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Over-The-Counter Power: Avène Rétrinal + 0.1 Cream

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avene

Recommended by dermatologists, Avène Rétrinal + 0.1 Cream is currently one of the most innovative skincare products on the market.

Available in three different strengths including 0.1% retrinal (French for retinol) which is currently the highest amount of retrinal available in an over-the-counter product. The lowest strength is 0.025%, which is where someone who has never used a retrinal product should begin. Classified as dermo-cosmetics, Avène Rétrinal Skin Care products are considered to be cutting edge skincare with a medical approach to skincare.

Avène Rétrinal + 0.1 Cream is quite effective for a couple of reasons. The product is a form of Vitamin A which through clinical studies has been proven to improve elasticity, radiance and skin texture – as well as reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. You will get the normal side effects with any retrinal/retinol product – skin sensitivity, peeling, dry skin. But it is all well-worth the end result. Clear, glowing, firm skin.

The easy to apply product should be applied to the face and neck after cleansing. As with all anti-aging products it is imperative that broad-spectrum sunscreen be used at all times when exposed to the sun.

I have used many retinol/retrinal products, over-the-counter and prescription – this is by far the best over-the-counter product I have used.

5 Favorites: Maxi Dress

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maxidresses

The best item to have in your closet for a “what to wear” moment – the maxi dress. This versatile item is an all-in-one ensemble that works for almost any occasion. From bright colors and bold prints to strong slits and cinched waists – there is a maxi out there for everyone. Here are a few of my favorite finds:

Monrow ~ T Back Racer V Tank Dress: $76.00

Rebecca Taylor ~ Paisley Gown: $395.00

BCBGeneration ~ Slit Maxi Dress: $101.99

Raquel Allegra ~ Tie-Dye Silk Maxi: $680.00

Splendid ~ Always Hi Lo Maxi Dress: $118.00

Dazzling Duo: Philip B. Oud Royal Forever Shine

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Philip B.’s revolutionary duo, Oud Royal Forever Shine Shampoo and Conditioner, is designed to help infuse more life into dull, dry, and limp locks. It’s MegaBounce technology uses nano molecules which are small enough to actually penetrate the hair and moisturize each strand from the inside out. After a single use, hair is bouncier, smoother, sleeker, and shinier.

Agarwood Oil, also known as Oud oil, Aloeswood oil, and many other names depending on location, is an extremely rare and precious natural oil obtained from several species of Agarwood trees. It originates in North Eastern India, Bhutan and parts of South East Asia. Agarwood has a very long history of medicinal use, as a valuable component of incense, and aromatic oil. The fragrance is complex, deep and woodsy, and is highly prized as an incense in Japan and as an oil in the Middle East.

INSTANT, DRAMATIC RESULTS:

  • An intensive hydrating complex treated with high-vapor energy – a new, patent-pending technology that breaks botanical oils into molecules tiny enough to sink deep inside the hair shaft.
  • Time-released botanical delivery system (made with natural Safflower Oleosomes) for major volume and a lustrous shine that goes on and on.
  • L-Amino Acids revive parched strands & tame frizz without weight.
  • Sweet Blue Lupine Peptides for superior color protection.
  • Pure Oud Essence for a rich, warm, sweet-woody scent.
  • Sulfate-free shampoo cleansing base with a rich luxurious lather for gentle and effective cleaning.
  • Safe for color-treated or straightened hair. 

Philip B. Oud Royal Forever Shine shampoo and conditioner create a luxurious and aromatic shower experience. The formula looks like liquid gold and reflects in the hair creating a luminous shine. The shampoo is sulphate and sodium chloride free which is highly recommended for colored and/or damaged hair. It does not lather like most shampoos but leaves hair exceptionally clean. Just one use will make a remarkable difference in the overall look and feel of your hair. Literally just wash, condition, rinse and style. No other products needed. You will be left with bouncier, glossier and voluminous hair that lasts for days.

Pint-Sized Palette: Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette

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Launching in the US tomorrow, November 29th, is the Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette. This pint-sized palette features five matte shades and one demi-matte shade. Four of the six shades are new and exclusive to this palette.

Perfect for travel or on-the-go, this palette can fit in your wallet or purse. It contains six full-sized eyeshadows, which include: Venus (soft, off-white demi-matte), Foxy (very light yellow/beige matte), Walk of Shame (very light pinky nude matte), Naked 2 (rosy taupe matte), Faint (warm, dusty brown matte), and Crave (deepest, darkest brown/black matte).

Urban Decay’s matte eyeshadows are some of the best I have used. They are in no way chalky, powdery or dry but super silky, finely-milled and pigmented. They are also long-lasting and true-to-color.

Starting on November 29th the Naked Basics Palette will be available at Urban Decay, Sephora, Ulta and select Macy’s. If you love neutrals and nudes to create a subtle and dramatic definition, then you will love the Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette.

Rediscovered Rouge: NARS Madly

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While cleaning out my makeup collection I rediscovered NARS Blush in Madly. Described as a “warm soft-focus seashell pink,” in the pan – it appears very light and uninteresting. However, when applied, it creates a warm rosy/brown glow that instantly warms the complexion – any complexion. Madly works on all skin tones.

The finely-milled powder has excellent pay-off – like most NARS Blush. It is pigmented yet buildable. There is a subtle shimmer running through the formula, but it wears as a sheen rather than sparkle. It does not emphasize pores or imperfections and can look very natural.

Applied with a heavy hand, Madly can create a radiant bronzed look. Applied with a light hand, Maldly can create a soft romantic glow.

Rediscover treasures in your makeup collection.

How To: Nude Lip

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Originally applied to downplay the rest of the face when having a dramatic smoky eye or a major blush moment, the nude lip has transcended from a trend to a classic.

Your perfect nude lip will depend entirely on the shade. Remember nude is not the same as neutral, you must take into consideration your skin tone and lip color. The right color will create depth and contour as the wrong color can make the entire face look dull or washed-out.

Choosing a color for your skin tone:

  • For fair or pale skin: Avoid beige tones. Opt for soft pinks, peaches or pale apricot as your base shade.
  • For the golden girls: Creamy, caramel-toned nudes and warm beiges. Avoid anything too cool, like grays or silver-toned shades.
  • For olive tones: Just about any nude shade will work, from beige to bronze to pinks.
  • For skin with yellow undertones: Light, creamy-toned beiges like latte or mocha.
  • For dark-toned skin: Go for chocolate tones such as rich golden browns and coffees.

Needed:

  • Foundation
  • Nude Lip Liner – Favorite: Here
  • Lip Brush
  • Nude Lipstick – Favorite: Here
  • Nude Lipgloss – Favorite: Here

How To:

  • Prep and moisturize the lips.
  • Blot a layer of foundation onto the lips. This will let lipstick perform at it’s truest color.
  • Define lips with a liner that is the half-a-shade deeper than lipstick. This will give the illusion of plumper lips.
  • Using a lip brush, apply lipstick.
  • Blot the lips with tissue and reapply.
  • If a glossy finish is preferred – apply nude lipgloss.

Shop For The Cure: Breast Cancer Awareness

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In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, shop to support the cause that affects about one in eight women in the U.S. Do your part by purchasing items that give back to the cause. Hundreds of brands and stores offer exclusive items and/or percentage of total purchase – so get out there and shop. Here are a few of my favorite items:

AG Jeans ~ The Keep A Breast Stilt - $159.00

* Made using processes free of toxic or cancer-causing chemicals, 20% of proceeds support The Keep A Breast Foundation’s™ breast cancer prevention and education programs.

DANNIJO ~ Breast Cancer Awareness Vika Bracelet – $198.00

* A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this piece will be donated to The Pink Agenda.

Coach ~ Madison Chain Wristlet – $68.00

* 20% of proceeds are donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Jennifer Meyer ~ Stand Up To Cancer ‘The Star’ - $1,375.00

* ALL net proceeds go to Stand Up To Cancer.

BCBGMAXAZRIA ~ Susan G. Komen Courage Sunglasses – $98.00

* Twenty percent of retail sales from each pair will be donated to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, with a guaranteed minimum donation of $25,000.

Cosabella ~ Bellissima Underwire Bra – $96.50

* 20% of proceeds are donated to Bra-ha-ha, an organization that promotes and raises awareness about breast health.

Nine West ~ Runway Relief Bootie – $149.00

* For the third consecutive year, Nine West is partnering with the CFDA to raise awareness and donations for Fashion Targets Breast Cancer (FTBC). Each step models take off the runway during Fashion Week equals a monetary donation from Nine West to FTBC.

Brand Bravado: Alpha-H

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Australia’s best-selling skincare brand – Alpha-H – was born from a desire to make a difference to one’s skin. Best summed up as a cosmaceutical range, Alpha-H bridges the gap between skincare and cosmetic procedures. The professional-grade formulas improve the appearance of your skin’s tone, texture and clarity almost instantly.

As one of the first Australian companies to develop glycolic cosmeceutical skincare, Alpha-H products contain a scientific blend of Vitamins A, C and E with naturally harvested ingredients. The combination is designed to assist in treating lines, wrinkles, pigmentation and acne problems. 

Alpha-H’s team of scientists spent years developing the best formulations for optimal skin health. Alpha-H believes in using active ingredients, not fillers, for maximum and fast results.

Alpha-H’s range includes award winning skin care products across a wide range of categories such as cleansers, facial scrubs, skin repair serums, glycolic and non-glycolic moisturizers and outstanding sunscreens.

Liquid Gold, the brand’s hero product has developed a cult following around the world. As the name suggests, Liquid Gold is a luxurious indulgence for the skin. It is a powerful resurfacing and firming solution that jump-starts the skin to help refine enlarged pores while improving the appearance of fine lines, acne scarring and pigmentation to deliver a brighter more radiant complexion. Key ingredients such as licorice and 5% Glycolic extract leave the skin looking more youthful, plump and energized.

One of the best skincare lines I have ever used, Alpha-H provides quick and tangible results. After just one week, I noticed an enormous difference with the texture of my skin. After a couple months, I have noticed dark spots fading, firmer texture and less breakouts.

Last night, Alpha H launched in the US. Products are now easily accessible HERE.

Additional Alpha-H Review: HERE

In The Know: Chanel CC Cream

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CC Cream, also known as Color Control cream, is an improved and refined BB (Blemish Balm) Cream. While BB Creams are manufactured primarily as a skincare product, CC Creams are developed to retain all the skincare benefits of a BB Cream plus added nourishing ingredients and the additional aim to provide more effective skin coverage. CC creams are formulated with technology originating in, industry-leader, Japan and further developed in Korea.

Asian countries have been using CC Creams for some time now and currently have many brands and product available. Just like the BB Cream “craze” – these creams will soon begin to roll out worldwide, one-by-one.

Chanel launched it’s version of a CC Cream (Chanel’s Version: Correction Complete/Complete Correction) to the Asian Markets earlier this year and will soon be available to the USA. No release date set.

READ BB CREAM REVIEWS:

Dior Hydra Life

Bobbi Brown

Boscia

Colorblocking: Eyes/Lips

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Layering bright eye shadows, liners and lipsticks can result in a fun makeup look that’s right on trend for the season. Just like colorblocking clothes, there are a myriad of possibilities one can create with makeup as well.

There’s a much-heralded rule in beauty that if you do a bold eye, the rest of your makeup should be neutral. With colorblocking, this rule does not necessarily apply. The bright colors will play off each other and make your features pop.

Throw all traditional “rules” out the window and be creative. A lot of these looks are used in editorial or runway features, to make it wearable stick to only two areas of the face, i.e. eyes/lips, cheeks/lips. Tone down the colors and heavy-handed application for a sheer wash of color. This will create a more modern and everyday look.

Primetime: NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base

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Prevent smudging, creasing and caking with NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base. This lightweight primer keeps eyes looking fresh and “just-applied” all day.

Fortified with deep-sea and antioxidant rice extracts, the Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base dries on contact and keeps the delicate eyelid smooth and prepared for color application. The formula is a transparent white cream that instantly creates a matte-effect on the eyelid (great for oily eyelids). This primer maximizes color for intense pigmentation and prevents fading and migration.

TIP: Having difficulties with under-eye concealer – vanishing/enhancing fine lines? Dab a thin layer of eyeshadow primer to the under-eye area before concealer application. The primer will fill in fine lines and keep the under-eye area looking fresh.

Pucker Up! H&M Fashion Against Aids 2012

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H&M Fashion Against Aids (FAA) collection launches today in 300 stores and online. This is the company’s fifth collection raising funds and creating youth awareness about HIV and AIDS.

Just like all of H&M’s collaborated collections, the store went for on-trend bold prints in both clothing and accessories. H&M commissioned prints from artists and illustrators all over the world – Inuit designs from Greenland, tribal prints from Africa, and Maori graphics from New Zealand – and worked them into 50 pieces, ranging from leggings and dresses to jewelry and ponchos.

Twenty-five percent of the proceeds from all sales will benefit youth AIDS/HIV programs, including the United Nations Population FundYouthAIDS, and the MTV Staying Alive Foundation.

Kiss For A Cause: For every kiss uploaded, H&M will donate $1.00 to HIV/AIDS prevention. Pucker Up!

Upload kisses here: http://campaign.hm.com/faa2012/

The Classics: Denim Shirt

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A perfect foundation to any outfit, the denim shirt is a timeless attribute to have in your collection.

Just like a trusty pair of jeans, the shirt is available in many washes and styles: dark wash, light wash, deconstructed, western style, classic style.

The denim shirt provides the perfect juxtaposition to this season’s floral dresses and skirts. It can be worn as a jacket/cover-up over these items or tucked-in for a more classic look. A great way to “casual-ize” an outfit is to pair this shirt with your favorite leather shorts or pants for a great daytime look. Or dress it up by adding a blazer or tuxedo jacket. Lastly, throw on over your bikini – for an easy summer cover-up.

The versatile denim shirt is a classic. An item that will never go out-of-style. Find one that suits your style.

Madewell ~ Wayward Jean Shirt: $88.00

Boy. by Band of Outsiders ~ Cotton-Chambray Shirt: $305.00

J.Crew ~ Denim Western Shirt: $118.00

Mango ~ Long Sleeves Denim Shirt: $54.99

Glow & Go: Scott Barnes Body Bling

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Achieve glowing skin instantly with this shimmering body lotion that lasts all day. The bronzer to the stars, Scott Barnes Body Bling, is a no-commitment illuminator, that washes off with soap and water. Glow & Go.

Scott Barnes is a celebrated makeup artist credited for creating gorgeous looks for his numerous celebrity clients. His most popular look coined “the glow” was created on Jennifer Lopez. This monochromatic look features bronze glowing skin and pale lips. His signature look became known as “lit from within” and launched the world famous shimmering bronzer, Body Bling.

Use Body Bling on your shoulders, arms, legs, décolletage for a flawless look from head to toe. It’s great for masking self-tanning streaks or mistakes, covering flaws and instantly toning and slimming arms and legs. It is easy to apply and feels moisturizing on the skin.

Scott Barnes Body Bling is a must-have for summer. This lotion looks amazing on-top of already tanned (fake or real) skin. It is not dark enough to replace your other self-tanning products, but will look incredible in conjunction with. With specks of gold shimmer that reflect light beautifully, everyone can create Scott Barnes signature “lit from within” look.

Flat Frenzy: J.Crew Ballet Boutique

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J.Crew Spring/Summer 2012 launched an exquisite ballet collection “The Ballet Boutique.” The collection is filled with suede, leather and raffia designs, available in a variety of colors, textures and adorable embellishments.

The Cece design is handmade in Italy and constructed for comfort and style. Dubbed as their official “commuting shoe,” these flats have added padding, an elastic top, a shock-absorbing rubber sole and an interior wedge design for additional comfort and control. Fabric swatches, Pantone cards, art books even candy was used as inspiration to create one-of-a-kind colors.

Embrace this hot season trend without sacrificing comfort. With multiple styles and colors, and a price range of $58-$250, everyone is able to join the flat frenzy.

Coming Soon…

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In efforts to expand into more diverse subjects, Glow-T is adding healthy-lifestyle to the mix. I have been doing extensive research on all things that pertain to beauty – inside and out. Posts will include reviews of supplements, detox programs, herbal remedies, new treatments – anything that I have tested and think beneficial to share. Please comment below, or send me a message on any topics and subjects you would like to read about.

Disclosure: I am in no way considered an expert or licensed health practitioner. I am interested in researching ways to achieve a balanced and healthy lifestyle, and would like to share them with you.

How To: Distressed Jeans

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Create a distressed pair of jeans in minutes with the proper materials. This can be done to any old or new pair of jeans, shorts, cargo pants, trousers or jackets. The key is to be strategic with the rips and distressed areas so the item remains flattering and not overly done.

NEEDED:

◊ Fabric Chalk

◊ Scissors

◊ Tweezers

◊ Exacto Knife

◊ Sanding Block

◊ Small Wood Block

HOW TO:

◊ Wear jeans – with the fabric chalk draw a line above the knee cap of one leg and on the upper thigh of the other.

◊ Starting with the chalk mark on the upper thigh, with scissors cut two small parallel lines about 2 inches apart (see image 1).

◊ Insert wood block into the jeans and under the cut marks. With the sanding block, gently fray the edges of the outer cut marks leaving a bar of material in the center (see image 2).

◊ With tweezers, loosen and gently pluck-out threads (see image 3).

◊ Move wood block to the chalk mark on the knee. Take exacto knife and cut bluntly. This will create a more naturally distressed look.

◊ With the sanding block, fray the edges (see image 4).

◊ Continue to sand the area to enlarge the opening.

◊ With the sanding block, feverishly rub both the thigh area and below the knee. This will make jeans look “lived-in.”

TIP: Holes, worn-spots and rips can be added anywhere you like. For a more subdued look, keep it simple with strategic placement.

5 under $50: Wedges

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A warm-weather staple, wedges are comfortable, stylish and wonderfully chunky. Available in multiple textures, colors and prints at these prices you can have them all. Live on the ‘wedge’ with 5 under $50.00:

Charlotte Russe ~ Cross-Front Strappy Cork Wedge: $35.50

Charlotte Russe ~ 2-Band Wooden Wedge Sandal: $36.50

Piperlime ~ Qupid – Katrina:  $49.00

ALDO ~ Ellingwood: $35.00

Piperlime ~ Michael Antonio – Goldy: $49.00

Festival Fashion Series: Day 2

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Glow-T’s Festival Fashion Series continues with dresses. Simple and comfortable, dresses make packing a cinch. Grab solid colors, florals or patterns and accessorize accordingly. Long or short, dresses can be paired with boots, sandals or wedges. Form-fitting or flowing, a dress is an effortless option for festival fashion.

The cross-body bag is another necessity for festival style. Hands-free, these bags can be securely worn without worry. Perfect for dancing or exploring the grounds, a cross-body bag is something you don’t want to leave home without.

Option 1:

Pamela Love – Love Pyramid Pendant, Isabel Marant – Dicker Boots, Isabel Marant – Vick Printed Silk-Georgette Dress, Color  in Optics – Marilyn Retro Sunglasses

Option 2:

Alexander Wang – Diego Bucket Bag, Splendid – Tomboy Ribbed Cotton Dress, Missoni – Zigzag Crochet-Knit Headband, J.Crew – Distressed Belt, TKEES – Thong Sandals

Festival Fashion Series: Day 1

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With Festival Season approaching, Glow-T’s Festival Fashion Series will get you weekend-ready.  This week I will be putting together trends and favorites, from beauty-needs to fashion essentials, for an easy weekend packing guide.

Day 1 starts with the effortless cut-off. Available in vintage/distressed, colored, patterns or high-waisted, there is a selection for anyone. Pair with bright colors and flowing separates or moto boots and rocker-style coordinates. Boots are a great option for being on your feet all day, not only will they look great, but prepare you for any weather hazard. Accessorize with belts, scarves and statement pieces that can be recycled all weekend-long. Finally, the quintessential festival item, sunglasses. Bring a classic aviator/wayfarer or opt for a fun new style or color – Festival Fashion should be fun, spontaneous and unrestrained.

Option1:

Raquel Allegra – Sheer Tie-Dye Silk Tank, J Brand – Cut-Off Shorts, Ray-Ban – Aviator, Max & Chloe – Stacked Bracelets, Isabel Marant – Dicker Boots

Option 2:

Zoe Karssen – T-Shirt, Ksubi – Cut-Off Denim Shorts, Ray-Ban – Wayfarer, Mango – Sailor Style Foulard, J.Crew – Distressed Belt, Rag and Bone – Moto Boots

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