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December 2010 Archives

Deborah-Lippmann-Boom-Boom-Pow-Nail-Polish.jpgOur favorite thing about the holidays? Glittery nail polish. Our least favorite thing about the holidays? Removing glittery nail polish. “Glitter polish is wonderful for layering over other shades to create a fun, distinctive look,” says celebrity manicurist Deborah Lippmann. So we turned to some of the biggest names in the manicure biz for the tips and tricks for removing every last ounce of pesky glitter from our nails.

“Glitter can be a real pain to remove, and you MUST NOT pick it off, no matter how fun it is to cover the subway in flecks of gold,” says Nonie Creme, manicurist extraordinaire and founder of butter LONDON. “When you pick, you remove little chunks of nail as well, causing damage that has to grow off.”

One thing all manicurists agree on? For best results, be sure to use an acetone-based polish remover, like Cutex Quick & Gentle Nail Polish Remover ($2.49 at drugstore.com). Soak a cotton pad or cotton round in remover and then place over your entire nail, firmly pressing down for about a minute. “Let them soften up a little bit with the pad on top of them,” says celebrity manicurist Beth Fricke. “I think that’s really the only way.”

After pressing the cotton round against your nail, use a fresh remover-soaked pad to whisk away remaining polish. Celebrity manicurist April Foreman recommends swiping the cotton in a downward motion, away from the cuticle. “This ensures that you don’t press glitter into cuticles and surrounding skin, which makes cleanup that much more work!” she says.

And if that glitter is just so stubborn, no amount of rubbing and acetone-based remover seems to make it go away? “Follow up using a facial exfoliating pad for a second pass over nails,” Foreman recommends. “This grabs any remains of glitter, leaving your nails completely bare and ready for the next color.”

Manicurist Susan Nam, who owns Polished Beauty Bar on NYC’s Upper West Side, says you can also pour an entire bottle of acetone-based remover into a glass bowl and then soak your nails for about 2-3 minutes. “The polish should come off completely,” she says. If you let the remover sit in the bowl for awhile, you’ll notice all the glitter sinking to the bottom — at which point Nam says you can actually pour the remover back into the bottle “until the next time you need to take off that really stubborn color!” Just use a coffee filter when pouring to ensure none of the glitter gets back into the bottle.

If you plan on repainting your nails right after removing the glitter, Creme recommends doing so immediately following the remover. But if you’re taking a break from polish — “Heaven forbid!” Creme says; she advises washing your hands thoroughly and rubbing a capful of olive oil into your nails.

Seen above: Deborah Lippmann Boom Boom Pow, $20 at deborahlippmann.com
MB-enzyme-cleanser.jpgSince we first discovered Mario Badescu’s drying lotion in college, MB has been our skincare mainstay. Visits to their small, yet official skincare store/spa in Manhattan only made us love the brand even more. 

We’ve tried most of their products - kiwi scrubs, seaweed cleansers, honey moisturizer - but the star of the Mario Badescu line, in our honest opinion, is the Enzyme Cleansing Gel

We first fell in love with it when it came as a sample with our first drying lotion purchase. It has a soft, clean scent unlike other cleansers we’ve tried, that makes you want to smell it over and over again. It’s non-drying and non-stripping formula is also non-foaming. It was a little strange at first to cleanse our face with no lather. Rubbing a green, pearlescent gel on t-zone wasn’t too convincing, but seven years later, it’s still our number one favorite cleanser of all time. 

The packaging is simple and not in the least fancy, but the costumer service is fantastic, you always get samples to try with your order, and the price just can’t be beat.

If you wear heavy foundation or eye makeup, you’ll need a makeup remover beforehand, but it’s the only cleansing product we have found to not leave our face feeling tight and in desperate need of moisturizer (though we always apply anyway…and so should you.) Paired with their Special Cucumber Lotion (it’s really a toner, and not a lotion, fyi), our face has never (and probably will never) looked so good. $12 for 8 oz; $20 for 16 oz; mariobadesu.com

Dermalogica-Clean-And-RefreshKit.jpgIt’s rare that every product in a gift set is exactly what we would want. There’s usually at least one product in the mix that just doesn’t get our engines revved, so to speak. But that is totally and completely not the case with the Dermalogica clean and refresh kit. The three products in this kit are exactly what we would choose to create our perfect Dermalogica kit … it’s honestly like the fabulous folks at Dermalogica read our minds!

Contained within the cheerful red box are, without a doubt, our three standout products from the skincare line. A full-sized bottle of the line’s cult favorite PreCleanse sits alongside 1.7 oz. bottles of Special Cleansing Gel and Multi-Active Toner. Believe us when we say these three products are all you need to reveal fresh, glowing, absolutely GORGEOUS skin.

What we love most about all three of these products is that they’re so light and gentle — not a harsh chemical or stripping agent in sight. Each is perfect for all skin types — trust us, our skin is uber-sensitive, and we’ve never broken out from any of these three! The toner helps to tighten pores and hydrate the skin; PreCleanse liquefies sebum and oil-based debris from the skin’s surface with kukui nut, borage seed and rice bran oils; and the Special Cleansing Gel is a concentrated, soap-free cleanser designed to remove all impurities from the skin. (Side note: we love using the Special Cleansing Gel with our Clarisonic Mia.)

So, in a nutshell? This kit contains our three hero products from Dermalogica. Why not check it out?

The Dermalogica clean and refresh kit retails for $34 at dermalogica.com. This is an amazing deal when you consider the PreCleanse retails for $34 on its own!



Read this: 5 bad skin habits
Body-Scrubs-Image.jpgWhen temps dip below about 55 degrees, our skin starts to resemble the Sahara Desert. Dry, cracked and without an oasis in sight! Luckily, these two body scrubs really work to keep unsightly dryness far, far away … as far away as the Sahara, as a matter of fact.

And that’s not the only thing these two scrubs have in common! No, both The Body Scrub by Sara Happ in Vanilla Bean and the Bath & Body Works Stress Relief Vanilla Verbena Sugar Scrub are formulated with — you guessed it! — vanilla. The scent that just always reminds us of our grandmother’s freshly baked cookies is present in both rich, fragrant body scrubs and really helps to bring a homey feel to our hot showers.

You’ll find that both of these scrubs are rich, thick, lush … totally and completely perfect for skin in need of a little extra moisture and nourishment.

Sara Happ’s has kukui nut, macadamia and sweet almond oils in addition to sizable sugar crystals — it goes on a bit rougher than its Bath & Body Works counterpart, so we recommend saving it for the tough-to-moisturize areas like knees, elbows and ankles.

If smooth, silky skin is what you’re after (and, let’s be honest, who isn’t?), you’ll die over the scrub from Bath & Body Works. Sugar crystals combine with sunflower, safflower, sweet almond and jojoba oils to create an unbelievably rich, sensual experience — and it’s just a bonus that your skin will be softer than ever before.

The Body Scrub by Sara Happ in Vanilla Bean is available for $46 at sarahapp.com. Bath & Body Works Stress Relief Vanilla Verbena Sugar Scrub retails for $16 at bathandbodyworks.com.
There’s nothing we love more than the holidays. And whether you celebrate Hannukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa or don’t celebrate at all, we hope you’ll just indulge our Christmas spirit for a little while … because these red and green products are to die for.

Green-Beauty-Image.jpg
GO GREEN

Caswell-Massey Cucumber Eye Pads
There’s nothing more cooling or refreshing than cucumbers on your eyes. And especially during the stress of the holiday season, why not treat yourself to these uber-adorable cucumber pads?
$12 for 24 at apothica.com

H20+ Sea Marine Spa Trio
Shower Cream, Sugar Scrub, Body Cream, even a pouf — this set thinks of it all, doesn’t it? Plus, we love the cooling scents of fresh eucalyptus and green mint.
$25 at h20plus.com

Boscia Green Tea Blotting Linens
Scared of looking too shiny in your holiday photos? Never fear … Boscia’s blotting linens are here! One of these babies and your skin will be dewy, not greasy.
$10 at sephora.com

Jennifer Ouellette Covered Button Satin Pony
We can’t think of a better way to accessorize our ponytail than with this super-chic holder from one of our very favorite hair accessory designers.
$25 at lockandmane.com

Bobbi Brown Metallic Eye Shadow in Mint
Give your eyes a subtle wash of green shimmer with this gorgeous glittery hue.
$20 at bobbibrown.com

Red-Beauty-Image.jpg
RAVISHING RED

Sarah Happ Red Velvet The Lip Scrub
Truth be told, we can’t get enough of lip scrubs by Sara Happ. This delectable one tastes exactly like red velvet cake — and leaves your pout kissably soft and smooth.
$24 at bathandbodyworks.com

Deborah Lippmann Ruby Red Slippers Nail Polish
Can you honestly tell us there’s a polish more apropos for the holiday season than this glittering, sparkling red? Whatever you say, we’re going to disagree with you.
$18 at deborahlippmann.com

mark Lip to Be Square Lip Tint in Sheer Red
Give your lips just a hint of color with this fun cube of gloss!
$7 at avon.com

Mary Green “Kiss Me” Silk Satin Sleep Mask
Every gal needs her beauty sleep … and what better way to get it than with this cheeky sleep mask from celeb favorite Mary Green?
$16 at marygreen.com

Votivo Red Currant Color Candle
With notes of red currant, vanilla bean and golden fruit glaze, it’s easy to see why this candle is a cult classic.
$25 at votivo.com

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