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Isaac Mizrahi Loves Tweezerman: Cute Stocking Stuffers for the Beauty Lovers on Your List!

  • posted December 5th, 2013
  • Beauty

In this day and age, professional-grade beauty tools are easier than ever to get one’s hands on. So with so many options out there, how does a girl decide? I’ll be honest – once I’ve narrowed down my options based on specs, customer reviews, and price (this applies to makeup brushes, hair tools, tweezers, you name it!) – it all comes down to which tools are the prettiest! And Tweezerman’s new capsule collection with designer Isaac Mizrahi makes a strong case. The Project Runway All Stars judge has lent his creativity and personality to a new three-piece collection, Isaac Mizrahi Loves Tweezerman, sold exclusively at Sephora. Neon splatter print and candy button patterns decorate the brand’s award-winning Slant Tweezers, Mini Slant Tweezers, and even a cute Filemate Nail File. After all, why shouldn’t your splurge-worthy beauty tools look as beautiful as they help make you look? Aside from looking cute, they’re also bright enough to stand out among the rest of your makeup stash in your trunk case or beauty drawer… so you could say that these statement-making brow tools are as practical as they are pretty!

- Alexandra Gambardella

Cynthia Rowley Teams Up With Tweezerman

  • posted August 29th, 2012
  • Beauty

Unless they’re freshly-sharpened or blinged out with rhinestones, I rarely get excited about a new pair of tweezers. After all, everyone already knows that Tweezerman tweezers are the only way to go, so once you have a pair that you love and you’re good about not losing them (unlike me!), there’s no reason to replace them. That is, unless you’ve found a pair that are really ridiculously cute, like the latest Cynthia Rowley creations. Yes, the girly designer has teamed up with Tweezerman to create a series of candy-colored versions of our favorite beauty tools, available through both Tweezerman and Sephora. Festive and flirty polka-dots and stripes adorn the brand’s classic tweezer, as well as a mini travel version and a nail file. Not only are they super adorable, but they also make it easy to tell your tools apart from your roommates’! After all, if you’re going to invest in a pair of award-winning tweezers, you might as well do it in style!

- Alexandra Gambardella

Perfect Your Night-Out Makeup With Sonia Kashuk’s Smokey Eye Brush Set

  • posted July 10th, 2012
  • Beauty

I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a bit of a makeup freak, but despite my ever-growing collection of shades, products, and tools, my beauty routine itself remains rather boring. Maybe I’m too set in my ways, or maybe I’ve become too comfortable with the same makeup application I’ve known and trusted for years, but aside from switching to more dramatic shadow shades to transform my look from day to night, I don’t do much branching out with my eye makeup… and I think it’s time to change that! Thanks to Sonia Kashuk’s Smokey Eye Brush Set, avid makeup collectors like me and beauty newbies alike can experiment with new night-out looks with a set of brushes that actually spells it all out for us. Seriously! This handy 4-piece set includes step-by-step instructions, including a “paint by numbers” technique and clearly labeled brushes to help us makeup mavens achieve Sonia’s perfected smokey eye look. It’s practically fool-proof, even for experienced gals like me who have a hard time breaking a beauty habit – plus, they’re great quality brushes at a bargain price!

- Alexandra Gambardella

Heated Lash Curlers: Love ‘Em Or Leave ‘Em?

  • posted April 1st, 2012
  • Beauty

Heated lash curlers are hardly new on the beauty gadget scene, yet they tend to fly under the radar. They’re not dangerous (unless you really try to singe yourself), and in most cases, fairly inexpensive… so why haven’t they caught on? After all, beauty trends are hardly ever limited to tradition – just take talon-shaped nails for example – so are the old-fashioned lash curlers really that superior in terms of function? I’ve rounded up a couple takes on the heated curler so you can be the judge – are they a suitable upgrade from your clamp curler?

The one obvious con to heated curlers in general is that you actually have to wait for them to heat up… and of course, make sure they’re equipped with sufficient battery life. Assuming that’s all in order, the wand-style heated curler like the Japonesque version is the most common (and usually the most affordable). Once it’s warm enough, simply brush through your lashes, making a “curling” motion. It can be a bit awkward (especially if you have thick, dense lashes that won’t fit within the curler’s wand), but it does eliminate any unsightly dents or painful pinches on your eyelid. It gets hot enough to curl your lashes significantly (and keep them curled!), but not too hot to burn or damage!

Blinc’s take on the heated wand is similar, but with a more sophisticated angled design, granting you more control as you curl. With a built-in temperature control mechanism, you know when it’s hot enough to use, and its slim wand is designed to help you reach even the tiniest lashes in your inner and outer corners. Again – it’s pinch-free!

Lastly, Talika Heated Eyelash Curler is the priciest one I’ve seen at about $30-36, and it’s also the only heated curler I’ve seen in clamp form. It’s designed to function similar to the traditional curler, while using mild heat to deliver a curl that actually holds. It looks state-of-the-art, but without the pinch-free simplicity of the wand versions, I’m not convinced it’s worth the significantly higher price tag.

What do you think, beauty mavens? Are you a fan of heated lash curlers? If so, what’s your favorite?

- Alexandra Gambardella

Flat Iron Addicts: Would You Spend $225 on the ghd Scarlet Collection?

  • posted April 1st, 2012
  • Beauty

As someone whose much-beloved flat iron recently pooped out on her (just 5 months after my warranty expired – figures!), I certainly can relate to the feeling of attachment to a beauty tool! And while I’m typically ready and willing to shell out the necessary dough to get a replacement flat iron delivered to my doorstep as soon as humanly possible, I still have my limit… and $225 definitely surpasses it! The ghd Scarlet Collection is a limited-edition flat iron set inspired by the Roaring 20s, including the haircare brand’s state-of-the-art Gold iron (with red plates!), sectioning clips, a protective plate guard, and a red roller bag for easy storage and travel. The crazy thing is that at $225,  you’re actually getting a deal by splurging for the set, as the regular Gold styler sans the extras also retails for $225! I suppose as someone who has always opted for middle-of-the-road models at modest prices (and had to replace my iron every 2.5 years), I probably could afford to pay a little more for a higher-quality tool. But really? $225? What do you say, flat iron addicts: a small price to pay for quality, or way too pricey?

- Alexandra Gambardella

5 Tools To Help Achieve Totally Envious (& Almost Effortless) Waves

  • posted February 1st, 2012
  • Beauty

As someone with naturally frizzy, unruly hair, I’m all too familiar with the feeling of despair and longing that often comes from looking at too many red carpet pictures featuring stylish celebrities with perfectly defined waves. But the perfectly-polished mermaid-chic look doesn’t have to come from a professional, even if you have awkward, frizzy, undefined waves like mine. You just need the right tools, and these 5 must-haves will serve to kick-start your path to perfect done-but-undone waves!

  1. Start with a frizz-fighting formula (that actually works!) that will battle unruliness without weighing your hair down or making it look and feel greasy. Ever since my recent shopping spree at Sephora, I swear by Living Proof’s Wave-Shaping and Curl-Defining Styling Treatment, which works best on freshly towel-dried hair.
  2. To get free-flowing waves that maintain plenty of movement and don’t look too “done,” separate hair into three sections and twist into buns, then secure with salon sectioning clips like these from Ozon. Spritz with a little hair spray and let them air dry for about half an hour (or longer, time permitting) for pretty, loose, natural-looking spirals.
  3. If you don’t have the time to air dry completely, a blow dryer with a diffuser attachment is a must-have – like the T3 Featherweight Luxe Hair Dryer. A diffuser gives you maximum control when it comes to creating sleek, defined waves, static-free.
  4. If some waves need a little extra guidance (or your hair is just being extra finicky), a clipless curler like the Sedu Revolution will save the day! Clipless curlers give you smoother, more defined shape without unsightly clamp marks, so you can easily perfect your natural waves that aren’t behaving, piece by piece.
  5. Don’t forget to top off with a glossing spray! I love Frederic Fekkai Brilliant Glossing Sheer Shine Mist, which protects your style and rids your hair of any lasting fly-aways for a final polished look.

- Alexandra Gambardella

Makeup Brush Cleaners To Treat Your Beauty Tools Right!

  • posted February 1st, 2012
  • Beauty

As much as I treasure my makeup collection, I’d be lying if I claimed to take proper care of my brushes. Unless you count haphazardly brushing leftover shadow on my hand before dipping into a new shade as “cleaning,” I actually clean my brushes pretty much never… which is likely why I find myself needing to replenish my beauty tools arsenal more often than I should! Despite my laziness, the truth is that cleaning your brushes is an important task for any beauty maven – not just to preserve their quality, but to eliminate bacteria too! So if you don’t have time to shampoo your brushes, be sure to equip yourself with a spray or quick-drying cleaner to kill germs and strip previously-used color for maximum color pay-off for your next use! Whether you’re willing to splurge for the sake of your expensive brushes, or just want a quick upgrade from no cleanser at all, you’re bound to find a quick-drying brush cleaner that’s right for you and your tools!

Pictured above: BareMinerals Quick Change Brush Cleaner, Bobbi Brown Conditioning Brush Cleaner, Trish McEvoy Makeup Brush Cleanser, Napoleon Perdis Brush Cleaner Spray, and Sephora Collection Daily Brush Cleaner To Go.

- Alex Gambardella

Happy Chinese New Year From Sephora & Hello Kitty!

  • posted January 18th, 2012
  • Beauty

I may not celebrate Chinese New Year myself (I’m assuming no one considers ordering takeout as celebrating), but I still enjoy taking part in others’ festivities and reading up on what’s in store for my own fortune in the year ahead! Furthermore, if the year of the dragon brings cute collectible Hello Kitty goods to stock up on, I’m happy to celebrate my own way by shopping as well! While this special-edition Year of the Dragon Compact Mirror from Hello Kitty for Sephora may not bring you good fortune in 2012, it will certainly help you beautify and put your best face forward in the year ahead! With both a 1x and a 3x mirror included in its sleek compact design, it’s the perfect accessory for quick touch-ups on the go, and even has a cute New Years themed message printed inside to keep you on track for your best year yet! This cute mirror makes the perfect gift for friends celebrating Chinese New Year this year… in addition to a generous red pouch, of course!

- Alex Gambardella

Is a Leopard Print Version of the Clarisonic Skin System on Your Holiday Wish List?

  • posted November 11th, 2011
  • Beauty

If you’ve been more than interested in getting your hands on a Clarisonic Skin Cleansing System but just haven’t taken the plunge, now’s officially the time! You might still be considered silly for waiting so long, but the latest release of the best-selling beauty tool may have just put new meaning to your long wait! The handy to-go version of the gadget, Clarisonic Mia, has just gone ultra-trendy in a snazzy new leopard print. After all, seems like everything is getting the leopard treatment these days, so why not beat your own unsightly spots with the super-cute Jaguar edition of the Mia? There aren’t many things that can get me excited about hygiene, other than the promise of more beautiful skin, so I have to admit I’m a bit of a sucker for festive printed products, even if they function the same as the regular versions. But printed or not, if you haven’t already surrendered to the skin-saving, miracle-working Clarisonic Mia, maybe Santa can help you out this season!

- Alex Gambardella

Amika Hair Tools Take the Dullness Out of Tedious Styling

  • posted March 1st, 2011
  • Beauty

If there’s one thing about my almost-daily grooming that really makes me yawn, it’s straightening my hair. Not like that would ever stop me (I can’t do without my shiny, freshly-ironed signature ‘do!), but sometimes I wish there was a way to spice up that part of my primping routine. Now, I’m not saying that having a really pretty flat iron from Amika will make the process into a party all of a sudden… but let’s face it — it doesn’t hurt! I gave a shout-out to printed flat irons a little while back, but new-to-Sephora haircare brand, Amika, brings fancified straighteners to a whole new level! Swarovski crystals, snaky prints, bold colors, and even matching blow dryer and flat iron sets — this line has just about the coolest styling tools I’ve ever seen, and I’ve definitely shopped through my fair share! At about $115-160 for a flat iron, these tools are definitely on the pricier end, but considering they do more than just look pretty (impressive temperature range, dual voltage, quick heat-up time), it’s a worthwhile and fun beauty investment!

- Alex Gambardella