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Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Dare to compare:
Laura Mercier's Eyelash Curler, $16.
Road tested both and there is no obvious difference except the price, and Avon's comes with a backup rubber curler pad.
Friday, March 4, 2011
1. Prep dry hair with a thermal protective styling product to shield strands from heat, tame frizz and add shine.
2. Detangle with fingers or a brush.
3. Twist hair into a few sections; clip each in place, leaving one section loose.
4. Lift and hold the loose section of hair at a 90 degree angle from your head. Clamp the iron down on the hair close to the roots--without touching the scalp--then pull it slowly down the length of hair to the ends. Move gently and evenly down the hair shaft. “If you press the iron plates too firmly or move it too slowly you risk damaging hair,” says Arrojo. Once all sections are ironed, spritz hair with anti frizz spray to lock in smoothness.
Want fabulous hair? During the month of March, Conair is offering a “Sneak Peek” giveaway for a chance to win a choice of three new Conair hair styling tools. One winner each Friday! Give your hair some love with Conair and “LIKE” the Facebook page (www.facebook.com/conairhair) for more details!
Just “Bend and Snap!” Starting March 7 - March 25, 2011, each day, one lucky Facebook fan will have the chance to win scünci’s newest hair accessory -- the Bendini Clip! Add a touch of sparkle to any hairstyle with a Bendini clip! Show your hair some love and “LIKE” the scünci Facebook page (www.facebook.com/scuncihair) for more details!
Certain Dri wants to send you to the big leagues! From March 1, 2011- May 23, 2011, enter the Certain Dri “All-Star Antiperspirant” Sweepstakes for a chance to win our MLB All-Star baseball game prize package! One random winner will win a trip for two to the 2011 MLB All-Star game and the Homerun Derby (travel accommodations included) in Phoenix, Arizona along with a supply of Certain Dri connect with Certain Dri on Facebook (www.facebook.com/certaindri), for more details!
Thursday, February 10, 2011
restaurant.com. Most recently a $75 gift certificate
to a popular restaurant was on sale for $9, and I used it on
a $150 dinner that cost me $75.
try an offer, then share your feedback.
GET $25 GIFT CERTIFICATES FOR ONLY $2!
At checkout, enter Promo Code: LOVE
Offer ends Monday February 14, 2011.
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Friday, November 19, 2010
Shipping Wars & Last Minute Shopping:
Why schlep when you can cyber shop for the holidays + get free shipping? With a virtual shipping war, the competition among these and other sites gives you the advantage:
Walmart: free shipping on more than 60,000 online items through December 20th, no minimum order required.
Amazon.com: they’ll meet or beat any other free shipping deal on a limited selection of items.
Best Buy: free shipping offer valid on hundreds of thousands of items, including all CDs, Blue-Ray and DVD movies, gaming software and accessories.
Toys "R" Us: free shipping on purchases of $49 or more for all items except video game consoles/handhelds, software, hardware and accessories.
For more stores, visit freeshipping.org.
LAST MINUTE SHOPPING: A SMART MOVE
Bargains get better closer to Christmas, and this year you can cyber-shop last minute with free delivery, and get your goods before Santa makes it down the fireplace. FreeShipping.org has declared December 17 as Free Shipping Day, during which 1,000-plus merchants will offer free shipping with delivery by Christmas Eve.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Perricone schmerricone. Pricey cleansers are a dumb deal. In my recent story on Bad Beauty Deals for Consumer Report's Shop Smart Magazine, I reported that since cleanser is in contact with your skin literally for seconds, don't spend much money on yours. “Active ingredients such as hydroxy acids, peptides, and vitamins are more useful in facial moisturizers and eye creams because they remain on your skin much longer than a cleanser,” says NY Dermatologist Deborah Sarnoff, M.D., senior vice president of The Skin Cancer Foundation. Dermatologists, cosmetic chemists and users agree, one of the best facial cleansers you can buy is Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser. A 16. fl. oz. 2-pack is $21.98 at Amazon.com, with free shipping.
Monday, November 8, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
If you think virtual shops like drugstore.com are awesome, meet Soap.com. From the creators of diapers.com, this new site offers over 25,000 products, from beauty basics to nutritional and household necessities. What's it to you? 20% off your order if you enter the code "soapnyc" before checking out, free 1-2 day shipping, promotions and coupons including a $10 credit for referring a friend.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Kohl's Cares® Simply Vera Vera Wang Coin Purse, $10.
Kohl's Cares® Simply Vera Vera Wang Multistrand Necklace, $5.
Kudos to Kohl’s for donating 100% of profits from these and other Simply Vera Vera Wang “Pink” products to breast cancer research. More motivation to buy:
All items are $5 to $10 and shipping is a mere 99¢ each.
PacSun’s B4Bc Another Name Tote, $9.50, displays humorous names for boobs, and 100% of sales go to B4BC (Boarding for Breast Cancer).
Buy Philosophy Shower for the Cure, $20, and Philosophy sends 100% of net proceeds to the
Women's Cancer Research Fund.
Pick up this Breast Cancer Awareness Bracelet at Payless for $2 and they donate 100% of the profits (at least $1 per bracelet) to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, plus you’re rewarded with a $5 off $25 coupon with every bracelet purchase.
Buy Avon’s Breast Cancer Crusade Lips for Life Novelty Tote, $5, and 100% of the net profits go to the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade. Click for details, or contact your Avon Representative.
Coming soon to an Avon Representative near you: the Marimekko designed Crusade Tote, $10.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Saturday, October 9, 2010
On Thursday, Health Canada issued a warning stating the hair smoothing solution made by the California company, Brazilian Blowout, contained "unacceptable levels of formaldehyde." The brand is marketed as a formaldehyde-free, but the Brazilian Blowout solution had been found to contain 12 per cent formaldehyde. The tests and warning were sparked by six consumer and two trade complaints in June after those who worked with the product experienced burning eyes, nose, throat and breathing troubles.
Canadians would have been forewarned if they read my report on BKT (Brazilian Keratin Treatment) in the March issue of ShopSmart Magazine:
Ads for Brazilian Keratin Treatment (BKT), a popular salon technique, claim that it leaves hair smooth and healthy-looking for months. A chief ingredient in the product is formaldehyde, says Perry Romanowski, an independent cosmetic chemist, which is not banned in hair straighteners by the FDA, but it’s a probable carcinogen that can also cause eye, nose, and throat irritation; wheezing and coughing; skin rash; and other reactions. “Some salons claim to do formaldehyde-free BKT. But if it does work as well, it probably features an aldehyde, which is like formaldehyde and is not safer,” Romanowski says. ShopSmart says Try a straightening iron. We like the Revlon Perfect Heat Ceramic RVST2001C, $30.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Monday, July 5, 2010
More Great Discounts at arrojostudio.com
180 Varick Street
New York, NY
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Use much less mascara: Curl your lashes first and you'll need to apply just a smidge of mascara to make them stand out. To do, using a traditional lash curler (Revlon and Maybelline sell under $5 versions at drugstore.com) firmly clamp curler pad on lashes mid way between tips and roots; squeeze curler for at least 30 seconds then release.
Stretch your foundation: Apply foundation with your fingers instead of sponge. Makeup tends to absorb into a cosmetic sponge so some goes to waste. Foundation also spreads easier and more evenly when applied with your fingers, which is why makeup artists recommend it.
Save on scent: Spot application ... spritzing fragrance on your neck, wrists, cleavage, etc ... can be overpowering. For subtler, all over scent, spritz fragrance once directly over your head, then close your eyes as the scent floats down and envelops you.
Everlasting nail file: Some experts claim that using a metal nail file can damage nails, but that's not true if you file gently and in one direction, not back and forth. A high tech metal file such as Diamancel Diamond Nail File ($28 at sephora.com) or the classic Diamond Deb Nail File ($3.99 at amazon.com) can last you a lifetime.
Cheapest/best makeup remover: Many experts, including NY dermatologist Heidi Waldorf, recommend Vaseline. You can't find a less expensive product, it's extremely gentle and it easily removes mascara.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
While this is NY-specific news, the company is also offering a NATIONAL giveaway. To celebrate the launch, Peter Lamas himself will be making appearances at the Herald Square and Rock Center Duane Reade locations to provide free hair consultations and to announce his FREE YEAR OF HAIR CARE giveaway! From now through June, Lamas fans all over the country can enter online for a chance to win. 256 winners will be selected. For more details visit lamasbeauty.com
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
The experts at Consumer Report's Shop Smart Magazine ran tests of at home hair color kits and results showed that it's possible to get salon results at home. For more information, see the current issue of Shop Smart or follow this link
for my no-risk tips for how-to ... without ruining your hair or staining the bathroom.
Monday, April 19, 2010
Watch for more stylish ways to save big on beauty, fashion, fun and more.
Have a beauty problem or question? Post it on this blog or email me and I'll provide free advice from a leading expert.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Now there's a manly version of Spanx. Guys who can use some slimming can disguise their bulges without the hassle of dieting or the expense of liposuction, and they are no longer limited to boxers or briefs. EQUMEN recently launched the bulge-smoothing Core Precision Undershirt and Precision Underwear for men, sold at major department stores and at freshpair.com. Pantyhose for men, or "mantyhose," is another growing trend, but beware of males who voluntarily subject themselves to the discomfort ... and the risk of runs.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
This season makeup has a retro influence. "There's a return to the bright, eye-catching makeup that was popular in the 80s," says NYC based makeup artist Gita Bass, who created Tina Fey's red carpet look for the 2009 Oscars. "With this trend, your eyes will be a main attraction, so technique is important," she cautions. "Choose shadows for the eye that pop, like turquoise, hot pink or emerald green," Bass suggests. "Next, grab black liner and blend it up toward the crease." Try a gel liner, like Buxom by Bare Escentuals Lashliner in Leatherette, and tons of black mascara - such as Rimmel Sexy Curves Waterproof Mascara--for extra definition.
Classic French style, with crimson lips set against porcelain skin, gets updated for fall. The hot look is creamy red, blotted to a semi matte finish, plus there are new deep wine stained lipsticks for even more femme fatal allure, like Laura Geller Creme Couture Lipstick in Bordeaux. "To pull off a bold mouth, line the lips with a liner that matches your natural lip color and feather it all over your lips as a base," Bass says. "Apply a bright matte red over your lips, straight from the tube, then blend the color along the edges of the lip using a stiff lip brush and correct any mistakes with a pointy cotton swab. Blot and reapply, and don't forget to get the inner corners of your lips." Reds to try: Lorac Breakthrough Performance Lipstick in Leading Lady, Duwop Private Red Lipstick.
Instead of investing in different products, winter trends are right on target in Cargo's Runway Kit. The color palette includes metallics, neutrals and brights for eyes and lips, silky powder blushes and their best-selling Medium Bronzer. A $175 value, CARGO's Runway Kit retails for $49.
Wendy Korn Heppt
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Want the real dish on Lash Growers sold at Sephora and Duane Read?
Did you know Brazilian Keratin Treatment is all about formaldehyde? Legend has it that a Brazilian realized that when formaldehyde was used to embalm the dead it also straightened the hair, which led to the BKT that's so popular today
Lip Plumpers don't work and nothing will eliminate a scar or firm your bust.
Read this and more at shopsmartmag.org.
Looking for more information on any of the topics? I have plenty of expert advice so just leave a comment or email email@example.com.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Products – money savers and splurges
Worth the Price:
* Prescription retinoids (tretinoin, tazarotene, adapalene) – nothing else has been shown to do as much for photoaged skin; and one tube should last several months
* Certain cosmeceuticals (idebenone, coffeeberry) – your dermatologist knows what works and what you’re more likely to tolerate
* Cleansers – a gentle over-the-counter non-drying cleanser will do the job.
* Sunscreen – drug store options with appropriate ingredients abound, and you need to use a lot of it.
* Eye cream – to save money, use your face cream for your eye area too.
Augmenting in-office treatments at home:
* Get more bang for your buck – use a home microdermabrasion system between professional treatments
* Non-invasive treatments work best when accompanied by an effective at home regimen of sun protection and some combination of retinoids, anti-oxidants and/or peptides.
* Don’t work against your treatment: avoid cigarettes, tanning, and picking.
* Ask your dermatologist for a prescription to slow hair growth while you’re undergoing laser hair removal
When is do-it-yourself okay and when do you need the doctor?
* Pop your own pimple or ingrown hair – you’re just spreading the inflammation
* Mix together at home peel kits with other ingredients –the combination can increase the depth of penetration dangerously
* Play with at home lasers and gadgets when you’re tan – you risk skin discoloration and scarring
* See your dermatologist for a painful acne cyst – a dilute cortisone injection can reduce it in 1 – 2 days
* Gently exfoliate once or twice a week but avoid anything sharp (if it hurts on your hand, don’t use it on your face)
* See your dermatologist for laser or light treatments – she can confirm it’s safe and appropriate for your problem
Reasonable investments for Long-term beauty
* The current long-lasting fillers are cost-effective. A recent study of hyaluronic acid showed that once you achieve your optimal correction, keeping it up requires only half the original volume used once or twice a year. For patients who can’t pay for full correction the first visit, there’s the option to gradually achieve correction over several months – each treatment builds on the last because the prior filler isn’t gone and new collagen has been formed.
* Tightening procedures utilizing lasers and radiofrequency cost far less than surgery, can put off the expense of a surgical lift for several years and don’t require a lot of time off from work.
* Botulinum toxins continue to be a safe and effective way to look fresher without downtime and for about the cost of hair and nail maintenance.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
On Location Tours' Bus tour of sites seen on TV's Gossip Girl guides you through over 40 sites seen in the hit TV drama , including the New York Palace Hotel.
Full price: $40
Goldstar.com price: $19
$100 Lunch or Dinner for $50
At Wild Ginger Restaurants: A $100 dining coupon is just $50 online at nyhalfoff.com.
Valid at 4 Wild Ginger Locations:
226 E. 51st St, NY, NY
10 Park Place, NY, NY
48 Great Neck Rd, Great Neck
467 Columbus Ave, NY, NY
Play Tourist for a Weekend (or an entire week)
At citypass.com, $79 Citypass includes admission to 6 top NY attractions (a $140 value). Citypass booklet contains six actual admission tickets, each with a tip revealing a secret to skip main ticket lines. Plan a weekend -- or take up to nine leisurely days to explore shops, restaurants, and neighborhoods.
Empire State Building Observatory
American Museum of Natural History & Rose Center
The Museum of Modern Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Cloisters
Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises
Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island
Monday, October 12, 2009
Listen smarty pants, in addition to saving money, I bet even you can brush up on your driving skills.
What’s the #1 cause of fatal crashes? A. Speeding. B. Drunk Driving. C. Failing to Maintain Lane Position.
Correct answer: C.
If you think you’re perfect at maintaining lane position when driving, you’re smarter than the 41,000 people who die in motor vehicle crashes each year.
True or False: Never take your eyes off the road?
Correct answer: False.
Rule for changing lanes safely: before you change lanes glance over your shoulder to check the blind areas to be certain no one is near the left or right-rear corners of your vehicle.
If you’re the world’s best know it all when it comes to driving, then just do it for the discount. The in-person or virtual course fee averages $49 and is good for three years. Save 15% at Idrivesafely.com; the site offers a defensive driving course for only $35.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
• Half Price Cuts/Color: Mon-Thurs, bring a friend(s) who is new to ARROJO studio and get two cuts and/or colorings for the price of one (11:30-4:45pm). Using one of the lower priced but still very experienced stylists, you and your friend(s) can pay as little as $34@ plus tip. Both appointments must be back-to-back with the same stylist.
• Be a Blow-Dry Pro: $50 gets you into a professional group blow-dry class, where you’ll learn to do a smooth blow-out, loose flowing waves, tousled and textured tresses. You leave with $50 of ARROJO product for free. Call for class schedules.
To make an appointment, or to check on availability of these offers call 212 242 7786. Mention the offer you are booking when you make your appointment.
180 Varick Street
New York, NY
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Expert panel of pastavores blind-tasted eight brands of dried spaghetti. The 99-cent underdog from Trader Joe’s triumphed, edging out the pricey artisanal competition and the popular Barilla brand.
Monday, April 27, 2009
Characterized by redness, bumps and pimple-like blemishes, rosacea is a chronic beauty bummer. If you suspect you have rosacea or have tried traditional medications and lifestyle changes with little success, recently FDA approved oral Oracea ® (doxycycline, USP), seems extremely promising. "I often recommend my patients take Oracea® to help treat the signs and symptoms of rosacea," said Hilary Baldwin, MD, associate professor and vice chair, department of dermatology, SUNY Downstate Medical Center.
Available by prescription from dermatologists, Oracea® is unique because it doesn't cause bacterial resistance like long term antibiotics used to treat rosacea and it can reduce red bumps and pimples associated with the condition. With Oracea® on the job, it’s unlikely we’ll be seeing many W.C Fields look-a-likes in the future. For more ways to tame rosacea, visit www.BestFaceForward.com/
Hmmm, if Oracea® works on rosacea induced pimples, maybe it’s an “off-label” cure for common acne?
Friday, April 24, 2009
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Bangs instead of Botox? A simple snip could have the same overall affect to someone’s face as those paralyzing toxins. According to celebrity stylist Suki Duggan, owner of Donsuki Townhouse Salon, bangs are an affordable wrinkle fix. “A lot of my clients are asking me for bangs as a way to hide the imperfections of their forehead,” said Duggan.
Budget style on a shoestring adds:
Instyle.com tells how to groom long wispy bangs like Jessica Alba's:
grow out. BUY ONLINE NOW Spornette Small Paddle Brush, $6; shop.com.
Monday, March 23, 2009
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Producing makeovers for magazines for years (including 620 makeovers in 12 years for Woman's World Magazine) I've witnessed what works and what doesn't, what's too pricey, too time consuming or a waste of time. Between budget friendly blogging, I'll be sharing some of the best hair and makeup artists tips I've come across. I'll also blog about makeovers for beauty blunders ... those no no's hair and makeup artists see most ... and that are easiest to fix.
First installment: Coping with comma brow
Comma brow comes from over plucking, resulting in a sperm-like blob where the brow starts, and an overly rounded pencil thin line to the rest of it ... like a big surprised comma.
Quick fix: brush or pencil in a natural looking arch while you try to let your brows grow in.
Best way to learn: stop in at Sephora or a makeup counter at Macy's and have their makeup pro show you how-to, for free.
On your own: find your ideal arch. To do, line an eyeshadow brush up with the outside edge of the colored part of your eye; where the brush meets the brow is where the highest part of your arch should be. Your brow line should be full from the inner corner to the arch, gradually narrowing from the arch to the outer corner.
To plump comma brows: Makeup artists recommend you use an eyeliner brush to brush brown or taupe matte eye shadow or brow powder along your brow line. To try: Maybelline Ultra Brow Brush on Color, $4.99.
For truly sparse spots: using a brown or taupe pencil, diagonally feather tiny hair-like flecks to fill in. Many makeup lines include a brush on brow color, which is ideal for plumping the brow line and to cover grays ... but it doesn't fix a comma shape.
If you're really all thumbs: it's more of an investment than a splurge to get a one-time grooming by celebrity brow maven, Eliza Petrescu ($120 at Exhale Spa in NY). She'll also tell-all about how to do-it-yourself so from then on, you can do your own upkeep. Check Eliza's website, elizaseyes.com, for more dish on her and for a virtual encyclopedia of tips on beautifying your brows.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
On assignment for the NY Daily News, I convinced my daughter Julie (pictured, right) to test dozens of popular lip plumpers. Julie said some made her lips sting or burn, others added a pretty gloss, but none truly plumped her pout … and she’s not the only one. In a study published in the Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery, researchers found the products offered no observable change in lip size on a study of female patients. "If a lip-enhancing product did what a dermatologist can do, armed with lip-plumping injectables, it would be classified as a drug and not a cosmetic," says Deborah Sarnoff, M.D., associate clinical professor of dermatology at
Lip plumpers contain ingredients such as niacin, cinnamon, capsaicin, menthol and clove that can make the mouth sting or burn. You'll get fuller looking lips with reasonably priced lip liner and lipstick from companies like L'Oreal, Cover Girl, Max Factor or Maybelline. To do:
* Using lip pencil in a shade close to the lip color you'll wear, keep mouth relaxed and slightly open. Rest your elbow on a table or counter for support and hold the lip pencil like a regular pencil. Balance your pinky on the side of your chin to help maintain a steady hand.
* Place pencil tip at the center point between crests of your upper lip. Following the outer rim of the natural shape of your lips, draw a line from center to top of crest on one side; repeat on other side. Extend the line from top of each crest, along the very outer edge of your lip line, down to the outer corners of your mouth. For bottom lip, pinpoint the exact center by holding the lip pencil vertically under the tip of your nose. The point where the pencil touches your bottom lip is the center. Draw a dot there. Starting at the dot, draw a line along the very outer rim of your lip line, to the outer corner of your mouth; repeat on other side. Apply a long wearing lip color within outlined area. Another option: Use a lip pencil to line and color lips; it's less creamy than lipstick, so color lasts longer.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Looking to earn extra cash? A popular way is direct marketing, selling products not available in stores to consumers. Problem is, many companies require a substantial initial investment, offer pricey goods and pressure you to stalk everyone –- from your babysitter to your boss -- to buy. One exception is Avon: becoming a Representative is a $10 investment; you needn't sell to a single customer and you automatically get substantial discounts on your personal orders.
Scaling back on spending? Avon has some great buys. Their Anew costs less than most other anti-aging brands, and budget friendly Skin-So-Soft is a global best-seller. Today you no longer need to thumb through little catalogues, since many Avon Representatives are online. My Avon "Lady," Susan Broderick, currently offers Free Shipping on online orders (use coupon code 6SFWR) and 50% off on many items, including ANEW REJUVENATE Flash Facial Revitalizing Concentrate, now $24; Lighten Up Plus Eye Cream, now $7.50; MOISTURE THERAPY Intensive Hand Cream, now $0.99; Skin So Soft Body Wash, now $2.99. Shop Susan’s store (or sign up to be an Avon Rep) at youravon.com/sbroderick.
Monday, March 2, 2009
If you've had a similar experience at another store, please tell us about it.
Friday, February 27, 2009
Professional manicures no longer fit your budget? Here’s how to pay less or to do-it-yourself like a pro.
Abandon acrylics: Foregoing fake nails is a real money saver, but removing acrylics is tricky, time consuming and best left to a pro.
Reduce your manicure budget: every other manicure, get a polish change instead.
Picking polish: Essie,($8) Opi,($8.50) and Creative Nail Design,($6) cost twice as much as Maybelline, but these brands brush on smoother and stay on longer than others, which is why professional manicurists use them.
Color cues: light shades are most forgiving and the finish looks better, longer. With fashionable dark colors, smudges, sloppy application and chips are obvious.
Do it yourself:
1. Shape: With an emery board, file nails across the tips, in one direction. Only file sides or corners to smooth nicks.
2. Condition: Massage cuticle conditioner into cuticles and nail beds. Next, gently nudge cuticles down using a cotton swab or an orangewood stick. Wash and dry hands. Best bets: Creative Nail Solar Oil,(½ oz, $5.50), prevents cuticles and nails from becoming brittle and promotes healthy nail growth. Cheapie petroleum jelly also works well.
3. Color: Apply a ridge-filling base coat, so color has a flawless surface to adhere to. Follow with two coats of color, then clear top coat. To do, apply enamel up the center--from cuticle to nail tip--and then up each side of the nail; let dry a few minutes between coats and thirty minutes after top coat has been applied.
4. Maintain: Every few days, apply a fresh layer of top coat so your manicure lasts longer.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Money Saving Suggestions of the Day:
Avoid excessive application of beauty and grooming products. People tend to apply more than they need, so adhere to these beauty rules:
Apply a dime-sized dose of:
Use a quarter sized dose of:
Use an amount the size of a golf ball of:
Full body sunscreen
Conditioner Trumps Shampoo, Moisturizer Trumps Cleanser, and so on
Skimp on shampoo, spend on conditioner: any shampoo will clean your hair, it's what you use after that affects your hair's condition. For instance, try pairing a classic like Flex Shampoo, (15 oz, $2.69 at drugstore.com), with the highly rated Aveda Shampure Conditioner (8.5 oz, $9.50 at Aveda.com.)
Cheap cleanser, quality moisturizer: Facial cleanser gets washed away, moisturizer works all day. Pair the dermatologist recommended Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser (8 oz., $7.99 at Walgreens) with Allure Magazine's Best of Beauty Award winner: Neutrogena Healthy Defense Daily Moisturizer SPF 45, (1.7 oz, $12.39 at Target).
Check back for more trumps, tomorrow.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
The health fairy hasn't been kind to my cousin. 50 years old, she's been on oxygen and cortisone 24/7 for decades. She doesn't consider herself alluring, but what eyelashes! At a recent visit, I couldn't help noticing her lashes; they looked downright "spidery," they were so long and curly. "Awesome lashes," I told her, thinking she had on over-the-top false lashes, the kind worn by drag queens. "My doctor has me on eye drops for glaucoma," she explained. "Now my lashes are growing out of control; they squish into my eyeglasses." I asked if she'd heard that a side effect of glaucoma drops is lash growth. "My ophthalmologist never mentioned that, but knowing it now is a big relief," she said. I also told her how a few beauty companies had illegally used the drug in OTC lash growth products, until the FDA got wind of it. Tempted to ask if I could try her eye drops, instead I offered to trim her lashes for her; she refused to let me.
Although this seemingly miraculous lash growth is no longer attainable over-the- counter, Allergan (maker of Lumigan, the eye drops for glaucoma) just introduced Latisse, the first and only FDA approved prescription drug for growing longer, fuller lashes. In a clinical trial, lashes typically grew 25 percent longer, 106 percent thicker and 18 percent darker.
Parting ways with your lash curler and never fussing with mascara again is a convenient concept, but unless you already indulge in professional lash extensions or you wear mink eyelashes like Madonna does, the $120 price tag for a monthly dose of Latisse might seem extravagant. If so, plump your peepers the old fashioned way: In a recent review in Consumer Reports Shop Smart Magazine, Lancome Paris Definicils, $24, got the highest marks. The runner up: Max Factor Lash Perfection Volume Couture, $7. Honorable mentions include Maybelline Defin-A-Lash, $8 and L'Oreal Telescopic Clean Definition, $9.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
H & M is offering buy 3 items, get 50% off lowest price, with a coupon at www.hm.com/us.
Target has Isaac Mizrahi at 50% off, including cashmere sweaters starting at $12.49.
At Barney's annual warehouse sale, regular prices are cut 50-75% thru March 1. (255 West 17th Street, NY, NY)
Forever 21 features daily 21 specials -- 20% off 21 items -- in-store and on their website, forever21.com. Bigger bargains include a sleeveless satin top, $7.50.
Truth is, with any cosmetic or personal care product, the FDA doesn't require cosmetic and personal care companies to test their own products for safety. "Under federal law, companies can put virtually anything into personal care products, and many of them do. Mercury, lead, and placenta extract —these and other hazardous materials are in products that millions of Americans, including children, use every day," says Jane Houlihan, Vice President of Research at EWG (Environmental Working Group).
EWG is petitioning Congress to turn this around and make personal care products safe. In the meantime, you can check products you use for safety at cosmeticsdatabase.com, a database with information on nearly 25,000 personal care products.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Cleanser: Cetaphil is a non-irritating moisturizing cleanser, recommended by dermatologists for sensitive skin, acne, rosacea, dermatitis, eczema and other conditions. This lotion is so gentle it’s safe for use on a newborn baby! It's also probably the world's least expensive makeup remover. Unlike soap, Cetaphil is non-comedogenic, and fragrance free (16 oz, apx. $11.50). Compare to Clinique Rinse-Off Foaming Cleanser (5 oz. apx. $18.50).
Rough skin smoother: What makes AmLactin® 12% Moisturizing Lotion a cure for rough heels, cracked skin, callouses, elephant-hide elbows and other skin conditions is a high concentration of lactic acid, an exfoliant that helps seal moisture into the skin. One reason Amlactin is so effective is its pH balance. The natural pH of the skin ranges between 4.5 to 5.5. "Detergents and cold, dry weather strip away this protective barrier; once it's breached, the skin cells pull away from each other, allowing moisture to escape and the result is flaky, sensitive, itching skin," says dermatologist Audrey Kunin. "Before the skin is broken, apply an active moisturizer containing lactic acid," she advises. Amlactin, 7.9 oz. apx. $17. Get a $2 off coupon at amlactin.com/coupon.lasso. Compare this product to B. Kamins Lactic 8, 1 oz. apx. $38.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
At Buffalo Exchange, now through Earth Day you can recycle your real fur apparel, accessories and shearling (even if it’s in poor condition) by donating it to Coats for Cubs, at Buffalo Exchange locations. Used furs provide bedding and comfort to orphaned and injured wildlife. To claim a tax deduction, mail your fur directly to Coats for Cubs, The Humane Society of the
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Free kids lessons: CityParks Golf offers free golf lessons to kids ages 6 to 17, in public parks and on citywide courses. Free use of equipment is available at all lessons.
Geezer workouts: City Parks Foundation CityParks Seniors Fitness offers free tennis lessons, yoga instruction, and fitness walking for people 60+ in nine parks across the city.
Cultural events: Last year City Parks Foundation offered 38 free concerts, 45 free dance performances, 24 nights of free theater, four weeks of free theater workshops for teens and five weekends of free dance master classes for communities across the city. Check their website for event listings for '09.
Monday, February 9, 2009
Reason: Not only does it report on bargain buys (and items to avoid); products are tested/rated by consumers and the magazine uses the same experts and testing capabilities as Consumer Reports.
Blow dryers and flatirons are one beauty category you can spend a bundle on. In the January '09 issue, Shop Smart reports that despite difference in price and wattage, blow drying time doesn't vary much between the products they tested, and if speed is key, shelling out a lot doesn't pay.
Factoring in noise and other features, Revlon Ionic Ceramic Pro Stylist RV484, $20, is their pick as a bargain buy. If you want to make a smart spluge, consider the CHI Pro Dryer GF1505, $135.
Straightening Irons: Revlon Perfect Heat Ceramic RVST2001C, $30, is the best bargain buy. For a splurge, try Conair Infiniti Nano Silver SS9, $100.
Friday, February 6, 2009
Chinatown Brasserie, in the
Alligator Lounge in
Rock ‘n Sake (locations in
The Big Easy, on the
Common Ground in the East Village: appetizers are two-for-one, apple martinis and cosmos are $5 and a Yuengling is $2, from -8 p.m.
Black Bear Lodge in
Sweetwaters in Hauppauge,
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
I've put this to the test: For decades, except for lined wool or silk suits, coats or blazers labeled "dry clean only" I dry clean my family's new garments labeled "dry clean" the first few times they need cleaning; after that I hand wash or toss them in the washing machine with great results. (I wouldn't risk this with big ticket Gucci, Chanel or Prada originals; I'm referring to more moderately priced pieces that cost under $200). Consider this: Once you have spent nearly as much dry cleaning a garment as you paid to buy it, do you continue to invest in professional cleaning or take a risk by hand washing or machine washing it? From my experience, the risk pays off; even wool lined pants from Express and silk shirts from Ann Taylor launder beautifully on a cool gentle cycle, and wool and cashmere sweaters from Lord & Taylor that I hand wash still look like new.
Dry cleaning at home: home dry cleaning kits let you launder your delicates in a clothes dryer, and this way you avoid perc, the potentially dangerous chemical solvent used by a majority of commercial dry cleaners . Using Clorox FreshCare or P&G Dryer, you can clean 16 garments for about what you'd pay for one garment to be professionally dry cleaned.
Exception: Tackling a stained garment is best left to a professional dry cleaner.
Christabelle's Closet - a web based designer resale boutique, offers savings up to 80% off retail store prices on designer duds, from Chanel to Dior, Pucci to Prada, and many more. Portion of profits goes to The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. christabellescloset.com
Monday, February 2, 2009
Second hand: Gently used bestsellers in great condition are three for $12 at Artists & Fleas in Williamsburg.
Barter: At paperbackswap.com, trade what you’ve read for what you'd like to read, for the price of the postage. Over 35,000 trades take place at the site, which functions like a book club, with member participation.
Download: You can download eBooks and audio books for free through the NY Public Library at ebooks.nypl.org. HarperCollins is offering free electronic editions of some of its books (browseinside.harpercollins.com).
Wireless: Get on line for the Kindle by Amazon.com (proclaimed one of Oprah's "favorite things," it's back-ordered for months). The sharp, high-resolution screen looks and reads like real paper, and after you shell out $359 to buy the device, New York Times® Best Sellers and New Releases are $9.99, unless marked otherwise. You can also download and read first chapters for free before you decide to buy.