True Nature Botanicals - Pacific Face Oil

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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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Wednesday
Jan212015

True Nature Botanicals Pacific Exfoliating Cleanser

We could all use more exfoliation in the winter, so I was excited to try the new True Nature Botanicals Pacific Exfoliating Cleanser ($48). The star ingredient, Actifoliate™, is a patented fungal extract that combines peptides with polysaccharides derived from the Mucor Miehei mushroom. That basically means you'll get noticeable results without any irritation (25%+ cell turnover). Chamomile, colloidal oat, kelp and Manuka honey are also added to soothe and nourish the skin.

Made with 92% organic ingredients, the thin gel-like formula is so gentle I could barely detect the mild grainy texture of adzuki bean powder. My face feels baby soft and hydrated each time I use it. The rose geranium scent adds a luxurious element, making cleansing a pleasurable experience. I can honestly say this is one of the best cleansers I've used that won't cause dry, tight or blotchy skin.

Available at tnbotanicals.com.

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

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Wednesday
Jan142015

Clarins Garden Escape 2015 Spring Makeup

It's a bit too early to think about spring makeup, but the Clarins 2015 Garden Escape color collection allows us to fantasize about warmer, sunnier days. 

The Garden Escape 6-Colour Eye Palette ($45) contains a gorgeous array of spring hues to create soft, romantic eyes. Shades of pink, green, pearly white and satiny taupe are assembled in a floral pattern that's just too beautiful to look at. 

The awesome Blush Prodige ($31) has a new 08 Sweet Rose shade. This particular one is very pigmented so you only need a gentle swipe of product to get a warm flush of pink. Paired with the Garden Escape eye palette, it almost has a hint of peach. 

The limited edition Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil ($23) doesn't feel like an oil at all. It's more like a gel-textured lip conditioner that's fortified with mirabelle, hazelnut and organic jojoba oils. The 01 Honey shade adds a mega boost of shine that you can use alone or on top of your favorite lipstick to plump your lips. The 02 Raspberry gives the barest hint of pink. Both are pretty irresistible — you might re-apply it often just to smell the delicious scent. 

Two new shades of Joli Rouge Brilliant Perfect Shine Sheer Lipstick ($27) are available within this collection. 23 Rose Petal is a delicate petal pink while 22 Coral Dahlia is a stunning warm orange with brown undertones. I really loved the Coral Dahlia, but the micro glitter would cake up during application. I haven't had any issues with the other shades so this is definitely an anomaly.

Joli Rouge Brilliant in 23 Rose Petal.

The Clarins Garden Escape makeup collection is available at all Clarins counters.

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

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Thursday
Jan082015

Clarins Instant Light Lip Balm Perfector

The new Instant Light Lip Balm Perfector ($23) is going to be a hit with Clarins makeup fans. The fabulously creamy formula combines the soothing texture of lip balm with a high shine finish of lip gloss. The subtle wash of color is enough to deliver some opacity so you don't need to layer with lipstick. Add in the light candy scent and you'll soon fall in love with this new lip product. 

The 01 Rose shade gives a barely-there hint of pink — the color might not show up as well on pigmented lips. The 03 My Pink is a super fun one to try. The special formula reacts with your skin's pH level to produce a unique shade that flatters your complexion. The 05 Red is a cheerful apple red that will perk up any makeup look, and for those who prefer nudes the 06 Rosewood is just gorgeous.

The Instant Light Lip Balm Perfector is now available at all Clarins counters. 

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

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Monday
Dec222014

Last-Minute Beauty Gifts

Looking for last-minute gift ideas? We have some fabulous beauty options that will be perfect as stocking stuffers:

A Sephora exclusive, the limited edition SK-II Pitera Essence Set Red Flower contains three travel-friendly skincare essentials for a glowing complexion. Get the Facial Treatment Clear Lotion, Facial Treatment Essence and Facial Treatment Mask at a savings of 20% off the regular price. $105; www.sephora.com

Keep nails snazzy with the awesome Dior Vernis Couture Colour Gel Shine and Long-Wear Nail Lacquer. The color range is fantastic and the glossy gel finish lasts a week with a top coat. $25; nordstrom.com

Send a gift of red carpet-worthy hair with the Serge Normant Holiday Kit. It includes full-size bottles of the popular Meta Silk Shampoo, Meta Velour Conditioner, and the Meta Morphosis Hair Repair Treatment. $85; www.net-a-porter.com.

Impress the jet-setting beauty lover with the TATCHA Kokoro Supple Skin Travel Duo. It features deluxe travel versions of the AGELESS Revitalizing Eye Cream and the SUPPLE Moisture Rich Silk Cream. $58; www.tatcha.com.

Perfect those brows with the Clarins Kit Sourcils Pro Perfect Eyes & Brows Palette. The award-winning brow grooming kit provides everything you need for on-the-go maintenance. $38; www.clarinsusa.com and all Clarins counters. 

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

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Wednesday
Dec172014

Gucci Cosmetics

Italian fashion house Gucci recently launched their inaugural luxury makeup line and it's been an instant hit with beauty fanatics everywhere. Celebrity makeup artist Pat McGrath developed the 18-piece collection and each item features the iconic Guccissima pattern and gold interlocking G logo on the packaging. 

I got to try a few of their basic products. The Power Liquid Liner ($37) is a smudge-proof liquid eyeliner that gives a fine to medium line. It dries quickly but it doesn't seem to be fully waterproof. That's not a big deal with me but I wouldn't wear it to the beach. It washes off mostly with water or cleanser but you'd need a cleansing oil to get rid of it completely. 

Suitable for everyday wear, the lightweight Opulent Volume Mascara ($33) has good definition. It doubled my lash volume but it's not overly dramatic. It's a lovely mascara, but no, it won't give you the mega false lash look. I also didn't see any clumps with 3 coats. It washes off easily with water so that's convenient for anyone who wants fuss-free makeup removal. 

As for nails, the Bold High-Gloss Lacquer ($29) has a triangular bristle brush for precise, even application. The festive Iconic Red 120 shade doesn't streak and has a gorgeous lacquered finish after it dries down. One coat is decent coverage if you're in a huge rush, but if you have the time two coats is best for 100% opacity. I only saw minor tip wear after three days so the formula should last about a week. 

The Gucci cosmetics collection is available at www.gucci.com, Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue. 

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

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Wednesday
Dec102014

SK-II Limited Edition Facial Treatment Essence

To celebrate the holiday season SK-II is offering limited edition bottles of their Facial Treatment Essence. The "miracle water" is getting a glam makeover by featuring one of the three floral motifs. If you already use this cult fave you'll want to snap up one of these pretty bottles before they run out. 

Designed by Taiwanese digital artist Huang Po-Chih, each floral painting represents a different facet of enduring beauty. Yellow freesia depicts elegance while red tulips signify passion. Purple hydrangea is an emblem of compassion.

Available for $205 (7.2 oz/215 ml) at Nordstrom, Macy's and all other SK-II counters. 

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

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Monday
Dec082014

Dolce & Gabbana Collector's Edition Holiday Makeup

The Dolce & Gabbana Collector's Edition 2014 holiday makeup is sure to get any beautyholic in a festive mood. Classic shades of red and gold rule this capsule collection. 

Limited editions of The Bronzer ($68) and The Illuminator ($51) reveal an ancient coin design that's imprinted on top of the powder. Both products will sculpt and highlight your face into a party-ready visage within minutes. The gorgeous illuminator comes in the Eva 3 shade, which is perfect for light to medium complexions. The gold shimmer is very subtle so it's absolutely lovely as a finishing powder. 

Bold red is always a welcome sight for the dreary winter. The Shine Lipstick ($37) is available in Real Red and if you need a fresh stash of apple red polish the Intense Nail Lacquer ($25) in Lover 130 is a luxe option.

D&G Intense Nail Lacquer in Lover 130.

The Perfect Mono Cream Eye Colour ($36) has two new holiday-ready shades: Pure Gold and Pure Bronze. I can't get over how creamy the Pure Gold formula is. It seems even more creamy than their regular shades

D&G Perfect Mono Cream Eye Colour in Pure Bronze.

Credit: feteafete.com

The D&G Collector's Edition holiday makeup collection is available at Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom.

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

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Thursday
Dec042014

Gift Ideas for Gourmands

Whether you need a hostess present or just want to indulge in something special for the holidays, check out these food and home gift ideas. They're sure to please every gourmand in your life:

If you give me anything from Kika's Treats, I'd inhale it within minutes. Kika's version of Brazilian Honey Cakes (pão de mel) is a fabulous alternative to gingerbread and is also suitable for vegans. $8.50; kikastreats.com.

Jacob May's End-Grain Butcher Blocks are so beautiful you can use them to serve food. Available in black walnut and white oak, these artisanal cutting boards will make a stunning piece in the kitchen and dining room. $300-$500; jacob-may.com.

If you're looking for authentic gochujang sauces without any high fructose corn syrup or additives, the Mother-in-Law's Kimchi Gochujang Collection is your answer. The condiment set contains four awesome blends for any Asian recipe that requires an extra kick. $37; food52.com/provisions.

Credit: James Ransom

For an approachable and modern Scotch whisky, newcomer SIA offers a long and smooth finish with hints of toffee and hazelnut. This is an award-winning blend of Speyside, Highlands and Islay malts. $47.95; www.ludwigsfinewine.com.

Albertengo's decadent and fluffy panettone is the ideal way to celebrate the holidays. Try the fabulous Moscato flavor or the popular Sorrento Lemon. $27.99-$39.99; chefshop.com.

La Boite makes the most flavorful and exotic spice blends, so it's no wonder they're sought after by the best chefs in the country. Le Bernardin's Eric Ripert collaborated with the brand to create a limited edition Voyager Collection boxed set. Signed box $72 ($45 spices only); food52.com/provisions.

Credit: James Ransom

Chalk Hill makes exceptional wines and their 2010 Estate Red is a great example of their benchmark production. Lush, smooth and seductive, this vintage include notes of spicy oak, vanilla, blueberry pie and bittersweet chocolate. $70; www.chalkhill.com.

 

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

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