Friday, March 14, 2014

March 2013: Top 5 Picks

Purchased Store Sample

I'm a bit slow in posting this month, so I'm doing a collage of my top five items to catch up. Here they are in no particular order:
  1. Giovanni 2Chic Ultra-Sleek Shampoo: This pick was recommended by a store associate at my local Whole Body (the body division of Whole Foods). It's a sulfate- and silicone-free shampoo that gives me the smoothest and most managable locks ever! At less that $9 a bottle, this one is a steal.
  2. NARS The NARSissist Eye Palette: If you need one high-quality eye shadow palette with everyday-wearable shades, this gem is for you. I love how its variety of shades is a bit different from the other "Naked" palettes on the market. For extra versatility, I've been using the darker shades (the far right ones) as liners. I just mix a drop of Trish McEvoy's Finish Line to transform the powder into a long-lasting liquid liner. 
  3. NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer in Terre Neuve: I've reviewed this product before, but not in this shade. I find that Terre Neuve is a better color match for me although I may need to switch back to Finland during the summer month. I've been wearing this tinted moisturizer all winter instead of my regular foundation as it provides more hydration.
  4. Zoya Nail Polisn in Ivanka: This is the perfect shamrock green for my toes. It was another Whole Body find that I chose for my last pedicure at The Salon at Whole Body. Ah...sparkling toes!
  5. IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Angled Radiance Brush: Hello beautiful brush! I've been using this lovely to blend my cream-based blushes. I first apply the product with my fingers and then use the angled brush to blend to perfection. The brush works equally well with powdered blushes. I love, love, love it! 
So there you have it. What are you loving this month?

Monday, February 24, 2014

15 Beauty Blog Acronyms You Need to Know

Nothing to Disclose

If you're new to following beauty blogs, participating in product swap sites or discussion forums, there's an alphabet soup of new acronyms to digest. And even for us experienced bloggers, we find abbreviated terms that we've never encountered.

To help make it easier for all of us, I've compiled a short list of popular 15 beauty acronyms that you can bookmark and reference when you get stuck.

Common Beauty Acronyms

  1. BB: BeautyBlender, a nifty sponge tool used for blending liquid/cream-based products or beauty balm (also known as blemish balm), an all-in-one product that promises to do the job of your moisturizer, primer, sunscreen, skin treatment, concealer, and foundation
  2. BOGO: Buy one get one (usually free or at a percentage discount)
  3. CO: Conditioner only, as in not using shampoo
  4. DC: Discontinued (boo!)
  5. F&F: Friends and family sale with special percentage discounts off your purchase
  6. GHD: Good hair day
  7. GWP: Gift with purchase
  8. HE: High-end product ($$$$), which is opposite of a low-end, drugstore product ($)
  9. HG: Holy grail item 
  10. ISO: In search of
  11. LE (variation: SE): Limited edition or special edition
  12. RAOK: Random act of kindness, a gesture typically associated with swaps where the sender gifts you with some unexpected free goodies
  13. YLBB: Your lips but better
  14. YMMV: Your mileage may vary, in other words, you may get different results from using a particular item than I do
  15. VIB: Very important beauty insider program offered by Sephora that awards its customers with special perks for spending a minimum of $350 on store items within a single calendar year
Anything to add to my list? Drop me a line and share your beauty acronym.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Luminous Skin Even in the Dead of Winter


Since December 15th, I've been trying (and loving!) NARS skin line. Specifically, I've been using these three products both AM and PM:
  • Optimal brightening concentrate — a brightening serum
  • Total replenishing eye cream — an all-in-one eye gel/cream
  • Luminous moisture cream — a long-lasting hydration cream
I was recommended all three by one of my favorite San Francisco makeup artists. She gave me a makeover at the NARS counter (Nordstrom San Francisco Centre) and used these items to prep my face. Before she had even applied my makeup, I had two compliments from strangers about the luminosity of my skin. To quote one of the gals..."I want her glowing, radiant skin."

Knowing my crazy, sensitive skin, I didn't want to get my hopes up until I purchased and gave these products a good trial run at home. It's been nearly two months now, so I'm in the clear and ready to share my results.

One word sums it up...brilliant! Seriously, my skin has never been brighter, clearer and dry-patch free. My face is hydrated without looking greasy, and my makeup stays put all day without the need for a setting powder or mid-day touch up.

While I could have reviewed these three separately, I would have had a hard time determining which one was doing what! I'm not typically one to use a singe skincare line exclusively; however, I do believe these three work together beautifully. As the seasons change, I may need to adjust, but for now I won't change a thing.

If you're curious, I've been only using these NARS skin items, plus Earth Science A-D-E Creamy Cleanser (makeup remover and facial cleanser) and Shiseido Urban Environment UV Protection Cream (sunscreen).

Purchase info: NARS skin line is available at local NARS counter or online. Prices start at $55.00.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A Gentle Soap for Frequent Hand Washing


It's that germy time of year when I'm constantly washing my hands. In efforts to minimize dry hands from all that overwashing, I'm very careful in my selection of hand soaps and avoid anything with harsh detergents.

One of my current favorites is Savon de Marseille Liquid Soap — a 100% natural liquid soap made from palm and olive oils produced near Marseille and lightly fragranced with such essential oils as lavender, orange blossom and verbena. My favorite scent is verbena!

What makes Savon de Marseille different than other liquid soaps? Savon de Marseille leaves all of the glycerin in its soaps as a moisturizing element. Glycerin is a humectant, meaning it attracts moisture to your skin. Glycerin is a natural by-product of the soapmaking process. However, often commercial companies remove this item and use it for other products such as lotions or creams.

Purchase info: Available at select boutiques, kitchen stores and spas. Prices vary. I've been able to find Savon de Marseille Liquid Soap at HomeGoods and Marshalls for less than $5.00 per bottle (16.9 oz). That's about one third of its regular price. Score!
purest essential oils of local lavender, orange blossoms and verbena - See more at:
purest essential oils of local lavender, orange blossoms and verbena - See more at:

Friday, January 10, 2014

Deal Alert: Get Any 3 Zoya Nail Polish Shades for Free

Nothing to Disclose

In my web wanderings this afternoon, I found this limited time offer on Zoya's web site. From now until January 13, you can get any three Zoya polish shades for free...well, almost.

Here's the catch...the polishes are free, but you will need to pay a $12 shipping and processing charge per order. So, basically you're paying $4 per polish, which is $5 off the regular price if you factor in the shipping.

If you haven't tried Zoya's polishes, this is a great opportunity to give them a whirl. They're one of my favorites!

For more details on this offer, refer to Zoya's web site.
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