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Soooo High School

9 Nov

Like mean girls, locker room gossip and packed lunches, once we were past puberty we thought we had left all that and breakouts behind. Not so…. Reading up on Elle.com I came upon an article about adult acne that made me realise that I wasn’t alone.

Here are my tried and true products – suggestions are welcome!

Mario Badescu Drying Lotion – perfect for those ones that are starting to emerge

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The Drying Lotion is a fast acting, effective acne spot treatment. Formulated with salicylic acid, calamine and other quick-drying ingredients, this product will shrink ugly whiteheads virtually overnight while you sleep. While other acne spot treatments can irritate and dry delicate or sensitive skin, this product is safe and effective for all skin types.

HOW TO USE: Before bed, after cleansing, toning and moisturizing apply a dab of lotion directly on the whitehead using a cotton swab. Do not rub in. Let it dry and rinse off in the morning. DO NOT shake the bottle and apply only the pink sediment on the skin.

BEAUTY TIP: Great for back acne and breakouts on the chest. The Drying Lotion will also take the itch out of mosquito bites fast!

INGREDIENTS: Isopropyl Alcohol,Deionized Water (Aqua), Calamine, Camphor, Colloidal Sulfur, Salicylic Acid,Glycerine, Zinc Oxide, Titanium Dioxide, Talc

At Mariobadescu.com, nordstrom.com, beautymark.ca

Mario Badescu AHA Botanical Body Soap

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AHA Botanical Body Soap is enriched with fresh Fruit Extracts to exfoliate and cleanse the skin. Papaya and Grapefruit Extracts help breakdown dead skin cells to leave skin feeling soft and smooth. Ginseng Extract rejuvenates while Oat Protein soothes sensitive and irritated areas. Excellent choice for those with problem skin on the back, chest and shoulders. Leaves no soapy residue and smells heavenly.

HOW TO USE: Use daily as an all over body wash avoiding face and eyes. Apply to wet skin with a soft cloth, loofah or sponge. Rinse thoroughly.

BEAUTY TIP: Deep clean and exfoliate areas of body acne by washing with this soap daily and following up with our Special Cleansing Lotion O body astringent. For dry bumpy skin on arms and shoulders, follow shower or bath with Papaya Body Lotion for extra exfoliating and skin smoothing benefits.

INGREDIENTS: Sodium Laureth Sulfate,Deionized Water,Ginseng Extract,Grapefruit Peel Extract, Papaya Extract,Glycerin,Sodium Chloride,Oat Protein

At Mariobadescu.com, nordstrom.com, beautymark.ca

Phytomer OLIGOPUR BLEMISH TARGET GEL – according to my aesthetician, it also prevents ingrowns

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This gel dries and corrects, targeting blemishes with precision. It rapidly improves the skin’s appearance, reducing the risk of scarring. Non-comodegenic.

Main ingredients: Normaline: purifying and anti-bacterial. Salicylic Acid: anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and mildly keratolytic.

At essentialdayspa.com

Darphin ORGANIC NIAOULI AROMATIC CARE – for healing

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ESSENTIAL OIL CARE FOR OVERACTIVE SKIN
This organic, aromatic, soothing, essence of well-being detoxifies, clarifies, as it calms, refreshes and re-balances skin. Apply Darphin Niaouli Aromatic Care in the evening and follow with your appropriate Darphin Cream.

Key Ingredients:
Organic Niaouli Essential Oil, Organic Lavender, Cypress, Lemon and Bitter Orange Essential Oils

At mural.ca, shifeon.com

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The Search for the Perfect Lip is Over… If You Can Find It

6 Nov

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I’m pretty sure that when we flipped though the new J Crew catalogue this last summer, it wasn’t the cool but preppy styling and the wearable rainbow of colours that caught our eye. It was the bright lippie that all the models were wearing.

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There was such an overwhelming response that it was finally launched. Of course it was concocted by the “Lipstick Queen” herself, Poppy King.

“A veteran of the beauty industry, King has become a resource for all things pout-enhancing since launching her mouth-centric product range, Lipstick Queen, in 2006. But experience aside, this particular shade of papaya stumped her. “It was one of the most labor-intensive shades I’ve ever done,” she admits. “Initially I did it as a red base and put orange in it. But it just wasn’t coming out the way I wanted it. So I flipped it, doing an orange and putting a little red into it.” The result is a highly wearable version of the catalog mainstay that’s slightly sheer—”I wanted the natural lip color to show through underneath so it’s not garish,” King says—with a touch of shimmer to provide dimension. “It’s like a really chic tinted lip balm and it suits every single person, like a mood ring!” She’s not kidding. The color is so universally flattering, it sold out almost instantly when it was quietly released on J.Crew’s Web site. But a new shipment is a-coming—as are other collaborative efforts from King. September will see the debut of her four-color lipstick range for Kate Spade, and “The Magic of Lipsticks” collection inspired by Bakelite jewelry that she created for Boots No. 7 hits Target stores in November.” – style.com

Yes, it’s sold out and backordered till January 2012.

Models Know Best

1 Nov

I always love to know what a person is wearing. If someone walks by and smells great, I’ll ask what she’s wearing. If someone is rocking a beautiful lippie, I’ll inquire. I’m not one for pushing products on, I like to see results. Sales associates and magazine articles are not necessarily the experts on products – they are usually endorsing a line or a particular product. I never buy skincare from someone who has bad skin, or makeup from one who looks like they think everyday is Halloween.

When it comes to skincare, it’s not the facialists or SAs that I look up, but the models. With all the makeup that they have to put on for shows and shoots, and all the travelling that is required, they really need to take care of their skin. That’s why I love reading interviews with models and find out what they are using or wearing. They are the elite consumer of beauty products – they seek knowledge from the experts, swap trade secrets and are exposed to global or niche brands. My fave sites to look them up are style.com, elle.com and intothegloss.com.

I found my go to makeup remover through an interview with Coco Rochas – Bioderma – Sensibio H2O – which she claimed that “all the models were using it” because it’s so gentle, no-rinse (I still do) and great for sensitive skin. It’s a cult beauty fave and an absolute “must have” amongst makeup artists, models Francophiles, and international beauty junkies. It’s so good that it will be a staple in my beauty arsenal forever. Now all I need is a go-to eye makeup remover. Available at Shoppers Drug Mart.

I was reading up on Mariacarla Boscono who caught my eye as the face of Nars’ Fall 2011 campaign – and she was interviewed on elle.com revealing her “must-haves” –  I can never resist a good “must-have” list.

  • Givenchy Peel Me Perfectly – for “when your face is falling apart”
  • Avène  Hydrance Optimale Rich Hydrating Cream – “replenishes dry skin but doesn’t give you pimples.”
  • Filorga MESO-C Multivitamin Radiance Treatment
  • Kett – “a three-dimensional white powder; it just gives you a…here, feel. [Runs interviewer’s finger across her velvety cheek] It’s really soft, and it doesn’t give you a matte finish. Everybody’s using it! It will change your world”

With that said, I’m off to hunt for this Kett Sett Powder that will change my world.

Fall From the Neck Up

31 Oct

I love Fall – that means a mean smoky eye, darker or a more vibrant hair colour and bold lips. With all the black/grey/ neutral wardrobe that we tend to reach for when it gets colder, everything needs to stand out from the neck up.

I’ve been obsessed with lips lately – I’ve taken all the reds, fuchsias, purples out of the bottom of the make up bag to play with, and hanging out more at the makeup counters to make up for what I’m missing. Will start to post some recommendations for the season, as well as what’s a staple in my bag.

But to start, here’s a girl with a great set of lips (Lindsey Wixson) and a red that every girl should have in their arsenal… Nars Jungle Red.


style.com

 

Curling It Right

23 Jun

I almost always have curly/wavy hair, but I’ve always done it hapazardly or sectioned it horizontally, sometimes ending up with unsatisfactory results. Now I’m going to do as the stars (or their stylists) do, and try the Diamond Method. At least the results will be somewhat predictable.

My stylist used the KQC Swirl on me, and my curls came out ultra shiny in seconds. Not only that, but sometimes day old (or 2…3 days old) hair doesn’t curl well, but this little super curler will solve that prob. Bought the 1.25″ from Fabove.ca as it was the cheapest online, and offers free pick up at their South Vancouver location. Can’t beat that. If you’re interested in the paddle brush he’s using, it’s the “Dannyco Large Paddle Brush with Ball-Tipped Bristles“…. I stumbled upon it as well as the boar bristle version at Pompadours on 4th for only$8.95. That’s cheaper than Goody.

 

 

A VERY Late Xmas Wishlist & Gift Ideas pt. 1

23 Dec

The older I get, the less I buy for myself and the more I buy for others. I’ll buy you what I think you’ll like or need, or I won’t buy you anything at all. If I see something I think you’ll like, I probably won’t be able to wait till your birthday/anniversary/Christmas – it’ll just show up at your door. I’ve bought stuff for everyone else but myself this year, but think I’ll start my wishlist around Xmas and hopefully acquire it throughout the year.

Here are a few things I’m lemming, and hoping that if you’re stuck for some last minute Xmas gifts, my list will give you a few ideas.

  1) CHOCOLATE – you can NEVER go wrong with chocolate, unless it’s Black Magic or Ferrero Rocher (not that I’m a chocolate snob, but these are GIFTS, you see). I always go local (no Godiva) because the local stuff are more artisan and tend to be fresher (there IS a difference). My go-to places for impressive, unique, local artisan chocolates are Thomas Haas (they also have the most buttery pastries) and Chocolaterie de la Nouvelle France (new on the chocolate scene). Like last year, order a day or 2 ahead at Thomas Haas (they’re closed on Sundays and Mondays, unfortunately), but I spotted their gift boxes at Whole Foods on West 8th and Cambie Street. If you want to impress someone, the Earl Grey chocolate at Chocolaterie de la Nouvelle France is to die for.  

2) LOLLIA WISH PARFUM – I’ve always loved the Lollia line, especially their Shea Butter handcremes (the perfect hostess gift) and their candles. I was in a store the other day and overheard 3 different people inquire and rave about the Wish parfum (which were conveniently sold out, by the way) and they were added to the waitlist. I have the Wish handcreme, and it dawned on me how dreamy it would be in a parfum (a sweet bouquet of sugarcane, vanilla bean and jasmine). Now on the hunt for it. Get on the list at Beautybar, U Life and Nikaido Gifts. Or online at Anthropologie.

3) URBAN DECAY NAKED PALETTE – This gorgeous neutral palette has sparked a lemming and buying frenzy almost as crazy as Chanel Vamp (’94)and Black Satin (’06) which went international. No, it’s more of an underground lemming craze a la Bobbi Brown’s Shimmering Nudes Palette (’08) that’s not based on the current fashion craze or fad but because it’s timeless. This palette was released at the end of summer and is completely SOLD OUT.

I have to admit I’ve lapsed on this beauty thing, but when I saw Jen from FrmHeadToToe.com use it (I’ll write a post on her later – she’s my newest makeup guru), I just HAD to have it, only to add myself to the waitlist of 300 at Sephora at Pacific Centre. Want to know how many people want it? I posted on Twitter that I was going to look for it and 4 girls joined in on the conversation – everyone wants it! I stood in the UD section just looking over the collection when the salesperson approached me and said “let me guess, you’re looking for the Naked palette too. Let me add you to the list, we should have some coming in after Christmas.” The proof is in the pudding. If I ever get my hands on it I’m buying 2. I can’t review it because I’ve never held it in me hands (there wasn’t even a tester at Sephora! Guess someone pried it out of the case and swiped it!) but Temptalia, Makeupgeek, MusingsOfAMuse and many other beauty sites gave it full marks, no cons and pretty much a must have in everyone’s collection!

I Spy: Eminence Organic Skincare

8 Jun

 

You’ve no doubt seen Eminence Organic Skin Care around  a lot lately. Pretty much because it’s based out of Vancouver, but mostly because they have great products that are natural, organic, not tested on animals and free of fragrance, mineral oil, petroleum, parabens, sodium laurel sulfate and other harsh chemicals.  With ingredients like coconut, mango, guava, pineapple, chocolate mousse and ice wine, it’s hard to resist not licking your face!

Why the “I Spy”? Because I spotted a brand new building across from Lululemon Lab at 530 West Broadway with an ‘Eminence Organics” temporary signage. Could it be an office, flagship store or even better… a SPA????

Well before their doors open, you can still buy their products locally online, at spas or try their treatments:

Where to Buy Online:

Spas:

 

Some of the products that you should check out or get a sample of:

Cleansers:

  • Coconut Milk Cleanser
  • Eucalyptus Cleansing Concentrate
  • Sweet Red Rose Cleanser

Moisturizers:

  •  Mango Night Cream
  • Pink Grapefruit-C Gel
  • Guava & Bamboo Age-Defying Moisturizer
  • Wild Plum Eye Cream

Scrubs and Peels:

  • Pineapple Enzyme Pro Peel 10%
  • Yam and Pumpkin Enzyme Peel
  • Blueberry Soy Sugar Scrub

Masques :

  • Quince and Ice Wine Masque
  • Pink Grapefruit Clarifying Masque
  • Chocolate Mousse Hydration Masque

Suncare:

Smells Like a Beach

5 Jun

I can’t believe it’s June already. And like you, I can’t believe that though it’s technically summer, it’s still raining. Accuweather predicts that in the next 15 days, 11 will have some form of precipitation. *sigh* There goes half of June. With that said, as a seasoned Vancouverite, I just shrug my shoulders, make sure I’m properly layered for the day and pack an umbrella.

But don’t despair! Summer will come soon – it has to eventually. All I’m doing is mentally and physically preparing for it because when it hits, I will want to enjoy every moment of it. How I’m physically prepping for summer? Getting highlights, a layered cut for those easygoing waves, putting on a touch of bronzer everyday and starting the self-tan process. How I’m mentally preparing for summer? By smelling it.

As I get older, it’s less important for me to smell good than it is for the fragrance to conjure up a mood,  invoke a feeling, rekindle a memory or transport me somewhere other than here. I wear Hermes Un Jardin sur le Nil on those cold rainy days because it adds a warmth to the dampness, prefer Carriere by Gendarme for those morning meetings and dab on Comme des Garcons Kyoto as it reminds me of my grandfather. But I’m digressing… again.

During the summer, I don’t let Coppertone do the talking, I get my fragrance to. Here are my picks for summer, or for now if you want to sniff, close your eyes and dream of sunny days to come.

Estee Lauder Azuree from Tom Ford Collection (fragrance and body oil) – when this launched in 2006, the perfume forums went crazy, it instantaneously sold out, there were waiting lists at all the department stores, eBay was selling at ridiculous prices and I stocked up like a mad woman. Why? It wasn’t because it was by the sexy Tom Ford, or because it was in stylish retro turquoise/gold packaging, or that it was limited edition… it was because it smelled like “white sand beaches, azure waters and sultry afternoons that go on forever.” It didn’t smell like the beaches of Miami or Mexico, but of beautiful, tanned people without a care in the world sunning in St. Tropez or the Cote d’Azur. It’s my staple fragrance for summer because the fragrance is sophisticated and subtle enough for work, and layered with the body oil it’s sexy enough for play. In 2008 it was reincarnated as Bronze Goddess (without Tom Ford), which it still remains today, but was reformulated with less Tahitian gardenia and more coconut.

Beach by Bobbi Brown – this is a more sophisticated beach scent that’s more Atlantic East Coast than West Coast or anything tropical. Think sea and salty – the Hamptons or Nights in Rodanthe.

At the Beach 1966 by CB I Hate Perfume is Bobbi Brown’s Beach + (more) Coppertone.

Miami Glow by Jennifer Lopez – I would never admit  that I own a JLo fragrance, but I have a soft spot for this one. It’s perfect for those really hot days/nights when you’re drinking sangria on the patio at Havanas with your girlfriends, smokin’ a cuban or flirting with a hot boy toy. It’s exactly what the name implies: Miami = coconut + suntan lotion + fruity drink with a cocktail umbrella. Wear it anytime or anywhere else, and you’d be deemed a social and olfactory menace. Yes, it’s that offensive. Sadly, it’s been discontinued but you can still find a few bottles at Shoppers Drug Mart and other drugstores.

Articles:

If you’re interested in reading more about scents and places, you’d like this article by Chandler Burr. He has also written about the conceptualization and development of Hermes Jardin sur le Nil for the New Yorker, and recently published the ‘must have’ list of salty/beachy/ocean scents for summer. If you want to get away, Elle magazine has a great perfume guide for travelling around the world without leaving your desk.

(Almost) Perfect ‘Curls’

3 Jun

My quest to achieve perfect waves/curls (subject to personal opinion, of course) was not inspired by the current ‘it’ girl with the hair “that all women want and men want to run their fingers through” Serena van der Woodsen (aka Blake Lively). With her perfect blonde touseled waves that can go either Park Avenue Princess or beachy Hamptons socialite, she inspires both admiration and envy every Monday night.

No – my obsession with waves started out with the original Serena, Tinsley Mortimer. As known as the “girl with the curls” in NY society pages, I have written about how to achieve her hair in a previous post, and to this day I still stand by the Infiniti by Conair Instant Heat Tourmaline Ceramic Curling Iron (in 3/4″, 1″ and 1.5″). As it’s very reasonably priced (less than $30) you can buy all 3 sizes for different looks – it works so well that I’ve actually brought it along to my hairstylist to use.

But I have a new hair icon. As where there’s Serena, there’s Blair, Tinsley also has a social and fashion nemesis, the one everyone loves to hate – Olivia Palermo. If you’ve ever followed the now defunct Socialite Rank, you’d know the infamous rivalry in which the website did play a part in escalating. I’ve always loved Olivia’s hair and style, but on this season of The City, it is, dare I say… PERFECT. To achieve her style, you’d need a center part layered cut, at least shoulder blade length all around, and the use of up to 3 sizes of curling irons. Complicated? Perhaps. Showstopping? YES!!!! (I was so taken by her hair in Season 2, Episode 3 that I had to screencap it. Yes, I’m that much of a geek).

But not only was this post inspired by Ms. Palermo, but it’s also dedicated to my new Moroccan Oil Luminous Hairspray. I already swear by the Original Oil Treatment and use the Glimmer Shine Spray to enhance highlights and protect colour in the summer, but one thing about living in rainy Vancouver is that no matter how much Bumble & Bumble hairspray or the cult fave L’oreal Elnett I spray on, minutes after I step outside my waves frizz out. Not to mention that I have thick, coarse, over processed dry hair. But that all changed when I used the argan oil infused Luminous Hairspray that claims to “offer a long-lasting natural hold without stickiness or build up… this humidity-resistant hairspray leaves a veil of luminous shine.” This claim, dare I say, holds true. Proof? It’s becoming the ‘it’ product at all the runway shows. Around $20 – I got mine at Pompadours on 4th, which carries the whole Moroccan Oil collection.

I would usually never post my photo, but I just had to show that it works!!!! My hair looks healthy and shiny, unlike the tumbleweed it usually is. Moroccan Oil Original Treatment + T3 hair dryer + Infiniti by Conair 1.5″ + Moroccan Oil Luminous Hairspray. Total drying time 5-8 minutes. Total curling and styling time 5-10 minutes. Bonus? It also smells like summer.

Update: Thanks to Nicole (www.lemodedujour.com) I am more curls than waves. If you want waves check out her site!

Going Back to Basics: Skincare

28 May

Twice a year when the seasons change, my skin becomes problematic. I get dehydrated oily skin – an oxymoron, for sure, but a seasonal menace. Some years I break out, but this year it materialized in the form of dry patches. No amount of scrubbing or chemical exfoliation worked – I just get drier and *gasp* scalier. Even my winter skin saviour, Kiehl’s PCA Oil-Free Moisturizer was no match – I still ended up dry and flaky by the middle of the day. No amount of Dior/Shiseido/Lancome/Estee/Guerlain could save me. You can’t combat it by fighting with extreme measures, kind of like if you have oily skin and use a harsh alcohol based toner to dry it out, it will wreak havoc on your skin – your skin will produce more oil, but your epidermis will be dry and well, frankly it’ll be a mess. Sloughing on a heavy moisturizer like anything by Guerlain won’t work – it’ll just make me break out, and I’ll still be dry. My new Nars skincare regimen didn’t help, and was probably partially to blame. I should have stuck with the Aesop line as it kept my skin healthy and balanced, but with the state that my face is in now, I’ll have to take other drastic measures.

It’s time to go easy on the skin. Whether this is due to seasonal or hormonal changes, like one of those Cosmo makeunders, I have to make under my skincare. Take away all the fancy cleaners, toners, creams etc. No more fragrances, AHAs, chemicals and what not. It’s time to go back to the basics.

Johnson & Johnson’s Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash – I know the most popular non-irritating cleanser out there is Cetaphil, but I’ve always felt that it never left my face clean. You can’t find this in Canada (I don’t think), but head down to Target or Walgreens. The big size is less than $10 so it’s super affordable. Cleansers shouldn’t be expensive – they should be gentle and leave your face clean. Besides, it’s never on your face long enough for any of the claims to work and that’s why the investment should be in the serum and/or cream. Ivanka Trump swears by this, and believe me this is a great basic no-nonsense cleanser.  If you’re going to do any at home scrubs, this is a great base.

Linacare Transforming Face Cream – For serious skincare, I never go to a department store or Sephora. For the serious stuff, I walk into a dermatologist or a plastic surgeon’s office and see what they have on the shelves. They carefully pick out a few lines and products that work and may recommend the pricier stuff, (always do your own research though), but it’s better than trying a lot of products till you find something that works. Linacare was developed by a Harvard-trained research scientist/physician for his own patients (for eczema, dry skin due to diabetes, postpartum, chemotherapy and radiation) until the word got out that it works. It doesn’t claim anything miraculous, but it does what it claims to do – it moisturizes, and it does it VERY well without the heaviness. It’s very La Mer, but it’s more affordable and made in Canada. $25-$58 cdn, retailers in Canada and HK or buy online.

Aquaphor –  Does this product even need an introduction? It has a cult following larger than Rosebud Salve‘s, and may rival L’oreal’s Elnett Hairspray (European formula). It’s in every makeup artist’s arsenal, been mentioned in countless fashion and beauty magazines, a staple at any Fashion Week but it’s still a beauty secret. As the ‘duct tape’ of beauty products, followers have claimed that it makes your eyelashes grow longer, it helps the healing of tattoos and burns, prevents chafing, can be mixed with loose mineral eyeshadows to make a cream e/s, used as a face highlighter, for the prevention of stretch marks, as a makeup remover and it’s been used for everything from as an itch reliever to eye cream. It does what it does – it moisturizes, and I use it on the drier flaky patches on my face and sometimes as a hydrating masque. I applied a very thin layer of the Healing Ointment all over my face today under foundation and powder and it gave me a beautiful dewy glow. It never became oily and I still haven’t broken out *knock on wood* and it may be a suitable primer replacement for those colder and drier months.  People are always finding new uses for this versatile product. Most recently reported in the In Style Magazine June 2010 issue, Beyonce uses Aquaphor over makeup for that dewy look, as lip gloss and to slick back her hair. Enough said.