Tag Archives: armani beauty

resolved: a beautiful 2012

Hi, friends! I’ve missed you so. How was your holiday season? I hope each and every one of you rested, relaxed, and ate much too much (but not so much that your jeans are tight today).

I’m running a little late today, but I can hardly be blamed. With new markdowns at Shopbop (additional 20% off sale items already 50% or 70% off with code EXTRA20), new markdowns at Net-a-Porter and a slew of new arrivals at The Outnet, not to mention a week’s worth of blog reading to catch up on, I burned my surfing hours this morning in a most irresponsible way. I’m also nursing a cold, which doesn’t help anyone move any faster. But I know you understand.

In any case, I’ve been thinking a lot about resolutions over the last couple of days…’tis the season, after all. To be honest, I’m not a fan of New Year’s Resolutions, in the traditional sense. Not at all. Take a picture a day, read a book a month, go to the gym three times a week – they’re all laudable goals, don’t get me wrong. It’s just that, in my opinion, anything that sets you up for failure and self-loathing is a bad way to start the year.

But I think there’s a way to craft a resolution that can bring you only joy and satisfaction, and those are the variety I heartily endorse. So, this week, I thought we’d talk a little about that.

Today’s suggestion? Do something better for yourself – make a beauty resolution.

{Because, really, what resolution could be better than one that leaves you with skin like this?}

Splurge on that amazing facial product you’ve been eyeing – your skin deserves its best year yet. Sure, maybe you can’t afford to revamp your entire system right now, but start with one really decadent product you’ll look forward to putting on every day. My latest obsession is Armani’s Regenessense, which works wonders for making my skin lighter, brighter and infinitely happier. It dissolves worries and redness, and gives you that glow you thought could only be achieved through pregnancy or airbrushing. Yes, it’s $140 a bottle. But it will last 3-4 months, which is critical to remember when gasping at the cash register as you invest in these things.

Resolve to exfoliate. Or to treat yourself to a monthly pedicure. Or a beautiful, bold red lipstick that will make you feel like the daring diva you secretly are. Or, take it a step further and resolve to get yourself quarterly facials. If you’re anything like me, facials get relegated to the bottom of the spa list (massages being just that wonderful). But if you find a wonderful aesthetician (my favorites, if you happen to be in Portland, are Brynndle at Portland Spa or Ginny at Blooming Moon), they’ll make the experience as relaxing as any massage, with the added benefit of making you look amazing for days afterward.

Whatever it is that will make your heart a little lighter when you look in the mirror, or make you a little more excited to head to the bathroom for your nighttime facial routine – resolve to treat yourself to it this year.

So, tell me – what beauty resolutions are you inspired to make? I’d love to hear! And tomorrow, we’ll talk fashion resolutions. As you might expect, I have a few.

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beauty buzz: eyes to kill

Yesterday was all about the eyes. I took a little detour from my usual brow maintenance routine to try out the Anastasia Beverly Hills method (they have departments at nearly every Nordstrom – who knew?). Hands down, best brow wax ever, even if it was a little pricey ($30). My brows are perfectly shaped and symmetrical (thank you, stencil method), and I’m feeling very Brooke Shields this week as a result.

Naturally, when I came home, the first thing I wanted to do was continue playing in the beauty aisle, and I just happened to have a few samples from one of my favorite cosmetic lines here waiting for me. And that’s how I spent the afternoon with Giorgio Armani Beauty’s latest and greatest, Eyes to Kill.  It’s this amazing new hybrid powder/cream shadow with intense, multi-toned pigments that are smudge-proof, and wear flawlessly right until you take them off.

{From left: Khaki Pulse, Champagne, Rock Sand}

Most of the colors look like they’re a bit too much in the box, but seeing them on is believing. These rich, saturated hues can be light as a feather if you use a shadow brush and a delicate touch. Or, go full-force with a damp eyeliner brush, and prepare to be dazzled.

For once, I found myself loving the warm, bronzey hues, instead of the pastels I always favor. Khaki Pulse (#6), for example, terrified me in the pot, as I am in no way a fan of warm tones, generally. But I fell in love at first swipe. When you apply it, it becomes this beautiful, tawny bronze that does wonders for bringing out your eye color, whatever it is. Apply a bit to the base of your lid, then try my wet brush/eyeliner trick with the same color – the saturated version turns a rich, earthy brown that’s perfect for lining (or smudging). It’s the ultimate evening look, in 30 seconds flat.

For day, I really wanted to like Champagne (#8) – it’s the color palette I’d naturally gravitate toward. But when I tried it on, I found it a little too “Britney pink” for my taste. Rock Sand (#9), on the other hand, was love at first try. It feels like an eyeshadow version of your favorite bronzer – warm, easy, and just shimmery enough to draw attention, without being too young or too much. It’s going to be my daytime go-to all summer.

These are definitely colors to try on – they’re hard to judge from the pot. But it’s so, so worth your while. Pick up your favorites for $32 each at Giorgo Armani Beauty‘s site, or play with the whole lot at your neighborhood Nordstrom counter.

And, with that, I’m giving myself a long weekend, friends – I hope you can do the same. I’ll see you back here Tuesday!

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beauty buzz: sizzling summer essentials

when the temperature climbs, my normally fastidious skin care and makeup routines go right out the window, along with every ounce of patience in my being.  i’m forced to pare down to basics, because i just can’t stand being cooped up in a steamy bathroom for any longer than absolutely necessary. so, i thought i’d take a moment and share my current shortcut routine for summer.

Picture 3

okay…well, that photo doesn’t really look like a shortcut, does it?  but trust me.  compared to the time i’m willing to spend when the weather’s cold, i’m downright neglectful of my face this time of year…when, arguably, it needs my help most!  fortunately, my shortcuts seem to keep my skin as happy as can be expected in this heat.

for face care, this year i’m hopelessly devoted to skyn iceland’s glacial cleansing cloths and that olay pro-x system i told you about last week.  and i’m still head over heels with skyn iceland’s SPF moisturizer for day – that tingly cooling sensation seriously lasts for hours. it’s the only thing that gets me through some of my mornings without a/c! i honestly wish all of my products came with the same chilly goodness.  (note to self: must start storing eye cream in freezer.)  on real scorchers, i top it off with clarins uv plus SPF 40…a fair-faced girl can’t be too careful, and this stuff sinks in beautifully, leaving no trace of oil.

as for makeup, my recent discovery of armani beauty‘s newest products simply couldn’t have come at a better time. i start with my old reliable, benefit’s lemon-aid (or my new, higher-maintenance love, laura mercier’s undercover pot, but we’ll talk more about that later).  from then on, it’s all armani for me this summer.  their face fabric ($48) is the lightest foundation i’ve ever tried.  the texture is incredible – it virtually disappears the moment you put it on, is perfectly mattifying, and truly doesn’t budge all day.  their soft lash mascara ($28) is utterly foolproof, curls lashes without forcing me to break out the lash curler, and doesn’t make your lashes feel like deadly weapons.  add a touch of their unbelievably cute “eyes to kill” eyeshadow palettes ($59) (i especially love the bronze coral set for summer, on just about any skin tone), and you’re basically done.  it works as a liner and highlighter (if i have that kind of energy), with perfectly pre-selected shades i don’t even have to think about.  i top it all of with my new favorite cheap beauty thrill: carmex’s new moisture plus.  $3 at your neighborhood walgreens, and seriously, it’s now all i’ll use. burt’s bees doesn’t live here any more!

when it comes to hair, i’m looking for something seriously simple – i want as little to do with my hairdryer in july as humanly possible.  i’ve told you before about wonders of living proof’s “no frizz”, and especially in summer, it’s a life-saver when i just can’t bear the thought of styling. plus, their new refinishing spray gives me at least an extra day’s life from my blow-dried styles, and works so much better on my perpetually dry hair than dry shampoos that are supposed to give the same benefits.

last but not least, i know this might not seem like a beauty essential, but it truly is.  while i’m horrible about getting my 8 glasses during the rest of the year, i’m like a camel in fill mode when the weather gets hot – i can’t leave a table without downing 4 glasses of water.  thankfully, i discovered this sweet little PUR built-in water filter when we moved (great new house, ancient fridge).  it was only about $45, a bargain i wasn’t expecting, and it was insanely easy to install. it’s been running nonstop in my house ever since, and saving me from my water snobbery (before this, i was about to resort to buying fiji water by the case!).  all that h20 has definitely been saving my skin this summer…my face doesn’t need nearly as much moisturizer when i’m hydrated, which means less to sweat off later in the day.  definitley a win/win.

so, now i’m wondering…other than a staffer feeding you frozen grapes poolside, what are your summer beauty must-haves?

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