Thursday, April 28, 2011

Let's Talk Beauty

Once upon a time, I worked for Self magazine . I was hired to help out with the Healthy Beauty Awards (check out the winners here). It was a lot of fun. Not only did I meet some pretty awesome ladies (now friends), I went home with a crap-load of products!

Picture a room where every closet is overflowing with shampoos, body butters, lipsticks, bath salts. EVERYTHING. If it was a beauty related product, it was in the closet.

It was a magical time readers. A very magical time.

Unfortunately, my days at Self were numbered. Sad, I know, but I did get to take products home with me. And believe me, I did. I worked at Self around the holiday season so everyone's present was beauty related last year.

Of course, I took products home for myself as well. My room looks like a mini Sephora. I don't like to go crazy but I always took home different hair products, body lotions, hand creams and face creams.

Out of all of the products I've tested, the following are my favorites!

SkinCeuticals Blemish + Age Defense: $78.00
Now I know it's stupid expensive but this product is amazing. I have had acne since I was nine years old (I got smacked with puberty early).

Anyway because of my long history with zits, my face looks like a chocolate chip cookie; I've got all different shades of brown on there. So I asked one of my bosses what she recommended for acne scars and hyper-pigmentation and she handed me Skin + Age Defense. I've been using it for about four months now and my skin definitely looks more even.

The bottle is small but you really don't need much (I still have about two months left in mine). I try to apply it at night so I avoid the sun. Like a vampire.

Frederic Fekkai Essential Shea Tame and Style Pot De Creme: $35.00
As many of you know, I cut off all of my processed hair and started growing it out again. My hair is super curly and easily dries out. I prefer wash n' go styles but most styling products leave my curls looking defined but feeling crunchy.

Who wants crunchy hair?

Anyway, Fekkai's Pot De Creme is fantastic because it leaves my curls looking super defined and feeling incredibly soft. I wash and condition my hair, and then spray it with my leave-in and then I apply some of the creme. And then I shake my head around to separate the curls. After that first wash, all I have to do is wet my hair to reactivate the product. It's like magic.

So I love this product. I've got big lusty love for it. Nothing has come close to working as well. The only thing I don't love is the fragrance. It's really strong.

Really strong

So I hope they'll come out with an unscented version one day.

Farmhouse Fresh Hello! Yellow Shea Butter Cream: $30.00
Sprinkled with natural vanilla and citrus oils - Hello! Yellow is the happiest of creams -- transporting your mind with just one sniff to a warm beach with sun on your face. A truly uplifting experience each time you lift the cap!

Yep, that pretty much sums up this body cream. Winter was brutal in New York and nothing lifted my spirits like this. And I smelled yummy : )

Farmhouse Fresh One Fine Day Flawless Face Polish: $25.00
This cleanser/exfoliator is awesome awesome awesome! I love it because it leaves my skin feeling clean and moisturized. I prefer to use it at night and it's definitely a must during winter though I may shelve it during the warmer months.

Fresh Brown Sugar Bath & Shower Gel: $18.50
Out of all the products I've tested, this is my all time favorite. It's not the shower gel, it's the citrusy, sugary scent. I want to EAT IT! You guys, it smells so goooooood. You don't understand how hard it's been to find a scent I like that doesn't make me sneeze. So when I was in LA, I went to the Fresh store and checked out their other Brown Sugar products.

Let's just say, I'm letting everyone know what I want for my birthday this year.

P.S. All of their scents smell great!

Better Butters By Sheago After Shower Splash in Mango Pulp: $16.99
Another scent I was feeling (though not nearly as much as Brown Sugar) was this Mango Pulp splash. It's a light body oil in a spray bottle and it's yummy. I spray it on my body and on my hair and it leaves a light fragrance behind. The coconut scent is great too.

Butter London All Hail The Queen: $14.00
I'm not big on nail polish mainly because I'm too broke to get manis and pedis and too lazy to do them myself. Or I was before I discovered this nail polish. It's simple; I wear it because I love the color. It's a grayish brownish toffee-like kind of goldish beige shade.

So now I polish my toes all the time. Of course it doesn't hurt that it's free of Formaldehyde, Toluene, DBP Color and Carcinogens.

While this was released as a winter shade, nude colors are totally on trend for Spring.

If you guys happen to try any of these products out, let me know what you think! Also, check out my friend (and former co-worker) Angelica's blog for a look at the work we did for Self's Healthy Beauty Awards.

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