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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.
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Osmosis Skin Care Immerse Intense Moisture Boost

14 Nov

As the winter months roll in, skin can start feeling more and more parched, especially as we starting turning up the heat, or moving from the hydration-leaching cold outdoors to the equally hydration-leeching heated indoors. In comes Immerse to save the day. This super hydrating moisture boost smells like a lemon drop, feels like decadent icing, and rescues thirsty skin!

Most serums and moisturizers feel like they either sit on top of my skin or evaporate in seconds. Not so with Immerse.  This feels like it seeps into my skin for a velvety application that provides powerhouse hydration! It’s one of those rare products that I feel like my skin craves and adores. Perhaps it’s because Osmosis is a medical skincare line that penetrates past the top layer of the skin, unlike the plethora of lines that just work topically. It’s no wonder, it’s a favorite of skincare professionals and dermatologists.

Created by Dr Ben Johnson with the goal of moving skincare away from aggressive over-exfoliation, Osmosis is made with natural and organic ingredients that are compatible even with the most sensitive of skins. And the anti-inflammatory ingredients in Immerse specifically, makes this product highly effective for post-treatment wound healing.

Loaded with Essential Fatty Acid Omega 6s like Linoleic and Oleic Acid, Antioxidants like Blueberry Seed and Raspberry Seed Oil, and anti-inflammatory Calendula Oil, Osmosis Immerse is feeding your skin with hydrating and  healing nutrition!

Ingredients:
Linoleic Acid – Important component in our epidermal barrier as they are part of the glycerophospholipids that help maintain the barrier.
Oleic Acid – Important component in our epidermal barrier as they are part of the glycerolphospholipids that help maintain the barrier.
Blueberry Seed Oil- Potent oil very high in antioxidants to support the barrier and squelch free radicals.
Raspberry Seed Oil- Wonderful source of antioxidants combined with barrier supporting lipids.
Calendula Oil – More lipid support combined with the anti-inflamatory benefits of calendula.
D-alpha Tocopherol -Protective antioxidant designed to complement the variety of protectants in the rest of the formula.
Potassium Sorbate – Oil stabilizer.
Essential Oil Blend- Delicious combination of non-sensitizing oils, fragrance free of course.

Available for $32.40 at:

Amazon

Available for $44 at:

Beauty Store Depot

15% off code available

Heir Atelier Ultimate Make Up Prep

12 Nov

Skincare has gotten so complicated if we follow all the prescribed steps. Cleanse, tone, treat, moisturize, sunblock, prime. What if there was a product that eliminated half these steps? Well, it has arrived with Heir Atelier’s Ultimate Make Up Prep Facial Serum. You can choose to skip your serum, your moisturizer and your primer with this ingenious multi-tasker. Loaded with peptides to stimulate collagen production, Vitamin C & E to protect, Licorice Root to brighten, Squalene & Jojoba Oils to nourish and hydrate. All that and it’s paraben and silicone free.

Celebrity Make Up Artist Kendra Richards created a beyond elegant serum that disappears right into the skin. Pores and fine lines seem to fade, the skin looks brighter and more radiant, and makeup looks fresh all day! I was so impressed by the dream foundation it creates for make up application. It made my make up look more natural and yet flawless. And it photographs beautifully! It’s no wonder Heir Atelier has found a home in the makeup trailers of TV shows like 666 Park Avenue and The New Normal.

Photography by Steve Erle from Heir Atelier Site

And the packaging is beautifully thought-out! An airless pump dispenser that twists down to safely lock for travel. No explosion of precious product all over your favorite silk top. And there’s more! The price. $38 for an all in one, vitamin and peptide filled serum/moisturizer/primer! And if you are at all dissatisfied with the serum once you’ve tried it, Heir Atelier will accept your return and refund your money! What a risk free way to try something new.  But I have a feeling you won’t be retuning it. It’s amazing!

Ingredients:
Water (Aqua), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5, Cetyl Phosphate, Sodium Hydroxide, Squalane, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Dimethicone, Phenoxyethanol, Capryl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hexylene Glycol, Ascorbic Acid, Glycrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Cellulose Gum, Tetrasodium EDTA, Xanthan gum, Essential Oil, and Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojobo) Seed Oil

Available for $38 at:

Heir Atelier

Vau.lt

Sunday RIley Good Genes

6 Nov

Expensive sinkcare can be so hard to justify, but Sunday Riley has put  a miracle worker in a bottle with Good Genes. It is no wonder it is the darling of Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2013. Good Genes was a staple at Stella McCartney, Acne, The Row, Helmut Lang…

At heart, it is an exfoliating lactic acid treatment serum, best used at night. And what a powerhouse it is!! Discoloration and scars will fade. Lines will lighten. Texture will soften. Redness will subside. Complexion will brighten. Skin will look restored, refreshed, and luminous. It may sound to good to be true but I can’t find enough praise for the aptly named Good Genes!

A lot of exfoliating serums/creams, like glycolics, retinols, can be overly aggressive, leaving skin looking tired. Not with Good Genes! My skin has never looked stronger and more resilient, while feeling softer and more radiant!

My favorite way to use it as suggested by Sunday Riley is 5 days in row for a boost. Then I put it aside until I need another pick me up. I’ve always loved keeping my skin on its toes by not letting it get desensitized to amazing ingredients. Having this in rotation works like a charm. And thanks to not using it daily, one bottle can last a year!

Another great way to use Good Genes is applied generously as a mask for a quick immediate boost.

Barney’s and Space.NK counters at Bloomingdales provide generous samples. Go grab some and see for yourself. You skin will fall in love! Good Genes is one of those rare products that is worth every penny!

From the Sunday Riley Site:

Great to use 5 days in a row as an intensive radiance treatment or anytime you want to impress. Can be applied daily for reviving skin which is damaged by excessive UV exposure, aging, acne scars, pollution, lifestyle.

Ingredients:

  • Licorice (Skin Brightening, Fights Hyperpigmentation, Anti-inflammatory)
  • Squalene (Helps Repair Skin Barrier)
  • Yeast Extract (Encourages Healthier Skin)
  • Lemongrass (Circulation, Antioxidant)
  • Arnica (Anti-Inflammatory, Soothing)
  • NV-5 AGELESS COMPLEX (5 Native American Botanicals which Rejuvenate Damaged Skin, Pro-Actively Fight Aging, Anti-Pollution, Detoxifying)

Suggested Usage
-Can be used as a daily serum or as needed for an immediate transforming treatment.
-Can be mixed with Charisma Créme Cleanser or Ceramic Slip Cleanser and used as a mask.
-Apply to the face for 10 to 30 minutes for an instant radiance boost.

What it is formulated WITHOUT:
– Sulfates
– Synthetic Fragrances
– Synthetic Dyes
– Petrochemicals
– Phthalates
– GMOs
– Triclosan

Available for $105 at:

Sunday Riley

Space.NK

Sephora

Barneys

Why you should add an essential oil to your skin care regime

16 Oct

I had the same notions a lot of us do about rubbing oil onto my skin. I assumed this was a recipe for a breakout disaster and although I know my skin could use the nourishment I wouldn’t risk it. Well, I was wrong. Using a natural, essential oil-based product, showed me I had a strong misconception about the results. We have sought out ways to eliminate oil but in turn have created methods of hyper-production. The skin needs oil and therefore when we work hard to remove it, it works harder to replace it creating oilier skin.

“Like cures like, so a little bit of a healthy, plant-based oil on the skin helps the skin stay balanced,” Dr. Hauschka Skin Care CEO Mirran Raphaely told TODAY.com. “The right amount signals to oil glands that they can stop producing. It may sound counter-intuitive, but once you try this method, you’ll never go back.”

Decleor’s Rose D’Orient Soothing Serum Price: $68.00 This is one of my all-time favorites. It is a skin-soothing serum, helps me with redness in my skin, full of 100% all Natural essential oils for soothing and hydrating the skin. It comforts irritated skin and leaves it feeling soft nourished. This serum is particularly good for sensitive skin and I love the aromatherapy scent, it is a beautiful spa-like fragrance that also feels calming to me. Natural and Organic : 100% Natural, Paraben-free, PETA

 

Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil – 20ml Price: $24.00 Trilogy’s new advanced formulation Rosehip Oil Antioxidant+ has been named “best natural face oil” in the 2012 Harper’s Bazaar Beauty Hot 100, just six months after launch, in a hat trick (3 years running) for the brand!It is a unique oil containing the nutrients and essential fatty acids that are vital for perfect skin health and a glowing complexion. This super-fine oil absorbs instantly, allowing the skin to breathe while it goes to work to prevent the signs of premature ageing and assisting skin growth and repair.

The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil  Price: $9.00 Referred to as a “medicine cabinet must”, this teensy bottle goes a long way in clearing blemishes. Just one drop can take on the nastiest of acne (whiteheads, the stubborn hard red ones etc…), without drying out your skin. It is full of anti-bacterial properties and has a calming minty smell, Tip – use a q-tip for application.

To read more about which  natural oils are best for your skin type check out this article at Brichbox.

 

 

Red Carpet Skin by Celebrity Stylist and Writer, Michelle Brookhurst

28 Sep

As a celebrity stylist and former red-carpet walker, I know firsthand that even the most beautifully put-together outfit won’t make up for less than perfect skin. While the focus these days might be on “who you are wearing”, none of that matters compared to how you are feeling. Skin is skin, and it reacts to stress, weather, hormones, food, etc; there are some events in your life that might be hugely important to commemorate, but you’d rather the unflattering pictures not live on for eternity.

The only way to give yourself a little extra boost, is by being prepared. When a celebrity is on a press tour, you can bet they are ready for anything. They have a team: a stylist, who selects and tailors the ultimate outfit, a makeup artist, a hairdresser, a publicist to help with the interview questions, an assistant to make sure someone is walking the dog while their owner is stuck in a hotel conference room for 8 hours at a time. They have spent time getting facials, teeth whitenings, they are airbrush tanned for the perfect sun-kissed sparkle, they work with personal trainers and pilates instructors. They juice. They cleanse. They exfoliate.

So when it’s time for your big red carpet moment, whether it’s your best friends wedding, or the big office party, why don’t you take the time to give your skin some extra attention? I’ll bet you run around the mall looking for the perfect outfit, or try to squeeze in extra crunches during “The Good Wife”. Why don’t you take a few minutes, and spend a few dollars to make sure your skin is red carpet worthy too? Why is it we have special make-up for a big night out, but not special skin care at the ready? Everyone knows how to do a “smoky eye”, but what good is that when you have dull skin, or a breakout, or a T-Zone oil explosion? You can carry the clutch of the season, or keep your balance in the latest wedge heel, but who’s looking at that when the focus of every picture should be your face?

My two ultimate products for red carpet skin are simple, user friendly, and won’t break the bank. I don’t know about you, but when there is a big to-do happening, I don’t have time for a bunch of appointments, I’m lucky if I can do my nails on the bathmat at 1 am the night before. So my two red carpet picks are ones you can do at home, no muss no fuss, and they are gentle enough for the most sensitive skin. I can say that, because I have the most sensitive skin on the planet, and these two specialty items did not send me running for the benadryl or the dermatologist.

The first one is Philosophy’s Microdelivery Peel Kit.


From the Sephora website: “The Microdelivery Peel Kit not only exfoliates the skin, it delivers vitamin C and peptides to the skin. This completely new approach to skin rejuvenation resurfaces and replenishes the skin at the same time.” It gives you a little scrub, and a little peel, just giving you brighter, softer, glowing skin in two steps. This is great for men too.

My second step for skin star-power, is the SKII Facial Treatment Mask. It looks ridiculous, but that’s part of the fun. No one said beauty is glamorous.

From the SKII website: “Radiance, Moisture Enhancing Mask by SK-II. Revitalizes. Comforts. Provides intense hydration. A 100% cotton mask that soaks skin with Pitera’s fusion of vitamins, amino acids, minerals and organic acids. Immediately replenishes dehydrated skin, leaving it refreshed and cool. “

After your skin has been scrubbed and peeled by Philosophy, let it soak in all the amino acids, vitamins and nutrients of this SKII mask. You will be so happy you did, because now, you are truly dressed for success.

Philosophy’s Microdelivery Peel Kit available at:

Philosophy

Sephora

Skinstore

SKII available at:

SKII

Saks Fifth Avenue

Bliss

Michelle Brookhurst is a former teen actress (Can’t Hardly Wait, Charmed, Foxfire), turned celebrity stylist (clients include George Lopez and Baron Davis) turned writer. She has written a television series based on her life called “Certain Something”, and is currently based in Los Angeles.

Tata Harper 100% Natural Organic Skin Rejuvenating Serum

27 Sep

Tata Harper’s renowned line has become one of my favorite 100% natural product skincare lines in the market. I was introduced to the line by my sister who sells the Tata Harper line in her NYC salons, tenoverten. Having recently had her 1st baby she has become more aware of the chemicals in our daily use products and thus started carrying and using Tata Harper.

I’ve seen a lot press recently on the line and although it is 100% natural there is some dispute about the terminology ‘non-toxic’. This is because essentially all products in the market are technically safe for use. Most ingredients, including parabens and petrolatum, are not dangerous in the concentrations that they are used in skin care products. This is an ongoing debate that I myself struggle with in my personal use and review of products.  The subject warrants a dedicated entry. However, for the moment regardless of the actual scientifically proven benefits, I can’t help but feel we’re doing our body good by not absorbing any additional chemicals than needed. This applies to every facet of our lives from beauty products, to food, to paint we use, household products, and many more. Do what you can and if it does the job without them I say carry on!

So, when it comes to doing the job, one of my top picks from the Tata Harper line is the Skin Rejuvenating Serum, it is a stunning product! The serum is packed with 29 natural active ingredients of which 74.82% of the Ingredients are Certified Organic, and 100% of the Ingredients are 100% All-Natural.

The serum used daily definitely improves the appearance of my skin. It gives my skin a dewy look and it feels more nourished which is always key in smoothing out fine lines and having a glow to your skin. That and of course staying hydrated from the inside out.  I then use the Tata Harper rebuilding moisturizer or June Jacobs intensive age defying hydrating complex moisturizer, another one of my natural botanical skincare favorites, on top of the serum.

What ingredients do what?

Menyanthes Flower is a powerful skin tonic helping maintain healthy skin cells

Narcissus Bulb extract increases skin cell durability, stimulating the skin to defend itself against environmental damage.

Date Extract Minimize lines and wrinkles with this anti-aging extract.

Alfalfa Extract. Restore a natural glow with nutrient & vitamin rich extract.

Meadowsweet Extract Keeps skin looking dewy and youthful.

Jasmine, Chamomile, Lavender and Immortelle essential oils blend together creating a rich floral fragrance and add their unique skin hydrating, nourishing and balancing qualities to this wonder serum.

My only qualm with the product is it doesn’t have a very long shelf life. Considering the price and how many of the products you use that can be painful. It lasts 1-3 months with daily & nightly use.  The short shelf life is attributed to the natural ingredients. All-natural products may contain a preponderance of plant-derived substances conducive to all kinds of unhealthy microbial growth and/or contain nontraditional preservatives or no preservatives at all. Meaning, pay attention to the shelf life and throw it out when it’s time. It’s usually not dangerous but likely the active ingredients will no longer have the same impact if any at all.

One more tip for if you’re acne prone.  I would also suggest trying the resurfacing mask. It has a natural source of betahydroxy to reduce surface issues like inflamation, even out redness, and bring glow to the skin.

From the Tata Harper website:

TATA HARPER Skincare was founded by Tata Harper on the essential idea that women no longer have to sacrifice their health to look and feel beautiful. In Vermont on a 1,200 acre farm, she manufactures 100% natural and non-toxic, premium skincare products made from the World’s most sought after ingredients. Some of the ingredients are sourced from around the World, but many are grown on the farm.  All research and development, formulations, packaging, marketing and distribution are done in-house, allowing Tata to control every step of the process, from formulation to shipment to a customer.

Great article to read on the Tata Harper blog about organic vs. non-organic food – http://blog.tataharperskincare.com/we-discuss-stanfords-organic-vs-non-organic-food-health-claims/

Price: $150.00 for 1.7 oz

The price is high but understand why here – http://blog.tataharperskincare.com/our-pricing-philosophy/

Available at: http://www.tataharperskincare.com/

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