Because Shaving is the Pits: DERMAdoctor Gorilla Warfare Antiperspirant Giveaway!


My hair grows like a weed. Unfortunately, the hair of which I speak is not on my head. My legs and underarms give my razor a workout. If I shave in the morning, by afternoon, I've got stubble. And forget about skipping days...unless I want to look like Sasquatch. Getting rid of the hair is not only expensive (I CONTINUE READING

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale: BlowPro Perfect Shower Cap


The shower and my chemically-straightened hair are frenemies. Every seventh day when I wash my hair, they get along great in a shampoo Shangri-la. But the rest of the week, I employ a shower cap to keep the steam from undoing the silky straightness. I have been wearing shower caps since I was a child, and I’ve tried them CONTINUE READING

Miss Oops is On Sale at HauteLook


I love Miss Oops fashion fixers and have been using them for years. If you wear clothes, you NEED to get acquainted with Miss Oops. All of those things that can and do go wrong with your wardrobe can be fixed by Miss Oops problem-solving products. Shirt revealing too much cleavage? Accidentally get a deodorant stain on your top? Are your CONTINUE READING

Get Catty With Wildfox Catfarer Sunglasses


I've been searching for some cat eye sunnies for forever. On a whim, I bought these Wildfox Catfarer Sunglasses from Shopbop - hoping that they wouldn't look too cartoonish. Even though I was afraid they'd be too large, I'm digging the oversized frames. They make a statement without overwhelming my face. And the cat eye shape is subtle, so it's not CONTINUE READING

Peep My Polish: Revlon Top Speed Nail Enamel in Superstitious


Now that I have two kids - and the youngest being 6 weeks old - I needed to get better acquainted with quick-dry nail polish options. I hardly have time to do anything, let alone a DIY - so I needed to find some lacquers that fit my new lifestyle. Yesterday, while going my grocery shopping, I picked up Revlon CONTINUE READING

Tatcha, I'm So Glad I Gotcha


I'm home on maternity leave, so I spend an inordinate amount of time nursing my daughter, burping her and changing her diapers - all the while, watching hours of QVC. I don't know what it is, but I am mesmerized by QVC demonstrations. If I'm channel surfing and I happen to land on QVC, it's damn near impossible for CONTINUE READING

Mineral Makeup

Philadelphia Phocus: Ursula Augustine

Posted on by daneen in Eye Cream, Makeup Brush, Mineral Makeup, Philadelphia, Philadelphia Phocus, Primer, Scrub | 2 Comments

ursula1 Philadelphia Phocus: Ursula AugustineWhen I visited Ursula Augustine in her Rittenhouse studio, I patiently waited while she finished the makeup of a customer. As she was leaving, the woman warmly hugged Ursula and said, “See you on Saturday” before walking out of the door. Being that it was Thursday, I asked, “Is she a regular?” Ursula explained that the woman isn’t just a regular; she does her makeup 20 days out of every month. The moral of this story? Ursula Augustine has skills, and she takes care of her customers.

Ursula is a board-certified cosmetologist with an impressive career that spans over two decades. Earlier this year, she opened Philadelphia’s only makeup studio, About pHace – and since then, has been very busy, thanks to features in The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Magazine (she was voted Best of Philly 2007, Makeup Application). Ursula’s creative talent is no news to me, as we have been acquainted for years. So for my first Philadelphia Phocus, I decided to pay her a visit and find out how the new business is doing.

The first thing I noticed while touring Ursula’s studio was the organic tea bar; depending on the day, Ursula’s customers can choose blends such as Blueberry Echinacea or Exotic Chai. And while they sip tea, customers can leaf through some of the books in her library. Ursula prefers non-fiction, particularly biographies – from Marlon Brando to Chuck D, and everyone in between. Ursula’s space, is a calm retreat in the midst of bustling downtown Philadelphia; with its waterfall wall sconces and meditation area, it’s easy to understand why Ursula’s customers come back again and again. But, naturally, talent is her ace in the hole.

ursula2 Philadelphia Phocus: Ursula AugustineIn addition to her makeup artistry, Ursula recently unveiled her own line of cosmetics and skin care products that blend natural products with beautiful packaging. Her makeup line is mineral based, but this is no Bare Minerals knockoff. The foundation is liquid powder – so it’s minerals without the mess. The foundations and powders come in a variety of shades to compliment every skin tone.

Ursula’s eye shadows and blushes are gorgeous, yet very wearable – and her lipsticks are available in three finishes: matte, lip shine, and micro-bubble (which release oxygen to the lips throughout the day, keeping them hydrated). The item that blew me away, however, was the Retexturizing Face Primer – which, literally, melts into skin and leaves an invisible layer of silk on the face. Amazing is the only word to describe it.

Ursula’s own line of skin care is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and natural preservatives. When asked to name her favorite product, she couldn’t decide. “It’s like picking your favorite child,” she complained. Finally, she narrowed it down to two – her Oolong Tea and Carrot Oil Eye Cream (which smells like she poured it straight out of the teapot into the jar) and the Pumpkin Apricot Walnut Facial Scrub that she kindly gave to me as a gift. The scrub, which Ursula created years ago with her Cuisinart, is unlike any I have ever tried. It uses ground walnuts (not walnut shells) because they are gentler on skin. And the product can be used without water – just apply and tissue off, which means that you can pamper your skin anywhere, anytime.

It gets better…Ursula offers “pHace Lift Parties” – so you and a group of your friends can enjoy wine and hors d’oeuvres while taking a “Smoky Eye Class” or learning how to get that “J.Lo Glow”. She divulged that she’ll soon be adding karaoke to the menu!

Ursula’s About pHace Rittenhouse Makeup Studio is located at 1700 Sansom Street, Suite 201. For more information and to contact Ursula, visit her website.

Spoiled Pretty Tip: If you visit Ursula’s studio, ask her about the TGBIW brush. The acronym stands for “The Greatest Brush In the World”, which was shortened to fit on the brush’s handle. Created with a blend of sable, mink, and inner-thigh goat hair, the brush’s name doesn’t exaggerate.

Photos courtesy of The Philadelphia Inquirer.

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