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Summer Travel: Beauty Essentials

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Whether it’s a weekend road trip or a long-haul to an exotic locale, there is nothing like a summer vacation. Look your best while traveling with these beauty essentials:

Oxylent Oxygenating Multivitamin Drink: The effervescent multivitamin drink is formulated with the highest quality of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, and electrolytes. Perfect for travel, the convenient packets are easily transported, so you can drink it anytime, anywhere – just add water. It is great for keeping the immune system in peak condition; a low calorie choice before or after working out; a true friend to the outdoor enthusiast; an easy-to-use daily multivitamin; or a wonderful late afternoon pick-me-up at work. Oxylent not only offers a unique effervescent delivery system, but unlike most, all of the formulas are both sugar and calorie free. Oxylent’s formulas do not contain any gluten, caffeine, lactose, artificial sweeteners, flavors or colors.

Kerstin Florian Rehydrating Neroli Water: This uplifting aromatherapy water instantly refreshes and hydrates the skin. Made from the bitter orange blossom, this facial spray soothes and hydrates the skin. The moment your face feels tight, one spritz will instantly hydrate and refresh the skin. Use as a toner after cleansing the face or as a body spray after showering. Or keep cool in the refrigerator and spray on hot, humid days. Perfect for après beach.

Supergoop! City Sunscreen Serum: This light yet powerful serum is both a moisturizer and a broad-spectrum SPF 30. It fights the signs of premature aging – think fine lines and sunspots – and prevents future photo-damage from UV rays. Built for year-round use, this serum is amazingly lightweight and comfortable. Supergoop’s unique Hydrovotin 24 complex works with the skin’s own moisture mechanisms to increase hydration levels, while vitamins E and B5 heal past damage. It absorbs both UVA rays that lead to premature aging and UVB rays that cause sunburn. The top-of-the-line “PA +++” rating means the formula meets the highest standards for sun protection.  Also paraben and fragrance-free—just what the doctor ordered for sensitive skin.

Rodin Olio Lusso Luxury Face Oil: Formulated with an aromatic blend of 11 essential oils, this opulent oil relies on flowers and botanicals for their calming and illuminating properties. A staple of many top pros and makeup artists, this oil can be used to take makeup off, to moisturize and as a massage oil (expensive massage oil?). Add a couple drops to foundation to create a dewy finish or pat on the cheekbones and undereyes for a beautiful, fresh glow. Just a few drops will make your skin look radiant. Use as an alternate or supplement to your moisturizer and apply whenever your face needs a pick-me-up.

Dior Hydra Life BB Cream: READ FULL REVIEW: HERE

Bobbi Brown Bronzer/Blush Duo: Inspired by the look of “skin bathed in afternoon light,” this dynamic duo creates healthy-looking skin. On one side, Bobbi Brown Illuminating Bronzing Powder in Bahama Brown packs a blend of sheer powder and micro pearls (for a seamlessly glowing finish all over the face). The other side boasts Bobbi Brown Shimmer Blush in Pink Peony, the perfect way to add a pop of color to the apples of cheeks. Great for travel, this duo eliminates bulk and the need for too many face products. Tip: Sweep bronzer over eyelids for instant contour.

MAC Bare Study Paint Pot: This multi-purpose paint pot is perfect for travel. Bare Study is a metallic nude/champagne cream eye shadow that can be used as a primer, eye shadow and/or highlighter. Sweep onto the eyelid before applying a powder shade to ensure longevity. For highlighting, pat product on the cheekbones, brow bone, cupid bow and décolletage for subtle illumination. The soft, light-reflecting pearl finish will brighten any area.

Kiehl’s Lip Balm SPF 15 in Hue 30G: Lip balm with SPF is a must while traveling. Lips are often neglected and can suffer the same effects of the sun just as much as any other part of the body. Kiehl’s Lip Balm SPF 15 offers protection, relief and color. Lip products like gloss, stains or lipsticks can attract the sun with their shiny finish. This formula combines a sheer wash of color with UVA and UVB protection. Hue 30G is a beautiful light golden color with peach undertones.

Blinc Mascara: I have a love/hate relationship with waterproof mascara. While most formulas do last all day, they are a pain to remove. Blinc Mascara is a “tubing” mascara. It uses a copolymer-based formula to create little tubes around each one of your lashes preventing flaking, running or smudging. The formula is waterproof, sweat-proof and won’t irritate even the most sensitive of eyes so you can wear it all day without worrying about touch-ups. At the end of the day, use a damp washcloth to gently dislodge the tubes. They’ll slide off with just a little pressure.

Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray: READ FULL REVIEW: HERE

Adara Organic Virgin Coconut Oil for Body & Face: Organic and biologically pure, Adara Virgin Coconut Oil is a gorgeous multi-tasking body and hair oil. Great for travel, coconut oil solidifies when temperatures are below 76 degrees – this makes it wonderful to pack and not worry about leaking. Adara Virgin Coconut Oil is available in five scented oils and travel-size, Oriental Jasmine, Soothing Lavender, Heavenly Peach, Innocent Rose, and Refreshing Green Tea. (Favorite: Jasmine) READ MORE ABOUT THE BENEFITS & USES OF COCONUT OIL: HERE

Flo Refillable Perfume Atomizer: Packing a big glass perfume bottle can be inconvenient and cumbersome. Tote your favorite fragrance wherever you go with the Refillable Perfume Atomizer by FLO. This ingenious gadget allows you to carry your perfume in an easy-to-use, compact atomizer. The modern design enables fast and efficient refilling without a funnel – preventing any danger of spilling a single drop of your expensive perfume. Suitable for all types of perfumes, this atomizer holds up to 77 sprays. Perfect for a purse, clutch, beach bag or travel bag, never leave home without your favorite fragrance again.

Kate Spade Cosmetic Bag – Garance Dore Davie

Style Your Stems: Floral Pants

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Style your stems in floral prints and patterns. A fun and fresh way to wear pants, these bold and colorful botanicals are truly statement-making.

With a little structure, these pieces look ultra fresh and modern. Don’t complicate things with a game of layers. Keep it simple. Try a cropped sweater or delicate tee for an effortless daytime look and silk cami and blazer for night. Add a great pair of sandals or heels and you have created the 1/2 & 1/2 (part elegance/part edge).

Here are a few beguiling blooms for inspiration:

Zara ~ Cropped Printed Trousers w/ Zip: $19.00 (sale

Tibi ~ Floral-Print Silk Crepe De Chine Pants: $330.00

Ella Moss ~ Rosa Flora Pants: $148.00

DKNY ~ Printed Stretch Silk Crepe De Chine Pants: $245.00

Cynthia Rowley ~ Zigzag Floral Bonded Leggings: $225.00

Magic Wand: BY TERRY Touche Veloutée

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Highlighting click pens are gaining more and more popularity. A hybrid of a concealer and illuminator, these products promise to create eight hours of sleep and bring instant radiance to the skin. The #1 seller in this particular category has always been YSL Touche Eclat.

Terry De Gunzberg, former Director of Makeup Creation at YSL, has her own cosmetics line, BY TERRY. In her years at YSL, she was the mastermind behind YSL’s international best seller Touche Eclat. However, De Gunzburg’s very own take on her wonder product, Touche Veloutée, is even better than the original.

Using soft focus pigments, Touche Veloutée is a nourishing botanical affair that both plumps and lifts the under eye. It’s light reflecting particles create true radiance and an instant pick-me-up. Suitable for use on all areas of the face, the texture is luxuriously creamy, smooth when dried, and completely seamless to blend.

*** Do not buy these products for concealer purposes. The coverage is extremely sheer – if there at all. Use primarily as a highlighter.

Terry De Gunzberg

 “By focusing on the rarest pigments and the purest active ingredients, I have uncovered the quintessence of perfect light. This has allowed me to create modern, precious makeup that harmonizes with the daily rhythms of your natural radiance. Favorite Tip: When you’ve finished doing your eye makeup, use the Touche Veloutée as a highlighter. This works especially well with the smoky eye look. Put a tiny dot under your brows and blend – it will help accentuate the brow bone.”

Silicone Synopsis: Makeup Primers

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Face primers are a great way to smooth, prep and perfect the skin before applying foundation. If you have acne scars, fine lines or large pores, a makeup primer can spackle those spaces for an even coverage. However, some people can be allergic or sensitive to the main ingredient found in most makeup primers, silicone.

Silicone is a chemically derived product that sits on top of the skin to protect and keep moisture in. Any product used with that “slippery/silky” feel to it, more than likely contains some kind of silicone. To identify silicone in a product, look for Dimethicone or Methicone in the ingredient list. The general rule of thumb is that anything ending in “cone” is likely to be silicone. Opinions however, are divided as to whether silicone is indeed good or bad for the skin.

Unless you have a sensitivity to silicone and your skin reacts with break-outs or irritation, it seems quite harmless. Silicone is used in almost every product we use on the body from haircare to skincare. To immediately confirm sensitivity to silicone, notice if you breakout on your back from the hair conditioners used. Silicone is abundant in these products and can be the culprit for reoccurring back acne.

Currently, I have two favorite face primers, one silicone-based, one silicone-free. The main activities I look for in a primer are: skincare properties (I do not believe in adding another step to my daily routine – unless it is good for the skin), ability to smooth the skin and longevity.

Hourglass – Veil Mineral Primer SPF 15: This is a wonderful silicone-based primer. It applies effortlessly, smooths the skin, increases the longevity of my face makeup and gives the skin a subtly glow. It contains anti-aging benefits and restores moisture to dehydrated skin. I use this primer for “special occasions” – mostly when I am wearing a full face of makeup. I have found that mixing a small amount of this primer with your foundation produces a flawless, airbrushed-look.

Fresh – Rose Freshface Primer: This is the first silicone-free primer I have tried and now can’t live without. I use this primer on a daily basis and sometimes as my primary moisturizer. Packed with rosewater and cucumber extracts, this lightweight lotion immedietly soothes redness and evens out my skintone. It contains vitamins and botanicals that are beneficial to the skin and smells like a bouquet of roses.

I do notice a difference between the two products, in terms of skin smoothing. Silicone is currently the best ingredient for reducing the appearance of fine lines and pores. This is why the majority of  makeup primers on the market contain them. However, there are many silicone-free products on the market and I assume many more will emerge in the future.

Tried & Tested: The Battle of the Cleansing Conditioners

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A cleansing conditioner is a new approach to the way you clean your hair. These products cleanse and hydrate the hair in just one-step. Different from past “two-in-one” products, these cleansing conditioners do not contain any harsh detergents, chemicals, surfactants and/or sulfates that strip hair of it’s natural oils.

The three products up for review are: WEN Pomagranate Cleansing Conditioner, Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil Shampoo and L’Oreal EverCreme Cleansing Conditioner. Each product claim the same purpose – a healthy alternative to cleansing hair – but perform differently using varied ingredients.

WEN Pomegranate Cleansing Conditioner

Company Description: WEN uses a combination of natural extracts and botanicals to hydrate and cleanse the hair without the use of detergents and chemicals. The perfect mixture and blend of it’s ingredients leave hair healthy, moisturized and cleansed. WEN Cleansing Conditioners replace shampoo, conditioner, deep conditioner, detangler and leave-in conditioner giving you five products in one bottle.

Suggested Use: Rinse hair thoroughly. Apply product in 4 sections, crown, nape, ends on left side and ends on right side. For short hair 24 pumps is suggested, for longer thicker hair 48 pumps. Add a splash of water and massage into scalp. Use a wide-tooth comb to distribute the product and leave in for 3-5 minutes. Rinse. Product can then be used again as a detangler or leave-in treatment.

Review: WEN Pomegranate Cleansing Conditioner is truly a unique product. My first attempt trying the product was mediocre, due to the fact that I ignored the company’s directions and thought “I could not possibly need that amount of product.” After a bit of experimenting and following directions, WEN left my hair clean, extremely hydrated, bouncy and shiny. (Do I sound like the infomercial?… sorry.) When trying this product for the first time, the satisfaction level is a bit frustrating. With no lather or bubbles (it barely foams), it is hard to get used to, until you see the results.

Shu Uemura Hair Cleansing Oil Shampoo

Company Description: Delicate formula that transforms quickly into a rich thick foam that effectively draws out the impurities and build-up on the scalp without stripping the natural oils. Leaves hair naturally radiant, soft, and in a balanced state – volumized and moisturized. Paraben and silicone free.

Suggested Use: Formuated for daily use. massage through wet hair and rinse.

Review: Shu Uemura Hair Cleansing Oil Shampoo should be in a category of it’s own. Just like the company’s best selling oil-based facial cleanser, their philosophy is “oil removes oil.” Which is exactly what this product does. Formulated from deep-sea volcanic extracts, this revolutionary oil-to-foam cleanser gently washes away built-up impurities and leaves hair lightweight, lustrous and magically free from unwanted grease.  After application, I do use a separate conditioner but it is not necessary.

L’Oreal EverCreme Cleansing Conditioner

Company Description: This one-step wonder product is an ultra-gentle, yet powerful combination of 1/4 cleanser + 3/4 moisture. Its Low-Poo, or Low-Lather, cleansing reduces friction on the hair fiber to help minimize breakage. This innovative, ultra-concentrated triple action conditioning formula, with Omega-3 and 6, leaves hair super soft and nourished without weigh-down.

Suggested Use: Apply to wet hair and massage into a low later. Leave in 1-2 minutes. Rinse. No separate conditioner needed.

Review: L’Oreal EverCreme Cleansing Conditioner is the drugstore equivalent to WEN Haircare. The newest product of the three, this product produces much of the same results with varied ingredients. L’Oreal Cleansing Conditioner has a surfactant in it, a type of detergent. Although very mild, this product is really no different than any other “sulfate-free” shampoo – other than having added moisturizing properties. It does cleanse the hair and leave it soft and manageable and would be a great product to have in your gym bag for a quick shower.

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Conclusion: I have a hard time using one product for a long period of time, therefore, cannot review their long-term effect. But, this is what I have concluded: Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil Shampoo might be the best shampoo I have ever used. Feels gentle and nourishing at the same time. WEN is truly a unique product and wins for best all-in-one product. L’Oreal EverCreme Cleansing Conditioner is a good drugstore option, but is not that much different than the line’s sulfate-free products.

Spring Cleaning: Fresh Soy Face Cleanser

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Fresh Soy Face Cleanser

Fresh Soy Face Cleanser is a lightweight gel that gently hydrates and nourishes the skin. It removes all dirt, oil and makeup from the skin without stripping it of it’s essential nutrients.

Unlike most cleansers, the Soy Face Cleanser does not create a lather when applied. The gel-like consistency thickens as it is worked into the skin and feels like silk. It sweeps over the face and removes anything in its way, softly and gently. A splash of water reveals an exceptionally clean face, squeaky even, without it feeling tight or dry.

Fresh’s Soy Face Cleanser smells of cucumbers and rose. It feels cool and fresh on the skin, ever so soothing. Enriched with soy proteins, amino acids and botanicals, this is a phenomenal cleansing product.


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