Thursday, December 13, 2012

Obsessed with my BCBG "Faux Leather" Leggings

If you haven't bought a pair of "Faux Leather" or "Vegan Leather" leggings for the holiday season, you must run out and buy a pair. Many stores are carrying them at a variety of different price points including Zara, H&M, BCBG and Michael Kors (on sale). I bought mine in the BCBG section of Lord & Taylor for about $150. At first, I thought, "When I am really going to wear these?" But as I went on the search for tops,  I found two cute options. I styled both options with pearls because I just love the conservativeness (is that a word?) of the pearls with the edgy-rocker style of the "faux leather" leggings.

What are you wearing this holiday season?

I hope it's Merry!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Victoria's Secret Inspired Hair (Classic Curls)

I get asked many times how to create a "Victoria's Secret" inspired hairstyle. So, I created a hair tutorial on how to get a similar look with classic curls. Depending on your hair type, length and texture, you may get a slightly different result, but I think curls look great on everyone. It's the perfect hairstyle for the upcoming holiday season. Go ahead and give it a try.

The products I used in this tutorial:

-It's a Ten Miracle Leave In Product
-Morrocan Oil
-Cibu Ancient Serum
-Redken Quick Dry 18 Hair Spray
-FHI 1.5 inch Curling Iron

Good Luck!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

My Review of the Somme Institute Products

A few months ago, a PR Representative from the Somme Institute contacted me about reviewing their skincare products. As with most companies who have contacted me, I was a bit skeptical because I had never heard of this company. I asked if they had any specific requests of me before I agreed to accept their products. The PR Rep said they “wanted me to try their products and experience the results” for myself.

On July 19, 2012, I was gifted the package from the Somme Institute. I immediately tore open the box and was impressed by the contents of the package. I received a lot of literature describing the technology behind the products, case studies and the following products that are part of their 5-Step Regimen:

Step 1: Nourishing Cleanser
Step 2: Transport
Step 3: Serum
Step 4: A-Bomb
Step 5: Double Defense SPF 30
(This is also the order in which it is recommended to use the products. The Double Defense is only to be used in the morning.)

Note about my Skin: I am over 40 years old with very sensitive skin. In the summer, my skin is combination with some oil in the T-zone; and in the winter, it’s a little dry. I tested this 5-Step Regimen for 2.5 months and was very impressed with the results.

Below, I will let you know how the company describes each product and what my thoughts are on each one. Then, I will tell you my overall thoughts about this line.

Step 1: Nourishing Cleanser 8oz ($40)

What is it? A non-foaming, non-comedogenic, non-drying gel cleanser containing Molecular Dispersion Technology 5 (MDT5™), a patented technology of highly engineered vitamins A B3 B5 C & E designed to deep clean the skin while leaving it feeling soft and refreshed.

Who is it for? All skin types & most skin conditions.

A non-foaming gel to cleanse and treat the skin without drying.

My Thoughts:
I think of this mild, gentle, cleanser as more of a cream than a gel-based cleanser. It reminds me of the Cetaphil Cleanser with its texture and non-foaming action. I used this cleanser with my Clarisonic and it worked well to clean my skin without any irritation.

Step 2: Transport 50 pads ($58)

What is it? Saturated soft cotton pads with Molecular Dispersion Technology 5 (MDT5™), and AHA to gently exfoliate dead cells on the skin's surface.

Saturated cotton pads:
- Gently exfoliates with AHA and treats with MDT5™
- Promotes resiliency, hydration and cell renewal

Positive Side Effects:
Some dryness, excess oilyness or blemsihes might occur. It is a good sign. DO NOT STOP treatment. The skin detoxifies and purges itself by unclogging the pores. A slight tingling sensation is normal. For sensitive skin, squeeze excess liquid from the Transport pad for the first few days to see how skin reacts.

My Thoughts:
The first time I used this product, I definitely felt more than a “slight tingling sensation”, it was almost to the point of a light sting. Since I have sensitive skin, I scaled back and used this product only at night until my skin got used to it, which took about 2-3 weeks. With all of that said, this quickly became my favorite product in the regimen because it left my skin feeling clean and refreshed. I think this product has definitely contributed to my even skin tone and smooth texture.

Tip: I ran out of these pads before I ran out of anything else in the line. You can cut the pads in half to extend the use of this product.

Step 3: Serum 1 oz ($82)

What is it? The advanced technology in Somme Institute®'s Serum combines Vitamin C along with a high concentration of Molecular Dispersion Technology 5 (MDT5™). Serum helps reduce the visible signs of premature aging, smoothes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and evens skin tone.

A highly concentrated and stabilized Vitamin C gel:
- Improves skin elasticity
- Evens skin tone
- Softens skin and builds collagen
- Eliminates redness associated with acne

My Thoughts:
First let me say that one pump definitely covers my face and neck, which is nice because it is an expensive product. A few of the serums that I have tried in the past have actually dried on my skin leaving it sticky and dry. This serum does not do that; in fact, it left my skin feeling hydrated and moisturized.

Step 4: A-Bomb 1.5 oz ($70)

What is it? A-Bomb is a lightweight cream containing Molecular Dispersion Technology 5 (MDT5™) and a high concentration of Vitamins A & E. A-Bomb helps soften the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while targeting poor skin texture and dry skin. It calms and soothes the skin while promoting its vitality and firmness.

A light-weight moisturizing cream:
- High concentration of advanced forms of Vitamins A & E
- Quickly and easily absorbed
- Speeds cell renewal to reveal flawless skin
- Visibly reduces fine lines and wrinkles
- Helps to treat and prevent acne

My Thoughts:
A-Bomb comes in a jar so you either need to use a little spoon or have clean hands when you apply it. The consistency of this product is very different from anything else I have ever tried. Its texture is similar to that of pudding. Yes, I said pudding and for me, it even smelled sweet like maple syrup, but not overwhelming at all. Of all the products in the line, I originally had doubts about this one because of its texture. I thought how is this going to absorb into my skin? It did and I was very happy with the results. Some creams and lotions make my face look very oily in the morning. This did not; it left my skin feeling hydrated and smooth to the touch.

Note: I am anxious to see if this product provides enough hydration for me in the winter. I tested these products for 2.5 months in the summer when my skin didn't need as much hydration as it does during the winter months.

Step 5: Double Defense SPF 30 3.8 fl oz ($48)

What is it? Double Defense with SPF 30+ and Parsol 1789 is a light-weight moisturizing lotion. Double Defense protects the skin from premature aging while locking in vital moisture.

Moisturizing sun protection:
- Protects from the sun with SPF 30+
- Perfect for the whole body

My Thoughts:
This is definitely a lightweight sunscreen with absolutely no smell. This is probably my least favorite product in the line because it didn’t stay on my skin. I am a tennis player and I look for sunscreens that have long staying power and this one did not. I did not end up using this every day as directed.

My Overall Thoughts on this line:
I am really impressed with this line of products. For the past two and half months, my skin has a smoother texture, a more-even tone, less reddness and just an overall glow that I didn’t have prior to using the products. I did not experience any breakouts or rashes due to using any of these products, which is great because I have sensitive skin. I even had three different people tell me that my skin looked “healthy”, “great” and had a “glow to it”.

The packaging is very basic with a simple design, and each product is marked with a large colored dot on the front of the bottle/jar. With the exception of A-Bomb (which has a sweet, maple syrup type smell), these products have little to no smell, which is nice if you are sensitive to fragrances in products.

These products can be found in luxury spas like Mandarin Oriental, Nordstrom Spas and online, through the Somme Institute website, and online retailers like, and more.

Knowing that these products are expensive, if you can afford one product in the line, I would definitely try the Transport Pads. If you can afford 3 products, definitely go with the Transport, Serum, and A-Bomb. These products are formulated for all skin types. If you try these products, I would love to know what you think.

Monday, August 13, 2012

A New Video Series - Products: Repurchase or Not?

The beautiful ad caught your attention in the magazine, you run out to the nearest store and purchase your newly found product. You open it in the car, and can't wait to try it when you arrive home....UGH - it's a dud! It doesn't do what it says it will do, or wasn't the color you thought it would be. Or maybe, you lucked out and found yourself a new "Holy Grail" beauty item. With so many products on the market, I decided to start a video series on whether or not I would repurchase certain beauty items. Think of it as a mini-review on a variety of products.

Here are the products I talk about in the first video of this series:

Clinique Even Better Dark Spot Corrector
Fekkai Brilliant Glossing Olive Oil Shampoo & Conditioner
Hair Rules Daily Cleansing Cream Moisturizing No Suds Shampoo
Garnier Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector BB Cream (light/medium)
Mac Strobe Liquid Lotion

As with any product, some people will love it and some will hate it. It just depends on your skin type, hair type, coloring, etc. If you have tried any of these products, I would love to hear your thoughts on them, too.