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!

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!

What’s a Jelly and Glitter Sandwich Manicure?

You’re probably asking “what is a jelly and glitter sandwich manicure?” I did the same thing when I first came across the terminology. It was a process I had completed before but had no idea there was such a name for it. It basically is placing a layer of glitter on top and beneath of “jelly color”. A jelly polish is one that has no glitter or extreme shine. They tend to focus on a main color and are sheer, making them great for layering.

Before starting your manicure, remove all traces of old polish and wash your hands. Make yourself a soak with warm water and a soap of your choice. We chose a foot soak made by Heel to Toe.

File the nails on your left hand first, then place it into the soak while you file your right.

 It’s about $8.00 USD and you can pick it up at a Sally’s Beauty Supply, among others. We squeezed a small amount into hot water and mixed it up. It’s relatively inexpensive and it comes in an 8oz bottle. You don’t need much at all for your hand or foot soaks. It smells like peppermint and eucalyptus which makes it quite uplifting!

3 Necessities: filing block, stick, and coarse/fine file.

If you’re unsure of a length, a good rule of thumb (no pun intended) is to cut to the length of your finger. It makes for a nice shape and acts almost as a guide to your filing. Next we used Sally Hansen’s Instant Cuticle Remover.

1oz costs about $4.00

It costs about $4.00 USD and is extremely effective. It’s a gel with the constantly of glue that you squeeze around your cuticles and let sit for about 15 seconds. After that, gently push back your cuticles with the stick. Wash your hands well and don’t let the gel sit on your fingers for too long. This remover also helps with callused and rough skin around your nail bed.

OPI's Moon Over Mumbai

After applying a base coat we used OPI’s Moon Over Mumbai as our first coat. It’s a sheer and shimmery grey shade. On the ring fingers we used OPI’s Not Like The Movies from the Katy Perry Sephora collection. It’s a metallic shimmery shade that helped to add a little extra pop to the manicure.

OPI's Not Like The Movies
First layer

Now we added our glitter layer. Last Friday Night is also from the Katy Perry collection, and it turns out fabulous with the base colors that we chose. Don’t be afraid to use a generous amount! It helped to cap the bottle after each nail and roll it around in my hands for a minute before applying it to the next finger. The glitter tends to settle so it maximizes the amount you’ll get on the brush.

OPI’s Last Friday Night

We applied one more coat of Moon Over Mumbai and Not Like The Movies before our top coat. Sally’s Beauty Supply carries a line called Beauty Secrets. They make base coat, top coat, and something called “Nail Matrix” which doubles as a cuticle oil and instant polish dryer. I wouldn’t exactly call the drying “instant” but it definitely speeds up the process. All of the products are under $3.00 and are usually on sale.They are quality products at a reasonable price, so we love them!

Beauty Secrets' base coat, top coat and nail matrix

After giving the nails a few minutes to set we dabbed on a bit of the Nail Matrix and followed it with a spray of Avon’s Liquid Freeze. It’s a great product that nudges along that vaporization process of the polish.

Avon's Liquid Freeze
The Finished Glitter Jelly Sandwich!

The colors came out fabulous! The wet look around the nail bed’s is simply the liquid freeze and cuticle oil. We also treated Janae’s hands with a recent favorite, AnneMarie Borlind’s Hand Cream  which we talked about here. We at Vive La Luxe are a sucker for a great manicure and it’s even better when you can experiment at home. Glitter Jelly Sandwich, we are officially fans!

Have you done a jelly sandwich manicure before? What are some of your favorite combos? We’d love to know!

Viva La Luxe DIY Facial

We at Vive La Luxe think that your skin is important. We also think what you put ON your skin is important. An in-spa facial could end up being pricey so if you have a plethora of products like us, you can use them to their fullest potential at home. We tested out a few products in a mini at home facial. If you’d like to do your own at home facial, the following steps will show you how.

Light some scented candles and play some relaxing music to turn your home into your own spa!
TIPS: Moving your facial regime into the shower is a brilliant idea. The steam created in the shower helps to keep your pores open so products will penetrate the skin and help to remove impurities. If you don’t want to do this in the shower, you can roll up a facial towel (in half, and then roll). Run it under warm water and then squeeze out the excess. Place it in your microwave for 15 seconds and then check it, carefully, to make sure it is warm. Open the towel slowly and you should see steam. Relax on your bed with the towel wrapped around your face to allow the steam to open up your pores before you begin!

STEP 1 – CLEANSE

$30 for 150ML

To start, cleanse your skin with a creamy cleanser.We chose Sanitas Milk & Honey cleanser (read what we had to say about it here). Gently apply the cleanser with your fingertips and move in a circular motion, paying close attention to the creases between your nose. Take care not to get too close to your eye area, that skin is very sensitive! Manipulate the skin with your fingers for about 30 seconds before rinsing with warm water.

STEP 2 – EXFOLIATE

Philosophy Microdelivery Exfoliating Wash
$25 for 8oz at Sephora

We chose Philosophy’s Microdelivery Micro-massage Exfoliating wash for this step. This award winning exfoliating wash is mild and designed to cleanse your skin while gently softening your texture. We love this product because it is gentle enough for you to use every day. It is sulfate free and crafted with ingredients to protect and nourish your skin. It includes topical antioxidents that help condition your skin while retaining moisture.

The sponges come in packs of 2 at AnneMarie's website.

We used a dime sized amount and gently massaged the skin for about 30 seconds. We applied the product with a cosmetic sponge from AnneMarie Borlind.

These sponges help with dispersing the product so your bottle ends up lasting you twice as long. You can also use these great sponges to apply moisturizer, cleanser, any facial product really! Another big plus is that you can boil the sponges to sanitize and clean them – awesome!

STEP 3 – EXTRACTIONS 

Tweezerman's No Slip Blackhead Tool
$11 at Tweezerman's website

Tweezerman’s “No Slip Extraction Tool” is our weapon of choice. It offers a thin angled loop to extract white heads and a larger flat side to coax out blackheads The metal grip design is also textured, making it very easy to hold on to. Cleanse your skin after this step, and then pat dry.

NOTE: You don’t HAVE to include this step. If you press too hard while extracting you can break delicate capillaries, or force dirt and bacteria back into your skin.
 

STEP 4 – MASK

This is our Fall Favorite!

You can choose any type of mask for this step based on your own skin’s needs.

The product we chose was Sanitas’ Pumpkin Enzyme Mask. This is an exfoliating mask that is made with fabulous ingredients, including Organic pumpkin (exfoliant), hyaluronic acid and squalane (moisturizers), vitamin C (antioxidant and toner), and vitamin K (anti-inflammatory).We squeezed a small amount of the gel into a bowl and applied this mask with a brush to make sure an even layer was present.

The mask has a lovely gel-like texture, making it easy to distribute on your face.

The instructions recommend keeping the product put for 10 minutes. You may experience a tingle in your skin during that time, but it shouldn’t be painful. The smell of it is absolutely wonderful and the fresh pumpkin leaves you feeling warm and fuzzy, just in time for fall. The fresh ingredients aid in softening your skin, and evening out skin tone. This mask nourishes your skin and also assists in neutralizing free radicals, one of the main contributors of premature aging.

• Stimulates cell turnover enzymatically
• Enzymes help unclog pores and dissolve sebum
• Skin texture and tone benefits from exfoliation
• Skin is hydrated and better prepared to retain moisture
• Helps reduce hyper-pigmentation

If your skin is sensitive go ahead and use this about once a week. If you have a rough texture or a lot of hyper pigmentation twice a week is alright, but pay attention to any irritation. I’ve used a few pumpkin enzyme masks and Sanitas has perfected it in a most gentle form.

STEP 5 – MOISTURIZE

After removing dirt and impurities from your skin it is very important to moisturize. You need to give those cells a bit of stimulation and some vitamins.

Available online at AnneMarie's website

We used AnneMarie Borlind’s Naturesome Nature Effect Fluid. This is a moisturizing/treatment product that is suitable for all skin types. It’s key ingredients consist of criste marine, immortelle, and white tea. The smell is wonderful (probably that white tea that we love so much!). Janae has a slightly oily texture to her skin so we only needed a dab of this. It’s thin and spreads easily with your fingers. You may use this as a moisturizer like we did, or use it morning and night with a cream as a moisturizing power up.

FINISHING UP 

Your skin should be happy by now. Glowing, clean, and in repair! You don’t want to beat your skin up, so remember not to scrub vigorously with your exfoliator and pay attention to the products you use. Any irritation or redness is not a good sign! Be easy and gentle – and your skin will thank you! Drink plenty of water and make sure to relax. Stress is a huge factor (besides genetics, duh) in breakouts and irritation so relaxation and hydration is a major part of your skin care. Stay luxurious!

Kimberly Sayer Almond & Lavender Face Scrub

Almond & Lavender Face Scrub

Kimberly Sayer offers an absolutely fabulous award winning line of organic skin and body care products. She is the daughter of organic farmers and luckilly for us, turned that family tradition into a line of skin care that we just cannot resist.

Kimberly’s products are chemical-free and according to her website, based on the theories of ancient alchemists. Made with only the finest ingredients consisting of steam distilled, certified organic ingredients and powerful anti-aging botanicals.

Kimberly’s Gentle Almond & Lavender Face Scrub is one of the products that we personally must include in our skin care regime. Exfoliation is very important for a glowing complexion.

Why, you ask? With all of those cells sitting on your skin it is easier for blackheads and white heads to form. Exfoliation also assists with rough textures and uneven skin tones and nudges the cellular renewal process along. Keeping your skin exfoliated improves the efficiency of other products you may use such as serums and moisturizers. Moisture is the key!

This little gem is a non-abrasive scrub made with Shea Butter, Essential Oils, and Organic Grains that deep clean your clogged pores and remove those pesky dead skin cells to take care of surface dryness and put a hault to the aging process . It smells  heavenly thanks to the almond oil, lavender water and essential oils of Ylang Ylang and Orange. Almond Meal, Jojoba Beads and Oat Beta Glucan gently exfoliate the skin without causing micro scratches to your delicate skin. This scrub is gentle enough to use every day! For normal skin you probably need to use it about twice a week. We recommend keeping it in the shower so you are using it when there is steam present to help open up your pores, making it easier to remove dirt and debris.

Kimberly’s Almond & Lavender Face Scrub retails for $26.00 USD. Her products sell at spas and shops in the United States, Canada, Germany, Sweden and the UK. Her website offers a store locator so you can find your nearest retailer. Can’t find anything close enough to you? You may also buy products directly from www.KimberlySayer.com.

With autumn approaching and winter in the works, dry skin is inevitably on the way. Keeping this product in your beauty arsenal will make certain that your skin stays beautiful and healthy all year ’round!

Sanitas Milk & Honey Cleanser Review

Sanitas Milk & Honey Cleanser Review

Sanitas Milk & Honey Cleanser

Sanitas Milk & Honey Cleanser is a resting cleanser formulated with pure milk and unfiltered Colorado honey. Milk and honey are premium sources of Vitamins and Enzymes that help exfoliate and nourish the skin. Jojoba Oil, Shea Butter and Almond Lipids add powerful moisturize benefits. Milk & Honey Cleanser may be used as an alternate with active cleansers.

Skin care is important! When it comes to your face it’s especially important. Cleansers are a very important part of any body’s skin care regime. Now let’s talk a little bit about cleansers…did you know there are different types? Specifically resting and active cleansers. An active cleanser is designed to stimulate and exfoliate the skin where as a resting cleanser is just as it sounds…to give your skin a break and nurture and feed the skin. The great thing about Sanitas’ Milk & Honey Cleanser is that it is wonderful for all skin types!  It is a resting cleanser formulated with pure milk and unfiltered Colorado honey. That being said, it contains Lactic Acid, B Vitamins and enzymes that help exfoliate (gently..this is not a scrub, but a rich creamy cleanser) and nourish your skin. Jojoba oil, shea butter and almond lipids are also packed into this little wonder to help soothe and moisturize tired dehydrated skin.

Okay – so there’s the technicalities. Why do we love this so much? No matter what skin type you have this cleanser will work for you. I have very fair, sensitive, sometimes dry skin. It is hard for me personally to find products that will not aggravate or damage my skin. I’ve learned to stay away from things such as those “apricot scrubs”, the granules are far too harsh and on a microscopic level actually scratch the skin, so I tend to use that on my legs and feet rather than my face! The Milk & Honey cleanser leaves my skin feeling clean and hydrated. There is no tight feeling or “matte” look to my skin afterwards. It doesn’t strip you of the essential nutrients your skin needs to keep looking radiant and beautiful, it actually adds more!

(This cleanser is also great for your neck and declotte).