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Celeb Fav Bio-Oil: Just Hype or Heavenly?

22 Jan

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Bio-Oil is coined as specialist skincare for scars, stretch marks, uneven skin tone, ageing, and dehydrated skin. And, more recently Kim Kardashian revealed it as her secret weapon that she’ll be using throughout her pregnancy to keep stretch marks (and wrinkles) at bay. It is also reported to be  favored by celebs such as Natalie Portman and Rochelle Humes. So, why all the hype about this “miracle” oil?

The key ingredient is PurCellin Oil. PurCellin is not a single ingredient, it is a delivery system which reduces the overall thickness of the substance and helps Bio-Oil absorb easily into the skin, which in my opinion, it does well. The product may be called an oil and look greasy but it does in fact absorb super well, leaving a light sheen but not a greasy, slimy feel (unless of course, you over apply), But, just to be clear, PurCellin Oil™ is a laboratory recreation (man made) of the preen gland oil of ducks, and acts as the delivery system for Bio Oils other ingredients.

It is also a non-acnegenic product, can be used on sensitive skin and is hypo allergenic. Made up of a mix of plant oil and vitamins, Bio-Oil helps moisturize and enhance the skin to its fullest. It relieves dry skin, helps soothe after sun exposure, and can be used in the bath. In fact, one of my favorite ways to use it is in the bath for general hydration. For healing it is recommended to be used twice daily for a min. of 3 months.

As I’m not pregnant, nor am I using it for stretch marks, I cannot speak directly to those claims. But, I can give my personal opinion to claims of hydration and skin tone. After using it only for a few days a dear friend touched my arm and immediately remarked how soft my skin felt, loved it!

I also noticed the skin on my legs was looking more even, not as red. I’ve started to dab a little bit around my eyes for moisture and fine lines and so far, no breakouts, and good results. I’m hesitant to apply it all over my face because of break outs but I’ll let you know if I dare go there. Until then, I have to say for my purposes, Bio-Oil is pretty heavenly!

My only warning for those who are super conscious about ingredients is that Bio-Oil does contain paraffin or mineral oil in it. Paraffin is a solid mixture of hydrocarbons obtained from petroleum which does raise a flag for some people however, it is considered a low overall hazard and permitted by the FDA for use as as an ophthalmic emollient. For more information please click here.

Available at: Drugstore.com 4 oz $16.99

Key Ingredients:

Botanicals
Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract (Calendula Oil)
Lavandula Angustifolia Oil (Lavender Oil)
Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Oil (Rosemary Oil)
Anthemis Nobilis Flower Oil (Chamomile Oil)
Vitamins
Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A)
Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E)

Oil base
Mineral Oil (Paraffinum Liquidum)
Triisononanoin
Cetearyl Ethylhexanoate
Isopropyl Myristate
Glycine Soja Oil
Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil
BHT
Bisabolol

For more information: http://bio-oilusa.com/en-us

A More Natural & Still Effective Mascara: CoverGirl NatureLuxe Water Resistant Mousse Mascara

20 Dec

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I was drawn to this mascara when I noticed a subtle light green tube amongst the many brightly colored CoverGirl Lash Blast mascaras on the shelf. Hmmm, why the change of packaging and branding, what was in this CoverGirl NatureLuxe Mousse Mascara?

Well, what makes this product a little different is that although NatureLuxe Mousse Mascara is not an all-natural product, CoverGirl has swapped out a heavy synthetic ingredient commonly found in mascara which gives the product lightness. By incorporating naturally-derived ingredients like beeswax, tapioca polymers, and carnauba wax— the hope is to deliver a more luxurious product that performs just as well more costly products, but with a “luxury touched by nature” feel. I wouldn’t go so far to say it performs as well as other mascara’s in terms of volume and drama. BUT, it does create a nice clump-less effect that feels light and is great for daily day time use. It’s not as water resistant as other more synthetic water resistant mascara’s either but again a great balance for a more natural look that doesn’t smudge or flake!

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I would say for what it is, this mascara is brilliant! I feel like my lashes can breathe a little easier and I prefer a softer look for day time use. It’s easy to apply and with 2-3 coats gives me just enough drama and yet natural-looking clean volume. The wand is fantastic, not stiff hard but not floppy either. And, the shape of the brush and bristles were so that I could reach all lashes, including bottom ones, easily. If you are looking for high volume this probably isn’t the product for you. In other words if you’re looking for result akin to Taylor Swifts ad for the product which was banned, good luck. The ad was banned for excessive photoshop enhancement. But, if you want light and luxurious lashes that have volume without being vampy, give this a try! Your lashes will thank you.

CoverGirl NatureLuxe Mousse Mascara $7.99

Available in regular and water resistance formulas. Four shades – Very Black, Black, Black Brown, and Brown.

Coolest Weekender Bag for Him or Her

18 Dec

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When I travel I like to look put together but not stuffy or uptight. Usually that means a pair of leggings or stretch jeans with a simple Alexander Wang T-shirt (or I’m loving the Rag & Bone T’s right now) a super soft loose sweater, and a great carry on bag. Well, only very recently did I discover my new great carry-on favorite, J. Crew’s Abingdon Weekender $198.00

I LOVE the distressed casual look of this bag while still pulling it together with leather trimmings, handles, buckles, and most importantly the base. Having the base be all leather is the must-have as a lot of canvas carry-on or weekend bags have canvas bottoms, which will wear much faster. This way you can safely put your bag down and not worry about tears or stains like you would with an all canvas bag.

The label on the inside of the bag states ‘Dry Goods and Men’s Furnishings By J. Crew’ but I say this bag is UNISEX – rugged enough for a man and so hunter chic for a woman. Making it a perfect shared bag for weekend road trips, Hampton’s here I come, that won’t have him feeling shy about carrying around your lady weekender. And, this bag is well worth the price, a lot of bang for the buck. Well, time for me to go pack it up, I’m heading off to London tonight and so is my Abingdon.

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From J. Crew’s website: Inspired by vintage hunting gear, our Abingdon collection focuses heavily on timeless fabrics and made-to-last construction. You’ll notice recurring details such as rugged waxed cotton canvas, burnished leather trim and brass-finish hardware. We constructed this updated weekender with heavy-duty shoulder straps and added extra reinforcements to help it withstand repeated use. It’s really the perfect bag—tough, roomy and fit for all occasions (we think it’s too good just to be used on the weekend). Adjustable shoulder strap fully extends to 49 3/4″. 8″ handle drop. 17 1/2″H x 26″W x 9 1/4″D. Waxed cotton canvas.
Available in Khaki, Deep Olive, or Slate Grey.

Burning Desire: Candle Wish List

13 Dec

Screen shot 2012-12-13 at 10.10.36 AMAs a self acknowledged candle junkie I have tried and tried many a candle. And, many with great results. I’ve already written about my love for Diptyque’s Baies candles, a classic for year round, and now the Diptyque Holiday Collection $32.00 – $68.00  This limited edition Holiday collection is packaged in elegant lovely containers decorated with a replica of a hand-drawn design which gives off a beautiful colored light when burning.   The collection is a range of 3 candles Sapin Doré paying homage to the fir tree, Amber Oud  reminiscent of an Oriental journey filled with rare spices, and Oliban transporting you to an Arabian dream highlighting resin frankincense.

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For a better price point, still not bargain basement deals, I also love Voluspa’s Champagne Rose $24.00 or the Grande 3 wick versions for $60.00. The Grande version ha a 120 hour burn time and is beautiful on a table with a triple wick being burnt. It also smells divine with notes of rose champagne, cassis berries, and white rose petals. This scent really fills the room but is not too overwhelming. I like to light the Grande size when having guests over to create a nice warm ambiance.

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Every time I burn Restoration Hardware’s French Oak candle $39.00 – $49.00 EVERYONE asks what it is and remarks how much they love it, it is Herbes de Provence mingled with purple iris, white oak and a hint of smoky wood. Totally enveloping and the packaging is stunning for gifting! The candle comes is 3 sizes packaged in the wooden box which I now use on my desk filled with pens and colored pencils.

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And last but not least, Patch NYC OWL Candle $37.00 When I saw these candles I was drawn in by the vintage-inspired packaging and old world feel. Then for a double do good, the candles are 100 percent soy with a 72 hour burn time. The labels on the front of these candles are silhouettes of different animals and the owl scent is an earthy scent of sandalwood, tobacco and vetiver – perfect for a winter vibe. I also recommend the STAG candle with the scent of siberian fir that is fresh but not overpowering, thanks to light notes of citrus and raspberry.

Holiday Beauty Gift Guide Part 2: $100 and Under

11 Dec

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Beauty Bar Sample Society Gift Membership  3 Months for $45.00/ 6 months for $90.00  Join the SOCIETY and give a gift that keeps on giving with Deluxe-size samples from luxury brands (such as DDF and Oscar de la Renta) delivered to your door every month, $15 a month. Plus your giftee also gets a $15 gift code each month if they include any product from the brands sampled. This is the ultimate for a beauty junkie!

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Kiehl’s ‘Kenny Scharf Creme de Corps’ Limited Edition Soy Milk & Honey Whipped Body Butter $38.00 This is a doubly meaningful gift as it’s a gift that gives back, 100% of net profits up to $200,000 from worldwide sales of the Limited Edition Creme de Corps will support children’s charities around the world. And, whipped body butter is the perfect name for this luxe nourishing creme which has a rich clean scent. A classic gift of an item that has been a classic in Kiehl’s collection for over 4 decades.

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Chloé Rollerball Trio $55.00 I personally use 2 of these 3 fragrances and adore them, they have a beautiful kind essence. Each rollerball is 0.2 oz, is easy to pack, or great to throw in your bag as an on the go lady-like touch up scent.

From the Sephora website: Chloé Eau de Parfum captures the spirit of women—not about one singular woman, but rather about the rich and varied personalities of all Chloé women. Love, Chloé is a celebration of radiant, generous, and spontaneous femininity. Its fine, powdery scent is contagious, a beauty that is free and graceful.
L’Eau de Chloé is elegance injected with a modern twist. It’s an utterly innate sense of chic with the fresh feeling of springtime pastels, light dresses, and rose petals.


Screen shot 2012-12-10 at 6.30.00 PMJosie Maran Moroccan Scented Oil Trio $80.00 ($105 value) plus free shipping from Sephora
An all natural trio of luxuriously rich oils created with Josie Maran’s signature Argan Oil, an organic ingredient known to help prevent dehydration, inflammation, hyperpigmentation, and sebum production. Argan oil is produced from the argan tree in the semi deserts of Morocco and is the natural answer to maintaining healthy, youthful, radiant skin and hair. Additionally, these oils feature an exclusive blend of nourishing vitamins and essential fatty acids to infuse the skin with enriched hydration and encourage a healthy elasticity. Massage them into your skin for a calming effect or pour them into the bath for an aroma therapeutic experience, my favorite.

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Bobbi Brown Pretty Powerful: Beauty Stories to Inspire Confidence $29.95 Inspire beauty from the inside out, our motto at Glow + Tell. All the product in the world won’t make up for a bad attitude or a nasty spirit. So get in the right spirit as this book is a new kind of makeup manual that starts with who you are, rather than how you look. From the Bobbi Brown site “In this book, Bobbi interviews dozens of real women, celebrities, and athletes about what beauty means to them and shows, step-by-step, how to achieve each look. Along the way, she shares her trade secrets for striking eyes, youthfulskin, pretty lips, and perfect brows for any age, skin color, or beauty type. Brimming with personal and inspiring beauty stories from Blythe Danner, Alexa Ray Joel, Gabourey Sidibe and many others.” Bobbi Brown also has another beauty book manual classic called Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual $32.00 if you are looked for tried and true ‘how to’!

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Jo Malone London Pine & Eucalyptus Diffuser $75.00 This reed diffuser is a perfect gift for the Holiday season. Pine & Eucalyptus is the scent of Christmas morning and this collection is the ultimate way to have a lush lingering reminder of the warmth we surround ourselves with during the Holidays. It’s also a great gift for a friend who has everything because let’s face it who doesn’t love beautiful things that make your space smell beautiful… can you really get enough of them?

Liquid Facelift: Rodial Dragon’s Blood Sculpting Gel

6 Dec
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Rodial Dragon’s Blood Sculpting Gel has been dubbed the ‘liquid facelift’ for many reasons and I have to say after using it for the past month, I’m a big fan. Last month as I wandered around Harvey Nichols I was simply looking to up my hydration. I’d traveled from Los Angeles to London and after a week in the cold weather my lips and face were extremely dry. So, what started as an attempt for a moisture kick, ended in an expensive impulse purchase. I got fully sold into trying Rodial Dragon’s Blood Sculpting Gel. That night, with great buyers remorse after the hefty price tag, I opened the box and only hoped I’d found something amazing. Turns out it was pretty amazing! And, little did I know at that time that beauty Angelina Jolie is thought to be a fan.
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I wouldn’t go so far as to compare it with an actual facelift although I haven’t had one. But, it’s certainly a worthwhile step before you get to that point in life. The sculpting gel forms a skin-like film, you can feel it but that’s a good thing in this case, which protects against environmental damage and aggressions. It also reduces redness, true, and inflammation, true.
The key active ingredient, Dragon’s Blood (and where from the product gets its edgy name) is the bright red resin or sap of the sangre de drago tree. It has been using for centuries by ancient cultures for dye, incense, and healing. The red latex of the Sangre de Grado tree, native to South America, reportedly has wound-healing and antioxidant properties. The sap promises to plump aging skin to regain fullness in the face, while also helping to define its natural contours. On top of the product feeling great and filling its promises, the scent is gorgeous. In fact, I would go so far as to say this is my favorite smelling product, with a gorgeously subtle, fruity scent.
So, before I went to bed that night in London I happily touched my face thinking that after only one use my skin already felt silky smooth, soft all over, and much less red. And now 1 month later I’m just as happy to reach for my Dragon’s Blood. If only it wasn’t such an expensive habit!
*SAVE 20% at the SkinStore.com with promo code FAB20 at checkout. 

Key Ingredients & Benefits:

  • Dragon’s blood – contains phytotherapeutic actives that when applied creates a second skin-like film to protect against free radical damage and stimulates cell regeneration. Anti-inflammatory properties soothe and repair skin and reduce redness.
  • Collageneer – a patented active ingredient that effectively increases the synthesis of collagen, ensuring skin appears tighter, firmer and more wrinkle-free by promoting the production of high quality collagen.
  • Volufiline – increases fatty deposits within the skin to
    provide a fuller and plumper more line-free appearance.
  • Commipheroline – renowned for its anti-inflammatory and
    immune-stimulant properties, a more line-free appearance is created through a plumping action, by modulating two key mechanisms that activate lipogenesis.

Put Your Best Face Forward & Exfoliate!

4 Dec

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One of the steps we most commonly skip in our skin care routine is exfoliation. It is not a daily necessity but if you add this step into your weekly routine you will notice the difference almost immediately. So, in preparation for upcoming Holiday parties and winter weather, here is how and which gentle exfoliators we recommend use to put your best face forward! We’re suggesting gentle so as not to cause any irritation or skin melt-downs right before the Holidays!

The reason that exfoliation is important is that it is likely if you don’t ever exfoliate your skin is covered in dead skin cells. These dead cell can make your skin look dull, dry, and older. It will also have an effect on the way your makeup applies, specifically foundation, or how well your moisturizer absorbs. There are many different levels and types of ways to exfoliate such as microdermabrasion, chemical peels and retinoids. But for our purpose here are some tips and weekly (or bi-weekly) exfoliators that aren’t overly complicated.

TIPS:

1. Pick a scrub that is meant for the FACE. There are many body exfoliants in the market but they will be way too harsh for your face. Exfoliating body scrubs are usually thicker in consistency, sometimes contain oils, and are usually for exfoliation but not necessarily cleansing.

2.Always make sure to add luke warm, not hot, water while applying your exfoliator. Do not apply to dry skin as it can also make them too harsh. In fact most exfoliants are intended to be activated by using water.

3. Use gentle circular motion while massaging the skin. Do not damage your skin by thinking if you scrub harder it will make the product work better. Be kind to your beautiful face and take it easy.
4. Try our favorite exfoliating tool: Clarisonic They come in a range of options and colors and the new MIA is amazing as a gift available in tons of colors and you can personalize it! I did this for  my sister a couple of years ago and she loved it!
5. After exfoliation, don’t forget to apply your moisturizer! Always remember that a good moisturizer will not clog up your pores. It is a must for healthy nourished skin, especially when you are exfoliating.
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Cosmedicine Medi-Morphosis Self-Adjusting Exfoliator $18.97 One of the best safety features about this product is you can’t over-exfoliate with this scrub because the beads will start to dissolve before that even happen. It is great for sensitive skin and still highly effective without being harsh, it feels gentle.It is recommended for use twice weekly.

Noted by Cosmedicine: Inspired by the advanced exfoliation treatments performed in a physician’s office, this deep pore, resurfacing treatment with stop-action crystals: Accelerates the release of cellular debris, roughness, dullness and skin damage. Leaves skin smoother, brighter, more luminous and never over-exfoliated In clinical studies, it measured: 12% Reduction in pore size & Zero irritation or sensitivity among the 217 subjects tested.

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Olay Skin Smoothing Cream Scrub $4.79 at Drugstore.com. A conditioning beta-hydroxy formula with microbeads cleanses skin deeply while gently exfoliating to rejuvenate skin. It leaves a nice radiance and smooth feel. A good oil free option for every day use although you DO NOT need to exfoliate every day. This product may be slightly drying so remember to moisturize after use. This applies after use of any exfoliator.

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Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant $40.00 – 20% OFF at Drugstore.com Highly recommended but the priciest of our picks. This product starts out as a gentle, rice-based exfoliating powder which activates upon contact with water and turns into a lush foam. When activated it releases Papain, Salicylic Acid and Rice Enzymes that micro-exfoliate dead cells, instantly leaving skin smoother and brighter. Formulated without artificial fragrances and colors.

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