Friday, January 30, 2009

Unsung Heroes: OPI Designer Series Nail Lacquer

Unsung Heroes is a place to discuss products that may miss out on glamorous promotions, but deliver on their promises.

OPI's Designer Series
is a tough one to photograph, and describe. So let's just cut to the chase:
If you desire a little oomph on your nails, you must experience this polish.

I know what you're thinking. This is some Gwen Stefani Ghetto Fabulous Flash that is never going to make it in the office. Depending on the color you select, this diamond dust formulation packs a sparkle that is subtle yet obvious.

Top points:
-Free of DBP, Toluene and Formaldehyde
-Absolutely smooth surface application (glitter often feels rough in cosmetics)
-Super chip resistant, wears beautifully

I honestly can't find the latest launch ('08) colors in real life, but the previous season had an incredible lineup of colors and you can find them, unfortunately, on the discontinued list. Top Secret has them at 30% off, with slightly less discounts floating around on the internet. At $12.50 for each bottle in the designer series, you'll want to find the discounts.

One of my absolute favorites is 'Design', which I would have named 'Taupalessence'. (i'm sure I've got Suzi shaking in her shoes). Seriously though, you can alter the intensity with number of layers, moving from a beautiful light beige to a deep taupe with a fantastic hologram of color (above photo looks like nails are NSFW, but I assure you they are).

This series easily lives up to the claims of "Flawless Beauty" and "unmatched glamour for nails". It is a line worthy of your time. OPI would be wise to promote this line to make it easier to find.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Confessions of a Beauty Addict : Book Giveaway - 2/2/09

There is a silent delay before the interview begins
Join in to chat on February 2 as Nadine Haobsh dishes about life as an author & a beauty expert - and get a chance to win a copy of her brand new book! "Confessions of a Beauty Addict" dropped January 27, and Nadine will join us from the east coast where she is on book tour.

Nadine Haobsh is a former beauty editor and author of the popular beauty blog "Jolie Nadine." She works as a marketing consultant, has written for Lucky, Cosmopolitan, the Huffington Post, and the New York Daily News and regularly appears on television as a beauty expert.

See Nadine in person: Tour dates/locations

Friday, January 30th 3:00PM: John Hopkins, Baltimore, MD

Saturday, January 31st 2:30PM: Tidewater, Norfolk, VA

Tuesday, February 3rd 5:00PM: Fashion Institute of Technology, New York, NY

Wednesday, February 4th 5:00PM: Yale, New Haven, CT

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sales at Ulta

Click here for special 20% discount printout for Ulta stores this week only. One per customer

Friday, January 23, 2009

Inaugural Raves

Well, sort of. We love cool photos from fans, such as Shira Surfer Girl. Here is an awesome testament from the Mandarin Oriental DC during Inauguration Week. Ahh, right in our element. Now if we could just get some scrub into the hands of Michelle & the girls!

Thanks for sharing your amazing trip with us Alicia. You definately Rock.

Solessence Giveaway Winner - Congrats, Jean!

Congratulations to Jean from Omaha, Nebraska for winning the Solessence Giveaway! Jean will receive a coconut Shea Gift Set.

And a big thank you to Colleen at Mommy Always Wins for hosting the giveaway.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

VIP Inaugural Swag at the Mandarin Oriental

Rumor has it there are more Ralph Lauren goodies to be found. But look at the yummy chocolate. How festive!

The $175 Million Cosmetic Giveaway

I should have posted this yesterday but it just didn't seem like anyone would pay attention. Pesky little inauguration or something going on.

A class action settlement worth $175 million is available to everyone that purchased Department Store Cosmetics between May 29, 1994 through July 16, 2003. This is the outcome of suggested price fixing. It seems there was some merit to the case.

The following stores are participating in providing ONE free product from a select list. You will be required to fill out paperwork you have picked up your settlement:

The stores owned by the Retailer Defendants that will be participating in the settlement product distribution are the following:

Bergdorf Goodman, Bergner's, Bloomingdale's, Boston Store, Carson Pirie Scott, Dillard’s, Gottschalks, Herberger's, Macy's, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Parisian, Saks Fifth Avenue, Younkers.

Products are available while supplies last, no rainchecks will be given. The distribution period will run from January 20 - January 27 or until all items are gone. Items may vary from store to store.

The following is a list of the Manufacturer Defendants and their products that will be distributed, while supplies last, through the stores listed above:

Boucheron (USA) Ltd.:

Femme Eau de Toilette (1 ounce/30 ml)

Chanel, Inc.:

Coco Mademoiselle body lotion (3.4 fluid oz)

Christian Dior Perfumes, Inc.:

J’Adore Eau de Parfum (15 ml)

Clarins U.S.A., Inc. (customers will have a choice of ONE of two products, while supplies last):

Clarins Energizing Morning Cream (30 ml) OR
Clarins Beauty Flash Bomb (30 ml)

Conopco, Inc. (distributed by Coty, Inc. on behalf of Conopco, Inc.) (customers will have a choice of ONE of three products, while supplies last):

Calvin Klein Euphoria Bath and Shower Crème (6.7 oz)

Vera Wang Princess Body Polish (5 oz)

Lovely Sarah Jessica Parker Shower Gel (6.7 oz)

The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. (customers will have a choice of ONE of two products, while supplies last):

Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair (15 ml/0.5 oz)

Clinique Moisture Surge (30 ml/1 oz)

Guerlain, Inc.:
My Insolence Eau de Toilette (15 ml)

L’Oréal USA, Inc. (formerly known as Cosmair, Inc.) (customers will have a choice of ONE of eight products, while supplies last):

Lancôme UV Expert 20

Lancôme Cils Design Pro Mascara

Lancôme Fatale Mascara

Lancôme Courbe Virtuose Mascara

Lancôme Primordial Skin Defense

Ralph Lauren Romance Shower Gel (6.7 oz.)

Giorgio Armani ACM Shower Gel (6.7 oz)

Lancôme Hypnôse Shower Gel

Parfums Givenchy, Inc.:
Very Irresistible Givenchy Eau de Toilette (15 ml)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day: Waiting for Parade

Alicia made it in time to hear Aretha and see the swearing in! Now they wait for him and the parade. And tonight...ohhhh...the BALL. Must feel like a dream.

Say Farewell to Bush

Local Plum Spa offers "Say Farewell to Bush" waxing discounts. In honor of, well, you know.

You can "rid yourself of unwanted fuzz" with the Presidential Transition savings, on services booked between 1/20-2/01/09.

Book by calling 414.224.1074 for 20% off all Waxing Services. Tell'em the Secret Service sent you.

Inauguration Day - The Lines

Thanks to Alicia P for the photos. Her time at the Mandarin Oriental for Obama's inauguration sounds like it has been nothing short of spectacular. Add on attendance at the Pearl Gala and Hawaiian Ball. Now, the wait. Security is apparently so tight, with so many people, there is a chance most will not get in on time. Crossing fingers you make it!

Celebrity sightings have been too numerous, as BET is also going on. Vanessa Williams ("My husband can sleep with a smile on his face!", Wyclef, Jay-Z, Beyonce & mom ("She is gorgeous!", etc.

This is the first time in memory an inauguration actually seems like a party.
Pedicab detour through Chinatown

Inauguration Day - Morning Rush

Sunday, January 18, 2009

VIP Inauguration Swag at the Mandarin Oriental

Inaugural VIP guests at the Mandarin Oriental in Washington D.C. received luxury gray cashmere throws as gifts. Fab! Check here for the chocolates.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Inauguration Dress Dreams

One of these dresses is leaving White Plains, NY for Washington, DC...

Friday, January 16, 2009

My MAC 190 brush has bit the dust

My son is feeling artistic today. First he drew a pizza. Then he found inspiration with Sherman-Williams paint. After washing it off this is still what remains. Well, at least I got a good many years use first. Crazy kids.

Giveaway! Last two days

Visit Mommy Always Wins for a Solessence GIVEAWAY! Beat the winter "BLAHS"

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

MAC Hello Kitty collection revealed live -NOW

Join now
to watch Sarah from Style It reveal MAC's new Hello Kitty collection:

10:30pm Central/11:30pm Eastern
January 14

Special Request: Inaugural Fashion Trends

Are you going to the Inauguration next week?

Staying at home with your finest on?

Please send your fashion choices to solessencenews at and a little word about why you selected your ensemble. We'd love to feature you.

Today Only! Free Suave

Register on to receive a coupon for one (1) bottle of Suave Shampoo, Conditioner, Hair Spray, Styling Aid, BodyWash, or Body Lotion (good up to $3.00) by mail. Registration begins at 12:00:01 a.m. ET on January 14, 2009 and ends at 11:59:59 p.m. ET on January 14, 2009. Open to all legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia, age 18 years or older. Limit one coupon per household. Coupons will be mailed 2 - 4 weeks after registration close and can be redeemed through February 28, 2009.

The $120 Mascara - Latisse

Last year the spa industry was abuzz as reps began whispering about the new Latisse mascara, set to release this year. At $120 for a tube, it would do away with the need for regular mascara, even extensions! How you ask?

Latisse promises more than a cosmetic enhancing via dark clumps. Released by Allergan, Latisse is a wearable formulation of Lumigan, a drug that is used to treat glaucoma. What was dished as we sat on our comfy cushions was that the doctor who developed the drops discovered his patients were reporting lash growth. A little creative thinking led to the new cosmetic enhancement.

Reps, male and female, in fact WERE sporting longer eye locks. At each monthly visit there was noticeable growth. One had a natural, moderate length that ended up growing to the point they were touching his face. He claimed he had to trim them down. Another female spoke of constantly being asked if her lush lashes were real or not.

As you can imagine, there are side effects to consider. Red, itchy eyes, changes in eyelid pigmentation and change of eye color are possibilities listed in this New York Times article.

And what of other benefits? It was rumored that this could work on eyebrows, but of course the joking reference was on balding. "Unfortunately, it doesn't work on the scalp", was the response. "If it did, I'd be a millionaire many times over".

Although the article suggests doctors will primarily be dispensing this product, based on the info I was privy to last year, you can bet you will see this popping up in spas and medical spas if allowed. This is an affordable luxury treatment.

Have you experienced Latisse as a tester? Would you use $120 medical mascara? Let me know your thoughts!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Shoe Mad

This one is for you Anna! Forward to 1:27-2:16

Catch all three segments for shoe laughs.

Have you ever forced yourself into a pair?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Golden Globes - Biggest throwback

I love everything Drew Barrymore. She must have participated in #80sphotoday on Twitter, because that was the heyday for the 'do she was sporting. The ala Angie Dickenson was a little bit of a mismatch with her elegant gown, but she still gets props for being daring. Her dark red clutch and eye-popping ring complimented the ensemble.

Are those druzy earrings?

(photos via JustJared because sadly, I couldn't make it)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Beautiful Opportunities: Angel Food Ministries

With unemployment at 7.5%, a lot people who were givers last year are struggling with the realization they need a bit of assistance themselves. It is pretty evident that participation in the down economy is not an opt-in. We know about food banks and stamps, but there is another resource available to assist with the grocery bill.

Enter Angel Food Ministries. Founded in 1994 by Pastors Wingo, this nationwide network based in Georgia "provides food to more than 500,000 families each month" for a reasonable sum of $30.

The ways you can participate:

Establish a new host site
Donate online
Contact local host site to purchase food

Sounds too good to be true, right? Is this food going bad? Goods you wouldn't give to your grandmother? No, merely food purchased in such big lots they are able to sell near wholesale prices. You can read all about it on the website, but even more convincing was word-of-mouth from a close friend who, after finding out the nearest delivery site was 30 minutes away, eventually set up a host site in her hometown. Laurie's experience went like this:

- We first ordered a box to test things out, and inquired about becoming a Host site. Pleased to find a lot of meat, and good variety of vegetables and fruit.

- We ordered two more months to be sure that we could see a consistency in variety offered, and the types of products available. We were very impressed.

- We applied for our church to become a Host site in July, and were approved to begin taking orders. November was our first month to distribute. We had 49 regular boxes, 13 senior boxes and several special grill boxes for a total of 94 orders! December was 90 regular boxes, 16 senior, and with specials, came to a total of 96.

We find that it is a great way to help us with our groceries, with my husband being in nursing school FT! A regular box is $30 (which purchased at the grocery store would normally retail between $60 to $80 dollars) and feeds us for about two weeks. We have also seen it as a great opportunity to be able to be of help to a neighbor or a friend that may be struggling at this time or to a single parent trying to provide for their family. The AFM motto: "It isn't a hand out, it is a hand up," was what made the difference for us and we have now seen it firsthand.

Purchases are made through local host sites which you can search on the site. You must pick up - there is no delivery. You can buy as many bags as you like. The only option lacking at this time is vegetarian. Anyone can buy - and food stamps are also accepted.

In Milwaukee I was surprised to find only one location, and a second in Kenosha. This is a service that would benefit many in greater Milwaukee. I've requested information on requirements to host and encourage anyone who is interested to fill out the online form. Spread the news and donate, host or order as you see fit!

If you've had experience with Angel Food Ministries, please share with us in the comments.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Hair Apparent: Clairol nice'neasy root touch up

Okay, I admit it. Back in the day I liked to mix things up with the crowning glory. I never went so crazy as to be all Manic Panic, but I had a thing or two for henna, and just a lot of different boxed color over the years (we will deny the plat blond period - a look my sisters can somehow pull off - because there wasn't even a movie role to justify such crazy choices). Anyhoo, the love for color accelerated when, around the tender age of 22 I began to get the gray strays. While annoying, nothing, and I mean nothing, prepares you for root rot. When you start getting that silvery patch at the temples and you aren't Anderson Cooper, life just gets a little less pretty. I envy silver foxes, and I will never be one.

Enter maintenance phase. Imagine this new cycle: Color. 2 weeks roots. Color. 2 weeks later roots. Color. (you get the picture). That's a lot of chemical going on. Not to mention seriously drying your hair out. So when I saw Clairol's nice'n easy root touch up it jumped out for two reasons:

1) A way to avoid the salon to save on process and damage
2) A way to save $$$

Here is the thing. This is the second time I've tried this method. It promises 100% gray coverage in 10 minutes. I have also used Clairol's Perfect 10 system (awesome). Root touch up falls short for one main reason:

Formula Amount - too little. I realize this is a root touch up, but if you have grays,this just is not enough. They need to double the portion. You are asked to touch up the area of your desired hairstyle. The formula doesn't seem to stick even after keeping on the recommended 15 minutes.

On the plus side: If you don't have massive root exposure, this touch-up does seem to blend in well with existing color (I used Dark Brown).

Unfortunately, this is no bargain. My roots will have to be conquered with Perfect 10, which is triple the price. I'm not about to go granny yet.

Have you tried this product? Let me know your experience in the comments. Photos welcome.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Unsung Heroes: Sally Hansen Natural Shine

Unsung Heroes is a place to discuss products that may miss out on glamorous promotions, but deliver on their promises.

We've all been there: No chance to get to the manicurist, yet a swipe of remover is leaving the nails dull and drab. You've got minutes to get to your appointment/interview/wedding and the last thing you need is ragged hands. What miracle, save a 10 minute buffing and oil, will do the trick?

Sally Hansen Natural Shine Instant Nail Finish

This product brushes on like any polish, but lacks the heavy and super shiny finish of a top coat. It is available in clear and light tint. It dries almost instantly to a smooth, soft shine, so even if neglect is not your excuse, you can wear a very natural look with little effort. It may even work for the metrosexual who likes to keep his digits well groomed.

Sally Hansen Natural Shine Instant Nail Finish claims to be free of "toluene, DBP (dibutyl phthalate) and formaldehyde" (if you read the print it is actually "added" formaldehyde), and shows the company is keeping up with the times and avoiding known toxins. It wears off evenly, avoiding the chipped look even clear topcoat can cause. It does require nail polish remover for complete removal.

I discovered this gem at Walgreens, and the convenience and ease of use is a bargain under $5. You'll never worry about your nails again. Go forth and go natural!

Have you tried this product? Let me know your experience in the comments. Photos welcome.

Happy New Year!

Welcome 2009 - we've been waiting for you.

Right now, enjoy a little Green Bay Beauty to nurse the hangover:

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