Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Magic of Kerastase

My hair stylist introduced me to Kerastase products 5 years ago and I've been hooked ever since. I have very thick, curly, dry and frizzy hair. As anyone with crazy hair like mine can tell you, the search for a product that can tame the frizzies and the volume is never-ending. Kerastase Nutritive Serum Oléo-Relax calms dry, frizzy, unmanageable hair. It has essential oils that relax my hair and leaves it smooth and shiny.

I use it on my hair when it’s wet and dry. I use two pumps before I blow-dry and flatiron to help protect it from any damage from the heat. I use one pump after to give it a little bit more moisture and smooth the flyaways. It's a bit pricey but completely worth it - one bottle lasts me over 6 months and I have a ton of hair!

The Perfect Blush?

Guest blog by Lois Arbogast

Every girl deserves a beauty product splurge every once in a while...and Chanel blush is definitely mine.

I don't usually spend $45 on make-up, but this is an exception. I love the quilted pattern on this blush and the little velvet bag it comes in. I know, I know. I'm a sucker for the luxury marketing scheme, but it's so worth it!

I've had mine for just more than eight months and I use it almost every day and still have a lot left. The colors they have are classic, so you can use them with everything.

Editor's note: This blush is perfect for getting the Ashley Greene look we described yesterday. Of course, if you have the Ultimate Blockbuster, the blushes in there work, too.

Get the Look: Ashley Greene

Last Friday night, late, my sister-in-law sent me this photo of Ashley Greene and asked how she can get that look. I guess after the kids went to bed she was browsing fashion magazines! I told her to buy some individual false eyelashes and that I would show her how when I see her next.

But then I thought, wait! This is a great blog tip. So if you want to get this look, following is how to do it.

1. Buy individual false eyelashes and make sure you have really good tweezers.

2. Prep your face - if you wear foundation or tinted moisturizer, get it the way you like.

3. Use serum (I like clear mascara) to shape your eyebrows and fill in with either a brow pencil or a tapered brush dipped in eyeshadow that is a shade darker than your hair color.

4. Swirl your favorite blush on the apples of your cheeks and apply a clear or light lipgloss.

5. Using your tweezers, apply individual lashes in the corner of your upper lid. Then fill in alternately through the middle. Do this until you feel like you have enough and it's not overpowering. Do the same with your lower lash line, but be careful - you don't want to apply many here. Let the glue dry.

6. Using a tapered brush, dip it in water and then in an eyeshadow of your choice (I would probably use brown or violet black). Draw a line from the corner of your eye, getting thicker as you move to the outside of your eye. Repeat on the other eye.

7. Apply mascara.

Viola! Send me pictures so I can see how you look!

Reversing Damaged Hair?

A couple of weeks ago, Daily Candy had a story about a new hair therapy, claiming it can reverse damaged hair. The offer was a free four-week kit if I paid for shipping. Duh...sign me up!

The Kronos package just arrived and it includes shampoo, conditioner, detangler, and overnight repair masque.

The brand promise is that it's clinically proven to address all signs of aging hair if I use it consistently for four weeks. I'm going to begin with the overnight repair masque tonight and will use it consistently through May 26. Check back here on May 27 to see if it's worth the $55 for you to buy the discovery kit.

Until then, you, too, can try it free! Register online here. But beware, unless you return the unused product that didn't work, they'll bill you every 60 days and send you more.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Does BareMinerals Provide Flawless Coverage?

Guest blog written by @CandiceStone

What's not to like about make-up so pure you can sleep in it! But seriously, being able to sleep in it is not one of my key requirements of a beauty product (editor's note - it is one of mine!).

What IS important to me is a product naturally free of the dreaded chemicals everyone is trying to avoid these days and the ability to reduce the appearance of my fine lines and wrinkles.

I have been using Revlon's New Complexion One-Step Compact Make-Up with SPF 15 for about 20 years, but as I approach 40, I have been finding that it emphasizes the age lines appearing around my eyes and mouth. It also doesn't hide my uneven skin tone and a couple of age spots.

A friend recommended I try BareMinerals because it is 100% naturally made with crushed minerals from the earth.

After a trip to ULTA in La Jolla to pick up the BareMinerals Starter Kit, I tried it and have to say that the "flawless coverage" they promise it pretty close to actually being flawless. Best of all, it really does feel like you are not wearing any make-up at all and I don't end the day with skin-toned fingerprints on everything I've touched that day.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Eyeliner No Longer Needed!

If you missed buying the Sephora Ultimate Blockbuster (they no longer carry it), the second best beauty product staple is the Sephora Deluxe Palette - Collector's Edition.

It's 20 eyeshadow shades, two blushes, two powders, and 24 lip glosses. It also comes with applicators, but you don't want to use them as they're not very good.

I use my tapered brow brush and apply shadow as if it's liner (sometimes I apply it wet and other times, if I'm lazy, dry). Depending on my mood, the day, and what I'm wearing, I could have smoky eyes, glowing, golden eyes, or make the blue in my hazel eyes pop out with either purple or blue shadow as liner.

It reminds me of the Elizabeth Arden make-up boxes my great Aunt LaVin bought me when I was a kid. Now I can play dress up every day!

Trust me on this. Spend the money. It's worth it.

A Wise Investment: A Mason Pearson Brush

Back in the day, when I was working with Purebeauty, they introduced me to the Mason Pearson brush. Since then, I've coveted one, but never wanted to spend the money on it... hoping, instead, I would receive it as a gift.

Five years went by and I still hadn't received the beautiful handmade brush as a I gifted it to myself.

I'll be honest, I spent three or four months trying to figure out what the big deal is. I have really thick hair, but each strand is fine. So it's hard to find brushes that get my hair to cooperate, let alone get the tangles out.

But then...the big deal was revealed. This brush is an investment and worth every single penny that it costs. It makes my hair glossy, it does get out the tangles, and, oh, it makes my hair shiny...without product.

New Cleansing Soap

Some of you know I love Twitter. I mean, it's a complete obsession. So it shouldn't come as a surprise to you that I met @sibu_beauty out there.

Sibu Beauty is an all-natural, Sea Buckthorn based beauty product system delivering beautiful skin, hair, and nails from inside-out and outside-in. AND they're based in Salt Lake City (my hometown) so when they asked for blog reviewers, I volunteered!

They tell me Sea Buckthorn contains estradiol (a natural hormone), catechol (an enzyme that is anti-cancer), and serotonin (a vital chemical found in the brain). The catechol caught my attention because I got some feedback that Aquaphor used as eye cream causes cancer. So if I use Sibu soap and Aquaphor at night, I won't have wrinkles OR get cancer.

They actually sent me four different products, but I've tried only the cleansing soap so far (stay tuned for additional reviews). I have always used Dove to clean my face so this was something a little daring for me to try.

I've not had a single breakout since I started using it and it smells really good. The only problem is that it doesn't remove make-up, no matter how hard I try. You have to make sure all of the make-up is removed (no traces at all) before you wash your face with it. But it complements my moisturizer so I'm willing to go the extra step to use a make-up remover before I shower.

It's definitely worth $5.95!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Healing Benefits of a Massage!

I’m always looking for the one product that is going to make me look miraculously 10 years younger with limited amount of effort. Mostly because I want to look young again, of course, but also because I’m living my life at such a fast pace that I don’t have time to waste!

A week ago I got a huge reminder of what really could keep me looking young and feeling young. A friend of mine had to basically force me to get a massage. I literally thought I didn’t have an hour to “waste” on a massage. As soon as the words came out, I couldn’t believe I had said it. I had always been a huge proponent of making sure people took care of themselves, relaxed and minimized stress and realized I had a huge problem doing it myself.

Although I fell asleep for half of the massage, it was a huge reminder to slow down. I woke up and looked at how soft and relaxed my face looked. I had an hour free of stress and true relaxation which I believe is truly the key to younger looking skin. If only I could hire a masseuse to come to my house every day or follow me around at work.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Want to Look Like a Model?

Guest blog written by Molli Megasko

I swear by The Present by Philosophy.

I hate foundation and I don't have the clearest skin. I'm sure most make-up artists would sin me for only using powder. But The Present makes me look like a supermodel. It's more than a primer; it's actually good for your skin and it makes applying make-up fun. It's like when you were a kid applying blush to a Cabbage Patch doll. Move over Gisele!"

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Love Handler: Does It Work?

Six weeks ago I received a nice little package from @BlissSpa and in it was a free bottle of The Love Handler.

I wrote here that I would try the beauty product daily for six weeks and report back.


It does not work. Granted, I'm a cynic in whether or not a cream would actually help tighten your skin and I'm probably not their target audience, but it does not work.

It smells good. It feels tingly. But it is not the cure for lazy abdominals. It does not whittle your wiggly waist, tone your tummy pudge, or keep back fat at bay.

You know what does?

Sit ups.

Try that instead.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

It's Time for Bronzers!

Guest blog written by Lois Arbogast (@loisatvistage)

There is only one reason for making this my #1 beauty product. It's the best.

own here in SoCal, most women have 24/7/365 perma-tan that I just don't seem to embrace. I love the look of that "glowing" skin, but skin cancer runs in my family and my best friend is a dermatologist, so I'm pretty much a Nicole Kidman when it comes to laying out.

But tha
t doesn't mean I have to look pasty white when the temperatures are soaring into the 90's. Instead, I use my Cargo bronzer everywhere. On my cheeks, forehead, and yes, occasionally even my chest. It's safe, looks natural, and gives just enough of that sun-kissed look without all the sparkles.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Want Shiny Hair? Advice for Two Products Here!

Guest blog written by Molli Megasko (@mollimegasko)

When choosing a hair gloss for my thin, over-bleached hair, I am more than picky. I've tried them before and they always weigh down my hair and make it look dirty. I've been using beauty products such as Bed Head's Superficial spray gloss for the past few years, which to me is like a classic movie - you watch it when nothing else is on. But I'm looking for something with a little more drama.

I can't wash my hair every day because it dries out my ends, so I need to find a gloss that would not make my hair look greasy or oily.

When the saleslady told me that Frederic Fekkai Salon Glaze Clear Shine Rinse was just what I needed, I jumped on board!

I've been using the gloss in the shower every time I wash my hair (every other day) for a little more than a week now, and I do see a difference. It's not a huge difference; people are not coming up to me, asking me how I got my hair so shiny. But there is a difference.

My wispies (baby bangs, as I call them) and my fly-aways are not as out of control as usual! It does make the roots feel thicker when blow drying. It doesn't weigh it down at all and provides a nice, subtle shine.

Would I recommend the product? Sure. But I'm always up for new suggestions on hair shine.

*Editor's Note: I have very thick, straight hair and have been using Frederic Fekkai Three-Minute Mask twice a week for nearly a year. My hair is healthy, strong, and shiny...and strangers do ask me what I use for the shine. But the saleslady at Sephora told Molli the mask would be too heavy for her hair.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant

I have sensitive combination skin so I’ve never been able to find an exfoliant that wasn’t too harsh or didn’t make me feel like I was rubbing a handful of rocks on my face. They would eventually turn my face red or make me break out. I desperately wanted my skin to feel extra soft, smooth and refreshed. And I loved the feeling of washing away that layer of dead cells that is necessary to achieve a healthy glow. That is exactly what Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant ($49) does. My healthy glow may not be apparent ALL the time but I do promise it makes your skin feel oh so good.

You add water to this fine, rice-powder substance to make a non-abrasive scrub/paste. You feel the tiny granules enough so you know it’s effective but gentle enough to not irritate your skin. And it's loaded with good-for-you ingredients like grapefruit, which brightens skin, and green tea to soothe.

The only downside is that the bottle is like a salt shaker so if the holes are exposed to too much moisture then

the bottle may clog up. I have had my bottle over a year though and still works great.

The best part is that when they say you can use it daily, they really mean it. It’s like getting a mini-facial every day. No wonder it won InStyle’s Best Beauty Buy award.

Wake Up Beautiful Without Doing Your Hair

My sister-in-law has naturally curly hair that she washes at night, piles on top of her head, and wakes up beautiful every morning. I've always been pretty envious of that. My hair is really thick (therefore, lots of layers) and stick straight so I didn't think it would work for me.

But in the April issue of InStyle, they claim you can go to bed with wet hair, no matter the type, you'll wake up beautiful.

They recommend finding your inner ballerina by piling your hair into a twist on the top of your head and to use a scrunchie to avoid crimping.

Well, I don't own a scrunchie (didn't they go out of style in the 80s?). So I asked Angela what she uses and she said, "A cheap barrette I bought at Walgreens."

I have to use a cheat barrette and lots of bobby pins, but this is how the experiment has worked:

1. Monday morning I woke up with waves, but had to rewash my bangs and run a curling iron through my hair. I think it's because I did a deep condition on Sunday night.

2. Tuesday morning I woke up in all sorts of disarray and had to pull it back. I did not wash it (only wet it down under the faucet) and I did not use product.

3. Wednesday morning I was fed up and just did it normally.

4. Last night I took a shower before bed, but I did not wash my hair. I just made sure it was super soaked through. Then I added some product and piled it all on top of my head, including my bangs.

This morning I woke up and my hair was still a bit damp. But I ran the hair dryer through it quickly and used a comb instead of a brush. I had one little spot that was sticking up that I couldn't control so I just pulled pieces of my hair at the crown back into bobby pins. I even have a nice little wave in my bangs. It took my 20 minutes to get ready this morning.

I think I'm sold.