eyeliner on a cat

eyeliner on a cat
beauty, scent & style scrutinized for pleasure

Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Beauty Spotlight Team: Mostly Sunny's Favorite Lippies for Spring/Summer

It is not easy for Sunny at Mostly Sunny to pick favorites. After all, she keeps hoarding lipsticks! She took a good look at her collection when the Beauty Spotlight Team asked her to feature some of her favorites, and she picked out 10 perfect lippies for spring/summer! Take a look at the corals, hot pinks, and reds that grace her lips when the sun starts blazing down!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

tarte Pure Maracuja Oil For Summer Skin Care

[note: this post contains non-affiliate sponsored links from tarte]

I never get tired of talking or writing about oils. Ever since they first came into my life, my perspective on skin care in general has been forever changed. One of the things some people wonder about come summer time is how an oil might benefit their skin in place of a traditional moisturizing cream, or even if an oil would be appropriate for their skin type at all. That's when an extremely versatile, light and vitamin-packed natural oil like tarte's Pure Maracuja Oil (which is passion fruit seed oil) comes in handy, because it suits practically everyone.

When your goal is to create the perfect canvas for your makeup, the smooth application of Pure Maracuja Oil melts seamlessly into the skin and layers well with other products. It won't ever pill or feel thick and heavy on the skin, and it makes blending your foundation and concealer much easier. Hot, humid summer weather can change the consistency of your makeup and how it wears on the skin, and a judiciously used natural oil is one of the best equalizers.

When a vitamin and antioxidant infused natural botanical oil goes down on the skin first, it protects the skin and brightens the complexion all day long underneath your makeup. It helps to prevent skin aging by deterring cell oxidation- a crucial step in any anti-aging protocol.

Maracuja oil in particular has several valuable benefits for the skin:

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antibacterial
  • Anti-itch
  • High in Vitamin A (a natural form of retinol) and Potassium
  • High in skin-brightening, antioxidant Vitamin C 
  • High in beta-carotene, phosphorus, flavonoids and calcium
  • Balances sebum production
  • Leaves skin feeling satiny without any greasiness
  • Essential fatty acids replenish and rejuvenate the skin
  • Skin looks and feels firmed

As you can see from the list above, there are quite a few benefits for acneic and sensitive skin, as well as combination, oily, mature and dry/dehydrated complexions. There aren't a whole lot of oils which satisfy the needs of so many different skin types simultaneously. It's brilliant.

tarte is responsible for really popularizing maracuja oil. It's one of the brand's strongest signature ingredients, alongside Amazonian clay. tarte is very particular about how their oil is produced: the passion fruit is sustainably harvested, and then the nutrient-rich seeded pulp (referred as the "alma" or soul of the maracuja fruit) is extracted. The oil itself is cold-pressed to maintain all of its powerful natural nutrients. I feel very heartened by tarte's mainstream popularity and that of their Pure Maracuja Oil-- it has served as another bright spotlight on the benefits of using natural oils for skin care.

tarte Pure Maracuja Oil (1.7 oz, $46)

Ready to take your maracuja a step further?
tarte has a slew of gorgeous products infused with their maracuja oil, but the Maracuja Creaseless Concealer ($24) comes in 8 shades and really shows the enduring strength of the marriage between skin care and cosmetics. It delivers a shot of lightweight moisture to keep the delicate undereye skin hydrated all day long while blending away dark circles and other imperfections. What this means is that the concealer will work more effectively because the oil helps to plump up any fine lines around the eyes.

Using Pure Maracuja Oil underneath your makeup or infused into it is a really smart way to give your skin its daily vitamins. For grab-n-go convenience, Pure Maracuja Oil also comes in a handy Rollerball (0.60 oz, $17), which is perfect for dabbing anywhere on the face for an instant glow or for blending into your favorite lip products, cream blush or bronzer for totally customized looks which cater to your particular skin care needs. It works wonderfully for dry cuticles, hands and flyaway hairs as well.

It didn't used to be feasible to walk into your local department or beauty store and be able to buy a beautifully packaged, all-natural botanical skin oil that would please even the most discerning natural skin care aficionado. I, for one, am totally tickled by that fact, and tarte has definitely done their part to make this a reality.

Friday, May 23, 2014

The Beauty Spotlight Team Round-Up: Weekend of 5/23/14

Did you know that your skincare might not be working? If you want to make sure you're getting more for your money, 15 Minute Beauty shares the best order to apply your skincare.

Helen from Lola's Secret Beauty Blog has a longstanding penchant for luxury face oils and själ saphir concentrate is a true jewel, and a worthy splurge!

Prime Beauty has rounded up some of her favorite bright spring and summer nail polishes plus nine more bloggers pitch in with their top 10!

The Pink Sith has three new Pixi Beauty Nail Polishes for Spring 2014 to show you and her feeble attempt at nail art for you to laugh at or love.

If bronzers no longer satisfy your craving for a healthy-looking glow, Mostly Sunny might have something for you. The new Guerlain Terracotta Joli Teint will turn you into a beautiful glowy bronzed goddess in the blink of an eye!

What would summer be like without some dewy glimmer? Lisa from Beauty Info Zone shares the beautiful Beauty Addicts GlimmerSheers for your drooling pleasure.

Carrie from eyeliner on a cat kicks off a brand new interview series focusing on Voices in Natural Beauty with Rebecca Buttignol from Wave Healing Arts. Rebecca is also the sole US distributor of Carrie's biggest current skin care obsession, UK brand Raw Gaia organics.

The Painted Rogue invites you along for a bit of nude dungeoneering with the Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette! Yes, we're too cool for armour around here, fellow adventurers!

Have you ever wanted to try Mally Beauty? Now is your chance! Head on over to Pammy Blogs Beauty to check out her review and enter her Giveaway!!!

polish insomniac reviewed the new China Glaze Off Shore Collection and loved it so much she is giving a set away as part of her four year blogging anniversary!

Phyrra shares the 9 Best Contouring Products for Pale Skin!

Christa from Perilously Pale shows us why bigger is better with the Lancôme Golden Riviera Summer 2014 Collection.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Voices in Natural Beauty Interview Series: Rebecca Buttignol of Wave Healing Arts

My contact with the lovely Rebecca Buttignol of Wave Healing Arts in Portsmouth, New Hampshire began in the most casual of fashions. She happens to be the sole US distributor for my most recent organic skin care brand obsession-- Raw Gaia (brand is UK-based). What started as a request for a timeline on when certain products would be restocked turned into an awfully pleasant ongoing volley of emails. We share a love of natural ingredients-- the Earth's generous gifts-- and I became curious about the work that she does with them at her holistic wellness and beauty studio/spa.

Rebecca is a trained expert in all things Raw Gaia, and so much more. She utilizes massage, many types of facials and skin treatments, energy work like Reiki, vibrational healing, customized flower essence blending and even leads a journaling workshop. All of her diverse efforts are focused towards helping to usher others into a whole and happy state of being. She's passionate, insanely knowledgeable, intuitive and kind. In other words, she's an adept healer whom you ought to know. She has also provided the inspiration I needed to start this brand new interview series about the interesting people you'll meet along the path of natural beauty and fragrance. I'm so pleased that she's helping me kick it off by allowing us a little peek into her world and also sharing a beauty secret or two!

How did you get into skin care? Can you describe why you decided to become not just an esthetician, but one that uses strictly organic products?

In 1987 I was living at Kripalu Yoga Center in Lenox, MA and I received my first massage and holistic facial. I knew at that moment that I wanted to learn these services. Holistic is where I started and have always been inclined to a holistic lifestyle and have tried to stay true to that as best as I can. 

I think it’s safe to say that your approach to skin care and beauty is holistic in every way. How does that mindset translate into all the different modalities you utilize at Wave?

My additional education was in Counseling Psychology. I was in a graduate program to complete my Bachelors Degree and contemplated continuing with the Masters Degree; I decided not to but instead to put more focus in creating my work as a Holistic Bodywork Practitioner. I wanted to work in the healing arts but not have to be in the role of a counselor. I have studied thousands of hours of continuing education in holistic healing modalities which completely influence my approach to my work as an esthetician. 

What is your goal with your work at Wave Healing Arts? How can your clients expect to feel when they walk out the door, and what will they see in the mirror?

My goal as a holistic practitioner is to integrate body, mind, emotions and Spirit. When I offer facials I use the highest quality Organic Skin Food and I make sure that I am very present while I am doing my work. I incorporate energy work into my massage and facials which take my clients to a very relaxed and meditative place in themselves. The products naturally support the health of the skin and contribute to a glowing complexion. People consistently thank me for giving them an experience that was beyond their expectations. 

What are your top 3 skin care tips or important ingredients/products you’d recommend for everyone at home?

Real food and fresh water. 

“Real food doesn’t have ingredients, Real food IS ingredients.” ~Jamie Oliver 

Beauty really comes from the inside out with health as it’s foundation. Organic & Natural Skin, Body, Hair, Home Care products that make you feel really good. Enough sleep & some kind of stress release technique of which there are so many to choose from. Many paths to the same place of Inner Peace. 

Which Raw Gaia products did you initially fall the hardest for? What was it about the brand that spoke to you and made you become their sole US distributor and use their products in your wellness center?

The first products I tried were the MSM line. They are still my favourites. Though I totally love the Hemp Glow Spray as well! I have worked with many of the highest quality natural and organic skin care products from around the world. Raw Gaia is absolutely in that category. They are a small, personable company with a high standard of ethics. Those qualities really appealed to me and I loved the products and wanted to help share them in the USA. 

Do you have a favorite juice or food recipe that you prize for its beauty-boosting qualities? (If so, would you mind sharing?)

I’m on a turmeric kick lately! Turmeric contains curcumin, the polyphenol identified as its primary active component and which exhibits over 150 potentially therapeutic activities, which include antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. 

Additional benefits: 

• Anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, antiseptic, analgesic. 
• Boosts immunity. 
• Anti-carcinogenic. 
• Helps maintain cholesterol levels.
• Promotes digestive health. 
• Liver detoxifier. 
• Regulates metabolism and weight management. 
• High blood pressure. 
• Memory and brain function. 
• Various skin conditions.
• Neurological disorders
• Lowers Triglycerides. 
• Mood Elevator. 

Adding black pepper to turmeric or turmeric-spiced food enhances curcumin’s bioavailability by 1,000 times, due to black pepper’s hot property called piperine. By mixing turmeric and black pepper together, you increase your body’s absorption of the turmeric by 2000%! 

I mix a heaping teaspoon of turmeric with some fresh ground black pepper, a tablespoon of raw, organic honey and half a lemon in warm water and mix it all up with a spoon and drink that a couple of times a day. There are many turmeric drinks variations out there. That is the one I’m drinking these days! It is very tasty and beautiful looking! 

Also, there is organic turmeric in the Raw Gaia Chocolate Face Pack: 

“Turmeric has been used for centuries to bring a healthy glow to the skin and to make it soft and smooth. It also helps to promote an even skin complexion. In India for example, it is traditionally used for pigmentation spots and blotches. Turmeric can also benefit skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and acne.” 

Can you recommend a fairly simple skin care spa ritual my readers and I can perform on ourselves at home using Raw Gaia products— things that are similar to what you might do at Wave Healing Arts?

The daily suggested routine is 3 steps: cleanse, tone & moisturize. On a weekly basis it is nice to give yourself a home facial which add an exfoliation and a face pack (mask). These are the steps I “perform” in every facial and when I treat myself at home. 

I begin with a warm compress to wrap my face; a warm hand towel to cover the whole face; then I pour a small amount of the MSM Cleansing Lotion in my hands and rub them together then massage into the whole face and neck and remove with warm compress. 

Then an exfoliation with the MSM Beauty Scrub, pressing it into the skin and rinsing and then following with a Face Pack for 5-10 minutes. After removing that with my warm compress I spray some MSM toner in my hands and press into the skin; face and neck and then “lock” all that hydration in with the MSM Beauty Spray and/or MSM Beauty Cream. 

One can choose their own favorite products but those are always the same steps. Of course in a facial treatment the real treat is to have the benefit of facial massage/energy work and relaxation. In lieu of that, it is nice to lay in the bath tub while giving yourself a facial and lay back and relax while the face pack is on!


If you're not familiar with Raw Gaia and live the US, head over to the Wave Healing Arts website and treat yourself to a few trial sizes (my fave lines are Hemp Heaven and MSM Beauty). Raw Gaia makes wondrous, simple yet thoughtfully crafted products of superb quality that have really helped my skin turn a corner from weird, scary and unpredictable to calm and happy. The UK website is HERE, and they do ship to the US as well. If you have any questions about Raw Gaia products, Wave Healing Arts services or would like recommendations, you can email Rebecca, who is truly happy to help: rebecca@wavehealingarts.com

Monday, May 19, 2014

The Beauty Spotlight Team Focuses on Pink Sith's Chanel Blush Collection

Pink Sith's Blush collection Each week the Beauty Spotlight Team will be featuring a different member of the group's favorite collection. For Pink Sith, she wanted to feature her favorite blushes the Chanel Joues Contraste Blush (not Cruelty free).

Pink Sith thought about featuring all of her taupe eyeshadows or all of her red lipsticks, but finally decided she'd feature all 26 of her blushes. If you didn't know, Pink Sith also has a series all about taupes, called Taupes You Can't Have. You can check out her favorite collection HERE.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Snow White and Gorgeous Gravy: Carrie Meredith Answers 10 Questions from The Beauty Spotlight Team

What is your greatest joy about blogging?
The best thing about blogging is the human connections I make along the way. If I can introduce someone to a product or line that ends up really making a difference in their health, happiness or how they feel about themselves, it’s extremely gratifying. I just want to share what I love. Other bloggers have done that for me, and I’ve still got the urge to pay it forward.

Do you consider your blog a hobby, or is it part of a larger career objective?
I started my blog during a transitional period in my life, and I actually turned my beauty and fragrance writing first into several unpaid jobs, and now I’m getting paid freelance work. I finally feel like I’m doing what I’m best at, and what I was meant to do. When I started my blog, I also started a Twitter account, and the combination of the two things truly changed the course of my life. So if anybody needs any beauty or fragrance copy writing done, I’m your girl.

What type of product is the most fun for you to test and review?
Makeup! I don’t do it very often, but I LOVE getting dolled up and experimenting with new stuff, and taking photos too. I’m obsessed with Vincent Longo Cosmetics partly because I had such a blast testing everything out. It was a real treat. For me, writing about perfume is pretty hard, skin care a little less hard, and makeup is all gorgeous gravy.

Last book you read?
Red Dragon by Thomas Harris.

Do you have a special talent?
I have a Snow White thing going on. Animals come from far and wide to present themselves at my feet. I only speak cat fluently, so I’m not always sure what they need from me, but I’ll talk to anyone. Plus, I have black hair and fair skin.

What makes you feel beautiful?
Having a good skin day. When my husband whistles at me while I’m getting dressed. When I feel like I’m a part of nature instead of separate from it. When I go outside and I’m trailing the scent of nag champa incense behind me everywhere I go (I’m constantly burning it).

What time do you wake up in the morning?
3pm. I usually work through the night and sack out around 5am. I think better in the wee hours.

Are you a cat person or a dog person?
Wouldn’t it be funny if I said dog person? I actually love dogs too, but cats have always had my heart.

If you were given a shopping spree at one store, what store would you like it to be?
SHOPPING! Not to be so typically female, but I love shopping (online). Right now, if I had a shopping spree at Beautyhabit.com or Raw Gaia (UK organic skin care brand), I’d be extremely happy. Also, Rag & Bone in NYC for some badass basics.

What is your most favorite discontinued item?
Every Fresh lipstick I’ve ever fallen in love with has become discontinued. I don’t even know if they still make cosmetics. I still have what’s left of those lipsticks in case I ever decide to have them recreated for me at Three Custom Color Specialists. Also, there was a Lancome lipstick that used to be my signature a long time ago—my Mom used to buy it for me. It was called Claret (matte). I’d do anything to get that one again if I had the chance.