February 2015 archive

Receutics Active Skin Repair at Rite Aid

T131930RWCRite Aid recently announced that it is getting into the skin care game with its proprietary Receutics Active Skin Repair products. Since the line includes two anti-aging products, I had to check it out.

I tried the Rapid Wrinkle Corrector and the Rapid Dark Spot and Complexion Corrector.* They felt great on my skin, and have a light, herbal scent, much like the face oils I’ve tried. The wrinkle corrector uses retinol, antioxidants, and amino acids to firm and plump the skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The dark spot corrector fades spots and boosts radiance with niacinamide (a.k.a. vitamin B3), vitamin C, and hydroquinone.

I also tried the Therapeutic Hydration and Repair Treatment, an amazing lotion. It really made my hands feel moisturized, even in polar vortex-powered winter weather. The Therapeutic Gentle Hydrating Cleanser is great, too. My face felt clean, but not tight or “stripped.” I cannot wait to try the Sun Care SPF 40 Advanced Sunscreen.

The company decided to develop Receutics after talking with its pharmacists. Rite Aid seeks feedback from its pharmacists on a regular basis, Jocelyn Konrad, group vice president of clinical services and pharmacy initiatives for Rite Aid, told me. “Our pharmacists were looking for something to recommend to patients for common skin concerns, such as acne or dry skin,” she said. Based on that feedback, the company developed nine products in four categories: sun care, anti-aging, acne clearing, and therapeutic.

Konrad said that Dr. Zoe Draelos, a former vice president of the American Academy of Dermatology, oversaw all of the clinical research on each product. In a 12-week clinical study, the company said that 82 percent of women saw improvements in their skin within three days of starting to use Receutics anti-aging products; 88 saw improvements within seven days; and 100 percent saw improvement after 12 weeks. The company also said that 81 percent of women had more even skin tone after 12 weeks.

All Receutics Active Skin Repair products are currently available in Rite Aid stores in New Jersey and Seattle, as well as two stores in New York City. The company plans to have them in all its stores by January 2016, Konrad said. For now, you can buy Receutics at Receutics.com and RiteAid.com. The prices are wallet friendly, too, ranging from from $9.99 to $39.99.

Think you’ll check it out?


*I received these products for review, but opinions are my own.


Shea Terra Organics

Shea Terra's Namibian marula oil

Shea Terra’s Namibian marula oil

I have been wanting to post about Shea Terra Organics for a while now. Shea Terra is a skin care company founded by Tammie Umbel more than 10 years ago. Its products contain ingredients sourced from Africa. The goal is to raise awareness about the conservation of Africa’s wildlife and its natural resources. You can read more about Shea Terra’s legacy here.

Tammie first contacted me via LinkedIn and offered to send me a sample of the company’s new cold-pressed Rwandan maracuja oil. She also threw in a sample packet of the Baobab Olive Tree Age Wise Face Cre’me and a tiny jar of the Rose Hips Black Soap Deep Pore Facial Wash. For my story on face oils, she sent me a bottle of Namibian marula oil. I have become a fan of all of these. I love the smell of the baobab-olive face cream, and the maracuja and marula oil have saved my skin during the brutal Northeastern winter we are having. My face and hands just drink it up.

Tammie is an interesting person in her own right. As a little girl, she would sneak the TV show Feed the Children. That program inspired her to empower the African people by developing training programs so they could live sustainably. She studied peacekeeping and politics in college to help her reach her goals. Tammie and her husband live in Virginia with their 12 children.

As you might have guessed, Tammie is a hard lady to pin down. She did however, answer some quick e-mail questions for me.

How did you first get involved in working with African conservation groups and cooperatives?

It is a childhood promise of mine. As a young girl, I vowed I would create jobs for people that were poor and starving. I don’t know why I thought the way I did. On Feed the Children, they would ask for donations. I was very affected by the condition of these poor, pitiful looking children. To me, a young child, the answer was easy. I kept asking myself, “Why doesn’t anyone create jobs for them?” So I decided that one day I would create jobs for them myself.

What is Shea Terra’s newest product?

We have new products all the time! The maracuja oil is relatively new. We have kala-bash oil coming out shortly.

What African ingredients are the best for anti-aging?

The best ingredients for anti-aging are African Black Soap,¬† Shea Nilotik’ East African Shea Butter, Kigelia Africana, and Kala-bash Oil.

This isn’t the first time I’ve heard of African ingredients in skin care products. (See my post on nyakio Skincare, which I linked to above.) Has anyone tried argan oil or marula oil? If so, what did you think?


Frozen Photo Shoot

A fave pic from the shoot

A fave pic from the shoot

On Friday, I kicked off the long weekend by having pictures taken for my online dating profile. My current pics needed an update. The photographer, German, and I did manage to get a few good shots, even though it was near record-low temps in New York City. I did my own makeup for the shoot, and here’s what I used. I think its a good look for date night.

I prepped my face with 3W Clinic Collagen makeup base, which I got in the Memebox Collagen Box. It has a greenish tint to neutralize dark circles. Try Smashbox Photo Finish Photo Finish Adjust Color Correcting Foundation Primer. I followed that with Smashbox Camera Ready CC Cream.

I filled in my brows with the Lancome Le Crayon Poudre Brow Powder Pencil. Since one end is a spoolie, it’s easy to keep your brows looking perfectly groomed at all times. I lined my upper waterline with Buxom Insider Eyeliner in Chocolate Citrine and my lower waterline with my all-time favorite, M.A.C.’s Eye Kohl pencil in Teddy, a bronzy brown. The Technakohl Liner from M.A.C. in Brownborder is pretty close to Chocolate Citrine.

Then I used the Charlotte Tilbury Luxury Eye Palette in The Uptown Girl. I love Charlotte’s eye palette, which I got for Christmas. It’s color-coded, so its user friendly. To complete the look, I used Maybelline Volum’Express The Falsies Big Eyes Mascara. Best. Mascara. Ever. The dual-ended brush lets you get at the lower lashes to really open up your eyes.

On my lips, I layered Lancome Glossimer in Giggle over Clinique’s Chubby Stick Intense Moisturizing Lip Color Balm in Curviest Caramel. This combo is a longtime favorite of mine. The colors compliment each other nicely, with Giggle giving my lips a hint of pink and just enough moisture to last through anything. I’m thinking Lancome Lip Lover Dewy Color Lip Perfector in Casse-Noisette is a close match for Giggle.

BTW, if you are looking to jump start your digital love life, I highly recommend Laurie Davis and her team at eFlirt Expert. Online dating can be awkward, but Laurie and Co. put me right at ease and patiently answer all of my questions. They are also excellent¬† decoders of text and e-mail strings from your matches. You might say they speak fluent “flirting”!

Online dating photo shoot

A photo posted by Charlotte LoBuono (@clobuono) on



Valentine’s Day 2015: Black, White, and Red

Very few things in this world are as elegant as black and white. In honor of Valentine’s Day, I’ve added a touch of red.

Happy #valentinesday! #blackandwhite and a little #red @bobbibrown @maccosmetics @opipolish #bigapplered #alconecompany

A photo posted by Charlotte LoBuono (@clobuono) on


The eye palette is Bobbi Brown’s Smokey Eye Palette. It was limited edition, but I’ve found you beautiful dupes from Burberry Beauty and Chanel, and a more budget conscious match from Sephora. You’re welcome.

The eyeliners are Buxom Insider Eyeliner in Onyx, a rich black, and M.A.C. Eye Kohl pencil in Phone Number, a deep blue-gray. I’m obsessed! I line my top waterline with Onyx, a darker color, and my bottom waterline with Phone Number, the lighter shade. Makeup artist Mally Roncal mentions this little trick in her book. It really does make your eyes look bigger. The M.A.C. Technakohl eyeliner in Graphblack makes a great alternative to Onyx.

And the liquid liner is Alcone’s Perfect Line Brush Pen. Nars Stylo Liquid Eyeliner in Carpates will get you the same perfect cat eye.

O.P.I. Nail Lacquer in Big Apple Red is perfect for Valentine’s Day. I love this gorgeous, blue-based red.

M.A.C. lipstick in Ruby Woo is my go to for a classic red lip. You can also try M.A.C. Russian Red.

Happy Valentine’s Day! Do you have any special plans?

p.s. If anyone tries the Burberry Beauty eye palette, let me know. I have been dying to try Burberry makeup!



Winter 2015: The Blues

The other day, I came across some pretty blue-rimmed plates my grandma gave me. So I was inspired to do a post dedicated to blue makeup. Specifically, blue eye shadow, nail polish, and eyeliner. And I threw in some pearls from my other grandmother and a pink lipstick for good measure.

#winterblues @essiepolish

A photo posted by Charlotte LoBuono (@clobuono) on


I am not usually a fan of blue nail polish, but this color by Essie is called Aruba Blue, and I need me some Aruba right now in the worst way. I am officially over winter.

I tend to gravitate towards blue eyeliner and shadow, because I have blue eyes. I know brown is supposed to make blue eyes pop, but I like blue. However, I wear brown a lot too.

The navy shadow is a Bobbi Brown Shimmer Wash Eye Shadow in Sapphire. It is no longer available, but Rich Navy seems pretty close. The other shadow is from a collaboration M.A.C. did a few years ago with a Chinese photographer named Chen Man. It is called Love Cycle. The Isabel and Ruben Toledo for M.A.C. ‘Moodyblu’ x 6 palette seems like a pretty good match.

The eyeliners are M.A.C. Eye Kohl pencil in Blooz, M.A.C. Technakohl Liner in Practice Makes Perfect, and Stila ‘Sparkle’ Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Curacao. BTW, Practice Makes Perfect is from M.A.C.’s Holiday 2011 collection called Glitter and Ice. I got to interview the face of that collection, Olympian and fashion/skating commentator Johnny Weir. Very nice guy, and a total walking sound bite. Take the Plunge seems like the best dupe for Practice Makes Perfect.

The lipstick is also from M.A.C.’s collaboration with Chen Man. It’s called Force of Love. Try M.A.C.’s cult fave, Candy Yum Yum for a similar pop of pink.

What colors are inspiring you right now? Do you always reach for similar colors or do you like to experiment?


Vintage by Jessica Liebeskind

I love 1930s to 1960s vintage anything. As a matter of fact, I have a Pinterest board dedicated to vintage beauty. So when I read about the launch of a makeup line called Vintage by Jessica Liebeskind, I had to try it. And I wasn’t disappointed. It’s really beautiful!

I have the Blush and Brighten Face Palette in Blossom and Poppy, the Velvet Lip Crayon in Candy Coral, the Sparkling Lip Gloss in Pink Sequin and Papaya, the Brighten and Define Eye Shadow Palette in Lace and Caviar, and the Superglam Mascara in Onyx.* Check out my Instagram flat lay.

Flat lay fabulousness! Thank you @vintagecosmetics! #allthepretty

A photo posted by Charlotte LoBuono (@clobuono) on


I wore the eye shadow, blush, and Pink Sequin lip gloss to a party the other night, and it looked great! The eye makeup and blush definitely had staying power. About the colors in the blush palette: Blossom is a dusty pink to help define your cheekbones and Poppy is a brighter pink that adds a pop of color to the apples of your cheeks. It reminds me of Charlotte Tilbury’s Swish & Pop blushes. I only wish the eye shadow palette had a third shade, somewhere in between the white and black, to define the crease.

I also got three makeup brushes by Jenny Patinkin: the Kitten Paw Multi Brush, the Flat/Fluffy Cheek Brush, and the Pinpoint Liner Brush. The PR ladies said in an e-mail these were the softest brushes they’d ever tried, and they were right! I used the brushes to apply my makeup for the party. They let me apply my makeup evenly and blend it without any harsh lines.

Her first flat lay, by Kenner! Thanks @jennypatinkin! Love these brushes!

A photo posted by Charlotte LoBuono (@clobuono) on


I had never heard of Jessica Liebeskind before. Then I checked out her bio. The most interesting thing about Jessica, I think, is that not only is she a makeup artist, but she also helped develop products for Estee Lauder and Bobbi Brown. Jessica helped Bobbi develop her signature Shimmer Brick compacts, which are gorgeous. Jessica considers Bobbi her mentor. Very cool.

Jessica Liebeskind

Jessica Liebeskind

You can buy Vintage by Jessica Liebeskind makeup at hsn.com and Jenny Patinkin brushes from Amazon.com and SpaceNK.com. Think you’ll check them out? Does vintage glam ever inspire your look? And not for nothing, but my Vintage Gorgeousness Pinterest board has just four sad little pins! Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

* The makeup and brushes were sent to me for review, but the opinions are my own.



Winter 2015 Favorites

Winter 2015 Favorites

Winter 2015 Favorites

Chapped knuckles, single digit temperatures, and biting winds. Ah, the joys of a Northeastern winter. To fight off the mid-winter blahs, I thought I’d share some new favorites I’ve discovered that protect my skin and keep it moisturized during the colder months. Some of these products were sent to me to review, but I’ll definitely be buying more when they run out!

Skyn Iceland Nordic Peel Pads with Alpha-Beta Complex:  The people at Skyn Iceland sent these to me for my neck and decolletege story in BeautyNews NYC. What can I tell you? I fell in love. They smell amazing, and really do brighten up dull winter skin. The alpha- and beta-hydroxy acids exfoliate your skin, but very gently.

Paula’s Choice Resist Anti-Aging Body Double: Another find from the BeautyNews NYC neck and decolletege article. I love these two products, a body lotion with 10 percent alpha-hydroxy acid and a moisturizer with retinol and antioxidants. They have really reduced the appearance of any sun spots on my shoulders. You can buy the lotion and moisturizer separately or together. FYI, here is an interview with Paula Begoun, the Paula in Paula’s Choice, in New York magazine’s blog The Cut.

Shea Terra Organics Marula Oil: I tested this product for my BeautyNews NYC story on facial oils. This oil is fragrance free, which is nice, because I’m pretty sensitive to the fragrances in products. They can give me a headache. The oil is a little heavy, but in the dead of winter, if you have to shovel out your car or run errands, that’s OK. I have been using it a lot. And I love the story behind Shea Terra.

Fresh Seaberry Moisturizing Face Oil: I am officially obsessed with this face oil! The face oils I tried for the BeautyNews NYC story were all beautiful, but this was my favorite. Its not too heavy, which I like because I do not have particularly dry skin. It also has a light, herbal scent that reminds me of a kitchen garden. I will definitely be using this into the warmer months.

Almay Smart Shade Butter Kiss Lipstick: I walked into CVS one day on the way to the gym and saw these. I like the Revlon Lip Butters, so I thought I’d give these a try. I’ve never tried Almay products before, and was pleasantly surprised. Lipsticks and pencils that dry out your lips within five minutes of application are my pet peeve. These really did keep my lips moisturized as well as the Revlon, and go on just sheer enough. I got the pink in light/medium and nude in light.

Tell me. What products do you rely on to keep your skin moisturized and protected in the winter? How do you change up your skin care routine when the when the weather gets colder?