Sunday, March 29, 2009

Dior Mascara

Everyone knows I love my mascara. I mean LOVE MY MASCARA. I think you all also know that my all-time favorite is Givenchy Phenomenon Eyes ($28). It's my favorite because it works for all types of eyelashes and works especially well on the tiny lashes closest to the corner of your eyes.

That being said, I just bought some Dior Black Out ($24) on a recommendation from @spoiledpretty.

You know that trick I showed you? The one wear you apply mascara to the tops of your eyelashes and then fill in the empty spots (see it here)? The Dior is PERFECT for this trick!

It's worth throwing into your mascara rotation. I try a new one every three or four times. I'll be back to the Givenchy in six weeks.

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer

I live in Chicago so the real sun time I'm going to get each year is about three months. Not a lot of time, plus it's bad for my skin. So I'm always looked for beauty products that don't make me look pasty white, even in the dead of winter. I also hate foundation and wouldn't wear it, even if I had really bad skin.

That's why I love Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer. It's sheer and very lightweight. It provides just enough color that my face glows. Plus it contains SPF 20 so I wear it over my moisturizer and get double the coverage.

The look of sun-kissed skin without the fine lines and sun spots!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Two Ways to Wake Up Beautiful

I'm combining two of the 10 ways InStyle suggests to wake up beautiful because they don't require a beauty product and they're habits you can begin tonight!

Sleep on your back. "Note to Audrey Hepburn fans: Lying on your stomach is bad for beauty sleep. The average head weighs seven to eight pounds - a lot of pressure to be putting on your face every night. In fact, many dermatologists say they can tell what side of the face people sleep on by the number of wrinkles there."

Get a lift. "Sleep with your head elevated on two pillows, or put the headrest area of your bed on two- to four-inch pieces of wood. Gravity helps lymph and blood flow so fluid won't accumulate."

I actually have done both of these pretty much my entire life so I can't tell you if there is some miraculous change once you start, but, hey! It's worth a shot for less wrinkles, right??

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Aquaphor: Multi-Purpose

In the April issue of InStyle, there is a section on the 10 ways to wake up beautiful. We're going to try all 10 ways and report back on our findings.

The first one we've tried is actually number four on the list: Save money, not wrinkles. They say...

At night you don't need to worry about eye treatments smearing your make-up, so slather on the richest formula you can find. Aquaphor conditions the lashes and hydrates the delicate eye skin really well.

I started using Aquaphor about eight years ago when I ran my first marathon. I used it to prevent chafing in the places you don't want chafing, but also on my lips because they dry out really quickly during any kind of outdoor exercise.

Then I realized it had more uses when I burned myself on a hot pan and it soothed the searing feeling. It also is great for cuts and scrapes and any kind of dry skin.

So I tried it on my eyes (which also means I am now washing my face at night). It is WONDERFUL! You definitely don't want to wear it during the day, but to sleep in? InStyle is right. It's one way to wake up beautiful.

You can get it at the drugstore, it's cheap, and it comes in a variety of sizes. I have the tub in my bathroom, I carry a tube in my purse, and I have a lipgloss-sized tube for my lips.

Monday, March 23, 2009

L’Oreal’s Wrinkle De-Crease Collagen Filler

Guest blog written by Candice Stone (@CandiceStone)

My first fine lines around my eyes arrived along with my 35th birthday a few years ago and since then I have tried a whole host of products that claim to help reduce fine lines and wrinkles.

I used Strivectin MD when it was touted as the new wonder treatment. Wonder treatment? Not really, but it does help – the only downside is the high price tag. (*Editor's note: This is our favorite eye cream).

I then tried Alpha Hydrox products after hearing from Dr Oz on Oprah that Alpha Hydroxy Acids are one of the few things that really work to support aging skin. I didn’t find that at all.

Finally I tried L’Oreal’s Wrinkle De-Crease Collagen Filler which you can get at the local drugstore or supermarket for less than $20. L’Oreal claims the Collagen Bio-Spheres in the product expand on contact with the water found naturally in the skin to fill fine lines and wrinkles immediately – I have certainly found that there is an immediate noticeable improvement.

They also claim that you will continue to see improvements over time with continued use and again I have found this to be true. I apply it at night after washing and again in the morning under make-up to take advantage of the ‘immediate plumping & filling’. No sensitivity or break-outs with using the product either.

Why pay more than $100 for a beauty product when a sub-$20 dollar product works so well! My only concern is that I have been trying to move towards only natural products in my beauty bag and this does not fit the bill – however, until I find something natural that works as well I am not prepared to give the lines and wrinkles an inch!

Friday, March 20, 2009

A Paraben-Free Anti-Aging Eye Treatment

Guest blog written by Vicki Zerbee (@vickizerbee)

Before I found my favorite eye treatment, I had flaky skin under my eyes that was hard to look at and hard to cover. It was worse in the winter, but I would have it year-round. Any attempt at concealing the flakes on this tender skin around the eyes resulted in a messy, and even more unflattering, look.

I also had the same fine lines and wrinkles under and around my eyes that all women get as they age, and they are no fun either. I was looking for a product that was safe, natural, and would be effective at making my eyes look healthy and younger.

I found a paraben-free, hypoallergenic, ophthalmologist-tested formula that contains anti-aging botanicals and vitamin C, to help fine lines and wrinkles disappear. Enfuselle Eye Treatment has been clinically proven to decrease the appearance of skin wrinkles more than 200 percent in as little as two weeks. It also decreases visible fine lines and increases skin resilience and firmness.

I have not had flakes of any kind under my eyes since I started using this eye treatment and I can't tell you how happy that makes me. When I tell my story, women can relate to it because many of them have issues with their eyes and are looking for solutions.

I will use this eye treatment forever!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Dermalogica: The Cure for Combination Skin

I have been searching for the right face wash for as long as I remember. I have been blessed with combination skin. By being blessed I really mean born with a big fat curse and I blame my Italian mother. Although face washes promised to moisturize the dry patches and remove oil from my T-zone areas, I would end up with one cheek being dry, my forehead still being oily or a little blemish on my nose.

Until I was introduced to the Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel. Its part of a skin care system researched and developed by the International Dermal Institute. It promised me it would “wash away impurities without stripping or drying” and it did! It’s soap-free, fragrance-free, my face is never too dry and I have had minimal “impurities” ever since.

They have also developed an online Face MappingSM skin analysis that analyzes your skin and provides recommendations on what your face needs. Pretty cool!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I Found the Perfect Eyecream!

I received a little Beauty Insider gift from Sephora last week. It's a nice big tube of StriVectin-SD Eye Cream.

You know I've been looking for an eye cream and this is it! It's formulated to help to significantly improve the appearance of fine lines. Apparently it aids in the build-up of collagen, which I didn't realize happened except when you wanted lips like Angelina Jolie.

Those "wrinkles" my husband told me he loves are gone. Pair that with the new trendy braids in your hair look and I'm back to looking like I'm in my 20s!

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Taste of Her Cherry Chapstick!

And here's the cherry chapstick version. Didn't we all feel sassy when we were in high school and our lips were tinted red from our fancy chapstick. Tastes good, feels good and smells good. What more can I say? Katy Perry famously talks about "The taste of her cherry chapstick!"

The new and improved version now has SPF 4! Oh, and there is a strawberry flavor but it's definitely not as tasty.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

H20 Almond Body Lotion

Not really sure how I overlooked the most important beauty product I use every day...perhaps because it sits on my desk and I apply it multiple times each day without thinking about it?

I love, love, love the H2O almond body lotion.

Growing up in the mountains has given me chronic dry skin. This lotion has shea butter in it, along with a little glitter, that leaves my hand soft. Plus, it smells like almonds, which is just a perfect and light scent for my hands that doesn't overwhelm the perfume I've chosen for the day.

It comes in an easy-to-use pump so it sits on my desk all day and I go back to it all day long.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

It's Medicated!

It's medicated! Yes, I'm still talking about chapstick. It's an addiction!! How can you talk about lip balm and not talk about the original Chapstick? Didn’t we all have the original or Cherry version when we were growing up?

I happen to be obsessed with the Medicated version. Like the package says it does heal severely chapped lips but also keeps lips protected especially in the winter.

My favorite part is the fact that it makes your lips tingle about two seconds after it is applied. Wear it under lip gloss or lipstick and your lips will be soft and supple all day long. My other favorite part is that it's inexpensive so I can buy 5 at a time and keep them for my "emergency" situations.

Buy it at your local drugstore or online at Honestly, I think you can buy this at the gas station!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Blood Orange and White Pepper

No it's not what I had for brunch today. It's a fairly new beauty product line from Bliss. I originally had a sample of the new scented body butter from Sephora. So when @BlissSpa offered 20% off to her Twitter followers, I thought I'd try it.

I ordered the "bounty" set, which is a sugar scrub, bath and shower gel, and body butter.

They say the scent was inspired by a cocktail their scent specialist sipped. It's an "energizing citrus scent that blends bright blood orange and spicy white pepper with nuances of coriander and white musk."

I like it! Bliss products are all great so if you don't like how this smells, try one of their other scrubs, gels, or butters.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

OPI Spring Colors

I took my nieces to get manis and pedis last weekend and the salon had the new OPI South Beach Collection.

Although it's still cold in Chicago, it was 60 degrees in Denver so I felt my winter colors could take a break and I would try a spring color.

I chose Overexposed in South Beach, which is a vivid purple that can't get enough attention.

I love, love, love it! It's not an eggplant purple, but a nice dark color that also has that spring-like feel.

The entire collection includes:
  • Miami Beat
  • Done Out in Deco
  • Suzi and the Lifeguard
  • Party In My Cabana
  • Conga-Line Coral
  • OPI on Collins Ave.
  • Paint My Moji-Toes Red
  • Feelin' Hot, Hot, Hot!
  • Sand In My Suit
  • Clubbing Til Surise
  • Bronzed to Perfection
Check it out soon!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Love Handler

On Twitter a few days ago @BlissSpa offered a 20% coupon plus a free Love Handler for any beauty products bought online. You know I was all over that!

I received my box the night before last (more to come on what I bought) and I pulled out the Love Handler. I had no idea what this was and now I'm intrigued.

It is a liquid workout for lazy abdominals. I'm not making this up.

It is supposed to stimulate skin surface for improved firmness and contour, whittle your waist, toney tummy pudge, and keep back fat bay.

I'm seriously not making this up.

So I tried it. It feels like lip plumper on my skin. It's smells minty and stays tingly for about an hour. My husband thinks I should try it only on one side of my tummy to see if there truly is a difference. I'm ignoring him and trying it on my full tummy.

They say it takes six weeks to see a difference. Check back here on April 13 for results.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Addiction to Lip Balm


I’m obsessed with lip balm. I probably have ten different places at home where I have a stash. A bit of an addiction I guess. In a coffee table drawer, my nightstand, behind my bathroom sink mirror, winter coat pockets and almost every purse I own and even in a kitchen drawer. You never know when there is going to be an emergency! Nothing bothers me more than having chapped lips and then not having lip balm. That’s what I call an emergency.

I love all kinds really. But one of my favorites is Smith’s Rosebud Salve. It’s been around since the late 1800’s and can be used for any dry spot on your body…dry elbows, cuticles even for burns. I’ve heard people even talk about putting it on babies bums but I really don’t want to go there! The Rosebud Salve comes in a cute tin, is easy to apply and makes it seem like you just put some fancy lip gloss on. You can find it at Sephora and is a must have for celebrities like Katherine Keigl and Eva Longoria!

New My BFF's Beauty Bag Blogger

Hey everyone! Welcome Angelica as our new blogger! She and I are partnering to bring you the very best in beauty products.

Stay tuned for more to come...