Burt’s Bees….Yes Please!

So our latest BzzKit is on its way from BzzAgent and OH MY, we can not wait for this little bundle of joy to arrive.

This Intense Hydration line from Burt’s Bees contains Clary Sage as the main ingredient. Clary Sage is well-known for its moisture retaining benefits which allow the plant to thrive in even driest of conditions. Intense Hydration is also dermatologist tested so your sensitive skin is safe (oh, it’s also noncomedogenic which means it isn’t going to fill your pores up with nasty stuff). The products contain natural ingredients AND Burt’s Bees does not partake in animal testing, which you can read about here.

Stay tuned for what we have to say about these products – we’re stoked!

Perfect Valentine’s Day Shades!

Get inspired to give yourself a sweet (or sassy) Valentine’s Day manicure

with some of Vive La Luxe’s favorite shades!

Teenage Dream – with flash
Teenage Dream - no flash
bc
Ate Berries in the Canaries
Ate Berries in the Canaries - no flash
OPI's Bubble Bath

Bubble Bath is also Giada De Laurentiis’s favorite shade!

Check out a pretty cool article from Architectural Digest thanks to DOORR.

OPI's Pinking of You

What are some of your favorite Valentine’s Day shades? Let us know!

Philips Satin Perfect Epilator

Already interested? Check out some reviews from Amazon.com by clicking here.

Vive La Luxe was just invited by BzzAgent to try out a the Philips Satin Perfect Epilator! We couldn’t be more excited, you know how we love new products. We’ve never used an epilator before and can’t wait to see the results so we can share them with you.

How many of our wonderful readers currently use an epilator? Any tips?

Stay tuned, we’ll let you know how it goes !

BzzAgent is an awesome word-of-mouth program which allows us BzzAgents like us to try new products and services and then share them with you. You can get more info at their website!

Viva La Luxe DIY Rejuvenating Facial

Need a little post New Year’s boost?

New Year’s Eve can be stressful not only to your mind, but your skin too! If you chose to take the party all night route this time around you’ll probably need a pick me up to get back on your feet and looking alive and well at work. We put together a DIY Vive La Luxe Rejuvenation facial to help you out. Light some scented candles, burn some incense, and relax!

STEP 1:

8oz for $20 @ Sephora.com

Start with a warm towel, wrapping it around your face. Relax for a few minutes and allow the steam to penetrate your skin and open up your pores. We decided to use Philosophy’s Purity cleanser. It is extremely gentle since it’s free of any irritating fragrances or scents. This great cleanser contains rosewood, coconut, and sage oils just to name a few so you can imagine how divine it smells without the need for any of that extra junk. Massage the cleanser into your skin to loosen any dirt and makeup residue. Remove with a warm towel.

STEP 2:

Exfoliate! Since we used the Philosophy cleanser we followed with the Microdelivery wash. You can read about what we’ve already said about it here.

STEP 3:

We mixed our own green french clay mask, using natural powder and a drop of sweet orange essential oil. It has great antiseptic properties and helps with oily skin, dissolving any impurities or gunk that causes mean breakouts. Be careful with it and don’t use a lot as it can become irritating if too much is applied to the skin. We applied the mask with a brush and let it set for about 10 minutes. Clay masks let you know when they’re ready to be removed when they lighten up and dry. Remove this with a warm towel, making sure you get rid of any remnants.

STEP 4:

Extract. If you must! If you really don’t have any clogged pores than leave your skin alone. The clay mask should leave your skin glowing and super clean. You can apply a toner to a cotton ball and give your face a once over to make sure every little spot is clean. (We’re partial to Up & Up’s alcohol free toner which you can pick up at Target for about $4.00).

STEP 5:

Here’s the fun part! We wanted to try out these awesome Under-eye Collagen Milk ‘N Honey masks by Satin Smooth. These cool little masks are applying to a clean face, right above your cheek bone. The milk and honey not only gives it an awesome smell but it helps to exfoliate and hydrate your skin as well. They’re made out of marine based collagen which helps firm up and decrease puffy eyes. They also contain aloe, vitamin E, vitamin C and rose oil which will put very important nutrients back into that tired stressed out skin beneath your eyes. They help lessen signs of hyper pigmentation, dehydration, and sunspots as well! Satin Smooth offers these masks in lip, around eye, full face and neck options to give any part of your skin a little pick me up after partying has caused you to neglect, tisk tisk. When opening the package go slow since the fluid they’re packaged in is important. Remove them carefully and apply them to your face as you have your head reclined. If you have a friend around, ask for a little assistant. Then relax for about 15 minutes as these little wonders work their magic. You can pick up a 3-pack for about $8.00. Shop around online for a good deal!

STEP 6:

After removing the collagen under-eye lift mask we used Borba’s age defying concentrate, Orbital Eye Rejuvenator. You need a little bit dabbed on your ring finger. Rub your fingers together and then gently apply it around your eye, massaging the cream in until it is absorbed. Now, relax! Put on some quiet, soothing music and post up on your couch or bed. Give your skin a break and keep yourself hydrated with a nice cold glass of water with lemon, or a tasty herbal tea.

The easiest way to repair any damage your evening plans may have caused is just by putting water back into your system. Taking care of your skin is so very important and pampering yourself from time to time is fine.We have a few drug store favorites that we like to keep around. We love CVS’s Essence of Beauty products. The gel eye mask can be heated up or cooled to help with any puffy issues or just for a chill out after a day at work. By soaking it in a little bit of water for a few minutes it comes to a pleasant temperature to give your eyes a rest. Put it in the fridge for a little bit if you’d like to cool things off a bit. Either way, you’ll be helping your skin.

We hope these tips can help to give your skin a little pampering.

Healthy skin is key to looking great any time of year!

Check out a few more of our favorites Luxe for Less products below.

Winter Skincare..On a Budget

Since a typical winter in the northern hemisphere is cold one could assume that the sun is far out of our delicate skin’s reaches. There cannot possibly be damaging rays in winter! Wrong. In the northern hemisphere winter of 2011 begins on December 22nd and lasts until March 20th (we live in New Jersey). If you need a little re-educating on skin care, read our tips.

1. Wear Sunscreen!

Yep, in winter. Just because the weather is cold does not mean that UV rays can’t reach our skin. A daily moisturizer is something absolutely crucial during any season. There are so many affordable products that also include an SPF. For your face, try Eucerin’s Everyday Protection Face Lotion.

Eucerin
$8.00 USD at Target stores

It has SPF 30 but it doesn’t feel like sunscreen, which is a definite plus. For your body, try COOLA’s COOLA MineralBody SPF 30 Sunblock. It is 98% natural and 80% certified organic and provides broad-spectrum UVA/UVB broad-spectrum sun protection (that’s good!).

2. Know Your Skin 

It helps to be aware of your skin. Using products for oily skin on sensitive skin can actually make your skin worse. Keeping your skin moisturized is important, but you need to know what kind of product you’re looking for. HealthyLifestylePlus offers some great winter skin care tips to check out.

3. Alcohol Free

Alcohol is so very harsh on your skin. Those alcohol based skin toners are killer in cold weather and can suck all the precious moisture out of your skin, leaving it tight and flaky. Up & Up makes a lovely alcohol free toner, somewhat reminiscent of Neutrogena’s Alcohol Free Toner.

Neutrogena's Alcohol Free Toner

This one is great for me because it just adds an extra bit of moisture to my skin, and calms it down. You can pick it up at Target for under $5.00, how awesome is that?

Hopefully these budget friendly products will allow you to take better care of your skin this winter!

What are some of your favorite products that don’t break the bank?

DIY Nail Art !

Nail art can be pretty interesting, but it can also get pricey if you’re addicted to the nail salon. It’s actually pretty easy to create your own salon – quality nail art! You’ll need a few supplies, and a steady hand (a helpful friend works, too!). We started off by soaking the nails in warm water. We added a drop of sweet orange essential oil as well. The oil possesses antiseptic and antidepressant qualities and is wonderfully aromatic. We followed the basic steps (and used the same products) in our Jelly and Glitter Sandwich Manicure post.

"Charged Up"

After applying the base coat we applied 2 coats of ORLY’s “Charged Up”. Orly lacquer is “big-3” free (DBP, Toluene, and Formaldehyde). All Lacquered Up has a pretty informative post if you’re interested in further reading. Each shade is also formulated with UV inhibitors to prevent fading and yellowing. If you’d like to see some other polishes that are big 3 free you can check out this list.

First coat

Then we applied the glitter polish diagonally across the nails. We used one of the mini Sally’s polishes with blue and purple glitter. It’s from the Halloween 2011 collection (EH1 217).

Two coats of “Charged Up” with glitter applied

We let that dry for a good half hour before applying the diagonal black stripe. We used Stripe Rite polish which you can also pick up at Sally’s.

Black Stripe Rite $3.99
Black stripe applied

This is where that steady hand or helpful friend comes in handy. Paint one quick line across the edge of the glitter layer. After you let this set for a good 15 minutes, apply your top coat and LET THEM DRY !!! If you have a mini fan, use it for this because you really want to make sure you don’t get any smudges on these beauties!

All Finished!

It’s super easy to do, and pretty fun. The Stripe Rite polish allows you to create some pretty interesting designs. If you’ve documented your own nail art we’d love to see it!

Need a Quick Pick-Me-Up?

Shea Terra Organics Argan & Green Coffee Serum

Shea Terra Organics has developed a lovely little serum to help with those annoying under-eye circles and that over all appearance of well, being tired. Even after a night of great sleep it isn’t unusual to wake up with your eyes still giving off that tired impression. Argan & Green Coffee Around-Eye Serum is a product that is absolutely on my must-have list. We at Viva La Luxe had the pleasure of trying this stuff out and I must admit, I am in love!  I’ve been using this serum in the morning and before I go to sleep and I have seen great results. All you need to do is dispense one pump on to your fingers and distribute around each of your eyes. Give it a little massage to really let it sink in and get the blood circulation flowing, and voilà! Happy, rested eyes with no dark circles or wrinkles. Be mindful to massage and not pull on the skin around your eyes. It’s paper thin and extremely delicate. You want to stimulate the skin to encourage cell growth without causing any damage.

Shea Terra Organics Argan & Green Coffee Serum retails for $38.00 USD on their website for 2oz. You need a SMALL amount of this product so the bottle should last you a very long time!