Archive for the ‘Beauty’Category

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 Larchmont Sanctuary Spa

Le Petite Retreat Day Spa

Larchmont Sanctuary 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), Larchmont Sanctuary Spa, formerly Le Petite Retreat Day Spa, in Larchmont Village might just be the spot.

While Larchmont Sanctuary Spa 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.

Larchmont Sanctuary Spa 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 Larchmont Sanctuary Spa soon!

Note: Updated to reflect the spa’s name change.


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.


11 2010

Beauty product review: Pop Beauty Eye Magnet Primer

I’ve always shied away from wearing eye shadow, not only because I’m lazy but also because it never really stayed on my lids. I would get the dreaded creasing that makes shadow so ugly, which wasn’t helped by the fact that I have really oily skin that makes all makeup slip and slide. I’ve tried various bases to avoid this, but nothing really seemed to work. Then I tried Pop Beauty‘s Eye Magnet Primer ($18), which I was given as a gift after my interview with the company’s founder, Sara Strand, and now I can wear eye shadow again without worrying about creasing! Not that I wear much makeup, but this stuff does a great job of holding color in place for hours at a time. It comes in an easy-to-use pen-brush applicator, too. There’s also an eyelid primer to create a smoky eye — eyeshadow for dummies!


08 2010

Perricone MD giveaway

If you’re anything like me, you worry about your skin — how it looks, how healthy it is — you know, that kind of thing. Well, never fear because Perricone neuropeptide is offering one lucky ShopEatSleep reader a skin-boosting product to help you deal with just that. Perricone’s products include anti-aging ingredients that help with elasticity, firmness and hydration, according to its website. It’s never too early to start taking care of your skin!

You can win any Perricone product valued at $150 or less. Need helping choosing? How about the Perricone Evening Repair, which works to smooth and illuminate while you sleep? Sounds good to me.

Here’s how to enter:

1. Leave a comment on this post by Aug. 24 at 11:59 p.m. PST stating why you’d like a particular product (remember, it can’t cost more than $150).

2. Either follow me on Twitter or “like” me on Facebook.

That’s it. I’ll pick a winner at random and make the announcement on Aug. 25. Good luck!

**Contest is closed.**

UPDATE: Congratulations to Sacha of Swirl Smell Slurp!


08 2010

Nation LTD at the new Santa Monica Place

If you haven’t yet heard, the new Santa Monica Place mall opens tomorrow, Aug. 6, and if you remember what the old mall looked like, this is a real treat. Gone is the bunker-like feel (sorry, Frank Gehry, this was not one of your best designs), replaced by high-end stores and an open-air dining deck. There will be all sorts of hooplah surrounding the grand opening, including live music and dance, and sale specials, of course! Here’s a full list of retailers.

One of those special grand opening events will be taking place at Bloomingdale’s (yes, Bloomies!) with Nation LTD, the luxe basics brand. Designer Jen Menchaca will be offering styling tips, and there will be a giveaway contest with the chance to win one of three “Summer Survival Kits” filled with Nation LTD tees (retail value $325). The first 50 purchasers will receive a free denim Nation LTD tote, and Bobbi Brown makeup artists will be on hand to offer beauty tips and to give out mini Crystal Lip Glosses. If only I didn’t have to go to work tomorrow!

Friday, Aug. 6
1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Bloomingdale’s at Santa Monica Place
395 Santa Monica Place
Santa Monica, CA, 90401


08 2010

Green hands and feet: Recess Nail Spa

Recess Nail Spa. From Green L.A. Girl.

I recently checked out Recess Nail Spa, an environmentally friendly nail salon not far from the Beverly Center, and came away impressed. For one thing, the space is huge — it looked about three times the size of a typical nail salon — and it was much more luxurious, with plush chairs and flat screen TVs. Aside from actual spas, I have never seen a dedicated nail salon look so nice.

I got a manicure and pedicure, courtesy of a gift card I won at The Fashion Frontline launch party. I got the the Basic Manicure, which includes a mani, hot towels and massage, and the Basic Pedicure, which includes a pedi, scrub, hot towels and massage. I had two people working on me at the same time, and both did a great job. I chose a pink-coral color from SpaRitual, which according to its website, is a vegan nail polish line free of synthetic dyes. I’ve noticed that the color doesn’t chip as much as it wears away from the tips. Recess also carries Zoya, which is free of toluene, formaldehyde, phthalates and camphor. You also get your choice of lotion for your massage, with scents that are sweet, spicy or citrusy.

I was also happy with the service. Even though I came in without an appointment less than an hour before closing time, the salon accommodated me and didn’t make me feel rushed at all.

Through the end of August, the salon is offering a special on the Basic Manicure for $20 and the Basic Pedicure for $30. If you want to save $5, just forgo the hot towels. I’ve had similar manis at actual spas (and even ones that weren’t as good) for much more. This is a great deal. I just may have to make this a regular part of my beauty regimen!

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08 2010