Oct 30, 2009

Organic Must Have-Squeaky Clean & Smooth

Talk about a two-in-one crowd-pleaser. I recently tried Elizabeth's Wild Hair Shaving Soap ($7.50, thejoyofsoap.com) and it's now a shower time favorite. It may look like your average handmade soap but this thick slab of sudsy meat is the answer to so much more!

The Joy of Soap is the eco-friendly company that makes this and several other innovatively crafted, all-natural organic bath products. The delicious smelling treats are infused with essential and fragrance oils and ingredients such as ginger, lemon, sweet orange and lavender. Yummy!

I'm loving Elizabeth's because of how multifaceted it is and efficient it makes me in the shower! Can you imagine, a soap that actually saves you time in the morning? The bar contains peppermint essential oils, ground pumice and willow bark. The ground pumice gently exfoliates your body, the peppermint oil makes you feel alert and tinglingly refreshed (kinda important in the morning) and the willow bark (known for its medicinal qualities-it contains salicylic acid) helps smooth out your "wild hairs" while shaving. This budget friendly wonder-bar left my skin feeling smooth and clean and cut my shower time in half!

Instead of fumbling around with shaving creams, body exfoliants and washes, I had one item that took care of 60 percent of my showering routine activities. So, if you're trying to be efficient, economical and eco-friendly and enjoy doing it this just might be the bar for you! 

Oct 27, 2009

Tip of the Day: Mixing Mascaras

When applying mascara, most people tend to stick to one tube at a time. Instead of being mascara-monogamous, try using more than when coating your lashes.

Use one slick of a lengthening formula, for Twiggy-esq lashes, like Rimmel London's LYCRA Lash Extender ($7.29 CVS). For your second coat go for high voltage volume that separates and curls your eye framers. Try Rimmel London Glam' Eyes Mascara ($3.74, Walgreens) or ModelCo's FATLASH ($32, thebeautymark.com).

Mixing mascaras will give you full dramatically long lashes that scream sexy without looking like your trying. It's a false eyelashes feel without the glue or work.  

Fun fact: Rimmel knows a thing or two about mascara. The company was started by French perfumer, Eugene Rimmel in the late 1800's. The cosmetics maven invented the first packaged mascara-which at the time was a mixture of Vaseline and coal dust. In fact the product was so popular, that the word rimmel still means mascara in several languages such as Portuguese, Dutch and Italian . Ahh the joys of applying coal dust to your eyes! Mascara has come a long way since then!

Oct 23, 2009

Sephora's Halloween Makeup Ideas & Solutions

As usual Sephora has come up with a simple yet ingenious way to make all of our lives easier. With Halloween a week away, everyone's scrambling to put together a costume that’s funny, sexy, relevant, timely and oh yeah makes you look AWESOME. With people posting (what has now become their annual) Halloween party pix on Facebook almost instantaneously, don't we all feel the added pressure to one-up our previous costumes and have friends comment on how creative and fabulous we look!? C'mon admit it!

Well, our favorite megastore is now helping us achieve and (perhaps inspire) the look that will complete your costume and new alluring persona. Each Sephora Brand Halloween Kit ($19, sephora.com) has the essentials to conjure up three different looks. The looks include a vampire, witch and rock star or doll, fairy and angel or Cleopatra, peacock or Greek goddess. After experimenting with these kits the costume possibilities will be endless and you'll be the Facebook Halloween superstar you know you are! A big thanks goes out to one of my favorite blogs, Makeup Bag, for keeping us all in the know about this amazing find!

Oct 22, 2009

Tip of the Day-Spooning

Is spooning the new way to look refreshed in the morning? According to Molly Sims it is!

The model-actress recommends keeping a spoon in the refrigerator to put on your eyes. By leaving the chilled spoon (or two) on each eye for five minutes you'll be able to reduce puffiness around the eyes. Having a spoon in your fridge at all times is an easy, accessible way to look like you've had a few more winks than your body knows you've actually had. Thanks to Molly and In Style Magazine for the innovative tip!

As for my advice: Don't forget to add caffeinated tea bags and thinly sliced cucumber slices to your refrigerated bag of tricks. Also use an eye treatment with caffeine in it then gently tap your finger around the delicate under eye area to increase circulation. Limit your intake of processed food which tends to be loaded with sodium (salty foods cause fluid retention which can lead to puffiness).

Oct 20, 2009

Be A Confident Online Beauty Buyer

Although regular excursions to your local makeup counter is the ideal way to scoop up and test out new finds, not everyone has the time or energy to carve out what inevitably becomes hours of joyous product scavenging. Isn't that always the case? You go to buy one thing and somehow always end up finding two other items you never knew you needed to have! It's wonderful to have an expert eye navigating which colors and compacts you'll radiate in isn't it? And you yourself can always tell whether that teal shadow you just tried on gives you a modern day smoky eye sparkle or conjures up a striking resemblance to Mimi from The Drew Carey Show.

That's why online makeup shopping seems so daunting for so many people. How can you really tell whether you'll like how a shade of lipstick looks or if an eye shadow palette compliments your skin tone? Once you buy it and open the packaging are you stuck with it forever? Those fears would turn anyone away from making your beauty buys a one-click process.

However, places like Sephora.com and Beauty.com have already anticipated your apprehension and adjusted accordingly. At Beauty.com many of the store's makeup products have a 100% Color Guarantee. This allows you to buy makeup online and if you're not happy with the color, return it for a full refund. Although this only applies to products that have the 100% Color Guarantee logo and you won't get a refund for any shipping costs you incurred that ends up encompassing a lot of different products and hues!

Sephora.com provides similar services to accommodate its customers. If you order a product, try it on and don't like it you can return the item and get a full refund if its sent back within 60 days of purchase. So if an item is slightly used they'll take it back and pay for shipping costs.

These two sites are in my opinion the best place to get the most variety, quality and reliability in customer service. So if you've ever hesitated about buying a blush or foundation shade this tid bit of information is for you! Click AWAY beauty lovers!

A Saucy Universal Red

Red lips are turning up everywhere this season and seem to be the must have makeup accessory for the Fall.

If you're tired of searching for the perfect crimson shade for your lips then you'll love Duwop's latest pout product, Private Red ($22, thebeautymark.com).

The scarlet tube is a color-changing concoction that morphs to adjust to each person's own unique chemistry. And ya know what? It really works! It goes on creamy (it's made of beeswax, castor oil and Vitamin E), doesn't dry out your lips and the color lasts all day. I'm talking -stays put after having drinks, food, yapping on the phone for an hour, you name it, its still on!

Private Red is my go-to red this season. I was struck by how Gwen Stefanie-glamorous it made me look. And while it looks great on me I was still pretty skeptical that it would look good on everyone and change to suit different colorings. Low and behold, The Beauty Mark's lovely blond and blue eyed Jackie Champagne informed me this is her absolute favorite new lipstick as well! From two completely different ends of the complexion spectrum, Private Red comes out the winner! Amazing!

So if you're dying to find the perfect red to compliment your new Fall wardrobe and self look no further than this sexy-inducing, lipstick on your collar kinda shade!

Oct 9, 2009

The Beauty Buff's First GIVEAWAY!!!

In celebration of this fabulous research study and their 100th anniversary, L'Oreal has decided to help me with my very first GIVEAWAY! Wahooooooo! And I couldn't be more excited by what we're giving away! Hair junkies: this is for you! Drum roll please….Tah Da! The iconic L'Oréal Elnett StrongHold Hairspray (i.e. The Holy Grail of hair products) will be my first foray into free giveaway land! Who doesn't love free?

This shiny gilded bottle is more than coveted; it's reached a cult status, with hair enthusiasts clamoring for the "perfect hair" inducing concoction.

Hairdressers and devotees alike had to travel to Europe in the past to fetch as many of these as fit into their wingspan but now it's finally made its way to American turf and sold exclusively at Target. I probably don't have to tell you but this "miracle spray" (as it's been referred to) works wonders on your hair with incredible volume, shine and flexibility. It offers a strong resistant hold for all day wear yet is incredibly easy to brush through and leaves your hair silky and shiny. Is there any other way you'd want your hair products to be!? It's been used on countless celebrities for numerous red carpet events and photo shoots and of course won a plethora of awards from the beauty elite like Allure and In Style (for three consecutive years) for best hairspray.

So in order to get a free bottle send me a message and tell me your favorite L'Oreal product and why you want to try Elnett hairspray. I'll pick winners at random and have the bottles sent to you. Sound good!? I think so!

Send me a private message (accessible at the top left of the page under the About Me section) ASAP! I want to hear from you!

Oct 5, 2009

Happy Birthday L'Oréal!

A happy birthday is in order for the beauty juggernaut L'Oréal! The world's largest cosmetics and beauty company turned 100 this year. Fabuleux!

It's hard to believe this powerhouse was started by just one person. French chemist, Eugene Schueller developed an innovative hair color formula and began manufacturing and selling it to Parisian hairdressers. Today L'Oréal is a multi-billion dollar global company known for its cosmetics, fragrances, hair and skin care products. I mean who doesn't own at least one L'Oréal product? L'Oréal also owns several other well known brands such as Redken, Kérastase, Maybelline New York, Lancome, Kiehl's, Giorgio Armani Cosmetics and Fragrances, YSL Cosmetics, Skinceuticals and La Roche-Posay to name a few. I know you own at least one of these products! The company in fact, now produced more than 80,000 products and has 23 brands under its belt. In addition it creates 7,000 new formulations annually. Translation? On a daily basis, scientists are inventing over 19 different formulas to make up new products.

What's amazing is what they've endured in their time as a business. In this current economic recession we've seen many companies in this industry forced to close. It's incredible to think that during all the dramatic twists and turns of the past century (recessions, wars, even the Depression) L'Oréal has remained a steady staple. Through out the hardest times, the iconic brand was even able to emerge as global conglomerate.

They're also no stranger to how major world crises affect women's beauty habits. Think post-World War II, ladies "putting their faces on" and never leaving the house without your red lipstick on.

With tough times ever present L'Oréal decided to do a survey on how women's beauty routines and habits are adjusting and being affected by the recession. The questions were asked to 4,000 women in the US and five European countries. Surprisingly they found that women have no desire to give up or cut back on their favorite products or services despite the economic crisis.

Here’s what else the Beauty Barometer study found:

*Nearly half of American women believe wearing makeup gives them an advantage at work and makes them feel more in control. (I don’t think I've ever gone sans makeup at work-even if that’s meant running a little late ;)

*The majority of women surveyed believe wearing makeup makes them feel more confident and believe it improves their self image. (without eyeliner and something on my lips I definitely feel self conscious)

* Proving that beauty is recession-proof-nine out of 10 women in the US and Europe reported no change in makeup usage despite the economic crisis (Yup, no changes have been made on my end)

*Women won't compromise on their hair either-when it comes to saving money, most U.S. women surveyed (63 percent) have not cut their hair to make it less expensive to maintain

* The three most popular makeup items U.S. women rely on are lipstick, mascara and foundation

*72% of U.S. women believe that wearing makeup cheers them up and makes them feel better about life. In fact, 1 out of 4 U.S. women surveyed said they recently bought a makeup item to cheer themselves up during this recession

* Nearly 40% of U.S. changed their hairstyle to cheer themselves up while 1/3 of women in the US and Europe have changed their hair color for the same reason

* U.S. women are twice as likely to polish their nails to cheer themselves up than are French and German women

While many people need to make cut backs right now and there are always far more important items to keep replenishing than a jar of your favorite expensive face cream or tube of red lipstick, it's sometimes much more about the confidence your fav items give you. Confidence has a very powerful effect on people. What this survey shows is that woman still want to look and feel good. So even if you have to keep recycling the same few outfits over and over in your wardrobe, if your hair looks good and your lips are glossy and bright, you'll still be able to feel like a million bucks. There in lies the magic of beauty products. It's a relatively cheap confidence and morale booster.

Do find these poll results accurate as to how you feel? Would you be able to go to work without makeup on? Do you feel better and more confident with it? How does having it on or off make you feel? Furthermore, have you been cutting back on purchasing any of your beauty staples or services because of the recession? Let us all know!