Category Archives: Splurge

Products and treatments that are worth the splurge.

A Princess Party

By: Sam

Hey Guys! Hope you all survived the moody Mondays. This past weekend my niece, Leyla celebrated her 5th birthday with the help of a Disney princess theme. The weather was gorgeous, the kids were aplenty, and the food was delicious. Appropriately,  Leyla dressed up as Belle from Beauty and the Beast 🙂

I wanted to take this opportunity to wear my newNARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil ($25) in their new shade, “Cruella” which is a beautiful scarlet red. I used my favorite NARS blush ($29), “Luster”, my favorite YSL “Shocking” Mascara in jade black ($30), and finally highlight my brow bones with Benefit’s Watts Up highlighter ($30). I must say I felt like a princess myself. After many humid sticky summer days, this past Saturday was the perfect weather to be dolled up. Below is a slideshow of some photos of my makeup look and of the party:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I also met a girl named Zomely. The first thing I noticed was her hair (of course), it was so long and healthy! Aside from having a blog worthy look, she was very sweet and open to sharing the scoop on her beauty:

PicFrame

Name: Zomely

Age: 19

Location: Westchester, NY

Favorite Beauty Product: “Lancome Liquid Eyeliner ($30) is my staple”.

On her waves: “I braid my hair when it’s wet, let it dry, and undo the braids”.

What’s your beauty secret? “This may sound weird but caffeine, it gives me enough energy to work out and feel good and helps control my appetite”.

Tell us! What makes you feel beautiful?

1 Comment

Filed under Hair, Makeup, Splurge, Uncategorized

Back to school Beauty: San Juan edition

by : Katrina

Hello everyone! As I said on Manicure Monday I recently relocated to San Juan, Puerto Rico. I’m a Virgo- I just can’t keep still. I got tired of work, work, oh and more work (& New Jersey) so I decided to just get up, leave, and go back to school. Why Puerto Rico? Why not? 😉 Coming from the hot NYC summer I figured the transition to the humid, rainy 90 degree weather everyday of PR would be a piece of cake but I was completely wrong.

1. my face freaked out – I have normal skin and never had problems with breakouts until I got here! It’s probably because of all the sweating. i know, gross.

2. Is there such thing as hair sun burn? because I definitely acquired that here.

3. I feel like I’m getting darker and darker by the second. Sun block has become part of my daily regimen for my entire body! (I don’t want to come back looking like a leather bag) same goes for OFF bug spray 😦

4. Last but definitely not least: Make-up. I’m limited to cool lipstick, mascara, little blush, and eyeliner if I’m lucky. Foundation or anything else? It’s just too hot for all that!

With the help of:

Cetaphil Dermacontrol Mosturizer SPF 30– Aveeno Daily moisturizer was too heavy and thick for me in this heat. This moisturizer is for acne prone skin, absorbs quickly to restore your skin’s natural balance, and provide a non-greasy, matte finish.

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-touch Sunscreen – SPF 70- the sun is real out here! This is my favorite sunblock so far. It’s super light weight and smells like baby lotion.

Aveeno Calming Body Wash– showering 3x/day, sunblock, and bug spray can definitely dry out your skin so bars of soap are out of the question for me. This creamy lather moisturizes my skin and is enriched with natural ingredients known for their calming benefits.

Shea Moisture Deep Masque -weekly for my sun burnt hair (product review in previous post :P)

I think I’m back to school ready!

Here is a slide show of some of my daily looks! enjoy 🙂

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Anyone have suggestions on lightweight foundations with SPF? something that can withstand this heat!

2 Comments

Filed under Drug Store Gem, Hair, Makeup, Natural, Scavenger Hunt, Skin, Splurge, Uncategorized

Manicure Monday – Is it fall yet?!

by: Katrina

Even though I”ll be missing Fall in NYC this year (I relocated to Puerto Rico – stay tuned for PR beauty posts) Sam, Kim, and I are beyond  excited for fall beauty trends: new nail colors, new lip trends &  dark lips, straight hair without frizz, cool make up without it melting off once you step outside, bangs maybe?  I can keep going-We just cant wait!

With that said, Monday is Monday no matter where you go- it’s still the most annoying day of the week even if you’re surrounded by tropical weather and beaches.  Manicure Monday posts are keeping me sane this morning/ afternoon so take a look at ours:

Kim’s Mani: 

From the Essie Fall 2013 “For the Twill of It” collection Kim has on Vested Interest :a mid-toned green-grey creme color. What made her choose this color? She’s dying for fall-That is all.

image-8

Sam’s Mani:

Sam has been nude-y and pink-y lately and  wanted to take a trip on the wild side and has on “Into the Night” by OPI from their Amazing Spiderman Collection. (sam wasn’t playing when she said she wanted to get wild lol) It’s the perfect metallic midnight blue.

image-9

Love both of these colors! What do you guys think? Manis were done at Spring Sun Nail Spa on 14th St . $24 for a mani & pedi

What fall colors are you excited about?!

Leave a comment

Filed under Drug Store Gem, Nails, Natural, Scavenger Hunt, Splurge, Uncategorized

Freshen Up: Mildred

Hey Guys! Happy Hump Day!

I’d like to introduce you to one of my girl friends, Mildred:

samsblog11

On a recent brunch outing, I noticed how impeccably fresh faced she  looked even after a few (or more lol) mimosas. I thought her naturally sun kissed complexion would be perfect to brighten up your the hump day blues as well as share her skincare/makeup secrets.

Name: Mildred
Age: 25
Location: Queens, NY
Skin Type: Oily
Skin Routine: In the morning, I use Clean and Clear’s Morning Burst Face Wash ($5.18) and at night I use Neutrogena’s Deep Clean Facial Cleanser ($5.99). I use Korres’ Pomegranate Toner ($20) and Balancing Skin Cream-Gel  ($32) only at night due to my oily skin.
What’s your beauty secret? I drink lots of water!
 
Tell us! What beauty product helps you look and feel refreshed?

Leave a comment

Filed under Drug Store Gem, Makeup, Skin, Splurge

Cutting off the Claws

by: Katrina

Happy Manicure Monday everyone! After weeks of growing my nails to what to me is “claw” lengths, the saddest day came when I had to cut them off. 😦 Having long nails definitely made me feel pretty, more girly, and all that good stuff- plus they looked amazing! But from scratching myself by accident to getting caught in random things- I just couldn’t take them anymore. How do you ladies do it?! Sam also had to trim her claws down. It was a devastating week for both of us but if you can’t even work a copy machine because of your nails- its a problem. Are we just being dramatic ?

Left: Last picture of my claws in American Apparel “Office”

Right: Post claws in Essie’s “Meet me at the altar”

Sam’s Mani: ” Up Front & Personal” by OPI

Nail Salon: Inwood Nail 4963 Broadway (between 207th St & 211th St) New York, NY 10034

image-4

Kim’s Mani: “Where’s my chauffeur?” by Essie

Nail Salon: Spring Sun Nail Spa 221 W14th st New York, NY 10011

Kim is still fortunate enough to have her beautiful claws!

Kim is still fortunate enough to have her beautiful claws!

Do you ladies prefer long or short nails ?

3 Comments

Filed under Drug Store Gem, Home Remedies, Nails, Natural, Scavenger Hunt, Splurge, Uncategorized

Skinervention

By: Sam

There comes a time in every girl’s life when your skin doesn’t want to cooperate. Whether it’s a hormonal breakout or one honkin’ zit…we’ve all been there. When this happens, panic and stress ensues and you try to find any and every possible remedy. Desperate times call for desperate measures: heavily medicated spot treatments, face masks, experimenting with high end, all natural, or over the counter skincare products, or a top of the line facial. In recent weeks I’ve been dealing with more than just breakouts, I would call it an outright rebellion. Rashes, irritation, bumps you know, the skin apocalypse! I also was experiencing some stomach pains, nausea, and physical weakness. What gives?! After about a handful of meltdowns, I decided to see a dermatologist.

Two of my older sisters swear by Bobby Buka’s work with their respective skin issues. When they saw that my skin was in need of professional help (lol), they recommended that I set an appointment ASAP. I made an appointment with Dr. Amy Spizuoco and I found out more than I had bargained for! First and foremost, the office downtown (214 Sullivan St. New York, NY) is G O R G E O U S, very hip and modern, (no anxiety filled white walls or clinical feel). Anyway, I told the doctor my skincare history, including my most recent purchases and she even asked about my eating habits. After this, she called in a facial specialist to take a closer look at my skin. After basically being dissected, it turns out I am allergic to dairy. 😥 After reading about all the symptoms that come from a dairy allergy, all of my past boughs of illness and weird digestive behavior finally made sense. Dr. Spizuoco was very sweet and helpful and quickly knew what to prescribe me for my skin: Epidou & Tretinoin:

Epidou– An antibiotic-free, topical treatment. Contains 0.1% adapalene (a retinoid- a vitamin A derivative, great for anti-aging and scarring), and 2.5% benzoyl peroxide. It is designed to get rid of any kind of breakouts you’re working with and keeps them away by unclogging blocked pores and penetrates beneath the surface of the skin. Results may vary and can be seen anywhere from 4-12 weeks. Epidou also as an APP to track your progress and to remind you to apply the cream/gel when needed.

Tretinoin– another vitamin A derivative used to treat acne and all that comes with it, dark spots, wrinkles, and sun damage. Can also be used to treat inflammatory red bumps (yes those pesky, painful hormonal breakouts on your chin and jawline!)

The facial specialist was equally as helpful, advising me to use a mild cleanser from Neutrogena or Cetaphil, use SPF 30+, and a night moisturizer that does not combat with the medications (no AHA or Glyolic acid). Also she told me to stop exfoliating and using toners 😯 , because the Epidou basically takes care of those functions. She also enforced the importance of using face masks at least once a week, preferably all natural. She was kind enough to write down a facial recipe for me to use:

photo (19)

Basically, you make organic oatmeal using soy milk and purified water and when it is ready you put it in the blender with the rest of the ingredients. Then, you leave it on for 20 minutes and rinse and proceed with your nighttime medication or moisturizer.*She advised I alternate between essential oils: Licorice oil for brightening properties for tired or dull looking skin. Calendula oil for its healing properties. (Both can be found at health food stores) You can also use honey in place of agave nectar in this recipe.

Here is a slideshow of my new and improved skincare routine:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Overall, my experience at the dermatologist was an eye opener. After spending money on countless products trying to fix my own skin issues, I feel like getting insight from a professional is exactly what I needed to get on the right track.

Tell us! What is your favorite face mask? Have you ever needed a skinervention?

4 Comments

Filed under Drug Store Gem, Natural, Skin, Splurge, Uncategorized

Do You Smell Me?

By: Sam

I have a confession: I hate my body chemistry. It seems like a weird thing to nitpick but this has caused me some major problems in the fragrance department. Recently, I read an interesting article on the relationship between body chemistry & fragrance. However, it’s not so much that I can’t find a scent that I like (trust me there are many) but it smells seems like nothing actually stays on my skin. How do I fix this? I can’t buy a perfume based on a scent I like for 5 minutes when my main concern is how it’s going to smell (if at all) in the next hour. Even so, nowadays it is a little daunting to tackle the issue of fragrances with so many options: parfum, eau de parfum, eau de toilette, eau fraiche, perfume oils, and solid perfumes. Then once you jump that hurdle, you have to decide whether you want a scent that’s “fresh and clean”, “feminine and floral”, “spicy” and the list goes on… eau de oh no!

Before we get overwhelmed, let’s B R E A K D O W N these fragrance choices! Shall we?

  • Parfum: Contains 15 to 30 percent of the essential fragrance and is the most expensive kind of perfume. It is also called “extrait perfume”. Joy Baccarat Pure Perfume by Jean Patou retails for a whopping $1000!
  • Eau de Parfum: Contains 8 to 15 percent of essential fragrance and is less costly than parfums. Dot ($89) by Marc Jacobs is an Eau de Parfum and smells lovely don’t you think?
  • Eau de Toilette: Can cost equal or less than Eau de Parfum but contains 5 to 8 percent of essential fragrance. Eau de Toilette is not meant to stay on the skin for long periods so make note of that ladies! One of the newest Eau de Toilette fragrances is Anna Sui La Vie De Boheme ($78).
  • Eau Fraiche: Lighter than Eau de Toilette containing about 3 percent or less of the essential fragrance. Chanel’s Chance ($90) has an Eau Fraiche version of the fragrance.
  • Perfume Oil: Is applied by massaging fragrance onto the skin and contains a stronger scent than alcohol based perfumes. Perfume oils contain 15 to 30 percent of essential fragrance. Perfume oils can be pricey such as Creed Acqua Fiorentina Perfume Oil ($160) or there are less expensive options from The Body Shop and LUSH.
  • Solid Perfume: Made with beeswax or petroleum jelly . It needs a carrier oil as a base and essential oils. Designer perfumes have made solid perfume versions of their fragrances such as Oscar de la Renta’s Espirit Doscar Solid Perfume ring($65) (how cute!). I also found a DIY recipe for solid perfume.

After you decide how potent you want your fragrance to be, the rest is up to your personal taste. 😉

Since I’m starting from scratch with perfumes, it doesn’t make sense (right now) to break bank on a light scent that will subside once I break a sweat. I’ve started using Devil’s Nightcap Perfume Oil ($59.95-139.95) by LUSH. It contains bitter oak wood, oak moss, clary sage & ylang ylang, which gives me a dark, mysterious, and earthy scent I’m looking for. I took the time to test out the scent at the store and browse their beauty products while the scent settled onto my skin. I love how they literally let you smell the coffee (they have coffee beans!) to refresh your sense of smell while trying out their various perfumes. I’m diggin’ it so far and have already received compliments :).

Tell us! What’s your favorite perfume?

10 Comments

Filed under Natural, Skin, Splurge