Monday, January 31, 2011

This Week's Sales: Napoleon Perdis, Davi Napa,
and COOKIES!!!

HauteLook starts off this week with a multi-brand Skincare Discovery Event on Monday, as well as separate features from SpaLab, Kimarge Salon, and Relaxed Spa and Tans. Tuesday's main even (to us anyway!) is Napoleon Perdis, with Skin Authority on Thursday.

Editors' Closet doesn't have any specifically beauty-only sales this week, but Wednesday the site will open one of their "Going, Going, Gone" boutiques- which is like a mystery bag full o' sales. If you're not a member yet, you can click here and I'll send an invite your way.

Though there's not much left over at the Beauty Story Beauty Blowout, you may still be able to scavenge a few last minute deals. If nothing catches your eye, wait around until Thursday when the Davi Napa sale opens.

There's still time to get in on Brand Alley's Designer Fragrance blowout, which ends Tuesday February 1st. Luckily, the site's Urban Retreat Beauty Sale starts on Tuesday, so the week is covered for us beauty junkies. BTW, if you want to join up and help us both earn a £10 voucher, click here for a personal invite from yours truly!

If all else fails at the beauty sales this week, there's one more special I found that has very little to do with beauty, but is still one of my favorite things ever: cookies. My favorite cookie company, Cheryl & Co, is offering Totsy members $10.00 off of any purchase of $34.99 or more when you use the code TOTSY. Now, I'm lucky enough to be near a Cheryl's retail location, but if you're not, take my word for it: a Cheryl's buttercream frosted cookie is a thing of beauty! These cookies are what I send to people when they have babies, they're also what I send for condolences- get one of the "create your own" boxes for yourself (you could share them with your friends or sweetie if you want, I suppose...) You can thank me later!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Ask OutInAPout:
BHA and Acne: What Do I Need to Know?

The Question today comes from Jen, who writes:

Hey...I have a question for you, because I think you will have an answer for me. I've recently been having issues with acne, some really deep deep stuff and i can't seem to get rid of it, and it's just getting worse and worse. I just bought a BHA liquid with 2% concentration of salicylic acid and i was wondering if there are any precautions i should be aware of when starting to treat with it. thank you so much for your help. ^-^

My Answer:

Hey Jen,

I hope I can help! First and foremost- have you pinpointed the cause of your change in skin temperament? If not, try to analyse what changes have occurred since your skin changed- have you stopped/started any medications? Changed skin care or makeup routines? Is the breakout localized to one area (if so, read this!) Just a few things to think about.

As far as your BHA (aka salicylic acid) product, the first thing to be aware of it that if you have a known allergy to aspirin, you should not use BHA since it's very closely related (the chemical name for aspirin is acetylsalicylic acid). As long as you're OK on that front, the most important thing to know it that since BHA is designed to exfoliate, and thus reveal new skin, that new skin is going to be more sensitive to the sun- so it is VITAL that you ALWAYS (notice the caps) use a daily sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher- even if the only actual sun you see is in the car on the way to work!

As far as precautions, the biggest one I'd start by looking at the ingredient label- if the product lists SD Alcohol, Alcohol Denat, Denatured Alcohol, isopropyl alcohol or just plain alcohol, I'd stay away. Alcohol is extremely irritating, drying and can contribute to cell damage. There ARE some safe, even beneficial, types of alcohol that you don't need to worry about- if you don't know how to tell good from bad, here's more details!

Also be aware that the formula that you choose has to have the correct pH (3-4 is ideal) for the BHA to even work. Unfortunately, usually the only way to tell the pH of the product is to test it yourself. I actually have litmus strips that I use to test my products. Seems silly, but it beats spending time and money on a product that was never going to work in the first place. 

The only other precaution I can give you is to start slowly if you have sensitive skin or have been known to have reactions to other skincare. 2% is on the high end of concentration for salicylic acid in over the counter facial treatments, so you may want to start by using it just twice a week for the first couple of weeks, then step up to every other day for a week, and then, if you're not having extreme redness, dryness or flaking, go to every night. Also, I wouldn't use your BHA with any other products that contain AHAs or retinol- I'd even give any scrubs a rest until you're sure your skin has adjusted. You may also want to consider only using it on the effected areas, especially if your skin is in the normal to dry range.

Of course, I'm not a dermatologist, but I have many years of experience in the skincare/cosmetics field, so I've seen a lot and heard feedback on just about every skin condition you can imagine (I once met a lady who used Borax on her face! eek!!!) I started this blog to share my knowledge and experiences in the hopes that others will benefit, so I'm always happy to answer questions! Please pop in sometime to let us know how things are working for you! Good luck!!!

Monday, January 24, 2011

This Week's Sales: Bliss, StriVectin, Boom! and more

To start off this week, a few good deals from non-members only sites: is offering 20% off all Bliss, Laboratoire Rem├Ęde or Elemis brand purchases, plus free shipping if you spend $50 or more! Just enter code JAN2011 at checkout and get there before the offer ends on January 27th.

Over at Philosophy (online or in flagship stores) use the code VALENTINES and enjoy 15% off of any fragrance and bath & body products. As always, you'll also get free ground shipping on orders of $50 or more. Offer ends January 28th.

Ulta has a coupon good for 20% off your entire order with code 44480. Valid online or in-store until January 29th. Even with the usual restrictions on prestige cosmetics & skincare (check the link for specifics) there's still tons to use this on!

Now on to the exclusive stuff (of course, you can always join by clicking the link. They're all free of course!)

HauteLook has a week full of beauty this week, starting with StriVectin and Rock & Republic Beauty on Monday, Oscar Blandi and Pharmagel on Tuesday, Somme on Wednesday and Goldfaden on Thursday.

Ideeli features Boom! by Cindy Joseph on Tuesday, January 25th.

Get a jump on V-Day at the Designer Fragrances for Men and Women Boutique beginning Monday over at Beyond the Rack. If that's not really your concern, you can check out Fusion Beauty on Wednesday, January 26th.

Beauty Story has a Beauty Blowout sale going on now, featuring brands like Eve Pearl, Decleor, Michael Todd Cosmetics, and more. On Thursday, Davi Napa visits.

Who is shopping this week?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

How to Cover a Tattoo:
Tips from Hollywood Makeup Artist
Leah Vautrot

Yesterday afternoon I received an email from an out-of-town client, asking if I could give her some tips on how to cover a tattoo. While I'm educated on corrective makeup, I'll be honest in admitting that tattoo camouflage isn't something I practice often, so after replying with my advice, I jumped on to twitter and shot off a 140 asking a few other makeup artists how they like to cover ink.

The lovely Leah Vautrot was kind enough to respond with some of her favorite products. If you're not familiar with Leah, you totally should be. She is Department Head of Makeup on the show "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" and has worked on some of my favorite movies, like "I Love You, Man" and "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" (Oh! I wonder if she got to touch Russell Brand???)

I was absolutely thrilled at Leah's recommendations, but THEN, as if she's not busy enough, Leah proceeded to cover one of her own tattoos, and send me step-by-step pictures! How could I NOT share those with you? A big thanks to Leah for taking the time out to do this, and for agreeing to let me share this with all of my readers!

Leah's Tattoo:
Leah recommends prepping the skin you'll be covering with a fixing spray, like Skindinavia. This helps to keep the makeup from rubbing of onto clothing and provides a flawless finish.

Step One: Color Correcting
Since Leah's tattoo is black, she's using an orange toned corrector (she likes the orange shade on the top of DuWop's Circle Block). Of course, the opposite of black is white, but generally orange works better on black tattoos simply because black ink, mixed with natural skin tone, tends to have a blue cast. Orange is the complimentary shade for blue, so it helps to cancel out the color. If your tattoo has large patches of color, you may have to selectively correct those colors. In this case, a quick drying, smudge proof creme (like MAC Chromaline) may be helpful. BTW, if you're not sure what colors to use, click here and here to review, or check out a simple color wheel!

Step Two: Apply Foundation
To begin covering and evening out skin tone, Leah applies a coat of long-wearing foundation like Revlon Colorstay. You'll generally want to match your skin tone as closely as possible; Leah was quick to point out that this one was too dark simply because she didn't have a shade handy that was pale enough to match her inner arm ("no one is that pale"!)

Step Three: Conceal and Set
For further coverage, Leah conceals with Colorescience Corrector Palette (she says both the classic and the global palettes are must haves for seamless concealing!) After setting with powder, give your fresh blank canvas a spritz of finishing spray, and you're ready to go!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

This Week's Sales: Moy Skincare, Bliss, Yes to Carrots...and more!

HauteLook has Booty Parlor this Monday, a Luxury Scent Event and Moy Skincare on Tuesday, and GO SMiLE and Michael Todd Cosmetics on Wednesday, January 19th.

Beyond the Rack showcases Haute Skin on Monday, January 17th.

Across the pond, Brand Alley still has a designer fragrance boutique until Tuesday, with Yes to Carrots beginning Monday. If you're not a member yet, click here and we can both earn a £10 voucher when you sign up for your free account.

Beauty Story takes a holiday on Monday and begins the week on Tuesday, January 18th with Vincent Longo.

On Wednesday, Gilt Groupe has Mario Badescu while Ideeli features jenerations baby.

Also this week, get a whopping 40% off on Bliss The Youth as We Know It products (excludes gift sets) when you visit and use the code YOUTHSALE at checkout. Offer expires this Thursday, January 20th.

Have fun shopping, have a wonderful holiday, and with the holiday, please take a moment to reflect on the great sacrifices made by those, both past and present, who have dedicated their lives to help the nameless, faceless, and voiceless.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

This Week's Sales: Paul & Joe, Arcona,
360 Skin Care...and more

So far it's a pretty quiet week in beauty sale land- of course stay tuned for updates as they happen!

This week on HauteLook Firouz Institute, Serenity Med Spa, Nios Spa, and ARCONA, all begin on Monday, January 10th. Check out Bare Ease and Cream Beauty's Deal of the Day on Tuesday, with Bionova on Wednesday along with another deal of the day; Best Teeth Bleaching.

Ideeli has 360 Skin Care starting Monday.

Beauty Story starts the week Monday with Red Ginger, followed Tuesday by Wrinkle Magic, Paul & Joe on Wednesday, Terax on Thursday and DermaNew on Friday, January 14th.

Brand Alley has a EcoTan, Designer Cosmetics Boutique going on now through Tuesday, January 11th. If you're not a member yet, join now and we can both earn a £10 voucher! Just click here for a personal invite from me!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Chappiness is a Cold Gun...

Get it? Huh, huh, huh? OK, I know it's bad, but regardless of my creative lapse of judgement, the season of lip smacking dryness is in full swing. Lip balm is a precious commodity in my household, I have no fewer than 3 types just in the room I'm currently sitting in. Lips are especially prone to dryness because they don't contain oil glands- when the arid weather hits, it becomes vital to protect them. Here's a few pointers on what to look for, as well as a few of my current favorites!

-Look for a balm that contains emollient ingredients. Nut butters (like cocoa butter, shea butter, etc...) Oils (and yes, mineral oil is good. I repeat, mineral oil is GOOD), lanolin and petroleum (like Vaseline) are all good emollients.

-Stay away from balms that contain menthol, camphor, phenol, or any mint oil. These ingredients are surprisingly common in some very popular brands (Carmex, and Blistex to name a couple) and are irritants. These ingredients are the root of the myth that lips can become "dependent" on lip balm, or that balms make chapped skin worse. If you're applying irritants to your lips, they will remain chapped. Period.

-Skip balms that are mostly wax based without emollients like the ones listed above appearing higher on the ingredient list- wax just forms a barrier, it won't do anything to add moisture to the skin (which is what will actually relieve chapping).

-Don't forget sunscreen! I know I've talked about this before, but it bears repeating. Sun burnt lips have pretty much the same symptoms as chapped lips- dry, red, peeling...and if the damage is from the sun, those aren't your only concerns. Why risk it?

My current favorite balm is, believe it or not, Aquaphor. If you don't have a baby's butt in your general vicinity on a regular basis, you may not be familiar with this stuff, and while there isn't a whole lot to it, what's in there does the trick. I buy the regular old formula in the 3 oz "Baby" tube which runs a whole $6.99. Oddly, the 1.75 oz non-baby tube is only a buck cheaper, and is the same exact thing, so even sans-butts, it's a better deal. Another trick that's helped me a lot is that I put my CeraVe cream on my lips day and night, then seal in that moisture with the Aquaphor. Works like a charm.

For a great day-time option, I love my Sleek Pout Polishes. They're chock full of emollients, SPF, and just enough color for me. I know the company seems a bit sketchy right now (check out the comments on their Facebook page if you're unaware) but that doesn't change the fact that the product is fantastic. If you're looking for a similar option and don't mind a higher price tag, MAC's Tinted Lip Conditioners look VERY similar. As in almost I smell a Drugstore Dupe showdown ahead?

What's your favorite winter-time lip saver? Do you have any secrets for keeping your pout smooth? Don't lurk, share!!!

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