Archive of ‘Holy Grail’ category

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, I came across the Gold ‘N Hot 1875 Watt Foldable Handle Travel Dryer. 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.

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 has it marked down from $50 to just $29.99? Bottom line: this travel dryer blows the competition away.

Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel

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


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.

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

*Samples were provided by the brand for review.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

And 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.

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