beauty: beauty counter

These two products are summer beauty essentials.

They were sent to me in my summer Box of Style which by the way, I always look forward to receiving every season.  Because it’s what’s on the inside that counts.

THE MULTI-TASKER

Formulated without harmful ingredients, this hibiscus-hued blush is indispensable for the sultry season. Sweep it on your cheeks and lips for a pretty pick-me-up day or night. The color is flattering for all skin tones.

Beautycounter Cream Blusher, Retail Value: $37

THE JETSETTER

This one was timely because I just finished my sunscreen stick that I carry around in my purse.  Never leave home without a sleek sunscreen stick. This one is made with organic coconut oil and acai fruit oil, it offers water-resistant sun protection that goes on sheer—so your skin will love it.

Beautycounter Protect Stick Sunscreen, Retail Value: $18

http://www.beautycounter.com/

Source: the Zoe Report for Box of Style

Beauty – Goop pop-up at Nordstrom

 For a short while only

Goop: Launched in the fall of 2008 out of Gwyneth Paltrow’s kitchen as a homespun weekly newsletter, GP wanted a place to organize her unbiased travel recommendations, health-centric recipes, and shopping discoveries for friends, and she also wanted to get her own questions—about health, fitness, and the psyche—answered. Now, goop has become a fully formed lifestyle site, offering a tight curation of products and content. It is a place for GP to introduce some of the incredible experts who have mentored her throughout her life to a wider audience, and a place where readers can find suggestions about where to shop, eat, and stay from a trusted friend—not from an anonymous, crowd-sourced recommendation engine.

A NOTE FROM GP

We have always been outspoken here at goop about concerns over the toxic ingredients used in personal care products—an industry that operates without regulation. 13 months ago, we were given an opportunity to partner with Juice Beauty, a California company that has been making non-toxic products for more than a decade. We built on their foundation in safety to create something that didn’t exist that I had always been looking for: A line of truly luxurious and effective skincare—products that take organic to the next level. Our line delivers clinically proven, age-defying results that mirror exactly what you would find from the big guys with huge R&D budgets and no ingredient restrictions—but instead of plastics, and toxins, which you would be surprised to know are found in so many expensive face creams, they are loaded with organic, naturally-occurring ingredients that are actually good for you. Aloe, apple, lemon, and grape juices deliver glow, peptides and linseed extract help to firm skin, hyaluronic acid plumps and smoothes fine lines, vitamin C works to clean up the age spots, and meristem plant cells minimize wrinkles and brighten skin tone. We literally did not rest until we had a set of six products that are, quite simply, perfect. Safe enough for our daughters, and powerful enough for those of us who have maybe spent too much time in the sun. I hope you love them as much as I do.

love, gpI am sampling a few of the products like the eye cream & exfoliating instant facial which they swear gp uses daily.  I left with a nice shopping bag & an authentic Japanese bamboo tea ceremony whisk for my matcha green tea lattes.  I have the bkr water bottle which I love.

Beauty: BioActive Externals

Youthful and Ageless

Two key words that jump out to grab our attention in the packaging of many skincare lines.  After all, we all strive to be youthful and ageless for as long as we can.

If we’re being true to ourselves we should know that we cannot rely on one miracle topical product to turn back the clock.  But we keep hoping.  I think even with *good genes the key ingredients to staying youthful is remaining curious, being active, refrain from stress (as much as humanly possible), eating and sleeping well, hydration and the bioactive externals like good clean skincare.  Basically looking after yourself as well as you can because you’re all you’ve got! Keeping this in mind, and aside from my own products, I’m always open to checking out new and improved skincare regimes.  I also love the ritual of applying them morning and night.

After having met and listened to Suzanne Somers promote her Suzanne Organics skincare line which is exclusively at Clark’s Nutrition in Rancho Mirage, Ca., I felt obliged to try a few products.  If only because Suzanne is her own best testament to the products and philosophy behind them.

Makeup + Skincare by Suzanne Organics

I’ve been using her ageless serum which is loaded with sea algae followed by her Bioactive Moisturizer which among other active natural ingredients is loaded with CoQ10, Argan (last year my sis brought Argan oil back from the Atlas mountains of Morocco for me) oil and sea buckthorn berry which acts as a superfood for your skin.  Of course you have to eat whole food for your skin to look its very best but let’s just agree that the ingredient listing is excellent.  It feels great on my face too. The whole collection is Toxic Free.  The coco-mango body butter is my absolute favourite. Find out more at: link below

*Having good genes doesn’t mean you’ll live longer, it just means you’ll look better doing it.

https://www.suzannesomers.com/

BENEFITS: 

  Formula uses only pure, organic ingredients

  No animal testing

  No synthetic fragrances

  Beech Tree Bud Extract supports the skin cells. This organic extract moisturizes the skin and assists in the look of wrinkle reduction by supporting the skin

  Argan Oil is one of the rarest oils in the world, this desert plant restores moisture so skin can survive dry climates, such as air-conditioning or heating

  Just as this plant protects itself from the desert heat, the oil from the tree’s fruit helps our skin to be protected from the elements.

  Sea Buckthorn Berry is a rare plant that contains essential fatty acids, Omega 3,6,7 and 9! Our skin loves these essential fatty acids and to find all of these essential fatty acids in one plant is remarkable

AND MORE…

If you’ve been fortunate enough to try her line I’d like your comments.

Polished Beauty

Beauty with a Purpose – from Cult Favorite Skincare Label Tatcha

It’s something that was sent to me in the new Box of Style – second go around for Spring. I don’t have to go out looking for new product, it now comes to me and keeps on getting better. I’m happy that it’s an exfoliant with a history and a mission to empower women, as well as make them look well, more polished shall we say?

What it is: a non-abrasive, water-activated enzyme exfoliant with rice bran and licorice, so even those with dry skin can use it. Which helps to encourage cell turnover, lighten the appearance of dark spots, prevent breakouts or clogged pores, and prepare the skin for any treatments to follow.

Founder Victoria Tsai’s Mission Statement

“When I thought of geisha, I had always pictured them with their iconic white makeup. When I met them in person, I realized that underneath that makeup is baby-soft, smooth, luminous skin. Caring for their skin is part of their artistry, passed down and honed through generations. Their rituals and ingredients are timeless and beautiful—they view skin as a brilliant organ, able to care for itself with a little bit of gentle cleansing and nourishment. I fell in love with this approach and wanted to pay homage in creating Tatcha.”

Western Vs. Eastern

“Western skincare is a lot like Western medicine, using drugs to treat an issue after the fact. Eastern skincare is like Eastern medicine, focused on prevention and keeping the body in balance to avoid disease before it starts. Classical Japanese beauty rituals were born from the geisha’s rituals, which are natural, elegant and spare. Even with elaborate performance makeup, her ritual is no more than four steps: melt away her makeup, polish, plump and nourish skin. The ingredients follow the same philosophy, with streamlined formulas of active ingredients, minimally manipulated to their most efficacious form. Whether it’s oil from a camellia flower, steamed wild rose or brewed green tea, each ingredient serves a purpose.”

Why Choose Tatcha

“We develop every formula and our key active ingredients from scratch in-house with some of the most famous skincare scientists in the world, like a couture dress. The ingredients are pure and clean because of our classical Japanese heritage and because I was pregnant when we were beginning our R&D and needed a collection that is body-, animal- and earth-friendly. Finally, we believe that beauty begins in the heart and the mind. We have a 1:1 partnership with Room to Read: Every full-size skincare purchase funds a day of school for a girl in a developing country. Thanks to amazing clients and friends like Rachel Zoe, we have funded over 1 million days of school and counting.”

Have you tried it?  What exfoliant are you using and/or recommend?

photos/story: Zoe Report

 

Beauty: feeling flush for Spring 

with something other than the multiple winning “best of beauty” orgasm

What’s New from NARS?

NARS Narsissist Unfiltered Cheek Palette

Time to branch out from our usual Orgasm to six new Nars blush shades that comes in two cheeky limited edition palettes. Try pinks for a natural just-got-back-from-SoulCycle flush (sans all that sweat), and peach shades to brighten sallow cheeks. Whether you want a dramatic glow or a no-makeup makeup vibe, the mix of matte and shimmery finishes lends the ideal flush for every occasion.

NARS NARSissist Unfiltered I Cheek Palette – Limited Edition

  • Watch Me– opalescent gold, sheen
  • Me First– apricot, sheen
  • Takeover– copper rose, sheen
  • Out There– deep russet, matte
  • Chic– rich raspberry, matte
  • Exhibit A– red, matte

NARS NARSissist Unfiltered II Cheek Palette – Limited Edition

  • Conquest– pastel peach, matte
  • Undefeated– pale pink, matte
  • Powder Play– vivid pink, matte
  • Hot Sand– peach champagne, sheen
  • Fame– pink amber, sheen
  • Candid– mauve raspberry, shimmer

One of the Best Spring Palettes according to Allure Magazine

$59 (narscosmetics.com) and Sephora

Are there any others you can recommend?

 

 

 

Beauty: working under cover

A breakdown of THE BEST under eye concealersconcealNo one wants to have dark under eye circles.  No one wants to look like they haven’t slept for a week even if they haven’t slept for a week.

Unfortunately, getting more sleep doesn’t always equal brighter, more awake-looking eyes. Dark undereye circles are apparently hereditary so blame your parents if you have them.  But that still doesn’t help the problem.

The good news is that you can buy a product to temporarily hide them.  The bad news (which really isn’t all that bad) is that there are too many makeup products offering to help you cover them up. Where to look?

My personal favourite (since I haven’t tried the others mentioned here) is from Cle de Peau which is also a cult favourite. I think it may be worth the splurge as it has a nice creamy consistency that goes on smooth and evenly. But I’m not the expert on covering up dark circles sooo…..

Ahead, you’ll find five of the most popular under-eye concealers, according to countless reviews and user feedback on the Internet. AKA, the masses have spoken and these are the top products they unanimously agree make the cut.  Thought you’d like to know.

Kat Von D Lock-It Concealer ($25)concealer1

It Cosmetics Bye-Bye Under Eye Anti-Aging Concealer ($24)concealer2

Bobbi Brown Concealer Kit ($35)concealer3

Tom Ford Concealing Pen ($52)

Cle de Peau

Cle de Peau

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser ($7)concealer5

Bonus Pick:

*Kevyn Aucoin’s The Sensual Skin Enhancer ($48)concealer6

*Since we’re talking makeup if you care to know, this is selfie queen Kim Kardashian’s #1 choice – she was initially turned on to the product by her makeup artist (Mario Dedivanovic). Depending on the shade you purchase, the waterproof makeup enhancer also works as a highlighter, foundation, or contour. Most of these other choices I believe will do the same but I must admit this one sounds pretty tempting.

I researched a bit more on it and found out: while on a trip to Japan, Kevyn Aucoin was taken with the radiant, flawless skin of the geisha. His unending curiosity of what makes these women beautiful led him on a quest to find the products they used to achieve their youthfully dewy complexion. Working closely with Japanese chemists, Kevyn Aucoin developed what is perhaps the most versatile skin-perfecting product you will ever use for radiant looking skin. Well, if that isn’t a selling feature?

Have you tried any of these?  What do you like or recommend?

 

Beauty: just Browsing

She will look completely normal tomorrow except she’s just going to have some rock star brows,” said Kate Shaughnessy, the owner of Lash and Brow Design Co. in Carmel, Ca.

Shaughnessy Keely Webpage

Shaughnessy Keely Webpage

If there is one tattoo (that’s not actually a real tattoo) that I would consider getting it would hands down have to be the brow fill-in I know someone who got it done and upon close inspection her brows look natural and fuller than before.  It helped to fill in the over-plucked spaces and make them a little thicker than before.  Loved it!

The correct term is called microblading. It goes on like a tattoo using small needles to apply color to your brows in a shape that fits your face. Leaving the brows even and filled in.  And in the long run less time consuming than filling them in with a pencil or powder (if that’s what you do – c’mon you all do it!)

It lasts about a year. They tell clients one to three years but it varies on everybody. If you’re in the sun a lot it might come off faster.

The product goes three layers deep compared to seven layers like an actual tattoo, creating more natural hair like strokes.

Shaughnessy Keely Webpage

Shaughnessy Keely Webpage

At the present time I’m keeping my eyebrows as is but in the future if need be I am recommending (on the advice of another friend) the brow artist/studio below for those of you lucky enough to be living in Vancouver, B.C.

But it appears that anyone with the name “shaughnessy” will be a good bet!

My cousin Liz who lives in Montreal just informed me about a great place for microblading there.   Technicians name is Eli Ross. Studio Eli. Ross Inc. – Montreal For all info call 514-692-4545 or info@studioeliross.com

Groucho Marx

Right on!  You tell them Groucho Marx!

SHAUGHNESSY KEELY

http://studiosashiko.com/shaughnessy/

The link below will provide you with answers to all your frequently asked questions:

http://studiosashiko.com/faq/

 

 

 

 

 

Beauty: the instanatural

Message to those of you who PAY ATTENTION to my beauty posts:serum1

don’t think I’m repeating myself because my last post was about skin serums.  I promise it won’t be a weekly event.  Well it might; just not on serums every time.  But I was excited to share this one with you too because you knowI’m an authority on the subject this is one of my specialties

Last week I mentioned some ridiculously affordable serums from Canadian beauty start-up company Deciem which offered one active ingredient in each bottle.  Great if you want let’s say…Vitamin “C”, or Hyaluronic Acid, etc..

But let’s say you just want MORE

You might want to consider the Age-Defying & Skin Clearing Serum from Instanatural for just under $25.

As skincare products go this is a pretty appealing price and name.  I mean anything with “age-defying AND “skin clearing” claims must be at least looked upon.  This is the holy grail of skin ingredient listings:

Retinol? Salicylic acid? Niacinamide? Vitamin C? Hyaluronic acid? Tea tree oil? Lavender? In one little bottle?

One beauty editor experienced what she referred to as a skincare-induced bout of hyperventilation. These were all the ingredients one could wish for in one product to plump skin, make it brighter, clear blemishes and blackheads, and hide fine lines.

The serum has a milky consistency to it and a lovely citrusy scent.

Granted, I have yet to try it (still trying to get through all the rest of the products that I’ve either purchased or were sent to me for review).  But I can tell you that it’s high up on my list.

What are your all-time favorite skincare products?

beauty:  these are no Ordinary serums

You know what they say; if something seems too good to be true, it probably is…except maybe in this case!ordinary1

We woman already pay a lot for upkeep and that includes our skincare regime.  And our skincare regime usually includes an expensive serum.  So if you found out you could buy a serum with a really good active ingredient for only $6 you wouldn’t believe me right?

On average a regular glycolic acid-based serum costs around $42. An antioxidant serum of choice costs about $163. These are hefty prices, sure. But they’re serums. Paying top dollar for high concentrations of anti-aging ingredients is just the way it goes, isn’t it?

If you ask Toronto-based beauty brand Deciem, the answer will be a resounding No.  The brand has released a new collection of serums that promises the same ingredients as luxury products, except these SKUs boast prices as low as $6.

The new line is called The Ordinary and offers a total of 10 serums, the most expensive of which is $15. Since launching earlier this month, the brand has sold over 43,000 units.  I wonder why?

Self-termed “the abnormal beauty company,” Deciem positions its image on the fringe of the beauty market. What makes The Ordinary’s serums unique is their simplicity—each bottle contains only one or two active ingredients, like vitamin C, hylauronic acid, and retinoid (all of which we’re used to seeing in our pricier serums). Deciem’s founder Brandon Truaxe says that because of the low ingredient count, the products can be manufactured and packaged more affordably.ordinary3

So where can you buy them? Deciem sells all of its ranges on the company website, as well as choice retailers around the globe (U.S. brick-and-mortar locations are in the works). Though the company is fairly under-the-radar stateside, it has become wildly popular in the UK, mostly due to the success of their hand and body care brand Hand Chemistry.

Want to experience the budget-friendly wonders of The Ordinary? Shop some of their serums below!

 The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 ($7)

If you’re aiming to give your skin an intense dose of moisture, cart this $7 hyaluronic acid serum.

The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2% ($6)

This skin-protecting vitamin C serum miraculously comes in at less than $6 per bottle.

The Ordinary “Buffet” ($15)

At less than $15, this peptide-packed serum is the brand’s most expensive SKU.

What’s to lose?  The only bad thing is if you don’t like it you haven’t lost much money trying something new.  If you do like it………. GREAT!

 

beauty: TIDAL

THE FIRST WINTER LAYER

tidal2

Among my Winter Box of Style findings was a full size Sunday Riley Brightening Enzyme Water Cream.  I’ve been curious about trying this product but thought I don’t really need it,  I already have my skincare routine.  But after having been complexionally (yes, it’s a word I created) & seasonally skin stressed with having to take antibiotics and now being in dry desert air, it has become my morning skin savior to pack major moisture before adding sunscreen.

That’s why I’m putting it in my beauty post.

Apparently it’s also a solution for dark spots, dryness, fine lines and wrinkes. But personally it’s for sucking in more moisture.

If you want to know more…
Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream delivers an intense water drench with two forms of hyaluronic acid and tamarind extract, creating visibly hydrated and plumped skin. Papaya enzymes smooth and exfoliate while alpha-arbutin and giant white bird of paradise extracts work to diminish the appearance of hyperpigmentation and illuminate the complexion.

What it is formulated WITHOUT:
– Parabens
– Sulfates
– Phthalates

“I was inspired by the skin-plumping power of water creams, but I wanted to make something special. I formulated Tidal to be a brightening treatment, infused into a water cream for a cutting-edge answer to both alternative signs of aging, including hyperpigmentation. The quest for the ultimate, all-skin-types moisturizer was born. Papaya enzymes smooth the skin and gently exfoliate for immediate improvement in texture.”—Sunday Rileytidal3

Other than the price of $65, this product is cruelty-free

I guess that’s all you really need to know.   You can buy it at Sephora.