Tag Archives: blogger

Flutter Bys!

I’ve got bugs and insects on the brain thanks to the thousands of cicadas I’m left to dodge daily–they blanket the sidewalks and street during my morning run. Creepy crawlies are most definitely not my thing, but butterflies that flutter by…they can hang around me any day, any way. Unfortunately their season is short-lived, which is why I’m drawn to anything with a butterfly on it. If you like papillons (and who doesn’t!) I know you’ll love these:

Butterfly Book Plates, $10 for 5 at bespokecustomgifts.com. Some books are keepers! If you lend out your favorites the way I do, I highly recommend you write your name inside…or  better yet, attach a personalized book plate to the inside cover so there will be no mistaking ownership. Know an avid reader or recent grad? These gorgeous butterfly book plates make the best gift when paired with a book. At only $10 for a set of 5, I plan on stocking up!

Museum Quality Insects Collection – Butterflies, $2229 at theevolutionstore.com. I’ve been eyeing this (and dropping major hints) for years! If I ever have a few $thousand lying around that isn’t earmarked for bills, the college-fund or a family vacation, this is the first thing I’ll buy!



Sephora Artist Color Box

Quality and quantity coexist in this latest collection from Sephora: 24 waterproof eye shadows, 6 lipglosses, 5 eye pencils, in colors you’ll actually want to wear and all for only $34 ($145 value).

Sephora Collection Artist Color Box Makeup Palette, $34, available at www.sephora.com.

Great New Makeup Line!

Product Review: MAKE Cosmetics

This new line comes with a very nice pedigree–Mana Products is the world’s leading private label manufacturer of beauty products. Ever heard of a little company called NARS? That’s from Mana…along with many, many other great brands.

Their latest is MAKE Cosmetics…with a philosophy I can definitely get on board with! MAKE donates one-third of all sales to women-led, worker-owned, start-up co-ops in the U.S. and they pair artists from different backgrounds to create their seasonal color collections. Their first collaboration is with London-based interior/furniture designer, Faye Toogood and makeup artist Ayami Nishimura.

Their Medieval Palette, $25, (photo above) contains 4 very wearable matte shadows in shades of moody grays (nice for a smoky eye) plus a cool blue (if you’d prefer a pop of color) and 4 matte lipsticks, in everyday neutrals (love these shades!) and a bright coral. The eyeshadows are soft, powdery and blend well. I like them as a sheer wash of color but you can also layer them or use them to line your eyes. Also,the lipsticks are creamy, go on smoothly and wear well.

When testing this line, I went straight for their gold eyeshadow–my go-to color for eyes (it’s a shade that works for all skin tones and all eye colors). MAKE’s Satin Finish Eyeshadow in Gilded, $18,  doesn’t disappoint! It applies evenly, looks luminous and stays put. Apply dry for a sheer wash of color or wet to amp up the drama.

MAKE is available at www.weseebeauty.com. Besides makeup, I highly recommend you also check out the unique products for sale in their design gallery.


Not For Your Eyes Only…A Surprise Use for Visine!

Did you know that Visine can be used for more than its intended purpose? The active ingredient Tetrahydrozoline, which brilliantly gets the red out, will also (SURPRISE SURPRISE!) get the red out of pimples! A few drops on a q-tip, applied to your blemish will make your pimple all but disappear!

blogshot - visine2


Want Healthy, Glow-y Skin?

Though, some people (young children and the genetically gifted, like my sister-in-law Jen) have naturally glow-y skin that seems lit from within, most of us need a little extra help.

Years ago at a deskside–that’s simply a buzzword for a quick meeting for convenience sake at a journalist’s office–I met skin care expert and celebrity esthetician, Renee Rouleau, and was taken with her smarts, her radiant skin and her product line. I recently asked her advice on luminous skin. Rouleau, says “exfoliation is one of the most important techniques you can do to achieve skin that’s bright, smooth and glowing. By removing the dead, expired skin cells you make way for  the new, fresh ones that lie below.”

Q&A with Renee Rouleau:

Why Is Exfoliation Important?  It can help resolve certain skin problems ranging from blemished skin to post-breakout red/dark marks, clogged pores, hyperpigmentation, dry skin, skin texture and signs of aging.

Should you exfoliate your body, too? Sloughing the body helps with problems like back breakouts, bumps on arms and legs, ingrown hairs, lightening dark skin on knees and elbows and for sunless tan prep. An exfoliating body cloth will remove dry skin cells and reveal softer, smoother skin and more even-toned skin on the body. These cloths work effectively with a mild shower gel. For back breakouts, using an antibacterial cleanser (like AHA/BHA Cleansing Gel) applied to the cloth and rubbed over the skin. It can be very effective for reducing back and body breakouts and fading post-breakout acne scars.

What are the different types of exfoliants?  There are two types of exfoliants:

First, a “chemical” or “acid” exfoliant does the work for you. You apply it, leave it on the skin, and it works to dissolve the dry skin cells. These exfoliants include ingredients such as Glycolic Acid, AHAs and BHA, and enzymes such as Pumpkin, Papaya, and Pineapple. (To try, Renée Rouleau Triple Berry Smoothing Peel )

Second, a “physical” exfoliant means that you have to do the work. These exfoliants include facial brushes, sponges, and facial scrubs. Mint Buffing Beads

A combination of both physical and chemical exfoliants will give your skin the best results. For most skin types, this would be a mild alcohol-free Glycolic Acid Serum or AHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) used under a night cream 3 nights on and followed by 3 nights off. This way, you’re still getting an intensive exfoliation, but you also give your skin a break. You’d combine this with a very mild facial scrub twice a week to lift off and remove the dissolved skin cells.

Is there anyone who should not exfoliate? For sensitive skin, I suggest using a gentle 10% version of glycolic acid like AHA Smoothing Serum 10%  as it’s safe for delicate skin types. For severely sun damaged skin, Retinol is effective because it exfoliates more deeply in the skin. In addition to a retinol a 20% AHA serum like the Renée Rouleau AHA Smoothing Serum 20%  helps to resurface wrinkled skin that is in need of more resurfacing to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Note a retinol and an acid should not be used on the same night.

Is there anything else about exfoliation we should know?  Do not exfoliate daily, for most skin types, it’s too much! A facial scrub should be used 2-3 times a week, and an acid serum should be used three nights on and three nights off.






Win This Bag!

Give your beauty products a pretty place to hang out!  Inspired by the Spring ’13 runway shows, Modella’s Zebra Blossom 4 Piece Fitted Mini Train Set is on trend and will keep you organized.

One lucky reader will be randomly selected to win this travel set.


  1. Subscribe to my blog, www.thebeautywall.com.
  2. Write a comment for this or any of my previous blog posts. Be sure to include your e-mail or other contact information so I can send you your prize if you win.
  3. Share this contest on facebook, pinterest, twitter or forward it to a friend.

Giveaway will run through Friday, 3/8/13. Good luck and thanks for participating! Nancy



You’re Invited! Bath & Body Works Event

Snow is predicted (again!) by weeks end, making it harder than ever to believe that warm weather is just around the corner. No matter how much snow may fall, I’m thinking Spring.

In my family, Spring has always been special–my brother, sister, daughter and I are all born in the Spring and share birthdays within days of each other. Beautiful flowers sprout up everywhere and I always receive more than my fair share of impromptu bouquets–the dandelion bunches are the absolute best! And a favorite activity of mine–strawberry picking–is always done in late Spring. My husband, kids and I head to Alstede Farms in Chester, NJ where we fill our bellies as much as we fill our baskets. When we get home, we whip up strawberry pies and strawberry preserves and as many other wonderful treats as there are recipes on pinterest. Click here for an easy and delicious strawberry shortcake recipe. If you’re not a baker yourself, Alstede’s homemade goods are for sale. My favorite? Their mixed-berry pie!

For an early taste of Spring yourself, mark your calendar for this Saturday, March 9th from 1:00pm – 5:00pm. At participating Bath & Body Works stores nationwide, there will be Farmers’ Market inspired events where you can try strawberry, peach and tangerine fragrances and other products from their new “Fresh Picked” collection. You’ll also get to test their latest soaps, creams and candles and go home with free samples of the new line’s Body Wash or Body Lotion. At their Spring Home Decor Workshop you’ll learn how to refresh and enhance your home, and you’ll even receive a Peach Candle, as a gift with purchase.

To RSVP “Yes”, click here.


Ella Poe Jewelry at 80% Off!

blogshot - Ella Poe

Creator and designer, Danielle Birrittella strives to make every piece of Ella Poe jewelry meaningful and eco-conscious.  Worn by celebs (including Cindy Crawford and January Jones) and recently featured on the TODAY show, Ella Poe Jewelry is offering their beautiful gold vermeil and diamond necklaces from their Mantra collection for only $49 (they’re regularly $240!).

To get this deal click here and enter the password “today”…but act fast,  this deal ends Monday!


Some makeup rules are meant to be broken, but when it comes to the cat eye, you’ll want to play it by the book. The golden rule of makeup is to have one feature (eyes, lips or cheeks) be the focus. The cat eye look plays up the eyes, and everything else is secondary. I prefer this makeup look the classic way, with black liner and black mascara, but feel free to push the envelope with bright blue, green or tangerine liner, shown on the catwalk in more than one recent runway show.

To do:

  • Start with a near-flawless complexion. Depending on you, it might mean applying concealer alone, a beauty balm or primer and foundation. Add very little blush, just enough to give your skin a healthy glow without looking like you have anything on and swipe a nude-toned shadow on your upper lids. You can also apply a tinted lip balm or gloss for moisture and just a bit of color on your lips.
  • Though liquid liner will give you a beautiful look, if you don’t have surgeon-steady hands I recommend you use an extra-creamy pencil or my favorite pen liner, Smashbox Love Me Paint Pen Eye Liner, $24 at smashbox.com. You’ll find the paint pen so easy to use, it will look like a makeup artist did it for you!
  • Look straight in the mirror, and starting at the inner corner of your eye, gently drag it across your upper lash line, making the line just slightly thicker as your get to the end. As soon as your reach the end of your eye, stop. Then, slightly past where you just ended, draw in the opposite direction to make the little tail and connect it to the liner.
  • On upper lashes only, add two coats of black mascara followed by a third coat on the outer upper lashes only.


Tarte Glamazon Lipstick


Product Review: Tarte Glamazon 12-Hour Lipstick

I was at a beauty event recently when I bumped into a friend of mine whom I hadn’t seen in a while. She’s always been pretty, but, she looked better than ever…it was her smile! She was wearing Tarte Glamazon Lipstick in Playful. She said she’d applied it that morning and still…it lingered. Her plummy-pink lips were the perfect shade for her Zooey Deschanel coloring–they actually look a lot alike!–so I didn’t know if it would quite work for my warmer-toned skin and hair but I had to give it a try!

I ran right to Sephora and tested it in the store. Since I don’t normally wear lipstick–clear or tinted balms are usually my thing–I used my fingertip to rub it in and create a stain, a look I prefer on myself. It goes on as a wonderful plum shade, not too dark, not too light, not too bright. After six hours which included a cup of tea, an apple and even dinner,  it was still on!  The color had changed a bit, going from that original plum to a raspberry-ish tone, one I loved just as much.

This is one lipstick destined to have a cult following!

Tarte Glamazon 12-Hour Lipstick in Playful, $26 at www.sephora.com