Saturday, October 31, 2009

Sugar Rush! oh, I mean, Happy Halloween!



Happy Halloween ghouls and goblins! Are you in the Halloween spirit today or do you not feel the spookiness until the sun goes down? Either way, today is a day to honor the seasons changing and to remember the dead among us. However you decide to celebrate the Witch's New Year, sugar is usually involved. I took this recipe from fellow blogger "The Recipe Girl" because it's simple, creative, and a perfect way to get rid of any candy and treats that you'll have left over after tonight. Personally, I would use dark or milk chocolate instead of white, but other than that, you can throw anything you're craving into this...So be safe tonight and maybe this year try to remember what this holiday is based upon, because it's so easy to get caught up in the festivities and we forget the rich history of today!


Candy Corn Cookie Bark
Makes 2 dozen pieces

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup Oreos broken into bits
1 cup Pretzels broken into bits
1 cup Candy Corn
Other candy like Resses, Butterfinger, M&M's, etc
1 pound Melting Chocolate (white or milk)
1 tsp shortening
Sprinkles



Step one- lay ingredients on cookie sheet or baking pan over parchment paper:



Step Two- Melt chocolate pieces and shortening (about 1 1/2 min) until they're liquid (keep stirring and microwave an extra 30 sec until smooth) and pour over bits of treats. Add any extra candy on top for crunch:





Step Three- Place in refrigerator or freezer until firm. Break into pieces with sharp knife and serve!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Cookie Review!


What's better than something tasting delicious and actually being really good for you? It's a rare combination, but when somebody gets it right...it's a keeper! I've been searching for a healthy snack to keep on hand at The Beauty Loft that customers would enjoy eating with their complimentary Caudalie Tea, and also something that they would consider buying. I had heard great things about the Goji Gourmet, the creators of all natural Goji cookies. The cookies are all natural, preserative free, high in antioxidants, hand made, have no refined sugars, and really do taste yummy. The flavors available are: Goji Almond Oat, Goji Cherry Cacao, Goji Ginger Walnut, and Goji Orange Mint Chip. All of the petite cookies are jam packed with organic goji berries (which we should all be familiar with by now. If you know anything about antioxidants, they are pretty much the smallest and most delicious cancer and free radical fighting berry around.)

After trying all of the flavors last week, (Goji Almond Oat is definitely my favorite, the spicy Goji Ginger Walnut coming in second) I could easily see myself becoming addicted to these as a great mid afternoon sugar free snack to curn even more dangerous cravings.

If these cookies are something that you would like to see at The Beauty Loft and something that you would like to add to your beautiful skin diet...send us an email or leave us a comment. Yum!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I hate to say it but...duh


It's always more than a little frustraing to me when I read about things that are so completely obvious that it's almost silly. But then I realize (or better yet, somebody nevee hesistates to tell me) that I am stuck inside of this gorgeous, pink, candy scented, beauty product filled bubble with an unpenetratable shell. What seems obvious to me within the beauty industry is actually sometimes news for the rest of the world. Such is the case with Faye Brookman's article in WWD this week entitled "Baby Beauty Products Appear Popular Among Adults."




For three years I've been selling baby care line Mustela at The Beauty Loft, and for about that same amount of time, we have been using the Mustela Baby Wipes For Face as makeup remover. Our philosophy is this; if it's gentle enough for your baby/newborn, then it's sure gentle enough for even the most sensitive customer, whatever the age. According to WWD, 40% of adults (both men and women) currently use baby products on themselves.

WWD also makes a point in the article that I disagree with; they state that one of the main reasons why consumers are purchasing baby items is because of the cost.

"I think consumers continue to be careful with their spending. The Johnson’s/Harris Poll showed that 71 percent of adults indicated they would be more likely to use baby products if they were less expensive than the adult equivalent,” she said.

In my experience, customers are not buying the baby items because of the cost. They are buying them because they are extra gentle, or they got hooked after using them on their own children. According to the cheaper price logic, my customer who buys the Mustela Baby Wipes is buying them because they are under $10. Totally untrue. For less than that, they can go to their local drugstore and buy Neutrogena or Almay Makeup Remover Wipes, but it's a conscious choice that they are making. I think a more interesting choice for an article would be why after a product is geared for a certain age, we start adding harmful chemicals. At what age does a company dedide...ok, it's time? Ok, I'm off my soapbox now!


Keep checking back because in the next couple of days I will be reviewing some fantastic, new, organic products!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Last Day Sarah Horowitz Perfume Experiment


Hello again dear readers! I hope everybody had a fantastic weekend! I've decided that I want to include the last three Sarah Horowitz fragrances in one single post, wrapping up our fragrance experiment this afternoon (I've got a great surprise for our next test brand!) I've had such a great time experimenting with these scents, testing how they've made me feel, how their notes affected my mood and my day in general. It's so refreshing to come across a quality fragrance line with scents that are original and authentic smelling. They're for women who don't feel that connection with the naked supermodel spokeswoman who is the norm for perfume these days. They're for the woman who wants to layer her perfume without having to be a scientist, just because she wants to smell unique and memorable. So down to business....

Today I am sniffing out the Sarah Horowitz Perfumers Palette fragrances. The fun thing about this part of the line is that it creates the opportunity for you to make your dream concoction! The three sections of this collection are pretty basic: "Top Notes," "Middle Notes," and "Base Notes." You are free to choose any combination of you choice to create a one of a kind scent that only you know about. I will be testing three "Base Notes," which is truly the foundation of any scent. Here is how Sarah Horowitz explains a base note; "It is where the riches, deepest ingredients are found, anchoring the rest of your scent to your skin. Consisting mostly of Woods, Resins, and Roots, these scents will ground your fragrance and create warmth and depth for your perfume."

The base notes by Sarah consist of: Amber, Clean Musk, Sandalwood, Soft Musk, and Vanilla. Today I will be testing Soft Musk, Clean Musk, and Vanilla.

I was fascinated with the idea of Clean Musk, because it truly a contrasting base in my opinion. To me, a musk is a warm, sweet, smoky scent, the exact opposite of something fresh. After trying Clean Musk, I can attest that it is exactly that: a clean version of musk. Picture fresh out of the dryer sheets with an undertone of musk rolled into the center. It's something that can be worn alone, but I would most likely pair it with Fig Middle Note to play off of the earthy, fresh contrast of the musk.

Next I tried Soft Musk, which is a very soft, very subtle fragrance. It smells clean and feminine, something I would wear during the day. By itself, it's very subtle, almost too subtle for my taste...which makes it the ideal Base Note. Base Notes are meant to be built upon, and with Soft Musk, I would layer a crisp Honeysuckle Middle Note, or a Lychee Top Note to add an exotic, fruity feeling. I like that Soft Musk is so compatiable with other scents, it could easily be a fresh floral, a warm sensual vanilla, or something a little more exotic.

The last Base Note that I tested was Vanilla. I love everything vanilla, if it's done right. Too many times, vanilla is turned into an artifical birthday-cake scent, making its wearer and friends dizzy and sick. A great vanilla shouldn't be sickly sweet, it should have a sensual base that is creamy and inviting. Sarah's Vanilla Base Note is the ideal vanilla to me. It is sweet without being suagr cookie sweet, it is sensual without being too warm, and it has a hint on coconut on my skin, which leaves me craving the beach. I will have a really hard time layering anything else on top of this base, because it is so perfect on its own, although I know that Gardenia Middle Note make a perfect pairing. If you were feeling more up for an energizing fragrance, I would mix Vanilla Base with Blood Orange Top Note. It would be the best of both words; zingy citrus and mellow vanilla all rolled into one. Overall, these base notes are a great start for anyone who has an interest in creating his or her own fragrance collection.

I have had a fantastic time experiementing with these fragrances this week! I have learned a lot of notes, and even moe about what scents I like and could grow to like. Just remember that the most important thing about a fragrance is how it is affected by your body chemistry. Things that smell fantastic on a cardboard scent strip or even a friend will most likely smell completely different on you...and that's ok. Just go with your instinct and wear something that fits your personality as much as it does your lifestyle.

Thank you to Sarah Horowitz and staff for supplying us with testers of your scents!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

And on the last two days...she rested...

Just a quick note to anybody following the Perfume Experiment...I will resume posts on Tuesday. As anybody who wants beautiful skin and peace of mind knows, rest is of the highest importance. So enjoy the rest of your weekend and look for new posts on Tuesday! XOXO

Day Four Sarah Horowitz Perfume Experiment


Is anyone else counting the days until Halloween? Even though I don't plan on dressing up or even trick o' treating, I am waiting waiting waiting! Why? Well two reasons, the first is that I love the Witches New Year! It's so eerie and festive and silly, and such a staple of my year that it's sometimes hard for me to believe that there are families who don't even celebrate it. The second reason is because Halloween candy goes on MAJOR sale the day after Halloween! Everything from candy corn, tootsie pops, dots, sour patch kids, and not just little bags either...but like the 5 pound bags! Now don't think i'm a closet candy eater or anything...I love to have fresh candy around The Beauty Loft. Candy is friendly, colorful, and tastes and smells delicious...and speaking of smelling delilcous...I come to you with today's newest fragrance in the fragrance experiment: Sarah Horowitz Perfect Nectar from the "Perfect Collection."

It's not a coincidence that somebody who loves candy as much as I do also loves very sweet scents. I almost always gravitate towards scents with top notes of cotton candy, burnt sugar, vanilla, jasmine, and light, sweet florals. The interesting thing about my tastes, however, is that I have never especially like fruity scents. I do like fruit, I like to eat it and cook with it, but I don't like to smell of it (there is only one exception, and that is Fresh Fig Apricot fragrance, but it smells more sweet than fruity in my opinion.) So I had to have an open mind today when I tested the Perfect Nectar, a scent more fruit and exotic than the islands themselves.

When I first applied the fragrance, I smelled the ripe, fruity notes right away. I smelled peach and orange, and maybe a little bit or raspberry (however, I later learned that the notes are in fact blood orange, papaya, mango, and ylang ylang.)

The dry down of Perfect Nectar is more of a light floral, a scent that I would associate with a garden wedding in the summertime, or a weekend wine tasting trip. For a fruity fragrance, it manages to steer clear of artifical "pie and cobbler" notes and it is very grown up. I would expect to smell this on anybody from 20 to 55 years old, it's youthful but still tastefully done. And my dog loves it...he's been licking my arm any chance he gets! That's a good sign...right?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Day Three Sarah Horowitz Perfume Experiement


So as my readers and followers already know, this week I am reviewing 7 Sarah Horowitz Perfumes. For the last two days, I have reviewed fragrances from her "What Comes From Within" Fragrance collection. The scents are light, feminine, and meant to create sense of well being without being too perfume-y. Today is Day Three.

This morning I had a fantastic yoga class. The classes are held outside at the crack of dawn which is the perfect time for relaxation. No phones, no traffic, no outside stresses. This morning was the absolute perfect weather for it, too; not too humid and not biting cold like last week. So even though I was up very early with not much sleep, I still felt at ease from my class when I came into The Beauty Loft this morning. I was looking for a scent that would compliment my tranquil mood. After a quick sniff of today's options from my fragrance lineup, I chose to go with "Peace" from the "What Comes From Within Collection."

When I first put on Peace, I thought that it was the most cologne-y out of the ones that I have tried so far. It wasn't as light and airy as Light or Perfect Veil, which was a surprise to me. I sensed some bergamot, which is a crisp floral, and a little bit of sandalwood (not my favorite note in the world, but definitely something different...that is why we experiment after all!)

My favorite part of Peace without a doubt is the dry down. It dried down to a sensual, relaxing musky vanilla, which exactly captured the mood that I was going for. The scent lingered on my skin for the entire day, creating a little coccoon of scent that only I could smell. I didn't feel a yoga-esque sense of tranquility from this fragrance, but it was a nice reminder to stay calm and balanced on even the most stressful day. More to come tomorrow dear readers....

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Day Two Sarah Horowitz Perfume Experiment


Today is day two of the perfume experiment. I have had quite a long day already (let's just say that it is 2pm and I am on my second cup of joe.) I have successfully stopped drinking coffee for about 3 months, but as of late, I can't go without it (I hate that fuzzy haze I've been sitting in all week.) So today I really needed a perfume that would fit my mood. I'm feeling very relaxed and calm (probably because I'm so tired!) and I'm just not a fan of "energizing" fragrances.

Yesterday I had much success with the Light Scent, and today I am ready to try something new. After reading a lot of press about Sarah Horowitz's Perfect Veil fragrance, I decided that it was appropriate to try on a day like today. According to Rachel Zoe's "The Zoe Report," she is a major fan of The Perfect Veil...and well...that creates a buzz worth looking into.

When i first dabbed on the scent, I was turned off by its inital notes. On me, it smelled very distinctive, in other words, a bit old lady like. But after a couple minutes of sitting on my skin, it turned musky. Unlike most musks, it's not heavy at all, but very light and subtle. It smells warm and a little bit powdery, something I would wear to a classy dinner party or some evening event on a cold fall night. I don't sense any floral notes in it, but I do smell a little bit of vanilla which is nice and comforting.

The general idea of Perfect Veil is to "capture the sensual scent of clean, naked skin."
I like that unlike most "naked" scents, this one doesn't smell like soap, towels, or a sauna. It's a very gentle fragrance that is soft and bit mischevious...because anyone who takes the time to smell this lovely probably has a bombshell side too. Probably the exact opposite of yesterday's fragrance, Perfect Veil is a scent that the longer I wear it, the more I like it...the drydown really agrees with my body chemistry. If Perfect Veil were an article of clothing, it would be a soft white cashmere sweater with a slightly playful neckline. I'm liking it....

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Day One: Sarah Horowitz Perfume Experiment



Today is the first day of our perfume experiment! Today I knew that I would be trying a new fragrance, so I made an effort not to confuse my nose with any other smells. I used an unscented body wash in the shower, and a very mildly scented body lotion. The first perfume that I will be reviewing is part of Sarah Horowitz's "What Comes From Within" collection. There are five scents in this inspired collection, each one paying tribute to feelings and inner beauty. The scent that I am wearing today is Light, a scent that is described as "sheer, luminous, sparkling, and ethereal."

This is a fragrance that I could absolutely see myself wearing. I love its sheer floral smell that isn't too overpowering with one distinct heavy note, but lots of light flowers reminiscent of summer. This is a scent that I would wear if I were feeling down or stressed because it really does envoke visions of picking honeysuckle and lilacs (this fragrance does not contain lilacs actually, but freesia instead.) Light also has notes of Jasmine, which I love because it is so feminine and sweet. The dry down of Light is a lot less floral and much more musky and clean. I can smell almost a very, very sweet ocean breeze (which after reading the description of the scent I find out is white cedar.) If you aren't a fan of overpowering florals, but want to wear something light, feminine, natural, and mood lifting, I would turn to Light. I am very very very picky about fragrances, and I could definitely see myself wearing this when I am in the right mood (wanting something peaceful and elegant.)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Fragrance Experiment



I hope everybody had a great weekend! The weather here in North Florida dropped significantly this week, and it brought this magical fall feeling with it! I was so inspired that I have already baked out pumpkin muffins and a pumpkin chocolate chip loaf cake. And for you apple lovers/bakers out these, Honeycrisp apples are now in season so snap them up while you can! I sense an apple pie crisp in my near future...

So with this sense of change in the air of "in with the new and out with the old," I thought that we would have a fun experiment. This morning I received a gracious package from Sarah Horowitz Parfums; I had contacted them several weeks ago because I am planning on carrying the line at The Beauty Loft at some point. I love how the line is truly no-frills, but all quality scent. I really believe that companies are way too preoccupied with adorning the fancy bottle these days, conveniently forgetting about the most important aspect; the scent quality. Not everybody loves the same perfume or scent for that matter, but a trained nose should recognize a quality scent; a complex scent that also manages to be simple and long lasting. It should change over time on your skin, staying with you through your day, and it should mesh with your personality and who you aspire to be. The fun part about perfume and scent is that you can use your imagination to "create" a personality or feeling. In the makeup world, your facial features will never change, you can apply pots and pots of color, but you can never re-invent yourself completely. The most important balance with picking and wearing a fragrance is that it should be 90% you and 10% fantasy. So to the point already!

For the next 7 days, I will wear a new Sarah Horowitz Perfume. I will record how it makes me feel, what notes I sense in it, and its staying power overall. Welcome aboard our first blog experiment! Let the games begin tomorrow...

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Fashion Inc Fashion Show Backstage

This weekend Beauty Loft Tally sponsored the much anticipated Fashion Inc. Fashion Show. Clothing was donated from local boutiques and the fashion show was just one of the many exciting events to go down (live music...wine tastings...) Here are some pictures from our crazy morning-















Friday, October 16, 2009

What Recession?

Even though this Christmas will be without the million dollar Neiman Marcus gift, (apparently there wasn't anything "special" enough to qualify) the catalog lives on. Here is a short video of this years' special products (my favorite is the cupcake car!)

http://www.neimanmarcus.com/store/catalog/templates/F0.jhtml?itemId=cat24140733&parentId=cat000672&masterId=cat000000&icid=home2_cb

Thursday, October 15, 2009

New in Stock from Urban Decay!














Hello Lovely readers/shoppers! Is that the sound of tinkling bells I hear in the distance? Oh my...is that a reindeer I see? Yes! The holidays are right around the corner my friends, and that can only mean one thing; Holiday Collections! It might seem early (it's not even Halloween for pete's sake!) but take my word for it...the holiday collections don't usually stick around to see the holidays! Start your shopping early this year (and if you have a change of heart about what to get your cousin as it gets closer to the festive season...just keep it for yourself...you know, take one for the team!)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Insite Beauty Blog

The Beauty Loft was featured on Insite Magazine's new blog this week. How very exciting!

http://blog.insitemagazine.com/public_html/blog/2009/10/2-in-1-beauty-essentials.html

Loving Lola


Because I am always on the hunt for the perfect perfume, I spritz any chance I can get. On my last trip to the mall (my least favorite place to buy perfume...but one where I can test) I had the opportunity to spray this on myself. I thought that I only sprayed myself (the usual spots; wrists, forearms, and neck) and wasn't highly impressed. I knew that the new Marc Jacobs Lola perfume had won Allure's Best Women's Perfume Award, so my standards were set pretty high. I was a little bit disappointed because it smelled very similar to another floral based fragrance (which I will not name) that I had tested out earlier. I enjoyed the scent, but it didn't make me stop dead in my tracks. Well, until yesterday, I had forgotten about my scent test drive altogether. That is, until I opened my closet and reached for a white sweater to throw on over my outfit. All of a sudden, I smelled vanilla, sweet floral, and something vaguely musky...needless to say it was a nice surprise and one that perked up the rest of my day. The annoying part is that it literally tooke me the entire day to figure out what the smell was from (it's not that I'm forgetful, it's just that with my job, I can spray lots of scents on in a single day.) After finally pinning it down to the Marc Jacobs Lola Perfume, I find it so interesting that I love the way it smells on my clothing. On my body, it was just another sweet floral that is a bit too strong for a humid Florida afternoon, but on my sweater, it's a delicious musky vanilla with a hint of peony and rose. It's a funny thing how body chemisty works...maybe I'll give it a second chance...

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Feeling very inspired..






I normally have a rule about blogging on topics that others bloggers are writing about. For that reason, I try not to read other beauty blogs because I know that they will sway my writing and cause me to depend on them for interesting topics. I know that blogging is as much about your own experiences as it is about others in the blogging community, but I find it very bland. I hate reading three or four blogs who are pretty much writing about the same exact collection or color. Boring! Occasionally I will post news articles from website sources such as WWD, and I find that totally okay because it is news from the direct source, as opposed to just copying that other blogs are covering. But on the other hand, sometimes I come across a post that truly inspires me, like today. Makeupbag.net covered the new Chanel collection color palette, and I am hugely inspired! I love basic colors like black and white with a splash of color. My go-to outfits usually include neutral colors with a bright accent, like a bold piece of jewelry or accessory. I think it's a clean, simple, sophiscated look that you has never ending options. Chanel chose to go with their signature black, white, and this time, jade. Jade is a gorgeous light green color that adds enough pop without being too summery, like a coral or turquoise would be. I love this look and can't wait to incorporate it into my style this fall. But natually, the Chanel Jade Green Nail Polish (which is fresh off the Paris runways) is out of stock....well...what do you expect?

Friday, October 9, 2009

NARS New Book


FINALLY there will be a new NARS book! This is so exciting! I'm sure most of us are already fans of the original one (but it seems like it has been around forever!) The book will be $80, but they are only publishing 1,500 of them. Here are some blurbs from WWD.com:
"Like Nars’ earlier book, “X-Ray,” the portraits are intended to transform their subjects into new personas — but the twist this time is that there are two inspirations for each shot, an iconic image, person or emotion and a classic Nars product. The book features portraits of 15 celebrities: Marc Jacobs, Isabella Rossellini, Amber Valletta, Dayle Haddon, Naomi Campbell, Amanda Lepore, Daphne Guinness, Fran├žois Vincentelli, Natasha Poly, Lisa Marie Smith, Olivier Theyskens, Carla Gugino, Shalom Harlow, Tyson Ballou and Jennifer Jason Leigh. “Basically, I wanted people who reflected my taste, friends and people I admired for their look and talent,” said Nars. “I love the way Marc looks, but also what he is and does. I tried to pick people not just for looks, but for talent."
" Any copies that do not sell on 15x15project.com will be sold via narscosmetics.com. Every penny raised by the book, Desazars emphasized, will be donated to charity. Each celebrity chose a pet charity, and all proceeds from the sales of that person’s photos and images will be donated to his or her charity. At least $150,000 is expected to be raised. “We all have to give — there is a lot of need out in the world,” said Nars."

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Power Of The Purse

On Wednesday, The Beauty Loft Tallahassee sponsored the Power Of The Purse United Way Fundraiser! We set up a table in the gorgeous FSU Alumni Association Grand Ballroom in support of teaching homeless women and children about various aspects of health. There was a "purse swap" where members and volunteers brought one purse that they wanted to recycle and for $10 they could choose to bring home another member's purse! There were over 100 women in attendance, all interested in all areas of their community; from local businesses to the project at hand: Homelessness to Health. Good job ladies! There is nothing more rewarding than volunteering your time, and nothing more savvy than being "in the know." Thank you for letting The Beauty Loft be a part of this organization this year!




Here I am with Florida Surgeon General Ana M. Viamonte, key note speaker of Power of The Purse/United Way event


The mob scene of women ready to volunteer!






Our basket that we donated to the silent aution


Our gorgeous table


List of Sponsors!


I was on my feet for over 3 hours in heels for a good cause!
To learn more, here is an article from the Tallahassee Democrat that covered the event-

Colorstong Charity Event

Last weekend The Beauty Loft Tallahassee sponsored the Colorstrong Fashion Show; an event that is in support of the Refuge House here in Tallahassee. We raised money to support women who have been raped and abused and have no other place to go. It was so rewarding to meet women who have lived at Refuge House, and have moved on to full time jobs, supportive relationships, and their own apartments. It was very much a "You go girl!" moment. Here are some pictures that I have received from one of the photogs that was there, and there will be more to come!