Archive for the ‘Skincare’ Category

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Your Binger Guide to the Neiman Marcus Beauty Event

 

And on the eighth day, God created the Neiman Marcus Beauty Event

Sure, other department stores have their share of Gift with Purchase (GwP) bonanzas but none top Neiman Marcus in terms of  brands and goodies. Neimans is the granddaddy of them all… Not only does this iconic institution offer a bag stuffed with samples from the likes of premium brands like ReVive, Cle de Peau, and Oribe, but most of the brands offer their own fabulous GwP incentives.

Granted, the spend minimum on some of the GwPs are ridiculously expensive (like you have to spend $650 at ReVive)  but then there are some totally attainable goals like spend $150 at Armani Beauty or $100 at NARS.

Take it from me… with all these amazing GwPs it’s a little TOO easy to go a bit crazy and wind up spending the rent money. So take the beauty event in stride, especially if you plan on visiting a Neiman Marcus in person.  The bright pretty products and delicious-smelling air can be a quite intoxicating.  Though, the brands do offer all kinds of special in-store events like facials and makeovers, which can be fun as long as you don’t lose yourself and buy out the entire counter.

So what should you buy? Here are my top picks:

Cle de Peau Concealer ($70): Um, obviously. Anyone who reads my blog knows I’ve been using this celebrity secret weapon for the past couple years. Now is the time to stock up!

Sisley-Paris Botanical D-Tox ($240): I know it’s a hefty price tag but beauty addicts swear by this detoxifying serum. Supposedly women have seen a total turnaround in terms of visible pores, lines and frequency of breakouts. It’s supposedly safe for sensitive skin so I’m going to give it a try.

Sulwhasoo Overnight Vitalizing Mask ($50): I’m a whore for overnight masks as it is since skin repairs itself at night and is most conducive to products. I’ve been using this mask for three weeks now and I’m in love with the results.  I seem to wake up to brighter more hydrated skin. Bonus: It absorbs right away so you don’t have to worry about getting it all over your pillow.

Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Complex ($46 – $120): I’ve been using this elixir of essential oils and distilled botanicals as a serum under my Sulwhasoo mask. It smells lovely and seems to be calming and hydrating. For those of you with oily skin, you could wear this alone at night to get the full benefits.

Giorgio Armani Rouge d’Armani Sheer ($34): This is the queen of all lip sheers. Forget all you’ve known before of tinted lip balms and sheer lipsticks — this ultra-hydrating confection takes the cake. Not only does it drop the perfect amount of color, it locks in the color and hydrating for several hours. Winner.

So, as you can imagine I personally do not have the willpower to go to Neiman Marcus in person, even though their stunning San Francisco location is only 30 minutes away and their well-appointed facial room beckons to me.  I will be a good girl (relatively) and do my shopping online.

The Neiman Marcus Beauty Event lasts until March 2nd, so whether you decide to do your shopping in-person or online, just remember to binge responsibly and even Sisley-Paris skincare isn’t worth spending the electricity bill money. (On the other hand,  your skin will look amazing in candlelight…)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Monday, December 9, 2013

Mommy & Me Skincare: Baby Stella and I Are All About Egyptian Magic…

I know, I know… I promised that I wouldn’t become a dreaded mommy blogger now that I have a baby. BUT… It’s my duty to share with you my latest skincare love affairs. And, if said beauty product of my affection just so happens to be effective on both my bitchy sensitive skin and my 7-week-old baby, you should probably take note.

I’m not sure why it took me so long to try Egyptian Magic. I know I’ve read over the years that celebrities like Kate Hudson, Brooke Shields, Rachel Zoe, and Nicole Richie swear by the stuff for its “healing powers” for dry skin. I’m pretty sure Sephora used to carry it as well.  What got me to finally take the leap was a trip to Costco. Yeah, that’s right Costco.  You would be shocked at the treasures you would find in their beauty aisles.

So I went ahead and bought the set, which includes the 4 oz. and 2 oz. jars.  I went home and did a little research and found that not only is Egyptian Magic touted as a “miracle balm” for dry, sensitive skin, but it can also be used as a baby cream and diaper cream.  The all-natural balm is made with only six ingredients —  Honey, Beeswax, Olive Oil, Royal Jelly, Bee Pollen and Bee Propolis. No additives, preservatives, fragrances, chemicals or parabens. I use it every night as a sleeping moisture mask and I slather it on Baby Stella’s little body and her face after baths. (She loves a good massage just like her mommy) Not only has her dry skin gone away but her (gasp!) hormonal breakouts disappeared after a couple uses of the Egyptian Magic.

According to their website, the balm can also be used as an eye gel, a hair masque, burn and wound relief, and a shaving balm. I personally think it’s a bit pricey to use as a hair masque, but I can get why it would be good for the tresses. Unfortunately it does have one of those thick creamy consistencies that can be really addictive. It takes every bit of restraint for me to not stick my whole hand in the jar and scoop out enough to hydrate the neighborhood. Of course if I have a moment of weakness I can always steal Baby Stella’s jar… JOKES!

P.S. Do not buy Egyptian Magic on Amazon, Ebay or in China Town! There are tons of counterfeits out there. You can buy it direct from them here.

Come on, how great does Baby Stella’s skin look???

 

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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Only Thing to Stop Me From Eating Too Much Pumpkin Pie: Naturopathica Pumpkin Purifying Enzyme Peel

 

Happy Thanksgiving, lovelies! Listen, we all know Thanksgiving is a time for thanks and family, but let’s be honest — it’s also about the feast!  If you’re anything like me, you’re a whore for desserts so you carefully ration your turkey and stuffing intake to ensure you save room for pumpkin pie. My problem — I end up eating more than the standard portion. There, I said it.  I have a pie problem, especially where pumpkin is concerned.

So in order to minimize my caloric intake, I try and satiate my pumpkin pie craving while gently exfoliating and decongesting my skin with Naturopathica Pumpkin Purifying Enzyme PeelI cleanse my skin before I shower and then apply the enzyme peel mask and leave it on in the shower.  The steam from the shower helps activate the enzymes. This exfoliating mask is gentle yet effective —  I was even able to use it during my pregnancy.

Key Ingredients:

PUMPKIN: This is an exfoliation accelerator, a powerful antioxidant, and a mild retinoic acid substitute.

PUMPKIN ENZYMES: These help break down dead skin cells for a soft, smooth finish.

CINNAMON BARK, OREGANO & ROSEMARY EXTRACT:A potent trio of antiseptic herbs.

So hopefully by using this mask I will resist my powerful urges to shovel pumpkin pie in my face. Now if only Naturopathica made an apple pie-scented mask…

Have a wonderful holiday!

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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Best Way to Get Skin Ready for Fall: Win Free Products from First Aid Beauty!

For those of you who’ve read Beauty Binge from the beginning you know I worship at the house of First Aid Beauty.  I find that it’s one of the only skincare brands that acts as a Valium to my overly sensitive drama queen skin. Um, thank GOD for their Ultra Repair Cream during my pregnancy. At first I was hesitant to waste that fluffy hydrating goodness on my body… But, when my belly and legs got attacked by a bad case of the pregnancy itchies, I found the Ultra Repair was the only cream that managed to calm my skin and prevent me from lighting it on fire. I was also worried I wouldn’t be able to keep up any kind of anti-aging regimen while I was pregnant but after doing some research I found the Dual Repair line was safe for mommys-to-be. So I use the Dual Repair Power Serum every day before my moisturizer. Everyone wins.

Okay, enough about me…

Let’s talk about how you can win some products!  First Aid Beauty is giving away over $600 worth of products in their “Fab to the Rescue Sweeps”.  Here are the prizes:

- 1  Grand Prize: $300 prize pack including Ultra Repair Cream, Oatmeal Mask, Facial Radiance Polish, Dual Repair Eye Cream, and more!

- 2 Runners Up: $150 prize pack including various First Aid Beauty Products

To enter, either click the photo above or follow this link: http://on.fb.me/1aliIqe

Good luck my lovelies!

 

 

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Saturday, August 3, 2013

When You’re Skin Needs to Chill the F Out: Zensation Healing and Soothing Mask

We all love summer… no denying that.  What we don’t love is the havoc it wreaks on our skin. Whether the humidity is breeding more oil fields than Texas or the chlorine and salt water are making your skin dry and irritated, nothing makes you wish for Fall faster than a skin temper tantrum. Or, if you’re like me, your skin is a total walking identity crisis — dry and uncomfortable yet still being invaded by blackheads and blemishes. No bueno.

In my constant search to set my bitchy skin right, I was blessed by a publicist who sent me the Zensation Healing and Soothing Mask ($85).  This magical mask instantly talked my skin off the cliff — toning down redness, smoothing, softening, and absorbing oil.  Oh, and it smells like you’re walking through a French garden after the rain. Delicious.

Description: 

Healing & Soothing Mask features several ingredients with soothing and hydrating properties that are ideal for irritated skin. With its rich mixture of Carnuba Wax, Bee’s Wax, Shea Butter, Natural Glycerin and Provitamin B5, the Healing & Soothing Mask  completely moisturzies, softens and smooths delicate skin.  Adding Witch Hazel Floral Water, Buddleja and Masterwort gives the product a wonderful toning and invigorating effect. Lavender Essential Oil and Tea Tree Oil leaves your skin feeling fresh and re-energized.

I recommend this mask at night after a day in the sun and heat.  If you find that you just can’t make time for a mask, wash your face before you shower, apply the mask, and then wash off when you’re done with the shower. The steam will help the ingredients penetrate.  Good luck my lovelies, and don’t let your skin bully you this summer!

 

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Friday, July 26, 2013

Uh oh… This Beauty Addict Went on a Beauty Binge! (Part 1)

I know you ladies must think I’m jaded now that I get free goodies sent to me  from the publicists. But let’s be realistic here… An addict is an addict.  Do you honestly think I will ever get to a point where I look at my room (that’s right room) full of beauty products and say to myself, “I have enough?”  Please.  As a true beauty addict I simply cannot walk past a Sephora, apothecary or makeup counter without making a purchase.  Sure, I can rationalize “it’s for my job” but we all know that if I was in a completely different profession I would be buying the same amount of products (actually I would be buying more because I wouldn’t be getting any freebies).

I blame my latest beauty binge on my friend Cat.  She wanted to introduce me to her friend Connie McGrath, founder of Veer & Wander, a salon / apothecary in San Francisco.  As soon as we walked in the door of the industrial chic apothecary, I knew I was in trouble. It reminded me of one of my former problem
binge spots — Woodley & Bunny — a Willy Wonka of an apothecary carrying independent brands in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Woodley & Bunny is dangerously located 2 blocks from the subway and I would ALWAYS find myself “stopping in” to see if they had anything new, even though my loft was in the opposite direction. Now that I’m in California I thought I would be safe from such temptation. Right…

Read the rest of this entry »

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Monday, July 8, 2013

Totally Obsessed: Vichy Capital Soleil SPF 50 Lightweight Foaming Lotion Sunscreen

As you know I was on hiatus this past week (I’m sure you were all crying into your compacts)… That’s because I was on my Babymoon (and no I didn’t just make up that word to trick my husband into taking me to Hawaii) for our last romantic trip before the bambino arrives.  Now, you know how I feel about sunscreen  so you better believe I went to paradise armed with an arsenal of SPF powerhouses and wide brimmed hats. Since I had just written the “Screening Sunscreens” piece for the San Francisco Chronicle a few weeks back, my beauty cabinet was stocked with a bevy of sunscreens per my choosing. Even though I brought four different body sunscreens with me on the trip, only Vichy Capital Soleil SPF 50 Lightweight Foaming Lotion made it out of the suitcase. It was love at first foam.

There is something so divine about spreading a fluffy non-sticky air mousse on your body instead of a greasy oil or liquidy lotion.  First of all, it is so much easier to keep track of where you’ve applied. Second of all, it just feels amazing. But, what’s most compelling to me about this sunscreen is that not only does it have broad spectrum “multi-layer protection from UVA/UVB rays and free radical damage,” it’s packed with a potent dose of White Grape Polyphenols and Vitamin E for antioxidant protection. Dermatologists have been quoted EVERYWHERE saying that by combining antioxidants with sunscreen you further protect your skin from sunburn-causing rays and dangerous free radicals.

I’m telling you this foam is the wave of the sunscreen future.  The FDA is already scrutinizing sunscreen sprays and threatening to take them off the market because they’re worried about the sprays’ efficacy in properly protecting the body. You don’t have that issue with this fluffy foam. The Capital Soleil is also water-resistant for up to 80 minutes and  it’s appropriate for sensitive skin so I slathered it on my face too. That’s right — my bitchy drama queen skin didn’t have a damn thing to say about the foam. I didn’t get even a spot of redness and the sunscreen protected my skin through hours of swimming and floating.

Trust me and go get your foam on…

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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Solving Your Hormonal Skin’s Identity Crisis: Eminence Organics Eight Green Youth Serum

Whether your skin freaks out along with your moods every month when PMS attacks, or, you’re going through “the change” and in addition to those fun hot flashes your skin breaks out in redness, blemishes and bumps — changes in hormones are to blame. In my case (as you know if you’re a regular Beauty Binger) I’m 5 months pregnant so my skin has fluctuated from desert dry to blackhead bonanza in the past few months– who said pregnancy wasn’t fun? I FINALLY found a serum to calm my bitchy skin and regulate its dramatic mood swings — Eminence Organics Eight Green Youth Serum ($42).

This ultra-gentle serum helped my skin retain moisture at its driest times (prior to using the serum, my skin was literally sucking up skin oils and thick creams within a matter of seconds) and made my skin less greasy during oily times, shrinking those ghastly blackheads that have taken up permanent residence on my nose. I use it twice a day right after my toner before my thicker serums and creams (don’t forget: you should always apply your skincare products thinnest to thickest to ensure maximum absorption).

Product Info from Eminence:

A lifting and regulating serum for breakouts and hormonally-imbalanced skin. A powerhouse of organic phyto-estrogens work to lift facial contours and reduce the signs of aging associated with collagen loss, breakouts, hormonal imbalances and menopause. Concentrated whole plant yucca extract, vitex angus castus, algae and flaxseed absorb deep into the dermis to tighten and brighten problem areas, and plump loss of skin tone.

Skin Type: From oily to hormonal, dehydrated, dry and devitalized.

All I know is this serum is magical when it comes to hormonal havoc. Now, if only Eminence could create a serum to calm my mood swings… Baby steps.

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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Bridal Skin Care Bootcamp: “Don’t You Dare” List for One Week Before Big Day

You would be shocked how many brides have asked me if they should try a new hair color or get a deep cleansing facial a week before their wedding (Miller, you’re at the top of  that list). What do you think my answer is? It’s always the same — “Are you fucking kidding me?” Ladies, seriously.  We’re talking about your wedding day here. Do you really want to open up Pandora’s Box full of possible disasters?? Not on my watch.

Here’s the list of things you best not be doing within a week of your big day:

1. Getting a facial with extractions. I don’t care if it’s a deep-cleansing facial, anti-aging facial or even a sensitive skin facial. DO NOT GET EXTRACTIONS.  NOTHING GOOD WILL COME OF IT. You’re risking a red splotchy face, pimples being coaxed to the surface, and possible scarring.

2. Getting any sort of acid peel or microdermabrasion.   If you have really oily skin and you’ve done peels an/or microdermabrasion in the past then do them at least 3 weeks before the big day. If you have normal skin, STAY AWAY FROM THE AGGRESSIVE EXFOLIANTS! If you are getting a facial in a spa, ask the aesthetician if she has any fruit enzyme peels. If you’re giving yourself an at-home facial, try a gentle enzyme peel like AMOREPACIFIC ‘Treatment’ Enzyme Peel ($60) which gives your skin a brighter, more radiant texture without risking looking like you got caught in a chemical fire.

3. Start using a new retinol, alpha / beta hydroxy, or salicylic-based product. Unless you want to risk your skin peeling off in layers like a leper on your big day, avoid any aggressive new skincare products, especially ones that contain retinol, alpha / beta hydroxy acids, or salicylic acids. Think soothing products for the week prior. Slather your face in nourishing oil like Tarte Pure Maracuja Oil ($48) which is rich in Vitamin C and essential fatty acids, giving you a brighter, smoother complexion without the risk. Seal in the moisture at night with a sleeping mask like Korres Greek Yoghurt Advanced Nourishing Sleeping Mask ($45) , which happens to be one of my most favorite skincare items of all time. It instantly cools upon application so if you’re an idiot and you get too much sun, this is the perfect mask to slather on to take down the redness and irritation. I personally use it every night to soothe my bitchy skin and seal in moisture.

4. Change your hair color and/or switch colorists. Seriously? Do I really have to spell out why this is a bad idea? Girl, you should have thought of this a couple months ago. It’s too late now.  You are risking the whole rainbow of bad outcomes by dabbling in a different hair color a week before your wedding.

5. Get your first Keratin Treatment or go to a new stylist. Again, the risk is not worth the reward.  You could end up looking like Mommy Dearest took scissors to your hair. I’ve seen some badly singed, fried hair as a result of this straightening treatment. So buyers beware. And don’t forget all the experts say the best thing you can do is wear your hair in its natural texture on your wedding day to minimize the risk of frizzes.

6. Get a spray tan or try a new sunless tanner.  Okay, this should be another no-brainer. But if you insist on having a little color for your wedding day you need to start testing spray tans and sunless tanners months before your wedding so you can pinpoint your exact natural shade. I can’t tell you how many Oompa Loompa brides I’ve seen walk down the aisle. I know I should be looking at her beautiful dress and face, but I can’t stop thinking about how she looks radioactive next to her groom.

So now you have the forbidden list. I don’t want to hear your pleas and tears when you break one of my cardinal rules. Now run along and be good little brides. Don’t forget to look for my final installment of Bridal Skin Care Bootcamp which will take you through your “day of” regimen.

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Monday, June 17, 2013

San Francisco Chronicle: Finding the Perfect Sunscreen!

If you always seem to have an excuse as to why you have the audacity to leave the house without sunscreen, I urge you to check out my piece from yesterday’s San Francisco Chronicle Style Section.  I don’t want to hear your excuses! You guys always ask me, “what is the best anti-ager?”  Studies unanimously show that sunscreen slows down the aging process. I know the photo below is small so click here to read the PDF of the story.

Happy Summer!

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