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The Best Skin Care Line EVER

Danielle Bisbano - Saturday, April 27, 2013

Can I just say, it has been really hard keeping this a secret!  I found an amazing line of skin care products that I am over the moon about.  Considering that I have been ACTIVELY searching for a truly natural and healthy line that I adore for years, this is a big deal.  I wanted to tell you all about it right away but here’s the deal.  You can’t buy this line in stores.  You have to buy it from a consultant.  It is the ONLY thing I don’t love because I am not a sales kind of gal but the mission of this line is really, really important to me so I had to make a decision.  If this stuff really was as good as it sounded and I knew it would improve the lives of people I care about, I had to at least consider getting involved.  There was no way I could do that unless I was truly ecstatic about the line.  I just can’t fake stuff like that.  I decided to use the line exclusively for one month to see how I liked it.  I had tried it for a few days and loved it but for me, that was not enough time to really know.  Thanks to a generous return policy, I felt comfortable taking a leap of faith.

Needless to say, I am never going back.  Let me tell you a little bit about this amazing skin care line, Beautycounter.  Beautycounter just launched on March 1, 2013.  The mission of this company is simple.  They state it best: “We educate families about the need for safer chemicals and products, and work to bring about much needed change to the beauty industry—and to our lives.”  This really resonates with me and it is what I have been trying to educate people about for a while now.  The chemicals we are taking into our bodies through our skin are a big deal.  They affect us, they hinder our health and they contribute to disease.  There are plenty of natural, more often allegedly natural lines out there but guess what?  They don’t really work.  Sorry, I am picky! 

This company came into my life in an unexpected way and I am so glad.  I am completely confident about the safety and effectiveness of these products and that conviction helped me overcome that pesky little obstacle of how to get it to my friends and family.  How can I not tell you all about it?  You are using products every day to cleanse, moisturize and treat your skin, hair and body.  You are buying these products anyway.  I am just here to help you make a better, safer choice for yourself, your family and everyone else you care about.

I can’t stress this enough; these decisions matter and they add up.  By taking control of the choices you make every day, you are helping to give your body a fighting chance in this toxin-filled world we live in.  The fact that these products make you look like a million bucks doesn’t hurt, either.

So, I will be reviewing the products one by one and posting articles so you can learn more about them.  I have a set of the entire line for my local friends who want to borrow it to try it out for a few days.  Prepare to get really, really spoiled.

In the meantime, if you want to learn more about the line, the mission, and the products, you can go to my Beautycounter website: www.healthyskin.beautycounter.com

You can order anything right from that site.  There is a Mother’s Day special on the brand new Glow Sugar Scrub and Lustro Body Oil until May 12. 

So, welcome to Beautycounter.  I am so excited to be able to introduce you to this line.  You are absolutely going to love it and I am going to say “I told you so!”

The Real Girl

 

Skindinavia Makeup Finishing Spray

Danielle Bisbano - Friday, March 15, 2013

 The claim? “Your makeup will last twice as long”. The truth? Um, yes, yes it will.

Skindinavia is not a new product. I originally purchased it solely for my kit because, naturally, I want every makeup application I do to stay on and look fresh for as long as possible. As I do with all my products, I tried it on myself first. Wow. Just wow. This stuff is amazing. To have my makeup look as fresh at the end of the day as it did in the beginning makes me one happy girl.

So you all know I’m a little nutty about natural products, right? You should also know that, rather than be a ginormous hypocrite, I have told you that you DO have to pick your battles. Some products you just kinda can’t be without. This is one of them. On the Skin Deep database it’s a 5, right in the middle. I can live with that. This product, though, I just cannot live without.

It comes in several different formulas; the original formula, one for oily skin, and a bridal formula. At $29 for a 4 oz. bottle or $39 for an 8 oz. bottle, they are a little pricey but well worth it. They give you more bank for your buck from the makeup you already bought and they make you feel like a million bucks for much longer and, admit it, can you really put a price tag on that?

Makeup Guide for the Stylish Bride

Danielle Bisbano - Tuesday, February 19, 2013

You have dreamed about this day since you were a little girl. You have spent months preparing and planning, making sure of every last detail. The truth is, your wedding day goes by in the blink of an eye. It is your photos that will last forever. Here are some tips to make sure that your makeup and hair look perfect on your special day and stand the test of time for years to come.

As with all the other facets of your wedding day, no doubt your budget is a factor here, too. If you are comfortable applying your own makeup, feel that you do a good job with it and have plenty of it, you may wish to do it yourself. On the other hand, if you never wear makeup and don’t own any but you want to wear it for your wedding, doing it yourself is not the best way to go. By the time you buy everything you are going to need, you’ll spend more than it would cost to have it done professionally. Hiring a makeup artist also allows you to relax and be pampered on your special day and, really, don’t you deserve that?

Even when hiring a professional, there are some considerations to keep in mind. First, how do you find one? Referrals and recommendations are your best bet. Friends or family who had a good experience with someone or an acquaintance in the beauty industry who recommends someone are both great places to start. You will want to see pictures of their work first and always be sure to do a trial run. The trial run is where you decide on your wedding look so you can see exactly what it will be like BEFORE the big day. It is also where you get to evaluate your makeup artist and decide if this is the person that you want to work with. My trial run resulted in me doing my own makeup for my wedding. Needless to say, I am really glad I did a trial!

When it comes to deciding on a makeup look for your wedding day, it is probably better to avoid being trendy. Emerald green metallic cat-eye makeup could be the hottest thing for the season but a year from now you can be sure it won’t be. A classic look, however, is timeless and always appropriate. When it comes to colors, chose what looks best on you as opposed to trying to match your bridesmaids’ dresses or flowers. Nobody has to match each other; the only “rule” is that everyone’s makeup should be similar in intensity and nobody’s makeup should be so intense that it strongly overpowers the bride. Be sure that you have a well-defined lip and eyes for your photos. False lashes really make a huge difference in pictures so definitely consider them. They are not easy to put on yourself so this is a case where it would be wise to have your makeup artist do them for you.

Chances are you are going to want to look extra special on your wedding day but you still want to feel like yourself. If you are completely uncomfortable with how you look it will show. However, do you really want to look the way you do every day? No! So embrace your inner princess and get ready for the camera.

(As published in Bride’s Choice Magazine 2013 issue. Get your free copy here)

*photo credit St. Pierre Photography; hair by Liz Dufault

Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Blush

Danielle Bisbano - Sunday, February 17, 2013

I must confess, my supply of cream blushes was sorely lacking. For those of you who have seen the size of my kit, this may seem a tad hard to believe. Sure I have the Make Up For Ever Flash Palette and technically I can create any little thing I want in the whole wide world of makeup but I just don’t always have the patience, or the time.

There are a gazillion cream blushes out there and there are probably lots of them that are great. Because I get to enjoy some deep discounts as a professional, I tend to order just about everything I purchase. I don’t always have the luxury of trying out products first so I do A LOT of my homework online and this product has gotten some rave reviews. I like to know what real people think about products and reviews are invaluable for that.

The Make Up For Ever line is great. I have tried several of their products and been very happy with them. I ordered two shades of this blush; Mistaken Identity (11) which they describe as a warm brown and PDA (8) which they describe as a light rosewood. The one shown above is PDA which, in person, actually has a touch more brown than the picture shows. I would have taken a picture of both but I already loaned one to my friend. I just can’t resist sharing because I really like this blush and I’ll tell you why.

First of all, you cannot beat the packaging for the whole hygienic factor. For your personal use, a typical cream blush is fine. For me, using a typical cream blush on a client is a pain. I have to scoop out what I need and get the product “flat” so it can be applied evenly. I seem to always scoop out too much so I waste a lot. Having a pump is brilliant! You only need a very small amount. Repeat: VERY small amount and the pump will allow you to dispense exactly the amount you need. That’s huge! Have you noticed how many pumps don’t let you do that? At $26 a pop, it is not cheap BUT with the amount you use, it is going to last you a loooooong time.

Okay, now onto the blush itself. It goes on smoothly and evenly and lasts ALL DAY. I love the two shades I purchased and I cannot wait to get more of them. The finish is just perfect. It’s sheer and fresh without being too shiny, sticky or wet. It goes over foundation perfectly without dragging or drying out too fast. You can easily apply and blend it with your fingertips (I like using my ring finger and pinkie) or you can use a brush. Here is a link to the product page on Sephora if you want to check out the shades and application tips. MUA friends that are eligible for a professional discount can get it at Nigel Beauty Emporium for 40% off with their Pro Card. Happy shopping!

My new favorite lipstick (and her friends)

Danielle Bisbano - Sunday, February 10, 2013

So, yeah, I’m in Rhode Island so I’m one of those people that got completely snowed in this weekend. Thankfully, we never lost power so I have actually been loving every minute of it. Playing with makeup ranks among my absolute favorite things to do. Surprised? I didn’t think so. Being housebound for three days ensures that I can actually justify a few hours of play time. Woo hoo!

I recently scored some awesome Make Up For Ever lipstick palettes at 50% off because they are being discontinued. I initially ordered one of them and liked it so much I scooped up another three before it was too late. Like a good girl, I do my due diligence and try out every single color before I put it in my kit. Yesterday was a perfect day for such a venture and, twenty lipstick shades later, I know exactly how each one wears and applies and I am psyched that I just built up my kit with some quality items at a great price.

Here is my conundrum: I fell in love with one of the shades. What’s so conundrum-ish about that? Well, this perfect lipstick is now discontinued.

Truth be told, I haven’t found a shade that I like for myself THIS MUCH since I was 15 and fell in love with a color called Partly Peach from the long extinct Jane line. It’s a little scary that I still remember this in such detail; my makeup obsession runs deep! It was a CVS special and cost probably three dollars but I loved it. It’s long gone now and, had I known it would be gone forever, I would have saved that scraped out tube to bring to a makeup counter so at least I could have a chance at finding a suitable replacement.

I shall not, however, suffer the same fate this time! Thanks to the wonders of the Internet, I was able to figure out what this shade actually is and find some full tube leftovers on Amazon. Yeah, baby!

Nigel Beauty Emporium has these palettes for $20 each right now but they are running out. You will have to call to order them because they are not listed on their web site. If you want to check out the shades you can go to the Make Up For Ever product page but you can’t actually buy it there. You could probably do some careful Googling and track some down on Amazon or somewhere else. Try Googling “make up for ever lipstick palette”. They are a great purchase because you really get a good variety of shades and finishes in every palette. There are creamy, full-color shades along with sheer, shimmery shades and they all blend really well with each other if you want to mix them up yourself. The already dug into palette above (hehe) is number 5, Praline Harmony.

Okay, I am signing off for now. I have an Amazon order to get in ;-)

CNN Headline News interview with NuRoo!

Danielle Bisbano - Monday, January 07, 2013

 

I had a wonderful opportunity to work with some really awesome women today.  Hope and Daniela are two Rhode Islanders who have launched an innovative new product, the NuRoo Pocket, which provides a convenient way for moms to provide beneficial skin-to-skin contact with their little ones.  The concept is fascinating to me and you bet there is a boatload of research to back up the benefits to both mom and baby.  You can read more about this amazing product on their website. 

Hope and Daniela were interviewed tonight by Vinny Polito from CNN Headline News.  I had the privilege of doing their makeup for the interview.  This is a picture from right before they went live (in front of all of those bright lights!).  You can see the actual interview here.

I hope you will check out their site and look for the NuRoo Pocket at Babies’R’Us; online in January 2013 and in stores in February 2013.  And the next time you need a baby shower gift, skip the onesies and get a gift that will actually improve the health of mom and baby while supporting small business at the same time.  It’s a no-brainer!

Hope and Daniela were a joy to work with and I am so grateful for the many ways that my makeup kit brings me into the lives and dreams of so many people and at such important moments in their lives.  Wishing NuRoo all the success in the world!

The Real Girl

My Favorite Kitchen Cupboard Cleanser

Danielle Bisbano - Saturday, January 05, 2013

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There’s a general rule of thumb out there as far as natural skin care products go.  Basically, if you can’t eat it, don’t use it.  I’m really passionate about natural products but, man, that’s not an easy one to follow!  Even with natural product lines (and especially the wannabe natural lines), you are still dealing with long ingredient labels that can make you dizzy in no time.  Deciphering the English from the Latin and trying to figure out if “naturally derived” means anything natural at all, it’s easy to get lazy and give up. 

I’m a firm believer in balance and doing the best you can when you can.  Makeup is my thing.  You can’t eat it.  I’m over it.  Facial cleansers, though, are a nice little niche that you can be really good with and not be sacrificing quality.  There are so many foods that double as skin loving powerhouses that you just have no excuse for not at least giving them a try.  As an added bonus, they are super cheap to make and you may even have the ingredients in your cupboard already!

I want to share with you a recipe that I have been using for a while now.  I am so happy with it and have seen a significant benefit to my own skin.  You know I’m not going to tell you to do something unless I know it’s awesome, right?  You’re going to love this.  Here are the ingredients:

½ cup organic rolled oats

1 tbsp. organic raw honey

1 tbsp. organic liquid aloe vera (not gel)

2 tbsp. organic rosewater

 

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Grind the oats in a coffee grinder or food processor until you have a fine powder.  Simply add the rest of the ingredients to your oatmeal powder and mix well.  I store mine in a small glass jar.  It’s that easy.

The texture of the cleanser is slightly gritty and a little sticky.  If you wear makeup, you are going to want to use a makeup remover or wipe first to remove the makeup.  Simply apply the cleanser and gently massage in.  The texture of it is mildly exfoliating.  You can even leave it on for a few minutes as a mask.  Be careful when using it near your hairline.  It is easy to get the oatmeal in your hair and it doesn’t look so pretty.  If you are using it in the shower or before bed, you don’t need to worry. When you rinse it off, your skin is soft and smooth.

What makes it great is all about the ingredients:

Oatmeal – mildly exfoliating, softening, cleansing, soothing

Raw honey – antibacterial, antimicrobial, soothing, healing, vitamin and mineral-rich

Aloe vera – soothing, healing, antibacterial, calming

Rosewater – mildly antiseptic, nourishing, hydrating, calming

 

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Scanning through the benefits of these ingredients you can conclude that this cleanser is especially effective for skin challenges such as acne, rosacea and eczema.  I love it because it works. So get in that kitchen and whip some up!  If you get hungry, just have a bite ;-)

New Burt's Bees lip gloss review

Danielle Bisbano - Thursday, January 03, 2013

It’s quite possible that the only thing I need LESS than a new lip gloss is a new Burt’s Bees lip gloss. Heck, I have all the tinted lip balms and all the lip shimmers and I love them but, technically, this is their first lip gloss with a wand. You know I just had to try it. I selected Summer Twilight for the shade. It is a beautiful warm berry-red with a subtle gold shimmer. Really pretty. I tend to choose gloss colors that are a little darker than I typically wear; the shades I am too chicken to wear in a lipstick. I love red but I rarely make it though the day with my red lipstick on. Sometimes I don’t even make it past my driveway! Glosses are more my speed. Now you know why I just can’t resist buying them.

What I love about it: First and foremost, it is natural. This is so important. It wears no better or worse than other “normal” lip glosses. They rarely stay on for very long and it is the price you pay for lip gloss, especially the natural ones. It’s not super sticky, which I like. I really love the shade and it stays true to color on the skin. I also like that there is a textured pattern on the cap of the wand. For those of you who (like me!) blindly fish though your bag looking for an item, a little texture goes a long way. It’s the small victories!

What I don’t like: There is really not much that I don’t like about this product. My only complaint is that one plunge of the wand does not yield enough product to cover your lips; at least not mine. For me, it is two to three plunges per application and that’s just for a nice, even coat. I would rather get more on the wand the first time and then I can adjust it from there. Other than that, I have no complaints at all!

The tube was $8.99 at CVS and resisting the urge to by more starts … NOW!

The Real Girl

My new favorite makeup brush

Danielle Bisbano - Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Quality makeup brushes aren’t cheap. The cost of one brush can range from just a few dollars to as much as $200 or more. As with pretty much anything in this world, you get what you pay for. Thankfully, there is another almost universal truth at play here. If you’re smart about it, you can find great quality brushes for a lot less money. You just have to know where to look.

There was a specific makeup brush mentioned in a makeup newsletter that I subscribe to; the MAC #239 brush. I loved the size and shape of the brush so I thought it would be worth checking out. One Google search later it is clear this particular brush is a fan favorite. But I already have way more brushes than I really need. Could I really justify spending $25 on this one? But I want it. What else is new? Now I’m motivated to try to find a deal. Could there be a doppelganger out there somewhere? Did someone already find it?

Sure enough, somebody did, and you can’t get it at Sephora or Ulta or any makeup store for that matter. This brush is only sold at art and craft stores (or Amazon!) A craft store paint brush that rivals the MAC #239, at a fraction of the price? I’m already sold. I was on my way to the store in less than ten minutes; 40 minutes later walking out with my latest acquisition, and only $2.63 poorer (I had a coupon!).

I don’t remember where I first heard the idea of getting makeup brushes at art stores, I’m just glad that I did. I had never even considered it but when I heard it, it seemed so obvious. To be fair, I must confess that not only do I not own the MAC #239, I have never even used it. Therefore, I cannot actually claim to compare the two. Guess what? Who cares! This brush is awesome.

The Real Girl

This one is for the boys

Danielle Bisbano - Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Okay, let’s be honest. I think it is fair to say that, as a general rule, most women are more “into” bath products than men. To me, a bottle of body wash or a bar of soap is a bit of a commitment. This thing, with its scent and suds, is going to be a part of my life every morning for weeks or even months. I want to really like it. However, my first priority for bath products is always how “clean” they are. No, I’m not talking about how they suds up or how much they smell like dew or rain or valleys or whatever else. I am talking about the chemical load. Your bath or shower is no time to be dousing your open pores with junk. Choose carefully. Please.

That being said, maybe your man doesn’t really want to smell like lavender or roses or patchouli and, really, who can blame him. Hey, maybe you don’t either. Or maybe you’re just not willing or able to pony up the big bucks for a bar of soap; those fancy soaps can be pretty pricey! So what is a tree-hugging, budget-conscious, family-loving woman to do?
Enter Verve soap. Let me start off by saying that I can’t remember the last time I bought a bar of “regular” soap so when I saw a display at Whole Foods with a multi-bar pack of soap that looked so very…regular…I was intrigued to say the least. I checked the ingredient list for the typical offenders and found none. I decided to try it and went with the scented one. Guess what? It smells just like those other soaps but without the nasty ingredients. I’ve even bypassed my fancy, girly scented body wash a few times in favor of some old school, no frills, good ol’ fashioned soap.

So if you are looking to start incorporating some more body friendly products into your daily routine, this could be a great place to start. It’s not AS natural as some of the other soaps out there but it is much more reasonably priced. We all have budgets and we have to pick our battles. When it comes to reducing the number of chemicals you put on your body, every little bit helps!

The Real Girl

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