Thursday, August 21, 2008

Product of the Week: Sephora By OPI - On Stage


You asked for it. You got it! What am I absolutely obsessed with this week? My favorite nail polish color - On Stage (Grey Plum) by Sephora By OPI. I carry it everywhere. Those models even begged me for it =) I had my nails done Monday, but being the klutz that I am, 3 of my nails have chipped. I will be going in first thing tomorrow to get it fixed! I LOVE LOVE LOVE On Stage! It is perfect for fall! And I am falling hard.. in love with it!

Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm Review

Not all cult products require you to bust your piggy bank to enjoy them and Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm is a perfect example. Made from natural beeswax, this lip balm is the best seller from Burt's Bee line.

I have been a huge fan since I was a little girl! I love its bright yellow colored tube. It also comes in a tin and I currently have 2 of that. I always have at least 3 tubes handy because New York winter can be harsh and I count on this lip balm to soothe my cracked and chapped lips!

Another plus about this product is that it leaves a minty feel. I always look for this in lip balms because it helps me feel fresh! I like to dab a little lipstick (using my fingers) onto my lips after using the beeswax lip balm. The beeswax lip balm is also infused with vitamin E, peppermint, coconut oil, sunflower oil, and lanolin.

Fans of this lip balm includes Denise Richards, Demi Moore, Charlize Theron, and Brooke Shields!

Buy it today at most drugstores or online: $3 for 0.15oz (tube) or 0.30 (tin).

Note: If you are allergic to lanolin, then this is not the product for you.

Links of the Day: Beauty Gifts

Bloomingdale's beauty department is having all sort of beauty offers. Check it out.

Clinique, Dior, Perricone, and La Prairie are offering free gifts with purchase at Nordstrom.

La Mer, Chanel, Jo Malone, and many other exclusive luxury brands are offering free gifts with purchase at Neiman Marcus.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Look of the Day: Hayden Panettiere

Photo: Just Jared
One thing for sure, Hayden Panettiere always has the most perfect makeup! If her makeup artist is reading this (yeah right!) please give me a call! As requested by a reader, here is the breakdown of Ms. Panettiere's (dress: Herve Leger) look when she attended The Whaleman Foundation benefit earlier this year. I heart her dress!

FACE:
Note: No products or color recommendation; please tailor to your skin type/color.
Step 1: Start with clean face.
Step 2: Apply a illuminating tinted moisturizer such as Laura Mercier's Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20-Illuminating with fingers all over face and neck for that luminous glow Hayden is known for. I would not recommend using a liquid foundation because the center piece of this look glowing skin!
Step 3: Apply concealer as needed: under eyes, conceal blemishes. Dust loose powder over to set concealer.
Step 4: Only apply loose translucent powder on T-zone since her makeup look is dewy/luminous and not matte, but we also need to control the shine.
Step 5: Highlight the bridge of your nose, forehead, chin, inner corners of eyes, slightly around the nose, and apples of cheeks with NARS, The Multiple in
Copacabana. Blend. Start with a soft application and build as needed. Over highlighting is a big faux pas!

CHEEKS:
Step 1: Apply Shu Uemura, Amber 85 (neutral beige) on the apples of your cheeks and blend outwards.

EYES:
Step 1: Apply primer all over eyelid. I recommend Urban Decay Primer Potion (see review) to help eyeshadow adhere.
Step 2: Using eye brow powder and an eye brow brush, fill in sparse spots with light feathery stokes and brush to blend with an eyebrow brush. Apply brow gel to set brows. This is like hairspray for your brows and helps your brows stay in place all day long.
Step 3: Apply an ivory color all over lid. I recommend Dior's 5-Colour Eyeshadow - Beige Massai 705. The ivory color is the top right color in this palette.
Step 4: Using a blending brush, apply the brown/beige color from Beige Massai (bottom right) from the lash line to crease. Blend. Focus the color application on the outer corners of the crease and blend the color in to achieve depth.
Step 6: Line your upper lash line and lower water line with a black eye pencil like MAC's Eye Kohl in Smolder. Using an eyeliner brush like MAC's 209 Brush, go over the upper and lower lashline with a black eye shadow (MAC's Carbon) and smudge well into lash line and blend.
Step 7: Apply false eyelashes. I like to use MAC's 30 LASH, focusing on the outer half of the eyes.
Step 8: Apply loads and loads of mascara to top and bottom lashes! I am loving Lancome's Oscillation!

LIPS:
Step 1: Using a brush, apply NARS, The Multiple in Antibes on your lips.
Step 2: Apply NARS, Orgasm Lip Gloss to the center of your lower lip and blot.

You can purchase this look online at Sephora and MAC. If you would like more celebrities look, please let me know who and if you have a picture - even better! Just paste the link in the comments section.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Beauty Gifts: Macy's

Now at Macy's. With any $29.50 Lancôme purchase. Choose Your Lancôme Signature Bag. Plus: Fall beauty begins with this fashion-forward collection of must-have beauty portables. Plus, FREE SHIPPING with your $50 Lancome purchase. Includes the following:
  • COLOR DESIGN Sensational Effects Eye Shadow Quartet in Positive, Floralesque, Moccachino and LezardNEW and alook card Showing Two Step-by-Step Eye Looks
  • COURBE VIRTUÔSE Mascara in Black
  • EFFACIL Gentle Eye Makeup Remover
  • LE ROUGE ABSOLU Reshaping & Replenishing Lipcolour (Full-Size) in Rose Petale
  • NEW! Magnifique Eau de Parfum
  • Offer good while supplies last. One gift per client, please.
  • RÉNERGIE Anti-Wrinkle and Firming Treatment
Just enter promotion code: LANCOME at checkout! Online and in-stores at all Macy's locations!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Jonathan Product Serious Volume Volumizing Shampoo/Conditioner Review

I caught onto the vegan hype a year ago and was trying out all things vegan. Living in a big city like New York made it easy, as there are many hip vegan eateries all over the city and grocery stores that sell vegan produce.

When I heard about Jonathan Product's Serious Volume Volumizing Shampoo/Conditioner, I knew it was only natural for me to get it. This line is free of sulfate and washes hair with a sugar foam base.

Although I was told that this shampoo (8.4oz for $20 at Sephora) is highly concentrated and I would only need a little ("a little goes a long way), I found myself using a significant amount of shampoo to clean my hair the way I want to. Granted, that has been the curse of having thick hair, but I never had to use this much shampoo.

The other thing I did not like about this shampoo was that my hair would tangle up into a big web of mess after I shampoo due to the sugar foam base. Maybe sulfate wasnt such a bad thing after all. Needless to say, I did not purchase the shampoo after I finished it.

As for the conditioner? I did not like it either. The conditioner (8.4oz for $22 at Sephora) had a hard time untangling the mess created by the shampoo. Sometimes, drug store brands are better as proven in this case; also, they dont break your wallet! There is one thing that I love about this line. It smells so amazing - like sugar :)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Murad Energizing Pomegranate Lip Protector SPF 15 Review

I bought the Energizing Pomegranate Lip Protector SPF 15 last week after reading about it as a best beauty buys in a magazine and I am loving it. Pomegranate is well-known for its high antioxidant content and this lip gloss is infused with doses of pomegranate extract.

What I like about it is that it is not sticky or too glossy, but protects my lips against chapping with a sheer tint of color. Just what I am looking for. I also like to layer it on top of my lipstick or use it alone for a natural look! Best part: it has SPF 15; something everyone should look for in a lip protector.

Buy it today at Sephora, $16.50: Energizing Pomegranate Lip Protector SPF 15. 10% of the retail purchase price will benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Boscia Fresh Blotting Linens Review

An oily and shiny face is never in. To combat shine, I turn to Boscia Fresh Blotting Linens. I found them to be the most economical and it does an amazing job! Unlike powdered blotting paper, this blotting linen absorb oil without creating the cakey look. Boscia Blotting Linens is the size of a card holder and fits perfectly into any makeup case.

Buy it today at Sephora, $10 for 100 sheets: Boscia Fresh Blotting Linens. Comes in Original, Green Tea (pictured), and Lavender.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Clarisonic® Skincare Brush Review

My skin has never been better since I started using Clarisonic Skincare Brush. I purchased this brush at the urging of those models and have been using it for the past 3 months.

I wanted to be sure I got my money's worth because $195 for a skincare brush is no small matter. This is the experiment I did for 1 month. I cleaned half my face with Clarisonic and the other half the regular way. What I noticed after 1 month was that the half that was cleaned by Clarisonic was brighter, healthier, and more luminous. That was all the proof I needed! I started using Clarisonic religiously on my entire face. The sonic frequency moves Clarisonic's soft, gentle brush back and forth at more than 300 times per second to give you the deepest possible clean.

A word of caution, I did a trial by using the sensitive brush. Initially, I did experience slightly more breakouts (for about 2 weeks) but I continued to use it as I was told that was normal. After the 3 weeks mark, the only thing I experienced was smoother, cleaner, and more healthy looking skin. I am not sure why that is, but I think my face just was not used to such a deep clean. The amazing part of this brush is that after I cleaned my face the regular way, I would go over it again with Clarisonic and Clarisonic would pick up dirt from what I thought was a clean face. Imagine my horror!

The following benefits are listed on the website:
  • 6 times more makeup removal
  • Leaves skin feeling and looking younger and smoother
  • Cleanses so well that products absorb better
  • Gentle enough for twice daily use
  • Helps reduce oily areas, dry skin patches and blemishes
  • Helps reduce the appearance of visible pores
  • Reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
What I love, love about this brush is that it feels as if I am with my facialist everytime I use it. It has something to do with the sonic frequency that moves the brush back and forth at more than 300 times per second!! I think paying $195 for the brush can actually save me money in the long run because I no longer need to go for facials every two weeks! I do it once a month now because there is just not a need. I have friends who suffer from eczema and rosacea and they love that Clarisonic is gentle enough for them!

Set includes: A Clarisonic brush and charger, one sensitive brush head, a 1 oz Refreshing Gel Cleanser, 1 oz Nourishing Care Cleanser and a 1 oz Hydrogel Cleanser. Replace your Clarisonic brush head every three months and cleanser every two months, if used daily. The gray brush can even be used to apply shaving lubricant for a closer shave. I got mine in pink because that is my favorite color. Buy one today at Sephora, $195: Clarisonic Skincare Brush.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Beauty Gifts: Neiman Marcus


The Estée Lauder Dream Event: Exclusively at Neiman Marcus

Your Free Gift with any Estée Lauder purchase of $55 or more. Enjoy a 7-day supply of Re-Nutriv Ultimate Youth Creme and Hydrating Creme Cleanser, the latest lip and eye colors, a 10-day supply of new Sumptuous Bold Volume™ Lifting Mascara, and a stylish black patent-trim tote and cosmetics bag. A dream gift, worth $150.00.

Your gift includes:
• Deluxe Gold Fluted Compact containing Estée Lauder Signature EyeShadow Duos in Rosenberry, Black Moon, Mocha, and Plum Sugar and Pure Color Long Lasting Lipstick in Rubellite, Autumn, and Sugar Honey.
• Full-size Pure Color Long Lasting Lipstick in Candy.
• New Sumptuous Bold Volume™ Lifting Mascara in Black (10-day supply).
• Re-Nutriv Ultimate Youth Crème, 7 milliliters.
• Re-Nutriv Intensive Hydrating Cream Cleanser, 30 milliliters.

Start shopping at Neiman Marcus.

Beauty Gifts: Bloomingdales


Get a deluxe 5-piece gift with any foundation or moisturizer purchase of $32.50 or more. Choose between Warm and Cool tones. Go to Bloomingdales today.

Guerlain Meteorites Illuminating Pressed Powder Review

The legendary Meteorites powder gave birth to a new illuminating pressed powder!!! This latest product from Guerlain comes from a line of cult favorites and is expected to be a best seller in no time. In fact, the most popular color, Beige Enlumineur, is already sold out at most stores. Lucky for me, mine is sitting pretty on my vanity table :)

Inspired from the classic Meteorites pearl, this pressed version like its predecessor leaves a faint scent as it washes over your face to give a healthy glow.

I did not think Guerlain can ever out-do the Meteorites pearl, but oops they did it again. The packaging for the pressed powder looks classier and prettier than the pearls - paper packaging never really worked for me. The best part, the pressed version makes it easier to pick up the powder with a fluffy brush. I love the subtle glow it gives to my complexion.

As noted on Sephora: Each compact contains an array of four complementary shades that create a luminous glow, the correcting color in the center can be used to conceal redness, cover blemishes, or tone down dark undereye circles. Swirl on the corresponding matte and pearlescent hues to touch up your look with a subtle iridescence.

This visually stunning pressed powder comes in three shades: Mythic Parfait (translucent glow), Rose Frais (rosy glow), and Beige Enlumineur (golden glow). Check it out at Sephora, $65: Guerlain Meteorites Illuminating Pressed Powder. I know it is on the slightly expensive end, but one compact lasts forever (1-2 years, depending on frequency of use). The hardest thing for me was using it for the first time, because it looks so pretty in the compact that all I wanted to do was to look at it!

Vogue Beauty Tips - Tipping at Salons and Spas

Ever wonder how much you should tip?

This month's InStyle Beauty Buzz visits this much debated topic for us and Shamila Zare, spa manager at Sycamore Mineral Springs in San Luis Obispo, CA, provided the following guidelines:

20% for outstanding service
15% for good service
10% not as good as expected
0% if it is unacceptable

As for the owners? Regina Viotto, spa director and co-owners of the Paul Labrecque Salon and Spa in NYC said "I don't expect tips, but I do accept them."

I independently inquired my hair stylist, colorist, facialist, and massage therapist - they acknowledge that the guidelines provided by Zare is best practice! I can always count on InStyle to set things straight.

Beauty Gifts: Nordstrom

With your $100 beauty or fragrance purchase, receive a chic tote filled with the following deluxe samples from favorite brands:
  • Bare Escentuals® bareMinerals® Face Color in Pure Radiance (0.02 oz.)
  • Bvlgari ‘Eau Parfumée au thé blanc’ Oshibori Refreshing Towel
  • Clarins Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch (0.13 oz.)
  • Donna Karan Cashmere Mist Body Lotion (0.2 oz.)
  • Ed Hardy by Christian Audigier Eau de Parfum Spray (0.05 oz.)
  • GoSmile Advanced Formula B1 Tooth Whitening Ampoule
  • Kinerase® Intensive Eye Cream (0.1 oz.)
  • NARS Potent EFA Cream (0.24 oz.)
  • Pangea Organics Facial Cleanser—Egyptian Calendula & Blood Orange (0.1 oz.)
  • St. John Signature Eau de Parfum Spray (0.05 oz.)
  • Shiseido ‘The Makeup’ Pre-Makeup Cream SPF 15 (0.21 oz.)

Visit Nordstrom today!

Sephora by OPI Review

Nail giant OPI teamed up with Sephora this fall to launch the exclusive "Sephora by OPI" nail color line. Featuring 54 shades, this collection is affordable ($9) and bound to be a huge hit.

OPI is famous for the quality of their nail polishes and Sephora by OPI is no exception. The color slithers on perfectly and is extremely consistent. The rubber tops are perfect to prevent slippage and provide a firm grip when applying color. It is also extremely helpful when opening the bottle for the first time because they seal them so darn tight!

I am amazed at the color selection from this collection: nude to sheer to bright and bold - there is something for everyone! I bought the following from this collection: Metro Chic (must buy for fall), Never Enough Shoes, Mr. Right Now, I Need Space, Don't Go There, Beauty Junkie, Dear Diary, and Never Enough Shoes. My favorite: Metro Chic. It is already sold out so buy a few while you can.

This collection is free of DBP, toluene, and formaldehyde.

Check out the entire line at Sephora: Sephora by OPI.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Smith's Rosebud Salve Review

Every wonder what is the one thing our favorite gossip girl cannot live without? Leighton Meester opened up to Us Magazine in this week's issue "The thing that I cannot live without Smith's Rosebud Salve." There you have it.

Smith's Rosebud Salve was launched in the 1800s and is still wildly popular today. Celebrities and makeup artists horde it like it is soon to go out of production. And at $6, you cannot ask for a better deal.

I love the cute tin packing and the faint scent of rose. Rosebud Salve is a multi-faceted product and can be used in many ways. Here are some of my uses for this cult favorite product:

1. Lip moisturizer - sometimes I like to layer it over a lipstick or use it as a base before applying my lipgloss.
2. Cuticles cream - every wonder how to get amazingly soft cuticles? Rosebud to the rescue. While on long flight, Rosebud serves as my cuticles cream. What better way to spend time than to moisturize my cuticles.
3. Eyebrow gel - I dab a little bit of Rosebud on my fingers and use it to tame my eyebrows.
4. Pigment primer - I love my MAC pigments, but it is hard to get them on without properly priming the skin. Dab a wee bit of Rosebud all over the lid and those pigments will look as vibrant as they can be.
5. Blush - When I am going for the nude look, sometimes I dab Rosebud on the apples of my cheeks for slight color and dewy effect. If you desire more color, simply top it off with some blush.
6. Hair serum - Believe it or not, Rosebud works wonder at taming frizzy hair.
7. Foot cream - If my feet are really dry, I slather Rosebud all over them and wear socks before going to bed.

I recall I once even used it as a burnt oilment and it worked pretty well!

Buy it today at Sephora for $6: Rosebud Salve.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Vogue Beauty Tips - How to get flawless complexion

Here are a few tips to achieve that flawless complexion:

1. Never go to bed with makeup. Everyone knows this but some people still do it! Those models, see previous posts, swear by this no matter how tired they are, they never go to bed with makeup. Your skin needs to breath to regenerate itself overnight. Leaving makeup on clogs your pores and that is how those pesky pimples breed.

2. Drink water! Some say 8 glasses a day; some say half a gallon. Whatever it is, your body consists of 75% water so make sure you replenish any lost moisture. Drinking enough water also aids the body flush out waste and toxin. If you can substitute one of those glasses with green tea - even better as green tea is full of anti-oxidants.

3. Exfoliate regularly. Exfoliating helps to remove dead skin, unclog pores, reduce the appearance of pigmentation/wrinkles, and aid in the absorption of moisturizers.

4. Use a mask suitable for your skin type once a week. Exfoliating prior to mask application will allow for deeper penetration beneath the skin surface to thoroughly clean your pores and bring your skin back into balance. If you are short on cash, try out the famous aspirin mask. Crush 3-4 aspirin (uncoated) pills, mix a few drops of water to disintegrate the aspirin, then add a tablespoon of honey. Aspirin contains beta hydroxy acid. It helps dry out blemishes, decreases skin's oil production, and exfoliates the skin at the same time.

5. Get enough sleep. Sounds simple, but when I dont, I noticed my skin looked flaky and breakouts are more frequent. That is why I always shoot for at least 8 hours of sleep every night.

Hope it helps!

Monday, August 11, 2008

SK-II Facial Essence Review

SK-II is huge in Asia and loved by many Asian celebrities. I first found out about this collection 4 years ago when I was vacationing in Australia; coincidentally, Cate Blanchett the Great is now the ambassador for the brand.

Like most SK-II newbies, I started my voyage with SK-II with the Facial Essence. The Facial Essence contains more than 90% Pitera (SK-II signature ingredient) and works like a miracle to restore the skin's vitality and promote skin cells regeneration.

As I mentioned in my earlier posts, I used to have pretty bad pigmentation problems due to acne and have found the Facial Essence to work well at reducing those unsightly dark spots on my face. I liked it so much that before I left, I bought 2 more bottles of it to take back home. I noticed after 2-3 months that my skin was more balanced and supple.

This is a must-buy for anyone who wants to try SK-II. I used it like a toner after washing my face in lieu of my regular toner, except I skip saturating it in cotton pads since I do not want to waste any essence! The 2.6 oz retails for $85 at Saks and lasts for approximately 6 months.


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Guerlain Le 2 Mascara Review

Since we are hot on the heels of the vibrating mascara debate, I decided to do a review on Guerlain's Le 2 Mascara that I tried a while back. Of all the non high-tech mascaras that have debuted this year, I am most impressed by Le 2 Mascara. I can do without the large bristles wand, but the smaller bristles wand (tilted 7 degrees) truly lives up to Le 2 Mascara's tag line of not leaving any lashes behind. If you recall, I have relatively (ok, that is an understatement) short bottom lashes and have struggled to apply mascara to them since most bristles on the market are too big. If I have a lot of spare time, I will take the small bristles wand and use that to slowly define, curl, lengthen every single lash - top and bottom!

I still like Lancome's Oscillation better, but for defining those bottom lashes, no one does a better job than Le 2 Mascara. Get one at Sephora, $35, for those special nights out when you need to make your eyes pop: Le 2 Mascara. Comes in three colors: Black, Brown, and Blue. I like black because at the price, I want it to be worth its while.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Laura Mercier Eye Basics Review


I love almost all things Laura Mercier so when I was given a sample of the Eye Basics from her collection I was elated! This eye primer is advertised as not only water-resistant but also crease-proof and is formulated with aloe vera, chamomile, and many botanical extracts to moisturize the eyelid while providing a canvas for makeup to grip onto.

Do we have a challenger to Urban Decay's Primer Potion? Sadly, it is not even close. The Eye Basics is a cream-based primer that goes on to create a matte finish. The texture is hard to work with and does not blend seamlessly onto my eyelid. It left me with an inconsistent wash of color and varying results. The verdict: stick to Urban Decay's Primer Potion and only try Eye Basics if you are given a sample, and spend the $22 on a MAC Paint.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Estee Lauder TurboLash All Effects Motion Mascara Review

Estee Lauder: TurboLash All Effects Motion Mascara, $30. I consider this mascara the ugly sister to Lancome's Oscillation. For $4 more, you can get the better mascara (Lancome's) of this vibrating mascara battle of the year. Although Estee Lauder's micro-pulse bristles work great at separating and defining each lash, the formula simply isn't as good as Lancome's. Once again, Lancome has proven itself worthy of its crown. I know tagging beauty items as "exclusive" or "sold out" tend to make them more appealing; but unless you have wads of cash lying around, don't rush to buy this. Wait for Lancome's Oscillation official launch this fall.

Sweet Lily Natural Nail Spa and Boutique Review

Featured in this month's Harper's Bazaar is one of my favorite nail salons, Sweet Lily, frequented by many models, such as Christy Turlington, and discerning beauty insiders. I heart Sweet Lily's amazing line of manicures and pedicures and its cozy shabby-chic like decorations. I drift off to a place far beyond every time I sink into one of their ultra plush and comfy chairs.

I highly recommend its seasonal Orange Ginger Pedicure. Every bit of this pedicure is a luxurious experience in itself. From the moment you sink your feet into the mix of orange juice with gorgeous slices of floating oranges, to the spicy ginger scrub used to exfoliate all the dead skin and cells. And to top it all off it ends with a relaxing foot massage! An hour of pure bliss for $64 with a nail color application of your choice! This is a worthwhile investment because no Manolo-wearing lady should be caught committing a horrendous cuticles crime!

This seasonal pedicure ends 09/30/2008, so call for an appointment today: (212) 925-5441, or check out its wide range of selection online: Sweet Lily Spa. Sweet Lily is located at 222 West Broadway NYC 10013.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Chanel LES 4 OMBRES Quadra Eye Shadow in Smoky Eye Review

I love the smoky eye look so when I saw the Chanel LES 4 OMBRES Quadra Eye Shadow in Smoky Eye at my girlfriend's (fellow beauty junkie) place I knew we had to play makeup! This palette of white, silver, gray, and black colors can be combined to achieve many variations and intensities of the smoky eye look.

I went home determined to get one for myself, and after researching I discovered that, sadly, this collection is available only in Asia. I don't see why it should not be launched in the US as it would be a perfect complement to Fall's sultry berry and gray colored accessories.

Yves Saint Laurent Top Secrets Flash Radiance Skincare Brush Review

Today is a very exciting day! I received a bag of beauty goodies containing 25 must have item-of-the-moment! Look for reviews over the next few weeks!! I am in heaven trying all of them!

One of the items I received is the Yves Saint Laurent Top Secrets Flash Radiance Skincare Brush. If you recall, YSL earlier launched the very successful Perfect Touch Radiant Brush Foundation which quickly became a beauty editors and insiders favorite! The best part of the Top Secrets Flash Radiance primer is, again, its built in brush.

Like its predecessor, the brush allows for even, flawless distribution of the product to create a velvety smooth canvas for foundation or makeup application. In lieu of my regular primer, I used Top Secrets and layered it with a liquid foundation. The staying power is phenomenal. It lasted all 14 hours with minor blotting throughout the day. I love how smooth and radiant my skin looks just after using Top Secrets! This is one product that will stay the course and become as famous as the Perfect Touch Radiant Brush Foundation. I can feel it when I positively glowed throughout the day and received a few compliments from my coworkers!

This product is worth a try, Sephora, $52: Yves Saint Laurent Top Secrets Flash Radiance Skincare Brush.

Laura Mercier Illuminating Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20 Review

What I love better than an iconic product is a reissue, updated version of it (like Chanel 2.55). This fall, Laura Mercier does just that, updating its signature Tinted Moisturizer with micronized pearls, so that dewy, luminous skin within all of our reach.

I love how buildable the formula is to cover imperfections. Mix it with your regular foundation for heavier coverage, or blend with another moisturizer for a sheer application. With its built in SPF 20 protection, you are automatically covered for sun protection.

It comes in three shades: Bare Radiance, Natural Radiance, and Warm Radiance. Buy it at Sephora, $42: Illuminating Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20.

Tracie Martyn Enzyme Exfoliant Review

An appointment with Tracie Martyn can set you back $300, that is if you can get in, the wait list is 2-3 months long. But if you might run into Brad Pitt, the wait and cost are well worth it! Yes, Tracie Martyn counts Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston, Oprah (no last name needed), Sandra Bullock, Liv Tyler, Madonna, Rachel Weisz, Kate Winslet, among many of her elite clients. This women is the secret weapon of supermodels and celebrities alike!

Have no fear if you don't have the money for a personal facial, Tracie Martyn's line is available on her website and for a fraction of the cost, you can have a piece of her. Tracie's products are highly sought after by her celebrities clients, and Liv Tyler once begged for a preproduction sample of her favorite product to take home!

One of my favorite item from her line is the Enzyme Exfoliant which leaves my skin soft, supple, and glowing from one application. I found the gentle acid blend to work remarkably well on lightening pigmentation and dark spots from years of picking on my face (I am trying to quit this bad habbit!) and sun damages. The enzymes also penetrates deep into the pores for a deep clean, leaving my skin with a more refined, shrunken pores feel. As with all her products, the enzyme exfoliant is made with all natural ingrediants and free if all harsh chemicals.

Buy it online at Tracie Martyn, $90, Enzyme Exfoliant.

Lancome Bi-Facil Double-Action Eye Makeup Remover Review

Lancome is the queen of luxury mascara, so it is only fitting that the Lancôme Bi-Facil Double-Action Eye Makeup Remover is inducted into Allure's Hall of Fame Master List of Best of Beauty. Getting on the Allure Best of Beauty list is by no joking matter, and the Hall of Fame? Extremely tough! This makeup remover has also been featured many times in InStyle magazine as a Best Beauty Buys.

Lancôme Bi-Facil Double-Action Eye Makeup Remover is extremely popular with models and celebrities alike and amongst commoners like myself. This remover comes in what I call a dual layers liquid and is activated only when shaken before use. I wear contact lens and oftentimes waterproof mascara when going to the beach and this remover is gentle enough for my lens, yet tough enough to remove waterproof mascara without stripping the skin around my eyes dry. We know how important the skin around our eyes is, since it is so thin, excessive tugging and pulling can damage it. That is why I love the Bi-Facil. When shaken, the oil and makeup remover mix together and conditions the skin while stripping away makeup. It is also ophthalmologist-tested for safety.

Grab one today at Sephora, $26: Bi-Facil Double-Action Eye Makeup Remover.

Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Eye Mask Review

Bliss latest companion to its highly acclaimed Oxygen Mask, the Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Eye Mask, is Red Bull for your eyes! I am a huge fan of the Oxygen Instant Energizing Mask and the Eye Mask is simply icing on the cake!

The unique packaging allows for the active ingredients to stay fresh until you are ready to use it. I love to use mine cold, granted I have only used it twice, the first time I used it at room temperature. Then, I heard from those lovely models that they chill theirs in the freezer for 10 minutes before using so I did the same - and boy, were they right on target again!

After chilling it in the freezer, highly recommended, simply squeeze the liquid end of the pouch until you feel/hear it pop and let the fluid saturate the eye mask, peel off the foil and apply to under your eyes! The collagen, vitamin C, cucumber extract, and oxygenation will banish all signs of puffiness, and reduce dark circles - just like you had gotten a full night's sleep! I really need that with all the late nights of partying.

Buy a month's supply, 4 packs, $54, today at Sephora: Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Eye Mask.

Ted Gibson Goodnite Hair Repair Serum Review

When Angelina Jolie's go-to hair guru, Ted Gibson, is not busy working on the tresses of his celebrities clients, he is busy creating products that will help everyday women achieve to-die-for hair.

Ted Gibson's Goodnite Hair Repair Serum Review is the ideal hair tonic/potion for damaged hair. Formulated with lavender oils, wheat proteins, orchid extracts (his signature flower), and a potent blend of amino acids, this serum attacks all hair problems with startling results. When Anna Hathaway hair needed some extra TLC, she counts on this serum to do its magic.

Yes, at $200, it is enough to make mere mortals like us scream, but a little goes a long way for this concentrated serum. I suffered from oily scalp my entire life, seeing how my models friends all swear by it, I had to try it. The benefits of having friends in the modeling industry is not only can they get you into all the hottest clubs/restaurants at the flash of their model ID, but they have tried all the latest and greatest products (and sometimes I get their leftovers or unwanted items) so they save me time - and money- navigating through the heaps of products.

Every night, especially during those hot summer months, I squeeze a dime size serum from the dropper and massage it into my scalp and ends before I go to bed. This product absorbs so well that I have no residue on my pillow. The soothing scent of the lavender does not hurt either. I float to Neverland in my dreams and wake up to a more balanced scalp, soft, manageable silky mane! All my damaged cuticles? As if I ever had them =) I especially love to use this after a long day at the beach because it really restore my scalp and hair back to normal and reverse all of the environmental damages. This serum not only works for oily scalp but also for dry scalp to restore luster! A 4oz bottle usually last me 4 -5 months.

$200 is a lot to pay for 4 oz of hair serum, but if it gets you Gisele Bunchen's locks, it is all worth it. Get it at Sephora: Goodnite Hair Repair Serum.


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Givenchy Phenomen'Eyes Mascara Review

What an exciting year in the world of mascara! With the fashion world buzzing about Givenchy's Phenomen'Eyes Mascara unique spherical wand, I had to give it a shot. Christina Ricci, Liv Tyler, and a few other celebrities swear by this. I admit I was a little hesitant due to the hefty price tag, $27; but that is also the price of being a beauty junkie.

The first time I used it, I experienced some clumping because of how much mascara the spherical wand picked up. This is one mascara that takes some getting used to. But trust me, you will get better with practice. The results are amazing, one coat will give you eye-popping, curled, separated, long lashes. The shape of the mascara allows for more precise application to each individual lash as compared to a normal mascara wand; but, it also takes much longer to apply with Phenomen'Eyes. I experienced some trouble applying mascara to my bottom lashes since they are relatively shorter. I would not recommend using this on your lower lashes if you have short lashes. I ended up with smudges under my eyes. One tip for all of you, have your lash comb handy because this mascara is prone to clumping.

Although this concept is new and fresh, I am going to stick to the tried and true. At $27, I was expecting something magical. This mascara takes too much time to apply, is prone to clumping, does not work too well on shorter lashes, and at this price, I can get 4-5 drugstore brand that does the same thing, or pretty darn close to it. So even though it gave me amazing top lashes, the cons outweigh the pros. I will still being using this for the next 3 months, but do not plan to purchase a new one when I am done.

Try it today at Sephora, $27: Givenchy Phenomen'Eyes Mascara.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Sheer Cover Mineral Foundation and Concealer Review

When Charmed hottie, Alyssa Milano endorsed Sheer Cover, I knew it was time for me to try it. I always wondered what her beauty secrets are to looking so flawless all the time - now the cat is finally out of the bag. Ms. Milano said the following about Sheer Cover on her blog, “I use Sheer Cover, a mineral makeup with sunscreen in it. It doesn’t clog your pores and you can sweat in it and it still stays in place.”

The kit comes with a face wash, moisturizer, concealer with two shades, and two mineral foundation for me to blend my own "perfect" shade. Sheer Cover is "100% natural infused with skin soothing botanicals, natural sun protection, and anti-oxidant green tea to help protect your skin from the visible signs of premature aging. It contains NO oils, perfumes, dyes or talcs, so it’s gentle and non-irritating – even for sensitive skin. It also helps filter the sun’s harmful rays with SPF 15."

Having tried Bare Minerals, Sheer Cover pales in comparison to the brand that started the mineral makeup hype. I like having SPF 15 in my foundation, but to truly cover my imperfections I needed to build my coverage up and ended up with a slightly more made up face when I wanted a "Sheer" cover look. Also, as I have combination skin, by midday (imagine how humid New York summers are) my shine was out of control. Alyssa, please teach me how to properly sweat, because my Sheer Cover did not stay in place. It took me some getting used to the texture of the concealer as it is on the waxier side. Granted, it covered my undereyes circles well, but the lighter color was too light, and the darker color was too yellow. Thank you, I shall stick to my Cle De Peau concealer because it works for me.

The face wash is nothing spectacular and the moisturizer, well, it smells and feels like sunscreen. Maybe that is what you get for the bargain price of $29.95. I ended up using it all over my body as a sunscreen. I know this is a brand that is heavily endorsed by celebrities like Alyssa Milano, Leeza Gibbons, etc. Sadly, it did not work for me. I have many friends who have purchased and enjoyed it, but I am not one of them.

Anyway, that is just my two cents, but please keep in mind that Sheer Cover is backed by an amazing 60 days money back guarantee, so if you are not completely satisfied you can return it (yes, even the empty bottles) for a full refund (less shipping and handling). Check it out at SheerCover.com, $29.95: Sheer Cover Face Kit.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Benefit Eye Bright Pencil Review

Have you ever wonder why makeup artists, models, and celebrities swear by lining their eyes with a white pencil to make them look less tired yet it never worked for you? I finally figured out the trick! It is all about finding that perfect shade of color, and no, it is not white. Someone should have said pink. Yes, you hear me right. Benefit Eye Bright is the perfect color for the perk-me-up-look after a late night of studying, working, and partying.

I use it as a highlighter on my cheekbones, under my brow bones, apply to the inner corners of my eyes and line my eyes to brighten it, around my nostrils to minimize the shadow, and down the bridge of my nose to highlight! And for those special times when my dark circles are really bad, I layer this on top of my Cle De Peau concealer to brighten my eyes! The possibilities are endless; simply unleash your creativity.

This is a staple in Molly Sims makeup bag, and here is her tip: "If you line the insides of your eyes with this, it opens them up. Add mascara, and they look even bigger."

If you are unsure of how to use this magic pencil, check out this easy how-to by celebrity makeup artist, Carmindy, on YouTube. I swear, this pencil works on all skin tones, regardless if you are African-American, Latino, Asian, or Caucasian.

Buy it today at Benefit, $20: Eye Bright Pencil. This is one product you should not live without!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Bobbi Brown Mauve Face Palette Review

This fall, Queen of everyday basic makeup, Bobbi Brown shows the world that basic does not mean boring with her limited-edition Mauve Face Palette. This alluring palette features the following new and exclusive shades: 3 lip colors (Dusty Mauve Creamy Lip Color - sheer shimmery brown; Mauve Lip Sheer - sheer dark brownish rose; and Vintage Mauve Lip Color - darkest color of the 3, red with brown undertone); 3 eye shadows (Navajo - Ivory Beige, Vintage - soft gray, and Chocolate - grayish brown); and a blush (Mauve - dark rose). Even if you are not a fan of her Nude Lip and Eye Palette, this is one that will win you over.

As with all things Bobbi Brown, what I love about this palette is it accomplishes everything she wanted it to be: wearable, blendable colors for everyday use with a nod to vintage. Gray is huge this fall with all major designers debuting accessories in various shades of it. This Mauve palette is a perfect compliment to fall's accessories.

I'll be the first to say that I am not a fan of her Nude Lip and Eye Palette because of the lack of pigments in the collection, but the Mauve makes up for it. The cool tones work well for any skin colors and all ethnicities. For my day look, I like to use the Navajo and Vintage, and to take it to a night look I blend Chocolate into my crease with liquid liner and plenty of mascara!

What do I think? You can always count on Bobbi Brown to create shades that work for women; especially, working professionals, and those who are afraid of colors. But if you are looking for intense colors and pigments, stick to MAC.

Check it out at Neiman Marcus, $55: Limited-Edition Bobbi Brown Mauve Face Palette.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Stila Backstage Beauty Eye Shadow Palette - The Front Row Look Review

Stila is set to wow the crowd this fall with its limited edition, Marchesa-inspired Backstage Beauty Eye Shadow Palette that comes in a gorgeous faux leather (for all you animal lovers out there) wrapped with a rosette that can also be worn as a fashion accessory.

Included with this palette is a Kajal eyeliner and helps even the most novice makeup users perfect the simple smoky eyes look (think cat eyes!) or the nude makeup look. Stila - and MAC - is famous for how blendable their eyeshadows are and this palette is no exception! I love the versatility of the colors and they work well alone or with my other existing makeup collection! Definitely a purchase that will go the distance! The best part? They are highly pigmented and lasts all day!


Sign up to be a beauty insider today and grab this palette, $40: Backstage Beauty Eye Shadow Palette.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Lancome Oscillation Mascara Review

Good things are worth the wait. Maybe I did not exactly wait, but I did have friends in really important places (J, I love you!) who hooked me up this morning with the first batch of Lancome's Oscillation Mascara before its official launch this Fall. I heard from many reliable sources, unless you are a model or celebrity or a VIP, this is the toughest find of the day!

This breakthrough vibrating mascara, a first for Lancome, does 7000 oscillations per minute to wrap each individual lash with an amazing coat of the most velvety smooth mascara imaginable - 360 degrees! You go figure!

What do I think of this revolutionary mascara? God sent! Combined this with my Revitalash'ed lashes (see post on Revitalash) I now have these amazing Kim Kardashian lashes - all at the press of a little button on my mascara wand! I have never achieved such separated, lengthened, thick, feathery lashes - like ever!

If you were not one of those lucky few who managed to grab/beg/steal an Oscillation, $34, today, sign up for the email notification at Sephora when the shipment comes in and be the first to experience what is arguably the best mascara Lancome has every launched: Oscillation. And Lancome is famous for their mascaras, think High Definicils.

Update: So many people asked me what I did to my face today and many more commented on my gorgeous lashes! Ladies, this mascara is definitely worth the wait! Lancome, the luxury mascara giant, did it again by setting an incredible bar!



Sonya Dakar Drying Potion Review

Ever wonder how celebrities like Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, Gywneth Paltrow, Jessica Biel, Fergie, and Madonna always look so picture perfect on the red carpet while normal people like us combat zits? Look no further than the fairy godmother of skin, Sonya Dakar! If you are not among the lucky few who can score a facial with Ms. Dakar, worry not, Sonya Dakar Drying Potion, to the rescue.

The Drying Potion was named Best Zit Cream by the prestigious Allure magazine and lives up to its much hyped reputation. This is universally recognized in Hollywood as the last and only resort to banish those pesky blemishes before a red carpet event.

The formula consists of Dead Sea sulfur, lavender, chamomile, sage, peppermint and works wonder under the most extraordinary circumstances. I turn to this trust worthy lotion every time I notice a zit forming. I dab a bit of the potion on the problem spot, go to bed and wake up to a less noticeable bump. Granted it is going to take Harry Potter to make zits disappear completely but this comes as close to it as humanly possible.

Check it out at Sonya Dakar, Drying Potion: 0.5oz for $25; 1 oz for $45.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Mason Pearson Boar Bristle & Nylon Hair Brush Review

Mason Pearson is to brushes what Birkin is to handbags - ultimate, timeless luxury. Katherine Heigl, Marcia Cross, Anna Friel, Brooke Sheilds, Ginnifer Goodwin, and Jennifer Garner are just a few of the Hollywood celebrities who have enjoyed the "Birkin" touch on their gorgeous mane.

Growing up, I heard of this legendary brush, and have always wanted one. But on my $10/week allowance, this was an idea I dare not entertain. So when I finally started working, I scrimped and saved my tiny internship salary and did the once unthinkable: I bought a Mason Pearson Boar Bristle & Nylon Hair Brush! Now I finally have something in common with Victoria "Posh" Beckham. We both swear by our MP Brush! Although, I secretly wished we shared her husband, David Beckham, instead :)

Mason Pearson brushes are all handmade from pure boar bristle and you can definitely feel the difference when brushing your hair. I have never achieved such perfect blow-outs. The ends of my hair are smooth, straight and shiny; even strangers compliment how glossy my hair looks!

The best part? 6 years later, my brush is still going strong. I reasoned with many people that if I had amortized this brush, it would have paid for itself many times over, considering my old brushes never lasted more than a few months (note, blow-drying is my life!) And you wonder why this brush is a regular on the InStyle Best of Beauty Buys?

If you can afford it, why wait, go to Drugstore.com and start experiencing the smoothest, most voluminous or straightest blow-out you can every imagine. Mason Pearson Boar Bristle & Nylon Hairbrush, $126.

Look of the Day: Leighton Meester

(Picture from Just Jared.com)


Leighton Meester looked stunning at the premiere of The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants 2 so I was inspired to do a "look of the day" on her.

Here is how to get her look:

FACE:
Note: No products or color recommendation; please tailor to your skin type/color.
Step 1: Start with clean face, tone and moisturize, then apply a primer all over the face.
Step 2: Since her look is more of a freshed face look, I would recommend using a face tint as opposed to a foundation. Apply with fingers all over the face. Blend well to ensure no demarcation or spots.
Step 3: Use a concealer and go over areas that need more help, such as undereyes, blemishes, etc. Pat on and blend with gently.
Step 4: Set face with loose translucent powder using a big fluffy brush, focusing on T-zone.

CHEEKS:
Step 1: Apply Nars, Gilda (coral color) on the apples of the cheeks and blend out towards hairline.

EYES:
Step 1: Apply primer all over eyelid. I recommend Urban Decay Primer Potion (see review) to help eyeshadow adhere.
Step 2: Using a slightly darker colored eyebrow pencil, fill in sparse spots with light feathery stokes and brush to blend with an eyebrow brush. Apply brow gel to set brows. This is like hairspray for your brows and helps your brows stay in place all day long.
Step 3: Apply a neutral color all over lid. I recommend MAC's naked pigment.
Step 4: Apply a grayish eyeshadow (MAC Scene) from lashline to crease and blend.
Step 5: Using the same color, use an eyeliner brush and line the bottom of your eyes.
Step 6: Line the outer corners of your eyes with a gray eyeliner and smudge into the lash line. Go over your lash line with the gray shadow using your eyeliner brush to blend the colors.

LIPS:
Step 1: Line your lips with a pinkish-red liner like Pink 340 from Shu Uemura.
Step 2: Using your fingers, blot some lipstick (Shu Uemura Rouge Unlimited in OR 532) onto your lips, you do not want the look to be too "done" so do not use a brush.
Step 3: Apply a clear gloss over your lips.

Enjoy! Carry blotting paper to blot your face as-needed since no Gossip Girl should be caught with excessive shine! You can purchase this look online at Sephora and MAC.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Anthousa Cliff Rose and White Carnation Home Fragrance Review

When Maria Christofilis, founder of Anthousa, went to Italy to be an apprentice to a perfumer, little did she realize she would go on to create room fragrances that would fill the home of many celebrities. Anthousa, means the perfect bloom in Greek, launched in 2004 and it was not long before it became a household name among the well-heeled.

Anthousa's collection of fragrance diffusers boosted a wide variety of spell-bounding scents to satisfy even the most discerning shoppers. Kate Bosworth counted on the White Tuberose scent to unwind after returning home from her hectic worldwide Superman Returns promotion. Mandy Moore, Kate Hudson, and Jennifer Garner are just a few of Maria's celebrities and models following.

My favorite from the collection, one that I use all year round in my bedroom, is the Cliff Rose and White Carnation scent. I love the soft white floral blend that lingers around the room all day long and the hint of rose hidden amongst it. Although the website says that it lasts for approximately 9 months, mine have, at times lasted for as long as 12 months.

Anthousa's home fragrance diffusers come in three size, Grand (495ml; $90; lasts 9 months); Demi (245ml; $65; lasts 6 months); and Petite (100ml; $35; lasts 3 months). I always buy them in Grand because it just makes more economical sense.

Try my favorite scent today at Anthousa: Cliff Rose and White Carnation.

T3 Bespoke Labs Evolution Dryer Review

T3 Bespoke Labs Dryer Series is like no other out there on the market. It has consistently been featured in all the top magazines such as Instyle, Allure, Elle, W, Harper's Bazaar, my beloved Vogue, etc. It is also the winner of countless prestigious industry awards such as:
  • Winner of InStyle magazine's Best Hair Dryer award, 2008.
  • Winner of InStyle magazine's Best Travel Blow-Dryer award, 2006.
  • Winner of InStyle magazine's Best Beauty Buys, Editors' Pick Best New Product, 2008
  • Winner of Allure magazine's 'Best of Beauty' Editors' Choice Award for 2007.
The Bespoke Labs Evolution Dryer has been included in many gift bags (Salma Hayek and Jessica Alba are huge fans) for award shows such as MTV Video Music Awards, Annual Academy Awards, etc; and therefore, it is no surprise that this amazing dryer is used on many Hollywood A-list sets such as "Sex and the City", "Will & Grace", "America's Next Top Model", "Ghost Whisperer", etc.

On the fashion front, this dryer pretty much dominates backstage in New York Fashion Week and all the major runway shows in Europe. Stylist to the Stars, Adir Abergel even used this dryer on Anne Hathaway for her Oscar look while she chatted away on the phone - yes, it is that quiet.

I first bought the Bespoke Labs Featherweight Dryer, $200, wondering how I could ever justify the purchase, but after just one use, no justification was needed. This dryer is worth its money in solid gold! I was so impressed that I went out and got the Bespoke Labs Evolution Dryer, $300, a month later and left the Featherweight dryer at my then boyfriend's place in Soho. Needless to say, my boyfriend also took a special liking to the Featherweight. It has been rumored that he has since gone out and bought his very own Evolution dryer - I guess he will always remember me as the girlfriend who introduced him to the dryer that changed his life.

I get asked all the time why would anyone go out and spend $200 - $300 on a dryer when you can get one from Target for $20 that will dry your hair just fine. All I can say, is for all the skeptics out there to just give the Bespoke series a try. You will experience faster drying time, smoother ends, and did I mention how quiet it is? It works especially well on my thick hair. Before Bespoke, it used to take me an hour to blow dry my hair straight; now, it takes 30 mins and, I swear, I have never gotten my hair this straight before.

Try it today and watch it change your life. Get yourself one at Sephora for $300: T3 Bespoke Labs Evolution Dryer. If you want to save $100, try the Bespoke Labs Featherweight Dryer for $200.

Shu Uemura Tweezers Review

A good pair of tweezers is every celebrity makeup artist must have. Shu Uemura Tweezers delivers perfectly arched brows with its amazing precision. It is no wonder why this is the tool used on many models during New York Fashion Week!

Before my first Shu Uemura Tweezers, I was accustomed to $2 tweezers from the drugstore. Sometimes, I plucked 3 strands of hair as opposed to just 1, but I always thought it was part of the game. Not anymore!

I received this tweezers as part of a beauty gift bag and it changed my life completely. This slanted tip tweezers is extremely versatile and can pluck even the finest of hair. In addition, its super sharp ends really aids in precision plucking!

Get one today at Sephora, for $32: Shu Uemura Tweezers.

No! No! Hair Removal System Review

This is hot shit! The new revolutionary hair removal system, No! No! kicks major ass. I held back reviewing this product until I had properly tested it. At $250, I do not want to recommend a product that I would later regret. So test it I did, for the past 5 months, No!No! in my favorite color, pink ;)

What I had initially failed to realize, is that No!No! is not a razor, my bad. I was wondering why it did not give a clean, smooth "shave." Stupid me, I did not check the labels until 3 weeks into it when I thought it was weird that this so called "revolutionary" product would leave me with stubbles.

It was then that I went to Sephora's website, for I had received this as a complimentary gift and long tossed out the box and instructions booklet. It clearly states the following: "no!no! is not a razor: Using no!no! in conjunction with the buffer will remove the majority of hair, but not all. For smoothest results, especially in the first few weeks of your hair reduction program, use a razor along with no!no! for a clean shave. Use the buffer to remove residue and maximize smoothness, then shower or bathe and follow with body moisturizer."

This product is a hair density reducer and not a shaver! Yes, it does emit a semi-pungent odor, but there is always a price to be paid for beauty; and in my case, hair-free does not equate odor-free. That, I will gladly live with. How does it compare to a wax job? Not even close. No! No! is pain-free! Please note, No! No! is not for use on the face!

As for the hot blade, simply replace it with a new one when you feel that it is not working like it should. I replace mine every 5-6 weeks. Also, you need to make sure you are using the correct hot blade according to your hair length. One is for hair over 1mm and the other under 1mm. The first time I used it, I used the one for hair over 1mm; and since then I stuck to the blade for hair under 1mm since I use my No! No! every other day!

So after 5 months of using it every other day, I am proud to say I have seen a SIGNIFICANT (at least 50%) reduction in my hair density on my legs, arms, and underarms. I especially love that I no longer have to deal with in-growth hair which has plagued me all my shaving career. Yes, I am whole-heartedly endorsing this product.

Buy it now at Sephora, $250, No! No! comes in black, blue, and my favorite pink.

Dr. Perricone Nutrient Face Fortifier Olive Oil Polyphenols Review

Ok, so I used to smoke 1 pack a day back, behind my parents' back, when I first started high school to look "cool." Those years left me with fine lines around my lips and lots of regret.

Enter Dr. Perricone, MD, who is often consulted on everything skin related and featured in countless celebrities and fashion magazines. The Perricone specialist at Sephora recommended the Nutrient Face Fortifier to me even though it is usually reserved for slightly more matured skin - I was 19 then - but because I was combating fine lines, that made my problem, a slightly mature one :)


An excerpt from Dr. Perricone's website reveals "The polyphenols that are found abundantly in Olive Oil are extremely efficient and multifaceted antioxidants. Polyphenols are exceptionally stable and protective. The most powerful member of the polyphenols group is hydroxytyrosol. Extremely rare and effective in even small concentrations."

Despite containing olive oil, a major ingredient, this product is not greasy like I imagined it would be. Instead, the smooth texture wraps around my lips to nourish the damage years of smoking had caused and protects my skin from drying out.

Thanks to the concentrated doses of polyphenols, the lines around my lips are not as visible as before. And I am fortunate enough to stop smoking before it becomes too late for any doctor, no matter how saintly or famous, to save me!

Buy it today at Dr. Perricone for $90, Nutrient Face Fortifier.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Kate Somerville Enzyme Scrub & Mask Review

Created by Kate Somerville, the skincare guru to celebrities like Debra Messing, Geena Davis, Sandra Oh, Kate Walsh, etc, the Enzyme Scrub & Mask has the dual purpose to exfoliate and cleanse your pores to reveal dewy, flawless skin.

I received this product last year and has since added it to my list of favorites. I could feel the fruit enzymes dissolve, or was it wishful thinking, my backheads and clogged pores while the microbeads gently polish away all impurities on my face.

I used this scrub/mask consistently once a week, and after two months, everyone was commenting on how clear my complexion looked! I warn you, this can get really addictive. I splurge at times before an important event and use it as a hands and feet scrub. It works miracles.

Grab one today at Kate Somerville for $65: Enzyme Scrub & Mask.

Cle De Peau Concealer Review


Cle De Peau Beaute, by Shisiedo, is considered a luxury line adored by many celebrities and models such as Pamela Anderson, Catherina Zeta Jones, Cameron Diaz, Mary Louis Parker, Kim Kardashian, etc. Cle De Peau makes amazing products, but is best known to makeup artists for its innovative concealer. Frequently featured in all major fashion magazines as a best concealer buy, it was listed as an InStyle Best Beauty Buy for undereye concealer from 2005 - 2007. Even Kim Kardashian shared on her official site, she cannot live without her Cle De Peau concealer!

The concealer comes in a slick navy/gold packaging and unlike most concealers, the case feels solid to the touch and is in every sense a pure luxury. At $72, it had better be! Although many might squirm at the initial thought of spending so much money on a concealer, this gold encased stick is highly pigmented and does a flawless job of concealing undereyes circle. One small dot of this is enough to banish those evidence of all night partying to the abyss. I also like to use this concealer as a blemish cover up. The Ocher shade is perfect for my skin tone and coupled with my MAC concealer brush, I am able to fake it as if I was born with glowing skin. One other use of this concealer stick, as I sometimes do, is to use it as a stick foundation. Since it is highly pigmented I only need a few swipe of it on my face and the smooth creamy texture just melts into my skin.

The only downside - it comes in only three shades: Ivory, Ocher, and Beige. I highly recommend all of you ladies to run out, and get yours today since this concealer is regularly sold out. It took me three trips to Barneys on my last hunt, and yes, I bought all that they had left, which was a measly two. Find a store near you or get it at your nearest Saks, Neiman Marcus, Barneys, or selected Nordstrom stores.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Laura Mercier Pressed Powder Review


I have combination skin and have been addicted to buying all the pressed powder I can get my hands on, to find the best possible. Along the way, I have also encountered a few that I would not recommend to anyone. Laura Mercier's Translucent Pressed Powder is one of them, though Molly Sims love it. I was very excited to try this product because Laura Mercier is known for her amazing line of foundations, concealers, powders, etc - everything you need to achieve the perfect flawless face for your makeup application.

I bought this because I am a fan of her Translucent Loose Setting Powder, which contains absolutely no pigment and is made from pure talc, thinking I could get the same results on the go and in a more user friendly format.

Unless you plan to carry around a big fluffy brush to powder yourself with the Translucent Pressed Powder, you are stuck with the sponge. I made one of my few - I would like to think - beauty faux pas when I blotted myself lightly using the provided sponge without looking at the mirror. I was horrified when I went to the bathroom half an hour later to find some white powder streaks on my face! Imagine my horror. I was thankful it only took me half an hour before I checked myself in the mirror and since then, I never powder without looking at the mirror.

In spite of this, it did keep my T-zone matte throughout the day. Do not get me wrong, I still love Laura Mercier, but I just would not buy or recommend this product unless you plan on using a brush with it, and in that case, it works great. For my purpose, I wanted a pressed powder on the go, that I can blot as needed and not worry about visible streaks on my face.

If you still want to buy it, you can find it at Sephora.com for $30.