Category Archives: Product Reviews

Sun-Kissed!

Product Review: Supergoop! Gradual Self-Tanning Sunscreen Mousse

We were heading to the Dominican Republic and were more than a little excited. Resort reservations were set. Plane tickets were booked. Passports were rush-renewed. Some swimsuits and warm-weather outfits were purchased. Arrangements were made for kitty-cat care. Baggage and carry-ons were lined up by the front door. A car service was already scheduled…and then the super-storm hit!

We knew some planes would still be able to make it out. Unfortunately, ours wasn’t one of them. There’d be no pina coladas poolside, no ocean breeze, no looking for shells or learning how to do the flying trapeze. No toes in the sand, snorkeling or catamarans. And just when I thought all was lost I realized I could still get the healthy-looking glow I wouldn’t be getting on the island. Though I might not feel the benefits of a relaxing vacation, I would at least look it. A self-tanner is all it would take. I was wary of anything that might make me orange-y or too tan. I was concerned about streaking and awful smelling lotions. I had heard about Supergoop! Gradual Self-Tanning Sunscreen Mousse and thought it could be what I was looking for…it just might do the trick!

All self-tanners are not created equal. If you’re looking for natural-looking color Supergoop! is head and shoulders above the masses. Before bed, I applied a thin layer and woke up to a light golden glow that looks completely natural and sun-kissed (not sun-baked!). No product was left behind on my white pillowcase or sheets and I really like that this product gives you broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection, antioxidants and has a hint of a fresh green tea/cucumber scent in a paraben and oxybenzone-free formula. If you want more color just reapply for a deeper glow.

To purchase: Supergoop! Gradual Self-Tanning Sunscreen Mousse, $38 at supergoop.com.

(photography courtesy of seafolly.com and supergoop.com)

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Baby Your Skin…Literally!

Have I mentioned my little beauty vice?  I’m addicted to taking hot showers two to three times a day. Nothing else warms me in quite the same way but this “habit” of mine was taking a huge toll on my skin. It was very dry, but the additional hand-washing throughout the day and not always wearing gloves when outside had turned my hands rough, red, old-looking, seemingly beyond repair…not attractive or healthy at all!  And then I tried Mustela Stelatopia Moisturizing Cream. It’s a miracle cream –after just one use my hands were fixed! They were soft, smooth, supple and even-toned. Did they look this good before?

This cream is different than anything I’ve ever used. It’s rich and light (if that makes any sense) — it goes on creamy but almost feels slick like a gel as I rub it in and it quickly nourishes and soothes dry, moisture-depleted skin. I’ve been using it on my body and hands and my skin is back to healthy and really soft! It contains Mustela’s patented Sunflower Oil Distillate, which improves skin barrier function with an ingredient that’s concentrated in tocopherols, phytosterols and essentail fatty acids without any proteins so it’s even safe for those with nut allergies.

Mustela’s Stelatopia line was developed to meet the specific needs of eczema-prone skin and though I don’t have eczema, my skin was very dry and this cream got the job done like no other cream that came before it. The moisturizing cream is rich enough for me for everyday use and I love the way it penetrates easily without leaving any greasy feel, but if you or your children have extremely dry skin that’s irritated or suffer from itching and/or eczema there’s also a balm with a richer, thicker texture, Mustela Stelatopia Lipid-Replenishing Balm for Extremely Dry Skin/Excema-Prone Skin. It also contains the patented ingredient, is gentle enough to be used on the face and body of infants, babies and children and it’s even been awarded the National Eczema Association seal of acceptance.

If you’re familiar with Mustela, you might know they’re the No. 1 baby care brand in Europe  and their Dermo-Pediatrics Stelatopia line is formulated to handle the needs of babies’ more vulnerable skin but if you have dry, sensitive or eczema-prone skin I know these products will work for you, too. I’m sold!!!

To purchase: Mustela Stelatopia Moisturizing Cream, $22 at drugstore.com,  Mustela Stelatopia Lipid-Replenishing Balm, $22 at drugstore.com.

(photography courtesy of Pinterest and Mustela)

Quick fix for Dry Lips

It’s cold out there!!! Give your lips some love with the nourishing shea butter and soothing jojoba oil infused eos Smooth Sphere Lip Balm, $3.29 at EvolutionOfSmooth.com and drugstores nationwide.

I love the look-at-me shape and fun, delicious flavors! Apparently, so do a lot of people…Miley Cyrus, Kim Kardashian and even the Broncos’ Von Miller are huge fans!

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Get Gorgeous Glowing Skin!!!

Product Review: GlimmerSHEERS, $28 at beautyaddicts.com.

beautyADDICTS has a cult following and with good reason…the products are pretty spectacular! Just ask celebs Zooey Deschanel, Sharon Stone and Zoe Saldana to name a few. I love their GlimmerSHEERS, the ultimate makeup duo designed to highlight the eyes, face and cheeks. Containing skin-healthy ingredients like Green Tea and Jojoba Oil the Glimmer side adds a sun-kissed, luminous glow, the Sheer side makes your skin appear dewy. When combined, it’s out-of-this-world gorgeous!!!

You can use them alone or together to customize your look. I particularly like Express (a golden shade) for my lids and cheeks and I use Seduce (a silvery hue) to make my eyes sparkle by adding it to the inner corner of my eyes. I also like it on my browbone and the bridge of my nose. There’s also a rosy-hued “Motivate” and a lilac-y Glow.

It’s a great everyday look but as with any illuminating product the key is not to overdo it — a smidge too much and you can look greasy. Apply just a bit to the top of your cheekbones, your browbone and down the bridge of your nose. For evening try it on the inner corners of your eyes for some sparkle. Perfect!

 

GlimmerSHEER by beautyADDICTS, $28 each at www.beautyaddicts.com.

 

New Fragrance Find!

Product Review: Finn & Co. American Beauty White Sand and Black Sand Fragrance Oils. 

The verdict? You’ll love them!!! They both smell really, really beautiful but they evoke very different moods. And the packaging is amazing — rollerball tube applicators make them easy to transport for touch-ups throughout the day. I just toss in my bag and apply when the mood strikes.

After 9/11, Creator/Designer Meg Spencer made a life change and moved back to Maine where she pursued a more holistic educational path than the one she had been on. She became a licensed esthetician and eventually worked with organic oils and custom blends. Knowing that scent is a powerful memory trigger she was inspired by her happy childhood of days and nights spend on Nantucket and the coast of Maine.

The Fragrance Oils:

  • White Sand is light and clean. Honeysuckle, mandarin and a touch of salt blended with jojoba and apricot seed oil will have you imagining yourself, hair pulled back, face warmed by the sun, playing outdoors. Think fresh, natural and sporty, maybe climbing some sand dunes or paddle board in hand…even if you’ve never done that a day in your life.
  • Black Sand is sensual, it’s warm, musky, sexy. Sandalwood and warm vanilla blended with jojoba and apricot seed oil will bring to mind a warm, moonlit night, sandals in hand and a barefoot stroll on the beach. One whiff and you’ll see what I mean.

Finn & Co. White Sand or Black Sand , $42 each or $72 for the gift set at www.thefaceoffinn.com. To see a list of retailers in your area, click here.

(photography courtesy of Finn & Co. American Beauty)

 

The Must-Have Body Shaper!

Right on the heels of the holiday season comes the first of the year’s many awards shows for those in “the industry”–The Golden Globes. Once again, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler rocked it! They gently and not-so-gently poked fun at the celebs in the room driving home the point that they’re all only human. But, for being so close to the holiday season, the majority of the actresses in that room sure looked great in those gowns. Maybe they didn’t indulge as much as some of us, but maybe they did. And if they did indulge maybe their little secret is the Almighty Cincher by Amia.

If you have a special dress you’d like to squeeze into or want to rediscover (or find for the first time) your hourglass shape, this body cincher can help you do it in an instant. It will dramatically whittle your midsection so your tummy is gone, gently support your spine and lengthen your torso to relieve back pain and some users even report a 1-4″ reduction in their midsection from wearing it for 8-10 hours a day for 30 days.

But beware…it’s snug! So snug that if you’re between sizes and want to breathe I highly recommend you size up when ordering. Give it a shot. You’ve got nothing to lose, except a few inches!

Almighty Cincher by Amia, $54 at www.hourglassangel.com or www.amiashapewear.com.

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Finally…an at-home trainer you’ll actually use!

Recently, I was at a Joyus.com event that featured different stations for beauty, fashion, fitness and other lifestyle products. If you haven’t heard of Joyus.com you’ll want to check out this online shopping site that helps you find great products via 2-minute videos. At the event one product really caught my eye: the Joyus Elliptical Trainer.

The Joyus Elliptical Trainer is a low-impact cardio workout with a resistance knob so you can make it as challenging as you want. You can work in forward or reverse to target different muscles and it also has a monitor that tells you how many calories you’ve burned, how many steps you’ve taken and the elapsed time, plus it’s sized right to store easily under your desk, bed or on your closet floor. It’s even light enough to tote from room to room.

Since I’ve been hibernating a bit more than usual (hello Polar Vortex!) I’ve been putting off my usual outdoor run. Luckily, my new  elliptical trainer arrived before too much damage was done. When I need a quick break from the computer I’ll do it in 15-minute intervals or I’ll put it in front of the tv and before I know it my show is over and I’ve gotten my workout in. Even the kids have been sneaking in mini workouts without even realizing that they’re exercising…they think they’re just having fun! Shhhh…I won’t tell if you won’t.

To purchase: Joyus Elliptical Trainer, $125 at joyus.com.

 

 

Top 10 Beauty Products for 2013

If it’s good enough for David Letterman, Amazon and Billboard it’s good enough for The Beauty Wall! Here, my Top Ten Favorite Beauty Products that I wrote about this past year…
Tarte Glamazon Lipstick…because it stays put for hours.

Dermalogica Skinperfect Primer…because flawless looking skin is always in style.

Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage…because nothing covers as well while still looking natural.

Cane + Austin Miracle Pad…because why look older when you don’t have to.

Lamas Botanicals Pumpkin Spice Polish…because it cleans, sloughs and polishes and it smells amazing.

Lather Vanilla Bean & Shea Soap…because it smells sooooo good.

Korres Shower Gel…because this is way better than the next best thing.

Arrojo Defrizz Serum…because frizzy hair should be someone else’s problem.

Ouidad Wave Create Sea Spray…because on some days less is more.

21 Drops…because it helps cure whatever ails you and the packaging is so damn cute.

Sticky Shoes!

I’ve discovered a genius product that I wish I’d found years ago. Sticky Shoes shoe tape is a double sided super-strong adhesive tape that keeps your shoes right where they’re supposed to be, securely on your feet!

No more slipping and sliding out of heels that are slightly big. Simply peel the backing on each double-sided strip and and firmly press down on the inside heel portion of your shoe. Done! Those shoes aren’t going anywhere you aren’t. Walk, skip and run with confidence–you won’t leave those shoes behind!

Sticky Shoes, 12 pairs/$8.95, www.stickyshoes.com.

 

(photo, courtesy of Pinterest)

Want Healthy, Shiny Hair?

Product Review: Lissea Smoothing Conditioner for Unruly Hair

I hope you all had a wonderful, long Thanksgiving weekend. In the spirit of Thanksgivukkah, my family and I have been stating what we’re thankful for each time we light the menorah. Things like family, friends, good health and our pets top the list, but we’ve also mentioned cupcakes, Harry Potter, football games, rainy nights, British accents, long hikes, great books and even products that do what they promise to do (clearly, that one came from me!).

Lissea Smoothing Conditioner for Unruly Hair is one of those products that does what it promises so if your hair has been a bit more naughty than nice of late you’ll want to try it. Ideal for medium to thick hair it has a nice fresh scent thanks to Ginger, Jasmine and Vanilla plus it also contains Alkekenge extract to smooth and control volume and frizz, Avocado oil to nourish and moisturize, a Thermal protecting complex for anti-humidity protection, Cationic complex and polymers for static control and detangling.

Post-shampoo, comb through and leave on for 2-3 minutes before rinsing for hair that’s smooth, shiny and silky-soft. You’ll be thankful you did!

To purchase:  Lissea Smoothing Conditioner for Unruly Hair, $30 at dermstore.com.