Meg here! Social media is here and here to stay (LIKE). You can try to "go off the grid." When I do, it means I left my iphone in the kitchen while I slept in the bedroom. I'm the type of person that would probably last an entire 15 minutes in The Witness Protection Program. Facebook Status Update "Can't believe the FBI put me in Birmingham. Any fun places to go out?"
By the way, if you need a Social Media expert, check out my buddy Jen Mathews who runs a great firm Top Tier Media. She dreams in #hashtag.
I spend more time than I care to admit scrolling about the newsfeed and I always am intrigued by the postings on Margarita Bloom. When someone tells you to"Eat Diamonds For Breakfast So You Sparkle All Day." You know already they're giving you sound advice.
With my expert sleuthing skills (It was really difficult :) I was able to find out Margarita Bloom is a luxurious world of retro bath and skin care. It is really hard to go on this adorable site and find a collection that doesn't "speak" to your inner pin-up. Categories like "Hollywoodland" all the way to "The Bakery" make it more like an enjoyable peep show than an e-commerce experience! Let's be honest, I get sent just about every beauty product that comes out. Me buying a beauty product is like an Eskimo buying ice, a China man buying tea, a Kardashian acting authentic. Yet, I couldn't stop myself. I pictured Miss Margarita Bloom next to her surely claw-footed tub (most likely under a chandelier or next to a candlelabra) sipping champagna and whipping these potions just for me! In case you were wondering, I also had her dressed in a fluffy pink robe with marabou and crystaled, high heeled slippers.
Maybe, if I placed an order she would invite me over for caviar crepes the following Sunday?
Without further ado, I placed several orders!
In no time at all, a lovingly wrapped packaged came to me with a beautiful note and inside were items so pretty I didn't want to use them. It felt like using the hand towels in the guest bathroom. Then I remembered I didn't have a guest bathroom...
Margarita Bloom did not dissapoint. The inside of the products felt as good as the outside labels suggested. Just today I used my Malibu Body Oil (LOVE.) The Irish Catholic in e felt guilty about enjoying all of these wonderful items for myself. That's another plus about this company. The WOW! Factor for gifts. These are not some body items that you can pick up at your local Bath & BodyWorks. They really look like someone put actual time and care and LOVE into each item-because Miss Margarita Bloom did!
I was so excited with my Facebook find! Some other women I have gotten to know over Facebook (I'm a sucker for a funny post) also run wonderful sites. I'm adding them here because I know you all love to click as much as I do! They know all things BEAUTY! Here (in absolutely no order) are the women that inspire me! I'm sure you've heard of them but if you havent-I'll send you my address foe where you can mail my "thank you" card off to!
What beauty products has the interwebs lead you to that you would not have heard about before? Let me know what I'm missing!
Stacy B here! Despite the fact that I'm a suburban mom (ugh, that even sounds depressing), I am far more city than country. My husband and I have this dream of retiring - independently weathly of course - to a brownstone in Boston with a doorman, a personal shopper and a heated garage for the winter. And maybe a little beach condo somewhere warm for winter getaways.
I have no desire to live off the land, or retire to some field somewhere where I can feed birds out back or listen to the crickets while I churn butter or whatever. Bugs are gross, butter isn't all that good for you and peace and quiet make me restless. If that's your thing, then good for you, enjoy it! But, give me city lights, shops within walking distance, excitement and entertainment and good food....made to order and served to me on demand. I like more excitement and action and feel more comfortable when there are lots of options, things to do, things to talk about, things to explore. I don't even like country music or cute, farm-y decor. So, I was really suprised when my mom introduced me to a product made by hand from the backwoods of Maine and I fell totally in love.
I'm taking a break from my normal drugstore product because you can't get this stuff in a drugstore. In fact there are only about 10 stores on the East Coast that sell this brand, so you're better off ordering on line. This place started out with jams, jellies and other country-esque gifts and recently branched out into things like body lotions, cleaning supplies, cookware and gift soaps, all natural, of course.
My parents (who are a little more into this stuff than I am) always grabbed some of their jams and jellies whenever they were up near our vacation home in New Hampshire (which I don't go to very often, way too remote!!) The Red Pepper Jelly is a favorite, and so is the Apple Cranberry Chutney. I have no idea what chutney is, but it's great on a cracker. I never thought twice about this stuff until she came home with this amazing Grapefruit Thyme lotion.
This has saved me from grossly cracked and paper-cut-up hands this winter. This lotion is the perfect product to keep right by your sink so when you finish the dishes, you can slab some on and avoid dry and cracked skin and knuckles. It starts out really liquid and oily and when my mom insisted I try it, and practically poured it on me herself, I instantly said how slimy and wet it was and how it would never soak in. She just looked at me and said, 'just wait'. I did, and in less than 30 seconds, I was hooked. My skin was completely moisutrized, felt smooth, soft, silky and touchable. Every bit had soaked in. My mom just looked at me with that knowing motherly smile and said, "I know. I'll get you some next time we go to New Hampshire". Moms always know.
I kept stealing it every time I went over there until I finally got some under the Christmas tree and was so excited. Even my husband uses it a lot. The scent is very neutral, with the thyme offsetting the citrus of the grapefruit so it's not too girly for a guy to use. I really want to try the antibacterial gel from this line, and the soy candle, too. They have so many interesting sounding scents. The only drawback to limited stores, is you can't smell something online. But, the scent I have really does smell like a grapefruit with some thyme in it so I'd trust the title. And yes, I had to dig into my mom's spice cabinet to sniff some thyme to verify that.
This lotion is great and has gotten me through a long, cold winter! Now, one last bit of advice...I know this is a makeup site and sugar should only be in scrub form, but if you have some extra cash, get the Chocolate Peanut Butter Sauce for your next dessert. YUM. Any of you have some great, secret gems that aren't hugely known?
Well, isn't this wonderful! Thanks China. China has never been high on human rights issues so really, why would I think that animals would even stand a chance? Before we get to whats happening with your hard earned cosmetic dollars. Let's look at how the Chinese treat women, then we'll get to the treatment of animals and how, unknowingly, your cosmetic choices are supporting this behavior.
1. Wife Abuse is a "family matter." You think? Thanks genius. I thought that was implied with the term "wife." Once you add the word "beatings" I would imagine a third party would step in. However, I'm only a woman so what do I know?
In some parts of China, it is acceptable to beat your wife. If you want to leave? Well, good luck with that, there are zero shelters to go to.
2. Abduction and Trafficking of Women. Buy one and get a marriage license. Yes! Win, Win! Men that can provide a marriage license do not get prosecuted for abuse because, duh, they're your owner.
3. Have a baby girl? Poor you. China's practice allows urban dwellers one child. Guess how high a baby girl ranks? Yup, forget abortion. Just get rid of it. Even after it is born. The more industrious Chinese couple can make a quick buck. The going rate to foreigners for a Chinese baby girl? Less than a Chanel bag. If you have $3,000 you can have one.
I'm not hating on the residents. I'm hating on the government. I'm also thanking my lucky stars I was born in America. Knowing that they have such high regard for human life is, it any wonder there is zero regard for animal life? Suspend your disbelief, the cruelty that China shows animals is jaw dropping. So jaw dropping that no self respecting American company would tolerate it. No established, money making conglomerate, would knowingly be a part of this culture. A mentality where women's rights are questionable and animals are abused. Be ready to check your cosmetics bag because I have some bad news for you.
Courtesy of a new article on Take Part- Avon, Mary Kay and Estee Lauder have resumed testing on LIVE animals in China. Yup, I guess you go where the labor is cheap. Think about how many brands Estee Lauder carries? It's not just rats people, it's also dogs. Dogs and cats and bunnies that are put through torture to make sure your mascara chemicals wont irritate. Let's shoot it into the pupils of this strapped down beagle and see how he feels after two weeks. We'll then torture him some more with tests that we wouldn't perform on the most violent terrorist. Once he's no good to our cruel experiments we'll kill him. So much for man's best friend. Gives new meaning to "the price of beauty"
I'm going to ask you to pay a little bit more to not support this type of behavior. I'm going to really hurt my pocketbook but really help my karma. I, Megan O'Brien, of somewhat sound mind, refuses to write about, push or endorse ANY PRODUCT that tests on animals. You can only hurt these companies where it makes sense. You have to hurt their bottom line. That scream you just heard was from my accountant. It's probably going to go away in 5 minutes, unlike the puppy with acid on its head.
My favorite companies that actually respect life? The stand out items I completely stand behind? Well, here you go.
Suki This entire line is wonderful but if I had one Holy Grail it is the Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser. it's grainy so it has strong exfoliating power but it's not rough on delicate skin. It lathers up beautifully and the scent? The scent is absolutely delish! It's the freshest burst of lemons. As this scrub exfoliates it also nourishes. Once you hop out of the shower your skin will be refereshed and moisturized, not to mention smooth. It leaves my legs baby skin soft. The downside? You may have to hide it. I've had it in my shower and everytime I pick up the jar there is a lot less in there then I've last remembered. It seems as though I'm not the only fan in my house. Try it once and you will be addicted!
Michael Todd True Organics Welcome the new kids on the block! Made in the USA and ultra organic! These fabulous products have just hit the market and people are going crazy for them. Not just "people" but top beauty editors are raving. MTTO doesn't use cheap water filler in the line. The base is ultra soothing Aloe Vera Juice. They use all natural ingredients and unlike some other organic companies, they smell so yummy you'll be tempted to eath them!
There's 3 I can't live without. The Organic Lemon AHA + DMAE Toner doesn't just refresh my skin, it's a work horse (but not like literally because we're giving animals a break.) The Alpha Hydroxy Acid doesn't dry out my skin, but I feel it working. It's not a placebo effect, the overall tone of my face has evened out. I used to get a little red around the nose area, since I've been faithfully comitted to my toner, the redness has dissappeared. It's not just me that is raving over this item, everyone I know that has it is obsessed! Again, the scent is completely fabulous. The lemon is so yummy it's like dessert, but without calories. Yes, this is definitely dessert for your face.
The Charcoal Detox Deep Pore Cleanser Really absorbs oil! I have an oily T-zone but this deep pore cleanser has completely balanced me out. It's amazing. I have heart palpitations when I can't find it. It dispenses so creamy but once I start massaging it on my face, I feel some secret buffing beads! I don't know how they managed that but I'm not complaining! My pores look smaller and my blackheads how found their new, worst enemy. As if that wasn't enough, at the end of the day it removes every trace of my makeup! I love when a product has tons of uses and actually delivers on all of them-don't you?
Michael Todd True Organics Pearl and Silk Hydrating Mask is livening up my skin on its dryest days and every beauty editor is in awe! It smells clean and gentle, it's luxury wrapped up with silk protein and pearl powder. This mask is safe enough for the most sensitive skin. The mask itself is pure glamour once you pump. The creamy consistency of the product is only second to the look of it! An iridescent shimmer glows onto your skin as you apply the velvety smooth mask. All of us "oohed" and "awed" over the results. Our skin looked healthier and felt amazing. We all agreed, it was like we sent our face on the most relaxing spa vacation known to man. Nevermind that it was just us on the couch!
Juice Beauty Alicia Silverstone Purely Kissable Lip Color This collaboration came as a surprise to no one. Silverstone has long been extremely active in animal rights. Her cookbook The Kind Diet featured her vegan recipes and quickly became a bestseller. Juice Beauty has been green and earth conscious since they hit the shelves showing us that natural can work just as effective as harmful chemicals.
Vegan lipsticks can be tricky to pull off! Sometimes they leave your lips feeling more than a little dry! I am happy to report that is not the case here. The lipstick feels hydrating and Alicia was completely hands on in everything from the pale pink package to the color. "I like a natural looking lip." Silverstone told me, and she has created one with this subtle pink. It's most flattering, natural and sexy come hither bare! Not only is the color all hotness but the application is smooth. A staple. For anyone.
Classified Cosmetics Aero Mineral Hydrating Spray Foundation Creator Yolanda Halston lives in Malibu with her family and her horses. She's sweet, beautiful and probably a genius. The woman spits out patents in her sleep. Of course a lady like this is never going to test on animals. Why would she need to? I would gladly be her guinea pig. She invented spray on foundation.
(I LOVE BUFF) it's easy, it covers. It doesn't clog pores. The makeup artist on Twilight ordered 1,000 cans to be used on the cast. It's that amazing! I love that it also acts as a concealer. It's just about layers! I spray a little on my finger and apply under my eye. I tap it into place. Next step, a shake and spray. I like to do this while my hair is still wet and up in my towel turban. It is east and I don't get any foundation in my hairline that I have just sprayed .I just use a sponge (and in a pinch have used my fingers-that works just as well) and blend it. The whole process tkes 2 minutes and a can lasts a long time! Oh, did I mention it's at the drugstore for under $15.
Leonor Greyl For over 40 years Leonor Greyl has been practicing responsible and ethical business. This natural hair care line is anything but hippy. This is the Rolls Royce of haircare. Long established in Europe they are now making their presence known in the US. Once, just a secret for celebrities and VIP's, the word is getting out. The products are absolutely decadent, gorgeous and deliver amazing results!
The Reviviscence Shampoo is a celebrity cult fave. Never has such luxury been on my head. It is a favorite of those "in the know" the one time both Angie and Jen can agree. My lackluster locks look like a bazillion bucks! I guess that is what you would expect from an award winning shampoo. "The Reviviscence reconditons and restructures the most damaged hair, thus regaining strenght and vitality." My hair feels so soft and smooth, the products look amazing on your vanity and as my roomie said "I don't feel like I even need to use my flat iron anymore." Leonor Greyl has changed my relationship with my hair.
Not to be outdone is the amazing Leonor Greyl Lait Luminescence de-tangling styling product. My stylist has told me that the best way to keep my extensions tangle free was to put a braid in my hair before I go to sleep at night. I try but I forget to do it more than I actually do. After a night of restless sleep my hair looks like I've moved into a wind tunnel. Lait Luninescence has saved me. I've given this item to many of my beauty editor friends (all with different hair types) and they all agree. It is a hero product that really works amazing on every type of tress. It de-tangles and smoothes, it adds shine and it protects from UV Rays.
All of Leonor Greyl's products are phenom. There is a reason that those with every single option available keep taking this one.
Revitalash Another company (that I will not mention) competes with Revitalash. They also use awful practices and test on animals AND they love to sue (hence the no name mention) So, let me tell you that animal friendly Revitalash's formula WILL grow your lashes, their mascara is the blackest on the market and the brow and hair treatment works!
For those of you that do not know the back story on this amazing company, these products started as a complete labor of love. The company is founded by an ophthalmologist who's wife was suffering from breast cancer.Through her chemo she lost allof her hair. The Dr. noticed that the patients that he treated for glaucoma were returning to his office with long, thick lashes. He quickly figured out the glaucoma medication was causing this. He's no dummy, he quickly formulated a derivitive of the medication and handed it over to his wife. Weeks later her lashes returned. They returned longer and lusher than ever before. Revitalash was born! Not only are their products fabulous but they give away a ton of money! They have an entire page of their site devoted to showing all of the charities that they support and their philanthropy pictures!
Urban Decay This is like the movie "Sophie's Choice." I don't know how to chose ONE PRODUCT they're all absolutely fabulous! If you don't know this line-you are missing out! You also may be living under a rock (how exactly do you not know this line?)
My holy grails are two products I would die without! The Primer Potion keeps my shadow on all day. It's the 8th Wonder of the World! If you haven't tried it you are robbing yourself. You wont know how you ever lived without it. As you all know, I'm a traveling lady. I kid you not, I got up at 5am to catch a 7am cross country flight. I arrived in NYC around 3pm, got to my friends house, we had wine and went to dinner, after dinner we went out and stayed out until after 2am. I never had to reapply my eyeshadow. It was still on, perfectly in place. Without Urban Decay Primer Potion my shadow just seems to evaporate. Everyone needs this!
I'm also a stickler for eyeliner. If your eyeliner pulls or is dry it's going to cause under eye wrinkles. If it is too smooth it's going to smudge. I don't know how Urban Decay did it but they found the perfect balance with their Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil. I love how saturated the color is and how effortless the application. Like the Primer Potion, Urban Decay has perfected the liner's staying power! It is the best No smudge but ultimate staying power! 10 gazillion champagne flutes!
Napoleon Perdis is much too fabulous to even consider testing on animals. I have yet to try a Napoleon product that hasn't completely bowled me over. This line is fantastic and I reach for his items constantly. The two that I notice tend to go "missing" an awful lot?
The best pressed powder you will ever use? The one my roommates and friends always hide in their room? Camera Finish-it is just that. It will last you forever. It will be your new bestie, zero shine, complete coverage, reformulated and the package is stunning. It rocks my TV loving face! Napoleon has also incorporated anti-aging ingredients and three new shades.
I'm not normally a pressed powder type of girl. I've tried so many that just sort of sit in my creases but that's really not at all the case here. Camera Finish is undetectable.
Don't let me forget to spout off on the gloss that is my signature! Yup, the master makes my signature sexy nude pout "In The Flesh" as part of my favorite gloss collection of Luminous Lip Veils. I literally have an anxiety attack when I don't have one on me. Scented with sweet lychee, Napoleon describes it best whe he says "Sheer, glossy shine that is truly divine!" When I'm wanting something a little more pink I really love the shade "Sugar Plum" I'm actually a huge fan of all the shades that I've tried. Napoleon consistently gets it right!
LORAC Carol Shaw specifically told me this "LORAC does not conduct, condone, nor endorse testing on animals!" I love LORAC, again another company that makes it more than a little difficult to narrow down to two favorites. Oh, the things I do for you people!
My entire, Irish and fair skinned life I have been searching for the most amazing bronzer. The search is over! Celebrity makeup artist Carol Shaw. The owner of LORAC (her name backwards! Take that HARPO!) has made my pale life complete. Tantalized Baked Bronzer has made me sexy, sculpted and healthy looking. I absolutely adore that it can be worn not only on the face but also the body. And it is HUGE. I've had mine for YEARS. There is so much you could do yourself all up everyday like that tanning bed freak and still have tons left over. If you're in the market for a bronzer I really love how this applies and its versatility.
The only other obstacle that I have climbed in my makeup life is the perfect cat eye. The winged tip sexy do-me Angelina eye. No other product has allowed me achieve this. I found it with Lorac's Front Of The Line Pro liquid eyeliner. It instantly turns me into a makeup artist and gives me much needed control and guidance. Carol give's a tip to place your elbow on a flate sturdy surface and use short strokes, use the tip for a think point and the side of the pen to create a thicker line.
Trust me, this rocks. You need it
Tarte is a company that hasalways been on the cutting edge of natural, earth engineered products. Founder Maureen Kelly was on a mission 12 years ago to not only find products that didn't contain harmful ingredients but products that also looked cool. Just because she wanted natural didn't mean she wanted to sacrifice stlye! When she couldn't find what she was looking for she created it (love that).
I Love this line as an entire but if I were forced at gun point to pick two items! Well, I would turn red and blush (and then do other stuff) BUT Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush is the best blush on the market. The colors don't scream "clown" they scream healthy and natural. You, only better. It also really lasts. This is anoter item that will last you quite a while. I only apply blush to the apples of my cheeks so I have had this compact for quite a while. Amazonian Clay is great for the skin, it minimizes oil and restores skin clarity and texture. This blush rates really high amongst the beauty editor's as well. The color selection is also extensive so you can be as natural or as dramtic as you want. In short, all in all, its fab!
For a natural and nurturing lip color infusion where you just look like your born blessed may I suggest Tarte's Lipsurgence Lip Tint? These babies are always in my house. I absolutely love how nourishing they feel on my lips, in fact, with Tarte's clinical studies, their natural lip tint actually improves skin's moisture. Most beauty mavens are more than a little familiar with the iconic cheek stain and these yummy crayon like colors is its sister item. I always have one in my bag. They're versatile enough to also add a hint of cheek color love them!
I'm not saying that these are the only responsible companies on the market. There are a lot of them. These are just my picks for a perfect, cruelty free look. There are so many other options on where to spend your hard earned dollars. The only way the behavior is going to change is if we demand it (and stop funding it.)
What do you think of my picks? How strict are you about looking at cruelty free labels? What products do you absolutely love that I left off the list?
Meg here! It's a cool and crisp 50 degrees in NYC. This is where I've been for the past week. This is where I'm thinking the unthinkable, I have to stop running around the city in heels. I currently have really attractive band-aids on my scraped up knees. Last night I went for a cocktail at the gorgeous Mandarin Oriental Hotel overlooking Lincoln Center...In sneakers. It's come to this.
I love heels. Love them. I've also never had too much of a problem scooting around the city in them. It's just so strange, my feet and legs have decided to revolt. I've given up. I'm not putting them back on unless I'm doing direct car door to door service and knowing that I'll have a seat saved for me once I get where I'm going.
Last night was alright, after I had my cocktail I made my way over to the movie theater and got home without hitting the pavement once. My shoes? No they're no longer Prada, they're Puma.
My actual tootsies? They're still in recovery mode. At the beginning of the week, I shoved them into a pair of fabulous sky high boots to run through the streets. I'm pretty sure I've shifted bones in there at this point. My entire body is sore. It's with great pleasure I can review Heal My Sole!
Since I have been globe trotting this year, I have become an expert packer! No, not a light packer, but an "expert" one. I packed Heal My Sole's Yuzu Lotion. thinking "this may come in handy." Maybe I had a premonition my sole was going to be screaming for a cure?
I've been breaking out this bottle and it's been fabulous! The Yuzu scent is refreshing and gives a recharged feel. It's helping my tired and weary bones relax. It's like Heal My Sole was made custom, just for me! The good news is that they're also custom-just for you!
From luscious lotions to candles to bug spray, Heal My Sole is made naturally and by hand. There are popular blends that are their bestseller's, but you can create your very own!
My tired toes are looking a lot less beat up with my fabulous Yuzu lotion. I'm also happy to support products that are made as such a labor of love. This holiday season, I'm going to be buying from more small business owners. I've been finding some real gems.
Check out Heal My Sole and let me know what you think! I'm going to be off and running now, just not on 6 inches!
Stylemama here! I bet you ladies would be surprised at how often I think about you. You are a unique, intelligent, hilarious group of women. Words are powerful and yours really make their mark. In a nutshell, I'm grateful to Meg, the writers, and every single Meghead out there that brings truth and insight to Megsmakeup.com. I didn't want one more day to pass in 2010 without putting that out there.
On to the goods...
Sometimes the best things in life come in pairs or in this case come from LUSH. I'm excited to share two of my all time favorite, skin-loving, yummy-smelling bath products.
The first layer of YUM is a delightful massage bar aptly named Strawberry Feels Forever. Call me crazy, but I use it as a daily moisturizer. And, since I am a repeat title-holder for, Driest Skin On The Planet Lady, I can say with total confidence that this is the best defense, dare I say, cure for dry skin out there. Plus, it's all natural and filled to the brim with all the greatest ingredients. I'm talking about Shea and Cocoa Butters, Coconut and Bergamot Oils and of course fresh strawberries, just to name a few! According to LUSH, using this "Is like rolling in a field of strawberries without the sticky mess..." Yeah, that about covers it.
The trick is to use this heart shaped bar of heaven while you are still wet from your shower or bath (I know, not everyone has a bathtub, so lucky you, this is an equal opportunity bathing product.) To use, simply palm the heart shaped bar and gently rub it all over your entire body from the neck down. It's magnificent at soothing razor burn and calming irritants like KP. In fact, my winter skin looks like tropical summer skin, minus the fake tan. Trust me, you are going to want this delightful scent attached to every square inch of your hot bod, pits and all. Fear not, this strawberry isn't sickly sweet and doesn't smell like something out of a cartoon. It's pure and sweet all at the same time. Not that I have yet, but you can also use this in place of massage oil. This requires heating it prior to application. With Valentine's Day right around the corner, I'm sure you can let your imaginations wander, I bet there are lots of places you can come up with to generate some serious heat. ;)
The second layer of my heavenly concoction has even been featured in a past review, it's our beloved Silky Underwear Dusting Powder. (I know that got Sweetassgal's attention!) LUSH has perfected their dusting powder by making it smell incredible without sacrificing any moisturizing or traditional dusting powder qualities. It's made with things like Jasmine Absolute, Fair Trade Cocoa Butter, Vetivert Oil, and of course Corn Starch.
For practical purposes, I keep my powder in a larger container to address spillage and then apply it with a large powder make up brush. Because it's a dusting powder, it really does help combat perspiration. After all, sweat is pretty much a deal-breaker when it comes to staying sweetly scented. Like the massage bar, it's also great at keeping razor burn away. Somehow, something magical (probably chemical) happens when you dust this powder over a nice layer of Strawberry Feels Forever...
I'm completely hooked! Both products work effortlessly at achieving the same goal: soft, smooth, dry, deliciously scented skin! In fact, I'm so afraid of running out that I always order two at a time. Going without is not an option, neither is that nasty "out of stock" icon.
I'm guessing that by the time I'm through with you my "Strawberry Underwear" concoction will be a staple in your arsenal as well. Your dry skin will be a thing of the past and you'll smell so nice that even your dirty laundry will start getting compliments. Even better, "They" have finally asked that I relinquish my title as Driest Skin On The Planet Lady. Any takers?
Who else loves to layer their LUSH? What are your secret recipes?
Stylemama here! When I was 10 years old my dad had the coolest little Pygmy Goat. We called him B.A., short for Bad Attitude. B.A. was fearless, loving and rambunctious all at the same time. Our horses adored him. He also brought an element of peace to whatever animal he happened to be grazing near. But, if B.A. didn’t get enough attention, or if you didn’t rub him in just the right spot he would just head but you until you got the point. It was impressive; I’m considering trying the same technique the next time I don’t get my way. I hadn’t thought of B.A. in years, until the Shumway Family at Creamery Creek brought it all back with one bar of their Goat Milk Soap.
The Shumways have been raising goats for 25 years and have specialized in cold processed, handcrafted soaps for the past 12. Creamery Creek is a small independent company that was kind enough to send us 20 full size bars for us to try. Their generosity is much appreciated by the entire Megs Makeup Family.
Part of the secret to their success is straight forward, and steeped in methodical hard work, dedication and kindness. As it turns out, treating the goats with love, respect and affection, affects the production and quality of their milk. Milk with the most butter fat produces a superior soap. I was especially touched by the direct connection between kindness and quality.
Goat milk is an ideal main ingredient for making soap because it has a pH level that is closest to our own skin. This soap can be used by anyone, even those with sensitive skin and specific conditions like eczema. The Amino Acids and Vitamin A nourish, while the Lactic Acid helps with exfoliation. Creamery Creek makes Goat Milk Soap that is natural, cruelty-free, vegetarian, and environmentally friendly, and is filled with skin loving essential oils. What more can a girl ask for?
I received my bar in Moroccan Nights and I was immediately converted into a Goat Milk Soap junkie. It’s got a subtle spicy, chocolate scent that I would want for a day spent relaxing. I approached my first use with a simple idea. I chose to use it head to toe, without following up with a post-shower moisturizer. I wanted to see how clean, smooth and creamy my skin felt using nothing but their soap, smack in the middle of my very dry, High Desert, California winter. I was impressed. I didn’t experience any dryness or any other irritants. It also worked really well as a substitute for my regular shaving cream. They offer an impressive selection of scents, including non-scented. I can’t wait to try Apple Jack, Lemongrass, Pineapple Blossom, and Blueberry Scrub!
Most of us use soap every single day. Yes, I said most of us. I know, that you know, that I skip showers from time to time. Either way, that’s still a lot of soap and it’s a lot of product we are soaking into our body's largest organ, our skin. Sometimes it’s the simple changes that make the biggest difference. Before you know it you could end up making your own clothes out of hemp and converting to dread locks just to save on paraben free shampoo. Kidding! We all fall somewhere on the spectrum, right? At Meg’s Makeup there is plenty of room, love, and acceptance for every single one of us!
All you have to do is take one look at their pictures and you’ll fall in love with these little goats too!
Stylemama here! I have to admit, I get just as excited about package deliveries as Riley, my German Shepherd does. Picture this: The doorbell rings and my dog charges the front door, determined to break it down and get at the UPS man. All while I pretend to walk calmly towards that same door, holding my breath until I can get at my freshly delivered package. Secretly admitting that Riley is living in truth and I’m totally faking it.
This time, Meg sent the LORAC Croc Palette…… total proof that my neurotic reaction to the doorbell was completely justified. As soon as I opened it, I lost all restraint and used my pinky to swipe the beautiful shadows across my lids. You know it’s a great product when you can make your eyes pop with nothing more than the shadow and your little finger. It proved even more amazing after multiple uses and actual eye shadow brushes. Like many of us, on Thanksgiving I spent the entire day in and out of the kitchen, cooking, cleaning, eating, eating, eating, and my earthy smoky eyes held up throughout the entire day. No creasing, no melting and no disappearing. I was impressed, especially since I forgot to use a primer that morning. I’ve reached for this palette everyday since I got it. Whether you want a sexy smoky eye or a muted day look, you’ll get it. The combinations are endless and super easy to achieve. There are four shadows and one blush. Moonstone (soft champagne shimmer), Serenity (peachy champagne bronze shimmer), Garnet (bronze shimmer), and Suede (chocolate matte). The blush is called Soul, and it’s a slightly shimmered, burnished rose color, perfect for this time of year.
Every time I dip into this palette I think to myself, these are really well made. The colors are highly pigmented and look just as good in the beautiful mirrored faux croc palette as they do on your eyes. They blend so smoothly they almost remind me of a cream shadow. It’s the classic case of trying one thing from a line you’re not terribly familiar with and thinking to yourself, “OMG how do I not have one in every color?” The feeling gets even stronger after just a few minutes on the website. I’m talking about instructional videos you can actually follow and VIP discounts for up to 70% off! THAT is an amazing deal!
If you are anything like me, sometimes you like to emulate some of the looks that the A-List celebrities are wearing. When I see a really great lipstick on the Red Carpet I want to know who makes it, the exact shade and whether or not it’s the sheer or the matte formula. Is it too much to ask? Nope, and obviously LORAC creator Carol Shaw agrees. Just click on the “Behind the Scene” tab on her website you can check out the exact products and looks that she has created for her A-List celebrities clients, like Debra Messing and Jada Pinkett Smith. I’m impressed! I love that she’s sharing her wealth of knowledge with the rest of us. Shaw is known as the Red Carpet Authority, and it’s been quoted, “Whether you are walking the Red Carpet or walking the dog, LORAC makes you look and feel like a star.” She totally gets it!
I know I’m not the only one lusting after LORAC, who’s with me? Buy It Here!
Stylemama here! Did you know that studies show that a woman's appearance becomes more beautiful and alluring during times of ovulation? We also release a more desirable, come-hither pheromone during this phase of our cycle. Yep, it's true. It's all part of our Grand Design, something to do with hormones and the propagation of our species.
I think I've noticed this in my own cycle, have you? You know those days when you just look a little brighter, a little better without having changed anything in your beauty routine. I don't know about you but I don't like having to wait around for my cycle to produce that special natural glow. I'd much rather find a way to manufacture it on my own.... without looking manufactured of course!
Enter Classified Cosmetics affordable luxury line: Aero Minerale. I see it as affordable perfection from the Aerobrush experts. Meg sent me the Hydrating Mineral Shimmer in golden and it really surprised me. (Sometimes, I think she knows my beauty needs better than I do!) Because I have issues with texture and tone, shimmer has always been less friend, more foe. I normally only use it from the neck down, but not anymore!
For my first application, I followed the instructions and held the can ten inches from my face, closed my eyes and employed small zig zagging motions. Unfortunately, this approach didn't do much for me. (I can only do a few things well with my eyes closed and this isn't one of them.) Aha! Once I opened my eyes and chose a different means of application the results were stunning.
I get the best results when I spray small amounts onto my Beauty Blender sponge and dab it onto the tops of my cheekbones and the tip of my chin. I also like to spray some onto my favorite concealer brush and apply the tiniest bit to the inner corners of my eyes and above and below the brow bone. Lastly, I shimmy that can all over my shoulders and decollete, no brush, sponge, or coordination required for that last part.
Imagine my surprise when I realized that it's much more than just a pretty highlighter, it's also a fantastic concealer for hyper pigmentation! I have bits of light brown near my temples and here, there, and everywhere. I never realized how much those light brown spots were causing my eye area to appear closed off and tired. It's the classic case of, "Oh yeah, that's what I used to look like before I had children!" I don't obsess about this. The discoloration came with pregnancy and never left. I don't even try very hard to conceal it because my experience has been the more you try to cover it, the more it stands out. Kind of like those bright orange detour signs that blink: Look Here...... Look Here..... Look Here. Lucky for me and my fellow spotted beauties, I've found something that naturally averts the eye away from the brown, while mimicking a much more even tone. Even though I was worn out from lack of sleep and Stylepapa's birthday party prep, I looked bright eyed and wide awake.
The night of the party, this "sophisticated shimmer" also complimented my left shoulder that kept peeking out from beneath my sweater. I love those loose, sexy sweaters that hang gently off just the one side, don't you? To me, one glistening bare shoulder can be just as bewitching as a face full of cleavage.
The Hydrating Mineral Shimmer comes in two shades, golden and girlie. Golden is a neutral, champagne color while girlie is described as a fresh pink glow. Fortunately, this versatile product is not just for the special occasions in your life. You can definitely wear this to the office and a little goes a long way. Whether yours is a heavy-handed approach or not, the $14.99 price point means we can all sparkle. NICE. So, how do you glow from below without the benefit of a hormonal shift? Who else loves Aero Minerale as much as I do?
Stylemama here! "Reveal the skin Mother Nature intended you to have." Exactly. That’s what we really want and Moon’s Harvest Bath & Body Shop is determined we get it. I love that, I really do.
If I could give every single one of our beloved Megheads a little love it would be a Moon’s Harvest Sweetheart Cupcake. This is the most adorable yet totally sophisticated bubbling bath bomb I’ve ever had the privilege of using. This life size cupcake is made up of both a Bath Bomb and a Bubble Bar.
I was very impressed with the design, the quality, and the attention to detail of this product. Imagine old school quality coupled with modern creativity and flair. But, before I delve into all of the details, I must brag about the unique aesthetics. The box alone arrives beautifully gift wrapped, complete with ribbons, hearts and pretty pink tissue paper.
As I opened my little box of pretty, one look brought an immediate smile to my face. It looks exactly like those fancy cupcakes you purchase at your favorite bakery. It states right on the box, “looks good enough to eat, but don’t!” Pretty and a sense of humor, two of my favorite things and I haven’t even had my bath yet.
As I drew my bath I contemplated all the women I could gift this to. The card would read, “Spontaneous smiling to ensue followed by the sweetest bath you’ve ever had, ENJOY!”
After all of my imaginary gifts were passed about, I tossed my cupcake into the running water. I’m sure some of you would go for the option of separating your cupcake, allowing for two separate bathing experiences. Using the icing for bubble bath one time, while saving your bath bomb for a different occasion. A lovely option, yes, but I was intent on experiencing all the decadence my cupcake could offer. My decision was rewarded. The bomb immediately fizzed, infusing the entire tub with the prettiest shade of champagne pink you’ve ever seen in bath water. It was so alluring my husband insisted on pulling up a chair.
Next, the bubbles began to fill. I’m not exaggerating when I say it was like watching a very girly science experiment. AND, the bubbles remained full and frothy for the entire bath. I can’t stand when your bubbles disappear as soon as you enter the scene.
This cupcake is not just girly fun and games though, it’s also full of serious ingredients. Some of the oils used are Jojoba, Flax Seed, Sweet Almond, Safflower, Rice Bran, and Shea Oils. However, I didn’t need to read the ingredient list to recognize quality, the skin doesn’t lie. My skin was so soft and so well hydrated I didn’t need or want to apply moisturizer. The Champagne & Rose Scent had equally impressive staying power. It’s been hours since my tub of fun and I’m still enjoying the benefits. Somehow, the scent matched the experience, I keep wanting to go back for more.
Behind all of these hand made products is a company that I feel good about. You can’t help but admire their approach to unconditional customer satisfaction. As my knowledge of this indie beauty brand grew so did my respect and admiration. Their sincerity and utter dedication to their craft and the customer literally jumps off the site and smacks you square in the heart.
Knowing my family and I can indulge in their products without worrying about harsh chemicals or preservatives has become a whole new level of luxury that I’ve come to really appreciate and embrace.
Stylemama here! Behind every independent beauty company is at least one person that had a passion for something that simply could not be ignored. Whether it began in childhood or was discovered as an adult, you can always pick up on the “it” factor that makes their product different and authentic.
Rochel Roland founder and Chief Bath Mixologist of Joyful Bath Co. has that special something and I am in LOVE with her bath salts. Roland shares how her penchant for mixing and creating things gave birth to her company, “In kindergarten I collected rocks, leaves and other treasures in a Band-Aid tin and used my cool metal chemistry kit to see what I could create.” Many years later, the dream became a reality. How can you not adore a company with a philosophy that reads: We’d like to make your life a little more joyful and a little less complicated with the simple joy of a bath.
After the most FANTASTIC Labor Day Weekend ever, my day-to-day life seemed a little more stressful than usual. (I miss my sisters!) By the end of the week I was desperate for a long, hot soak in the tub. With the right products, lighting and partner, a nice bath can cure whatever ails you. I couldn’t wait to indulge in Joyful Bath’s ‘Nilla Buttermilk scented bath salts. It had the tastiest scent. Imagine the most delicious white chocolate laced with the perfect amount of vanilla. Two words: Yumm Meee!
It matters not the time of day or night I choose to bathe, within 2 minutes either my 70 pound German Shepherd, Riley or one or both of my daughters end up at the foot of the tub. This night wasn’t any different, until Riley simply could not help herself and plunged the front half of her body and entire head into my bath and quickly began lapping up the bath water. I couldn’t stop laughing, which only encouraged her even more. When I finally did get her out she sat there giving me that look that she saves for company standing too close to her Treat Jar. Funny, neurotic dog.
After only a few minutes of soaking, my dry, stressed out skin was soft and smooth. It felt moisturized without that heavy, oily feel that inferior bath products are loaded with. You know the kind that sits on top of your skin and leaves a ring in the tub. (What good is a relaxing bath if you have to spend the next ten minutes scouring away that icky film?) I would describe the scent in the jar as rich and strong, but by the time I dried off it was light and mild. Stylepapa described it as a “sweet-clean”. If you ask me, the perfect compliment to soft, sweetly-scented skin is a hot man waiting to take a whiff, cop a feel and share in your bath time delights.
Speaking of men, Joyful Bath Co. offers a Man Bath Bucket complete with his very own sports themed rubber duck and bungee cord. This fantastic company has something for everyone. Whether you’re in need of renewing, relaxing or recharging they’ve got you covered. I love the website and bath blog encouraging you to share your favorite scent, giving you the chance to win a free t-shirt if your story is published. Fun.
You’ll find only six different scents to choose from. I admire a company that keeps it simple and specializes in one impressive concept. All of their handcrafted bath salts are made with clean, organic salts and essential oils. They are free of parabens, preservatives and synthetic fragrances. There are no artificial colors or dyes and they DO NOT test on animals! With every purchase you’ll get a doorknob hanger that reads, “Shhh quiet please. Bath in progress.”
You’ve got to love quality bath products that are Made with Heart and Soul that come with a free doorknob hanger encouraging a healthier boundary system. ;)
Have you experienced these delightful bath salts? If so, how do you keep your dog out of the tub long enough moisturize and relax? Buy It Here!