Monday, June 29, 2009

Skin Care Interview

I almost forgot to share something with you - my radio interview on Community Central!

In my interview I discuss proper skin care techniques as well as talked a little about my line, Blended Naturals. You can catch the interview on the following stations:
WEOM 103.1FM - Tues June 30th 4:30pm ET
WTAL 1450 AM - Mon, July 6th 10:00am ET
http://www.midnightsoulradio.com/ - Sun, July 12th 7:00am ET
WSRF 1580AM - 5:30am ET, Date To Be Determined

You can also listen to the interview aired live at www.communitycentraltv.com/listen_to_the_show on any of those dates.
WEOM airs in Thomasville, Lexington, High Point, Archdale, Sedge Garden, and Greensboro, North Carolina
WSRF airs in Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and the Bahamas
WTAL airs in Tallahassee, Quincy, Florida and parts of Alabama and Georgia
Please check out my interview and let me know what you think.
Thanks
Michelle

Your Ideal Sunscreen Match

I know I've been talking a lot about sunscreen and using sunscreen lotion but that just goes to show how important it is right?; especially now that we are in the summer months.

Within the last two weeks I talked about:

Sunscreen Products Exposed
Ingredients that make Sunscreen Effective and
Coppertone's New Nutrashield Sunscreen

Today, I want you to take a quiz entitled, "What's Your Ideal Sunscreen Match?" I recently took this quiz and my results reveal that my ideal sunscreen match is Chemical Free (no surprise there). I have darker skin and I don't spend much time in the sun so I don't need a heavy duty SPF. Minimum SPF 15 is recommended for my skin color and lack of time in the sun...I still use SPF30 and here's why: An SPF of 15 only filters out 93% of UVB rays. Lower than that increases the risk of skin burning and developing skin cancer. Hence, the minimum SPF of 30 is better. 93% is high but that 7% oh boy I don't want to mess with it and you shouldn't either. Stick with SPF of 30 at a minimum and even high such as SPF of 50 if you are fair skin or spend lots of time in the sun.

Take the Quiz and make sure you are using the best sunscreen for your skin and lifestyle.
http://www.totalbeauty.com/content/quizzes/q_sunscreen

When you are done with the quiz, come back and share your results.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

RIP Michael and Farrah

May They Rest In Peace...

I can't believe both Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett are both dead. I can't believe it. I don't know what to say. I had been having this feeling like someone famous would die soon over the past few days but didn't think it would be Michael Jackson. Of course, he's not immortal and his health failing is probably due to some of the horrible things he's done to his body...but still. I feel for the Jackson family. I just hope both he and Farrah got to know Jesus Christ as their Savior before they breathed their last...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Dead Sea Products

Dead Sea Products are not new on the market. However, when determining what Dead Sea products to buy to care for your skin, it's important to know the ingredients of the products...especially the so called inactive ingredients. The reason being that certain ingredients used within many skin care products can actually promote premature wrinkling of the skin, which is exactly what Dead Sea products is supposed to help combat. A most common ingredient used in many skin care products that you should definitely make sure is not in your Dead Sea products is parabens (listed as methylparaben, butylparaben, benzylparaben and anything ending in paraben).

It's been discovered that parabens can mimic the estrogen hormone which can cause various types of breast cancer to develop. Parabens have also been linked to dermatitis and premature skin wrinkling. No, you don't want this ingredient in your Dead Sea skin care products or any product for that matter.

You should also educate yourself about the Dead Sea and why Dead Sea products are beneficial for your skin. Here are just a few reasons why you should use Dead Sea skin care products:
  • Dead Sea minerals help to balance and maintain moisture levels in your skin
  • Can effectively treat skin allergies such as eczema and psoriasis
  • Promotes skin healing and healing of the tissues of the skin
  • Helps heal acne skin conditions
  • Brings new life to dull washed out looking skin
The benefits of using Dead Sea skin care products are numerous. Blended Naturals has several skin care products formulated with Dead Sea minerals that help to accomplish the many benefits including (click on the individual products for more detail):

Monday, June 22, 2009

Rocking Jewel Toned Eyeliner

Ok this isn't one of my normal posts (or maybe it shall be or will become!) but just had to share, especially with those who have the same or close to the same complexion as mine.

I took a quiz on TotalBeauty.com to find out my best eyeliner colors and how to wear them. Here are my results:

"Your best jewel tones: Any vibrant jewel tone you like. (woo hoo!)
Complexions like yours have carte blanche to experiment with any jewel tone. MAC West Coast director of makeup artistry Gregory Arlt recommends staying away from reds and magentas, which can make you look a little sick. "If you must try them, mix them with black or use a gradation of color," he says." (no worries here. I knew this one. Red is way too out there for me. I love my bronzes, golds, and turquoise blue...yeeah baby!)

Pro secret: "The darker the complexion, the more you start to really see the jewel tone," says Arlt. To get rich, true color that won't transfer to lids, opt for waterproof pencils with medium softness. (now this is what I'm talking about - Remember the Kohl Eyeliner by L'Oreal Paris? Well, it doesn't say it's waterproof on the bottle but it appears to be and is the perfect eyeliner in my opinion. It could be a little softer though)

Take the Quiz here to find out your best eyeliner colors: http://www.totalbeauty.com/content/quizzes/q_jewel_tone

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Diva Day - A Girl's Day of Fabulous Fun

On Friday I had the pleasure of attending an exclusive diva event: "LIGHTS! CAMERA!...I DO WANT TO BE FABULOUS, DIVA DAY OF FUN" at the Spark Center in New York City. While this event was all about getting your divaness on, the proceeds benefited the Beauties On The Go Teen L.U.V.E Program.

I wanted to write you about my experience at the event when I got home on Friday evening but I felt awful. Allergies were kicking me in the pants and then I developed a fever and pinched nerve in my neck. So much for my divaness! Even today I don't feel so good. However, I didn't want to lose my flow or forget to share this diva event.

I met some interesting, fun, talented, goal oriented, fantastic divas and received some useful beauty information that I'd like to share. However, before I do let me say that while the event didn't turn out the way it was planned for us vendors, it was a lot of fun.

So what did the Girls Day of Being Fun and Fabulous entail? Well, there were some fantastic beauty enforcers there and they performed mini- makeovers and in my case a miracle makeover!

  • Make-Up by Artis Di Faccia
  • Eyebrows by Elke Von Freudenberg, Eyebrow Specialist (She is a real prize. Can you believe she donated her time and talent for no cost? - Serious classy lady who can fix ANY eyebrow. Here's a great tip she gave me: "To get your eyebrows to grow in, scrub them with a medium-course sugar scrub to stimulate the hair follicles. Do this 2-3x weekly. Now see, normally when us ladies apply our exfoliant, we usually avoid the eye and eyebrow area. Well, if you have a brow that just refuses to grow in after being botched up by one of the so called eyebrow archers at the nail salons (you know what I'm talking about), try this method. I'm certainly going to since I have one eyebrow that has a thin spot that hasn't filled in for years thanks to the...nevermind. It certainly can't hurt to try it.
    "Your eyebrows should be as fashionable as you are!" Elke
  • Photography by Michelle (this lady can make the ugliest woman look appealing in a picture). Michelle's tip: "Smile with your eyes for a more appealing photo." I tend to over smile in most of my pics. Also, "Lighting is Everything." I will share Michelle's beautiful work once I get the photos.
  • A group of vendors (including yours truly) offering the most gorgeous jewelry I've ever seen seriously (Stella and Dot and Finishing Touches Accessories), very sexy personal items (can you say tickle me pink?) Visit Diana at the Booty Parlor or Carline at Wicked Pleasure Passion Parties if you want to pick up a little sumethin' sumethin' to make your husband go wild! You can even book a sexy shopping party from one of these sexy party consultants!
  • A lady from Primerica was also at the event. Her services could be a great asset, especially during this time of economic stability. Miss Lady if you read this blog, contact me so I can give you a proper shout out!
In addition to the events, we were served an assortment of hors d'oeuvres (cheese, fruit, muffins and other snacks) from Whole Foods. Unfortunately, the original caterer got stuck in a 5 car pile up accident. No worries, they weren't hurt but the traffic (surprise...NYC) was horrendous so a last minute plan B was kicked into effect. While it was not expected, I will say that while Whole Foods is ridiculously overpriced, their cheese is amazing. Or maybe I was just hungry? Nah, it was really good.

All in all, while the diva event didn't go exactly as planned and the turn out was slim, it was a lot of fun. For those ladies that were a no show (can you believe women wouldn't show after paying their money?), their loss. At a mere $30, the services offered at this event were a steal. So, for those of you in the New York area, check back on my blog regularly. An upcoming diva event offered by Alba's Exclusive Events is currently in the works, Purses & Hi-Heels: Networking in Style"
It's Never Too Late To Be A Diva!
Michelle

Thursday, June 18, 2009

New Coppertone NutraShield

Coppertone has a new sunscreen lotion called NutraShield. I wanted to pass along some information on this new sunscreen lotion since I have been looking at various sunscreens along with their ability to really provide protection from UVA and UVB rays.

Schering-Plough boasts the Coppertone NutraShield as their best sunscreen lotion as it has a dual defense: powerful sunscreen protection PLUS Antioxidant protection to help promote natural skin repair.

Coppertone also gives a 100% guarantee for photostability which is the ability of a sunscreen ingredient to maintain its protective power and not break down during exposure to UV rays.

You can pick up a coupon for $5 off of the new Coppertone NutraShield at www.coppertone.com. Brooke Shields is the spokesperson and her skin actually looks phenomenal. I can't wait to try this product. It's been a bit rainy with little sun in NY lately but summer is coming and I will be using this product.

Here are some of Coppertone's Smart Sunscreen Use along with some of my own commentary:
  • Apply sunscreen before you are exposed to the sun.

  • Don't skimp on application. Use it liberally and apply it evenly over all your exposed skin to ensure complete coverage. Reapply as needed. (My suggestion: every 2 hours)

  • Don't overlook spots like your ears, neck, shoulders and the back of your neck. They need sunscreen too. So does your scalp if you have thin or thinning hair.

  • The higher the SPF, the greater the protection. We recommend using a sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher whenever you'll be outdoors. (I recommend a minimum of SPF 30 - especially for lighter skin. Our ozone layer has been depleting for years, extra protection can't hurt and is actually necessary)

  • Select sunscreens that can keep up with kids. Because children can spend hours playing in the sun and surf, they have specific sun care needs. Use waterproof sunscreens with SPF 30 or higher (so kids should start at SPF 30 but not adults? umm I think not. We all need to start with a broad spectrum sunscreen beginning with SPF 30) Keep babies under six months of age out of the sun and consult a doctor before applying sunscreen.
Whatever sunscreen lotion you use, make sure it has UVA and UVB protection with an SPF of 30 and above. I'm going to pick up my Coppertone NutraShield soon....but not until I get my $5 off coupon!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

New Chapstick True Shimmer

ChapStick has come out with a new True Shimmer lip balm in a variety of flavors which I have been trying for the last week or so as part of TotalBeauty's product evaluation program. I've used 4 flavors:

Blended Fruit Sherbert
Peppermint Rush
Tropical
Botanical Berry

I always like to begin every product evaluation with the positives because I prefer to operate from the saying, "See the glass half full, not half empty... or something like that!"

There are a couple of things I like about this product. Like I mentioned in one of my other reviews, I look for usability, likability and staying power (and ingredients). Well, I not only like the flavors of the ChapStick True Shimmer lip balm, I love that it tastes really good! The flavors are sooo good and this new version of ChapStick provides long lasting moisture for the lips and it's not real geasy. I'd also like to not that the product packaging is very attractive - not upscale but down to earth and friendly looking.

There are TWO things I don't like about this product. One is that the shimmery effect actually makes my lips appear a little ashy. I believe the reason is my complexion which is a bit of a bummer as I believe products should be constructed to accommodate all skin tones. If you have a lighter skin tone you won't have this problem. The second and most important reason for me is that this product contains parabens and paraffin which are ingredients I like to avoid due to the potential for them to cause health problems after prolonged use. The ingredient list states that there are only 1% of parabens in the product but I prefer to use products with 0% of it. Therefore, I won't continue use of this product. However, some people don't care if their skin care products contain these ingredients. To each his own.

So my suggestion for wearing the ChapStick True Shimmer if you don't mind the ingredients is:

For Medium to Darker Skin: Apply ChapStick True Shimmer under lipstick for extra moisture

For Lighter Skin: Apply as recommended above or wear alone for a nice subtle shimmer.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Avon's Spa Finder

I recently purchased Avon's SpaFinder Facial Cleansing System and I have to say that this little product is quite handy and effective. It comes with a facial brush for gentle exfoliation, a massage head for gentle massaging and a sponge buffer for gentle polishing.

So what is polishing the face for?

I was wondering the same thing myself so I did a little research and discovered that exfoliation can be accomplished with scrubs or polishes. The exfoliation process is to remove dead skin cells that are sitting on the surface of your skin.

Scrubs are exfoliants that typically contain particles a little larger in size (ex: sugar scrub) while polishes (ex: contains ingredients such as orange peel or strawberry seeds) are a little smoother and less harsh on sensitive skin. Both products are effective and it's really a matter of how sensitive your skin is. I have sensitive skin but I use a brown sugar scrub which doesn't irritate at all. That could also be because it's combined with Kaolin clay, Shea Butter and Olive Oil which melt the granules into the skin which condition the skin and form a smooth decongesting mask.

So back to Avon's SpaFinder Facial Cleansing System....This is a convenient and effective product for those who do not have a lot of money but want a some type of spa treatment experience. At just $9.99 (currently on sale), you can complete your skin care treatments with less effort and in less time. You also won't have to messy up your hands so this is a good deal.

The only issue I have with the SpaFinder is with the brush attachment. While it is very gentle, it is a little flimsy but hey it's only $9.99 and still a good buy. Plus it's not that big a deal if you take care of your belongings. This shouldn't be too difficult as it comes with the nice case shown in the photo.

If you are interested in the SpaFinder System, you can get it on avon's website at:

US: AVON.com
Canada: AVON.ca

If you are looking for a more upscale facial system, then you may be pleased with the Clarisonic Skin Care System. It's $195 but check out the features and benefits:


Benefits
  • Pampers skin with instant softness, with just 1 minute
  • Clears pores of environmental toxins, makeup and bacteria ~ without abrasion or harsh chemicals
  • Clinically shown to remove more than 6x the amount of makeup
  • Increases absorption of moisturizers more than 60%
Features
  • Rechargeable
  • Waterproof
  • Cordless
  • Adjustable power levels for different skin types
  • Built in Charger
  • Used by leading dermatologists, cosmetic surgeons and Spas
CLARISONIC Skin Care Brush Limited Edition Pink, Breast Cancer Awareness + 2 oz Cleanser

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Exclusive Online Shopping Deals

Take Advantage of Exclusive Unadvertised Special Deals
1 week only

Tomorrow begins the start of Online Shopping Mall's Mall Crawl.

Visitors at the mall will shop EXCLUSIVE UNADVERTISED SALES for a limited time only. This is the perfect event for deal seekers, craft & artisan lovers and lovers of one-of-a-kind unique products.

The Mall Crawl starts Friday June 12th and ends Friday June 19th.
Access The Online Mall Here

Here’s just a sampling of the types of stores you’ll find at the mall:

Baby & Children Items
Jewelry
Accessories
Gift Boutiques
Health, Beauty & Wellness
Arts & Crafts
Home D├ęcor
Food & Drink
Kitchen & Bath
Cookware
Bridal & Wedding
More!
Don't miss out on these LIMITED TIME DISCOUNTS.

See you at the Mall & Happy Shopping!
http://onlineshoppingmall.ning.com/

L'Oreal Paris High Intensity Pigments - My 50 Cents

A couple of days ago, I mentioned that I received a generous supply of L'Oreal Paris' NEW High Intensity Pigments Presso Lip Gloss in 4 shades and Kohl Eyeliner in Navy and Gold (pictured to your left).

I am ready to give my 50 cents on these two products now but before I do, I'd like to share the criteria I use to evaluate just about any beauty product. Aside for a product's particular features such as ingredients and package design, I use real practical evaluators to help me decide if a product is a "No" or a "Go." Those evaluators would be:
  1. Ease of Usability
  2. Likability and
  3. Staying Power

Ease of Usability:

The Presso Lip Gloss is easy to use but the applicator tube is a bit messy after dispensing the two colors. Sure, the gloss glides on easily enough but when mixing the two colors, I notice I have to wipe the applicator tip off after each use, which I never had to do with my other glosses. The one difference I notice between my other lip gloss applicator and the Presso Lip Gloss' applicator is the slope of the tip. My suggestion to L'Oreal would be to maybe lengthen the applicator tip a bit. Perhaps, that will make the application less messy.

The Kohl Eyeliner is so easy to apply, I couldn't believe how easy. I usually have to line my eye more than once to get a dark enough line to my liking. The Kohl Eyeliner is probably one of the best liners I've ever used, better than your average liquid liner. My only usability critique is that the applicator tip could be softer. If you're like me and apply your eyeliner to the inner rim of the bottom lid, then you could appreciate what I mean.

Likability

While the Presso lip gloss appears in pretty bright shades in the tube, it doesn't deliver a satisfying amount of color. It may be because I have darker skin but even still. I've used other glosses in similar colors that delivered a much deeper color to my lips. What I can appreciate about the gloss is while it doesn't deliver much color, it does offer a nice shimmery look and it doesn't have that waxy taste that some lip glosses possess.

The Kohl Eyeliner is absolutely gorgeous against my brown skin. It gives a beautiful gold shimmery tone in one fell swoop. No negatives for likability here.

Staying Power

The Kohl Eyeliner gets an "A" for staying power. I tend to rub my eyes during the day (working on the computer all day) but the eye liner is still holding on by end of day. As far as the Presso Lip Gloss, I don't know of any lip gloss that stays on all day. I mean after all, you do have to eat right? It does however last between meals so it gets an "A-" from me.

I have an overall postive opinion of both the Presso Lip Gloss and the Kohl Eyeliner. I would rate the Lip Gloss a 7.5/10 and the Eye Liner a 9/10.

I realize others my have a different opinion of these products but I have to say that if nothing else, you HAVE to get the gold Kohl Eyeliner! I didn't even think I would like how this eye liner would look on me but I am really feeling it.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Father's Day Gifts!

I wanted to share some Really Nice Father's Day Gift Baskets I came across at Gourmet Gift Baskets. Each Gourmet Gift Basked is FILLED to the Brim with TONS of items any dad would Love! Click On The Images for More Detail:





Enjoy,
Michelle

Sunday, June 7, 2009

L'Oreal Paris NEW HIP line and Gorgeous Lashes

Summer is coming and I know you want to look your best. I know I sure do! I'm getting inspired too!

As a blogger for TotalBeauty, I will be reviewing some of L'Oreal Paris' NEW HIP make-up products. HIP stands for High Intensity Pigments. I currently have in my possession HIP Color Presso Lip Gloss in 4 fun shades and Kohl Eyeliner in two colors: Navy and Gold. So far, I love what I am seeing. In a couple of weeks after I've had the opportunity to test out the products, I'll share my opinion of them and if it's a go or a no!

Anyway, I did want to give you this tip for gorgeous lashes which I discovered recently from SELF magazine. "Curl lashes, then sweep a coat of dark-brown mascara from root to ends. Chocolate hues are more natural then jet black, especially if you've got blonde or red hair." This is obviously the "IN" thing for eyelash and eye liner make-up since all the major cosmetics companies are pumpin' promo for their products in deep hues. So, leave the traditional black liner and mascara alone for a bit and give yourself more natural, gorgeous lashes look this summer!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

ATTENTION: Vendor Party This Evening

Interested In Finding Some New & Interesting Items to Purchase For Yourself, Someone Else or Your Home?

Then, this evening is one you DO NOT want to miss! Between the hours of 6pm and 9pm EDT, please meet me and a host of other vendores from the Online Shopping Mall at a Special, Invite Only Vendor Party. There you will have the opportunity to receive Exclusive discounts from the vendors as a Special Thank You for joining the party! http://onlineshoppingmall.ning.com/page/mall-chat

Here are the party presenters for this evening:

6pm It Works!

6:30 pm Beaded Jewels

7:00 pm Gold Canyon Candles

7:30 pm Tastefully Simple

8:00 pm Reviyve Blended Naturals Handcrafted Body Products

8:30 pm Votre Vu - All Natural French Skin, Hair and Body

Join The Party Here: http://onlineshoppingmall.ning.com/page/mall-chat

Hope to See you There!
Michelle

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

What Ingredients Make Sunscreen Effective?

Last week MSNBC exposed a number of big sunscreen manufacturers and revealed that their sunscreen products may not be as effective as they claim. That doesn't mean you should go without sunscreen when going into the sun. Sunscreen is effective when the appropriate ingredients are present and it is re-applied every couple of hours if exposure to the sun is prolonged.

It's important to understand the difference between UVA and UVB rays when looking at a sunscreen to purchase. UVA rays can cause skin cancer, premature aging of the skin, age spots and loss of skin elasticity. UVB rays can cause skin cancer and sunburn. Therefore, you need to protect yourself from both harmful UVA and UVB rays.

Here are the ingredients (as approved by the US Food and Drug Administration) that make sunscreen effective:

Protection from UVA Rays:
  • Avobenzone
  • Ecamsule (Mexoryl SX)
  • Mexoryl XL
  • Oxybenzone and Dyoxybenzone (both also protect against UVB Rays)
  • Titanium dioxide and Micronized zinc oxide (both also protect against UVB Rays)
Protection from UVB Rays:
  • P-aminobenzoic acid (PABA), Octinoxate, Ensulizole acid, Padimate O, Trolamine Salycilate
NOTE: For full protection for both UVA and UVB, the sunscreen ingredients need to protect in wavelengths (UVA and UVB) from 290 to 400 nm (wavelength protection).

Also note that sunscreen is not 100% effective. You still limit your time in the sun to no more than a couple of hours at a time. On vacation and want to just soak up the sun? Think again. Take a break every few hours
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