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Posted by 07.19.14

If the idea of owning limited-edition exclusives from premier brands appeals to you, then try your hand at Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale, which is sort of a virtual pilgrimage for any lover of beauty.

From covetable brands like Bobbi Brown to staples like Clarisonic, there are steals that even the most ardent coupon-clipper will applaud. Here are some of our favorite steals and deals:

Bobbi Brown Nude on Nude Color Set ($85): Normally priced at $205, this color set gives you 12 swell eye shadows, a full size gel eyeliner, and smokey eye mascara. With nude makeup a perennial favorite, the trick is knowing which brand to splurge on, and we say Bobbi’s is worth it because of the staying power, quality pigments, and range of finishes (matte, shimmery, sparkly).

butter London2Photo Credit: Nordstrom

butter London 10 Piece Set ($49): This set, valued at $104 includes a gamut of solid and metallic shades from Brick Lane (an orange brick shade) to Petrol (an oil-slick-like overcoat) as well as a base and top coat.

Clarisonic Mia 2

Credit: Nordstrom

Clarisonic Mia 2 St. Tropez Bikini Set ($159): Valued at $231, this set includes a travel bag, the Mia 2, a sensitive brush head replacement, and a refreshing gel cleanser.

LaMer2Photo Credit: Nordstrom

La Mer The Refreshing Collection ($295): This set, valued at $386 contains a soft cream, regenerating serum, eye balm, and hydrating facial application, all in a beautiful floral bag.

KiehlsPhoto Credit: Nordstrom

Kiehl’s Creme de Corps Home & Away Travel Set ($75): This set is perfect for the jetsetter, and includes a 32 oz. jumbo plus a 2.5 travel size. There is also an Ultimate Hydration Set for parched skins ($85).

There are many more such gems: shop the website until August 3!





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Posted by 07.16.14

It’s rare to see an established beauty company launch a completely new brand, but that’s what Pond’s Institute has done with Iluminage, a concept that incorporates devices, skin care, and even an anti-aging pillow case.

The Iluminage Skin Firming Laser, the first at-home laser that is FDA-cleared to reduce wrinkles around the mouth and eyes, is a cornerstone of the launch. It’s clinically proven to deliver results, but at $595, this laser may be out of reach for some. Thankfully, the brand has developed the complementary Iluminage Youth Cell Skincare collection.

The 4-product range draws inspiration from a new discovery by Pond’s Institute scientists who have decoded DNA pathways that give epidermal cells their renewing power. The products boast anti-aging ingredients like peptides (including a youth cell bodyguard), fatty acids, alpha hydroxyl acid, retinol, and retinol boosters.

When used as a comprehensive system, the range is formulated to reduce the appearance of lines, wrinkles, laxity, and even crow’s feet and eye puffiness and shadows. The products comprise:

Iluminage Youth Cell Concentrate ($95): offers the highest concentration of the range’s five anti-aging powerhouse ingredients in a turbo-charged serum that you apply before your moisturizer. It goes on beautifully on the skin and acts also as a primer. In a 12-week clinical study, 96% of women demonstrated a significant reduction in the visual signs of photo-damage.

Youth Cell Eye Cream ($55): my favorite of the bunch because it delivered the best results for me. The concentrated cream provides 24-hour hydration for the under eye area, while it decreases signs of crow’s feet, fine lines, and wrinkles. It harnesses the power of additional ingredients, including tetrapeptide, caffeine and zinc oxide, to help reduce the look of puffiness and dark, under-eye circles. In an 8-week consumer study, 85% of women reported that eye contour skin felt firmer.

Youth Cell Day Cream ($70): this 24-hour hydrating cream offers the added benefit of broad spectrum UVA/UVB filters and vitamin E and vitamin B3. It looks thicker than most day creams and it takes a bit more effort to rub it into the skin until it is well absorbed, but the upside is that it offers better hydration for a longer period of time. In a 4-week consumer study, 90% of women noticed smoother skin texture.

Skin Prep Gentle Cleanser ($25): this a great way to start the day by removing dirt and grime. Suitable for all skin types, this cleanser also contains high quality glycerin and aloe vera, and is ideal for the summer months.

If you can afford the splurge, try the skin care in conjunction with the Skin Firming Laser. Alternately, Iluminage has also launched the creative Skin Rejuvenation Pillowcase ($60), which is infused with copper oxide to keep wrinkles at bay. Plus, its silky smooth and luxurious to sleep on.



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Posted by 07.14.14

Akin to our Independence Day, Bastille Day—July 14—officially known as French National Day, celebrates the success of the French Revolution, particularly the storming of the Bastille, a prison/fort that housed political prisoners.  That event paved the road to France becoming a republic and the famous slogan: Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité.  In France, the day is commemorated with the country’s oldest military parade, and Francophiles around the globe raise a glass a don a beret in celebration.

In addition to revolution, the French knack for beauty is appreciated far beyond the country’s doors. Here are some French beauty products that we love deserve to be worn during this unique celebration:

Votre Vu Antioxidant Weightless Sunshield SPF 30 ($29)

Sunshield from Votre Vu

Photo Credit: Votre Vu

Assuming you’ll be celebrating Bastille Day outdoors (is there any other way?), try Votre Vu’s magnificent Antioxidant Weightless Sunshield, a full-coverage sunblock that’s perfect as skin armor against UVA and UVB rays. It is one of our favorites because it is slim and portable as well as being attractively packaged and priced: magnifique.


Lancôme ‘Juicy Tubes Jelly’ Ultra Shiny Lip Gloss ($18)

Lancome Juicy TubesPhoto Credit: Nordstrom

I adore Juicy Tubes from this iconic French brand, and this is an ideal lip gloss to use during the summer months because it feels as moisturizing on your lips as it looks. The “Ultra Shiny Lip Gloss” has a beautiful sheen to it, and is a far cry from tacky. It comes in many fireworks-like colors (6), so choose away.

Leonor Greyl Huile de Palme ($52)

Huile de PalmePhoto Credit: Nordstrom

This upscale Parisian brand is so luxurious that once you use this palm oil you will feel as though your hair has become a Republic, and quite independent of any of your other features. The smell is addicting, and I like to use it as a pre-wash conditioner and mask for 15 minutes and then shampoo it off. You can also use this (just a drop will do) on dry hair to tame frizzies. Whichever option you choose, the smell will leave you longing for the next go around. It also protects your hair color too.Coco by Chanel ($11o)

Coco by ChanelPhoto Credit: Chanel

Nothing says Esprit de France more  than a perfume by the House of Chanel, and Coco is a delightful blend of old meets new. Created in 1984, Coco is designed for evening wear and speaks volumes about the breadth of the French Empire with its notes of French angelica, Bulgarian rose, Spice Island clove bud, Indian jasmine, Caribbean cascarida, frangipani, and mimosa.



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