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/Culture: the Hoop Earring

Every fashionable woman owns at least one pair of hoop earrings.

Photo; Mitchell Sams

At Marc Jacob’s Fall/Winter 2017 show models stomped down the runway with shiny gold hoop earrings.  They ranged from giant three-tiered hoops to a single thin hoop with a diamond encrusted key dangling from it.

From Marc Jacobs show

In the Spring Box  of Style from Zoe Report were these earrings.

The collection, which was also full of oversized fur collared jackets and monochromatic tracksuits, was inspired by the early days of hip-hop.

“It is an acknowledgement and gesture of my respect for the polish and consideration applied to fashion from a generation that will forever be the foundation of youth culture street style,” Jacobs explained in the show notes.

Hoops are one of the most attractive styles of earrings and they come with a story. Anything interesting comes with a story.

Unfortunately, not everyone who borrows from street culture is as eager to acknowledge the contributions of people who created it. The round jewelry has been a favorite accessory for decades from Cher in the 1960s to Madonna in the 1980s, but hoop earrings have a deep-rooted history in communities of color.

This cultural significance of the hoop earring was brought to light recently when three Latina students painted a message to their fellow classmates at Pitzer College in California about their earrings. They scribbled “White girls, take off your hoops” in bright yellow spray paint on a wall outside of a dormitory, after they noticed an influx of their peers wearing oversized hoop earrings.

Photo: Elliot Dordick, The Claremont Independent

Alegria Martinez, one of the students responsible for the graffiti, wrote an email to the student body that stated that they were sick of white women appropriating styles that “belonged to black and brown folks who created the culture.” The controversy came shortly after Elle dubbed the hoop earring a must-have accessory for fall, thanks not only to Marc Jacobs, but others like Fendi and Michael Kors.

Designers, celebrities, and even retailers have been long accused of taking styles from marginalized groups they think are “cool” without any consideration for the context. Last November, people took to social media to call out Urban Outfitters when it attempted to re-brand oversized gold doorknocker earrings. “The same earrings that people find ratchet or ghetto on black women are now $16.00 and sold at hipsters R us. These are literally a dollar at the nearest black hair store. My culture says you’re welcome,” one woman wrote in a Facebook post that has now been shared over 21,000 times.

Hoop earrings have a very long history dating all the way back to the ancient Sumerians from modern-day Iraq in 2600 B.C.  Different variations of the hoop have been adopted by a range of cultures around the world, from the Hmong women of Vietnam to the Gadaba tribe of India, as Vogue points out. But, in America, the style has often been adopted by women of color in an effort to reclaim their culture and celebrate their history.

Hoop earrings became especially popular among African American women during the Black Power movement in the 1960s when many were embracing Afrocentric dress. From activists like Angela Davis to artists like Tina Turner, more women were adopting an African-inspired look that embraced natural hairstyles and hoop earrings.

As Tanisha C. Ford writes in her book, Liberated Threads: Black Women, Style, and the Global Politics of Soul, “In African-inspired clothing and large hoop earrings and sporting Afros and cornrow braids, Americans and Britons of African descent envisioned soul style as a symbolic baptism in freedom’s waters through which they could be reborn, liberated from cultural and social bondage of their slave and colonial past.”

The statement jewelry carried on into the 70s when it was embraced by disco divas like Diana Ross and Donna Summer. When the 80s rolled around, their thin gold hoops were traded for thick gold “door knocker” and bamboo hoop earrings by hip-hop artists like Salt N Pepa and MC Lyte.

By the 1990s, oversized hoop earrings were a fixture of Chola style, which was embraced by working-class Mexican American women in Southern California. The radical look was defined by slicked-down baby hairs, dark lip-liner, and door-knocker hoop earrings.

But, it was about more than just fashion. As Barbara Calderón-Douglass writes in her piece “The Folk Feminist Struggle Behind the Chola Fashion Trend,” “The chola aesthetic is the result of impoverished women making a lot out of the little things their families could afford.”

Martinez, who grew up in Southern California, says she sees the style as a form of resistance. “We are women of color from Los Angeles, Long Beach, and San Bernadino and that is where this cultural style comes from,” explained Martinez. “Whenever we wear our hoops, or when I wear bold eyeliner and red lipstick, I feel really proud to be from that background.”

Fashion has always taken influences from different cultures. The problem with appropriating styles like hoop earrings is that many women of color still can’t wear these “trends” without facing discrimination for looking too “ghetto.” Not to mention, many of those who are eager to slip on a pair of hoop earrings fail to use their platform for any meaningful discussion about race.

Photo: Flickr Creative Commons, artist Helena Metaferia

Just last season Marc Jacobs faced a fury of appropriation accusations when he sent a predominantly white cast of models down the runway wearing colorful pastel dreadlocks. The designer had attributed the collection to the style of club kids, but failed to mention that the hairstyle has history in African culture. So, when the designer made a point to attribute his fall 2017 aesthetic to the early days of hip-hop and the people of color who created it, many were eager to praise him for finally appreciating the culture rather than merely appropriating it.

Hopefully, more in the industry will take note.

Source for this Story: http://i-d.vice.com

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?

 

 

 

Tox-Sick Talk with Suzanne Somers  

Because if you live toxic free you will feel better naturally.

I was thinking about starting a series about women who inspire me and who better to start off with than Suzanne Somers.20170302_144013Suzanne said people magazine once described her as the dumbest woman in America.  Which means she did a great job of playing the blond bombshell bimbo Chrissy Snow in the long running sitcom(edy) “Three’s Company.”

But she had the last laugh because the idiot who wrote that didn’t realize her full potential.  A cancer survivor, she is a well respected health and wellness advocate, a *best selling author having written 25 books (her latest is called Tox-Sick – From Toxic to Not Sick), singer, dancer, Vegas nightclub performer (who was once named Female Entertainer of the Year, the same year Frank Sinatra was named Male Entertainer of the Year, ) and savvy business woman with her suzanne organics skincare & cosmetics line.  It’s a pretty impressive resume.  There’s so much to her, but for now we’ll focus on her pure organic skincare line because I was waiting for something beauty-wise to inspire me for a beauty post – this is it!  And it’s never just about looking good (although we love that); it’s about feeling good from the inside out.  Which by the way, always makes one look better on the outside.

“It’s as if we are all on a big, chemical drunk, and the hangover is a killer.” – Suzanne Somers, in TOX-SICK

20170302_144328So I was thrilled to meet her alongside her handsome hubby Alan Hamel (I do remember well his successful TV talk show in Canada) when she launched her Radiance Facial Kit at Clark’s Nutrition – a fantastic family run natural foods market in Rancho Mirage.  Wait; it’s not just the facial kit she has – it’s a complete line of body care, skincare, sunless tanning, haircare and now cosmetics.  It’s a great line because it’s more than natural and organic…it’s certified ToxicFree.  What that means is a lot of NO’s!  No Pegs, Parabens, chemical emulsifiers, artificial colors, fragrance and of course NO animal testing.  She doesn’t kid around.  She walks/eats/looks the talk!  She even grows her own food.  It’s exhausting to even think about. She really does live toxic-free.  She discussed this along with her belief about a new way to age.  On close inspection I decided if she uses her own stuff (which she completely does) and looks that good I better buy me some.

As you may know I make my own little line of pure products so I’m very picky about what I choose to put on my face + body but I went for the coco mango body butter (a friend of mine swears by it – “it f….ing works!” Also the ageless serum (because it’s loaded with sea algae extract and African Birch) and a lipstick in caramelized peach (because it sounded yummy & looked pretty).  Just so you know.  All made in California.

Suzanne says she’s always loved the idea of pure organic skincare but had never experienced any anti-aging benefits so would end up reverting back to chemically-based products.  Now she has the best of both worlds.  She works closely with the formulators to use the power of nature to find the most effective anti-aging actives for clean, beautiful products to feed, nurture and hydrate precious skin.  It is like superfood for your skin.

OMG I never realized just how much we have in common!  I never even told her that I met her “Three’s Company” co-star John Ritter in Tokyo years ago on a TV series and how nicely he treated me.  But maybe she knows that now.

*On one of her many books about health and nutrition “Breakthrough: Eight Steps to Wellness,”: She scored a big coup with “Sex and the City 2.” Her book is heavily featured in the movie.  Kim Cattrall‘s Samantha–who announces that she’s “fifty-f-ing-two” and going through menopause–declares that she lives by it. She hands it to everyone in the movie. By the end of the movie, women are exchanging copies of “Breakthrough,” with the cover very prominent. A book publisher’s dream.

And if all that isn’t enough, she’s nice too!  An inspiration to all women!

websitehttp://www.suzannesomers.com/

images: d. king

 

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?