Archive of ‘Holy Grail’ category

Tag…I’m It

headshots+090 Tag...Im It
I’ve been tagged by my girls, Marina and Kitiya, to divulge my beauty secrets. They’re not secrets, really – as I’ve blogged about most of these products before. But here are some of my faves, in condensed form. It’s like Spoiled Pretty, the Cliffs Notes version. I think I was supposed to limit each response to one product/answer. But I’m pretty indecisive, so narrowing it down would take forever. So most of these categories will have multiple answers.

Enjoy!

My Foundation:
Clinique Superfit Makeup (day)
Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation (night)

My Mascara:
Cover Girl Lash Blast Mascara

My Blush:
MAC Beauty Powder Blush in Joyous
MAC Beauty Powder Blush in Sweetness

My Eye Shadow:
NARS Alahambra Eye Shadow Duo

My Day Cream:
Atopalm MLE Cream (during the cold months)
Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel (during the warm/hot months)

My Lipstick:
Shu Uemura Rouge Unlimited Crystal Shine in RD 174S, BR 775S, and OR 563S
MAC Lipstick in Syrup

My Lipgloss(es):
MAC Lipglass in Viva Glam VI
MAC Plushglass in Foolishly Fab

My Beauty Product Brands:
Clinique, MAC, NARS, Urban Decay, Shu Uemura, Stila

My Essential Beauty Product:
Clarisonic Skin Care System

My Favorite Makeup Product:
Lipgloss, in general.
Specifically, it would be Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencils in Deviant and Stash.

My Perfume:
Hanae Mori Butterfly
Prada Infusion D’Iris
Vera Wang Princess

My Nails:
Seche Vite
China Glaze Love Letters Nail Polish

My Feet:
Obey Your Body Nail Buffer
Products from Dr. Scholl’s For Her

My Hands:
Jaqua Pink Buttercream Frosting Hand Crème
Frilly Lilly Lemongrass Sage Hand Cream

Three Products to bring on a deserted island:
Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Swivel Stick
Ojon Restorative Hair Treatment
Schick Intuition Razor (cuz it’s gonna get hairy on a deserted island)

Woman I admire for their beauty:
Thandie Newton is flawless. She always looks so ladylike and regal, which makes sense because her mother is a Zimbabwean Shona Princess.

Woman with the Best Sense of Style:
Rihanna – hands down. I couldn’t pull off anything she does, but I admire her trendsetting style and risk-taking. There are so many celebs sporting the same hairstyles, wearing the same clothes (“Who wore it better”) and carrying the same designer bags. Rihanna is truly an original – and that’s so refreshing. My runner-ups include Katherine Heigl, Eva Longria, Rachel Bilson, Kerry Washington, Joy Bryant, Emily Blunt, Anne Hathaway and the female cast members of Gossip Girl.

My Ultimate Dream:
To enjoy a long, healthy, comfortable life spent with my family, husband and a few kids. The means and freedom to travel, be creative, and do what makes me happy. That, and an endless supply of chic handbags.

How Do I Define Womanhood:
Joy and pain. But so much fun.

My Favorite Fashion Publication:
It’s a three-way tie between In Style, Lucky, and People Style Watch.

Dying to know more? Check out this interview I did with Makeup Masala.

I’ve Been Holding Out On Y’all

I’ve been holding out on y’all. Not on purpose, though.

Just now, I was searching around the blog – taking inventory, if you will, of what products I’ve tested thus far. When I went looking for my glowing review of Atopalm’s MLE Cream, it was nowhere to be found.

I must have told so many people about this miraculous moisturizer that I tricked myself into thinking I had reviewed it on Spoiled Pretty. But, alas, I did not – so here’s the 411, without further ado.

atopalm I’ve Been Holding Out On Y’allThere’s nothing special or sexy about the packaging, fragrance (it’s unscented), or name of this cream. But what I absolutely adore about this moisturizer is that Atopalm obviously put all of its resources into making a stellar product, rather than clever marketing.

Do you have dry skin? Do you suffer from dry flakes, no matter how much you moisturize? Is your skin extremely sensitive? Is rosacea your skin’s arch nemesis? Got a nasty case of eczema? Then you need to get this wonder cream!

Atopalm MLE Cream has plant-derived ingredients to aid in the replenishment of natural skin lipids to form a protective barrier against the elements. It also helps prevent the over evaporation of the skin’s own moisture. And it helps in restoring the skin barrier depleted by microdermabrasion, facial peels, and other harsh treatments. It can be used on both the face and the body, is suitable for adults and children, and is side-effect free!

MLE Cream is the only moisturizer that quenched my perpetually parched face this winter. It fully hydrated my skin without turning greasy, even hours later.

Atopalm products are available at Amazon.com, CVS.com, and SkinStore.com.

Holy Grail Translucent Powder

3c translucent face powder Holy Grail Translucent Powder
I used to think that truly translucent powder was a thing of myth…like the Yeti. I’ve finally found one (powder, not Yeti) – and I’m hooked!

Trae Bodge, Creative Director and Co-Founder of Three Custom Color Specialists gave me a jar of their Translucent Powder when I visited her in February. My parched face didn’t need it then, but I’m starting to need it now. And come summertime, this will be my secret weapon against Philly humidity and the greasy face that typically results.

translucent powder Holy Grail Translucent PowderNo matter your complexion, this product has you covered…literally. But thanks to the ultra-light and extraordinarily sheer formula, all anyone will see is you. Given that most women are one shade in the winter and another during the warmer months, save some time and money and buy one powder that works year-round.

Three Custom Color Specialists Translucent Powder is available loose or pressed, and can be worn on bare skin or over makeup.

Not Your Average Jo

jm L193 450 Not Your Average Jo
For what seems like forever, I’ve heard beauty editors go on and on about Jo Malone. I had yet to hear someone find fault with the products, which I thought was a bit fishy. So I tried their new White Jasmine & Mint line to see if the brand merits all of the rave reviews. OMG. I am completely enamored with Jo – you don’t even know. The products absolutely deserve every accolade I’ve read and heard. They deserve more, in fact – thus my subsequent stellar appraisal.

Last fall, Jo Malone debuted White Jasmine & Mint Cologne – a fragrance “inspired by a tranquil moment in an English garden when the sun emerges, the dew gently lifts and the blossoms are at their most fragrant. Notes of just-picked white jasmine, chamomile, wild mint, rose and coriander are entwined in this lush combination.”

In March 2008, Jo Malone introduced four new offerings to the collection – White Jasmine & Mint Bath Oil, Shower Gel, Body Crème and Home Candle.

The quality of these products is beyond compare. If I were to search my mental lexicon and come up with a phrase that best describes Jo Malone, it would be sumptuous indulgence. And the fragrance…where do I begin? The White Jasmine & Mint scent is an elegant, crisp recipe that is decidedly feminine – womanly, not girly.

jm candle Not Your Average JoThe White Jasmine & Mint Home Candle is without a doubt, the best candle I’ve ever smelled. Every night this week, I’ve lit the wick immediately upon returning home. It fills my apartment with the most enchanting aroma…I could wax poetic about it all day long. Once you drink in the scent of White Jasmine & Mint, you’ll be a convert too.

Jo Malone products are available at Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and jomalone.com.

Good Hair Days Are Made Of This

I sure know how to pick ‘em…

ojontamer Good Hair Days Are Made Of ThisSo without having heard anything about Ojon’s new Rare Harvest Tunu Elastik Hair Tamer, I picked it up on a whim during a recent trip to Sephora. Ojon has yet to disappoint me, so I took a chance on this $25 leave-in hair relaxer/de-frizzing balm.

Here’s what the package promised:
* imparts a soft, flexible smoothness to all hair types
* naturally seals the cuticle to stay sleek
* eliminates frizz caused by humidity
* provides a moisture barrier
* formulated without alcohol and silicone
* perfect for all hair types – straight, curly, permed, or relaxed

Does it deliver? You betcha! I took the bottle to Erik, my hairstylist, when I went to the salon yesterday evening. We were both surprised by how smooth and glossy my hair was after blowdrying – and its gel/mousse hybrid texture doesn’t weigh my fine hair down. Best of all, it’s snowing/sleeting/freezing raining here in Philly – but you wouldn’t know it to look at my hair. Even one of my co-workers remarked this morning. My hair has been looking seriously jacked up for weeks…so I was super excited to get a compliment – you don’t even know. I was doing the happy dance. And I have Ojon (and Erik) to thank.

Bottom line: Go get this stuff right now. It’s $23.50 on QVC, but if you buy it at Sephora and you don’t like it for whatever reason, returning it is a breeze. But chances are you won’t return it, cuz I know you’re gonna love it!

Urban Decay’s Main Ingredient Must Be Crack

urbandecay Urban Decay’s Main Ingredient Must Be Crack
Urban Decay’s main ingredient must be crack, or some other controlled substance. Because that’s the only explanation I can find to rationalize my addiction to their products.

Case in point: this past weekend, I went to Sephora – for writing inspiration; I didn’t intend to actually purchase anything. But you know how it is – you start playing with the testers and soon enough, you’ve convinced yourself that you can’t live without some new beauty goodies. Well, that’s exactly what happened to me. I couldn’t walk away from the Urban Decay display without tossing three of their 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencils into my basket. I already owned Deviant (bold blue), but she was lonely. So I bought Bourbon (brown w/ teeny gold glitter), Covet (peacock green), and Rockstar (dark purple) and took them home with me.

So the next day, I’m all excited to start experimenting with the pencils…but guess what happened. I opened up the Covet eye pencil box, and there was nothing inside!

How could I have walked out of the store with an empty eyeliner box? Here’s how: I’m an idiot. It obviously weighed much less than the other boxes (cuz there was nothing inside – duh). But I guess I was so giddy, and fiending for an Urban Decay fix, that I had a momentary lapse in judgment.

Luckily, Sephora has excellent customer service (shout out to Robin at the Willow Grove, PA store). I explained the situation, and they’re shipping me my liner. Don’t ya just love happy endings?

So the moral of the story is check the package before you leave the store. Well, that and Urban Decay must have crack in it.

The Root Of The Problem

rootcontrol The Root Of The Problem
Every 8 weeks, I visit my hairdresser Erik to get my roots relaxed. And for the next 4 weeks, my hair does whatever I want it to – and I revel in straight-haired bliss. But once my curly roots start growing in, my hair goes up in a ponytail and I mentally count the days until my next salon appointment.

Any gal with relaxed hair knows what I’m talking about. There’s nothing worse than your roots sabotaging a potentially good hair day.

Luckily, Editorial Stylists Kevin Ryan and Frank Rizzieri have gotten to the root of the problem, and created an innovative styling tool that has me loving my locks – even in week 7.

Root Control is designed to allow quick, safe, and effective straightening and styling of all types of hair. It’s great for touching up hairlines and roots in between blowdries and relaxers. It can also be used to redirect cowlicks and style bangs. Plus, its combination of ceramic barrel and double comb allow you to style the hair while keeping the heated barrel away from the scalp.

Product features include:
*Dual Styling / Pressing Combs
*Ceramic Heating Barrel
*Instant Heat Up
*Advanced LCD Digital Programming
*Up to 430 degrees Fahrenheit Pro High-Heat
*9ft. European Jacketed Line Cord
*Heat Resistant Storage Pouch with Embroidered Logo

At $179.00, Root Control is kinda costly. But can you really put a price tag on a good hair day?

Not yet convinced? Watch this video of the tool in action, then be prepared to pull out your credit card. Trust me. It’s worth every penny.

Root control is available online at rsessiontools.com.

Five Reasons To Cleanse With T’Fivve

TV006 tfivve foam Five Reasons To Cleanse With T’Fivve
The top five reasons to wash your face with T’Fivve Moisturizing Facial Cleansing Foam:

5) The rich foam gently melts away makeup and pollutants
4) Doesn’t strip the skin’s natural hydration
3) Helps maintain normal pH balance
2) After cleansing, your face feels refreshed, not dry or tight
1) Because I said so (and because it’s one of the best cleansers I’ve used in a very long time)

T’Five Moisturizing Facial Cleansing Foam contains Bergamot Fruit Oil, to act as an anti-bacterial; Orange Peel Oil to smoothe skin; Lemon Peel Oil softens; and Ylang Ylang Oil controls sebum production.

If you have very dry and sensitive skin – like mine – you’ll give T’Fivve Moisturizing Facial Cleansing Foam five enthusiastic thumbs up.

Available at skinscientifica.com and skinstore.com.

Three Cheers For T3!!!

T3 Featherweight allure Three Cheers For T3!!!
After reading countless rave reviews, I jumped on the T3 bandwagon. And let me tell you – I’m gonna ride it ‘til the wheels fall off.

T3 Bespoke Labs Featherweight Dryer is what ‘good hair’ dreams are made of. Every time I use it, I fall deeper and deeper in love with this hair dryer. How do I love T3? Let me count the ways:

*1800 watt, 2-speed/heat settings plus cool shot
*Tourmaline technology and infrared heat reduces static electricity
*Negative ions add moisture and sheen
*Eliminates the frizzy, “blow dried” look
*Seals hair cuticle – resulting in sleek, glossy hair
*Evaporates water in the hair faster, cutting drying time by up to 60%
*Super lightweight (13 ounces)
*Quieter than traditional hair dryers
*Chic bejeweled handle

With my old hair dryer, I would mix 2 or 3 different leave-in conditioners/hair creams in my hands, slather it on – then spend 20 minutes blowing it dry. Mind you, it only takes 10-15 minutes to dry my hair completely, but I had to dry in shifts because my arm and shoulder would start to give out. Once I was “finished,” I would apply a serum to make the cuticle lay down, then spend another few minutes sealing in the shine with another blast from the dryer. And after all that, my hair still looked puffy and parched.

Before T3 came into my life, blow drying was an exercise in endurance. Now, I actually look forward to drying my hair, because the end result is healthy looking hair – not wrecked and ravaged like before. Plus, I find myself applying less hair products because I just don’t need them anymore.

I am such a T3 convert that when I went to see Erik, my hairdresser, a few weeks ago, I took along my Featherweight. You heard me right. And guess what? Erik fell in love too. He used the T3 Featherweight in conjunction with 360 Plump (a weightless, non-sticky hair plumper created by T3 and Orlando Pita) – and nothing else. After Erik was finished styling my hair, he was absolutely blown away (there I go again) by how thick, bouncy, and naturally lustrous my hair looked.

The only downside to this dryer is its $200 price tag. But trust me – and I’m not exaggerating – it’s a steal considering the time and hassle it will save you. Plus, it’s kinder and gentler on your hair than the dryer sitting in the cabinet underneath your sink; and if you care about your hair, sooner or later, you’ll need to start taking care of it – or you won’t have any left.

Bottom line: a T3 hair dryer is a solid beauty investment, with rich dividends.

An Amazing Discovery

P193920 hero An Amazing Discovery
If you’ve never dabbled in DuWop before, get thee to Sephora and pick up the Discovery Kit, a set of five DuWop makeup must-haves. The kit includes a full size version of Lip Venom – as well as miniature versions of Amber Eyes (an eyeshadow palette with a base amber shade, a deeper version, and a cream liner), Blush Therapy in Hug, Venom Gloss in Lantana, and Lash Lacquer mascara in Carbon Black. The products are packaged in the cutest reusable train case.

Cult favorite Lip Venom has been named the best lip plumper by Sephora, Good Housekeeping, and Elle – but to be honest, it’s a bit too aggressive for my liking. Then again, I have sensitive skin and I don’t need much enhancement in that area.

P78303 hero An Amazing DiscoveryMy personal fav of the bunch is another award winner, Blush Therapy. After only using it once, it became my #1 cheek color choice. The cream glides on like a gel, but dries to a sheer velvety powder. It blends effortlessly and the finished result more closely resembles a natural flush than shiny gel stains or regular powder blush. And to top it all off, literally, it has aromatherapy oils built into the cap.

Blush Therapy’s latest award is a spot on my Best of Beauty 2007 list. It was also one of the products I used to achieve my New Year’s Eve look. On my next trip to Sephora, I definitely plan to purchase in at least two more colors.

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