Saturday, May 31, 2014

Review: My Amazing Blow Dry Secret

Long, thick curls may be what most consider "good hair" but what's often not considered is what a challenge they are to maintain.  That being said, blow drying my hair is something I rarely ever do and definitely not something I look forward to.  Any stylist whose ever had to work this head of hair will tell you their arms have felt the burn afterwards.  
So naturally I was curious when I came across My Amazing Blow Dry Secret  at the last beautypress event here in NYC.  A product designed to cut the time your hair's blow dry time down by 50%.    
But before I go any further, I'd like to note that this is the sexiest shampoo trio I've ever owned.  Their packaging theme is adorable and I actually get excited seeing them... just sitting there all pretty and pink <sigh>   Ok, now back to business!
The Trio Includes:
$22.00 for 10.1-fl oz.- Shampoo 
$24.00 for 10.1-fl oz. Conditioner
 $25.00 for 6.78-oz.
How They Work:
The Shampoo and Conditioner contain a specialized coconut oil-based water-wicking system which disperses the water throughout your hair, so it can evaporate faster.  Here's how:
  • Natural, fractionated, cold processed virgin coconut oil hydrosol, a special form of coconut oil with super-fine molecules, disperses quickly through the hair, taking the water with it and helping it evaporate much faster.
  • When the water evaporates, the ultra fine coconut oil clings to the hair, carrying the moisturizers, heat protectants, frizz fighters and shine enhancers, so they remain on the hair even after rinsing.

The Quick Dry Shake’n Spray® contains a two-part formula with quick-dry agents in the top clear half, and conditioners, moisturizers, thermal protectors and frizz fighters in the bottom pink half.  Shake the bottle to blend them together, then spritz onto wet hair.  The quick-dry agents evaporate rapidly, taking the water with them, drying hair up to 50% faster. At the same time, the conditioners, moisturizers, protectors and frizz fighters remain on the hair to leave it healthy and shiny
Do They Work?
So basically, the amazing secret revealed is this coconut oil.   The verdict???
Yes, this stuff works and it's pretty cool.  Typically when I blow dry my hair, I just want to get it dry.  I am not sitting there doing it in sections and trying to get it straight and/or style it.  I am simply trying to remove the moisture completely out of it which usually takes me about 25 solid minutes to do.  After using the shampoo, conditioner and spray I was able to get it totally dry in about 15 minutes flat, which to me is pretty impressive.  It isn't quite the 50% time reduction mentioned on the bottle, but it is certainly faster.  My hair felt soft afterwards and was really easy to brush out because the spray also helped detangle the knots.   

The formulas for both the shampoo and conditioner were pretty light and rinsed out well.  I didn't experience any build up.  I love the spray the most.  Even though it is for thermal protection, I still use it on days when I'm not applying any heat.  It's great for adding some extra moisture and shine and even provides UV protection, which you can never have enough of.  All three have the same light, sweet scent.  It doesn't linger very long (although personally I wish it did because I like it) but for the time you're using it, it's pleasant.   
Overall, this is definitely the trio to take home if you're an avid blow dry junkie and want to save yourself some primp time. 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Violet Files: Julie Delpy

Exclusively from  VIOLET GREY , the latest addition to The Violet Files, features an inside look at actress and writer Julie Delpy's own personal beauty routine.

For some women, getting ready for a night out is less of a routine than a sacred ritual. (A specific playlist must be queued up. Fragrance always has to be applied last.) This is not the case for Julie Delpy. “I’m more joking and playing around,” confesses the Paris-born, Los Angeles-based actress/writer. “After all, it is putting on a dress and makeup, you know? It’s good to do it well but it’s also good to not obsess over it.”

“I’ve been faster [at getting ready] than any of my boyfriends. Even the least vain ones.” – Julie Delpy
“[When] I started in France, things were much more low-key. You could call Dior or anyone and they would lend you a dress. Now if a dress has been worn you can’t wear it again. I personally don’t care if I wear the dress that 10 people have worn already. I’d be happy to.” – Julie Delpy
Read the rest of Julie's secrets here!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Algenist Giveaway

Hello dolls! I just learned about an awesome giveaway opportunity too good to keep to myself! In celebration of QVC’s Today’s Special Value, Algenist is giving away FIVE Wrinkle Fighter Supersize Duos – a $370 value. The duo includes Algenist’s best-selling Concentrated Reconstructing Serum and Regenerative Anti Aging Moisturizer .
To enter is easy: share your favorite Algenist product on Facebook and Twitter tagging Algenist and #lovealgenist for a chance to win. And don't dawdle!  Because the contest ends tomorrow, May 28th at 12pm PDT, at which point the winners will be announced on Algenist’s social channelsGood luck dolls!! 
If any of you are among the lucky winners, come back and dish about your prizes!

Thursday, May 22, 2014


It's always fun when you come across a new brand to love.  I started using ARTDECO  after discovering it at the last beautypress Spotlight Day event here in NYC and have been hooked ever since.
ARTDECO is Germany's number one makeup brand in perfumeries, beauty salons and select department stores, is present in Europe and all over the world.  It's is known for its focus on what women truly want and turn that into amazing quality products at affordable prices.   
Usually when I hear a brand reference their products to "affordable luxury" I get a little skeptical.  But I have to admit that every ARTDECO product I tried, genuinely impressed me.    

First up: The Eyeshadow Base (or primer).  The texture of this base is like to no other I've tried.  Its very creamy and goes on like silk.  The nice part is that it is so smooth and luxe that it just glides right on.  I've found other primers go on a little thick or are hard to spread over my lid until the heat from my finger warms them up.  This one is already soft and easy to apply.  Its lightweight and does a good job of keeping the shadow from creasing and wearing off.  It also contains vitamin E which is a great bonus.     

Their eyeshdows may be some of the most unique I've seen.  The colours are sold individually to let you create your own palette.  Many of us (myself included) will by a quad and end up using only two or three out of the four colurs, while the last shade just sits there wasting space. After you pick the colours you want, each fit snugly into the compact and are held in place by a magnet.  This got me curious so I tossed the little guy in my purse and took it for a spin.  After several hours of tumbling around in my purse, I am happy to report they all made it home safely.  No chipping, crumbling etc.- trauma free!    


The color payoff on these was amazing, with virtually no fall out.  Blending was easy because they  had a velvet like feel to them and went on pretty smoothly.  They're long lasting, even coverage- overall perfection.            
The final product I tried was the Hot Chili Lip Booster .  This is to plump up those lips for a real juicy pucker! 
Description: The red pepper extract makes them rosy and voluminous. Small glitter particles reflect the light and make the lips appear even more voluminous. The gloss supplies intensive shine and prevents the lips from adhering or dehydrating.
Personally, I've never been one to go nuts over plumpers, but I like this one.  The scent is super yummy (if you like cinnamon) and it isn't sticky.  I advise being careful if applying over dry or sensitive lips.  Mine lips are ultra sensitive so its tingling sensation stung a little at first, but it subsided after a few minutes.  Its colorless so all it adds it a subtle shimmer and glossy sheen.  Its ideal for pairing with intense or dramatic eye makeup.  Perfect for when you want to down play your lips, but still make them stand out.   
Overall, I've become a fan and am looking forward to checking out their latest Jungle Fever Collection.  The bronzed themed collection is bursting with exotic colurs and shimmers that I totally intend to rock this summer.
Have you ever tried ARTDECO?  Are you interested? 
*Please note I could not find any price listings but will post once I do* 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Beauty Box 5 May Review

Hello darlings!  As you know, each month I have the pleasure of working with the fab goodies hand picked by the experts at Beauty Box 5.  As a member of the review team, I receive each box complimentary in exchange for my thoughts on the contents.  Beauty Box 5 is a monthly subscription that delivers five of the industry's top product right to your door.  So let's check out this month's box, shall we?!

Retail: $5.99
This was an awesome surprise because I've been wanting to do more facials like these.  They're paraban free, vegan friendly and 100% biodegradable.  I liked this Detox Diva version because it contained some of my favorite ingredients like argan oil and honey to keep my dry skin super hydrated, while geranium oil, seaweed and green tea leaf extract work to minimize pores and lift impurities.  Once applied, I felt an instant cooling sensation.  I left it on for the recommended 20 minutes and my skin felt incredibly soft and refreshed after.       
Retail: $2.97
These are great for tossing in your gym bag, your purse or even your beach bag.  Now that the weather is heating up, you never know when you may need a momentary "refresher" while out and about.  And these are designed for use all over the body so they're safe for your face and neck as well.   
Retail: $55.00 5.7 oz
I haven't heard of Harvy Prince but I'm a fan of this scent.  It's a floral with mandarin, grapefruit, forsythia and pulmeria notes.  The scent is light but sweet-- perfect for this season!
Retail: $20.00
My eyeliner samples tend to accumulate because I don't often wear liner but I think this one may see some use!  This went on nice and smooth with no dragging.  It was easy to maneuver during application (I'm not so much with the straight lines) and removal was quick and easy.  It is paraban free and waterproof as well, making it ideal for the upcoming summer heat.
Retail: $ 18.00 120 ml
I'm a big fan of H2O products and this turned out to be a good one.  Its a refreshing face wash that lathers right up!  The sample seemed kind of small at first (8 ml) but believe it or not it holds quite a few uses.  Since the lather is so nice, you only need a few drops at a time.  
Overall I was pretty happy with this month's box.  I was especially happy with the mask and body clothes products.  I'm starting to feel good and prepped for summer!
Do you currently have a monthly beauty box subscription?  Are you interested in this one?

Friday, May 16, 2014

Land's End: Women's Fall 2014 Collection

I recently had the chance to catch a sneak peek of the latest fashions and styles from Land's End Women's Fall 2014 Collection.  
The collection incorporates some of my favorite elements; soft pastels, innovative styled denims, and eye catching pops of colors! 

This phenomenal piece is bound to be a best seller.  Sleek and sexy on the outside, super warm and cozy on the inside.  
Ever feel a little jealous of those runway model legs?  Aside from the classics, Land's End is introducing two new jeans this season.  The new slim fit and straight fit are both straight legs,  but are designed to create the illusion of longer legs with their low-rise waist fit. 


There are your classic cashmere sweaters, but with some sass for this upcoming season!  Chose from an array of vibrant hues like pink and yellow for that pop of color to rich greens and deep navy for a more conservative look.   
To complete every ensemble are a variety of gorgeous accessories.  One of the best qualities of Land's End is that the styles are innovative and daring but still chic and sophisticated.  Every combination of pieces work well for the office, a date night, or the times you're transitioning from work into the date.
 I loved this sweater with the jewel detailed owls.  Only Land's End could make owls stylish and totally in this season.  So cute!

 It is a beautiful collection and the best part is it won't break the bank.  I definitely recommend checking it out once it hits stores, and be sure to keep an eye out for that must have jacket! ;)

Do you have a favorite from the collection? 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Free Fashion Event in NYC

Lands’ End and Glamour Bring The
Ultimate Swimsuit Experience to New York City
The weather is burning up and that can only mean one thing... swimsuits are flooding the racks of every store and you're probably drowning as we speak.  The dreaded search for a swimsuit is something I think most of us prefer to avoid, but consider this: A total pro tells you exactly what you need and where to find it.  Now that's what I'm talking about. 
 To make this year's swimsuit shopping experience more enjoyable (and way more successful!) Land's End is teaming up with Glamour to offer beauties like yourself the chance to receive complimentary professional swimsuit fittings, style tips and a chance to shop for the perfect swimsuit.  
The first 100 attendees will receive a VIP gift bag complete with summer essentials and a great summer read from Random House Books.
When: May 21, 2014
     11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
    Where: Flatiron Plaza
    23rd St and 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010
What: Visual & Media Opportunities: 
·         Traveling Beach House - Lands’ End will unveil the traveling beach house – a beautiful Coastal-style beach house complete with sand dunes and an upper sun deck.
·         Professional Swimsuit Fittings - There will be bra and swimsuit fittings by The Lands’ End professional swim fit experts who will be available to show how to measure for the perfect fitting swimsuit.
·         Swim Trends and Style Solutions from Glamour - Kendall Farr, fashion stylist, top-selling author and Glambassador from Glamour will be on hand for interviews about the latest swimsuit trends and style solutions.
·         Share the Experience – After the event experience, attendees can take an event photo to be shared socially at #GetawayTour.
If you're an NYC resident or in the NYC area definitely head over to check it out.  How many times do you get the chance to experience a professional fitting and snag a few VIP summer must-haves??  I myself can't make it so I'm counting on you to come back and dish me all the deets!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Trunk Show: Taylor and Tessier

Aspen based jewelry designer Taylor and Tessier Uncommonly Beautiful Things recently unveiled their absolutely gorgeous Fall 2014 Collection during their trunk show at Henri Bendel here in NYC.     

The collection is all about simplistic lines, stand alone pops of colors, and understated luxe this season.  Illustrated through bright blues of the ocean to warm jewel tones of the mountains, each handmade creation is inspired by nature's own beauty showcased in exotic skins, natural stones and leather.  The collection evokes the notion that fashion is fun, shown through the beautiful colors and textures of every piece making each piece a "must have".  

"We both share a certain rush of pleasure that comes from taking raw and untouched materials and forming them with our hands, refining the materials into beautiful works that will be worm by another person.  This is the raw sport behind the influence that makes up our product.  Each piece represents a part of us because we design ad handmade every individual piece" explains the designers.  

This was one of my favorite pieces in the collection.  I loved the sparkling crystals along the delicate gold chain, and its soft blue-green stone makes it really unique.  It's the perfect way to add a touch of elegance to your look.

Retail: $300.00   

Pieces from the collection:

Prices range from $110- $325

Launched in 2010 Taylor and Tessier designs were first sold at the prestigious Aspen Saturday Market creating a name for itself through its unique style and quality.  It's now carried in over 60 high end retail locations and has acquired national brand awareness.

Did any of these beauties catch your eye?

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Mom Knows Best

We've all heard the phrase "Mom knows best" and while we don't always like to admit it... it's almost totally true.  These beauty industry pros owe much of their success to their mothers and grandmothers.  Having taken the fabulous tips and tricks passed down to them, these celebs have really benefited-- (and hey, so have we!)  Check out the motherly advice followed by some of the industry's finest:

Before Charlotte Tilbury become an international makeup artist, she spent her childhood years on the island of Ibiza with her parents, Patsy and Lance. What’s the best piece of advice that Patsy gave to her daughter? You decide:
·        Lipstick gives instant glamour, so there is no excuse for not doing your makeup every morning.
·        Always protect your skin. Growing up on an island, Charlotte’s mom always insisted that Charlotte use the best sunscreen available.
·        The importance of moisturizer, not only for your face, but to prevent the aging of the hands as well.
·        Always wear high heels!

Mother’s Day is not just any other day for Miko and Titi Branch, the founders and CEOs of Miss Jessie's. The company name itself pays tribute to their grandmother Jessie, better known as “Miss Jessie.” Miko and Titi still take their beloved grandmother’s teachings to heart:
·        The importance of deep conditioning hair. Miss Jessie once created a softening, deep conditioning crème with an egg and mayonnaise.
·        Carefully blot curly, wet hair with a towel in downward motion. Randomly drying hair can cause excess frizz that turns curly hair into a complete disaster.

Katie Jane Hughes, butter LONDON Global Colour Ambassador, learned her beauty basics from her mother and grandmother:
·         Katie’s mom believed in the power of lipstick saying– you never know who you’re going to meet!
·         Her grandmother faithfully used L'Oreal Paris Elnett Satin Hairspray, and to this day the smell still reminds Katie of her.

This is a special shout out to all the moms out there because we thank you so much for your words of wisdom and all your loving advice!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Get the Look: Met Gala 2014

Pureology Artistic Ambassador Ruth Roche shares how to get the most memorable hairstyles seen at this year's Met Gala
Drama, drama, drama. The 2014 Met Gala, themed "Charles James: Beyond Fashion," was a blast from the past with stars stepping out in extravagant 20th-century-inspired ensembles and billowing ballgowns. While they may have dressed dramatically, Pureology Artistic Ambassador Ruth Roche found the hair trend of the evening to be understated and elegant, balancing out even the most over-the-top looks.
"Hair is a very important part of the look from head to toe. With such extravant gowns this year, I was excited to see simple, minimal hairstyles, which offset the drama of the dresses nicely," says Ruth. "Retro waves, smooth and sleek updos and natural waves were the three major trends I noticed on the red carpet last night."
Spotted with some of the most standout styles? The beautiful Anne Hathaway, Taylor Swift and Blake Lively, just to name a few. Here are Ruth's favorite styles of the evening and steps to recreate each look at home.
Smooth and Sleek
Anne Hathaway: Boy-Chic 
Get the Look:
  1. Apply Pureology Nourishing Nectar Sculpting Gel to damp hair.
  2. Create deep side part and blowdry fringe area forward and to one side, directing the sides back.
  3. Smooth hair into place with a boar bristle brish and spray with Pureology Supreme Control High Hold Hairspray.
  4. Finish off with a light shine spray, such as Pureology Radiance Amplifier Anti Frizz Shine Spray.
 50s RETRO 
Taylor Swift: Wave-Set Bob 

Get the Look:
  1. Prepare hair first by blowdrying with Pureology Root Lift Spray Hair Mousse.
  2. Set hair on hot rollers off to the side and away from the face, spraying each section with Pureology Strengthening Control Zero Dulling Hairspray as you go.
  3. Apply a small amount of Pureology Cuticle Polisher Shine Serum to your hands and run through the hair.
  4. Brush through and spray with Pureology Supreme Control High Hold Hairspray.


Blake Lively: Luscious Waves

Get the Look:
  1. Apply Pureology Root Lift Spray Hair Mousse to damp hair and blowdry with volume at the roots.
  2. Set hair with a side part, back off the face in a brick-layered pattern.
  3. Brush through with Mason Pearson brush and a small amount of Pureology Cuticle Polisher Shine Serum.
  4. Lace the entire head, starting at the nape and using the brush to create a cushion and lock the sections together.
  5. Smooth over surface and push waves into place.
  6. Finish with Pureology Supreme Control High Hold Hairspray
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