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Visit to Dermalogica Academy

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Dermalogica Academy in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood is best described as the lovechild that would result if your favorite spa mated with an Apple store. The minimal glass and chrome decor is an echo of Dermalogica’s line of skincare products– cleanly packaged and free from any fluff, it’s just straightforward and full of the finest ingredients. I had long been curious to try Dermalogica’s brand of products, and when a friend recently came into town for a visit I figured it was the perfect occasion to book facials at the Academy and see what their products were all about.

Dermalogica Academy trains Professional Skin Therapists, covering coursework that sounds straight out of a Pre-Med program. Topics include Bacteriology, Chemistry, and Superfluous Hair (okay, maybe the MD’s don’t take that one).  Our visit to Dermalogica Academy included a 60-minute customized skin treatment carried out by one of the Skin Therapists in training (and closely supervised by their instructors), which featured an individualized routine of cleansing, exfoliation, masks, toners, and extractions. Every procedure begins with a face mapping skin analysis covering all 14 zones of the face (yeah, I had no idea the face was so complicated either), noting whether each zone contains breakouts, dehydration, hyperpigmentation, fine lines, sensitivity, and a host of other skincare concerns.

After the face mapping the fun really began. First any makeup was removed and our face, ears, and neck (all 14 zones, remember?) were cleansed and lightly exfoliated. Since my friend and I have different skin types we were treated to entirely customized treatments from this point forward. She received a hydrating and firming mask that was vaguely reminiscent of the facial prosthetics from Mrs. Doubtfire. (Kudos to her for not suffocating!) I was treated to an extensive round of pore extraction followed by a mask of colloidal oatmeal plus a round of small electric pulses (read: shocks)  intended to kill bacteria and diminish breakouts. As you can tell, this isn’t your typical tranquil day at the spa– a trip to Dermalogica Academy definitely puts the “medi” in medi-spa, feeling more like a visit (albeit a relaxing one) to a high-end dermatologists office.

Overall we left our treatments feeling refreshed, with a good sense of what our skin needed to be its healthiest and look its best. (My list includes more moisture, less fragrance, and a break from my beloved Clarisonic every now and then.) Finally we stopped by the Skin Bar to discuss some Dermalogica products that would be suited to our needs. I went home with the UltraCalming Cleanser and Daily Microfoliant, and samples of the Clean Start Emergency Spot Fix, Precleanse oil, Pure Light SPF 30 day cream, and Pure Night night cream. I’m still working through the samples and forming my opinions, so look for reviews soon to come. So far I can say that I am absolutely loving the UltraCalming cleanser and just may purchase a full size once my travel sized bottle runs out.

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I loved my experience at Dermalogica Academy and have been incorporating many of the tips and techniques recommended by my Skin Therapist into my daily routine. I’m excited to visit again and keep testing out their products as well. Have you tried anything from the Dermalogica line? Leave a comment if you have any recommendations that I should try next. And if you’re ever in New York City and your skin needs a little pick me up, head over to Dermalogica Academy- stat!

-LMC ♥

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Gala’s Gems by Gala Gonzalez for Color Club

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I recently had the pleasure of attending  the launch party for blogger Gala Gonzalez’s new nail polish collection with Color Club, Gala’s Gems. Gala, a Spaniard now living in the UK, writes Amlul, a blog chronicling her personal fashion, style, and international travel. Aside from spending her days as a model, blogger, fashionista, and jet setter, Gala can now add nail polish creator to her impressive resume.

Gala's Gems (starting top left, clockwise): Heirloom Pearls, Breakfast At..., Aquamarine Azulino, Gold Struck

Gala’s Gems (starting top left, clockwise): Heirloom Pearls, Breakfast At…, Aquamarine Azulino, Gold Struck

Gala’s collection features a gorgeous set of four spring pastels with a shimmery pearlescent finish. At the launch event hosted by Birchbox at Manhattan’s Mondrian Hotel a variety of beauty and lifestyle bloggers were treated to manicures in our shade of choice from Gala’s collection, as well as some much needed hot cocoa. (Did I mention this event took place mid-blizzard?!) The night ended with a Q&A between Gala and Birchbox cofounder Katia Beauchamp, giving the attendees an intimate opportunity to ask Gala about the collection and her career as a successful blogger. Not only was Gala beautiful and poised throughout the evening, but she also had us rolling with laughter at some of her remarks!

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To end an extremely fun evening each of us was sent home with mini versions of Gala’s Gems, as well as a Birchbox containing a few additional goodies. Overall I think these polishes are beautiful and right on trend for spring. I was impressed at their coverage with just one coat, but was disappointed to see huge sections of polish peeling off the next day. Other bloggers in attendance had a similar experience, so I’ll guess it was due to the lack of top/base coat used on our manis at the launch event. Once I give Gala’s Gems a test run at home with my personal favorite top and base coats I’ll report back on their true staying power. I have to give a huge thanks to Birchbox, Gala Gonzalez, Color Club, and the Mondrian Hotel for such a lovely event, even despite the frightful weather! Look for Gala’s Gems to launch soon on www.shopcolorclub.com.

-LMC ♥

New at the Drugstore: Wet ‘n Wild, Maybelline, Rimmel, & NYC

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New and limited edition Spring 2014 products have already begun to hit the drugstore shelves, so I’m here with a roundup of a few of the new products I’ve purchased over the past week. As I sit writing this and looking out the window at another grey, snow-filled sky, all I can think about is how completely ready I am for spring to finally arrive. While the weather certainly isn’t cooperating, these bright fresh makeup items are at least a reminder that spring is on the way– we’re going to make it!

Wet ‘n Wild Megalast nail color in Candid Affair (34360) and Sophisticated Lady (34359) – I think Spring ’14 is going to be all about shimmery pastel nails, so WnW is spot on with these  shades. There are six total limited edition Megalast shades in this collection which I spotted at Harmon’s, but should also be showing up at Walgreens, CVS, and Rite Aid soon. It’s no secret that the Megalast formula is one of my favorites, and these two shades are no exception. Candid Affair is a pale shimmery lilac, while Sophisticated Lady is a frosty rose gold.

Wet 'n Wild Megalast polish in Candid Affair (left) and Sophisticated Lady (left).

Wet ‘n Wild Megalast polish in Candid Affair (left) and Sophisticated Lady (right).

Maybelline Master Glaze Blush in Barely Pink – This shimmery peachy pink blush stick is part of Maybelline’s limited edition Dare To Go Nude collection that recently hit drugstores as well. Thought to be a potential dupe for the NARS Orgasm Multiple, this cream blush is a dream to apply, but is slightly lacking in pigmentation, even on my fair skin. For darker skin tones I’d say this would be a beautiful cream highlighter, and for me I think I’ll need to play around a bit more with the level of intensity I can build up. While it’s no NARS dupe, it is a great cream blush formula that has me wanting to check out some of the permanent collection shades.

Maybelline Master Glaze Blush in Barely Pink

Maybelline Master Glaze Blush in Barely Pink

Maybelline Master Glaze Blush in Barely Pink

Maybelline Master Glaze Blush in Barely Pink

Maybelline Master Glaze Blush in Barely Pink swatched

Maybelline Master Glaze Blush in Barely Pink swatched heavily on the right and blended out on the left.

Rimmel London Scandaleyes Eyeshadow Paint in Chestnut Taupe (007) – Ever since reading rave reviews about the Rimmel Scandaleyes Eyeshadow Paints from British beauty bloggers I’ve been dying for them to make an appearance in the USA. Good news is the wait is finally over and these definitely live up to their reputation! If you’re a fan of the Maybelline Color Tattoos the Rimmel Paints will be right up your alley, as they have the same excellent versatility (worn opaque or sheer, as a shadow, base, or liner). Chestnut Taupe can be worn intensely for a beautiful metallic look or blended out with a fluffy brush for a more natural wash of color.

Rimmel Scandaleyes Eyeshadow Paint in Chestnut Taupe 007

Rimmel Scandaleyes Eyeshadow Paint in Chestnut Taupe 007

Chestnut Taupe swatched heavily (right) and blended out (left).

Chestnut Taupe swatched heavily (right) and blended out (left).

Wet ‘n Wild Megaslicks Balm Stain in Nudist Colony (129) – I’ve already shared my love for the WnW Balm Stains (here) so I decided to add another color to my collection. I was on the hunt for Rico Mauve, but when it was sold out decided to give Nudist Colony a try. I typically stear clear of nude shades as it’s hard to find one that suits my complexion, but I figured there wasn’t much to lose here as these balm stains retail for just over $2. I’m still not convinced that the brownish orange Nudist Colony is the right shade for me, but the next time I’m feeling like my look should include a nude lip I will definitely give it a go.

Wet 'n Wild Megaslicks Balm Stain in Nudist Colony 129

Wet ‘n Wild Megaslicks Balm Stain in Nudist Colony 129

NYC City Proof Twistable Intense Lip Color in Riverside Rose (020) – As you can tell I can’t say no to a chubby lip crayon, so when a new NYC display popped up at my local CVS I picked up Riverside Rose to give it a test. Truth be told it’s a lovely pinky mauve that is a perfect My Lips But Better shade on me; however, I absolutely cannot get past its terrible fragrance. I’m not normally one bothered by fragrance in cosmetics, but the cheap, sweet, fruity scent of these NYC lip crayons are too much for me to handle. Definitely try these at your own risk, especially if you’re sensitive to strong scents in your makeup!

NYC City Proof Twistable Intense Lip Color in Riverside Rose 020

NYC City Proof Twistable Intense Lip Color in Riverside Rose 020

Wet 'n Wild Megaslicks Balm Stain in Nudist Colony (left) and NYC City Proof Twistable Intense Lip Color in Riverside Rose (right)

Wet ‘n Wild Megaslicks Balm Stain in Nudist Colony (left) and NYC City Proof Twistable Intense Lip Color in Riverside Rose (right)

Well there you have the newest additions to my drugstore makeup stash. So far I’m loving the Spring ’14 new releases and can’t wait to get my hands on the limited edition Maybelline Color Tattoos or the new Rimmel chubby lip pencils too. Let’s hope that rocking some of these fun spring shades will encourage the weather to get the hint!

Have a great weekend,

-LMC ♥