Amarté Natural Finish BB Cream Review, Swatches, Photos


Finally, a real BB Cream!

I’ve been testing a lot of BB creams lately, but they’ve been more like tinted moisturizers with sunscreen. There’s nothing wrong with that—but when you’re looking for a BB cream, you really expect just that—a BB cream. Well, good news. I found one! Amarté was created in Korea and based in part on centuries old philosophies. Developed at a Bio Regional Innovation Center using leading science, the formula was discovered by American dermatologist, Dr. Kraffert, and introduced to the West.

amarte natural finish BB Cream

Amarte Natural Finish BB Cream in Light Tint

Which leads me to introduce you to my new obsession, the Amarté Natural Finish BB Cream. The line is just getting its big break here in the U.S., so I expect to see more from them in the future; I also hear their skincare is phenomenal because it’s based on eastern philosophies, with American technologies to back it.  [Read more…]

Fab Find: McEvoy Ranch 80 Acres Lavender Olive Oil Body Balm


Inspired by the Tuscan Countryside…

In Northern California, there’s this amazing 550 acre ranch where beautiful olive oil is made. Olive oil from Northern California? Sounds odd, doesn’t it? But it’s true. At McEvoy Ranch in Petaluma, California, founder Nan McEvoy brought in experts and imported 1,000 seedlings from Tuscany, and boom! Fantastic, artisanally created olive oil from Marin County was born.

It was hard work, I’m sure—but so worth the reward, because they’re now producing six varieties of rich, certified organic olive oil. Some of which, goes into their 80 Acres line of bath and bodycare products. I’m enjoying trying the products out, but one immediately stuck out like a sore thumb as a Fab Find; meet the 80 Acres Lavender Olive Oil Body Balm

80 Acres Lavender Olive Oil Body Balm

This gorgeous, hand-crafted balm is 97% organically-sourced, and is comprised of an olive oil base that is 81% of the entire formula. This makes the dense balm immediately break down as body heat warms it, melding into a soothing blend of oils that nurture and intensively hydrate the skin. This blend of olive oil, jojoba oil, beeswax, and Vitamin E is rich in antioxidants, and is handcrafted from only the purest ingredients. The aromatic notes of lavender really sing in this product, in which I was surprised to learn is also harvested on the hillsides of McEvoy Ranch. They’re really utilizing every resource up there, and it sounds so beautiful—I’d love to visit!  [Read more…]

Review: MAC Mineralize Volcanic Ash Exfoliator


mac mineralize volcanic ash exfoliator

I’ve long heard the tales of the MAC Mineralize Volcanic Ash Exfoliator, but I had no idea what I was missing because I could never seem to catch it in its limited release spurts. I no longer have to worry about such things, because it’s finally permanent in the MAC core line—and I’m SO glad!

MAC Mineralize Volcanic Ash Exfoliator

What it is…

MAC Mineralize Volcanic Ash Exfoliator is a unique mineralized foaming, sugar-based scrub that contains the oil-absorbing properties of volcanic ash. The ash particles are ultra fine, so the grit in this exfoliator is actually coming from the sugar. The exfoliator is suitable for both face and body, and has a muddy appearance with a thick texture. There is quite a bit of fragrance in the product; I want to say it’s floral, but it almost seems fresh and masculine at the same time. You’ve probably got to smell it to see why I’m conflicted in the fragrance description. [Read more…]

Review & Swatches: Urban Decay NAKED Skin Beauty Balm


The latest in Urban Decay’s NAKED family is already causing quite a stir—and it won’t even be available until tomorrow. Ready to meet the new NAKED Skin Beauty Balm? I thought so! Let’s go…

Urban Decay NAKED Skin Beauty Balm

Branching out in the NAKED complexion department (and there’s more, just wait!), the NAKED Skin Beauty Balm is a BB cream in theory, but with a unique Urban Decay twist. While most BB creams hailing from Asia focus on coverage and correction, most U.S.-based BB’s have been considered more like tinted moisturizers.

Urban Decay’s NAKED Skin Beauty Balm is a complexion perfector in an optical illusion sense; with light-diffusing spheres that minimize the look of fine lines and pores, while smoothing the skin down to a velvety finish. NAKED Skin Beauty Balm also focuses on skincare properties—with anti-aging ingredients that promise to hydrate, firm, and smooth skin over time. Pair all of that with an oil-free formula and an SPF 20, and that’s Urban Decay’s version of a BB cream.  [Read more…]

Holiday Gift Inspiration 2012: Last Minute Gifts


The countdown is on!

It’s okay! We’ve all done it before. Waiting until the last minute—well, especially when it’s too late to order something online with on-time delivery, happens to the best of us. Don’t fret. Here are a few ideas that will get you by until next year, when you promise to be more prepared!

The products…

Christmas Candy Box from LUSH

If I could gift every friend I have one of these, I would! With a star-shaped bar of Rock Star soap, Snow Fairy Shower Gel, Candy Mountain Bubble Bar, Bubblegum Lip Scrub, and a Butterball Bath Bomb—this is the ultimate gift for the sweet-lover in your life. Did I mention? It’s pre-wrapped in the most fantastic and fun pink box! – $39.95 LUSH Boutiques

Kiehl’s Creme de Corps Collection

Nourish and pamper the driest of skin with an ultimate collection of these cult-classic skincare favorites! Includes: Creme de Corps Nurturing Body Moisturizer (8.4 oz), Creme de Corps Travel Size (2.5 oz), Creme de corps Soy Milk & Honey Body Polish (6.8 oz), Lip Balm #1 (0.5 oz), Ultra Facial Cream (0.25 oz), Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate (0.17 oz) – $64 Kiehl’s counters nationwide and boutiques

PRIVÉ Just Beautiful Hair Trio

As the salon known for luxurious, incredible hair, you can bring the PRIVÉ products home to help achieve it! The PRIVÉ Just Beautiful Hair Trio contains the Daily Shampoo, Daily Conditioner, and a Thermal Protection Detangling Spray, This $61 value is just $38 for the holidays. priveproducts.com for salon locations  [Read more…]

Holiday Gift Inspiration 2012: Stocking Stuffers


See the products that beauty junkies will want in their stockings this year…

jane. Holiday Lip Gloss Collection in Berry

This set contains a sheer gloss, a shimmery gloss and a rich, high-pigment gloss in berry tones that are perfect for the season! The moisture-rich formula soothes lips with Vitamin E, and looks great when layered or worn solo. –$9.99; janecosmetics.com, drugstore.com

Bath & Body Works Forever Red Eau de Toilette Rollerball Perfume

Grab the affordable rollerball version of this fine fragrance that features fiery pomegranate, velvety marshmallow, and warm vanilla rum notes to keep those cold winter nights warm, and smelling delicious! –$12.50; Bath & Body Works  [Read more…]

Win It: A $530 LIFTLAB Skincare Regimen GIVEAWAY!


It’s that time again…

You know what I love? Giving you personal access to some of the best beauty products in the business (and sometimes, they’re a little pricey, I admit)! But today is one of those days, so you know I’m a happy camper. How about the chance to win a skincare regimen valued at $530 by the anti-aging skincare regeneration experts at LIFTLAB? Sound good?

This will be a GREAT way to de-stress and detox your skin after a little too much holiday revelry!

The giveaway…

A complete five-product range from LIFTLAB at a value of $530, this set is the ultimate in skin repair and rejuvenation. Featuring the patented Cell Protection Proteins® (CPP™), a protein first discovered as the secret to survival in Artic plants and marine life, this breakthrough collection of anti-aging skin care formulations combines the most innovative science and technology with unique, nature-derived active ingredients to deliver unprecedented protection and regeneration benefits for healthier, younger-looking skin. Gotta love it!

Details & How to enter…  [Read more…]

Okay, so my skin isn’t so young anymore—and neither am I.


Growing up, I spent summers and spring breaks camping with my favorite crazy uncle. We spent days on the lake without a drop of sunscreen, and I had more than my share of blistering sunburns. Mind you, I’m of Irish descent, and my skin could have been considered translucent when growing up. Miraculously, my skin recovered when I was younger—and of course I go to my derm now for every little spot I see, and for yearly checkups. Back then, I just didn’t know any better. But my, how times have changed.

I’m approaching 37 years old, and my skin isn’t as resilient anymore. But I’d like to think I take good care of it, and I wish I had started younger. I made some mistakes—and if any of this sounds familiar—these are some of the things I stand for when it comes to my skincare regimen! Even if you don’t wear makeup, I promise these will be helpful!

The Do’s…

  • Wear sunscreen EVERY DAY. It doesn’t matter if you’re not going outside. Those damaging rays come through windows! Don’t like sunscreen? Opt for a brush-on SPF powder (for at least your face) and reapply when you touch up your nose in the ladies room! [Read more…]