A Girl's Beauty Best Friend

Marilyn Monroe is attributed to saying, “Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.” With all due respect to the cultural icon, flawless, radiant skin is beautiful too, and it can be achieved with Champneys, a new bath and body spa collection that will have you feeling like a bombshell in no time! The super-affordable products range from $7.99 to $12.99 and are available at Target and Target.com.

Champneys Skin Comforting Bath Milk $8.99

Champneys Spa Indulgence Oriental Opulence Gift Set $9.99

Champneys Foot Butter $8.99

Champneys Mediterranean Bliss Body Glow $11.99

Champneys Citrus Blush Dry Body Oil $7.99

Stages of Beauty Review

The first anti-aging skincare brand divided into age appropriate product lines for women, Stages of Beauty offers four initial lines that includes products such as cleaners, scrubs, serums, treatment creams, and supplements. Every Stages of Beauty product addresses the skincare needs of a woman based on the specific biological needs of her skin at her age.

While most anti-aging products are focused on reducing the basic, visible signs of aging, such as fine lines and wrinkles, Stages of Beauty takes into account the rate at which our bodies' biological and hormonal changes occur and their impact on our skins' characteristics over time. With age, our skin experiences decreased collage and elastic, decreased immunity and slowed skin cell regeneration. Because these changes are inevitable, Stages of Beauty's products are scientifically formulated to work best for the age ranges they are intended for; each one includes ingredients that are appropriate and safe for the skin's pH levels, thickness, and sensitivity.

Stages of Beauty Offers Four Different Age Specific Lines:

The Radiance line (20s) focuses on preventative care, repairing and protecting skin against environmental damage and free radicals.

The Harmony line (30s) puts an additional focus on promoting the skin's natural ability to exfoliate and regenerate new skin cells while supporting collagen and elastic.

The Elegance line (40s) puts an additional focus on regaining the skin's elasticity, firmness, and tone.

The Grace line (50s) puts an additional focus on hydration, restoration of the skin's surface immunity, and balancing the effect of hormones on the skin.

Using a serum such as the Radiance Antioxidant Serum with Red Tea ($74.99), is crucial for someone in their 20s, a time when you start noticing the slight signs of aging. It has high concentration of antioxidants - 50 times greater than that of Green Tea. I used this serum religiously, day and night, by applying only a few drops. It did wonders for my skin, giving it a radiant and healthy glow. However, it made my skin feel a little tight and dry, so I had to immediately follow up with a moisturizer to make it feel supple. My supply has depleted since then, but I'd most definitely reconsider using it again in the future. It's a bit pricey, but well worth it if signs of aging is a concern.

Proven Natural Ingredients

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic Acid is found naturally within the deeper layers of our skin and plays a critical role in moisture retention, and rapidly repairing skin damage. As we age, HA decreases leading to thinner skin. Due to its remarkable ability to hold water, applying HA topically has been shown to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by smoothing and plumping the skin.

Red Tea Extract

Found in the mountains of South Africa, Red Tea Extract is known to contain Super Oxide Dismutase (SOD), which is among the most powerful antioxidants available. It has been shown to function as both an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory in the body, neutralizing the free radicals that can lead to wrinkles and prematurely aged skin.

Sea Botanicals

Sea botanicals that provide protection against free radicals while calming and soothing the skin. Also helps to reduce oxidative skin stressor molecules. Packed with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that are essential to maintaining youthful skin. It has been proven to slow the aging process and protect the skin from environmental and free radical damage. It is essential in revitalizing, repairing, and moisturizing the skin.

Disclosure: The product(s) in this review was provided to the reviewer for keeps and the purpose of writing a review. This in no way effects the quality of the review provided. No monetary exchange occurred in exchange for the writing of the review. The views expressed in this review are strictly that of the reviewer. All reviews provided here are the work of the reviewer and remain completely unbiased.

Jurlique Ambassador

I feel honored to be part of the Jurlique Ambassador program. I've been a long time fan of their products, dating back in 2008 when I first tried out one of their products, the Jurlique Citrus Purifying Mist ($31). Launched in 1985, Jurlique is an Australian company that is known for their high-performance skin care products. Their formulas are complemented with the finest, most potent, bio-dynamic, organics and natural ingredients sourced the world over. I'm happy to say that they're one of my top favorite brands. Therefore, it was beyond exciting to be affiliated with this company in this way!

I recently received a bevvy of their products to try out and review for the next few months. This includes the Rosewater Balancing Mist ($22), Herbal Recovery Gel ($48), Herbal Recovery Night Cream ($48), Rose Moisture Plus with Antioxidant Complex Moisturising Cream ($42), Rose Moisture Plus with Antioxidant Complex Moisturising Cleanser ($22), Purely Sun-Defying Moisturizer with SPF 15 Sunscreen ($58), Purely Age-Defying Eye Cream ($45), Love Balm ($6.50), and Purely Age-Defying Facial Serum ($65).

In an addition to the reviews, I'll also be able to provide giveaways, a wealth of information regarding their products, and much more!

Free Shipping Memorial Day Weekend at Too Faced Cosmetics

To celebrate Memorial Day, Too Faced Cosmetics will be offering FREE SHIPPING with code THANKYOU12. Free Shipping will run from May 25, 2012 through May 28, 2012.

Also, their LIPSTICK SALE is still happening and offers 20% OFF on their bestselling Lip of Luxury Lipstick with code LUXURY20. The sale runs through May 31, 2012.

Thakoon for NARS

This season NARS and Thakoon extend their fashion week collaboration with limited edition nail polishes inspired by the designer’s Spring 2012 collection. Super vibrant, exuberant color channels the pulsating hues of an Indian spice market for a bold dose of fashion-forward color at your fingertips.

NARS Nail Polish imparts incredible luster and prolonged gloss retention with UV protection to prevent polish discoloration. An advanced polymer system provides extended wear and a durable, chip-resistant finish.

The Thakoon for NARS Nail Polish ($18) is available in six tantalizing shades, such as Anardana, Kutki, Koliary, Ratin Jot, Amchoor, and Lal Mirchi.

DIY Bride: Hair & Makeup Looks that Dazzle from Celebrity Hairstylis​t & Makeup Artist

Every bride deserves to look and feel like a queen on her wedding day; however, not every bride has the budget of a queen. Do it yourself hair and makeup looks have increased significantly in popularity in the last few years, with YouTube tutorials abound and products at our fingertips that take the hassle out of the process. Here, Gocha Hawkins, celebrity hairstylist, makeup artist, and owner of Gocha Salon, delivers three show stopping hair and makeup looks that are easy enough to pull off yourself, and still make you feel like the queen that you are.

“As a general rule of thumb, shimmer does not always photograph well. Do your best to keep makeup matte and be sure that foundation is blended thoroughly as the camera detects oily skin. For summer brides, humidity is their worst hair enemy. Dry hair downward at a 90-degree angle to avoid frizz while styling, and ask your hairstylist beforehand about products that will work with your hair’s natural texture. Additionally, every bride should have a touch-up kit on hand the day of the wedding to avoid a beauty disaster,” Gocha advises.

Bold Bride

This summer, it’s all about the pop of color in the makeup world. “The runways for spring and summer 2012 collections were sprinkled with bright neon shades not only in terms of the clothing, but also in makeup,” explains Gocha. “This has definitely prevailed as a trend for the more fashion forward bride this season. Also, it’s very versatile and can work for women with short hair. Pairing this with a structured yet whimsical teased ponytail achieves a stunning, bold statement. Think rocker mom Gwen Stefani’s electric style.”

· Choose one feature to focus on; whether you’re going with a bright eye or lip, having both will be distracting and take away from your overall look. If drawing the focus to the eye, begin by using a powder-based primer to set. MAC Cosmetics has countless shadow options and at $15.00, it’s a steal. As far as a show-stopping lip, go with a matte lipstick. NARS’s semi-matte lipstick is a safe bet and cost-effective at $24.

· A volumized ponytail is stunning and works with warm weather instead of against it. To create this look, leave out the hair at the crown of the head when pulling hair back. Curl hair with a large-barreled curling iron for a bouncy, wavy texture or pin up for a more traditional updo. Tease hair at the crown for volume, spraying hairspray at the same time to set the look. To smooth, apply wax pomade and secure with a hair pin.

Vintage Glam

For the bride that wants to play up her sex appeal on her wedding day, a slightly heavier makeup look with a glamorous yet simple ‘do is the way to go. “Creating a dramatic eye with a red lip gives off that eternal essence of old-Hollywood charm and epitomizes class for a sophisticated affair. A great role model for this look is January Jones, who keeps it in her repertoire for big ticket red carpet events. If your wedding’s theme leans toward romantic vintage, this look is definitely for you,” says Gocha.

· Spend time testing different shades of the perfect red. Depending on skin tone, a red with a tint of orange or undertones of pink will look best on most brides. Keep other makeup simple, but still stunning by lining the upper rim of your eye in a black kohl liner. Use an eyelash curler for added volume (or if you’re even more adventurous, fake lashes) and make sure to apply ample mascara. Sweep a natural looking blush on cheeks for the full effect.

· Retro waves are flattering on every face shape and most hair lengths, except for very short. Following your shower, use leave-in conditioner to keep hair moisturized. Dry hair and part to the side. Curl in 1-inch sections and then roll forward. Set with an anti-frizz serum that will moisturize your hair throughout the night.

Natural Beauty

Minimalism is a dominant trend for summer that emerged during the collections for 2012 designer campaigns. As Gocha explains, “With a natural makeup look, I like to do something fun with hair, like take a classic style and evolve it to be more modern. One of my favorite hairstyles of the past year was Charlize Theron’s look at the Oscars. Not only does she pull off a modified version of the classic chignon, but she elevated the headband and transformed it into a formal hair accessory.”

· For makeup, choose a blush that is as close as possible to your natural flush color. Define your features by shading eyelids with a soft, natural hue that is a shade darker than your skin tone. Lightly line eyes with a black liner if desired, or just stick with a few coats of mascara to make them pop. For lips, stick to a shade or two darker than your lip hue in a moisturizing, lightweight tint.

· Curl small sections with a 2-inch curling iron to create waves. Spray with a shine-enhancing product and brush to eliminate the threat of separation. Sweep hair to your preferred side and roll hair into a loose bun. Pull out some face framing strands to create an unstructured, wispy look. Finish by spraying with holding spray and carefully place your headband.

“The most important advice I can give to any DIY bride is to test your looks beforehand, thoroughly. Entrust one of your bridesmaids with the duty of spending a day helping you test out makeup and hair looks with a digital camera and under fluorescent lighting. This way, there are no surprises when you take your photos, and you can feel confident that you’ve achieved the exact look you want. Because, after all, that’s the most important thing; that the bride is happy on her wedding day!” says Gocha.

Waxelene: The Organic Petroleum Jelly Alternative

Petroleum jelly has been touted as a moisturizer for many years. It is also one of the most common ingredients in some lotions, lipsticks, and lip balms. However, it is not really moisturizing as some believe, because it does not penetrate the skin. It leaves an icky, greasy residue, making it hard to rub in. The major concern is that petroleum jelly is Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs). Studies suggest that exposure to PAHs, including skin contact over extended periods of time, is associated with cancer, as well as other ailments. It is hard to avoid as it is in many, many products. Thankfully, I recently discovered Waxelene ($6.99 - $15.99), a petroleum jelly alternative. Like petroleum jelly, it can be used for a multitude of things.

Waxelene is a biodegradable, paraben-free formula that is made with organic and sustainable ingredients (Organic Soy Oil, Beeswax, Organic Rosemary Oil, and Natural Vitamin E Oil). I love that it is non-greasy, water/sweat resistant, and goes on clear. I've used it for many things such as removing eye make-up, relieving chapped lips, intensifying eye shadow, moisturizing cuticles, sealing split ends, taming eyebrows, and buffing away dry skin. It is also perfect for preserving your fragrance (just dab a little on your pulse points before spraying on perfume), reducing diaper irritation, protecting the skin from wind burn & chafing, natural lubrication, highlighting cheekbones, and getting an even tan (smooth on before applying sunless tanner, because dry skin has a tendency to soak up excess tanning lotion, leaving skin splotchy).

"...This super-soft, beeswaxy Balm of All Uses is just the greatest. It feels unbelievably fantastic and soothes all ills - and the faint scent of the beeswax just makes you want more, more, more. So buy the giant tub..."

Jean Godfrey-June, Beauty Editor

Lucky Magazine - April 2011 Issue

"...Waxelene has become a must in my kit. Unfortunately every hairdresser and model that I work with will often try to walk away with it. So now I make sure to carry two jars of it with me at all times. Great for lips, elbows, and amazing for adding a little to your lids to create a subtle shine/dewy effect for the perfect night out."

Christy Coleman, Natural Beauty Expert and Celebrity Make-Up Artist

Disclosure: The product(s) in this review was provided to the reviewer for keeps and the purpose of writing a review. This in no way effects the quality of the review provided. No monetary exchange occurred in exchange for the writing of the review. The views expressed in this review are strictly that of the reviewer. All reviews provided here are the work of the reviewer and remain completely unbiased.

Gillette Venus & Olay Razor Review

For the first time ever, Gillette Venus, a global leader in female shaving, and Olay, a global leader in skincare, are coming together to deliver a gold standard in shaving with the new Gillette Venus & Olay razor. Olay Moisture Bars help lock-in moisture to your skin for less dryness, and with every smooth stroke, Venus five blades will give you a close shave.

I love using razors with 5 blades, because they give me the closest shave without irritating my skin in the process. Therefore, I could hardly wait to put the Gillette Venus & Olay to a test. It's a really good razor, but the moisture bar didn't really serve me any purpose. The moisture bar made my sensitive skin really itchy after using it, so I doubt I will be buying any replacement cartridges for this razor in the future.

The Gillette Venus & Olay razor is available at food, drug, convenience, and mass merchandise stores throughout the United States. A refillable Venus & Olay with one replacement cartridge is $14.99 - $19.49. Satin Care with a touch of Olay is $2.15 - $3.39.

Note: Pricing is at the sole discretion of the retailers.

Disclosure: The product(s) in this review was provided to the reviewer for keeps and the purpose of writing a review. This in no way effects the quality of the review provided. No monetary exchange occurred in exchange for the writing of the review. The views expressed in this review are strictly that of the reviewer. All reviews provided here are the work of the reviewer and remain completely unbiased.

2012 MET BALL Hairstyle How-To: Alexa Chung

On Monday, May 7th at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, Alexa Chung explored her vintage tastes in a 1960’s-inspired Marc Jacobs paneled leather dress complemented by a shorter Brigitte Bardot-esque hairstyle crafted by Sebastian Professional stylist Diego Da Silva. When creating the hair look, Da Silva was “inspired by the 1960’s feel of dress and wanted to revisit a shorter haired, rock and roll Brigitte Bardot version of modern times.”

To achieve Alexa’s vintage ‘do, follow Diego’s tips:

1. Wash hair with Sebastian Professional Light Shampoo ($13.50) and Conditioner ($16.60) for lightweight conditioning and enhanced softness.

2. Apply Sebastian Professional Texturizer ($9.45) to the roots of damp hair for added lift and use a round brush to blow-dry.

3. With a fine tooth comb, backcomb the roots and then use a brush to soften the appearance.

4. Loosely pull the hair back into a half ponytail leaving the face-framing fringe flowing in front, and secure with bobby pins.

5. Spritz Sebastian Professional Re-Shaper ($8.75) for lasting hold.

Think Like a Pro: Save Money at the Salon - Tips from Celebrity Hairstylis​t

When attempting to save money, it’s no secret that many women trim their budgets by changing their beauty regimens, particularly in terms of hair care. How can women achieve the chic and trendy styles they desire without breaking the bank? The answer is by knowing what the hairstylists know. Gocha Hawkins, founder of Gocha Salon and celebrity hairstylist and makeup artist shares her tips for saving money at the salon.

Maximize Your Haircut

According to Gocha, saving money on a haircut is, sometimes, as easy as asking the right questions. “There are many tips and tricks that salons don’t always share with their customers, but they should,” says Gocha. “It’s worth asking whether or not your salon hosts training nights or offers loyalty programs; you’d be surprised how many do and don’t advertise it to everyone who walks through the door.”

· Get haircut on a salon’s training night. Search out local salons that offer discount days or training nights, where experienced stylists oversee stylists-in-training so there is no risk of a bad cut.

· Have bangs cut for free. Most stylists will trim bangs between cuts for free, which ensures a more lasting style.

· Skip the blow-dry. If it’s just the standard trim, leaving with wet hair can save up to 40% off the bill.

· Ask about loyalty programs. Many salons and spas offer loyalty programs, so be sure to ask and sign up; some offer special deals for certain times of the year or credit where one can eventually receive a free haircut.

Maintain Your Style for Longer

With certain products and treatments, women can significantly decrease the amount of trips to the salon over a period of time. As Gocha explains, “It is all about knowing which products work best for your hair, which can be a bit of a trial and error process, but it’s worth it.”

· Retain hair color. Use specially designed shampoos, conditioners and styling products at home to extend the life of hair color. Gocha’s favorite is Rene Furterer Okara Shampoo & Restructuring and Protective Mask.

· Deep conditioning treatments for hair health. Deep condition hair once a week to stop breakage for a longer period of time, preventing the inevitable visit for a trim to eliminate split ends. Gocha recommends Aveda Damage Remedy Intensive Restructuring Treatment ($25.99 at Amazon.com).

Splurge vs. Save

While there are definitely areas where we can save on our beauty routines, we can’t cut back on everything. As Gocha points out, “I like to remind women that purchasing beauty products or tools is like an investment. As long as you know what’s worth a little bit more of a splurge, you can keep your budget under control without allowing your beauty regimen to suffer.”

· Save on the cut, splurge on the color. Get cuts done at a discount salon and spend more on color by a high-end stylist.

· Save on shampoos and conditioners, splurge on tools. Find a blow dryer that doesn’t completely dry out hair, like the T3 Evolution Tourmaline Blow Dryer ($99.95 at Amazon.com). Follow this rule for flat irons: the higher the quality, the less damage to hair; Gocha suggests the Farouk CHI. Also, cheap hair brushes can cause breakage. Find one that works for you, like the Mason Pearson Brush ($55 - $280 at Beauty.com), which will last a lifetime.

· Save on styling products, splurge on masques for healthy hair. Hydrating hair between visits to the salon can only extend the health and life of a cut or color. Try Oribe - Signature Moisture Masque ($58 at Amazon.com).

Lauren Conrad Unveils Her Upcoming "Beauty" Book

Whether she's in front of the camera or behind the scenes, style icon Lauren Conrad has spent years learning from the pros and perfecting her look, and now she's sharing all her beauty secrets.

Source: LaurenConrad.com

In her first guide dedicated exclusively to beauty, Lauren covers everything you need to know to maximize your own beauty potential. From tips for creating a strong foundation and maintaining healthy skin and hair through diet, exercise, and all-around wellness to everyday makeup techniques and tricks of the trade for special-occasion looks, Lauren Conrad Beauty provides the advice you've been waiting for. Lauren's personal anecdotes and illustrated step-by-step lessons for makeup, hair, and nails will have you looking great for day or night.

About the Author:

Lauren Conrad is best known for starring in the MTV hit series The Hills. She is the author of several New York Times bestsellers, including the L.A. Candy series and Lauren Conrad Style, a fashion guide. She began her fashion career in spring 2008 with the debut of the Lauren Conrad Collection. In 2009 she launched LC Lauren Conrad, exclusively for Kohl's, and the line has since expanded to shoes, accessories, and sunglasses. Her newest clothing line is Paper Crown. She has been featured on the covers of Elle, Glamour, Teen Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Rolling Stone, Seventeen, Shape, and Entertainment Weekly, among others. She lives in Los Angeles.

Lauren Conrad Beauty will hit stores in the on October 16th of this year, which happens to be the same release date as her next book in The Fame Game trilogy, Starstruck!

Five Steps to Flawless Hair

As women, we are always searching for new and interesting products to give us flawless, luscious locks. While there are certainly treatments and tools that can aide us in unlocking the secret to perfect hair, it’s important to have the basics down. Here, Gocha Hawkins, celebrity hairstylist and owner of Gocha Salon, shares her top five tips for getting the look you want, and keeping hair healthy at the same time.

Get a Great Hair Cut

As Gocha puts it, “A good cut means that even when hair dries naturally, and despite all of the environmental factors, your hair will always look presentable. However, a lot of women forget that regular trims are needed to maintain the desired style. Professionals recommend trims every 6-8 weeks for a reason; when ends become split, it hinders hair health and creates frizz.”

Apply Product Prior to Styling

Gocha explains, “Using a humidity blocker like Alterna’s Bamboo Smooth Anti-Humidity Spray ($18) can go a long way to preventing issues due to heat in the warmer months. But it’s also important to use product every time you style in order to create a buffer zone between hair and the extreme heat of your tool of choice, whether it is a blow drier, straightener or curling iron. Watch which product your hairstylist uses prior to blow-drying, and pick it up from your salon.”

Use the Right Shampoo & Conditioner for You

“It’s important to know your hair’s texture and to consider whether or not you’ve had color treatments or other recent stresses that can damage your ‘do. Talk to your hairstylist about which products he or she would recommend. In addition, using too much shampoo and conditioner can dull hair; use a drop the size of a quarter. Over-doing it on conditioner and shampoo leaves hair greasy and limp,” says Gocha.

Make Time to Pamper Your Hair

As Gocha articulates, “If there is one thing I tell all of my customers, it’s to make time to deep condition hair. Check with your hair professional to see which particular treatment is right for you and apply it at least every two weeks, though once a week is best. This goes a long way to keep hair healthy and shiny, as well as strong, preventing breakage and allowing you to experience the best hair day possible. One of my favorite deep conditioners is Aveda’s Damage Remedy Intensive Restructuring Treatment ($22.89 at Amazon.com); this is great for women who flat-iron their hair often.”

Be Prepared

“Don’t leave the house without a hair tie or a hair clip if your hair is long. There’s no way to avoid every mishap, and having the option to style differently can be your saving grace on a difficult hair day. The longer your hair, the more likely it is for you to encounter obstacles that damage your look. Another fashion forward option is the headband, which allows you to accessorize in addition to hiding less-than-perfect hair,” explains Gocha.

Gocha says, “Having healthy hair is the key to avoiding a bad hair day. Keep in mind that preventative measures are always preferable over damage control. If you treat your hair well, it will reward you with one great hair day after the next!”
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