Tag Archives: kiehls

beauty buzz: three things I’m loving right now

Since it’s Monday, and we’re all cursing that extra hour of sleep we lost yesterday, something tells me we could all use a little beautifying this morning. So, I thought I’d share a few of the spring beauty goodies that have recently made it to the front of the towering pile of products otherwise known as my bathroom counter.

beauty buzz march beauty buzz: three things Im loving right now Read on

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beauty buzz: the best sunscreens for your summer fun

Best Summer Sunscreens, via shopping's my cardio

It’s that time, friends: brace yourselves for my annual lecture about sunscreen. I know, it’s all very “After-School Special” of me. But truly, more than anything else you can do for yourself, SPF will save you from nearly everything that’s awful about aging. Wrinkles, rosacea, age spots, moles, freckles, you name it. Not to mention skin cancer, which is no laughing matter. And while I firmly, no exceptions, believe it’s a 365-days-a-year necessity, summer is when I get particularly militant about the whole thing. Because hey, we’re not kids any more. And that dewy complexion that used to bounce back from any kind of abuse needs a bit more TLC than it used to.

The problem is that sunscreen isn’t sexy. It doesn’t always smell great, can cause breakouts (or rashes on those of us with sensitive skin), and no one ever applies enough. Some formulas are greasy, some are chalky, and it takes ages of trial and error to find one to love. But friends, I’m here for you. I’ve done the trial-and-error, I’ve suffered the breakouts, and I’m here to deliver a list of my all-time favorites, the best sunscreens for summer. Read on

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steals & deals around the web

A few lovely little markdowns have crossed my path this morning, friends…thought you’d want a heads-up.

Any killer deals on your radar today? Share with the class!

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earth day: the occasional environmentalist

cri-de-coeur

Happy Earth Day, friends! (Or Earth Day, Observed, at least.) Since you know I’m all about living the green lifestyle, doing everything I can to curb excess waste and…

Yeah, not so much. You could look pretty hard before finding someone less environmentally-inclined than I am. If I’m honest, I barely recycle. I never carry those reuseable totes for grocery shopping (though I have about 967 of them spilling out of my hall closet). And last night, I put some old medications right in the garbage can. I know, I’m going straight to hell.

But. Every now and then, I see a little something I could do to be better. Nothing drastic, just a little nudge of environmental altruism, without going too far out of my way. And hey, in those rare instances, when I get to pat myself on the back for all the polar bears I’m saving? I’m totally an activist. Read on

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beauty buzz: kiehls powerful wrinkle reducing cream

 kiehls powerful wrinkle reducing cream beauty buzz: kiehls powerful wrinkle reducing cream

Oh, winter, the things you do to my skin. This is usually the time of year in which I’m frantically searching for scrubs, super-strength night creams, vats of olive oil…anything, really, to get my dry, irritated skin back in line.

All this to say that testing a new face cream in winter is…well, let’s just say it has a steep hill to climb. Read on

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beauty buzz: everything you ever wanted to know about serums

First, let me confess a bias: I love serums. Love them. I think they’re the secret to amazing skin. (Well, that and strategic exfoliation, but that’s another story for another time.) But whenever I start exclaiming to one woman or another about the wonders of a great serum, they look at me blankly. “Serum?”, they say. “What’s the point?”

The point, friends, is this: Serums are a magic potion of super-potent, maximum-strength ingredients that are delivered to your skin in their purest form. No moisturizers, SPFs or tint to muck up the medicine. It goes on when your face is its cleanest state – post-wash at night, post-shower in the morning – so your skin is ready and able to drink up every last drop of goodness your serum has to offer. Though it can be an investment (some are upwards of $200), you only use 3-5 drops at a time, so a bottle lasts a long time.

A great serum might not have overnight-wonder potential. It might work slowly over weeks, or even months. But the net result, without fail, is happier, healthier, prettier, glow-ier skin. If you’re not using one, read on…I’ll convince you. If you are…I’m betting I’ll get you to switch brands.

If you really want to confuse yourself, stop into Sephora sometime and tell them you want a serum. There are literally hundreds of options, and even a serum evangelist like me doesn’t fully understand what they all do. But I’m nothing if not curious. So, I sent out a note to all of my favorite brands – and some brands I knew nothing about – and told them I wanted to test them all. And friends, I’ve been testing more than 40 different serums for the last two months (head over to Instagram @shoppingsmycardio if you want to see my bathroom counter as proof). I tried the good, the bad, and the meh, and was left with the greatest. Let me introduce the SMC Serum Dream Team:

serums beauty buzz: everything you ever wanted to know about serums

Obviously, you’re not going out and buying all 7 of these. So, how about a handy-dandy serum decoder?

If your skin needs:

  • Moisture: Caudalie Vinosource SOS Thirst Quenching Serum ($48). I’ve been a longtime devotee of Caudalie’s Radiance Serum for so long, I should own stock. Their magic is based on grapeseeds, and you know how healthy those are. This newest version is designed to give your skin a serious does of moisture, which is perfect for this time of year. My parched skin was much happier almost instantly.
  • Fine line reduction: Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Supplement ($67). You know I love Bobbi for cosmetics, but this serum still wowed me with its instant line reduction power. It gives the effect of candlelight, or a soft-focus lens, blurring out those fine lines until they’re barely visible. And it has more of that grape extract I love, so there’s moisture coming your way as well.
  • Redness reduction: Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution ($50). For me, the jury’s still out on whether dark spot reduction is really possible. But redness reduction and a general evening of skin tone definitely is, and this Kiehl’s serum does it…without added brighteners to trick your eye.
  • All of the above: Nude Skincare Cellular Renewal Serum ($82). One of my “wow” tests, Nude’s serum delivered on brightness, moisture, line reduction and skin tone evening. Some of it was smoke-and-mirrors (ie, temporary brighteners and tighteners), since the effect was so immediate, but some mornings, smoke and mirrors are just fine. I’m optimistic that the lasting effects will match up. {Be aware: multi-tasking is great, but the more things a serum can do, the less intense the results will be in any one area. If you have one specific goal, like redness-reducing, you’ll get more bang-for-your-buck by choosing a one-trick serum than a multi-tasker like this.}
  • Prevention/Repair: SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic ($152). One of these days, I want to do an interview with the skin experts at SkinCeuticals. I don’t always understand what everything does (ah, science), but I never, ever doubt that their products mean business. C E Ferulic delivers Vitamins C & E directly to your skin, and essentially works to amp up your skin’s resistance to UV damage (by 8x, they say). It also stimulates collagen production, so your skin will get more supple and toned, and show less fine lines over time. This one’s a slow-actor, but if you’re looking for serious medicine, it’s the one.
  • Healthy glow: Peter Thomas Roth Laser-Free Resurfacer ($75). PTR always delivers great products, but when I pumped this out of the bottle and got a blood-red serum, I was skeptical (and a little weirded out). The red comes from the dragon’s blood complex they use (no, really). Don’t fear, the color dissipates, and you’re left with a fantastically warm, glowy complexion, like you spent a morning out on the plantation sipping sweet tea. {PS: If you’re curious about this one, this set from Nordstrom is an amazing deal – full-size serum, plus their unbelievable gel moisturizer and an exfoliator for the price of the serum. Do it.}
  • Bargain Find: Juice Beauty Antioxidant Serum ($45). Now mind you, that’s $45 for two ounces…most of these brands only give you one. I’ve been a Juice Beauty fan since before I was a blogger – it’s just good, clean stuff that makes your skin happy. This serum feels amazing on your skin, and is so packed with healthy, organic ingredients, you just know it’s doing good things. Try it for a month, and see if your skin isn’t happier. I dare you.

So, tell me…have I made a serum convert out of you? I’m dying to hear! Can I answer any questions?

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travel in style: the perfect summer packing list!

Friends, I am so in need of a summer vacation. I’m writing this while wearing a beach caftan and white jeans…in my living room. It’s time to get out of dodge!

I’m thinking if I pack myself an overnight bag now, perhaps I’ll be struck by a spur-of-the-moment inspiration and take myself out on a weekend getaway. Worth a shot, don’t you think? I have a feeling the rest of you may have actual weekend (or week-long) trips afoot, and could use a little guidance on packing the perfect weekend bag.

As usual, I have big dreams of 3 outfits a day, shoes to match, and a whole separate trunk of accessories. But really, summer trips call for minimal effort…and minimal luggage. So, rather than fantasy, this is pure practicality. Skip the fashion-conscious gear and go for versatility. Skip the giant jewels and go for simple. Skip the boring classic novel and go for the trashy celebrity magazines. This is a vacation!

easy summer weekend travel in style: the perfect summer packing list!

Top: Striped tank, Edith A. Miller, $58 / Deep V tee, American Apparel, $15 / Callan tee, Velvet, $86 /
Denim shorts
, Joe’s Jeans, $148 / Tank dress, Three Dots, $66

Bottom: Graf + Lantz overnighter, $379 / Druzy studs, Dara Ettinger, $125 / Rope bracelet, Kiel James Patrick, $40 / Archer flat, Dolce Vita, $69 / Espadrilles, ASOS $6 (!) / Cenoire electric toothbrush, $35 / Sun Protector, Kiehls, $23

 You’ll need:

* 2 tees: one basic, one fashion-forward
* 1 tank: basic is great
* 1 pair of denim cutoffs: the ultimate in versatility!
* 1 easy summer dress
* 1 pair of sandals/flip flops
* 1 pair of walking shoes
* 1 great bracelet
* 1 pair of simple earrings
* 1 swimsuit
* 1 semi-slinky nightgown (it is a vacation, after all)
* Oh, and…extra undies!

That’s it!

Add your trusty bag of toiletries and you’re set. You do keep that pre-packed, right? No? You don’t know what you’re missing…it’s a total travel game-changer! Head to Nordstrom with a list of your staple products, ask them to make up testers for you (buy something so you don’t feel guilty), and throw them in a Ziploc. I know you have extra makeup lying around, so make yourself a travel bag with the spares. Throw in a toothbrush (I happen to love this adorable travel version from Cenoire), treat yourself to a travel flat iron, and leave the whole assembly in your bag, so you never have to go hunting when the open road calls.

Oh, and don’t forget the big bottle of SPF. My sun-phobic favorite this season is from Kiehls – it’s SPF 50, water-resistant and broad-spectrum. Done and done!

Where are you off to this summer? Maybe I can live vicariously…

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