Thursday, January 23, 2014

In Search of a New Eye Cream - derma e® Hydrating Eye Crème with Hyaluronic Acid

The other day a friend came over and her skin was just glowing. I asked what she was using and she said it was from the brand derma e®  I've never tried this brand before but I was just reading about their Hydrating Eye Crème with Hyaluronic Acid that is showing some lovely results. Check out the before and after below.

This product contains Hyaluronic Acid (HA) that actually pulls water into cells to help soften, smooth and rehydrate. It also contains Pycnogenol®, antioxidant Green Tea, Jojoba Oil and Vitamins A, C and E. It's fragrance-free which I personally prefer for the sensitive eye area.

derma e® conducted a 12-week period study with women ranging from ages 35 to 77 who used the Hydrating Eye Crème twice a day. At the beginning and end of the trial, each participant's eye area was analyzed using a VisioFace® photographic device to measure changes to wrinkle area, depth and volume. 

According to the VisioFace® after 12 weeks of use participants experienced the following results:

30% decrease in total wrinkle volume
26% decrease in total wrinkle area
15% decrease in total wrinkle depth

This study caught my interest because this tired mama could use a little help around the eyes. I have deeper creases on my left side now after sleeping on that side throughout my pregnancy and now I find that I still sleep that way so I can stare at the monitor all night long. At just $19.50 this is a great price for what appears to be a very effective eye cream. 

While reading the press release for the study I also learned that derma e® products are all free of parabens, phthalates, mineral oil and petrolatum. derma e® products are cruelty-free and 100 percent vegan. Who doesn't love that?

I think I'll have to swing by my neighborhood Sprouts or Whole Foods to pick one up.

Photos and Study Information Courtesy of and DermaE.

Monday, January 6, 2014

SinfulColors Holiday 2013 - Holiday Tinsel and Sheer Lustre Glitter Topcoats

SinfulColors was kind enough to send me a few more polishes to review from their Holiday 2013 collection. They were delivered right as our holiday guests arrived in town so I've been a bit slow in posting my review. The good thing is that they aren't just in traditional holiday colors so they are fun for any party or special occasion throughout the year!

Here are some photos from the colors they sent me including:
  • Spiked Ice: black dazzle
  • Pink Icicles: confetti concoction
  • Top Me Off: prismatic frills
  • Girls Best Friend: pink baubles 

Spiked Ice, Pink Icicles, Top Me Off, Girls Best Friend

The first two, Spiked Ice and Pink Icicles are from the Holiday Tinsel collection that includes six shades to spice up your nails with long pieces of glitter that really do look like slivers of tinsel. Photos show two coats.

Spiked Ice

Pink Icicles

The Holiday Tinsel collection also includes:
  • Silver Rainbows: slivers of silver
  • Cold as Ice: winter white
  • Tinsel Town: blue sparkle
  • Gold Tinsel: gift of gold

The second two shades, Top Me Off and Girls Best Friend are from the Sheer Lustre Glitter Topcoat collection that also includes six shades that can be worn over any other color to spice it up a bit. I found that two coats was enough to wear alone as well. The photos below show two coats.

Top Me Off 

Girls Best Friend

The Sheer Lustre Glitter Topcoat collection also includes:
  • 24 Karat: gold gilt
  • Saphired Up: turquoise glitz
  • Diamonds Are Forever: silver confetti
  • Glittery In Pink: psychedelic blush

Both collections are available exclusively at Walgreens for $1.99.  Happy shopping!

You can follow SinfulColors on Twitter @SinfulColors_NP or like them on Facebook Sinfulcolors Professional for updates on new collections.

Disclosure: These samples were sent to me by SinfulColors for review but all opinions are my own.

Photos: Me

Happy Holidays!

So I decided to take a little blogging break over the holidays.

We went down to Arizona again for Thanksgiving which was great. We ended up driving the whole 14-hour trip in one day with a 4 month old baby and two poodles so that was an adventure. I thought that the drive through New Mexico would NEVER end. We made it to Scottsdale eventually and had a really nice week-long stay. I went back to Spa Avania and had a much needed massage and got to enjoy the ambiance of the lovely pool and relaxation room.

After we got back into Denver we had a few issues including some colds (my poor baby had her first cold which meant I was up aaaaallllllllll night with her for four nights in a row), a teething baby and several snow days.

Then came Christmas and all the associated chaos as well as having my mom and dad in town. I tried to write a few blog posts but I never got around to finishing them. Hopefully I can get my act in gear over the next month because I have some great new products I want to talk about!

So I wish you all a belated Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Easy Holiday Nail Art from Gina Viviano

Expert manicurist Gina Viviano shared some of her favorite holiday nail art ideas through beautypress and I thought I'd share them. They look so cute and easy to do, even for someone like me who can barely paint their own nails without making a mess.

"For this first image, paint nails your favorite Xmas red. I like Pirate by CHANEL. Paint your accent nails white. Let dry completely, one to two hours. Next cut slivers of scotch tape and apply diagonally to your accent nails. Apply red polish, wait 15-20 minute, carefully pull tape and apply topcoat."

"For this look, paint nails your favorite Xmas green and let dry one to two hours. Cut strips of masking tape and apply as shown. Paint gold and remove tape after 10-15 minutes. Apply red rhinestone or a dot of red polish at the tip of tree and finish with topcoat. I use Extreme Shine Top Coat by CHANEL." 

Photos:courtesy of & Gina Viviano

Friday, November 22, 2013

Guinot Paris Hydraclean Facial @ Mon Cheri Spa

I’ve been meaning to get this post up for the last week but it’s just been so busy! I thought that when I stayed home with Baby Girl I’d have all the free time in the world but if she’s awake I pretty much have to be paying attention to her or she’s not happy. It’s difficult to write when she’s crying so I end up not writing very much these days.

A couple of weeks ago I was contacted by the premier French skincare brand Guinot Paris to try one of the brand’s signature facial treatments. The company has been around for over forty years and is carried in over 1000 spas and salons in the US alone so they know their skincare.

Guinot has developed a new facial called the Hydraclean Facial that is designed to be completed in just 30 minutes. Unlike a lot of other time-saving treatments found at spas this isn’t just an abbreviated version of a longer treatment.

Patented Hydraclean Electrode

The Hydraclean Facial uses a patented Thermoclean Electrode that produces regulated heat to trigger hyper-secretion of your sweat and sebaceous glands. This cleans out your pores while simultaneously helping a specially prescribed treatment gel penetrate deeply into your pores. I’ll get into more detail about the special gels used later on in the post.

Many traditional facials use steam to achieve the same results but steam can actually dry out your skin and you can’t regulate the heat. I’ve read some new studies that have shown heat from steam (or too hot showers) can actually make pigmentation issues worse by increasing inflammation.

My hostess for the day was the lovely Anna Siromjatnikova, owner of Mon Cheri Spa. Mon Cheri is a beautiful boutique French spa located above La Merise restaurant in the heart of Cherry Creek North that offers skin care treatments, massage, and targeted facial treatments.

Anna Siromjatnikova

Upon arrival Anna, who was also my therapist for the day, greeted me and had me fill out an extensive form with all sorts of skin-related questions. If you ever go to get a facial somewhere and they don’t do this then turn around and walk out. It’s essential that your aesthetician knows what other products you’re using and if you have any allergies or concerns. It’s also important that they ask what skin concerns you’d like to focus so that she can tailor the treatment to your needs.

The Reception area at Mon Cheri Spa

After I filled out my form we walked back to the peaceful treatment room. She turned on some soothing music and away we went. After a thorough cleansing and gentle exfoliation Anna applied the gel and we moved on to the facial massage using the Thermoclean Electrode. I REALLY enjoyed this part of the treatment as it felt like a hot (but not too hot!) stone massage on my face.

Mon Cheri treatment room

After a few minutes of this massage Anna removed the gel and checked to see if I needed any extractions. I didn’t need any at the time so we proceeded to the final steps including an additional facial massage and the application of a moisturizer and sunscreen. Never forget to apply sunscreen after a facial! If any exfoliation was done then your skin will be extra sensitive and will definitely need that protection.

Now, back to the special gels used. There are two types:

1) The Universal Cleansing Gel
  • salicylic acid – antimicrobial and exfoliating
  • lipacid – regulates oil
  • allantoin – skin softening and soothing
  • lactic acid – moisturize and exfoliate (and one of my favorite ingredients out there) 
2) The Purifying Cleansing Gel
  • salicylic acid – antimicrobial and exfoliating
  • lipacid – regulates oil
  • burdock – deeply cleans and purifies

Guinot recommends receiving this treatment once a month for normal skin and twice a month if you have oily skin. The treatment will cost about $50 and is great for someone looking to see real benefits in less time. You could easily do this on a lunch break or before going to dinner or drinks after work. I had no irritation and could have quickly reapplied my makeup.

After Anna finished the treatment my face felt extremely hydrated and soft. I believe Hubby used the word “glowy”. Not to gross out any of the non-skincare obsessed readers out there but I was also able to do quite a few extractions later that night when I washed my face before bed. Suddenly several really stubborn blackheads around my nose were just begging to be extracted so I know that this definitely helped soften and open up my pores.

Anna also gave me several Guinot samples to try and my favorite was the Hydra Cellulaire Serum. For a week I applied this hydrating serum after my Skinceuticals CE Ferulic and followed it with my sunscreen. Even in the dry weather we’ve had lately I didn’t have a single flake or dry patch while using this.

Thank you Guinot Paris and Anna at Mon Cheri Spa for a lovely afternoon! I really enjoyed the Hydraclean Facial and hope to experience it again in the future.

Disclosure: The treatment reviewed was complimentary but all opinions are my own. I also confirmed before receiving this treatment that it is safe for nursing mamas.

Photos: Provided by Guinot Paris and Mon Cheri Spa

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Review: SinfulColors Leather Luxe & Crystal Crush Nail Polishes

I was really excited when SinfulColors contacted me to review some colors from their new collections. I love nail polish and couldn't wait to check out these fun shades.

The Leather Luxe Collection is a richly pigmented collection with a matte finish. Matte is very trendy right now but this was actually my first experience with it and I have to say that I really liked it.

The two colors from this collection that I was sent were Leather Loose, a beautiful "safari sinful brown" and My Turn, a pretty steel grey. I thought that the grey was going to be my favorite since I've gone for grey and greige shades before but I really fell in love with the rich brown of Leather Loose.

Leather Loose

My Turn

If for some reason matte just doesn't do it for you but you love the gorgeous shades then just apply a clear top coat for a more traditional look. The colors were lovely either way and I also really appreciated how fast these dried. Baby Girl woke up from her nap an hour early right after I had applied My Turn. I knew I had to change a diaper and accepted that I'd mess up my newly painted nails but I was wrong! These dried faster than express dry polishes I've tried in the past.

The second collection I got to try was Crystal Crushes. I requested Got a Blush on You and Purple Gleam. These rich, jewel-toned shades are full of sparkle and have a matte, textured finish. If you run your fingertip over the dried polish it feels a little rough which I have seen before in other polish lines.

Purple Gleam

Got a Blush on You

What is really different about SinfulColors compared to other trendy lines is the price point. Instead of costing $10 each or more these beautiful polishes are only $1.99 (Leather Luxe) and $2.99 (Crystal Crushes). Both collections are available exclusively at Walgreens for Fall 2013. At that price you can buy the entire collection for the price of one or two colors in other lines.

Leather Luxe Display at my local Walgreens

Leather Luxe has 7 shades with leather-inspired finishes:

  • Whipped: beguiling black
  • Laced Up: enthralling orange
  • Cold Leather: enchanting night sky
  • My Turn: stunning steel
  • Leather Loose: safari sinful brown
  • Strapped: scintillating seafoam
  • Get It On: bravely berry

Crystal Crushes has 8 gem-inspired shades:

  • Got a Blush on You: flirty fuchsia
  • Blue Persuasion: sapphire'd up!
  • Orange Crush: twinkling tangerine
  • Treasure Chest: sea worthy bling
  • Emerald Envy: a glint of green
  • Purple Gleam: glistening lavender
  • Ruby Mine: ravishing red
  • Face the Facets: banana bling

You can follow SinfulColors on Twitter @SinfulColors_NP or like them on Facebook Sinfulcolors Professional for updates on new collections.

Which color do you want to try first? I really want to get Cold Leather, a beautiful dark blue and Ruby Mine for the holidays.

Disclosure: These samples were sent to me by SinfulColors for review but all opinions are my own.

Photos: Me

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

We Went to The Chapel!

Well the big day has come and gone. Sissers is married and waltzing around Vienna and I can finally eat something unhealthy again! I got down to a weight I was happy with and felt very pretty in my bridesmaid dress. Sissers was beautiful and everything went perfectly (other than the caterer messing up the menu a bit but luckily it wasn't a big deal).

Me and the beautiful bride. I really liked my dress.

We had our hair and makeup done at our salon and I really liked my romantic side bun and eye makeup  (with a few touch ups) but I ran home to redo my foundation before heading to the church. To be honest I've never had a professional makeup application I liked. It's always SO RIDICULOUSLY heavy on the foundation. I feel like I can barely move my face. It may hide the spots but it only accentuates any lines and my pores looked twice as big as they usually do.

I've also found that the makeup artistes have a hard time matching the right foundation color. This past weekend she used one with a yellow undertone and I am definitely a blue/pink undertone. The exact same thing happened before my wedding so I think I've finally learned my lesson. I'm just too picky to have anyone else do my makeup.

Sisters with Cousin Bethany

Cousin bonding

Next day flowers. They were so gorgeous!

Photos: Me

Monday, October 21, 2013

I Honestly Love The Honest Body Oil for Post Baby Bath Moisturizing

I'm almost embarrassed to admit how excited I was to give Baby Girl her first bath and slather her perfect skin with lotion. I know I know, babies don't need products and I'm ridiculous to want to put all that stuff on her.

Well guess what, baby girl definitely needed some extra moisture in dry Colorado but unfortunately EVERYthing irritated her skin! The doctor recommended we use Aquaphor... that made her break out in red bumps. The doctor recommended we use Aveeno... that made her break out in a red, even drier rash. The doctor recommended blah blah blah, you get the picture.

Per the doctor's recommendation we had to stop giving her daily baths and could only use warm water when we did, nothing else. Unfortunately we all know how drying even that can be without something to lock in moisture. Poor Baby Girl's perfect skin was now dry and flaky and it made this beauty junkie very upset.

Then one day I went to my local Right Start (aka the best place ever to register for your baby) and saw that they had just started carrying products from The Honest Company. I had to check it out and ended up grabbing a bottle of the Honest Body Oil.

I tested it on my skin first, then only on a couple of small dry patches on Baby Girl just to make sure she didn't have a weird reaction and was so happy when I saw nothing but smooth, soft skin the next day. This lovely oil contains all sorts of naturally good organic oils like:
  • Sunflower Seed Oil
  • Coconut Oil
  • Olive Fruit Oil
  • Jojoba Oil
  • Avocado Oil
  • Grapefruit Oil
What it doesn't have are petrochemicals, mineral oil, fragrances or dyes. The side benefit is that it's also great for mama's cuticles. I've been using this after baths and on especially cool or dry days. A little goes a long way so you'll definitely get your $9.95 worth! I liked this enough that I also bought the Hand Sanitizer and may end up purchasing a few other items in the future. Side note: I love the packaging! 

Photo: Me

So I Finally Joined "The Twitter"

I'm completely intimidated by Twitter and have resisted joining until now. I'm sure I'll have a few accidental re-tweets and who knows what else but hopefully I won't do anything too embarrassing!

You can now follow me @MHBeautyBlog. I promise not to inundate you with too many tweets!

Special thanks to my cousin @BethanyRobison for being my first follower!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Meet My New Best Friend from Yummie Tummie

So my quest to lose the baby weight is progressing pretty well.  I have about 10-12lbs to go which feels so much better than 15-17lbs for some reason. Even though my clothes are starting to fit better and I have the best excuse in the world for an unsightly bulge here and there I've found a secret weapon to smooth things out without making me want to pass out or rip my clothes out when I have a claustrophobic panic attack (Spanx, I'm talking to you).

Fellow fans of Real Housewives of New York will be familiar with the brand Yummie Tummie since the founder is part of the cast. I always liked Heather Thompson on the show but now I love her because of her Yummie Tummie Kristina Reversible Slimming Tank.

This tank has a super reinforced panel around the belly with nice wide straps that cover all bra straps. It is pretty long and looks like a normal cami if it sticks out below your top. It smooths out your tummy, side and back all at the same time.  I loved this particular top because it's reversible front-to-back so you can go scoop neck or v-neck.


Scoop Neck

I got one in black and one in white at Nordstrom and they were well worth the $44 price tag as far as I'm concerned. They are really comfortable and effective without being restrictive. While I may have bought these to help me out with my post baby belly pooch these tanks have definitely earned a permanent place in my wardrobe. 

When I was reading more about Heather for the link above I learned that she actually started Yummie by Heather Thompson after she had kids and hated all the other shapewear options. The only issue I have, and this only applies to nursing moms, is that because of the tight fit it's nearly impossible to nurse unless you roll it up over your bust. I've scooted it to the side a few times when I was wearing the v-neck side but I worry that doing so too often will affect the shape of the garment. 


Friday, October 18, 2013

So I finally joined Birchbox...

There seem to be a dozen different beauty product sample subscription services these days. There's Glossybox, BeautyBar Sample Society with Allure, New Beauty Test Tube and Birchbox to name a few.

For whatever reason I decided to join Birchbox for $10 a month. I was in full-on Baby Brain Mode the first month after Imogen was born so I don't really remember why I chose Birchbox. I've received two boxes so far and I hate to say it but I'm a bit, well, underwhelmed.

I was disappointed with my first box because I didn't get some of the items that were supposed to be included. I decided to give them the benefit of the doubt since I joined pretty late in the month and they may not have had enough samples left to send to all the new members. I also may have had unreasonable expectations about the size and number of items I'd receive in the box.

My second box arrived the other day and it did have the promised items so that made me happy. It's also pretty fun to get a monthly box of beauty-related fun. I've been liking the Supergoop Anti-Aging Sunscreen Serum so far and I do like the Jouer sample gloss in the first box. I'll let you know if any of the other items stand out enough to deserve a solo review or an actual purchase. I think this whole Birchbox thing will grow on me over time.

Looking at all the subscription services mentioned above I think I probably should have joined the New Beauty Test Tube program. You get the magazine as well as samples from some of the top makeup and skincare brands out there. It's a little more expensive but I think it would be worth it. Maybe that's why I picked Birchbox... It looks like the least expensive of the major options.

Anyways, this was a really random rambling post but it had been a while since I last posted and I just thought I'd share!

Happy Friday!

Photos: Me

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Baby Weight Can Be A Real B!%&@

I've always been a pretty slim person. I'll have some weight fluctuations of 5-7 lbs depending on the time of year, my wine consumption and my current exercise habits but I never had to buy new jeans because I'd gained too much weight.

All in all I behaved myself pretty well while I was pregnant. Were there a few McDonalds runs? Yes, but mostly for Egg McMuffins. Did I eat more ice cream than usual? Yes, but I never got more than one scoop. I never found out my final pregnancy weight but I'm guessing I gained about 45-50lbs in the end.

The first 25-30lbs fell right off in the two weeks after Immy was born but the remaining weight has been rather stubborn. Everyone told me that nursing would help the weight fall off but they were liars. That stupid needle didn't budge for a month and a half. Normally I wouldn't care but in three weeks I'm Matron of Honor in my sister's wedding and even if I can't be back to my original weight I'm hoping to be a little trimmer.

Luckily I found the perfect dress for the occasion. My lovely sister let me pick whatever dress I wanted as long as it was navy blue. I looked far and wide for something that would hide the tummy bulge, the less than toned arms and the scars on my back from months of breaking out (stupid stupid hormones) and here is what I found:

Adriana Pappel Draped Mesh Gown - $198 Nordstrom

Through some major dieting, at least as much as I can while nursing, and finally getting back into regular workouts I've dropped a few more pounds and have about 10-15lbs to go to be back at my pre-pregnancy weight. Here's hoping that five more come off by November 2nd!


Friday, September 27, 2013

The Best of Intentions

So I really intended to do more Fashion Week posts and I have mentally reviewed a ton of products but a little pumpkin has been getting in the way lately. It's really hard to hold a baby and type on a laptop at the same time.

Going on our first walk in the Ergo Carrier.

Photos: Me

Thursday, September 26, 2013

A Tale of Two Lipsticks

Like every other new mom I recently ventured to the mall, excited to try on non-maternity clothes. I still have 10-15lbs to lose but I didn't think it would make that big of a difference. Unfortunately it did. I wasn't overly upset because, hey, I just had a baby and the doctor only cleared me to work out a week or so ago so I need to be realistic.

At that point I said "screw it" to new clothes and headed to the beauty section. First stop was Chanel, aka "Old Reliable". I'm pretty much guaranteed to find something beautiful there and nothing says luxury like Chanel. I ended up with some eye shadow to add to my collection and a lipstick.

Next stop was Sephora to purchase a Givenchy lipstick. I knew this one would be a winner because I had gotten it as a sample from Sephora and loved it until an unfortunate encounter with the toilet. Whoops!

Behold, two beautiful lippies guaranteed to make me feel pretty again! For all the other mamas reading this, yes, that's a Aden and Anais swaddle blanket that I'm using as a backdrop.

On the left we have Rouge Coco Shine in Fiction (81). I used to be devoted to Chanel's Aqualumiere lipsticks but of course they discontinued those around the same time they discontinued my Teint Innocence Liquid Foundation... Sad Panda. Since then, I decided I prefer the Rouge Coco Shine line to the other lipsticks.

Fiction is a bright fuchsia/berry with some sparkle. It looked brighter out in the real world than it did in Nordstrom but I decided to keep it and make it work.  It wasn't the color itself that I didn't like as well but the glitter that showed up more in natural light. This is definitely an evening look for me and one that I can't wear if I have a heavy eye look. It goes great with a lighter, more neutral eye though and makes my green eyes look even greener.

On the right we have my Givenchy selection, Le Rouge in Brun Createur (103). This is as close to a nude (when it's applied lightly) as I can wear, but as you'll see in the swatch below it still has quite a bit of color. I also rarely wear anything coral or orange tinted but the sample changed my mind. If you're pale like me this may be a good alternative to neutral for you.

This lipstick is also very matte which is also not my preferred look. Basically this lipstick was quite the departure from my usual shiny berry-tinted routine. The first time I wore it out was when Hubby and I were in the mountains on our Babymoon. Hubby commented how much he liked the change so I decided to work it into my pile of regulars.

Since both of these lipsticks were not-quite-perfect as-is I decided to soften Fiction out a bit and add a little shine to Brun Createur with one of my favorite glosses from Naked Princess. I layered just a touch of Naked Shine Lip Gloss in Coco over both lipsticks for the perfect look.

On a final note, the Givenchy Le Rouge line comes in a unique leather tube that I first thought was a really glamourous idea. On second thought not so much. Unless you never ever put your lipstick in a bag with anything else then you're going to ding up the leather with nicks and scratches and any loose powder floating around sticks right to it. I'm sure it can be cleaned up with any type of leather polish but what a pain. I don't regret getting it though because I love the color but I've been keeping it in the bow it came in to protect the leather.

Photos: Me

Monday, September 16, 2013

Betsy Johnson Spring Summer 2014 at NYFW

I have a soft spot in my heart for the always fun and kooky Betsy Johnson. She was one of the few "famous alums" for my sorority in college so even though a lot of her stuff isn't necessarily my style I always liked looking at her designs. Now that she's back in business her latest show is fun, girly and a little punky.

Makeup Artist Sarah Lucero used Stila cosmetics to create a look that was, "Bridgette Bardot meets Marilyn Mason, Fembot- very futuristic beauty. Plastic skin, lots of silver to match the accessories. When I saw the wig I was like okay, how can we tie this all together? Its Tim Burtonish mixed with Barbarella beauty. It’s a futuristic 60’s look."

Hairstylist Rodney Cutler used Redken products to style the bubblegum pink wigs that Betsy herself selected.

Photos & Interview: Courtesy of