Wednesday, January 31, 2007


So, what do we think of at-home beauty treatments such as..dare I say it..Brazilian waxing? Lately I've been talking to a lot of women who are having a lot of luck using products like Sally Hansen's Wax Strip Kit for the body. At a measly $8.99, you can be over and done with the pain, while benefitting from a nicely pruned frou-frou. I can see the financial logic in this, as most of time it costs me on average $75 a treatment. Everyone is telling me that this is giving them a good 2 months in between operations! Additionally, for those who are too nervous to spread and bare all to a "technician", this may be a way out the back door. Let me know what you think.

Shower therapy

On that very same trip to Target, I made another new-ish discovery. Well, I'm sure that it's been out there for a few months at least but a girlfriend of mine led me in the direction of Caress' new shower gel line. Lately, I've been using a limited edition version of It's Your Birthday by Philosophy, which I received as a birthday gift from Sephora. Typically I can be all over the board, as I'm always game for trying something new. But rarely do I pick my favorites up from the drugstore for fear of weird chemicals and ingredients that are similar to that of floor wax. However, it said Tahitian on it. So, I caved. Caress' Body Wash in Tahitian Renewal is worth the whole $2.99 that it cost me to take it home. The scent is extremely addicting and ingredients such as Tahitian palm milk and pomegranate seeds are mixed to form an exfoliating wash. The bottle is large, and I am happy.

How's this for a deal?

I had forgotten about all the things that I love about a discounted beauty buy, until I was at Target the other night and picked up another (meaning, I think that makes..15 that I own?) Lip Smacker's in Dr. Pepper. After grabbing that and a few other affordable treats, I remembered e.l.f. cosmetics. If you ever thought Bonne Bell was affordable, look again! Not only are all products at the one dollar mark, but the company itself takes on a holistic approach to beauty, and supports (and is supported by) philanthropic organizations such as the Humane Society and the Breast Cancer Foundation. With a flat $5 shipping fee, you don't have to worry that you're going to be dishing out a lot of money on the shipping to make up for the lack of money you're paying on the product. My picks? Check out the handy-dandy nail polish remover pads that you can throw into your purse for those times when your polish chips and you're out and about. Or how about a sugar-orange scented All Over Color Stick in pink lemonade, for a just-got-out-of-the-gym glow? Absolutely affordable is what I say.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Removal of the Fittest

I'm convinced that there is only one way to remove facial hair that is of any interest to me anymore. It's khite--or threading--the ancient form of hair removal that is so common in Middle Eastern and Indian circles. This is nothing like waxing, and if anything it is much less painful. The artist simply loops a thread in a particular way which catches unwanted hairs and yanks them right out of their misery. I go to a local Khoobsurat beauty parlor, where the whole process takes less than 5 minutes and is only five dollars! I have never been disappointed with the shape, which is my first and foremost reason for using this method of hair removal. My arch is always natural, with a moderate amount of hair left over. You know how I feel about thinning brows...

Monday, January 29, 2007

AND Good For You Too?!

I enjoy a good bar of chocolate more than most women I know, but as of lately my love for dark chocolate has grown incredibly. While my favorite is still Perugina, I was pleasantly surprised to find that Borba (yes, the same company that made the antioxidant skin drinks), has come out with the Clarifying Dark Chocolate Bar. What's better than being able to nibble on the cocoa-sweetness of a chocolate bar, while knowing that you are helping to remove those nasty toxins from your body, and improve the clarity of your skin? This bar is different from others in that it includes some of Borba's specially patented skin clarifying ingredients in the recipe. Don't resist it any longer!

The Agency

I can't wait--a new show on VH1, highlighting the life of fashion models who are represented by Wilhemina Model Management. It's everything minus the glamour. Apparently the company is looking at expanding outside of the modeling arena, so it should prove to be an interesting series. What a fabulous way to get an inside look at the world of casting calls, payment negotiations, and fashion shows, without the stress of the diet! The first episode premieres on February 20th at 10pm.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Weekend Inspiration

"I'm tired of all this nonsense about beauty being only skin-deep. That's deep enough. What do you want, an adorable pancreas?" -Jean Kerr

Friday, January 26, 2007

A Little Compact Love...

I can't resist this time of year--the time where you can find notions of love and cute little heart-shaped cookie cutters all over stores. I think that for the first half of my life I despised things that had to do with this shape, but for some reason...and I'm not sure how long ago this happened...I ate my words and began loving love. Estee Lauder always does a fantastic job of creating beautiful keepsake compacts, and they've done it again just in time for Valentine's day. I have a breast cancer awareness compact that I purchased years ago and has lasted to this day, since you have the option of refilling the mini powder plates that fit inside! If you are not so into the idea of hearts, definitely pick up the flower version which is so gorgeous and can be used year round! These are the perfect compacts for that perfect Valentine's night date.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Just like Candy

Who can resist a sweet little animated line that has products that make you want to eat ice cream and watch Dragonball Z all at the same time? Eyeko is one line that Sephora should be ashamed about discontinuing. Every treat is packed so perfectly and efficiently, while having just the right amount of "kiddiness" that will bring you to back to your childhood, without having to risk the quality of a good product. My favorite product? Their Fat Balm is a super-tasty lip-balm that doubles as a lip tint with some shine-through color. I promise you'll melt at the deliciousness of the strawberry flavor.

Global Goddess

Shalini Vadhera, the renowned makeup artist and beauty junkie that has made every effort to show women just how beautiful they can be through the use of age-old cultural beauty secrets, has rolled out her new line Global Goddess. From makeup to skincare, she's got you covered. What's wonderful for us, is that she does her very best to attack issues that women of all colors face in concerns to skincare. Best of all, she has a website dedicated to answering questions, and revealing just how it was that she discovered these skin-care techniques. If you're not the type to shop online (first of all, become the type because you don't know what you're missing!), worry not, because she has launched with Nordstrom this month, and will be offering her goods at Victoria's Secret this year. I get weak at the idea of beautiful cases to protect my makeup brushes, and her Jet Setter Mini Tool Case in Pretty Pink, is about to be mine! Her tips of the trade site can be found at:

Airplane Awareness

I like to travel as often as possible. This city can get a bit rainy, and for me travel is the spice of life. Lately though, I've found that carrying my must-have products has been a tad more difficult when it comes to air travel. You know the drill. When at the security checkpoint, you find yourself trying to cram your 2 0z and smaller bottles into a sandwich bag, hoping that they don't find your prized La Mer jar stashed inside the bottom of your purse. I once gave my sandwich bag to a girl who was crying hysterically in front of me because she had nowhere to store two brand new bottles of cologne that she had purchased in New York for her boyfriend's birthday--or at least that's the story she told me.

Here's how to avoid this near-death situation. Make sure that you are well aware of your favorite items--those ones you just can't part with--and how large they are. The current rule is 2 oz, yet I've been able to get through with a 4 ouncer that had been half "used" (as determined by the security personnel), and also some stray Kiehl's shampoo and conditioner that apparently the scanner had been too tired to notice. You can't count on luck though. If there's something that you absolutely can't be without, secure it well and stash it in your checked luggage. Everything else must fit in your sandwich bag, and they might as well be things that you love to use on the plane when you feel the moisture ripped away from under your feet.

Here are a few things I can't be without. Moisturizer. I'm mostly concerned about the kind for my face, because my skin starts to literally feel like it's falling off under the influence of all that recycled plane air. Philosophy's Hope in a Jar does just the trick, and they offer a size that is air-safe. Concealer and lip balm are also important to me, because I may or may not have been able to sleep (depending on who I'm seated by), and I will most likely need some under-eye concealer for those dark circles. I stash one tube of mascara, only to be used after I get off of my flight, so that I can instantly awaken and meet my family/friends looking wide-eyed. Another little secret I stash, is to bring along my Rehydrate powder mix, which can be mixed with some water right before landing. It helps to alleviate any dehydration and get my energy up and going for a long day that may be ahead.

Cosmetic companies are well aware of the situation at hand, and have created miniature versions of their popular products. Many airports are now also featuring stores like the Body Shop near the gates, where you can pick up items that you may think you need and have forgotten. I've found that this is a good way to pick up a bottle of anything that you would also want over 2 oz., even if just to know that you're breaking the rules Flying can be so heavenly if you pack the appropriate products, while still travelling light.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

From the Inside Out

What's going on inside your body, has a lot to do with how beautiful you look, and most importantly, feel. So as long as we're cleaning up our act in areas like our brows, we sure as well should be cleaning up our insides. Cleansing is a smart way to do this, and there are so many options out there to choose from. There are pre-packaged kits, and there are the kind that you do at home. Currently, I'm on the Master Cleanse--a very thorough and powerful cleanse that I do every six months. While on the Master Cleanse, you cannot eat solid foods, but instead a prepared drink consisting of lemon juice, water, maple syrup and cayenne pepper. However, there are many options for those who cannot bear to part with food. My favorite of these is Advocare's Herbal Cleanse. It really does well in cleaning out the body to prepare it for new supplements and vitamin absorption. You can choose from liver cleanses, to colon cleanses, parasite cleanses and heavy metal cleanses. The options are endless--so go and get clean!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Scents of the Islands...

I made a fantastic purchase this week. Of course it was just one more thing to add to my baseball-card-sized collection of scents and perfumes, but it was hard to pass up. Victoria's Secret has come out with a new line of skin treats, appropriately named Island Infusion. This line features everything from body butters and lotions, to perfumed body mists. I picked up the Moorea Passionfruit which is so light and fresh, you feel as though you've been instantly transported to a garden in the isles. It was a difficult decision, as there was also Tahitian Vanilla Flower, and Bali Orchid to choose from. I tried to find a visual, but they are not featuring it online or in catalogs, so you must purchase it from the store itself. Along the same scented lines, it made me look back on some of my favorite "island-inspired" scents.

My favorite in this category has got to be Sud Pacifique's Coeur de Vahine. This company has paid its dues, and has mastered the art of essential oils--many of which come straight out of the Pacific. For example, in this scent alone, you will find passionfruit, opuhi flower, peach, orange, bergamote, vanilla and musk. I am the girl who loves a great musk.

This oil is one of a kind. While a little on the coconut-y side, a little goes a long way. There are warm hints of vanilla from the Tahitian island of Tahaa, mixed with coco monoi, and tiare.

Banana flower, pineapple, spun sugar candy, and Hawaiian salt blossom are all fused together to create this widely popular scent. It does however, have many siblings in the family--including, Rockin Rio, Que Viva, and Island Kiss, which makes you wonder if the creator has somewhat of an obsession with the Tropics

Bath & Body Works has made large strides in the last couple of years with the addition of many notable lines, my favorite amongst them--C.O. Bigelow. They have done it yet again, now with the Ile De Tahiti Collection, featuring an eau de toilette which marries bamboo and coconut. The best thing about this, is that it is by far the most affordable of the highlighted frangraces, at only $19.50 a bottle!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Weekend Inspiration

"Every sidewalk is a runway."

Saturday, January 20, 2007

GTL (Get The Look)

Beyonce is singing "One Night Only" in her recent hit movie "Dreamgirls". The look is very disco diva. Makeup artist Francesca Tolot channeled her beauty insight to develop an eye that would not only rock the stage, but would give some oomph to the camera. Through the use of makeup glitter, she created this peacock effect which plays off of her dress, while also creating an artistic eye. Regardless of how big the event, I find that most girls are going to shy away from the idea of face glitter for fear of looking like a toy doll, and/or losing their friends. If you want to recreate the look, without all of the sparkle, follow the basic progression of colors of that found on a peacock's feather. It is by far the easiest template, and you'll need to make sure that the purple meets the outer corner of the eye as it is the darkest shade. Don't go crazy, blend, and remember to use a little brow-bone highlighter to avoid the just-punched look.
Sugar's Eye Palette in Gumball will help you achieve this look effortlessly, while I do recommend using a good shadow and blending brush instead of the included foam applicator. Any other questions? Send me a message!

Friday, January 19, 2007

The braid. Take it or leave it?

I don't know quite what to think about this braid trend that seems to really have some sticking power lately. For some reason, the first thought that comes to mind, is being a child with two long french braids starting at the forehead, that were pulled so tightly my eyes looked as though I were asian. My sister and I would relieve ourselves of them in the school bathroom so that we'd be able to focus..and breathe. But lo and behold, like all odd things, these styles find a way of making a comeback off the playground, and on the red carpet. I've been seeing them creep back into the spotlight for the last couple of years, and I think that the Golden Globes may have just solidified them. One nice thing, is that they're not confined to the ho-hum schoolgirl do's. We're talkin about basketweaves and princess lea-esque styles. What do you think? Would you sport it?

food for face.

Mom used to tell me stories upon stories about our aunt who would wake up at the crack of dawn each morning and wash her face with a handful of fresh egg whites. (Hmm..still not sure if this was because I was opposed to washing my own face..or if it were a way to encourage good hygiene?) Something about it always seemed interesting to me, and when I was a child, she drove me to her side of the island to show me that the proof was in the package. Aunty's face was flawless! Her skin was soft and supple, and there were no wrinkles to the touch. I have always loved using this method, as it makes my skin feel extra clean. I've found that it is very common in Swedish and Indian culture to use this same method, and that you can also mix the yolk with honey for an intensive face pack. If the idea of stirring up your own homemade facial is a little beyond what you can bear, check out Agg-Tval , a Swedish version of the idea.

Lashes for you and you and you..

Have you ever been past the beauty counter and felt like nothing really struck you as "you"? Sick and tired of grabbing fake lashes only to find that you need to purchase a pair of scissors to trim down the length? Stress not, and fear no more--Thi Pham, the infamous makeup artist who has worked on the likes of Petra Nemcova and other SI beauties, has come to the rescue. After years of frustration in an industry that did little to cater to the asian eye, she decided to go out on a limb and create her own unique line. These Lush Lashes have exactly what you're looking for. Not only are they made out of real human hair, but they are sans the strips and knots, for a more natural appeal. No more caking of the black liner, but only full full lashes. Think that's good? Check out her whole line! You can find some of Thi's beauty tips at:

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

of COURSE we love this!

Tell me one girl from the islands that can resist a beauty product that is devoted to their kind? Well, at least in name it is. Lorac (developed by makeup extraordinaire Carol Shaw--get it? Lorac is Carol's name spelled backwards) Cosmetics has rolled out the Maui Wowie Pallette. Upon first glance, it is no ordinary ensemble. It includes eye colors with names like Macadamia, Pacific, Hibiscus, and Toasted Coconut, as well as a lip gloss, bronzer, and the cutest mini cheek brush ever! Sure, I'm not usually one to exploit our culture over things like this, but I'm convinced she had no ill-intentions with this one. And who can resist? Toss this into your purse, and you can toss your makeup bag--temporarily--out the door! All for under $40..

Sharing is Caring..

...and in the spirit of this New Year, I'm going to share my biggest beauty must-have. Cle de Peau Beaute is an offshoot line of Shiseido Cosmetics. Manufactured in Japan, they are the sole owners and inventors of the most wonderous concealer known to man. For years, I skipped concealer. Although I fared well, I could not find one that seemed to cover without looking either too orange, pink, or just plain cakey. Is it not true, that more often than not, you can tell when someone is wearing concealer? Though many lines claim that theirs will glide on smoothly and will cover up your spots of woe, I tell you it is a SHAM! However, only seconds after trying on Cle de Peau's Correcteur Visage, I knew that I had hit the jackpot. I could not tell where it began, and where it had ended. It glided on seamlessly, and to this day, has been untraceable. It is not heavy nor goopy, and can be worn at all times, even--get this--without foundations or powder. It is, in one word: perfection.

I'm so Flakey

So here it is. One of the biggest exfoliation hits of this season. It's been tried and tested by me, myself, and I just can't get enough! I've purchased a few for the beautiful women in my family and they're loving it just as well. Tarte Cosmetics has impressed me once again with their fRxtion sugar exfoliator and lip balm duo. Not only did they bring us the infamous cheek stain years ago, but they have raised the bar once again! The exfoliation side consists of brown sugar crystals that really do help to slough down those chapped winter lips, getting you all ready to smooth on the sugary-sweet vitamin E on the opposite side. You need an extra bonus, you say? Check this out--a mirror that conveniently flips up each and every time you need to apply. Mine is down to a nub.
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