Wednesday, August 31, 2011

McEvoy Ranch 80 Acres Verde Olive Oil Body Balm

Hello, The cooler weather will soon be upon us and it often takes a toll on my dry skin.  My skin can get very dry and chapped in lower temperatures.  I stumbled upon McEvoy Ranch 80 Acres Verde Olive Oil Body Balm and it is amazing!   McEvoy Ranch is located in Petaluma, California and they are known for their certified organic olive oil.  The olive oils are sold in certain supermarkets and you can taste the olive oils before you buy at their retail store in San Francisco.  You can get more information about the olive oils and their 80 Acres body care products in their website

This body balm is made with their trademark certified organic extra virgin olive oil along with a few other simple natural ingredients.  This is everything I look for in a body moisturizer.  I will tell you why...... 

Product breakdown

Ingredients - 97% certified organic ingredients. Olive oil content is 81%.  You will see the full ingredient listing from the back label  in the picture above. Ingredients include olive and jojoba oils, beeswax, and vitamin E.  All come with natural antioxidants that can provide protection and nourish the skin
Texture - It comes in a soft balm in a glass jar.  Take a little, warm and melt it in hands, then spread it onto the skin.  I prefer a balm or oil based moisturizer.  I like the feel of how the product glides on, it feels like a luxurious treatment.  My dry and sensitive skin can tolerate the oils in this product.  It absorbs into the skin quickly without a lot of massaging.  The product will leave a light protective film on the skin which does not bother me because it is not a greasy film
Scent - Verde is mostly citrus with some lavender and ylang ylang.  It is a fresh and green scent.  The body balm also comes in Lavender and Blood Orange (new) scents
Skin type - Normal to Dry
Price - $22 for 3.75 Oz
Repurchase? - Yes

Until next post......

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

In The Mood for Fall Makeup

Hello, Fall is fast approaching!  But...I have not yet tasted Summer because the notorious fog always take over the area where I live.  We end up with a nice Indian Summer in October and even into November here, better late than never.  I will take what I can get!

After reading about many of the new Fall makeup collections and fragrances, I am in the mood to go check out the buffet of beauty in person.  It is once again time for the Neiman Marcus Beauty Event beginning September 8 to September 18.  They are offering a tote bag with samples with cosmetics and fragrance purchase over $100 or more.  There are also GWP offered at the individual counter.  I received my flyer about the event today. Here is the list of samples that will come with the tote, lots of new items for the Fall:
  • Givenchy Dahlia Noir Fragrance (NM exclusive)
  • Prada Candy Fragrance (NM exclusive)
  • Sisley-Paris Supremya
  • Laura Mercier Mini Flawless Face Polish
  • Jack Black Lip Balm
  • Fekkai Technician Mask and Highlighting Cream
  • Le Metier de Beaute New Day Cream (NM Exclusive)
  • Bottega Veneta Fragrance (NM Exclusive)
  • AmorePacific Time Response Eye Renewal Creme (NM Exclusive)
For me, I would love to try all the new fragrances, play with the darker makeup colors, and check out the new Le Metier de Beaute skincare line.  What are you looking forward to trying out this Fall?  Until next post......

Gorgeous colors of  Fall.   Rich and vibrant blues, reds, plums, and purples

Armani Beauty Jacquard
Via Google images

YSL Midnight Garden
Via Google images

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Aveda Review - Inner Light Mineral Tinted Moisture SPF 15 (New Formula)

Hello,  Aveda Inner Light Mineral Tinted Moisturizer has been one of  my favorite tinted moisturizers for the last six years or even longer.   Being a Green company, Aveda decided to pull many of its products from its retail stores and salons last year because they contain chemicals and preservatives that are considered to be harmful to our bodies.  Some of the products in the makeup line such as the liquid foundation was discontinued.  All other skincare, makeup (including this product), and haircare products that contain harmful ingredients have been re-formulated as of earlier this year.  Read their Green Ingredient Policy here.

What do I think about the new formulation?

Color - I wear 02 Beechwood, the second lightest shade out of seven shades available.  Beechwood is a neutral shade, not too yellow or pink.  It works well for my NC20-25 skin tone
Texture - The oil free formula provides a light weight feel and adequate moisture.  I love wearing this alone or sometimes over a higher SPF sunscreen in the summer.  I have even worn this to the gym when I needed some coverage and it did not break me out
Coverage - Light.  It will even out your skin tone, but it does not provide coverage.  If you need more coverage, use concealer  in areas where you need it.  Aveda makes a nice creamy concealer
Finish - Semi-matte.  For me, the old formula was oilier and not suitable for oily skins.  My face got very shiny and the TM melted off in a matter of hours.  I like the new formula so much better, the lasting power improved and the finish is more polished
Skin type - All
Price - $28 for 1.7 fl. oz.
Lasting Power - 4 hours
Repurchase? - Yes.  I am a fan and I will keep buying as long as they make it!

Enjoy this makeup tutorial  from Aveda on YouTube.

What is your favorite tinted moisturizer?  Until next post......

I Say Yes to Carrots

Hello, I am sure you have seen the Yes to brand in the drugstores in the recent years.  I thought the name was catchy at first, but I wasn't sure about the products. This year I stumbled upon some rave reviews on the Yes to Carrots Nourishing Conditioner on YouTube and so I decided it give it a go.  I am now on my third bottle of this stuff and it is my HG hair conditioner!!  It is addicting and I can't stop using it!  It smooths out my dry wavy hair and makes it soft and shiny.  It is like nothing else I have tried before, this is a Winner!

Product breakdown

Ingredients- 99.8% from natural/organic origin and paraben free.  See full listing of ingredients in picture above
Texture - Creamy
Scent - Fresh, mix of veggie and fruity scent
Skin type - Normal to Dry
Price - $8.99 for 16.90 fl. oz.. 
Repurchase? - Yes!!

The price point is exceptional for the quality and effectiveness of the product.  I am now very curious in trying the other Yes to products too.

Until next post......

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Juice It Up!

Hello, I bought a juicer this year and it is one of the best investments I have ever made in the journey to improve my health.  I have a stressful full-time job in the corporate world and do not always eat balanced meals.  By juicing, I figure it could help repair all the negatives I put in my body. 

The best thing about juicing is that I get an abundance of  vitamins, folic acid, and antioxidants from the raw fruits and vegetables and it is all easily absorbed in the body.  I also get that big boost of energy after drinking and feel rejuvenated.  My own favorite recipe is a green alien concoction made with kale, Granny Smith apples, pears, and lime. 

Remember to always buy local and organic when you juice it up!  Read more about juicing here......Until next post......

Ferry Building in San Francisco

Monday, August 22, 2011

Becca Pressed Shimmer Powder and Bronzing Powder

Hello, I am a fan of Becca Cosmetics.  I love the urban chic brown rubber packaging and I think the quality and colors of the products can't be beat.  I was elated when I found some of the Becca Cosmetics on sale at a local beauty supply store this summer, so I stocked up.  I was like a kid in a candy store!  I picked up some shimmer powders, lip glosses, eye colours, and creme blushes!  Today I will show you four pressed shimmer powders and one pressed bronzing powder (unfortunately, I did not get this one on sale, bummer!).

Angel - Pale Silvery Pink

Nefertiti - Golden Pink

Odette - Golden Peach Pink

Princess - Golden Rose

Lambada - Medium Golden Bronze

What do I think?

Color - Angel and Nefertiti are highlighters for me because they are very light in color when applied on my skin.  They add light to the skin and it is a nice subtle glow.  Odette and Princess are more pigmented, so I use them as blushes.  This is the second time I purchased Princess.  Lambada is a matte bronzing powder, good as a bronzer or contour
Texture - Finely milled powder, they go on very smooth
Finish - Not overly shimmery even though they are called shimmer powder.  The bronzer is matte
Skin type - All
Price - High.  Retail for $38, however, I purchased the pressed shimmer powders at a deep discount
Repurchase? - Yes

Until next post......

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Facial Mist Obsession

Hello, I have many beauty obsessions and facial mist has been one for as long as I could remember.  I always have a bottle at home and carry a mini in my purse.  I do not use the mist as a toner, instead I use it to set makeup and to refresh my skin throughout the day.  My current three favorites are Evian Facial Spray, Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist, and Melvita Eau de Fleurs d' Oranger Orange Blossom Floral Water.

Evian Facial Spray - Evian is known for its mineral water and this has been one of my staples for many years.  It has no fragrance and the mini atomizer spray can is so light and easy to carry around.  My only gripe is that I go through these so fast and the cost is $12 for the duo to go pack.

Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist - I mentioned a Jurlique cleanser before and I liked it, so I splurged on other products from the line and this was one of them.  I like almost anything with rose in it, so I picked this up.  The rose scent is the same in the mist as in the infamous Jurlique Rose Hand Cream.  It is a natural rose scent to me, not synthetic.  Most of the ingredients are natural that includes rose essential oil, grapefruit seed extract, and aloe leave extract.  It comes in a nice frost glass bottle and I keep this one at home.

Melvita Eau de Fleurs d' Oranger - Melvita is one of my favorite organic lines and nothing has failed me so far.  I received the Orange Blossom Floral Water as a gift with purchase at the Melvita store in San Francisco. 100% of the total ingredients are from natural origin and the products are all made in France.  The scent is floral from the Bitter Orange flower and it is quite soothing.  This floral water is supposed to help calm irritated and blotchy skin. 

Do you have a favorite facial mist?  Until next post......

Saturday, August 20, 2011

First Aid Beauty and Natura Bisse Products Review - Pad and Scrub Exfoliators

Hello, Exfoliation is an important step in my skincare regimen.  I have tried and tested many scrubs and peels in the past and many were too harsh for my sensitive skin.  For the last two months, I have been using two products that I have been loving and my skin can tolerate these products extremely well.  These two products are First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads and Natura Bisse C+C Vitamin Scrub.

First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads - They are pre-moistened pads that contain lactic acid and glycolic acid, along with a host of other natural ingredients.  The FAB pads are free of preservatives, alcohol, colorants, harsh chemicals, and fragrance.  It can be found at your local Sephora store.  I love it because it is very gentle and not drying.  It leaves my skin clearer and  moisturized at the same time with aloe juice and hyaluronic acid.  According to the instructions on the package, it is gentle enough for daily use.  However, I do not recommend exfoliating every day, over exfoliating can damage the layers of the skin.  Always use good judgement on how often to exfoliate based on your own skin's condition.

The pads have a textured side and a smooth side

Natura Bisse C+C Vitamin Scrub - I received the 1 oz. sample of this product in a gift with purchase at Space NK in Bloomingdale's.  If you have sensitive skin and prefer a scrub for exfoliation, give this a try.  It is a fine granule gel scrub made with silica powder that is very gentle for delicate skin.  After using the scrub, my skin felt very smooth and looked brighter.  Other ingredients include orange extract and rose mosqueta seeds.  The scent reminds me of an orange popsicle, it is very citrusy and fresh.  I would consider purchasing the full size product when I finish the sample.

One more mention on another FAB product, it is the Detox Eye Roller.  It is an eye roller with product that is meant to alleviate under eye puffiness and dark circles.  I am not sure if it does all that it claims, though I love the cooling effect when I roll the ball around my eye area. It is a refreshing treatment for tired eyes.  The active ingredients include caffeine and peptides and this product is also free of preservatives, alcohol, colorants, harsh chemicals, and fragrance.  If you look very closely at the actual product, you will find tiny sparkling particles of mica.  The sparkles are very subtle when the product is rolled on the skin.

Until next post......

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

10 Makeup Mistakes Tag

Hello, I first saw this tag on Makeup by Ren Ren's blog, I thought it was interesting and boy do I have my fair share of makeup blunders since I started wearing makeup in my teens!  Here is my Top 10 Makeup Mistakes, in no particular order:

1)  Using expired makeup -  this symbol represents the useful life of a personal product after the package has been opened for the first time.  You will find this symbol on the packaging and/or on the label of the pot/bottle/can containing the cosmetic product.  When in doubt, toss it  if the texture and smell of the product changes.

Via Google images
2)  Over plucked eyebrows - Yikes, the thin eyebrows I sported in the past made me look aged as opposed to thicker eyebrows exuding youthfulness.  Not to mention as I got older, the hairs did not grow back in some spots leaving bald spots. Sigh.

3)  Penciled eyebrows - I used to draw on my eyebrows with a black brow pencil, it made me look too harsh.  I still prefer pencil, but I found a softer brown color and use it only to fill in bald spots rather than drawing in the entire brow.  Eyeshadow powder or brow powder work well too.

4)  Too much eyeliner - those raccoon eyed years in high school were scary!  I cringe whenever I see my old photos.  I was young and loved my black eyeliner a little too much.  I had a heavy hand and laid it on good on the top and bottom of my eyes.  I was liberated when I softened up my eyes when I started college, good move and never again in my life.
Via Google images
5)  Too much powder foundation - I only wore powder foundation in my teens and twenties because I had oilier skin then. I would pile on the powder with a sponge and did not know how to blend it out well.  You can pick up more product on a sponge than with a powder brush.  On top of that, I would powder my face a gazillion times a day until I was Cake face.  Never again!  Now I prefer liquid foundation with powder over the T-zone because this is the only area that gets shiny. This gives me a more natural and polished look.

6)  Too light or dark foundation - I have been matched with foundation that is utterly the wrong color for me.  When I am at the store getting matched with a new foundation, I would do the following:

a) Get matched in three shades closest to my skin tone, then I can compare and tell which shade matches the best to my skin tone.
b) Ask the MUA to put the best matched shade in a big patch closest to the jawline, so I can see it better and it should match closely to the color on my neck.
c) The store lighting is artificial, so I would take a hand held mirror and step outside to inspect the color on my face in natural light. 
d) When in doubt, take some samples home.  Take your time to try them out in natural light until you find the best shade that works for you.

7)  Wearing makeup to bed - There were so many nights I wore makeup to bed without proper cleansing.  This is a big No No.  I did not exfoliate as much back then and had major clogged pores.  My skin became irritated with pimples.  I learned my lessons.

8) Too much concealer under eyes - Using too much concealer will only accentuate the fine lines under the eyes.  I find the more watery formula works best under the eyes, blend it out well and less is always more. 

9)  Sharing makeup with friends - My friends and I used to share our makeup when we were younger.  I love my friends, but sharing makeup is not hygienic.  You can cross contaminate the products without knowing it.  This is not advisable.

10)  Wearing strong perfume in hot weather - I threw in this No No even though it is not makeup, but this is one of my biggest pet peeves.  I did not realize it when I did it, but it can be suffocating and offensive to the people around you.

What are your makeup mistakes?  Until next post......

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Gardening is Good for the Soul and Mind

Hello, When I moved into my house, I inherited many big pots in the yard from the previous home owner.  Lately, I have been toying with the idea of container gardening, so that the pots do not go to the dumps.  The idea is perfect for urban dwellers who do not have yard space for a garden.  Even if you have a yard, the different creative arrangements in the pots can add more interest to the landscape.  I got inspired after visiting the gardens at Filoli House in Woodside, CA a few months ago.  The setting is in the countryside which in itself is beautiful, but the gardens on the property are even more amazing! 

I also found these helpful links on how to plant and design a container garden.  Happy gardening!  Until next post......

Filoli House

The pots add curb appeal

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Burberry Makeup Review - Foundation, Blush, Eyeliner

Hello, I have been eyeing the Burberry Sheer Foundation that has been out on the market for some time now.  Last month I headed to the Burberry Makeup counter at Nordstrom to check it out.  I purchased their lipstick and blush before and they are very good quality products.  The packaging is beautiful with the famous Burberry check and most if not all products are made in Italy.  I knew I was not going to come home empty handed and disappointed.  I ended up purchasing the Sheer Foundation in Trench No. 04, Light Glow Tangerine Blush in No. 06, and Eye Definer in Midnight Blue No.04.

What do I think?

Sheer Foundation

Color - the MUA matched me in shade Trench No. 4.  It is a light neutral shade which is a good match for my light slightly yellow-toned skin.  The foundation color range is for most light to dark medium skin tones
Texture - light, creamy, and it smoothed out my pores
Coverage - Medium and buildable
Finish - Luminous and flawless
Skin type - Normal to Dry
Price - High.  $52 for 1 fl. oz., this is steep!
Lasting Power - 4-5 hours without powder, longer with powder
Repurchase? - Yes

Love the Burberry check on the powder blush and that it came with a brush

Light Glow Blush

Color - Tangerine in No. 06.  The name is deceiving, it is not an orange or coral color. It is a matte pink nude color that looks super natural and gives a hint of flush on light toned skin
Texture - Luxurious, thanks to the finely milled powder
Skin type - Any
Price - High $42
Repurchase?- Maybe.  This is a splurge for me, I think I can find comparable blushes for less

Eye Definer

Color - Midnight Blue No. 04, blue is the new black this fall!  It is a dark navy blue, looks black from a distance
Formula - creamy and smooth, not water resistant, and it smudges easily
Price - High $27
Repurchase ? - No.  I like the color, but I prefer formulas that are longer lasting and water resistant

What do you like in the Burberry Makeup line?  Until next post......

1/20/12 Edit:  For the Sheer Foundation, I have switched to No. 6 which is a truer match to my current skin tone.  No. 4 has become a bit too light for my skin.

Summer Morning Skincare Routine for Glowing Skin

Hello, Let's talk about skincare for the summertime.  As seasons change, we should examine our own skin changes to determine the right products to use.  It is ok to change your skincare when the weather changes, it is the same as changing your wardrobe.  I have been using the products in the picture since the weather became warmer.  This is a morning routine that I find works well  for me, my skin type is dry and sensitive. Like many of you, I do not have much time to fuss around in the morning, these products absorb quickly and they are effective in my opinion.

From left to right in the picture:


Melvita Cleansing Micellar Water - I use this when I have dry patches, it does not strip my skin like a gel cleanser and water would.  I apply to skin with a cotton pad, it wakes up my skin in the morning and leaves it lightly moisturized.  I like this cleansing water a lot because 99.57% of the total ingredients are of natural origin. 

Arcona White Tea Purifying Cleanser - When I get occasional breakouts or if I want my skin to be squeaky clean, this is my go-to cleanser.  It cleanses the skin thoroughly without striping it.  It has many natural antioxidants and enzymes in the ingredients, so it is good for the skin.  Not to mention the smell is simply divine!

Jurlique Purely White Skin Brightening Cleanser- I am not into tanning, I prefer to keep my skin fair and bright looking.  I use this foaming cleanser two to three times a week especially after I have been exposed to the sun.  The Vitamin C is the brightening property in this product.  It leaves my skin with a nice glow after using it. 


Arcona Booster Defense Serum - I prefer serums over moisturizers for daytime because it is lighter in texture and most are hydrating enough for me.  I have only been using this serum for a week and I like it so far.  This is skin food, it gives vitamins and nutrients to the skin and provides light hydration. 


Sofina Beaute (sunscreen) SPF 50+ PA+++ - I feel naked without sunscreen!  I wear sunscreen every single day even in the dead of winter.  This is a Japanese product that I purchased from SOGO department store in Hong Kong.  I have only seen similar Sofina Beaute sunscreens online and not at any retail stores in the US.

Tinted Moisturizer

Becca Lumnious Skin Colour SPF 25+ in Sand or Cashmere - This is my favorite tinted moisturizer for casual days.  It is very sheer and leaves a wash of color on the skin.  I would recommend this for people who have fairly good skin because it has a very light coverage.  It leaves your skin very glowy, I typcially powder over the T-zone area to avoid too much shine a few hours later. 

Hope this helps you and I will post a night skincare routine real soon.  Until next post......

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

10 year-old French Fashion Model

Hello, There has been a lot of buzz lately about the recent French Vogue magazine spread of the 10 year-old French fashion model, Thylane Loubry Blondeau.  Is her Mom pushing her to fame too soon?  Are you outraged by the spread of the provocative adult poses?  Or is it art?

This article is one of the many articles on the topic from SF Gate and until next post......:

If you love Chanel makeup, you need to see this......

Hello, The Chanel Makeup Confidential website was launched in Spring 2011.  It takes you into the world of Chanel's latest makeup trends and products.  You will hear and read about the inspiration and thoughts behind the trends and products from Creative Director of Chanel Makeup, Peter Philips.  And of course, there are video tutorials on makeup application using Chanel makeup we can indulge in.  One of my favorite makeup artists from the UK, Lisa Eldridge demonstrates her skills in makeup application in the Chanel video tutorials.  I also enjoy reading Lisa Eldridge's website and watching her YouTube videos.  Until next post......

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Have you tried Unnata Aerial Yoga?

Hello, Unnata Aerial Yoga is a style of yoga that combines traditional yoga with Aerialist training where you practice poses and meditate on a fabric trapeze, it looks really cool! 

This Youtube video demonstrates some of the Unnata Aerial Yoga poses, I must try....and until next post......

Can Exercise Alter the Course of Aging?

Hello, I found an interesting blog post called "Can Exercise Keep You Young?" from the New York Times website.  A doctor and his team studied how exercise affected two groups of mice in Canada.  One group was put to run on a wheel for 45 minutes three times a week and the other group was well, couch potatoes.

Guess which group became more vibrant, remained youthful looking with dark shiny fur?  Read this article.  Until next post......

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Return of MAC Turquatic on 8/11/11

Hello, MAC Turquatic fragrance was the only fragrance I owned from the MAC fragrance line.  I got tons of compliments from strangers when I wore it (mostly from men to tell you the truth).

I found out in recent months that the fragrance line has been discontinued and my heart dropped.  Then I got the best news from a MUA at MAC in July that MAC Turquatic will be relaunched on 8/11/11.  I am super excited about the re-launch and will report on the fragrance once I get my hands on it.  Until next post......

Via Google images

Sunday, August 7, 2011

I heart butter LONDON nail lacquers

9/2/11 Edit:  Top L to R: Toff,Teddy Girl, Lady Muck Bottom L to R: The Old Bill, Tea with the Queen, Jaffa

Hello, I go through phases in buying beauty products and I am in the nail polish phase now.  Although I like many popular mainstream brands, I much prefer 3-free nail lacquers from brands like butter LONDON.

Here is the scoop on 3-free- it means the nail product has no formaldehyde, no toluene, and no DBP (dibutyl phthalate).  These are known toxic chemicals that are especially harmful to pregnant women.  They can be absorbed through the nails into the bloodstream and harm the fetus.  Why gamble with your health to look pretty, right?  Besides butter London makes the most gorgeous and unique colors, my small collection is shown in the pic above.

Overall, I have tried these babies for over one month now and I highly recommend them.  Why?

1)  The colors are hard to find in other brands, the lacquers come in very unique shades.  I am wearing Toff (top left in the pic), a new purple mauve shade for the fall.  The other fall shades look interesting too, but I did not buy them because I am satisfied with my current collection. 
2)  The color with a top coat lasted longer than one week on my nails, gotta love that:)
3)  They are 3-free which means non-toxic, this is most important to me

They cost $14 each at Nordstrom, but it is worth every penny.  What are some other brands of 3-free nail lacquers you have tried?  Please share and until next post......

Happy Birthday to Fountain of Youth!!!!

Today marks the birth of the Fountain of Youth blog!  I have been so inspired by many beauty and lifestyle blogs that I have been following the last couple of years, so I said to myself why not start my own blog to share my experiences and my opinions.  I hope we can all exchange knowledge about anything, whether it be beauty, health, or life in general....Let's get started......

9/6/11 Edit:  This blog's name has been changed to Rola's Fountain of Youth