Entries from January 30th, 2012

January 30, 2012

scenes from my weekend | a visit to the bahamas

Is it still winter? Today, I’m coming back to some decent weather and a bit of a glow thanks to a mild winter in Kansas City coupled with some great travel opportunities to St. Lucia and most recently, the Bahamas.

I jetted off to Nassau and Paradise Island, Bahamas, on Thursday for a long weekend in the sun where I explored a few great spots on the island and had my share of cigars, local conch, wine and what seemed like an infinite amount of water.

You can see more pictures on my Facebook page if you fancy yourself a little bit of sun and sand this winter. Happy Monday.

cigars at graycliff hotel nassau bahamas

{I’m not a smoker by any means, but you can’t visit the Graycliff Hotel in Nassau, which is known for its 300,000-bottle wine cellar and cigar factory, without getting a puff. The owner, Enrico Garzaroli, rolled this beautiful “ninfa” cigar for me after dinner on Thursday night. Truly a special experience.}

ocean view at the cove atlantis paradise island bahamas

{I stayed at The Cove Atlantis for two nights during the weekend, and this is the view I savored each morning from my 17th-floor hotel room. Even though Atlantis is a larger resort with tons of attractions, moments like this make you feel like you’re miles away from the hustle and bustle.}

kimberlyloc in the water at the cove atlantis nassau bahamas

{On Saturday, I had a great four-hour chunk of time to soak up the sun on the beach at The Cove Atlantis. Besides being in an area exclusively available to guests at The Cove, this area was extremely clean and calm for such a high-energy resort. I was able to literally “swim with the fishies” in this clear water.}

eat conch four ways in the bahamas

{The locals are crazy for conch, and now I understand why. I had, clockwise from top left, scorched conch, fried conch, conch salad and conch fritters. It’s a favorite that reminds me of shrimp in the South. Conch has a chewy texture that takes on different personas depending on how it’s prepared. My favorite style was conch salad, which was similar to ceviche.}

spa at the one & only ocean club bahamas

{I had to take a break during my tour of the One&Only Ocean Club Spa in Nassau, where supermodel Cindy Crawford got married more than a decade ago. This chair was the perfect break from my high heels.}

Have you ever been to the Bahamas? Where did you stay, and would you recommend it? I’d love to know your thoughts!

January 19, 2012

beauty scoop | s.w. basics of brooklyn makeup remover

I’ve never completely bought into the idea of eye makeup remover. Every one I’ve tried stings my eyes, inflames my skin and is ineffective at removing waterproof mascara.

For the longest time, I resorted to using crude oil-based baby oil (ew, I know) to remove my mascara. It was cheap and easy to access, but I always hated the feeling that baby oil residue left on my skin. I’d wipe, wipe, wipe it off and in doing so, irritated the delicate skin around my eyes. Back to square one.

For a more-natural approach, I’ve also tried straight up olive oil (a little too thick) and jojoba oil (not thick enough) to remove my eye makeup. I’d about given up until I discovered Sprout during recent research on farm-to-bottle beauty companies. I received a sampling of the simple yet chic product line and was immediately drawn to the eye makeup remover.

sprout truly all-natural sustainable skincare makeup remover

{Aside from the groovy packaging, I love that Sprout's makeup remover contains three simple, effective ingredients: organic olive oil, organic jojoba oil and organic sweet almond oil. Photo Courtesy Sprout}

Sprout founder Adina Grigore formulated this makeup remover with the right amounts of organic olive oil, organic jojoba oil and organic sweet almond oil to create a perfect consistency for removing heavy-duty makeup as well as lightly moisturizing thirsty skin. I don’t feel the need to sop up loads of excess oil when I use this combination (as opposed to when I smother on straight EVOO), and my skin doesn’t feel heavy or clogged with gunk when I dab this on my eyes (ahem, conventional baby oil).

Though this 2-ounce glass bottle will set you back $12, I think the personality and honesty that comes with Sprout should be the gold standard in skin care. It was to my delight that I saw a handwritten name on my makeup remover denoting who made my goods (thanks, Adam!) and made me even happier to learn Sprout’s philosophy behind genuine customer service.

“We sign our products because we want people to see that there are real people behind the products they’re using,” Adina wrote in an email to me. “Partly this is to differentiate us from ‘lab-made’ skincare, but also it’s to remind people that we care about what we’re doing. Adam is my co-founder and boyfriend, and we both still make product every single day.”

Adina likened this personal touch to the feeling she gets while participating in her Brooklyn CSA (community-supported agriculture) program. “We like the feeling of knowing the people who grew our food. We want to have that same relationship with our customers,” she wrote.

I’m ready to end my relationship with dirty, ineffective makeup removers. I’d much rather pay Adina for wholesome, food-grade ingredients in a thoughtfully packaged, reusable jar than give a buck for a grimy, greasy mineral oil that almost leaves me crying every time I use it.

What dirty, ineffective product are you ready to kick out of your beauty arsenal? Tell me how you’re planning to bring natural beauty into your skin care regimen in the comments section.

January 2, 2012

true and fleck effect: zoya spring 2012 nail polish

Even though spring is officially two and a half months away (and we’ve yet to experience the full-on misery of winter here in Kansas City), I’m starting to get giddy from all the new spring 2012 nail polish releases.

On January 1, Zoya announced its new collections, “True” and “Fleck Effect,” which are coming to a salon or spa near you on Friday the 13th.

Now if you’re the superstitious type who likes to stay home on dates like that, luckily you can order Zoya’s new collection online. Or, you can come over and I will paint your nails a rainbow of nine different colors.

I’ve been drooling over my complimentary set of polishes for a few weeks now, and once my new year’s eve mani begins to chip, I’ll be taking a bottle of Zoya to my favorite nail spa to get a little spring action on my nails. The question is…which one?

The first six polishes, from Zoya’s “True” collection, are creamy, full-coverage polishes that mimic spring’s colors without getting too pastel. I’m leaning toward Skylar being my first color to take to the nail spa, with a possibility of either “Bevin” or “Tru” on my tootsies.

The last three polishes, the “Fleck Effect” polishes, remind me of fishes’ gorgeous iridescence underwater. I’m interested in topping a dark-ish polish with “Chloe” to really see how those copper flecks shine in the light.

Which Zoya spring 2012 polishes are you excited to see on your nails in a few weeks? Tell me your likes (or dislikes!) in the comments section.

January 1, 2012

6 beauty resolutions for 2012

Happy new year! As I look back on 2011 and what I resolved to do last year at this time, I’ve come up with an additional list of beauty goals for 2012.

While it’s a shorter list than last year’s (because it’s not like those things from 2011 just go away!), these six goals will inspire me to continue to take care of myself. I hope it inspires you, too!

1. Experiment with different hair and makeup looks.

smoky eye makeup

{In 2012, I want to master the smoky eye. Photo Courtesy Allure}

In 2012, I want to step outside my hair and makeup comfort zone. Why don’t I wear more purple eyeshadow, which brings out my brown eyes? Why don’t I get streaks of color in my hair this spring, or chop it a bit more just because? Hair grows back. Makeup washes off. Tomorrow’s a new day. Just try it, and if you don’t like, don’t take pictures (and make sure to untag).

2. Invest in a monthly massage.

hot stone massage

{Who wants to play 90 minutes in heaven? I do, I do! Photo Courtesy Pinterest}

I sit at a desk for nine hours a day. It gets stiff. This year, I’m going to invest in a monthly massage to work the kinks out and welcome relaxation into my life. I’m discovering some of the best spas in the Kansas City area as part of my freelance work, so I don’t have to worry about “being unproductive” for 90 minutes a month. It’s research! And, luckily, routine massage is part of my health and wellness program, so this is a “luxury” that I can pay for with my flexible spending account. You should definitely look into what your health care program allows; massages are a great way to mentally unwind and de-stress, and taking care of your mental health this way is a lot cheaper than loading up on anxiety meds!

3. Skip the shampoo.

clean dry shampoo

{I may not be able to go without washing my hair for more than one day like some of my friends can, but I can start small and embrace dry shampoo and every-other-day washes. Photo Courtesy Sephora}

Skipping shampoo is a tough one for me. I’m a naturally oily girl, and just one day without washing leaves my mop an oily mess. I’ve tried dry shampoo, but I just don’t think I’ve found the right formulation or figured out the right way to use it — yet. This year, I resolve to go a day in between washes as much as possible; even if it’s starting small, such as no washes on Sundays, to see how getting my hair back to its natural texture and consistency looks and feels. After doing a quick search for some natural dry shampoos, I came across Clean,which uses natural cotton seeds and extracts to sop up oil and amp up shine. What dry shampoos do you recommend?

4. Keep my hands soft and safe.

hands

{Besides the neck and chest, the hands are one of the first places that can reveal a person's age. Photo Courtesy Pinterest}

I’m religious about wearing sunscreen on my face. But what about my hands? It may seem kooky, but keeping your hands moisturized and protected with a daily sunscreen can take years off your appearance. Ever see those beautiful ladies who have stunning faces but harsh, dehydrated hands? Should’ve used sunscreen! I’m on the hunt for the perfect SPF 15 or higher hand cream that will keep my hands feeling soft and free of sun spots. And in case you don’t already, make sure to keep your neck and chest moisturized and protected year-round, too! The skin in those areas is more delicate and prone to sun damage. It’s not just about your face!

5. Pamper myself with a weekly facial.

green facial

{Treat yo'self! Once a week, relax and detox with a purifying facial. Photo Courtesy Pinterest}

In 2011, I started reserving time on Sundays to treat myself to a facial. Though it didn’t happen every single week, the weeks that I did find 20 minutes to apply a mask and pamper my skin were always incredible. This year, I want to make Sundays count when it comes to my skin. While I don’t have it in my budget to get a professional facial at the spa every week (wouldn’t that be amazing?!), I have some just-as-effective at-home treatments, both DIY and ready-to-use, that I’m excited to share with you in 2012. As far as the pro spa visits go, I’d love to find a facialist to visit every three months to keep my skin in tip-top shape. Do you have a favorite facialist or aesthetitian?

6. Take my vitamins.

eminence clear skin vitamins

{Beauty pills DO exist! They're called vitamins. Photo Courtesy Eminence}

I’ve never been good about taking my vitamins. I think I do a decent job of getting the vitamins and minerals I need through good food, but a little boost here and there shouldn’t hurt, right? This year, I want to get back on to a regular supplement system to get in the extra goodies that aren’t usually in my diet. I’m starting this Clear Skin vitamin system from Eminence this week to see how it goes. It’s packed with borage seed oil, an anti-inflammatory, zinc and other miracle ingredients that are supposed to help keep my blemish-prone skin calm. What vitamins do you take?

Do you have any goals for 2012, beauty- or non-beauty related? What resolutions from 2011 are you carrying over into the new year? Leave me a comment and let me know what you’re doing this year to make your mind and body better!



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