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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Nature's Gate- Papaya Velvet Moisture Body Wash

One of my favorite HG products from the PrettyCity.com Green and Gorgeous event in June, is Nature Gate's Papaya Velvet Moisture Body Wash. How I never discovered this brand before is beyond me because they offer an extensive line of hair, oral, skin and even acne care with natural ingredients. I am going to check out my local Whole Foods next week to stock up!

The product I received in my PrettyCity.com goodie bag was the Papaya Body Wash. It comes in a pump, which is my favorite thing now (can't bother with flipping lids anymore, when I just do one pump and get my product) and the formula is amazing. It has a light citrus scent and leaves your body feeling soft and clean. Its formulated with papaya extracts to brighten dull skin, sweet almond oil for the great scent, and apricot kernel oil for moisturizing. This is paraben-free and vegan!! It's liquid-y, not gel-like at all, and when used with a shower pouf, it creates a luxurious lather. Available at drugstore.com for $7.49 US.

I couldn't help but browse the other Nature's Gate products on the drugstore.com, which is where you would have to get this unless your local health store carries this brand.
Some products I am interested in are:
- Glow Lotion Light- tinted moisturizer for a healthy, daily glow!

- Henna Shine Enhancing Shampoo for shiny hair!

- Lemongrass and Clary Sage Shampoo for enhanced volume and a boost!

- and of course, the Papaya Moisturizing Lotion, which got great reviews on TotalBeauty.com too!

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Calgon's Body Cream, Mists and Gift Sets!

Want affordable yet incredibly fragrant body products? Look no further than your local drugstore or Walmart. Calgon, its tag line- "Calgon, take me away!" will truly take you away with its exhilarating scents. With over 18 different fragrances to choose from, this summer you'll want something fresh and light from its very wallet-friendly product line.

If you're looking for a unique citrus smell, try the Hawaiin Ginger. The Nourishing Body Cream is light and absorbs quickly so you won't feel a sticky residue afterwards- perfect during the summer! Its also very moisturizing and leaves your skin feeling super soft and smelling so good! You'll want to try its Shower Gel, Bubble Bath and other products in this scent.

If you're looking for something that's clean and fresh, you'll have to try Perfect Bliss. It smells like you just woke up in a hotel room. Perfect- especially when you're on your beach vacation this summer! Perfect Bliss contains a combination of fruity and floral notes from pineapple, mandarin orange, and lilies and roses. The Body Mist is great for this scent so you can spray your body after a shower and smell absolutely in heaven all-day! You can also get this in a shower gel and body cream.

For this summer, Calgon offers gift sets and travel-sized kits to try a range of fragrances to fit your mood. These are exclusively carried at Wal-mart so you will get this 5 piece set for only $10- what a steal! These sets include the Body Mist, Body Cream, Shower Pouf, Gel Eye Mask and a cosmetic bag.

Hawaiian Ginger gift set Moon Petal Musk- a fall must-have!

When you're traveling this summer and don't know what fragrance you want- pack all 4 mini-sizes with you in this Fragrance Travel Set! This also comes with a silver cosmetic wristlet so you can stow one away with your with your keys/wallet/etc! Available in Walmart for $5.99 US.

Great deals- All their products are so affordable for its quality! I would say the average price is about $5-$10, but mostly closer to $5. So cheap and such a great deal! They make great gifts that your friends will love too.

Where to get your Calgon's goodies online? Go to: http://www.calgonstore.com/

Learn more about Calgon at http://www.takemeaway.com/ and join the Calgon Club for a free $1 coupon to be used in stores only!

(Disclaimer: I received this product from this company's PR agency to test, try and share my thoughts with my readers.)

Check out more blogs @ TotalBeauty.com

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Cheap Makeup Gone Wrong

Cheap Makeup Gone Wrong

See which low-rated makeup products you should avoid

Cheap Makeup Gone Wrong

This is a TotalBeauty.com cheap makeup article

Total Beauty readers give us the lowdown on 16 low-rated drugstore makeup products.

See products

No. 16: Maybelline New York Lash Stiletto Ultimate Length Mascara, $6.94

TotalBeauty.com average reader rating: 5.9

"I know hate is a strong word but ... I hate this mascara! …"

No. 15: Milani Loose Makeup, $7.99

TotalBeauty.com average reader rating: 5.6

"The coverage is horrible: it looks patchy and uneven …"

No. 14: CoverGirl Trublend Microminerals Foundation, $10.99

TotalBeauty.com average reader rating: 5.6

"It clogged my pores …"

Want to see what other products made the list? Click here!

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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Hair Secrets from the Pros

14 Hair Secrets from the Pros

These insider-y tips from hairstylists will tell you how to get fresh-from-the-salon hair -- everyday

14 Hair Secrets from the Pros

This is a TotalBeauty.com hair care article

Hair experts from coast to coast spill the beans on their hairstyling tricks. You'll get the scoop on how to style your hair like a pro.

Get secrets

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Friday, July 23, 2010

Total Beauty's Make Your Face Jealous Sweepstakes

Total Beauty's Make Your Face Jealous Sweepstakes

Enter for a chance to win an Yves Saint Laurent handbag

Total Beauty's Make Your Face Jealous Sweepstakes

This is a TotalBeauty.com skin care article

Want to get a handbag that's worth over $1,300 … for free? We thought so. Enter our sweepstakes and you could be sporting some Yves Saint Laurent arm candy come September.

Enter now

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Updated: Enjoy Summer in the Square with Batiste Dry Shampoo

If you're in NYC this July, be sure to check out Union Square's Summer in the Square Thursdays. This event has activities for the entire family- kids, theatrical and musical performances and even fitness exercises. In addition, Batiste Dry Shampoo will be giving away samples and free dry shampoo makeovers!

Dry shampoos are wonderful to use especially when you can't shower and really need to wash your hair. If you don't have time to shower after a workout (I know, it sounds gross) you should try using dry shampoo pre-workout so it will absorb excess oil. I would personally recommend using these during the spring/fall/winter seasons though.

The event starts at 10AM every Thursday in July at the South Plaza of Union Square. Check them out and learn more about UK's #1 Dry Shampoo- Batiste!

On my way to dinner last Thursday, I passed by the Union Square event as it was almost ending. I also got myself travel size bottles of the Batiste Dry Shampoo in Original and Blush! So far- lovinggg it! Really helps when I want to get rid of the oily during the day and can't shower until I get home!

Here are some pictures of the event, to see what you have to look forward to- including dry shampoo makeovers! (Photos courtesy of ZINGUSA)

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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Summer Skincare Routine with Somme Institute

At the Beauty.com Summer Stock-up back in May, I met with the PRESIDENT of Somme Institute to talk about their line of skincare products. I have never heard of them prior to the event, so I was intrigued about their research and what they had to offer to develop their skincare products. They offer a revolutionary 5 Step Regimen which is a 5 step process using their proprietary research to help you get the best skin possible. Best of all these products are made for all skin types, and most skin problems (acne/sun damage/wrinkles/discoloration/etc.)

While chatting with Michele, President of Somme Institute, she pointed out my skin flaws- oiliness and acne. I also have light acne scarring that wouldn't go away. She explained how the MDT5 technology formulation in their products will help improve the texture of my skin. She offered samples to me which I immediately tried and loved it (esp. Step 2: Transport) when I got home. I was offered the chance to try these 5-Step Regimen for the course of June to review further.

My review of each step of Somme Institute's 5-Step Regimen:
Step 1: Nourishing Cleanser (non-foaming/non-irritating) - a milky white cleanser that comes in a pump. One pump is good enough for your entire face. Left my skin feeling clean and smooth afterwards.
Step 2: Transport (gentle exfoliant)- a thin circular cotton pad that acts like a toner but is meant to exfoliate and unclog pores. I usually use this only at night. These transport pads really shrink acne (See my Transport Test below.)
Step 3: Serum (with Vitamin C)- this orange-y clear serum contains a high concentration of Vit. C to smooth fine lines. It leaves my skin feeling a bit sticky so I only use a tiny drop during the day but more at night so it feels like a mask. I have used this serum by itself and in the morning my skin looks brighter, like its glowing. :)
Step 4: A-Bomb (moisturizer with Vitamins A and E)- This is a great moisturizer by itself, but by the time I use this after the Serum, my face feels gloopy. I apply a very thin layer during the day and more at night.
Step 5: Double Defense (SPF 30+)- Unfortunately when I tried the sample, I was allergic to this product. (My super sensitive skin does not tolerate SPF chemical products) So instead of the 5-Step, I have been using the 4-Step.

It was important that while using this skincare routine, I could only use this and no other products on my face. I shelved away the cleansers/moisturizers that I had on my counter and bid adieu. (I cheated a bit though and used my Surf-vival facestick for SPF protection!) I was careful to strictly follow the 4-Step (sometimes I used a bit less of each though) daily. With the summer heat though, my skin would get oily during the day and I got .. sweat zits. :(

Transport Test- When it's hot and humid, especially when it roared into the 100 degree weather last week in July, I was faced with uninviting acne. My skin that was getting better was no longer looking clear... To test the effects of Step 2: Transport, I decided to use just that product after not using anything (except the cleanser) for a few days. After Day 3, I used the Transport and my acne reduced significantly in size. Another day later, and it was just a tiny bump. Hoorah!

Final Thoughts- My skin is glowing- no more dull complexion! Since my main problem areas are redness in my cheeks and the occasional blemishes, it was important to test how this routine combated these issues. I've only been using this for a bit more than a month now, but I am liking the results! I've never been able to stick with a full skincare routine partially b/c I haven't found the right products that go well together but I am definitely going to stick with this until I run out.

Interested in trying the Somme Institute 5-Step Regimen? Purchase the Pillow Pack (Sample sizes exclusively at Beauty.com here) or the Travel Kit here.

Beauty.com is also having a deal- get the Neck cream FREE with any $99 purchase of Somme Institute products (while offer lasts!)

In addition, to the 5-Step regimen, I tried the eye and neck cream. I was very pleased with both products, esp. the eye cream! Review coming soon!

(Disclaimer: I received this product from this company's PR agency to test, try and share my thoughts with my readers.)(

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Celebrate Summer- Sexy Makeup Ideas

11 Sexy Makeup Ideas for Summer

See which celeb-inspired makeup looks will look best on your skin tone

11 Sexy Makeup Ideas for Summer

This is a TotalBeauty.com makeup article

Get privy to summer's hottest makeup trends with tips on how to make 'em work for your skin tone.

See looks

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Tom's of Maine Toothpaste and Beauty Bar

Tom's of Maine was one of the product sponsors for the goodie bag I got at the Green and Gorgeous beauty event sponsored by Pretty City and SHAPE Magazine. I got the Daily Moisture natural beauty bar and the Long-lasting Wicked Fresh! toothpaste. I can't stop raving about the goodies that I got there because literally every single thing that got, I am excited to try- because it's all natural and eco-friendly.

I haven't tried Tom's of Maine products before but I have seen them at drugstore and Whole Foods. I was currently using the Colgate toothpaste that I got at the last Shecky's event but I decided to try this one to see how a natural toothpaste worked. The Tom's of Maine Wicked Fresh! formula contains minimal products and natural flavor oils to combat bad breath. It also has an active ingredient to fight cavities. Although one of the ingredients says "natural flavors," I can't help but to think what that exactly means.. but at least it's not artificial!

The Daily Moisture beauty bar is also something that I am really liking. I've used similar bars before that contain olive oil, but this one is very moisturizing. My skin feels smooth after using since this contains moisturizing ingredients such as olive oil and natural vitamin E. Even though the weather is currently very humid and gross, I know that my skin still needs moisture. This soap is great to use for the face or body.

Check out other Tom's of Maine products at their website, www.tomsofmaine.com

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Monday, July 12, 2010

Quiz: What is your Summer Beauty Style?

Do You Know Your Summer Beauty Style?

This quiz has the answers to which celeb beauty look will work best on you

Do You Know Your Summer Beauty Style?

This is a TotalBeauty.com beauty tips article

Are you into the whole dramatic, smoky eye thing or do you barely make it out of the house with mascara on? Our quiz will point you to your celeb summer beauty icon and suggest wallet-friendly products you can use to get her look.

Take quiz

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Sunday, July 11, 2010

TotalBeauty.com Editors' Summer Beauty Faves

Editors' Can't-Live-Without Summer Beauty Faves

Total Beauty's Editors Share Their Warm Weather Beauty Picks

Editors' Can't-Live-Without Summer Beauty Faves

This is a TotalBeauty.com beauty products article

See what these gals have to say about which makeup, skin care and hairstyling products are their summer must-haves.

See products

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Pretty City's Green and Gorgeous Eco-beauty Event in June 2010

At the end of June, Pretty City had another fantastic event in NYC called Green and Gorgeous, featuring eco-chic beauty products, services and a giant goodie bag. :) Located in Environment Furniture, attendees shopped, learned about new and favorite beauty products, sipped on Izze drinks and gushed over their goodie bag.

My favorite part of the event was definitely learning about new beauty brands while getting to check out the decor of the store. The ambiance of Green and Gorgeous was very relaxing- kudos to them for selecting such a great venue this time!

There were three floors of vendors, with plenty of seating on each to lounge around and sip on Izze drinks. Yum!! They're available at select grocery stores and retail restaurants.

The Body Shop was there to display and sell some of their top products- body butters, their new deodorants, and Love Etc. scents.

One of the vendors that I really enjoyed learning about was Wembé Amazonian Soul's eco-friendly luxurious all-natural handmade soaps. Over a dozen soaps were displayed and each one smelled so fresh and natural. They had samples of the Mango and Yerba Mate in its old formula. It was recommended to me to get the Yerba Mate exfoliating blend soap and I'm so glad I did! This soap contains antioxidants, essential oils which feels rich and luxurious. Makes each experience feel so spa-like, it's amazing!

Lavera was also another vendor that provided samples of their sunscreen and lipglosses. This company is also eco-friendly and uses natural ingredients for their products, which is perfect since I am allergic to chemicals in sunscreens. These are available for purchase at Target.

Every attendee received this beauty Goodie Bag at the Green & Gorgeous event:

Although the brands did not have tables at this event, I have to say that I am loving every single one of these products. All of these full-size products in the goodie bag came in a reusable bag from brands such as SHAPE magazine, Tom's of Maine, Bodycology, EcoTools, and so much more! Hope to do more in-depth reviews coming soon!

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Need emergency sandals? Try Slip 'N Toss!

Do you get tired of wearing your heels after a long night out? Or need an alternative to keep your feet clean when you can't wear your shoes? Or want to keep your feet free from bacteria when walking in the hotel room?

If you're in any of these similar situations, then try Slip 'N Toss- your solution to keeping your feet clean when you're not able to wear your own shoes. (Learn more about other uses of Slip 'N Toss here.) I had the pleasure of meeting the CEO Yadi Moth, who enthusiastically told me about how the invention of Slip 'N Toss came about. (Read the story here.) It's such a brilliant idea and one of the most useful things out there!

slip 'n toss
True to its name, you literally slip into these thin sandals and after they wear down, you can just toss them away. The great thing about these sandals is that they are 100% biodegradeable! They come in 3 different colors- brown, black and white and 3 sizes- small, medium, large.

They're convenient and easy to pack; they come tri-fold in a plastic zip-lock bag. These last depending on how long you wear them.. if it's for hours on end, then they probably won't last too long. But I've used them about 5 times already and they're in great condition! (At airports, hotels, etc.!)

My review: Slip 'N Toss is something you will always want in your purse. I remember countless times at weddings, night outs when my feet were aching and instead of walking barefoot, I could've had my feet in these emergency sandals! (If only these were made sooner!) I definitely like the convenience of the sandals and they truly are a life-saver for my feet when I don't want to carry extra shoes around. Thank you Yadi for letting me try Slip 'N Toss! :)

Learn more about Slip 'N Toss at www.slipntoss.com !

(Disclaimer: I received this product from this company to test, try and share my thoughts with my readers.)
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