I would not be at all upset if this exquisitely crafted, futuristic Rodarte shoe, and it’s mate of course, found a way to my doorstep, the personalized note attached would read: special delivery just because...I suppose I’m stating the obvious right? Clearly, I believe in dreaming big. What I really appreciate about this shoe, is the fact it is so wearable with the platform, which makes all the difference in terms of comfort. After all, if you’re going to spend a small fortune on shoes, comfort should be a given. The whole idea of being a “slave to fashion” is so passe. In addition, this beauty would go with just about everything, it’s the new nude!
“Sweatpants are a sign of defeat. You lost control of your life so you bought some sweatpants.”
― Karl Lagerfeld
I spotted this quote on the page of fellow blogger, Sinem Karisir. Just a little food for thought, I’m just saying…
(Photo by FlynetPictures.com)
Today is the debut of “Five Faves” where I choose 5 of my favourite products, today the focus is on skin care. The items are in no particular order since they are all favourites. So without further ado, today’s five faves:
AFRICAN BLACK SOAP
This AMAZING soap is imported from Ghana in it’s raw form, and is completely natural. It’s made from dried plantain skins, palm leaves, cocoa pod powder and kernel oil. The plantain skins are largely responsible for the efficacy of this soap, as they contain vitamins A, E and iron. In addition, cocoa pod powder has natural healing properties. African Black Soap is an excellent remedy for acne, blemishes and hyperpigmentation.
It is offered in numerous quantities, I prefer ordering it in bulk for the value, since I know it works wonders on my skin. Furthermore, it remains fresh when stored properly. If you simply want to try it in a small quantity to test it first on your skin, try etsy.com where it’s sold for as little as $5 per bar. On a side note, when in use, it is best stored in a dry container, as it dissolves if left to sit in water. Upon receiving it, I like to cut it into bars, wrap them individually in wax paper, then all of them collectively in saran wrap. The portions not in use at the moment should be stored in a cool, dark area until ready for use.
African Black Soap is available through a litany of online vendors, I’ve ordered through both ebay.com and amazon.com with great success, just do your research on the vendor of your choosing. The price ranges dramatically based on the quantity.
ORGANIC PURE EXTRA VIRGIN COCONUT OIL
Not only do I love coconut oil on toast in the morning, it is also an amazing skin care item. I prefer to have one for the kitchen and a separate jar in my bathroom, as you might agree. I won’t digress and cite all of the benefits of ingesting coconut oil, as well as using it as a hair conditioner, since the focus is skin care. I will revisit these benefits in a forthcoming post.
Coconut oil is a highly effective moisturizer, which can be used all over the body, however, I use it only on my face, as it may seep through clothing, although it washes right out in the laundry. It smooths the skin while protecting it from free radicals, which in turn helps to prevent the signs of aging. In terms of packaging, many appreciate the appeal of great packaging. I recommend simply transferring the product into a glass container more fitting for your sink area.
This product can be purchased online or from Whole Foods and a number of other healthy grocers.
CLINIQUE CLARIFYING LOTION
I typically receive looks of surprise, which I completely understand, when I suggest this product. I remember hearing how Clinique Clarifying Lotions are strong enough to strip off nail polish. I have never tested this, therefore, don’t know the validity, however, I do know it has been of great benefit for my skin.
Years ago I worked on an editorial shoot with an executive from Chanel Beaute, he raved about how this product is perfect for preparing the skin for everything to follow such as: moisturizer and foundation for us ladies. He said he’d been using it for years despite his commitment to EVERYTHING Chanel, including the skin care of course. He assured me this was the only exception, and with that, I was convinced. I bought the Clarifying Lotion 2 for my combination skin, and haven’t turned back after a 5 year run thus far. In fact, I was without it for several weeks a few months ago, and my skin didn’t like anything about it and neither did I.
Available at department stores nationwide 6.7 0z- $12.50/13.5 oz- $21.00
SMITH’S ROSEBUD SALVE
This product is a cult classic, packaged in a cute little .8 oz tin, it was first launch in 1895, and has been going strong ever since. I’ve seen a few copy cats surface lately, which bare a striking resemblance to this original, and anything other may not offer the same benefits. This product addresses: chapped lips, stings, burns, minor skin irritations and diaper rash. It also serves as an excellent moisturizer on the skin due to the many different essential oils contained in it. Smith’s Rosebud Salve is also packaged in a tube, I prefer the consistency of the tin, although I’ve been told it is the same.
Queen Helene products have had great longevity, as the company was established in 1930. The Apricot Facial Scrub is natural and gentle on the skin, while being highly effective. I’ve been using this product since my college days, and can attest to its effectiveness in sloughing off dead skin cells without being abrasive. The skin feels baby soft after use, and on some skins it is gentle enough to be used everyday. You will know if you fit into this category by starting with 2 days per week and increasing from there. Your skin will respond accordingly if you seem to be overdoing it.
Queen Helene Apricot Facial Scrub is packaged in a 6 oz. tube and retails for approximately $8 depending upon where it is purchased. Many beauty supply stores stock it, however, it is available online at this price point with free shipping.
This Chloe over-sized clutch is sheer beauty in this lovely nude crocodile, and the perfect accessory for the feminine dresses in the most striking pops of colour we’ve seen all over the runways, or with a simple white frock. As the seasons progress and trends come and go, the better alternative sometimes is simply to find a few “statement” accessories, which will update pieces from seasons long past. As I’ve identified my personal fashion aesthetic, there are certain trends which come along, I know are not for me. In these instances I accessorize until my heart is content. By shopping smarter, and purchasing classic pieces constructed with fine materials, made to withstand many seasons and years to come, creatively updating them is essential.
Although I appreciate the finer things in life very much, there are times when splurging equates to throwing money right out the window. Department store mascaras fall under this category. One of the perks of being a makeup artist is receiving complimentary products to be used on talent. It’s always a win-win, especially when the product is outstanding. As a result of this, I’ve received and used every mascara known to man, and am amazed by women who will spend $30 and upwards for one.
Today’s focus will be on Lancome versus Loreal Mascara. Lancome’s Definicils is one of the top-selling mascaras in the States, however, Loreal is owned by the same company. This means the mascara you would purchase under the Lancome brand for $30 and upward, is essentially the same mascara you would purchase for $6-$10 under the Loreal brand. The only eminent differences are in the packaging and the retailers where they are sold. If you haven’t tried Loreal mascaras, I encourage you to do so. I’ve had great success with them, and stock them in my makeup kit as well.
Also, Loreal products are often on sale at various drugstores (i.e. Target, CVS, Rite Aid, etc.), and if you receive Bed, Bath & Beyond coupons in the mail, you can take advantage of a 20% discount. My two longstanding favourite Loreal mascaras are the Original Voluminous in carbon black (blackest black), pictured at the top on the right, and the Voluminous Million Lashes, also in carbon black, pictured in this sleek gold tube. Loreal makes several different mascara formulas, I’ve also heard rave reviews on the Extra Collegen formula. At the prices they retail, exploring the other formulas is much easier. The best part of all though, is now you can add the difference to your “Fabulous New Pair of Shoes” fund.