Saturday, December 26, 2009

REVIEW: Skincare Blues? Erno Laszlo Has Your Fix

Lazuline (adj.): having the color of lapis lazuli, a light shade of blue

Lazuline is the hue of LASZLO BLUE FIRMARINE SPF 30 and of its star ingredient, Spirulina Maxima. A fresh water blue-green algae, Spirulina is rich in essential fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. The latest from the legendary skincare line of Erno Laszlo, this daily face cream delivers intensive nutrition to the skin -- improving hydration and giving skin a healthier appearance with new firmness and bounce.

80 years ago, Dr. Erno Laszlo proved that although our skin is complex, the most effective remedies for it often come from the simplest, most elemental sources. The Erno Laszlo brand continues this tradition with the launch of Laszlo Blue Firmarine SPF 30, harnessing the power Spirulina Maxima—a sustainable fresh water micro-algae that boasts over 70 essential vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants. When this ingredient is combined with other actives in Laszlo Blue Firmarine, this daily firming face cream delivers intensive nutrition to the skin. For slightly dry to slightly oily skin, age 30+.

Features and Benefits

•Feeds new collagen growth, enhancing skin firmness and bounce
•Provides essential fatty acids, anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals that feed and nurture the skin’s microenvironment
•Natural phyto-nutrient pigments (chlorophyll and phycocyanin) contribute to the product’s lazuline hue as they regenerate damaged cells and soothe inflammation
•Protects with Vitamins E, C and A, Organic Green Tea, Multi-Mineral Complex and mineral-rich Deep Sea Water
•Boosts the skin’s immunity (anti-viral, anti-bacterial)
•Integrates SPF 30 for year-round protection from sun and free-radical damage
•Assimilates quickly into the epidermis, effectively hydrating and nurturing tired skin
•Lush texture and subtle, calming scent
•Dermatologist tested, allergy tested, irritation tested, clinically tested, non-acnegenic

This is a soothing light blue cream with an almost spongy elasticity in texture, having a light, fresh marine scent and providing the perfect amount of nurturing to aging skin. Though it possesses an SPF 30, the product is a bit too rich for my normal to combination-oily skin, even though it is 40+ in years, a testament to the decadence of this product. This has fast become a go-to moisturizer for night-time repair. The cream with its whipped-like element, glides smoothly across skin and blends into skin effortlessly leaving a not-to-be-missed glow of health. I notice a firming affect but it's not a tight feeling, more of a resiliency in texture and appearance, if that makes any sense. There's a definite youthfulness, a noticeable youthfulness to my skin after use. In addition, whether it's the light blue color of the cream or the ingredients therein, my skin is definitely brightened by this product, a result I appreciate more and more as the years wear on. And all of these effects + exquisite moisturization are still there in the morning ... a big plus! A bit pricey at $195 a jar, but soooo worth the luxury.

The cream is packaged in an elegant, minimalist styled sheer blue cubed jar, a nice touch. Laszlo Blue Firmarine SPF 30: SRP $195 / 1.7 oz / 50 ml. Available at the Erno Laszlo Institute and Erno Laszlo counters at fine specialty stores including Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, and Holt Renfrew.

Monday, December 21, 2009

REVIEW: Lancome La Laque Fever Lipshine

Must admit, I didn't give Lancome the credit they have proven to me time and time again they deserve. I was skeptical that their La Laque Fever would truly be long-lasting, like the claim it is. Surprise!

Lancôme LA LAQUE FEVER is a lasting full color lipshine that delivers an elixir of vibrant, concentrated color and unprecedented shine in one gliding stroke. From the moment of application, densely pixilated pearls combine with unique polymers to give multidimensional shine that truly holds to your lips. No touch-ups needed for 6 hours! That's their claim.

Added bonus: The soft-sculpt applicator precisely designs fuller lips for sensual lip contours.

I knew I'd like the lipshine as I'm always completely satisfied with Lancome's lip products, their lipsticks, glosses and Juicy Tubes are always in my handbag, desk drawer, makeup bags and atop my vanity. What I didn't count on was that the formula would truly deliver long-lasting results, and it does! This is a pleasantly, almost subtly tropical, scented product, which applies like a densely pigmented liquid lipstick. Additionally, you can actually feel the difference in the formula. It's not at all sticky, yet more substantial in texture than a true "gloss". A shade you must-try is their Pink Dimension, which is a rosy-pink shimmer that literally flatters any skin tone - cool, warm, fair and the richest shades of color.

What's even more lovely, is that if you like to mix your shades, as I do, you can create a plethora of different colors (add-in a different lipstick, gloss, plumper, line your lips with a pencil, what have you, any brand) and still bank on the long-lasting effects of La Laque Fever with the blended shade you create. The tilted, fuller soft applicator provides jut the right amount of product to lips and assists in shaping both top and bottom. It's ingenious!

Lancome La Laque Fever Lipshines, award-winning by the way, retail for $26 each and are available in 20+ shades. For more information or to purchase for yourself or a beloved beauty lover, visit Lancome online; also available at Sephora and other retailers.

L'Oreal Infallible Plumping - Lipgloss, Plumped Pink 106 - 1 eabeauty bit: Looking for a discount alternative to Lancome La Laque Fever? L'Oreal Infallible Plumping Lipgloss in #106 Plumped Pink at $9.99 a tube is a sweetly priced dupe, in my opinion, and is available at drugstores and mass merchandisers. The Lancome product is by far superior in terms of pigmentation and color payoff, but the L'Oreal gloss gives nice color, a similar wide-angled full applicator, and the same long-lasting effect. The texture and feel of these two glosses are very similar. Enjoy. xo

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Free Express Delivery at Philosophy - Last Day!

holiday shipping deadlines: ground order by 12/14, express order by 12/20, expedited order by 12/22 at 7 p.m. (est). free ground shipping on all orders or $50 or more.

These fab lil'gift sets below are along those I think are extra special. The scents are divine, the formulas superb and the love that comes along with each .... priceless! Enjoy express shipping on your philosophy purchases when $85 or more through today.

bubbly scented gift setcinnamon buns shower gel ornamentshower gel set gift set
gift setfragrance layering collectionamazing grace layering collectionbath & body gift set trial size trio

party girl
pomegranate bubbly scented gift set $35
freshen up before the big night out. philosophy's party girl is a must-have for the girl who wants to feel energized and beautiful. it includes pomegranate bubbly exfoliating shower gel 4 oz., body lotion 4 oz. and lip shine .5 oz. in a giftable, reusable bag. our exfoliating shower gel gently cleanses and polishes to reveal smoother, softer skin. plus, our body lotion provides extra skin-softening benefits and a gorgeous glow. top it off with shimmery, glossy looking lips, and you're good to go for the party.

cinnamon buns
holiday ornament inspired shower gel - only $6
the perfect trimming for seasonal gatherings. philosophy's cinnamon buns shower gel ornament is a unique, festive gift. this high-foaming shampoo, bath and shower gel helps cleanse and soften skin and hair and smells absolutely delicious. 2 oz size.

the cocktail party
3-piece shower gel set $30
philosophy cordially invites you to our cocktail party. shake up your shower with our new cocktail party shower gel collection that includes three 6 oz. bottles of our famous 3-in-1 shampoo, bath, and shower gels. senorita margarita, mimosa, and melon daiquiri shower gel scents have been invited to this bash and they are bringing along their extra creamy, cool, and frothy attitudes. your shower will never be quite the same once you experience these delectable happy hour treats!

amazing grace
4-piece gift set $36
philosophy's best-selling fragrance, amazing grace, was created to make a woman feel infinitely clean and beautifully feminine. this amazing grace gift set gives you the opportunity to layer the amazingly clean, infinitely feminine scent of amazing grace from head to toe. the amazing grace gift set contains our 4 oz. amazing grace perfumed shampoo, shower gel and bubble bath, 4 oz. perfumed conditioner, 4 oz. perfumed firming body emulsion and 6 oz hot salt body scrub.

the birthday girl
5-piece gift set $35 ... almost sold out!
philosophy gives the birthday girl something adorable. philosophy girls have hands and feet that are truly well kept and hair and skin that give the smell of clean a new meaning. as for lips, one dose of kiss me and you're a lifetime user. the new age of beauty is here for the birthday girl. the birthday girl gift set comes in cute travel tote and includes: 2 oz. amazing grace perfumed shampoo, shower gel and bubble bath, 2 oz. purity made simple one-step facial cleanser, 1 oz. time on your hands exfoliating hand cream, 1 oz. soul owner exfoliating foot cream, and .5 oz. vanilla birthday cake highly emollient lip shine.

unconditional love
unconditional love layering collection $50
enduring, magical love to wrap hearts in happiness. philosophy's unconditional love layering collection was created to make you feel surrounded by love and happiness, which makes this layering set the perfect holiday gift for the people you love unconditionally. it includes perfumed shampoo, bath & shower gel 8 oz., perfumed body butter 2 oz. and spray fragrance 1.7 oz. in a charming, giftable keepsake box.

amazing grace
amazing grace layering collection $50
give gracefully this holiday season. amazing grace is philosophy's best-selling fragrance, and the amazing grace layering collection is the ideal gift for someone who wants to smell amazingly clean and beautifully feminine. it includes perfumed shampoo, bath & shower gel 8 oz., perfumed body butter 2 oz. and spray fragrance 2 oz. in a beautiful, giftable keepsake box.

bring on the bubbles
pink bubbly shower gel and lip shine duo $20
be the life of the party! bring on the bubbles includes pink bubbly high-foaming shampoo, shower gel & bubble bath 8 oz. and pink bubbly very emollient flavored lip shine .5 oz. lather up with our gentle, moisturizing, 3-in-1 formula for a cheerful way to cleanse and condition your skin. pink bubbly flavored lip shine is delicious and provides a sheer pink shine with a bit of shimmer. philosophy's bring on the bubbles set is the perfect gift for the fun, girly girl who loves a good party; it also makes for the perfect party favor for your friends.

inner grace
trial size trio $38
experience the sophisticated, yet understated scent of philosophy's inner grace. the trial size kit contains a trio of inner grace essentials that are just the right amount to get you hooked. try layering the fragrance by using the inner grace shampoo, bath and shower gel 4 oz., inner grace perfumed body emulsion 4 oz. and the inner grace fragrance .5 oz.

Inner Grace and Amazing Grace are my two favorite philosophy fragrances! I absolutely love them, having known the experiene I can no longer live without them. (Philosophy, you're never allowed to stop making these two fragrances for as long as I live ... you're free to stop after I'm dead, but you've got a good 40 + years longer to produce them!)

Need an idea for a sweet gift for a preteen niece ... here it is! She'll appreciate you starting her on the road to being a "philosphy girl'.

i think you are wonderful
i think you are wonderful

mandarin orange & cherry shower gel duo $20

often the best gift you can give is given for no specific occasion, for no reason, unprompted, and unexpected. philosophy has a sweet way for you to let someone know you are thinking of them. thinking of you includes a delicious duo of mandarin orange and cherry scented 3-in-1 shampoo, shower gel and bubble baths. these guilt-free indulgences make for the ultimate shower or bubble bath. it's the perfect way to let someone know you care.

Shop philosophy for more fabulous deals now and don't forget to enter code: express at checkout for your free expedited delivery.

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Skinny on Skincare Sample Sales. Yes!

The Skinny is a skincare lover's dream come true!

I've been dying to tell you about this wonderful opportunity to purchase luxury skincare on sale at The Skinny. Recently, they featured products from Organic Apoteke (you all know how I adore Organic Apoteke) and some products were actually more than 50% off retail. I couldn't believe it when I saw the prices. The key is, you really have to seek your treasure when the notice of sale first comes out, as popular items are likely to sell out quickly. This is what happened to me when I went to purchase a bottle of Organic Apoteke's luxurious and highly coveted Rejuvenating Face Cream. Shoot : ( [Note to The Skinny: PLEASE bring back more Organic Apoteke! xo]

Well, you really need to know more. Here's the skinny on The Skinny:
The Skinny is a members-only site offering exclusive deals on top-shelf skin care products. They also give the Skinny on each brand through educational videos, personalized recommendations for your skin type and areas of concern, and access to their upcoming events from brands like Bare Escentuals, Dermaquest, Lisa Hoffman and Perricone MD.

Each week, The Skinny debuts a new shopping event with a luxury brand at up to 70% off retail!
Each shopping event begins with an invitation email to their members. You'll receive an overview of the brand, and a selection of products they think you'll like based on your skin type and preferences. Click on the link in your email to visit the shopping event, where you can watch educational videos, learn about the brand's story, and take a closer look at all the products on sale. Shopping events last one week, or until sold out.

Currently, The Skinny is featuring skincare by Tammy Fender, "the secret behind Palm Beach's happiest, healthiest complexions," (Vogue). I'm looking at the product selection right now, and the prices are again unbelievably discounted. Her Epi-Peel facial in a jar, which normally retails for $80 is available to members at $48 and her multi-vitamin in a jar, the Antioxidant Creme Neroli and Orange is offered for $57 (regularly priced at $95).
So how do you become a member and receive an invitation to this must-experience skincare lover's paradise? Members are allowed to invite guests. As a happy and satisfied member, I'm delighted to extend to you a personal invitation. xo

Enjoy, my darlings! xo

REVIEW: Sam Villa's SLEEKR Flat Iron

You know a styling tool is worth its weight in gold when your teenaged daughter tries to steal it from you. This is exactly what's happened with my Sam Villa SLEEKR. I think I got to use it one time (in fact, I know it was only once) before she'd claimed it as her own and found a place for it atop her vanity. Her best friend, these two are joined at the hip, inquired of me just the other day, "Can you tell my mom where she can get a straightener like Caroline's, please? I want one for Christmas."

Caroline (my daughter, left) and her friend Brett-Ashley (right): both girls used the Sam Villa SLEEKR for the dance you see them posed for above.

Hmmmm ... you don't say. One like "Caroline's", huh. Great! Another drool worthy beauty item lost forever to the teenage diva I've inevitably created. Well, she's a lovey, and not at all the indulgent fiend I've made her out to be, so I'm sure she'd allow me to borrow her SLEEKR if I wanted to use it, right Baby? (still waiting for response ... lol)

Ok, the story here is this flat iron is everything it's made out to be and then some. Where other irons I've tried have struggled to compare to my good ole CHI, this one rises to the occasion and delivers a performance worthy of a standing ovation. In fact, my lil' boo actually likes it better than the CHI she thinks is hers (I'm not giving it up, though; hell I need something to use, right).

Here are the deets:

SLEEKR Features and Benefits
$249.95/retail price

· Curved plates ensure non-snagging of hair regardless of angle of use or technique.
· Hybrid flexible plates ensure even compression
· Reduced diameter of handle provides easy control for all hand sizes.
· Unique temperature control band eliminates uncomfortable and oddly placed switches.
· Targeted temperature technology provides 3 pre-set temperatures (375F/392F/410F) including a special Color Treated setting to minimize color fading (I loooooove this feature!!!)
· Advanced ceramic heater reaches target temperatures in under 60 seconds.
· Extra long professional cord allows for freedom of movement
· Snag-free plates
· Ceramic Plates for even heat distribution across entire plate
· Tourmaline Coating on Sleekr® for extra shine and smoothness

backstage NY Fashion Week, October 2009

“Really good idea having the setting for color treated hair on the SLEEKR. Especially if a non-hairstylist is using them, so not to burn their hair. They are great to hold and use. Also, the swivel cord is handy if you are using the irons to wave with. I really enjoyed using them at fashion week. –Jenny Balding, Redken Session Stylist and Redken Expert.

Not only can the SLEEKR be used for straightening, but in Sam Villa style, this styling tool also allows you to create fresh textures in waves and curls, all with a smoothness to be envied by even the most discerning of hollywood glamour buffs. Here's one of his techniques to mimic; he suggests using Redken products (I adore Redken products too; they are superior in quality):

Ribbon Curls - A curl with a sense of laziness, more relaxed and not too coiffed. The idea is to stretch hair with heat – due to the placement and wrap technique of the hair, when it bounces back, it is curled. Think of the ribbons on gifts that are stretched with a scissor and then curl up once released.

1. Take a medium size section 1” in length and ½” in width and prep with Redken Iron Silk 07 ultra straightening spray
2. Hold section in left hand
3. Hold SLEEKR in right hand with the iron vertical and palm facing head
4. Pinch section at base, as you pinch, fold hand so palm faces you (still holding the section with left hand)
5. Slowly slide iron down to the end of the hair shaft ad release hair – it will spring into a ribbon curl.
6. Finish with Redken workforce 09 flexible volumizing spray

Needless to say, my daughter and I are completely delighted with Sam Villa's SLEEKR and can highly recommend it to you for its straightening ability, smooth results, and diverse uses. It's gone everywhere we've gone the last few overnight trips and I suspect it's got lots more travelling it its future!

Sam Villa Signature Series products are available at The Redken Gallerie (212)984-5027. Learn more about Sam Villa online and shop for the SLEEKR, his other impeccable styling tools and education pieces there as well.

REVIEW: Pretty Woman Perfume

Pretty Woman immediately brings to mind the Roy Orbison song and, of course, the movie of the same title. Now, the power of that name translates to a new fragrance from Barbara Orbison, entrepreneur, publisher, business woman and wife the the late Roy Orbison. Her signature fragrance is launching now in exclusive boutiques and specialty stores across the country and abroad, in line with the 20th anniversary of the movie. Can you believe it's been that long since Julia Roberts strutted her stuff alongside Richard Gere. Unbelievable.

The fragrance is quite surprising. As the name suggests, it's both pretty and womanly in the same measure. I must admit, I was expecting a scent reminiscent of the 1970's or perhaps even older, I don't know why. Maybe it's just the image Roy Orbison conjures in my mind. However, one shouldn't dismiss this little gem too quickly. In fact, it should be enjoyed for the pleasurable experience it is quite openly.

The perfume opens with a spirited, crisp bergamot and quickly moves into a floraly mix of stargazer lily, red rose and a snippet of carnation (the pretty, girly part), then evolves into a deeper essence of fresh amber, patchouli, vanilla, cedar and sacred incense (the womanly part), suggesting the richness of a woman herself ~ mysterious, a touch of whimsy, yet altogether multi-layered and unknowable. There's a sweetness yet soulfulness in the fragrance that both reminds you of fairytales yet envelopes you in warmth as the scent lingers.

"It has been a life-long dream of mine to create a perfume that speaks to women everywhere," says Barbara. "I believe that within every woman there is a pretty woman and my signature fragrance helps bring out that inner confidence and spirit so they feel strong, empowered, sensual and pretty." Indeed.

Barbara was involved in every step of the development of the fragrance. She worked closely with perfumers to formulate the exact scent she desired. She selected the bottle from the prestigious Versailles de Porchet in Paris and worked closely with he graphic designers to craft a package and label that reflects the pure, elegant essence of the fragrance.

Look out for this delightful perfume. It is currently launching in specialty retailers including Studio Beauty Mix at Fred Segal, Santa Monica and at Korres in NY, Planet Blue and other boutiques. You may also purchase it online at Barbara's Pretty Woman website, where you can learn more about her, her passions and the fragrance. 1.7 oz retails for $80.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Tarina Tarantino Enters the World of Beauty

image: Sephora Beauty and the Blog

Sneak Peek inside Tarina Tarantino's Beauty Editors' Launch Event

TARINA TARANTINO is launching a cosmetics collection! Available only in Sephora stores starting in February 2010, the line was announced at an exclusive event last night in NYC.

Here's a girl doing what she loves, and it shows. I love when women are true to their passion and create their world to encompass it! Not the style for everyone, but who cares. (see yay vs nay comments at Sephora's Beauty and the Blog on this collection - link below)

Makeup for the ultimate glitter addict. The gem-designer/glamourina, who calls her studio "The Sparkle Factory," launches a line of makeup with Sephora, with the same attention to glitter she's shown in her accessories.

"Most people don't know that I started my career as a makeup artist," Tarina told nylonmag. "I love seeing the collaborations between brands and makeup companies, but I have to be honest, a lot of it looks really cool but it's not very good makeup. My goal is to have this collection be in girls' bedrooms and in the kits of top makeup artists."

Besides designing the packaging, Tarina and her team controlled the ingredients and formulas used for each product - a first for a Sephora collaboration reports Sephora and

The Tarina Tarantino beauty collection exudes girly-girl! Her Eye Dream Hypershadows, which will be available in 24 shades, have high intensity pigment payoff reports Sephora. Check out the video of Tarina talking about two of her favorite products from the collection ... her Gem Glosses (inspired by the gems she works with in her jewelry pieces, mositurizing and plumping) and her sparkle dusters (shown in atomizer bottles below).

Awww, well, just a teaser ... you'll have to mosey on over to and Sephora's Beauty and the Blog to catch more of the report and revelation of the rest of the exclusive images of the new collection. Looks fun!

source: Sephora,

Saturday, December 5, 2009

More Holiday 2009 Beauty Offers and Steals

Winter Bloom Gift Wrap - 2 Sheets by Red Stamp
Winter Bloom Gift Wrap from

Here are some more free gifts and holiday deals and steals for you. Some end soon so take note if you want to scoop up on the treasure. Merry shopping, my lovelies! xo

b-glowingJust Arrived!

b-glowing has a fan-tabulous free gift with purchase offer going on if you can grab it before they're gone! With your order of $130 or more, receive a gift package worth $110, which includes: Filles des Iles Sparkling Perfume (full size), two Crazylilbellule Perfume Sticks, PurpleLab SWAC lipsgloss (full size), Adara Lavender Coconut Oil (60 ml), Lalicious Brown Sugar Souffle (2 oz) and Lalicious Coconut Cream Sugar Souffle (2 oz). Wow! Use code: 2009 at b-glowing checkout.

Get 20% off stocking stuffers at blissworld! Enter promo code: 129901 at checkout. This offer is valid now through December 9th.

Get free shipping at! Enter promo code: 119916 at checkout.

You've been visited by the Youth Fairy! Enter code: FAIRY109 for a free travel size youth moisturizer when you purchase the full size a $24 value!

Get a FREE Fusion Soft Lights in Dimension with any $60 order.
Get a FREE Smashbox Fusion Soft Lights in Dimension with any $60 order. This gorgeous peachy-pink shade instantly wakes up your complexion. Enter code: PEACHY at checkout.

Free shipping and a free gift from L'OCCITANE is yours with code: CELEBRATE at checkout thru 12/10/09.

Every day thru 12/11/09, Clinique is offering you a fab lil' free gift with purchases of $40 or more. The one above will run on Dec. 8th, but each day has its own unique little gift offer. Enjoy!

The Body Shop invites you to shop their Friends & Family Event for 20% off thru 12/7 and enjoy an additional 10% off as a "Love Your Body" member (can sign up now if not already a member, free).

Beautyhabit is a MUST DO shopping experience this holiday and all year long! The products above represent free gifts with purchases from those brands, and you can also benefit from lovely gifts and special offers thru Beautyhabit's 12 Days of Beauty holiday offers. Sign up for loyalty emails to learn more about their special holiday offers for members.

SesdermaSesderma products sesDERMA - the ultimate in skincare technology (really, you've got to check them out if you've never tried anything by this company - it's a wow kind of thing!), is offering 20% off orders of $100 or more AND free shipping within the continental USA.

more soon ...
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