Category Archives: Product Review

Anti-Aging - Beauty - "The Lovely" - Face - Product Review

Philosophy’s new No Reason to Hide products are EVERYTHING.

September 12, 2014

Hellllo lovelies! All this eating and not enough posting on what’s been going on with my beauty arsenal. As a beauty blogger, I go to a TON of events for skin, makeup, and hair products (no really, a ton), so when a product stands out to me the way Philosophy’s new No Reason To Hide ones have, it’s kinda a big deal. Philosophy has always been one of my favorite brands for their multi-tasking products and cutesy, inspiring message on their packaging which always encourages one to love, feel beautiful, and have hope (like their best-selling Hope in a Jar, with accompanying message, “Where there is hope, there can be faith. Where there is faith, miracles can occur.”)

Philosophy's new No Reason to Hide products!

On the same thread, Philosophy is now on a confidence campaign. What does that mean? It’s a two-prong approach to A) try out their new products and see the difference it makes when you look in the mirror, but also to B) really reflect on what moments make you feel the most confident on their inside. So I did both –more on this in a minute!

Recently, I was invited to check out the launch of the newest from the brand, which includes their No Reason to Hide Multi-Imperfection Transforming Serum ($68) and accompanying Instant Skin-Tone Perfecting Moisturizer with SPF 20 ($45). The combo was developed to treat basically everything, from blotchiness, to enlarged pores, dark spots, and acne marks. In clinical studies, these products have shown:

• in 4 weeks: 88% of women showed a significant reduction in the appearance of red spots and blotchiness
• in 8 weeks: 94% showed a dramatic correction in the look of dark spots, revealing remarkably even skin-tone
• in 12 weeks: 100% of women showed transformative improvement on multiple skin imperfections

The serum contains a mix of niacinamide (vitamin B3 which helps eliminate dark spots), vitamin C (a powerful antioxidant), and salicylic acid (to shrink enlarged, darkened pores), and the moisturizer is kind of like a BB cream with is light tint (comes in light and medium for now but they will be rolling out more shades soon!) which also contains some of the same ingredients as the serum to also treat while it lightly conceals.

Medium shade of the moisturizer

I’ve been using them for almost a month now, but in less than two weeks I could already tell a difference. The serum is lightweight and brightens, and the moisturizer is my favorite for its instant gratification. The medium shade is perfect for my skin and I’ve since foregone all foundations on the daily so what you see is mostly my own skin showing through. I seriously can’t stop touching my skin.

In celebration of the line, Philosophy also launched a Confidence Community on Facebook. Take their quiz to reveal your confidence personality, and you are automatically entered to win their sweepstakes, which includes:
• 1 grand prize: $2,500 Ann Taylor shopping spree, a year’s supply of No Reason To Hide and Philosophy fan favorites.
• 5 runner ups will receive a Philosophy cleanse, peel, treat package.
• 10 winners will receive No Reason To Hide serum and perfecting moisturizer.

Check it out and feel free to share your most confident moments below, or what your confidence personality turned out to be!


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*This post is sponsored by philosophy. All opinions expressed are true and content is my own.

Beauty - "The Lovely" - Lips - Product Review

Love: Mirabella’s La La Lips

February 3, 2014

I’m obsessing over Mirabella‘s Spring 2014 collection of lip pencils, La La Lips. These lip pencils are indulgent in both color and velvety texture. They seriously glide on like butter to a perfect satin finish.

Mirabella La La Lips

Each swipe is saturated with so much pigment. It comes in 6 shades, from baby pink to magenta to red and coral and they’re the most gorgeous shades of each.

Red Velvet


Rose Velvet


Plus, its proprietary Berryflux Vita Active (a raspberry cultured stem cell extract) help your lips from drying out, keeping them supple and soft. Check them out at www.mirabella.com ($23 each).

Update: Fair warning, after wearing it all day I noticed it can bleed a tiny bit, and doesn’t stay put as well as a matte lipstick. That said, the color is gorgeous, just keep a mirror handy for touch ups!


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Beauty - "The Lovely" - Face - Product Review

Try this now: Neutrogena foundations

December 15, 2013

It’s easy to skip over drugstore foundations if you can’t try them on as you can at places like Sephora. It only took a couple swipes of Neutrogena’s Shine Control makeup from makeup artist and brand ambassador Amy Oresman though to make me a believer. This foundation is legit (even when not applied by a celeb makeup artist). My shade straddles between fresh and warm beige, and the color and coverage are both beautiful.

Neutrogena foundations

When I tried it at home, I was even more impressed that it practically made any sign of my pores disappear. The coverage is buildable – as Oresman explained, one swipe for a tinted moisturizer, two for medium coverage and three for full. But one light layer was enough to do its duty without making me look like I have anything on. Case in point, I was testing it out this morning and while sitting on my computer, my roommates started complimenting how good my skin looks right after I wake up…so sad to break it to them that it was this makeup. At least it fooled the people who I see daily (somehow my roommates’ reactions always turn into my litmus test).

The Shine Control collection is especially great for people who have oily skin with its lightweight and breathable matte finish, thanks to its rice protein complex. The foundation basically has a primer and invisible pressed powder (yes in a liquid foundation) in one without over-drying the skin. Think of it like tiny blotting papers hidden in the makeup to continuously absorb oil. Ok that’s a weird visual, but just a way to relay the idea…

The only people I wouldn’t recommend this to are people with already really dry skin. There’s nothing worse than mattifying foundation on crumpling skin. If your skin is already on the dry side, try their Healthy Skin Liquid makeup instead. It’s not oil-absorbing like this one and has a more dewy finish. Because of the harsh winter, and the fact that my skin is more combo than any one type, I mix these two together and use very, very little on only problem areas. It comes in only 8 shades, so if you can find yours, run with it. On the other hand, if you are super oily, start off with their Shine Control primer for extra oil banishing.

Neutrogena Shine Control Liquid Makeup SPF 20 is available at drugstores and mass retailers for $14. Check out Neutrogena.com for more info!

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Beauty - "The Lovely" - Men - Male grooming - Product Review

Men-Days: ShaveTech USB travel shaver

December 9, 2013

I feel like I’m in serious hibernation mode this month. So apologies in advance for slowing down the posts but there is still so much to cover :). Since I started my Men-Days column, I’ve realized there about 3 billion ways men can shave. Who knew? We get like, one. Anyway, as soon as I came across ShaveTech, I thought it would make a cool gift for a guy on-the-go. It’s a USB-powered portable electric shaver. The ultra-slim design pretty much makes it looks like a smartphone and easy to slip in a luggage, briefcase…I dunno, pocket?

ShaveTech shavers

If your guy cares about design as much as function, check this out! It comes in the sleek illustrous black, or fresh white. Guess, just guess how much it costs (hint: it’s under $50). It looks way more expensive than the $30 it’ll cost, especially for the quality. The USB charging function is also convenient so you don’t need to worry about a separate overseas adapter for it — just a charged comp :). Just keep in mind, without a trimming function, best for those who prefer clean shaven over your beard-and-moustache folk.

ShaveTech is available to purchase at http://shavetech.com for $30. PS, order by December 13th so it makes it in time for the holidays!

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Beauty - "The Lovely" - Lips - Product Review

The lipstick that got me to start wearing lipstick again

November 6, 2013

There were two lipsticks I remember being particularly attached to: Revlon Stone Edge (a brownish nude), and Clinique’s Nude Bloom (a taupey matte shade) which are both discontinued now. I remember when my friend who used to work behind the Clinique counter told me they were going to discontinue Nude Bloom, I panicked and visited this foreign site called eBay just to stock up. (sidenote: WTH Clinique? That lipstick was precious! *still coping*). Anyway as far as attachments go, that was the last time years ago that I can remember religiously wearing lipstick. I feel like reds and scarlets are easy to find, but nudes — they’re tricky. Recently, at a press event, Elizabeth Arden’s incredible Global Makeup Artist Rebecca Restrepo was on hand to show us their new lipsticks and lip liners that she personally curated: their Beautiful Color Moisturizing Lipstick and Precision Glide Lip Liner.

Elizabeth Arden Beautiful Color Moisturizing Lipstick

I told her my trials and tribulations of finding a nude that’s not truly nude, with just a little bit of color to define my lips and won’t wash me out. Turns out I’m not alone — 72% of women who wear lipstick have trouble finding the right shade of color. Restrepo began perusing the line to color match me. Tip: Instead of using the outside of your hands or wrists to test colors, Restrepo showed me I should actually use the tips of my fingers to color match. “The color of your fingertips is closest to the color in your lips,” she told me. Not soon after, we landed Mink, the glorious kind of taupey, ever so slightly rosy, perfect solution to my discontinued-Nude-Bloom woes.

Mink

It doesn’t stop at the color though — the lipsticks have moisture binding spheres and shea butter to keep lips looking smoother. The medium-to-full coverage lets you build the color or keep it light, like I normally do (see below).

Mink

I should add their Glide Lip Liner are also what dreams are made of. They’re highly pigmented, and do not budge (they have staying power for 12 hours). I pair Mink with their lip liner in Naturel.

Glide Lip Liner

The coolest thing about the lip liners though is its little paddle tip. It’s the most innovative thing I’ve seen on a lip liner. The flexible rubbery tip lets you blend the color on your lips and spread it evenly for the most accurate application. Pop it out, and the opposite end of the paddle is a sharpener. Pure genius.

Lip paddle on their liners

Seriously check it out — they have the most gorgeous range of nudes, pinks, and reds that Rebecca Restrepo herself personally perfected, and it may just get you to wear lipstick again too. Lipsticks ($25) and Lip Liners ($20.50) are available at department stores like Macys and elizabetharden.com.


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Beauty - "The Lovely" - Fragrance (perfume/cologne) - Product Review

So Michael Jordan came out with a perfume…

October 25, 2013

I feel like basketball legend Michael Jordan has been in the news a lot more recently. He had a lavish wedding, made headlines when he said he could beat MVP LeBron James 1-on-1 AND also admitted that he didn’t have a clue to what twerking could mean in the same interview. Now, he’s come out with his very first perfume for women, and it’s aptly called Lady Flight.

Lady Flight by Michael Jordan

The white and baby pink bottle with removeable rubber borders (an ode to his sneaks) is decidedly not the most grown-up of designs, but the pink actually alludes to a greater cause: For every bottle of fragrance purchased, $1 will be donated to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Although it’s easy to miss, I think my favorite part is the subtle white-on-white engraving of MJ’s signature on the bottle cap.

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As for the scent, it’s a mix of black currant, glacier lily, sandalwood, vanilla and white amber. It almost smells a tad coconut-ey to me (not one of its listed scents), and is on the lighter side as far as strength which I think probably makes it more appropriate for casual occasions. Get it for all the young Bulls fans in the making :).

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The limited-edition perfume retails for $50, but it’s currently prices at $39.99 at Perfumania.com.


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