Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Good for You

When you use the amount of beauty products that I do, you find yourself wishing that they did a little more for you than just beautify on the outside. What if they could improve your health as well? Read on for two innovative products that promise to do just that.


Did you know that the average woman consumes 6 pounds of lipstick in her lifetime? It's a disgusting statistic, but according to About.com, the ingredients in lipstick won’t harm you and are broken down by stomach acids. And if you're a lipgloss girl, stats say the average woman ingests between 2 to 4 pounds of lipgloss in her life. The folks at Tarte cosmetics decided not harming you wasn't good enough and teamed up with BORBA (of drinkable skincare fame) to fortify their glosses with ingredients that are actually good for you.

Tarte's Inside Out Vitamin Lip Gloss is the ultimate in double-duty beauty. The long-lasting, moisturizing lipgloss works to soothe and hydrate lips, while BORBA’s nutraceutical blend delivers powerful skin-caring ingredients. And it's great to know that you're doing your body some good with every application!

The potent cocktail includes:

  • Acai & green tea extract help strengthen capillary walls, reduce epidermal irritation and enhance skin’s clarity and radiance
  • Grape seed extract & Vitamin C help accelerate production of natural elastin, protecting skin against free-radical damage & restore skin’s clarity
  • Vitamins A, E & K act as antioxidants to give you that healthy glow
  • Lychee extract promotes long-term skin hydration and chamomile extract soothes skin and helps to counteract redness

The pomegranate-scented lipgloss is mouth-wateringly gorgeous with its hint of sexy sheen, plus it smells absolutely divine! Three shades are available (shown from left to right above):
om: sheer shimmery pale pink
apple-a-day: sheer shimmery hot pink
liquid sunshine: sheer shimmery nude

Knowing that traditional fragrances are primarily complex mixtures of synthetic chemicals that can absorb into the bloodstream and irritate the senses, the cofounders of Lavanila Laboratories began thinking - what if fine fragrance, a staple in most people's daily beauty routine, not only scented your skin, but was actually good for your skin? Suppose fragrances weren't full of harsh synthetic ingredients that dry and damage skin, but instead, healthy ingredients that nurture and condition the body with each spray?

They've turned the basic act of spritizing yourself with perfume into a health-building experience by infusing pure essential oils with 100 percent active botanicals for natural fragrances that are fresh, clean, and nurturing. With each spray, proprietary natural technology wraps the skin with super antioxidants goji berry and kakadu plum, soothing willowherb, and hydrating olive leaf for a healthy dose of 30 essential vitamins and minerals and 19 amino acids.

Each scent is based on a vanilla note - Vanilla Grapefruit, Pure Vanilla and Vanilla Blossom. I tried Vanilla Blossom on a recent trip to Sephora (the scents are exclusive to Sephora) and it's just intoxicating. I couldn't stop sniffing my wrists. Now, if only the act of inhaling fragrance could be as healthy as applying it to your skin...

Let's hope more companies jump on the bandwagon and help us become more beautiful, inside and out. Here's to your health!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Key to Thy Heart

Happy Valentine's Day! Whether you're sharing love with someone else or celebrating your love of your self, the day calls for some pampering gifts. My long-long-time friend Stefanie Wolf is an extremely talented jewelry designer and has put together some truly special items for the occasion. She gave me a lovely necklace and earring set for my wedding, and I treasure it (and get compliments on it) still. If you're looking to treat yourself to something pretty, look no further.

Heart Key Necklace
It was love at first sight when Stef came across this sterling key, and her imagination was off and running...What door will this key unlock?...Does a secret await? All her dreaming led to this brand new heart key cluster necklace that she is thrilled to bring you just in time for Valentine's Day. Whether it's a secret crush or a long time affair, this heart key necklace will remind you where your heart is. Choose from cool ocean blue (featuring Peruvian opal, new jade and ocean quartz) or heat it up with fiery red (with ruby red jade, garnet and carnelian). $60

Uncomplicated, just like you. The simple, yet elegant lariat design of this necklace & earring set features a sterling silver chain showcasing a single glass tile.

The pendant, chain and clasp of this necklace all flow as a single shape in perfect harmony. This elegant lariat design features a delicate yet sturdy 18" sterling silver chain showcasing a single glass tile from the Czech Republic. This 'Picasso Window' tile is a deep, rich red with a multicolored border. Front closure on the necklace allows you the freedom to adjust the style and length of your necklace to suit your mood. The coordinating earrings, which feature sterling silver ear wires and chain, drop 2 inches to sway gracefully with your every move. The set is 25% off for a limited time ($60, regularly $80)

Here's to a love- and beauty-filled Valentine's Day!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Vanity Quest

I mentioned in my Favorite Things 2006 post that I was looking for a vanity table. I've looked around a lot, and vanities are frankly hard to find. I guess they're old fashioned. But, in my opinion, seriously needed by beauty junkies!

Well, I found some inspiration. Have you seen the new Estee Lauder counter design? (It was installed in the Bloomingdale's at 59th St this fall and is also featured in their boutique in Manhasset, N.Y.) It's simply gorgeous - and the centerpiece is a mirrored table around which you can gather and try all their makeup.
Picture from ddi design center

And I thought, a mirrored vanity would be just the thing! Elegant, feminine, matches any decor... Starting from that idea, I found what I think would be the perfect vanity table at a great store called The Paris Apartment.

In addition to being mirrored and fabulous, it has seven drawers that can easily store all my stuff. One for eyes, one for lips, one for face... you get the picture. You can even get the drawers custom-lined with tufted silk or velvet padding to store jewelry. Is it not the height of fabulous!? Alas, it also comes with a corresponding price tag: $5400. A quick search on a great antique furniture website 1stDibs.com showed that this, sadly, is the going rate for such a fantastic piece. So for now, I'll keep looking.

Much less of a budget-breaker is this pretty piece called a Glamour Chest from Bombay, for $299. While it does not fulfill the requirements to be a vanity table, it could be a lovely little side table, bedside table or near-vanity storage piece.

The quest continues. Please post any leads or ideas in the comments!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Moisturizing Addendum: Like Buttah

From my previous post, you can tell I've been battling crazy dry skin lately. It got so bad this week, even a light cotton blouse felt like sandpaper against it. Lucky for me, I just got some samples from the much-raved-about Product Body line.
Their Whipped Shea Butter is double-whipped to make it easy to use. This is essential, because the last time I tried to use a 100% Shea Butter, I had to scratch it out with my fingernails. Whipping it not once but twice, Product has given shea butter the texture of frosting and it simply melts into skin to hydrate and soothe.

Given how it really does feel like butter melting into my skin, I was worried that I'd be both shiny and oily after application. Not so! It quickly sank into my skin and left it baby soft and not a jot oily. I tried it in Pink Grapefruit, but it comes in other scents and unscented as well.

Added bonus? Product Body's products are hand-formulated to be fresher than fresh. They make them to order in small batches from the finest ingredients available. They even import their shea butter directly from Africa!

My next Product purchase? Crush on You, a body wash, scrub and moisturizer in one!
So naturally, I am all over this Valentine's Day deal: the "I've Got a Crush on You" gift set. It includes Vanilla-Sugar scented Whipped Shea Butter and Crush on You for $33 (a $38 value) - and it comes all boxed up with chocolate in an adorable chinese-style take-out box covered with hearts. What better way to love your body?

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Moisturizing and Quality of Life

I realized this week how much moisturizing your skin can really improve your life. It may sound silly, but being comfortable in your own skin – figuratively and literally - is at the root of happiness. When your skin is hydrated and doesn’t feel tight and itchy or look dry and scaly, you feel comfortable and that you look your best.

This weekend, I rediscovered the joy of comfortable skin when I put on Avon’s Skin So Soft Whipped Body Oil after my shower two days in a row. This is creamy and deeply hydrating, but absorbs quickly and doesn’t leave skin feeling oily.

Unfortunately, during the week, I don’t usually have time to moisturize my skin before rushing out to work. (Occasionally, I don’t even leave enough time to do my makeup and do it on the train!) But now I’m going to make sure I leave two minutes for the following quick-moisture options.

The first option is a dry spray oil. You can spray it on shower-damp skin, rub it in and then towel off. Try Shea Terra's Shea & Vitamin E Body Spray, which is 100% natural and made with shea oil, fruit extracts, essential oils and a whopping 5% natural vitamin E in every bottle.

Secondly, when you’re really on the go, try Spa Towells. Each towelette comes in an individual pouch and contains a rich blend of natural oils with outstanding conditioning properties, powerful antioxidants that can help reduce free radical damage and humectants that aid in preserving skin’s moisture. The formula smells lovely and absorbs quickly. One 8”x8” towellette is big enough to hydrate your whole body and can be tucked into a gym bag or your carry-on.... That's right - they’re air-travel friendly!

Let’s remember what’s responsible for my uncomfortable skin - dry winter air, high heat and too-long hot showers! Since I’m not willing to lower the thermostat or take shorter showers, my other weekend fix involved hooking up my humidifier. My skin and sinuses already feel better. Bed, Bath and Beyond has several nice ones at a variety of price points.
Here’s to feeling more comfortable in your skin!