Archive for the ‘product review’ Category

Lip Service

October 27, 2009
Lip Balms vs. Lip Conditioners

Have you ever wondered why your lips seem consistently chapped even though you use lip balms religiously? It could be because the product you are using doesn’t really fix your dryness problem.

Lip Balms are supposed to penetrate your lips to help soothe and replenish lost moisture. This is the stuff you want. It includes only natural waxes like beeswax and oils to moisturize.

Lip Conditioners or chapsticks sit on top of your skin and work to prevent further damage from environmental elements. It will prevent dryness, but won’t treat it. Dead giveaways are ingredients like wax, mineral oil, and petroleum. They are usually less expensive and will continue to work fine as long as you use it on top of treated lips.

Another way to keep your puckers from drying up is good old H20 and getting your beauty rest.

Let’s take a look at some top-selling lip products at Sephora and see if they actually do what they say they do, or just give lip service. My reviews below are based on my personal experience with these products as well.

1. Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15
Main ingredients are sugar that protects against moisture loss, plus natural oils and Vitamins. The base is a natural wax. Though it’s a whopping $22.50 versus a $2 chapstick from your local drugstore, it works. Plus, it’s in a good quality case.

2. Rosebud Salve
Ingredients include “Cotton Seed Oil and Aromol, with essential oils blended in a special petrolatum base.”

This is a glorified Vaseline product that will sit on your lips with a hint of pink and a slight shine, but won’t cure your lip woes.

Maybe it’s a best seller because it’s only $6 a pop is featured in Sephora’s impule aisle (the products lined up at checkout that you didn’t need, but now you suddenly want).

3. Philosophy Kiss Me Lip Exfoliating Lip Scrub

This product has finer granules that typical lip exfoliators, so it is non-abrasive. It works well to gently slough off dead skin to prep for richer treatments and/or lip color application. Secret: For chapped, peeling lips use a toothbrush to slough off lip “scales”.

Mostly includes natural ingredients like sunflower seed oil and beeswax, but also has traces of mineral oil and paraffin wax (i.e. cheap fillers).

I think think it’s a great product to carry around in your purse or next to your bed, but if you want intense therapy, this isn’t your savior.

4. Jack Black Intense Lip Therapy Balm
Not only for men, Ladies. And only seven buckaroos.

Active ingredients are mint for a light cooling sensation and shea butter. It goes on thin and feels slick (almost like silicone, but not as greasy). No wax harmed in the making of this product, so no waxy residue.

This isn’t MAC Lip Glass, so it’s not going to make your lips look full like gloss. Appropriate for the everyday Joe or Jane.

This may be a moot point because it’s no longer available for sale, but I was highly disappointed in the Shu Uemura Depsea Moisture Recovery Lip Balm SPF 15. I liked that it creative a protective glove on my lips, but I don’t think it really restored anything.

By understanding your skin’s needs and reading ingredients, hopefully you’ll be able to purchase the right products.

From my newly moisturized lips to yours, muah!


Beauty Products under Oath: Exfoliators for The Face

August 4, 2009


I swear by exfoliating treatments.

Exfoliate is just a fancy word for removing dead skin cells. It is highly recommended by skin care experts and I personally believe it is a MUST for all skin types except maybe extremely sensitive skin (see end note).

I found that trying to exfoliate my face physically with a washcloth or scrubs were too harsh and not effective. I discovered exfoliating treatments will do the work for me. These work beyond basic cleansers or scrubs as they have special ingredients that remove the old layer of skin on a micro level. Apply it, leave it on, and rinse. Voila! you now have a fresh canvas.

Since I have incorporated them into my skin care regimen, I have noticed a dramatic improvement in my skin’s clarity and texture.

My favorite is Kate Somerville ‘ExfoliKate’ Intensive Exfoliating Treatment $85 and is available at Nordstrom. Due to their great customer service and return policy, if it doesn’t work for your face, you can return it easily. It’s also available in a Gentle $65 formula as well.

Here are some less expensive alternatives that I’ve used and recommend:

Arbonne Intelligence Exfoliating Masque with Thermal Fusion $32

Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel $45

Also available for Sensitive Skin $39

I urge you to try it and would love to hear your testimony on how it helped improve your skin!

Note: To clarify, I am referring to true sensitive skin as diagnosed from a medical perspective. This skin type is susceptible to adverse reactions like a rash to most products that you and I use on a daily basis. Marketers have overly used the term “sensitive” to refer to skin that falls under the “normal” category but has occasional issues with sensitivity most likely due to environmental factors or overuse of products, or skin that responds better to more gentle products.

Daily GlamOh: Engagement Party Guest

August 3, 2009

Beauty for the Everyday Gal: Faye

Faye, a nurse and model, was attending her cousin’s engagement party at a lounge in Pasadena, CA. She usually does her night makeup in dark, charcoal colors so I did smokey eyes in gray and navy blue with an understated nude lip.

She has oily skin (though you can’t tell here because her face looks flawless), but it was dry on the surface. I suggested Korres Yogurt Cream for oily, dehydrated skin as her moisturizer (

For more photos, check out

Duo Eyelash Adhesive

August 3, 2009

My sister referred me to this brand of eyelash adhesive and swore it’s the best one out there.

I purchased the Dark Tone one at my local beauty supply store assuming that it would blend in better with dark lashes as it claimed. But, it’s actually an opaque gray color, which does not appear natural against black lashes at all. And, when I tried to adjust the placement of the false lash (hard to get it perfect the first time ALL the time), it left a colored residue behind, making the first attempt of application obvious.

Pro’s: Waterproof (hooray for teary brides!) and resilient. Even the hard to stick ends stayed put for hours. I found that it worked significantly more effectively than those mini glues that are often packaged with false lashes.

Con’s: Dark Tone is a medium off-color gray tone that is not invisible. I think it’s best to stick to the clear version. Though lashes are easy to remove, it can leave residue on eyelids, real eyelashes, and false lashes.