Archive of ‘Holy Grail’ category

Wish List / Obsessed With

spoiled pretty wish list obsessed with Wish List / Obsessed WithHi y’all. Just wanted to bring your attention to a new Spoiled Pretty feature.

Over on the right sidebar, there are two boxes. The first, Wish List, is something I’ve had my eye on that I’m dying to try. And the second, Obsessed With, is a new find or old favorite that is currently rocking my world.

They are updated on a weekly basis, so be sure to check back every now and again.

A Rosa Arctica by Any Other Name…

rosa arctica A Rosa Arctica by Any Other Name...

In the winter of 2011, I was introduced to Kiehl’s Rosa Arctica Youth Regenerating Cream – and whatever moisturizer I was using at the time went by the wayside. I honestly don’t remember which moisturizer came before (and who cares, really) but I do remember that it couldn’t compete with the Rosa Arctica results. After using it for not that long, I noticed a significant improvement in my skin. During the colder months, my skin is Sahara dry and there are only a few moisturizers on the market hydrating enough to quench its thirst; Rosa Arctic is one of them. But it gets better; the thick cream also smoothes, reduces lines and wrinkles, improves firmness and gives it a youthful glow.

Rosa Arctica Youth Regenerating Cream is so fabulous that it pains me when I retire it for the spring and summer months, when my face turns into an oil slick of BP proportions. As it turns out, I wasn’t the only one wishing for a lighter version of this must-have moisturizer. In response to customer demand for a lightweight texture, Kiehl’s just launched Rosa Arctica Lightweight Cream.

Kiehl’s, knowing how much I adore the original, sent me a sneak peek of the new formulation and I have been using it faithfully for a few weeks. I love it as much as the original and I’m so thrilled that I can now use Rosa Arctica year-round. (more…)

Best Beauty Buys

spoiled pretty best beauty buys 1024x799 Best Beauty BuysI love beauty. But what I love more is introducing women to beauty products that they never knew existed but will change their lives. That’s why I started Spoiled Pretty, after all.

I’ve been blogging since 2007 and have posted 2,900+ product reviews and articles. I’ve dropped a lot of knowledge over the past five years and I encourage you to search the site and get better acquainted. But for those who are short on time or need to quickly get down to the nitty gritty, I’ve added an exciting feature to Spoiled Pretty.

Best Beauty Buys is a new option on the navigation bar (top left). Browse my favorite products in seven categories: Baby, Bath and Body, Fragrance, Hair, Makeup, Skin Care and Tools. And be sure to bookmark or check back often, as I’ll be frequently updating with fabulous finds.

Did any of your personal faves make my list? Any best beauty buys you’re dying to try? Tell me in the comments!

On Point Pencil: L’Oreal Voluminous Smoldering Eyeliner

loreal paris voluminous smoldering eyeliner 21 On Point Pencil: LOreal Voluminous Smoldering Eyeliner

Don’t you just hate when you buy an eye pencil that doesn’t write right? I hate that. I mean, who wants an eyeliner that you have to draw on several times for it to actually show up?  My philosophy for eyeliner – and for most color cosmetics, for that matter – is that it must deliver on pigment payout. Otherwise, I want my money back.

I recently discovered a liner that is worth much more than its $9 price tag. It’s so fabulous, in fact, that it smolders. (more…)

OPI I Have a Herring Problem

OPI I Have a Herring Problem2 OPI I Have a Herring ProblemAfter my gorgeous Dutch ‘Ya Just Love OPI? manicure started looking a little jacked (after weeks of abuse), I decided to follow it up with another polish from OPI’s Holland Collection. It was a difficult choice, as OPI sent me the entire set for review AND every bottle is a beauty. I considered painting every piggy in a different polish, but decided that would look a lil’ cray cray. So after much deliberation, the finalists were I Don’t Give a Rotterdam! and I Have a Herring Problem – two shimmer-laced blues. I decided on the latter because it’s darker and reads a little more gray (gray nails are my everything!) against my skin tone.

Over the years, I’ve amassed quite a collection of nail polishes (I probably own 200+ shades) and I don’t have anything quite like I Have a Herring Problem. In the bottle, it’s kind of a green blue. But worn, it’s looks more gray. And depending on the light, it either reads more blue or more gray. And the subtle, silver micro-shimmer makes it special without venturing into disco ball territory. (more…)

OPI Holland Collection: Dutch ‘Ya Just Love OPI?

opi holland collection nail polish OPI Holland Collection: Dutch Ya Just Love OPI?One of my New Years resolutions is to step up my manicure game. Last year, taking care of nails took a back seat to taking care of Westley. But now that my son is 18 months old and a little more equipped at occupying himself with the tons of toys I lavish upon him (he is truly a spoiled pretty baby), I have more opportunities to stick to the game plan.

Last month, OPI was nice enough to feed my polish addiction by sending me all twelve shades from their new Holland Collection. I was excited by the press release and images OPI sent me in advance of the actual samples, but seeing the colors in person gave me a newfound respect for the genius of Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, OPI Executive VP & Artistic Director. If ever there was a polish collection to purchase in its entirety, it’s this one. STUNNING – every single shade! (more…)

The Pulse Network Segment: Best Beauty Products

the+pulse+network+the+look The Pulse Network Segment: Best Beauty Products

A few weeks ago, I was a guest on The Pulse Network’s beauty and fashion show, The Look. When host Maggie Rulli asked if I’d like to be interviewed and chat about my favorite products, I was all “I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille.”

So if you’re looking for some great product picks, press play for my round-up of the best in beauty!

Estee Lauder Idealist Even Skintone Illuminator

estee+lauder+idealist++even+skintone+illuminator+2 Estee Lauder Idealist Even Skintone Illuminator

Since adolescence, I’ve suffered with hyperpigmentation. Like many women of color, my blemishes leave dark marks in their wake – which can take weeks, months and even years to fade. For forever, I’ve used foundations and highlighters to hide these dark spots. But I’ve recently come to a point in my life where I’m tired of masking the problem. As a busy mom, I don’t have the time or the energy it takes to put on a full face of makeup on a regular basis. Most days, I leave the house bare faced – save for some mascara and a couple swipes of gloss. Hyperpigmentation has undermined my self esteem for too long, so I decided it was time to heal, rather than conceal.

estee+lauder+idealist++even+skintone+illuminator Estee Lauder Idealist Even Skintone Illuminator

So last month, I added Estee Lauder Idealist Even Skintone Illuminator to my morning routine. And let me tell you…this additional step (which takes just 1 minute) has been life changing. First of all, the pearlescent serum imparts a radiant glow upon application – so even though the product actually takes about two weeks to start doing its thang, there are immediate perks.

And after just 10 days, I started to notice that my skin looked more even toned, luminous and smoother. The formula is lightweight and smells dreamy, so putting it on is a refreshing A.M. experience. And after a month, I am much more confident showing my bare skin to the world because my dark marks are starting to see the light.

I’m not usually the best at being consistent with skin care because, as you know, I test a lot of products. But this one is so simple and yields such amazing results that I actually look forward to putting it on. Because Idealist Even Skintone Illuminator targets the dark marks (as well as redness, acne marks, sun spots and other discolorations), you don’t have to worry about it lightening the other areas of your face. And the oil-free formula is proven gentle and effective for all ethnicities. Just be sure to use an SPF product on your face every day, to prevent the marks from darkening up again.

I can’t recommend Idealist Even Skintone Illuminator enough. It’s become my holy grail – and if you buy it and try it, you’ll understand why. I’m also anxious to try the Idealist Cooling Eye Illuminator.

*A sample was provided by the brand for review.

Gold ‘N Hot 1875 Watt Foldable Handle Travel Dryer

Gold+%2527N+Hot+1875+Watt+Foldable+Handle+Travel+Dryer+1 Gold N Hot 1875 Watt Foldable Handle Travel Dryer

To get my relaxed hair poker straight after shampooing, I rely on a comb/pik attachment when blow drying. I own a “universal” pik attachment that fits perfectly on my beloved Conair Infiniti Pro, which is fine 99% of the time. But a full-sized dryer is a bit bulky to travel with, especially when you’re a chronic overpacker like myself.

Problem is that most travel hair dryers have a wide barrel that isn’t compatible with pik attachments. For what seems like forever, I’ve searched for a travel dryer that comes with a pik attachment – to no avail. After endlessly searching in stores and trolling the Internet, it got to a point that looking for travel dryer with a comb attachment became – to steal a phrase from Cher Horowitz – “as useless as searching for meaning in a Pauly Shore movie.”

But a few weeks ago, my pik attachment prayers were answered. While browsing around Folica.com, I came across the Gold ‘N Hot 1875 Watt Foldable Handle Travel Dryer. Folica.com sent me a sample to review and take on my trip to Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Swim in Miami this past weekend (more on that later) – and after using it, I can tell you that it is exactly what I’ve been searching for all of this time. In fact, this travel dryer is so fabulous that you could use it as your regular dryer.

Gold+%2527N+Hot+1875+Watt+Foldable+Handle+Travel+Dryer+2 Gold N Hot 1875 Watt Foldable Handle Travel Dryer

Unlike many travel dryers which are just glorified fans blowing hot air on your hair, the Gold ‘N Hot 1875 Watt Foldable Handle Travel Dryer has all the power of a full-size dryer but in a lightweight, foldable model complete with concentrator and comb attachments! Two speed and heat settings along with tourmaline conditioning and worldwide dual voltage ensure that you have perfectly styled hair no matter where you travel. And how cute is the giraffe motif on the sides of the dryer?

Whether or not you use a pik attachment, the Gold ‘N Hot 1875 Watt Foldable Handle Travel Dryer is an excellent buy. And did I mention that Folica.com has it marked down from $50 to just $29.99? Bottom line: this travel dryer blows the competition away.

Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel

dermalogica+special+cleansing+gel Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel

Dermalogica’s Special Gel Cleanser is a concentrated, soap-free, foaming gel designed to thoroughly remove impurities without disturbing the skin’s natural moisture balance. It contains no artificial fragrance or color and is ideal for all skin types. In a word, it’s perfect. If you’ve ever wished for soft skin and a clear complexion, this is your genie in a bottle (no rubbing required).

It’s very gentle on the skin, yet super effective at removing dirt, grime and even makeup. Special Gel Cleanser feels like a dream when you apply it to your skin – like silk, or something equally smooth and luxurious. If I had to compare it so something you might be familiar with, I’d say it’s akin to a high-end Cetaphil. I loved this product from the day I started using it, back in late 2010. But I didn’t realize how much my skin loved this cleanser until I started testing other cleansers last month and my skin straight up rebelled. Breakouts re-appeared and it completely dried out. Since then, my skin has been on a strict Dermalogica diet and I’ve seen improvement every day.

An 8.4 oz bottle of this good stuff costs $33, which sounds like a lot for a face cleanser. But – believe me - it’s worth every penny. Special Cleansing Gel is special, indeed.

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