Alterna at Hautelook til Friday!

Hey friends: more beauty sales this week!

An Alterna hair care flash sale starts today on Hautelook (you have to be a member to shop, but membership is free and sign-up is way easy).  I picked a few things up at the last flash sale, and I’m loving them.  (You can click over to reviews of the Hemp Repair Gloss and Overnight Hair Rescue here.)

The discounts are pretty substantial, and I’d love to try more of their organic, sulfate-free products.  If I were in spending mode right now I’d go for the Caviar Brunette Conditioner, Life Solutions Volume Restore Conditioner, and the Hemp with Organics Volume Lock Hairspray.

If you decide to give Alterna a try, let me know how you like it!



Everyday Skin Care Arsenal

I love makeup to death, but at the end of the day, I want every speck of it off my face.  It creeps me out thinking it’s lingering in my pores, so I go hard on my skin care regimen.  Here’s what’s working for me:

First I pre-wash the majority of my makeup off with my hands and Noxzema deep cleansing cream ($4.39) – the kind in a big blue pot.  (I pre-wash because I don’t like to get my Clarisonic brush too clogged up with makeup… it feels like I’m rubbing foamy old foundation around on my face.)  I’m not especially attached to this cleanser, I mostly use it because I get to scoop handfuls out like ice cream.

Next I deep clean with my Clarisonic Mia 2 and a cleanser: Purity Made Simple facial cleanser ($20), old school Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser ($11.49) or Biore Complexion Clearing Ice Cleanser ($7.49).  Whichever I blindly grab.

Usually, my eye makeup sticks around even after the brush, so I rub in some Clinique Naturally Gentle Eye Makeup Remover lotion ($18) and wipe it off gently with tissue (cotton balls leave awful little fuzz strings in my lashes.)

After that, I swipe my face and neck with Clinique Clarifying Lotion 1 ($13) and CVS’s hugest cotton balls ever ($1.49).  (I know, I’m sharing my favorite brand of cotton balls.  But they’re seriously huge and luscious.  I love them.)  It removes the last traces of makeup or dirt and leaves my face feeling fresh.

Then I apply Clinique Repairwear Eye Cream around my tired old eyes, and Alba Even Night Cream on my face and neck.  And it’s relaxing and wonderful, and my skin is grateful.

What skin care product or routine do you swear by?


Bumble and Bumble Bargains at Target

I don’t know if you know about this, but daaamn – Target has some killer deals on Bumble and Bumble!

Their selection is pretty limited, but right now, the full-size bottles are buy one get one free.  And at $20-$27 each, that’s a great deal.

Target offers Salon Travel Kits if you want to try before you invest – $29.99 for a 2 oz. bottle of a shampoo and conditioner (either Creme de Coco or Seaweed), plus 2 oz. bottles of Styling Creme and Styling Lotion.  The styling products work fabulously with just a couple of drops, so those mini bottles will last you several months at least!

I already love the Creme de Coco hair masque and conditioner, so I decided to try the shampoo.  I also picked up the Styling Lotion (because I’m digging the Styling Creme) and a Seaweed shampoo.  Four full-size products, and I only paid for two.  Big ups to Target.


Best Stuff: Lush Face Masks

I LOVE stopping into Lush stores because of the giant soap boulders, fun little scrubs and bath bombs.  And Lush is the perfect name for this company, because when I’m soaking in one of their adorable bath bombs (especially the ones that release glitter or flower petals), I feel like the damn king of luxury.

But Lush’s most lovable product by far is their fresh face masks.  These babies are a cheap thrill at $6.95 each, and each pot is good for about 10-15 masks.  Their ingredients are so fresh, you need to keep them refrigerated and each one is handily stamped with an expiration date.

I love-love-love the way these masks smell, and they’re the most effective masks I’ve ever used.  Brazened Honey is probably my favorite, with its exfoliating almond bits and strong sweet honey scent.  Love Lettuce and Cupcake share second place.  Each one affects my skin in a different way, but I can honestly say that I see a difference after one application.  My pores are tighter, my face feels clean and smooth and my skin actually glows.  IT GLOWS, friends.

I really can’t convey the greatness of these masks over the internet, so I’ll ask you to do your skin the favor of finding a Lush store and trying one.  Or a couple.  Because when you bring in 5 empty pots, you get a fresh face mask free!  And that’s awesome.


Good Face, Step 1

If you haven’t heard about the Clarisonic brush, let’s talk about it.

Clarisonic Mia 2

I was completely unaware of it until last year, when it exploded into my magazines, my Sephora account, and even onto spa service menus (total esthetician cop-out, I say).  After reading the reviews on Sephora, I snatched up a light pink Mia 2.  It’s a little handheld thing with a soft brush (replacement heads vary in softness) that kind of vibrates when you turn it on.  It’s waterproof, so you can use it in the shower, and it’s rechargeable – so no scrounging for batteries in your emergency flashlights.  You can use it with any cleanser, and even gentle exfoliants.

My skin was completely decent before I used it, but afterwards – wow.  It’s corny, but I actually felt the difference after the first use.  Softer, smoother-looking skin with much smaller pores… amazing.  I tried to use it on my husband for weeks, to no avail.  (His loss.)  At a wedding, a friend wiped a lipstick kiss off my cheek and shrieked, “Your skin is SO SOFT!”  Clarisonic, homie.

The point is: if you want people to grab at your face with excitement, the Mia 2 should be in your skincare regimen.  It’s not the cheapest tool on the market ($149 with replacement brush heads $20 each) but totally worth it, in my opinion.