New Year, Whiter Smile!

Is whiter teeth on your list of New Year resolutions? If so, keep on reading!  Some of you may know that I’m quite obsessed with white teeth – a lifelong resolution of sorts.  But lately I’ve had no whitening will power, drinking coffee and tea more than ever.  I will be forever a fan of Crest Whitestrips but have been waiting for them to go on sale. Then last week, a new whitening product caught my eye, it’s called the Smileactives Teeth Whitening Pen. I decided to purchase it because of three main reasons:

1. Clinically tested to whiten up to 10 shades with one pen (there are 2 pens per package)

2. Convenience (pen applicator means no trays or strips)

3. Cost ($24.98 plus shipping & handling)

Today is my first time trying it out!  I am going to use this pen for one week, 3-4 times a day and then I’ll post my BEFORE/AFTER photos so fingers crossed for great results!  Comment and share your fave tooth whitening product below!

Looking to Detox Your Skin?

Whether we know it or not, there are chemicals in everything we consume, from apples to microwavable popcorn.  I recently read an article about 7 Foods You Should Never Eat referencing expert commentary from food scientists. Fortunately, I haven’t eaten any of the forbidden foods but that got me thinking how it applies to what I put on my face.
One of my friends in New York put me in touch with Marie Michele, founder of Juvance Cosmetics. Her experience spans many of the beauty industry’s most renowned brands such as Clinique, Chanel and Shisheido.  Now Michele’s mission is to provide natural and therapeutic products and regimens to balance, enhance and renew the skin’s natural beauty. On my journey towards putting an end to my dry skin, I was excited to speak to this leading “skin scientist.”
I tried out the 4-step regimen Michele suggested after I gave her a rundown of my skin routine.  Her overall analysis was that my skin was “eating” but not “drinking”.  Here’s her custom recipe:
Images from JuvanceCosmetics.com
1.      Purifying Gel
  • What It Does: Deeply cleanses, purifies pores and removes impurities.
  • Ingredients: Alpha and Beta-Hydroxy Acid, Aloe Vera Gel, Salicylic Acid, Lactid Acid, Vitamin B, Bromelain Extract and Papain Enzymes.
  • How I used it:  Twice daily using gel cleanser and exfoliant.
2.      Balancing Ginseng Softener
  • What It Does: Preps the skin for hydration while balancing, toning, refreshing and firming the skin.
  • Ingredients: Aloe Vera, Ginseng, Witch Hazel and Horse Chestnut Extracts.
  • How I used it:  Applied with cotton ball after Purifying Gel.
3.      Renewal Bamboo Scrub (Exfoliant)
  • What It Does: Gently removes dead skin cells, refines pores and stimulates cellular regeneration.
  • Ingredients: Ground Bamboo and Jojoba Beads, Chamomile Extract, Aloe Vera, Papaya Extract, Bromelain Extract and Papain Enzymes.
  • How I used it:  Scrubbed gently in circular motion avoiding delicate eye area, twice a week.
4.      Revitalizing Moisturizer
  • What It Does: Helps improve oxygenation, detoxifies and stimulates the skin. Helps refine pores, balance oil, soothes irritation, and slows the creation of new lines and wrinkles.
  • Ingredients: Aloe Vera Gel, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, Sodium Hyaluronate.
  • How I used it:  Twice a day.
The main ingredient not included in these products? Alcohol! Also the culprit for dry skin. So yes, this is rehab for my face.  Granted, not all alcohol is created equal but after one week of use, I can see a difference in my skin. It’s smoother, my pores are smaller, no break outs and overall my skin just feels cleaner and moisturized.  Michele’s line of Juvance Cosmetics can be found in beauty boutiques in the tri-state area and can also be purchased directly on the Juvance Cosmetics website.  She’s currently working to become available in Whole Foods as well so make sure to look out for that! In the meantime, take a look at your skincare regimen and identify which ingredients you’re currently applying on your skin…you just  might be in need of a skin detox.  Share your thoughts below!

Poof! Dry Skin Be Gone: a Review of Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate

Hi everyone! We’re kicking off this week with a guest review from one of my favorite beauty junkie friends, Jennifer Polito.  Hope you enjoy her product review below!

Guest beauty blogger, Jennifer Polito

Like many women, I have struggled with combination skin since my teen years. In addition to the occasional pesky breakout I have an oily T-zone and a dry chin area.  Once I got the acne under control I tackled the combo problem. I have tried everything from buying the latest over-the-counter products to seeing a dermatologist and getting pricey facials, nothing took care of the problem so I learned to live with it.

Two months ago my sister sent me a care package and inside were samples of Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate. I started using the essential oil (just two drops) at night before I went to sleep. The next day my chin was softer and after three days I notice my chin area was very smooth and not dry at all. I began applying the light oil to my entire face. It even calmed my oily T-zone. Was it possible an essential oil could combat my shiny forehead? I also love the scent – it reminds me of stepping into a spa treatment room with all the amazing oils they have.

I have been using this product for two months and I love it. I simply apply two drops to my face nightly after I wash my make up off and go to sleep. It doesn’t stain my pillows or leave a greasy residue. My makeup goes on with ease every morning and I don’t have to touch up during the day. Applied at night it nourishes your skin while you sleep and the product is made with essential and botanical ingredients like evening primrose oil that is rich in Omega-6 and essential fatty acids that help to repair your skin. The product also contains squalane, a botanical lipid similar in molecular structure to natural skin lipids. Translation: it contains what your skin needs to look its best!

I recommend this product to anyone with dry or combination skin. I’ve noticed I don’t need as much makeup and even brave a makeup free face from time to time!

You can buy your bottle of Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate online at www.kiehls.com for $43.

In honor of Spring Fever, here are some of my favorite Spring makeup tips!

Any day now when spring decides to make its permanent appearance, we’ll need to adjust our makeup regimen to include sweat-proof applications, lighter moisturizer, higher SPF, etc. One of my favorite fall-to-spring transitions is changing out my regular powder blush for creamy cheek stains like Tarte’s Amazonian white clay infused cheek stain in The Perfect Pink or Benefit’s Poise Tint which can be used on lips as well as cheeks.

Here are some other Spring makeup tips:

Living here in Las Vegas, we’ll have about three weeks of spring before the sweltering heats starts so I’ll be blogging more about that!  In the meantime, if you have any must-have spring makeup tips, please share!

My Eye on Beauty

I still remember when I was in grammar school in NJ we were asked to write down on a piece of paper what we wanted to be when we grew up. Then those papers full of our grade school dreams were locked away in a time capsule.  I fondly recall writing down “cosmetologist.” Fast forward years later, many of you may know that I did not follow that schoolgirl dream of mine but I can say that I always managed to surround myself with makeup.  Personally, I’ve always loved being the first to discover the latest and then pass along those tips to my friends and family.  Professionally, I came very close to the world of cosmetology, working with some of the most well-known brands and alongside those geniuses behind-the-beauty-scenes.  Now, I’m excited to share everything I’ve learned to date and continue learning with you through product reviews, the latest beauty news and occasional guest contributions.

This is my introductory post, so I ask you to please share your thoughts, opinions and suggestions as to what you would like to see here.  Please make sure to sign up to receive my posts in your inbox.

 Thank you beauties!