Category Archives: Reviews

Review: Skinn Cosmetics’ All-In-One Palette Of Perfection

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I don’t know about you, but I have a huge drawer of makeup that I sift through everyday to find the perfect shades to match that day’s outfit. Not only is it time-consuming, I also started realizing that I’ve had some of this makeup for going on 1o years now (gross!). So, I just did some major purging of the makeup drawer to refresh and simplify my morning beautification routine.

I started looking for all-in-one kits that have everything from eyeshadows and lip colors to bronzers and blush. That’s how I came across Skinn Cosmetics’ All-In-One Palette Of Perfection: Face Forward.

It’s appropriately named because it truly is perfection. It’s encased by “mock-croc” patent leather, so it’s super chic and all my concealer, blush, bronzer, eyeliner, eyeshadow, lip color and lip gloss is all wrapped up in this elegant little compact… much better than an entire drawer full of old makeup, right?

makeup2Here’s what it includes:

  • The super concentrated concealer provides excellent coverage, able to hide the most stubborn of blemishes and discolorations.
  • Two blush hues give you the perfect splash of color for day and a more dramatic cheek for the evening.
  • The bronzer provides the perfect touch of warmth for a glowing and radiant complexion.
  • Three cream eyeliners create elegantly defined lines for that soft, sultry smokey look.
  • Twelve Luxe Premier eyeshadows deliver rich color and anti-aging actives that may be worn without fear of developing crepe eyelids.
  • Lips will look their fullest with twelve of the latest lip colors packed with collagen-boosting ingredients and Vitamin E and aloe. What you’ll get: supple and luscious lips.
  • To finish, the palette contains the sold-out Million Dollar Smile lip gloss. Complete with a blu-ray pigment that makes teeth appear whiter, the gloss can be worn alone or on top of any of the lip colors.

This retails for $42.50 and just became available online at skinn.com. Since it just launched, it’s their “spotlight” product of the month and you can get it for the spotlight price of $24.50! Winning!

Review: ShaveTech USB Rechargeable Travel Shaver

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I recently went on a beach vacation and packed super light. What more do you need than a swimsuit and flip flops, right? Well, you need a shaver too because they don’t call it a bikini line for nuthin’! haha! 😉

I typically like to just have a carry-on for trips like this so I don’t have to pay to check a bag (I have a million other ways I’d rather spend that $50). I didn’t want to get flagged at baggage check for bringing a disposable razor through. Plus, bringing the shave cream, razor and my post-shave antiseptic wasn’t going to fit in the bag. So, with perfect timing, I got asked to review the ShaveTech USB-powered razor for the blog. I figured, worst case scenario, if it didn’t work I could just buy a razor once I got there. shavetech-logosize

Luckily, I didn’t have to! I actually really liked it. While it didn’t get AS close of a shave as a brand new razor, it did work really well (even in sensitive areas like my bikini line). It’s about the size of a smartphone and is recharged with a built-in fold-in fob that plugs into the USB port of a laptop or tablet. This is perfect  if you travel abroad because its USB charger means that no overseas outlet adapters are necessary (as long as your computer is charged!).

Battery life is rated at approximately 30 minutes. Make sure you plug it back in after about two shaves or 25 minutes (manual says to not charge it each night and to let it run out of steam first) because it does shut down mid-shave without warning, leaving you with one partially shaved leg which won’t be in style any time soon! haha! 🙂

The ShaveTech travel razor is available for purchase on the ShaveTech site in black or white (mine was black and I loved it – super sleek!) for $29.99!

Fabufeet Friday: NightCare Foot Cream, Gel Heel Socks

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I know I usually post about shoes on Friday with “Fabushoe Friday,” which I did do here today… but it’s just as important to keep your feet as fab as your shoes! So, I’m writing about a couple new products I tried out that I highly recommend!

There’s a company called NightCare that makes a great foot cream and these “gel heel socks” that are perfect for keeping your feet well-moisturized and beautiful for the open-toed season! The way it works is that you put on the foot cream at night and then slip on the heel sock. It has a gel pad on the heel to keep the cream from absorbing into the sock. They come in cute fabric designs too… I got the animal print ones and they’re super cute!

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The “gel heel” inside the sock

It works really well and it kept my feet looking fab for my entire 2-week beach vacation (which is great because the sun, sand and salt water usually dry and crack them!). I definitely recommend them!

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You can get them on the company’s website – click here for the leopard heel gel socks ($19.99) and click here for the 6oz NightCare Foot Cream ($6.50). Happy pedi pampering!

Red, Pink and Blue + High Heels in High Places Recap!

Amy Kirchen never ceases to amaze me. As I mentioned before here on the blog, she had a 2-year anniversary party for the boutique in May called “High Heels in High Places.” Mint snakeskin brocade, nude florals and chic whites were in full bloom and were worn by the many admirers of Amy’s custom and prêt-à-porter creations.

Amy Kirchen is always bringing the latest trends to her boutique in Milford. I love it because it’s a mix of both vintage and modern… things you’d see Jackie O wearing, but could still be worn today. The best thing about her boutique is that it’s super affordable…. so, you can look like a million bucks without spending it!

Her collections and custom designs are housed in the back of her boutique. And while they’re not as affordable as the boutique items you’ll see in the front, you do get what you pay for. I saw that first-hand when she made my Dancing with the Stars dress. When I got asked to compete, my first call was to her so we could create a fab dress together. She came up with a breath-taking design, we tweaked and perfected it to hug every curve (but still keep everything in! haha!), and it turned out better than I could have ever imagined! The entire experience was amazing as I got to see the entire design process play out! So, if you have a wedding or special occasion coming up, click here to get her contact info and give her a call!

I also wanted to give a big thanks to Amy’s team for our recent 2013 Red, Pink, and Blue fashion show on the Purple People Bridge to benefit heart, breast and diabetes health. Amy created a Studio 54, 70’s glam-inspired runway show full of dynamic colors, high-waisted silhouettes, and splashes of sequins. Amy mixed boutique pieces with custom wear and together the 1970s were reborn on the People Purple Bridge! I will definitely be heading to Amy Kirchen Boutique to get some of those 70s-meets-today looks from the show!

Click here to see pics from the Red, Pink and Blue show and see below for a few pics snapped at Amy Kirchen’s anniversary event!

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Get Snapped this Summer with Anne Gregoire Photography!

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Anne Gregoire Photography

It’s my favorite season of the year: SUMMER!!! Where everything is blooming, everyone is sunkissed, and families spend a little more time together. Because of this, I always try to book a photo shoot every summer with my hubby and pup.

I was referred to check out Anne Gregoire Photography by a friend and I’m just blown away by her pictures on her Facebook page! So cute (and summery!) and it’s exactly the style I love.

After chatting with Anne, I learned that she’s a portrait/lifestyle photographer specializing in fun Child, Family and High School Senior photography. She said she especially loves capturing those sweet, natural moments between parents and their kids. Her style is a mix of posed and candid shots, as every session is customized to be a unique experience. She works closely with clients on outfit styling, location scouting and session prepping.

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Anne Gregoire Photography

Speaking of sessions … that’s one of the things I love about her. The sessions are all inclusive, as clients receive the photo session and the CD with the images. So, there’s no up-charging or gouging you when you want prints of the photos she took.

Check out her site at www.annegregoirephotography.com or “like” her on Facebook to see her fab images and to continue to receive info on upcoming specials.

Oh, and she told me she’d offer a FREE 16×20 Gallery Wrap with the purchase of a photo session to any of my friends or readers, so make sure you mention that if you book her. Here’s her email address if you’re interested in learning more, want to book, or have any questions: annegphotography@yahoo.com

 

Ask Amy: Does the no!no! Work?

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A friend posted this question on my Facebook page, so I’m sharing it as an “Ask Amy” post, which I like to do when people email or message me on social media. Feel free to contact me – info is in the column to your right – if you have a question you’d like to ask!

Lora B. asked: so, I have a burning question you may know the answer to!! Do you know anything about the no!no!, and if you do, what do you know? i’m on the purchase fence….

My response: Funny you should ask! I actually tried it about a year ago, and to be honest I’d only recommend it if you’re removing fine hair (like peach fuzz). It didn’t work on any hair that was remotely coarse. Later, I talked with my friend at Sephora (where I got mine) and she said they stopped carrying them there because they got so many returns and complaints. So, my advice would be to just say “no” to no!no! and go get laser hair removal instead.

Hope that helps!

 

Review: Karma Wellness Studio

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Let me just preface this to say I NEVER win things. Well, about a month ago, it was my lucky day because I entered to win a day of pampering from Karma Wellness Studio at an event… I got a call the next day saying I had won! It included a Wellness Massage, detoxifying facial, body scrub, and chakra balancing treatment. Pinch ….me …. NOW! Of course, I booked my appointment immediately because I was so super excited! 

So, I arrive for my day of pampering, and the owner Rebecca Geiger met me to show me around and explain my services. She couldn’t have been nicer or more accommodating. I told her about areas like my neck and shoulders where I hold tension because I sit at a computer all day, and she asked a few questions to learn more about me and what I’d like to get out of my sessions.

I started off with the full body Wellness Massage, which Rebecca actually did herself. I like a deep tissue massage, and she was REALLY good at that. I felt like a new woman after that, but I still had the whole day still to go! I then went to Rebecca’s assistant who did my facial using some amazing naturally-scented detoxifying products (I ended up getting the lavender scented mist they used because it smelled heavenly).

Then, it was time for the full body scrub. This wasn’t something I’d typically get at a spa, but after having it done I’m in love. It was especially nice having it done right when summer starts and you’re starting to show more skin. I feel like it sloughed off all that extra old man winter skin. (I did see that one of their other body wraps is a “Fit and Firming” anti-cellulite treatment, which I might have to try out before my upcoming beach vaca! haha!)

Last but not least,  I went back to Rebecca for my chakra balancing treatment. Now, we’ve written about this before in Cincy Chic, but I’ve never actually had a full chakra balancing treatment done with Reiki. I was excited to try it out. On Karma’s site, it says Reikí is “the Japanese term for universal life energy. It is believed that every thing and every being is made up of energy. In the human being, there are seven main energy centers that regulate all systems of the body. The technique is a light touch performed over the clothes or incorporated into a Wellness Massage. This alternative therapy will make you feel extremely relaxed and give you a feeling of euphoria.”

I was intrigued! I don’t know if I’ve ever felt euphoria before this treatment, but now after having the treatment done, I’m a believer. I have never been more relaxed in my entire life. I was like my mind quieted and my insides turned to jelly … that’s the best way I can explain it. Definitely awesome and worth trying out.

They’re located in Mt. Washington at 2067 Beechmont Ave. Floor 2 Cincinnati, OH 45230, and you can call (ask for Rebecca, she was really great!) at (513) 233-9355. Their website is www.karmawellnessstudio.com if you want to learn more about them and their services!

Review: Kingsgate Woodhouse Day Spa

My favorite spa in Cincinnati is HANDS DOWN Woodhouse Day Spa in Montgomery. I love its location (lots of cute shops and restaurants nearby), its products (many are organic), and that it’s not a salon and spa. It’s solely a spa, so you’re not straining to relax to the sound of hairdryers and smell of hairspray. You can truly relax.

So, of course, I was super excited when I read about the new Kingsgate Mariott Woodhouse location in Cincy Chic a few months ago. This location is really convenient for me because I’m always running from meeting to meeting downtown. So, I made an appointment for a facial and manicure to look fresh and fabulous for the New Kids on the Block concert on Tuesday (which was an AWESOME concert, by the way!).

The Kingsgate Mariott, which is basically on the UC campus, was easy to find. Woodhouse took over the previous spa’s space, so once you get into the Mariott look for “spa” signage (not “Woodhouse” like I did… blonde moment! haha!), and it’s located on the 3rd floor. Once you step inside, it’s like a mini version of the Montgomery Woodhouse location. It smells the same, has the same cozy white robes, and same great spa experience.

They do have a limited menu there, but have all the basic nail, massage, esthetic services. I usually get shellac if I get my nails done, and they don’t offer that at this location, so I got a regular french mani. She did one of the best French manis I’ve ever had (they’re so easy to screw up!) so I was really happy with it.

What I REALLY loved though was my facial. They used an organic cherry scrub that smelled like sweet, summery heaven. It was also pretty much a whole upper body massage too — she worked my shoulders, arms, hands and neck — which is where I hold all my tension anyway. After the facial, I felt super relaxed and my skin was glowing!

So, I definitely recommend checking it out, especially if you work downtown or are near the UC campus. It’s a great way to get the all the fabulous Woodhouse basics at a more convenient location!

The new Woodhouse Day Spa is located inside the Kingsgate Mariott at 151 Goodman Drive Cincinnati, Ohio 45219. All guests get complimentary parking, so make sure you get a ticket before you leave to use when you’re exiting the lot!

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Review: Liposonix at The Dermatology, Laser & Vein Center

Ok, ok… I have to let you in on my little secret. When I got asked to do Dancing for the Stars, I really ramped up my workout routine. I was exercising more, eating better, and started to tone up! That was good, because the dress Amy Kirchen and I designed was quite skimpy and I didn’t have much fabric to hide behind! 🙂

But there were a few weird areas (like on my back right under my bra, under my belly button, above my knees, and on the sides of my thighs) that I was having a tough time targeting. I was talking with one of my clients, Dr. Gupta at the Dermatology, Laser & Vein Center, about it, and she said she had a few procedures that could help (of course she does, she’s a cosmetic surgeon! haha!).

The two she recommended were Vaser Liposuction, and Liposonix. Vaser is less invasive than traditional lipo, but it’s still done under local anesthesia, and you’re out of commission/in a compression garment for a couple weeks afterwards. Liposonix is the least invasive but it still kills the fat cells (it just takes the body three months to remove them naturally instead of surgically). Plus, you can be in for the treatment and back to your regular life immediately after the procedure. This was perfect for me because it was late January at the time and Dancing for the Stars wasn’t until April!

So, I opted for Liposonix and I told Dr. Gupta I would write about the process – good or bad – on my blog so readers would know what it’s like. The process started with an initial consultation where she took a look at the areas I wanted to target. Dr. Gupta did a lot of pinching around to get a good feel for what she was working with and how to best target the areas. She made her recommendations for what she would be doing, how long it would take and how to prepare for the procedure.

Dr. Gupta gave me the option of taking a prescription pain killer prior to the procedure, but I opted not to because I had a full day of meetings and a dance lesson afterwards. They require someone to drive you home if you take the pain killer for the procedure, and I wanted to be able to hop in a car afterwards to get to my meetings, so I didn’t do it. That’s my only regret in this whole thing – I wish I would have taken that darn pain killer!!!

It’s not that it was super painful, but it certainly doesn’t feel “good.” It was probably more my nerves than anything because you’re just sitting there on the table waiting for someone to zap you. Oh, plus I’m super ticklish, and that wasn’t helping anything! haha! So, if I were to do it over again, I would definitely take the pain pill to relax, dull the nerves and be able to get the full effect of the procedure.

They ended up doing it on a lower setting so I felt more comfortable. I was worried I wasn’t going to see any results because I didn’t get the full power, but I actually did get very nice results. It smoothed out the sides of my legs and really tightened my belly (I actually just posted bikini pics in a blog post today!! eeee!). What I liked about it is that I was back to work right after the procedure – so there’s no downtime, compression garments or scarring.

In my opinion, this procedure probably isn’t the best for someone with an aversion to pain or someone who needs to lose 100 pounds. This is mainly for toning and tightening targeted problem areas by making small tweaks that look like a “better version” of what you looked like before. It was perfect for what I was looking for, and I’m really glad I did it!

Check out the video below where I chat with Dr. Gupta about the procedure and my experience.

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Super Chic in Shail K Sequins!

As you may already know – I did the Dancing for the Stars event in April, and I posted the entire process of design, creation, fitting, and dancing in the performance dress I made with Amy Kirchen here on the blog! But there was another very special dress I wore that night as well and I wanted to do a little write-up about it too because I just loved it so much!

We were told to bring a “mingling” outfit to wear prior to our performance so the audience didn’t get to see our glam performance dresses until the actual performances. I knew there would be lots of lights at the venue, so I wanted lots of sparkle. I also wanted it to be special so that no one else would have the same look! I got an email a few weeks prior to the event from a PR person at Shail K with a subject line of “Sequins for Summer,” so I just HAD to keep reading!

I opened the email full of gorgeous sparkly dresses, and I loved every one! They sent me a few samples for me to wear to the event and one dress in particular fit like a glove and was PERFECT for my “mingling look”!

Check out the pics below of me and my dress and click here to see more Shail K dresses! FYI – Shail K specializes in upscale, contemporary designs. They have dresses for any kind of special occasion – from red carpet, evening and prom to pageant and wedding fashions. Their prices range from $160-400 for cocktail dresses, $300-800 for long dresses and $1,000+ for custom pageant gowns. Sizes range from 0-16, and custom gowns can be made to accommodate larger sizes. More info at www.shailkusa.com.

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Me and my Cincy Chic team at Dancing for the Stars!

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