Monday, December 31, 2007

December Product Crush

My product crush of December is Redken All Soft Velvet Whip Thermal Softening Treatment for Dry/Brittle Hair. The treatment has a Silk-Luxe Complex that consists of Gold Camelina for shine, avocado oil for softness, olive oil for conditioning and silk amino acid to strengthen hair.

I love this product as it is a wonderful multi-tasking hair product. My hair is curly and coarse and the treatment works as 1) a leave-in conditioner, 2) a heat protectant and 3) a frizz controller.

As a leave-in conditioner, I use it when my hair is still wet when I want to wear my hair either curly or straight. I apply it before any other product and it works well to add moisture to my hair. As a heat protectant, I use it prior to applying a straightening cream and blow drying my hair straight. Finally, as frizz control, the treatment tames my curls or keeps my hair straight without causing my hair to get greasy or weighing my hair down.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Removing Tough Makeup

The holidays mean a lot of holiday parties...which of course mean a lot more makeup on the face than usual. In one week, removing and reapplying makeup can create havoc on the face so it is important to thoroughly, yet gently, remove makeup.
For eyes, I use Neutrogena Eye Makeup Remover Pads. Just one pad can completely remove thickly applied, smokey eye makeup. The pads, which are soaked with eye makeup remover, are very soft on the eyes and do not sting.

For the rest of the face, after I wash my face with regular cleanser, I make certain to remove all traces of makeup with Pond's Clean Sweep Makeup Removing Towelettes. Like the eye makeup remover pads, the towelettes are soft on the face yet effective at thoroughly getting rid of pore-clogging makeup.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Beauty Favorites of 2007!

Ladies, Chic Mommy and I apologize for having gone missing during the last few weeks...there is something about the holiday season that puts us into such a food coma, we just can't seem to type!! This post though, is meant to make up for our delay.

Introducing Chic Mommy and Kohl's Girl's Favorite Beauty Products of 2007!!! While all of you have been thinking about the positives and negatives of your lives over the past twelve months, we have been doing that plus coming up with the list of the products that brightened up our year!!

Chic Mommy's Picks:

Foundation: Vasanti Cosmetics Face Base

Concealer: Stila Illuminating Concealer in Warm

Lipstick for Daytime: Vasanti Bahamas Lip Balm with Madeira Lip Pencil

Mascara: Maybelline Volume Express

Eyeshadow for Daytime: Vasanti Paris shadow

Eyeshadow for Nighttime: NARS Bellydance

Blush: MAC Breath of Plum

Facial Cleanser: Purpose soap which removes even the toughest eye makeup

Daytime Facial Moisturizer: Garnier Nutritioniste Ultra-Lift Anti-Wrinkle Firming Moisture Cream SPF 15

Body Lotion: Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion

Makeup Brushes: Sephora brand is a great value, especially when compared to MAC brushes

Kohl Girl's Finds:

Concealer: Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat in No. 3

Eyeliner: MAC Powerpoint pencil in Prussian, a navy-purple that is absolutely gorgeous against dark brown eyes, either alone or as part of a smokey eye.

Lip Glosses: Peachy MAC Big Kiss as a warm toned gloss and the violet Chanel Summer Plum as a cool toned gloss.

Eyeshadow for Nighttime: MAC Flashtrack -- a shimmery navy that is great for a new take on the smokey eye. It goes great with MAC Prussian eye pencil.

Blush: MAC Blushbaby

Beauty Tool: Clarisonic Skin Brush

Body Lotion: Olay Quench Body Lotion

Ladies, we hope the above lists offer you some great suggestions for the rest of 2007 and the new year. Don't hesitate to email us your question about makeup how-to's and colors. We will be blogging about tons more products in 2008 so keep checking back!!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Inimitable Lashes

For some reason, the various brands of mascara, unlike the sea of lip glosses out there, are not beauty products I frequently sample. Recently though, I had the opportunity (Translation: the woman at the makeup counter was pushy and made me buy it) to try Chanel Inimitable Mascara. The name itself is quite a was it as inimitable as it seems?

The mascara's pros are its uniquely structured brush which allows for very, very long lashes and virtually zero clumps. The brush has comb-like fibers rather than criss-crossed fibers. As a result, it is a great brush to use both on the upper and lower lashes. It is possibly the only mascara I have used that didn't result in clumps that I have to comb out myself.
The cons? Well, I wouldn't really call it a con. Since my own lashes are quite sparse, I generally prefer a mascara that thickens. The brush's comb-like structure, however, doesn't allow for much volume. Yet if you're looking for a fantastic lengthening mascara that applies smoothly, this is definitely your mascara.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Hot Shade for Holiday Parties: Chanel Glossimer in Eclipse

Are you looking for a nice hot shade to wear to an upcoming holiday party? Then you've got to try Chanel's Glossimer in Eclipse. It's one of four permanent colors in Chanel's Galaxy Collection of Glossimers. Don't be fooled by it's appearance. Even though it goes on like a lipgloss, it's got the staying power of a good old-fashioned lipstick. The color is a little bit of red, brown, copper, and bronze all rolled into one, and it looks best on women with olive or darker skin tones. A must-have for desi girls!

Here's what Eclipse looks like on me (I lined the outside of my lips with Vasanti Madeira lip pencil).

You can pair Eclipse with eyes lined in black kohl for a dramatic look, or just a peach/bronze eyeshadow and some mascara if you want a lighter look. Two eyeshadows I really like with this lipcolor are Vasanti Paris and MAC Amber Lights.

And trust me, once you wear this out, you will have at least a few people come up to either compliment you or ask you what lipstick you're wearing. My husband never comments on my makeup, but when I wore this the other day to a kiddie birthday party (yup, I go over the top for those too) even he said, "Nice lipstick".

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Amy Winehouse is in India

...well, not exactly. You see, for some unknown reason, the models of the Ensemble Fashion 20th Anniversary fashion show, which took place in Mumbai recently, had strikingly similar hairdos as the "Rehab" singer.

I am not sure what the hair stylist was thinking when he came up with these knotted, rat's nest beehives!

As beautiful as these desi models are, I'm just not feeling the ratty hair!!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Clarisonic Skin Brush

A few months ago, I heard so much buzz about the Clarisonic Skin Brush and its amazing powers for facial skin, I caved in and splurged on one. Luckily, this is one beauty gadget that isn't just collecting dust in the bathroom cabinet. I use the brush every few days and afterwards, my skin looks brighter and feels more smooth.
The Clarisonic website claims that the benefits of using the brush are:
  • 6 times more makeup removal
  • Leaves skin feeling and looking younger and smoother

  • Cleanses so well that products absorb better

  • Gentle enough for twice daily use

  • Helps reduce oily areas, dry skin patches and blemishes

  • Helps reduce the appearance of visible pores

  • Reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles

Since I don't have problems with wrinkles or fine lines yet, I can't vouch for all of these claims but I can say that the brush does a great job of cleansing, exfoliating and increasing circulation in the face for a brighter appearance. I definitely have also had less breakouts since I started using it. It is a practical tool as it cleanses, exfoliates and massages the skin all at once...and if that's not enough positives for you, it was named one of Oprah's Favorite Things of 2007.

The brush comes with two brush heads (one for normal skin and one for sensitive skin -- I use the latter) and a 2 oz. Gentle Hydro Cleanser. I liked the cleanser as well but once I ran out, I used my regular cleanser and the brush worked equally well. The brush IS expensive, retailing on the Clarisonic website for $195 but there are online sites that sell the product at a discount or at least with free shipping.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Bringing out the Curl in Wavy Hair

A few weeks ago, one of our readers asked for tips on how to bring out the curl in wavy hair. There are a few ways to accomplish a curl, ranging from the lazy girl's method to the more time-consuming. The key to keeping the curl intact in any method is using enough product. Without the right products, the curl will fall out and you will be left with a frizzy mess.

The Lazy Girl Method for Tight Waves/Loose Curls: This method involves braiding your hair in sections at night and taking the braids out in the morning. Apply mousse or gel (see product recommendations below) to damp hair evenly from root to tip. Braid hair in sections with the width of the braid varying depending on how tight you want the curl. The smaller the braids, the tighter the curl. Apply smoothing serum at the end of the braid so the ends of the curl don't come out raggedy. In the morning, take out the rubber bands and shake out your hair with your fingers. DO NOT BRUSH under any circumstances or you will loosen the curl and end up with frizz. Smooth a little more gel or spray hairspray through hair to hold the curl.

This method is best for longer hair and those that want a loose curl versus a tight ringlet.

The Diffuser Method: Diffusers are a circular attachment that you attach to the end of your hairdryer. Diffusers are great for wavy/curly hair as they evenly distribute air (no blowing hair around so no frizz) and coax out the curly. You can purchase a relatively cheap diffuser at any drugstore.

Apply a heat protectant such as to damp hair. As above, apply gel or mousse to the hair next. Flip hair over so your head is hanging upside down and hold the hairdryer vertically so the diffuser's face is cupping the ends of your hair. Dry hair by GENTLY SCRUNCHING the hair while moving the diffuser through different sections of your hair. I like hanging my head upside down because you can get to all sections of the hair but it works the same way right side up as well. Flip head over and again, only arrange hair with hands, no brush. As above, apply a little more gel or hairspray for extra hold.

This method is great for any length of hair and for a more natural curl. The results will depend on your hair type. If you have fine, wavy hair, you are more likely to get a loose curl. If you have thick, wavy hair (like myself), you are more likely to get tighter curls with this method.

The I-Have-All-Afternoon-and-Alot-of-Patience Method: This method may be time consuming but it results in the tightest, smoothest curls. Use either a curling iron or hot rollers. The size of either depends on how tight you want the curls.

Applying a heat protectant to hair is a MUST for this method as you are applying heat directly on to the hair. Next, apply gel or mousse to damp hair as above but must be almost complete dry before using either a curling iron or hot rollers. Use either a curling iron or hot rollers. The size of either depends on how tight you want the curls. Use a smaller iron or roller for tights curls and go bigger for larger curls. Once finished curling, do not brush. Arrange hair with your fingers and finish with a bit of hairspray.

Product Recommendations:

Mousse: Aussie Instant Freeze Sculpting Mousse
Gel: John Frieda Frizz-Ease Clearly Defined Style Holding Gel
Smoothing Serum: Oscar Blandi Olio de Jasmine Hair Serum
Heat Protectant: Tresemme European Instant Heat Tamer Styling Spray
Hairspray: Sebastian Touchable Extra Hold Hairspray with Humidity Resistance

Monday, December 3, 2007

Steal the Look: Riya Sen's Soft Glam Makeup

I love Riya Sen's makeup in the photo below as a look for holiday parties. It is a glam look, but done with a unique combination of colors - soft peachy bronze lips and cheeks paired with sultry, silver eyes.

To get the look:

Eyes: Use a light, shimmery silver shadow, such as MAC Shadow in Electra, as a wash all over the eyelid from lashes to brows, concentrating the color on the lids. Line the top and bottom of the eyes with black khol pencil, such as MAC Eye Kohl in Smolder. Be sure to line the lower rims of the eyes, as Riya has here.

Cheeks: Lightly dust a peachy blush on the cheeks. NARS Torrid works well on darker skin tones.

Lips: Apply a peachy bronze lipstick or gloss, such as MAC Plushglass in Big Kiss.