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Posts for Beauty Category

R+CO a Delicious Scented Way to Care for Your Hair

Beauty - alimackin@gmail.com - April 11, 2016

During NYFW I was lucky enough to be invited to Pop Sugar’s Shop Style event and I am looking forward to attending their event in the fall. It was a day filled with fashion, beauty, champagne and meeting and mingling with fellow bloggers. We got to pull clothes to wear to the shows, received some nifty swag

During NYFW I was lucky enough to be invited to Pop Sugar’s Shop Style event and I am looking forward to attending their event in the fall. It was a day filled with fashion, beauty, champagne and meeting and mingling with fellow bloggers. We got to pull clothes to wear to the shows, received some nifty swag and there were hair and makeup stations for some much needed pampering and getting “beautified”. And of course I had to stop at the R+CO  hair station, I wanted to speak to them about curling my hair and if they had any tips to help me improve my hair curling skills. And I did learn something new that day; I learned that the iron I was using at home was too narrow and that if I used a wider barrel iron I would get bouncier more wavy curls. And guess what? They were so right! The narrow wand I was using created tighter curls that for me created frizz and made my hair more kinky then wavy. I am so happy I finally figured out why my hair didn’t look like everyone else’s when I curled it. Mystery solved!

No, these products did not and can not turn back the hands of time but it does make my hair look fuller, bouncier, shinier, and a bit less frizzy.

And another benefit? I received a complimentary sample bag of R+CO products which included shampoo, conditioner and a styling product. I noticed their line before in the Birch Box  store, with their very graphical eye catching packaging they are hard to miss. I don’t use hair spray but I have been tempted to purchase the R+CO hair spay because I just LOVE the packaging and I always noticed it when I was in Birch Box store. And another thing in addition to the gorgeous packaging is that all of their products smell amazing, definitely some of the best smelling hair care products out there. But more importantly then the packaging or the scent is how they make your hair look. My hair has been giving me a fair amount of grief the last few years. It is thinner then I would like, and it is thinner then it was when I was in my teens which is a bit disconcerting. It is also heavily damaged from repeated coloring and highlighting so it is noticeably frizzy. No, these products did not and can not turn back the hands of time but it does make my hair look fuller, bouncier, shinier, and a bit less frizzy. It is not cheap. But if you use it sparingly it is worth the extra money. I wash my hair every other day and once a week I use a clarifying shampoo so my bottles of R+CO will last me for quite some time. And as you can see these are not the sample sizes. The first chance I got to head to Soho I went straight to the Birch Box store to purchase these beauties.

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L’Occitane’s Creme Mains (hand cream) with Shea Butter for Your Winter Weathered Skin

Beauty - alimackin@gmail.com - March 14, 2016

Winter is on it’s way out and my hands will certainly be the better for it. Frigid dry air and over heated homes have left my hands a rough, dried out mess. I inherited dry skin and hands from my mom, who resorted to all sorts of treatments to keep her hands hydrated and supple. She would often sleep with white cotton gloves covering her hands. She would slather them in Neutrogena’s super strong vaseline like hand cream favored by nordic fisherman and then wear the gloves overnight to help it penetrate. My sister’s hands get so dry she even develops small hair line cracks that sometimes bleed.
My dry hands are not quite as bad as that and do not require a medicinal like hand cream, but they do get uncomfortably dry in the colder months. And one ingredient that I love and think is a must have for any hand cream is shea butter. And this hand cream from L’Occitane is made from a highly concentrated shea butter—twenty percent to be exact; and has honey, almond extracts and coconut oil added to it, to create quite an effective and nourishing hand cream.

As they say nothing will giveaway your age quicker then your hands

It absorbs fairly quickly though your hands will feel slightly tacky for about five minutes or so before it fully sinks in to your skin. But once it does, your hands are left feeling soft and supple with no residue. The product states that it is for dry or damaged hands but this cream absorbs so well, it can used all year round. It is not an inexpensive hand cream but a little goes a long way.
The Body Shops Hemp Hand Protector  is still my favorite go to, but this is a close second. Do you have a go to hand cream? And how do you care for your hands? As they say nothing will giveaway your age quicker then your hands and now that we are heading in the summer a hand cream with sun screen should be on everyones beauty list.

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Silver Hair With Nataliya of Style Tomes and Quite The Unexpected Fashion Trend

Beauty - alimackin@gmail.com - March 7, 2016

Silver hair, there was a time when those words made woman shudder. Today it seems anything goes: from letting your gray hair grow in and wearing it with abandon like Carmen the world renowned model who defies the agism of the beauty industry, to dying your hair every color of the rainbow, which can seen on the likes of such big time celebrities l

Silver hair—there was a time when those words made woman shudder. Today it seems anything goes: from letting your gray hair grow in and wearing it with abandon like Carmen the world renowned model in her eighties who defies the agism of the beauty industry; to dying your hair every color of the rainbow and with big name celebrities like Kylie Jenner and Kelly Osborne sporting this unconventional trend you know it has hit the main stream. Rainbow colored hair a major fashion trend? My high school self would never have believed that. I was a goth and dyed my hair magenta which I loved, but boy did I have to deal with all sorts of grief—this was NOT by any stretch of the imagination a main stream fashion statement at the time.

But silver hair? Intentionally dying your hair gray, umm I mean silver? Sounds like a recipe for disaster right?  But in fact, it is quite the contrary. Silver hair has been a trend for a good year now and does not appear to be subsiding any time soon. You can check out this Pinterest page to see a variety of all shades of silver: from foxy blues, to vaguely violet hues to shades that almost appear to be metallic. However what you will not find is a look that would ever be described as gray. Or, at least not in the traditional sense of the word when referring to our crowning glories. But how does one if so inclined, pull off this look?

It is not the easiest of colors to create, but when done well, the results are spectacular. I wish I had lighter hair so I could try something like this. As it is my hair is heavily damaged from just your basic highlights. I do think that you really need to start with lighter hair to achieve this look. The darker your hair is the longer you have to have product sitting on it, and the longer that takes, the more damaged your hair is going to be. But if your hair is on the lighter side, or at least not dark brown or black (though there are plenty of dark haired beauties that do pull this off) I think trying out silver hair would be so chic and definitely fun.

Here Nataliya of Style Tomes had her silver hair created for her by the super talented team at Aveda. Cool right? Who would ever think that this two-toned colorless shade our mothers and grandmothers shunned would become a beauty craze? But in the topsy turvy world of fashion, never say never. Yes there are people out there that would probably never dye their hair silver, but for those of you that are a bit more adventurous you can head on over to Style Tomes to learn how Nataliya and her stylist Courtney created this runway worthy look. And I just may have to hit Courtney up for a signature look of my own!

 

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Nails Inc Paint Can— Manicures For Dummies or The World’s Fastest Manicure

Beauty - alimackin@gmail.com - February 10, 2016

A spray on manicure? Yes ladies you heard that right, a spray on manicure. And for someone who is all thumbs—umm excuse the pun, and who never has time to get th

A spray on manicure? Yes ladies you heard that right, a spray on manicure. And for someone who is all thumbs—umm excuse the pun, and who never has time to get to the salon this sounds like a dream come true. A crazy dream come true, but wow it may sound crazy, but if it works how cool would it be to just spray on a manicure and have some gorgeous digits ready to go?  Nails Inc Paint Can is currently on pre-order, or I should clarify, you have to sign up to be notified when it becomes available for purchase, which of course I did. I can’t wait to try this out, I have had positive experiences with their polishes in the past so I am very eager to get this in my hands. If you too want to get on the notify list head to NailsInc.com to sign up. And I will keep you posted on my experiences with this ground breaking product.

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A Blissful Way to Brighten Your Skin

Beauty - alimackin@gmail.com - January 6, 2016

Oh who could not use a little brightening in these dreary winter months. I picked up this brighting gift set at the Bliss Spa on Lexington Avenue here in New York. It retails for $49.00 and features a cleansing foam, a vitamin C cream and resurfacing pads. I have the Fabulous Foaming Face Wash and I love it. It smells great, and gently exfoliates your skin. My mom said that the Triple Oxygen Energizing Vitamin C cream is a bit strong so she uses it 2-3 times a week. The That’s Incredi-peel Resurfacing Pads she only uses once a week. Some people’s skin can tolerate a higher level of use but if your skin is on the sensitive side I would stick to a similar regimen as my mom. Vitamin C cream is great but a little goes a long way. I like to use it a few days a week in conjunction with a heavier, creamier moisturizer. Bliss is having a sale which should come as no surprise, I mean who isn’t this week? So be sure to check out their gift page. If you have any birthdays coming up for a beauty lover there are plenty of gifts to chose from and many are up to %50 off. Or hey you could gift a set to yourself, shhh I won’t tell

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PCA Skincare Serums and a Potent Way to Combat the Appearance of Aging Skin

Beauty - alimackin@gmail.com - December 28, 2015

I guess it is never to early to take care of your skin, staying out the sun, not smoking, and using sunscreen are three important steps to take to keep your skin looking it’s best. And keeping your skin moisturized and supple is also important, a daily moisturizer generally does the trick, but what about when you need something more? I am a big believer in serums. I think they pack a punch and give your skin an intense dose of what ever it may need to help it turn over and stay healthy looking. So of course I was eager to try these two serums from PCA Skincare which I was gifted when I attended the New Beauty Magazine event last winter. Both of these serums are from the anti aging line and are formulated with peptides. The Exlina Serum contains Acetyl hexapeptide-8 or Argireline and this is the ingredient that is responsible for the minimizing of the frown lines and wrinkles. It also contains Squalene which I have used before in other products and it does make your skin very soft. Additionally the serum contains Sodium Hyaluronate which helps hold in moisture and rice bran wax which smooths while also moisturizing. It is considered a spot treatment and minimizes lines due to repeated facial expressions.

PCA-Skin

The Total Strength Serum contains Palmitoyl tripeptide-38 which stimulates collagen and helps to reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles. It also has Silybum Marianum Extract which is derived from Milk Thistle and is powerful antioxidant and Epidermal Growth Factor or EGF which claims to improve the appearance of aging skin, and finally like the Exlinea serum it contains Sodium Hyaluronate.

I first noticed this in bathroom at work the other day—but my skin does look smoother. I think it is minimizing the look of my pores and making my skin look more glowing or radiant

I have been using both PCA Skincare products for about five weeks now and I have noticed a difference. I use the Total Strength Serum during the day and the ExLinea at night. Both products claim to lift and firm skin, and as I have said on the blog before I am not sure if I believe a product can actually do this,  I think the only way to see results when it comes to sagging is some type of procedure. But the serums also claim to minimize pores and to smooth skin and this I do see. I first noticed this in bathroom at work the other day—but my skin does look smoother. I think it is minimizing the look of my pores and making my skin look more glowing or radiant. Perhaps this is due to the growth peptide?

Who knows, all I know is that my skin looks smoother and thus younger. I am going to keep using both and will keep you posted. But so far so good. I can still see pores on my nose and chin but this is due to this being the T-zone, an area that produces more oil which then gets blocked. I am going to start using a deep cleansing mask to see if this will help with this problem. The serums are not cheap, the Exlinea is $102 and the Total Strength is $86.00 but I am considering purchasing them when they are done. Though I may have to stagger my purchases.

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Cynthia Rowley Beauty The Game Face Eyeshadow Palette

Beauty - alimackin@gmail.com - December 9, 2015

Happy Holidays to me, oh boy another excuse to whip out the plastic. But it is challenging to work in Soho and not shop. Last week I got together with fellow blogger Renata who took photos of me for this post. We met outside the building I work in, and decided to do a bit of window shopping before heading to dinner at The Dutch.

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That store is just so aesthetically pleasing to be in, with it’s bleached wood, hot pink, purple, pale pink and gold color scheme and wonderfully chic graphics how can one not be tempted?

Happy Holidays to me, oh boy another excuse to whip out the plastic. But it is challenging to work in Soho and not shop. Last week I got together with fellow blogger Renata who took photos of me for this post. We met outside the building I work in, and decided to do a bit of window shopping before heading to dinner at The Dutch. Renata had never been to Birch Box so of course we had to “pop in” to “look around”,  and well, needless to say I walked out with a bag on my arm. That store is just so aesthetically pleasing to be in, with it’s bleached wood, hot pink, purple, pale pink and gold color scheme and wonderfully chic graphics how can one not be tempted? I was just going to try a shadow or two, figured may as well get a bit more dolled up before heading to dinner. I have been wanting to pick up a gray shadow for a while now so when I saw this one from Cynthia Rowley I thought I would give it try for “next time”. Hmm, yes of course I bought the set. But it is not bad for $40! The gray color I tried looked great and was easy to blend—no splotches. Then when I tried the silver as a rim highlighter over my eyes, I was sold. My eyes really popped and I created a fun smoky look rather effortlessly. So if you are in need of smoky shadow or a fun eyeshadow kit that is fairly easy to tote around head on over to Birch Box and tell them Allie sent you!

 

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Tarte Holidaze a Fun, Chic and Glamorous Gift for the Beauty Lover in Your Life

Beauty - alimackin@gmail.com - November 23, 2015

Yes it is that time of year again. Time to brave the crowds and the cold and head to shops. I usually do my Christmas shopping through out the year as I do not like crowds and can be put off by large crowds, especially in stores. I just can not concentrate in large crowds of people. But this year I was so busy that some how time got away from me and I just didn’t manage to do my Christmas in July shopping.

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Yes it is that time of year again. Time to brave the crowds and the cold and head to shops. I usually do my Christmas shopping through out the year as I do not like crowds and can be put off by large crowds, especially in stores. I just can not concentrate in large crowds of people. But this year I was so busy that some how time got away from me and I just didn’t manage to do my Christmas in July shopping. But last Friday night I hit up Macy’s after work and managed to get the majority of Christmas shopping done. I was determined to get to the stores before Thanksgiving and was happy I did so as the crowds were certainly manageable, which most likely will not be the case in the coming weeks. And today I am sharing with you a wonderful gift I picked up for my sister.

This super chic and glossy limited-edition set from Tarte is an affordable $49.00, and should please any beauty fan. It comes with:

  • 4 Amazonian clay eye & cheek palettes with 16 limited-edition eyeshadows and 4 exclusive blushes
  • Quad 1: sparkling décor (champagne pearl); feeling fizzy (copper); pop the cork (hazelnut); chocolate fountain (dark brown); inviting (pink coral) (blush)
  • Quad 2: tinsel & tulle, merry mocktail, vintage cuff, plum pudding, & jolly (blush); tinsel & tulle (light pink); merry mocktail (mauve); vintage cuff (rose gold); plum pudding (plum); jolly (soft pink) (blush)
  • Quad 3: paper snowflake (beige); up on the rooftaupe (golden taupe); light my fire (bronze); sweater weather (brown); cozy (shimmering golden pink) (blush)
  • Quad 4: sequin centerpiece (cool taupe); suit & tie (smoky grey); platinum bauble (slate); LBD (black); swanky (nude) (blush)
  • full size LipSurgence™ lip crème in ravishing (rose)
  • deluxe lights, camera, lashes™ 4-in-1 mascara

I then added this fun, packed with bling eyelash curler which also comes with a mascara. So my sister can have one at home and will have an extra one to throw in her purse. So cool right? This cute kit was only $19.99. Either of these sets could be quite the dazzling gift so if you have someone in your life that is a beauty buff you may want to check them out at Macy’s. Now I just have to decide if I am going to go back and get one for myself!

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Derma Blend and How I Winterize My Makeup Routine

Beauty - alimackin@gmail.com - November 4, 2015

Halloween has come and gone and we are officially headed in to the winter season. And much like one would winterize their home, when the seasons change it is also time to change up one’s makeup routine. In the summer I like to wear light BB creams or tinted moisturizers as I use self tanner during the warmer months and do not require as much coverage. But once the cooler temps arrive and my skin loses it’s “natural” glow I am all about a matte finish and more coverage.

Halloween has come and gone and we are officially headed in to the winter season. And much like one would winterize their home, when the seasons change it is also time to change up one’s makeup routine. In the summer I like to wear light BB creams or tinted moisturizers as I use self tanner during the warmer months and do not require as much coverage. But once the cooler temps arrive and my skin loses it’s “natural” glow I am all about a matte finish and more coverage. For years I used Jane Ireale’s mineral foundation but I was shopping in Birch Box the other day when I decided to try Derma Blend. I tested it in the store and I liked how it covered up my “rosy” cheeks without looking chalky. I had even applied it mid day well after I had put on moisturizer and it still did not look dry. Another thing I like about it is that it has build-able coverage and can go from medium coverage to full coverage and it can also be used to cover up things like dark spots and rosacea. So if you like mineral foundations I would certainly recommend this formula and I love how it helps to balance out my pink toned skin.

Even with the pink tones in my skin during the summer I can get away with using eye shadows that are warmer thanks to self tanner,  but in the winter months I need to switch to shadows that are cooler with neutral or blue-pink undertones. I love Urban Decay’s Naked Basics palette and use it all summer long, so of course it was was a no brainer to switch to the Naked2 Basics palette for the winter. This palette is very similar to Urban Decay’s original line up but with cooler under tones and has six taupe-hued shades. I love the taupe colors and how they look natural but still make an impact. I also like to dial back my how much makeup I wear when it is hot, but when it is cold and I am pale I like to play up my eyes a bit more and this season I decided to try using a liquid liner. I generally use powder and an angled brush as it is softer and more natural looking but I have seen so many people doing liquid liner and it is super glam looking that I am going to give it whirl.

I hate clumping and will not purchase any mascara that even remotely clumps, I would rather go sans mascara

As I had not purchased liquid liner in quite some time I was not quite sure where to start, but when I was in Arrojo getting my hair cut I noticed my stylist was wearing liquid liner and I thought it looked great on her. I asked her what she was using and she told me it was Stila’s “Stay All Daywaterproof liquid liner. She said it was super easy to apply and guess what? It is. Some reviewers on Sephora say it dries out quickly but I have not had it that long so I can not say. But so far it is holding up and the ease of application makes this a keeper for sure. And speaking of glam, another trend is natural eyelashes that look like you are wearing falsies, but in a good way. I had not switched up my mascara since the beginning of summer so I knew it was time to pick up some new mascara along with the liner and Laura Geller’s GlamLash does just what it says—it makes you eye lashes look dramatically fuller without clumping. I hate clumping and will not purchase any mascara that even remotely clumps, I would rather go sans mascara. So the fact that I found a mascara that really makes my eyelashes pop without looking like an extra in horror movie is all good by me.

Finally I was pleasantly surprised when I approached the Birch Box counter and found that I was entitled to a free lash curler! How cool is that? I love this Black Magic Lash Curler from EyeKo. The black velvet handles make it easy to hold and control and it does not pinch or cramp. It also comes with two extra pads that should be replaced every three months. I love this curler and it has restored my faith in eyelash curlers. I use to use them religiously but after they kept breaking and the pads would not stay I gave up the good fight. But now I am back on track!

So how do you change up your makeup routine for winter? Did you make any major purchases?

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Gucci Guilty a Guilty Pleasure Just in Time for Fall

Beauty - alimackin@gmail.com - October 21, 2015

Fall has finally arrived here in NY with a touch of winter in the air. When a new season rolls around one of my favorite things to do is to buy a new scent. And for fall and winter I prefer scents that are more spicy as opposed to floral. Michael Kors has been my go to winter scent for the last couple of years but I felt that I was in need of a change and decided to go with Gucci’s Guilty.

 

A sensual scent that does not overwhelm but wraps you in a warm embrace of pleasure

Fall has finally arrived here in NY with a touch of winter in the air. When a new season rolls around one of my favorite things to do is to buy a new scent. And for fall and winter I prefer scents that are more spicy as opposed to floral. Michael Kors has been my go to winter scent for the last couple of years but I felt that I was in need of a change and decided to go with Gucci’s Guilty. With it’s spicy undertones it should be no surprise that this fragrance has a base of patchouli, though not enough to dominate, is balanced with amber and lilac to round it out, and then a touch of pink pepper is added to brighten the fragrance. This mix of the earthy scents and florals is what gives this perfume it’s spicy sweet appeal. A sensual scent that does not overwhelm but wraps you in a warm embrace of pleasure that lingers like good dream at the edges of your consciousness. And this scent does linger, it lasts decidedly longer then other scents I have tried. So if you are in the market for a new scent for fall consider trying out this out, if you are afraid to commit, go to Sephora and ask for a sample. What scent do you wear in the fall and winter? Do you change up your scent for the seasons, or do you stick to the same signature scent?

 

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