Thursday, November 30, 2006

Dressing for the Holidays

Head on over to Target Culture to read my post of hot holiday dresses at Target, and how to dress up an old dress with fun, new accessories.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


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Maryam's Soap Nook

I recently recieved a wonderful little goody bag from Maryam's Soap Nook. This is a brand of bath & body products that are all hand-made with natural ingredients, and infused with aromatherapy to entice the senses as well. Maryam's inspiration for this line of products was the birth of her daughter in 1999. Since then, she's been making her own hand-made bath and body products, and using only these on her daughter (nice story, isn't it? And you know the stuff's high quality if she's using it on her own kids)

Here's a quick review of a few of the products I recieved and have had a chance to play around with:

Whipped Shea Monoi Herbal Body Butter ($15/8oz)- This is a thick, luxurious body butter made up of shea butter, monoi de tahiti oil, cocoa butter, sweet almond oil, sunflower oil, goat milk, vitamin E, and silk fibers. It takes some getting used to at first-- the concoction felt grainy as I first scooped it out of the tub, but then I realized that the "grains" are little bits of shea butter that melt on contact with your skin. My skin felt incredibly soft and silky after slathering this body butter all over. I recieved the Lavender Rosemary scented butter, which smells nice (smells moisturizing, if that's possible) though it's a bit overpowering for me-- I used this lotion right before bed once and my sheets smelled like it for days. However there's many scents to choose from and even an unscented version.

Exfoliating Body Wash with Kukui Nut Oil & Jojoba Beads($10/8oz)- The kukui nut oil promises to heal, renew, and moisturize dry skin, while the jojoba beads exfoliate dead skin cells away. I first tried to use this body wash by pouring some into my shower pouf, but most of the mixture simply dissappeared into the pouf rather than going onto my skin. It's probably better to use it with your hands or a washcloth. The Pomegranite & Wild Berries scent smells incredibly refreshing. This wash also comes in a variety of other scents, as well.

Shea Butter & Dead Sea Salt Glow Scrub($15/8oz)- The claims: "Helps circulation and is a great way to invigorate and rejuvenate your skin. The deep pore cleansing and exfoliating effects will leave your skin feeling baby soft, and refreshed." I have to admit, I've been loving this trend of sugar and salt scrubs. I love feeling the exfoliating action of the sugar or salt beads, plus feeling the oils truly lubricate my skin to make it uber-moisturized. It feels like just what I need during these dreary, dry winter months. Although this body scrub and the above exfoliating wash in many ways are quite similar (exfoliation + oils to moisturize), I like the scrub better as it;s thicker and more substantial. Beware, however, as the oils in this scrub (and any other) will make your tub more slippery!

Bottom Line? I'm not sure if I'd seek out these products on my own as opposed to going with other brands where I can easily waltz into a store to pick them up. However, if you like having natural, hand-made products to use on your skin, then these are definitely a good thing for you.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Good Skin All-Calm Redness Tamer

I don't know if it's winter dryness or what, but I've been noticing more redness and blotchiness on my face lately. As a result, I've been using Good Skin All-Calm Redness Tamer($15, now on sale for $13.50 at Kohls) almost every day. This is a product that I actually bought months ago, but noly really started using a lot lately.

It's a tube of green paste, with an applicator very similar to a sponge-tip lipgloss applicator. You dab a touch of the green stuff on your skin, wherever you happen to have a pimple or just some redness, and use your finger to pat the cream in, blending it in. Redness is gone, there's no obvious greenness, and skin looks fabulous. I've been using it a lot around my nose, and just above my eyebrows (I seem to have a red spot just above them, perhaps from plucking?).

If you need all-over face coverage for redness, this stuff may not be the best option. However if you have pimples or smaller red spots on your face that you want covered up, this All-Calm Redness Tamer works like a dream.

By the way, Kohls is currently offering a 10%-15% discount on all beauty items (online, not sure about in-store).

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

How NOT to Overeat on Thanksgiving

We're all too familiar with the situation-- it's Thanksgiving Day. You haven't eaten much all day in anticipation fo the day's feast. You go to pile up your plate and, of course, want to try EVERYTHING. So you pile it on and, afterwards, end up feeling more stuffed than the turkey itself. Now you're left with not only indigestion, but the guilt of having consumed one too many servings of mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie.

So what do you do?

Well, here's a bit of advice. I know with me, often in situations like these the food will be so good that I just want to keep eating it-- even once I'm already full and am not enjoying the taste as much anymore. And that's the key to focus on-- the first few bites of your food are the ones that taste best, anyway. So go ahead and try a little bit of everything-- just make it only small portions. You only need a few bites of each of the various dishes available. This way you get to try and enjoy everything, but you keep your overall food intake to a reasonable level.

And, of course, you might actually have some room left to enjoy a slice of pumpkin pie, as well. ; )

By the way, I also suggest not worrying too much about fat content, or trying to use low-fat versions of your favorite Thanksgiving comfort foods. I'm a firm believer in allowing yourself to indulge in the good stuff (meaning things like REAL sugar) and simply limiting portion size to make up for it. Remember, Thanksgiving only comes around once a year anyway. If you induklge a bit more than usual, it's not the end of the world. You can always go for a run tomorrow.

Happy Turkey Day!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Clinique Color Surge Impossibly Glossy

I was at Sephora the other day and noticed that some aisles had been moved around... and then I saw the new Clinique aisle! I was browsing around and spotted their lip glosses. Just as I was thinking to myself "Now there's NO WAY I need to be spending $14.50 on lip gloss" I went ahead and started trying out some of their Color Surge Impossibly Glossy glosses.

Oh. My. God.

They weren't kidding when they put "color surge" in the name. Usually colored glosses only look colored in the tube, and the color is sheer at best once on the lips. Not these guys. It seriously looks more like lipstick with a high gloss shine over it than regular lip gloss. And as for the "impossibly glossy" part? Yup, that's true too.

I instantly fell in love with Braisin, a deep brown color with some rosy undertones that just looked so fab with my complexion and brown hair. Of course, this happened to be the one color for which they had a tester but no actualy merchandise yet (how cruel!). So I went to the Clinique counter at Macy's, and was told that that one particular color was discontinued. WHAT?! Just when I discovered it?? They said that many recently discontinued Clinique items would be sold by Sephora (I guess untill they run out).

Feeling quite defeated, I went home and searched for my discontinued lip gloss color online. Turns out it's still being sold at, so I immediately bought it. The best part? I signed up to be in the Clinique Club (took about 2 minutes and was free) and got free shipping on my order. Woot! I think as soon as I get this gloss in the mail I'lk be wearing it, like, every day.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Do you want to be So...? Desirable

A week or 2 ago I recieved a sample of So...? Desirable perfume spray. The accompanying note mentioned that this perfume supposedly smells just like Salvatore Ferragamo's Incanto Charms fragrance. Seeing as So...? Desirable retails at $15.25 (on sale at Kohl's!), and the Ferragamo scent is $55 for the equivalent 1.7 oz bottle, I figured this was something worth checking out. So I finally got my butt down to Sephora (I know, I can't figure out what took me so long, either) and brought home a sample of Ferragamo Incanto Charms. And ya know what? I honestly cannot tell the difference. They both have a funky, feminine, fruity/floral scent. Unfortunately I'm not s huge fan of what it smells like one it's mixed with my body chemistry (I seem to have this problem with most perfumes, though-- I'll love how it smells just out of the bottle, then something wierd happens when it's on me), but the scent itself is quite nice and surely would smell dreamy on many others.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Dear Readers,

Man, I'm looking forward at the next few months, and realizing that I'm going to be super-busy. I love writing this blog, but it also at times feels like a chore when I have little time to devote to it. So I think I'm going to start posting less frequently.... maybe closer to 2-3 times a week, instead of 5.

If any of you would like to help contribute to this blog to fill in the other days, I'd love to have your help. Email me at and we can figure stuff out.

Till then, y'all can look forward to the following upcoming posts:
  • Max Factor MAXwear Lip Color
  • So...? Desireable perfume
  • Clinique Dramatically Different Moisture Lotion

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Purity Made Simple: Update

Last week I gushed over how much I've been loving Philosophy's Purity Made Simple facial cleanser. However, I have something to add:

Do not take this bottle with you when travelling.

This past weekend I drove to Lake Tahoe with a bunch of my family. I took my 4oz bottle of Purity Made Simple with me. When we got there and I started unpacking all my toilettries, I found that a bunch of Purity Made Simple had leaked all over the bag. I gues it just got squished, or something with the altitude.... I don't know. However none of my other liquid toilettries leaked.

I probably wouldn't have thought much of it, expect I then remembered TheMakeupGirl having a similar experience several months ago.

This makes me sad, as this is the one facial cleanser I know of that takes off ALL makeup (including heavy eye makeup) easily, and I was so excited to finally have a good way to remove all my eye makeup from nights out when travelling without having to bring separate eyemakeup remover or deal with raccoon eyes. I think I'll have to find a new travel bottle to use, that won't leak. I don't know if the larger-sized bottles have this same problem. I'm just kinda dissappointed. Oh well. Again, I'll just find a different bottle to put it in for when I travel.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Dear Readers,

I'm going to take a long weekend. It's been a busy week, there's just a lot going on right now, and I've got family in town, so I will take a break from posting for a few days. I should be back on tuesday. In the meantime, check out my links section and the Beauty Blog Network Blogroll to get your beauty fill. Thanks, y'all.


Thursday, November 09, 2006

Go Urbn

I did some jewelry shopping at Urban Outfitters recently. I couldn't find the necklace I bought online (it's silver, with a tiny heart locket and a shell dove hanging off it as small charms), but I got this ring($16), and I love it. I really adore Urban Outfitter's jewlery, especially a lot of their recent necklaces. It's all just so funky.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


To be honest, I've kinda been scared to try concealer. I've heard such horror stories about it caking and cracking and basically looking obvious (which kinda ruins the whole ffect of using it to begin with). So I've kinda stayed away for a while.

But then I started looking through Benefit catalogues and such, and I have such a hard time resisting their products.... So one day I went to Sephora and just tried a ton of their products (the staff there mujst've thought I was nuts, I kept running back and forth from the Benefit aisle to the mirrors to where they stashed the cotton balls and q-tips, etc). And when I tried Boi-ing($18), I was quite pleasantly surprised to notice a difference. A good one. And suddenly I just had to have it.

I got the middle shade (02) which is the one suggested for anyone who isn't super light- or dark-complected, and I've been gloriously happy with it. It has NEVER caked or creased or cracked on me. By the end of the day it usually looks the same as it did when I put it on that morning. Sometimes I use my fingers to dot it under my eyes, sometimes I use my concealer brush, the effect is mostly the same either way.

Basically.. this stuff is awesome. And it certainly was a lifesaver for me recently, when my girl friend and I went to Vegas for the weekend and I had to cover up the massive circles under my eyes from getting absolutely no sleep. ; )

PS- In case you need an excuse to buy Benefit products, they're currently giving away a free Color Plump pencil with any orders of $65 or more. Check out the website for more details!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Pure and Simple

I've traditionally been a drugstore face wash girl. I just couldn't really justify spending big bucks on fancy face wash, since my skin is, overall, pretty normal. But a few weeks ago I noticed that I kept finding myself feeling irritated by red splotches on my face, or dry/oily spots, etc. So, on a whim, I decided to splurge and brought home a small bottle of Philosophy Purity Made Simple($10-$32).

I'd heard great claims about this product. I liked the idea of it being an all-in-one cleanser, eliminating the need for seprate makeup removers or toners. I also feel an affinity towards Philosophy's stuff, since their products and packaging are just so damn cute! lol

Anyway, so I started using Purity Made Simple to wash my face with. At first I noticed that I got some funny bumps on my face (very small and colorless, so only I could tell they were there when I felt my face). I'm not sure if this was caused by the new facewash, or by the new lotion I was using, or what. I switched to an old face wash for a few days, and then gave Purity Made Simple another try. I have been a very satisfied customer since. My skin feels sooo soft and smooth. If I forget to put lotion on right after washing, my face doesn't feel all tight and dry like with other cleansers. And it takes off makeup like a dream!! Many times after a night out, I'd use eye makup remover and then wash my face, and I'd still end up with black smudges under my eyes from leftover liner and mascara. Purity Made Simple takes it ALL off, no issues.

I have to say, I'm kinda perplexed by Philosphy. They make such yummy smelling 3-in-1 washes and lip glosses, etc, yet their skin care products all have kinda funky smells. Purity Made Simple isn't too bad, but I couldn't get past the "scent" of their Hope in a Jar moisturizer (as much as I loved the way it made my skin look and feel). I also have their Kiss Me Red lip balm, and I've gotten used to it now but it also smells funky. I guess they're trying to be unique? I don't know. I've read others complain about this, too, so maybe if we all compalin together Philosophy will take notice and change this?

Monday, November 06, 2006

Sorry about not posting on friday, everyone. I went out of town and forgot to post early. To make up for it, we've got double posts today. Enjoy!


MAXimize Your Eyes, Pt 2

Let's talk some more about the beauty bounty The Makeup Fairy sent me last week. ; )

Max Factor Lash Perfection mascara($6.89 at The first thing I noticed about this mascara is that it has the same funky, new wand as Cover Girl's Lash Exact mascara (seems other brands are already jumping on the bandwagon! Interestingly, even the tube shape and style looks similar to the Cover Girl mascara...). As you readers know, I loved Cover Girl's mascara and quirky new wand, so I had an inkling already that I was going to like this mascara, as well.

I tried it out, and basically had the same results as with Cover Girl Lash Exact-- long, beautiful, full lashes with no clumps. They are the same price, too, so I'm not sure if there's really an advantage to one over the other. However I did buy Cover Girl Lash Exact in Black Brown, and my Max Factor Lash Perfection came in Black, so now I have one for daytime and one for nighttime. =P

I also got Max Factor MAXeye Liner in 100 Night Club ($5.89 at It's one of those autmatic liners that don't need to be sharpened (you just twist up from the bottom), which is nice and easy. I find that kind often glides on better than regular pencil liners (at least when talking about drugstore makeup). Sure enough, when I tried it the liner went on smoothly and evenly, allowing me to make a fine line for daytime wear. Once applied, it is also fairly budge-proof.

Next up: The last item I need to write about is Max Factor's MAXwear Lip Color. Stay tuned for that review!

Cirque de Beaute' at Sephora!

Beauty gift sets galore! Whether you're shopping for yourself, or getting an early start on your holiday gift list, you're bound to find beauty sets to please! So head on over to to check out The Greastest Gift Show on Earth! Let's see, I can already think of one friend who'd greatly enjoy the LipFusion Perfect Pout set ($39), and Philosophy's The Holiday House ($35) has already made it onto my Wishlist. Or how aboput Nars Multiple Orgasm ($49)? ; ) Oooh! And how about Stila The Gift of Glaze($28)! I've been wanting to get my hands on one of their Lip Glazes for a while now!

My goodness.... It's too much! Anyway, get your booties over there now to check out all these goodies!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

MAXimize Your Eyes

I recently recieved a gift package from The Makeup Fairy full of samples of some of Max Factor's latest and greatest beauty items. Wheeee! I will be gracing all of you with reviews of each of the products I got to try. Today, we'll be taking a look at Max Factor MAXeye Shadow ($4.69 at The shadows I got are Baja Bronze (yellow, with light and darker brown shadows along with it) and Smooth Sailing (a trio of blues). The colors can look a bit intimidating in the compact (especially the blues) but they are SUPER sheer when applied. As in, the lighter color in each of the trios can be barely-there-subtle. I haven't tried applying the shadows wet, I'm sure you'd get stronger color that way. But I'm quite happy with each of these sets. I like playing around with blues eyeshadow when I'm wearing something blue, and I love the yellow in Baja Bronze, especially when I use one of the brown shades for contour. And, scrolling through the other shades available, I'm quite drawn to a few of them (like Vintage Vixen and Compass Rose) and so may be adding to my Max Factor eyeshadow collection soon.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

New Labels

Hello Readers! I just wanted to let y'all know that I'm tweaking the Labels section a bit. I'm working on categorizing posts by brand name, as well as type of makeup, etc. I've already sorted through some of them, but haven't added all the brands yet. Hopefully this will be helpful to some of you if/when you're looking for posts about a particular product.


I know it's november already, but....

Breast Cancer Awareness Month may have just ended, but I wanted to link one last great post about it today. Beauty Chick over at Beauty Hatchery has some great tips for helping out the Breast Cancer cause, as well as links to places where you can find awesome products that help support Breast Cancer research.

I will heed a small warning-- I just read an article recently about how so many products claim to support the fight against breast cancer but often don't really do much. So it's worth it to do your homework sometimes. If the product you're thinking of buying is something you'd get anyway, then go for it. But if you're buying it in the name of "helping the cause" try to check up on how much of the funds actually go towards research, and what foundations it supports. It may be more worthwhile for you to make a direct donation to The Breast Cancer Foundation, Susan G Komen, or the Avon Foundation (just a few examples).