True Nature Botanicals - Pacific Face Oil

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Wednesday
Mar042015

Darphin Hydraskin Intensive Skin-Hydrating Serum

With the sudden freezing temperature we're having this week, Mother Nature is still wreaking havoc with our skin. I needed to combat the perpetual dryness and the Darphin Hydraskin Intensive Skin-Hydrating Serum ($76) locks in moisture with excellent results.

Pomegranate, imperata cylindrica extract, sodium PCA, and hyaluronic acid are the main ingredients in the results-driven formula. Depending on how dry my skin is I use 1-2 pumps before layering on a face oil. It softens and plumps up fine lines instantly and the light texture is similar to a facial toner (just a bit thicker). I can still feel soft skin 8+ hours later and the serum lets my moisturizer last longer and absorb more efficiently. If you don't already use a serum in your skincare regimen, this is definitely one to consider. 

Available at www.darphin.com

For editorial consideration, review product was provided by the brand.

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Monday
Mar022015

Charm School Vegan Chocolate

I discovered Charm School Chocolate when I was browsing at my local vegan candy store. I've been searching for artisanal vegan chocolate and this brand makes the most delicious bars. Smooth, creamy, and not too sweet, the chocolate comes from fair trade cocoa beans that are roasted and refined for up to 5 days. Founder Joshua Rosen has trained in top restaurants in SF and NYC, so naturally his confections have the gourmet pedigree. And, his Coconut Milk Chocolate Bar is a 2015 Good Food Awards winner. 

I absolutely love the Coconut Milk Chocolate with Maple Candied Pecans bar ($7.99). Crunchy bits of candied nuts are generously folded into the 49% cacao bar, making this quite addictive. The Vanilla Bean White with Caramelized Rice Crisps is a brilliant white chocolate alternative — toasted brown rice and French sea salt add such great texture. Both bars are soy-free and made with organic ingredients. I'm going to stock up the next time I visit the candy shop!

Available at www.charmschoolchocolate.com.

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Wednesday
Feb252015

Kiehl's Precision Lifting & Pore-Tightening Concentrate

The latest skincare launch from Kiehl's is promising a lot. Firmer skin, minimized pores and improved facial contours can be yours with their Precision Lifting & Pore-Tightening Concentrate.

Micro-filtered yeast extract and geranium essential oil are the main players behind the formula. The light gel cream can also double as a makeup primer. Amazingly enough, my pores do look smaller and the overall skin texture seems more refined, especially after 2-3 weeks. No, your pores won't disappear completely but it will make them look less conspicuous. The retail price is appealing considering the results and it's a far better deal than luxury skincare brands promising the same thing.

Available for $64 (1.7 fl oz) at www.kiehls.com.

For editorial consideration, review product was provided by the brand.

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Monday
Feb232015

Uslu Airlines Nail Polish

Uslu Airlines, an edgy cosmetics company from Berlin, offers a vast array of unusual fashion-forward nail polish colors. The five-free formula provides a durable glossy finish and I often find it lasting about a week with minimal chipping. Fun fact: each shade is named after an airport. 

I'm obsessed with the NIM Niamey and WIC Wick shades from the main collection. NIM is a greyish green while WIC is a muted lilac. An alternative to NIM would be QBC Bella Coola from the USL collection, which would be very fun for spring and summer. 

Uslu Airlines nail polish in NIM.

Uslu Airlines nail polish in WIC. WIC swatch.

Available for $12-$16 at beautyhabit.com. To see the entire makeup range: usluairlines.com.

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Thursday
Feb122015

True Nature Botanicals Pacific Balancing Face Oil

I already love the fabulous Pacific Face Oil from True Nature Botanicals so I wanted to see what the new Pacific Balancing Face Oil ($110) is all about. It's designed for folks with adult acne but I find that it's also a great facial oil alternative for those with normal skin. 

Helichrysum and black cumin seed are the major players here; helichrysum fights infection and accelerates scar healing while black cumin calms blemishes. Hemp, pumpkin, grape seed, avocado and sunflower oils work together to balance sebum production. Like the Pacific Face Oil, this one contains marine antioxidants to protect and replenish the top dermal layers.

It's light and absorbs easily. My blemishes look less angry whenever I use it and it helped clear up acne patches within several days. Even when I don't have a major breakout I apply it as a maintenance ritual to prevent future ones, or I use it as a spot treatment when I see the onset of a pimple. 

Available at tnbotanicals.com.

For editorial consideration, review product was provided by the brand.

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Tuesday
Feb102015

Clarins Super Restorative Total Eye Concentrate

Clarins devotees have a new skincare product to covet. The Super Restorative Total Eye Concentrate ($83) is the latest all-in-one eye treatment that uses organic harungana to lift and smooth lines and wrinkles. It also contains albizia extract to brighten dark circles and guarana extract to reduce puffiness. According to a six-week lab test you can expect a 26.1% reduction of crows feet. Users also saw a 33% reduction of dark circles after four weeks. 

I've used this for a couple of weeks and already I've seen a positive difference. My eyes look more awake in the morning even before I start my skincare regimen and the laugh lines are noticeably minimized. The light texture is comfortable enough to be used under makeup. It's not an exaggeration to say this is one of the most effective eye creams I've used lately — it has earned a permanent spot on my bathroom counter. 

Available at www.clarinsusa.com.

For editorial consideration, review product was provided by the brand.

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Friday
Feb062015

Dolce & Gabbana Shimmer Glow Makeup

Dolce & Gabbana is known for refined, elegant makeup and their limited edition Shimmer Glow 2015 winter collection is without exception.

The Smooth Eye Colour Quad in Smokey Eyes Dust 103 ($60) is so velvety soft. This palette contains shades of gold, silver, dark grey and black. The silver and grey remind me of their Romance eyeshadow duo. This is seriously one of the easiest palettes to use for creating smoky eyes. It's literally a smoky eye kit for dummies. 

For extra bling, the Shimmer Powder ($36) has a gel-cream texture that you can layer over blush, eyeshadow, or under the brow arch area. A tiny little dab is more than enough to create the effect. Less is more in this instance. I kinda wish this was released with their previous holiday collection as it would have been fun to use for parties. 

Four shades of the Shimmer Lip Shine Lipstick ($37) complement the smoky eyeshadow. Angel Rose 167 is my favorite — the pale pink has a semi-frosty finish. The other three colors are designed to layer over your favorite lipstick. Moon 69 is a delicate silver while Crystal 46 is a sheer platinum. Shimmer Nude 48 gives a light wash of pale gold. Both Crystal and Shimmer Nude seem to feel slightly more creamy and opaque than the other two. Each lipstick tube is also adorned with an iconic D&G Sicilian Jewels stone. The Crystal shade features a Swarovski crystal.

Shimmer Lip Shine Lipsticks in Moon, Shimmer Nude, Angel Rose, and Crystal.

Last, but not least, the Intense Nail Lacquer line has a new pearlescent silver addition (Pearl Shimmer 805; $25).

The D&G Shimmer Glow collection is exclusively available at Sephora.com. 

For editorial consideration, review product was provided by the brand's PR representative.

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Tuesday
Feb032015

Valentine's Day Gifts for All Budgets

We'll never say no to flowers on Valentine's Day, but you might get extra sugar if you put more thought into your gift. Here are some ideas that should add genuine romance to the overly commerical holiday:

The Alexis Bittar Lucite Dust Small Hinged Bracelet ($101.98) is an elegant choice for any fashion-forward Valentine. As an added bonus, it's also on sale at 40% (originally $170). www.nordstrom.com.

Pamper your beloved with some awesome Red Flower bath products. The Italian Blood Orange Bath Soak Set ($14) is great for a weekend getaway while the Isla das Rocas Revitalizing Sea Salt Scrub ($36) can be used a home spa treatment. www.redflower.com

Gourmands will definitely appreciate the Michel Cluizel Coeurs d'Amour ($12). Filled with premium 72% dark chocolate, these tiny pearly hearts are almost too lovely to eat. www.cluizel.us.

You'll be showered with sweet kisses when you gift your sweetheart with the limited edition Eminence Lip Trio Kit ($60). The luxurious three-step treatment includes a Citrus Enzyme Exfoliator, Lip Comfort and Plumping Masque, and a minty Citrus Lip Balm. eminenceorganics.com/us

The Jose & Maria Barrera Gold-Plated Flower Necklace with Crystals ($715) makes a splashy, extravagant declaration of love. The stunning 24-carat yellow gold plate bib necklace is studded with glittering Austrian crystals. www.neimanmarcus.com.

 

The Eau Aimable Botanical Cologne of Love ($38/3.4 oz; $49/8.4 oz) from Le Couvent des Minimes is the perfect fragrance for a romantic overture. This uplifting floral-fruity fragrance features orange blossom, bergamot, mandarin, wild rose, nasturtium, and petitgrain to evoke visions of a stroll through a Mediterranean orange grove. usa.lecouventdesminimes.com.

 

 

For editorial consideration, review product was provided by the brand's PR representative.

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Thursday
Jan292015

80 Acres Cedarwood Body Care

The Cedarwood Collection, the latest offering from McEvoy Ranch's 80 Acres body care line, is a refreshing option for those who prefer a unisex scent. Cedar essential oil apparently has a lot of healing benefits; it also possesses grounding properties to calm the senses.

Made with McEvoy's organic extra virgin olive oil, the products are available as a bar soap, salt scrub, body balm, soy candle and body lotion. The Cedarwood Bar Soap ($9) provides an unusually rich lather and its clean fragrance contains uplifting notes of bergamot, vetiver and lavender. The warm and earthy Cedarwood Body Balm ($14-$24) is absolutely lovely — the addition of myrrh, rock rose, patchouli, and tonka bean elevates this balm to a delightful sensual experience. 

The Cedarwood Collection ($9-28) is available at www.mcevoyranch.com

For editorial consideration, review product was provided by the brand's PR representative.

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Monday
Jan262015

NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation

The new NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation is the first full-coverage liquid foundation from the cult makeup brand. Extremely pigmented but light as air, I could barely feel the product on my face. The oil-free formula is available in 20 shades and the bottle is designed to dispense the exact amount of product needed for the entire face. It's also supposed to last up to 16 hours.

Tilda Swinton for the NARS foundation campaign.

I tried Ceylan (medium with yellow undertones), which is a fairly decent match but it's just a tad too yellow. I'm guessing Fiji would be a better match. I couldn't believe how awesome the coverage could be with one small pump. In fact, it dispenses a bit too much product for me so I'd start with a half pump. The texture and result is very light and natural-looking, which is huge for anyone who wants ample coverage AND breathable skin. 

All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation in Ceylan.

Available for $48 (1 fl. oz./30 ml) at www.narscosmetics.com

For editorial consideration, review product was provided by the brand's PR representative.

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