Archive of ‘Holy Grail’ category

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.

Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm

Clinique+Chubby+Stick+Moisturizing+Lip+Colour+Balms Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm 

How obsessed am I with Clinique’s new Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Color Balm? All eight shades have taken up permanent residency in the makeup bag I keep in my purse. These clever crayons (think of them as perfect hybrid of a lipstick and a gloss) moisturize with mango and shea butters while adding a hint of color and subtle sheen. Plus they never need a sharpener because they swivel up from the bottom – like a traditional balm.

Each of the shades is so ultra-flattering that you could buy any one of them – sight unseen – and it would look absolutely perfect on your pucker.

clinique+Chubby+Stick+Moisturizing+Lip+Colour+Balm Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm
From left to right: Graped-Up, Super Strawberry, Woppin’ Watermelon, Chunky Cherry,
Mega Melon, Fuller Fig, Whole Lotta Honey, Richer Raisin

Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Color Balms are available at Sephora, Clinique counters and clinique.com.

*Samples were provided by the brand for review.

NARS Illuminators!

image001 NARS Illuminators!

Every time I apply foundation or tinted moisturizer, I mix in a little NARS Orgasm Illuminator – without fail. It takes my complexion to a whole nuther level…which is why I am positively giddy that NARS just added three new shades to the Illuminator family.

NARS+Copacabana+Illuminator NARS Illuminators!

COPACABANA – Like its namesake Multiple, Copacabana Illuminator will impart a pearlescent sheen and can be applied all over the face, mixed with foundation, and used to highlight the neck, shoulders and décolleté.

NARS+Super+Orgasm+Illuminator NARS Illuminators!

SUPER ORGASM – Infused, like the blush, with golden shimmer and a peachy-gold hue that can be applied all over the face, mixed with foundation, and used to highlight the neck, shoulders and décolleté.

NARS+Laguna+Illuminator NARS Illuminators!

LAGUNA – A golden-bronze hue, just as in Laguna Bronzer, that will give a sun-kissed glow and can be applied to the face or mixed with foundation.

This collection of light-reflecting liquids glides on to refresh the skin, enhance the complexion and create a shimmering incandescence. The Illuminators can be used to highlight bare skin or to light up your makeup as it lights the skin from within.  

Key ingredients include:
• Polar Berries, known for their antioxidant properties 
• Bisabolol, known as an anti-inflammatory (obtained from the Chamomile plant)
• Indian Frankincense, known for its soothing and comforting properties
• Vitamin B5 to, known to condition skin 
• Sodium Hyaluronate, known to hydrate skin

The Illuminators are $29 and are available at the new NARS Boutique in NYC, NARS counters and narscosmetics.com.

Maybelline Volum’ Express the Falsies Washable Mascara

maybelline+falsies+mascara Maybelline Volum Express the Falsies Washable Mascara

I hate mascara ads. Hate them. People get bent out of shape about magazine airbrushing. Well, mascara ads are my pet peeve. The lashes in said ads are always so exaggerated that no matter what amazing results the mascara actually yields, you end up feeling cheated because your fringe still doesn’t look as fantastic as it does in the ads.

maybelline+falsies+mascara+ad Maybelline Volum Express the Falsies Washable Mascara

So, speaking of false advertising…a while back, Maybelline sent me a tube of their Volum’ Express the Falsies Washable Mascara to test and review. At first, I was really disappointed that it didn’t look the model’s. But then I had to stop myself and think rationally. Obviously, the lashes at left have been creatively super-sized and no one in their right mind should expect to look like that, post-application. So I put the advertisement out of my mind, stood in front of the mirror again and took an objective look at my lashes. And you know what? Ad, schmad…Maybelline Falsies Mascara is ab fab – and I’ll tell you why.

First, Falsies has just the right consistency. I’m like Goldilocks when it comes to mascaras. I hate when the consistency is too thick or too watery. This one is just right – coating evenly without clumping. And over time, it doesn’t dry out like so many on the market. Another reason to love Falsies: the curved brush grabs every lash – lengthening and volumizing them to their true potential. For gals with sparse lashes like me who have little to work with, you know that this is a big deal. Finally, I absolutely love that the formula is buildable. So many mascaras claim to be buildable – and then you layer on coats only to wind up with clumped up, tarantula-looking foolishness. The Falsies Mascara builds perfectly. Apply one coat for a natural, “maybe she was born with it” doe eyes. Layer on multiple coats and your peepers will be batting a thousand.

I’m so impressed with Falsies that I’d say it’s a close second to my #1 mascara, Lancome’s Hypnose Drama Instant Full Body Volume Mascara. They’re alike in many ways…well, except for the $16.50 difference in price.

Honestly, Falsies’ mascara is so great that Maybelline didn’t even need to augment their ad. The actual results speak for themselves, and the $8 price tag is just icing on the proverbial cake.

L’Oreal Studio Secrets Professional Magic Perfecting Base Is Great For Greasy Gals

Loreal+Studio+Secrets+Primer LOreal Studio Secrets Professional Magic Perfecting Base Is Great For Greasy GalsAnd the award for Best New Primer for Greasy Gals goes to L’Oreal Studio Secrets Professional Magic Perfecting Base. I received a sample last month, and it was love at first swipe.

Don’t be fooled by its putty-like texture. It applies like a dream, leaving skin so satiny soft that you’ll wonder exactly how you lived your life before this product came into existence. The primer easily disguises pores and wrinkles, and imparts a matte finish. So if the summer heat and humidity turns your mug into an oil slick, you’d be a brainy beauty to invest in a jar of this pink magic.

L’Oreal Studio Secrets Professional Magic Perfecting Base is intended to be worn in tandem with your favorite tinted moisturizer or foundation. But if you’re having a low-maintenance kind of day, just apply a little to bare skin and it gives you a you-but-better look.

The formula is 100% oil- and fragrance-free, non-comedogenic and non-acnegenic – so even the most sensitive skins should tolerate this product.

Just proof, once again, that it doesn’t take a million bucks to look like, well, a million bucks. L’Oreal Studio Secrets Professional Magic Perfecting Base is this Recessionista’s Fabuless Pick of the Week.

Clinique Rinse-Off Foaming Cleanser

Clinique+Rinse Off+Foaming+Cleanser Clinique Rinse Off Foaming CleanserLately, my skin has been uncharacteristically well-behaved. And so soft and smooth that I can’t stop petting my face. I didn’t know what to make of my enhanced complexion until I realized that I had recently switched up one element of my skincare routine.
After moving into my new house, I couldn’t immediately locate my usual facial wash. So when I came across a long lost sample tube of Clinique’s Rinse-Off Foaming Cleanser, I decided to give it a whirl. And once I did, I was happy my old stuff went A.W.O.L. because I might have missed out on such a fabulous product.

Rinse-Off Foaming Cleanser has a cream consistency that gently cleanses – leaving skin feeling moist, clean, and fresh. It’s fragrance-free, but the subtle scent reminds me of Dove soap. As mild as it is on skin, it removes long-wearing makeup and sunscreens quickly and efficiently. Plus, it’s also a great value; the concentrated formula is long-lasting and a little goes a long way.

I wish you could see/feel my face. It’s a true testament to the brilliance of this cleanser (I’ve awarded it ‘holy grail’ status). After washing my face with it, I moisturize with 2-3 pumps of Clinique’s Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion. And ever since I started this routine, my skin is like a dream.

Rinse-Off Foaming Cleanser ($18.50) and Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion ($24) are available at Sephora, your local Clinique counter, and clinique.com.

Aveda Shampure Soy Wax Candle Giveaway!

 Aveda Shampure Soy Wax Candle Giveaway!
If you’re a regular reader of Spoiled Pretty, you probably remember a review I wrote a few weeks back – extolling the virtues of Aveda’s Shampure Soy Wax Candle.
It might be a stretch to call the Shampure Candle the best-smelling candle of all time – considering, well, I’ve only been on this earth to judge for 31 years. But I’m going to give it that title anyway because I dare someone to find me one more wonderfully fragrant. I triple dog dare you.
This candle smells so good, I want to petition Aveda to create a body wash, lotion, perfume and hand cream in the same scent (they already have a Shampure shampoo and conditioner – which are on my “next to try” list).

The aroma of 25 pure flower and plant essences – including certified organic lavender, petitgrain and ylang ylang – soothes the senses. And the candle, housed in a 95% recycled glass holder, burns cleanly and completely for up to 50 hours.

aveda shampure candle Aveda Shampure Soy Wax Candle Giveaway!
I’m not content to enjoy this candle solo – so, in honor of Earth Day (April 22) and Natural Woman Week, I’ve teamed up with Aveda to share two with you!
Two winners will receive Aveda’s Shampure Soy Wax Candle – and I dare them to tell my challenge my ‘best-smelling candle of all time’ theory.

To enter the giveaway, leave a message in the comments section; make sure to leave your email or another way for me to get in touch, just in case you get lucky. Contest is open to U.S. residents only. The giveaway ends at noon (EST) on Tuesday, April 27, 2010. Good luck!

And don’t forget to enter Spoiled Pretty’s other Earth Day-inspired beauty giveaways!

Aveda Shampure Soy Wax Candle: Simply the Best

aveda+shampure+candle Aveda Shampure Soy Wax Candle: Simply the Best

I am way past due on my spring cleaning – and, as a result, my apartment looks like an episode of Hoarders: Buried Alive. But despite the clutter, it smells and feels like Clean House up in here, thanks to my Aveda Shampure Soy Wax Candle. Seriously, light the wick and you’ll be amazed at how the fragrance instantly transforms a stifled space into a peaceful retreat.

I’m a connoisseur of candles and the Shampure Candle is one of my absolute favorites. Its calming aroma of 25 pure flower and plant essences – including certified organic lavender, petitgrain and ylang ylang – relaxes and soothes me at the end of a particularly hectic day. Even Mr. Spoiled Pretty raves about the scent.

At $30 for a 9.7 oz candle (which burns for 50 hours), this one is kinda pricey…but it smells so fantastic that I gladly buck up. On the upside, the Shampure Candle is refillable and refills will only set you back $19.

The only way I can see improving upon this candle is if Aveda were to sell it in bulk. Aveda, are you listening? I want to buy in bulk. One Shampure Candle is just not enough.

Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado

Kiehls+Creamy+Eye+Treatment+with+Avocado Kiehls Creamy Eye Treatment with AvocadoOkay, I’m about to get honest…real honest. As a beauty expert, it pains me to admit this, but I just started using eye cream. I know, I know…31 is a little late to the crows feet prevention partay. But I’m lazy, and I’m especially bad at regularly applying skin care products – particularly ones that are preventative and don’t yield immediate results. Besides, my parents are pushing 60 and they don’t have wrinkles, so I’ve been betting on good genes.
But I recently discovered an eye cream that has made me change my ways. Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado is amazing. Chock full of avocado, beta carotene and shea buttery goodness, it moisturizes the delicate eye area without migrating into eyes or irritating; even those with sensitive skin will love this product. It has a creamy, concentrated texture that skin just drinks up – so you need not worry about it sitting on top of skin or interfering with makeup application. All of the above benefits are fine and good, but here’s what I love about the eye cream: when you rub it in, it releases a cool burst of water. It’s so cool…if Bill Nye The Science Guy did a beauty segment on his show, this would totally be one of the products he’d highlight.

Every time I apply Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado, I look forward to that slight splash of water. It never gets old for me, and that’s what keeps me applying every day. So despite my laziness, I’m using my love of gimmicks to help me beat crow’s feet.

I can’t believe my eye cream. It’s fantabulous…and you’re gonna love it too!

Make Up For Ever HD Blush: Buy This NOW!

make+up+for+ever+hd+blush Make Up For Ever HD Blush: Buy This NOW!Make Up For Ever’s new HD Blush is one of the best blushes I’ve ever tried – and you know that, when it comes to makeup, I get around.
I am absolutely enamored with MUFE’s HD Foundation, so when I heard about the new blush, it went straight to the top of my makeup must haves list. And lemme tell you, it does not disappoint. First of all, it is very pigmented, which means a little goes a long way…but not so crazy bold that you end up looking like Bozette the Clown. I also love its creamy texture, which is ideal for the warmer weather that is upon us. Another plus of the cream consistency? No need for a makeup brush…all you need is your fingers. But if you want a really professional look, the beautyblender sponge applies like a dream.

The real reason to love HD Blush is the fact that it looks, well, real. Even up close, it appears as if you’re actually blushing – not wearing something to mimic a radiant glow. It blends seamlessly and lasts all day (and night). Oh, and did I mention that it comes in 14 amazing shades? Make Up For Ever sent me samples of #4 (Walk of Shame) and #6 (Quickie) and I love them both. I wear the first when I’m going for a cool toned makeup look, and it looks amazing; when I’m going in a warmer direction, I wear the latter. Though these are the only shades I’ve tried, I can imagine that most of the colors would be universally flattering because they apply so fantastically well and can be layered for intensity.
make+up+for+ever+hd+blushes Make Up For Ever HD Blush: Buy This NOW!

The only unfortunate thing about this product is that, for now, it’s playing hard to get. I’ve visited two local Sephora stores and, to my dismay, the MUFE display does not yet include the HD Blushes. For the time being, you can purchase on sephora.com (and, luckily, the swatches on the Sephora website are pretty accurate).

1 2 3 4 5 6 10