beauty tips

September 18, 2013

Vacation Makeup

Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelée in “Cool Tone Pink”/ Essie “Tart Deco”/ Josie Maran Argan Creamy Concealer Crayon in “Light 2″/ Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer in “Ochre”/ bareMinerals Locked & Coated Waterproof Lash Topcoat/ bareMinerals Moxie in “Party Starter”

While on vacation I usually avoid wearing makeup- since I’m usually in some sort of water most of the day- but always lather my skin in moisturizer and sunscreen. If I want a little more coverage, especially for dinner, I love Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer. It keeps my skin looking dewy and fresh and most importantly, hydrated. Ever since discovery Josie Maran’s Argan Oil (life changing) I’ve been testing out some of her beauty products as well. This coconut watercolor cheek gelée is my favorite! I wear it on both my cheeks and lips to give them the perfect subtle shade of pink. It looks so much more natural than wearing powder blush, especially with just moisturizer and a swipe of mascara!

Also pictured- Old Navy Espadrilles, Free People Hat, Ray Ban Sunglasses 


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I had the pleasure of getting treated to the Organic Detox Facial at International Orange a few weeks back. It was heavenly and everything I had hoped it would be. I’ve always preferred facials over massages and had yet to get one in San Francisco- I’ve been on a quest to find an amazing spa and found IO just down the street! Since I’m making my skin care a priority, facials every few months are a must. Not only does it feel amazing and you get to leave with glowing skin, you learn new information about your skin and new products while you’re there. I love picking my estaticians brain about what she sees in my skin, what products she would recommend, what she thinks I could be doing more of, etc. Jennifer was my esthetician at  IO and she was absolutely wonderful! She had the most incredible skin and had so many great recommendations and tips for me, so I thought I would do a little Q&A so you guys can get in on some of her secrets for perfect, glowing skin (who wouldn’t!)….


How do you customize each treatment to that specific persons needs?

Although facial treatments often follow the same formula (cleanse, exfoliate, facial massage, extractions, treatment products) the products used and techniques performed differ depending on the client’s needs. For example, a client with oily/problematic skin would likely receive a salicylic peel to deep cleanse their pores, acupressure point stimulation, detailed extraction work, and treatment products containing tea tree oil, sufur, and totara. A client with dry skin would likely receive a fruit enzyme treatment or lactic acid peel, a stimulating facial massage which relieves deep tension and encourages blood flow and oxygen delivery to the skin, and treatment products containing hyaluronic acid, squalene and plenty of antioxidants. High frequency, LED, Microcurrent, etc. can also be added to further address individual needs.

Can you take us through each step of the Organic Detox Facial that I had?

Step 1. goodness Step 2. goodness Step 3. More goodness

This facial is an ideal treat for dry-normal skin. It’s detoxifying, stimulating, and thoroughly hydrating, incorporating Kahina Giving Beauty, In Fiore and Dr. Alkaitis products. The treatment begins with full body compressions to center the client and help induce an instant state of relaxation. Light dry brushing of the arms, chest, and face begin to get the lymph system moving. A yummy cleanse with In Fiore Treate is followed by more lymph stimulation of the neck and face. Stimulating the lymph removes waste, reduces puffiness and bathes cells in fresh fluid. The skin is then gently scrubbed with the crushed flower blossoms of In Fiore Lustra, a true skin treatment all on its own. While the arms are being massaged, an alpha hydroxy gel exfoliates and brightens the skin, and the skin is further stimulated with steam. After removal of the exfoliating treatment, nourishing and antibacterial raw, organic honey is applied to the skin and pressure point and tapotement massage (A Swedish Massage technique) is performed, increasing blood, oxygen and energy flow. A warm towel wipes away the honey and a toning and lifting massage that relaxes muscles and connective tissues is done with an oil blended with Rose and Chamomile or Neroli and Orange depending on skin type. Lastly, a nutrient rich Dr. Alkaitis mask containing multiple vegetable, grass, and seed extracts coats the face while strong hands relieve tension of the neck, shoulders and head. The treatment is then finished by sealing the skin with moisturizer and SPF.

My main focus is usually my eyes, what are some of your favorite tips/products for getting rid of under eye circles and puffiness?

Besides the obvious (get enough sleep, stay hydrated, etc.) you want to commit to using a good eye treatment. Eye treatments generally have ingredients that will address issues that are unique to the eye area such as dark circles and puffiness. Know that genetics have a lot to do with the appearance of your eyes, but be assured that daily treatment can help. Ingredients like peptides and antioxidants can help strengthen the delicate tissue making it less transparent. Caffeine helps reduce puffiness and improve circulation. Vitamin C and Retinol can lighten hyperpigmentation. There are lots of great formulas out there, but my favorite eye products are:

iS Clinical Youth Eye Complex, Arcona Peptide Eye Serum, and Sircuit White Out. I also LOVE the Clarisonic Opal which helps penetrate any eye treatment into the skin. My eyes looked better in a week.

For someone with dry skin, I moisturize every morning and night. Is that enough? What else can I do to keep my skin hydrated?

Your best bet is to make sure your skin is properly exfoliated so that your hydrator can actually get into your skin and do what you want it to do. Use of a gentle alpha-hydroxy treatment, fruit enzyme, or retinol can easily get the job done. Dry skin types often seem to have sensitive/delicate skin though so you don’t want to overdo it. Make sure you’re using something properly formulated for your skin type. Arcona’s Night Worker, Gentle Solution, and Papaya Enzyme Gel are all great choices. 1-3 nights a week will suffice.

If you’re adequately exfoliated and using a nourishing moisturizer but still feel like you need more, you can always add a hydrating serum like SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Gel.

And to play off the last question, what products do you recommend to get that dewy-skin glow (and to keep it even after you apply makeup)?

In general, my go-to formula for healthy, glowing skin is a Vitamin C serum during the day (faves- iS Clinical Super Serum and Arcona Youth Serum) and some form of chemical exfoliation 2-4 nights a week (faves- Arcona Gentle Solution and Arcona Vitamin A Complex, Sircuit). Also, don’t forget exercise, rest, eating healthfully, and repeating often.

To be specific, the Arcona Desert Mist can fake a dewy-skin glow for just about anyone! Don’t get me wrong, the product actually does amazing things for the skin- seals it against pollution, weather, chemicals and free radicals while hydrating and repairing the skin as well. BUT, it gives a dewy finish to any daytime skincare routine. Love this product, and it’s great when you’re flying.

What are the top products you can’t live without and would recommend to everyone?

In Fiore Soleil Fleur- hands down my number 1. It can be used as a moisturizing step for an oily skin or as a serum for a drier skin type- offers crazy antioxidant protection and brings the skin into balance. I have two new loves that have long-term potential! One is the iS Clinical White Lightening Complex which I like to use as a nighttime treatment. My skin looks so bright and smooth the next morning that I can’t wait to use it again. The other is the Sircuit Supernatural-A which is a restorative retinoid in a cream form- super user-friendly!

What are some at-home treatments you can do in between facials to maximize your results?

Most importantly, do your daily routine. It’s easy to slack off, but if you want the payoff you’ve got to stick with it. I like to alternate products which not only keeps me interested, but, more importantly, keeps my skin interested!

Other than that, try doing a mask a couple of times a month. Peels like the Arcona Mandarin Brightening Peel or the Astara Violet Flame are going to make your skin smooth and refined while hydrating masks like the Arcona Wine Hydrating Mask and Astara Golden Flame Mask will keep it quenched. Masking can feel like a big ordeal or daunting to-do, but just put on a mask, drink your morning coffee or tea, and jump in the shower. Easy!

…Thanks so much to Jennifer and the whole team at International Orange for having me and sharing their wealth of knowledge with us!


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Towards the end of August/early September, I start transitioning my wardrobe into fall. Although it’s never quite summer in SF, my wardrobe still says “summer-like” with all of its bright colors. The same goes for my makeup. I switch out my bright lipsticks and peachy blushes for warmer, richer tones. I headed to Nordstrom Beauty Spot recently to pick up a few new colors and talk with one of their beauty stylists about trends and what looks best with my complexion. I love checking out the seasons new colors and this year, I decided to add lots of purple and gold tones. I usually stick to a pretty neutral palette, but the plum eye liner and lipstick are a nice change without feeling too drastic. I love how they really compliment my green eyes and make them pop!

Guerlain Meteorite Pearls in “Teint Beige 2″ and brush/ Bobbi Brown Lip Gloss in “Pink Beige”/ YSL Stain in “Mauve Fusain”/ MAC Nail Polish in “Magnificent Feast” and “Dark Angel”/ Chanel Eyeshadow in “Ebloui”/ Chanel Eyeliner in “Violin”/ Guerlain Bronzer in “No. 3 Brunette”/ Not shown, but also wearing bareMinerals Lash Domination Mascara, Original Foundation and Stroke of Light Concealer

I also added a golden bronzer and a sheer lipgloss to wear with my new cream eyeshadow- all came highly recommended by the awesome beauty stylist who helped me. When I’m not in the store testing products in person, I go to Nordstrom Beauty Spot’s website and browse their blog for new trends and ideas or new items they just got in. Researching new beauty products is one of my favorite things to do! I’m always looking for the next best blush, eye liner or lipstick to switch up my look.

You can shop my look on Nordstrom here…

This post is sponsored by Nordstrom Beauty Spot, but all opinions are my own!


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