Thursday, May 12, 2016

Coral Crush: Chanel's Rouge Coco Line

Here are G & S's favorite coral lipstick shades. And just FYI, these are evergreen, so feel free to slip into them anytime. And they look good on everyone, because both of them are sheer and light...

Both by Chanel. Both from the Coco Rouge collection. $30 each.

S's favorite is Liberte, a rosey coral shade that looks girlish and natural. It's from the Rouge Coco Shine series, so it goes on ultra-light, and is the perfect daytime pick-me-up and pull-it-together color. But make sure your lips are exfoliated and smooth first, because it doesn't soften, and will highlight lips if they are dry and flaky.

G's fave: Sari Dore (and accent on that "e") from the Rouge Coco Creme line. So much more coral than Liberte (accent on the "e"), but still so cool and pretty for the chilly days ahead. A little more orange and powerful, it's a pretty color that looks great with a peachy cheek and lots of mascara (and clean good skin to boot).

Can I say it? 'Fall' in love with your new favorite lip color? I did just say it.
BTW! Now's the time to buy, because all the major department stores are having their beauty events, and you can get a little extra swag with your purchase.

Hugs and Kisses from S & G. 

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Our favorite Lip Balms and Lip Butters!!!

If you look through my handbags you will always find a selection of lip sticks, glosses and lip balms. These days I'm always digging through my bag for something to soothe my dry and chapped lips. It's getting getting cold and my lips are feeling it and showing it! Check out some of S and my favorite Lip Balms and Lip Butters to keep your lips hydrated throughout the cold months ahead!
Keep those lips soft, smooth and hydrated!


Monday, April 20, 2015

Oscar Blandi Pronto Dry Hair Shampoo

If you are a busy girl like me, finding time to wash your hair can be a challenge. The process of washing my hair is an ordeal.  I have unruly and dry hair, which regularly requires a conditioning mask, that I leave in my hair for about 5 - 8 minutes. Then I have to blow dry my hair, which takes around 20 minutes, and then use a curling brush (if I have somewhere special to go) to create some soft pretty waves. The process takes forever... almost an hour.   I now understand the excuse, "Sorry. Can't make it tonight. I'm washing my hair." This to me is a very valid excuse!

So, I was complaining to my sis about how I can't stand washing my hair, and she suggested I try out the Oscar Blandi Pronto Dry Hair Shampoo. I had heard about these dry shampoos in passing, but never really thought about using them. I always try out my sister's product recos, and decided to give this one a go. The Oscar Blandi Pronto Dry Hair Shampoo is a powder shampoo that you apply to your hair when you don't have time to wash it, and it really works. I know you are probably asking yourself how can a powder wash my hair? Well, it's simple actually. Powder is great for absorbing up oil and excess product gunk. When my hair starts to feel a little oily, I will separate my hair into sections and apply the powder to my scalp. The bottle has a convenient slim pointed cap that makes it easy to apply. Just section your hair one fold at a time, as if you are trying out different ways to part your hair, and gently squeeze the power onto the scalp. Make sure you don't press the bottle too hard or too much powder will come out and make a mess. Once you have applied the powder to the various sections of your scalp, spread out your fingers and rub your scalp vigorously. If you have dark hair like mine, you will need to rub your scalp more vigorously and for a longer period of time, or else you will leave the look of powder residue is your hair. The process takes about 10 minutes, and totally worth it. This stuff really takes the oil out of your hair and actually gives your hair a bouncy and more full look!

The Oscar Blandi Pronto Dry Hair Shampoo is a real life saver. I have honestly not gone out on some nights because my hair looks so sad... well until I found this stuff! Even after a long day at work, I can now rush home, take a quick shower body wash, and get out and apply the dry hair shampoo, and I'm good to go! This powder has the clean scent of lemons and also does not contain parabens, sulfates, synthetic dyes, petro-chemicals, phythalates, GMO or triclosan.

This dry shampoo retails for around $11 for a 1 oz. bottle. Not bad if you ask me. Perfect size for traveling too. I bought mine at Sephora.  

This is an absolute time saver for all you busy ladies, and I know you will love it!

Note: Don't freak out if you see powder residue! It just means that you have to rub it in a bit longer! Worth it!


Thursday, April 9, 2015

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream

I'm a sucker for beauty products with a story. If it was used by Greek royalty, contains an ingredient from in a rare plant found on an island, or was a staple in Marilyn Monroe's beauty bag... I have to try it! So, I was at the airport recently looking for a rich beauty cream to give me that fresh healthy look after getting off of a flight. Btw... side note, why don't people dress up for flights anymore? When I was little my mom used to buy my sister and I a new airport outfit. So fun! 

So, I was at the airport wandering the aisles of international duty free. I noticed a gondola with a huge promo for the Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream. I watched a couple of pretty flight attendants grab of a few of these creams and casually toss them into their baskets. I've always been fascinated with flight attendants since I was a little girl. Not so much the American ones... but definitely the international ones! They are so glamorous and pretty. They must get some kind of beauty allowance because they go on serious airport shopping sprees! Btw... I was a flight attendant for Halloween. he he!
Believe it or not... I had never heard of the Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream. It's famous! The Eight Hour Cream is one of the first beauty cult classics. This cream was a staple in Marilyn Monroe's Beauty bag. Elizabeth Arden created the cream in 1930 to soothe dry, chapped, cracked skin. Although it is called a cream, it feels more like a balm. It contains a combination of petrolatum, skin soothing beta-hydroxy and vitamin E. I apply a generous amount of this apricot colored balm to my face and lips prior to takeoff. (Btw... It shows up clear on your skin) It does leave your face looking a bit oily, but totally worth it when you see your face after you get off a flight. My face looked plump and fresh, without any of those annoying little lines that appear after being mile high for so many hours. I have also started using it on my elbows and feet... and even on the scar on my leg from my tour bus accident in Rio. For dry skin like mine, this product is such a dream! It smells so good too... like a day at the spa!

Here are 8 great ways to use to the Eight Hour Cream, directly from the Elizabeth Arden website:

  1. Alleviate dry skin
  2. Great gloss for lips
  3. Highlight eyelids, cheeks and shoulders
  4. For after shaving or waxing
  5. Shape brows into place
  6. Soften rough, dry cuticles
  7. Antidote for rough heels and soles
  8. Best in-flight moisture booster

This cream retails for around $25. Totally worth the price, because the tub lasts for quite a while. The packing is so fab too! The most recent packaging is 50's vintage inspired. A perfect tub of cream to display wherever you keep your beauty products.

Give your rough, chapped and cracked skin a break. An Eight Hour Break!


Monday, April 6, 2015

Ahava® Dermud™ – Intensive Nourishing Body Cream

Remember those old episodes of Oprah where she featured women in their 50’s, who looked like they were in their 20’s or early 30’s. I was shocked at how amazing they looked. She'd ask the audience, “How old to you think Lisa is? The audience screams, 29, 31, 32, 35!!! Oprah yells in her signature voice, “54,” and the audience screams and applauds! One particularly gorgeous woman in her 50’s said that the key to beauty is to moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! I totally agree.  I’ve been applying thick, rich, moisturizing creams to my dry skin for many years. It really makes a difference.  One particular body cream that I have been faithful to my many years is the Ahava Intensive Nourishing Body Cream for dry skin. This cream is really fantastic. It contains good for you ingredients such as:
  • Dead Sea mud infused with Vitamin E
  • Pro-vitamin B5
  • Aloe Vera
  • Mineral Skin Osmoter™ - - A truly unique, concentrated extract of Dead Sea water, theMineral Skin Osmoter™ (MSO) was created using a natural evaporation process. It contains precise, scientifically balanced levels of magnesium, calcium and potassium elements to enable the skin to optimize its cell functions.
It absorbs easily and leaves a cooling effect on the skin. Seriously feels fantastic. What I love about the Ahava Dermud products is that the products contain Dead Sea mud extracts in a unique patented formulation. The products are rich in moisture-enabling minerals and other soothing, natural agents, which effectively treat all dryness and reactive skin parameters that affect your complexion (itchiness, redness, scaling, and roughness).

This cream retails for around $30. Yes, a bit on the pricey side, but totally worth it if you want young looking skin for many years to come. I have noticed in the last year that some retailers are no longer carrying the Ahava Dermud line. Years ago I used to purchase it at Nordstrom or Bath and Body Works, but some retail locations don't carry it anymore. They do carry products within the Ahava line but sometimes not Dermud. I buy my cream from CO Bigelow. You can also purchase the products on-line at the Ahava website. Personally I prefer the Dermud line of body creams to the Ahava line of body creams. I have used the Ahava Mineral Body lotion (after a woman at Nordstrom convinced me it was the same as the Dermud cream... only better. I don't think so!) and find the cream to be too watery (you get that uncomfortably dry feeling after about 10 minutes of applying) and the smell is also nauseating! The kind you only used in an absolute emergency, but if you were me you would just suffer and wait to find a Duane Reade.

Anyways, I love the Ahava DERMUD body cream. It keeps my skin looking fresh and young. Look out Oprah!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Oribe Apres Beach Spray

It's THE perfect mussy bed-head spray.

I used to be obsessed with the hair on Melrose Place. Not the one with Ashlee Simpson, the other better one with Andrew Shue and Grant Show. The ladies on the show had the messiest manes, perfectly coiffed to look perfectly post-coital. I was 12 and didn't understand the implications, but I wanted BED HEAD.

Finally, a spray that gets me there. Unlike the Bumble and Bumble Beach spray (which is essentially salt water, and will dry out your hair and make your ends extra crispy), Oribe's Apres Beach Spray ($35 for a full size bottle, $19 for the travel size) is a resin and oil formula which gives your hair a piece-y, sexy imperfection for hair that looks lived-in and not salon blowout perfect.

I have wavy hair, which will get frizzy if left to air dry. When I spray this on my damp hair, my frizz 'sits' while I still get lots of wave and body in my locks. When I spray this on after a quick blowout (you know, the blowouts where you sort of don't perfectly section out your hair), I get that on-purpose slight mussiness that I absolutely love.

Major pro: I happen to love the smell, which is a sharp oriental fragrance. I always get tons of compliments.

Pro: The oils in here help to settle my textured hair and make it look glossy and wavy, instead of dull.

Con: The oil can make fine or already straight hair feel 'dirty' faster.

Fine hair, straight glossy hair : Beware.

I've tried this product on my friend A., who has naturally straight and glossy hair. She wanted some 'edge' to her hair. Although it gave her the look she was after, she had to wash her hair out the next day because she felt weighed down by the oils.

I also used this on my friend H. who has fine, short hair (the kind that will look like a fluffy mushroom if blown out wrong). She loved how 'cool' her hair looked, but she also felt that on the 2nd day, she had to wash her hair-- when normally she could alternate hair washings.

Totally the spray for the girls with the loose curls that want a low hassle way to get their hair to look properly wavy.

Totally a spray for the straight haired ladies who want some texture and a touch of that 'lived in' look to their hair.

And can I just swoon over the name for a minute? And done.

PS: I'm a big fan of Oribe products, check out my still-standing reviews of his other products here.



Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A little history lesson in lipstick.

Did you know in the 1780's, French women were encouraged to wear lipstick, as the 'plain-faced look' was for PROSTITUTES! Total inverse equation over there in yee olde England at the same time. Snoring old England. This moi would have definitely been on the first Concorde over to Paris. 

Also, why is there a picture of a bug on our page? That, my friends, is a cochineal beetle, which used to be crushed up and smeared on Egyptian lips to get crimson color. Yay for being born all modern and stuff. 


Thursday, March 26, 2015

Bobbi Brown Creamy Lip Color in Coral Pink

I have been a fan of lip color since I was a little girl. If you read TheGlossBox regularly you probably already know about some of my childhood mishaps with lipstick. So, I used to act in plays when I was younger, and there were four makeup items that we were all encouraged to wear on stage (even the boys). Apparently Wet n' Wild turquoise eye shadow, bright pink blush, powder a couple shades too light for my skin, and coral lipstick were considered "stage friendly" colors. Fortunately, I did not continue to use most of these stage colors into adulthood, but I do continue to use coral shades on my lips and cheeks. Coral shades look lovely on darker skin tones! My friends are always surprised when I pull out such colors from my hand bag. They are shocked at how the colors look in the package and how amazing they look when applied. Coral colors give those with darker skin a fresh, bright and healthy glow.

One color that I am absolutely in love with at the moment is the Bobbi Brown Creamy Lip Color in Coral Pink. The color is fabulously fresh and flattering. A light smoky eye, some bronzer, Bobbi Brown Creamy Lip Color in Coral Pink on your lips, and you're out the door!

The lipstick is very creamy and moisturizing, and is formulated with emollient Shea Butter and skin conditioners. As creamy as it is, it still some staying power. I don't find myself applying it all that often. It retails for around $25. 

It will definitely add some pep to your step. : )


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Burt's Bees Replenishing Lip Balm with Pomegranate Oil

The other day I was running out of my apartment to meet a friend. I realized after about 10 minutes that I forgot my lipgloss and chapstick.  It was such an uncomfortable feeling, especially for someone with dry skin and pale lips like mine. I was once asked a question... if you could only own one piece of makeup what would it be?  Lip gloss! Yes, hands down lip gloss. I feel and look so naked without the stuff.

So, during the winter I am constantly applying lip gloss, which obviously is not the most moisturizing thing to apply to chapped lips. It really just makes your lips even more chapped. I recently discovered a great lip balm that is moisturizing, adds a tinge of color to your lips, very affordable, and contains good for you ingredients. An item I TRY to never leave home without these days is the Burt's Bees Replenishing Lip Balm with Pomegranate Oil. The lip balm comes in a chapstick kind of tube, so you don't have to worry about the icky germs that may live in pots of gloss or balm. The balm is really smooth and moisturizing. The pomegranate oil is antioxidant packed and tastes so good.

Pomegranate Oil: Pomegranate fruit extract, from the tree Punica granatum, contains several polyphenols and anthocyanidins (pigment that gives certain fruits their dark red colors), which are highly antioxidant, protecting hair and skin from environmental stress.

Another thing I love about this balm is that it adds a hint of berry pink color. Perfect for pale lips like mine. The best thing about this balm is that it costs about $3. You can treat yourself to a balm per handbag, so you seriously never leave home without it!



Sunday, January 20, 2013

Lip Tricks: Eye Balm as Lip Balm

Quick winter trick for chapped lips+ product double time: In a pinch, dab some eye balm or cream on your lips overnight. They will thank you in the morning when they are plumped and less parched.

I used Creme de la Mer The Eye Balm Intense on flaky, dry lips. Et voila! In the morning they were noticeably better.

My lips went from cracked and peeling to a lot smoother. The next day, I used Dr. Brandt's Microdermabrasion in Jar ( just the teensiest bit) on my lips. I pursed my lips tight and scrubbed the devil off my lips-- applied The Eye Balm Intense and today, I am so happy I am posting about it. (Be careful not to open your mouth, I got grainy bits on my molars and all I can say is ew + my dentist already hates me).

I refuse to put up pictures of my lips 'before' because they are too gross-- like a person lost in the woods or suffering in the desert for days. You've seen it on tv.

BTW, I want to share how this happened: In addition to the super cold weather and dry air, I have been using powerful all-day lip colors which severely dry out my lips. These will be kept for special occasions only, no more casual use until they come out with a super moisturizing formula.

Any creamy eye balm + microfine exfoliator should work.  If you have a special lip exfoliator, all the better.

BTW, I used some samples I had lying around-- if you want to try out Dr. Brandt's, get a sample from Sephora. The face peel review is coming soon.

Soft (again) kisses!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Sneha Dixit of VA Cosmetics

S and I love to meet South Asian women entrepreneurs, especially those who have a passion for skincare and cosmetics.  I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Sneha Dixit, a makeup artist, a skin care educator, and the creator of VA Cosmetics. Sneha's beauty experiences literally go back to her early childhood, when her mother would gather up she and her sisters for at home, natural, Ayurvedic based beauty treatments.  These at home treatments ranged from grated cucumber scrubs, warm almond oil hair massages, yogurt & honey masks, and yogurt hair washes.  She has continued this precious tradition with her two beautiful children Ram and Maya. 

Some people know their passion, but are too scared to pursue it.  Not Sneha... 

Sneha's background includes a bachelors of Science in Biology and Chemistry, with a minor in Psychology. Later, she chose to pursue her passion for beauty by attending Aesthetician School, where she obtained her license as an Aesthetician and Makeup Artist.  Today she is the CEO of VA Cosmetics, a line which includes a selection of makeup and skincare products.  

If you read TheGlossBox, you know how important a proper skincare regimin is to me.  I had the opportunity to try out a couple of Sneha's skincare products including the Revitalizing Zinc & Sulfur Mask and the Resurfacing Micro Dermabrasion Cream.

The revitalizing zinc & sulfur mask is the perfect mask to add to your Sunday Facial routine.  Zinc is known to assist with skincare healing and sulfur helps to reduce oil and get rid of dead skin cells.  When I tried it, I literally felt the sulfur sucking out the impurities from my skin. It left my skin looking fresh and glowy, the perfect canvas to start my week.  Also, the mask is safe enough to use on children.  Check out the after mask glow on the sweet faces of Sneha's cutie pie kids above. : )

I also tested out the Resurfacing Micro Dermabrasion Cream. It is an at home micro dermabrasion cream that includes pharmaceutical grade crystals.  No need to rush to an Aesthetician when you have a  cream like this at home.  I've been using the cream twice a week, for the last two weeks, and my face feels softer and looks smoother.  The crystals are quite concentrated, so Sneha recommends mixing a pea sized amount with your face wash.  This will help you apply the cream more fluidly to your face.  I like many South Asian women, suffer from dark spots from occasional breakouts, and this cream is starting to reduce the marks a bit.  Really, every South Asian women over the age of 30 should have this product handy.  I'm adding it to my Sunday routine.  

Sneha's philosophy is simple:  Makeup enhances a woman's internal desire to be beautiful and self-confident.  "It's beautiful to see a woman smile and celebrate her loveliness." Both Sneha and I understand the importance of making that extra effort to look your best no matter where you are or where you are going.  A good makeup and skincare routine can make all the difference for your confidence. Learn more about Sneha's line at  

Ladies, make this weekend a special one.  Include some time for beauty treatments with friends and family.  : )


Friday, November 9, 2012

Cargo OneBase Concealer + Foundation In One

I have been a fan of Cargo products for many years. I love the no nonsense, functional silver packaging. Perfect for tossing into a handbag. The sturdy packaging design protects your bags from messy makeup disasters. I hate it when I find smooshed lip colors, smashed blushes and shadows all over the bottom of my bag!

A couple of years ago I was wandering the aisles of Sephora on 5th and 19th. This is when I was staffed on a nightmare account and was working till 4AM, around four nights a week! I honestly looked like hell. Lack of sleep literally changes my face. I look like a totally different person! We're talking puffed fallen face, under eye circles and a greyish skin tone. I normally don't wear a lot makeup, but for nightmarish b-school and consulting projects, I need makeup that does magic! I walked in Sephora during one of my very rare breaks, and told the makeup artist that I needed a concealer/foundation that would work wonders on my skin! I wanted something that would make me look more awake, alert, and most importantly... make me glow!!! We tested out many different concealers which were either too light, too dark, too heavy, too yellow, too muddy! Finally we found one that was juuuust riiiiight. The Cargo OneBase Concealer + Foundation In One is fabulous! It is a light weight concealer that provides fabulous coverage. The wand makes it really easy to apply. You can use the concealer anywhere on your face! I only use it under my eyes, but if you've got some annoying blemishes or dark spots this provides great coverage.

Ok... so just to let you know, I complain a lot about my dark cirles, but i've been told that they are not that bad. While this concealer is highly pigmented, it may not provide those with mega dark circles with the right amount of coverage. For those of you with less serious dark circles, this magical color blend will really do wonders for your under eye circles. It gives my eyes a healthy bright look. It also contains good for you ingredients like chamomile, avocado extracts and Vitamin E. I feel good knowing that I am using a product that will help keep the sensitive skin under my eyes hydrated and young looking. Perfect for sensitive skin!

The Cargo OneBase Concealer + Foundation In One retails for around $27. You can order it for 20% off from the Friends and Family Sale at! There is a significant amount or product in the tube, so it will last you quite a while. In terms of staying power, you may need to reapply later on in the day. If you apply around 8AM, you will need to layer on a little more around 4PM, which in my opinion is not all that bad.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly:

The Good: Excellent light weight highly pigmented concealer that covers up under eye circles, annoying dark spots and gives you a fabulous glow. Also contains good for you ingredients that keep your sensitive skin hydrated and young looking.

The Bad: May not provide the right amount of coverage for those of you with serious dark circles

The Ugly:
Nothing ugly to report!

Enjoy fresh bright eyes!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Chanel Glossimer Glosses

I love the Chanel Glossimer glosses! They come in a lovely selection of colors and apply beautifully. I feel so chic when I take one of the lovely glosses out of my purse and apply it. The packaging is so simple and elegant. My favorite colors are:
  • Summer Plum – My first ever purchase from the Channel beauty counter! A gorgeous sugar plum color that is so chic! Looks great on its own
  • Sunset Gold – A gorgeous peachy gold. Your lips will look lusciously glossy with a hint of glittery gold shimmer. My lips are pretty much the same color as my skin, so the sunset gold on its own kind blends into my skin. I like to wear the sunset gold over a peachy, pink lip color.
  • Unity – A gorgeous bronzy, frosty gloss that always looks classy. The color looks great on its own!
  • Spark – A gorgeous raspberry color that I absolutely love. It is the perfect color to wear out at night. A show stopper! I have lost the gloss about three times!!! Traveling with a little bag is always asking for trouble. That is why I carry tank bags R!!!!
The glosses retail for around $29. Worth the price in my opinion... it is Chanel. ; ) The gloss stays on your lips without feeling too sticky. I always receive compliments when wearing these glosses.
You deserve a treat, and this is a great one.


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Suresh Beauty - glossLUXE Sparkling Lip Gloss

I’ve got to give a big shout out to my South Asian brothers and sisters who are starting up their own makeup and skincare businesses. I am blown away by their tenacity, hard work, creativity and determination. While it may be one of the toughest economic climates of our lifetime, these individuals are out there taking major risks and building new brands! I recently met one such individual named Suresh Seneviratne, the entrepreneur behind Suresh Beauty. We met a few weeks ago at Chelsea Market. As soon as he walked through the door, and smiled his big cute smile, I knew that we were going to get along well. 

Suresh has been working in the beauty biz for over a decade. He has worked as a makeup artist for companies such as Smashbox, Chanel, Richard Tyler, Oscar De La Renta, Nordstrom, and over the years has built up an impressive client list of singers, models and actresses. With all of his beauty know how and expertise, Suresh recently decided to create and develop his own line of lip glosses called glossLUXE! He named the various shades of gloss after his best buds… Saman, Kristina, Sanjee, Jacci, Lindsay, Anna, Teresa, and Virginia. (reminds of the Aisha song) How jadorable is that!

 Suresh recommended I try shades Lindsay (sparkling, sheer rose gold) and Anna (sparkling, sheer iridescent honey). The colors are very sheer and ultra hydrating. They are also hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic, paraben-free, contain SPF 8 sun protection, and Vitamin E.

The Lindsay and Anna shades contain multifaceted pigments. Strike various poses under different shades of light and you will see the various colors emerge. Pink, plum, mauve, rose, honey and gold!

 I have yet to test all the colors, but Lindsay and Anna are colors I prefer to wear at night. Their glittery glimmer looks fabulous while dining at La Esquina or having drinks at Rose Bar. For pale lips like mine, these colors look fantastic over my favorite shade of lipstick. For those of you who have a fair skin tone or have naturally pink lips, this color will look fine on its own.

On the sticky scale, 10 being Elmer’s glue on my lips (done it in 1st grade… it kinda tasted good) and 1 being smooth like butta. I would rate this at a 3.5. The gloss is creamy dreamy, but has a got a bit of light stick to keep it on your lips. I’ve had it on for the past four hours and it looks great! Still very smooth and moisturizing! The glosses retail for around $21. If you are in New York, you can find Suresh’s glossLUXE line at New London Pharmacy at 246 8th Avenue. For everyone else, check out other stores that carry glossLUXE.

What really makes glossLUXE special is the man behind the brand! Suresh’s great attitude and his passion for beauty are inspiring. I look forward to seeing what fabulous beauty treats he comes out with next! Stay tuned…


Friday, May 11, 2012

Kevyn Aucoin- Still Making Faces

Today, I was tidying up my room, and I came across one of my favorite books-- a manual, really-- by one of the most impressive talents from the makeup world: Kevyn Aucoin and his book, "Making Faces." (click here to get it).

I would leaf through this book endlessly, and for the sliver of makeup talent I possess, I have to thank Kevyn. His book is an absolute manual on makeup styles, written in the most approachable and easy-to-understand manner. He was self-taught, and he writes that this allowed him to explore his creative freedom. This book is so comprehensive and evergreen, you will never need anything else to understand makeup technique (well, other than practice).

May 7th was the 10 year anniversary of his death. Even though his time with us was short, he was able to leave behind a distinct mark on the world of makeup and photography.

I clearly remember feeling so disappointed that I would never have the chance to meet him (although this brings up my ever-present dilemma of, "what would I even say to him? You're amazing, an inspiration, a talent"--?? He already knows. I have no clue what I would say to anyone I idolize).

I began trying his looks on myself years ago, and his devotion to all things easy, glamorous and eyebrows have always won me over. If you have ever been interested in learning the whole gamut of makeup-- from simple basics to exotic techniques-- or seeing celebrity transformations, get this book. (I love love love looking at how he can morph anyone into a beauty, men into women, celebs into other famous faces).

His passion for his craft is so evident in his anecdotes, his frank approach to beauty and his mantra of there being no rules in makeup.

Thanks, Kevyn.

P.S. His techniques live in his eponymous beauty line which is available at Neiman Marcus and Henri Bendel's. His concealer is the greatest stage makeup, and his brushes are divine.


Friday, March 9, 2012

Henri Bendel's White Pepper and Tuberose Eau de Parfum

Hi, My Name is S and I am an addict.

It's been 3 years since I last bought a Jo Malone perfume.

Seriously, I used to get paid, deposit my check at the bank, walk over to Barney's and buy the latest fragrances. I had an entire altar in my restroom dedicated to all things Jo Malone, including the expensive candles.

I was recently at Henri Bendel's (with G in tow), and I found out a comparable line (let's not call it a knock-off), at about half the price.

It's Bendel's own line of eau de parfums which come in 50ML bottles, and run about $65.

Although a touch less elegant than Jo Malone's world, I was still immediately enamored with the scent White Pepper & Tuberose.

It's a light floral, which is pretty and crisp, with a top note of budding tuberose, green flowers and tang of white pepper.

The scent is neither sweet nor cloying, and has a youthful energy about it.

I look forward to finishing my shower, and I view spraying this on as the finishing touch, ready to face the day and accept all the compliments along the way :)

Here's my test for a good perfume: I always judge a perfume by my scarves. What does that even mean, S? It means, I don't always wash my scarves, I tend to wear them over a period of time before I send them for cleaning. Anyway, when I re-wear a scarf in between sworn washings, I love when I become intoxicated with the scent on them, even if it's only me. I tend to try and whiff up as much as possible.

This perfume definitely leaves me wanting more, in a good way.

When people inhale me and can't get enough, I feel all these years of privately fussing over perfumes has its payday. OK the fusser was a girl, sadly, but a stylish one to my credit.

So if you were ever or happen to be a Jo Malone Addict, but find your little luxury is causing a noticeable attrition of your bank balance, you should definitely find a Bendel's in your area and find your new favorite scent.

PS SKIP the awful body butter! They need to go back and re-vamp the formula. All the body creams smelled like freshly cut grass on me. eeeeyuck.

Mac Powder Blush in Style. Teaching Peach.

Every March, it seems, I become obsessed with being a 'peaches & cream' beauty.

And every year, I go into a full blown search for the right rich peach tones.

This year, I am totally digging the soft and bright papaya/peach of MAC's Powder Blush in Style, about $19.

A light sweep, and a I feel brightened up, no matter how badly I slept.

This color is for almost everyone hoping to find the peach tone which suits them. Pale, pinky girls like myself look fresh and healthy. Tanned girls look awake and bright-eyed. Dusky beauties look sophisticated and very 'now' with this color-- it's the go-to for the entire sub-continental spectrum. It's got a touch of gold.

In fact, my inspiration for this color came from another S (a v. glam one), whose sunny peach cheeks made me crave a peach tone of my own. Her tan is super gorgeous because she's an Island girl to the core-- and she simply radiated pretty in this color!


2012's Perfect Peach Blush.

Coral Kisses!

Rouge D'Armani Pink 520


While G and I were shopping at Neiman Marcus in SF, she disappeared while I contemplated which gold hoops I should buy (it was a post-Christmas sale).

She returned, as I rightly suspected, having just made a sneaky and quick little makeup purchase. She was sporting a rich and creamy pout and she dragged me to the Giorgio Armani counter so I could get a well-needed lip color perk. Better than gold hoops, I gravitated towards and ended up buying Rouge d'Armani in Pink 520, $30.

Well, 3 months later, I still think it was one of the best lipsticks I have ever purchased. It instantly brightens up my face with it's super moisturizing hot pink zing, and wears off evenly throughout the day (all lipsticks wear off, but this one fades ever-so-gradually).

It's not too wet or glossy, just a perfectly comfortable amount of moisture.

When I'm tired, it's the only thing that will make me look all spritely and fun, even in New Delhi (where I currently live).

Hot Pink is not just for hot nights.

This cool lipstick even looks totally acceptable and good during the day (even in Delhi, where I currently live. I emphasize this point, because you don't want to look overdone at the office).

The 'tube' is really a nice weighted metal, which closes magnetically. No need to worry that the top will accidentally fall off in the bag in which you carry your world (if you're anything like me).

At the place where we pick up our daily cappuccino, there is this cool little chick who works there, and she's deaf-- but a totally gutsy fashion critic. She usually gives me and my carpoolers a thumbs -up (or thumbs-down) on our daily outfits. (To her credit, I usually agree with her daily deductions on our get-ups. I am always crossing my fingers that she'll like my occasionally bold choices).

I got a double thumbs-up when I walked in with my Rouge d'Armani on.

Not bad for a spur of the moment purchase.

Hot, hot, hot pink kisses.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Mémoire Liquide Custom Fragrances

I recently went to one of my favorite stores in NYC - Henri Bendel.  I had some time to kill before meeting a friend, so I decided to head upstairs to play around with some scents.  I was lucky enough to run into my handsome friend Vijay Uttam, who is a talented beauty expert and fashion stylist.  He introduced me to a line of customizable fragrances from the brand - Memoire Liquide, which has a collection of 160 base scents, separated into various categories:  Le Fleurist, Mélange Gourmandise, Les Ences, Bois et Espices, Les Tropiques, and Les Senteurs Musc. 

Vijay asked me what my scent preferences were, in order to custom blend a scent for me.  I prefer floral scents with a little fruit and spice, and something nice : ).  As you can imagine, I felt like a kid in a candy store.  There were so many beautiful scents to choose from - Orange Sanquine, Bisou au Chocolat, Nymphea, Tobacco Flower, Fleur des Tropiques, Black Fig, Jasmin hypnotique, Nudite Absolue, etc. We spend a good half hour testing out various custom blends. Vijay started by blending various types of vanilla, rose, neroli and musk scents.  While the scents were sweet and beautiful, I reminded myself of my New Year's resolutions, one of which is to be brave an try new things.  I requested that we stay away from Vanilla, Rose, and any citrus scents.  

We spent a good 40 minutes testing out various blends.  I don't think there is a limit to the number of base scents you can blend.  Some of the base scents are so lovely, that you could be very pleased with just one.  I believe there are about 4 different intoxicating rose scents to choose from.  What is amazing about this line is that you can custom create your own blend... a blend that no one else has.  No need to purchase fragrances by Britney, Beyonce, or Kim K. Be original and create your own!

After a great deal of testing, sniffing, and chatting, we finally chose a blend of two beautiful base scents.  Now, I can't tell you what base scents I chose, as it is my secret.  : )  I will tell you though that I chose an intriguing combination of a flower and a fruit.  The combination would shock you, as one would never think to put the two together.  It is sultry and mysterious, and I have received a few compliments and requests for it. All I can say is that it is my own custom fragrance created by a friend.


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Creme de La Mer. A Mother of Cream.

Well. I am sure some of you have heard this brou-ha-ha over Creme de la Mer Moisturizing Cream-- I certainly had. "It works!", "it's a gimmick", "it was bought over in 1996 by Estee Lauder and since then it has never been the same", " it was a sea kelp miracle invented by a burn victim and it healed him", "JLO puts it all over her body which is why she doesn't look a day over 31".

Wait! If JLO (who I know hates being called that, but I am sort of stuck in the late 90s, pop- culturally speaking)-- she of the beauty which is so creamy and cool and nude-y-- rubs this all over her bodacious bod, I had to see what all the fuss is about.

So began my foray into exploring the mystery behind Creme de la Mer. I was convinced, like I usually am about $130 for 1oz face creams-- that they are a farce. A ploy to get Asian women who still think Louis Vuitton is actually a luxury brand to buy the $1395 tubs of this stuff, because they CAN, and convince them that their perfect Asian complexions, which weren't going to crack anyway, are kept that way because they are using this cream.

However- I finally got some of this cream for myself. I am a skeptic and I think Oil of Olay is a perfectly wonderful face cream. I was instructed at the Neiman's counter about how to use this Creme de la Mer omg-it's-so-wonderful cream. I needed to emulsify it between my palms and then sort of dab it in to my skin to start seeing and feeling results. Got that? Rub until clear, and then pat pat pat into your skin.

It's been a week, and there has been a change in my skin's 'smooth' factor. Something is different-- something is creamier. I will never be like JLO-- but something is right about the way my skin is handling itself. Having packed on a few pounds over the holidays (I am way past my "Hey Baby" weight-- you know-- the perfect weight where you get hit on like all the time and all of a sudden your jeans from when you were totally off carbs look good and you and homeless AND trannies comment on you). Anyway I am waaaaay past that point, but yet somehow, I have been getting a lot of compliments. From the baggage handler to the taxi guy to the TSA security peeps-- and it's definitely not because my hips look like I could easily slip out a set of quints when I sneeze. TRUST. I think it might be the cream, and the way it makes my skin look younger.

Anyway, the bottom line is there is some truth to the hype in my experience. I don't know if the 'miracle broth' that they tout so heavily is really anything more than vaseline in an expensive jar. I am not a scientist, I am just a simple cavewoman consumer. But the point is, I don't know if I can live without this cream. I am shamefully addicted... I need my next fix.

I believe.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Oribe Hair Care Part Deux: The Luxurious Shampoo

Very scientifically speaking (because you know like how totally awesome and way rad science is and how much I cite it)-- your hair can affect how your day goes. A Yale University study that came out in January of 2000 backed up this claim, saying both men and women suffered -- feeling less smart, less capable, more embarrassed and less sociable on bad hair days. So it wasn't just a feeling. Marianne LaFrance at Yale University has confirmed my suspicions.

Personally, for me, a person with very dried out and damaged hair thanks to years of dyes and bleaches, COLD days are usually bad hair days. I have a natural wave, but on cold days (such as the lovely 8-14 inches we are currently experiencing here in lovely New York City) -- cold days are bone dry and make my hair go static and straight if I happen to blow dry. About a month ago, I was out with my friends P. & Co. in from out of town-- and my hair in the front was sticking up like Einstein. It would escape from the bobby pin and all night, I posed for photos with these antennae. They have their own album on facebook.

Dear Mr. Oribe,

Thank you so much for developing your line of shampoos and conditioners, because I feel they were made specifically for me. No longer can my Mom tsk tsk me for my dry and damaged hair due to not taking her advice and continuing to go blonder and blonder. I will visit her more often now, so she can shift the criticism to my choice in careers and my inability to find a man with whom I can have a lasting relationship.

No longer will I bemoan the shininess of all those ladies in the streets who look like they stole a weave from a Pantene commercial, whose cascading tresses have caused the bile of envy to rise up in me. I am now in the League of Good Hair, and will knock on wood every time someone compliments my soft, shiny locks-- and share my secret (even though you are priced prohibitively for me at $44 for the shampoo and $47 for my apres-shampoo aka conditioner. )

Thank you for making a product that makes me feel like every day is a good hair day. For all the functional days you have put back in my calendar, I would like to blow you a kiss. so Kiss kiss kiss kiss kiss (you get the point. Add about 45 more).

Your fan for life,
Bottom line is that I have been using the Oribe shampoos AND conditioners from the Brilliance and Shine series, and they have done wonders for my hair. I just can't get over it. It's the first time I have used a shampoo and can specifically attribute it as being the sole savior of my hair. I normally wouldn't doubly laud a product unless I was madly in love with it-- so you can imagine how strongly I feel about this shampoo. The two drawbacks for me are the price and how little I get for the dollar. But can you really put a price on good hair? (um yeah you can and IN THIS ECONOMY, you know, the one I hate so much, I feel very very bad waxing poetic over my love for this shampoo. I can't help it! I love it!)

It's the little miracles in life that make me happy. Having softer hair is definitely one of them. Now can I just say how bummed out I get when there's 8-14 inches of snow and no one is around to appreciate my good hair day! They should do a study on that. I wish someone would come on over to see it...

Oh well.

Happy, healthy, Rapunzel-ite Kisses!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sabon Body Scrub: My favorite body scrub

NYC weather can be brutal on your skin. Recently I found an at home solution to make your skin soft and smooth at an apothecary style shop called Sabon. The shop has a very rustic feel and smells so delicious. You can get candles, thick cakes of sweet smelling soap, lotions, oils, and scrubs. All products contain natural ingredients. The scrubs and salts are made from Dead Sea extracts, herbs and flowers from the Israeli countryside, and aromatherapy oils.

I am a huge fan of the Sabon body scrub in Coconut Vanilla. I find the other body scrubs have scents that are too strong, and you end up smelling like a strong bathroom spray. The Coconut Vanilla scent is just perfect with a light fresh smell that lingers all day.


The best way to apply it is to get into your shower (don’t turn on the water). I scrub in this order….start with my thighs, then back, and then arms. I scrub with both hands in a clockwise motion. I avoid my stomach, calves, chest, neck and face (don’t ever use this on your face!!!) These areas tend to be very sensitive. I use about 4 scoops (purchase the $1 wooden scoop). Turn on the shower and feel your new smoothness. It is amazing! When are done showering don’t dry yourself with too much rigor. Just pat your body dry. I like immediately apply a body oil (Bobby Brown Beach Oil or Vaseline body Butter Vitalizing Gel Body Oil. Believe me lady….. you will have the softest skin of your life.

I do this treatment once a week. If you have normal to oily skin you can do the scrub treatment twice a week.

You skin will start looking younger and smoother. I am addicted!

Check it out!



Sunday, July 10, 2011

Yes To Carrots Lip Butter

As you know, S and I test a lot of products. Shampoos, Body Creams, Face Creams, Foundations, Concealers, Eyes Shadows, Blushes, Glosses, Liners... the list goes on and on! We recently received warnings from our mummy's that all this testing may not be so good for us. Read the following in an Indian Accent (this really could be either of our mothers):

"Please be vise! Don't test soooo many of these creams beems and makeups! This is all nonsense you know! You'll soon end up looking like Aunty Gulabi! Do you vant that! She tries all these samples bimples she gets from Nordstrom's, and now you know what!?! Her lips are as black as night!"

So, although we laugh when get advice like this, we do take some of it to heart. I mean, they do have a point. Testing out so many products can have some negatives effects! I do have an occasional freak out now and then. I even have weird dreams about my skin! A few weeks ago I had this dream that I applied a mud mask and that all these worms started to crawl out of it. Ahhhhhh! Ughhhhh! Ewwwww! I feel like vomiting every time I think about it. Apparently S had a similar dream when she was younger. What does it mean!?! Probably means I should be more cautious about what I put on my skin. Who wants to look like Aunty Gulabi? Not me!

Lately, I've been on the lookout for natural beauty products. You see them everywhere these days. They are sold in most drugstores and grocery stores at very reasonable prices! A beauty line that I have had my eye on for last few weeks is the Yes To Carrots beauty line! What's great about the Yes to Carrots line is that all the products are paraben free! Various products within the line contain ingredients such as Dead Sea mud and minerals, along with organic fruits and veggies, jam packed with Beta-Carotene, a natural form of Vitamin A.

I recently tried out the C Me Smile Lip Butter. Yes, you heard it... Butta!!! If you know me you know I love Butta, and any beauty products with the name butter in it, I have to try! He he! The fabulous lip balms bear the USDA Organic seal (from the US Department of Agriculture). Yeaaah! It contains all these fabulous good for you ingredients too!
  • Organic Carrot, Orange, Pumpkin, and Melon Extracts - Provides superior antioxidant protection. How delicious!
  • Coconut Oil - We Indians have been using Coconut oil on our skin and hair for ages! The coconut oil in the balm helps the formula penetrate deep into your lips.
  • Olive Fruit Oil - Moisturizer for your lips!
  • Jojoba Seed and Sunflower Oils - To nourish, condition, and protect!
  • Vitamin E - Antioxidant protection against environmental exposure!
  • Shea Butter - Soothes and hydrates dry, cracked lips. Mmmm butta.
I've been using the lip butters for about a week and a half and can't get enough of them! They really sooth my dry lips. The texture of the balm is very smooth and it glides right on! It comes in flavors like Berry, Carrot, Citrus, Melon and Mint! So far, I have tried the Berry and Mint. The smell is light and not overpowering. I do wish they tasted like their smell, but they don't. : (

The best part about this gloss is the price. You can get the C Me Smile Lip Butters for $3.69 and Walgreen's! Amazing! Get one for your bag, one for your bathroom, one for your night stand, one for your car, one for your dog (ha ha! JK).

I say give your lips a little break every now and then. A healthy nourishing break. This balm is free of parabens, petroleum and phthalates. Mamma would approve! Yeaaah!

Soft healthy lips coming your way!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Kama Rosewater

On a trip to Marrakech, I went to a very luxurious (probably extremely inauthentic) hammam. We walked into a dark and balmy chamber underground, the path lit with candles. Everything was sultry, and carefully rustic-- from the warm water fountain where the woman bathed us with orange blossom water (heaven) to the slab of rock we had to lie on for the gommage treatment. My favorite part was being washed with rosewater during the facial portion of our treatment. Never have I felt more refreshed after a spa treatment than I did on that day. Memories.
I bought the gommage and the rosewater. I treasured that bottle, and it sat in my fridge for 3 years because I would save the precious liquid as an at-home treat when I was feeling especially wretched. Then one day it was gone. I still don't know who the responsible party is for throwing away my precious blue bottle from Morocco, but they're finally off the hook. I found something even better: Kama Ayurvedic Rosewater from their Les Jardins d'Inde.
Here's where advertising is key: I was reading a magazine on a plane ride between Delhi and Bombay, and I saw this really nice photo of a brown bottle, and it said "Exclusive, not available anywhere except...". Um hello, had to have it! Darnit they knew their audience. Luckily I didn't have to go too far because it's available at the hair salon in The Oberoi Hotel here in Delhi (also it's available in the States, just check out their website).
Bought it and couldn't wait to use it. Packaging is excellent considering this is a product made here in India. And inside, with the first spritz I was already in love with the smell! It's just the right kind of rose, a steady, fresh floral, with a very translucent fragrance. And best part? Ingredient: 100% pure rosewater.
It's not a perfume, it's a toner for your face because rosewater naturally balances the pH levels of your skin. I am not 100% sold on all-natural things, but this one works. I've had the worst skin since moving to Delhi- chapped cheeks and nose, acne- I look positively ruddy and old (I've had no time, and I am NOT a natural beauty). In one week, my skin is just softer! Yay.
I was going to surprise G with bottles of this stuff because she's sold on the indulgent romance of rosewater too, but I think customs is going to stop me when they see all the stuff I've been collecting for her and R...
Packaging: A, for Amazing. Performance: A for Awesome. Price:A for Are you kidding me, this miracle fluid made of pure roses is only about $15? (Sorry might be more in the States!)
Hope Everything Is Coming Up Roses Kisses!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

New York to New Delhi

It's been too long. I've temporarily found myself based out of Delhi for 6 months, and now The Gloss Box Girls can without a doubt promise you we are the absolute authority for South Asian beauty because... I, S. am living the Indian life everyday.
Well, a version of the Indian life- the type where I have access to spas and beauty products.
But let me tell you, it wasn't easy to move to a new city and have to 'set myself up'- ie find a place to get the waxing, the nails and the (affordable) blowouts.
I'll keep you posted on my adventures in hair removal, facials, waxing, local products, the search for foreign mascara and how I highly recommend head massages as the ultimate form of relaxation.
Stay tuned for my post on the Ayurvedic and organic beauty sensation sweeping the nation Forest Essentials, a review of salons and spas in Delhi, including Asian Roots, Affinity, Kaya Skin Clinic, and the Spa at the Oberoi. Plus, the shocking availability of Chanel and MAC makeup and Kerastase shampoo have made my beauty life a lot simpler than when I used to visit in the 90s.
The passage to India isn't what it used to be, with Botox at every corner, and the popularity of laser hair removal (PS, I'm thinking about going under to get my legs done.) I am going to tell you all the beauty secrets of the women in Delhi (they are gorgeous and all have perfect hair- please note the widespread popularity of getting your hair blown out every few days!)- plus bring you genuine beauty finds.
MAC just launched their Bollywood collection, BodyShop is open, as is L'Occittaine- it's a changing landscape here in India.
Stay tuned while G holds it down in New York, and I bring you the latest from New Delhi.

We've come a long way from the days of Vicco Turmeric Ayurvedic Cream (nahi cosmetic!)