Category Archives: Product Reviews

Celebrate Smooth Moments This Summer with Veet Hair Removal


[Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Veet via Mode Media.]

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Flip flops? Check. Pool toys? Check. Smooth, sexy legs? Check!

I am so thrilled to announce that I’ve partnered with Veet to be a Smooth Brand Ambassador for summer! Veet’s hair removal solutions are the perfect essentials to quickly and easily get rid of unwanted hair.

My legs have been in hiding since I moved to New York, but it’s finally time to let them out! I’m ready to make a smooth move and add some Veet to my life.

 

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I’ve been using the Veet Hair Removal Gel Cream and I’m loving it so far! This extremely effective solution for touchably smooth skin lasts for up to twice as long as shaving.

It also keeps legs softer and more hydrated than traditional hair removal methods. The secret ingredient?  Veet’s essential oils. I’m a huge proponent of utilizing essential oils for skincare, so I was thrilled to learn that it’s included in this stellar ingredient list. Unlike shaving that can sometimes dry the delicate surface of your skin, this formula from Veet contains other goodies that can help restore skin’s hydration levels as well. The formula is designed to work close to the root of the hair, causing your hair to take noticeably longer to grow back. This means your skin stays smoother for longer, too! In addition to the formula’s enriched blend of essential oils, it’s also paired with a velvet rose fragrance that leaves a delicate scent on the skin.

Can’t wait to see where my smooth legs take me this summer! Stay tuned for more about the summer-perfect products from Veet as well as my warm weather skincare tips!

See the difference Smooth can make at www.facebook.com/veet or www.veet.us 

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In Honor of Mom: Products That Remind Me of My First Beauty Icon

mom

I get asked all the time who my ultimate beauty icon is.

Marilyn Monroe always comes to mind. Gwen Stefani, even. But the very first and most influential beauty icon in my life was – and still is – my mom.

She was the first person I ever saw apply lipstick. The first to show me how to braid my hair. And the one who brought me to the store to buy me my very first powder compact. She was the style icon that influenced me before I even knew anyone else in the world existed.

So, in honor of Mother’s Day, here are the products that remind me of my introduction to the beauty world… from my first beauty inspiration, my mom:

 

Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Advanced Time Complex Capsules

Elizabeth Arden Ceramide

I remember my mom LOVED these Elizabeth Arden capsules. The oil blend hiding within these capsules provides a serious softening effect on the skin. Mom’s skin still looks great, so I know it works!

 

CoverGirl Clear Mascara

CoverGirl Clear Mascara

This was the very first cosmetic product my mom ever bought for me. I wanted to wear makeup so badly and I don’t think I appreciated the amazingness that is clear mascara back then. Now clear mascara is one of my makeup kit staples. I didn’t realize it way back when, but she was on to something!

 

Coppertone Water Babies SPF 50 Sunscreen

Water Babies

This bottle looks like my childhood. As I’m sure you all have noticed, I have extremely fair skin. My mom used to slather my skin in Water Babies basically every time I left the house. She instilled the importance of sun protection at a very young age. My skin and I are very thankful for that.

 

Maybelline Great Lash Mascara

Maybelline Great Lash Mascara

After all of the mascaras I’ve tested, this classic remains one of my favorites. Before I saw it in all of the “cult favorite” roundups in all of my beauty magazines, I saw it in my mom’s makeup bag.

 

Olay Active Hydrating Beauty Fluid

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This one is also a classic. I remember my mom used to always use the original Oil of Olay beauty fluid, complete with powdery scent and major moisturizing power.

 

Estee Lauder All Day Lipstick

Estee Lauder Lipstick

My mom always encouraged me to express myself and she never stopped me from snooping in her makeup kit. I often created my own masterpieces with her Estee Lauder lipsticks.

 

Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque

Queen Helene Mint Julep Mask

I can remember going to the beauty supply store with my mom to pick up this mask in the peak of my bad skin years. It does a seriously good job of removing blackheads and calming acne. I haven’t used it in a very long time, but this one is worth bringing out of the vault!

 

White Diamonds by Elizabeth Taylor

White Diamonds

This one’s actually a bonus product. It doesn’t remind me of my mom, but of her mom. I know “grandma perfume” has a particularly negative connotation, but I always thought my grandma smelled amazing. I can vividly remember sneaking into my grandma’s room whenever I came to visit to drool over her elegant fragrance tray. Confession: I always snuck a spray of her White Diamonds.

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LORAC Cosmetics Unveils Epic New Summer 2015 Collection

Lorac Crop Summer

Honestly, I’ve never met a LORAC product I didn’t like.

Almost ten years ago, one of the first brow products I used was LORAC’s Take a Brow which I still adore to this day. I met founder Carol (LORAC is Carol spelled backwards!) at BeautyCon a couple years back and she gifted me the LORAC Pro Palette which quickly became a staple in my personal makeup bag as well as my professional kit. I’m also hopelessly devoted to the TANtalizer bronzer.

They really know their stuff over at LORAC so my excitement level for this new launch is at all all time high. Get ready to geek out with me and take a peek at their new products below! The new range includes extensions to the brand’s cult-favorite Alter Ego and TANtalizer franchises as well as a seasonal selection of limited-edition offerings. Behold, LORAC’s Summer 2015 Collection…

 

Alter Ego Highly-Pigmented Lip Gloss

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Embrace your identity and transform your look with a collection of 16 shades – ranging from Girl Next Door to Dominatrix. 

 

Limited Edition Alter Ego Eye Shadow Palettes

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Choose from two irresistible, vibrant palettes, Dream Girl & HeartBreaker, loaded with an array of fun, flirty and wearable shades, ideal for sultry summer looks.

 

TANtalizer Baked Bronzer in Golden Glow

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The new shade extension is ideal for fair skin, or to be used as a highlighter for already-bronzed, darker complexions.

 

TANtalizer Baked Bronzer in Matte Tan

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Baked on terra cotta, LORAC’s Matte Tan Baked Bronzer grants a natural glow perfect for the coveted “no makeup, makeup” craze!

 

Limited Edition Hot & Spicy Collection

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Including everything you need for a sizzling summer: LORAC’s Blush/Bronzer Duo, Alter Ego Gloss in Supermodel and Travel-Size Body Bronzing Luminizer.

What do you think? I love the entire collection. Get it while it’s hot! ;)

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Beauty Products You Need For Spring

For the first time, it’s fiiiiinally starting to feel like spring here in NYC! I didn’t even need to wear a coat today, ya’ll. In honor of this beautiful springiness, I’m sharing five of my must-have beauty products you need in your makeup bag this season…

 

Kat Von D Innerstellar Eyeshadow Palette

Kat Von D Innerstellar Palette

Add a pop of springy pastels to your traditional smoky eye with Kat Von D’s super versatile Innerstellar palette. It has everything you need to create a traditional dramatic look and also allows you to capture several spring trends in one product. Blend up a neutral brown toned look, add a pop of metallic silver, or sweep on some subtle springtime lavender, all with the same handy palette.

 

Fresh Peony Brightening UV Shield SPF 50+

Fresh Peony UV Brightening SPF 50

I first discovered the Fresh Peony Brightening UV Shield in the fall at the Glam Beauty 100, but this product has spring written all over it. It packs a whopping SPF 50 in it which should come in handy for all of the picnics you’ll be experiencing in this awesome sunny weather. The best part is that it doesn’t look or feel like a traditional sunscreen. This moisturizing fluid contains an exclusive brightening complex derived from peony and licorice root extracts. It leaves the skin looking luminous and creates the perfect base to wear under foundation.

 

Dior Addict Lip Glow

Dior Addict Lip Glow

This is actually a fabulous lippie to slather on year round, but I love it especially for spring. It’s the exact opposite of all of the heavy vampiness we’ve been wearing on our lips all winter. The pink tint is my favorite, but there is also a beautiful coral color that is perfectly on trend for spring. Both have an amazing silky texture and will react with the chemistry of your lips to create a personalized flattering shade.

 

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder

Hourglass Ambient Palette

This Hourglass Ambient lighting palette is a must-have for any beauty junkie. It allows you to create beautifully diffused dimension that lives a lit-from-within glow without shimmer overload. It will brighten up your look gorgeously and easily. Obsessed.

 

Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Eye Crayon in Ody(Sea)

Marc Jacobs Highliner

Let’s get real, when Kim Kardashian sports a certain shade, the world pays attention.  She recently brought turquoise rimmed eyes back into the limelight, so it’s safe to say this look is reaching trend status again. Marc Jacobs Highliner is my favorite eyeliner of all time (yes, I just said that) and I think his teal shade, Ody(Sea) is the perfect product for rocking the teal liner.

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Transform Your Look with the Eye Booster Instant Lash Extension Kit

Physicians Formula Eye Booster

I didn’t name my blog lightly.

I think that mascara is one of the most important products in your makeup wardrobe and I firmly believe that the right mascara can transform your face. See above if you don’t believe me. ;)

The pic on the left is of me with bare lashes, completely sans mascara, and the pic on the right is me wearing the new Physicians Formula Eye Booster™ Instant Lash Extension Kit. This stuff means business.

I’ve blogged before about using baby powder to thicken up your lashes and this is essentially the same technique wrapped in a fancier, less messy package. The system consists of a traditional style mascara and then a tube of “extensions” that you brush on in between coats. The extensions are tiny fibers that act as a thickening agent on your lashes to create increased volume. They are all-natural, made primarily from cellulose, with panthenol, botanical extracts, and vitamin E. Made with natural colorants from artichoke and basil. The dramatic effect appears instantly upon application. It gives the appearance of wearing false lashes without the weight of falsies or the drama of actual lash extensions.

I was also very impressed with the mascara component alone.  The exclusive hi-tech mascara formula contains the same lash-boosting peptide (myristoyl pentapeptide-17) that’s found in the original Eye Booster™ 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner + Serum and Eye Booster™ Felt Tip Eyeliner + Serum to visibly enhance natural lash growth and appearance of lashes! It effectively conditions and nourishes lashes.

Physicians Formula definitely made a believer out of me. I highly recommend that you try the new Physicians Formula Eye Booster Instant Lash Extension Kit for easy DIY ultra-glam lashes in just two minutes! Do it.

[Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Physicians Formula via Conde Nast Sway, but all opinions are my own.]

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Get Your Legs Ready for Spring with Gillette Venus Swirl Razor & Shave Gel

Gilette Venus Swirl

Spring is here! That means that it’s officially acceptable to let those legs out, girl.

It’s still freezing in New York, but there are some seriously devoted fashionistas determined to make spring happen in their breezy dresses.

The festival fashion is ramping up too, with Coachella approaching and festival season officially underway, the flowy garb is popping up on the racks at an accelerated pace. In short, it’s a good time to shave your legs.

I was delighted to hear about the new Gillette Venus Swirl Razor featuring the new proprietary FlexiBall™ technology, a system that offers totally unique movement like no other male or female razor on the market. Venus Swirl™ is the first and only razor with the FlexiBall™, moving in multiple directions to navigate all of the tricky areas of a woman’s body. It helps to shave those hard-to-reach places and capture hairs that other razors might miss. Pair it with the sweet smelling Venus™ with a touch of Olay® VioletSwirl™ shave gel with 5x more moisturizers. This is a seriously life changing smooth leg combination.

I’ve found that most razors leave you with some prickles afterward, but this completely eliminated the hair. I was so excited. And the shave gel is one of the best I’ve used recently. I liked it so much that I switched back from using hair conditioner to shave my legs.

You can pick these two beauties up at your nearest Walmart for ultimate convenience and cost effectiveness, too.

Want to win your own? I’m giving away a $20 Walmart gift card so you can scope out these products for yourself! See the Rafflecopter widget below for entry options. Good luck and happy shaving!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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[Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Gilette Venus, but all opinions are my own.]

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Stay Flawless All Day with Estee Lauder DoubleWear Liquid Foundation

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New awesome foundation alert! My friends over at Conde Nast asked me to review the new DoubleWear Foundation and I am beyond delighted with the results.

While I do find joy in the art of makeup application, reapplying it is a different story. Touching up your makeup can be such an irritating chore, so when I find a makeup that actually stays in place like it claims, I hold on to it!

Estee Lauder DoubleWear foundation features clinically proven staying power of up to 15 hours. Now the flawless look you see in the morning is the look you keep all day! This worry-free, long-wearing makeup stays fresh and looks natural through heat, humidity, nonstop activity. The lightweight liquid won’t change color, smudge or come off on clothes. It’s pigmented enough to cover, but light enough to stay comfortable. It’s fragrance and oil-free, dermatologist-tested, and non-acnegenic. Basically, the formula is a miracle.

To prove it, I shot this video after a crazy day running around the city. The video also stars the messy ponytail to prove I mean business about how hectic my day was. ;)

It’s great for your everyday beauty routine, but I highly recommend it for any important events you have coming up, too. Like I mentioned in the video, it would be awesome for weddings or any special occasion where you may be active or any work related activity where you need to look polished under pressure. I have my ten year high school reunion (YIKES) coming up, so I know what I’ll be bringing with me in my travel kit! I love the new DoubleWear foundation and I think it meets all of the product claims. Definitely check it out and let me know what you think!

[Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Estee Lauder via Conde Nast, but all opinions are my own.]

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Transform Your Thinning Hair with NIOXIN’s 30 Day Challenge

Nioxin products

If you take a peek at the abundance of selfies on my Instagram account, you’ll see that my hair is naturally very fine and thin. Working with this hair type has always been a struggle – but losing some of that hair is even worse.

Thinning hair is one of those sensitive issues no one wants to talk about because we regard hair as a symbol of beauty and femininity. Hair loss can occur for a multitude of reasons – genetics,  nutrition, stress, you name it. Unfortunately, I have many of these factors working against me.

Losing hair can cause you to feel very exposed, but it doesn’t have to be that way!  There are ways to bring your luscious locks back. That’s why I was thrilled to partner with NIOXIN to try out their 30 Day Challenge. 

NIOXIN uses advanced technologies to deliver thicker, fuller, denser-looking hair. Their commitment to innovation, supported by 25 years of research, enables them to help more than 3 out of 4 men and women in the U.S. who experienced thinning hair. NIOXIN’s innovative solutions have gained industry recognition year after year. NIOXIN’s advanced technologies provide real solutions for making the most of the hair you have, transforming the hair care industry and bringing hope and confidence to men and women and everywhere.

They sent me their 3-Part System Kit which features a shampoo, conditioner, and scalp treatment. Each of the six System Kits includes an easy to use daily regimen consisting of these three simple steps, to help nourish the scalp and give you thicker hair in 30 Days.

There are six different types of system kits which I think is awesome. Not everyone has the same hair type, so obviously there isn’t one universal formula that will work on everyone. I used System Kit 3 which is specially designed for normal to thin-looking, fine, chemically treated hair. It amplifies hair texture while refreshing the scalp and providing moisture balance to colored hair. The shampoo and conditioner also left my hair feeling squeaky clean – but not stripped – and very soft. Each product in the system has an invigorating scent and gives off a tingling feeling on the scalp. It still creates a very luxurious experience even though it is battling a less than sexy problem.

After using the system religiously and successfully completing the 30 Day Challenge, I am pleased as punch to reveal that I absolutely love these Nioxin products. My hair feels and looks thicker (and less thirsty, too).

See below for the results! The photo in the left is me walking in the snow with my standard thinner hair before starting the NIOXIN Challenge, and the photo on the left is me after with my plumped up strands in (somewhat) warmer weather. (I also got bangs since then, but I can’t credit NIOXIN with those.)

Before and After NIOXIN

What do you think? I can see and feel the difference for sure. I recommend it to anyone struggling with thinning hair! So, are you feeling up to the challenge? Want to win your own kit and take the 30 Day Challenge yourself? Enter my Rafflecopter giveaway below for your chance to win! But first, be sure to check out the online consultation tool to find out which kit will work best for you. And be sure to use #NIOXINChallenge to share your results on social! ;)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

[Disclosure: This post was sponsored by NIOXIN, but all opinions are my own.]

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Kim and Khloe Kardashian Celebrate Kardashian Beauty Launch in NYC

Kim Kardashian and Khloe Kardashian

Whoa. So much has happened this week!

On Tuesday night, I was among an exclusive group of beauty editors, industry influencers, bloggers, and other personalities who gathered to celebrate the launch of the Kardashian sisters’ new Kardashian Beauty haircare collection.

Confession: I was silently fangirling over my many of my fellow attendees just as much as I was over Kiki and Koko. Major beauty royalty at this event.

Kim Kardashian Beauty

Speaking of royalty, the regal princesses of reality tv were everything I thought they would be. Also, Kim can seriously pull off that lob and Khloe must do at least 14,000 squats a day. (Anyone who has Kim Kardashian ass envy has probably never seen Khloe in person. Bible.)

The best part of the event though? I actually really love these new products.

I am the first to admit that I’m always extremely skeptical of the quality of celeb products, but rest assured, the Kardashians hooked up with the right people to formulate these goodies. The famous sisters partnered with Farouk Systems (best known for CHI and BioSilk) to create the new collection. The elegant branding of the line is paired with packaging that has a prestige feel.

Kardashian Beauty Hair

The hero ingredient of the collection is Black Seed Oil, a nutrient rich treatment and styling aid that rejuvenates and nourishes hair so it appears strong, thick, and shiny. I styled my hair with literally every product today and am happy to report that my favorite products of the bunch are the Take 2 Dry Shampoo, Black Seed Dry Oil, and the Smooth Styler Blow Dry Cream.

I cocktailed the blow dry cream and the oil together and ran it through damp ends before heat styling. I also applied a little extra dry oil to my ends after drying. (Technically you aren’t supposed to do that with thick oils like this, but I’ve never really been a fan of rules. It’ll help tame your split ends if they’re really stubborn.)

The dry shampoo is not as heavy as most others on the market. It absorbs oil effectively and provides a light refresh, adding just enough oomph without all the buildup. It also leaves a lingering fresh scent in the hair that I can still smell as I type this.

All in all,  I think Keeks and Kooks launched a fabulous bunch of products on Tuesday. Order online or check them out in person at your local Ulta!

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Obsession of the Day: Cover FX Illuminating Primer

illuminating_primer_2

My friends at Cover FX recently sent me a bottle of their brand new Illuminating Primer and I just have one thing to say… I’m in love.

The newest launch from Cover FX preps the face for makeup while it assists in giving the skin a more radiant appearance. The Illuminating Primer’s mineral complex works bounces light off the skin, creating the appearance of a natural-looking, luminous glow.

It’s packed with super fancy ingredients that make your skin look like perfection. Gatuline Radiance Illuminate and Refine is a natural, preservative-free ingredient that improves the look of dull looking skin and supports microcirculation. Hylasome EG10, a Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, helps to moisturize and leave skin hydrated. Panthenol, Provitamn B5, gives skin a smoother, supple appearance. In short, this multi-tasking formula will make your face look awesome.

I actually wore it underneath my makeup for a recent magazine photoshoot (more on that later!) and I’m so thrilled with the result. Glow big or go home!

Cover FX

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