Liz Earle Natually Acitve Eye Makeup Remover

Physically speaking, I'm about the most sensitive person on the planet. I can't drink caffeine, don't tolerate loud noises and anything with a toxic chemical makes me feel sick. The latest bodily revolt is happening in my eyes. They refuse to tolerate even eye liner lately. This is bad news for me mostly because I'm 29 and no 29 year old should go to work without eyeliner. Sad state of affairs. But my eyes are red, itchy, dry, and the lower lashes have taken to not growing back on the lower left hand side. (Any doctors in the house?) Anyhow in the meantime, I've searched high and low for the most earth friendly eye makeup remover and I have surfaced from the ocean optical makeup remover, triumphant with Liz Earle's Eyebright Soothing Eye Lotion. For those of you, like me, who are natives to this side of the pond "lotion" refers to a toner-like substance that adeptly removes eye makeup. This particular lotion has an actual ingredient called Eyebright along with cornflower, witchhazel, and organic aloe vera. Yum. My eye might finally muster a tear now that I'm running out of this lovely, gentle, eye makeup remover. Enjoy!
Products in this post were provided at no cost for editorial review.

Denim to Love: Charlotte Russe

As far as denim goes, nothing but designer has touched this derriere since college. A few weeks ago I stopped by my favorite luxury PR firm in Manhattan and they gave me jeans from Charlotte Russe. Doubtful to say the least, I slipped them on to find HEAVEN. These, double button, low rise, dark denim slices of heaven do everything my $200 designer jeans do. In fact I love the cut so much I'm not even embarrassed to say I got them at Charlotte Russe which until now I thought an exclusive haunt of teeny boppers. Think again. Charlotte Russe is ROCKIN it. Enjoy!
Products in this post were provided at no cost for editorial review.

Mascara to Die For: Peter Thomas Roth

Ok so it does everything a fabulous mascara should do. Lengths, pigment from heaven, unique brilliantly-designed brush. All of those features make me heart it. But here are the eight reasons why I love it: Bamboo, Aloe Vera, Macadamia Nut Oil, Silk Powder, Vitamin A C & E, and Pro Vitamin B5. I feel like an empress, getting to put such lush, healing, natural ingredients on my lashes and up the beauty factor all with a wave of this magic little wand. Enjoy!
Products in this post were provided at no cost for editorial review.

New York City: Foot Survival Guide

Dearest New York,

I love you but you don't seem to love my feet. Odd cramps between my two front toes that get worked out in (amazing) nightly yoga sessions. Piles of dirt and grime that wash off my Mississippi River legs leaving the shower drain looking like the delta during spring floods. Havianas that have lasted two seasons in North Carolina have been worn just as much in under two weeks in the big city. What's a (mostly) earth friendly, spa-obsessed, walk-loving account exec to do? 1) Mani Pedi at eco-friendly, West Village spa 2) Liz Earle Naturally Active Skin Care foot remedies.

AMAZING. Keep the scrub in the shower to aid a quick healing of blisters and remove the days most stubborn exhaust particles. Keep the repair moisturizer by the bed and you will wake up feeling like you have toddler toes. Enjoy!

Products and services mentioned in this post were provided at no cost for editorial review.

Beyonce Paints L'Oreal Red

In May of 2009 I met Beyonce backstage at the Greensboro, North Carolina stop of her 'I Am Sasha Fierce' tour. Surprisingly, it was a major moment in my life.

See, Beyonce and I are the same age. In meeting her, it was obvious that she was living inside her passion, using every talent she had been given and not apologizing for any of it. I saw with my own eyes that she is 1) an angel and 2) embracing and being just exactly who she is at all times. So when she reps L'Oreal I believe her. For reals. Her new commercial for L’Oréal Paris’ latest Infallible Stars Never Fail Lipcolour Compact has just hit the airwaves. (You must check out Beyonce Red)

Funny thing is, no matter how beautiful she is on screen or in film, in person she is absolutely ethereal. For today, we'll settle for the film footage. Enjoy!


O Magazine, The Big Deals Issue

Were it not for Oprah parenting me through a large part of my adolescence via her Maya Aneglou tauting after school episodes, I'm not sure where I'd be though I doubt life would be as sweet as it is at this very moment. So, when Mama O says something is a big deal I listen. This August, The Big Deals Issue offers readers the ultimate treat: an entire issue filled with spectacular giveaways and bargains.

“When you consider how many compromises and trade-offs all of us make every day—it’s clear that deals make the world go round,” says Oprah Winfrey. “Which is why, this month, we’re exploring just about every kind of deal there is—to help you feel good about every one you make.”

Mama O's Beauty Bargains: Beauty: 25 for $25 (or Less!): O editors wheeled and dealed and scored more than two dozen beauty bargains (some over 75 perfect off) on readers behalf. Pretty products for a bargain include: Dr. Loretta Dermatologist Skin Care Youthful Wri-Lax, $25 – down from $100. Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour set $25 from $41 and Colbert M.D. Heal & Sooth: Night $25 from $140.

Val's beauty tip: Pick your polish wisely: Many salons use nail polish thinners when their old polishes start to thicken with age. Thinners compromise both the color and integrity of the formula. If the bottle is less than three quarters full, ask for a new one. The August Issue hits stands July 13. Enjoy!


From Brooklyn to the Rainforest: A Manhattan Mani-Pedi Story

It's been just under seven years since I've lived in Manhattan proper. During that first stint as a New Yorker every experience I had in Brooklyn centered in Williamsburg and ended with a firm resolution to never return. Last night, having a vague sense that I owed the journey to an old friend, I boarded the subway for the 45 minute excursion. Happily, I found nothing but beauty in the borough across the bay. Delighted by a magical neighborhood of old country estates and panoramic views from the Statue of Liberty to the Empire State building, I find myself wondering why exactly I'm in Manhattan at the moment.

Manhattan is demanding- which is one of the (many) reasons I love it. Still, after demanding my feet to march the entirety of the island in one week, they were long overdue for downtime. I decided a retreat to the rainforest might give me some perspective on that other exotic distant land, Brooklyn.
I took my reprieve on West 8th Street at the eco-friendly Eve Salon.

Their seasonal Rainforest Renewal Manicure and Pedicure and uber comfortable pedi couches provided the respite I needed to reflect on my return to Brooklyn. With a restorative Star Fruit Banana Butter Crème Bath, and a delicious Passion Fruit Guava Body Scrub underway I got to thinking. Or at least, I tried. Maybe it was all the Acai antioxidants floating around but I really couldn't come up with anything. Just that, all these years I've been fixated on Manhattan, my time here, what I'd do differently, when and if to return. All this time humble, happy, simply beautiful Brooklyn was just across the river and last night it afforded me views of Manhattan, and the many lives I've lived here, that have left me very, simply happy.

Still, whether you're a city girl or a country bumpkin your time in the elegant elevated couches at Eve Salon will melt your mind just past the stop marked "Soul Searching" and drop you off at "Excessively Happy". (Ask for Jane if she's available) Enjoy!
Services in this post were provided at no cost for editorial review.

Mermaid for Manhattan

The departure from North Carolina was confusing at best and sadly, I forgot my be-all end-all "Teal the Cows Come Home" -yoga-enhancing nail color. Doing what all lacquer-obsessed New Yorkers do, I stopped by the mothership on the Northeast corner of Union Square in search of a replacement. Not since Tom Hanks laid eyes on Daryl Hannah has a New Yorker found such a beautiful Mermaid below 17th street. Behold, "Mermaid to Order" the oceanic queen of OPI for Sephora. Two shades to the left of my teal, Mermaid to Order splashed her magic all over my yoga class this morning. Enjoy!

You MUST watch.

lululemon athletica - Salutation Nation - August 7th, 2010 9 AM from Andrew Michael Dolgin on Vimeo.

Rock My Asana: Best Yoga in NYC

Carrie Bradshaw dated New York for years; almost as many years as I've dated beauty products. On this trip however after years of hot and cold, I can finally say Carrie's man is winning me over BIG time. I found my yoga home away from home. In fact I just got out of one of one of the best classes of my life. Sure I fell out of tree pose because the teacher was making me laugh too hard but that, my friends, is how you know you are home- the laughter. Also, Fleetwood Mac and Van Morrison made the play list. For real? LOVE it.

If you're in New York and you like down to earth, rock your asana vinyasa flow style yoga you MUST check out Laughing Lotus. Love it MASSIVE. Enjoy!


Packing it up

Tomorrow I leave for a month in New York. My clothes are packed. Books look they will fit. But there is no earthly way I can possibly fit the beauty closet into regulation-sized luggage and pay less than $300 in baggage fees. Bummer. So it's time to keep only what really really matters. It seems life, in an effort to conspire with my most memorable trips, has a way of systematically clearing the decks to make room for the bounty of the journey to come. The eternal march of life and airline penny pinching have forced me to be brutal. So what exactly will make it into my one precious carry-on and my only slightly less precious checked bag?

This, the most coveted of all beauty spot dream products: The Liz Earle Naturally Active Skincare Overnight Travel Kit will be a guaranteed carry on. With a travel size Cleanse and Polish AND the life-saving (hides even a bad break up) Brightening Treatment Mask I can not imagine how I could possibly feel more prepared for NYC. Here is a full list of the little lovelies included in this even lovelier case. As for the checked baggage think Hip and Thigh Gel, Foot Scrub and Repair, Bust Treatment miracle cream and on and on and on. Liz Earle, you have my heart and all of the prime real estate in my precious luggage. Enjoy!
Products in this post were provided at no cost for editorial review.