Oh sheaaaaaaaaaaaa!


Alaffia Shea Butter Hand & Body Balm

$7.95

More info HERE

No stranger, is my late night love of beauty product shopping.

Last, Friday after some drinks with friends JennyG and Sophia at Silver Lining, my friend JennyG suggested that we take a detour before heading back to Brooklyn to explore the Whole Foods Beauty Section in their Tribeca Store.

I was looking for something stripped down, super natural, no water based hand/body balm, for use as a hand creme. My hands because of the dips in temperatures were getting a beating and even my old standby by Weleda was not cutting it. So, I tired a bunch of the body balms and hand slaves they had. I settled on this one because the scent was spot on (Roses), the texture was great and it hit all the right points with ingredients. The balm sank in super quick, did not leave a greasy residue and left my hands super soft for hours.

This morning when I showered I decided I was going to use this post shower, my skin had been a bit dry, and starting to feel the effects of the cooler weather too. At 2 oz, this little jar might be kind of expensive for everyday body cream, but that was nixed when I used it because a little does go a long way.

The staying power,  the hydrating power and the ‘this sinks in faster than super toxic cream power’, is AMAZING. It sinks in so quick so I can get dressed super fast without freezing my bottom off, and it hydrates like whoas. I could see myself trading in my longstanding Jojoba Oil post shower ritual for this, because its super quick and dries almost instantly. And the scent, the scent is the most perfect not too overpowering rose scent that I can’t get enough of.

Overall, this was a great late night impulse purchase that I don’t regret. I can’t want to decant some of this into a little jar for on the go hydration.

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Sandy

Fellow Brooklyners and anyone else effected by Sandy, I hope that you are staying safe and are reaching out to appropriate government services if you need them.

Lots of love,

One Product at a Time

Magic Powder Forever

Magic Powder aka Bobbi Brown’s Illuminating Finish Powder Compact Foundation

$ 44.00

More info HERE

This stuff is ridiculous It’s just pure perfection. I don’t know how many powders I have used over the years that barely do the job. Cheap stuff, expensive stuff, nothing every really did the trick. This powder on the other hand magically outperforms all others. Hands down.

So, I wrote this post a few days ago before the Hurricane Sandy stuff started and planned to post it tomorrow 10/29 and its funny because the product in this post originated in Hurricane Irene.  It looks like we might not have power tomorrow, though hopefully we will, nevertheless I am going to post this Toxic Tuesday Post today.

During Hurricane Irene last year, a bunch of my friends camped out at my apartment seeking higher ground. We had been up for a while drinking beer, and eating our survival snacks because thankfully the hurricane was not going to hit us– we were all very worried. But before my friends could return to lower ground, we had to ride out the watch because even though it was probably not going to hit and the city was urging residents to stay put.

We had been camped out for hours in my living room looking pretty ragged when my friend Sophia pulled out this powder, dabbed some on and, well, she looked amazing, like she had just washed her face and put on a fresh dash of make up. It was unreal. Even though the coverage was amazing, you really could not tell she was wearing any makeup at all–a tell tale sign of powder usage– instead she looked super fresh.

Powder can make one look older as it can settle into lines. Nevertheless, despite having just used powder, her face looked better, more even, shine free, certainly not like she had been hunkered down in a city apartment for hours drinking beer watching CNN. I was instantly curious, what had Sophia put on? I had to know what it was. While she was sitting on the floor of my apartment she told me it was Bobbi Brown. I asked her if I could try some on, she said yes and handed me the glossy black rectangle compact and I went to town. I tried some on, and I was instantly in love, my face which tends toward redness was markedly less red, the powder seemed to hug my face, in a way that made the powder not obvious. The best part was that it had the power to hide some of my blemishes in a way that was not cakey and overly done. Hello, Holy Grail!

After the hurricane, a few days later, I went to Bloomingdales to purchase this. I have been using it for over a year and I have been nothing less than super pleased. The compact is pretty enough to pull out when I need to powder my face and the color is spot on. It never looks obvious or dries me out. At the end of the day, a swipe of this, instantly lifts my look, and I am ready to tackle the next thing on my agenda without having to reapply a full face of make up. The best part is that it does not make me break out, and this one compact has lasted over a year.

As I near the time where this compact needs to be replaced, I attempted to replace this with lesser brands and nothing, NOTHING comes close. This stuff is amazing, it will make your life better, make you look awake and will make you a happier, better person. Well, maybe not, but it will bust through shine, hide things worth hiding, and never make you look like a powdery mess, which I looked like at one too many occasions with other brands. The powdery mess only becoming obvious afterwards through pictures posted on Facebook, but this is something I no longer worry about, thanks to Magic Powder.

Tone it down just a bit

Suki Concentrated Balancing Toner

$32.95

More Info HERE

I was getting some new foundation a few months ago, when I got into a skincare conversation with my makeup artist from Laura Mercier. I talked about how I thought I need foundation v. tinted moisturizer because I was breaking out and needed to hide my spots. Well she gave me some great tips for a new cleanser and moisturizer, but then told me something I had no idea about: that toner is pointless and bad for your skin.

A deep moral dilemma arose, were toners really that bad? Was I stripping my skin of vital oils? Was I actually making my skin worse? I thought about these things, and tried out her suggestion. I tried out the tip about not using toner and my skin did felt better, less dry, less tight, less red and generally less reactive. But I had all of this toner left over, and by all, I mean like several bottles. So I tried to think of new ways to use it.

Because the Suki Toner is in a spray bottle, I thought well, if I don’t use a cotton pad to wipe the toner on my face, inevitably stripping away good skin stuff, what would happen if I just sprayed it on right after cleansing and before moisturizing? Bingo. This was the combo I needed.The Suki Toner promises to reduce redness and spots. While the Suki Toner does calm down my redness, I have not noticed any difference from this product in terms of breakouts.

The best thing about this toner is that first, I feel super glam misting my face twice a day. The scent is really appealing in a  super glam earth mama kind of way.  And second I’ve noticed that having a moist face really increased the absorption of my moisturizer, making me use less product which means I save money on buying moisturizer, which is awesome.

So while, the Suki Concentrated Balancing Toner is great for reducing redness and okay at reducing my blemishes, the moral of the story is that you should spray toner not wipe it on with a cotton pad. If your toner does not come in a spray bottle, as I have mentioned here before, Whole Foods sells great empty jars, bottle and mini spray containers that I pretty much put all of my products in, for travel and on the go access, these bottles are not only functional, but look super cute too.

 

All the bebes are doing it

Mustela Hydra Stick

$9.50

More info HERE

I have mentioned before that I love French beauty products, not because I am obsessed with France, even though it is a lovely country that I had a great time visiting (Hey Rosey!) but because the EU regulates personal care products differently than the US, by regulating what chemicals are allowed to go into personal care products to protect consumers. The EU does not allow chemicals known to cause things including cancer, reproductive and neurological harm, into personal care products. The US, not so much. The EU has banned over 1,000 chemicals from being put into personal care products while the US has banned only nine.  I like products made in the EU because they make me feel extra safe.

The first time I used the Mustela Hydra Stick was in high school. I saw it in a magazine and hunted it down to a fancy pharmacy in NYC. I toted it around like I was the coolest person ever because I had this coveted little piece of magic from France.

Nevertheless, as I have mentioned in other posts, I like to, late night on the weekends, on the way home from being out, I like to go to drugstores. Conveniently, there is a great drug store that carries super hard to find brands and is open 24 hours a day down the street and on the way home to my house. So the other night after dinner with my friend Rosey, I stopped in and was inevitably greeted by the night staff that know me well.

I found myself in the baby aisle staring down this little pint-sized deodorant shaped stick of moisture goodness. Because I know Mustela is made in France I knew it would be made without parabens, sulfates, synthetic dyes, phthalates or triclosan, which it is, so I didn’t even have to do my compulsive label checking.  I walked that little stick to the register and skipped home.

The Hydra Stick is a great shape to haphazardly slap it on your lips and it lasts a super long time without being sticky. Its not shiny shiny, but rather it leaves a healthy moistness to your lips and because it is creamy, it tones your lips into this nice supple color, that’s not obvious and is totally unisex. It has a mild baby scent that’s odd for a lip product, but since that’s not its only use, as you can use it on your face too, that makes sense and besides the scent is nice. Its super cute in your purse and it makes me smile every time I pull it out because this little stick is so adult for a baby product and its funny to think of little French kids using it on the playground. Well I don’t know if that’s what all French kids do on the playground, but using my own childhood as a source, that’s what I would do.

*Above image used without permission from HERE

Yeah, you probably need more horse power

Butter London Horse Power Nail Fertilizer

$18.00

More info HERE

Despite going green, the one thing I continue to have a hard time giving up is my Gel Manicures. They are amazing. They last at least for me, three weeks (I only use the CND brand) and I save money, time and my nails always look perfect. But, I am aware of all the toxic chemicals in the Gel process, so I did give them up for a while.

Right now I’ve been traveling a lot and its much easier to have Gel nails on the go so I can leave all of my nail paraphernalia at home and concentrate on bringing other skin care necessities. But when I did give up Gel my nails were ragged, thin, peeling and not like they were before. I’ve heard dermatologist say that if you are going to get a Gel once in a while its okay, but not all the time one after the other. I clearly do not listen, because all the ladies at the nail place know me really well.

I was desperate to fix my nails. I was going all-natural and it was not pretty. This was the beginning of my quest to go green in my beauty routine and I was still teetering in and out of being green. I went through several conventional nail growth, fixer products that did not work including Nailtiques. I had been looking at the Butter London Horse Power Nail Fertilizer  for some time but it was expensive with shipping and I wondered if it would work at all, or if it would fail like the others.

Well, I was pleasantly surprised. I used this consistently, alone on bare nails and under Butter polish and my nails got stronger. I followed the directions to put a coat on once a day and to take it off after seven, and sure enough in about a month my nails looked much better. They were not perfect, I mean I needed to grow out my nails, but it did markedly improve them so I could wear bare nails or a little bit of regular polish, and it made them stronger.

The Butter London colors are also really great. The color selection is totally on trend and they offer lots of crazy fun glitter colors, which despite not being five, I think if you have a steady hand, can be really nice. The polish itself lasts a good 3-4 days before chipping, which I think is fine, because I’m rough on my hands and I don’t expect much longer than that. And besides it is just an excuse to change my nail color more frequently.

*Above image used without permission from HERE

Toxic Tuesday: Tainted Love

Tom Ford Lip and Cheek Stain in Tainted Love

$48.00

More info HERE

Enter my favorite activity, going out to eat with my high school girlfriends and immediately upon seeing them asking them if I can look into their purse. Well, this time, it was not so immediate   After a delicious birthday dinner for our friend Sarah (Congrats BTW!), I asked my friend Chrissy if I could look in her purse, she obliged, but this time instead of letting me explore, she pulled out this square lipstick case and was like “You have to try this, your gonna love it.”

I took the luxe tube from Chrissy, and in the small cramped bathroom of a NYC restaurant went to town. I instantly knew it was Tom Ford by the imprint in the product and got really excited. I put it on, and it was as Chrissy had warned me, the most perfect universally flattering color ever. I was in love. The color, just slightly burnt brick, a really subtle red whose texture is not glossy but rather leaves a nice scheen to your lips. It  was also completely moisturizing like a balm. The most luxurious tinted balm ever.

I kept putting it on, and then Chrissy told me I could use it on my cheeks too. I had just powdered my face so I needed a little something and this too was the perfect color for my cheeks. Just a nice healthy flush, nothing special, but nothing overdone. I love a multitasking product, but so often, the color just does not work on one part of your face. This one at least for me worked really well. I tend to have a reddish face so I sometimes shy away from blush because in my head I think it makes the redness worse, but this really just made me look healthy.

Chrissy then delivered the worst news: It was limited edition. Chrissy, being smart, bought two and told me if I could not find it, she would gladly give me one. I have such smart and nice friends. As soon as I could steal a moment away from the group I took out my iphone and searched for it. I found it at Neiman Marcus, and, I may have bought two and I could not be happier every time I pull it out to put it on.

*Above image used without permission from HERE

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