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Date: 11.06.12

Exfoliating treatments aren’t only about slathering scrubs with walnut shells and fine diamond crystals. Thanks to the genius of Dr. Dennis Gross, we have a new body towelette that addresses an often ignored skincare issue: bumpy keratosis pilaris (also called “chicken skin”).

Yes, it’s not a sexy name by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s something my arms do suffer from. Keratosis pilaris is characterized by rough bumpy spots on the skin, which are frequently found on the arms and thighs. And they’re not easy to get rid off. Aesthetically displeasing, it is quite harmless but unsightly. After all, who wants rough skin on arms and thighs? Bare shoulders would be totally unbecoming.

Keratosis pilaris affects about 50% of the world’s population and is hereditary. Therapy can eliminate the bumps but the treatment is almost always exfoliation, and typically this is in the form of vitamin A, peels, scrubs or glycolic acid.

Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Smoothing Body Towel ($36) really came to my rescue to reduce my keratosis pilaris. The box filled with 8 treatments (individually wrapped body towels) will help you substantially reduce, if not eliminate, the issue. Each towel is pre-soaked with glycolic, mandelic, salicylic and azelaic amino acids. It also contains witch hazel. The towels exfoliate, tone, and firm the skin using a raised texture that buffs away unsightly bumps. Daily exfoliation with the towels will give you brighter, smoother, and clearer skin.

It took two boxes at $36 each for me to reduce my chicken skin issue to satisfaction: 16 towels in total. The towels are so easy to use, and make excellent travel companions too. What’s also great about these smoothing body towels is that they have a variety of uses: while keratosis pilaris is one of the targets, the others include acne, discolorations on decollete, and dry skin.

If you suffer from these pesky problems, this box of towels is an excellent investment, and you’ll be more than thankful you did.





Photo Credit: veilcosmetics.com

Date: 09.04.12

Who needs airbrushing? You can bid farewell to Photoshop if you try Veil Cosmetics’ debut product, Illuminating Complexion Fix ($36).

A modern shortcut to beautiful skin, Illuminating Complexion Fix is a concealer treatment for the face and eyes, with a svelte dispensing mechanism similar to Yves Saint Laurent’s magical cult classic Touche Eclat. Thanks to their proprietary Lightfast Technology, Illuminating Complexion Fix promises mighty benefits–increased luminosity and moisture, calms irritation, targets dark spot production, functions as a featherweight concealer, evens out skin tone, hides blemishes and counteracts dullness.

Lofty promises? Maybe. But the results are pretty dramatic.

The fact is that dark circles are a huge beauty dilemma, and you really need more than a dollop of concealer to tackle the problem. You need a concealer that incorporates multiple layers of science. Illuminating Complexion Fix aims to solve a lot of problems with one thin layer, which you can build up according to your needs. Lightfast Technology is a proprietary blend of active ingredients that target the production of melanin with ingredients Sephiwhite, Sepicalm and Revidrate. In addition to decreasing dark circles, Lightfast increases moisture in the target area, which is apropos for dryness, lines and aging skin.

Photo Credit: bellasugar.com

Illuminating Complexion Fix is available in 12 shades and provides buildable, water-resistant coverage. In 2013, the line will expand its offerings with a serum and an eye shadow collection.

The Bottom Line: The golden age of dark circle correctors has arrived. Recently Clinique also debuted its Even Better Eyes Dark Circle Corrector, which targets melanin, and it’s good to see that other concealers are starting to identify increased melanin production as a key reason for dark circles.

If your dark circles are severe, you can do double duty by using Lumixyl Revitaleyes Brightening Eye Cream ($65) twice daily to lighten up the pigment under your eyelids, and then apply Veil’s Illuminating Complexion Fix during the day. Revitaleyes contains decapeptide technology that has been clinically proven to target lines, wrinkles, dryness and inflammation that contribute to dark circles – all in one handy little tube.

I love the way the under eye area immediately became radiant after I applied Illuminating Complexion Fix. Finally, a concealer that treats, corrects and delivers buildable coverage! The other aspect of this product which is hands above and beyond the rest is that the concealer offers the choice of neutral, pink or gold undertones in each shade to perfectly match the complexion. This is so important that it makes you wonder why many other concealer brands don’t take this into consideration.

You can choose the concealer that perfectly matches your complexion to give you almost instant results. I also love the Touche Eclat-style pen, which makes it very convenient to apply. For its reasonable price point, the Illuminating Complexion Fix is a no brainer.



Would you buy it again? YES

Would you recommend it to a friend? YES


Date: 08.24.12

Dry, damaged and frizzy and out of control hair is a confidence killer. Consider the new Smooth Lock hair care line from Redken to be anti class-clown. It’s anti frizz, anti damage…pretty much anti everything you don’t want your hair to be.

Smooth Lock Butter Silk ($20), a rinse-out treatment, is the 4-item range’s star product. This creamy cure contains the proprietary Heat Fuse Complex with a special Thermo-Active Polymer that helps strands retain moisture while eliminating frizz. Sounds promising so far, right? And then there’s almond oil, which could be on the heavy side but is actually quite light and coats the hair for a silky, smooth finish.

Finally IPN (Interlock Protein Network) strengthens and improves manageability. After you put the treatment in your hair, wait patiently for 5-10 minutes and rinse it out—your hair will feel like butter. It will also be super shiny, like a newly minted penny.

Redken used to sell a product called Smooth Down Butter Treat, which has been discontinued. This was an ultra rich, rinse-out cream that created an intense and long lasting conditioned look. It received stellar reviews and many commented on how it helped hairstyles remain intact even after air drying. Smooth Lock Butter Silk ups the ante.

Many protein-based treatments can dry out your hair but the Smooth Lock collection (and most notably, Butter Silk) actually gives hair a nice luster. Regarding the level of frizz—don’t expect your frizz to completely go away, but mine was reduced substantially. I only had to use a little bit of styling gel to tame my hair.

The Smooth Lock line includes:

  • Smooth Lock Shampoo ($12)
  • Smooth Lock Conditioner ($12)
  • Smooth Lock Butter Silk Rinse Out Treatment ($20)
  • Smooth Lock Stay Sleek Leave-In Cream For Dry/Unruly Hair ($16.50)




Photo Credit: Chanel.com

Date: 08.21.12

There’s a new hot little number in town, and it goes perfectly with your LBD. Chanel’s new fragrance, Coco Noir (1.7 oz. $98, 3.4 oz. $130) is poised to rock the fragrance world.  The highly anticipated new scent seduces with notes of grapefruit and bergamot, rose and jasmine, patchouli and sandalwood.

As Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel would have wanted, this sleek and chiseled bottle is draped in a gleaming, glossy black. But this new version is daringly different, not unlike Mlle. Chanel herself. Top notes of grapefruit and bergamot waft as gentle introductions to a floral accord of rose and jasmine. The drydown of Indonesian patchouli and sandalwood add warmth and a touch of the Orient to Coco Noir.

This new perfume was created by Chanel’s Master Perfumer Jacques Polge, and marks a return to Oriental fragrances for the brand. Polge’s mission has been to unveil the mystery of black through fragrance. He explains, “The night vision of the Orient that starts and ends in Venice imposed itself upon me, and that is where I wanted to go.”

1936 Chanel in Venice

Chanel in Venice. Photo Credit: Chanel.com

Launched in select Chanel stores on August 17, 2012, the fragrance adds to the original Coco line, which made its famous debut in 1984 with a blend of woods, resins, florals and spices contained in a bold bottle. In 2001, Coco Mademoiselle was born. Coco Mademoiselle was much lighter in tone with notes of fruits and florals, recalling the spirit of the young Coco Chanel. The clear Coco Mademoiselle bottle reflected the fragrance’s lightness and levity.

Now, Coco Noir is presented in a bottle with a lot more heft, which makes sense considering the sensuous drydown.  It’s jet black color signifies a more mature audience as well as the heady scent inspired by Venice. The black bottle is stunning and every Chanel lover will have to bring one home.


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