Favorites of 2010

December 29, 2010

1. Hot pink lips: Bold, effortless, chic. This was the lip look I rocked the most this year, with a natural eye, of course. Faves of the year included Sephora Rouge Cream Lipstick in Mr. Lover, Benefit Posie Tint Stain (3-5 layers for intensity) layered with Smashbox O-Gloss Original (always turns my lips bright hot pink), and MAC Lipstick in Girl About Town.

2. Lashes: It’s rare for me to wear faux lashes even though I love them so (my eyes freak out if I wear them too often) and when I have a full fringe, I always feel super glam. My faves are still Ardell because the quality surpasses the price (around $4). The #120 demi are my absolute faves and I also like #113 and #122. My lash glue of choice is always Duo waterproof clear lash glue unless…I can get my hands on the Makeup Forever lash glue that comes with their lashes. I hoard this whenever I buy Makeup Forever lashes because it is absolutely the best I’ve tried.

3. The love of my life (well, purse-wise at least) is my Lux De Ville Lucky Me bag in black and leopard. I love it because it’s roomy and super cute. It isn’t, however, great for rainy weather, so I’m currently using their Starlite Kisslock bag in red sparkle, which doesn’t hold as much but makes me happy because it reminds me of Dorothy’s ruby slippers, just in purse form instead of shoes.

4. Headbands! Love! It takes  a drab hairstyle to fab on mornings when I’d rather sleep than make an effort with my hair. I just brush, slick into a pony, pop on a headband and I look like I tried.

5. Josie Maran GOGO instant volume mascara: I always admit that mascara is not my thing, so when I do end up loving one, it’s the real deal. The brush is almost a triangular shape and it gives my lash a flirty flutter without clumps. Thanks, Josie. P.S. I also kind of love everything from this line, so maybe I’m biased? It really is a super fab line that I highly recommend.

6. Zirh Shave Gel: See a few posts back. Amazing!

7 & 8: Perricone Super: I’m sooo loving the Lush Lips and Hyper Hydrator, both with coconut water. Coconut water is great for the skin (I would like to say that I drink it regularly, but I only drink it a few times a month) and the smell is light. The lip treatment is ultra hydrating, silky, and is indeed very lush. The moisturizer is light and helps keep my oily skin in check. The line is also a bit more wallet friendly than Perricone’s core line, which I also love and can’t always afford.

9. Perricone Advanced Firming Eye Activator: Anti-aging! Brightening! Tightening! I love this eye cream bunches and always buy it when it’s within my budget. I’ve been a devotee of this product since 2006.

10 And as always….Bliss Best of Skintentions moisturizer is still tops in my skincare regime. I love the way it makes my skin look and feel. If I need an instant pick-me-up, this does it. I also love the built-in SPF (with the Japanese skincare rating of PA++).


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.

Skin Care Expiration

August 31, 2009



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.


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.

I was at a friends once hanging out while he was getting ready for work and he was applying body lotion to his face. My instant reaction was ‘omg what are you doing, that’s for your body!’  I sometimes forget that most men don’t know the benefits of using skincare specifically made for your facial area and skin type.

So what items should men have in their routines? A good cleanser. Any brand or price range is fine…a $30 cleanser isn’t always better then one that’s $6. You should also have a good moisturizer with SPF, or at least be using an SPF. Every skin type (oily, dry, combination, optimal) can benefit from using a moisturizer. Oily skins CAN be dehydrated. Other items that might be beneficial are an eye cream to help with dark circles, puffiness, fine lines and wrinkles (and to simply keep the aging process at bay). Treatments are also great: something with salicylic acid if you’re acne prone, a night time moisturizer if you are drier, or perhaps a pre-shave oil if you have thicker facial hair.

With that said…let me explain a little bit on the topic of skincare, particularly about sunscreen, the most important thing you can do for your skin daily, besides washing it.

Skin cancer is the leading cause of death among the cancers. What can help prevent skin cancer? Using a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 (aka sun protection factor), covering up,  and staying out of the sun during peak hours

How often should you apply sunscreen? The “average” time calculated it takes most people’s melanin to react to the sun after unprotected exposure is 10 minutes. If you apply an SPF of 15 you will get 150 minutes of UV protection. SPF15 x 10 minutes = 150 of UV protection. Every time you REAPPLY sunscreen, you don’t get the same amount of protection. Your protection time is actually cut in half. So lets say you reapply your SPF 15 after 150 minutes…you’ll get 75 minutes of protection. The higher the SPF, the longer amount of protection you have. The FDA did a study in 2004 and concluded that an SPF of 60 isn’t much different then an SPF of 30, so in the next few years you’ll see most sunscreen packaging change to SPF 30+, meaning that it’s 30 or higher. The terms sunblock, waterproof, and all day protection are also being ended as these terms were found to be false.

How much should I use? You should be using two table spoons on your face and one ounce on your body (approx. a shot glass full). LADIES: this also true if your moisturizer or foundation contains SPF. If you can’t imagine putting two table spoons of foundation on, it’s probably best to switch to a separate SPF.

Right now there are several sunscreen options on the market. Formulas are much more advanced then they were a few years ago.

One of my favorite forms of sunscreen is a physical block. It sits on your skin and the sun’s rays bounce off if it. You can go outside right after application and can reapply even in while in the sun. Most “broad spectrum” sunscreens contain both a physical and chemical block. My fave product is Peter Thomas Roth mineral SPF 30…it comes in a brush applicator and is quick to apply. There’s also a Hawaiian Tropic broad spectrum SPF that I like as well.

A chemical block, found in most lotion type sunscreens, don’t actually filter out the sun’s rays. With this kind of sunscreen, the rays still penetrate the epidermis and are then neutralized by synthetic chemicals in the product to prevent sunburn and premature aging. With these you will see instructions to apply 30 minutes before going outside. It is very important to wait 30 minutes (or whatever time the directions specify) so that your skin can fully absorb it.

It is actually more healthy to be pale then to have a “healthy” glow from a tan. A suntan is, essentially, a sunburn that didn’t reach it’s full potential of becoming red. Tanning beds also contain UV rays and you must, must, must protect your skin while laying in one, just as you would if you were in the sun. Even on cloudy days, UV rays can penetrate the ozone layer and clouds and cause damage to your skin.

There are also ways to help reverse environmental aging due to sun damage but that’s a whole other topic. If you have any q’s def. feel free to ask =) I have facts and percentages galore and can recommend products (drug store and high end products alike).

As for Jesse, well, he’s still using body wash on his face and body lotion as moisturizer. Why? He likes as little steps as possible and it’s easier/efficient for him to have products that work double-duty. If you have a guy in your life who happens to have similar beliefs, check out the men’s skin care line Jack Black. They have an all in one hair, face, and body wash. Ojon also features the Tawaka Line where the shampoo can be used on the face and body and their conditioner can be used as a body cream or on the face. Also a lot of brands these days are coming out with skin care for men who like to keep it simple so shop around if you can.