ao

For the past two weeks, I’ve been using Josie Maran Argan Oil under my PM moisturizer (currently Korres Thyme Honey Moisturizer). Love, love, love! I want to bathe in it but alas, I only have a small sample vial of the product. You can also use Argan Oil as a hair treatment, on your body, and it’s also recommended for dry cuticles and eczema.

My oily skin is prone to occasional breakouts, especially when I’m PMSing. Since I started using it, my skin looks clear, radiant, and feels a tad less oily. It’s certainly not a miracle product but I do admittedly adore it, so far. The texture is neither thin nor thick, it is quickly absorbed, and doesn’t have a heavy scent. I’d describe it as slightly earthy in a good way. While I like this brand, I am also researching other brands that sell the same product for perhaps a bit less. I might break down and buy a bottle if I don’t find a suitable alternative. Buyer beware: make sure you check ingredients of what you are buying as some companies add fillers to keep the price down.

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Jellies!

March 20, 2009

jellies

Of all the times I’ve been to Monterey, I’ve never ever been to the aquarium. One of my friends lived there and we really didn’t do much touristy stuff. I wanted to go this time, and I did. My fave exhibit was Jellies: Living Art, which showcased several different types of jellyfish. My fave was the Black Sea Nettle (above). Their tentacles seemed to dance around and a florescent light in the tank made them glow a vibrant orange. I thought it was great you can photograph several of the exhibits. Some you can use flash, others are strictly no flash, although I kept mine off the entire time to be on the safe side. If you are ever in Monterey, the aquarium is totally a must see, and it’s a non-profit so ticket sales help to keep the facilities open.

The Ocean Rows Us Away

March 17, 2009

mtry

Adieu! I will be off again during the next few days for part two of my birthday celebration in Monterey.

While I’m away, check out my new fave fragrance line, Pacifica! My fave scent is Malibu Lemon Blossom, which is the perfect balance of fresh and floral. It’s very light and I think it’ll totally be one of my spring/summer scents. A close second is the Tuscan Blood Orange fragrance, which to me smells like gummy life savers. Included in the line is a solid fragrance, 1.2 oz fragrance, body wash, soap, body lotion, body butter and candles in several sizes.

Spring Trend: Brights

March 17, 2009

springtrends

I’m SO ready for winter to end and I totally embrace the bright makeup trends of spring. Not a fan of hot pink lips or green eyeshadow? Translate the trend in a way that works for you. Pick up color in your accessories; from bracelets and hair accessories and even to your office supplies (neon Post-Its, paper clips, and pens).

1. Carnelian and Garnet Bracelet by Busarin, $53, novica.com

2. OPI for Sephora “Digital Diva” polish collection, $9 each, sephora.com

3. Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Vert, $16, urbandecay.com

4. Orange Lilly Flower Hair Clip, $7.50, mydivascloset.com

5. Spa Glo Sky Blue Mineral Eyeshadow, $10, spaglo.com. Alternative: Bare Escentuals Azure Eyeshadow, $13, bareescentuals.com

6. Kevyn Aucoin The Creamy Moist Glow in Liquifuchsia, $24, kevynaucoin.com

7. Urban Decay Deluxe Eyeshadow in Adore, $18, urbandecay.com

firefount

For my birthday, my mom bought me one of those cheesy drug store fountains with “calming” LED lights. More specifically, it’s the “cordless tranquility fire pit fountain” from Innovage Home. She knew I haven’t been sleeping well lately and thought it would help to hear water in the background. Awe, thanks Mom! Last night I inserted the required two “AA” batteries and 8 oz of water, turned it on, and tried drifting off to sleep. The motor kept me up and the trickling water sound was totally annoying. She totally meant well and I feel like I have to use it or at very least keep it somewhere conspicuous so she can say, “I’m so glad you like my gift!” Maybe the more I use it, the more I’ll like it?

lpsm

I gave up on my hair years ago. It’s impossible to manage so, for the most part, I let it do what it wants. I tried tons of anti-frizz products that all claimed to be the best, when all they did was coat my hair in silicone and made it look greasy and heavy. And, if I didn’t shower before bedtime, my silicone treated hair would get my pillow icky and I would break out.

When I received a tube of Living Proof No Frizz Straight Making Treatment, I thought, “Yeah right, like this is going to work.” Color me skeptical but I had serious doubts. I knew not to get my hopes up. I didn’t have anything to loose anyway.

Oh. My. Goodness. How did I ever live without it?

I’ve been using it religiously for a week (I wash my hair almost daily), and while my hair is still kind of out of control, just try to find a frizzy stand, I dare you. It also feels softer and is easier to brush through. You kind of have to try it to know what I mean.

And…it’s silicone-free!

You do need to coat the entire strand of hair, from root to tip, for it to work. I have a lot of hair so I divide mine into sections and apply the product then brush through. It also works better the more you use it and is great with heat appliances.

Don’t worry about the straight vs curl defining decision. If you want a little hold, go with the curl defining. If you don’t, then straight making is for you. Straight can use curly and curly can use straight. I also love that these are for different hair types, although since the product is lightweight, you can go up to the next level if you need more hydration. There is also a diagnostic tool on livingproof.com to help you decide which is right for you.

bebl

Bare Escentuals new Buxom Lash Mascara promises 12 hours of flake-free volume and length, while darkening lashes without clumps. It doesn’t contain parabens or synthetic fragrances and dyes. It also claims to add volume to lashes by up to 300%. At $18, it’s in the mid-range price point and sounds promising.

I’ve had a tube gathering dust in my makeup stash for about a month, untouched and forgotten. In the past week, one of my friends professed undying love for it, while another tossed hers away after the first use. It just goes to show that what may work for one person might not give the same results for the next. With mixed reviews in mind, I set out to find it and use it.

Pros: I have rather sensitive eyes and the new B.E. Buxom lash didn’t irritate them, even while wearing my contacts. It didn’t seem to flake (at least that I’m aware of), and it didn’t clump. It looked natural and just slightly enhanced my lashes (this is a plus for me, since I don’t like to look like I’m wearing mascara at all). I also rather like the brush.

Cons: My lashes did not have 300% more volume. Not even close. It also made my lashes look matte and dry, and they felt dry after I removed my makeup.

The verdict: This product is worth a try, just don’t expect miracles, and be sure to have a good lash conditioner on hand.

Winter Splurge vs. Save

March 5, 2009

Splurge:

w2

1. Bvlgari Jasmine Noir, 1 oz $68, Sephora.com and Norstrom.com. With notes of Green Sap, Gardenia Petals, Sambac Jasmine Absolute, Satiny Almond, Precious Wood, Licorice, and Tonka Bean Absolute, this deep, sultry fragrance will liven up a dreary winter days (and nights).

2. Makeup Forever Faux Lashes #109, $15, sephora.com. Put a little flirt in your wink with fluttery faux lashes. Tip: make sure to let the glue dry for 30 seconds before applying. This will help the lash grip better to your lid and prevent it from sliding off.

3. Fresh Winter Picnic Eye Palette, $48, sephora.com. With icy hues of  lavender, white pearl, khaki taupe, deep chocolate shimmer, muted blue, and pink shimmer, this palette includes all of the colors you’ll need to create sheer to dramatic looks in one palette.

4. Make Her Think Swallow Ring, $380.00, makeherthink.com. This whimsical sparrow ring features oxidized sterling silver with .20ct pave rough white diamonds and a textured feather band.

5. Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15, $22.50, fresh.com and Sephora.com. This lip balm is a daily indulgent treat and  feels divine. Real sugar imparts a sweet scent and acts as a natural humectant to hydrate parched winter lips. Oils, antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and vitamins are blended in to protect your lips from the elements and keep them glowing and healthy.

 

Save:

w1

 

1. The Body Shop Shimmer Cubes Palette #15, $22, thebodyshop.com. With two blue hues, one shimmering white, and one shimmering grey, you can create looks that range from simple, colorful, and smoky. Also, check out the new Shimmer Cubes 18 Palette, which features lighter shades.

2. Laila Rowe Metal Flower Ring, $2.50, lailarowe.com. A great way to wear trends of the season is to pick up cheap and chic jewels and accessories from Laila Rowe. You can look up to date without dropping a bundle.

3. Sephora Flirt-It Lash Duo, $8, Sephora.com. These are some of my favorite lashes because you get a half strip, great for accentuating the outer corner of your eye, and a full strip that makes for a super flirty wink. Tip: apply the full strip, then layer the half strip on the outer corner for a full flutter.

4. Sephora Tropical Jasmine Collection, $6-$16, Sephora.com. If you want the sultry scent of jasmine without breaking the bank, try anything from this collection or layer products for an indulgent fragrance experience. With notes of Jasmine, Coconut, Sandalwood, Tahitian Vanilla and White Amber, you’re sure to turn heads.

5. Victoria’s Secret Pink Tinted Lip Balm, $7, victoriassecret.com, “Love” (a rich pink) is currently the only shade available. Lightly tinted, this lip conditioner packs a punch of moisture to keep lips looking healthy throughout the day.

Dresses for Summer?

March 4, 2009

I’m already thinking about my wardrobe this summer. When the 100+ degree weather hits, planning cute outfits that don’t involve shorts is a pain. I just went through a complete closet over-haul, donating almost 60% of my wardrobe to Goodwill. There’s still plenty left, although I have given away almost all of my summer clothes.

dress

To make my hot weather outfit planning easier, I’ve decided to do mostly dresses this year. They work for almost any occasion and are effortless. Finding cute dresses will be a much different story, as most styles are too long and I will have to have them altered. I love the sailor dress on the left from Misery Boutique, and I know it would have to be hemmed up. The one on the right is from here, and would also have to be taken up.

I pose this question, dear readers: what do you like to wear when the temperatures spike?

lvanillavanillavender

 

When the LAVANILLA brand debuted about two years ago with three fragrances, I was instantly in love with the vanilla grapefruit scent. It was soft and the perfect balance of sweet and tart. I was also excited about the brand because the fragrances were sans alcohol, which can be drying to skin. Other items in the brand are formulated with natural ingredients and boast being free of parabens, synthetic fragrances and dyes, petro-chemicals, phthalates, GMO, and triclosan.

I’m currently burning their new lavender vanilla candle and I’m totally loving it. The scent is perfect in this form, not too heavy, not to soft. The “throw” is fairly decent (the distance you can smell the candle from). I also love that it burns clean without emitting any soot or toxins into the air. If you need a simple, relaxing indulgence, this candle might be for you. It burns for up to 60 hours, so you have plenty of time to enjoy the relaxing scent.

Love candles but want another way to enjoy the fragrance? Try their fragrances, body butters, shower gels, and lip products. LAVANILLA is available at Sephora, Nordstrom, Bliss, Fred Segal, and at the Home Shopping Network.