Thursday, March 31, 2011

Dry Shampoo

Rene Furterer Naturia Dry Shampoo
I have a TON of hair (I say it all the time but check out this proof below & you’ll really get where I’m coming from) and it tends to be a little on the dry side.  I don’t wash it that often – so for me, this product is a life-saver!!  I exercise a lot and this is perfect for freshening up hair if you don’t have time/energy or want to do a full shampoo.  It is sulfate and paraben free – which is so important to me as well!!  I will say that it smells a little (well, maybe a lot) odd at first but I promise after a bit it totally goes away.  Also an added plus for blondes – the particular color of this formula acts as a temporary root concealer.  Hands down the best dry shampoo I’ve tried!!

Available at Sephora or the Cosmetic Market(s) in Nashville, TN.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The 2 in 2 for 1 (from Monday's Post)

Back Bar Hydrating Shampoo & Conditioner Duo

I’m so happy that I can give this Nashville-made product an honest, raving review.  As you all know because I mention it so much, I’m working with not only extremely long hair but extremely thick hair so, shampoo & conditioners for me are tough.  This shampoo smelled very fresh and clean and lathered up super nicely.  The conditioner was equally as nice but that’s far from the best part… After blow drying this massive head of hair (no round or paddle brush either, mind you) – My hair was smooth, hydrated, and voluminous (in a good way).  Furthermore, after running a flat iron over my locks very quickly -- (My Usmooth –  another raving review coming soon) I had what looked like a salon quality blow-out with shiny, healthy looking tresses.  I achieved this all within about 30 minutes – this stuff is bananas!!! To quote the great Gwen Stefani and fashion guru Rachel Zoe (not sure who said it first??)… I just had to throw something fashion related in there – given it is Nashville Fashion Week.  I’m just thrilled at how lovely my hair will look tonight for the show!

P.S. @ only $32 for the duo – how can you not try this sulfate/paraben free wonder product???  Sold @ Cosmetic Market and Private Edition.  Out of towners – check out these websites or call the stores to place your orders!! 

I'm also posting a link to another great review of Back Bar's Clarifying shampoo.  I hear it's pretty bananas too.  Haha!

Killer Coupon @ Private Edition

This alert courtesy of my friend LeLe!!  Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

We have a winner!!!!!!!!!!

Congratulations to Daphne Larkin for being the first one to correctly answer "orgasm" -- Nars' wonder blush!!!

You can claim your Back Bar product @ the Cosmetic Market -- Cool Springs.  Ask for Tiffany Beckler.

Yay for you!!  Make sure you tell me what you think!

Question of the Day!! First one to answer correctly wins a full size Back Bar Styling Creme!

This contest is for Nashville readers only!  (Sorry out of state readers/followers -- you'll get your chance soon!!)  You can claim your prize @ the Cool Springs Cosmetic Market -- contact Manager Tiffany Beckler  @ (615) 778-9115.

What is the name of NARS' best selling, universally flattering, & long time award winning blush??

Mercier Tinted Moisturizer & Mineral Primer

Laura Mercier Mineral Primer
I have pretty oily skin and no matter what I’ve tried in the past… pore minimizers… primers... finishing powders – usually after about 2 hours I end looking like an oil slick and am right back where I started.
I have recently been doing some research – while deciding which product I’d try next – in hopes of keeping my makeup in place throughout the day or night.  In the end, I decided on Laura Mercier’s Mineral primer.  I’m posting a link to the product @ Sephora for easy reference below:
I got dressed and put my makeup on at 7:30 yesterday morning and I’m happy to report that @ 3:00 p.m.  – a whole 7.5 hours later I was still smooth and matte.  When I got home @ 5:30 I actually still was pretty shine free as well. Hallelujah!  I think it’s safe to assume this product is a keeper!  It minimizes pores, fills in fine lines, and definitely keeps your skin hydrated but matte PLUS, it’s mineral, so it’s actually good for you!!  The formula is liquid-to-power and it really goes on nicely – pretty impressive & a definite step up from Mercier’s standard primers.
Another Mercier product I’m loving for weekends when I don’t need quite as much coverage is Laura’s Illuminating Tinted Moisturizer
It has 20 SPF too!!  Learn more at or check out the Mercier counter @ Private Edition in Nashville.

Monday, March 28, 2011

2 for 1

Cosmetic Market Cool Springs
I ventured out to Cool Springs this Sat. to check out the Cosmetic Market location out there and… I might just have a new reason to brave the Cool Springs weekend traffic!!  I met with the store’s manager, Tiffany Beckler, & she made my visit such a pleasant one!  Courtesy of the Cool Springs location, I’ll be offering one of my lucky readers a full size styling cream from a new brand they’re promoting called the Back Bar – I’ve heard a lot about this up and coming new brand and have been excited to try it!!  Stay tuned for more info. on how to win later this week!!  Then, you can review something for me for a change!!  LOL.
As you might have guessed – this Cosmetic Market location is modern and sleek as are all the others.  It’s open and airy and filled with great natural light – ideal for testing and sampling.  This location is very large and carries a couple brands the other locations don’t (again making the trip to Cool Springs totally worth it) – to name a few, Bumble & Bumble, Kevin Murphy (I’m obsessed with his “luxury” wash and conditioner) and, Stila cosmetics (very hard to come by these days!!)  Also of note --   The Cosmetic Market Cool Springs is offering $25 spray tans for the remainder of March – perfect for a little pick-me-up from this gloomy weather week ahead.  Their tanning guru is Keri Sweet & I hear she’s fabulous.  I plan to try her spraying skills out later this Spring and post my review.  Make your appointment this week by calling (615) 778-9115.

I’ll be doing a review on the Back Bar’s Hydrating shampoo and conditioner duo later this week – Tiffany hand-picked this duo for me and I’m trusting her expert opinion as she’s maybe one of the few individuals I’ve encountered that appears to have as much hair as I do!!  J  Hers was smooth yet voluminous and tousled to perfection.  Hopefully mine will look the same after trying Back Bar.  A little background on the “Back Bar” for you… This is a Nashville-made product from the same genius that started “Therapy Systems” – another local gem that I’m sure you’re familiar with.  The packaging is minimal but adorable and the duo I took home smells fantastic.  They’re sulfate and paraben free which makes me a fan before even testing the product.  The duos are priced @ $32 (very affordable) for substantially sized bottles and you can choose from 3 types – hydrating, volumizing, and smoothing.

So… now you’ve got even more reason than usual to stay tuned!!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Essence Absolue -- Elixir for hair

Shu Uemura Essence Absolue
This might be one of my favorite things in the world!!  A bold statement, I know.  Try it and you’ll feel the same!  This product is classified as an “elixir.”  It goes on feeling like velvet (seriously!!!) -- & it nourishes and protects your hair.  It contains SPF so it shields color treated hair too – love that!  It instantly absorbs into your tresses and tames fly-aways while adding shine & luster to your lackluster locks!! J  Use it on dry hair as a shine booster, or as a pre-shampoo treatment – I also put it on my damp hair before I blow dry.
This nourishing oil puts Moroccan oil to shame.  It’s a little pricey -- $65 for 5 oz. but it’s so worth it and a little goes a long way & again, I’ve got a TON of hair.  I’m on my 2nd bottle.  My salon in Nashville, Fruition, just started carrying a travel size bottle for $20.  Check them out:

I’m adding a link to Shu Uemura’s website too for easy reference.  All their shampoos and conditioners are amazing!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A "Charm"ing Gloss

Chantecaille Brilliant Gloss in “Charm”
I love this gloss. Chantecaille describes it as a "wearable nude" and that’s exactly what it is.  It’s ultra hydrating and stays on really well for a gloss.  There was quite a frenzy for this shade after Angelina Jolie was spotted applying it @ the Golden Globes but it seems to be back in stock in most places now.  I’m adding  a link to Neiman Marcus below:
The packaging and container are beautiful, as if we’d expect anything else from this brand??!!  I think “charm” is the perfect way to enhance your natural lip color & enhance your tan/glow for Spring and Summer!  The gloss is fairly sheer and all their shades look lovely to me.  I think that “charm” could also be layered over lipstick.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

More Trish!!

Eye Base Essentials  

Primer for your eyelids – pretty much like insurance that your lids stay crease-proof all day.  You can also use this under eyes as a brightener.  This product has a nice creamy consistency and after my first use it instantly became an everyday staple for me.  It’s water-proof and dermatologist tested (as all Trish’s products are) so it won’t irritate your eyes or cause problems for contact wearers like myself.  My lids get oily, like my face, so this product for me is a lifesaver!!

Eye Brightener 

I’m really intrigued by highlighting and contouring – unfortunately, I’m just not that good at doing it.  However, this chubby little pencil makes highlighting the eye area pretty easy!!  I use it right under my brows to add lift and accent my brow bone.  It can also be applied at the outer corners of the eyes (also to add lift) and the inner corners to add light.  It comes in one color: shell, and it’s another one of those shades I find to be universally flattering.  I use it all the time!!  It’s creamy, smooth and blends just lovely.

Just another reminder, Trish Products can be found online @ -- don't forget to use the coupon code this week that I posted earlier this morning.  Trish Products can be found in Nashville at Private Edition (see last week's post for address and phone number).

A couple of my favorite Trish products.... (in honor of the coupon)

Trish McEvoy Curling Mascara
This is another wonder product that seriously changed my eyelashes forever!  For some reason my lashes stick straight out.  No curler (even Shu Uemura) or trick like heating the curler first ever worked so, I was at first skeptical of this product but now I am a believer!  It curls my lashes while lengthening and separating and keeps them curled all day.  I have tried every mascara under the sun -- this is THE BEST!!  It is “tubular” -- so the formula glides easily off your lashes @ the end of a the day/night with a little mild soap and water and doesn't run down your face.

24 Hour Eye Shadow & Liner

This stuff has stayed on my eyes while lounging on a beach in the Bahamas and floating in a canoe down a river in TN (No, I do not typically wear makeup while doing outdoor activities... but you catch my drift).  It can be worn dramatic and applied with a brush or as just a tiny bit of shimmer swiped on right from the convenient tube it comes in.  It WILL NOT crease.  I layer her Rose Quartz shadow over @ night for a more statement making smokey eye.  My favorite color is the "Topaz" -- you will be hooked.  The most gorgeous shimmery gold shade... & the easiest of easy application.  It will light up your lids day or night.

I am a Trish advocate so I will follow up this post with several more of my favorite Trish products throughout the day....  stay tuned!!!

Intense Eye Pencil

I’m not really into eyeliner but am a huge fan of a smokey eye – as all my friends and faithful followers know.  I, however, achieve this usually by using shadow under my eye.  Unfortunately, I was not blessed with steady hands and me attempting a neat eyeliner line can sometimes result in the Alice Cooper look circa the early 90s.  LOL.  This pencil is highly pigmented and has the best smudger on one side.  It’s pretty much impossible to screw up the application.  It is dark though so definitely a smokey/edgy look.  It can also be used to line the under part of the top lid and poke in between the lashes to make the eyes pop without creating an actual line.  A trick all makeup artists use that I was unable to master until this pencil came into my life.  This pencil is smooth, blendable & rich.  It has excellent staying power as well – as all Trish’s products do!! 

Attention All Trish Fans

This just in from my future sister-in-law...

This week only receive 20% off all Trish products on her website: -- if you spend over $100, you get a free candle too.  They're divine!  Enter code: TMSPRING20 at checkout.  Happy shopping!!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

"One Luxe Balm"

The Lip Slip by Sara Happ

So, right after my blog on 3/16/11 about Happ’s lip scrub – I got a call from my Bestie in L.A. urging me to try the lip balm as well.  She compared it to Smith’s Rosebud Salve, which I’ve been using for probably a bit over a decade now, but better!!  This balm is so killer with maybe the best staying and moisturizing powers I’ve encountered in any lip product to date.  Use the scrub, then the lip slip &… Bliss!!  Or lip bliss I should say! J The cute little pot comes in a gorgeous little pink box (perfect for gift giving!) and the slogan on the pot says “one luxe balm” – that’s truly what it is.  I’m in love.  It’s about $25 – which is a good bit more than I’m used to paying for the Smith’s $7 salve but it’s so worth it.  I made it all the way through a grueling workout session with my trainer this a.m. & a Starbucks and my lips are still moist and glossy (the prettiest pink with just a hint of shimmer).  See my earlier blog for where to find Happ’s products online.  To my knowledge, they’re not sold in Nashville yet!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Store Review #2 (Cosmetic Market -- Nashville)

The Cosmetic Market Nashville, TN
I love this store!  I’m partial to the Hill Center location in Nashville – just because I think it has the largest selection & I know the staff.  This store has everything – in addition to cosmetics and beauty products they also have candles, cards, great little notepads, hair accessories and fun gift ideas.  Jane Iredale, Smashbox, Tarte, NARS, Fresh, Pureology, OPI, Essie, Rene Furterer, Cargo, Murad, Philosophy….  I could go on and on… the list is endless… The store is clean, neat, sleek & modern, and organized to perfection.  You must check them out yourself.  Here is a pic of their newest location (which I plan to visit soon in the Vandy Village on 21st)

Cannabis -- An attention grabbing name!!

Fresh “Cannabis” Fragrance
I was turned onto this scent by another dear friend – after I balked at the price of a similar scent of hers by Chantecaille.  It’s woodsy, musky and slightly exotic & I adore it.  It even mixes well with other fragrances of mine.  ( specifically Jo Malone’s Grapefruit & Trish’s Blackberry & Vanilla Musk) Fresh also makes super yummy lip balms.

 The 1 oz. bottle is shown and it retails for around $35.  Not bad!!
Here is a link to the complete Fresh collection @ Neiman Marcus:

Friday, March 18, 2011

Frieda 3-Day Straight

John Frieda Frizz Ease 3-Day Straight
Because I’m not too good for the drugstore stuff… I was excited to try this after I recently stopped treating my hair with Keratin due to all the bad press & health concerns.  This product is not a winner.  It at first made my hair feel stiff & product heavy (no, I did not use too much) – I will admit that after an hour or so that feeling went away but my hair was by no means straighter, or less frizzy, and in no way more manageable. L  & I have straight, relatively frizz free hair to begin with!!  So, I’m sorry John Frieda, you’re the Boss of Gloss’ first thumbs down.  We’ll still try your products again in the future though!!!

ROC (Anti-Aging)

ROC Anti-Wrinkle Night Cream
I got my first request this morning (yay!!!)… For an anti-aging cream that was in a lower price range than the Skinceuticals products I posted earlier in the week.  I also think of this product as “preventative maintenance” (or anti-aging) and used it often in my late 20s before switching to a prescription strength retinol cream.  This cream is great for someone just starting to use retinoid/or retinol (the active ingredient) products because the strength is low so you don’t get the redness or flaking that often accompanies the stronger stuff but you still get a powerful punch.  ROC has been out there forever and I know beautiful 60/70+ year old women that swear by this stuff.  You can find it at CVS or Walgreens and even most grocery stores.  I like the night cream – which I used on my forehead and around my eyes in the evening before bed.  It’s a smooth, creamy, and fast absorbing formula that really does work.  So, this one is for you Melissa!!  Be sure & let me know what you think!!  You young, gorgeous, & wrinkle-free girl!!  Prevention, prevention, prevention…

Learn more on RROC’s website:

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Private Edition (our first store review)

Store Review: Private Edition Nashville, TN
A beauty mecca.  Every product under the sun for all budgets.  Not to mention massages, waxes, spray tans and constant special events and visiting makeup artists.  The girls at the Trish counter are my favorite & Victoria does an unbelievable smokey eye and false lash application.  The staff are all very sweet, friendly (& seriously skilled!!) and actually make it a point to learn your name and get to know you!  Especially if you’re in there as much as I am. J  A shot of the store is below.  How fabulous is that chandelier?? Their sister store is the Cosmetic Market (w/ several Nashville locations) and I’ll report on them soon!  Between the two of them I rarely (maybe once in 8+ years??!!!) have inquired about a product that they don’t have.  Nars, Skinceuticals, YSL, Butter, Shu Uemura, Trish McEvoy, La Prairie, Oribe, Smashbox, Fresh, Laura Mercier… just to name a few.

Chanel Nail Polish

Chanel Nail Lacquer in Black Pearl
It’s hard for me to stray from Vamp or OPI’s Lincoln Park After Dark -- even in the middle of Summer when everyone else is in pink or coral but this new color might just be my sunny day savior.  It goes on even more beautiful than it looks in the bottle.  & for those of you not familiar with this brand’s nail lacquer – it stays on forever!!  I can go a full 5 days with no chips and I have natural nails.  The color is slightly metallic and the most gorgeous blue/gray/silver.  Perfect for Spring and Summer on hands or toes.  I cannot wait to wear it with my pewter Grecian KORS sandals.

Armani -- Need I say more??

Giorgio Armani UV Lasting Silk Foundation
This stuff is fantastic.  When they say “lasting” they really mean it.  My skin is a little on the oily side and this is the only foundation (liquid or powder) that I have found that stays somewhat matte on my skin after 8+ hours of wear and keeps me from looking like an oil slick/train wreck when 5:00 rolls around at my office.  Plus, it has SPF so you knock out 2 steps in 1 during your morning routine! The formula is hydrating, luminous, and oil free!!  Trust me, it is hard for someone to look luminous when their skin tends to be oily – this does the trick!  We all know there is a fine line between a dewy look and a greasy look!!  Armani products are still somewhat hard to come by as he is relatively new to cosmetics.  Here in Nashville (Woo is also in Atlanta), you can find them at Woo: -- which is a darling little store in Green Hills packed with fabulous products from all the best brands and armed with a super friendly and knowledgeable staff. Armani can also be found at Neiman Marcus and Saks and the like. A link to the product at Neiman Marcus is also below.

Phloretin CF (A wonder serum)

Skinceuticals Phloretin CF

I will not lie – I am a former sun worshipper (I was young – don’t judge!) and as a result – now in my early 30s, I am plagued with splotchy skin and the beginnings of a few dark spots.  I’m trying to be preventative now, so the idea of a serum that both prevents and diminishes damage at the same time is very appealing to me.  This serum’s main/active ingredients are phloretin, vitamin C and ferulic acid.  I started using this product the first week of November and am already certain I’ll be a lifelong devotee.  I’m on bottle #2.  I swear you can actually feel it working!!  Within 4 weeks I noticed a significant improvement in my overall skin tone and after 8 weeks I noticed my dark spots were starting to fade away.  It also works to improve the appearance of fine lines – it’s true, it does!!  Truly a miracle worker overall!!  The price tag is a little steep ($152) but a little goes a long way and I think the reason I went through so much so fast is because I was also applying to my chest.  It’s a little too pricey for me to continue on both routes so I think I’ll stick to my face for now.  My aesthetician has confirmed this product’s uber powers and says it’s truly not like the other so called “fluff” on the market. J
I’m posting a link to the Skinceuticals’ site below for easy reference.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Coming soon...

To my few (but soon to grow!) followers & viewers:

I will also be blogging about beauty stores in my current area (Nashville, TN) and beauty stores in places I visit!  First on my travel list this Spring... one of my favorite cities... Charleston, SC (in April) to visit my equally product obsessed BFF who I know will take me to all the hot spots.  Can't wait to share with you!!

Per your request...

Here is a link to the Sara Happ website:

or use this link & get 10% off Happ products by entering promo code: happ10 @ checkout!!  Happy scrubbing!!$24)&utm_content=sara+happ+general&utm_term=sara%20happ%20the%20lip%20scrub

Gloss, of course!!! What else would we start with??!!

Sara Happ – the lip scrub “brown sugar”

In one word – incredible.  & almost edible.  A very dear friend gave me this cute little jar for Christmas and I’m now obsessed.  A light and luxurious balmy, grainy scrub that gently exfoliates lips.  Easily removes any skin buildup or flakes and instantly moisturizes and plumps lips, plus it smells and tastes delicious.  This is the perfect lip prep or primer before putting on one of this season’s vibrant lip hues.  I cannot wait to try Sara Happ’s other products (I hear her balm is killer too!).  This lip scrub is especially appealing to me lately as I’m starting to wear lipstick… which brings me to my next product.

Yves Saint Laurent  Rouge Pur Couture Lipstick

This is a creamy & highly pigmented formula that stays put for hours (seriously) without over-drying lips.  Use the Sara Happ lipscrub right before you put it on and… Hello Gorgeous!!  I’m a gloss girl but I’ve been trying to branch out.  I like #9 (rose stiletto) – a universally flattering natural pink & #8 (belle de rose) which is a deep ruby that looks high glam and is best with minimal eye makeup.  This formula also contains SPF which makes me love it even more!   These are perfect for stepping up your look just a bit and adding a punch of color.  Also on my hit-list by YSL…

Yves Saint Laurent Gloss Volupte

This is perfect for the work week.  All shades are sheer and universally flattering.  Full-proof easy application.  I have #1 (iced lychee) which is a peachy coral and #4 which is a plum (frosted plum) that reminds me of my younger days and Clinique’s “almost lipstick” in black honey – who didn’t wear that??  The tube is reminiscent of that Clinique formula as well.  It is long and slender and metallic (gold).  This comes in the convenience of a stick but slides on like a gloss and is ultra hydrating.  Completely non-sticky for breezy days/nights. A couture chapstick of sorts!

Ok, my last lip related review of the day…

Trish McEvoy Flawless lip color in Perfection

I’m a big fan of all Trish products you’ll come to find out.  This one is relatively new.  I love this because it looks and wears like lipstick but goes on like gloss.  The tube is one of those neat little click sticks that you twist to get a dose of product.  Perfection is a light natural pink that goes on soft & smooth.  I’m a blonde with light/medium skin and it matches my coloring perfectly.  It’s very light & fresh.  Perfect for Spring!!