Category Archives: gifts

I'm Gonna Wash That Milk Right Into My Skin

LOccitane Shower CreamL’Occitane Shower Cream in my favorite eye-opening fragrance, Verbena is a delicate, low-foaming, lightly scented liquid wash that softens your skin and gently cleanses your hair. Containing shea milk with its smoothing and protecting properties, and regenerating wheat proteins, this creamy mix helps preserve the natural balance of both skin and hair without stripping or drying. Great for apres sun skin and hair care. $9 for 2.5 oz. Perfect for your summer travel kit.

Feeling Special: Deals of (the Century of) the Week

Feeling Special!
Feeling Special!

Enjoy some superb spring specials especially for skin care and make-up aficionadas, but hurry because these specials won’t be special for long.

  • Spend $50 on Olay Pro-X, get a $25 mail in rebate. Offer ends 5.5.2009
  • Spend $100 on Kinerase skin care products and get a free Advanced Repair Serum ($135 value). Offer good while supplies last or until April 30, 2009
  • Make your dollar go further; purchase products that do double duty: spend $20 on any combination of select products, get the book extraordinary uses for ordinary things free
  • Go green, save green: Get up to 50% off green & natural products at
  • Receive a free 4-oz. philosophy Cinnamon Buns Bodywash ($8 value) when you buy a select philosophy item
  • With every $75 Strivectin purchase, receive a free 1 oz eye cream ($45 value) at While supplies last
  • Get a Free Kevin Aucoin Brush Stroke Pencil ($27 value!) with your purchase of $50 or more. Offer good while supplies last or until April 30, 2009
  • Special offer: Get a Free Urban Decay Sparkly Sweet Body Powder ($25 value!) with your purchase of $50 or more. Offer good while supplies last or until April 30, 2009

    Beauty, Skin and Hair Care Freebies!

    So Happy, I love FREEBIES!Got Spring fever? I’ve got (a) cure. Try something new. Better yet, try something new for FREE. Here’s a list of current freebie sign-ups, but click quickly because most are available for a limited time only.

    Makeup tips and skin care help for dry eyelids from

    Outer-corner creases and under-eye circles are obvious places to dab your eye cream—but your lids and brow bone need love too! And if you wear powder eye shadow, subbing in a moisturizing alternative during the colder months could help. For starters, try Paul & Joe’s Limited Edition Spring Eye Color Palette: The hyaluronic acid, jojoba oil, orange flower water, rosemary extract, and white lily extract in these shadows help smooth out those fine lines on your lids.

    Other eye shadow stand-ins include Sue Devitt Microquatic Hydrating Marine Mineral Palettes, The Body Shop eye shadows, and gloMinerals eye shadow trios. Sue Devitt’s formulation contains sea butter, Shea butter, hyaluronic acid, and other nourishing ingredients, while most of The Body Shop’s eye colors have marula nut oil, Shea butter, and Vitamin E. The shadows in gloMinerals’ line include Vitamins A, C, and E plus green tea extract.

    Makeup tips and skin care help for dry eyelids on

    article courtesy | Photo courtesy of Paul & Joe Beauté

    Skin of a Goddess: A Simple Salt-Scrub Recipe

    Goddess Salt ScrubHere’s a lucious recipe for a classic salt scrub that’s especially luxurious, feminine, but not childish. Bolivian Pink Salt looks gorgeous in the scrub, but you can use your favorite fine-to-medium grain salt.

    Cherry Kernel and Mango Oil give this scrub a moisturizing-yet-light base; Sweet Almond Oil, which can obtained at your local health food store, will do just fine though if you don’t have these exotic oils on hand. Scented with Rose and Sandalwood, the recipe is exquisitely goddess-like. In fact, the finished product is fit for the gods!


    1/2 cup Bolivian Pink (or your favorite) Salt, Fine-to-Medium grain
    1 ounce Cherry Kernel Oil
    1 ounce Mango Oil
    30 drops Sandalwood Essential Oil *
    15 drops Rose Otto Essential Oil *

    *For a more wallet-friendly version of this scrub, 3/4 teaspoon of Sandalwood Fragrance Oil and 1/4 teaspoon of Red Rose Fragrance Oil can be substituted for the essential oils and Sweet Almond Oil for the Cherry Kernel and Mango Oils.

    Recipe and image courtesy @ The Natural Beauty Workshop blog

    Economy Busters: Eight Beauty Discounts and FREEBIES Not to Be Missed!

    Elf CosmeticsE-gads, can you believe this economy? The news only seems to get worse.

    But, just because the economy s*cks doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice healthy, beautiful skin, hair and face! In fact, now more than ever is the time to take care of yourself. The added stresses of these trying times can wreak havoc on your looks, so fight back — in smart style — with these terrific specials on beauty favorites:

    1. Through April 1, MD Skincare is offering 25% off (wow!) your next purchase. Just enter “THANKS” in the space for coupons and click the “use coupons” button when you check out. Plus, they’re having a sale (save up $75 and more) on select Gift Sets. Note: these savings cannot be combined, so one or the other, People!
    2. exclusive: FREE bag designed by Shoshanna and filled with deluxe samples with your $100 purchase! A cute floral print bag contains $120 worth of deluxe samples from top brands like LORAC, ARCONA, stila, tarte, Smashbox, and more. While supplies last
    3. Also at Get $10 off any $60 purchase. That’s a full 20% off any $60 purchase…nice
    4. Bobbi Brown Cosmetics is offering free shipping on any $60+ purchase. Plus you get free samples
    5. Lancome Canada online exclusive: free 7-piece gift ($125 value)plus FREE shipping with a $50 purchase
    6. you pick your favorite five samples FREE with ANY order. Good this week only
    7. Feel sexy on the cheap: 10% off any order at Booty Parlor. Enter the promo code “RISKY” when you check out
    8. 10% off E.L.F. (where almost everything is $1 already!). Enter promo code “EGTENAZ” when you check out

    Bargain of the Season: $52.50 Kenneth Cole Trench Coat

    Rated four out of five stars by customers who’ve purchased, this gorgeous Kenneth Cole trench is perfect for transitioning from Winter into Spring, plus it’s a classic item (recommended by Tim Gunn…hello!) that will wear beautifully for years. Available in classic khaki or basic black for only $52.50, on sale for a limited time.

    $53 Kenneth Cole Trench Coat

    Got the Economy Blues? Beat 'Em with These Beauty Values

    Economy got you down? Have you — like most everyone else — had to pare back your beauty regimen to just the basics? I’m here to tell you that just because there’s less money in the coffers (or in your pocketbook) you don’t have to give up on having the latest cosmetic finds.

    Here are a few AMAZING values for your beauty box that won’t break the bank.

    Smashbox Try Me collection
    Smashbox Try Me collection, $29

    Smashbox gives us sooooooo many options when it comes to looking for a great bargain. One of their best is the Try Me collection featuring best-selling signature items, all in portable trial sizes to give you a flawless face at home or on-the-go. For $29 (!!!), Smashbox generously includes Photo Finish Primer, Photo Op Under Eye Brightener, Brow Tech & Cream Eye Liner Pallette, Double-Ended Eye Liner & Brow Brush, Lip Enhancing Gloss in Crystal (sheer), and a special instructional DVD.

    Sephora Deluxe Palette
    Sephora Deluxe Palette, $32

    Sephora’s Deluxe Palette (only $32 but valued at $200) is a sleek, triple-tiered compact that opens to reveal eyeshadow, blush, lip gloss, and powder on stackable, sliding trays. A selection of applicators and a mirror embedded under the lid give you all the tools to create a polished, impeccable look anytime, anywhere. This savvy, multitasking set has it all: 18 eyeshadows, two cream eyeshadows, two blushes, two compact powders, 24 lip glosses, two double-sided sponge applicators, a double-sided blush/powder brush, two lip gloss brushes, all in a chic black case.

    Bare Escentuals Go Bare Kit $32
    Bare Escentuals Go Bare Kit, $32

    Bare Escentuals helps us beat the bear with its Go Bare Kit, a six-piece set of mini BareMinerals must-haves. This set features a miniature versions of Eyecolor in Joy, Blush in Golden Gate, Mineral Veil, Buxom Big & Healthy Lip Polish in Eva, a Contour Shadow brush, and a Flawless Application brush, all housed in a portable box with a built-in mirror.

    So there you have it. It really doesn’t cost a fortune to look beautiful, or have the latest and greatest beauty buys from some of the best around….

    Stila Shine On Gift of Glaze: another great value collection!

    DIY Skin Care: Save Money and Actually Improve Your Skin

    For years, we’ve been DIY’ing…our bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchens. Italian plaster and wood flooring from Home Depot, designer fixtures from Tuesday Morning, luxury cabinets from Lowe’s, Talavera tile from a local importer (may be specific to Santa Fe–but I doubt it). We’re willing to spend more time to save money.

    I ask you: why don’t we practice this same frugal practicality when it comes to our skin care? We’ve just handed over our precious beauty to so-called experts. Seriously, do we really trust those famous, celebrity-endorsed “dermatologists” to formulate our most beloved skin care products? Apparently, we do–or least we have for the last decade or so. Not only do we trust them to treat our skin–gasp, our dear faces–but we pay them plenty to do it. I mean, what is up with $500 serum and $1000 skin cream? And the best part? It seem there’s always one more to buy: the next generation, the newest active ingredient…it’s like we’re addicts, and we are hooked, Folks.

    What’s more, those crazy expensive face concoctions don’t do anything terribly special for your skin…and they sure as hell don’t contain any magic ingredients.

    Really. Is this the best we can do? I don’t think so. Did you know that you can purchase the same stuff the experts do…and mix it up yourself? Usually for less than $50?

    The trick with DIY skin care: 1. start slowly using small amounts of the ‘active’ ingredients, 2. don’t fall into the trap of thinking “a little is good, so a whole lot more is better.” (you wouldn’t add more latex to your wall paint, would you? okay, maybe not the best example, but you get the point) 3. follow the instructions. Period.

    There are plenty of sites that offer simple bases and actives that you can mix into them. But the best DIY skin care sellers offer good instructions and lots of resources–and many of them have terrific forums or message boards where ‘recipes’ are posted and clients share what works (for their skin type or condition) and what doesn’t.

    From lovely base creams and gels to nutrient-rich, anti-oxidant, anti-aging, acne-fighting active ingredients–the exact same ones found in minute quantities in those $1000 creams–DIY skin care providers offer it all.

    I’ve been mixing my own skin care for a little over one year. When I started, I made the mistake that all newbie DIY’ers make (I’m a little hard-headed–and, oh yes, I know EVERYTHING. Don’t you?), and mixed EVERY active I could–mass quantities, no less–into one ‘fix-all’ recipe. I got away with this…for a little while. Then, I ended up with a nasty case of contact dermatitis. Ooops. Well, I learned my lesson (and fixed my problem with many of the same ingredients I’d overdosed on).

    Henceforth, I mix my ‘magic’ concoctions with restrained diligence. My wallet (and my hubbie) are thankful for DIY skin care. And my skin has never looked better nor younger. Plus, I can adjust the mix to suit whatever my skin needs (this comes as you become more advanced as a DIY’er–please do not attempt to self-diagnose your skin problems).

    Here are a few of my favorite DIY skin care proffers…

    • Bulk Actives ( – Affordable selection of the very fine ingredients, in-depth knowledge base, top-notch service, inexpensive shipping
    • Somerset Cosmetics ( – easy-to-navigate, great recipes, skin care and makeup. The Resources section is a must read for any DIY’er.
    • Platinum Skincare ( – Exceptional glycolics, sun screens and skin-healing concoctions. Plus, they offer children-specific skin care products. Platinum is a little less about ‘do it yourself’ and more focused on treating skin conditions.
    • The Personal Formulator ( – Nice selection, downloadable catalog, backed by a reputable cosmetics lab.

    Tips for skin care DIY’ers:

    1. Don’t be afraid to experiment
    2. Take great care in writing your mixtures and recipes
    3. Read all instructions (yes, I’m repeating this for those readers who, like me, may feel they know what’s best–trust me, you don’t when it comes to mixing stuff with active ingredients–at least not for awhile)
    4. And for goodness sakes, have fun!

    P.S. These little homemade gems make really great gifts…and you can completely customize them for the recipient. Think about it: Mom gets the special ‘anti-aging’ cream, Sis gets the anti-oxidant serum, and Dad gets the ‘all-in-one’ cleanser/toner/moisturizer/protectant

    P.P.S. Look for Elle magazine’s upcoming feature on DIY skin care.

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