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DALY BEAUTY: January 2011

Jan 29, 2011

Beautiful Beauty Blog Round Up

As most of us continue to slosh and slide through winter, you can escape by joining us for our weekly tour of noteworthy beauty and fashion features. Stay matter what the weather...

Sabrina has published the definitive comparison of Giorgio Armani Beauty's Eyes to Kill Mascaras: Regular vs Excess. Ever wonder about the difference? Wonder no more. Read her review at The Beauty Look Book.

Kari at Fab over Forty isn't the only one who has re-discovered French skin care by Orlane. Find out why she likes it. Kari says it's expensive, but it works.

Gaia hooked us with her feature about Sisley's Phyto Lip Shine. Read The Non-Blonde to see why she considers it true luxury.

Three Custom Color's Sweetest Thing Palette is the talk of Twitter. Carla at Product Girl will tell you why.

Kelly showed us Benefit's Bella Bomba Blush. Does the ultimate "peach blush lover" like this pink blush? You can find out at Gouldylox Reviews.

Is your budget suffering? No prob - you can still buy new beauty products! Amy has eye shadow recommendations from Wet 'n Wild for you at Café Makeup.

Debbi wants to make sure you get the most for your drugstore dollars. Find out why you should sign up for the CVS ExtraCare Beauty Club at DivaDebbi.

Charlestongirl loves cream blush. YSL's popular Créme de Blush shades, some of which were re-launched for Spring 2011, earned her praise. See her shade selection at Best Things in Beauty.

On the fashion front, last week we told you about Part 1 of Jennifer's facts about tights and pantyhose. You need to check in at BeautyXposé to read Part 2.

Do you have your "Life Cut" yet? Michelle at Beauty Editor shares some important hair wisdom...

And Janine at Beautygeeks shares a wonderful secret that any of use with unworn and neglected perfume around the house should know....

We hope you have a wonderful weekend. Stay cozy!

image of Bette Davis from

Jan 28, 2011

Olay Classic Moisturizing Cream is Simply Beautiful

As with most women, I have one criteria for my beauty products. I like them to work. So I don’t discriminate between high end department store lines and the more humble drugstore lines. Olay Classic Moisturizing Cream (not the lotion in the bottle but the jar of cream) is one of the humble products I love.   I’ll get this out of the way immediately- it has some unpopular ingredients ( if you scroll down on the page I linked above there is a full list of ingredients). And, while I try to avoid silicone and mineral oil as they make me break out, somehow, miraculously, they don’t seem to be an issue in Olay Classic. And, even La Mer has silicone so lets not get crazy here.  The silicone I avoid is the thick spackle-y make up primer type, which is thick, feels uber slippery and covers your face like a mask. Hello zits!

I used Olay on my neck twice a day after cleansing, and around my eyes. I have yet to find an eye cream that impresses me enough to re-purchase. I’m still trying but so far- nada. I also use the Olay on my décolletage with a low or plunging neck top. When the weather gets as vile as it has been lately, with temperatures plummeting and indoor heat making my house drier than the Sahara, its time to bump it up a notch, moisturizing-wise. I use a serum under my daily lotion for extra moisture (more on those in another post) but when it “feels like” minus 35 outside I have to get serious. Once I’ve done my routine, and before doing my minimal make up, I take a small amount of the Olay Classic Cream and rub it between my hands like one would do with La Mer. Making sure it is well emulsified and warm, I then gently roll and press it into my skin, all over my face. It really feels amazing and does not sit like a layer of grease on the skin. It sinks in and feels soft and dewy and makes a nice smooth canvas for my make up.

I have a sample size jar (from Sephora) full of Olay that I keep in my purse and have been known to re-apply halfway through the day. Especially if I haven’t been able to drink and feel/look dehydrated. Added bonus- if you use the Olay Classic Cream that is pink and lightly scented, you will briefly smell like powdery roses. I don't know if my mother or aunt used this but it somehow takes me back... I love the scent but I can totally see that some people would not, so there is an unscented "sensitive skin" version. So, feeling dry? Get thee to Shoppers Drug Mart and go nuts- spend $11 for a pink jar of goodness that will last months and months.

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Jan 23, 2011

Getting To Know Our Weekly Roundup Members #7

My fellow blogger that I am introducing this week is Kelly from Gouldylox Reviews and her adventures in beautyland. I love her blog and the sense of humour and fun she brings to her reviews. She is warm and witty and just reading her writing makes me think sitting down and Playing Make Up with her would be a blast! She has a good eye for all things pretty. Meet Kelly!

When did you start blogging and why? I started blogging in 2009 as a way to share my favorite things with my friends. I was always being asked to go to cosmetic counters and stores like Sephora with my friends, so I thought it would be fun to start writing about makeup, hair and skincare.

Every blog seems to have a special voice - what's the message on your blog? I love to write about color, but I also love to research ingredients to find out what works and what doesn't. Instead of sounding like a professor, I try to relate to other beauty lovers like their friend. I assume they understand my quirks and goofiness and don't hold it against me. Every now and then my sarcasm, silliness or oddball comments anger some people. If you're one of them, I'm sorry. My blog probably isn't for you.

I always try to approach makeup like someone who is a serious fan, not someone who is all about fashion and the role that makeup plays in that world. I love drug store finds as well as higher end goods. Don't get me wrong, I love to embrace (or mock) trends, but I don't live or die by the latest words of WWD. I'm more of a real woman, who struggles with things like growing my hair, finding a mascara that actually lengthens my lashes and the perfect peach blush. It's all an adventure I enjoy writing about and sharing.

Have you always been a beauty fanatic or did it come later in life for you? What made it blossom? I have loved makeup for as long as I can remember. I was even a makeup artist for a short amount of time at a local spa and did some tv and print work. Nothing makes me more giddy than a good before and after. Makeup can have a powerful effect on your mood and how you see yourself. It's like having the power to be a chameleon. I am inspired by people and things everywhere. It's fun to have an outlet to build on that inspiration.

Tell us a little about yourself. I am married with five pets. I watch way too much television and I produce television ads at my day job. I also founded a non-profit called Karma Dogs, where we help rescue dogs become therapy dogs. They help kids do lots of things; like learn to read, work on goals set by a therapist and teach kids how to take care of a pet. My ultimate goal would be for the kids who participate in our programs to grow up to be good pet owners.

What's your daily beauty routine? My beauty routine takes too long, but I truly enjoy the "me" time I spend every morning! I start by washing my face and sometimes using my Clarisonic. I then use two eye creams, a serum, moisturizer and an SPF. I then usually use between 10-25 different makeup products each morning. The whole shebang (not including the hair) takes about 25 minutes. But it's one of the few times I get to spend time focusing on me, so I love it. It's a very Zen time for me, when I'm not rushing around.

If we were to invade your beauty closet what surprises would we find? I have more makeup than any one person could ever use. I still have the MAC brushes that I bought more than 10 years ago and I use some them every day. I also have a huge collection of faux hair, that I used to wear daily. Wigs, falls, ponys and hair extensions - it's a lot of hair. I also have a mild obsession with peach makeup. I have almost every peach blush and lip gloss known to man. As my blogger pal Anne from BeautyXposé can tell you, I take my peach collection very, very seriously.

How many lipsticks/glosses can be found in your handbag at any given time? It's embarrassing. I have no fewer than 20 lip products in my purse at any time. Most of them are peach.

What's the best beauty advice you've ever received? A long time ago, a makeup artist I really respected told me I could wear any color. It makes me bonkers when people tell me they are only a warm or cool tone (or even worse, a season). It's all about how you use a color, and done right, you can wear anything. More importantly, wearing a daily SPF is the one true, proven thing you can do to keep aging at bay. No magical cream can undo all the damage a good sunscreen can prevent. I'll never forget meeting Leslie Blodgett and having her be really surprised at my age. I can't say it often enough or loud enough - wear a sunscreen every day the sun rises!

What is the most surprising thing you've learned since blogging? When I started blogging, I thought paying more than $40 on a foundation was nuts. My idea of what is expensive and what is reasonably priced has now totally shifted. I am also genuinely surprised each time I get a comment from readers that I am not related to. When I started this, my only readers were my close friends and a cousin. I can't believe so many people take the time to check in with me and see what's new. I am so happy to have made so many new friends through my blog and I love it when they comment on something I've written.

How often do you actually go to stores or events to research new product or releases? I probably make a point to go hunting for new goodies specifically three or four times a week. I usually go to Sephora the day (or the day before) the new products hit the shelves each week. I can't go into a department store without checking out what's new in the makeup department. I'm on a first name basis with everyone who sells makeup within a 10 mile radius, which is great, and sometimes a little embarrassing. I have two younger sisters-in-law who are always suggesting and requesting reviews, not to mention all the texts from friends across the country asking me for on the spot advice when they are at the makeup counter. I have to stay on my toes! I'm a little obsessed. But in a good way!

Jan 22, 2011

Beautiful Beauty Blog Round Up

We have a wide variety of beauty to share this week! Coming up to the end of January, it's nice to look ahead to warmer times... From beauty, fashion, Spring collections, beauty at home and the ultimate in celebrity beauty, we've got the scoop on all of it. Sit back this cold winter weekend and enjoy the roundup.

Charlestongirl from Best Things in Beauty got her hands on Giorgio Armani's Le Femme Bleue Collection for Spring 2011, and she has been featuring it this week. Check out her swatches of Le Femme Bleue Eye Palette and see if you can resist.

Award season is always a great time to see the stars come out in fabulous designer gowns, hair and makeup that we either love or hate. Kari at Fab Over Forty shows us some of the best in beauty looks at the Golden Globes and how you can get the look at home.

Looking to keep your hands and nails neat and polished all year long? Laurie from Product Girl shows us her DIY must-have manicure products that work to keep her hands in tip-top shape. Are any on your list?

What is a great fashion trend for winter? Jennifer from BeautyXposé shows us how to incorporate various patterns, colors and textures of tights to look fashionable this winter.

Gaia from The Non-Blonde has been looking for a new Spring 2011 Collection that is to her liking. She found one in Shu Uemura's Morphorium Blue Palette. Check out the gorgeous rich tones and see if they are some of your favorites too!

Kelly from Gouldylox Reviews received the newest collection from Tarte Cosmetics - Achiote Cheek Stain and Lip Tint Duo which premiered on QVC Friday. Check out these lovely products as Kelly tests and shows photos for us.

Amy from Café Makeup is very selective about her eye liners - from liquid to pencil to gel. When she found Le Metier de Beaute's Precision Liquid Liner, see if she may have found one of her favorites.

Do you ever wish you could find out what someone is carrying in their handbag? It's rather voyeuristic, but oh so fun! Sabrina from The Beauty Look Book shares with us what is inside her Miu Miu Bow Satchel. It may leave you drooling for the bag and the contents!

As a personal shopper Debbi from DivaDebbi loves the red carpet events. Head on over to read her reviews on the stars' hits and misses on their red carpet appearance for the Golden Globes.

photo: Quadrantid Meteors, January 2011, Alberta Canada, from

Jan 21, 2011

Get Beautiful Lips

As winter drags on and the bitter cold outdoor air competes with our arid central heating, everything gets dry. Hair (that’s another post…) skin (that was last week) and of course, our lips. Stand in the Lip Section at your local pharmacy and you will see just how big a problem this is. Our favourite department store and niche cosmetic lines often have their own versions and some of them are just fantastic. I shared my love for Clarins Moisture Replenishing Lip Balm with Rose Wax here, but I have a few more faves to share, high & low,  as well as a few misses.


My most recent obsession is Christian Dior Crème de Rose. It comes in the same little white bakelite Dior pot as their iconic Crème Abricot nail and cuticle cream. Ok, the pot is not the most hygienic packaging but this one is so pretty I will forgive. This cream gets very mixed reviews on my go-to site, Make Up Alley, so I was hesitant to try it (I use the mobile Make Up Alley site on my Blackberry when I’m shopping for cosmetics- really). I’m glad I did try it, because it is GORGEOUS. There is a faint rose scent, but it is very soft. The texture is smooth and velvety, slightly sticky, but it really sinks in beautifully. It smooths and soothes my lips and makes them soft and moisturized but the best part is the gentle plumping and smoothing of fine lines. Oh yeah baby. A shea butter base with Damask Rose oil and vitamins A and E make this a winner for me.

La Mer lip balm is one I have had ups and downs with. Just when I think I don’t like it, I end up using it (often because it’s the closest to my hand) and then I love it. Right now I love it.  It is a more subtle effect and is more effective used for long term moisturizing. It is not thick so it doesn’t give the feeling of coating the lips. Used in the evening however, my lips are soft and smooth when I wake up. It is expensive but from what I am seeing, this stuff lasts forever. It has a subtle minty scent/taste and is again, in a little pot so you are dipping your fingers in it. It has a firmer consistency so I almost have to scrape a bit off with my fingernail to apply. That said, it then melts into your lips and works its La Mer Magic. Final verdict: now that I am not expecting a thick goopy balm, this is a love and serves its purpose. As with all things La Mer…less is always more…

Ok this is the big disappointment and even I am saying “I told you so” to myself. This year Lip Fusion came out with a balm and the thought of nice plumped lips a la Lip Fusion original plumper but in a soft matte balm sounded great. It seems to be a Sephora exclusive as I could not find it on LipFusion's website. Maybe they have discontinued it... I read horrible reviews online but still felt the need to shell out $30 for their balm. It is in a shiny silver tube, with similar styling to the Fresh Balm, so it twists out like a lip stick. Lets just say that you can save yourself $28 and get a Chapstick instead if you are ever tempted to buy this product. Not sure what they were thinking…maybe because the first Lip Fusion was the most genius product ever make to plump our lips women will buy anything with Lip Fusion on the label. Boo.

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment is a nice lip balm, maybe nicer and more luxe than Chapstick with gorgeous packaging but not nice enough for me to ever buy another one . Very pretty scent and effective moisture but at $25 it’s just not enough to wow me. How this made it onto multiple "Best Of" lists mystifies me. Meh.


Carmex is THE ONE when we talk drugstore lip treatments. Nothing really works as well to get rid of chapped lips and to protect when you are out the cold or wind. I think the salicylic acid is the key ingredient here as it exfoliates flakes and dry skin. This is a good one for guys too, the packaging is very utilitarian and the red and yellow colours don’t scream “make up” or “cosmetics”. The one issue I have with Carmex is the scent/taste. I find it so strong that I can’t smell my own perfume when I wear it. That may be because I wear it right under my nose but it’s enough to bug me. I do love it, it works, but I only wear it at home. It has proven to be the best for my younger daughter when she had braces and massive retainers that kept her mouth open at night giving her brutally dry and chapped peeling lips. Carmex was the one thing that saved her. I like the one in the squeeze tube for ease of application.

Blistex Lip Medex is the other ONE. My older daughter and I love this one- and we use the one in the little blue pot. It is medicated like Carmex, is nice and thick and is slightly less scented than Carmex. It is comparable as far as results go, however I don’t think it has salicylic acid so the sloughing properties are not quite the same. I remember reading years ago, before the Lip Plumper Revolution, that some make up artists used this as a plumper under lipstick. They would exfoliate the lip then rub in some Lip Medex for a nice healthy plump. Again, the gender neutral packaging works for guys and gals.

Another drug store fave is Blistex Deep Renewal Anti Aging Treatment. I bought this when I was cottaging and forgot my Lip Fusion (go ahead, judge me for wanting plumper at the cottage) and the only option for shopping was a drugstore. It has a lovely soft mint scent/taste, is not thick and seems to just sink into the lips nicely. Another nice one to use at bedtime it does seem to do a little to smooth lines and gently plump as well as moisturize dry lips. Bang for your buck is high here.

My other drugstore fave is not exactly low end at approximately $30 but I LOVE it- Olay Regenerist Lip Anti Aging Concentrate. This stuff is magic and works as well as one would expect an Olay product to perform. I love Olay and they really hit the mark with this lip product. It smooths, softens, and gently plumps, comes in a tube and is available everywhere. That said, for $30 I want more product as I go through a tube of this quickly, and some nicer quality packaging would also help. The cheapo plastic tube is ugly and belies the goodness inside. Speaking of packaging and Olay- can someone there please. Just. Stop. The madness. All the insane plastic packaging that is akin to electronics packages that need a grenade to open them…wasteful and you are almost guaranteed to break a nail prying them open. So, buy the Olay forewarned. Great product, but a bit of a rip off.

I saved the best, ultimate cheap and cheerful product for last- Aquaphor. Yes yes, its full of petrolatum. I don’t care. For under $10 I get a tube that will last me years, it is odourless, softens and smooths lips, cuticles and anything else you put it on. It will help heal hangnails and papercuts, and is a fantastic barrier lotion. I swear if I put it on chapped lips at bedtime, it is still on my lips when I wake up. I always have a tube of this multi-purpose stuffs in my purse and in my bedside table. Win.

What are your favourite lips products? Share! I love to discover new stuff!

 Photo of my fave gorgeous clazy rady Joan Crawford

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Jan 20, 2011

Getting To Know Our Weekly Roundup Members #6

It is my pleasure to introduce you to Debbi, the beauty guru and mastermind behind DivaDebbi. She is a true beauty junkie (as we all are!) and shares her passion in the most delightful and engaging way. Debbi is a delight and when I read her posts I can only think how wonderful having her as my personal shopper would be! Shop, shop, shop..then maybe lunch? She is stylish, elegant and a true girly girl. Meet Debbi!

When did you start blogging and why? I have always loved to write, but never had much of an outlet for it (though I have penned quite a few Dear John letters for friends over the years). I saw a front page article in the Sunday's New York Times almost 3 years ago, about people who were easily starting blogs to express their political views. It was my beauty light bulb moment. I am a girl's-girl and I have always shared advice with my friends. I created my beauty and fashion blog DivaDebbi that afternoon.

Every blog seems to have a special voice - what's the message on your blog? I purchased my first wrinkle cream when I was 12, so I would say I focus quite a bit on anti-aging products. I love high end products as much as the next girl, but I also spend a small fortune at CVS... I love a good cheat. Professionally, I am a Personal Shopper and season Trends Reports too. People who know me say they "hear" my voice when they read DivaDebbi and often laugh out loud. I love that!

Have you always been a beauty fanatic or did it come later in life for you? What made it blossom? There is not a blip of tomboy in my DNA, so my beauty obsession started very early. My mother is more of a natural beauty, so her face was on in 5 minutes flat. I remember staring with amazement at her lipstick blotted tissues and inhaling her Arpege. I couldn't wait to be able to do these things myself...which was usually as soon as she left the bathroom.

Tell us a little about yourself. As I said, I am a Personal Shopper and I adore my job! I love my clients, co-workers and the fact that fashion is in a constant state of renewal, so I am never bored. I have wept, many times over gorgeous new receipts. Our son will be going off to college next year. That was another inspiration for creating my blog...I am planning on being extraordinarily busy to help soothe those empty nest aches. I will be heading to NYC for many more Blogger events than I attend now. The city always energizes me and I am looking forward to that.

What's your daily beauty routine? Oh goodness! Day or night? Let's narrow it down to night. I remove my eye makeup with warm water soaked cotton balls and Lierac eye makeup remover. I cleanse with Dr. Jeffrey Cream Cleanser and rinse 10x with cool water. I follow that up with whatever 10% glycolic pad I am in the middle of trying and I love Cane & Austin's version. Every night I use Lierac's Age-Defense Firming Night Cream. Two or three times a week I use a pea sized amount of Retin-A all over my face and on the alternating nights, St. Tropez Self-Tanning Mousse. The last thing I do before bed is apply hand cream and Smith's Rosebud Salve to my lips and cuticles.

How many lipsticks/glosses can be found in your handbag at any given time? At least two lipsticks and two glosses per bag, not including the additional 3 or 4 in my makeup bag. I also stash them in my desk drawer and glove compartment.

What's the best beauty advice you've ever received? My Grandmother and Mother never left the house "without their face on". It was a matter of pride more than vanity. There is something gracious about making the effort to present yourself to the world looking your best. Itwas unspoken, but never lost on me.

What's the most surprising thing you have learned since staring your blog? That we have readers from all over the world! I have loyal readers from Australia, Iceland, England, India nad Russia. Insane!! What a world!!! I am so grateful to my readers and fellow bloggers. This experience has enriched me.

Jan 17, 2011

Random Beautiful Thoughts

Music ~ As a long time fan of the musical weirdness that was Roxy Music and is Bryan Ferry I was keen to hear Olympia. His latest release features some pretty cool dudes including Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood, Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, just to name a few. But it is the spooky & ethereal Brian Eno rejoining that adds that Roxy magic, especially evident on Tender is The Night. I feel like this song is…humid and dense, if that makes sense…

Speaking of a little weirdness (I mean this in the best way) how about a little Jonsi (from Sigur Ros) and the oh so pretty Go, Do

Go sing, too loud
Make your voice break- sing it out
Go scream, do shout
Make an earthquake pretty, right?

Book ~ Just finished Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom and I loved it. I still love him for his famous Oprah dissing ( I am not a believer in The Church of Oprah) and for the weird Franzenfreude that arose as a result of his great reviews. Sour grapes much? Anyways…his books make me want to have a pencil nearby when I’m reading so I can underline phrases that blow my mind. Sometimes I read them out loud… a few times. Anyone who grew up in the 70s/80s and who had even a modicum of family dysfunction needs to read Jonathan Franzen. The Corrections spoke to my generation and moved me in unexpected ways. Freedom reminded me of how politics were so important to my parents and how they shaped my beliefs. It also reinforced (in my humble opinion) how important it is to take responsibility for your parenting and for your children. There is a weird over-protective/let-kids-make-the-important-choices dichotomy going on these days. Parents who cry “poor me” and act like martyrs while not letting their kids walk anywhere on their own or take responsibility for their bad behavior. It’s like a reversal of what parenting should be….”in my humble opinion”… Freedom is not just about parenting by any chance…but that is one of the things I took away from it.

Food ~ Well, post holidays I am happy to purge my system of chocolate and celebratory dinners with a normal eating routine. It doesn’t take long to feel energized and healthy again when pounds of chocolate, butter and champagne are eliminated (ok…reduced…) from the diet. During these cold days, curries are among my favourite dishes and my Lalah's Curry Powder and Patak's curry paste get a real workout. One of my favourite vegetarian dishes is Spicy Rice and Lentils. It doesn't use curry but has lots of warmth and yumminess and was always a favourite with my daughter and her friends, even when they were young. Hey, it doesn't have to be gross chicken fingers and frozen fries! 

Fashion ~ Ah, let us thank the fashion gods for the big circle scarf, shall we? I have a big thick wooly black one from Urban Outfitters that I have been living in during our cold snap. It’s a scarf, a hat, and a neck warmer. A win for me! Also, Canadian chain Aritzia has a line called TNA that makes super cozy parkas that are lined with a faux fur. Mine is blue grey military style and with the hood up & my circle scarf wrapped around my neck you can colour me cozy. What I want- did anyone else notice Natalie Portman’s character in Black Swan was constantly wearing what looked like cashemere sweatpants and hoodies? All in pale greys, blushes and cream colours! Cozy stuff for lounging around the house are pretty much my favourite items and these look like the ultimate. I can pretend to be a ballerina ;)

this is how I imagine my make up :)

Cosmetic du Jour ~ For some reason I am embracing black eyeliner on my upper and lower waterlines. It looks sexy and smoky, yet subtle and Lancome Le Stylo Waterproof pencil in Black stays put. Loving me some Bobbi Brown right now. Her award winning Long Wear Cream Shadow in Cement is my daily go-to neutral eye shadow these days, and her Pot Rouge for Lips and Cheeks in the pretty and cheery Pale Pink is giving me a blush. Dust it all over with some Illuminating Bronzing Powder in the pale golden bronze colour of Aruba and I look like I am happily surviving winter with a healthy glow.

Perfume du Moment ~  I have been craving warmth and the smells that come when the earth is alive, ie flowers, grass, trees and the way everything smells when the sun shines on it. You know, when it's. Not. Winter. A little spritz of Annick Goutal Songes or Comptoir Sud Pacifique Aloha Tiare gives me a "warm sultry tropical night walking under fragrant flowers" in a bottle and just make me happy. I think it makes people around me happy too, as when I wear either of these I am constantly hearing “Mmmm what are you wearing, you smell so good”. Works for me! A few sprays of Jo Malone Vintage Gardenia at bedtime guarantees sweet dreams. This white floral blend has soft and gentle notes of cardamom that adds a warming element, perfect for a cold and blustery night

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Jan 15, 2011

Getting to Know Our Weekly Roundup Members #5

For the past few weeks we have been introducing members of our Weekly Roundup Group and this week I am very pleased to introduce you to the lovely and effervescent Kari from the awesome Fab Over Forty blog. Being, well, over 40, I was immediately drawn to her site and after reading her amazing posts full of delicious photos, down to earth tips and beautiful temptations, I became a regular reader. Her warmth and loveliness come through in her writing and I know you will love her and and her terrific site.

When did you start blogging and why? I started blogging in February 2008. Sometime in 2006 I started reading beauty blogs when my boys were teenagers and I would stay up reading blogs while I waited for them to get home for their curfew time. But, back then most blogs were written by young women who were in their 20's and so many of the makeup looks and types didn't resonate with me being in my 40's, but I liked the idea of a blog. So finally about 12-18 months later I decided it was time to speak my passion.

Every blog seems to have a special voice - what's the message on your blog? My main focus is the woman over 40. You won't see the latest "Barbie" collection or that type of thing shown on my site, it's not what my readers relate to. I discuss what makeup works for women in this age group, what she should avoid and why. Skincare is another big thing I discuss. I am constantly testing new skin care products and trying to make it more clear as to what women over 40 and beyond need for their skin. I'm really an advocate for prevention and taking care of your skin, not for surgery to try and change your face; in other words, enjoy the skin you're in, just take care of it!

Have you always been a beauty fanatic or did it come later in life for you? What made it blossom? I have been a beauty fanatic for as long as I can recall. I remember when I was deemed old enough by my parents to be able to buy Seventeen magazine, I'd always head to the beauty and makeup pages first. I'd love seeing the color and textures and longed to try some of the products in person. My grandmother let me play with her makeup, so I loved going to her house as a child and I could be engrossed for hours playing with her blushes, shadows, lipsticks and perfume. She never got upset with me when I played in her things, she let my passion for beauty blossom.

Tell us a little about yourself. I've been married for nearly 28 years and I have two boys in college that are both about to graduate. Being an empty nester has afforded me the time to do my blog, I never could have found the time many years ago, so I praise these women who have a FT job, are raising their kids and doing a blog! It's amazing to me. I also work for an interior design firm as the business manager. Fabrics and makeup really do have a lot in common, so sometimes when I describe makeup it comes naturally for me to compare it to a certain type of fabric. I enjoy traveling, yoga, reading and always learning something new. And without a doubt, beauty shopping!

What's your daily beauty routine? Well, in the morning I cleanse my face with a gentle cleanser while in the shower. I apply vitamin C to my face and while that is absorbing (best to leave that soak in for 2 minutes minimum) I slather my skin from neck to toe in a moisturizing lotion or body oil. I then apply an under eye cream, serum, moisturizer and last SPF. SPF is a must for me as twice pre-melanoma moles were found on my body. Depending on my skin that day determines which foundation I'll use, but I always apply a concealer and a primer for my eye lids as well. Then the shades of eye shadow I use typically depend on what I'm wearing that day or what look I want to create - natural or more smoky etc. My blush shade depends on what eye look I go for and then after I have breakfast or even when I arrive at work is when I put on my lipstick/gloss. In the evening, my routine is much the same - eye cream, instead of a vitamin C I use a retinoid after my nightly serum and before a moisturizer and no SPF at night. My dermatologist told me the best way to remember which order to use products is to go from the thinnest to the thickest - so serums come before moisturizers. Twice a week I exfoliate and once a week I use a moisturizing mask. Oh, and I use my Clarisonic 4-5 times a week at night when cleansing my face. I've found that it really changed my skin for the better.

If we were to invade your beauty closet what surprises would we find? Pretty much what every woman would have in her beauty bag - just a lot more choices!

How many lipsticks/glosses can be found in your handbag at any given time? Embarrassingly more than I'd ever use! I am such a lipstick and gloss fiend! One time I added them all up that I had in my current handbag and decided it was ridiculous - I had over 25 and I needed to organize them better. I would use one or two and toss it in my bag - by the end of the week I'd have so many in there. Now I have my lipstick and glosses separated by brand in their own makeup bag, and I know what textures and colors I have from each brand, so in the morning I can just grab a makeup bag and toss it in my handbag knowing that in that bag is that certain gloss or lipstick from XYZ brand that would complete my look.

What's the best beauty advice you've ever received? Never go to bed without washing your face. I don't think I ever have since I was a young teen. There's also a quote that Giorgio Armani said that I put into a makeup context, "Elegance does not mean being noticed, it means being remembered."

Jan 14, 2011

Beautiful Beauty Blog Round Up

We've started the new year with a flurry of features to help you overlook the winter weather that has left our friends in the US with snow on the ground in 49 states and my part of the world in the midst of a bitter cold snap. Take a spin with us and dream of snow angels or sunshine and warmer days ahead. Your choice!

Guerlain has introduced an irresistible collection for Spring 2011. The centerpiece of the collection is Ecrin 6 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette in Rue de Rivoli. You will want to read Amy's thorough feature on the beautiful palette at Café Makeup.

Charlestongirl was equally smitten with Guerlain's Sur mes Levres Collection for spring. Head over to Best Things in Beauty to see the three KissKiss Lip Glosses that are quietly earning their own share of the attention.

Smashbox in Bloom will make you dream of a winter getaway. Kelly gave us the 411 on the collection at Gouldylox Reviews, where you can see tropical bright cheeks and lips grounded by earth-toned eyes.

Laurie shared a close-up of the new NARS Spring 2011 Collection at Product Girl. There are beautiful options for the eyes and lips that should summon spring flowers to your imagination.

Gaia found a stunning lipstick. Check out The Non-Blonde to discover Hourglass Cosmetics Femme Rouge Lipstick in Nocturnal. It's a perfect shade for any season. She's loving it now.

Armani Beauty foundations are touted by makeup artists as some of the best in the business, and there's one for every skin type. Kari from Fab over Forty gave us her point of view on these popular foundations.

Sabrina discovered the elegance and magic of Tocca's lovely Bianca Eau de Parfum. Take a trip with her to tea time in Italy at The Beauty Look Book.

Debbi had a perfect solution for a snow day. Find out at DivaDebbi how Amica's Obliphica Oil and Sea Buckthorn Berry will help you fight the winter dry hair blues.

Despite our longing for spring, we are still facing at least six more weeks of winter. Jennifer showed us how Neutrogena's Winter Skincare line will help us banish dry skin at BeautyXposé.

Is travel in your plans? Janine over at Beautygeeks shows us what to pack in our carry ons...I have some friends who are pros at this...I take a full size suitcase for a weekend so I'll be studying her tips for sure!

Would you leave the house without make-up? Michelle at BeautyEditor takes on a guilty pleasure ride with some surprising Stars Without Make's nice to see they are indeed, human.

Enjoy the weekend! Hope we all get a thaw!

Beautiful Tips for Soft, Moisturized Skin

This time of year is brutal for our skin. Dry central heating, with freezing temperatures outside can leave us with rough, dry, itchy skin. Moisturizing has long been an obsession of mine- I’ve been known to hold my daughters down and apply lotion if I thought their skin looked dry.  The knees! The hands! The elbows! Ah those poor girls… I moisturize in the morning, and at night, and pretty much  at any time I can. Like the main rule of real estate is Location, Location, Location, the rule for great skin is Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize.  Inspired by the brilliant Janine Falcon at Beautygeeks I’ve decided to share my favourite products to scrub, polish, and saturate our skin til its plump, dewy and glowy.

First of all, we must exfoliate our skin. Applying moisturizing potions to dry flaky skin is painting over chipped peeling paint without scraping and sanding first.  It’s a waste of product and the skin that needs the nourishment won’t get it. There are two ways to exfoliate, manually, with a granular or “scrub” cosmetic product or brush/loofah/mitt product. This is best done is the shower unless you want to vacuum or sweep up the by products of this process…which is dead skin. Ew.

My favourite exfoliants are the scrubs. These usually contain rough granules that help smooth the skin. I like high and low versions of these products, as long as they get the job done.  For low, I’ve used the basic  St Ives Apricot Scrub. I use the original formula is intended for the face but the granules are nice and fine and work miracles when used head to toe in the shower. I also enjoy the scrubs that heat up. St Ives Fresh Skin Warming Scrub is a facial version that I have used head to toe & find it quite cozy and comforting after a day in the cold. The St Ives Mineral Therapy Body Polish is also quite good but I’ve been equally happy with all of these. Extra attention given to knees and feet and especially any area that gets, ahem, sat on all day. Another exfoliating option is via a vitamin A or alpha hydroxy or chemical exfoliant. I have recently been using Derma E Vitamin A Retinyl Palmitate Wrinkle Treatment Gel. It is for the face, but I didn't know that! It comes in a large bottle for under $15 and I have been using it all over my body at bedtime. It is barely scented with a mild cucumber scent and I love its smoothing effect.

My higher end faves include my latest love, Caudalie Merlot Friction Scrub. It comes in a lovely pot, smells divine and makes my skin smooth as silk. I adore the Caudalie line and their Beauty Elixir is an HG product I adore. The Nuxe Tonific Exfoliation is a kinder, gentler scrub that also smells and feels luxurious but is perfect for a more sensitive skin. The Clinique Sparkle Skin Exfoliator is another one I love. Well, except for the name. Are you naming your products for 6 year old girls Clinique? Anyways, I have been known to use the Clinique 7 Day Scrub on my body as well- it smells amazing and sometimes I prefer the smaller size “scrubbers” that come in the facial formulas.

I have never been a big fan of the cloths or brushes that exfoliate as I tend to like products- the scent, the luxurious feel of a body product just appeals to me more. However after reading Beautygeeks raves for the Dermalogica Buffing Cloth I think I might have to get one. I adore Dermalogica and find their products have integrity and purpose so this cloth sounds perfect!

Kiehls makes an oil wash as part of their Argan line- Superbly Restorative Argan Body Cleansing Oil. This stuff is genius and somehow manages to cleanse and lightly resurface at the same time. Again, I have only tried samples of this but plan to get my hot little hands on a bottle. Soon.

Ok. So now that we have scrubbed, buffed and polished ourselves to a shine, its time to moisturize! I am a big fan of body oils, and I especially love to combine them with lotions and creams for extra oomph. I am almost through a bottle of Weleda Wild Rose Body Oil and while I quite liked it, I am keen to try some others before buying another bottle. The Wild Buckthorn Oil Janine mentioned sounds wonderful, as does the latest Weleda Oil, Pomegranate The Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse has been a long time favourite of mine- it smells like soft sweet honey and just soaks into the skin. Neutrogena Sesame Body Oil is a classic as well. This is perfect for right after the shower and the scent is soft and lovely, as well as nostalgic as I recall using this as a teenager. Has anyone tried the Kiehls Argan Dry Oil? This stuff is magic and while I have only used samples, a bottle of this stuff is on my hit list.

I also adore Monoi Oil- it smells like gardenias and sunshine. I use the Yves Rocher Monoi Oil but have heard it has mineral oil…I have also used and loved The Body Shop Spa Wisdom Monoi Oil which does not list mineral oil anywhere but The Interwebs is crawling with Accusers saying it has mineral oil as well so if anyone knows of a readily available Monoi that is free of mineral oil let me know!

Lotions and creams are a must have in the fight to stay soft and moisturized. My ultimate high end product is Kiehls Crème de Corps- nothing soaks in like this product and when used regularly it does improve the texture of your skin. It has almost no scent which is great for use in the morning as it won’t interfere with my perfume.  My go-to daily moisturizer is Nivea Q10 which I’ve reviewed here. I used Palmers Cocoa Butter lotion forever but stopped recently as the scent became too overpowering for me. I have seen an unscented version on the web but have yet to stumble upon it in real life. If I do, I will buy a case as this is truly the BEST lotion I have ever used, and at $8 a bottle the value is unprecedented.

What are your faves? How do you stay soft, silky and glowy? Share!

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Jan 10, 2011

Beautiful Beauty Blog Round Up

The holidays are now behind us and we're on to beauty in the new year! This week we share new beauty, long loves and standard must-haves. We're sure there's something you're going to embrace!

Are we tired of hearing about the weight loss and exercise resolutions yet? Instead, lets read about the beauty and fashion resolutions that Jennifer from BeautyXposé put together. These sound so much more interesting than a treadmill.

Eyebrows can make or break your beauty look. Kelly from Gouldylox Reviews found a new brow gel that she loves and they have a great shade for those hard-to-find shades for redheads!

Do you love the continued trend of not-so-boring neutral nail shades? Sabrina from The Beauty Look Book shows us the very exclusive line of Dior nail polishes called the Dior Vernis Gris City Collection.

January weather can be especially harsh on your skin. Kari from Fab Over Forty shows us her skincare essentials to keep your skin looking youthful and moisturized during the harsh month.

When you have a several day hospital stay like Charleston from Best Things in Beauty, it's best to be beauty prepared. Find out what she brought with her and what she really needed and used from her beauty arsenal.

Gaia from The Non-Blonde has been an Edward Bess fan for a long time. See her review on the newest lipstick shade Demi Buff. Could it be the perfect neutral/nude brown shade? You can judge for yourself.

Espiegle is a word that refers to a slightly impish fairy, a magical spirit with with a sense of teasing humor who is not afraid to use it. Check out Cafe Makeup's review of Chanel Joues Contraste in Espiegle (paired with Rouge Allure Flaymoyante) to see if Chanel has captured this playfulness for the Spring 2011 line

Can we tawk? Do you or someone you know have a bit too much scalp showing in patches for your comfort? Debbi from DivaDebbi found her perfect product that works like magic!

Jan 6, 2011

The Understated Beauty of L'Artisan Parfumeur Vanilia

L’Artisan Parfumeur is the second niche line I fell for, when I sniffed their gorgeous fruity musk scent, Mure et Musc Extreme in 1998 while shopping in New York. There was something so transparent and “different” about the line,  and the scents seemed so odd compared to the standard commercial releases. The added novelty of shopping at Barney’s and just being in New York City no doubt shaped my impression of the line, and for that, I am grateful. I have beautiful associations with a beautiful perfume line.

I was already a full fledged perfume junkie and had an overflowing dresser full of bottles from almost all the mainstream lines. At the time I worked for an agent promoting new releases of many lines of perfumes from our humble Canadian Alfred Sung to all the Italian houses (D&G, Versace, Bulgari, Ungaro, etc) as well as Byblos, La Perla and some other more obscure but still mostly mainstream lines. I had OD’d on the 90s powerhouse scents like Mugler Angel, Chanel Allure & Christian Dior Dolce Vita after working in environments where they were being launched, meaning sprayed everywhere. All. The. Time. Mercilessly. To this day I can spot either one of those a mile away as they do not change on anyone’s skin (sorry to any fans, but they don’t) and maintain a screeching linear tone that makes me want to cut my nose off.

My first niche line was Annick Goutal. I had fallen for Annick Goutal probably in 1994 when my local Holt Renfrew (the smallest in Canada) had the line there for a very brief period. Serendipity I’d say, as they carry only the most popular lines due to limited space. Their popular and fresh Eau d'Hadrien (lemon, grapefruit, ylang ylang) became my daytime scent and the sultry Passion (tuberose, ylang, patchouli, vanilla etc) was my nighttime go-to. What I loved most about Annick Goutal was no one I knew had even heard of it. DING DING this was the clincher and soon having a unique perfume that no one else might be wearing became a Very Important Thing.

Back to L’Artisan Parfumeur. Dismissed by many hardcore perfumistas as too bland and mainstream (although a few of their recent releases have been interesting…) I still love this line. They were the first house to do a fig scent and their Premier Figuier is still one of the best creamy fig scents- it was my eldest daughter Emilie’s signature perfume for years. Which is why, as much as I love its green, creamy, powdery and slightly coconut-y scent I can never wear it as it just smells like her. Don’t you hate it when that happens? Funny how we can associate a scent with that person and it becomes impossible to mold it into anything or anyone else.

Vanilia is an older scent from the house having been released in 1978. Perhaps it smells a bit like the 70s where high quality ingredients were tossed into perfumes pell-mell, like a soup.  The notes given (or that I have compiled online) are simple- ylang ylang, vanilla bean, amber and sandalwood. There is a fruity note that perhaps comes from the ylang ylang with the vanilla making it almost foody- but it is never too sweet or cloying. It dries down with the amber & sandalwood adding an almost smoky resinous scent, that sits and warms on the skin never becoming cloying or saccharine. The smoke is barely hinted at before it goes and for that I am grateful as I am not a fan of smoky notes. Its more of a soft barely sweet incense. Vanilia is a bit of a shape shifter, one minute being a soft vanilla scent then becoming an amber-y floral. Some have complained that Vanilia is too soft and too ethereal and have wished for an Extreme or more intense version. I think that would take away from the whole point of this scent and I love it just the way it is.

Truly one of the oddest vanilla scents I was never quite sure if I liked it. I am not a fan of sugary sweet scents and, if you are looking for straight up vanilla scent, you may be disappointed by Vanilia. If you want to smell like cookie dough or cake, this is not the vanilla for you. This is a grown up vanilla with the smooth relaxed vibe I associate with the 70s. Think soft flowing hair, maybe Indian cotton dresses and long skirts and even YSL Safari jackets. Maybe some George Benson playing in the background while you mix drinks and get the fondue ready. The beautiful yet carefree style of Talitha Getty comes to mind and Vanilia to me smells like effortless bohemian luxury. Luxury is key because there is nothing hippie or head shop about this perfume. Vanilia is for the beautiful people, to wear when you are going skiing in Klosters, or dinner in Biarritz after surfing all day. It isn’t loud and doesn’t try to hard. Like you are wearing just a touch of make up, with your hair down and sporting a carefree attitude, in Vanilia you are enveloped in a soft cashmere wrap that is so fine it’s almost ethereal- you can barely feel it on your skin. 

News on the internet says Vanilia is discontinued but several retailers I know of have plenty of stock.  The manager at the L’Artisan Parfumeur boutique at Ogilvy in Montreal told me it was not discontinued, and, have it on their price list catalogue they so kindly send me from time to time. Yet, I have decided to get a back up bottle…just in case…

L'Artisan Parfumeur is available in Canada at boutiques, and they have a freestanding boutique within Ogilvy Department Store in Montreal.

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Jan 2, 2011

Getting to Know Our Weekly Roundup Members #3

We've been posting a weekly roundup from a group of bloggers for several months now. Some are new additions to the group and a few originated the group. We thought it would be a great idea if you got to know each of us a little better and what drives the beauty passion in each of us. Today I will tell you a little bit about myself, Jane, the author of this blog, Daly Beauty.

When did you start blogging and why? I have always been a beauty junkie, but I didn't know what that was until I started reading beauty blogs.  I started blogging as an experiment (I know nothing about html or that programming stuff!)and as a personal outlet.  My friends regularly would ask for advice, and I was also known to offer unsolicited beauty tips as well.  So I guess I wanted to share what I know and what I love.

Every blog seems to have a special voice - what's the message on your blog?  My message is that beauty is everywhere if you look for it and that all of us are beautiful.  Its all about finding the confidence to experiment and have fun while finding the beauty that is inside us all.

Have you always been a beauty fanatic or did it come later in life for you?  What made it blossom?  I don't ever recall a time that I wasn't a beauty fanatic.  My earliest memories are perfume related - standing on my tip toe at my mother's vanity and smelling her Shalimar, playing with her cake mascara (along with our dog - that's a whole other story...).  My aunt was a full blown beauty and perfume junkie and I always felt at home in her room - her round bed with velvet tufted headboard and a dresser FULL of perfumes.  Her room always smelled like the ground floor of a major department store and to this day that is my favourite smell in the world (after the smell of my children's heads...).

Tell us a little about yourself.   I love to read and beach vacations - my dream is a long good book and a warm beach with crashing waves and sunshine.  Heaven.  I love to spend time with my daughters - they are 14 and 22 and we have a blast together, always.   We love to shop naturally, and beauty shopping is something we could do every day.  No one makes me laugh as hard as they do.  One of our favourite activities is to get a delish coffee and get our hair done.  Our stylist is a genius and can fit us all in, rotating between the three of us.  For us, it's ALL about the hair.  Modern and mid-century modern design and architecture are a passion as well, and I like to think I incorporate that clean simple and modern aesthetic into my beauty routines.

What's your daily beauty routine?  Simple - moisturize, tinted moisturizer or primer (lately a good primer on its own has been my go-to) a little concealer, blush/bronzer, neutral eye shadow and a touch of mascara.  A nice plumping clear lip gloss and of course, perfume, and I'm good to go.

If we were to invade your beauty closet what surprises would we find?  That I have some makeup brushes over 15 years old...I care for them like babies and it amazes me how a good quality brush will last for ages.  I also think my perfume collection shocks the average person. Or maybe that should be shocks normal people.

How many lipsticks/glosses can be found in your handbag at any given time?   Oh geez.  At least 5.

What's the best beauty advice you've ever received?  Wash your face before going to bed.  No matter how tired I am, I always do this.

Video: Cowboy Junkies cover of Lou Reed's Sweet of my favourite songs...