Archive of ‘Holy Grail’ category

Nail Phile Must Have: Zoya Color Lock System

zoya+color+lock+system Nail Phile Must Have: Zoya Color Lock SystemI don’t think you can consider yourself a true nail file if you haven’t heard of Zoya’s Color Lock System. This 5-step kit surrounds polish with a protective barrier against moisture, bubbling, chipping and UV damage. The kit contains: Anchor Basecoat, Get Even Ridge Filling Basecoat, Armor Topcoat & UV Block, Hurry Up Speed Dry Drops, and Renew Polish Rejuvenator.

The Color Lock System also includes one of my favorite nail products of all time: Remove+ Nail Polish Remover. The ingenious bottle prevents the spillage that typically accompanies traditional nail polish removers. Plus the formula is lavender-scented and purple, which is pretty. And you know I love me some pretty.

When it comes to getting manicures, my mom and sister are like the US Postal Service…through rain, snow, sleet or hail, the nails must get done. So, being the benevolent beauty blogger that I am, I recently gifted them both with this kit. And of the plethora of products I’ve given them this year, Zoya’s Color Lock System is the one they rave about most.

Stick Em Up: Miss Oops Show Stoppers

miss+oops+show+stoppers Stick Em Up: Miss Oops Show Stoppers

I always considered my small bust a curse, especially because the junk in my trunk makes me feel slightly unbalanced. But as I get older, I’m learning to love the girls. At 30, they still defy gravity, which means that (in many cases) bras are optional. But just because you can go bra-less doesn’t necessarily mean it’s to be done. In fact, sometimes it’s just plain inappropriate. You ladies know what I mean. Which is why, under strapless, backless and thin knits, I rely on my secret weapon: Miss Oops Show Stoppers.

These adhesive silicone nipple covers are the perfect weapon to prevent “perk out.” Show Stoppers are tapered at the edges making them invisible under garments. Plus they’re reusable up to 15 times.

Miss Oops Show Stoppers are summer must haves; and I don’t leave home without them when I travel to NYC for Fashion Week. Go get you some at missoops.com. You’re welcome…it’s my pleasure to keep you, ahem, abreast of undergarment innovations.

My Favorite Skin Care Products EVER: Amala

amala+skincare My Favorite Skin Care Products EVER: Amala

It’s really difficult to admit this, but I used to be very dismissive of natural and organic beauty products – particularly skin care. I used to believe that I needed to patronize products with harsh chemicals to get my problem skin to act like it had some sense. In fact, I would often joke that I didn’t care what damage a product did to my insides, as long as my outsides were looking good.

But I’ve done a complete 180 since discovering Amala, a luxurious collection of skin care and body care products with 100% natural formulas.

amala+purifying+moisturizer My Favorite Skin Care Products EVER: AmalaEarlier this month, I began testing Amala’s new Purify line – for Earth Day editorial consideration. Purify is a collection of products formulated for oily and acnegenic skin types. The products help control excess oil and shine, clear clogged pores, and prevent and heal blemishes and blackheads with treatments inspired by the healing plants and flowers of Eastern Asia.

So for three weeks, I’ve been religiously using the Purifying Gel Cleanser, Purifying Face Polish, Purifying Toner, and Purifying Moisturizer. And I have to say that besides feeling like I’m indulging in an extravagant spa treatment every time I use these citrus-scented products, my skin hasn’t looked this good in years.

My acne is now very mild, if not practically nonexistent. And my skin is so radiant that many of my friends have remarked about the drastic improvement in my complexion.

While Amala’s Purify price tag isn’t exactly recessionista-friendly (products range from $30 to $136), these products are, in my expert opinion, an absolute steal for the results you’ll see.

I am so enamored with the Purify line that I want to tell every person I meet about this brand. I would gladly be the company’s spokesperson and do commercials – because I feel so strongly about how the treatments have transformed my skin. Hell, I’d do it for free…in exchange for a lifetime supply of this stuff.

Amala is available at Barneys New York and amalabeauty.com.

Buy This Immediately: PhytoSpecific Extreme Shine Spray

phytospecific+extreme+shine+spray Buy This Immediately: PhytoSpecific Extreme Shine SprayI want you to listen very carefully. I’m only going to say this once. Open up your wallet and take out $26. Take said bills to Sephora and exchange them for PhytoSpecific’s Extreme Shine Spray. I don’t care if the kids gotta eat. Who cares if the electric bill is past due? This is imperative, people. PhytoSpecific Extreme Shine Spray will make your hair gleam so bright, you won’t need no stinkin’ lights!

As I’ve said before, my hair is the black hole of shine. Over the years, I’ve amassed an arsenal of shine serums, creams, and sprays to compensate for my mane’s embarrassing dullness. But while they imparted shine, it was always pretty apparent that the sheen was a result of product placement – and not good genetics.

Fortunately, and thanks to PhytoSpecific, I don’t have that problem anymore. Extreme Shine Spray subtly coats hair with botanical extracts without weighing it down. Exotic karanja oil nourishes and protects, while comforting chamomile and sage work to tone and impart dazzling radiance. It’s formulated without parabens, sulfates, synthetic dyes, petro-chemicals and phthalates; so it enriches the look and condition of your hair.

If you’ve got lackluster locks, you MUST invest in PhytoSpecific Extreme Shine Spray. Just a few sprays of this finishing mist will have you believing in miracles. You’ll be blinded by the shine, and bowled over at how believable and effortless it appears.

I am so excited by this product that I wish I could gift each and every one of you with a sample. That’s how amazing it is…I just wanna share the shine. If I had an Oprah-esque bank account, this is the point where my elves would emerge and pass out gift bags filled with my new favorite thing. I’d be all, “And you get an Extreme Shine Spray, and you get and an Extreme Shine Spray, and you get an Extreme Shine Spray.”

Unfortunately, I can’t roll like that…yet. So until the money train pulls into the Spoiled Pretty station, you’ll have to reach into your own wallet (bills be damned) and buy your own can.

The PhytoSpecific line is also sold at Beauty.com.

Scooped By Oprah: Kai Body Buffer

kai body buffer Scooped By Oprah: Kai Body BufferIn the winter of 2007, Oprah named Kai’s Body Buffer as one of her Favorite Things. “Bathing is an art form and nobody enjoys it more than I do,” she said. More than a year later, I can finally appreciate why Oprah is so enamored with Kai.

Every morning when I lather up with the Kai Body Buffer, my cold and uninviting shower/tub hybrid is instantly transformed into an island paradise. Infused with exotic perfumes and natural essences (including palm, coconut and olive oils), the hypo-allergenic sponge foams when wet – gently cleansing, exfoliating, and moisturizing my winter-worn skin. The suds are so intoxicatingly fragrant that I don’t want to rinse them off; the scent is nothing short of divine. I want to smell like Kai every second of every hour of every day. Next on my wish list is Kai Eau de Parfum…because I’m quite serious about wanting to live my life enveloped in this exotic aroma.

Gals-on-the-go will love Kai’s Body Buffer because it’s an simple way to fit some much-needed pampering into your jam-packed lifestyle.

A set of two sponges (30 uses each) retails for $36.

Anew, I Think I Love You

Avon Anew Clinical Advanced Dermabrasion System Anew, I Think I Love YouIf you’ve been visiting Spoiled Pretty for any length of time, you know that I am an exfoliating fool. With all of the buffing and scrubbing I do, it’s a major miracle I don’t look like the Crypt Keeper by now. When it comes to exfoliation, I’m like an archeologist with ADD, relentlessly digging for buried treasure. And I’m not satisfied until my flaky façade is polished baby butt smooth.

I’ve tested an excessive amount of exfoliants, so it takes a serious scrub to even get my attention. But I recently tried a product so mind-blowing that it has my undivided attention. Avon’s Anew Clinical Advanced Dermabrasion is so rocking my world right now, I can’t even stand it.

Anew Clinical Advanced Dermabrasion is a skin system that delivers varied levels of exfoliation. The dual-barrel bottle is topped with a dial that allows you to increase the intensity of the micro-crystal formula, offering multiple strength polishing in one package.

To use, you simply apply to clean, wet skin. Starting with Level 1, use Anew Clinical Advanced Dermabrasion 2–3 times a week for 2 weeks before proceeding to the next level. After completing all 4 levels (8 weeks) stop using for 2 to 3 weeks and then start over at Level 1.

I noticed a dramatic improvement in my skin after just one use, and you know how much I enjoy immediate results. I used it before a date night dinner with Mr. Spoiled Pretty and let me tell you…my moisturizer and foundation melted onto my skin like buttah.

This is an ideal product for anyone with dry skin, rough skin texture, fine lines, enlarged pores, uneven skin tone and dark age spots.

Avon Anew Clinical Advanced Dermabrasion gets two very enthusiastic thumbs up. If you’re like me and like to scrub a dub dub it up, you must purchase this product – no ifs, ands or baby butts about it.

Amazon Beauty, Indeed

amazon+beauty+rahua+elixir Amazon Beauty, IndeedAmazon Beauty’s Rahua Elixir is so absolutely fantastic that it made me look past the fact that it costs $100 for half an ounce and smells like a barbecue grill.

This is a holy grail hair product if ever I met one. Rahua Elixir is a 100% natural hair oil infused with seasonal herbs and flowers that is handmade in the Amazon Rainforest by women of the Quecha-Shuar tribe. The concentrated oil repairs hair in three minutes by penetrating the hair’s cortex – adding brilliance and elasticity to all hair types.

To use as a hot oil treatment, apply 3-5 drops of Rahua Elixir to towel-dried hair, concentrating on the ends. Heat activates the ingredients, so blow dry to smooth, treat and add shine. Rahua Elixir can also be used on dry hair – just apply 2-3 drops on ends and brace yourself; your hair will be so soft and supple, you’ll swear this oil was magic.

As an overnight hair treatment, use 7 or more drops on your ends, let it go to work while you get your beauty sleep, then rinse in the morning. As a scalp treatment, apply 3-5 drops to the scalp and massage in – twice a week.

Rahua Elixir has been a godsend to my hair. At first, I was a little shocked by the earthy fragrance. But I found that if you apply to damp hair, the smoky scent dissipates as your hair dries. I was amazed that 5 drops of this oil could transform my dry, damaged hair into a mane of myth. I honestly can’t remember the last time my hair looked and felt so divine.

I just finished the tester vial Amazon Beauty sent me to test. And, let me tell you – I am totally jonesing for more of this jungle juice.

Amazon Beauty products are available at amazonbeautysecret.com.

Recessionista’s Fabuless Pick of the Week: CoverGirl Outlast Lipstain

CoverGirl Outlast Lipstain Recessionistas Fabuless Pick of the Week: CoverGirl Outlast Lipstain
Remember how I told you that CoverGirl Outlast Lipstain wouldn’t be available until January 2009? Well, I lied. Not on purpose though…I’d never intentionally deceive you. You see, CoverGirl Outlast Lipstains will make their way to mass-market retail outlets nationwide starting next month, but Drugstore.com is giving you an early Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa present…cuz you can get your lips on them today!!!

I’ve had these babies in my possession for the past few weeks, and I’m enamored. Since I was afforded a sneak peek of the product, I have had them on my person at all times. I’ve worn at least one of the shades everyday since they arrived on my doorstep. I am an equal opportunity beauty addict and I give most anything a chance – so when I enter into a monogamous relationship with a product, it means a lot. CoverGirl Outlast Lipstain, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways…

The water-based colorants infuse into the top layer of lips, rather than coat the outside…so there’s no waxy, sticky residue. The formula contains conditioners (like glycerine and hyaluronic acid) to soften and smooth lips, and Outlast is one of the few stains that doesn’t contain alcohol, which can be drying. The felt tip allows for precise application, and the stain can be layered to achieve a sheer or more opaque look. Finally, it lasts for 6+ hours…so you’re looking pretty all day long without touchups (but it comes off easily with facial cleanser or makeup remover).

P&G Global Creative Design Director, Pat McGrath, created a palette of ten brilliant shades that deliver a flush of color to the lips: Berry Smooch, Bit of Blossom, Cinnamon Smile, Coy Coral, Everbloom Kiss, Flirty Nude, Plum Pout, Sassy Mauve, Teasing Blush, and Wild Berry Wink. “Over the last few seasons, lipstain has emerged as a key beauty trend on fashion runways,” says McGrath. “The CoverGirl Outlast Lipstain collection is one step ahead of the curve with its novel pen applicator and prestige color palette. It’s a great way to update your look and stay on top of the latest runway trends.”

My personal fave is Sassy Mauve. I wear it almost everyday for that snow bunny, me-but-cuter look. Top it with a clear gloss for a little kick, and you’re good to go. I like it so much, I probably should put a ring on it. First runner-up is Wild Berry Wink. On Saturday, I applied two coats followed by a few swipes of clear gloss – and I swore I was Rihanna in her latest video. I might need rehab, considering how addicted I’ve become to this sexy shade.

Buy these now, ladies. I swear you won’t be disappointed. They’re holy grail material. And at $7.50 a pop, they’re this recessionista’s fabuless pick of the week!

90s Ladies Week: What’s Up, Doc?

doc+martens 90s Ladies Week: Whats Up, Doc?
In the early to mid 1990s, Doc Martens were the nirvana of cool. And I, like many, fell under the spell of the chunky-soled boots with the distinctive yellow stitching. I begged my parents to buy me a pair of Doc Martens – or as my mother called them, “those ugly doctor shoes.” But they refused, wondering why I would want to appear as if I was moonlighting as a construction worker. Eventually, I forgave my parents for depriving me of Doc Martens – once I realized how truly ridiculous I would have looked tromping around in them. Then ironically, in the late 90s, my mom bought me a pair of Doc Marten sandals she found on sale at Daffy’s. So I did eventually become cool – just, like, four years too late.

It’s 2008 now, and I’ve got heart palpitations over another doctor. While rooting around on my mom’s vanity a few weeks ago, I discovered an unopened jar of Dr. Brandt’s Microdermabrasion For Face. When I asked where and when she bought it, she couldn’t remember. Who does that? Who randomly buys beauty products then forgets about them? Unbelievable. I mean, sometimes I wonder how this woman and I can possibly be related. Anyway, so I asked politely to sample and she obliged. What happened next was a thing of myth.

dr+brandt+microdermabrasion 90s Ladies Week: Whats Up, Doc?The pharmaceutical grade crystals polished away all of my dead skin cells, leaving behind the softest, most radiant skin I’ve seen in forever ever. And it literally took two minutes. I couldn’t believe it. I emerged from the bathroom with an enormous grin, feeling up my face – incredulous that it could be so smooth. I urged my mom to touch my cheek and she was beyond impressed too.

I asked to take it off her hands…but after seeing the results, there was no way she was letting me leave her house with Dr. Brandt in tow.

Can you believe it? The woman who is the main beneficiary of my beauty beneficence doesn’t want to share. But she did give me life, and a pair of Doc Marten sandals (albeit four years late), so I guess I’ll just have to go out and get my own.

Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion For Face is available at Sephora and drbrandtskincare.com.

Well, that concludes 90s Ladies Week. I hope you had as much fun reading as I did writing. And be sure to visit Amber at Beauty Blogging Junkie and check out her final installment.

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