August 2015 archive

Product Review: The Body Shop Vitamin C Skin Care

The Body Shop Vitamin C Skin Care

The Body Shop Vitamin C Skin Care Line

My skin needs some end-of-summer TLC, pronto. So I was psyched when the folks at The Body Shop sent me some Vitamin C Glow Boosting Moisturiser and Vitamin C Instant Glow Enhancer, the newest products in the brand’s vitamin C skin care line. I picked up the Vitamin C Skin Boost serum, too.*

These products smell like a Creamsicle! And they give your skin a glow, like you just woke up from a much-needed two-hour nap.

First, you apply the Vitamin C Glow Boosting Moisturiser, a gel-cream formula that is not too greasy. Then you use the Vitamin C Skin Boost serum. This serum goes on dry, not oily, and it feels amazing on your skin. Then you use the Vitamin C Instant Glow Enhancer, a hero product that combines makeup and skin care in one tube.

The moisturizer and the serum contain Amazonian camu camu berry, which the company says has 60 times more vitamin C than an orange. And the serum has Brazil nut oil in it.

The Body Shop Vitamin C skin care line is available online.

Has your skin taken a beating this summer? What are doing about it? Let me know in the comments!

*The Vitamin C Glow Boosting Moisturiser and Vitamin C Instant Glow Enhancer were sent to me for my review. I bought the Vitamin C Instant Skin Boost serum. Opinions are my own.

Sarah Colonna: Has Anyone Seen My Pants?

SarahColonnaHasAnyoneSeenMyPantsI’ve always loved to read. So I try to occasionally feature books and author interviews on here. My latest find? Sarah Colonna’s hilarious new memoir Has Anyone Seen My Pants?, about life and dating in her late 30s. Colonna’s essay for Allure about posing pants-less was so funny and heartfelt, I talked the folks at Simon and Schuster into sending me a review copy.*

My favorite story from the book recounts Colonna’s ill-fated trip to the doctor in Los Angeles. The doctor, a hormone specialist, doesn’t listen to Colonna and never remembers her last name. He doesn’t have the best bedside manner, to put it politely.

After storming out of his office, Colonna does an about face, and returns to ask him for a prescription for diet pills. When he tells her she is not overweight enough for diet pills, Colonna tells him, “That’s more like it Doctor! That’s how you talk to a woman!”

Sarah Colonna is an author, actress, television writer, and stand-up comedian. You may remember her from Chelesa Lately and After Lately. I reached out to Colonna on Twitter, and she was cool enough to answer a few questions for me via e-mail.

You just turned 40. Have you gotten more comfortable in your skin and more confident as you’ve gotten older?

I never thought it would be so easy to turn 40, but it was.  I feel completely confident in who I am, and I definitely didn’t feel that way in my 20s.  I know some people say they’d love to be 20 again, but not me. NO WAY.

How has your skin care and makeup routine changed as you’ve gotten older?
I started being pretty good about taking better care of my skin in my later 20s, and now I’m really good about it. I definitely made my sun mistakes many years ago, ha! But I get monthly facials and keep up with a routine. I wear a lot less make-up now, too. 

How did you get in such great shape for the cover of your latest book?! You look awesome!
I went to so many spin classes! Nothing motivates you to workout like knowing you’re going to be pants-less on a book cover. And thank you!

You’ve been a writer and panelist on Chelsea Lately and After Lately, and you do stand-up. What do you want to do next in your career?
I’m working on an idea for a TV show based on my latest book, and my dream is for that to get on the air!

What do you see as the next chapter in your life?
Just to keep working my butt off to take my career to the next level. And I’m getting married [to Seattle Seahawks punter Jon Ryan] in July! So that should definitely be several new chapters.
I would definitely watch a TV show based on Has Anyone Seen My Pants? Have you read any of Colonna’s books or been to one of her stand-up shows?
*I received a review copy of Has Anyone Seen My Pants? Opinions are my own.

Greek Wine and the Greek Financial Crisis

Vineyards on the Greek Island of Santorini

Vineyards on the Greek Island of Santorini. Photo courtesy of Diamond Wine Importers

Blogging is awesome: you can share work on your blog that might otherwise not see the light of day. For example, this post also began life as an assignment for NYU. So for something different this weekend, see below my final project for my NYU web writing class.

I decided to write about the Greek financial crisis and its impact on the Greek wine industry because, well, why not? Going to NYU to get my graduate certificate in journalism gave me the chance to step out of my comfort zone of writing about beauty, health, and wellness. Oenophiles, this one’s for you:

Greek Wines Get Global Boost From Financial Crisis

Media outlets worldwide have been busy this summer reporting on Greece’s financial crisis, and its effect on various sectors of the Greek economy. But it may be still too early to tell how Greece’s financial woes have affected its wine industry, Andrea Englisis, co-owner of Athenee Importers, said in an email.

Vineyards have already bottled and labeled the 2014 harvest, said Englisis. This inventory of the current release should carry Athenee through the rest of the year. However, “All the press has put the country in the spotlight, which has helped the U.S. wine consumer know that the country’s vineyards exist, and helped focus more attention on all sectors of the Greek economy as a whole,” she said.

Increased international attention is a good thing. Englisis said doing more business abroad has led to needed improvements in labeling and quality, and a better understanding of international markets among Greek winemakers. When told of Englisis’s statement, wine journalist Zachary Sussman agreed. “There has been a surge of critical attention to Greek wines in the U.S. among members of the wine media and wine professionals, such as sommeliers,” he said.

Sussman went on to say Greek wine is finally getting attention after a long period of neglect. “An indicator of that has been a quality renaissance among the top wineries,” he said. They are making better wines than ever before.

One of the big challenges that Greek wines face when trying to establish a footprint the U.S. market is that of label legibility, said Sussman. Everyone knows the American expression, “It’s Greek to me,” he said. He added that, “When it comes to wine, the labels are in Greek and the names of the grapes are difficult to remember, so the issue of legibility becomes really important.” So it makes sense the Greek wine industry would be trying to make labels more user-friendly for an American audience by packaging wines to ensure their success in the U.S. market, he said.

“Most American wine lovers have not considered Greek wines until recently, and we are just starting to see a renewed interest in these wines as the level of quality has improved,” said Sussman. So a lot of potential exists there, and Greek wines are often good values because people are not as familiar with them.

As a wine culture in general, the U.S. market is more open to experimentation, Sussman said. Americans are looking beyond the familiar wines they like to drink, such as those from Italy, France, or California, and a country like Greece is benefiting from that cultural shift.

In countries such as Greece, where wine accompanies every meal, cheaper supermarket wines probably account for most wine consumption, said Sussman. Although some Greeks are interested in drinking higher-quality Greek wines, a new audience among sophisticated American wine consumers can appreciate the quality of wines available from Greece.

Fabulous Links of the Week

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar/RTW

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar/RTW

A 60-year-old YouTube beauty v-logger, an anti-aging pillow, skin care you drink, skin care with Dragon’s blood (not a typo!), and a retrospective of 80s beauty products in this week’s Fabulous Links.

This YouTuber is the new big thing in beauty v-logging. And yes, she’s 60. And a grandmother of seven. [Refinery29]

Jamie Sherrill, a nurse and mother of triplets, invented this travel pillow that is supposed to prevent wrinkles. [Charlotte’s Book]

Drinkable skin care is now a thing. [Well + Good Anywhere]

Dragon’s blood. Such a kick ass name, I may have to try it. [YouBeauty]

Fellow teens and young adults of the 80s, remember these? [Allure]

And I test drove the new LipTar/RTW liquid lipstick from Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics.

Product Review: Exuviance Firm-NG⁶ Non-Acid Peel

Exuviance Firm-NG6 Non-Acid Peel

Exuviance Firm-NG6 Non-Acid Peel

I recently discovered the Exuviance Firm-NG⁶ Non-Acid Peel by NeoStrata. My skin is in its end-of-the-summer slump, and sun spots have popped up on my cheekbones. I tried the peel hoping to brighten things up for the fall.*

The company said in press materials its Exuviance peel contains six percent NeoGlucosamine®, a non-acid compound that is safe for all skin types. According to the company, NeoGlucosamine accelerates cell renewal and firms and tightens the skin. I was surprised by how much fresher my skin looked after a few uses!

The peel is a leave-on peel. You apply it after cleansing and wait for five to 10 minutes for the product to absorb before applying moisturizer.

The Exuviance Firm-NG⁶ Non-Acid Peel is available at Ulta. Have you ever done a peel? Would you try this one? Let me know in the comments!

*Product was sent to me for review. Opinions are my own.

Makeup: Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar/RTW

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar/RTW

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar/RTW

Beauty editors and makeup junkies alike love Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics’ cult-fave Lip Tar. Unfortunately, the original packaging made Lip Tar difficult to use. It involved using a tiny lip brush to maneuver the liquid-y, oily formula onto your lips. Not good when you’re on the go.

OCC founder David Klasfeld must have heard the pleas of OCC fans everywhere, because the brand just launched Lip Tar/RTW. It’s the Lip Tar fans know and love, but now it comes in a lip gloss-like tube with a doe foot applicator. When OCC launched in 2004, it was primarily a professional brand, Klasfeld told me at last week’s launch party. But once Lip Tar launched at The Makeup Show L.A. in 2009, it developed a serious following among non-makeup artists. “This is sort of a delayed response to OCC’s increasingly consumer demographic,” he said. The everyday woman needs and wants an easier application system.

Today I have been wearing Lip Tar/RTW in “Hush,” a beige-y nude.* It has stayed put even during a walk along the Hoboken waterfront and a gym session. And lunch and several bottles of water. And yes, the new applicator makes it as easy to apply as a lip gloss.

It can be a little drying on your lips, though, and it is highly pigmented. You may want to apply a primer before swiping it on. OCC sells a Lip Tar primer or, in a pinch, you can use a lip balm. I used lip balm.

Lip Tar/RTW is currently available online on nordstrom.com and beautylish.com. Look for it soon in select Nordstrom and Lord and Taylor stores, and on lordandtaylor.com and beauty.com.

*I got the Lip Tar/RTW in a goody bag. Opinions are my own.

@occmakeup #liptarRTW thanks OCC!! #beautifulBlogHer15 #beautyblogger #Fabulousforeverblog

A photo posted by Charlotte LoBuono (@clobuono) on

Makeup: The Ransack at Rouge New York

When a beauty blogger gets Ransacked!!

When a beauty blogger gets Ransacked!

I have wanted to check out Rouge New York since I started this blog. On Friday, I finally did it. I went to Rouge and got the service the salon calls The Ransack.* You bring your makeup stash to Rouge, and one of the salon’s makeup pros looks through it with you. He or she helps you decide what to keep, what to throw out, and what you should purchase or replace.

I worked with makeup artist Jessika Bekteshi. Poor Jessika. I don’t think she anticipated her client being a hoarder who would show up with two recyclable shopping bags full of makeup. In 90-degree heat, no less. See the photo above for my discards.

Apparently, I’m guilty of buying many of the same eye shadow and eyeliner colors over and over, either alone or as part of a palette. I wonder how many other women have this problem? I’ve heard of people buying similar styles and colors of clothes, so I guess it could happen with makeup.

The next part of The Ransack is getting your makeup done with the surviving products. Jessika took the picture below of what she planned to use on me. I made the comment that I didn’t know if purple was a good color for me. She begged to differ, and gave me an awesome look to prove it.

The makeup Jessika used

The makeup Jessika used

Check out The Girl Who Thought She Couldn’t Wear Purple.

The finished look

The finished look

I’m glad I got Ransacked. It’s a great way to start thinking about fall, and I am looking forward to what the new season will bring. One reason I’m psyched is that Rouge is opening a second location in New York City! Co-founders Rebecca Perkins and Stephanie March have decided to bring Rouge to Manhattan’s Midtown neighborhood this fall.

Do you often go through your makeup and throw away things you haven’t worn, or that you don’t think look flattering on you? Are you like me and buy similar colors on repeat? Let me know in the comments! (And BTW, check out the table in the first pic: that’s all lipsticks under the glass! How cool is that?!)

*I paid for the service. Opinions are my own.

Fabulous Links of the Week

When a beauty blogger gets Ransacked!!

When a beauty blogger gets Ransacked!

The “makeup tax” women pay, Halle Berry celebrates a birthday but never ages, the hotel chains with the best toiletries, fall beauty launches, workout mistakes that can age you, and secrets of a Real Housewife in this week’s Fabulous Links.

Is a “makeup tax” fair? No, but it exists. [The Atlantic]

Halle Berry turns 49. The older she gets, the more she looks the same. [People]

Steal these toiletries. All of these toiletries! [Into the Gloss]

Check out these fall beauty launches. I want to try the Skyn Iceland Arctic Face Oil. [Refinery 29]

Don’t make these workout mistakes, unless you really want to look older… [Charlotte’s Book]

Elle sat down with 51-year-old Carole Radziwill. Listen in. [Elle]

Oh, and I got Ransacked at Rouge NY. Makeup artist Jessika Bekteshi did the honors. Here’s my post.

Product Review: Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge and Kat von D Tattoo Liner

BobbiBrownKatvonD SwatchBobbiBrownKatvonDSometimes a girl needs retail therapy. Last week, Sephora came to my rescue with Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge for Lips and Cheeks and Kat von D Beauty Tattoo Liner.* But first, the back story. My washing machine broke. Specifically, the pump was clogged with hair. Here’s a mug shot of the guilty party.

It's a good thing I'm cute!

It’s a good thing I’m cute!

Then, my HVAC unit started leaking. Ugh! After umpteen trips to the laundromat and going through half a roll of paper towels to mop up the HVAC mess, I logged onto the Sephora web site to order Bobbi Brown’s Pot Rouge for Lips and Cheeks in Fresh Melon and Kat von D’s Tattoo Liner in Mad Max Brown. A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.

Sarah Loves Makeup had mentioned the Pot Rouge in Fresh Melon. This particular shade is from Bobbi’s gorgeous Telluride Collection. (That eye shadow palette and Shimmer Brick!) I have worn the Pot Rouge twice now. I love it as a cream blush. It gives your cheeks a subtle, dewy glow that’s perfect for late summer. Unfortunately, it is not so great for lips. The color payoff is not particularly good, and it wears off too quickly.

Lily Pebbles recently tweeted about the Kat von D liner, and since I was in the market for a brown liquid liner, I went for it. I have raved before on here about Kat’s Shade + Light Eye Palette, so I figured it was worth a try.

And I was right! It glided on in a smooth, even line. I don’t wear liquid liner very often, but I think even a total newbie could use this liner. And it has staying power. It even stayed put through my web journalism final exam.

You can buy Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge for Lips and Cheeks and Kat von D Beauty Tattoo Liner at Sephora.

Have you tried Bobbi’s Pot Rouge or Kat von D’s Tattoo Liner? Let me know your thoughts in the comments! Also, has anyone out there tried Kat’s Studded Kiss lipstick?

*I bought the Pot Rouge and Tattoo Liner for Sephora.com. Opinions are my own.

Fabulous Links of the Week

Lazy Summer Weekend

Lazy Summer Weekend

Happy 40th to Charlize Theron, lessons younger folks can learn from older women at work, scents that keep you happy, the beauty secrets of ever-fabulous French women, the products Town and Country’s beauty director loves, how Elle‘s beauty editors shake off anxiety, and the New York Times article that sparked a conversation about the place of glam squads in the delivery room in this week’s Fabulous Links.

Lookin’ good at 40, Charlize! [E! Online]

Experience is the best teacher, so listen to those with many lessons to share. [The Cut]

Aromatherapy to boost happiness. Can I get these scents piped into my apartment? [Well + Good]

Why French women always look so damn good! [Well + Good]

What Jamie Rosen, beauty director of T&C, uses to look as good as the jet-setters she covers. [Charlotte’s Book]

Try these beauty treatments when you feel anxious and stressed out. [Elle]

Delivery room makeovers: a do or a don’t? [New York Times]

Alyssa Hertzig, blogger at The Sparkly Life, weighs in on the Times article, and asks why we even care. [The Sparkly Life]

Elizabeth Angell, articles editor at Allure, discusses her decision not to go glam for post-delivery pics. [Allure]

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