Archive of ‘Philadelphia’ category

Obey Your Body

Buffer Obey Your Body
Thanks to a tip from the Beauty Blogging Junkie, I took a trip to a kiosk at the Montgomery Mall, outside of Philadelphia. This stand sells Obey Your Body, a complete line of skin care and spa products that are made in Israel using original Dead Sea minerals, water, and mud.

If you’re in the Philly area, I highly recommend that you pay this kiosk a visit. But don’t plan on drive-buy (your visit will take 10-15 minutes) – because the salesman is all about showmanship. He’s going to do demonstrations, tell jokes, and enlighten you about the healing powers of the Dead Sea. The routine almost takes on a magic show-esque quality. But trust me, it’s all worth it…because when you get the products home and try them for yourself, that’s when the real magic happens.

camera+12.11+160 Obey Your BodyMy mom, sister, and I all purchased The Ultimate Nail Care Kit, which contains a nail file, buffer, cuticle oil, and hand & body lotion. But the standout of the bunch is the nail buffer – which is unlike any other I have ever used. In the time that it usually takes for me to locate my bottle of clear polish, I buffed my way to super-shiny nails.

camera+12.11+180 Obey Your BodyI took some before and after photos (left) – and while impressive, my digital camera could not accurately capture how reflective my nails look. Unfortunately, it can only be appreciated in person.

Don’t live anywhere near Philadelphia? No problem. You can still Obey Your Body by visiting the website.

Blogging Is Hard Work

 Blogging Is Hard Work
Philadelphia Magazine recently had a chance to catch up with Jay McCarroll, Season 1 winner of Project Runway and Philly’s prodigal son (he’s back in town after a brief stint in NYC). Here’s an excerpt from the interview:

PM: Now, I know you’re watching Season 4 of Project Runway, because you’re blogging about it on Elle.com.

Jay: Yeah, it’s super fun. It’s hard blogging, which I had no idea about. I thought, Oh, it’ll take, like, 45 minutes of my day. But that turned into an entire day with editing and rewriting.

lush1 Blogging Is Hard WorkPM: Where are your favorite places in Philly to shop?

Jay: I go to all the thrift stores. I like to peek around at the little boutiques in Northern Liberties and 3rd Street. I love Lush cosmetics on Walnut. That’s probably my favorite store.

For the full transcript, visit phillymag.com.

Photo courtesy of ontheinside.info

Philadelphia Phocus: Linda Harding (Giveaway Edition)

rescue rittenhouse1 Philadelphia Phocus: Linda Harding (Giveaway Edition)
Last week, I called my friend after a trip to Rescue Rittenhouse Spa Lounge. After about a minute on the phone, she asked, “Why are you slurring your words?” Not having noticed anything different about my speech, I asked what she was talking about. She responded, “You’re facial drunk, aren’t you?” As I thought about her question, I realized she was right. I was facial drunk. My ‘Zoom Facial’ with award-winning esthetician Linda Harding was, quite literally, intoxicating. I mean, she isn’t called the Skin Diva for nothing. What makes Linda the best of the best? How long have you got?

 Philadelphia Phocus: Linda Harding (Giveaway Edition)When I visited the spa, I was warmly greeted and escorted to the waiting area – where I sipped on lemon water and perused some fashion mags. Considering that my last facial was three years ago (the horror!), I was somewhat apprehensive. But when Linda came to meet me, she immediately put me at ease with her friendly demeanor.

Once inside the facial room, I undressed, wrapped myself in a towel, and was tucked into the heated table; thanks to the cushy environs and tranquil ambiance, I already felt like a new woman – and the facial hadn’t even begun. Linda started with a careful study of my skin. “There’s good news and bad news,” Linda announced. “The good news is that you have great skin. The bad news is you’re doing all of the wrong things to it.”

She explained that I should be exfoliating every day, not just twice a week, which had been my usual routine. Then I closed my eyes, and Linda’s magic hands went to town on my face. First, she used a machine that employed the use of sound waves to remove layers of dead skin. This new method is as effective, for certain types of skin, as microdermabrasion; but unlike microdermabrasion, you can use it under the eyes, and it doesn’t irritate skin. It’s so gentle, yet effective, that Linda uses this machine on brides the morning of their wedding! Amazing right?

lift facial Philadelphia Phocus: Linda Harding (Giveaway Edition)My other favorite part of the facial was the Valmont product Linda used on my face. Valmont uses salmon roe DNA in most of its skincare products, which might sound yucky – but my skin found it absolutely yummy, and eagerly drank it up. Then, Linda used an electrical micro-current machine to push it into deeper layers of my skin – to boost the moisturizing and regenerating properties of the product.

Once my facial was finished, I was emotionally torn. Part of me couldn’t wait to see my reflection. On the other hand, I was sad that the process had come to an end. Once I looked in the mirror, I was amazed. My skin glowed and I couldn’t stop smiling. The results of my facial are indescribable…I can only liken it to peeling off the outer layers of an onion, revealing the fresh, hydrated layers beneath.

As if my new face wasn’t gift enough, Linda gave me a bottle of Biologique Recherche P50 Balancing Lotion – to maintain my new mug. P50, the cornerstone product in the Biologique Recherche line, is a vitamin-enriched exfoliating potion that purifies, hydrates, and tones, visibly improving whiteheads, blackheads, and symptoms of rosacea.

Before parting, Linda imparted some wisdom; avoiding stress, drinking lots of water, and using the appropriate products for your skin type are her top three tips for stunning skin.

Jealous that I had an appointment with The Skin Diva and you’re just reading about it? Well, here’s your chance to meet with Linda, get a Zoom Facial, and receive a bottle of P 50. If you live in the Greater Philadelphia area, post a comment below or email me at spoiledpretty@gmail.com. Be sure to include your name and email address. Be sure to enter by 9pm EST on Thursday, December 20. One winner will be picked, at random, and I will reveal his/her name on Friday, December 21. Good luck!

The 12 Days of Christmas at About PHace

 The 12 Days of Christmas at About PHace
Here is what’s happening, for the holidays, at Ursula’s About PHace Makeup Studio

Designer Brows!
Dramatically defined brows frame the PHace, add expression and highlight eyes. Be among the first 12 people to reserve your appointment for a Holiday Makeover, at Ursula’s About PHace Make-up Studio from December 10–22, 2007 and receive a Professional Brow Sculpting service as your gift! ($45.00 value).

Copy+of+ursula3 The 12 Days of Christmas at About PHaceDesign Your Own Palette!
A collage of style –About PHace limited-edition, luxurious titanium palettes are the best of the season. Design your own palette by selecting the shades you prefer, from Ursula’s Professional color collection of vitamin and mineral cosmetics. Introducing six new must-have shades!

3 Well Magnetic Palette (unfilled) w/ mirror and double-ended shadow brush. $30.
6 Well Magnetic Palette (unfilled) w/ mirror and removable inserts. $45.
*Limited quantity available.

Complimentary gift wrapping with product purchases of $75.00 or more.

New Year’s 2008!
Ursula’s About PHace is the beauty destination as you prepare to ring in 2008! The Red Carpet and Pink Champagne have arrived, don’t miss out on the fun! Reserve your “PHace ’08″ makeover today!

Ursula’s About PHace Rittenhouse Studio
1700 Sansom Street, Suite 201
Philadelphia,PA 19103
267.546.6617

Philadelphia Phocus: Erik Robinson

Friends and strangers often compliment me on my hair, especially on the rare occasions when I sport something other than my trademark ponytail. But to be fair, the condition of my hair has less to do with the products I keep in my bathroom, and more to do with the company I have kept for the past thirteen years.

Erik+and+Nancy Philadelphia Phocus: Erik RobinsonErik Robinson is my mane man; that’s him (to the left, with his wife) at my wedding reception. He is the only person I would even let think about touching my hair. And for good reason – he’s been in the business for 20 years, he holds a state examiner’s license (which means he tests other who are seeking their cosmetology, esthetician, and managers license), and he knows hair.

Usually, when I’m in Erik’s chair, we gab about pop culture and the latest antics of my crazy family (Erik is also my mom and sister’s hairstylist, and my dad’s barber). But when I stopped in a few weeks ago, Erik and I talked (beauty) shop – and he had some tips for touchable tresses that I’m excited to share with all of you.

Erik says that it’s normal to lose 50-100 strands of hair per day. So if you notice a clump of hair in the shower drain – don’t break out the Propecia just yet. “Typically, your hair will tell you what’s wrong. The key is learning how to interpret the signs,” he said.

fantasia Philadelphia Phocus: Erik Robinson“Women are going flat-iron crazy right now, and they wonder why they’ve got broken tips and split ends. When you regularly use thermal styling tools, you need to coat hair with a light oil or serum to protect it from the damaging effects of heat,” Erik explained. One of my personal favorites is Fantasia Heat Protector Straightening Serum. It moisturizes, repairs, and smooths the cuticle – leaving hair shiny and frizz-free. It’s brilliant for preventing breakage, and at less than $8, it won’t break the bank.

When you start noticing half-stands on your pillowcase or collar, over-processing is usually the culprit. “Overlapping chemical processes, such as relaxers, perms, and permanent color, can take a toll hair – especially if hair isn’t strong to begin with.” So if you insist on altering the chemical structure of hair and its hue, you might want to consider a more gentle hair color (one without ammonia or peroxide). Look for products with the words “temporary” or “semi-permanent” – fortunately, there are plenty of great products out there, at every price point. And when in doubt, go to a salon; it beats wrecking your hair and having to see a professional anyway to repair the damage.

Finally, Erik warned that “losing whole strands is an indication that a person requires a major change in lifestyle. Diet, stress, hormones, and medication could be factors when your hair falls out at the root.” In such a case, a trip to the doctor is often necessary to get to the root of the problem (no pun intended).

fekkaiprotein Philadelphia Phocus: Erik RobinsonAt the end of our pow-wow, my final question to Erik was this: if he had to narrow it down to just one thing, what would he say is the secret to beautiful hair? “Beautiful hair is healthy hair,” he stated simply. “And the key to healthy hair is maintaining a stable pH level, which ranges between 4.5 and 5.5. Keeping hair in this range involves using balance of moisturizing and protein products.” So, in laymans terms – if you’re only using products that hydrate, you’re not adding enough strength to strands; conversely, if you go overboard with protein products, hair becomes so strong that it can literally snap. Try following a moisturizing shampoo, like Technician Shampoo For Dry, Damaged, Color-Treated Hair, with a protein treatment like Protein Rx Reparative Treatment Mask – both by Frederic Fekkai.

Erik Robinson’s wealth of hair knowledge is inspiring; if I wrote half of what he told me, we’d be here all day. But what is even more remarkable is his innate, creative talent. Erik is the best hairdresser I’ve ever had, and he’s also one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. So if you live in – or are passing through – the Philadelphia area, I highly recommend that you make an appointment. Erik is skilled in women’s and men’s hairstyling, hair cutting, and hair coloring – and if you mention Spoiled Pretty, he’ll knock 30% off all services over $20*!

Erik Robinson
Salon DuBose
107 South 22nd Street (between Chestnut and Sansom)
Philadelphia, PA 19103
215.564.5340

*For Erik’s price list, contact me at spoiledpretty@gmail.com.

Sweet Feet

footcare Sweet Feet

The time has come to reveal the winner of Spoiled Pretty’s giveaway, sponsored by Dr. Smith’s Foot Care. So without further ado…congratulations to Gee Winand! Gee is the winner of Dr. Smith’s four-part foot care system, which includes:

*Mineral Foot Soak
*Soy, Aloe, & Vitamin E Foot Cream
*Deodorizing Foot Wash
*Tea Tree Oil Anti-Fungal Treatment

 Sweet FeetSpecial thanks to Dr. Maasi J. Smith, founder and director of Rittenhouse Foot and Ankle Associates, for graciously sponoring this contest.

To learn more about Dr. Smith’s services, book an appointment, or purchase his foot care products online – click here.

Thanks to everyone who entered. Check back for another giveaway real soon…

Philadelphia Phocus: Ursula Augustine

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.

It’s Giveaway Time Again – Win Dr. Smith’s Foot Care!

 Its Giveaway Time Again   Win Dr. Smiths Foot Care!Recently, while flipping through the pages of Philadelphia Magazine, I came across an article about an extraordinary foot care product line developed by a local podiatrist. Immediately, I contacted Dr. Maasi Smith of Rittenhouse Foot & Ankle Associates and asked if he would send me some of his products to try. Not only was Dr. Smith happy to oblige, he generously agreed to sponsor a Spoiled Pretty giveaway!!!

The average person takes between 3,000 and 6,000 steps each day. However, when we decide to pamper ourselves, more often than not, it’s our poor feet that take a back seat. Proper foot care is important for our overall health, but Dr. Smith’s Foot Care proves that it can also be therapeutic, relaxing, and fun!

One winner will recieve Dr. Smith’s four-part foot care system, which includes:

Mineral Foot Soak – an awesome soak for tired, overworked, and aching feet, this product gently cleanses, exfoliates, and moisturizes in one simple step.

Soy, Aloe, & Vitamin E Foot Cream – softens, hydrates, and heals skin with natural ingredients; absorbs quickly with no greasy residue.

Deodorizing Foot Wash – made with plant extracts and essential oils, this citrus and mint fragranced wash cleans and deodorizes tootsies.

Tea Tree Oil Anti-Fungal Treatment – this mint-scented oil deeply penetrates to destroy nail fungus and transform embarassing, thick toenails.

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment in the comments section below by 9 pm EST on Monday, November 19th – be sure to include your name and email address. Or email me at spoiledpretty@gmail.com if you’re uncomfortable posting your email address below.

A winner will be chosen at random from among the entrants. On Tuesday, November 20th, I’ll announce the winner’s name. Please, only one comment per person; duplicate comments will not increase your chances of winning. Contest is open to U.S. & Canadian residents. Good luck!

Click here to watch Dr. Smith talk about how the shoes you wear can affect the health of your feet – and how his products can help.

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