Thursday, December 31, 2009

10 Influential Beauties of the Augties: Lily Allen

Initially, I was pretty quick to write Lily Allen off but now that I think about it. She just really needs a hug. Karl chose a great face for the Coco Coccoon collection, she's witty, crass and just Lily.

10 Influential Beauties of the Augties: Fantasia Barrino


Waaaay back when being on reality television made you relevent in society a young women with the world on her shoulders and the most soulful voice to come out of American Idol won. The fairytale didn't end here but Fantasia Barrino went on to star on Broadway in The Color Purple not before she scored a deal with MAC cosmetics- yeah?! Fantabulous was released in 2004 producing 2 rare, HTF lipglasses ( Fantabulous 1 and Fantabulous 2) that are now worth as much as the price of MAC's Spanish Fly or Bronx lipsticks- yup.
At around the time of the release, I was in LA at the MAC store at the Kodak Theatre where the M.A. told me- these [ lipstick and lipglass] are hot sellers- no kidding! I promptly scooped them for my mom and ever since then- its been a chase to find.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

10 Influential Beauties of the Augties: Lykke Li

Youth Novel's came to me like a flying skittle, no really. Anna G. has been a huge fan and I got a healthy dose of Lykke when going update for some r&r this past fall. "I'm Good, I'm Gone" is my anthem for 2009. Her songwriting, collabs and style is amazing- long flowy boho tunic (check) goth-whimsical jewelry (check), ballet bun ( double check), heavy charcoal liner ( double check).
She's gained some Twihard points by being on the guilty pleasure New Moon soundtrack.

10 Influential Beauties of the Augties: Santigold


One of my top 5 albums of the decade, all infectious sounds that I still can’t quite categorize and that’s a good thing. Keep doing what you do and don’t let anyone define you.“Shove it” was my anthem for 2008- take that recession!
Santi is currently a Nixon campaign model, been in Converse ads and on the cover of Missbehave.

Style- she mixes Jeremy Scott, track suits and skater gear for play and femme flattering pieces to glam it up front row at Fashion week!

Chanel Particuliere 505 Nail Color pics and swatches

Chanel Particuliere #505 Nail Color


Chanel Partculiere Le Vernis Nail Polish is very wearable and complementary to my skintone.
I think for New Year's Eve I'm going to layer some copper pigment as an overlay to go with my outfit...

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

10 Influential Beauties of the Augties: M.I.A
Mathangi "Maya" Arulpragasam or M.I.A's Arular album is still in my Ipod mini while my nano has the “Boys” and “Paper Planes” remixes. She was part of the initial wave of nu-new wave day-glo orange and yellow late 80’s early 90’s comeback look but her lyrics are of political messages with bells, whistles, horns and gun-shots. Plus, who else can get up and rock the mic ( doing a Sanit hook-no less) alongside Mr. Hov while pregnant- hm?

10 Influential Beauties of the Augties: Róisín Murphy

image:google images

Róisín Murphy is pre-Gaga as far as her eccentricity and music. I was reeled into her music from my Colette Compliation CD I bought at the store in Paris in '06 ( song: Ramalama Bang Bang). She ( along with Bjork and Goldfrapp) ushered in the electronica music and Avant-Garde marriage.

Monday, December 28, 2009

10 Influential Beauties of the Augties: Janelle Monáe

Channeling mod with the Black and white aesthetic with futuristic pop sounds. She’s coached from the love below and beamed to us from the distant planet of Metropolis.
Her style- Simple, effortless and timeless just like her beauty. Attending her live shows are worth having someone breathe down the back of your neck ( Music Hall of Williamsburgh was completely sold out and was back-to-back bodies) extra added bonus, she paints onstage!

10 Influential Beauties of the Augties: Cat Power's Chan Marshall

Between nervous breakdowns, eerie perfromances and utter disappearance throught the decade, we coveted her style ( eye-covered bangs, heavy liner) , the release of "The Greatest" in which she played along side some of Nashville's most coveted musicians plus, she was the face of a Chanel line.
Her last project was a cover of David Bowie's Space Oddity for a Lincoln commerical
You can do it Chan, we heart you!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

10 Influential Beauties of the Augties: Hikaru Utada

I'm taking this time as we round out the end of the Aughties to praise some of my favorite influential beauties of this decade. Their art and inspiration is well beyond just these ten years and I certainly hope to see more of them in the near future.

First up- Hikaru Utada.

Upon receiving the invite from Sephora to see Utada perform at Sephora for her upcoming album, fans spent the night in hopes of seeing the Best Selling Japanese Artist.
She prompted the 5th Ave Sephora shutdown in Spring 09 in which the fire department was called because of crowd control.

In 2002 she broke in the US with “Simple and Clean” from Kingdom Hearts video game.
Seriously, I could write about Utada for at least 2 days but will only capture a glimpse of her greatness.

Chanel Spring 2010 Les Impressions Mini Review

I just completed my first vlog!
Its been an absolute pleasure to have seen, tested and purchased some items from the Chanel Les Impressions Spring 2010 Make-up collection at Bloomingdales Soho this weekend!

Le Vernis Particuliere ( 505) is the most buzzed about nail polish since Chanel Jade , plus since its extremely wearable and a universally flattering- it's sure to be a hit.
Check out my first vlog and review of Particuliere ( I was so excited- I miss pronounced it..haha) on the Lacroixthebeautyblog youtube channel!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Giveaway! Laura Geller Makeup

Recently I purchased Sephora's Favorites Glitz & Glam Shimmer and Shine Delux Sampler and had a blast! Now you can too!

I'm giving away one 0.06 oz Laura Geller Blush-N-Brighten in Sunswept and one Laura Geller Lip Shiner in City Lights. Straight from Sephora's Favorites Glitz & Glam Shimmer and Shine Delux Sampler!

To enter, drop me an e-mail and tell me about Your Best New Years!
E-mail me at or tweet me at Lavande_G
All entries must be received by January 10, 2010 12pm est. (Just in time for LTBB's 3rd Anniversary!).
A winner will be chosen at random and notified here no later than January 12th.
Contest open to all you and can enter more than once!

Good Luck!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Loreal Friends and Family Sale ends Dec 20, 2009

Metropolitan Pavillion
125 West 18th Street, 5th Floor ( btwn 6th and 7th aves)
Wednesday, Dec 16th- Sunday, Dec 20th , 10am-8pm.

The Loreal Friends and Family sale officially started yesterday but there are plenty of goodies left at the Metropolitan Pavillion.
Here is what they had and the prices:
Kiehls: $5 lipglosses, $15 Argan Dry Oil, $5 essential oils,$10 Bodywashes & Hand cleansers $5 totebag
Lancome: $5 Juicy tubes, $8 Liglosses and Lipsticks , $10 Foundation,$25 Eye shadow palettes $20 Bronzers
Shu Uemura: $ 15 lipsticks, $10 lashes, $25 brush sets, $20 concealer, $20 bronzer
Giorgio Armani : $20 foundation
Vichy: $10 Skincare
YSL: $10 Gommage , $20 Eyeshadow palette, $10 lipgloss, $10 french manicure kit

Source: Madison Avenue Spy

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Beauty Dept Lays-off at Saks Flagship in 2010

The New York Post reported today that 100 sales associates in the beauty department will be let go come January 2010. The reasoning behind the move? Many counters are supplied with company appointed beauty reps from companies such as Dior, Chanel, Lancome etc. who specifically cater to customer needs and are trained to know product lines thoroughly enough to recommend items and create regimens.
Will this company appointed make-up artists bring a less “salesy” approach to high-end department stores ? After all, the brand reputation is associated with the quality of their products, strategy in advertising and how well it moves off the shelf.
I have all of 2 examples of how this strategy may work for high-end department stores. Over the summer, I needed new skincare, after reading a magazine and doing my research with fellow bloggers, I journeyed over to Saks and visited a high-end luxury brand counter. With what was initially a stop for x ended up with product recommendations, a regimen, and the purchase of x and y. Upon payment entered the sales associate who informed me of a special promotion for Saks but when I had specific product questions- she forwarded me to the company brand rep. I found it frustrating, why couldn’t they answer my question about x but want my credit card? I understand the deal, they are in sales, but had I gone to another counter who didn’t have a brand rep- I would have high-tailed it to the door.
On another note, without the brand reps with their specialized product knowledge, I am pushed to buy products that clearly do not work for me. For example, the foundation or lipstick shade will not look drastically different once I walk outside. The ashiness will not go away or blend with my skin as the day wears on- no excuses, it just doesn’t work. Additionally, on another visit, same Saks on 5th Ave, different counter- at an event, where there were company reps , the product recommendations where spot-on and if they ran out of the product used on my face? I was given a chart or card with the recommended products and asked to call back or stop in to follow-up and inquire, plus that same rep rang me up and completed the process. Personally, that keeps me coming back for more.

I’ve never known the full extent to “counter culture”. My only idea was brand reps (National Artists) who came to events like the Nordstrom’s Trend Show and then the reps who worked at counters and then the sales associates. For me the structure began to blur with the counters and who I asked- etc. A counter vs. a flagship or boutique is clearly obvious. But moseying in to see a product that a friend or colleague recommended- I didn’t know who I was dealing with unless I knew them. My knowledge of sales associates were from the phone calls I received about the collections and launch dates.
Can this Saks renovation turn it around and increase the quality of being specialty niched focus? Will this lead to individualized attention which could turn into overall customer satisfaction and? I guess we have a whole new year to look at this in scope…

photo: googleimages

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Beauty Inspiration: Princess Tiana

Over the weekend, I took my 3-year-old niece to see The Princess and the Frog. While enjoying the film with a theatre packed with singing, laughing, smiling children and parents. I was saying to myself- Exhibit A!

Call me crazy, I was watching this cartoon film and thinking- Princess Tiana is totally wearing NARS' Exhibit A blush.. I really need to stop.

Princess Tiana's makeup was flawless, while adjusting my niece on my lap and trying to figure out the animated equivalent of the rest of her beauty routine- I was amazed by the film itself.
Set in Jazz-era New Orleans, the story featured un-princessy issues, some of which we face today and other Disney film's haven't tackled. One being, independent women who are dreamers and do-ers vs. immature boys who just want to have fun- ladies, can you feel me?
Now, I'm going to have to watch it again sometime this week, between the bathroom and cookie breaks - I have to catch up on a musical number (or two) and figure out Princess Tiana's plummy eyeshadow shade and bordeaux lippie.

Disney's The Princess and the Frog released on Friday, December 11th

disclaimer: makeup suggestion is soley my interpretation, paid to see film.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Body Scrubs: The Gingerbread Man vs. Hot Chocolate


Its Giovanni Cosmetics vs. Philosphy's The Gingerbread Man in a faux battle of the scrub. Who is worth your bathroom beauty time? Who needs to stop runnin'? Which scent will conjur your latte decision at the coffee house?
A few years ago I discovered Philosophy's holiday seasonal friend, The Gingerbread Man. The highly covetable scrub is still highly praised and one of the best-selling body scrubs to date.
Recently while in Duane Reade, I discovered Giovanni Cosmetic's Hot Chocolate Scrub. A simple magazine run turned into a spa experience. An organic body scrub in Duane Reade? That's almost as good as NARS being in Marshall's!
I decided to compare both, it has taken me some time but finally on to the results:

1. Scent- I'm not a fan of smelling like either Chocolate or Gingerbread but initially, I am drawn to the scent. While in use, you want to feel relaxed and not think of a Mocha or Gingerbread Latte but I have to say- the Gingerbread scent quickly wore while being used. My bathroom didn't retain the lovely scent that drew me to buy it, while the Hot Chocolate Scrub retained its scent and made me want to grab a Mocha post beautification.

Giovanni's Hot Chocolate Scrub

2. Performance- This could differ with shelf life but while experimenting I did find that the Gingerbread Man was in a " Can't catch me" mentality of being quite well- runny. Again, who knows if the contents just melt with shelf life but being that this was one of Oprah's Favorite Things in 2003- it probably didn't make it to the shelf due to its wait list.
The Hot Chocolate Scrub was "meatier" if that is the best way to describe it. Its contents- effective and polished- a definite thumbs up.

3. Perks- The warming sensation claim, thats great but if you rub your hands together, doesn't that friction create warmth? When trying both out, I found Giovanni's Chocolate Sugar scrub to perform better on the warming side than that of The Gingerbread Man- and without the claim. I chalk it up to the consistancy of the latter product.

Price was not considered as these both are around the same price per oz. -roughly less than $1.

The Winner? Giovanni's Hot Chocolate scrub- now I'm off to get that Mocha.

disclaimer: Both Giovanni and Philosophy products were purchased by me for use and reviewing.
photos: and personal photos

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

DIY: Concealer

I've been running low on some good cover-up and adventured out to the Sephora on 5th avenue to see if they had some new goods. Unfortunately- A. either my shade or the product is discontinued or B. I am in-between shades. For example- Illamasqua's concealer, my shade is in-between CC320 and CC325. That's a hugestretch in tones!
So, I decided to take matters into my own hands and whipped up my own concealer with the materials I had in my Ikea office furniture- turned 6 drawer traincase.
I broke out the following:
NARS Balanced Foundation in New Guinea
NARS Firming Foundation in Benares
NARS Concealer in Chocolate
YSL's Temps Mejor Yeux
and put all 3 to work.

First, I started with a small empty sample jar I received from Sephora.
I added a scoop of the Temps Mejor and cut a 1/16th disk of Chocolate concealer from the stick.
Chocolate is long since discontinued from NARS . Its darker than toffee and is without the yellow undertones. I then mixed New Guinea in the jar to get the concoction to my skin tone.
For further blending, heat a pot of boiling water and a small plastic bowl. Add water to the plastic bowl and add your jar of concealer contents.

When the concealor melts, take the jar out of the bowl, take a cotton swab (remove the cotton) and mix the contents. After this, place your new concealor is a cool-try area and watch the concealer's consistancy thicken.

Voila! you have a new custom made concealer with all of your own goods and just saved up to $20 in the process!

disclaimer: materials used were purchased by me except for the Sephora Sample jar.

Monday, December 7, 2009

It's Glaze-y Shade of Winter!

A few weeks ago a friend had asked me how she could "jazz up" her locks without the maintainance of color treatments and spending a bunch of dollars. Especially because the count-down for all Holiday related gatherings are just around the corner despite it being the 6th day of December.
I immediately started to think back to when I decided to experiment with hair color in Jr. High and how to minimize damage, my mom recommeded a clear glaze to enhance my hair.
Back in the day I used Clairol's Jazzing- that was my solution for my friends hair debacle.
Now, after thinking about how the weather has been hovering around the lower 40's and the snow flurries yesterday, the wind today and the 3 holiday parties next week ( and a partridge in a pear tree, j/k)- I need to whip my hair into shape as well!
Since Ricky's was all sold out of Jazzing's Clear, I was recommended Kiss's Express Colors in Crystal Clear. Like Jazzing, it is great for chemically treated and natural hair.
After my sunday evening blowout , I'm happy with my results and am excited to have saved some doll-hairs for some holiday shopping !

disclaimer: both Clairol Jazzing and Kiss Express Colors were purchased by me.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Sonia Rykiel for H&M!

This morning was the launch of Sonia Rykiel's lingerie collection for H&M and I got up bright and early for it.
With no line to wait in, I waltzed into the 51st St and 5th Ave store and went directly towards the body suit in Grey and Blue. When I tried it on, I had to go up a size- wha? what a way to give a girl a complex! The real reason for the sizing? because the bralette is a size or two smaller than the bottom. So if you wear a certain size in H&M panties and want to get this body suit? Go a full size up!

Over all the suit is comfy the fit is well, the satin and details remind me of ( I reference this waaay too much) the Jean-Paul Gautier airline attendant suit from The Fifth Element.
Finally got one!

photos: 42nd St H&M and my purchase at home

Finally! YSL Rouge Volupte Gloss in #4

For my birthday I received quite a pleasant surprise! I received YSL's Rouge Volupte Gloss in #4 and I'm in love!!!
The gloss has the coverage of a lipstick, the consistancy is much like Clinique's Black Honey Almost Lipstick BUT the color is much bolder and lasts much longer. I would say Black Honey is like #4's little sister in that respect.
The pumping effect is pronounced because the moisture and coverage making your lips fuller.
This is officially my new holiday lippie and FINALLY you can get it at

disclaimer: product received as a gift from friend (no affiliation to YSL or Sephora).

Thursday, December 3, 2009

WeSC Sample Sale starts today!

If you are in Orange County, you are in luck!

WeAretheSuperlativeConspiracy is having their annual Holiday Warehouse sample sale! Joining them is Paul Frank, Modern Amusement Eyewear and Generic Surplus Footwear.

Thursday, December 3rd from 10am- 6pm and Friday, December 4th from 10am- 8pm.

Get up to 70% off all past and current collection pieces including men and women's core and premium denim, outwear, knits, samples and headphones. Gear will range from $10-$150 for Jackets, sweaters, jeans, tees, hoodies, headphones,etc.

Visit TODAY and mention the WeSC mailing list and receive a WeSC Friends & Family Discount of an additional 10% off your purchase!

Location: The Boathouse, 1640 Pamona Ave, Costa Mesa, CA 92627

I wish I were out in California now, enjoying the sun and stalking up on some goodies!

info from WeSC press release

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tocca Sample Sale Starts Tomorrow!

At the last sample sale a few months ago, I scored the Stella Candle( which retails for $32) for $10!

This is where my holiday shopping will begin!

Monday, November 30, 2009

5ave 5 '09: Joann S of Sugar Bear Enterprises

Joann is the force who is owner and executive chef of Sugar Bear Enterprises, her personal chef and private catering company. She hails from San Diego and loves to enjoy " all the city has to offer", like Balboa Park's free museum tuesdays, the beach and yoga.
Over the Thanksgiving break I caught up with Joann and captured her 5 favorites of '09.

Hair: Sexy Hair®Hair Spray Wax- " Great for dirty spunky look on clean hair".

Fragrance: Solid Perfume at Whole Foods- Egyptian Bergamot Rose- " They look like little sticks"

Skin: Tea Tree Blemish Stick from Whole Foods- " works like a dream"

Cosmetics: Bare Essentials- "[I] swear by it!"

Body:" Dia De Los Muertos"Sleeve tattoo by Scott Silvia from San Francisco

You can contact Joann at Sugar Bear Enterprises here

Friday, November 27, 2009

5ave 5 of '09: Liz Wright of the Love Grenades

photo: Love Grenades via Myspace

Liz is an incredible singer, songwriter, performer- no seriously. The Love Grenades are a Sam Sparro produced. L.A. based, electro-dance-pop ball of Justice meets Debbie Harry, yes the torch has been passed.
I had the pleasure to check out the Love Grenades at NYC's CMJ showcases last month and she almost knocked me out- litterally. During her performance she got down with the crowd, spurring enigmatic fun and hyped it up! My current jam is "Tigers In The Fire" and another favorite is "Young Lovers".

When Liz had a spare moment, she let me in on her favorite 5 products that helped her get through the year.

Liz's 5ave 5 of '09:

Skin: Dr. Brandt Skin Care Blemishes No More

Cosmetics: MAC's Ruby Woo and Rocker Lipsticks
MAKE UP FOR EVER HD Invisible Cover Foundation
Hair: Oribe Shampoo for Brilliance and Shine
Aquanet Hair spray (only when performing)

Checkout The Love Grenades on MySpace here

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

5ave 5 of '09: Graizzy Bear Anna!

Anna G. is a blogger and project manager living in NYC. She yet to cease in obsessing over Lykke Li and Grizzly Bear for the past two years, and her favorite film is a tie between Pee Wee's Big Adventure and The Shining.

: When all else fails (which is, well, everything), I use Frederick Fekkai Glossing Cream. It's probably the only product besides Davine's Oil Non-Oil (which I can't find ANYWHERE for some reason) that actually makes my thick, frizzy, unruly hair slightly less horrific-looking.

: Whatever red color I get at the nail place. I prefer to leave my nails to the professionals, otherwise I end up looking like a deranged 5-year old painted my nails (i.e. me).

: Neutrogena anti-wrinkle, anti-blemish scrub. It makes me feel like I'm not still a teen and yet not a weird older lady trying to fight wrinkles, yet it incidentally fights wrinkles, if that's even possible. It's not. But, whatever, I guess at least I don't use the exact products hawked by some Disney channel asshole.

: Michael Kors. Though I was hesitant at first to buy something so closely associated with the nouveau riche aesthetic from the mindspace of a man who is, apparently, orange, this shit smells pretty good. It became an instant classic for me. However, I may soon try out YSL's Parisienne. It smells like a wilted rose in the best way possible-- a more sophisticated balance of floral and warmer, deeper notes. Almost smells like Prada cologne, but more subtly sweet and much more rich.

: Aside from my new favorite Givenvchy lipstick I got on my birthday, I love my Nars duo blush/bronzer in Sin/Casino. If used with a large brush, you can easily adjust the levels on each, making it a go-to item year-round.

Photo by: Driven By Boredom

Saturday, November 21, 2009

5ave 5 of '09: Lacroix!

Yes, I had to add myself to this poll for one reason in particular- It's my B-day today!
About me? I'm San Diego bred, Brooklyn Fed, working at a financial firm in Downtown Manhattan by day and churn out Lacroix the Beauty Blog and Lavande-garde on nights and weekends. Serious addictions: NARS, Salted Carmel Ice Cream, watching Party Down and the need to bust new terrible dance moves!

Here are my 5ave 5 of '09:

Hair: Every single day involves Pantene's Relaxed and Natural hairspray. Its great for moisturizing and doesn't make my hair feel heavy. I often mix Oscar Blandi's Protiene Jasmine hair spray with this for a nice jasmine smell.

Fragrance: Chloe, Chloe, Chloe! Its been the best fragrance investment ( and only one) all year! I spray this lightweight gen on seriously every other day. Words can't describe the delicate scent and its so uplifting and perfect for the day. Night time requires Christian Lacroix's Tumulte, the perfect blend of musky and floral- tumultuous indeed!

Skin: I love YSL's Gommage Natural exfoliator, a little goes a long way when used once a week. For the everyday? Neutrogena's Visibly Even cleanser is my savior! its light, gentle and I see amazing improvements to my skin all the time. Moisture for my oily skin calls for Caudalie's Premieres Vendages Moisturizer cream. I've been addicted since I received a sample of it in a Paris pharmacy, its not greasy, very light and smells amazing.

Nails: This year has been a conundrum when it came to nails. But I am standing firmly with OPI's Done out in Deco which I have used the most this year thus far. The light lavender looks great against my skintone and its so subtle I can wear it on my nails to the office without the complete and obvious looks of shock that I would have if I rocked Chanel Jade on my fingers ( which is use frequently on my toes).

Cosmetics: Where do I begin, clearly one in each category wasn't enough- I'll try my best to pair down this one. Concealers are my vice, I have the hardest time finding a match but Maybelline's Corrector coverstick in Deeper Beige is a hit too bad I just learned ( this morning) its been discontinued!
Blush- NARS Nirvana, if you find it, it is a holy grail product. A beautiful terra-cotta clay that warms the cheeks but is not as loud as Exhibit A and has no shimmer like its sister Taj Mahal.
Bronzer- YSL Bronzer in #2, I've been singing its praises for over 2 years, this will give you cheekbones like you won't believe especially is if you have a deep cocoa skintone like me!
Eyes- Givenchy PhenomenEyes! Lips- for day Kiehl's New York Nude gloss is an easy to apply nude and for night Dior 's High Shine Lip color in Catwalk Mauve- just the right amount of color to go with a clean lined eye ( MAC Blacktrack fluidline). ( Apologies, again, clearly more than 5, I can't edit myself!)

(Bonus) Body: I'm fairly simple when it comes to body care. I use Dove Exfoliating Beauty Bar Soap, for scrub I use Giovanni's Hot Chocolate body scrub that I recently picked up at Duane Reade. This is a great inexpensive alternative to the Philosophy's Gingerbread man and it does the same job! Warms up in your hands, is a great sugar exfoliator and smells like you want to eat it ( but can't). Moisturizer? Good 'ol always in fashion Vasoline!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

5ave 5 of '09: Danielle of Danielleish!

Danielle is now a buyer based out of Houston, TX (yeehaw!) and Brooklyn will not be the same with out her. We have missed her sweet potato pancakes and cake balls with crazy confectionary glaze! Now she loves "keeping up with my gorgeous east coast friends". Aww, Thanks Danielle!
"Outside of work, if I'm not at workout bootcamp ( I'm hunting out banh mi sandwiches and the best BBQ and queso the south has to offer!"

Here are Danielle's favorite 5 products:

Skin: Oil of Olay Daily Regenerist Serum - I am a freak for Oil of Olay - this is the product that was always on my mother's bathroom counter. Though, I find the classic moisturizer to be a bit heavy for me. I really love this product because it doesn't leave me feeling greasy and it doesn't suffocate my face in the hot Texas sun!

Fragrance: Jo Malone Nectarine Blossom & Honey Cologne - I have been wearing this scent for about three years, usually once the weather gets colder, and I love it. It's pretty unique, but the Jo Malone fragrances are all so distinct that you really get the chance to find something perfectly suited for you. Additionally, they offer a Fragrance Combining Menu for that truly one-of-a-kind perfume that only you will be wearing around town. More on that here:

Hair: Neutrogena Shampoo, anti-residue formula - I really like trying out tons of different shampoos + conditioner combinations. But once a week I give my hair a much-needed reprieve and wash it with this classic shampoo and then finish with a deep conditioning mask. The shampoo DOES kind of smell like my grandpa's old leather loafers and stale after shave, but I know with all the products to which I subject my hair, it needs a good thorough cleaning. This stuff does the trick.

Body: Dove Sensitive Skin Body Bar - I really love bar soap, but my microdermabrasion lady always tells me that I need to break this habit. A friend recommended this product to me by way of her dermatologist and I have been hooked ever since! It's sensitive enough to be used on your face, you can pick it up at the grocery store along with your apples and oranges, and I still get that bar soap satisfaction with which I strangely can't seem to part.

Hair 2.0: Bumble and Bumble Styling Creme - This stuff is really the bomb, yall. It's so versatile, you can use it if you're going to air dry your hair and go au naturale, or if you're really gonna amp things up and go super sleek and bring out the hair dryer/other assorted hair tools. It doesn't weigh your hair down, yet it still provides the right amount of hold so your hair doesn't fall limp the second you walk out the door. Though, for a big night, I still bring out the trusty hair spray - my proximity to Dallas gets me every time!

(Surprise! BONUS!) Certain Dri - Oh, where to begin with this one. Look, nobody likes sweaty pits. This stuff will get that pesky problem out of your life once and for all! No need to go into detail, but upon my recommendation, get thee to a CVS and start using it today! Those old "Sure? Unsure." commercials can finally be laid to rest thanks to Certain Dri!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

5ave 5 of '09- The Fabulous Faye W.

Faye hails from London and has lived in Soho, NYC for the past 3 years. She has "fallen completely in love - with the city, my friends, the fashion, the music, the lifestyle, my daily spin classes, the experimental nature of expression and the ability to try anything to see whether it works, or fits, or simply feels right for that day only."

Faye also has the most amazing eyelashes! I asked for tips on how she gets her lashes to be so full that all your attention is drawn to her eyes- she uses YSL's Le Faux Cils!

" I love being able to create a style and be particular about preferences when it comes to products, and being able to be a girly girl as well as not feel guilty about the me time. I'm also pretty particular when it comes to my fitness and beauty routine and Manhattan allows me to do that without feeling too OCD! But maybe its all relative....."

Here is Faye's 5ave 5 of '09:

Hair - I have used George Michael Medora Long Hair products for about 6 years now - you can buy them at the Madora Long Hair Haven on Madison and 49th, the Long Hair Clinic in London, or order over the internet (which is good for me and my 3 block rule at the weekend!). Its a 3 step product with combinations of shampoo, 60 second conditioner and a creme rinse. The system completely eliminates static and is really good for your hair, preventing build up on your scalp, and smells good too - it can be used for long hair like mine, coloured, straightened, or shorter styles. I also love the 12 minute conditioner which I apply to my dry hair either a few minutes before the shower, or for a special treat, before bed so it has 6-8 hours to soak in before a wash.

Nails - I'm a fan of Essie - Licorice, Chinchilly, Midnight Cami, and occaisinally a little Wicked. Anything dark without sparkle to be honest!

Skin - Being a Brit, I have used [Boots] Number 7 products since I was 11 or 12, and the latest serum, Protect and Perfect, is a wonder. Outselling most competitors in the UK when it was launched it was limited to 1 tube per customer at Boots, the largest national drugstore chain. Now available at Target, I use it every morning underneath daily moisteriser and love it. As do a few of my male friends who have been tempted to try it - and its super affordable, leaving a few dollars spare to spend on the Creme de la Mer nightcream!

Fragrance - I'm currently wearing Ambree by Prada, love it, although have committment issues when it comes to my scent... Jo Malone's orange blossom is also great and reminds me of Christmas holidays with my family in the snowy mountains of Switzerland.... bliss

Cosmetics - I'm a MAC girl, love my satin lipstick - Faux. But I am never without my mascara - I love Le Faux Cils by YSL in number 3 (bright blue) as well as black, but Maybelline's Colossal Volume Express in black is pretty good, too. I literally layer it on - 3-4 coats on each eye every day...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

5ave 5 of '09: Terry from Superqueen!

Terry loves writing about Fashion and Fashion photography on Dallo Spazio. Plus she is a fellow NARS-ist, with a penchant for vivid. She lives in North-East of Italy with her husband and my 19-month-old daughter.

"I have lots of hobbies, even if I don't have much spare time. First of all, I love writing about fashion and fashion photography, but I also like going to the cinema, listening to any type of music (but deep inside I'm still a grunge chick), reading horror novels and comics, collecting vintage gloves and rhinestone necklaces, Balenciaga bags and Helmut Newton coffee table books."

Here are Terry's 5ave 5 products she's been using this year:

Hair: I can't live without Garnier Fructis Long & Strong shampoo + hair conditioner. I have long wavy hair that becomes a messy nest without some conditioning.

Nails: Chanel Black Satin nail polish and OPI Alpine Snow nail polish. These are the ying yang of my nail polish collection and I love both of them. I use the first all the time, but I use the second when I want to sport an old-school colour, which reminds me of the 80s - it actually looks like white out).

Skin: Dr Hauschka Rose Light day cream. It's simply the best face moisturizer I've used so far, definitely a holy grail product for me.

Fragrance: I cannot choose one, because I have three favourite fragrances, all by the Parisian Diptyque. They are L'Ombre Dans l'Eau (blackcurrant leaf and Bulgarian rose), Olene (jasmin, wisteria and narcissus) and Philosykos (white cedar and fig tree leaves). Once you've tried Diptyque perfumes, you cannot go back to synthetic perfumes!

Cosmetics: when it comes to cosmetics, I am truly a NARS-issist :) Should I choose two products, I'd pick Shanghai Express lipstick (a deep red which makes you feel like an Old Hollywood diva) and Cruella velvet matte lip pencil (the product I've used most this year, nearly on a daily basis).

Check out Terry and her amazing blog Dallo Spazio here

Monday, November 9, 2009

5ave 5 of '09: Jamie of Rural Glamour

Our first beauty poller for the 5ave 5 of 09 mini-series is Jamie Jeter, editrix of Rural Glamour, Real Life Beauty Blog.
Her loves? "beauty products of course, reading stacks of magazine, pop culture, history trivia, and playing my makeup!".

Her 5ave 5 of '09 are the following:

Hair: Organix Shea Butter Shampoo. "Great for dry and chemical treated hair and its sulfate-free!"

Nails: Creative Nail Design Sticky-"My favorite base coat...adheres the polish for long lasting wear."

Skin: Cetephil Facial Wash- "I went 'back to basics" and was the best decision in skin care all year! "

Fragrance: "Kiehls Musk+Kielhs Vanilla mix- the signature scent I've been waiting on."

Cosmetics: NK HD Eye Shadows "[I] find them at my local BSS for a $1.49. the pigment and quality are just amazing."

Check out Jamie's blog at and her fabulous youtube video's here or look for ruralglamour.

Friday, November 6, 2009

5ave 5 of 09: Adina Z of Krasey Beauty

Krasey Beauty, or Adina as her friends call her, is a 20-something born and raised in the ever-fabulous New York City. I recently have met her in person as she is a regular contributor on the mostly MAC beauty site
She is absolutely obsessed with everything beauty and fashion, and juggles her time between her full time job in finance, beauty blogging, and roaming around New York City in search of the latest and greatest in beauty.

Her site is a fantastic one stop for NY Fashion Week coverage, new product reviews and a great place for Haul-ic's.

Here are Adina's 5aves of '09:

Hair: The Phytospecific line.

"The only shampoo I have tried thus far that truly moisturized my hair and left it frizz free. The all-natural formula does my hair right."

Nails: Zoya Nail Polish

"With tons of colors and finishes to choose from, and a formula as strong as Fort Knox, it's no wonder this amazing little polish company has captured my heart."

Skin: Jan Marini's Bioglycolic line

"With a formula as advanced as it is effective, the
bioglycolic line keeps my skin in tip top shape. Though I have tried many other brands, I have been returning to Jan Marini."

Fragrance: La Prairie's Life Threads in Silver.

"Life Threads Silver is a sweet floral that is both warm and flirtatious. To me Silver is your twenties. The scent represents that stage in your life where you are simply enjoying life and all of the pleasures it has to offer. You aren't sure where you are headed, but you are definitely enjoying the ride. The citrus notes provide a burst of energy, while the strong floral notes lend a hint of flirtation."

Cosmetics: Make Up For Ever eyeshadows

"Amazing finish, amazing colors. Bar none, the highest quality shadow I have. I own 48 different shades."

Check out! and follow her on twitter: KraseyBeauty

The following samples were provided to Adina by the following companies:
Zoya Nail Polishes
Jan Marini's Bioglycolic line

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

5ave 5 of 09: Shani Bella!

I’m a smart, sexy, chick with an afro! I’m currently living in San Diego but always in a NY state of mind. No matter where I go I don’t think that will ever change. There is something about being a native New Yorker, just a chick from The Bronx, which I take great pride in. Like anyone in any town anywhere it aided in shaping me into who I am. And who am I…

Well, I am without a doubt a people person. I love to talk, watch, and analyze people. I find it incredibly hard not to talk. I will talk to almost anyone. I even talk in my sleep sometimes! I can talk day and night about people, culture, and politics. I have a dark and dirty sense of humor with a bit of sarcasm at times. Overall, I’m an outgoing chick that likes good conversation with good people and love to laugh. I enjoy being out and about with friends and love ones. My favorite pastime things to do are watching movies, dancing, hiking, cooking, going to concerts and plays, watching live music and art performances, trying foreign cuisines, playing trivia games, discovering new restaurants and hang out spots, bargain shopping, taking long walks with no destination in mind, and most of all traveling abroad.

Here’s my beauty picks…


Numero uno for me in 2009 is NARS Cream Blush, Cactus Flower. It’s been a while since I found a make-up product that I use almost every single day. It is so pretty and natural. When I want a little oomph, a va-va voom look I just add a second to third layer.


Still loving and using daily since 2003 my signature fragrance Sicily by D&G. However, a new Italian (by name not origin) contender stepped on the scene (well my scene) in 2009,Tocca’s Eau de Purfum. All of the fragrances are marvelous. My favorites are Brigitte, Cleopatra, and Florence.


I love the new richer and thicker formula of Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla and Tui Herbal Shampoo I found this year at Sephora! A quarter size squirt is enough to get a nice thick lather. Okay a half-dollar dollop for me, I have thick hair and I’m a little OCD when it comes to cleaning-up. My hair was nice and soft, not crunchy and dry like other shampoos tend to do. I would somewhat describe it as having a 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioner affect on my hair. Plus it smells delicious! I wear my hair natural and it’s hard to find high-quality, all natural, non smelly products. For some reason, I guess manufacturers assume us natural chicks want to smell like sandalwood and eucalyptus – ah negative. Walking around smelling like a spicy market or a hippie smoke shop is a not cute. At any rate, CD products have always been good but in my opinion even better now. Keep up the good work Price. I plan on revisiting the other CD products too.


Canus Goat's Milk Soap, it took me forever to find this soap this year but it’s worth it. Of all places I found it at Bed, Bath, and Beyond here in San Diego, whatever. It’s great for sensitive, dry, and troubled skin. Goat milk soap and products are very moisturizing withnatural emollients and vitamins. So if you’re like me, dry skin with the occasional eczema flare ups or just need to gear-up your skin for the winter months, this is the soap!


I’m a Mani & Pedi chick all the way, come hell or high water. HOWEVER, I don’t allow manicurist to cut my finger nail cuticles. I use a cuticle softener/remover at home. Recently in support of a co-worker I ordered some Avon which is usually a no-no for me. Nothing against Avon or Avon fans but I was totally over their products by 15. Anyway, I got the Avon Nail Experts Instant Gel Cuticle Remover and Nail Polish Remover Wipes and they are wonderful. The cuticle remover works very well without drying out my cuticles but not instantly as the name proclaims. The nail polish remover wipes are a fabulous must have in my cosmetic and travel bag. Great inexpensive buy!