Thursday, August 28, 2008

Favorite Beauty Products

Since childhood, one of my guiltiest pleasures has been to search the bathrooms of my most beautiful friends and acquaintances (or their moms) for their beauty products. Yes, I know. How sneaky of me. But you do it too, don't you? The face and eye creams are usually in the medicine cabinet, the shampoo and conditioner in the shower of course, along with the face wash. The lotion under the sink. The makeup on the counter in its case.

Well, today I open my powder room to you. And since I'm a licensed cosmetologist and former makeup artist, you should be excited. Here's what you'd find in the...

Medicine Cabinet

Clinique All About Eyes Rich Eye Cream

Luxiva Lip Revive

Your lips will feel so soft, and your lipstick won't feather.

Luxiva Dual Action Eye Makeup Remover

Makeup comes off quick and easy.

Bobbi Brown Buffing Grains For FaceGentle but a great exfoliater. You can mix this with your face wash or just with water. I use it on my body sometimes also.

Chanel Precision Purete Ideale (Blemish Cream)

All the Chanel Precision products are divine, but I especially like this blemish cream because it won't over dry your skin. Also, it's a cream, not a gel, so it blends in just like a moisturizer so your makeup still glides on without getting cakey where the acne treatment was placed. And the best part: your pimple will be gone in a day.

La Mer Face Cream

This is my all-time favorite product. It's expensive, but worth every dollar. Your skin will be supple, even, and clear. It feels kind of greasy at first, but I promise you won't break out. In fact, it cleared up my skin. Maybe because dry skin ends up producing excess oil to compensate?

Under the Sink

Chi Silk Infusion

A must if you use any heat styling.

Icon Shine Spray

A great finishing spray to leave your hair looking shiny and soft. It also smells great. My husband always wants to smell my hair when I'm wearing it.

Redken PreArt

This is a clarifying treatment like no other. You apply it like you would apply color: in sections with a bottle. Then you cover your hair with plastic and process with heat (for best results) for 20 minutes. All the grime from your hair products, tap water, and the environment will be dissolved, leaving your hair looking shiny and with more volume then you've had in years. If you've never had a clarifying treatment, you seriously don't know what you're missing.

I don't know if you can buy this if you aren't licensed, but you can always call your hairdresser and ask her for a clarifying treatment. Request that she use PreArt.

Alba Coconut Lotion

Alba products are natural and paraben-free.

Sally Hansen
S.H. products are cheap in price, but not in quality. They work just as well or better than the more expensive hand and foot treatment products that I've tried.

Manicure in a MinuteExfoliating scrub that leaves hands soft.

18 hr. ProtectiveGreat moisturizer.

Cuticle PenThis is quite possibly the best manicure invention of all time. It transforms brittle, dry nails overnight. My nails could never grow before I found this lovely device. Now I have to make sure to trim them or I look like I have claws.

Pedi EggIf you've never tried this, go right now to the store and buy it. They sell it at Bed Bath and Beyond. It will leave your feet so soft. Take it from a chronic foot-picker. Gross, I know. Don't hate me.

Aztec Secret Clay and Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar

Absolutely the best facial mask ever. Mix equal parts clay to a half and half mixture of the cider and hot water, then smooth it on your face about 1/4" thick and let dry completely. It could take up until an hour, but it usually takes about 30 min. It sucks everything out of your pores. If you have really dry or sensitive skin, this might not work for you. I'd do a patch test. Oh, and the cider smells awful. You've been warned.

Psylliam Husk and Bentonite Clay

You're thinking, what the heck is this stuff? Well, something you should know if you don't already is that beauty starts with health. Acne is a sign of toxicity. So is puffy eyes, bloating, and a pale or lackluster complexion. Healthy skin glows, and health starts with your personal exercise and food habits. Unless you're some kind of perfect person, which if you are I hate you by the way, then you have eaten something less than healthy in your life. Cleansing, drinking lots of water to flush out toxins, and exercising helps you recover from that. Every now and again I will cleanse, and this is what I use to do it. Research cleanses and see what works for you.

In the Shower

Redken Smoothdown Hair Products (Shampoo, Conditioner, Leave-in Smoother)

The best hydrating products I've found for my wiry, Italian mane.

Pureology Hydrocure Hair Mask
Origins Cream Bar (For face)I have combination oily/dry skin, sensitive to breakouts when using oily products. I used to use Burt's Bee's Lettuce Soap, and it worked very well until I moved to Utah and the dry weather dried my skin out. The Cream Bar has more moisture and dissolves all your makeup. When I run out of eye makeup remover, I will just remove my eye makeup with this and it does a fine job.

Alba Shave Cream

This will give you the softest, smoothest shave ever. Your skin will feel like it doesn't even need lotion when you get out of the shower. The only thing is that you have to use this stuff very sparingly and rinse your razor often because it's thick and will clog your razor. But it's worth it.

Makeup Case
I have so many things floating around in here that I don't even use, don't you? But there are a few staples that I keep regularly stocked:


Cargo Oil Free FoundationNo break-outs. Thin but good coverage. I like this for the winter.
Bare Minerals Foundation and Bronzer

No break-outs. Perfect for summer when you have a tan but just want a little coverage.

Merle Norman Total Finish

This can make you break out, so I don't suggest it for everyday. However, it provides amazing coverage that looks natural. You're face will look flawless. I love this for special occasions.

Merle Norman Cover-Up

Blends perfectly. Perfect under the eyes after eye cream. If you have dark circles, buy one with a yellow base, or they even have one that is just solid yellow. They also have a green one to mix with your cover-up or foundation for red spots. Perfect for rosecea.

Luxiva Lasting Cheek Color in Virtual Pink

Luxiva Eyeshadow in Bare, Hazel, Sapphire, Ebony, and Ramblin Rose

Luxiva Cream Liner

Make sure you never get your brush wet before you use because it messes up the consistency of the liner.

M.A.C. Eyeshadow in Dazzlelight and Bare Minerals Glimmer in Nude Beach

These are my favorite highlighters.

Do you have any tried and true beauty products that you don't mind sharing? What are your staples?

Monday, August 25, 2008


Today my heart is heavy. Mark and I received news that there has been a tragic death in the family, one that had no warning and happened in a way that feels so unnatural and leaves us all wondering why.

I was not very close to this person, but I had the oppertunity to spend a small amount of time with her and was able to witness why her survivors are so grieved. She had a free spirit and a lovely laugh. She was a mother and a wife. She is missed terribly.

Sometimes life just hits you so quick and hard. It's hard to remember to savor what you have. It's so easy to feel that your joys are lackluster. Why does it so often take losing them to recognize their sparkle?

I just got a text from a friend informing me that she's having a baby boy.

Life. It's really something, isn't it? It'll give you whiplash if you're not careful. And sometimes even if you are careful.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Sweet Legs

I've been obsessed with leg-wear lately since I found a group on Flickr called Fashion My Legs. Here's a tasty treat from the snack bowl:

I feel bad that I didn't cite any of these, but I was like a kid in a candy shop and I just couldn't slow down enough to pay for my goodies before they went in my mouth. If you recognize your legs (or your photos) just let me know and I'll cite it for you or delete it all together.