When I’m laying at home sick in bed the last thing that crosses my mind is keeping up with my beauty routine. As of late, I’ve been feeling quite under the weather. The only thing I want to do is sleep, drink juice, sleep some more, and watch old movies. There are certain beauty items, however, that will sometimes sneak their day into my sick days and make me feel a little better or occupy my time, if only temporarily.

1. Sephora Collection Colorful Mini Nail buffers, $8 for pack of 3; Sephora.com: I am really bad at keeping my nails up. They get filed and trimmed a few times per month and maybe even a coat of clear polish or the occasional swipe of colored polish. Other than that, I keep my nails fairly low maintenance. I like to keep these mini buffers on hand for quick fixes (snagged nails, uneven nail bed). I also love whipping one out when I’m sick in bed and watching TV to pass the time.

2. Lush Honey Trap Lip Balm, $6.95; lush.com: I love this moisturizing balm for sick days because it’s not sticky, greasy,  absorbs quickly, and won’t end up on my pillow when I’m napping. Thanks to a blend of shea butter and oilve oil, the hydrating formula feels great on the lips without leaving residue. It also features honey, a natural humectant, to hold moisture in.

3. Caudalie Grape Water Mini, $8 for 1.6 oz; Sephora.com: If you follow this blog, you’ll know that one of my go-to “It” brands is Caudalie. I use and adore a lot of their products. I always have a mini Grape Water on hand for spritzing anytime I feel dry or need an instant boost. I love chilling one in the fridge to mist myself with when I’m running a fever. It feels lovely, cool, and I love that I’m giving my skin an antioxidant boost at the same time. *Also great for hot summer days.* 

4. Carol’s Daughter Body Aches Bath Salts, $18 for 16 oz; sephora.com: I love these bath salts for when I’m sick or after an intense workout (especially Jackie Warner’s workout DVD’s). Peppermint, sea salt, and epsom salt help to ease muscle aches, while lavender calms the senses. I’m not a fan of the little floating lavender bits in my tub so I used an old nylon or cheesecloth to filter the salts under running water. 

5. Fresh Rose Face Mask, $55; fresh.com: Another of my go-to brands is Fresh. I love the luxe formula’s and simple yet elegant packaging. I love the decadent rose mask because it helps to hydrate and sooth the delicate skin around my nose when I’m sick. Sometimes I will even leave a little on when I’m napping to protect the area. It’s calming effect is thanks to rose, cucumber, and aloe. If I need to make a brief appearance anywhere, say a visit to the doc or pharmacy, it’s a great quick fix for the mild facial puffiness I get when I’ve been laying down for a while. 

6. Josie Maran Argan Oil Moisturizing Stick, $22; sephora.com: Argan oil and vitamin E hydrate and nourish the skin in a quick and easy to apply stick formula. I love this handy tool for it’s multi-tasking abilities: as a quick body hydrator (elbows, cuticles, hands, feet, knees), a quick lip “balm,” around the nose,  to slick back any stray or flyaway hair and to hydrate the ends of my hair. It’s a great on the go beauty item and also fab for sick days when you don’t want to put in much effort. 

Some favorite movies to watch when I’m sick include: The Thin Man (any in the series, especially the orginal), North by Northwest, any Doris Day & Rock Hudson movies, Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday, and Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

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Lush Figs and Leaves Soap

November 18, 2009

 Mmmmmm. I love Lush’s Figs and Leaves Soap because it smells like a little peace of heaven. The scent is light, slightly clean and also a little foody. It also feels divine and exfoliates without being messy or leaving behind a film. Figs and Leaves exfoliates with fig seeds and is scented with essentials oild of ylang ylang, orange blossom absolute, and added fragrance.I love this because it’s gentle, smells divine, feels wonderful on my skin, and doesn’t leave my skin feeling dry. The only downside, for me, are the leaves on the top of the soap. Sure, it’s pretty decoration, but it gets mushy with use and can clog the drain. I just simply peel the leaves off after my first use. I discovered this soap thanks to a little sample that a nice sales lady added into my bag and I’ve been hooked ever since. I love it during fall and winter the most and will sometimes indulge in a bar during other months as well.This soap ranges in price in store depending on the size you get and the online quote for a 3.5 oz bar is $7.60. You can also have the lovely sales people at the store cut your very own custom bar as well.

Lush is best known for its natural approach to skin, body, and hair care. Sometimes synthetic materials (man-made) are used and they strive to use skin and eco-friendly versions. There are several locations world-wide and the online store is the only place to find “Retro Lush” items (previously discontinued products). Many items are also vegan friendly.

Skin Care Expiration

August 31, 2009

suggestion

 

Have you ever been using your favorite skin care or body product and think, “So when does this expire, anyway?”

Some products do have expiration dates, though those are few and far between. Many brands have an expiration suggestion printed on the back of the bottle, jar, ot tube. It looks like a jar with the lid open and has a number printed inside. This number indicates the number of months after opening the product that it should be good for. Conditions such as contamination (IE dipping unwashed hands into a jar) or forgetting to put the lid back on the product can shorten that amount of time.

In the above photo, one of my products is optimal to use until six months of opening, while another is good for 24 months. The amount of time will vary from product to product depending on factors such as ingredients (essential oils, plant or fruit extracts, parabins aka preservatives, and etc.).

if you are using a skin care product as directed, it should not last longer then the expiration suggestion. Some products (body items, for example) may last longer then the suggested amount of time. In these cases, it’s best to monitor the texture, color, and scent for any changes which can indicate it has spoiled.

Don’t remember when you first opened a product? I always try to mark the bottom or somewhere inconspicuous with the month and year, just so I don’t forget. This is also a good idea if your product doesn’t suggest any time frame of expiration so you will know how long it’s been around.

7sea

Even though I rarely purchase Crabtree & Evelyn products, I do have a soft spot for everything C & E. My very first job when I was 18 was at the tiniest Crabtree store in the middle of a busy mall. It was holiday and the scent of their seasonal Noel potpourri and candles flooded the store. I still adore the gardener’s and la source lines and will buy my faves when they are on sale (rarely).

This huge jar (32 oz!) is filled with Crabtree & Evelyn’s Aromatherapy Purifying Seven Seas bath salts, $35. Designed to cleanse the skin of impurities, it is also conditioning thanks to hydrating essential oils. The scent is fresh and citrus with a bit of mint.

I feel like this salt might be doing something but I’m a skeptic when it comes to things that promise to “detoxify.” It is relaxing and I like that the salt actually dissolves completely, unlike other bath salts I’ve tried that just end up at the bottom of the tub. The directions for use include soaking for 20 minutes, which I just can’t do. I don’t have the patience to lay in the tub for that long and my water usually turns cool. This was a decent bath product but I probably wouldn’t purchase this again because there are better out there.

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.

Fresh

February 10, 2009

freshprimesoybath

I love the brand Fresh! They have a few new products out and I also indulged in an older one.

The new Soy Face Cream is for all skin types and packs a punch. Vitamins A, C, and E are infused as well as tea, rose water, soy proteins and jojoba seed oil. The result equals a moisturizer that’s light weight and also leaves your skin looking glowy and smooth.

The first day I tried the new Rose FreshFace Primer my skin was a little irritated. It seemed to calm my skin down a bit, thanks to anti-inflammatory ingredients. After the third day of use, my skin felt better and as I passed by a mirror, noticed my makeup still looked great after work. All in all, this is one of the better primers I’ve used.

I’ve also been sniffing my newest bath time acquisition, SugarBath Lychee Bath Cubes, every chance I get. They are lightly scented and slightly fizz under running water. I’d save these for an occasional bath since they’re fairly pricey for what they are and the scent doesn’t linger on your skin after your bath.

I <3 baths

January 13, 2009

spaspaspa

I love taking a nice, long, hot bath. Right now, Bath and Body works is having their sale and I had a gift card to use. I got sooooo much stuff for under $30! I love a good sale even more then a hot bath. I purchased tons of sleep-inducing aromatherapy items and have been slowly trying them out, one by one.

bbwsale

My purchase included a Black Chamomile set (above) that is just fabulous. It’s a bit heavier then other chamomile scents I’ve tried in the past and it’s quite nice. The set includes a body lotion, bath and shower gel, pillow mist, and aromatherapy roll-on that’s designed to lull you into dream land. I’m not super enthused with the roll on. Either mine is “off” (it smells weird) or the scent doesn’t agree with me. I also dislike the little cutesy things BBW adds to its gift packs (in this set, it was a little lamb). Over all, at $10, this set was a huge steal and I totally recommend it. I pretty much slept like a baby the first night I used it.

I also indulged in the Warm Milk and Honey Luxe Bath. AMAZING! The scent is light and calming and my skin felt super soft afterwards. If I had known this would be my new favorite thing, I would have gotten more Milk and Honey items instead of the others.

Since one of my favorite bath and shower gels happened to be on sale for $5, I bought a bottle and the matching body lotion. I received the coordinating pillow mist as a holiday gift since I ran out just before Christmas (I previously had the old packing that was long and featured faux botanicals inside). They are best when used together, although you can absolutely use them separately.

All of that said, I generally am NOT a Bath and Body Works fan, save for the Warm Vanilla Sugar and Sensual Amber scents. The sleep line of aromatherapy stuff IS indeed something to check out if you happen to be near a store.

Fresh

November 6, 2008

Fresh is one of the many brands that I just adore and I always love trying anything and everything from the brand. Started by husband and wife team Lev Glazman and Alina Roytberg in the early 90’s, the line embodies technology, quality and luxury. Lev is also a certified nose and took years creating their Cannabis Santal fragrance. Today I will be giving reviews of Sake Bath, Rice Dry Oil, Sugar Lychee Shower gel and Lotion, and the new Strawberry Flowers fragrance. If you are ever in San Francisco, check out the Fresh Boutique on Sutter Street (in the Financial District between Stockton and Kearny). You can also find locations near you on the site under store locator.

sakerice

Sake Bath, 13.5 oz, $80: Sake Bath’s claim to fame is that it features 50% pure sake to detoxify, relax muscles, soften skin and increase circulation. I definitely felt relaxed and warm. You do need to use very hot water and a lot of product (at least a shot glass worth for an average size bathtub) to see any benefits and it’s not meant for use by pregnant women or those with heart conditions. Is it worth $80? Probably not, although I wouldn’t mind receiving it as a gift.

Rice Dry Oil, 3.4 oz, $48: Relaxes mind and body and is quickly absorbed. Smells wonderful, almost reminiscent of the Sake fragrance. Feels luxurious and leaves skin feeling silky without being slippery or sticky. For me it was a bit irritating to use because of the pour spout-I either poured way too much or too little into my hands. While it’s a great product, the price tag is a bit steep for something I would use up so frequently.

sugar

Sugar Lychee Bath and Shower Gel, 10 oz, $28: Some bath and shower gels can leave my skin feeling dry and tight. This one feels and smells heavenly. It features sugar cane extract (sugar is a natural humectant so it draws moisture to the skin), it also has shea butter to further hydrate. I would buy this over and over I love it so much. A little goes a long way so it lasts through shower after shower.

Sugar Lychee Body Lotion, 10 oz, $28: light in scent and texture, this is my post shower bed time body lotion because it soaks into the skin without feeling greasy. The scent is calming and light enough that it doesn’t give me a headache. Definitely a must try in this and other scents.

Strawberry Flowers Fragrance, Sephora exclusive, 1 oz EDP, $38: Features notes of Mandarin, Yuzu, White peach, Mountain Strawberries, Freesia, Orange Blossom, Osmanthus, Orris, Musk, White woods. This fragrance is a soft floral and very pretty. Would make a nice gift for a fragrance aficionado, Fresh lover, or someone who wants a light fragrance suitable for daytime wear. Please note that this doesn’t and isn’t supposed to smell just like strawberries as there are several other notes that balance it out.