Thursday, October 26, 2006

Pink Ribbons Everywhere

Back in May, I wrote a post about beauty brands that support Breast Cancer Awareness. Now that it's Breast Cancer Awareness month, and so many sources have covered the issue so well, I thought I'd skip the topic. But I can't - I just found out that one of my girlfriends was diagnosed with breast cancer last week. At age 33. So I would like to add my voice to the call for awareness and support.

Early detection is key. Please see your doctor regularly and do monthly breast self-exams (BSE) starting at age 20. I've had two friends under 35 diagnosed with breast cancer, so please don't think that you can put it off. Remind all of the women you know and love! Here are some BSE resources:

  • The Liv Breast Self-Exam Kit provides ease and effectiveness for your monthly breast self-exam. The Liv aid has two sheets of soft, latex-free polyurethane filled with liquid lubricant. During an exam, the bottom layer stays put, while the top moves for reduced friction -- and enhanced touch.
  • Comprehensive audio/video BSE instructions can be found on the Komen website
  • Or just print out this handy guide and tape it inside your closet door so you are reminded.


During the month of October, there is a huge outpouring of breast cancer awareness. Every year it seems more companies jump on the bandwagon, offering products that raise funds for developing a cure and assisting women who are affected. Rather than create another list of the great products out there, I'm going to refer you to folks who've done the legwork for us - thank you!

Use these resources to find products that can make you feel beautiful - and help put an end to this disease.


  • The Breast Cancer Research Foundation lists out their cause-supporing "Pink Buys" (shown above), with 14 beauty items including Jo Malone and Creme de la Mer
  • Sephora features "Beauty with a Cause" - 15 gorgeous pink ribbon products including Murad, LORAC, Stila and Skyn Iceland
  • lists out 9 great products, including Paula Dorf, Urban Decay and Jen Lew
  • provides products ranging from apparel, beauty and home


Happy shopping - and remember to stay aware of breast cancer every month of the year!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

For The Beauty Addict-in-Training

I just discovered Club Libby Lu, an adorable store targeted at tween girls who are into fashion, beauty and being treated like a princess.

Naturally, I loved it immediately.

My favorite part? They have a Sparkle Spa - where you can create your own beauty products. How cool is this - you can make your own lip gloss! Take a pot of clear gloss, add drops of color and glitter, stir it up, and decorate the jar to make it your very own. I mean, that's totally awesome.

Other do-it-yourself spa treats include:

  • Soapy Sugar Scrup Sundae - Four flavors to choose from (strawberry, citrus, peppermint, and chocolate) complete with sprinkles you can add to your perfect sundae combo
  • Fruit Smoothie Mask - Five fruity-scented colors to mix and match
  • Kool Karma - A body spray or lotion that you can add glitter or beads to
  • Shimmery Sparkle Dust - Sparkle to add to your hair and body comes in colors representing luck, love, friendship and happiness
This is a super interactive birthday party idea (for girls who have gotten too cool for Build-A-Bear) because each girl gets to take home her own creations. OR, you can have "Fun, Funky Club Counselors" give the girls a "Libby Du makeover" complete with a "pink carpet" fashion show at the end.
If you can't get to the store to experience the magic of creating your own potions (locations listed here), they have great gifts you can give your favorite little princess. I got my 8-year-old niece a set of Pink Twinkle goodies (candy pink lip gloss, roll-on glitter and nail polish) and a tank-top and shorts set. They come in a cute shopping bag gift box. As a beauty addict-in-training, she loved it.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Un-Happy Little Trees

I was recently stuck in a taxi in traffic for what seemed like an eternity, especially because I was subjected to the driver's brand-spanking-new cardboard air freshener. It occured to me that there has to be a better-smelling, more sophisiticated option than the ubiquitous Little Trees that dangle ominously from taxi mirrors. Please, no more "Forest Fresh" or "Vanillaroma"! These are especially headache-inducing when the oh-so-attractive plastic covering which you're supposed to to remove litle by little is ripped off, Band-Aid like, and you are overwhelmed by a shockwave of synthetic scent that would be more at home in a hospital than as a choice for your personal space.

The only attractive car air freshener I have been able to find is by Zuq and Zoe, makers of super-cute paper goods, and it's an auto-mobile (get it? like a mobile for your car...) of fragrant cardboard circles and beads.

They come in several scents, each with a corresponding color: Blueberry/blue, Citrus/orange, Vanilla/beige, Green apple/green, Lilac/purple, and Strawberry/pink. And they come in slick metal tins, perfect for gift-giving or stocking stuffing. Purchase for $8.50 at Pixelgirl Shop, a place to find cool handmade goods.

*The title of course refers to the "happy little trees" that artist Bob Ross encouraged us all to paint on his TV show, "The Joy of Painting".

Friday, October 13, 2006

Test Tube, baby!

Today, I received my first TestTube by special delivery. No, I haven't enrolled in a chemistry correspondence course. I've signed up to receive New Beauty magazine's product sampler that comes in a cutely-designed "testing" tube.

The idea is simple: sign up and you'll receive 4 tubes a year. You pay $25 per tube (plus $6.95 shipping, but they do send via FedEx so it's speedy) and you receive a tube filled with generous samples and other goodies and a handy guide explaining how the products are to be used. Then, you can go to New Beauty's website and write reviews of the products - and get the chance to win a $1,000 shopping spree at Nordstrom.

The first test tube contained 6 products and a gift certificate with a total value of over $200. The products are quite skincare-oriented:

  • GoSMILE’s Weekender Kit, $15 value
  • Dr. Brandt’s Laser in a Bottle, Laser Tight, $40 value
  • Obagi Systems Professional-C Eye Serum - full size, $75 value
  • Jane Iredale PurePressed Pressed Minerals (Must note: these were missing from my tube - perhaps they've run out?), $15 value
  • Babor HSR Lifting Cream for Eyes, $15 value
  • NIA 24 Physical Cleansing Scrub, Skin Strengthening Complex and 100% Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30, $20 value
  • Gift Certificate worth $25

So basically, you get a huge amount of value for spending around $30, when shipping is considered. You get to try out new products and know that your opinion will be heard by the companies making them. And then, even if you didn't like any of the stuff you got for free in the tube, you still get your $25 back to pick out exactly what you want from Personally, I'm going for some nice, yummy-smelling bath products from Molton Brown. And watch out for Spalook's free shipping days to maximize your value.

Brands to look for in the next TestTube are below. (Note: New Beauty's site doesn't say when they're switching from the current selection to the new one, so order soon if you liked the product list above.)

  • Lancome
  • Supersmile
  • Babor
  • Frederic Fekkai
  • ROC
  • Youngblood mineral cosmetics
  • Skingenic Indochine

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

They've Done it Again

Remember my story on fragrances for TV shows? Desperate Housewives' Forbidden Fruit is still rather fresh in the market. But now the younger, fresher, perhaps even more twisted show "The O.C." is launching its own fragrance this month.

According to sources, The O.C. for Her is a fruity floral that captures the beachy spirit with exotic flowers like hibiscus and exotic fruits like guava, laid over a sexy base of amber and vanilla. The O.C. for Him evokes the beach with notes of ozone and sea spray, spicing it up with pepper, crisp citrus, alluring lavender and rose, and sensual woods. The fragrances will debut just in time for the show's fourth season, which starts Nov 2 on Fox.

Now, seriously folks - isn't this getting a little out of hand? Who is so obsessed with a TV show that they want to smell like it? Sorry to beat a dead horse, since I've already covered this topic... and don't even get me started on celebrity fragrances! Hilary Duff, anyone?!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Beauty Bookshelf - Allure: Confessions of a Beauty Editor

Linda Wells, editor of Allure Magazine, just published a book called Allure: Confessions of a Beauty Editor.

If you like the girlfriend-to-girlfriend, not too serious tone of Allure magazine, then you'll like this book. While there is some new material, the book is more of a reference guide containing the best info that the magazine has provided. That's great news for me - I can finally throw out my two-foot high pile of back copies!

The book is organized into chapters like Skin Care, Face, Lips, Haircut & Color and Body. Within each, there are Tricks of the Trade, Beauty Myths debunked, 101's (how-to and step-by-step instructions), Beauty 911, and age-specific recommendations. Each chapter ends with the 10 Commandments - the key lessons boiled down into easy-to-remember aphorisms, like "More isn't always better. A pea-size amount of face cream is enough".

Plus, it's attractive: this hardcover, large size book is filled with gorgeous photography and is definitely vanity-top worthy. Keep it handy to reference professional advice that can keep you looking your best from head to toe.