There are some things that are beyond my understanding: The pyramids, tetraneutrons, why Heidi Montag came out with a record. I now consider Kerastase's new shampoo, Bain Divalent ($27), one of them. This shampoo is for those with a greasy scalp and dry ends — a.k.a. combination hair. Those with dry hair know what it's like to skip a few shampoos in hopes of getting silky ends, only to find your roots so greasy that by the time you do wash, you need a clarifying shampoo, putting you back at square one. How a shampoo can know where your scalp is and where your ends are is beyond me. While lathering up with it, your roots feel less oily and your ends feel silky. Of course, $27 is a lot to go (literally) down the drain, so you could also use two different shampoos, one on roots and one on ends. But if you're a busy lady with a little cash to burn, give it a try!
I had no idea that a bar of clay could be a panacea to so many different skin ailments, but Fresh's Umbrian Clay Treatment Bar ($38) does the job. Umbria is a clay-rich region in Italy, and the treatment bar is made from pure clay. It has the appearance of soap, but once you feel it, you'll see that it's chalky, hard and much heavier and more fragile than soap.
It helps with breakouts, diaper rash, mosquito bites, razor-burn, ingrown hairs and eczema. It works by regulating the production of sebum in your skin, reducing inflammation, and balancing out your skin's natural acid level. I couldn't believe that after just one use the tiny bumps on the back of my arm (that I sometimes get in the hot summer months) dried up and flattened. After two uses, they almost completely went away.
To use, wet an area of the bar and apply it directly to your skin. It dries to a thin finish and is very gentle so it can be used on the most sensitive skin, even baby skin. You can use it as a mask (leave it on for five minutes and rinse) or as a spot treatment.
Wow, It felt like Christmas morning when I opened up my big Decade of Glamour box from Too Faced Cosmetics ($40). Wide-eyed and excited, I eagerly opened up the pink and black double doors to reveal a left and a right leaflet filled with six lip glosses, two lipsticks and a lip balm.
Then, underneath the main panel, there are three full-sized products. In total, there's an exclusive bronzer, a clear lip plumper, another double-sided bronzer, six mini eye shadows, a mini black eyeliner pencil, a mini black mascara and a mini double-blush in light and dark shades of pink.
Now can you see why this has reached Bellissima status! I sit in amazement, playing with my trove of goodies and wonder how this can all be just $40. The answer is that it really has a much higher value ($195, to be exact), but Too Faced decided to gather ten years' worth of their best-selling items and create this anniversary mega-set. This about as ideal a gift as you can get for a fellow beauty product junkie. Do you think you'll buying one anytime soon?
Although Diane Von Furstenberg has discontinued her makeup line (let's all take a moment to mourn the loss of her awesome pink glosses), she can't let her love of makeup fade. So, each season she has decided to release one signature lipstick to complement her collection. Summer's choice will appeal to girls who were born to love volcanoes.
Volcano ($18) is an explosive shade of shimmery, pale coral. The texture is creamy and the color could also be categorized as a peachy-nude that enhances your natural lip. It is intended for all skin tones and looks great with strong brown and flushed cheeks.
The inspiration for her Summer 2008 collection and lipstick came from the lush and bright flowers that landscape the countryside of Bali. Having been there, I can attest to the glorious vibe that has been an inspiration for makeup, clothing and perfume. Are you interested in checking out Volcano for yourself?
I've got a crush on a new cream blush! Cosmetologist Terry de Gunzburg, creator of the iconic Yves Saint Laurent Touché Éclat and founder of By Terry, brings us a new (and, might I add, sensational) blush that I'd like to categorize as a cream blush. It's called Rose de Rose Sheer Liquid Blush ($52), but it's really a cross between a cream and a gel texture.
The luxe formula is outrageously silky, light and scented with a delightful, barely-there rose essence. It is made with rosaliss (an extract from white-, black-, and pastel-colored roses) and rosamine (a pigment that comes from rose petals). It creates a flush that's lighter than a stain, but deeper than a tint.
It's a relatively new product, yet already the lightest shade is sold out at Barneys. Clearly I'm not the only one infatuated with Rose de Rose. It is available in three shades (Fresh Rose, Coral Rose, or Amber Rose) and I consider it a must-have for attaining stunning, yet understated summertime skin.
Stila has decided to expand its popular Kitten powder eye shadow into an empire with the release of a cream shadow called Silk Eye Shadow Wash ($22). The super-long tube (1.1 oz) gets applied with a doe-foot applicator as a liquid form, and it dries to a powdery, crease-free finish.
I love that this shadow is so versatile. I like wearing it as a highlighter beneath my brow-bone and dotted on top of my cheekbones, nose and forehead, but it's also stunning as an all-over lid color. Tip: stick with either wearing it on your face or on your eyes — too much glow in any gal winds up looking more cheap than chic.
The shadow is formulated with proteins and since it's water-based, it glides on smooth and dries quickly. The color is rich and shimmery and it blends easily, but be warned that a little goes a long way. It spreads rapidly, so I recommend starting out with a gentle stroke and then adding more as needed.
The golden-pinky hue suits all skin tones. Funnily enough, I'm such a lover of champagne shadows that I've noticed the color is identical to Laura Mercier's Metallic Crème Eye Colour in Platinum (too bad they are also the same price, or this could have been a real bargain). I've grown to love this version of Kitten even more than my powder pan shadow (that's saying a lot!) and I wouldn't be surprised if it becomes the next cult classic. What are your thoughts on this new eye wash?
Decoding the world of fragrance is not an especially easy task. Although most of us can probably discern a fruity scent from a woodsy one, it's harder to identify certain smells without going through training (as Chandler Burr has said). That's why I delight in these Florascent fragrance trial collections ($26.50). Each features four fragrance vials, with each package focusing on one of five families of scent. So if you've always wanted to explore oriental or floral perfumes, you'll get four distinct scents within that category. (I prefer Aqua Aromatica.)
The other cool thing is the slide-out packaging. Instead of opening like a regular box, the box slides out to reveal information about the scents along with the vials themselves. Is that reason alone to buy this? Nah — but it's a nice little perk nonetheless.
If you're tired of having a bathroom cluttered with brand names, you might want to check out these labels from Debranded Home. A pack of five stick-on labels ($9) lets you transform any plain container into a fancy-looking, brand-free label.
To make the most out of these labels, just reuse a plastic container. (These pictures feature glass, but as most people know, glass in the shower is a bad idea.) Your best bet is to buy your products in bulk or make your own, then fill 'er up when need be. Pretty simple, and pretty smart!
Clarins HydraQuench Cooling Cream-Gel ($48) is on my list for gym essentials. I like it because it's a great way to prepare your skin for post-workout beauty. You know how after you've just exercised your face is flushed, sweaty and tends to stay that way for a while even after you've showered? This product helps to cool your skin and tighten up your dilated pores. This controls shine and allows you to apply your makeup without feeling wet and messy.
Aside from cooling and drying your face, it's also good for your skin. It contains hyaluronic acid (for suppleness), katafray extract (prevents moisture loss) and inca peanut oil (firms and minimizes wrinkles).
It is recommended for those with normal and combination skin, and makes for a terrific tropical vacation moisturizer. Also, it has an interesting cool gel-like texture, but it looks like a cream. Apply a small amount to the center of your face and work your way outwards (in small circles). If anyone else has tried this, I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Ever wonder what Reese Witherspoon might look like if she suddenly turned Posh? Now you can. Last night I ran across a brand-new website called Taaz. Goofy name, great concept. Taaz is an online makeover tool, but it's the first one I've used that allows you to make so many detailed and accurate-looking changes to your appearance.
It's very simple to use: Just upload a photo of yourself, preferably with your hair pulled back. You'll then need to click on your photo (don't worry, the site guides you to the right places) to define the outline of your lips and eyes. From there, you can change hairstyles and hair color, lipstick, gloss, eye shadow, mascara — all of which can be sized and customized to your specifications. For instance, you can control the glossiness of any given lip color, and you can resize the hairstyles to fit the dimensions of your hair.
To find out why it can also simplify your shopping, read more