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Four Favorites: Multi-Purpose Balm

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More concentrated than most creams or lotions, these versatile salves can tackle two or more problems at once. Great to keep on your nightstand or in your handbag/gymbag these multi-purpose balms will cure – honestly – whatever ails you… soothe cracked heels, chapped knuckles, sunburn, windburn, minor scrapes, post-peel irritation, skin irritation, chafing, chapped nose, scratches, dry elbows, rough cuticles, between toes, post-wax skin, post-shave skin, dry patches, earlobes, blisters, ring fingers, tattoos, hairline prior to coloring, stretch marks. extra dewiness, tame flyaways, rebellious eyebrows, makeup mistakes and split ends. Whew!

Here are my current four favorites:

Rodial Glam Balm MULTI: A brilliant multi-use anti-aging balm that feels luxurious and solves all manner of beauty woes from flaking skin to dry knees. This cult product has been ordained “The Swiss Army Knife of Beauty Products,” for it’s wide variety of uses. The new formula “MULTI” has added the anti-aging benefits of 3D Hyaluronic Filling Spheres to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Favorite use: In-flight moisturizing mask. FULL REVIEW OF RODIAL GLAM BALM: HERE

Egyptian Magic: Living up to it’s namesake, this olive oil and honey-based balm works magic on elbows, knees and everything in between. Formulated with all-natural ingredients this magical balm has been used for centuries to care for and nourish the skin. Favorite use: a moisturizer to help extend your summer tan. FULL REVIEW OF EGYPTIAN MAGIC: HERE

Dr. Lipp Original Nipple Balm for Lips: (Yes, you read that right…) Recommended by midwives, this balm was originally designed to relieve the dry, painful nipples associated with breastfeeding. Makeup artists discovered many other uses: hydrating skin and lips on the fly/highlighting cheek bones/eye gloss – and it soon became an industry secret. Formulated with 100% medical-grade lanolin, this balm reduces skin roughness by up to 40% in an hour. It also acts as a barrier to prevent any moisture from escaping or bacteria from entering. Favorite use: Eye cream.

The Balm – By Nieves:  This concentrated balm is made with all-natural ingredients that moisturize, heal and soothe the skin; softening coconut oil, antioxidant-rich sesame oil, calming virginia cedar, healing lavender and balancing ylang ylang. Orange extract releases an uplifting and zesty aroma and provides a healthy glow to the skin and hair. The buttery texture melts effortlessly into the skin restoring softness and elasticity immediately. Great for both man and woman, The Balm is safe to use anywhere on the body. Favorite use: Moisturize dry ends and fix fly-aways.

Five Favorites: Lip Treatments

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The product on everybody’s lips… Lip Treatments.

Moisturizing lip conditioners are some of my favorite products. Essential for getting rid of dry, chapped lips, these treatments care and protect all-year-round. Slather them on day/night, in-flight, in-car… anytime. My current five favorites are:

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream: Full Post Review: HERE

Homeoplasmine Cream: One of my French pharmacy favorites, this multi-purpose ointment soothes, protects and moisturizes the lips/skin. The homeopathic cream was originally created to heal the nasal passages from colds, allergies, and treat skin irritations. However, it is amazing on dry lips as it literally heals them before your eyes. I love the non-greasy consistency and the natural matte finish. Great for travel, this cream will quench jet-lagged lips/skin and the aluminum casing ensures the product will last forever. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to find in the US. Sorry. 

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Lip Therapy: Brings the healing power of First Aid Beauty’s best-selling Ultra Repair Cream to moisturize, nourish, and protect your lips. This long-lasting, petroleum-free and paraben-free formula will prevent dryness and heal parched lips. On its own, it has a subtle, semi-matte finish. Use this healthy lip balm under lipstick to keep lips hydrated, smooth and soft.

Eco Lips Renew Rejuvenating Lip Balm: Formulated with argan oil, vitamin E and antioxidants this lip balm aids in cell renewal and anti-aging. The organic lip conditioner improves skin texture almost immediately and the petroleum-free formula locks in moisture. The bold Orange Spice flavor is a treat on the lips and kind of addicting.

NUXE Rêve de Miel Ultra-Nourishing Lip Balm: - Used by many makeup artists as a lip prep, this soothing lip conditioner soaks into lips and dries perfectly matte. The richly concentrated balm contains honey, plant oils, shea butter and grapefruit essence to help nourish, repair, soothe and protect the lips. The incredibly creamy, smooth texture glides on the lips effortlessly and smells of sweet citrus.

GLOW-T AWARDS: Kerstin Florian Sunless Tan

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BEST MOISTURIZING SELF-TANNER: Kerstin Florian Sunless Tan

Kerstin Florian Sunless Tan is an innovative product that provides easy application, natural color, consistency, moisture and a pleasant aroma.

The uber moisturizing formula is enriched with Sweet Almond Oil and Shea Butter to deeply hydrate and smooth the skin for a radiant, streak-free appearance. Ginko Biloba and Echinacea extracts help to condition the skin, fight free radicals and promote healthy cell regeneration.

The active ingredient in most self-tanners is dihydroxyacetone (DHA), which reacts with the outer layer of the skin to create a bronzed tone. Kerstin Florian Sunless Tan uses a natural sunless tanning ingredient derived from a vegetable source. It reacts with amino acids in the top layer of the skin to produce the golden appearance.

Selected by SELF Magazine as the “Best New Self-Tanning Product of the Year,” Kerstin Florian Sunless Tan is thick and creamy and smells subtly like a bouquet of flowers. The initial color is light but builds to a beautiful sun-kissed glow. It feels very lux on the skin and feels and smells like a spa treatment.

Read my post on: Application Tips & Tricks

Drink More Water!

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Drinking water is essential to health, beauty and longevity. The simple act of drinking water is extremely important in helping our bodies stay functioning at their optimum capacity.

The average body is made up of 55 to 65 percent water. The brain consists of almost 70 percent water. Water is essential for hydrating your organs, digestion, circulation, maintenance of body temperature, lubricating your joints and carrying oxygen and nutrients throughout your bloodstream. Just to name a few…

Water assists in the flushing or removal of harmful toxins from the body. Toxins come from a variety of sources and must be flushed out of the body to avoid hurtful build-up. Drinking plenty of water helps to cleanse the body systems of these toxins. Overall, your body will look and feel better.

Skin is an organ, and just like any other part of the body your skin is made up of cells. And skin cells, like any other cell in the body, are made up of water. Without water, the organs will certainly not function properly or at their best. Think of a plant that you may have forgotten to water once, the way it wilted and shriveled. By staying properly hydrated you allow your body enough extra moisture to produce healthy skin cells. Your skin will thank you for the extra moisture by looking and feeling healthier, firmer and brighter.

When you’re low on fluids, the brain triggers the body’s thirst mechanism. Do not wait until you are thirsty to drink water. For those who struggle with drinking plain water there are alternative options. Herbal, black and green teas can make the experience more pleasurable, plus you boost your antioxidant intakes. There are a wide variety of water flavorings, just make sure you get a low-sugar option. You can also add a spritz of lemon, lime, or other fruit to your water for some extra flavor.

My #1 tip for how to drink more water is the Camelbak Groove. Filters as you sip, so you can hydrate on-the-go. I swear by this thing and I am not even sure why. 32oz of water disappears in seconds.

Drugstore’s Finest: CeraVe

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Recommended by dermatologists everywhere, the CeraVe line of skincare products are all non-irritating, non-comedogenic and fragrance-free. Better yet, they are all available at a drugstore near you.

The CeraVe line was created in conjunction with dermatologists and was intended for use in the treatment of dry skin and other conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, acne, rosacea and atopic dermatitis. CeraVe is the first brand to contain essential ceramides, cholesterol and fatty acids that healthy skin needs. CeraVe uses a patented “multivescular emulsion” or MVE® system that was only available through prescription not long ago. This system consists of a controlled and steady release of various ingredients over time allowing skin to be hydrated longer and more efficiently with one application. The daily regimen of cleansers and moisturizers helps repair, replenish and protect the skin’s barrier to leave it looking and feeling soft, clean and healthy.

The CeraVe line of skincare products are drugstore’s finest. Here is a review of the first few products I have tried and tested:

CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser: Gentle yet powerful, this cleanser removes makeup, dirt and oil like a champ. It leaves the face feeling soft and clean, not stripped or dry. It contains the brand’s signature ceramides and hyaluronic acid – two ingredients that help lock in moisture so your skin will never feel tight or dry.

CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion AM SPF 30: A great daytime moisturizer that feels light on the skin but wards off UVA/UVB rays with it’s standout broad-spectrum sunscreen. It keeps skin hydrated and restores the skin’s barrier with Niacinaminde (vitamin B3) making it less vulnerable to the elements.

CeraVe SA Renewing Lotion: This body lotion does it all – exfoliates, smoothes and softens. Skin can only be truly hydrated when the top layer of dead skin cells are removed. This allows moisturizing ingredients to penetrate the deeper layers of the skin. The Renewing Lotion does all of this for you. Formulated with both salicylic acid (used for epidermal exfoliation) and ammonium lactate (a mild exfoliant and humectant) this lotion gently removes dry, scaly skin. While, vitamin D, glycerin, ceramides and hyaluronic acid smooths, firms and hydrates the skin.

CeraVe, in my opinion, is the best affordable line of skincare products. All of the products are gentle, fragrance-free, non-comedogenic, non-irritating and readily available at mass retailers and drugstores nationwide.

Amateur’s View: T3 Featherweight Professional Hair Dryer

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You have seen your hair stylist use it, you have seen it in magazines and backstage at fashion shows. The T3 Featherweight Professional Hair Dryer is a professional-grade appliance built for speed and heat. But is it worth the purchase?

When shopping for a hair dryer, do you ever wonder what these words mean: ions, ionic, ceramic, infrared heat, tourmaline?

An ionic hair dryer gives off what is referred to as negative ions. (traditional hair dryers emit positive ions) Negative ions are substantially better at breaking down the moisture in the hair and making hair smoother by closing the hair’s cuticle-layer and sealing in the hair’s moisture. This is the reason they dry hair more quickly and efficiently than traditional dryers.

Different brands have different ways to create this ionic charge. Some dryers have an ionic spray coating inside of the dryer’s barrel, and others use ion generators. The T3 Featherweight Professional Hair Dryer relies on the highest quality, tourmaline, a gem that occurs in nature, to generate the negative ionic charge and emit infrared heat. When tourmaline crystals are warmed they become positively charged at one end and negatively charged at the other.

The Amateur’s Opinion: The T3 Featherweight Professional Hair Dryer is exactly that – professional. Yes, it drys your hair in seconds with super-natural speed and noticeably creates less frizz. At 13oz it is comfortably light and ergonomically efficient. If I were a professional, blow-drying a number of clients a-day, this is the necessary tool. As I am not, the main caveat is the inability to use this hair dryer and all of it’s capability. I cannot use on the highest heat setting, for fear of igniting flames and am scared to place on a section of hair for too long because it would be nice to keep my hair. In my novice opinion, it is an expensive hair dryer that I will leave for the talented professionals.

Holy Grail: L’Occitane Almond Shower Oil

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Say good-bye to itchy skin and razor burn with L’Occitane’s Almond Shower Oil. This ultra-nourishing body wash gently cleanses while doubling as a moisturizing shaving foam.

When mixed with water,  L’Occitane Almond Shower Oil transforms from a soothing oil into lavish foam. The unique texture leaves a satin-like softness all over the body keeping moisture locked into the skin. Rich in almond oil, grape vine, rosemary and nourishing lipids, L’Occitane Almond Shower Oil is suitable for both men and women.

This shower oil is unique and like nothing I have ever tried. It is by far better than any shaving cream/gel available. A pea-sized amount is enough to use on the entire leg. It permits the closest shave possible and keeps skin soft and hydrated. It cleanses the skin without stripping it dry and the sweet almond scent will blanket the entire bathroom. L’Occitane Almond Shower Oil has graduated to my Holy Grail list of products.

Overnight Sensation: SACHAJUAN Over Night Hair Repair

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SACHAJUAN is a hair salon in Stockholm started by Sacha Mitic and Juan Rosenlind. Established as a premium brand in the Scandinavian market, the SACHAJUAN brand is now available all over the world.

SACHAJUAN Over Night Hair Repair is a luxurious treatment designed to repair hair as you sleep. Great for all hair types, this product promises to turn straw into gold, overnight.

This award winning intensive conditioner has the highest concentration of sea algae and mineral extracts, which SACHAJUAN call “Ocean Silk technology.” It is with this super formula that their overnight hair treatment fortifies hair, building elasticity & shine.

The ultra caring formula infuses moisture and restores essential minerals into your hair leaving it with a healthy shine. I like the option of using this item as a leave-in, rinse-out or styling product. It is a water-based gel that does not leave hair greasy or transfer to your pillowcase and it smells lovely and fresh, like newly laundered linens. This product is costly at $60.00, however I have noticed a difference in my hairs’ texture and shine, almost immediately.

Gym Gear: Lululemon Wunder Under Crop

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Bikini season is right around the corner. Getting fit for summer starts by feeling good about yourself. The best motivation technique I know of is purchasing gym clothes that make you look good.

This can be done simply by purchasing a pair of Lululemon workout pants. Yes, the cost is ridiculous but the quality is incomparable. The Wunder Under Crop is my current favorite. From the outside, they look like your run-of-the-mill workout wear. But when pulled on, they instantly hug the body and flatter the figure with ‘superhero-like’ strength.

The capri-cut and gusset-style design allows for maximum range of motion when working out. Lululemon’s custom Luon® fabric resists moisture and will keep the shape of the pants after washing (cold delicate cycle/no fabric softener/ hang to dry).

The Wunder Under Crop run a little bit small. If you live near a Lululemon store, it is worth going in and working with a sales associate. They will find the perfect pieces for your body type and lifestyle.

 

Drugstore Find: Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter

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Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter

Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butters are Revlon’s newest lip creation. Currently available only on promotion at certain drugstores, these lip butters come in 20 amazing shades that are incredibly pigmented.

Formulated with, mango butter, shea butter and coconut butter, the gel formula naturally boost lip’s moisture which decreases the need for reapplication. The color is vibrant and glossy and the staying power is excellent.

These are my absolute favorite drugstore lipsticks at the moment. The reds are great for winter and the Lollipop shade is a fun and bright fuchsia shade.

Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butters will become part of the permanent collection, January 2012.

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