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Fridays with Felicia: An intimate look behind the curtain as I share my favorite style/ beauty discoveries and ThisThatBeauty shenanigans from previous week.

(I visited HSN last week ======> full deets soon)

Let’s kick off “Fridays with Felicia” with you. Yes, YOU!

Hey girl! How you doin? How’s your skin? As you all know, I am absolutely positively obsessed with good skin care habits. I love pretty makeup as much as the next product hoarding Beauty Blogger but a solid skincare regiment is EVERYTHING. Six months ago, my passion and never ending holy grail quest for perfect skin prompted me to pen an epic post on my personal skincare philosophy.

While the article was a little long in the tooth (nearly 3000 words long to be exact) I think it did a lot of good. The post garnered 59 comments – a ThisThatBeauty record. In fact, your responses were so heartfelt and extensive that it lead to the creation of my current ongoing series on Hyperpigmentation which currently has nine articles.

So six months later, I am compelled to check in  with you. Yes YOU!  So many of you commented to say:

  • “Thank you”
  • “I’m going to take better care of my skin”
  • “I’ll try committing to a solid skincare regiment”
  • Etc.

It’s six months later and I am curious to hear where you are with yours! Have you stepped up your skin care game? Has you skin improved? Are you taking care of YOU?

Please do me a favor – If you commented when I originally posted the Hyperpigmentation/ skin care piece, please comment today and fill me in on how you’re doing. When I wrote that article six months ago, your comments really meant EVERYTHING to me. I want to know how you are progressing.  Also, your comments help me tailor content to meet your needs.

And because I practice what I preach….and pride myself on “don’t talk about it, be about it”…I will lead by example and provide an update since writing the post six months ago:

So to recap…here’s what my skin looked like about 8 months ago (no makeup):

Here’s what my skin looked like after about 2 months of following the regiment outlined in my ThisThatBeauty vs Hyperpigmentation post (no makeup):

And here’s what my skin looks like today…6 months after writing that epic post on skincare (no makeup…or maybe I’m pulling a Jessica Simpson — I think there’s a little stray smeared eye liner that I didn’t completely remove…but there is absolutely NO foundation in these pics).

Let me start by saying this….WOW! Those original pics are still so hard to look at. I cannot believe my skin was that bad. On top of that, I was astounded at how much my skin had improved in just 2 months on my regiment. Those products really kicked butt!!!

In looking at my skin today, its hard to believe I ever had any issues at all . As re-read  the regiment I posted back in March, while the principles remain the same, the actual products have changed since then. I currently use different cleansers, toners, serums, and masks. I still use the Evoclin foam to keep my acne at bay. I’ve rotated a few different hyperpigmentation treatment products in and out of my regiment over the last few months. Again, the products may have changed but my skin care principles remain the same…and that, in my opinion, is the most important take-away. Commit to a skin care regiment that is rooted in the fundamentals…and be consistent day to day. If your products work stick with them…naturally, as a beauty writer, I am constantly trying out new stuff. But I definitely recommend that you practice product loyalty…let ME be the guinea pig!

Please leave a comment and update me on how your skin is progressing!

PS: Look out for an equally EPIC hair story that’s in the works…

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This week I was invited to tour the soon to be completed, state of the art, new and improved beauty level at Lord & Taylor – 39th Street.  The space is still a bit raw so I had to wear a brightly colored hard hat that’s certain to protect me from falling debris :)

The event consisted of a guided tour of the finished and unfinished space. Beauty brands like Clinique, Lancome, Estee Lauder, Nars, Mario Badescu, Bobbi Brown, Clarins, and more presented some of the amazing new beauty innovations that we can expect from L&T once the beauty level is completely renovated. I hope I have the opportunity to get more one-on-one time with the brands but here are a few highlights:

Mario Badescu will have a counter at L&T. I am as pleased as punch to see the brand expand their retail outlets and get more exposure. A simple search of this site using the key words “Mario Badescu” will yield countless product reviews. Be on the look out for an upcoming piece from ThisThatBeauty Contributor Christene Carr. She recently visited Mario Badescu for her first facial EVER. If you’re a facial virgin, you will want to hear all about Christene’s experience.

Clinique’s skincare computer marries technology and beauty

Estee Lauder promises to help you find your perfect foundation match in two minutes in six different lights. Wondering what that crimson lip will look like in daylight vs office light vs candlelight?…Estee Lauder can help!

Lancome boasts that their new state of the art “Diagnos” machine will survey your skin’s texture, pore size, hydration level, and firmness and recommend the perfect products for your skin. I would love to give this a try and report back!

Lancome is also pleased to offer 10-day supplies of their foundation, which comes in 117 shades and 6 formulas. I’m no numbers cruncher but I like those figures!

Lastly for Lancome, the beauty counter at Lord & Taylor features a mascara bar that lets you try out various mascara wands. This is incredibly innovative…no more one size fits all disposable wands. Is the mascara performance not all about the BRUSH? Kudos Lancome!

Want more info on L&T’s new beauty department? Check the Twitter timeline for  #LTFACELIFT and see what your fav beauty bloggers are saying.

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In Fashion’s Night Out News, check out this Three Custom Color Specialists and Talbots collaboration…

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Beauty360.com is the online shopping destination for CVS/pharmacy’s prestige beauty retailer and carries coveted cosmetic brands including Vincent Longo, Paula Dorf, Laura Geller, Cargo and many more.  Through August 23rd Beauty 360 is promoting an exclusive online makeup sale.  Save 20% on your favorite prestige makeup brands by entering the special code SIZZLE at checkout!  Click the following link for additional details and to start shopping: http://tinyurl.com/29n9rum

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“Find Your Fall Style” with Style Coach, Kim Johnson Gross of Chic Simple.

Sign up to receive daily style tips on how to revamp your wardrobes for fall. When signing up, members are entered to win $100 gift cards to Target to start fall shopping. Check out the campaign http://challenges.ivillage.com/fall-style

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If you love beauty apps as much as I do, iPhone users listen up! Give yourself a virtual makeover with Pur Minerals IPur Beauty iPhone application!

Pür Minerals now offers a commitment-free way to experiment with new looks..and who doesn’t love a good “try before you buy?”

Trying out a new look on the Pür Minerals app is simple and fun:

  • TAKE: upload or use a model photo to start your makeover.
  • APPLY: Click a product, select a shade and experience a Pür transformation. The customized algorithm will identify the facial co-ordinates for precise application. Don’t like your new look? You have the option of adjusting the facial co-ordinates, undo or start again.
  • SHARE: Once the makeover is complete, the finished look can be shared through Facebook for a polished profile picture or send to a friend via email.
  • BUY: Love your new look? iPür Beauty offers a direct link to Ulta.com to order products online or to find a location near you for an in-store purchase.

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Up and coming designer Eliza Starbuck of Bright Young Things pays tribute to Coco Chanel by offering a week long sale on her versatile take of the little black dress. You will recall that I participated in the Bright Young Things Style Challenge and modeled the dress of a thousand looks.

In honor of Gabrielle “CoCo” Chanel’s Birthday, The Bright Young Things LBD will be on sale for $150 (reg $185) through Wednesday, August 25  online at www.youbrightyoungthings.com.

Of the iconic CoCo Chanel, Eliza Starbuck says this:

“Coco Chanel was the most innovative designer of the 20th Century. She dared to wear and design clothes that challenged the social standards and gender roles of the times. She broke every rule and always looked amazing doing it. She was living proof that it’s not what you wear, but how you wear it that defines style. Fabulous, determined, and outspoken, Coco Chanel made an enormous impact on society and the way people dress. Happy Birthday, Mademoiselle Chanel”

Eliza Starbuck recently experienced an opportunity that most only dream of…and by “most” I mean “me”.

Find your sacred quiet place and savor this — Eliza Starbuck’s exclusive interview with CoCo Chanel. Here is the intro:

To celebrate, I thought I’d give her a ring. She doesn’t get out much these days, and most people seem to think she’s dead, but like Tupac and Elvis, she’s virtually immortal.

Read the complete interview here: http://www.youbrightyoungthings.com/2010/08/18/eliza-starbuck-celebrates-128-years-of-style-with-coco-chanel/

I love you all for reading my lil ol blog week after week!

xo,

Felicia

PS: Happy Birthday two of my bestest friends. We partied hard. Friendship is golden and I thank God for these gals!

Fridays with Felicia: An intimate look behind the curtain as I share my favorite style/ beauty discoveries and ThisThatBeauty shenanigans from previous week.

Happy Friday everyone! Do y’all mind if I kick off Fridays with Felicia with a little self-promotion? It’s all good?..well alrighty!

I would love to have your support in a really cool initiative that I’ve been asked to take part in. It’s called the Bright Young Things Style Challenge. I mentioned it earlier in the week (here’s the detailed post if you missed it) but wanted to make one final plea before the weekend :)

Along with several fashion bloggers, I was asked to style the same Little Black Dress using my own pieces as well as pieces from Cobblestones — a wonderful little vintage boutique in the East Village. While the Style Council will vote on their favorite take on the Little Black Dress, you “the people” get to vote on your favorite…sort of like the People’s Choice Award.

I think it’s pretty darn cool to see how we each brought our unique flair and inspiration to the same LBD. To vote for your favorite look (not saying it has to be my look but read between the lines…LOL)

Go to Bright Young Thing’s Facebook page

  • “Like” the Bright Young Things Facebook page
  • Then “Like” the post that features the Little Black Dress Style Challenger that you like the best….I’m hoping you’ll vote/”like” my look but the ladies all do an amazing job. You may vote/”like” more than one lady!
  • The best part is that your vote/”like” earns you an entry into the contest to win your own LBD…How cool is that?

Well here’s the LBD, my looks, and a quick video that was shot while I played dress-up at Cobblestones Boutique in the East Village.

For the last week I’ve been testing out an eye liner that you all NEED to know about. If you like the look of liquid but hate the mess…or if you’re tired of your eye liner running all over the place, listen up because ThisThatBeauty’s got you covered.

Meet Pixie Endless Silky Eye Pen. The liner is actually a pencil so I’m not sure why it’s called “pen”…but let’s not lose sleep over that one girls! What matters most is that this hypo allergenic and paraben free eye liner lives up to its claim of long wear and budge proof perfection. I went so far as to sleep in the liner (a cardinal sin for moi…oh the things I do for TTB:)) and the liner was still in tact in the morning. I kid you not.

Finally, the intensity of a liquid in the form of a sharpen-able (did I just make up a word?) pencil. I did my trial run of Pixie Endless Silky Eye Pen in Black Noir, but I hear the liner also comes in stunning shades of teal, purple, and blue.

I did a couple of swatches. Check out the intensity of Black Noir.

Ladies, aren’t we always on the hunt for THE perfect rich black liner? Well my search stops at Pixie Endless Silky Pen.

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In recent years, salon quality treatments at-home have gained lots of momentum. More and more women are forgoing office visits for “similar” results at home. I for one haven’t been in for my usual silk peel in quite some time because I feel I am achieving comparable results at home with the use of various peels, exfoliants, lotions, and potions.

While office peels and special treatments can easily run $200+, similar at-home do-it-yourself options are usually a fraction of the price. Now at-home alternatives aren’t always as effective as the office service but most times (in my experience) the results are “similar”…and if you’re minding your P’s and Q’s (like me) you don’t really mind “similar” results. With regular continued use, I find that many at-home treatments deliver results that very closely mirror professional results.

If you are looking for an alternative to spending hundreds of dollars a month on professional micro dermabrasion treatments, consider Personal Microderm. The home microdermabrasion kit targets rough texture, sun damage, general skin buildup, etc. As someone who really invests in high quality serums and such, I am a firm believer that proper exfoliation is the key to your products working effectively and deeply penetrating your skin. If you frequently receive professional micro dermabrasion treatments, Personal Microderm can save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in the long run!

I like that the system is affordably priced under $200 and is easy to use. I constantly advocate for stepping up your anti-aging routine at an early age. I’ve been doing peels and regular exfoliation since I was 21. Now my advice is not to get overly aggressiveve, but gentle exfoliation, starting at maybe once a week is imperativeve for healthy glowing skin. Personal Microderm can help you get there!

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Let’s talk drugstore beauty. While I’ve never been able to resist the intoxicating call of the drugstore cosmetics aisle (I guess this sort of explains why I am a beauty writer and makeup artist) as of late, the drugstore is really putting it down and offering products that until recently mainly existed in high end department stores. While recently trolling cosmetics in my local WalMart, I spied lots and lots of products that are certainly taking their cues from high-end prestige lines. Naturally, with iPhone in hand, I thought this beauty observation would be perfect for Fridays with Felicia. So shall we?:

L’OREAL offers DE-CREASE, a priming base to be applied prior to eye shadow to help prevent shadow from creasing. Wow, remember when Urban Decay Primer Potion was the top dog in the eye shadow primer game? I wonder how DE-CREASE compares. Have any of you tried DE-CREASE? Leave a comment!

For reals???…Black Radiance makes a self adjusting lip gloss? I hope the folks at Smashbox aint mad. Black Radiance Perfect Tone is a dead wringer for Smashbox O-Gloss. *insert “wow” bob* Wow wOw Wow…

Is Neutrogena’s Healthy Skin Brightening Eye Perfector the poor man’s YSL Touche eclat? Hmmm…

Almay offers a mascara that allows you to adjust and “dial up” the coverage. #FancyHuh

L’OREAL’s True Match Naturale line offers “expert” brushes to accompany their powders. I imagine that your every day consumer who’s clueless about brushes must really appreciate the added bonus.

For about $5, REVLON gives you the “Beyond Natural” lash collection with three different lashes to choose from and a lash glue with applicator.

The pigment on the new eye palettes from Physician’s Formula is quite intense. I think these are great for makeup newbies who want to experiment with color!

Lastly, since we’re on the topic of bargain shopping for makeup, I’ve got a special offer to share with you. Now through August 10 LORAC’s current “Sweet Steal” is the Perfectly Lit Luminizing Powder in SPOTLIGHT. Normally priced at $32 the “Sweet Steal” price is only $9 and is available exclusively at Sephora stores and Sephora.com. The luminizing powder gives the radiant lit from within look that we all desire. By optimizing the effect of the light to diminish imperfections, Perfectly Lit Luminizing Powder blurs imperfections and brightens complexion. I know you all love a great deal so I figured I would share!

xo, Felicia

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