Blog Archives

Winter Skin Woes: Kate Somerville IllumiKate CC Cream

✣✣✣

kate

Does your skin get dull and lifeless with the change in weather? If so, illuminate with IllumiKate – Kate Somerville’s new CC Cream. This multifunctional tinted complexion correcting cream instantly minimizes the look of imperfections with buildable coverage. Broad spectrum SPF 50+ protects skin from the sun’s harmful rays while known brightening agents Arbutin, Licorice Extract and Natural Amino Acids help improve and even out skin tone for more luminous, younger-looking skin over time.

  • Provides broad spectrum UVA/UVB SPF 50+ / PA+++ sun protection
  • Albatin, Licorice Extract, and naturally occurring Arbutin help to brighten the appearance of discoloration
  • Moisturizing Sodium Hyaluronate minimizes water loss and improves the appearance of skin
  • Chicory Root Extract helps to improve the integrity of the skin’s natural barrier function

IllumiKate is a little thicker than your everyday face lotion and is extremely moisturizing. It blends well and offers light coverage with minimal build-ability. The dewy, “luminous” finish truly wakes-up the skin and provides  healthy, fresh looking skin. There are  five shades of IllumiKate, ranging from Extra Fair to Medium, so this product might not work on deeper skin tones.

If your winter skin needs an instant pick-me-up, try Kate Somerville IllumiKate CC Cream.

Advertisements

Over-The-Counter Power: Avène Rétrinal + 0.1 Cream

◉◉◉

avene

Recommended by dermatologists, Avène Rétrinal + 0.1 Cream is currently one of the most innovative skincare products on the market.

Available in three different strengths including 0.1% retrinal (French for retinol) which is currently the highest amount of retrinal available in an over-the-counter product. The lowest strength is 0.025%, which is where someone who has never used a retrinal product should begin. Classified as dermo-cosmetics, Avène Rétrinal Skin Care products are considered to be cutting edge skincare with a medical approach to skincare.

Avène Rétrinal + 0.1 Cream is quite effective for a couple of reasons. The product is a form of Vitamin A which through clinical studies has been proven to improve elasticity, radiance and skin texture – as well as reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. You will get the normal side effects with any retrinal/retinol product – skin sensitivity, peeling, dry skin. But it is all well-worth the end result. Clear, glowing, firm skin.

The easy to apply product should be applied to the face and neck after cleansing. As with all anti-aging products it is imperative that broad-spectrum sunscreen be used at all times when exposed to the sun.

I have used many retinol/retrinal products, over-the-counter and prescription – this is by far the best over-the-counter product I have used.

Holy Grail: Estée Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II

♦♦♦

estee lauder

Wake up to beautiful skin every day with Estée Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II.

As a fan of the Advanced Night Repair “OG” – I couldn’t help but wonder… “If it ain’t broke… ” However, this upgrade not only repairs, brightens and hydrates the skin – it “purifies” the skin.

The new formula introduces Estee Lauder’s exclusive ChronoluxCB™ Technology. This technology delivers a  shot of hyaluronic (helps the skin to hang onto its water) and a big dose of antioxidants (helps to repair and protect against daily wear and tear), it also helps to break down what’s not needed, which is where the “purify” element begins to make sense.

You really do wake up to supple, fully hydrated skin. Skin looks rested, radiant and de-puffed.

The formula has been tested and proven to reduce lines and wrinkles, smooth, hydrate and strengthen skin and give you a younger, radiant more translucent glow.

How to use:
Step 1: Apply a drop on each fingertip of one hand.
Step 2: Touch fingertips of both hands together.
Step 3: Massage serum over face and neck, starting at the center, outward.

Runway to RealLife: Marc Jacobs Beauty

✢✢✢

marc jacobs

Marc Jacobs enters the world of color cosmetics with a new beauty brand and collaboration with Sephora. 

The new range covers sixteen different categories—from foundation, powder, bronzer, and lipstick to twenty-four shades of plasticized nail lacquers, including the high-gloss Jezebel (oxblood) and Shiny (clear) that debuted on Jacobs’ Fall runway. What makes these nail polishes—and the eye liners and concealers that are displayed beside them—different from all the others, of course, is Jacobs himself. “The passion does come through,” he insists of the very active role he played in the creative process. “You’re left with something appealing and seductive because there’s heart in it.”

The first product tried and tested: Marc Jacobs Beauty Highliner – Gel Crayon – crazy good. Ro (Cocoa) is the perfect bronze eyeliner. Not too shimmery, this color defines and enhances the eye.

The Highliner is waterproof, long-wearing and richly pigmented. The formula applies like a gel pot but with the precision of a pencil. Super-malleable, this eyeliner glides on smoothly then sets in place for all-day wear.

Swatching all the colors, I noticed the shimmer is more of a sheen/reflection rather than tiny particles of glitter. Color looks almost “shiny.”

A built-in sharpener makes sure the crayon always has a perfect point for an instantly sharp look on the go. A true breakthrough product that provides easy application with intense color.

Simply Amazing: Moroccanoil Hydrating Styling Cream

⫸⫸⫸

moroccan-oil-hydrating-styling-cream__70555_zoom

Moroccanoil Hydrating Styling Cream is a lightweight, moisturizing formula that creates soft styles for a natural feel. It conditions, hydrates, fights frizz, adds definition, creates soft hold, tames fly-aways and refreshes day-old styles… Simply Amazing.

Ideal for overprocessed and dry hair, Hydrating Styling Cream can be used on both wet and dry hair. As thick and nourishing as it feels – it does not weigh the hair down, nor does it feel sticky or greasy. Hair is left incrediably soft and managable and 100% hydrated.

Like all Moroccanoil products, Hydrating Styling Cream smells incrediable and is perfect for the hot summer months. Using antioxidant-loaded Argan oil, Hydrating Styling Cream will protect hair from humidity and heat. Preserve summer hair with Moroccanoil Hydrating Styling Cream.

5 Favorites: Maxi Dress

⬖⬖⬖

maxidresses

The best item to have in your closet for a “what to wear” moment – the maxi dress. This versatile item is an all-in-one ensemble that works for almost any occasion. From bright colors and bold prints to strong slits and cinched waists – there is a maxi out there for everyone. Here are a few of my favorite finds:

Monrow ~ T Back Racer V Tank Dress: $76.00

Rebecca Taylor ~ Paisley Gown: $395.00

BCBGeneration ~ Slit Maxi Dress: $101.99

Raquel Allegra ~ Tie-Dye Silk Maxi: $680.00

Splendid ~ Always Hi Lo Maxi Dress: $118.00

New Natural: Crystal Deodorant

⬢⬢⬢

crystal

I must admit I was a bit skeptical to try a “natural” form of deodorant. I am very loyal to my chemically-enhanced version and admit to a slight phobia of body odor. However, after testing Crystal Body Deodorant, my feelings have changed.

Crystal is the world’s leading natural mineral salt deodorant. Made from natural mineral salts, these deodorants form an invisible layer on the skin that creates an unfriendly environment for bacteria. While most deodorants mask odor with heavy scents or fragrances, Crystal deodorants neutralize the bacteria that causes the odor.

I have been using these deodorants for a couple weeks and am shocked by their effectivness. My first thought was to use the Crystal deodorants at night and use my regular deodorant when I am more active. However, I found it worked just as well as my regular deodorant.

The original Crystal Body Deodorant is unscented and available in a stick, roll-on, spray, original Rock, and Towelette. Now available in a variety of scents like Lavender & White Tea and Pomegranate that smell lovely and clean, there is no reason not to try it out.

Tell me what you think!

Drugstore Find: Maybelline Color Tattoo Metal in Barely Branded

⧫⧫⧫

barely

Maybelline’s Color Tatoos are a fantastic drugstore find. These cream eyeshadows last just as long as any other more expensive version and are just as vibrant and pigmented. Constantly creating new colors and finishes, my current favorite is  Maybelline Color Tattoo Metal in Barely Branded.

Barely Branded is a warm champagne tone with a metallic/frosted finish. A great dupe/alternative to MAC Bare Study Paint Pot (one of my favorites). A very versatile shade, Barely Branded can be warn on it’s own or as a base to brighten and make shadow stay-put. It has a wonderful creamy consistency that is great for quick and easy application and does not crease or fade, hour after hour.

For a great basic cream shadow that is easily accesible and inexpensive try Maybelline Color Tattoo Metal in Barely Branded.

Brow Builder: It Cosmetics Brow Power

⩸⩸⩸

brow power

IT Cosmetics Brow Power Universal Eyebrow Pencil is no ordinary pencil. This ultra-fine, high-definition, long-wearing, automatic eyebrow pencil adjusts to your specific brow color and supports healthy hair growth.

The super-skinny tip draws the tiniest of lines, allowing you to easily mimic the look of natural brow hairs. The spooly-end brushes and polishes the brows, perfecting the look. How can one pencil be universally flattering? By using softer strokes to match lighter hair, including blonde and silver and pressing a bit harder for darker hair, including medium brown to black.

The crayon-like texture goes on very lightly, so you can layer for the particular look you are going for – whether it’s natural or a bold “statement” brow. The formula is smudge-proof, waterproof and filled with good-for-you ingredients like panthenol, Vitamins A, C, and E. It also contains GrowLuxe technology, which is formulated with Saw Palmetto, Nettle Flower Extract, Horsetail Flower Extract, Green Tea Extract and Grapeseed Extract – promoting healthy hair growth. The American Cancer Society approved Brow Power as being safe for ultra-sensitive skin; this plus the GrowLuxe formula makes this pencil perfect for those who have lost their brows due to chemotherapy. In fact, for every Brow Power pencil sold, IT Cosmetics donates one pencil to the Look Good, Feel Better Program which helps women with cancer regain their confidence in their physical appearance.

Amazing? Yes.

Hair Trend: Crimp

⬗⬗⬗

crimppp

Crimped hair is making an unexpected comeback this Spring/Summer. Often associated with the 80’s, the hairstyle has been spotted on both the runway and red-carpet.

Today’s crimped hairstyle is more about texture than style. Different widths and lengths are used to create volume and effect. The crimping technique offers massive volume that lasts.

For special occasions/Prom: Mix crimped hair with flat-ironed hair for a fresh hairstyle. Crimp hair and style into a top knot or bohemian updo, for a modern take on a classic.

Paul Mitchell wants to make sure you are prom-ready with Paul Mitchell Prom Survival Kits and the Limited Edition Express Ion Crimp. Find participating salons HERE.

queen

The Classics: J Brand Black Skinny

⌘⌘⌘

jbrand

Like fine wine, the J Brand Black Skinny only gets better with age. Known for both comfort and style, J Brand (btw: ‘J’ stands for Jeff – Jeff Rudes owner) creates great basics that last. The J Brand Black Skinny is the only black skinny I may ever buy. No fading and no stretching – this classic should be a staple in every woman’s closet.

Bored of black denim? Reinvent your day-to-day classics. If you have exhausted all combinations in your closet – mix-it-up with a great shoe or accessory. Try a colorful or embellished flat or rugged ankle boot. However, if you are not six feet tall, ankle boots can be tricky. Paired with skinny jeans they can make you look stumpy.  The key to wearing ankle boots with skinny jeans is to create a continuous line. This means wearing dark rinse blue jeans with black ankle boots, or black jeans with a dark gray pair of ankle boots. The colors do not have to match exactly, but should be close enough that there’s no significant break when one ends and the other begins.

Keep it classic and style your J Brand Skinnies with sophisticated black and white pieces. Always on trend and deceptively simple, the black and white combination looks polished and fresh.

When it comes to the classics, investing in great pieces makes a world of difference. These J Brand Skinnies will outlast the next three pairs of less expensive versions bought. Save yourself the time and headache and buy the best.

Five Favorites: Peasant Top

⩥⩥⩥

peasant

Peasant tops are are great transitioning piece from cold to warm weather. Available in basic neutrals or super bright colors – these tops are both relaxed and casual.

Slip into a breezy peasant top and pair with your favorite denim, white and/or colored. Equally cute with shorts and skirts, marry the look with some ankle boots and a floppy hat. Peasant tops also make a great beach coverup.

Designers continue to offer peasants tops in many styles but the one constant is their flowy and breezy nature. Appealing to all body types, this top will work hard in your closet all-year-long.

Here are five favorites:

Joie ~ Meliana Embroidered Gauze Blouse: $198.00

Urban Outfitters ~ Ecote Split Back Embroidered Tank Top: $49.00

Anthropologie ~ Embroidered Aureolin Tunic: $98.00

Urban Outfitters ~ Embroidered Bazaar Cami: $54.00

Free People ~ Rolling Stone Woven Top: $118.00

Fresh-Faced: YSL Creme de Blush in Baby Doll

⧖⧖⧖

baby

The Yves Saint Laurent Arty Stone Collection for Spring 2013 is a gorgeous collection filled with bold spring colors. To top it off, the collection is all worn by Ginta Lapina, the label’s ambassador for this season.

Taking its inspiration from warm, precious jewel tone pigments, Lloyd Simmonds, Creative Director Make-up Yves Saint Laurent Beauté, describes as:

“Pink quartz, amethyst, pyrite, malachite, azurite, jade, each possesses a hypnotic beauty. When you hold them in your hands, these precious stones diffuse energy and light, like galaxies. Their crystalline purity and voluptuous opalescence were the departure point for the creation of the Spring Look 2013 for Yves Saint Laurent.”

This collection features three new Creme de Blush: 7 Rose, 8 Brown, 9 Pink (Baby Doll Pink). These blushes are very unique. They apply and blend like a cream but set to a powder finish. However, the finish is luminous, radiant and healthy looking. Incredibly easy to apply, this product feels like silk, ensuring a seamless result. The lightweight, mousse-like and non-waxy texture does not break-up makeup, and can be layered for higher color payoff.

Baby Doll is my current favorite. It looks very pink in the pot – almost neon, however, when blended, creates the perfect flushed cheek. Swoon. Apply with a light hand for a subtle effect or a heavy-hand for a statement look. Baby Doll really makes the skin look fresh and healthy.

Suggested application: Using fingertips, gently apply to the apples of the cheeks, blending up and outward toward the hairline. Gently tap into the skin for flawless blending.

How-To: Missoni SS13 Neon Coral Lip

❊❊❊

missoni

Nothing lights up the face like a bright lip. One of my favorite makeup looks from Spring/Summer 2013 was Missoni. This neon coral lip is electric and fresh.

Off the runway – try this look with a barely-there face. Just a little mascara and blush/bronzer is all that is needed.

The Look:

“Cosmic couture… Futuristic, aerodynamic, astral, light, beautiful and radiant.” – makeup artist Lucia Pieroni for MAC.

LIPS

1. Mix together MAC Pro Lipmix in Fuchsia, Orange and White for a strong, vivid coral and use the MAC 316 Lip Brush to apply perfectly over the lips, keeping the edges noticeably straight.

2. Apply MAC Pro Pigment in Red Electric with the MAC 217 Blending Brush to set and matte the Lipmix, and provide a neon finish to the lips.

TIP: If you don’t want to mess with a myriad of products – try Maybelline Color Sensational Vivids in Shocking Coral or Vibrant Mandarin (my 2 favorites). For a matte look – dust some translucent powder or bright matte blush on top.

Terrific Toner: Mario Badescu Special Cucumber Lotion

❈❈❈

mario-badescu-special-cucumber-lotion

Clarify and disinfect with Mario Badescu’s Special Cucumber Lotion. This refreshing, deep-cleaning astringent is an anti-bacterial solution that will help to disinfect skin and discourage acne flare-ups. Though this description sounds harsh – it is nothing but soothing and gentle.

I hate the word astringent. It reminds me of products like Sea Breeze – that we used to basically burn acne off the skin. The Special Cucumber Lotion is considered an astringent, but I use it as a toner. Though it does contain alcohol and sulfur – it has never been overly drying. Despite the alcohol ingredient – it doesn’t burn or tingle when applied. It feels super soothing and nourishing and makes the skin feel clean … really clean.

I like to use this product when the seasons change. The weather gets a bit warmer and my skin acts confused. Unable to embrace any skin type – combination, oily, dry or acne-prone. I believe this product calms and soothes my skin back to normal.

Ask for sample of the Special Cucumber Lotion to see if it works for you.

Currently Coveting: Isabel Marant Linda

✺✺✺

isab

Currently Coveting: Isabel Marant Linda Studded Leather Shoulder Bag

Inspired by Elvis, the Linda bag is embellished in multicolored studs, grommets and Swarovski crystals. Designed in leather and suede, this bag is beautifully structured and keeps with Marant’s western cowgirl theme from SS13 runway. Not to mention… my perfect summer bag.

Tried & Tested: LAYLA Softouch Effect Nail Polish

❂❂❂

layla

LAYLA Cosmetics Softouch Effect Nail Polish is a new “soft textured” nail polish that lasts up to 10-15 days. This revolutionary formula is soft to the touch which makes application virtually goof-proof.

These fast-drying nail polishes do not need a top coat or base coat and come in 12 matte and shimmer colors: Marshmallow Twinkle, Golden Touch, Stone, Neon Pink, Cherry Diva, Limoncello, Fire it Up, Queen Bordeaux, Aqua Zen, Turquois Splash, Mudhattan and Noir Touch. The formula will not stain the nail and is free of toluene, camphor, formaldehyde and DBP.

Tried & Tested: Besides a shellac or minx manicure, (which I am not a fan – Read: HERE) this is the longest-lasting polish I have ever used. It dries almost like a gel and leaves a curious cushion/soft texture that instantly conceals any goofs and/or mistakes. Incredibly easy-to-apply, the polish seems to mold to the finger nail. The formula is opaque in just one coat, but perfect in two. I would not describe these polishes as matte. Most matte nail polishes are made with a powder substance, which is what gives them that slightly chalky look. LAYLA Softouch Effect contains a wax that creates more of a demi-matte finish.

A must-have for the girl painting her nails while running out of the house (me…sigh). LAYLA Softouch Effect dries almost instantly and any bumps or dings can be “massaged” back to new.

ABOUT LAYLA COSMETICS:

LAYLA Cosmetics is an Italian company based in Milan, the capital of fashion, and was the first to introduce nail polish in Italy. Now, the company features a wide range of nail polishes and makeup products. LAYLA Cosmetics can satisfy the nail polish needs and desires of every woman, from the sophisticated business woman to the young, artsy college student.

LAYLA Cosmetics is also one of the first brands to create magnetic nail polish. Their revolutionary Magneffect Nail Polish was formulated to react to the magnet on its cap, creating instant, three-dimensional designs in seconds. The quick drying, high-shine finish requires no base coat, and is easily removed with nail-polish remover. Basically, LAYLA Cosmetics created imaginative fun in a bottle.

Not only will your nails sparkle with spectacular shine and uniquely captivating colors, but all of LAYLA’s nail polishes are formulated without formaldehyde, toluene and DBP, and they’re never tested on animals. So, whether you’re looking for unique nail polishes or a fast-drying top coat, LAYLA Cosmetics has the perfect product for you!

Bejeweled: Rebecca Minkoff Jewelry

✤✤✤

Rebecca Minkoff debuted her first jewelry collection last week. The 52 – piece collection features horns of pave crystals, bracelets and spiky bangles, rings, and chain-link earrings. Accented with Swarovski Crystals and Art Deco-inspired glass stones, there is something for everyone.

The designer was inspired by the downtown girl who dresses for her “desk-to-dinner lifestyle.” Portrayed in the collection with great layering pieces and sparkling statement pieces.

The collection ranges from $48-$498 and is currently only available for pre-order – ready to ship on October 19th. It will then be available at select Bloomingdales stores and online at www.rebeccaminkoff.com.

Chain Drop Earrings – $78.00

All Pave Thinnest Bangle – $128.00

All Metal Thinnest Bangle – $98.00

Deco Multi Chain Necklace – $198.00

Pave Horn Necklace – $498.00

Jet Square CZ Earring – $68.00

Heart Bracelet – $98.00

Brand Bravado: Alpha-H

✵✵✵

Australia’s best-selling skincare brand – Alpha-H – was born from a desire to make a difference to one’s skin. Best summed up as a cosmaceutical range, Alpha-H bridges the gap between skincare and cosmetic procedures. The professional-grade formulas improve the appearance of your skin’s tone, texture and clarity almost instantly.

As one of the first Australian companies to develop glycolic cosmeceutical skincare, Alpha-H products contain a scientific blend of Vitamins A, C and E with naturally harvested ingredients. The combination is designed to assist in treating lines, wrinkles, pigmentation and acne problems. 

Alpha-H’s team of scientists spent years developing the best formulations for optimal skin health. Alpha-H believes in using active ingredients, not fillers, for maximum and fast results.

Alpha-H’s range includes award winning skin care products across a wide range of categories such as cleansers, facial scrubs, skin repair serums, glycolic and non-glycolic moisturizers and outstanding sunscreens.

Liquid Gold, the brand’s hero product has developed a cult following around the world. As the name suggests, Liquid Gold is a luxurious indulgence for the skin. It is a powerful resurfacing and firming solution that jump-starts the skin to help refine enlarged pores while improving the appearance of fine lines, acne scarring and pigmentation to deliver a brighter more radiant complexion. Key ingredients such as licorice and 5% Glycolic extract leave the skin looking more youthful, plump and energized.

One of the best skincare lines I have ever used, Alpha-H provides quick and tangible results. After just one week, I noticed an enormous difference with the texture of my skin. After a couple months, I have noticed dark spots fading, firmer texture and less breakouts.

Last night, Alpha H launched in the US. Products are now easily accessible HERE.

Additional Alpha-H Review: HERE

Trench Time: Club Monaco Harper Trench

✺✺✺

There are a few wardrobe staples that every girl should splurge on and a trench coat is one of them. Synonymous with Fall, a trench coat is a classic coat that can be worn again and again, season after season, year after year.

Each season, the classic silhouette is updated to suit upcoming trends; cropped, long, textured, printed, metallic. I am a big believer of – if it ain’t broke… The classic design has been around since World War I and is still going strong.

Two qualities of my perfect trench coat are classic in design and beautifully tailored. My current favorite is the Harper Trench by Club Monaco. It features the classic double-breasted style with button closure and belted sleeve hem. The fit is strong but feminine and very flattering.

A trench coat is a versatile fashion piece that can be worn with both light and heavy layers. Rain or shine the trench coat is a classic and chic must-have.

%d bloggers like this: