I purchased the Sephora Sun Safety kit  this year, just as I always do every year, to see if I can find my new holy grail of sun protection. The 2010 kit included Kate Somerville SPF 55 Sunscreen Serum, my new love. It’s lightweight, absorbs quickly, is great for my oily skin because it’s oil free and non greasy, and does not have a scent. I am so so so so hooked on this product that I had to go buy the full size. I had to order online, though, because my local Sephora only carries three Kate Somerville products. 

 The other suncreeens in the Sephora kit weren’t really anything amazing, though I did like the Jack Black Lip Balm in Lemon and Chamomile. I’ve been using the balm in Mint for several years and might switch to the Lemon version because the scent is uplifting. The kit also includes Bliss Best of Skintentions Moisturizer with SPF, which I have also been using since it launched. Another honorable mention goes to Murad Essential-C Eye Cream SPF 15, for its light weight formula that works well under makeup.

Bandeau swim top pictured above is from Vitamin A.

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Eau de V-day: Men

January 22, 2010

Fragrance is a great Valentine’s Day gift for yourself or a loved one. Here are my top picks for anyone close to your heart: 

1. Yves Saint Laurent L’Homme, $43-$100, sephora.com: Modern and sensual, this offering from YSL will dazzle your senses with bergamot, cedar, ozonic accord, white ginger, cedarwood, and vetiver.

2. Givenchy Play, $53-$71, sephora.com: Fresh, play-ful, and inspired by hottie Justin Timberlake, this well-rounded fragrance features bergamot, mandarin orange, bitter orange, grapefruit, Amyris wood, and black pepper.

3. Diesel Only The Brave, $53-$65, sephora.com: Bold, confident, and masculine, this fist shaped bottle with Diesel knuckles only needs four fragrance notes to get its point across: lemon, leather, amber, and cedarwood.

4. Dolce and Gabbana The One For Men, $40-$70, sephora.com: Mmmm…I saved the best for last as this fragrance is pretty much sex in a bottle. Who wouldn’t want to get close to a guy wearing The One? With its notes of grapefruit, coriander, ginger, orange blossom, cedar, and amber, it’s both fresh and woodsy all in one bottle. Or…snuggly.

Eau de V-day: Women

January 21, 2010

Fragrance is a great Valentine’s Day gift for yourself or a loved one. Here are my top picks for anyone close to your heart: 

  

1. Nanadebary Classic Pink Eau de Parfum, $98-$160, at luckyscent.com’s Scentbar 8327 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles or nanadebary.com: With jasmine, bergamot, sandalwood, and vanilla, this fem fragrance is delicate and grounded.

2. Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Eau de Parfum, $100-$150, nordstrom.com: This sweet, heady floral features notes of bergamot, orchid, freesia, and rose with a patchouli base note.

3. D & G 3 L’IMPERATRICE, $65, sephora.com: This is one of my current faves because it’s soft, modern and flirty with notes of pink cyclamen, watermelon, jasmine, musk, and sandalwood.

4. Dolce and Gabbana Rose the One Eau de Parfum, $60-90, sephora.com: I am not a rose girl in the least, or so I thought, until I tried Rose the One. It is NOT your grandmother’s rose. This version of Dolce & Gabbana’s The One opens with zesty pink grapefruit, mandarin, peach, Bulgarian rose, peony,  and closes with vanilla, amber, and musk .  

5. Victoria’s Secret Love Rocks Eau de Parfum, $39, victoriassecret.com: This new fruity floral from VS is featured in a stunning red flacon and is packed with notes of  peony, raspberry  sorbet, jasmine, peach nectar, plum, violet, and cashmere musk.

bliss

I’ve been using Bliss Best of Skintentions SPF 15 moisturizer as my day hydrator for the past few weeks and I’ve been loving it. It’s not heavy, has antioxidants, and features subtle pretty skin illuminators. I also love the Japanese SPF PA++ rating. Bliss Best of Skintentions SPF 15 moisturizer has all of these, plus minerals and omega 3 fatty acids. Finally, a skin care product that gives me everything I want and more! While it is a fantastic formula, the scent is not my favorite. It’s a fresh floral that seems to disappear when I apply my makeup over it. When I go bare faced, the scent lingers for an hour or so. If you are not particularly sensitive to fragrance you probably won’t even notice.

Bliss is carried at Sephora, The W Hotel, select Nordstrom, Macy’s, Saks, and other department stores and boutiques. Check out the Bliss website to find a retailer near you.

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.

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.

caudmask

 

I’ve been using this mask for nearly a month and I have to say, it’s pure perfection! Oh Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Revealing Mask how I love thee. My skin can be fairly sensitive and it hasn’t caused any irritation, it leaves my skin exfoliated and glowing, and it helps to reduce the appearance of my large pores. I love the brush because it makes for a truly indulgent treatment minus the indulgent price at $42. Psssssst: at the NYC Caudalie Spa the 50 minute Vinoperfect treatment is $185.

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.

Victoria’s Secret bust-firming bra

vslift

There’s a new bra on the market that claims to enhance, improve hydration, and naturally lift your cleavage with results visible within four weeks. After eight weeks, you should see optimal “rejuvenation.” It must be worn daily for at least eight hours. Call me skeptical. If this bra could do that (really), one would think it would be more then $68. I had a VS gift card so I bought one, on sale for $48, with reassurance from the sales lady that I can return it if it doesn’t live up to the hype. I’ll report back in four weeks, although my expectations are low that I’ll see any results.

 

West Elm random weave headboard

un

After nearly a year of searching for a new headboard, I finally made a decision! As it turns out, the one I wanted had been in the WestElm.com sale section for a while, perhaps too long, because the size I need is no longer being sold. I debated for months; This one, that one, the other one, none? I suppose the search is back on for something that doesn’t require a new bed frame and isn’t super pricey.

sousi

Why not try a fragrance that evokes images of a tropical locale?

 Every year, Escada releases a limited edition fruity floral fragrance (heads up: if you need 2007’s Moon Sparkle, snap it up quickly before its gone). New for 2008 is Ocean Lounge. Featuring notes of lychee, plum, pear nectar, strawberry meringue, violet petal sorbet, mimosa blossom, jasmine, amber, sheer vanilla, and teak wood, it’s a fragrance that will mentally transport you to a beach where your day consists of sipping drinks poolside.

This new offering, to me, smells like strawberry bubble gum and fruit punch. Ocean Lounge is currently available at Nordstrom and will be launching at Sephora and other stores in January.