Friday, February 26, 2010

Marissa's Pick of the Week! - Big Sexy Hair

My hair is Super Asian Straight and can't hold product for more that 10 minutes, but Big Sexy Hair Root Pump Plus (about $15.50 at salons) changed all that. For the first time, I saw volume that reached a height I've never been in my life. Stilettos for hair is the best way I can describe this humidity resistant volume booster. Take a look at what Jay has been able to do with Big Sexy Hair.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Marissa's Pick of the Week! - Best Gloss Ever!

My pick this week is a triple threat gloss by Lancome. La Laque Fever Ultimate Lasting Full Color Lip Shine ($26.50) has the shine of a gloss, coverage of a lipstick and wear of a lip stain. This amazing 3-in-1 gloss has several patents including one for the exclusive applicator that shapes lips and gives just the right amount of product for one application. The unique formula has moisturizers and is silicone based, so it stays in place without feathering for up up 8 hours.

La Laque Fever works best when it is applied to a clean, dry lip. Lip liner should go on after. For extra shine, apply another gloss on top such as Juicy Tubes ($18) or Lip Glass (M.A.C., $14).
Since this product came out, I hardly use lipstick and regular lip gloss anymore. This is all you need. I personally own 6 of the 27 (and growing) colors. I've even converted women between ages 30-55 who say they are "not a lip gloss person." Try it! Believe it!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Marissa's Pick of the Week! - The Fantail Brush

   The Fantail Brush by Benefit ($22) is a multipurpose must have in your tool box. Specifically made to brush away excess powders, this brush is also great for applying makeup. I love this brush because I use dark eye shadows that tend to fall under my eyes as I apply them. The soft pony hair sweeps the fallen shadows away without blending any of the pigment onto my skin. I also like to use this brush to apply blushes, highlighters and bronzers. I can shade and create shapes easily and precisely. On days that I want a more natural finish to my foundation, I use the Fantail to apply my loose powder. One Fantail brush is not enough for one brush collection! 

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Amazing Artists: Michelle Phan

Michelle Phan is my hero! With over a million hits on YouTube, Lancome has just made her the official video makeup artist for the company. Phan has amazing application skills that range from basic enhancement to complete transformation. Among my favorite tutorials are the Lady Gaga Bad Romance Look, the Sailor Moon Transformation and Lunar New Year Tiger Eyes. If you are an aspiring makeup artist, or just love makeup, you have to subscribe to her YouTube Channel. You can also see some of her video tutorials on Lancome's website.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Brand Spotlight - Ayelet

Ayelet, a former chef from NYC, started making her own beauty products out of frustration and necessity. She was diagnosed with Mayasthenya Gravis, and her weakened immune system left her with rashes, allergies and very sensitive skin. This lead to her research of natural skin care remedies. Now, with greatly improved health, she has a successful Etsy shop filled amazing bath and beauty products.
I stumbled upon Ayelet's shop while searching for a Dead Sea salt and mud spa bar. I found it amidst a beauty box of treasures! So far, I have made 2 orders and tried 10 products. Her prices are a steal, she ships at the speed of light and her postal rates are always fair. Ayelet also includes a soap sample with every order! I was lucky enough to interview her via email for my bloggity blog...
What is your favorite product and why?
"I don’t know if I have favorite products. I love all the products that I create, but I have to say I am so ecstatic and proud of my facial care line. I was one of those girls that used to shop for the most expensive brand name facial care for hundreds of $$$ until I said, "enough is enough." I need to give it a shot. After researching for a very long time, I am so happy I did. They are healthy, nourishing , healing, and most of all natural."
Does your brand have a mission statement or philosophy?
"Currently some of the ingredients in my products are organic; my goal is to use all organic ingredients or at least almost all organic which I am working on."
Handcrafting beauty products takes a long time to perfect. How long (or how many trials) does it usually take you to finally perfect a recipe?
"Some of my formulas were perfected in the first ,or second try, but natural botanical skin care is very dynamic field and there are always new ingredients out there to help perfect a natural product. I need to keep up with what’s new, so it’s never ending perfecting ."
Any advise for people who want to convert to natural beauty products?
"A person who (wants) to try natural botanical products first needs to learn to read and understand the ingredients in case of any allergies one may have. There are so many (brands) out there claiming their products are natural when they are not. If one product didn’t work for you try a something else from the same seller brand or shop, but don’t give up. You (might) find another maker. For an example, my facial creams have a slight scent of olive oil, and one customer didn’t like the scent, she is probably used to commercial products that contain some fragrance."
Quote the most rewarding feedback you've ever received:
"This is a feedback I got that keeps me working hard!
'Ayelet I read your blog and I really dig it! It's super cool how you showcase the steps in creating CP (cold process) soaps and body butters. I normally don't get scrubs right away from a shop that I'm new to but I felt that I could completely trust you and that's the whole idea of the Buyer/Seller relationship in personal care products. This scrub is super delish. I layered it beneath a Burberry fragrance today...and it was amazing! Thank you so much again and not just for the products and the shopping opportunity but also for helpin' me out by teachin' me about Paypal. You're truly a rockin', lovingly patient person and I'm happy to know our paths crossed on this vast network called Etsy. Xolovexo'"

My Favorites:

Detoxifying Pure Sugar Cane Body scrub with Dead Sea Mud ($10) - Love It! It smells good, softens rough spots, detoxifies, and moisturizes. My shower gets a little messy, but nothing spraying it down with water can't fix. There is no added fragrance, but the combination of lemongrass, apricot seed and almond oils give it a crisp citrus aroma. It's not too oily, so this is a great pre-tanning lotion scrub.
Dead Sea Mineral Mud - Natural Spa in a Soap ($6) - "The ultimate spa soap" that consists of 2 layers; one to detoxify the skin and the other to help the skin absorb all the minerals in this bar. This is the first salt and mud bar I've tried that actually smells pleasant. I wasn't even expecting it to, but it it sure put the icing on this cake. I can't boast enough about how invigorating and nourishing Dead Sea ingredients are. All I can say is to try it for yourself. I promise you will love it!
Green Tea and Bamboo Olive Oil Enriched with Shea Butter soap ($5.50) - Once you try handmade soap, you will never go back to those mass produced detergent bars (ick). I was converted 6 years ago when my aunt gave me some of the best handmade soaps I've ever tried. Since then, it's been hard to find any I like as much until now. Ayelet's soaps are so creamy without sacrificing lather. Green Tea and Bamboo, my favorite scent so far, is a crispy fresh, citrusy scent that awakens your senses.

Sandalwood Vegan Deodorant ($7) - I originally purchased this for Mr. Kitschkween (what the online communities call my husband), but he sweats too much to not use an antiperspirant. I, however, like it. The scent is a perfectly balanced unisex fragrance. I don't sweat that much during the winter and spring, so why not avoid all that aluminium as much as possible?
Brightening Under Eye Cream with SPF 15 and Green Tea & Green Coffee Extract ($15) - While I didn't really notice any real change to my under eye shadows, the compound of ingredients couldn't have been selected better. It contains the above mentioned along with avocado oil, wheat germ oil, rosehip oil, and evening primrose oil. Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide give sun protection. The consistency is very thick and a little oily, but it didn't cause me to break out.

Soap Samples I've Received:
-All of her soaps smell good and feel great! I even like using her Bay Rum soap because it doesn't smell too much like a man.

What I'm trying next:

Soaps ($5.50):

Body Scrubs ($9.50):
Vegan Deoderant ($7):

You can also find Ayelet's products on Artfire and stay updated by reading her blog.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Makeup Mondays: Neon!!!

It’s no secret that I LOVE the 80s. The 2010 summer trend definitely brings it back with bold neon colors that make me squeal with excitement! Hot pinks, vivid tangerines and shocking yellows will blind you with such ferocious fierceness, you’ll want to get out your metallic leggings and rubber bracelets.

Available Now:

M.A.C. of course has a variety of neon colors. I plan to get the following on my next visit:

Eyeshadows ($14.50) in Rule (vivid orange) and Bitter (vivid green)

lipsticks ($14) in So Chaud (intense reddish orange), and Morange (loudmouth orange)

Then I went on a mini neon splurge at Sephora yesterday and looky what I got (From Left to right):

Make Up For Ever Eyeshadows ($19) in #75 Neon Pink, #18 Tangerine, and #2 yellow 2;

Sephora by O.P.I. nail color ($9) in Hi Def

Kat Von D. Painted Love lipstick ($18) in A Go Go

Brands to look out for:

Chanel has a stunning 2010 summer collection coming soon. I’ve seen it, but don’t have a picture (boo!) due to the super special agents making sure online pictures don’t leak before it is released. You can, however, pre-order the nail polishes here. Keep checking for updates.

Also available soon: China Glaze's Poolside collection.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Marissa's Pick of the Week! - Tea Tree & Honey Scrub

My New favorite facial scrub is Ayelet's Tea Tree and Honey Gentle Clarifying Exfoliating Facial Scrub ($10). It's an all natural, handmade (!) scrub formulated for people with problematic skin. Using this scrub is such a pampering experience. I felt my skin being stimulated, cleansed, and soothed.
Having normal to oily skin, I don't ever show shine, but I do always have at least one breakout. This scrub is perfect for me because the tea tree oil naturally kills any bacteria, while honey heals and adds essential moisture to my skin. To top it off I was left with a great cooling sensation and the antioxidant protection of grape seed oil.
At first the oily consistency of this scrub scared me, but I knew the ingredients would help me, not clog my pores and make it worse. The Multani Mitti clay absorbs excess oils (and stimulates blood circulation) while pure cane sugar scrubs all the dirt and oil out of my pores . If your skin is sensitive to scrubs, the aloe vera will calm any redness and irritation.
This scrub is so gentle I could use it everyday. However, I would recommend starting at 3 times a week, adding a day every other week.
This product is paraben and formaldehyde free.