Win It! Sonia Kashuk How To Create the Bronzed Face Palette

In honor of the start of summer, I'm giving away a Sonia Kashuk How To Create the Bronzed Face Palette ($19.99 value) to one lucky reader! The kit contains 3 eyeshadows, 3 lip shades, 1 blush, 1 bronzer, 1 applicator AND detailed application instruction cards!




To enter, just leave a comment here by June 7, 2009. A winner will be chosen at random and the winning comment will be posted here on June 8, 2009. 
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Parlez-Vous Français?


The French Manicure & Pedicure... Despite being branded tacky by industry icons like Anna Wintour, they remain mainstream. Typically done up with a white tip and sheer white or pink base, I think French styles offer a natural look and are refreshing alternatives to the dark, goth hues that have been so de rigueur




Now, if you're addicted to the professional salon mani/pedi, you know that the attention to detail usually requires and extra fee, usually about $5 each for toes and hands--sometimes more! Luckily we now have some easy-to-use at-home options that promise--and deliver--professional results.

Perfect Formula French Manicure Kit
With three simple steps, your nails will boast a salon-quality look from the comfort of home. Even novice nail polishers (like me!) find the process super-simple. 



1. Paint one coat of the Bright Base Coat and let dry for 2 minutes. The Bright Base Coat gives nails a natural, healthy look, and the nail brightener formula brings out the beauty of your natural nail color and eliminates any yellowing.
2. Use the White Wand to paint the tip of the nail. It was specially designed for easy application, and the water based formula is correctable until sealed. Let dry for 2 minutes
3. Paint one coat of Sealer over the entire nail. Let dry, and you'll be left with a dazzling,  high gloss finish. 

The Perfect Formula French Manicure Kit is $27 at perfectformulas.com

Or, if you really doubt your nail polishing skills, an even easier option is available thanks to KISS Products. Their Everlasting Nail Kits include a EverLasting French option for hands and feet. Just secure the thin, pre-designed nail with some glue for a few weeks of chip-free beauty. Plus, they won't damage natural nails, can be filed to any length or shape and even help natural nails grow! $5.99, kissusa.com




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Thirsty Thursday!


I know it's a short work week, but it's seriously been a while since I have been looking forward to Thirsty Thursday this much. I picked up an interesting-looking bottle of Pinot Grigio yesterday during my run to Whole Foods. Now, this stuff isn't fancy--in fact it was on sale for $6.99--but I would totally buy it again!



Rex-Goliath Pinot Grigio 2008: A California twist to an Italian Classic, this pinot grigio is bright and juicy with unmistakable fruity-floral flavors. A hint of oakiness that I typically associate with chardonnay can be picked up in the bouquet but the bursting pear-citrus finish promises smooth sips that would be delightful to savor with some bites of brie or Camembert. I think this would also be fabulous with some fresh little neck clams sauteed with garlic, butter and lemon juice.
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Play (Hair) Ball!



Laid back, playful and sometimes even sexy, the ponytail is a summer hairstyle staple. In honor of this time-honored trend, Bumble and bumble will introduce the limited edition Bb.Bandball  in July to "give a sunny squeeze to simply, salty, pony styles." The baseball-sized orb bears 100 hair bands in aqua, orange and grey and should surely last way past summer's sweltering days.  $20 at bumbleandbumble.com 
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Sale at BENEFIT!


20% off ALL orders. Code: MAKEUP20
FREE Color Plump with every $35 order
Two Free Samples with every order
Free Shipping on order of $50+. Code: Pretty50


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South Florida Exclusive: Clark’s Botanicals



With model Maggie Rizer as the brand ambassador, Clark’s Botanicals introduces Cellular Lifting Serum, a groundbreaking, nutritional facial treatment that increases collagen production for an immediate lifting effect and long-term rejuvenation. Formulated with stem cells from the Uttwiler Spatlauber Apple, the revolutionary serum protects the longevity of stem cells, delays senescence of essential cells, combats chronological aging and preserves the resilient vitality of your skin. Boasting a lightweight texture that’s neither sticky nor slimy, this super-luxurious treatment glides on smoothly and absorbs quickly. Use it before bed or even under makeup daily and see a noticeable difference in just two weeks. Skin becomes soft to the touch and gives off that just-back-from-the spa glow, effortlessly. Just as effective as big name  anti-aging brands, Clark’s Botanicals Cellular Lifting Serum is worth a try, despite its somewhat steep price tag.  Find it in South Florida for $355 exclusively at Saks Fifth Avenue, Palm Beach Gardens. 
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Holiday Weekend Sip: White Sangria

I am so happy that it's a Holiday Weekend--ecstatic actually. I'm also really looking forward to preparing a batch of delicious White Sangria to sip on as as float my 3 days off away poolside. The recipe is super simple, and offers a light alternative to traditional, red sangria--perfect for day drinking under the sun!

White Sangria
--recipe adapted from The New York Times. Image courtesy of rd.com.


Ingredients:

2 small peaches
1 small pear
1 small orange (I recommend using a Blood Orange if you can find one)
1.5 Cups Apple Juice (choose a reduced  sugar option, if available)
1 cup Cointreau
1 cup Club Soda
1 bottle sparkling white wine (Cava or Moscato d'Asti)

Method:
Slice the fruit into bite sized pieces and place in a large pitcher. Pour in the sparkling wine, juice and Cointreau. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours to draw out flavors from the fruit. Add the Club soda and stir. Spoon some fruit into the ice filled cocktail glass of your choice, and top with liquids. Makes 8 servings.

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Fresh Face Forward: Comodynes Easy Peeling & Estée Lauder Idealist Dual-Action Refinishing Treatment

Reveal an all-new you with at-home peeling treatments that whisk away dead skin and debris quickly and effectively. 

Comodynes Easy Peeling

These convenient individually wrapped towelettes utilize detoxifying microspheres  to eliminate rough skin and clarify pores while active biological ingredients stimulate the regeneration of cells. My thoughts: This product imparted a slight sting upon application, and my skin felt a little parched initially, but it was nothing a little dab of moisturizer couldn't fix. My skin was noticeably smoother, and the towelette application is always a convenient plus.  $14 for 8 towelettes, comodynes.net

 

Estée Lauder Idealist Dual-Action Refinishing Treatment

An at-home alternative to micro-dermabrasion or glycolic peels, a thermal action (self warming) formula open pores to release impurities as concentrated levels of Salicylic Acid and Glucosamine leaves skin clearer brighter and smoother than ever. My thoughts: I am totally in love with this treatment.  When I read about it initially, I thought the warming sensation was cheesy (think Biore of the late '90s) but it's actually therapeutic and super-soothing. Additionally, my skin feels as soft as can be, and pores are much smaller after a few weeks of bi-weekly application. Consider me addicted. $49.50, esteelauder.com

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Off Topic: Cupcake Bites

Well, after running errands in a complete downpour, working my day job and dealing with a cranky 10 month old since 6 a.m., I somehow managed to find the energy to create some baked goods today. I made these as a gift for a few friends who just had a baby boy last week. They are Cupcake Bites that I adapted from a recipe over at Bakerella. Mine definitely didn't come out as pretty as the expert Bakerella's, but I think I made a pretty good effort. After some practice, I think I could really perfect the process. 


The new parents have a love affair with Red Velvet cake, so of course I chose this flavor for the cake center.



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Paige Premium Denim + OPI = Bliss in Full Color


This summer, luxury denim brand Page Premium Denim collaborates with OPI to bring us shorts and crops that match perfectly with all new Brights by OPI shades. 


From left to right: Over the Taupe, On the Same Paige, In My Back Pocket, A Grape Fit, No Room for Blues, and Shorts Story.

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Bath & Body Works: Pampering Goes Mobile



We tweet beauty, we blog beauty so why not text beauty too? Sign up today to receive text alerts* with exclusive mobile offers and expert pampering tips! Plus, you'll be automatically entered in the TXT 2 WIN Sweepstakes for a chance to win a $1000 Bath & Body Works shopping spree for you and two friends! Or just text PAMPERING to 74139 to join. *Mobile Messaging Rates apply.
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Le Baby: Hair Gel for Kids & Babies!





It seems that you can get a "kid's" or "baby" version of anything these days--now even hair gel! Specifically designed with no harsh chemicals,   Le Baby hair gel is easy to rinse and never leaves hair stiff or sticky, but still keeps your baby’s fine hair in place all day long. lebabyinc.com


What do you think?

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Cowshed: New Maternity Skin Care


A brand synonomous with chic pregnancy fashions, Isabella Oliver Maternity introduces Cowshed's Udderly Gorgeous range to their online boutique. 100% natural and free of parabens, sulphates, petrochemicals, artificial frgrance and dyes, Cowshed Udderly Gorgeous collection was created with the needs of pregnant women in mind. and includes:




Udderly Gorgeous Stretch Mark Oil. $29.50


Udderly Gorgeous Leg & Foot Treatment. $29.50

Udderly Gorgeous Stretch Mark Balm. $34.50

Udderly Gorgeous Bath and Shower Gel. $29.50



Udderly Gorgeous Bath Salts. $39.50



A celebrity favorite brand among stars like Angelina Jolie, Gwen Stefani, Heidi Klum and Jennfifer Lopez, Isabella Oliver can be found online at isabellaoliver.com
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How Cute Is This? Sonia Kashuk Hidden Treasure Brush Set



Normally I opt for super-high quality makeup brushes, but when I saw this delightful set in Target, I just couldn't resist! The set of 6 brushes are OK in terms of quality (I have tried brushes that are FAR worse), and made of synthetic fibers. With decorative handles that look like coral formations from the depths of the sea dipped in silver, the brushes cater mostly to eye makeup application, with one bigger brush that's suitable for applying blush. If you're using top quality makeup, you shouldn't really notice too much of a difference when applying pigments, but the chic white case adorned with an orangey-red coral design really makes up for any quality shortfalls. I plan on keeping the case long after the brushes get trashed as it would be a convenient storage solution for eye liner and brow pencils. $19.99, target.com
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The Makeup Show NYC: May 17-18, 2009

So who's going to the The Makeup Show NYC? I won't be in the NY area for this year's show, but its shaping up to be the biggest yet! With keynote presentations, hands-on workshops, seminars and business forums examining cosmetic applications of technique and style by some of today’s top beauty professionals and brands, The Makeup Show brings thousands beauty insiders together to network with industry leaders.  
 
"The Makeup Show NYC is proud to present it’s palette of beauty authorities from today’s top celebrity and professional makeup artists*: Gordon Espinet, Davis Factor, Dany Sanz, Eve Pearl, Kate Best, Linda Mason, AJ Crimson, Crystal Wright, James Vincent, Orlando Santiago, Michael DeVellis, Jon Hennessey, Kevin James Bennett, Johnny Lavoy, Eugenia Weston, Alison Raffaele, Pauline Youngblood, Daven Mayeda, Angelina Avallone, Danessa Myricks, DeShawn Hatcher, Kathy Aragon, and many more. *Artists are subject to change due to schedule changes.
The Makeup Show NYC is excited to announce the first New York appearance ofMake Up For Ever founder and artist Dany Sanz. Celebrating 25 years of education and artistry, Sanz will speak about her career and her company in an exclusive keynote presentation on Monday, May 18, at 3pm.

Hollywood beauty royalty and great-grandson of makeup legend Max Factor, Davis Factor, creator of Smashbox Photo Studios and Smashbox Cosmetics, will be in New York to present a keynote on the company and his career in the makeup industry on Monday, May 18, at 12pm.

From the runways of New York, Milan and Paris, Gordon Espinet, Vice President of Artistry, M.A.C will share first-hand experience and makeup looks from the Autumn/Winter 2009 collections that will influence technique and color palette for months to come, on Sunday, Mat 17 at 2pm.

The Makeup Show Director of Artistry, James Vincent has created a special Spring 2009 looks created in the spirit of New York City's most iconic and influential women:Edie Sedgwick, Debbie Harry, and Diana Vreeland. Incorporating the newest products and tools from a selection of The Makeup Show NYC vendors, Vincent will host an exclusive presentation of on Monday, May 18 at 9:30am.

The Powder Group and The Makeup Show Founder, Michael DeVellis, along with agency director, Crystal Wright of The Crystal Agency, will present a must-attend industry keynote in Marketing You, on Sunday, May 17 at 10am.

Hands-on workshops include: Focus on Detailing, Essential Eyes, Eve Pearl Beauty, Creating the Character with Kate Best, Beautiful Skin of Color, Camera Ready Makeup, Working in Fashion, Perfecting the Canvas, Essential Airbrush, Flawless Beauty, Becoming an Editorial Artist, and Makeup For Bridal and Special Events.

Over 25 free seminars including F/W ’09 Runway Trend Preview from M.A.C Cosmetics, Lady Love: The Look by AJ Crimson, and The State of the Union presented by local 798, to name a few.

Exhibitors for the Makeup Show NYC include Adesign, Alcone, Alison Raffaele, Armour Beauty, Becca Cosmetics, Blinc, Crown Brushes, Embryolisse USA, Face Atelier, Hakuhodo USA, Iredale Mineral Cosmetics, Kissable Couture, Koh Gen Do, Korres Natural Products, Lash Control, Linda Mason Elements, M.A.C Cosmetics, Make Up For Ever, Mario Badescu Skin Care, Naked Cosmetics, Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics, Pencil Me In, Smashbox Cosmetics, Temptu, Three Custom Color, Youngblood Cosmetics and more!"


The Makeup Show NYC, will take place May 17th & 18th, 2009, 9:00am-6:00pm daily, at Metropolitan Pavilion, located at 125 West 18th Street, between 6th & 7th Avenues. Tickets are $65 and $85 for 1-day and 2-day passes.

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An update..

Testing out some cool new bronzers & self tanners for summer today and this weekend... can't wait to share them all!
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The NEW Shampoos: Hair Rules Daily Cleansing Cream & Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk


Drop the suds and diversify your hair washing routine by trying one of these innovative formulations.

Hair Rules Daily Cleansing Cream

A luxurious cream formula shampoo, it’s packed with natural cleansers, nourishing ingredients and shine enhancers. The rich formula rinses easily and is especially great for dry, coarse, over-processed, color-treated and heat-styled hair. $22, hairrules.com




Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk

Natural absorbent microspheres rid hair of excess dirt and oil while oat milk soothes the scalp and corn and rice starches provide powerful cleansing action without requiring the use of any water at all! I love using this between blow outs to extend the duration of that fresh-from-the-salon style. $18, sephora.com 

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Thirsty Thursday



Tonight, I plan to skip the hard stuff and sip in the onset of summer with a nice seasonal brew. 
Samuel Adams® Summer Ale is an American wheat ale that uses malted wheat as well as lemon zest and a rare pepper from Africa. A background of tropical fruit notes lingers on the tongue for a clean, palate-pleasing finish. 
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Free Shipping + Gift With Purchase at Lancôme!

Only at www.lancome.com. Deluxe samples available while supplies last!
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Classified Cosmetics Aero Minerale Hydrating Mineral Primer


Freshen up your makeup application routine by prepping skin, lids, lips and lashes in just two seconds thanks to a new, affordable formula from this beloved spray-on brand. Large pores and imperfections are beautifully smoothed and the hydrating formula keeps skin moisturized yet shine free.  $14.95, CVS 

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Proactiv Medicated Blemish Stick


Treat and cover up blemishes on-the-go with Proactiv’s famous formulations. Available in four shades. $18, proactive.com
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LUSH Hair Doctor



Use this pre-shampoo treatment on limp, lifeless hair to degrease, remove build-up and invigorate follicles resulting in increased volume, strength and shine. Available in June 2009 for $11.95 at lush.com
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Guerlain Rouge G de Guerlain



Quite possibly the most beautiful lipstick ever made, a white gold plated casing is home to exquisite color and a chic mirror that allows for precise application. $45, Neiman Marcus
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benefit: free gift with purchase

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Mother's Day Gift Idea: Under $20

I never pass at the chance to sing L'Occitane's praises, so when I came across a super-cute gift set at beautysak.com, I couldn't wait to tell you all about it. The Try Me Shea Kit ensconces best-selling products like the shea butter shower cream (1.1 oz.), shea butter body lotion (1.1 oz.), shea butter shampoo (1.1 oz.), shea butter conditioner (1.1 oz.), milk shea butter face soap (1.7 oz.),  and shea hand cream (0.5 oz.) within the cutest little travel pouch. I don't now about you, but I'm a sucker for makeup bags of all shapes, colors and sizes, and really do think they make great gifts. Plus, I think this set would totally please a plethora of mommy-types--from the crunchiest granolas to the biggest brand name whores.
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Best Value: Sephora Bronze ‘n Go Kit

Limited Edition for Summer 2009, this awesome kit by Sephora packs everything you need to keep your look chic and sizzlin’ hot this season including: Harmony Trio Bronzer in apricot, Mini Bronzer Brush, Super Shimmer in precious pink, Flashy Liner Waterproof in deep black, Waterproof Mascara in black. $30, sephora.com
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Skin Trend: Blemish Fighting Pens

Convenient, easy-to-use and packed with anti-bacterial ingredients, these portable pens are simple, go-to solutions for problematic skin and pesky pimples.





DR. BRANDT BLEMISHES NO MORE™ SPOT BLOTTER & CONCEALER
A tinted formula conceals as it heals, removing impurities and preventing future breakouts in one step. $25, drbrandtskincare.com



CLEARASIL ULTRA PIMPLE BLOCKER PEN
Stop zits dead in their tracks with this clear formula that contains two percent Salicylic Acid. $9.99, drugstores
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