2.28.2010

essie for j.crew california coral


I went into J.Crew over the weekend to look for a black cardigan for work and somehow ended up with nail polish. I did not know that Essie and J.Crew had teamed up and created 3 colors to go with their spring fashions. I fell in love with the one that the sales associate had on called California Coral. It is a very pretty peachy-coral color that will be my go to for spring!

2.26.2010

Is Exfoliation Really Necessary? Yes, It Most Certainly Is.

Is exfoliation necessary? This is a question that I am asked frequently, and I truly feel that exfoliation is an important part of everyone's skin care regimen. I try to explain this to customers by giving the example that putting a $75 skin cream on your un-exfoliated skin is like watering your lawn when it is covered in plastic (I made that little analogy up myself!). Natural exfoliation happens naturally every 5 weeks or so. This is when dead skin cells are shed and replaced with new skin. Unfortunately, this process begins to slow down as we age due to hormones as well as free radical exposure and other toxins in our environment.

Luckily there are ways to to move this process along in order to stop those dead skin cells from building up, which can lead to dull, uneven skin tone as well as clogged pores. The two most common forms of exfoliation are microdermabrasion and chemical peels. Microdermabrasion involves physically removing the dead skin cells whereas a chemical or glycolic peel dissolves them. Both of these treatments are very effective but can costly when done in a spa or a medical setting. Recently though, several products have become available for at-home use. Some are obviously better than others; here are 3 of my favorite products for exfoliation at home:

 

1. DERMAdoctor's Physical Chemistry:  This product gives you the benefits of a chemical peel and microdermabrasion in one step. The cost is $75, which is very reasonable when you consider that a single microdermabrasion treatment can be as much as $400. I have been using this product for quit some time (even before I worked for the company, which I do, FYI) and have noticed a huge difference in my skin's overall texture.


2. Origin's Never A Dull Moment: I love love love this product. I started using this when I was 18 as an upgrade from the St. Ives Apricot Scrub and have been using it once a week ever since. I think that this exfoliator is a steal at $25. It uses the natural AHAs found in papay as well as ground apricot and mango seeds to genly exfoliate dead skin cells and debris.
3. St. Ives Apricot Scrub: I have to say honestly that I use to cringe when I was still doing facials every time a client told me that they used this scrub. Back in the day (the 90s) this was made with unsmoothed chuncks of walnut, inexpensive oils and parabens. I saw many girls do serious damage to their skin by using this product overzealously. In the last few years though the company has made some major improvements to the scrub: it is oil free and paraben free and contains 100% natural extracts and exfoliants. For under $10 I really like the gentle version of this product.

So to conclude, exfoliate your skin once or twice a week.

XOXO

2.18.2010

china glaze second-hand silk tipped in sparkles


I have been stuck in the house for the last few days due to the nasty weather we are having in KC, so I have been playing in my products. My nails are really long right now so I decided to try a look that I had seen in a magazine a while back.


Products:
1.The base color is China Glaze in Second-Hand Silk (2 coats)
 
2.The tips I did free-hand and they are Color Club polish in Sex Symbol

     3.  I let them dry for 30 minutes and then finished with two coats of OPI's fast drying top coat

love the new herme's print ad

Happy second week of February! For those of us in cold places that means that it is a little bit closer to Spring (and warm weather)! I always have had an interest in ad campaigns because I feel like they can be so inspirational. A beautiful ad can give you ideas for outfits, hair, nails and makeup! This is one of my favorite thus far for Spring 2010; the Hermès print ad featuring Karlie Kloss resting on a pile of the company's beautiful scarves. There is also one braided through her hair. So fab!


I hope that it inspires you! I know that I will be purchasing some orange nail polish in honor of this ad... or maybe this new yellow that I just bought from Essie?


 

2.16.2010

i desire cookies in the shape of louboutains


This is for real. The picture above is of a cookie that is meant to look like a Louboutin. Seriously. From February 13 to the 20th, Bergdorf Goodmand will be honoring New York Fashion Week by serving cookies, petit fours and other such desserts in their restaurant that are based on the designer collections being shown for Fall 2010.

Designers who will be represented in sugar include: Chanel, Marchesa, Oscar de la Renta, Michael Kors, Thakoon and 3.1 Phillip Lim.

Lucky plate.



2.14.2010

revlon super lustrous pearl lipstick in coffee bean

This is not a new color or a high-end brand, but as I've read through many of my favorite beauty blogs in the last few weeks I have noticed that not many of the drugstore colors that I have loved for years are mentioned. Many of us are aware that brands such as MAC and Urban Decay come out with "the next best thing" every season, but what about the tried and true colors that women have been using for years?

Revlon's lipstick in Coffee Bean is one of those colors. I started using this in high school and it soon became one of my two drugstore-brand staples (the other I will address in another post because it deserves its own page). Coffee Bean was even discontinued at one point, but disgruntled women of all ages managed to bring it back. This is one of those colors that looks good on the fairest skin tone, as well as the darkest. It can look super brown and bold, or with a gloss it can look like your lip color (but better). This lipstick goes on very smoothly and doesn't dry out your lips. I love it with just a lot of lash and some bronzer!



I paired Coffee Bean with Elizabeth Arden lip pencil in Spice and Lancome Juicy Wear in Sheer.



This is my mouth, slathered with lipstick and gloss...
This color is so beautiful, and for $7.99 everyone should own Revlon's Coffee Bean! Right now at drugstore.com if you buy one Revlon product you can get another for 1/2 off! You can have two Coffee Bean lipsticks for almost free!


 

2.10.2010

nars rouge andalou

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY WEEK!

I love Valentines day. From the colors to the plethora of hearts all over the place, something about it just makes me smile! If your having a hard time getting into the spirit of the holiday, try a coat of this vampy new varnish from Nars called Rouge Andalou.



This is a super shiny and sparkly red color that can be worn in any season. I love that it is not to blue and not to orange; it's the perfect shade of red in my opinion. It would look lovely paired with a cute little dress on Valentines Day as well! You can purchase this at beauty.com for $16.00.

2.08.2010

how to apply ardell 105 falsies

I am a big fan of false lashes. They can make a huge impact on any look, and with a bit of practice they are really not that scary to apply. Lindsay from Shrimp Salad Circus (an amazing blog that I love) asked me if I could do a guest post on how to make applying falsies simple. Check out my guest post here to see how I go from a little lash to a lot of lash using Ardell 105s!

http://shrimpsaladcircus.blogspot.com/2010/02/guest-blogger-velvet-doll-on-falsies.html


2.06.2010

if you call a product "beauty sprinkles" i will likely put it on my face

I am a huge fan of masks, so I was very excited when Alexandra Howard, the creator of Beauty Sprinkles, approached me about trying her product*. Then I got online to learn more about it and found mermaids, seashells and all natural ingredients; I could only have been more excited about trying the product if a pony had brought it to my front door.

Alexandra has worked with a world-famous plastic surgeon for over 17 years, witnessing firsthand the benefits of vitamin injections. She decided to find a way to give women a product that could offer them the same radiant skin that injections create, but at a fraction of the price and in their own home. After years of experimentation and research, Beauty Sprinkles was born!


Beauty Sprinkles is a topical solution full of all natural ingredients designed to hydrate, refresh and renew the skin. The ingredient list is very impresive and includes: green & white tea, pomegranate powder, vitamin B-complex and alfalfa powder (just to name a few).


To use Beauty Sprinkles you mix one of the packets with a tablespoon of plain organic Greek yogurt in the super cute seashell container that is provided in the kit. After letting it steep for 5 minutes, you then apply the mask to your face, neck and decollete (chest). The kit also contains Alexandra's full instructions for best results.




The money shot! Here I am using the product, covered in mask. Mr. Doll said it looks like I have fallen face-first in the sand when I use Beauty Sprinkles. I have chosen to take that as a compliment. The biggest change that I have noticed in my skin is how hydrated it feels without feeling oily. I think that Beauty Sprinkles would work well with any skin type. I would definitely recommend this product and plan to continue to use it myself!

* This product was provided to me by the company.

2.04.2010

opi absolutely alice




I was very excited about the OPI polish colors inspired by the upcoming Tim Burton film Alice in Wonderland. I purchased this one, as well as Mad as a Hatter. I do not like Absolutely Alice and will be giving it away. It is way to chunky and dried my nails out terribly. I am not sure what the problem is, but this is a really bad formula. It also took 10 cotton balls and half a bottle of polish remover to get it off. I loved Mad as a Hatter though (I'll swatch that soon).

If you are looking for a blue sparkly polish, I would suggest China Glaze's Dorothy Who. I tried this recently at State Beauty and loved it. It is not "chunky" at all and shows up a very bright and shiny blue.


2.03.2010

Why Yesterday Was The Greatest Day Ever!

So yesterday was a really lovely day, for several reasons. First of all, I was told that I got the job that I was very much hoping for. I've been lucky enough to work for Estée Lauder, run my own little spa and manage salons over the years. Recently I am thrilled to say I graduated from college (with honors) and received a degree in marketing. I was not sure how I was going to find a job that could incorporate all of those things: skin care, makeup, and business. I think that maybe my new job is going to do just that!

I am not good at math, nor am I musically inclined. I am, however, someone with exceptionally good taste. Ever since I could walk I was running around in my ruffled dresses and patent leather shoes (in 1985 mind you, when most kids were in Lee Jeans and sweatshirts), doing people's hair and makeup, and picking out what I thought they should be wearing. I was often found in party clothes when there was no party going on, applying bananas to my face (to moisturize it, of course) and trying to master the curling iron.

I will demonstrate this fact with a picture of myself at my fourth birthday party, contemplating the gifts before me in my ruffled dress, pink bead necklace, white tights and black patent mary janes.  


I wish that I still had that yellow Care Bear duffle bag. Oh, and ignore the dark hair; I have no idea where that came from... My point is that I truly think that I am meant to be in the business of beauty and making people feel good about themselves, so I am so happy to have a chance to do just that!



The second thing that occurred during the greatest day ever was my good friend showing up to say congrats on the job. She also brought me these cupcakes from Baby Cakes, my most fave cupcake spot. Mmmmm....



She and I went for Starbucks, and when I got home..



the MAC eye brushes that I had been waiting on forever where there! So to conclude, it was a fabulous day, something that I was very much in need of, as I'm sure many of you are as well.

I hope that all of you are having a great week, and thank you to everyone that has congratulated me on the job.

XOXO

2.02.2010

Makeup Artist To The Stars Scott Barnes And LashControl Mascara Info!



How do I get this guy to marry me and do my makeup??

After watching this video I became obsessed with LashControl Mascara. Having worked as a makeup artist, I understand the whole "wiping the brush off on your hand" mess (mascara is flippin hard to get off skin).  I had asked Jennifer from LashControl several questions about the product in an email and she was kind enough to send me this information:

" 2xBlack refers to the result of the brush, and the color of the formula. The brush is a fast covering high-low brush. I call it the zig-zag brush. It has a lot of crevices for the formula to collect and you can apply alot of formula quickly. Then, you would re-insert the brush, squeeze off excess and use the same brush to separate the lashes. the tip end of that brush has a full section of bristles which still lets you work tight into the corners, but because you can squeeze off excess, you can separate and spread the lashes where you want them to go. You can get drama to the extent you want drama! Add layers and control the application. The color-code package is purple.


Our "pink' package has a full tapered Christmas tree style brush. This will let you apply as delicately as you want. You can go from a totally natural look (great for a professional work day look or a Saturday morning) to adding layers which will let you build up the lashes.


The Clear formula is meant as a top coat - it will add shine and depth without adding more color on the lashes. I use it to top off the tips so that they aren't too heavy looking. I'm a blonde, but I like black mascara. I don't look good with weighty lashes. I also use it on my eyebrows.


LashControl truly has everything to do with how you want to look, and how you like to apply mascara. I discovered a great formula with a beeswax base and some terrific ingredients like ginkgo biloba, ginseng root extract, chamomile flower extract, etc. I am developing more formulas with different aspects and end results for future launches."


This mascara is going to be a big deal in my opinion. I want the LashControl Length & Condition and Clear Coat Mascara Duo that can be found for under $20 at HSN. What do you guys think? Is this not such a great idea?!

XOXO



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