days on most items. No returns on opened or used products.
Great for Trendy Brands: Beautyofasite.com
  • Shipping Free on orders over $75; otherwise $5.95 to $8.95.
  • Return policy 30 days. You pay for return shipping unless the product was damaged. All returns are for exchange or store credit only. There are no refunds or returns on color cosmetics.
Best Prices: Buymebeauty.com
  • Shipping Free on orders of $35 or more; $4.95 on orders of less than $35.
  • Return policy 30 days. Products must be unused and unopened, unless they are defective. You have to call or e-mail before returning products; you will also have to pay the costs of return shipping.
Great Return Policy: Cosmeticmall.com
  • Shipping $5.95 plus 93 cents per pound.
  • Return policy 30 days. You can return most products for any reason, even after they’re opened.
Great Drugstore Makeup Section: Drugstore.com
  • Shipping Free on your first nonprescription order of $25 or more; free on orders of $49 or more after that.
  • Return policy 30 days. Returns are free if a product is damaged, defective, or incorrect. Returns are free on certain products if you don’t like the color. Otherwise, products must be unopened and unused.
Great for Freebies: Sephora.com
  • Shipping Free on orders over $50; otherwise $5.95.
  • Return policy 60 days. Free return shipping. Store credit after 60 days.
Great for Organic Products: Skinbotanica.com
  • Shipping Free on orders over $49; otherwise $5.95.
  • Return policy 60 days.
Best Shipping Deal: Skin-One.com
  • Shipping Free.
  • Return policy 30 days. Product must be at least 75 percent full. You have to pay return shipping fees, and no returns are allowed of an opened product if you received a sample of it with your order.
Best Online Version of a Walk-In Store: Walgreens.com
  • Shipping Many items qualify for free shipping of purchases of $50 or more; otherwise $5.49 for 10 pounds or less.
  • Return policy 30 days.
Sad Site: BeautyDepot.com
  • This site didn’t have a wide selection of products. You have to buy $99 worth of stuff to get free shipping; otherwise you could end up paying $7.95 or more for UPS ground. Cosmetics (and many other products) were not returnable, and there’s no toll-free customer-service number.
All results are from the November 2008 issue of ShopSmart.

Shop Lovely AND Smart!

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Bvlgari Eau Toilette Green Tea: Glamorously Fresh

As a young girl, I got most of my taste for cosmetics by scrounging through my mother's bathroom drawers. She had a thing for Elizabeth Arden and since it was readily available at our local Macy's, my friend from next door and I would attempt to glamorize our adolescent lives with perfume and makeup from old lady Elizabeth Arden. Yuck. We discovered their Green Tea perfume, probably in middle school, and worshiped it.

When we discovered Sephora, our tastes got more sophisticated. Why of course, we fell in love with Bvlgari (never mind we couldn't pronounce it) version, eau toilette Green Tea. To this day, it reminds me of fresh, clean innocence. It is a young sophisticated scent, easily worn by both young girls or mature women. The difference is, on a woman you might clearly notice the subtle undertones of Italian Bergamot, Tunisian Bitter Orange, Spanish Orange Blossom, Ceylon Cardamom, Jamaican Pepper, Russian Coriander, Bulgarian Rose, Egyptian Jasmine, and Smoked Wood. Well, maybe just because she doesn't dunk herself in it like young girls often do. The green tea is clearly evident though; a clean, fresh scent that is, in my opinion, timeless. I am a very different girl that I was at 14, but I still love it.

Spritz Lovely!

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Monday, September 22, 2008

Camouflage Your Dark Circles with Powderflage by Benefit

Sleepless nights call for some major cover up operations. Being such a beauty junkie, I never just use one product to attack a flaw, I go for at least a combo of two or three. Lately, a new piece of ammo in my routine to hide dark circles has been Benefit's Powderflage. A very light, super fine powder that instantly brightens and refracts light, hiding those evil shadows. I apply it after my under eye concealer choice of the day. It seems to help set the cover up as well. The camouflage tin it comes in is very cute, I think. It includes a tiny fan brush, perfect for applying the powder, which is housed in an adorable pink sphere. Available at benefitcosmetics.com for $28.

Camouflage Lovely!

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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Weekend Beauty Reads from the BBN

Lilan from The Daily Cookie brings you tips on how to look your best in just 10 minutes with CoverGirl celebrity makeup artist Molly Stern!
Beauty Anonymous reviews Shiseido Integrate Glamerous Rouge lip gloss!
Musings of a Muse reviews NARS Super Orgasm with NARS Orgasm and NARS Super Orgasm Comparison Swatches and Product Photos!
A Touch of Blusher reviews Basics Eye Palette from Bobbi Brown's holiday 2008 collection.
Beauty411 loves the new Chanel Smokey Eye Collection and tells you how to get the smokey eye look seen all over the runways at Fashion Week!
Is your hair unruly this time of year? Cybelesays recommends a few products to get your strands to behave!
Beauty and Fashion Tech is giving away a C&C California T-Shirt in Size Medium!
Beauty Junkie in SF found out that others have a love/hate relationship with Urban Decay's Primer Potion! YouTube is a crazy thing.
See what hair products The Makeup Divas uses, recommends and reviews, to keep hair in tip top condition.
Rouge Deluxe has the scoop on Shu Uemura's Holiday collection!
If you think you have to spend TONS of money for quality products, think again! Beauty Banter uncovers the 5 most fabulous drugstore body scrubs for under 10 bucks!
Makeup Moxie dishes on the new Cargo PlantLove Collection.
makeup loves me takes you behind the scenes and backstage at baby phat!
Spoiled Pretty is hosting a fashtastic giveaway. Enter to win products from Urban Decay's fall 2008 collection...plus a sinfully chic Ananas clutch to put them in!!!
Worried about aging lips? 15 Minute Beauty Fanatic has a great new anti-aging lip product, coming soon to your drugstore!
Pursebuzz.com does an in depth review of the Givenchy Phenomen’Eyes Mascara. Is it love or bust?

Link Lovely!

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Friday, September 19, 2008

Givenchy's Phenomen'Eyes: Creating Art with Innovation

You have to have been living under a rock if your haven't seen the latest and greatest innovation in mascara by Givenchy Phenomen'Eyes. Thought up Le Makeup's Artistic Diector Nicholas Degennes, the brush in the shape of a ball at the end of a stick is unlike anything every made for putting on mascara before. I finally got my hands on a tube (only available at Sephora mind you) and it is pretty fantastic. I'm not sure I've mastered the application yet, it is just so different that any other mascara I've applied before. The best direction I got was to use the end of the ball and paint all your lashes with it, then use the sides of the ball to go over them again and curl your lashes. The ball really allows you to get every last lash. Very cool. Definitely worth all the hype and excitement that has been buzzing. But it is not over...

To coincide with the launch of Phenomen'Eyes – a revolutionary high-precision mascara with a patented ground-breaking spherical brush – Parfums Givenchy commissioned British artist Ian Wright to create a work of art using approximately 5,000 of the Phenomen'Eyes brushes. The result was “5045 Lashes,” a work that symbolizes the "remix" of a fashion-inspired beauty collection with art.

An accomplished artist, Wright is best known for his collage work, creating portraits and artwork out of various materials ranging from buttons to strategically placed scraps of paper. With this in mind, Parfums Givenchy provided Wright with 5,000 Phenomen'Eyes mini mascara brushes in an effort to marry beauty with the art world.
The project began in August 2008 and was completed 12 days later. In the end, Wright chose to recreate an illusion of a 45' record using only the mascara brushes as his medium. The unique circular brush shape brought back memories of Wright's early childhood, listening to the voices of Dusty Springfield and Roxy Music on the record player. The pure glamour of glistening black vinyl became thoughts of glistening black lashes, and the inspiration for the Phenomen'Eyes project was born.

“5045 Lashes” was unveiled last night at the Christopher Henry Gallery (127 Elizabeth Street), and will now appear throughout New York City in pop-up galleries this fall (Oct 10th and 11th at Sephora SoHo; Oct 17th and 18th at Sephora Union Square).

Pretty innovative huh? I think it is awesome! I think of beauty as my form of art, so this right up my alley. Wish I could be in NYC to check out the show. If you go, tell me how it is!

Lash Lovely!

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Nude Skincare Cleansing Facial Oil

I have been dying to try Nude skincare ever since I saw it's packaging. Yes, its all natural, made from nothing but the good stuff for your skin, yada, yada. But look at those bottles would ya?! They are simply gorgeous. The round edged rectangles and squares of varying sizes and shades of pinkish purple are like something out of a space age movie. So hot and modern, sleek and new, I was simply in love. But seriously, this is a great line of products that are:
I have tried the Cleansing Facial Oil a few times this week, and besides it gracing my bathroom shelf with poise and elegance, it is a great face wash. Using an oil to clean your face might be counter intuitive to some. Once you get over that fear, it feels so amazing you won't miss your sudsy soaps at all. Just smooth on a good amount of the oil all over your dry face, then wet your hands and rub them together to create a slightly milky substance. Then rub them all over your face and rinse. You face will feel clean and super smooth, without a touch of dryness or a hint of makeup left. The oil has a nice slightly scent of floral essential oils, so it is great at bedtime to relax you. I'm exited to try more Nude products, so add to my pretty collection, and to see what else they can do without all that "nasty" bad for my skin stuff. Nude is available online on their website, at a few Barneys, a few Whole Foods, a handful of Sephora locations and on Sephora.com

Cleanse Lovely!

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Creaseless Cream Eyeshadow from Benefit

I'm forever attached to my countless powder eyeshadows. Cream eye colors have always, always, always creased on my lids, so I am highly skeptical of any that come out promising the opposite. I have experienced more positive results when I use my beloved UDPP but none really last all day without the tell tale lines on my lids.

Well today I tried two shades of Benefit's Creaseless Cream Eyeshadow/liner with the belief that it wouldn't last through the day. After I primed my lids, I smudged birthday suit, a slightly shimmery taupe, all over my lids. Then I lined the top with a small brush dipped in skinney jeans, a shimmery grey. The effect was very pretty and neutral, yet still defined my baby blues nicely. I dusted a bit of a beige powder shadow on top, just to set the cream. To my surprise, when I looked in the mirror 8 hours later (I had a crazy busy day that included feeding 700 homeless people fried chicken in a hot soup kitchen) my eyeshadow was still intact! The name does not lie! This stuff really doesn't crease! I have to give a little credit to the UDPP, but still.

The cream eyeshadow/liners come in these cute glass jars too, with a pretty bird pattern on them. It is very seventies or something. Love the retro thing Benefit does. And I feel like I'm supporting a local business, since they are based in SF too. So check em out!

Cream shadow Lovely!

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Urban Decay's Primer Potion's Unfortuanate Bottle

If you are an avid browser and shopper of Sephora.com you'll have noticed a new feature they have added to their site. Now you can post reviews of your favorite Sephora products... or discourage others from buying things you hate. So my new favorite online activity is to read what other people have to say about the products I love or want.

I am a huge beliver in Urban Decay's Primer Potion as a base for fabulous eye color without any worry that it is going to fade or run. You apply a bit with the wand provided and then rub in with your fingers. Reviews on Sephora.com agree with me, its a winner. The only major complaint they have I completely agree with: The shape of the bottle is totally unpractically! It hides good, usable product that you can't reach with the wand.

One reviewer linked to a youTube video where someone actually demonstrated this! Once the bottle was seemingly empty, they actually cut the bottle in half and scoped out all the unused product still left in the bottle! I did some youTube searching of my own and found countless copycats! Crazy huh? Well, maybe Urban Decay will catch on and change the shape of the bottle so we can actually use all $16 of the UDPP!

Prime Lovely!

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Monday, September 15, 2008

Make Up For Ever's Aqua Eyes and Flash Color

Make Up For Ever is truly a line of products designed with real makeup artists in mind. Their products create gorgeous color and last forever. The quality is top notch and every time I try a new products I am amazed at the results.

I've seen MUFE's Aqua Eyes eyeliners talked about for awhile, but I never understood what the big deal was. It's just a pencil right?! Well, now I know. These eye pencils are fabulous! They are super creamy and soft, but the pigment is true and dark. They glide right on and then last for hours, even under extreme situations i.e. swimming, crying, scuba diving... ok, I haven't tried that last one but you get the idea. I highly recommend them for all your lining needs.

If you are more into the pot eyeliner thing, you should try MUFE's Flash Color pots. They are super easy to apply with a good eyeliner brush and once dry, they don't budge! I got the Bright Royal Blue, which is super fun to make any dull eye look pop! You can use it for all over lid color or just as eyeliner. What ever is your fancy!

Now I just need to try MUFE's new HD foundation line. I'm sure I'll be amazed.

Color Lovely!

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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Weekly Web Tour From Total Beauty

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Weekend Beauty Reads from the BBN

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Friday, September 12, 2008

Dove's Latest Film Project The Women Behind "The Women"

If you haven't seen images and video clips from Dove's Real Beauty Campaign, you must have been living under a rock for the last few years. Their use of real, normal, multi-shaped/colored/sized women to advertise their products has been innovative and inspiring. They are continuing this campaign with their latest project in collaboration with the feature film, The Women, out in theaters today, Friday September 12th.Dove worked with film director Diane English to create a short film called The Women Behind “The Women.” This short film follows 16-year-old teen journalist Cammy Nelson behind-the-scenes of The Women to learn, first-hand, how Hollywood creates the images we see on screen, highlighting the work and people involved in making a major motion picture come to life.

The short film encourages women to challenge today’s beauty stereotypes, celebrates the opportunities for women to empower one another and explores the diverse definitions of beauty, shared through interviews with some of the cast and crew of The Women. The Women Behind “The Women” is available exclusively on Dove.com.

Visit Dove.com to:

  • Read the Director’s Diary, written by Diane English
  • Go Behind-the-Scenes with Dove teen journalist Cammy Nelson
  • Download self-esteem building tools for girls, moms and mentors
  • And maybe win some free movie tickets (see site for details...)

I'm going to see the movie next Friday will a group of ladies from work. Should be tons of fun. I loved the original film from 1939, so I'm curious to see how well they re-did it. It has so many great actresses in it (Meg Ryan, Annette Bening, Eva Mendes) that it has to be good. If you go see it first, don't tell me what happens!

Dove sent me a few products to try as well, their Cool Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner and another stick of their wonderfully silky deodorant in Smooth Cashmere. I actually like the hair products a lot. They give my fine hair just enough moisture without weighing it down and the cucumber and green tea scent compliments my other fragrances just fine (very important to me!). The deodorant, as I've reviewed before, it great for keeping me dry, smelling fresh and moisturizing my delicate underarms!

So, go watch the mini-documentary, see the film, and try out some Dove products.

Watch Lovely!

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Bliss Triple Oxygen Facial Mask

Most of the masks I've used are for un-clogging pores and drying out oily, breaking out skin. The concept of hydrating and oxygenating masks are pretty foreign to me. So when I got the chance to try Bliss Triple Oxygen Facial Mask, I was stoked.

This at-home treatment is inspired by Bliss Spa's popular oxygen facial. In about 5 minutes, you get a quality treatment for a lot less than you would pay in one of their spas. The directions are to squirt out a decent amount (no need to skimp, the bottle is pretty big) and apply it to your damp, clean face. As you rub it in, the citrus-smelling gel turns into a thick foam. It gets as thick as shaving cream! Then you let it sit on your face for about 5 minutes, no need for any longer. The result is a brighten, more awake look and feel to your skin. Mine feels softer and very clean, without feeling dry or tight at all. For $52, it is an expensive treatment, but it beats pay and spending the time in the spa for the same effect. Use it as a way to paper yourself after a long work day. The smell is glorious and the sensation very calming.

Mask Lovely!

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Get Great Hair Tools at BeautyChoice.com

Looking for great hair tools at affordable prices? Don't want to scour eBay for cheap auctions that might send you crappy knock off? I have found a great new site for you to find all your hair needs and beyond. BeautyChoice.com has a wide selection of top of the line hair dryers, flat irons, curling irons. It carries brands like T3, CHI, BaByliss, Clairsonic, and more. Check it out, you will be pleasantly surprised by the deals and the shipping is free with a lot of their items!

They were nice enough to send me a BaByliss PRO Nano Titanium Dryer to try out myself. For only $80, it is a professional tool that everyone can enjoy. I like the shape of it, looks like an old pistol or something. It drys my hair very fast and leaves it silky smooth, using that nano titanium. I always use the concentrator attachment on my hair dryers, to better direct the heat down the shaft of my hair. My only complaint is that the attachment on this dryer doesn't spin around on the dryer head easily, so I have to turn the dryer myself when drying on one side of my head. It is a very light weight dryer, at 18.5 oz., which is very important when you have a ton of hair... or weak arms like me! Try it out or check out the site for other great styling tools.

Style Lovely!

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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Ojon's Tunu Elastik Hair Smoothing Cleanser and Conditioner

Whenever a boy tells me I smell good, I usually credit it to my hair products. Perfumes and lotions tend to fade, especially the light, fruity ones I like, but good smelling hair products last and last. So it is very important for me to love the smell of anything I put in my hair.

As always, when given the opportunity to try a new beauty product, I pounce. Ojon sent me the latest addition to their great line of hair care products, Tunu Elastik Hair Smoothing Cleanser and and Tunu Elastik Hair Smoothing Conditioner. While having smooth hair isn’t usually my main concern (I have the flattest, finest bone-straight hair you might ever see), I knew it couldn’t hurt. Who doesn’t want smooth hair?! Besides, it contains Tunu extract and Swa Oil to help add a soft, flexible bounce… and I do love me some bounce!

As with other sulfate-free shampoos, the cleanser doesn’t suds up much so it’s hard to feel it really cleaning your hair. But it didn’t tangle mine strands up too much, and rinsed out clean. The conditioner felt really nice, consistency wise, very thick and luxurious. I can see how there is a rubber like substance in it (the Tunu extract) creating strength and flexibility. But the smell is just honestly not for me. It reminds me of peanut butter and sort of looks like it too! The scent just really just doesn’t go with my fruity, fresh scents in my other products. But if it wasn’t for the smell, I would really like this set for my hair health. It did feel smoother and a bit bouncier! So if nutty, earthy smells are up your alley, try them out.

Bounce Lovely!

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Monday, September 8, 2008

Vote For Natural With Burts Bees and Win a C&C T-Shirt!

Given the choice between natural and synthetic, what’s your vote? Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as it looks to find out what products are truly natural. That’s why Burt’s Bees and Julianne Moore are giving consumers the opportunity to cast their votes for truly natural personal care at Burt’s Bees’ Election Day in New York City.

Like many consumers, Burt’s Bees has always believed that natural ingredients are safer and more beneficial. The trouble is, it can take a lot of reading between the lines of labels to figure out what’s natural vs. synthetic. To help consumers find what they’re really looking for in a natural product, Burt’s Bees has worked closely with the Natural Products Association and other like minded brands to develop a Natural Seal—a symbol that lets consumers know when products contain at least 95% natural ingredients. On Burt’s Bees’ Voting Day, a vote for natural is also a vote for the Natural Seal, helping make natural a clear choice after all.

To ensure that the best candidate comes out on top, “green” actress Julianne Moore will be on hand to cast the first vote for natural at the Burt’s Bees Voting Booth at Merchants’ Gate at Columbus Circle in NYC. Other NYC voters can learn more about ‘natural’, cast their vote and receive samples of Burt’s Bees products.

Most importantly, consumers across the America are invited to join Julianne and this movement, casting their votes for the natural at www.votefornatural.com, where they can also learn more about the movement as well as win prizes, including a limited-edition C&C California for Burt’s Bees T-Shirt. Each vote represents a conscious choice to use natural products over the potentially harmful synthetic alternatives as well as support for the new Natural Seal. A ‘vote’ for Natural lets the competition know that the public wants transparency in natural personal care.

WHERE: Merchants’ Gate at Columbus Circle, New York, NY
WHEN: Monday, September 15th, 2008

Burt's Bees has offered to give one of my readers the limited-edition C&C California for T-Shirt. All you have to do it leave a comment with your favorite natural product. I'll give the shirt to the 10th person who does!

Thanks for going NATURAL and good luck!

UPDATE: The Contest is now closed. Thanks to everyone who commented and congrats to Rosanna!!!

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Kate Somerville Oil Free Moisturizer

Since I'm prone to breakouts, I'm weary of trying new moisturizers. But when I got the chance to try Kate Somerville's new Oil Free Moisturizer, I jumped! Countless celebrities swear by her treatments and products, so I wanted to see what the hype was all about.

It seems like she designed this moisturizer just for me: it is for people with combination, oily, or sensitive skin that want to moisturize and fight the signs of aging without causing additional breakouts. Perfect. I really love the push down pump bottle. It's much more hygienic than a regular jar and 2 pumps is the a perfect amount for all over face and neck application. It goes on smoothly and absorbs quickly, leaving the perfect canvas for makeup application. The ingredients are supposed to help absorb excess oil and reflect light to give you that fresh face glow. I'm absolutely loving it. It's only draw back is it doesn't contain sunscreen. It is a bit on the pricier side, at $65 for 1.7oz, but if you are going to spend money on one great skincare item, this would be it.

Moisturize Lovely!

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Sunday, September 7, 2008

Weekend Beauty Reads from the BBN

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Friday, September 5, 2008

Guest Review: King of Shaves

My friends tend to be impressed when I tell them I write a blog. But when I tell my male friends it is about beauty products, they look at me with a mixture of confusion and fright. So I was a little surprised when my friend Colin asked to do a review on some men's products, if some ever cross my lap. How very generous of him, don't you think?!

So read on, for his review of some great shaving products from King of Shaves. A little forewarning though: he was an English major, so he is a bit longer winded than I am and he puts my writing to shame. Don't get used to how witty and eloquent he is. They didn't teach me flowery writing in business school, sorry. Enjoy!:

I’ve been obsessed with shaving ever since I was 4 and my Dad taught me how to do it with shaving cream and a Popsicle stick. Even then, I was crap at it—it took a roll of toilet paper to stem the tide of blood from errant splinters. These days, shaving technology has advanced, at least past the wooden stick—I now use a razor with so many blades it is reminiscent of a cheese grater, and in place of shaving cream, I use foaming gel. Which brings me to the line of products Beth asked me to test out, 3 shaving aids from “King of Shaves.”

The first pair of products were shaving gels—one with menthol for a clean, refreshing finish, and another with magnetic properties, promising to cling to the blade and give a closer shave. Finally, there was a shaving oil. All three products contained Tea Tree oil, which gives off a spicy, outdoorsy smell and is supposed to have antiseptic, antifungal, and healing properties (Wikipedia notes research as to anti-viral activity, including Herpes—basically, Tea Tree oil is touted as a panacea for all that ails you).

The weekend I decided to test these products, I was lucky enough to have a couch surfer staying at my apartment—he was gracious enough to take time out from sleeping in the living room and eating my food to try shaving off his patchy “between jobs” beard.

The process was simple—we sectioned off our faces into 3 areas, then chose at random which product would be used on which portion of the face. Mr. Couch shaved at the sink, post shower, while I prefer to do my shaving in shower. Before going into detail, I should note that we were huge fans of all 3 of these products, and wouldn’t hesitate to shave with any one of them. Ranking them was like choosing which child we love best, but, much like children, it would be a lie to say that we didn’t have favorites.

The Results:

The top two for both of us were the shower gels—perhaps it’s because they’re closer to products we’ve used before (gels/creams), perhaps it’s just because these gels were fantastic. The oil had 2 things going for it—it was invisible, so you could be aware of where you were shaving/avoid decapitating zits (the gels, however, shared these properties). If you’re shaving in the shower by the Braille method, this doesn’t come into play, but Mr. Couch was appreciative. Further, with 100+ uses to a bottle the size of a Hot Wheels race car, it’s great if you’re traveling and looking to conserve space. However, in the end, it wasn’t our favorites—the gels seemed to provide a smoother pull, while the oil just didn’t manage to lubricate the process the way the name might suggest. Mr. Couch put it best—“it just wasn’t for me.”

On the gels, we were split. Mr. Couch chose the MagnaGel. According to him, he felt like he got a superior shave—the blade passed along effortlessly, and left him with a closer shave. Mr. Couch does have a baby face, and perhaps with a baby face comes a bit of extra sensitivity. I, however, felt no difference between the Magnagel and the Cooling gel when it came to quality of shave—they were both extremely close, and provided sufficient lubrication, leaving no snags to the draw of the blade.

For me, the Cooling gel won by a hair (pun intended) because it managed to heighten the overall shaving process. I shave in the morning, usually before my first cup of coffee. This makes me dangerous with a razor. The Cooling gel emanates a great mentholated buzz that seeps into your whole face—the buzz becomes a burst when stepping from warm shower air to the lower temperature of the bathroom proper. The effect is so pleasantly bracing that it almost makes you excited to go to your dead end, soul crushing, minimum wage job.


Lastly, I should point out again the fantastic smell of all of these products—whether Tea Tree oil actually heals your cuts, cleanses your wounds, and clears up your cold sores is beyond me; what I can attest to is that the woodsy smell it leaves behind is fantastic. In any case, all of these products get high ranks—Mr. Couch looked and felt so good afterward that he got off the couch and went looking for jobs that very day.

Thanks, King of Shaves!

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Thursday, September 4, 2008

MAC Electroflash Mineral Eyeshadow Duo

I know, I know... I am soooo behind the times that I am writing about this now, but I still have to tell you know much I love my new Electroflash mineral eyeshadow from MAC. I got the one pictured called pink split, a fun goldish pink on one side and a swirl of blue, bronze and pink on the other, which turns to a really nice neutral taupe. I really just picked it up at a MAC store in the mall like last week, so if you're lucky you can probably still find it. It looks to be available online.

I guess the best part about my shopping experience was my second purchase: a bottle of Fix+. This stuff is amazing! I asked the MA how to use the shadows wet and she pulled out a bottle of this stuff, water with minerals in it. I'm not sure why, but when you use it instead of water, your shadow goes n smooth and stays on all day! I love the texture and color you get when you apply these mineral shadows wet. It is so dramatic, yet still very pretty. You can also use the spray to set your makeup.

Mineralize Lovely!

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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Grapefruit ME! More Products to Try

As you may have noticed, I'm CRAAAAZY obsessed with all things GRAPEFRUIT. It is kind of an addiction. But hey, at least I know for sure (more or less) if it has grapefruit in it, I'm going to like it. Here are some of my latest grapefruit finds:

Neutrogena Body Clear Body Wash in Pink Grapefruit: This cheapy drugstore body wash has the scent I love and a bit of salicylic acid to keep body breakouts at bay. It even has little pink scruby beads for mild exfoliation. What a better scent to wake up to, huh?

Sephora Indulgences Pink Grapfruit Body Smoother: This giant tub of gooy body scub is a grapfruit lovers heaven. It lathers nicely and leaves a faint feeling of moisture and scent. After a long scrub in the shower (usually have to turn off the water to get the suds going without having them wash off) I feel fresh and sooo very clean. It is on sale now for $15 so I'm not sure how much longer it will be around.

Marc Jacobs Splash in Grapefruit: This limited edition perfume is really a dream come turn for me. I always love scents with grapefuit in them, but this one concentrates on it the most, adding a touch of ginger and white musk for some depth only. It is a perfect summer day scent, to cool you off during the heat. It is light enough that you can spray it everywhere... and you better believe I will. The huge 10oz eau de toilette is only $68. Not bad, but I wonder how long that will really last me.

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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Sephora by OPI... Not just nail polish!

Not only does OPI's new line for Sephora have a great selection of nail polish colors, they have some awesome nail care items. I've had a chance to try a few already:

Daily Hand Moisturizer: This is a great hand cream to keep in your purse. It absorbs quickly and softens up your rough hands and cuticles in between manicures. I love the scent too, very floral and pretty. The website says it smells like fresh cut wildflowers but I smell tons of gardenia to be specific. The 1.7oz is perfect for travel and everyday use and its only $5!

Brush On Cuticle Oil: This little tube is a great way to keep your cuticles in top shapes, even if you don't get manicures often. I would recommend keeping it on your bedside table, along with your favorites bedtime lip balm, and apply it every night before sleep. Rub it in, pushing your cuticles back and you'll never even be tempted to have the manicurist trim your cuticles (a BIG no-no). For $9 its worth trying!

Nail Lovely!

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