Sneak Peak: Cover Girl Lash Blast Length

One of my favorite drug store mascaras has a new formulation, Cover Girl Lash Blast Length that will hit stores sometime in September. But, if you are even the slightest bit impatient (like moi), you will be pleased to know you can pre-order a tube of Lash Blash Length by clicking here.

It looks like the tube has gotten thinner. This is nice because, while I love the formula, the fat, orange tube of the original is a pain in my rear and takes up too much space in the makeup drawer. But, even beyond the packaging, Lash Blast Length promises to take your lasts to 80% longer without any flaking!

I can wait to check it out!


Tarte Fall 2009 Collection

Fall is ever-approaching, which, in my opinion, is a complete bummer. Thankfully, there are always oodles of new products from all of my favorite brands just waiting in the wings to console me. Tarte Cosmetics has several new offerings this season that will definitely fit the bill. Here are a few on my short list...

It is always important to start with a good base, by which we mean a beautiful complexion. Tarte has the base covered this year with the Sephora-exclusive Natural Beauty Complexion Collection ($54). For this price, you get full sizes of clean slate natural face primer, the eraser 4-in-1 natural concealer, ReCreate natural anti-aging foundation, provocateur pressed mineral powder, mineral powder bronzer and a foundation brush (synthetic bristles with wood handle) all in a reusable and recyclable makeup bag. Separately, these items would cost $157, making this collection an awesome value. And while I haven't used it personally, I've heard great things about Park Avenue Princess which usually will set you back $28 by itself. The collection comes in four shades for a wide range of skin tones and is chock-full of good for your skin ingredients to boot.

Tarte Cheek Stains ($28) are perfect for ladies who just want to find one solid product that they will use for the rest of their lives. Because, I'm not even joking here, the Cheek Stains last forever. And ever. They last forever in the bottle and, more importantly, on your face. While powder blush often disintegrates by lunchtime, Cheek Stains last till happy hour and beyond.

For Fall 2009, Tarte has added a new color to the Cheek Stain family, Green Siren. I've seen Green Siren in person and it is breathtaking. It looks like the love child of Tipsy (sheer coral-pink) + Sunkissed (golden bronze), the result being an incredible golden apricot shade that adds color and a touch of shimmer. So gorgeous!

Now that the skin and cheeks are taken care of, it's time to turn attention to the peepers. For Fall, tarte has created two striking eye palettes: Femme Naturale and Femme Fatale ($44). Each palette contains 10 eye shadows in magnetic, removable pans for mixing and matching (or refilling) plus a double-ended brush and eye liner all enclosed within a recyclable container. Femme Fatale is a total knock-out with the sultry, smokey shades and a gold studded case. Meanwhile, Femme Naturale's subdued colors are perfectly suited to quieter moods with ten universally flattering neutrals. Each palette comes with a direction card that illustrates some ideas for various looks to copy or use as inspiration.

The collection also contains other new items like Dark Circle Defense Natural Under Eye Corrector with brush ($32), the natural eye primer Lifted ($20), and a new golden coral shade of the 24/7 Lip Sheer, Reduce ($14).

All in all, I think it looks like a pretty solid collection to perk up those end-of-Summer blues. Tarte's fall 09 collection is available now at, Sephora,, Henri Bendel and boutiques nationwide.


Review: Korres Sunscreen Stick

Sunscreen sticks were unknown to me prior to this Summer, but once I saw mention of this one in July's Lucky, it was only a matter of time until it was mine. Developed by one of my absolute favorite natural skin care/cosmetic lines, the Korres Watermelon Suncare Stick ($25) morphs Korres delicious Watermelon Sunscreen into a semi-solid stick form while preserving the SPF 30 and the delicious watermelon scent. The really amazing thing about the watermelon fragrance is that it smells like actual watermelon, not the Bubblicious artificial watermelon more typically found.

The stick itself is a pale pink solid, similar to deodorant in consistency. Use couldn't be simpler, requiring only a quick swipe where coverage is desired. It can be laborious to apply it to the entire face, but I find that targeting the main areas (forehead, cheeks, around the eyes, chin and nose) and then blending out works just fine. Once applied, the product does leave a pinky sheen, so if your skin is already prone to an oily look, this might not be the product for you. On the other hand, if your skin tends toward the dull, then the Korres Suncare Stick would be a great way to perk it up in the late afternoon while adding some extra protection. With regard to downsides, it is expensive and there are definitely cheaper options available at any drug store. It also appears white-ish on initial application, but this resolves quickly with the slightest amount of rubbing.

Even with those negatives, I find it incredibly fun to use this stuff. Typically I focus attention to the peri-orbital area, applying it in a "C" shape extending from brow bone to cheekbone, but I've also been known to slather it all over my hands and use it as a lip balm in a pinch. The real advantage of this product, and others like it, is convenience: the ability to compactly carry around and reapply SPF without worrying about a bottle exploding all over your purse. Plus, you never have to worry about impromptu outdoor cafe seating arrangements. Go ahead and enjoy that iced latte; Summer is running out and Korres Sunscreen Stick has got you covered.


Total Beauty's Waxing Secrets of the Pros

Ready for some shocking and voyeuristically-satisfying information? Then follow this link to Total Beauty's slide show on "11 Secrets Your Body Waxer Would Never Reveal." It is... er... illuminating.


Zoya Fall 2009: Truth

Always known for their fantastic colors and even more amazing formula, hometown favorite Zoya has one question for nail fanatics: Truth or Dare?
Photobucket Zoya Nail Polish lets you decide what fashion look is right for you this fall. Will it be Truth or Dare? Should you? Would you?"
Although described as "classic, bright and straightforward," I think that I have to disagree with the last part. There is nothing straightforward about the shimmery knock-em-dead colors in this collection. They are out of this world gorgeous!

Today I present the Truth Collection for your viewing pleasure! All photos (except one) were taken in bright indoor light without flash. All are two coats and no topper.

Penny (copper gold metallic) is, fittingly enough, reminiscent of a shiny new penny. I can honestly say I've never seen a color like this before and it is dazzling. The prominent shimmer almost jumps off the nail and is definitely an attention-getter. I can imagine this would be brilliant on a warmer skin tone.

Kalmia (rose copper metallic) is similar to Penny in brightness, only the shade is a rich orange-y tomato. While this one didn't stand out for me in the collection on first glance, once I had it on it was apparent that this polish actually quite flattering.

Salma (scarlet red metallic) has been my pedicure color for the past few weeks. With the addition of the shimmer, it is a modern update on a classic red nail polish. It may not be the world's most unique color, but it is definitely stunning.

Isla (venetian red metallic) is a color that does not take "no" for an answer. This one was my instant favorite on first viewing. A deep, rich bordeaux, this is definitely a stop and stare color. My only small complaint is that the formula on this one was a little thinner than the others and a tad harder to control. But that won't stop me from wearing Isla though the coming Fall.

Anaka (fuchsia metallic glimmer) is the brightest number of the collection. I'm not sure this picture quite captures it, but this lady is vivid.

Drew (mauve rose metallic) was photographed in natural light to try to really get a good representation on the color. While it does have shimmer, this one is the most subdued of all of them. Drew is a very lady-like mauve for all of you wannabe Betty Drapers out there.

Overall, Zoya Truth lives up to the high expectations we have come to reserve for this brand. The formula, 3 free like all Zoya polishes, is fantastic. It spreads easily and all were bottle
shade in two coats. They are shimmery and metallic but I didn't have problems with brushstrokes as sometimes happens. Zoya polishes are designed to work with Zoya's Color Lock System for maximal performance, but it is certainly not necessary to enjoy these fantastic colors.

So, tell the Truth, do you love it?

Top image courtesy of Zoya and Art of Beauty.


Good Hair

When I say I'm having a "good hair" day, it means a completely different thing than when people refer to "good" or "bad" African American hair. The idea of being born with "good" vs. "bad" hair and the lengths many African American women go to to convert one to the other is the subject of Chris Rock's new documentary, Good Hair.

Prompted by the heart-wrenching question of his young daughter "Daddy, how come I don't have good hair?" Rock set out on a mission to document the complicated relationship this question reflects.

I am pretty excited to see this movie when it comes out in October, if only to have a better appreciation myself of the expensive and time consuming process many women regularly go through in order to achieve some elusive beauty ideal. Anyway, I'm sure they will be lots more to discuss after the movie comes out, but definitely watch the preview for a little taste.


Product Review: Caress Evenly Gorgeous Body Wash & Beauty Bar

Products that exfoliate are among some of my absolute favorite things. While I have many excellent products in rotation, I'm always open to trying something new. So the opportunity to try Caress Evenly Gorgeous Exfoliating Body Wash ($4) & the Beauty Bar ($3) was alluring, to say the least.
Photobucket Caress Evenly Gorgeous is the newest addition to the Caress Skinwear Collection. . . Evenly Gorgeous gives women beautiful, even toned skin from head to toe. With burnt brown sugar and karite butter, it gently exfoliates and lusciously moisturizes to reveal gorgeous even skin tone."
My experience with Evenly Gorgeous has been somewhat surprisingly (in a good way) positive. Since I've been known to drop some cash on expensive scrubbing products, I have pretty high standards. What is surprising about Evenly Gorgeous is that it works just as well or even better than some more expensive products at an incredibly cheap price. Even compared to my favorite, $8 St. Ives scrub, Evenly Gorgeous Body Wash definitely holds its own by combining excellent exfoliation with rich moisturizers like karite butter to leave skin feeling soft and supremely touchable. The Body Wash is definitely my preference of the two products and that is mostly because I prefer liquid soap to bars. But, I did try out the Beauty Bar and it has similar properties to the Body Wash, if slightly less intense.

The scent of this product is incredible. The burnt sugar is absolutely delicious in this rich, seductive kind of way. It calls to mind caramelized sugar on creme bruleƩ -- and what could be better than that? The scent is amazing, but given its richness and intensity, I would personally use something like this more in the Fall and Winter months, favoring fresher, lighter scents in the Summer. That being said, this product would be perfect for the dry skin that comes during colder months and I'm sure I'll be using plenty of it once that time of the year rolls around. Which is no problem since I can get a giant 18oz bottle for $4. A high quality product at a budget-friendly price -- that's what I call gorgeous.


Sephora Nail Whitening Pencil

At this moment, I have a nail polish backlog that is completely out of control. Meaning, I have so many awesome polishes that I need to swatch and share with you, it's kind of driving me crazy. The reason for this is that my "real" life often interferes with my blogging and I just can't seem to get those swatches completed. Which also means that I haven't been keeping up my nail polish/manicure. I have probably had color on my tips cumulatively about 2 weeks out of the entire Summer -- the shame! But, in the interim, I have been making use of the Sephora Nail Whitening Pencil ($4).

To be clear, it's a simple white pencil that can be sharpened. Then, the tip is rubbed underneath the edge of the nail. This essentially "colors" the nail a brighter white and aims to step up the look of your mani just a touch. I find that this is perfect when my nails need some help but I'm short on time. I can quickly run the tip under the nail, rub on some cuticle oil, balm or CND Cuticle Eraser and my nails will instantly look brighter. Perfection? Not really, but definitely better.

Reading the reviews on, this product is quite divisive with lots of general dissatisfaction and grumpiness. I have a few thoughts on this. To start, it is obviously a $4 white pencil, so I'm not sure what kind of high expectations are really in order. Secondly, this product is not going to be a five minute route to spectacular looking nails for the next week. No, this is a quick fix for when you are running out the door and need to class things up by 30%. That's it. No, the white doesn't last a long time. Yes, it washes off. Again, it's a pencil.

Unfortunately, flawless nails require a bit more care than a few quick pencil strokes. This product is the Easy Mac of nail care: it leaves a lot to be desired, but in a pinch, it's better than going hungry.


Kiehl's #1 Lip Balm Anniversary Set

Kiehl's Lip Balm #1 regularly ends up on "Best Of" lists and is a consistent favorite of beauty mavens far and wide. Men and women alike love its rich, intensely moisturizing properties and the many varieties from which to choose (scented vs. unscented, tinted vs. clear). It's no wonder that this product has achieved perfection as Kiehl's has been selling Lip Balm #1 since 1969!

For their 40th anniversary of this legendary product, Kiehl's is offering an incredible Limited Edition set of six flavors for the price of four. Buying these items individually would be $49, but this set is on sale now for $32. The set includes a variety of scents (Original, Mango, Vanilla, Coconut, Mint and Cranberry), making it ideal for sharing with your guy and gal friends alike. Stock up for Winter '09, save them for stocking stuffers or little gifts or enjoy having an entire array of this effective and beloved product for yourself.

I love Lip Balm #1 and find the scents to be particularly delicious without being overly artificial. My favorite is Pear, which unfortunately isn't included in the set, but Mango and Coconut are great as well. Lip Balm #1 is my go-to in the dead of winter when I just cannot keep my lips from cracking and peeling. It is always up for the challenge and, within a few days of regular use, my lips are back to normal. I also find it to be quite soothing when my lips are feeling abused and painful, which is always nice.

If you haven't tried Lip Balm #1, now is the time to check it out. Maybe buying six tubes seems like a lot, but this product is definitely one that does not disappoint. The Kiehl's 40th Anniversary Lip Balm Set is available online or in stores now.


Stila Made in Your Shade Foundation Wardrobe

If you are in the market for a new foundation, you are definitely in luck. Stila Made in Your Shade Foundation Wardrobe ($18) is a collection of, count 'em, five top-selling complexion enhancers from Stila. Plus, the wardrobe comes with a Convertible Color to add back some color to lips and cheeks. It is available in three shades, light/medium/warm, to match most skin tones and the products included vary in levels of coverage and finish (matte vs dewy) so you can mix and match your way to perfect skin.

The products are sample-sized, but large enough to get a good sense of which ones are a hit or a miss for your particular complexion. It's painful to imagine how much it would cost to try these products out individually at their regular price, so the less than $20 to try all five is a pretty good deal. I'm also happy to see that it contains my personal fave, Stila Illuminating Tinted Moisturizer.

The kit is available now on and For this weekend only, get a free full sized lip color in Natalie when you order at and use code FREELIP at checkout. Perfect skin and a beautiful lip color for not much dough sounds pretty good to me!


Review: Sevin Nyne Tanning Mist

I absolutely could not resist trying the Lindsay Lohan-created self-tanning spray with the world's stupidest name: Sevin Nyne ($35). Really? We're misspelling numbers now? Is that hip? Despite the name, this product beckoned to me. While spending that much money on a tanning product would usually make my eyes water, I bought it with a Sephora gift card, making it more like a gift and less like a waste of my own hard-earned cash.

But, on to the review! I can't say that this is a horrible product, but I can't say it's a great one, either. To start off, one major complaint is that there are no freaking instructions included with the product. None. For someone who has never used an aersolized spray tan product before, I desperately needed some direction. On the Sevin Nyne website there are "tips" that are essentially directions, but I can't very well be spray tanning myself in my bathroom and flipping through the screens on my computer, can I? Additionally, given that there are six pages of "tips," that is a bit too much to just read through and remember.

With regard to the actual product, there are two major things to comment on: the ease of execution and the ultimate result. To start with ease of execution, as I already stated, some freaking instructions would have helped. Secondly, they recommend using it in a shower so that the excess spray can be washed down the drain. I found this to be rather challenging because my range of motion was pretty limited in the shower stall. Plus, one repeated tip is to start spraying into the air to get it going before putting one of your limbs into the mist. While this seems to be a key point, it was pretty messy to just be randomly squirting spray tan onto the shower floor. While it eventually washed away, it took several showers and a thorough scrubbing. Lastly with regard to ease of application, it was almost impossible to do this alone. I think that if there is any hope of success with this product, a good friend or family member whom you don't mind seeing you naked is required. Otherwise, it is very difficult to tell how even the application is or to see if there are any obvious areas that were missed.

On the topic of the ultimate results, mine were likely impaired by the problems in application outlined above. But, in areas where the application was even, I will say that the result was very pretty. The caramel bronze that Lindsay sports in the pictures is actually very representative of the ideal results you get with Sevin Nyne. It was a bit rich for my pale skin tone but I did feel very L.A. for a few days and fantasized more than usual about what it would be like to be a blonde.

But other than a few lucky areas, my overall results were pretty splotchy and kind of embarrassing. One major embarrassment was not managing to get any color on the outside edges of my arms (picture the results had my elbows been on the table). This was weird and I conspicuously wore long-sleeves until it wore off which kind of defeated the purpose of rocking a killer faux tan. Because of technical problems with the spray, some areas were more splotchy than others and the instructions explicitly prohibit any rubbing. So, basically, wherever the tan lands, that's where it stays. The "tips" say something about the color splotches evening out over time, but this absolutely did not happen for me.

Another thing that bothered me was how the dye clung to the hair on my arms especially given the no rubbing rule. I was nervous about how it would turn out on the face, but this was one area where I think the result was OK. In fact, it was really only application on the arms and legs that caused trouble for me and otherwise, my face, shoulders, neck and back looked pretty good. In terms of drying time, they claim that it dries in 5-10 minutes. It was more like 15-20 for me. Several hours later I went to bed and, in the morning, I awoke to a giant brown smear where I slept. This was gross and, to my complete irritation, did not wash out completely from my beautiful cream sheets. Grrrr.

In sum, for $35 I would expect a little more ease of use and good results from this product, so it was disappointing in that there were so many problems. I think that this could be a great product for someone really committed to a Lindsay-style tan, but it definitely requires some finesse with application and probably a helper for best results. While they may not have the mystique of the LiLo, there are many cheaper, easier to use options available at any drugstore. Next time, I'm inclined to save my money and leave the spray tan to the pros.


Bare Escentuals Lip Gloss Duo

My love of the QVC is not a secret to... well... anyone, really. It drives my husband crazy ("It's like you are watching a commercial!") which either adds to or subtracts from its appeal depending on my mood. I justify the occasional viewing because, due to my amazing self control (*insert snicker here*), I never actually purchase anything.

That was true until a particularly lonely Friday night a few weeks ago when I was tempted by the Bare Escentuals Lip Gloss Duo ($21) in Iced Coffee and Wild Honey. Not only are the colors the perfect, perfect neutrals but the price was actually reasonable even with the S&H -- it ends up being around $25 total or $12.50 each which is a few bucks cheaper than the store price of $15 each. So, these two beauties are now in my possession and I am completely in love.

They are great for so many reasons. One, I am always a sucker for cute packaging and this is no exception; the little black top is just too chic. That being said, there is a lot of excess plastic and I do think that the tube is bigger than it needs to be to hold the 0.14 oz of gloss. As I like to carry around 5-6 lip products at any given time, space is at a premium in my purse and I'd prefer it if they kept the same overall design but shrunk the tube size by 30% or so.

But, beyond that, I love the texture, the colors, the scent and the applicator. Is there anything else? The texture is mostly silky but just sticky enough to have some staying power on the lips. The staying power isn't anything beyond the ordinary, which I've come to accept in gloss products, but it is perfectly adequate. The gloss is medium-to-high shine and the colors are very sheer and slightly pearlescent. Here is a swatch with Wild Honey on the left and Iced Coffee on the right:

On initial inspection, I feared that the Iced Coffee would be too brown but it actually turns out to be very sheer and makes for a beautiful nude lip. The Wild Honey is more pink and is sheer enough that it will probably read clear on highly pigmented lips. The vanilla scent reminds me of cupcakes -- delicious! That being said, it is noticeable so if you are particularly against fragrance this might not be the gloss for you. Lastly, I love the brush applicator. It picks up more gloss than the standard doe foot sponge, which I appreciate, and the bristles are short enough to ensure accurate application. Plus, it's just more fun to use than a little sponge tip in my opinion.

Since getting these in the mail I cannot stop re-applying and I fall in love again every time I do. It has been a long time since I tried a BE lip product, but I'm glad that I did and I'm glad the QVC did not disappoint. Most of their offerings are not particularly good deals, which is why I can usually resist, but this one happens to be a good price for an excellent product. Double score! To be clear, though, if I start ordering hair, someone needs to stop me.


Subscribe to The Beauty Couch!

Did you know you can subscribe for updates to The Beauty Couch delivered to your feed reader of choice or even to your email account? It's pretty cool and an easy way to know exactly when I update rather than clicking back over and over again throughout the day.

I'll be so flattered if you do!


Review: Maybelline Expert Wear Bronzer

For whatever reason, I am chronically unsatisfied with drugstore bronzers. Either they are too saturated, too orange or too shimmery. An ideal bronzer would be one that is just a few shades darker than natural coloring, has minimal shimmer and isn't too expensive. Unfortunately, this is fairly difficult to find.

Last Summer, I was in love with Sally Hansen Natural Beauty Bronzer in Spring and I still use it regularly. But, of course, I can't resist trying the new releases when they come along. This year I was in luck because, after picking up Maybelline Expert Wear Bronzer for less than $5 a while back, I've been using it like crazy.

It comes in three shades: Forever Warm (05), Sun Light (10) and Salsa Sun (20). The medium-dark Sun Light over top my tinted moisturizer is just about perfect to get that Summertime tan sans sun exposure. A little goes a long way due to its excellent color saturation and it blends beautifully. In the case, there is just the tiniest bit of golden shimmer that can be seen, but that does not translate onto the skin for whatever reason. The result is a matte faux bronze. After that, a little bit of bright pink or coral blush is needed to perk up the overall look of the skin; otherwise, I find that the skin can look overall kind of dullish and dead.

Hopefully this bronzer is still available in drugstores since we are unfortunately nearing the end of Summer. If you see a display, I highly recommend picking it up. A quality bronzer for less than $8 is really something to behold. Once you have a killer bronzer in hand, it turns out that applying it is trickier than it ought to be. It is a skill worth perfecting, though, so to that end, this video from Allure featuring Mally Roncal ("my loves!") details all the steps needed to get that celebrity-worthy glow. Enjoy!


Herbal Essences Tousle Me Softly Collection

Herbal Essences was my regular brand of hair products back in my college days. I once had this totally weird temporary roommate who said any number of socially awkward things on a daily basis; but, the one sincere compliment that I ever appreciated was when he told me that my hair smelled great (I was blow drying it in the living room at the time -- it was a very small place) and that was because of the HE.

It had been a while since I've used HE products so I was pretty psyched to check out their latest offering, the Tousle Me Softly Collection. Given the current cultural obsession with beachy, wavy hair (think Giselle or Jennifer Aniston), this collection is on-trend and just in time to take that look from Hollywood to your house. This collection contains everything one might need to create perfectly tousled locks.

The Herbal Essences Tousle Me Softly Collection:
  • Shampoo($3) -- cleanses hair without stripping essential oils
  • Conditioner ($3) -- lightly conditions and helps protect hair from the heat necessary to style your look
  • Finishing Cream ($6) -- contains styling and conditioning polymers for the best of both worlds. Apply the cream to wet hair for softness or to dry hair to reduce frizz and flyaways to polish off the look.
  • Mousse -- ($3) breaks down rapidly to easily spread through hair and keep your locks in place.
  • Spray Gel ($3) -- can be used on either damp hair to set the overall style or on dry hair for a targeted application.
The products can be mixed and matched any number of ways depending on your hair type, length and what look you want. I've used all of them and have been completely thrilled with the results. First, the shampoo and conditioner are amazingly economical since the bottles are gigantic and will last for months. Second, the entire Tousle Me Softly collection is perfumed with the combination of wild violet and pomegranate, an intoxicating mix reminiscent of my college days. I absolutely love how it makes the entire shower smell delightful. The combination of the shampoo/conditioner does an excellent job of cleaning the hair without stripping too much moisture.

Here is how I've been using the collection to style. After washing, I smooth a small dollop of the Finishing Cream from mid-shaft to the ends to keep the frizz under control while piecing out some tousles. The Finishing Cream is probably my favorite of all of the products because it smells great and isn't too heavy. The Spray Gel and Mousse are perfectly fine, but at least in my fine hair, I did experience just the smallest amount of crustiness that I didn't really appreciate if I used them alone. Adding a few small sprays of the gel after the finishing cream worked pretty well, however. After working the Finishing Cream through, I have done a couple of different things (all with excellent results). I have finger twisted some 1-2 inch pieces here and there all over my head and then let my hair air dry. I have finger twisted essentially the entire head and then blown it dry with a diffuser. I have used a combination of the Spray Gel and Mousse on second (or third) day hair in combination with the curling iron to freshen up the look. All of these techniques have achieved awesome results and I'm sure that there's much more to try. Finally, I have set the look with the Hair Spray (again, I love the smell) which has medium hold and is not sticky at all. I also appreciate that it isn't aerosol.

Celebrity stylist Charles Baker Strahan has some tips and tricks on the HE website for using these products to their fullest potential. I had the opportunity to ask Mr. Strahan a question about how best to use the products on next-day hair (given my laziness re: shampooing). Here is his insider answer exclusive to The Beauty Couch:
A light mist of water can do wonders to re-activate the product already in the hair. You can apply a little more of either the Tousle Me Softly Spray Gel, Finishing Touch Cream or Hairspray (according to your hair type) if you have flyaways or frizzy spots. In addition to smoothing with a bit more product, use a curling iron to control wave/curl. Just a few pieces of added curl or wave can re-charge yesterday’s hair. A few minutes and you can be out the door!
So there you go! In addition to the HE website, Total Beauty has a series of tutorials on achieving the wavy tousled look for long, medium and short hair. I particularly love the Ginnifer Goodwin-inspired tutorial for short-ish hair.

Overall, I am so happy that I rekindled my love of the HE. This is a great collection that is very pocketbook friendly. While I tried all of the products, I think that someone could get away with using only a few. But whether you try one or all six, I definitely recommend checking them out next time you are aiming for that sexy, tousled look.


The Beauty Couch Perricone MD Advanced Face Firming Activator Giveaway Ends TODAY!

Don't forget to enter my giveaway of a Perricone MD Advanced Face Firming Activator before 10pm EST today! To enter, you only have to complete a form with your name, email (which won't be published or sold to spammers) and give an answer to the question Why do you want to try the Advanced Face Firming Activator? So far, the most popular responses have to do with minimizing fine lines, dullness or visible pores and/or combating general signs of aging.

You don't need to subscribe, comment or leave visible personal information to be eligible to win! There's really no reason not to enter, so don't miss out!


August 4th: College I.D. Day at Ulta!

All you lucky co-eds should stop by Ulta on Tuesday August 4th to take advantage of their monthly College I.D. Day. This month, get 20% off hair products and salon services just by flashing your college I.D. (including my favorite Jonathan hair spray)!

The promotion is limited to in-store use only (no online sales), so load up the car with some friends and head on over.


Some Lesser Known Nail Polish

Although the "dog days" of Summer are yet to come, the cosmetic world has already started looking toward Fall. Among the new releases will be the Fall collections from our usual nail polish brands: OPI, China Glaze, Orly, Zoya and our favorite drugstore brands. But, there are so many more nail polish brands out there that aren't household name. Some of these are smaller companies and some fill niche markets for those interested in natural/organic products. Either way, a lot of them have a lot cool colors from which to choose, are available online and are worth a look-see.

Priti NYC was launched in 2005 by a former model who was concerned about exposure to toxic substances during her pregnancy. At that time, 3-Free polishes weren't as readily available as they are today, so she set out to design her own. Today, Priti Polish offers over 100 colors of nail polishes that are formulated without toluene, dibutyl phthalate (DBP) and formaldehyde. Priti has also developed a non-toxic Soy Polish Remover that is soy and corn based, 100% biodegradable, and without acetone and petroleum products.

If you have poked your head around the beauty section of a health food store, chances are you have run into one of the next two product lines. Peackeeper is a line of lip and nail products that donate all proceeds to women's health and human rights organizations. Besides being free of toluene, formaldehyde, acetone, phthalates and parabens, all but one of their polishes are completely vegan. No Miss is another possibility for those looking for awesome nail colors without unsavory chemicals.

This last one is really fun: Nailtini. Nail divas have been playing home chemist to fashion their own unique polish colors for years (lovingly referred to as Frankenpolish). But Nailtini has taken up the idea to offer a line of nail polishes designed to be layered on the nail for unique looks. While each polish can be used alone, they can be combined with a lighter or darker mixer base colors or add sparkle, shimmer or iridescence to any polish with topper top coats.

All of these sites have Store Locators to figure out where you can pick these up if that happens to sound interesting. Peacekeeper and No Miss products can also be purchased on


Skin Care Week on The Beauty Couch

Mature woman applying moisturizer to faceToday's post effectively wraps up our first-ever Skin Care Week on The Beauty Couch. What did you think? Fun? Informative?

I have some new and exciting posts planned for this coming week that I can't wait to share. But in case you missed them, here are some of the topics covered this week:
Thanks to everyone who has entered the giveaway so far. Remember it ends in 2 days, so enter now before it's too late!


Skin Care Week: Neutrogena Healthy Defense Daily Moisturizer

When it comes to skin care, prevention is the name of the game. While there are some high potency cosmeceuticals out there these days to combat signs of aging, keeping the sun damage to a minimum is a much better bet to prevent wrinkles and sagging. Daily SPF is essential to that plan.

Some readers have requested to know what some of my "must-have" or "staple" products are. Let me introduce you to one of them, Neutrogena Healthy Defense Daily Moisturizer with SPF 45 ($15). Full disclosure, I started using it because I got a 2-pack at Costco for cheap and SPF 45 is about where I like to start for daily use. But I like it so much that I just bought my second 2-pack of the Summer just this week. Healthy Defense Daily Moisturizer comes in tinted and untinted; I've been using the plain (again, because that's what they have at Costco). Formulated for daily usage, I like the fact that it contains helioplex, thereby providing broad spectrum UVA (aging rays) and UVB (sunburn rays) protection.

Usage is pretty straightforward (apply liberally to face) and it thankfully doesn't have a sunblock-y smell. Usually this goes on first, before any other foundation, powder or other makeup -- although I read that you were supposed to put sunblock on last, I just can't do it. This product has become one of my staples because it is effective and provides a good amount of hydration in addition to sun protection. I also appreciate that it hasn't produced any blemishes and is pretty affordable and widely available. Things that I don't particularly like about it include the fact that it is a tad greasy and takes a while to fully absorb. It doesn't leave a white, pasty look, but the skin is kind of all-over shiny. I combat this with small dabs of foundation here and there or some translucent powder, which seems to work just fine. I have yet to find a high SPF moisturizer that isn't greasy, so I think counteracting the shine just might be the price to pay for that level of protection.

But even with those drawbacks, I got through a tube of this stuff about every 3 weeks. Neutrogena Healthy Defense Daily Moisturizer is an easy, effective, affordable choice that's worth checking out. It definitely has a permanent place on my skin care shelf.


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