Dec 30

Top 10 of 2010

Two weekends ago I found myself in fabulous Miami without a care in the world except for the fact that I left my shampoo and conditioner in Atlanta (high-class problems, yeah?)  It wouldn’t have been SUCH a big deal except for the fact that after all these Keratin treatments – the list of what I CAN’T use on my hair is about as strict as the diets we’re all planning for January 1. 

Luckily, the gift/sundries shop at the Loews is like a one-stop-shop for necessities for millionaires…and chic splurges for working girls like myself…and I discovered Archipelago Boticario de Havana hair products there! 

(If you knew about this line and didn’t clue me in – shame on you!)

This fabulous little discovery made me start thinking about all the wonderful products  I found in 2010 and in case you missed the posts (or in case I forgot to write them…) here are my official Top 10 Beauty Products of 2010:

10.  All-natural shampoos.   I’ll go ahead and start with Boticario de Havana, but I can’t leave out Prive Concept Vert, either. 

The product comes out like shaving cream and expands with a touch of water.  You get a big bang for your buck and it smells divine!  Both of these duos are incredibly healthy for your hair and 100% safe for chemically treated tresses of any kind.  

9.  Trish McEvoy Waterproof Lash Curling Mascara - I am usually a drug-store mascara girl – normally, I can’t tell even the fanciest mascara from good ol’ Great Lash… until I met this little gem from Trish.  I swipe it on in the morning and it’s still going strong without a single smudge whenever I remove it. 

(Honorable mention: Trish McEvoy Line Refiner: this is my secret weapon for looking fresh as a daisy all day and all night!  It’s like a drink of water for your face!)

8.  OPI Axxium “No-Chip” manicure – it’s pretty much the only manicure I get these days…I only have to go 2x a month as opposed to my regular 4 and since my nail color absolutely never deviates from light pink, French, black, and sometimes grey or red, this is PERFECT for me.   Even for the gel colors, the best manicure in town is still at Lily’s…fact. 

New Year's Eve manicure

7.   Bliss Lid + Lash Wash – all you need is a cotton pad and a tiny bottle of this stuff and your eye makeup doesn’t stand a chance.  It works on even the smokiest of eyes. 

6.  Redken Extreme Anti-Snap leave-in conditioner – my genius hairstylist recommended this drugstore brand product and it’s made a huge difference in the health of my hair.  Plus, it goes on ultra-light and doesn’t weigh my hair down – I barely know it’s there!

5.  MAC Mineralize SPF 15 makeup this is the first foundation that my skin doesn’t turn orange.  And it feels so smooth and fantastic.  Bonus: if you collect 6 containers and return to Mac, you get a free blush or lipstick! 

4.  Unite Dry ShampooSaved. My. Life.  Bonus: It’s also good for adding texture when your hair is supa-dupa clean, like right out of the shower, and is too slippery to hold a style.   

3. Clairsonic Mia Face cleansing brush – check out my previous post HERE, but it’s basically a Sonicare toothbrush for your face…and made by the same people.  It’s easy, it’s thorough, and your face will feel phenom.  Trust.

2. L’Occitaine Almond Shower Oil is responsible for the BEST 5-8 minutes of my day.  This delicious lather leaves my skin SO incredibly soft and I smell like a bakery but not as sickenly sweet.  I demand that you try this immediately.   

1.  Brazilian Blowout – I think my #1 for 2009 was definitely the Keratin treatment, but the Brazilian Blowout provides the silky-smoothness I crave without the 3 days of torture while the product sits in your hair.  Miracle!  (I still get mine done at Mint Salon in Midtown.)

And that, as they say, is thatHere’s to a happy, healthy, BEAUTIFUL 2011

I can’t wait to see what’s to come! 

xx, L

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Categories: Beauty,Guilty Pleasures,Hotels,Maintenence,Nails,Product,Tricks of the Trade

Aug 26

Canadian Tuxedo…kinda.

Today at lunch, I ran to Lily’s to get a quickie manicure + pedicure in prep for The Atlanta Food Rave (on Friday) and the YLC Signature Event at the Buckhead Theatre (on Saturday).  I’ve made it a point over the past six to eight months not to wear reds on my nails, but instead rock purples, greens and navys as my go-tos.  Most importantly, I’d decided that I was very much against wearing the same color on my fingernails and toenails.  Total Canadian tuxedo fashion faux pas if you ask me…

ugh, just ANOTHER reason to dislike Mr. West

Today, I broke my streak.  Lily’s just got in OPI’s Fall/Winter 2010 Swiss Collection, and it’s g.o.r.g.e.o.u.s.!

I immediately grabbed the Lucerne-tainly Look Marvelous, plopped down with Lily, and didn’t think twice about the Canadian Tuxedo I was about to get on both my fingernails and toenails.

OPI Lucerne-tainly Look Marvelous

It’s hot.  To me, it’s a funky party color, but classy + subtle enough to pull off at the office I’m in love!  (Sigh.)  The whole Swiss line is fantastic, but this color is definitely my favorite. 

Well, Canada, guess I’m headed back after all…

xx, L

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Categories: Beauty,Guilty Pleasures,Nails,Random Musings,Trend Alert

Aug 08

Oops I did it again

Update: Today I went back for round 2 of the OPI Axxium “soak-off” gel nail polish...or “the chip-free manicure” as I’ve heard it called lately.

You may remember, my main complaint the last time was that I got sick of my color, so this time I played it safe with a straight-up French manicure. Usually when I go French I prefer a “white on white” look – Waltz or Marshmallow for the base and the white tip like this…

…but since there’s not currently a comparable color in the Axxium collection just yet, I chose Bubble Bath/Hawaiian Orchid for my base…which still comes out pretty clear, witness:

I’m pretty happy though – it’s just a nice, classic mani, and you can never go wrong with classic, I think.  I’ll keep you posted with my results.  I learned today that you can paint another color on top, and since the gel polish is not affected by normal polish remover, you can remove the top color without damage to your Axxium manicure, so I’m thinking it may be worth it to have a neutral shade on at all times and paint them for special occasions!  Just a thought…

xx, L

PS I went on Stefani’s reccomendation to Eminence Nail and Spa above Ulta in the Buckhead loop.  Have you guys been there? That place is HUGE!

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Categories: Beauty,Maintenence,Nails,PSAs,Random Musings

Jul 29

Christopher Columbus of Beauty

Like dear ol’ Chris, I have been braving a few New Worlds of Beauty as of late and I’d like to share my findings with you!

As you might recall, I am a Keratin BelieverPlease witness my previous post here.   A wise woman named Mara once said to me after her own treatment, “Now I have more time to focus on world peace because I don’t have to wonder whether or not it’s going to be a good hair day.  They are ALL good hair days.”

It’s the truth – the treatment is amazing. But the three days you spend as a Gremlin while this stuff works on your hair? Torture. So when Lindsay informed me that her salon, Mint, was offering a Keratin treatment which required a reduced amount of time for the product to set in, you better believe I was all about it.  I figured, any second I could shave off that process would be a vast improvement!   

I was outrageously and pleasantly suprised when I called in and discovered they have also very recently started to offer the Brazilian Blowout, which is 100% complete when you walk out of the salon, no downtime!  AMAZING. It took about 3 hours, and the process was similar: wash, apply product, blow out, bake in strand by strand with a flat iron

Mary Joyce at Mint Salon working her magic

and the result is EXACTLY the same. I recommend 100%.  I’ll let you know in a month or two if it lasts as long as the Keratin, but for right now at 2 weeks out, I am THRILLED.  Oh, but please note: you must stay away from Sodium Chloride products (as you do with the Keratin) but you must also stay away from Sulfide products as well.  Mary, who performed my treatment at Mint, recommended Prive Concept Vert for my shampoo and conditioner:

You may remember how obsessed I am with Prive as a line, but this stuff takes the cake.  It’s 3 liters of product jammed into this little bottle.  Yowza!  The tiniest bit of this product, mixed with a little water, expands to an entire handful and definitely more than enough for one use. Plus, it smells SPECTACULAR.

Call Mary Joyce at Mint Salon for an appointment 404.724.9669.  Tell her the Q+DD sent ya!

  • OPI Axxium soak-off gel nail polish

I didn’t think I could do this.  I am a commitment-averse person.  I can barely decide on a pair of shoes for an evening, let alone a nail polish color for 3 weeks, but I finally bit the bullet and tried OPI’s new gel colors.

Not to be confused with Gel Nails or Acrylics, this gel is painted on like a polish, but dries under the UV light to a smooth, hard finish like the aformentioned products, but with no damage to your actual nail!

A few things to note: once the polish is applied, it must be soaked off like acrylics or gel nails.

Also, the colors are MUCH lighter than they appear. If you are choosing a neutral shade like Bubble Bath, it will dry almost clear.

Now, since I am not and will never be a naked nail girl, AND since i was in an 80′s kind of mood when I was doing this, I went with HOT pink. I had to have them soaked off early because I could no longer stand the color, but I could have easily gone another week.  Check it:

After 2 weeks!

If you think gel color may be for you, there are several salons offering this in town including Nail and Toe Spa in Buckhead, Top Nail in Toco Hills, and Hammond Nails in Sandy Springs.

Finally, the last beauty product I need to share with you is…

From the creators of the Sonicare toothbrush, this little hand-held wonder ensures that my mug gets a thorough 1-minute cleaning at least once a day!

It’s completely waterproof, so if you want to use it in the shower that is a-ok and the charge lasts a REALLY long time! My mom brought it in as a gift when she came to visit, and I absolutely LOVE it.  I can definitely tell a difference in my skin and it makes my nightly routine SO much easier.  I use it with my glycolic cleanser from my dermy and plain ol’ Cetaphil…the Mia works great with both!

Ok, that’s all I’ve got for now.  I’ll continue to look into the open sea of beauty possibilities and report back.

Further bulletins as events warrant.

xx, L

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Categories: Beauty,Hair,Maintenence,Nails,Product,Spa,Tricks of the Trade

Dec 03

What Recession?

A colleague and I treated ourselves to a little slice of heaven the other day: manis + pedis @ The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta.  AMAZING!  It was amazing.  I was not at all surprised that Atlanta Magazine recently rated it the city’s best luxury spa.

The Spa is incredibly luxurious and feels a bit European.  It is not cheap, either, as they use some of the finest spa products available by names like Arcona, Karita, Bulgari, Kai and Sodashi.  They will even let you tailor spa services to your specific needs.  (Love ordering “off the menu!”)  However, I might feel a little ridiculous booking a 60-minute appointment for someone to just rub my feet, although that = my heaven…

The Spa, itself, is relatively small in size, but that makes it feel more intimate - not like you are at a factory.  And, it’s open every day from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.  and you only need to give them an hour or so notice for most services.  How nice - a spa that works around your schedule!

Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta Spa
The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta

Here’s the Q+DD on The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta:

The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta reflects the ultimate in luxury and serenity.  The tranquil setting allows your stresses to melt away and promises to replenish your total being. Designed for peace and privacy, the facility’s ten treatment rooms, including the nail suite, are soundproofed for a secluded retreat.  The colour palette throughout the Spa, including the couples suite, aesthetics room and nail suite, mirrors nature’s calming influence. Materials reflect a dedication to beauty and excellence.

Services are performed by highly trained, intuitive staff who bring you to a place of complete relaxation and renewal.  Indulge your senses.  Whatever spa services you choose, the experience will be beyond compare. Complimentary fresh fruit and juice are available in the quiet room where guests unwind before and after treatments.  Guests can also enjoy a light spa lunch while sunbathing just steps away on the sun terrace.

A list of spa services + prices can be found here:
http://www.fourseasons.com/atlanta/spa.html#image-atlanta-hotel-ATL_083

Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta Spa

The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta

The nail technicians used the most incredible polish on our fingers and toesies made by SPARITUAL.  I loved it so much – I couldn’t leave without a bottle of my own.  SPARITUAL is a vegan nail lacquer free of DBP, formaldehyde and toluene.  They have about 80 different colors and are only sold at the Four Seasons and Callaway Gardens in and around Atlanta.  The color I used and purchased was “Flower Child” shimmer – it’s a perfect purple-based color for winter. 

Find out more about SPARITUAL here:
http://www.sparitual.com/nail_lacquers/

earth-friendly nail polish

earth-friendly nail polish

Fight the winter blues by treating yourself to a little spa splurge at The Spa at Four Seasons Atlanta.  And, make sure to ask for SPARITUAL nail polish!  It’s just divine, dah-ling.  :)

xx, L

Logo_F_1

The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta
75 Fourteenth Street
Atlanta, GA  30309
404.253.3848
www.fourseasons.com

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Categories: Guilty Pleasures,Maintenence,Nails,Product,Spa,What we're Doing