Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Review- Privé Concept Vert Volumizing Froth (mousse)

Privé Concept Vert Volumizing Froth- Enriched with Amazon açai and babassu oil, Privé Concept Vert # 110 is a revolutionary non-aerosol mousse that provides incredible body, volume and definition. This nourishing high-yield foaming cream amplifies your style while leaving hair soft, shiny and full of bounce.

• Clean air technology provides incredible volume without releasing any HFCs into the atmosphere.
• Innovative delivery system provides more than twice as many applications when compared to traditional mousses.
• Great for defining curls and reducing frizz.
• Froth is creamy and easy to apply.
• Travel friendly size is perfect for those on the go.
• Color safe formula.
   $24 for 2.5 oz.   This product rocks on a number of levels: it's the only mousse- product I know that doesn't use petroleum-based propellants to get it out of the container, it holds your hair exactly where you style it, it smells good and I had no period of trial and error with it because it seems to be pretty klutz-proof.  Basically you pout a little bit of this froth into your hand (a quarter size for your whole head) and it's a liquid.  Then you rub your hands together a bit, pull them apart and watch as the product foams up.  We're not talking oodles of foam, but enough foam so that you'll have no problem styling even long hair with a quarter sized amount, so a little goes a long way.  And it has a lot of hold for such a small dose.  I am growing out my bangs, however, the front of my hair falls forward.  If I use this mousse and blow dry my hair back, I don't have any problems with "hair blindness" (when your hair goes in front of your eyes and you can no longer see, usually at the least opportune moment).  I also really like that I'm not using any propellants which are bad for the environment.  Privé as a company is not totally green, but they do do a lot to be greener than most hair companies (recycling their shampoo and conditioner bottles when returned to the salon, making this mousse with no propellants, etc.).  If you haven't tried anything by Privé yet, I highly suggest placing an order or stopping by one of the salons.  The products may seem costly, but they really do last a long time when used correctly.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Review- DHC Kakonjuka Cream

Intensive moisturizer that fights fine lines and wrinkles
Launch date: March 2013, $32
Kakonjuka is Japanese for "flower, root, tree, fruit." Six Japanese and Korean botanicals soothe, hydrate and fight fine lines. Includes:
-Maitake mushroom - soothing, line-fighting beta-glucan
-Platycara strobilacea -promotes collagen
-Licorice leaf - moisturizing
-Great burnet- soothing antioxidant saponins
-Purslane- soothing Omega-3
-Reishi mushroom - soothing, line-fighting beta-glucan

I'm so impressed with this DHC Kakonjuka Cream, which is a dream beauty cream to me! 

I've been testing this (courtesy of DHC) for a couple of weeks now and my skin has taken on a significantly noticeable improvement. Before using this cream, I had problems with tiny breakouts, parched skin and fine lines, yet after using this regularly, my skin is so much smoother, more elastic and radiant, it almost looks like a different person's skin!

I've used this moisturizer both during the morning and in the evening. It's lightweight and silky, leaving a sheer and glowing finish - perfect for setting makeup and leaving your skin thoroughly hydrated. Yet, as a night cream, wow, I found that the botanical extracts and rich ingredients really do repair my skin cells overnight and promote collagen growth!! Each morning, I was surprised to see that my skin looked a lot more refreshed and replenished. Also, with regular use, I noticed that my skin actually looked brighter and smoother even without wearing the moisturizer.

This is definitely one moisturizer to keep a lookout for early next year when it's released. I know for me, I plan to order this in the future when I run low, because it works like nothing else I've tried in making the skin look more youthful, radiant and smoother rather immediately! Also, I have highly sensitive skin and this did not cause any irritation or breakouts either. I'm happy with the results and will surely keep it in my anti-aging regime a long time!

Hillary says:
I, too, love this moisturizer.  I echo all of Trish's positive points and I'll add one of my own- it's kind to sensitive skin.  I have trouble with all kinds of moisturizers, especially around my eye area (no, I don't usually use a separate eye cream) which almost always reacts to the slightest thing.  Not with this cream.  I also love that this cream is the perfect consistency for day or night; it doesn't make you shine during the day, nor does it make you wake up with dry skin in the morning.  It doesn't break me out or contain a heavy fragrance either.  Overall, I highly recommend this cream.  I realize it doesn't come out until March, but when it does, place your order because your skin will thank you for it!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Review- Privé Volumizing Dry Shampoo

Enriched with ginkgo biloba, green tea and soy, Herbal Blend #10 imparts incredible volume instantly while cleansing the scalp and hair without using any water. Even baby fine hair is left full of amazing body, texture and grip to hold any style.  Key Ingredients:

• Ginkgo Biloba (Ginkgo) – helps deliver better circulation to the scalp, which supports healthy hair follicles and promotes growth of thicker and fuller hair
• Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) – packed with antioxidants that combat free radicals, green tea also contains vitamins C, E and panthenol, which help stimulate hair growth, sooth the scalp and strengthen and condition the hair
• Glycine Max (soy) – full of amino acids, soy promotes healthy shine, texture and manageability

Now, the PR company is not going to like that I'm saying this, but the first time I tried this product- I HATED it!  I told Jean at Privé's PR firm this and she said "Just give it one more chance."  So I did, except this time I read the instructions: "Hold 8 inches from hair." was a big eye opener.  The first time I used it I held it maybe 2 inches from my hair and sprayed away.  It ended up looking like a mess.  BUT, and this is a big BUT, when I used it according to the directions my hair came out fabulously!  Not weighed down like with some dry shampoos and with great combability and no flyaways.  It uses mostly rice starch to clean your hair and it's really great on even third-day-hair.  So what have we learned here today:
1. Hillary is wildly impulsive and jumps to conclusions.
2. Hillary is big enough to admit when she's wrong and gives second chances.
3. Privé Volumizing Dry Shampoo has actually turned out to be as good as if not better than my favorite dry shampoo and I will continue using it. 

Trish says: I have to agree with Hillary, that "8 inches from the hair" is what makes a world of a difference! I too didn't read the directions and the dry shampoo made my hair look heavier and weighted in the beginning. But, following the advice here and on the spray, I get it now! When used properly, my strands do look cleaner and softer, like I just washed and blow dried my hair. (Which comes out better than if I actually did attempt to blow dry my hair on my own!) The key to this spray, different from the others I have tried, is to use a light touch, and a good distance away from the scalp and hair, and you're all set to go!
The results are lovely and as a detangler I was most impressed, but figuring out the distance and the applied pressure is what makes this dry shampoo truly click! Otherwise, your hair can look a little heavy if you spray too much, too closely!

My Post- Fashion Week Interview with Jorge Luis, Celebrity Stylist at New York City's Prive Salon

Just after Fashion Week I had the opportunity to interview Jorge Luis of the prestigious Privé chain of salons (New York, Los Angeles, Orlando and Miami).  Jorge works out of New York City.  I had the privilege of attending one show that Jorge led (John Bartlett, Menswear) and one led by Laurent D, the owner of the salons (Steven Burrows, Cultural Icon).  Both Jorge and Laurent are absolutely charming and can get an individual hair to do exactly what they want it to!  The look at the John Bartlett show was very casual and the hairstylists used lots of Privé Dry Shampoo (review to follow).  The look at the Steven Burrows show was described as looking like "the models had had a very expensive blow-out the day before".  The hair for both shows was gorgeous!

Interview with Jorge Luis, Celebrity Stylist at New York City's Privé Salon

Hillary: How are you feeling after fashion week?

Jorge: When I got home last night I was beyond exhausted between doing one or two shows a day and seeing private clients at the salon. It was great but it was a little bit too much.

Hillary: You were seeing private clients as well?

Jorge: Well yes, I had to take care of my clients, so I was at the salon until 9- 10 o'clock at night.

Hillary: I can't believe you're even awake.

Jorge: Well I got some rest and did some meditation, so now I feel like a million bucks.

Hillary: What do you think was the overall look for the hair for the shows. Was there one specific thing?

Jorge: One thing I noticed and I was very happy about that is that people stayed away from beachy waves. Another thing that caught my eye was that I was doing the high bun in February and I was over it, but I kept seeing the high bun this season over and over again. That really caught my attention, because I thought we were over that and I thought we were moving forward. That's the main things I noticed, beachy waves were nowhere to be found thank God and the high bun was everywhere, which was odd because we did that last season. And as far as trend is concerned I saw a lot of really natural looks and in the other direction I saw a lot of structured hair.

Hillary: Did you see a lot of 80's hair?

Jorge: Not too much, not too much, we did that two seasons ago. The whole influence right now is either very natural or very very structured, no flyaways, very finished, which I like that look.

Hillary: Is it more fun to do structured or something like beachy waves?

Jorge: It's more fun to do something different. I was getting really sick of every designer asking me to do beachy waves for their shows. That trend lasted a long time. And basically you have to do what the designer approves or the stylist.

Hillary: What was your favorite show that you worked on this season?

Jorge: I love all my shows. I always look forward to doing Son Jung Wan shows. I really liked the look I did for the Helen Yarmak show.

Hillary: I also wanted to ask you what is your number one tip for taking care of hair?

Jorge: Basically to keep hair hydrated, I tell all the models at the end of fashion week go to the health food store and get a jar of coconut oil, put it in the microwave not until it's hot but until it's watery, and put that in your hair. After fashion week that's a must for hair. It's a bitch to get out, but it works wonderfully.

Hillary: That's good to know.

Jorge: It's only like $10 and it works wonders.

Hillary: Exactly. Exactly. Thank you so much for answering my questions, it's been a pleasure.

Jorge: Feel free to call me with any hair stories you may have. Bye-bye. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Review - Become Cosmetics Lip Gloss in Berry

This smart formula is not just pretty, it contains innovative active ingredients to promote collagen production, stimulate cell renewal, moisturise + protect. $16

Key Ingredients
Palmitoyl OligopeptideCollagen Booster
Jojoba OilNourishing + Moisturizing
Vitamin EAntioxidant + Protecting

This isn't your average lip gloss, but then again Become isn't your average cosmetics company.  They are Anti-Aging Cosmeceuticals that actually make your skin healthier while also making you pretty.

When I hit 30, I realized I had to be more aware of the things I use on my skin but I didn't really think of my lips. Your lips will age just as much as the rest of you and its important to keep them looking youthful. 

We all know I am all about lip products and I was exited to give this a go.  This lip gloss by Become is a pretty universal Berry color that will go with any complexion.  The formula is smooth and even after the gloss has worn off, my lips still felt conditioned.  Its nice to know that not only is it making my lips colorful, its also boosting collagen production and moisturising with Jojoba and Vitamin E.

I like the fact that Become eliminates the middle man and sells direct. You can also choose to have your own business opportunity with them or host a party and have the chance to earn FREE product! 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Review - Lush Seanik Solid Shampoo

Solid, seaweed shampoo for shine and body
Soften tangled locks and add oceans of shine with this mineral-rich, sea salt volumizing shampoo. Like a trip to a blue lagoon, Seanik is made with the best ingredients from the sea; softening Irish moss seaweed, and Japanese nori seaweed to make your hair soft as silk from root to tips, and sea salt to give body and volume to hair that’s fallen flat. One seriously sexy shampoo, we added lemon oil for extra shine, and the exotic far eastern fragrance of sensual mimosa and jasmine oils to bathe you in the heady scent of tropical flora all day long $11.95
If you have never been in a Lush store, you don't know what you're missing! You will get lost in the handmade products and tempting aromas.  I absolutely love walking into their stores and smelling each scent one by one. 
I've never tried a solid shampoo.  This idea was so foreign to me but I was excited.  It comes in a cute little tin which is ideal for traveling.  This is a plus because airlines don't allow large amounts of liquids.
As far as the actual solid shampoo goes, I was pleasantly surprised with the generous lather it gives. Its not the usual scent I go for, but I liked it. Its very fresh and tingly.  The downside to this is that when its wet, it tends to get mushy.  When it gets too mushy, you can't get it out of the tin.  Also, the seaweed tends to come out all over the place.  Make sure the tin isn't wet when you put this back in. 
I definitely like the solid shampoo idea and I am going to be trying the other ones that they offer.  I want to try the solid conditioners as well.  Lush doesn't disappoint and they keep me interested.  I love that about them!

Review - Pureology Precious Oil Softening Hair Masque


  • Sunflower Seed Oil for Softness
  • Coconut Oil for Vitality


  • Intense deep-penetrating treatment that nourishes and fortifies the hair cuticle


Apply after shampooing and leave on 2-5 minutes. Rinse. For deeper nourishment, add one pump of Versatile Caring Oil.
Its always good to use a deep conditioning masque at least once per month.  This Masque will give you the deepest conditioning ever and restore your hair with a luxurious, glossy shine. Packed with healthy oils, it will leave you with silky, tangle free locks. 
I've been using it once a week, left on for 25 minutes.  On days when I feel my hair needs extra conditioning, I add some of the Versatile Caring Oil. My hair is easier to manage and has less knots when wet.  I don't have to overload with shine serums or sprays.  When it dries, its soft and smooth.  The best part of this is that it doesn't weigh your hair down or make it feel greasy.
I love the precious oil line because its gentle and smells so good! Pureology is one of those lines where you get what you pay for.  The quality is high, the product lasts and it packs a punch. Don't forget, all of Pureology's products feature their Anti-Fade complex to keep your color looking beautiful!  

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Review- Lush Ocean Salt Face and Body Scrub

Coconut Cream and Sea Salt Scrub... Back in 2005, our inventors had come up with a number of fantastic cleansers but there was one category they had yet to conquer: The scrub! A sea salt scrub! With that, they whipped up (our now enormously popular) Ocean Salt. Washing with Ocean Salt is like taking your face on a trip to the seaside for an invigorating splash in the water. We mix in fresh avocado and coconut to hydrate thirsty skin, while the antibacterial effects of lime and vodka is ideal for blocked pores, blackheads or blemishes. The minerals in sea salt soften as it scrubs away dirt and blockages.

When it comes to salt scrubs - I simply adore them. And this Lush Ocean Salt Face and Body Scrub has been love at first use! There is a beautifully crusted layer of ocean salt on top, and below, is the creamiest face and body cleanser one could I imagine! It's made with a highly moisturizing mix of coconut and avocado and the ocean salt purifies so gently and deeply. If I could buy tubs of this that would be near paradise for me! Of all the different kinds of bath body scrubs I've tried, this ranks as one of my very favorites - it is highly moisturizing, deeply cleansing, and created with quality ingredients- the kind of scrub that makes you feel like you're pampered to the fullest! As a fan of salt scrubs, this is a sure keeper!

Hillary says:
I'm not usually a salt scrub fan, but after giving this one a try, I may have to revise my opinon.  Okay, not my whole opinion.  I just like this one.  I like it because it doesn't sting when I use it on my face and when I use it on my body I still feel clean afterwords, not filmy nor greasy, just clean and moisturized.  Plus the smell reminds me of every beach vacation I've ever had.  I credit this scrub with getting rid of the uneven skin on my chest after I recently got a bit of a tan on my chest in Mexico (I tried my hardest not to).  This scrub is the perfect combination of creamy and coarse for the body, some may find it a bit harsh for the face, but then again, my favorite face scrub is derma e microdermabrasion scrub and that stuff doesn't fool around!   I like the fact that the jar says who lovingly packaged my scrub with a little picture of him, too.  I haven't used that many Lush products, but this one I would buy again.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Review- DHC Skincare Deep Cleansing Oil

This could be the most effective makeup remover you've ever tried. Experience radiant skin by discovering why this product is beloved by millions of people around the globe. This amazing olive oil cleanser dissolves pore-clogging dirt and makeup with ease, leaving skin feeling refreshed. $28

Okay, no matter what the season is, I tend to have oily skin, and clogged pores how would adding more oil on top of my skin make it look better? I don't know, but I do know that this DHC Deep Cleansing Oil is a worldwide best-seller for a reason - it works!!! After a long day, with residual make-up piled up, all it takes is a small drop of this Deep Cleansing Oil to truly cleanse the skin (applied dryly) and remove excess make-up, dirt, pollutants etc. thoroughly. I had to test the claims and applied it on cakey foundation, waterproof mascara and all-day eyeshadow - and everything came off! I was amazed. Even more so, my skin looked brighter and more radiant immediately afterwards and even to the next morning. It is luxurious feeling, but also affordable in my opinion, and is definitely a worthwhile cleanser to use a couple of times a week to deeply penetrate the'll feel like you're treating yourself to an intense mini-spa with all the glowing after effects! This is a great cleanser to switch up your normal routine for that added boost! I know for me, my skin looks much brighter, clearer and radiant as a result, with a healthy glow!

Sultana Says:  As you all know, I have oily and acne prone skin.  Just like Trish, I was petrified to try an oil cleanser.  As skeptical as I was, I tried this not expecting the best results.  I am so glad I tried this because I was so impressed.  This cleanser (if used the right way) will unclog all your pores and make your face the cleanest its ever been.   A little goes a long way, use sparingly for and make sure to rub into your skin until it turns white. 

I guarantee you will be happy with this product.  Its like no cleanser I have ever tried.  Since I have been using it, my face appears much brighter and my pores look less clogged. 

Hillary says:  I've been using oil cleansers for years as they are wonderful for both dry and oily skin (don't ask me how that is, but it's true).  "Cleansing oil with oil, it makes no sense." you say, but trust me, this product leaves your face as soft as a baby's bottom with unclogged pores and a radiant glow.  It is the best cleanser for when your face is dry; it's the only rinse off cleanser I can use during the dry winter months when my face becomes as dry as Gandhi's flip flop.  I recently found out that I suffer from dandruff on my face and this oil cleanser greatly reduces the amount of flaking I experience.  I'm so happy with it, I can see it being my go-to cleanser for years to come.  You may have heard about the Shu Uemura Oil Cleansers, but at a less expensive price point, the DHC cleanser delivers just as well if not better.  You don't even need a separate eye make-up remover, this oil does it all.  Okay, so I'm a bit overzealous about it, but when you find a HG (Holy Grail) product, you tend to get excited.  Try it- you won't regret it.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Review - Murad Skin Perfecting Acne Primer and Shine Control

Why you need it:Acne-fighting formula evens and refines skin tone to create a smooth matte finish.

Primary Benefits:Control acne breakouts, reduce oil and minimize appearance of pores. Universal shade provides the perfect skin tone match. $35 1.0OZ

I have very oily/acne-prone and sensitive skin.  I need a primer that has multiple target areas and this skin perfecting primer from Murad definitely is a multi-tasker.  It has 0.5% salicylic acid to fight acne and Pore Factor-5 to minimize pores and balances oil.

I was very impressed with this.  I applied it before I put on my foundation and it created a very matte and refined surface.  I went all day without any annoying shine.  My pores appeared smaller and that is a HUGE plus for me.  I have been using it non-stop for the past two weeks. 

One of my favorite things about this product, is that it comes in one universal shade that is suitable for all skin types and colors. It blends well with my darker skin tone.  If you have acne and oily skin, this is will work for you.

I think Murad's products are great, but not only for your skin; they are great because Dr. Murad gives back.  They support several organizations through the Murad Family Foundation.  When you purchase products from them, you are supporting a good cause. 

Monday, October 8, 2012


Priti Soy Polish Remover Wipes are 100% Readily Biodegradable.

It is non-toxic and not carcinogenic. It is derived from farm crops

and does not contain any petroleum ingredients. $9.99
I first learned about Priti NYC when I went to an Environmentally friendly event a few years ago.  They were doing mini manicures and I fell in love with their flower themed polishes. The founder, Kim D'Amato created the line when she was pregnant so she could continue to be beautiful without the harsh chemicals in everyday products. All of Priti's nail products are eco-friendly and non-toxic. 
The soy nail polish remover is really awesome. It is infused with essential oils and natural soybean which leaves your nails moisturized, conditioned and nourished.  After using a few of these, I noticed my nails were stronger and also grew a little. You will be pleasantly surprised when you notice there is no harsh scent. 
These wipes come in a biodegradable muslin bag and there is a quantity of 10.  The wipes are generously filled with remover, and will successfully remove all ten fingers/toes with using just one. 
This little sack is the perfect way to test out the remover before committing to purchasing a full bottle.  I am already hooked and never want to use regular nail polish remover again!
Have a look at Priti NYC's website Priti NYC to learn more about their products.



Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Review- Murad Hydrate for Hope Set

From the Hydrate for Hope Set, Murad will donate 10% of the sales to City of Hope's breast and women's cancers research, treatment and education programs. 

The three-piece Hydrate for Hope set (a limited-edition) from Murad includes a pink cosmetics bag, the Hydro-Dynamic Ultimate Moisture Eye Cream (.12 oz), and the Hydro-Dynamic Ultimate Moisturizer (1.7 oz). This is a super convenient set for travel or on-the-go purposes, yet the moisturizer comes in a nice full size. The eye cream is one of the smoothest creams I've tested. It really cools and soothes the eye area and amazingly conceals under eye bags and the effects of stress! I had the flu the past week, but you couldn't tell from this eye cream.

The moisturizer is very rich, nourishing and creamy and lasts throughout the day. It will definitely hydrate the skin and give a really smooth appearance - a bonus for those looking to soften the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles - this will do it. 

The best part, of course, is that it supports a worthy cause by donating a portion of its proceeds to City of Hope's all cancer research for women, making the set a lovely gift for someone close to you or even a gift to yourself to help another!

Other ways to support Women's Cancer research: Murad will donate $1 for every like on Facebook (Murad), Follow @MuradCares or Tweet #Murad4Hope or post on Pinterest with #Murad4Hope

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Review- Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Soothing Lotion

Neutrogena® Ultra Gentle Soothing Lotion with Broad Spectrum SPF 15 is a gentle daily moisturizer formulated for even the most sensitive skin. It's clinically proven to instantly soothe and calm skin, visibly reducing redness and irritation. This uniquely developed formula with Chamomile and Feverfew makes skin less sensitive after just one week by strengthening skin's moisture barrier. Skin is left smoother, more supple, and healthier looking with daily use. Broad spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen protects the skin against the sun's damaging rays. With an allergy tested fragrance uniquely developed for sensitive skin, skin is left feeling calmer, softer and smoother.  Oil-Free/Allergy Tested/Non-Comedogenic 

This summer, I have been breaking out a lot, perhaps from a combination of the heat and humidity. There were definitely many days when I wanted to wear as little as possible as far as moisturizers, foundation and powder goes. The nicest part about Neutrogena's Ultra Gentle Soothing Lotion was that I didn't need to skip the moisturizer because it was so soft on the skin and non-irritating. I do have sensitive skin and for the more sensitive types, this is a safe and highly moisturizing facial lotion to wear. It is thickly rich and nourishing, so for those with dry skin - this moisturizer will hydrate surely! I can be a bit oily over the summer (acck!) so this formula was a little dense for me, but on days when I needed to wear some moisturizer and was afraid of another allergic breakout, this was the one product I could actually wear that didn't aggravate my skin! Despite any noticeable heaviness, my skin looked much softer and clearer for it! Because of that, I couldn't complain and would highly recommend it as a nice moisturizer for those who have dry, sensitive skin and are prone to allergic breakouts. This moisturizer is a pretty safe one that will nourish your skin back!

Sultana Says:  I also have issues with breakouts and sensitive/oily skin.  I agree with Trish that this is a little richer than I am used to, however it surprisingly did not cause me to break out.  It made my skin softer and smoother and a little bit brighter. 
I love Neutrogena because they are affordable and make an array of products for all skin types.  I always have at least one Neutrogena skin care product in my daily regimen.  Now that I now this one is just as gentle as the others, its a keeper!