Archive for the ‘Beauty’Category

Get glowing skin with Eslor skincare

Eslor Replenishing Scrub

Eslor Replenishing Scrub. From

I think I’ve found my new favorite skincare line: Eslor.

Started by a pharmacologist who wanted to create a natural skin care line for his wife, Eslor has some really effective products with ingredients such as aloe vera, safflower oil, algae extract and almond meal extract. Eslor products are also free of parabens, sodium lauryl sulphate and sodium lauryl ether sulphate.

I had the opportunity to try out almost all of Eslor’s products, and I’ve decided on some favorites.

First off, the Soothing Refiner & Cleanser left my skin feeling really clean without any residue. It also left my skin feeling soft without being overly moisturized. Likewise, the Soothing Cream moisturizer, while thicker than my usual moisturizer, didn’t leave my skin overly oily. It’s much lighter than it seems, which works well for my combination-oily skin.

I also liked the Replenishing Scrub, which reminded me of St. Ives apricot scrub but without the thickness. Eslor’s scrub has big pieces of something (almonds, I think) that felt a little harsh but left my skin smooth. It’s a little hard to use because if you add too much water, it falls apart, but when you get the water-to-scrub proportion right, it’s effective. But the Botanical Peeling Gel is my favorite. You leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes, then rub to peel it off. It left my skin feeling really clean and smooth.

Overall, using these products made my skin look and feel healthier and more youthful. And the best part may be that the products aren’t cost-prohibitive. The most expensive product is the Brightening Activator at $110; many others fall well below that price. Effective and affordable — score!

Note: These product samples were complimentary.


09 2013

Beauty product review: Oxygen Pur serum

Oxygen Pur serum

Oxygen Pur serum. From Oxygen Pur.

Oxygen Pur serum is billed as a cure-all of sorts for the skin. The idea behind the clear, fragrance-free gel is to saturate the skin with dissolved oxygen to help circulation and “revitalize, regenerate and rejuvenate.” So, does it work?

I tried it out in different circumstances. First, I brought it with me on my recent trip to Greece. While it was suggested that I use it after traveling many hours on an airplane, I always get really oily when flying, so I opted to try it out after spending lots of time in the sun. Then, I started using it regularly — morning and night — and really started seeing results.

My skin is smoother and plumper when I use Oxygen Pur serum. It actually looks and feels healthier. And I think it does aid in the absorption of other products. It doesn’t seem to react with any of my other products, including my prescription rosacea cream. That’s good news for people with sensitive skin like I have. It’s also not greasy, which is nice since I have oily skin.

According to the product’s website, nitrogen is removed from water and replaced with oxygen, which is then infused and stabilized to deliver dissolved oxygen directly into the deeper layers of the dermis. This high concentration of oxygen supposedly promotes skin cell renewal, stimulates collagen and elastin production, and reduces the effects of free radical damage, among other things. It also claims to be hypoallergenic and free of parabens, fragrance, phathalates and sulfates.

Time will tell if this product continues to satisfy. Considering its hefty price tag — $80 — it better work, right? But, so far, so good.

Note: This bottle of Oxygen Pur was complimentary.


07 2013

Shop small this Saturday

This Saturday, Nov. 24, is Small Business Saturday. Support your favorite local small business in between getting your deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Some of my favorites include Goo Salon, Giant Robot, Valerie Confections and just about every restaurant in Los Angeles.

Yes, Small Business Saturday is a movement founded by the large business American Express, which charges all businesses a lot for its services (that’s why a lot of stores won’t accept AmEx), but it’s still a good idea to shop small when you can. Small businesses give your city, your neighborhood, character, as well as provides jobs (duh!). If you haven’t seen the commercial, here it is:

If you have an AmEx card, sign up to get $25 back one time when you spend $25 at a qualifying small business on Nov. 24.

Happy shopping!


11 2012

Getting back to basics: Root Beauty

Root Beauty deodorant

Root Beauty deodorant

Do you make it a point to buy and eat organic food? Do you also pay attention to what you put on your body as much as you do to what you put in it? If you do, then Root Beauty is for you.

Root Beauty is a local L.A. company that makes organic facial moisturizer, hand cream and deodorant from recognizable ingredients. For example, the hand cream contains organic shea butter, cocoa butter, jojoba oil and sweet almond oil. That’s it.

Founder Kristin Lauterbach just launched the company in May, but she has been a proponent of living a toxin-free life for years. She started out buying local, organic food but soon realized there was so much more to think about.

“I started reading what was in the [beauty] products I was buying, and I couldn’t pronounce most of the words on the back of the bottle,” she said. “I realized I was putting chemicals all over me all the time. I wanted to know how I could reduce my chemical exposure while still maintaining my urban lifestyle.”

So Lauterbach started making her own skin care products in her kitchen. Through trial and error, and “a little art, a little science,” she came up with products that she would give to friends and family, who encouraged her to sell them. After a while, she realized this was her calling and decided to take a break from the film industry she was working in.

I took the Balance Face Moisturizer and the deodorant for a two-week trial run, both with better-than-expected results.

The Balance moisturizer, which contains organic grape seed, bergamot, niaouli, lavender and vitamin E oils, is formulated for combination and oily skin. Because it’s oil-based, I was a bit skeptical as to how it would balance my already oily skin, but almost immediately I could tell that my skin felt better and looked more balanced. It wasn’t the best option for me when it came to being a bit sweaty, as is the case in this current heat wave, but other than that, I have no complaints. I even used it with a prescription rosacea cream, and I didn’t experience any adverse effects.

When it came to trying the deodorant, I was kind of scared, actually. I’ve never not used an antiperspirant, and I was afraid I would be a sweaty mess without one. But the organic corn starch and the baking soda kept me pretty dry (under normal temperatures, not so much in this current heat), and the organic virgin coconut and rosemary oils kept me smelling almost good enough to eat (not really, but the deodorant on its own smells really tasty). Just remember to keep it cool because if you don’t, it’ll separate due to the addition of coconut oil. The fact that this natural deodorant works nearly as well as aluminum-laden antiperspirant is a welcome development for someone who’s married to the person who made a documentary about our chemical body burden.

Trying to buy beauty products that don’t contain phthalates, which often hide in the names of “DBP,” “DEP” and “fragrance” (try finding something that doesn’t contain “fragrance”!) and have been known to cause disruptions of the endocrine system, is really tough. But Root Beauty makes it easy, and it sounds as if Lauterbach is on to something here — personally and professionally.

“Root Beauty just became a natural progression of my journey,” she said. “I know this sounds cheesy, but I love when people try my products and they not only work for them, but they really enjoy them.”

Note: These products were complimentary.


08 2012

Beauty product review: dry shampoos

I used to wash my hair every day because I thought I had to. If I went even one day without washing my hair, it would get decidedly oily. But then I gave dry shampoos a try, and washing my hair less often actually made it less oily. Here are my thoughts on the products I’ve used, all of them of the powder variety because I didn’t want to use the alcohol-based spray versions:

Ojon Full Detox Rub-Out Dry Cleansing Powder: This is the most absorbing dry shampoo that I’ve tried. It is almost too drying, actually; my hair was a bit stiff after using it. But it it effective. The smell isn’t that pleasant, but it isn’t unpleasant, either. My only real complaint is how it leaves a bit of a white residue despite touting its no-residue effect.

Oscar Blandi Pronto Dry Shampoo: This product has the best lemony smell and is relatively good at disappearing in your hair. It’s also pretty absorbent, but not as absorbent as the Ojon.

Frederic Fekkai Au Naturel Dry Shampoo: This one is my least favorite. It’s good in that it’s fragrance-, paraben- and sulfate-free, but it’s just not that effective, and it left the most white residue out of these three that I tried.



05 2012

Relax at Le Petite Retreat Day Spa

Le Petite Retreat Day Spa

Le Petite Retreat Day Spa

Sometimes going to a spa isn’t as relaxing as you’d like. Sometimes there are just too many people, too much foot traffic. If you’re looking for a truly relaxed spa experience in a more intimate setting than, say, Burke Williams (no offense, Burke Williams; I like you just fine), Le Petite Retreat Day Spa in Larchmont Village might just be the spot.

While Le Petite Retreat is small, it doesn’t skimp on amenities. The robes are über comfy, the communal waiting room is cozy (fireplace, fountain, complimentary drinks and snacks), and the treatment rooms are appropriately relaxing. I got the signature Jade Stone Massage Therapy treatment, which incorporates the use of rubbing alternating hot and cold jade stones over your body with Swedish, Shiatsu, Thai and deep tissue massage. The hot stones relax your muscles, and the cold stones help reduce inflammation. This is no wussy massage; the therapist, who was about half my size, worked me over! But that just meant I left feeling totally relaxed.

Le Petite Retreat offers all kinds of facials (including a caviar serum), scrubs (Ionic Detox Foot Bath, anyone?) and even eyelash extensions. The spa also caters to couples with various couples treatments and a champagne bath for two as an add on, where you’ll lounge in a copper tub surrounded by flickering candles sipping champagne. Not bad, huh?

I originally wrote about this place for Gilt City. Maybe if you’re lucky you’ll find another deal for Le Petite Retreat soon!


01 2012

Beauty product review: HANAair Professional Hair Dryer

HANA hair dryer

HANAair Professional Hair Dryer

I hate drying my hair.

Actually, I used to hate drying my hair. Then I got the HANAair Professional Hair Dryer, and my blow dry-hating days were over. This blow dryer is hands-down the best I have ever used, mostly because it dries my thick hair in about half the time it takes with my old dryer and dries it well. I can actually dry my hair before work now because it takes just minutes! Using this HANA hair dryer is kind of like walking through a wind tunnel (in a good way); the sheer power — 2300 watts — is amazing. There are also two heat settings and two dryer strengths, as well as a cool button, so you have lots of options. The dryer also leaves my hair smooth, which can be tough since I have a lot of hair. Even my husband likes it. Another good use? The HANA dryer dries my dogs after a bath much more quickly than my old dryer, too.

My only complaint is the dyer costs more than $300. Yes, it’s professional grade, but $300 is a lot of money. Though when I asked my hubby if he would pay that much for that hair dryer, he said he would. So there — a heterosexual man said he would pay hundreds of dollars for a hair dryer. That’s a pretty good endorsement in my book.

I got the dryer from Misikko, a beauty store that specializes in hair care, especially hair dryers and flat irons.

Note: The hair dryer was complimentary.


12 2011

Personal pick: Clinique Moisture Surge


Clinique Moisture Surge

I’m a big fan of Clinique products. I use a lot of them, especially for skin care. While I’ve been loyal to Clinique’s Superdefense moisturizer for years, which has an impressive SPF 25 while managing not to be greasy, but I’ve been cheating lately. When my wedding make up artist told me that moisturizers with sunscreen reflect light in photos and that I should find one sans sunscreen to wear on my big day, I began exploring Clinique’s entire line. I thought the Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion might work, but it was a bit too greasy for my oily skin. Then I tried the gel version, but that didn’t seem right, either. That’s when I discovered Moisture Surge, which is a creamy gel that offers full coverage without leaving a grease slick behind. It’s rare to find a moisturizer that actually moisturizes and leaves a matte finish. I highly recommend this if you’re looking for a great all-purpose moisturizer and especially for brides-to-be!


11 2011

The obligatory Valentine’s Day post

Rose petal macaroon, lychee sorbet and fresh raspberry sauce from Nick & Stef's. Courtesy of Nick & Stef's.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (or your mom’s basement, whatever), you’ll know that Monday is Valentine’s Day. If you’re celebrating this year, here are some options for you.

Staying in? Get some Karma single-serve bottles of sparkling wine to toast you and your loved one, whoever that may be.

Going out? Consider Patina Restaurant Group’s V-Day offerings, including prix fixe meals from Nick & Stef’s Steakhouse, Kendall’s Brasserie, Café Pinot and Zucca Ristorante.

Want to do something fun with a friend? Try a blowout from JM Blowdry, part of Joseph Martin Hair & Beauty salon in Beverly Hills. Get two blowouts for $40 (regularly $60) Feb. 11 through Feb. 14.


02 2011

Shop and ride: Sassy City Chicks and Chevrolet

Splendid Thermal Stitch Long Sleeve Cuff Sweater

Sassy City Chicks, a seasonal fashion and beauty event, is holding its fall get-together this Thursday, Nov. 4, with discounts on designer labels, beauty demonstrations and Chevrolet ride-and-drives. The shopping will feature deeply discounted designer styles from Splendid, Paige denim, Hudson and Current/Elliot, among others, at 30 percent to 80 percent off retail prices.

Also, the Chevrolet Lounge will spotlight two of Sassy City Chicks’ favorite designers and will offer the opportunity for all attendees to participate in the Chevrolet and Buick test drives or ride-alongs before and during the event. If you sign up ahead of time, you’ll have access to Chevy’s newest vehicles from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., as well as pre-event mini spa treatments, extra swag, and early entry to shop the event before doors open to the public. If you can’t make it that early, Chevrolet and Buick will also offer chauffeured rides to and from a local restaurant in either a Chevy Camaro, Traverse, Cruze or Malibu, or the Buick Regal or Buick LaCrosse.

There are two levels of entry for the event: a $25 Tote Ticket will get you entry, a gift bag, complimentary spa services and complimentary cocktails, and a $10 ticket gets you general admission without all the goodies. You know you want the goodies, right? Since you’re such a devoted ShopEatSleep reader, you can get a FREE Tote Ticket by going to the ticketing page, choosing a Tote Ticket and entering the code CHEVROLET at checkout. But hurry — only the first 50 people will get one!

Petersen Automotive Museum
6060 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
5:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

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11 2010