Blog Archives

Ornately Oversized: Twelfth St. by Cynthia Vincent Banker’s Oversized Clutch

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twelfWhile searching for an oversized clutch, I stumbled upon this beauty by Twelfth St. by Cynthia Vincent. The Banker’s Oversized Clutch has an eclectic charm. Subtle details like leather trim and gold grommets give the clutch a touch of luxury – while the ikat print plays of the designer’s bohemian style.

This clutch can fit everything from your everyday essentials to electronic devices. The flat panel opens to a satin-lined tie-dye print and large, zipper side pockets. This versatile clutch can be taken on a night out or complement all essentials for travel.

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Keratin Infusion: Inova Professional

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Keratin is a type of fibrous protein that makes-up part of your hair, skin and nails. We are constantly depleting the keratin in our hair through chemical processing, heat, environmental factors and age. All of these factors can break-down the keratin creating weak, damaged hair. New innovations in hair care have found that product rich in keratin can help secure stronger and healthier hair.

Inova Professional specializes in keratin-packed products and treatments. They specialize in frizzy, unruly and unmanageable hair. I have never used products containing keratin until now and am not sure why I waited so long.

The Silk Keratin Smooth Protection Sulfate Free Shampoo is a wonderfully rich shampoo. Creamy and thick, you would never guess this product is sulfate-free. It gently cleanses the hair and removes build-up, infusing the hair with strengthening keratin, nourishing coconut oil and vitamin-c. Hair rinses feeling smoother and conditioned for increased manageability and shine.

The Silk Keratin Smooth Hydration Conditioner  infuses hair with strengthening keratin to help rebuild the hair and silk proteins to seal the hair cuticle. The result is hair that is instantly smoothed of frizz, detangled and increasingly shiny.

The Silk Keratin Miracle Mask is a weekly treatment you can use at home. Formulated with white carnation oil, avocado oil, silk protein and keratin protein, it repairs split ends and other symptoms of dry, weak, and damaged hair. One of the best hair masks I have ever used – you will notice a difference the instance you apply and rinse. Hair feels coated and protected, but not weighed down. After styling, hair is noticeably smooth and silky and remains that way until next wash.

Formulated for all hair types, but is ideal for chemically treated or thermo-reconditioned hair, Inova Professional products are a ‘treatment’ for the hair. Yes, they smell wonderful and feel luxurious, but all of that aside – I feel and notice a difference in my hair. After 1-2 uses, I noticed smooth and silky locks. After 5-10 uses, I have noticed stronger, healthier hair.

About Inova Professional:

Inova Professional was founded by Daniel Babishov and Simon Aminov, two NYC salon owners and senior hair stylists. With over 40 years of combined experience, they both specialize in unruly, curly, frizzy hair. After many years of seeing clients’ hair become increasingly unmanageable and frizzy due to color processing, relaxing, and various other chemical processes, they wanted to develop a treatment that would not only salvage their clients’ hair, but also act as a conditioning treatment to keep hair healthy and shiny. Their goal was to develop a solution for unmanageable hair, as well as a cohesive hair-care system for clients to prolong it’s long-lasting results.

With this goal in mind they developed the Pure Keratin Hair Smoothing Treatment, a revolutionary hair smoothing technology designed primarily to eliminate frizz and secondarily to straighten hair. The Pure Keratin Hair Smoothing Treatment is formulated with keratin and collagen proteins, as well as mineral oil and cacao extract to rebuild and strengthen the hair where it has been damaged, as well as protect and smooth the hair.

Inspired by this treatment, they also developed a line of Silk Keratin retail hair-care products to be used in conjunction with the treatment, or on their own. All of the Inova Professional products are developed with our signature keratin complex and other essential ingredients.

Four Favorites: Red Lipstick

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As the seasons change, the reach for a red lipstick grows closer. Unfortunately, many women are scared of scarlet. I believe there is a simple adjustment period or rite of passage, when wearing a bright lip. Just like anything else, to diverge from our comfort zone is an uncomfortable feeling. Try this: When home alone, cleaning house, reading a book, watching television – apply your bright lip and test-drive for the day. Let your eyes adjust to the unfamiliar look and I promise it won’t be so shocking next time.

Tips on Application: HOW TO: PERFECT RED LIPS

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Chanel Rouge Coco in Gabrielle: My all-time favorite. A bright blue-based red with glossy sheen. The Rouge Cocos’ are extremely moisturizing and allow you to wear both a sheer or heavy red lip.

NARS Semi Matte Lipstick in Jungle Red: NARS best-seller, Jungle Red is bright and bold. If you want to commit to a “Gwen Stefani/Rita Hayworth” red lip – this one’s for you.

YSL Rouge Volupt in #18 Red Taboo: Cool-toned red with a hint of raspberry. The Rouge Volupt lipsticks are comfortable and light on the lips. Extremely pigmented, long-lasting, uber-creamy and incredibly glossy.

Tom Ford Lip Color in Scarlet Rouge: The classic brick red. For those still uncomfortable wearing the bright lip – this is your training wheels. Deep and luxurious – the color is beautiful and sophisticated – the formula is hydrating and long-lasting.

Beauty Royalty: AERIN Beauty

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This week Aerin Lauder, granddaughter of Estée, launched her own cosmetics and lifestyle brand, AERIN. The brand kicked off the debut with it’s first line of cosmetics, AERIN Beauty. In the future, plan on appreciating new collections of accessories, sunglasses, shoes and home decor.

Stepping down from her role of Senior Vice President and Creative Director of Estée Lauder, Aerin plans on holding a less demanding consulting role. Speaking of consulting… helping her build the brand are Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour and former NBC head Jeff Zucker.

AERIN Beauty is nothing short of elegant and feminine. Inspired by Aerin’s own beauty secrets, the lovely range aims to create a daily beauty routine that easily fits into a stylish lifestyle. A delicate signature Rose scent threads through the collection and is all bundled up in pretty pink and gold packaging. The collection features simple, everyday-wearable products that look and feel luxurious.

Sophisticated Scent: Chanel Coco Noir

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A 2012 launch I was extremely excited for was Chanel’s new fragrance Coco Noir. The scent is the third in the Coco franchise, joining 1984’s Coco and 2001’s Coco Mademoiselle. As a loyal servant to Coco Mademoiselle, I had to test it’s counterpart.

Created by Jacques Polge, master perfumer at Chanel, Coco Noir marks a return to Oriental fragrances for the House. Recalling his journey to unveil the mystery of black through fragrance, Monsieur Polge explains, “The night vision of the ‘Orient that starts and ends in Venice’ imposed itself upon me, and that is where I wanted to go.”

Striking top notes of Grapefruit and Calabrian Bergamot accentuate the floral accord with Rose and Jasmine, while Indonesian Patchouli, Sandalwood and Bourbon Vanilla notes add warmth to the seductive scent.

The Coco fragrances by Chanel are very personal to me. My mother has worn Chanel Coco ever since I can remember which is why I believe I am so drawn to it’s younger sibling Coco Mademoiselle. As for the newest family member, Coco Noir is an exquisite fragrance that reeks of sophistication and luxury. Saved for a very special occasion, this is no versatile, everyday perfume. One day I will graduate to Coco Noir’s level of sophistication, but as of yet I feel I am still too young.

Four Favorites: Multi-Purpose Balm

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More concentrated than most creams or lotions, these versatile salves can tackle two or more problems at once. Great to keep on your nightstand or in your handbag/gymbag these multi-purpose balms will cure – honestly – whatever ails you… soothe cracked heels, chapped knuckles, sunburn, windburn, minor scrapes, post-peel irritation, skin irritation, chafing, chapped nose, scratches, dry elbows, rough cuticles, between toes, post-wax skin, post-shave skin, dry patches, earlobes, blisters, ring fingers, tattoos, hairline prior to coloring, stretch marks. extra dewiness, tame flyaways, rebellious eyebrows, makeup mistakes and split ends. Whew!

Here are my current four favorites:

Rodial Glam Balm MULTI: A brilliant multi-use anti-aging balm that feels luxurious and solves all manner of beauty woes from flaking skin to dry knees. This cult product has been ordained “The Swiss Army Knife of Beauty Products,” for it’s wide variety of uses. The new formula “MULTI” has added the anti-aging benefits of 3D Hyaluronic Filling Spheres to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Favorite use: In-flight moisturizing mask. FULL REVIEW OF RODIAL GLAM BALM: HERE

Egyptian Magic: Living up to it’s namesake, this olive oil and honey-based balm works magic on elbows, knees and everything in between. Formulated with all-natural ingredients this magical balm has been used for centuries to care for and nourish the skin. Favorite use: a moisturizer to help extend your summer tan. FULL REVIEW OF EGYPTIAN MAGIC: HERE

Dr. Lipp Original Nipple Balm for Lips: (Yes, you read that right…) Recommended by midwives, this balm was originally designed to relieve the dry, painful nipples associated with breastfeeding. Makeup artists discovered many other uses: hydrating skin and lips on the fly/highlighting cheek bones/eye gloss – and it soon became an industry secret. Formulated with 100% medical-grade lanolin, this balm reduces skin roughness by up to 40% in an hour. It also acts as a barrier to prevent any moisture from escaping or bacteria from entering. Favorite use: Eye cream.

The Balm – By Nieves:  This concentrated balm is made with all-natural ingredients that moisturize, heal and soothe the skin; softening coconut oil, antioxidant-rich sesame oil, calming virginia cedar, healing lavender and balancing ylang ylang. Orange extract releases an uplifting and zesty aroma and provides a healthy glow to the skin and hair. The buttery texture melts effortlessly into the skin restoring softness and elasticity immediately. Great for both man and woman, The Balm is safe to use anywhere on the body. Favorite use: Moisturize dry ends and fix fly-aways.

Four Favorites: Face Oil

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There is often a misconception about the use of oil on the face. I believe that the term “oil-free” has brainwashed us to reject these magnificent moisturizers. Face oils can be more effective at hydrating the skin than a cream or gel-based moisturizer. Oil is able to sink to the surface of the skin and penetrate two of the five layers of the epidermal, producing quicker results. They nourish the skin, adding powerful vitamins and antioxidants, and help balance the skin’s natural oil production.

The best face oils are all-natural products made from pure oils and other plant-based ingredients. If a product combines oil with synthetic fillers, it looses it’s effectiveness. Here are my four favorites:

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.

Creator, Linda Rodin spent over a year mixing oils in her bathroom (in a coffee cup) to make the elixir to satisfy all her beauty needs. She does not promise miracles–she is neither a chemist nor a scientist. She is interested in simple, natural products that work.  In her own words, “the product makes skin look more alive”. 

Decléor Aromessence Neroli Essential Serum: Full Blog Post Review HERE.

SUTI Nourish Organic Face Oil for Night: A potent blend of 15 plant and flower extracts that strengthen the skin and promotes the regrowth of skin cells while you sleep. Formulated with Avocado, Sesame, Patchouli and Bergamot to heal, replenish and plump-up dehydrated skin; Macadamia and Geranium to balance the production of sebum (the skin’s natural oil production) for healthy moisture retention; Argan Oil to calm irritated, inflamed and blemished skin and Apricot Kernel to help promote dermal elasticity. This combination is intensively “nourish”-ing, luxurious, and smells of fragrant jasmine. Skin looks glowing, bright and plump in the morning, like you’ve just had a wonderful night’s sleep.

SUTI is created by two sister-in-laws Suzannah and Tina (the “Su” and “Ti”). SUTI is a small, impeccably crafted line from the UK that uses only sustainably sourced, organically grown ingredients, hand-blended into the finest and gentlest of facial oils, balms and tonics.

Alpha-H Age Delay Facial Oil: A preventative and corrective solution formulated with nine of nature’s finest oils: Apricot Oil for it’s protection and softening properties; Rose Hip Oil to repair and strengthen: Wheat Germ to nourish; Calendula to regenerate; Carrot Oil to improve skin texture and miximize moisture levels; Frankincense for it’s firming and toning benefits; German Chamomile to soothe; Lavender to heal; Patchouli to aid in repairing cells and balance the skin. This facial oil is a synergistic mix that works to slow the aging process by protecting the skin against free radical damage, repair cell damage and sun damage. Deeply hydrates and firms the skin for instant, noticeable results. Your skin will drink this oil up and immediately feel soothed and nourished.

Australia’s leading professional salon treatment brand, Alpha-H pioneered the use of fruit acids in skin care nearly 20 years ago. Their cult cosmeceutical formulas are endorsed by a global following of clinicians, make-up artists and beauty writers and are relied upon by thousands of therapists worldwide for their fast and visible results on signs of ageing, sun damage, sensitivity and acne.

Overnight Sensation: SACHAJUAN Over Night Hair Repair

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SACHAJUAN is a hair salon in Stockholm started by Sacha Mitic and Juan Rosenlind. Established as a premium brand in the Scandinavian market, the SACHAJUAN brand is now available all over the world.

SACHAJUAN Over Night Hair Repair is a luxurious treatment designed to repair hair as you sleep. Great for all hair types, this product promises to turn straw into gold, overnight.

This award winning intensive conditioner has the highest concentration of sea algae and mineral extracts, which SACHAJUAN call “Ocean Silk technology.” It is with this super formula that their overnight hair treatment fortifies hair, building elasticity & shine.

The ultra caring formula infuses moisture and restores essential minerals into your hair leaving it with a healthy shine. I like the option of using this item as a leave-in, rinse-out or styling product. It is a water-based gel that does not leave hair greasy or transfer to your pillowcase and it smells lovely and fresh, like newly laundered linens. This product is costly at $60.00, however I have noticed a difference in my hairs’ texture and shine, almost immediately.

Rosey Cheeks: By Terry – Rose De Rose Blush Fluide

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By Terry Rose De Rose

By Terry is a cosmetic brand created by Terry de Gunzburg. Formerly known as Director of Makeup Design for Yves Saint Laurent, she helped create emblematic products like Touche Eclat and Teint Singulier. Journalists have dubbed her, “The genius of make-up, the guru of color…”

One of the most popular items in the line is the Rose De Rose Blush Fluid. This gel-like formula is extremely easy to blend and modulate. The color is sheer but buildable and warms and highlights any skintone. This blush reveals a “glow-from-within” flush. Made with natural rose extracts, the elegant rose scent is quite distinct during application but invisible as blush sets.

By Terry Rose De Rose Blush Fluid is available in three colors; Fresh Rose, Amber Rose and Coral Rose. All shades are equally beautiful and luxurious.

Excellent Elixir: Decléor Aromessence Neroli Essential Serum

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Aromessence Neroli Essential Serum

Decléor Aromessence Neroli Essential Serum leaves skin visably smoother, softer and glowing.

This serum of essential oils, Neroli, Sandalwood, Petitgrain, Sage, Parsley and Juniper Berry is specially formulated for the care of skin exposed to daily stress. It soothes dry skin and comforts tired skin.

Two drops of this magical elixir is all that in needed for the entire face and neck. The serum has a fine and silky texture that feels extremely luxurious. As this oil penetrates the skin, it absorbs beautifully with no oily build-up. I have truely noticed more even-toned, hydrated skin after using Decléor Aromessence Neroli Essential Serum.

The aromatherapy property of this product is an extra bonus. This product line is used in many spa treatments because of the aromatic relaxation ability of the essential oils. The Decleor Aromessence line have serums available for many skin concerns; Neroli (comforts stressed skin), Angelique (dry skin), Excellence (regenerating), Rose D’Orient (soothes sensitive skin), Ylang Ylang (combination and oily skin), Iris (anti-aging), Sculpt (firming) and Circularome (stimulating).

Bronzing Oil: Terracotta Huile De Voyageur

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Terracotta Huile De Voyageur

Summer is all about healthy-looking skin. The quickest way to fake this is with Terracotta Hulle De Voyageur Nourishing Dry Oil. This luxurious bronzing oil hydrates the skin and imparts a short-term glow.

The non-greasy, fast-absorbing formula is made primarily of Argan oil to hydrate the skin. Tiny specks of gold and mother-of-pearl provide subtle color and shimmer. Skin is left nourished, smooth and luminous.

The scent is a hypnotic blend of Tiare flower that perfumes the skin of jasmine. It smells rich and exotic, coating the skin for hours.

Guerlain’s Terracotta line uses a Tan Booster technology that prolongs a tan. It also uses Roucou, a reddish-brown vegetable pigment that has been used throughout the ages to intensify color day after day.

This is a great quick-fix bronzing oil, as it washes off with simple soap and water. Tip: Let the product dry completely, as some color will transfer.

Healthy Hair: Shu Uemura Moisture Velvet

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Shu Uemura Moisture Velvet Treatment

External elements of summer render hair dry and damaged. To avoid this try using a deep conditioning treatment weekly to rebalance the moisture of dry hair.

Shu Uemura Art of Hair is one of the best haircare lines out there. Inspired by the Japanese tea ceremony, the Art of Hair beauty ceremony delivers a highly precise and uniquely customized treatment, targeting problem areas. The products feel extremely luxurious and indulgent. After just one use, you will see a significant difference in your hair’s texture and health.

Shu Uemura Moisture Velvet Nourishing Treatment for Dry Hair is a deep conditioning mask that creates smooth velvety hair texture. Hair feels soft and smooth and split ends are noticeably sealed. Instantly, hair feels more healthy, vibrant and shiny.

Exotic Eyes: Estée Lauder’s Island Oasis Eye Shadow Palette

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Estée Lauder’s Island Oasis Eye Shadow Palette

Estée Lauder’s Island Oasis Eye Shadow Palette screams summer beauty. The palette provides six beautiful shades that reflect sandy beaches and crystal blue water.

The richly pigmented shades are very luxurious and creamy. They apply with a sheer metallic finish but can be intensified by building the color. The palette is arranged with both cool and warm tones; a dusty green, glittery gold, mediterranean blue, rose gold, deep red bronze and shimmering stone. These shadows can be worn together in a multiple of different looks or applied alone for a single pop of color.

Palettes are perfect for summer travel, so many options packed easily away in a makeup bag. They provide the consumer with color-choices they would not usually buy which motivates experimentation. However used, this palette will provide the sensation of an exotic vacation.

Pink Pout: Rouge Volupté #10 Provocative Pink

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YSL Rouge Volupté #10 Provocative Pink is a sexy lipstick. Period. This award-winning lipstick glides on the lips gracefully and smooth. The texture feels extremely luxurious sans any sticky residue. The color in intensely pigmented and leaves lips plump and radiant.

The packaging mirrors Yves St Laurent’s impeccable style, with a refined feel. A tiny mirror features on top of the lipstick casing, ensuring easy application on-the-go.

All YSL Rouge Volupté lipsticks contain SPF15.

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