Archive of ‘Holy Grail’ category

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.

Recessionista’s Fabuless Pick of the Week: OPI You Don’t Know Jacques!

 Recessionistas Fabuless Pick of the Week: OPI You Dont Know Jacques!
I haven’t been in a nail salon since June of 2007, so when Deidre, a fellow Philadelphia blogger, and I made plans to finally get together for some beauty-related fun, I had a brilliant idea. We would go get our nails did. So last night after work, I met Deidre on the corner of 17th and Locust and took her to City Nails, a nail salon I’ve passed by for the past three years but have never stepped inside.

Once we took off our coats, the nail technicians directed us to to pick our colors. So we walked over to the wall o’ polishes, a veritable playground of polishes.

opi you+don%27t+know+jacques Recessionistas Fabuless Pick of the Week: OPI You Dont Know Jacques!Determined to take my own advice and rock the “greige” nail look that Glamour says is all the rage, I spun the displays looking for OPI’s You Don’t Know Jacques!. I got a little anxious when I couldn’t locate a bottle of the dirty taupe lacquer. Then Deidre tapped me on the shoulder and excited exclaimed that she’d found her fave. I turned around to see her holding the polish I had been searching for. Right then and there, I knew Deidre and I were gonna get along fine. Almost immediately, I found a second bottle of You Don’t Know Jacques! – so we took our seats to begin our tandem, identical manicures.

Fast forward 15 minutes later…we couldn’t stop stealing glances at each other’s hands, marveling at how the sooty chocolate shade flattered both of our skin tones. And a half hour later, while talking beauty shop at a nearby Starbucks, we carefully clutched our coffee cups – as not to destroy the perfect handiwork of City Nails. Check out Deidre’s nails to appreciate how You Don’t Know Jacques! compliments different complexions.

If you are a regular reader of Spoiled Pretty, you know that while I love me some beauty products, I don’t use superlatives very often. So when I say that You Don’t Know Jacques! is the the most magnificent nail color I have ever worn, you know I’m not just high on nail polish fumes. It is so gorgeous that it has taken me twice as long to finish this review, because I keep getting distracted…hypnotized by my delishiously dark mani.

You Don’t Know Jacques!, the star of OPI’s La Collection de France, is soon to join my own private stock because I cannot LIVE without this shade in my lifestyle.

You. Must. Go. Buy. This. Polish. There’s really nothing more to say. If this review doesn’t convince you to drop everything and go invest $8 in the most stunning nail shade eva – well, you don’t know jack.

Beauty Addicts, Meet Beauty Addicts

beauty+addicts+lipclick Beauty Addicts, Meet Beauty Addicts
You know your retractable lip brush? The cheap gold one where the tip falls off every time you use it? The one that deposits more hairs on your lips than pigment? Yeah, that lip brush. Here’s my advice to you…th’ow it out, as my mother would say.

I mean, why would you keep holding on to a beauty tool that makes your mouth look a hot mess when you can replace it with one that makes you look hot, period?

Beauty addicts, meet Beauty Addicts LipCLICK Retractable Brush. The best lip brush I’ve used – retractable or otherwise, in forever. Hands down.

Chic, sleek and the perfect definition of form meets function. The brush opens to reveal a full size lip brush with just one click – and slides back after use into a fully protected casing. Perfect for on the go application for your busy life!

It’s my holy grail retractable lip brush. Go get you one – and while you’re there, pick up one of Beauty Addicts’ RelationLIPS palettes. I’m partial to ExpressLIPS, a combination of four nudes (buff, rosy-gold, cream and bronze) that make for the inherently sexy Angelina kisser.

Beautyaddicts.com. You’re welcome.

Good Things Come In Fives

travel+set+of+5 Good Things Come In Fives
If you haven’t yet jumped on the Urban Decay bandwagon, I have one question for you…what have you been waiting for? Haven’t you been listening?

It’s alright. I forgive you. But now it’s time to get with the program and play a little game of catch-up.

There’s no better introduction to the brand than Urban Decay’s 24/7 pencils. In my knowledgeable opinion, no other eyeliner compares. 24/7 Pencils are in a league of their own. They are my holy grail and they’ll be yours too. I would bet money on it.

Now, typically, these pencils are $16 a pop. But right now, you can pick up five for only $29.

Urban Decay Travel Size Set of 5 – available in “Velvet Rope” and “VIP” – is like a box of crayons for your eyes. Five travel-sized liners let you experiment and play with color. Created with 50% moisturizing ingredients, the pencils are creamy, blendable, and waterproof. Packaged together against a mirrored backdrop, the 24/7 Pencils are must-haves for your beauty tool kit, and speak to everyone’s inner party girl: the woman who wants and needs an eyeliner that lasts all night (and even into the morning!)

The VIP set features the #1 best-selling black Eye Pencil, Zero (zealous black), Lucky (brilliant deep copper), Covet (peacock green), Electric (bright aquamarine), and Lust (plush purple). The Velvet Rope set features Yeyo (metallic white), 1999 (plum with teeny gold glitter), Zero (zealous black), Bourbon (brown with teeny gold glitter), and Stash (dark green/gold).

I’m somewhat surprised that my favorite shade, Deviant, didn’t make the cut. But otherwise, I can’t be mad at UD because all of my other pet pencils make an appearance. Depending on your comfort with color, you can choose one set or the other. My suggestion is that you purchase both. Yes, you’ll have two Zeros – but this black liner is the end all, be all – so you really will need more than one.

These babies are gonna go quick. So act fast!

Urban Decay Travel Size Set of 5 is available at Sephora and urbandecay.com.

Don’t Hate The Hairspray, Hate The Hold

ted+gibson+beautiful+hold+hair+spray Dont Hate The Hairspray, Hate The Hold
Raise your hand if you’re a hairspray hater. I’m right there with you. My fine, limp hair and falls flat at the mere mention of heat or humidity…but I’d much rather sport listess locks than a shellacked style, any day.

I believe that hair should move…so give me a firm hold formulation and that mess is going straight into the trash. No helmet head for me, thank you. And flexible hold hairspray is a joke. I like my Kentucky Fried Chicken crispy…not my hair.

After years of playing Goldilocks – desperately searching for a hairspray to hold my hairstyle (not hold it captive), I’ve found one that even the most staunch haters will absolutely adore.

Ted Gibson Beautiful Hold Hairspray is quite possibly the best hairspray. Ever. Unlike so many that promise beautiful, touchable hold – this one actually delivers. The fool-proof formula allows it to be layered depending on styling needs: natural, light or for greater hold. And the gardenia scent is so sophisticated, you can give your perfume the day off.

Ted Gibson’s hair care line can be purchased at tedgibsonbeauty.com and (drumroll, please) Sephora!

Spoiled+Pretty+Holy+Grail Dont Hate The Hairspray, Hate The Hold

Put on your Game Face: Summer 2008 Beauty Olympics

SP award 3 Put on your Game Face: Summer 2008 Beauty OlympicsIn the spirit of the 2008 Summer Olympics, Amber and I are teaming up for some synchronized beauty blogging. As trained beauty athletes, we’ve collaborated to provide readers with a dream team of products expertly culled from our extensive reviews.

Using a scale of 1 to 10 (just like the Olympic judges), Amber and I are awarding three winners – gold, silver and bronze – in each category.

To quote Amber, “We’ve been testing out products all summer to identify which cosmetics would be Beijing-bound – if there only were a beauty category.”

The winners of the Summer 2008 Beauty Olympics demonstrate such amazing strength, agility, and endurance – you’d swear they were on steroids!

And the winners are…

FACE


EYES

SKIN CARE

Bronze (8.6): T3 Bespoke Labs Featherweight Hair Dryer

FRAGRANCE

Gold (10): Philosophy Amazing Grace Perfumed Body Spritz
Silver (9.1): Hanae Mori Butterfly Eau Fraîche
Bronze (7.8): Kenzo RYOKO fragrance pebble in Flower by Kenzo

olympic+flag Put on your Game Face: Summer 2008 Beauty OlympicsAnd now, I ceremoniously pass the torch to Amber.

Visit Beauty Blogging Junkie to find out which products she believes are in a league of their own.

Lazy Night: Purity Made Simple High-Foaming Daily Cleanser

Oh yes it’s lazy night
And the cleanser’s right
Oh yes it’s lazy night
Oh what a night (oh…what a night)

I admit it. I’m lazy. I love to pile on the makeup, but hate to take it off. When it’s time for beddy bye, I just want to bypass the bathroom pit-stop, slink under the covers and drift off to sleep. Sometimes I justify my laziness by reasoning that I only wore mascara and lipgloss during the day…so a nighttime cleansing would be nice, but isn’t entirely necessary. Damn, I’m lazy.

philosophy+purity+made+simple Lazy Night: Purity Made Simple High Foaming Daily CleanserFortunately, my indolent ass just discovered Philosophy’s new Purity Made Simple High-Foaming Daily Cleanser. Philosophy took their best-selling creamy face wash and whipped it into a fabulous foam. The paraben- and sulfate-free formula gently melts away the toughest makeup, dirt, oil and debris, and leaves the skin refreshingly clean (not dry or tight). Just dampen skin and dispense 2-3 pumps of cleanser. Massage onto skin for 30 to 60 seconds and rinse. That’s it.

I suppose even the laziest of the lazy has 30-some seconds to spare. Plus the cleanser is so amazing, you’ll momentarily forget how much you loathe late-night face washing.

Purity Made Simple High-Foaming Daily Cleanser is available at Nordstrom, Sephora, and philosophy.com.

Spoiled+Pretty+Holy+Grail Lazy Night: Purity Made Simple High Foaming Daily Cleanser

Take it away, Kool and the Gang…

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