beautygrind

Archive for July, 2012|Monthly archive page

Beauty On The Go – Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer now in a Compact

In beauty, makeup on July 28, 2012 at 4:00 pm

I love anything that Laura Mercier creates.  From her shiny, smooth textured, non-sticky lip glosses (my #1 fav shade is Bare Beige) to her creamy lipsticks (Pink Champagne – it makes for a great pinky nude on my lips), I find myself often restocking my beauty bag with many of her products.

Always on the hunt for something new, intriguing, or innovative, Laura Mercier is one of those brands that I check up on often to see what’s new.  I have been wearing the tinted moisturizer (Mocha – oil free) for some time now because it gives great lightweight coverage and SPF protection and I have been pleased with it.   However,  it comes in a tube so the packaging is not necessarily the best for day to day travel/touchups.  Until now.   Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer now comes in a compact making it perfect for touch ups on the go.  It is the same creamy formula and great for all skin types.  Best applied with a sponge applicator or clean fingertips.

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Creme Compact spf 20 (available in the same shades) $45 lauramercier.com

image courtesy of laura mercier

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

What Im Lovin’ – Spiked Cross Body Bag by nasty gal

In beauty, fashion, jewelry on July 28, 2012 at 1:00 pm

Image courtesy of nasty gal.com

What Im lovin’….

Most people who know me know that I carry a large bag most of the time, filled with everything I need to get me through a very busy day.  You name it, it’s probably in my bag.  Having said that, I rarely use any of my smaller purses BUT I am totally loving this studded cross body bag by nasty gal (super awesome site and I love the founder’s story) .  My favorite feature on this purse is, of course, the spikes.  It makes for a real Billy Idol-ly FeFe Dobson-ish bad a$$ vibe.

I would rock this with a pair of my favorite skinny jeans, cute tank, perhaps a short crop blazer, metal heeled stilettos, arm full of bangles and of course my signature red lip. Gimme a beat :0)

Spiked Cross Body Bag (available in Black and Cobalt) $88 at nastygal.com

who, what, WEN – Wen haircare for the masses.

In beauty, hair on July 27, 2012 at 10:00 am

image courtesy of wenhaircare.comI have been hearing a lot of pomp and circumstance surrounding the WEN Hair Care System by stylist Chaz Dean and I have finally gotten my hands on the product.  Dean, who believes that shampoo can harm the hair, created this line of products with herbs and natural ingredients and is intended to give the hair more sheen, manageability and color retention.

I didn’t use the entire line but I used the cleansing conditioner which is a 5 in 1 product intended to take the place of your shampoo, conditioner, deep conditioner, detangler, and leave in conditioner.  You can use this product to “wash” your hair or use as a leave in conditioner.  I applied the cleansing conditioner, which is rich and creamy, and let it sit for about 3 minutes and rinsed it out.  I liked this product because it was very effective at gently removing styling product from my hair, leaving my hair color vibrant and my hair feeling soft.  I followed up with the Sweet Almond Mint Styling Cream, an alternative to hair gel which manages split ends and controls frizz.  Although this product smells AH-MA-ZING and didn’t make my hair hard or sticky,  I didn’t care for it too much because it didn’t create the hold and definition I desire.  Overall, although i wasn’t completely blown away WEN, my hair was soft, had nice sheen to it and my scalp was calm and didn’t feel dry or tight.  Definitely worth a try.

 

WEN Sweet Almond Mint Cleansing Conditioner 32oz $49.50 , WEN Sweet Almond Mint Styling Creme 6 oz $24  QVC.c0m

 

 

 

Fajitas and Facials – A Night of Food, Fun, Laughter, and Beauty

In beauty, makeup, skincare on July 21, 2012 at 1:30 pm

The Ladies: Tessa, Alex, Irena, Laura, Jodi, Andi, and Laura

For the month of July, my community group (aka bible study group) has taken the month off and the ladies came up with the awesome idea of doing fajitas and facials.

Jodi provided us with this beautiful spread

and after we ate, I provided the ladies with masks according to their skin type and we talked shop for a few.

Alex is using the Boscia Bright White Mask

Laura (left) is using the Fresh Rose Face Mask and Andi (right) is using the Fresh Umbrian Clay Face Treatment

Very spooky. Look into the light :0)

Irena, Laura and Laura

Jodi, Andi, and Laura

We talked about the importance of great skincare (the best foundation for makeup) which should include a mask that will help with concerns weather it be dryness, oiliness, firming, tightening brightening, etc.    The three main masks that were used to address various skincare concerns were:

DRY

Fresh Rose Face Mask – An innovative and interesting gel mask containing cucumber extract, aloe vera (soothing, hydrating, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties) and real rose petals which melt into the skin.

BRIGHTENING/HYPER-PIGMENTATION

Boscia Bright White Mask – This awesome peel off mask is ideal for those who have dull skin and hyper-pigmentation concerns (sun damage, acne scarring) .  Contains sea fern algae which prohibits the production of melanin and salicornia which hydrates and limits water loss.

CLARIFYING/NORMAL-OILY

Fresh Umbrian Clay Face Treatment (my personal favorite) . This product can be used as a detoxifying/clarifying mask, a daily cleanser or a spot treatment.  Made with umbrian clay, his product reduces breakouts and redness, soothes and refines the look of your skin.

After washing off the masks, we followed up with a basic moisturizer – Fresh Soy Face Cleanser which is ideal for all skin types.

Some of the questions that asked during our Q&A session were:

  • Is all skin the same?  Generally speaking yes.  Skin is skin and while different ethnicities may have certain concerns, perhaps as it relates to scaring, extent of UV damage, bruising, or aging, the more common point of difference doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with color but with type – optimal, dry, oily, combination and should use skincare geared toward those issues.
  • Should everyone use a sun screen?  Yes.  ALL skin burns when over-exposed to harmful UVA(aging) and UVB (burning) rays.  Yes even “black” skin.
  • Is it true that you should not forget the neck when using a face cream?  Tis true.  The neck is one of the first places to show signs of aging so when applying face cream, dont forget to apply your cream to your neck and décolletage – the upper parts of the breasts.
  • How often should a mask be done? – Once or twice a week to help improve texture, tone, clarity or whatever concerns you need to address with the product you are using.

This was too much fun.  We can’t wait to do it again!!!

Acne Smackdown – How I Show My Skin Who Is Boss

In beauty, skincare on July 20, 2012 at 10:00 am

Image courtesy of sephora.com

Long gone are the days of my pubescent adolescence riddled with extreme breakouts and shame. Or at least I thought.  Every now and again, my skin tries to rise up against me with breakouts and extra oil production AND IM NOT HAVING IT.   I have to show my skin who is boss and I do that with Peter Thomas Roth AHA/BHA Acne Clearing Gel.  This gel, which contains (among other powerful ingredients) maximum strength salicylic acid which works to clear up blackheads and acne blemishes as well as my favorite – glycolic acid which works to sweep away dead skin cells and promotes healthy cell turnover.  After cleansing and toning, I apply a thin layer over my entire face and allow it to dry down before applying my moisturizer.  Whenever I use this product (am/pm), any acne blemishes I have are significantly reduced or have completely vanished in a couple of days, making my skin look clear and beautiful again.

3.4 oz $54 sephora.com

Im NOT waiting anymore…

In beauty, fashion, lifestyle on July 16, 2012 at 1:00 pm

OK…. this may sound a little sick.  Sadistic perhaps.  But I have been waiting.  Waiting for my latest injury.  An injury that will maybe shed just a small amount of blood.  Why?  Because I got the coolest, most awesomest BAND AID’s (brand) by Cynthia Rowley in my BirchBox that I have been waiting to wear.    These limited edition dress up BAND AIDS come in an assortment of designs to suit your fashion mood (still sounding a little sick?)

Well, although I haven’t sustained a minor injury yet (i.e. paper cut) , Im going to wear this cute sequin BAND AID today just because….

Should I be concerned that Im kinda excited???

$5 for 20 count at cynthiarowley.com     $11 for 40 count on birchbox.com

What Im Lovin’ – Midi Rings

In beauty, fashion, jewelry on July 16, 2012 at 10:00 am

What Im lovin’

Midi Rings – also known as tea rings or memory rings – are worn at the top of the finger, above the nuckle.  Seen on many stars such as Beyonce and Rhianna, these rings are a beautiful contrast to the larger blinged out baubles that many of us rock on the regular.

I sometimes wear mine by itself…

 

and sometimes many times with another ring for funky contrast (and because I love to wear lots of jewelry at the same time anyway)

 

What do you think?  Would you wear a midi?

My Skincare Snootiness

In beauty, skincare on July 13, 2012 at 10:00 am

Image courtesy of Sephora.com

When it comes to skincare, I am very particular about what I use.  Actually, I can be pretty snooty.  I have used some of the best out there:  Caudalie Premier Cru, Dr Perricone,  Peter Thomas Roth, so on and so forth.  I have even used some great drug store YET well known brands such as Aveeno and L’Oreal.  As you can see, I really enjoy trying different products – it’s how I get my fix and doing so keeps me in the know.  So, when I had the opportunity to try the Sephora Age Defy Night Moisture Cream, I was VERY apprehensive.  Why?  Because it is Sephora’s brand (or “private label”).  It’s kind of like going to the grocery store and choosing between Campbell’s Soup and store brand soup (see how “store brand soup” doesn’t even get capitalized?).  The thought is that the store brand is less than or inferior to the name brand and usually that is not the case.    Anyway…back to my snootiness.  I initially gave this product the side eye, the heave ho, the “ehhh I don’t think so” kind of disdain.  That is until I tried it.  I was so impressed!  This product was actually rather rich and luxurious.  It actually made my skin smooth and supple and imparted a beautiful glow.  I had to eat some humble pie.  This night moisture cream,  as with every product in the Sephora skincare line,  is formulated with Hydrosenn, a natural plant derivative that is similar to hyuluronic acid which binds moisture to the skin.  This night moisture cream also works overnight to boost cell growth and activates collagen synthesis.  And for only $30, it is a great alternative to it’s higher priced counterparts.

Would I buy this product? ABSOLUTELY.  $30 for 1.69 oz at Sephora and sephora.com

Clinique on The Come Up

In beauty, lifestyle, makeup, skincare on July 12, 2012 at 10:00 am

Image courtesy of yooyoo360.com

I have to be honest.  In all my years of using makeup and skincare personally and as a makeup artist, Clinique is one brand that I have always ignored.  It is a brand that I never considered worthy of my time and consideration.  Why?  Maybe it’s the representatives in the not-so-stylish white lab coat.  Or maybe it’s that 3 step skincare routine that never worked for me.  Perhaps it’s because it isn’t necessarily considered an “artistry brand” like Mac and MakeUp Forever.  Well, whatever the case, I wasn’t trying to hear anything Clinique had to say.  That is until now.  Clinique is stepping up their game and raising a few eyebrows with their advances in skincare and color.

REWIND

Back in 2010, two of Clinique’s major launches were the Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector and the Repairwear Laser Focus Wrinkle & UV Damage Corrector.  Touted as major advances in home care/correction for skincare concerns, these two hero products promised to fix those issues that consumers often went to their doctor for.  Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector is a serum intended to even skin tone and correct hyperpigmentation (acne scarring included) on all skin types (including sensitive)  and all ethnicities.  Repairwear Laser Focus Wrinkle & UV Damage Corrector is a treatment intended to reduce lines, wrinkles and sun damage, improving overall skin texture and boosting both natural collagen levels and cell repair.  In 2011, we saw the introduction of the Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Balm – a super nourishing and hydrating balm with a sheer hint of color  and the Bottom Lash Mascara – a tiny brush wonder created specifically for the strategic coating of those sometimes hard to reach bottom lashes.

Read the rest of this entry »

Loreal EverCreme Cleansing Conditioner

In beauty, hair on July 11, 2012 at 10:00 am

Ahhh.  The weekly ritual of shampooing, conditioning, and styling my hair.  It used to be a big deal for me because I had a lot of it – hair that is – until I cut most of it off a few weeks ago.  My top choice of product was Ojon Dry Recovery Shampoo and Conditioner which I was very pleased with because it made my hair super soft and silky.  But with all the love I had for this particular product, I no longer had love for the fact that this product was causing me to have to dig deeper into my pockets on a regular basis (especially for the conditioner because I had to use so much of it).   What’s a girl to do?  Enter L’Oreal EverCreme Cleansing Conditioner (imagine a shampoo bottle with a superhero cape and flying to the scene with superhero music)  This cleansing conditioner cleanses and conditions in one easy step, is low poo (low lathering),  vegan and paraben free,  and is perfect for all dry and curly hair types as well as color treated hair.

Now I will say that although I am fairly pleased with this product, I do have a couple of call outs:

  • I do have to wash and rinse twice because the first round of shampooing does not yield a lot of suds (no sulfates).   When I shampoo again I do get more lather.  And the first time I used this product, I had to fight off the urge to use a conditioner because that is what I normally do.  But I went ahead and styled as I normally do and I must say, my hair was clean, soft and manageable.  Nice.
  •  The scent leaves a little to be desired.  Im not asking for a scent of roses but hopefully one day the scent can be improved.
  • The design of the bottle would be better if it was in a squeeze tube/bottle as opposed to a pump so that it can be better handled in the shower.

Would I purchase again?  Sure.  $6.99  at your local drug and grocery store.