Posts Tagged ‘Fresh’

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Beauty Binge on Sacramento News10 ABC: Beauty Holiday Gifts Bonanza!

Are you sick of hearing about beauty gift ideas yet?  GET OVER IT! No, seriously… I SWEAR this will be the last gift-oriented post.  The beauty of this post is you don’t even have to read! You can just watch the little clips below!

Part 1 (If the clip is not showing up, click here)

Part 2  (If the clip is not showing up, click here)

Happy Holidays, my lovelies!

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Little Somethin’ Somethin’ for Your Secret Santa

I’m not suggesting an inter-office affair, by the way… Nor am I suggesting you purchase any of the products listed below for a straight man (trust me he won’t appreciate it; I’ve tried).  These are the perfect little gifts (hence the little somethin’ somethin’) that meet the usual price requirements of a Secret Santa gift and incidentally also meets the “well, perhaps I could buy myself just a little somethin”  price requirements:

Willa Smile Butter Lip Balm Trio Gift Set ($19.00)  Okay these lip balms are adorbs.  The 12-year old founder, Willa Doss, is also adorbs. She started this natural skincare line for tweens (ages 7-14) after a couple years of her mother nagging her to wear SPF and moisturize (love that) and they couldn’t find any natural products to address her tweeny skin concerns. Now I’m no tween.  Obviously.  It didn’t stop me from digging my q-tip (You use your finger? Gross! Don’t stick your dirty fingers in any skincare!) in all three pots of these butter balms that are formulated with Shea Butter and Vitamin E. The tropical flavors —  Miami Mango, St Tropez Strawberry, and Vera Cruz Vanilla — made me feel like I was on a beach vacation. Of course my idea of being on a beach vacation includes sipping a tropical alcoholic drink, differing a bit (hopefully) from Willa’s target audience.

Tinte Cosmetics Blushed Beauty All-in-One Makeup Kit MATCHBOOK ($28.00):  Not only do I love this fun cosmetics line, but how great is it that their MATCH BOOK collection gives an illustrated step-by-step on how to achieve the look??  This gift is perfect if your Secret Santa perhaps could use a little makeup and/or just a little direction on how to use it. It’s also great for makeup lovers who may not need the instruction but will love that the two eyeshadows, cream eyeliner, two flavored lip glosses, and two brushes that come in an ultra-slim palette, which is perfect for slipping into a handbag for a quick transition from work to holiday party without schlepping a makeup bag.


Fresh Sugar Berry Merriment Set ($28.00): I’m sorry but it’s tough to go wrong with Fresh.  Unless your Secret Santa recipient is a total tomboy (and by total I mean you’ve never seen her in a speck of makeup including lipstick) she’s going to love everything in this set.  This set includes some of Fresh’s bestsellers ($47 worth of product) — Soy Face Cleanser (uber-gentle cleanser that I personally use twice daily), Sugar Lip Polish (perfect for scrubbing away the winter yucks!), Sugar Berry Tinted Lip Treatment SPF 15 (Um, I own these in every color and stash them in every handbag I own), and Supernova Mascara (defines and thickens lashes without clumping).




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Friday, October 26, 2012

Revived from the Archives: The Horrors of Halloween (…I’m talking about my skin obviously)

Since Halloween is upon us, and I know better than anyone how much your skin can take a beating during these times of extreme makeup (I’m not proud to say that after my run-through of my Day of the Dead makeup Wednesday, I woke up yesterday to an angry, hiding-like-a-coward-under-the-surface pimple), I wanted to revive this post from Halloween past.  I made some updates to ensure I’m arming you with the best weapons to battle the terrifying oil fields that threaten your skin when you are most vulnerable…

The only thing scarier than Maria in this picture from last Halloween is imagining the damage the cheap makeup did to her skin. I was lucky enough to escape the grease paint (just saying those two words out loud clogs my pores) last year with my bad kitty costume. But this year, I am dressing up as a Lichtenstein Girl and Maria intends to cover my face and decollete with grease paint and other synthetic poisons.

I had a heart-to-heart with her about this yesterday:

Me: So, I don’t suppose you have any sensitive skin Halloween makeup you can use on me?

<<Maria gives me a blank stare>>

Me: Yeah, um, I’m a bit worried about breaking out from that cheap drug store stuff

Maria: (after another lengthy stare) Janna, you just need to prepare yourself for a breakout.


Maria: I’ve tried gentle, natural Halloween makeup in the past and it just doesn’t stay put, and it doesn’t have the same pigment as the cheap stuff.

I’m still reeling from our conversation. There has to be something I can do!!  First thing first, I ordered a Mineral Halloween makeup set from Elegant Minerals.  Maria has many doubts and won’t make any promises about using it, but she’s willing to give it a try. That’s worth the money for me. (2012 UPDATE: MARIA WAS BEYOND RIGHT.  THE ELEGANT MINERALS SET WAS A JOKE.  WE ENDED UP THROWING IT AWAY AFTER SEEING HOW IT BARELY SHOWED UP AFTER THE FIRST SWIPE)

“DAY OF” PREP: I will prep my skin by giving it a mild exfoliation with CosMedix Pure Enzymes Exfoliating Mask and then a nice moisturizing, nourishing mask like Fresh Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask .  I will then use a soothing, anti-irritation, anti-redness moisturizer like Skin Medica Redness Relief Calmplex and prepare my skin for battle with my new favorite primer Tarte Clean Slate Poreless 12-Hr Perfecting Primer.

POST-EVENT: The second I say my last goodbye Saturday night I am running to the bathroom to cleanse my skin. First I will take my makeup off with EVE LOM Cleanser and tons of  Cotton Clouds. Then, I will cleanse with Fresh Soy Face Cleanser and my Clarisonic Skincare Brush(which I never use anymore since my skin is so sensitive, but this is an emergency situation).  I will complete my regimen with a soothing spritz of Fresh Rose Marigold Tonic Water, and massage in my soothing, balancing Decleor ‘Aroma Night’ Neroli Essential Night Balm (which is like a spa service in itself).

NEXT MORNING: Fingers crossed, I will wake up without a single clogged pore.   If I wake up congested I will sit rocking in a corner for a few hours crying, then apply my Boscia Luminizing Black Mask.  If “congested” actually means “breakout,” I may end up having to book an emergency facial, pop a couple leftover miniature Snickers in my mouth while brainstorming my makeup-free costume for next year.

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Monday, October 22, 2012

Halloween Makeup Tutorial: Sexy Black Kitty, Meow!

Sometimes I have the worst luck…  Today I woke up all all ready and excited for my Google+ Hangout (If you don’t know what that it is, it’s like a video chat that is broadcasted live on Google+ and streams to YouTube).   It was hosted by the insanely beautiful (hate her!) Samantha Lim, Editor-in-Chief  of the huge online fashion magazine FashionIndiefeaturing myself,  Christina Farrell, amazing makeup artist and founder of the The Makeup Blogger, and Stacy Reid, Founder and CEO of Tinte Cosmetics (which thanks to Stacy’s generosity I will be trying soon!).

So what happened? Well, Murphy’s Law reared its ugly head and my Internet decided to take a hiatus. So, unfortunately I missed the first few minutes of the Hangout and once I finally got into the Hangout I faded in and out and even froze a couple times (I could hear the others saying, “She’s a frozen kitten!”).  Now my drama aside, Christina did an adorable tutorial for an 80s costume and Stacy walked through several different viable Halloween looks.  You should definitely check it out here.

After the Hangout was over, I figured it would simply be a waste of a good kitty cat look if I didn’t do a YouTube tutorial! Don’t worry about writing down any of the products since I’m listing them for you at the end of this post:

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Celebrity Beauty Blind Item: Who Displayed a Blackheads Bonanza on the Red Carpet?

I love guessing blind items in the gossip rags, but why should the tabloids have all the fun?  If you see a celebrity commit a major beauty faux pas make sure you email me at so we can run it as a blind item and help the offending celeb fix the issue!

Which gorgeous starlet, famous for her unique multi-cultural looks, who got her big break on a popular late night “news” show and now is gracing every red carpet because of her role on Aaron Sorkin’s “news” show, showed up in red carpet close ups with a face covered in glaring blackheads??  When I say blackheads, I’m not talking about a sprinkle over the nose… Let’s put it this way, they were so big and black, completely blanketing her forehead, nose, cheeks and chin, at first I thought they were freckles!  Our starlet does in fact have some freckles but they’re tough to find in the oil fields. She also had an unhealthy dose of greasy shine to keep the blackheads company. GROSS!

So what should have our pretty starlet done prior to hitting the red carpet??
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Friday, September 7, 2012

Gift Idea: Skincare Survival Kit for the Blushing Bride

Fall wedding season has begun and trust me when I say step away from the sex novelty shop (yeah you, Maria; you’re not even shopping for a bride) and drop the Victoria’s Secret catalog, I assure you the new bride would much rather you prep her skin for the big day than receive another slutty cowgirl costume  or g-string teddy.

My adorable friend Rachel is getting married (like the movie but this Rachel doesn’t have a promiscuous drug-addicted sister with an ugly dark secret, and I’m pretty sure she’s not having a bohemian experimental jazz wedding) in two short weeks and she knows zero about skincare.  Even though she lacks the knowledge, my little lovely still deserves to properly prep her skin for the big day and not have to worry about packing skincare for the honeymoon.

I started out by buying her an adorable hanging waterproof toiletries bag from Toss Designs that I know she can stuff full of items and fold into her suitcase for easy packing.  The theme of every item in the kit is “gentle, gentle!!!” because let’s face it, do you really want to be responsible for giving the bride an aggressive skincare product that ends up turning her creamy skin into a red-bumped disaster?? That’s a fun phone call to receive…
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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Making Your Morning Skincare Routine into the Ritual it Deserves to Be

I know I’m supposed to be writing about simplifying beauty. And I get that.  I know there are tons of women out there who don’t have a ton of time to devote to skincare.  I don’t have children yet, and as of a little over two months ago I am writing full-time (okay “full time” may be stretching it), so I have plenty of time to sit on my little vintage tangerine-colored stool and play with all my toners, creams, and serums, lined up like good little soldiers on their pedestals (where they belong).  So yes, I will admit my AM skincare routine isn’t exactly “routine.” Before I even sit down at my tangerine stool, it takes me a good ten minutes to cleanse my skin with the Bobbi Brown ‘Extra’ Balm Rinse  ($58).  I give myself an intense facial massage, enjoying the sensation of the thick balm melting into a butter as I massage it in small circles all over my face.  Every now and then I’ll stop and cup my hands around my nose and slowly  inhale the pungent citrus scent.  Ahhh…


Then once I get to my little skincare station (see above photo), I could spend a good 15 minutes doing a a basic routine or 30 minutes to go the extra mile and give myself a mini-facial.  If I’m testing products, forget about it. I could be there all morning!

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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sunday Splurge: Fresh Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask

I’m surprised the Fresh Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask wasn’t my first Sunday Splurge. At $88.00 a jar and an insanely addictive consistency, this mask  is one of my biggest vices. You’re bound to overuse this product, both in quantity and frequency.  If I won Powerball tomorrow? I would call Fresh and have them ship me vats of this mask so I could take baths in it.

This mask has such a unique consistency that when you first dip your fingers in (which is a luxurious experience in itself), the mask feels like “velvety, whipped” ultra-light, non-sticky icing.  As soon as it’s applied, it has an instant cooling effect, which is followed by a mild tingling.  If you massage it in a little, you can feel the tiny Hyaluronic spheres bursting and the mask takes on a wetter consistency.  Then, stop playing with it (trust me, this is the toughest part).  The jar says leave it on 8-10 minutes.  There’s no science to it, except when you feel it start to dry or ball up, go ahead and rinse it.  (Note: if you leave it on longer than 10-15 minutes, it gets tougher to remove with just a rinse. I usually wet a cotton pad and wipe it off, then splash my face with cool water.)

It leaves my skin visibly smoother, less red, more even, and gives it an airbrushed quality. Unfortunately, this magical visual effect only lasts six hours, but the benefits of the hard-working anti-aging ingredients perpetuate.

See Fresh’s description:

BLACK TEA INSTANT PERFECTING MASK is an intense hydrating treatment that immediately reveals softer, more supple, and younger-looking skin. This skin perfecting formula was scientifically proven to have a significant moisturizing effect 6 hours after the mask is rinsed from the skin surface*! Additionally, it was tested by a consumer-testing panel under dermatological control and was proven to**:

– firm the complexion

– improve skin elasticity

– leave skin feeling velvety, soft and smooth

– leave skin looking resilient and radiant

– smooth the texture of the skin & decrease skin roughness 

– hydrate, nourish and soothe 

– improve skin tone

*in vivo test 
**in vivo test, 32 women tested for 4 weeks and applied 3 times per week

Key Ingredients:

 – Black tea refines the skin’s texture, enhancing radiance and smoothness. 

– Lychee seed extract stimulates collagen production. 

– Firming polysaccharides give an immediate lifting effect and work to reduce fine lines and wrinkles over time.  

 – Sake: Detoxifies and softens the skin and is rich in proteins, amino acids, and trace minerals.

– Hyaluronic spheres: Increase skin firmness, suppleness, and hydration

I like to put the mask on cleansed skin before I get in the shower so it works with the steam and protects my skin from drying out.  I’ll also use it after a cold day here in Manhattan, when my skin had to battle cold wind, dry indoor heat, pollution, and possibly rain or snow.  Actually when I think about it, I realize I don’t need a shower or cold day to provoke me to dip my fingers into this magical jar of cloud fluff.   I’ll use it any chance I get!

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Friday, January 20, 2012

Only the Sundance Festival Could Make Me Go to the Cold on Purpose!

Hello, Bingers!  I am en route to the 2012 Sundance Festival, ready to give you guys a blow-by-blowout on the festivities. Don’t be expecting Roger Ebert-like coverage, I mean come on, how am I supposed to focus on the movies when there are swag suites like the Chic Suite by EMWPR, where I can go on a binging blitz, and then get my skin plumped with an oxygen facial at the St. Regis Remede Spa?  Let’s get our priorities in line here!

I over-packed (yes, I see the shock in your face), and when I say “over-packed” I’m talking checking a large duffle bag for a three-day trip.  Of course I probably forgot essential wardrobe items, and I already know I forgot to bring “going out” bags. Want worse? If you could see the amount of beauty products and tools I brought, you would think I was either moving to a new house or a traveling makeup artist.    Let’s not forget I get a little manic in high-elevation…   There is so just much to consider for a trip like this:

–  Dry air and Cold Weather:  For my face, I brought the spectrum of hydrating products from FAB 5-in-1 to La Mer (and when I say “the spectrum”, picture at least 20 other products in-between, including serums, masks, toners, SPF, etc).   For my body I brought a deluxe sample of Bliss Orange and White Pepper Body Scrub since my skin is going to need a good buffing, and this scrub is gentle enough I can use it every time I shower  (and it smells delicious!).   I also created a little deluxe sample for myself  of Jo Malone Blue Wild Bluebell Creme. This creme smells like you are strolling through wild flowers after a storm (thank you to my lovely mother-in-law, Jeanne, who spoiled me this past holiday season with this luxurious cream and other delicious splurges.  Love you, Jeanne! ) and it has a thick, non-sticky consistency that hydrates all day long.  For the lips, I brought Aquaphor, the salve of champions, along with Fresh Sugar Passion Tinted Lip Treatment SPF 15 for a hint of color, and of course my entire rainbow of hydrating lipsticks.

–  Hair Gotchas: I got my hair colored by Meghan last night, which means I have a kick-ass blowout. I’m obviously going to milk this baby as long as I can.  But let’s not forget the Bumble and Bumble Black Hair Powder debacle… The blowout can only stretch so far under harsh conditions like hat head (it is going to be COLD!) and a hydrating facial (obviously this was my first priority in booking the trip.).  If the blowout doesn’t prevail, I will have to take matters into my own hands by either blowing it out myself or wearing it curly.  You can’t imagine (or probably you can…) how many products and tools are involved in packing for these two scenarios.

Tomorrow, after I exhaust myself in the Chic Suite stocking up on goodies from brands like Tocca Beauty, Everyday Minerals, and NCLA Nail Lacquer, I am heading to the St. Regis Deer Valley Remède Spa  where I will plump and hydrate my battled, parched skin with a Deer Valley Regenerating Facial.  How do I choose from the  myriad of luxury spas? The first thing I did the second our tickets were booked, was google “oxygen facial” and “Park City”.  Not many choices, but the St. Regis Deer Valley Remède Spa  was the obvious one when I saw the luxury amenities and facilities.

I was just playing before when I said I wasn’t focused on the movies… I’m really just focused on one… I can’t wait for Josh Radnor’s “Liberal Arts” premiere on Sunday!  Josh wrote, directed, and stars in his second Sundance feature, which features the adorable yet chic new it-girl Elizabeth Olsen.

For up-to-the-minute updates on my festival weekend, make sure you follow me on twitter!

Photo via Xjanniex


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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Weathering the Cold: Part 2 (The Face)

It pains me to even write about how I adjust my skincare for the cold weather. I detest the cold.  There is simply nothing redeeming about a winter day, especially in New York City.  The bracing wind slaps me in the face as I trudge down the street – cracking my lips instantly, cold tears trickling down my cheeks making my face feel like a peeled apple.

My skin is always sensitive, can you imagine what it’s like in the winter?  I go into total crisis lockdown mode. Put away any foaming or soap cleansers. Think soothing.  For everyday, I love Fresh Soy Face Cleanser ($38)  (always; not only in the winter) which has cucumber and amino acids.  For days when I’m feeling extra sensitive, I use Decleor ‘Aroma Cleanse’ Cleansing Milk ($36).  It is balancing and softening, but most importantly, I can remove it with a cotton pad.  You would be surprised to know how many harsh minerals are hiding in your tap water.   I store my toners and replace them with Kerstin Florian Rehydrating Neroli Water ($35). Not only does this “soothing, aromatic mist” smell delicious, it works wonders for rehydrating throughout the day (and it doesn’t disrupt my makeup; just makes me dewey).

I still use my Skinceuticals Phloretin CF Gel ($152) and Skinceuticals AOX+ Eye Gel ($85) because the war on free-radicals is never over. Then I slather on First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Concentrate  ($28).  It’s a lovely whipped texture and can basically treat any distressed skin condition. This is the first thick cream I’ve ever worn during the day, but it doesn’t feel greasy and it creates a shield for my face.  And, at only $28 you won’t feel wasteful when you use it all over your body on super cold days.  Since it doesn’t have SPF, I use Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock 30 ($12.99), which absorbs super fast and doesn’t irritate my skin.  At night I use Decleor ‘Aroma Night’ Neroli Essential Night Balm ($73), which literally melts into my skin. I wake up to more balanced, brighter, hydrated skin. If you want to know how much I like this product, I gave this out to my sister and sister-in-law last year for the holidays.  I swear by it for all skin types.

Lastly (and most challenging), is the task of trying to keep my lips soft and hydrated. The one thing worse than feeling dry, cracked lips is trying to apply lipstick to dry, cracked lips.  Hot crusty mess. I use Laura Geller Lip Strip to gently scrub away the mess with sugar crystals. Then I coat my lips with Aquaphor, the holy grail of lip balms.

Don’t forget my lovelies, in the foreboding words of George R.R. Martin, “Winter is coming!”

Photo courtesy of Tazis

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