Monday, June 30, 2014

Seven Hair Hacks for a Thriving Mane

Above: Long hair doesn't have to be high-maintenance! Twist Front Maxi-Dress is ASTR available at Nordstrom
Taking care of one's hair can feel like a full time job...from washing and conditioning to styling and maintaining, a full, healthy mane is definitely a time investment.  That being said, I've discovered a few a few short cuts, perfect for trimming down the time spent keeping one's hair in check...not only are these gems pragmatic, they also help hair to thrive!

Above: These products save time while beautifying the hair.
Kindly scroll on for my seven hair hacks...
Above: The Winks by Georgie Beauty Ultimate Lash Curler harnesses the power blue chamomile.
(1) The Winks by Georgie Beauty Ultimate Lash Curler: now I completely acknowledge that eyelashes may not be first thing one thinks of when the word "hair" is spoken.  Lashes, however, are indeed hair and this lash curler does a magnificent job of both curling and nourishing these delicate follicles. 

Above: This curler comes with two replacement pads.
Featuring a plush gel pad infused with USDA-certified organic chamomile, this styling tool gently curls without crimping and delivers hair-strengthening properties from this wonder plant.  Instead of risking damage when curling, this device can actually improve lashes.  Brilliant!

Above: "Curling in the chamomile."
Above: The Tangle may look like a simple handheld brush but the results are life-changing. 
(2) The Tangle Teezer: I have already shared my love of this incredible brush (posts found HERE and HERE) but if this isn't a time-saving "hair hack," I don't know what is!  

Above: The flexible bristles detangle the most knotted of manes (like mine!)
The flexible, variegated bristles painlessly glide through the thickest, most tangled hair with ease, making the the unpleasant process of brushing an expeditious experience.  With this miracle worker, I can brush through my long hair, even directly following a shower.  I am fairly certain I am saving hours each month due to the Tangle Teezer!

Above: Double-duty...grooming eyebrows and taming flyways with a single swipe. 
(3) Billion Dollar Brows A Hint of Tint Brow Gel: Do you find baby hairs vexing but don't want to douse your hair with hairspray to get those errant follicles under control?  Previously reviewed HERE, this brow-grooming formula can also be used in a pinch to tame flyways along the part, without the frozen stiff aftermath of hairspray.  The taupe shade is light and sheer enough to seamlessly blend in with most hair colors and the mascara wand allows for precise control of application...necessity is, indeed the mother of invention. 

Above: Reduced drying time and shine...yes, please!
(4) DermOrganic Leave-In Spray Therapy (reviewed HERE): This vegan, cruelty, sulfate, paraben and cruelty-free formula is infused with Argan Oil to condition, detangle, banish frizz, reduce drying time, protect from heat treatments (like the straightening iron) and add shine.  A few sprays following a shower leaves my hair healthy and manageable and the reduced drying time alone (truly magical!) makes this formula an utterly worthy investment.  

Above: Colour Bunz...great for, but not only for, professional hairstylists!
(5) Colour Bunz: Although I don't color my hair, I couldn't complete this post without mentioning Colour Bunz, especially for those that do! These soft, foam cylinders have a ridged core to hold color-treated or highlighted strands in place and separate from other hair sections.  Hairstylists have lauded this invention as a marvelous replacement for foils and those who prefer to highlight, lowlight or ombre at home will find that that Colour Bunz are a great tool for perfect placement and product maximization (the foam keeps color from drying out).  

Above: The Colour Bunz are very easy to place in the hair. 
Simply take a small section of hair, cover it in the color or lightening formula as desired and slide it into the groove of the Colour Bunz...the cylinder will keep the product from spreading to hair you'd like to keep virgin and they can be washed and used again for future sessions!  Colour Bunz can also add volume to hairstyles and be an excellent base for a ballerina bun (just bobby pin the cylinder together to create a donut shape first).  A truly innovative invention for hairstylists and the rest of us!

Above: Moroccanoil Root Boost...volume in a slender can. 
(6) Moroccanoil Root Boost: For days when hair is flat and hot rollers (like the ones reviewed HERE and HERE) are not an option, this spray is a divine solution.  For markedly fuller hair, I flip my head upside down and spray this as close to my roots as possible, moving my fingers through the hair to distribute it as evenly as I can.  A flip back up and a few "fluffs" and my hair is instantly more voluminous.  Using this spray in tandem with a blowdryer further enhances the results, making even fine and limp hair more like a lion's mane!

Above: Some of my "hair" supplements. 
(7) Hair Supplements: I must preface this section by making it abundantly clear that I am neither a doctor nor a nutritionist and am merely sharing what works for me.  As with any product, cosmetic or medicinal, individual results may vary and before taking a supplement, it is always a wise idea to consult your physician first.  Now that the disclaimer is out of the way, I am happy to address a frequent question I get from readers regarding vitamins that may be good for long, healthy hair.  I regularly take a combination of the following products to nourish and support thriving hair:
  • Solaray Once Daily High Energy Multi-Vita-Min:  I have taken a multi-vitamin since I was a small child and personally attest to the value of a daily supplement to help with overall well-being including immunity, skin health and hair strength.  This formula is a favorite because of its easy, "one capsule daily" dose; the Vitamin B and added PABA and Inosital are superb for keeping hair strong and shiny.  
  • Solaray B-Complex: When we are stressed, our body runs through our inherent Vitamin B supply; incidentally, our hair feeds off of our vitamin B reserve.  Consequently, a stressful life without additional Vitamin B intake can lead to a compromised head of hair.  During my senior year of high school, I experienced this dynamic first hand; I had been extremely stressed due to a swath of AP exams and, at the time (because everything is more dramatic in high school, no?) an upsetting break up and noticed that I was losing MUCH more hair than usual.  It was coming out in the shower and gathering in my hair brush at an alarming rate.  My parents called our nutritionist and, after explaining the stress-Vitamin B-hair health relationship, he suggested an immediate influx of Vitamin B complex.  Truly, within taking regular doses every few hours (one cannot overdose on Vitamin B, the excess is merely eliminated through our system), my hair stopped falling out.  I have never seen a natural remedy work so quickly to ameliorate a seemingly insurmountable problem and I have been an avid believer in and consumer of Vitamin B complex (two capsules a day) ever sense, especially because adult life really hasn't become less stressful ; ) 
  • NutriCology Biotin 5000: This special, water-soluable version of Vitamin B7 is purported to strengthen hair and nails through cell growth and metabolization of fats and amino acids.  I take one capsule daily and am notice a difference, especially in the strength of my nails, when I skip multiple dosages. 
  • BioSil Liquid (also in capsule form): Widely considered the "gold-standard" in Silicon supplements, the BioSil Liquid can be mixed into water or juice for immediate absorption.  In all honesty, it doesn't taste great, but the fact that it contains three "beauty proteins" (Collagen, Keratin and Elastin) which, in turn, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, thicken and strengthens hair and fortify nails makes a mildly unpleasant swig completely doable.  I take this liquid a couple of times a week as time permits.

Above: Long, healthy hair requires some effort, but the payoff is well worth it!
Bottom Line: I hope you found these "hair hacks" helpful and would to hear about YOUR time-saving tips and tricks for thriving hair.  I cannot believe this is the last day in June...summer, please slow down! My "June Favorites" video will be live later on this week and new lipstick, foundation and skincare posts are in the works!


--The Beauty Professor

**Some PR samples provided for review (the rest bought by me),  however, as always, all of my opinions are expressly and unequivocally my own.  
 © 2012-14 Beautyprofessor® All Rights Reserved. Do not copy, reprint or republish content and/or photos without author's written permission.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

La Prairie Anti-Aging Hydra Tint...Lightweight Foundation on Another Level

la prairie hydra tint
Above: The La Prairie Anti-Aging Hydra Tint comes in four, skin-flattering shades.
On my quest for the perfect summer foundation, I have already made mention of the glorious La Prairie Anti-Aging Hydra Tint HERE.  Available at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Saks, Bloomingdales and Bergdorf Goodman, this lightweight wonder offers hydration, anti-aging skincare benefits and sheer, buildable all the way to medium coverage that provides a veil of SPF protection and a beautiful, skin refining tint.  

Kindly scroll on for more details, swatches of each shade, images of the Hydra Tint on the face and the Bottom Line...

la prairie hydra tint
Above: Designed to protect, moisturize and fight aging. 
According to La Prairie:

“Now more than ever, our clients demand multi-tasking, high performance age-fighting products to seamlessly work into their skincare regimen, and I’m confident our new Anti-Aging Hydra Tint SPF 20 does all this and more. We’ve taken the concept of multi-tasking moisturizer to the next level and packaged it in an innovative and sleek bottle for easy application. This is sure to be a daily skin- care staple for women of all ages who seek light coverage without sacrificing crucial SPF protection,” says Lynne Florio, President, La Prairie.

Key Ingredients / Benefits:
  • Salicornia Herbacea Extract, Sunflower Seed Oil, Glycerin and Mango Butter hydrate skin.
  • An anti-aging peptide helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
  • A unique algae extract helps improve firmness and skin tone.
  • White Licorice helps improve skin’s tone with continued use.
  • Specialized pigments evenly diffuse light, resulting in a soft focus effect.
  • Resveratrol, Vitamin E and Ursolic Acid help fight free radicals.
  • SPF 20 provides protection against UVA and UVB rays.
  • Formulated with natural mineral-infused colour that blends easily, allowing your natural skin tone to show through.
  • La Prairie’s Exclusive Cellular Complex helps stimulate the skin’s natural renewal process, moisturizing and energizing with nutrients that encourage optimal functioning.
  • Non-comedogenic; will not clog pores. 
Above: The full ingredients list.
The Hydra Tint formula...
  • PROTECTS: provides SPF 20 UVA and UVB protection against damaging sun exposure
  • MOISTURIZES: an extract from salicornia plant and sunflower seed oil increase skin's moisturization.
  • FIGHTS AGING: an anti-aging peptide helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles; resveratrol and white licorice act as anti-oxidants.
The tactile, squeezable tube houses a respectable 1.4 ounces of product (compared to the traditional 1 ounce of most foundation and base products) and dispensing the Hydra Tint is easy to control, allowing for precision and the avoidance of product waste. 

la prairie hydra tint
Above: The packaging involves a sturdy plastic frame with a squeezable interior...genius!  

In my experience, the La Prairie Hydra Tint is a marvelous choice for a summer foundation.  I like to buff it into my skin with a damp Beauty Blender and build it to nearly medium coverage, both for the aesthetic and SPF benefits.  I find that it effortlessly evens out my skin tone but still allows the natural texture of the skin to show through, making it a befitting option for times when ultra-natural (yet perfected) skin is in order.  Although there is no discernible shimmer, the finish is still a lovely satin-matte that simply translates as "really good skin."  

If one desires a more immediate matte finish, following with setting powder is always an option; I prefer the more dewy finish (at least initially) so I tend to avoid following with powder unless I am looking for more coverage or it is inordinately humid outside.  In terms of longevity, I get six to seven hours of wear before feeling the need to touch up with powder.  The fragrance is light and dissipates upon application and this in no way irritates my ultra-sensitive skin.  

This is a light formula with remarkable coverage and a respectable lasting does not fade, migrate, pool or get patchy, even with hours of extended wear, and it's comforting to know that the Hydra Tint contains ingredients that are helping my skin to actively fight the aging process when applied!

la prairie hydra tint swatches
Above: Heavy swatches in direct sunlight.
The Hydra Tint comes in four shades:
  • #1: Light neutral beige for those with fair skin tones (approximately N/NC/NW 10-20).
  • #2: Light neutral to warm beige for those with light to light-medium skin tones (approximately N/NCNW 23-25).  This is my current shade match and I suspect, due to its relative sheerness, that I could wear it year round!
  • #3: Medium neutral beige for those with medium beige skin tones (approximately N/NC/NW 27-35).
  • #4: Dark neutral beige for those with dark beige skin tones (approximately N/NC/NW 40-45)
**Much to the credit of the formulation, the undertones of all four shades are delightfully neutral (rather than distinctly yellow or pink).  This allows for the most versatility in the realm of shade matching!

la prairie hydra tint swatches
Above: Blended swatches in direct sunlight.
la prairie hydra tint swatches
Above: Blended swatches in outdoor shade.
la prairie hydra tint swatches
Above: Blended swatches (after 30 minutes...note, no oxidation!) in direct sunlight.
Below: Completely un-retouched (as always) images of the Hydra Tint #2 (without a setting powder) in natural lighting...
Above: In outdoor shade.
Above: With a flash.
Above: In direct sunlight.
la prairie hydra tint
Above: The La Prairie Anti-Aging Hydra Tint...taking lightweight foundation to another level.
Bottom Line: The La Prairie Anti-Aging Hydra Tint is a spectacular option for those seeking light to light-medium coverage, SPF protection and a natural, lasting finish.  For those interested in an equally luxurious, fuller-coverage foundation experience from La Prairie, my in-depth review of the La Prairie Skin Caviar (mentioned HERE) will be surfacing soon! 

xx and hope your weekend is going well,

--The Beauty Professor

**PR sample provided for review (the rest bought by me),  however, as always, all of my opinions are expressly and unequivocally my own.  
 © 2012-14 Beautyprofessor® All Rights Reserved. Do not copy, reprint or republish content and/or photos without author's written permission.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Look of the Day: Denim, Lace + and a Clean, Bright Face

dreaming in pink boutique
Above: The full look...shirt from Dreaming in Pink Boutique, luxury skincare from Omorovicza, La Prairie and Eve Lom and lips, eyes and cheeks by Mehron. 
Today's look is clean and basic, punctuated by a denim shirt with unexpected details, luxury skincare, earth tone eyes and a bold pop of color on lips and cheeks. 

Kindly scroll on for a cache of images, details, swatches and the Bottom Line...

la prairie skin caviar foundation
Above: Luxurious complexion products from La Prairie and Omorovicza. 
omorovicza gold hydralifting mask
Above: This mask harnesses the power of Hyaluronic Acid to refine and lift the skin.
To begin, I replenished my tired, slightly dehydrated skin with the Gold Hydralifting Mask by Omorovicza.  This decadent formula feels like an ultra-nourishing balm and, after 20 minutes, it all but sinks into the skin, leaving one with the option of gently rinsing it off or simply following with foundation.  My face feels completely transformed after a treatment with this mask; it somehow brightens, smoothes, balances and refines without feeling tight or drying (like a typical clay mask might).  It's an indulgence, indeed, but highly recommended! 

la prairie skin caviar foundation swatches
Above: Swatches of the La Prairie Skin Caviar Concealer + Foundation in Beige in direct sunlight.
I then followed with the La Prairie Skin Caviar Concealer + Foundation SPF 15 (full review with more shades forthcoming).  Available at retailers including Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom, this luxurious formula boasts skincare benefits, gorgeous medium to full coverage and a radiant satin finish that lasts the day.  It also comes with an extremely concentrated corresponding concealer that banishes imperfections with a sweep.  Beige is a befitting shade for my current NC 25-27 skin and I cannot wait to experiment with this opulent formula more this summer. 

Above: Eye, lip and cheek details from Mehron.
Onto the eyes...I am currently experimenting with the ever-so-capable Mehron E.Y.E Powder Palette #207, a lovely collections of neutrals.  Although Mehron, which traces back to the 1920's, has its roots in theatrical makeup, it's current collection includes a vast array of products for the everyday makeup connoisseur.  I am impressed with the finely-milled texture and rich pigmentation of these shadows, which glide smoothly on and stay creaseless, even without primer.  

mehron eye power palette 207
Above: The Mehron E.Y.E. Powder Palette in #207 offers perfectly basic shades for a host of neutral eye looks. 
For this particular look, I covered my lid with with the neutral taupe, Cocoa, added a bit of the rich Cinnamon in the crease and swept a mixture of the golden camel shade Fawn and Cinnamon under my lower lash line for depth and impact.  I call this a subtlety smoldering effect! 

mehron eye power palette 207 swatches
Above: Swatches of the eyeshadows in direct sunlight...each was one swipe, which is a testament to their velvety pigmentation.
Above: A closeup of my eye look.
Overall, I am very pleased with the soft, neutral eye look that resulted.  I added a touch of pop with the Marc Jacobs Beauty Hi-Liner in Blacquer along my lower waterline and finished my lashes with two coats of the Surratt Beauty Relevee Mascara (of course!).  

mehron cheek cream shell pink
Above: Mehron Glosstone in Pink Crush and Cheek Cream in Shell Pink.
For lips and cheeks, I embraced the Mehron Glosstone Pro and Cheek Cream formulas; both products are pigment rich and add a lovely dose of color to the face.  

mehron glosstone pink crush
Above: Pink Crush is a cool pinky-mauve for an unexpected twist on the rosy lip.
The Glosstone in Pink Crush has a velvet-flocked doe foot applicator and a light formula that feels like a hybrid between lipstick and gloss.  Very hydrating and not the slightest bit sticky, the liquid texture imparts a semi-transparent wash of pinky-mauve color that is lush and bright without being over the top.   

mehron swatches
Above: Swatches of Mehron Glosstone in Pink Crush and Cheek Cream in Pink Shell in direct sunlight.
The Cheek Cream in Pink Shell is a soft, pale peach that enlivens the cheeks without the use of shimmer. It adds a subtle, "lit from within" look that stays pastel, even after hours of absolutely doesn't oxidize to orange, which I find can be the norm with peach and coral cheek products.  After applying Giorgio Armani Sun Fabric #100 as a contour and bronzer, I used the tip of my ring finger to lightly tap Pink Shell on the apples of my cheeks; it melds into the skin immediately and looks extremely natural. 

Above: Eve Lom Sheer Radiance Powder in Dawn 1.
Finally, I finished the look with the Eve Lom Sheer Radiance Translucent Powder.  Since their debut, I have been a fan of the Eve Lom base products (swatched and reviewed HERE and HERE) and this powder is no exception. The portable brush container is genius, enabling a streamlined powder experience that is exceedingly facile to toss in one's handbag.  Dawn is a light neutral beige that is so finely-milled that it disappears on the skin, yielding a smooth, velvety, matte, poreless visage.  This formula easy joins the ranks of some of my most well-performing powders!

Above: A heavy (so it would show up in the image) swatch of the Eve Lom Sheer Radiance Powder.
Below: Images of the Look of the Day...blouse is from Dreaming in Pink Boutique and Denim Shorts are from Top Shop (similar style here)

Above: The lace and pearl detailing make this classic denim blouse unconventional.
Above: The full face, completely un-retouched.
Above: The blouse also has pearl buttons on the arms to further enhance its uniqueness.
Above: These Top Shop high waisted denim shorts are on the shorter side (love them for summer) but cover all the essentials. 
Above: Long, crazy hair...summer means even lower-maintenance for this mane. 
Above: Denim, Lace, Clean + Bright.

Bottom Line: I hope you enjoyed this Look of the Day post...are you interested in seeing more posts like this one?  The clothing and products used represent an eclectic variety of stylistic options and I had a marvelous time curating them into a cohesive look.

Hope your week is going well...xx and much more soon!

--The Beauty Professor

**Some PR samples  provided for review (the rest bought by me),  however, as always, all of my opinions are expressly and unequivocally my own.  
 © 2012-14 Beautyprofessor® All Rights Reserved. Do not copy, reprint or republish content and/or photos without author's written permission.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Current Summer Sales and Meet the New Puppy in My Life!

Above: It's puppy time!
Hello dear readers...I hope your week is going well!  Since I've recently had more time at home, I have been playing with dogs (more on that in a moment!) and taking advantage of the host of summer sales at my favorite retailers...a purchase here, a purchase there and everything reflective of a major discount.  Below is a rundown of my favorite online destinations currently running sales:

  • Even before the hotly anticipated Anniversary Sale (early access begins on 7/10), Nordstrom has a fantastic selection of on sale clothing one can wear right this minute!  I bought a few dresses and blouses from the Savvy department that are perfect for both summertime leisure and my work environment. 
  • Barney's NY is in the midst of a massive sale...I'm embracing elements of my "everyday uniform" including leather shorts, skinny jeans and lightweight sweaters. 
  • Finally, as mentioned in my last post, from now through July 24th, Beauty Professor readers can receive 30% off of USA purchases of $50 or more on  Simply enter the code BPROFNP30 upon checkout!

Above: Jasper and Jethro side by side...their faces are priceless, no?

Onto the puppy brother, Seth, recently got a Wheaton Terrier!  His name is Jasper and he is endlessly adorable.  We are working to socialize Jasper and Jethro as much as possible this summer; Jethro has been used to being an "only child" as of late and watching the two together is a kick.

Above: Welcome to the family, Jasper!
Bottom Line: I hope you found this sale rundown useful and I would love to hear what summer sale procurements YOU have been indulging in lately.  Also, I hope the puppy pictures were enjoyable ; ) 

More soon, including a Look of the Day post, a haircare closeup, and another foundation formula in review...xx,

--The Beauty Professor

© 2012-14 Beautyprofessor® All Rights Reserved. Do not copy, reprint or republish content and/or photos without author's written permission.