Entries from December 28th, 2011

December 28, 2011

beauty scoop | badger organic damascus rose antioxidant face oil

I’ve tried tons of facial oils and tend to favor jojoba and argan, but when I got the chance to try Badger’s new Organic Damascus Rose Antioxidant Face Oil, I made a special spot on my shelf for this powerhouse facial oil that contains nine different nourishing oils in one 1-ounce bottle.

badger organic damascus rose antioxidant face oil

{Badger's Organic Damascus Rose Antioxidant Face Oil costs $12 and is available online and in health food and select grocery stores. Photo Courtesy Badger}

Plainly put, this facial oil rocks. It’s USDA-certified organic and even though $12 for one ounce seems a bit pricey, I classify this as a budget beauty basic because 1) you only need one pump per night to cover your entire face and 2) it’s unheard of to get a certified-organic product that works at this pricepoint.

Not only are you getting the key ingredient, rose otto (which is an incredibly expensive ingredient), but you’re getting an array of other nourishing carrier and essential oils that will keep your skin balanced and smooth all year long.

Let’s take a cruise through the ingredients list. It’s amazing:

1. Organic jojoba oil: a natural acne fighter
2. Organic baobab oil: rich in omegas 3, 6 and 9
3. Organic pomegranate oil: high in antioxidants
4. Organic lavender essential oil: known for its calming effect
5. Organic rose otto essential oil: one of the most-expensive oils, known for its soothing scent
6. Organic Roman chamomile essential oil: known for antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties
7. Organic CO2 extracts of rosehip: high in vitamin C and lycopene
8. Organic CO2 extracts of seabuckthorn: rich in antioxidants and essential fatty acids
9. Organic CO2 extracts of calendula: known for its healing properties

Have you tried any Badger products? Fan of facial oils? Tell me what you know in the comments section.

December 27, 2011

holiday 2011 | butter london fairy lights and the black knight

Now that we’re halfway through the holidays, you can remove your bright red and green nail polish and dip your fingers into something a little more festive.

On Christmas day, I had my sister-in-law paint my formerly red nails with a couple of nail lacquers from butter London’s holiday 2011 collection. Two layers later, all 10 fingernails were a liquid-metal lavender, aka “Fairy Lights.”

butter london fairy lights

{A silvery-lavender, butter London's "Fairy Lights" is named for what the English call small white Christmas tree lights. Photo Courtesy butter London}

This polish went on a bit thick for some reason. I’ve tested other butter London polishes before with no problem, so I’m wondering if maybe I got a lemon. Though my sister-in-law had a bit of trouble giving me a perfect mani, I still admired this color.

To toughen it up a bit, I had her add a couple coats of “The Black Knight” to my ring fingers. Though she and my brother thought it was weird to have just one nail painted with glittery polish, we know better, right? :)

butter london the black knight

{"The Black Knight" from butter London is an edgy black polish with flashes of black, pink, blue and silver glitter. Photo Courtesy butter London}

It may not be the perfect mani, but it sure was a fun look! I’m contemplating going all-Black Knight for New Year’s Eve. What do you think?

butter london the black knight and fairy lights

{I think "Fairy Lights" will carry over easily into spring, and "The Black Knight" is just too fun to not wear year-round.}

What color are you going to paint your nails for New Year’s Eve? Does anybody still have a bottle of last year’s oh-so-popular Sparkle-icious?

December 26, 2011

beauty scoop | comfort zone sacred nature bio-certified lipstick

The latest lip balm I’ve been slicking on my kisser goes by the name of “lipstick” even though it’s pigment-free.

Comfort Zone’s Sacred Nature Bio-Certified Lipstick is actually a pre-color lip conditioner that is so thick and so ultra-moisturizing that it’s been my No. 1 pick from my lip balm bowl for the past few weeks.

comfort zone sacred nature bio-certified lipstick

{Comfort Zone's Sacred Nature Bio-Certified Lipstick is a colorless lip balm that delivers loads of moisture to dry, chapped lips.}

I’ve been drier and more chapped than usual, and this “lipstick” has been amazing at delivering moisture and sealing off my lips from the elements as the weather continues to go from warm to freezing cold in a matter of days. It provides a smooth base for color (though I’ve been sensitive about wearing any with the state of my lips) and keeps your lips lubricated for a decent span of time.

Though it’s definitely a luxury item — it costs $24 — Comfort Zone’s Sacred Nature Bio-Certified Lipstick stands out in a sea of gloss and balms.

First, it’s certified organic by Ecocert, which means both the company and the actual product ingredients meet high sustainability standards. Second, it’s also made with something of a miracle ingredient, buriti oil, that’s rarely used in conventional and mainstream natural and organic products. Buriti oil is packed with antioxidants, fatty acids and vitamins A and C, which help nourish lips and soften them back into top kissing form.

comfort zone sacred nature bio-certified lipstick

{Comfort Zone products are available at spas nationwide, including the Plaza Beauty at the Plaza Hotel, and online.}

While those two bits of info give Comfort Zone’s Sacred Nature Bio-Certified Lipstick a high “feel-good factor,” the plain and simple fact that this product does a fabulous job hydrating your lips ’round the clock is enough to merit the $24 it takes to kiss chapped lips goodbye.

What do you think? How much is too much for a lip balm? Do certifications and exclusive ingredients influence your purchasing decisions? Tell me your thoughts in the comments section.

December 19, 2011

twinkle | sparitual break of dawn holiday 2011 nail polish

We’ve been celebrating the holidays every weekend this month. This past weekend, the teacher man’s family was in town for a mini-Christmas celebration, and I decided it was best to play it a bit safe — but still festive — with the nail polish.

I went from a bright, sparkly green for my company holiday party the weekend before to this subtle, shimmering red, SpaRitual’s “Break of Dawn,” from the holiday 2011 “Twinkle” collection,  for a weekend with the teacher man’s extended family.

sparitual twinkle holiday 2011 break of dawn

{SpaRitual's "Break of Dawn" from its holiday 2011 "Twinkle" collection has a hint of shimmer to it and lasts about a week before chipping.}

I love the subtle hints of shimmer in this vegan nail polish. When it catches the light, you can see hints of gold, orange, pink and red. It gives a nice bit of dimension to otherwise predictable holiday red nails.

Check out the detail in the shot below — the shimmer is from the natural mica in the polish.

sparitual twinkle holiday 2011 break of dawn

{This is such a gorgeous color and a great alternative to everyday red. Photo Courtesy SpaRitual}

The name of this polish cracks me up, mostly because within the holiday 2011 “Twinkle” collection, there’s also a “Twilight.” Coincidence? I think not.

Regardless of the Twilight influence, both shades — and the entire six-polish holiday collection, honestly — are gorgeous and capture the inspiration of the holiday season.

What are you wearing on your nails this week? Tweet me (I’m @kimberlyloc) a picture using the hashtag #holidaynails and show me! Or tell me/link me in the comments section.

December 14, 2011

gift guide | wine for non-wine drinkers

This holiday season, if I’m unable to peer pressure you into drinking a glass of goodness with me, then please allow me to share my love of wine with you in other ways. How about a few fun wine-inspired gifts that appeal to your sense of sight, smell and touch? Here’s my picks for giving the gift of the vine to non-wine and wine lovers alike.

illume mulled wine candle

{Illume's Mulled Wine Decorative Boxed Candle costs $33.50. Photo Courtesy Illume}

Notes of red wine, oak and spices make this Mulled Wine Decorative Boxed Candle from Illume the perfect scent for cozy nights in by the fire.

wine and rosettes modcloth dress

{Modcloth's "Wine and Rosettes" dress costs $48.99. Photo Courtesy Modcloth.}

This is the best way to wear wine on your dress. Modcloth’s “Wine and Rosettes” dress is a rich burgundy that is smooth and delicate from top to bottom. If you live anywhere other than the tropics, it might be wise to pair this slinky, sheer dress with some tights and a cute cardi.

wisteria boozehound

{The "Boozehound" from Wisteria costs $129. Photo Courtesy Wisteria}

If I can’t have a real dog for the holidays, can I have a dog made from French wine labels? This “Boozehound” from Wisteria will spark countless conversations and won’t shed all over your home.

sparitual days of wine and roses

{Sparitual's "Days of Wine and Roses" nail polish costs $10 on Amazon.com. Photo Courtesy Sparitual}

A bit of berry on your fingertips works well year-round, and Sparitual’s “Days of Wine and Roses” is a lovely, earthy mix of chocolate and maroon. Sparitual is one of my new favorite personal-care brands — the nail polish colors are spectacular, the polish lasts a long time and the polishes are formulated without formaldehyde, toluene and dibutyl pthalate. Triple win!

bev shots rose coaster

{BevShots' Rose Coasters cost $11.99 each. Photo Courtesy BevShots}

Ever wondered what your favorite alcohol looks like under a microscope (OK maybe not, but it’s kind of cool)? So did the founders of BevShots, a company that takes your favorite drinks under the lens and captures interesting, colorful images of wine, beer and spirits and turns them into fun home items, such as these Rose Wine coasters.

uncommon goods wine bottle tealight holder

{Uncommon Goods' Wine Bottle Tealight Holder costs $60. Photo Courtesy Uncommon Goods}

Made from recycled wine bottles, these tealight holders from Uncommon Goods are made by artists who share their craft by teaching mentally challenged adults how to make beautiful, useful items, which empowers them to be a part of a community while learning a skill.

caudalie vine body butter and crushed cabernet scrub

{Caudalie's Vine Body Butter costs $28 and the Crushed Cabernet Scrub costs $29. Photos Courtesy Caudalie}

Lotions and potions from Caudalie have been a favorite of mine for a few years. Caudalie’s vinotherapie products are infused with skin-boosting antioxidants and polyphenols from grapes and other organically grown ingredients to reveal more vibrant, radiant skin that is smooth to the touch. Caudalie’s Crushed Cabernet Scrub invigorates the skin while the Vine Body Butter locks in moisture and soothes skin.

What’s your favorite non-wine drinker gift in this guide? What other wine-inspired gifts are out there that you love? Wine drinkers, what are you drinking this holiday season? Tell me what you think in the comments section.

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