Tag Archives: Sephora

Bridal Beauty Resolution #1 – Dry Brushing

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No, not your hair, sillies.  Dry body brushing.

Years ago, with no kids and much more time on my hands, I was (and still am, really) a beauty product and regimen addict. I recently resurrected one of these practices, mostly for research purposes and in doing so, realized that dry body brushing is more than just beauty folly.  The health benefits of dry body brushing are legion and, if you will be marching down the aisle this year, it’s a must for glowy skin, which, by the way, is our biggest organ.  So, go beyond your face and neck and think “whole body”.

So, in full disclosure, I actually thought to myself one day “hmmm…what happened to that body brush I had from ______?”  I think it was from The Body Shop or Bath and Body Works.  A quick Google search, and I brushed up (pun intended) on why I had begun the regimen in the first place.  Body brushing not only exfoliates, but it revs up the lymphatic system, improves circulation and blood flow, defeats cellulite, eliminates toxins and helps whatever product you use to sink in more effectively.  A total win.    I wear a lot of black sweaters and darned if I didn’t notice with the winter cold (and dry heat indoors) that errant flakes were adorning my cashmere.   Gross.

So, off to drugstore.com, where I found a terrific body brush.  Now, it’s not for the fainthearted, as it’s a tad painful, like whisking steel wool across your skin.  Start slowly and gently, maybe three times a week pre-shower or bath.  Work in small areas, from the feet up and always brush towards your heart.  Pay extra attention to elbows and knees.   Here’s a good primer from Livestrong.org.   I swear on a stack on Vogues that flakes were a-flying the first time I did it in three years.  And you know what?  One month later and my skin is glowing, soft and noticeably improved in texture.  I usually follow up with some essential oils in the bath and a great body butter like Kiehl’s Creme de Corps, Sephora‘s Body Butter, Chanel No. 5 Body Milk or, a seasonal favorite, Origins’ Ginger Body Soufflé.

So, brush away – your body (and anyone who touches it) will thank you, as will your general health.  And that wedding gown – strapless, backless, plunging – will highlight the gorgeousness of healthy skin.

You can use natural bristle or a loofah-based brush.

And the winner is….Deanna G! Beautiful Sephora Girl.

Now, please do invite friends to subscribe and comment so you can win – and please do subscribe via email and not in a Google reader to help our ever-lovin’ SEOs.  Goodness gracious giveaways abound here (not quite trips to Hawaii or Seychelles YET, but….).  Deanna, please send your info to info@dolceparties.com and sorry for the delay.  New posts this evening for #supersaturday, so pull up a chair today sometime after 6 PM.  We have gift-giving guides, Thanksgiving party tips and some gorgeous wedding goodness.

Congrats on your Sephora gift card, Deanna.  Now, go sparkle.

Photo Credit: Sephora

Briday Friday – The Beauty Edition. (and a pretty little giveaway)

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If you are a bride (or bridesmaid) to be, chances are you are ramping up your health/beauty/fitness routines in anticipation of the big weekend.  Who doesn’t want a trim physique, glowing skin and gleaming locks on their big day – or always?  True beauty comes from good health, but we all need help.  We recently spoke with some beauty and fitness experts and uncovered a slew of great products and old standbys to help you look and, more importantly, feel your best come nuptial time.

Of course, the sensible route boils down to this:  watch your refined sugar and white carbs, alcohol and caffeine intake, do at least 30 minutes of cardio plus 15 minutes of strength training a day (one day off!), remember to take off makeup at night and begin facials, waxing and nail care 6 months prior to the big day.  And try for 8 hours of zzzzzs a night.  And drinks lots of filtered water.  I know, impossible.  In order to help, we present:

Viviscal – this nutritional supplement will help give you Kate Middleton-worthy locks in no time at all!  Hollywood gals like Reese Witherspoon  swear by this supplement since their hair takes a beating from color changes and hot lights.  I used it after my pool water turned my hair fried and green.  I lopped it all off into an Ali Larter bob and now use Viviscal religiously.

Speaking of supplements – most girls hate swallowing giant vitamins, and we’ve discovered the best liquid vitamins in the world by Tropical Oasis – enhanced also with amino acids, herbs and other supplements.  Best of all, it’s packaged in Earth-friendly glass, stays in the fridge and doesn’t taste terribly.  Sold at health food stores, many Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s nationwide.

An at-home hair glaze is just the thing if you don’t have time to visit the salon.  Blondes, especially, have a hard time maintaining a mirror-like shine.  We like Oscar Blandi’s At Home Salon Glaze– makes your color last longer, is plant-based and imparts natural gleam.

Photo Credit: Oscar Blandi

Tooth whitening:  face it – we all love blueberry smoothies, espresso, red wine and other things that break down our enamel and dull teeth.  Zoom whitening at the dental office can really hurt sensitive gums.  I’m here to tell you about GLO Whitening System. Worth every penny and created by Dr. Jonathan Levine and recently featured on Dr. Mehmet Oz‘s Show.  You wear the silly iPod-looking device around your shoulder and insert the mouthpiece and gel over your choppers for four 8-minute session a day for 5 days.  So, make sure you have 32 minutes a day for 3-5 days to commit.  The difference will astound you!  Available at Sephora, too under “Tools”.  My teeth whitened about 8 whole shades.  And you can maintain it all year and do a last minute boost for two days before the wedding.

Jouer Cosmetics (my ultimate favorite) tint in Peony – a shade that looks bright pink in the tin, but is perfect for glowy bride cheeks and even on the lips.  I love all of Jouer’s line, which you can see if you click on that first hyperlink.  Jouer is also a favorite of Giada deLaurentiis and Gwyneth Paltrow.  It’s now gaining traction in the States due to makeup artists’ use.  For glamourous nights out, though, nothing beats Tom Ford’s new makeup collection.  It’s hot, sexy, dangerous, classic and for the confident woman.  Even the packaging makes me feel like going to a supper club.  Available only at Bergdorf Goodman in store and online.

Serums – LOVE.  Each night, we use Nude Skincare Replenishing Night Oilon our faces and necks (we found it at Fred Segal Beauty – the mecca), but it’s now available at Sephora.  It smells terrific, helps you sleep, melts right into skin and you wake up looking fresh as a daisy.  Not kidding.  While we’re on the topic, we love the serum/oil by Skin & Bones.  You can use it on your hair, face or body and it also smells delicious and does the trick.  It’s all about moisture and dewy, not greasy.  Skin & Bones can also be purchased at the Beauty department at Fred Segal in Santa Monica.

Photo Credit: Nude Skincare

Cleanser:  we are loving Eve Lom’s wonderful new cleanser.  We also think that if you cleanse at night and use a serum and eye cream, you needn’t cleanse in the morning.  Simply mist your face with some Evian, put on a day moisturizer and makeup/sunscreen.  Too much cleansing can irritate and strip your face of crucial oils.  Eve Lom’s Day Cleanser is great at night, too.  Purchase at Beauty.com and see her whole range there as well.  Plus, it’s nice to get your beauty and drugstore staples all together with one shipping box.  Love that!

Photo Credit: Eve Lom

Exfoliation:  only one exfoliant will touch my sensitive skin and that’s Kate Somerville’s “Exfolikate Gentle Exfoliating Treatment”.  It’s gentle, I can use it with my fingertips or a Clarisonic or other battery-operated brush and it smells divine.  It’s also smartly priced.

Universally pretty eyeshadow:  Everyone looks good – daytime or wedding night in Stila “Kitten” in both powder and liquid wand form.  I prefer the powder, because you can build the color in layers.  No one doesn’t shine in “Kitten”.

Cheap thrill – oh, WOW, we are in love with Maybelline insanely pigmented, dramatic and non-creasing Eye Studio Color Explosion Quads.  We bought the green and the purple range.  It has this sort of “top coat” you can use for night to make the shadows simply glow and gleam.  Once again, buildable pigments mean you can go light or deep and dramatic.  Available at any drugstore.

Photo Credit: drugstore.com

Body:  it’s a tie!  Kiehl’s Cream de Corps Whipped Soy and Honey Body Butter and

Photo Credit: Kiehl's

Sephora’s own Body Butter (the scent alone!).  Bot are heavy, non-greasy, really work for the silkiest skin.

Photo Credit: Sephora

There are about 45 other products that fill our addiction and cabinets – including old school sponge rollers from the drugstore,  RGB and Butter London Nail Enamels and homemade brown sugar body scrub (sweet almond oil and regular brown sugar), but we have much to get to.

Let us know your favorite, life-changing beauty product in the comments section and you will win a $40 gift card to Sephora.  Contest closes Sunday, 10 PM, EST. You must be a subscriber to this blog.  So tell a friend!

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