Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Jordan Almond Bridal Manis

Can you feel it? Love is in the air! 

Summer bridal season has officially arrived. For better or for worse, anything goes now when planning a wedding. However, during the reception, you can almost always count on towering cakes, over-the-top ice sculptures and/or jordan almonds--my personal favorite.

Known as sugared almonds or confetti, these classic confections often appear as wedding favors. Colors typically include soft shades of green, blue, yellow, white, pink, purple and orange. They symbolize the yin and yang of life and love--bitterness (almonds) and sweetness (sugar).

Similarly, bridal nail trends can go from one extreme to the other--demure or daring. We obviously prefer the latter, so we'd like to present several playful pastel manis inspired by the colors of jordan almonds. We hope you love and cherish them. 

SHINE: Dazzle Dry Frozen Lemonade (yellow), Oasis (green), Morning Sky (Blue), Soft Caress (pink), Tropical Sunset (orange) and Linen Lace (White). BEAUTY: Create icing-on-the-cake colors by applying a base coat and then two layers of each shade--yellow on the thumb, green on the index finger, blue on the middle tip, pink on the ring finger and orange on the pinky. Next, paint one coat of white on each nail. Just before these layers dry (wait about 25 seconds or so), draw tiny squiggle marks with a toothpick or small blunt object to uncover the colors beneath. Finish with a lightly applied top coat (too much dulls the texture).

BEACON: Vegan, and contains no formaldehyde, toluene, dibutyl phthalate, camphor or nitrocellulose. 

SHINE: Essie Van D'Go/Marshmallow (pink and white; thumb--not shown), Marshmallow/Lapis of Luxury (white and blue; index finger), Lilacism/Marshmallow (purple and white; middle tip), Marshmallow/Van D'Go (white and pink; ring finger) and Mint Candy Apple/Marshmallow (green and white; pinky). BEAUTY: Vow to be daring with these diagonals.

BEACON: Contains no dibutyl phthalate, toluene or formaldehyde.

Mani model and nail artist: Natalie J. Wilson
SHINE: Milani Nail Lacquer Beach Front (blue; thumb), Orchidia (purple; index finger), Yellow Whiz (yellow; middle finger), U Pinky Swear (pink; ring finger) and White On the Spot (white; pinky and polka dots on ring finger). BEAUTY: With this ring finger, I thee wear polka dots.

BEACON: Free of dibutyl phthalate, toluene and formaldehyde.

SHINE: SpaRitual Face of Destiny (orange; thumb), Love Is In the Air (pink; index finger), Enlightened Soul (yellow; middle tip), White Light (white; ring finger), and Eye of the Beholder (green; pinky finger) and Love Is In the Air (pinky tip). BEAUTY: Take the plunge with these pretty pastels.

BEACON: Vegan, and contains no synthetic dyes, dibutyl phthalate, toluene or formaldehyde.

Mani model and nail artist: Natalie J. Wilson
SHINE: Zoya Nail Polish Wednesday (green; thumb), Snow White (white; index finger), Shelby (pink; heart on the index finger), Kristen (blue; middle tip), Arizona (orange; ring finger) and Malia (purple; pinky finger). BEAUTY: Steal-your-heart style.

BEACON: No animal testing. Contains no toluene, camphor, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin or dibutyl phthalate.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

7 Celebrity Top Pops

Photo by Melinda Seckington
Think pink: Chris Hemsworth welcomed the arrival of a baby daughter last month.

Don't confuse Chris Hemsworth with his younger beefcake brother Liam "The Hunger Games" Hemsworth. The elder Aussie hottie has taken Hollywood by storm with blockbuster hits such as "Snow White & the Huntsman," "The Avengers" and "Thor." His domestic life also made headlines this year when he became a first-time father. Hemsworth and his wife Elsa Pataky welcomed the arrival of daughter India Rose on May 11. She's clearly a daddy's girl, as he proclaimed to the press, "She's the cutest thing ever."

There's something super sexy about fatherhood. Not only does it tame the wildest bachelors (think Matthew McConaughey and Ben Affleck), but it also shows a softer side to men--especially when they have daughters. When David Beckham welcomed the arrival of his first baby girl after having three sons, the soccer superstar proudly announced, "Harper is so beautiful."

In honor of Father's Day this Sunday, we've put together a video tribute to several top pops in Hollywood. May their sons and daughters continue to enlighten and enrich their lives. Plus, if you're looking for something special for the father in your life, we've also included a selection of the lastest skincare products formulated especially for men. Enjoy!

Hunky homebody: Matthew McConaughey finally settled down this month when he married longtime girlfriend Camila Alves, mother of his son Levi and daughter Vida.

From cad to dad: Ben Affleck broke a lot of hearts during his bachelor days, but the current ladies in his life (mom Jennifer Garner, and daughters Violet and Seraphina) melt his heart, along with the arrival of baby boy Samuel last February.

Doting dad: In between filmmaking and global humanitarian efforts, Brad Pitt and fiancée Angelina Jolie still put their family of six first. Maddox, Pax, Zahara, Shiloh and twins Vivienne and Knox enjoy lots of outings together.

My three sons (and daughter): Super dad David Beckham and wife Victoria Beckham dote on their sons Cruz, Brooklyn and Romeo. But daddy's little girl, daughter Harper Seven born last July, holds a special place in his heart.

America's got talented twins: "America's Got Talent" host Nick Cannon and his wife Mariah Carey doubled their pleasure and family with the births of "Roc & Roe" son Moroccan and daughter Monroe.

Blockbuster dad: Although rumors continue to circulate that his marriage might be on the rocks to Jada Pinkett Smith, "Men in Black 3" star Will Smith still openly gushes about his three children--Willow, Jaden and Trey.

 SHINE: Dirt For Men B-Balm and Recharge PM. BEAUTY: Address skin cell damage caused by the elements with Canadian Willowherb, peptides and algae extract. BEACON: No animal testing. Also free of mineral oils, formaldehyde, parabens, sodium lauryl sulfate, and artificial colors and fragrances.

 SHINE: Honeybee Gardens HBG For Men Deodorant Powder and Aftershave. BEAUTY: Witch hazel, chamomile, arrowroot, essential oils and aloe vera help soothe skin. BEACON: No animal testing.

SHINE: Menaji Eraser Anti-Wrinkle and 911 Eye Gel. BEAUTY: The anti-aging formula plumps fine lines and wrinkles with peptides, while the gel utilizes hyaluronic acid and aloe vera gel to reduce the appearance of dark circles and puffiness. BEACON: Cruelty free and no animal testing. Also supports The Rainforest Foundation.

 SHINE: Menscience Advanced Face Tonic. BEAUTY: Dissolves oily residues, dead skin cells and buildup with witch hazel, green tea extract, glycolic acid, shea butter and vitamn C. BEACON: Free of added fragrances and dyes. Also contains no alcohol or oil.

 SHINE: Nickel Bio Green Boost Energizing Discovery Kit. BEAUTY: Moisturizing Facial Energizer, Facial Scrub and Eye Concentrate utilize organic aloe vera, bamboo stem extract and flax seed extract to improve overall skin health. BEACON: Cruelty free. Ecocertified at a level of 99.10% natural and organic. Contains no parabens, SLS, SES, GMOs, petrochemicals or propylene glycol.

SHINE: Pevonia Botanica Spa Care For Men Aqua-Gel Foaming Cleanser, Age-Defying Caviar Balm, Easy-Glide Shaving Emulsion and Soothing After Shaving Balm. BEAUTY: Shaving, cleansing and anti-aging formulas soothe and smooth with caviar extract, vitamins C and E, green tea leaf extract and ginkgo biloba. BEACON: Cruelty free and no animal testing. Also supports the Beauty Bus Foundation.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Mandarin Oriental Spa Chinese Zodiac Pedicure

Courtesy Fanghong

Pigs hold a special place in my heart. As a kid, I developed an extreme fondness for these highly social and intelligent creatures when a friend received a pet pot-belly pig as a gift. I was smitten for life! 

So imagine my delight when I found out I was born in the Year of the Pig in the Chinese zodiac. This animal possesses character traits such as diligence, compassion and generosity. Other animals represented in the Chinese zodiac include the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep/goat, monkey, rooster and dog.

The Mandarin Oriental Spa recently developed a service inspired by the philosophy behind this astrological system. On a recent trip to Las Vegas, I experienced a sweet treat for my feet called the Chinese Zodiac Pedicure ($130/60 min.). Therapists customize treatments based on your animal sign and element (earth, fire, wood, metal or water), which are determined by your birth year.

We don't show enough appreciation to our feet. This pedicure represents a unique way to give them the love they deserve as it takes relaxation and rejuvenation to a whole new level. Here's how it works. 

SHINE: Mandarin Oriental Spa Chinese Zodiac Pedicure. BEAUTY: Pick a color from a bounty of SpaRitual bottles. I selected Strawberry Fields Forever, which is a shimmering shade of golden berry swirl. BEACON: These lovely vegan lacquers contain no synthetic dyes, dibutyl phthalate, toluene or formaldehyde.

My nail tech, Sammy, begins the pedicure with a foot bath. She utilizes a soothing signature body wash and sugar scrub.

She then pats my legs and feet dry.

Next, we move to a nearby pedi chair. 

A heated neck wrap and eye pillow help me relax as I settle into the chair.

 Both feet enjoy a foil mask. 

Each foot is then wrapped in a comforting towel.

Next, existing polish is removed and the toenails get clipped.

Sammy also files the toenails. 

After the mask and wrap are removed...

...Sammy gently uses a foot file to slough dead skin.

Another mask is then applied. 

Both feet are completely wrapped in large towels again.

When the mask is removed...

...both feet are soothed with warm towels.

Based on my birth year, a special earth element essential oil is placed on both feet for a healing pressure point massage.

Sammy's massage focused on specific earth element pressure points (spleen and stomach). Other elements represented by the Chinese Zodiac Pedicure include fire (heart and small intestine), wood (liver and gall bladder), metal (lung and large intestine) and water (bladder and kidneys).

Check out this video of my pressure point massage. Common symptoms when the earth element is out of balance include indigestion and a poor appetite. Recommended healing foods: Strawberries, squash and shrimp. 

Lotion is then applied for a final rubdown.

Sammy applies it to both feet and legs.

Polish application begins with a base coat and then a layer of your chosen lacquer. I selected Strawberry Fields Forever.  

The first coat is applied. 

 Next, my toenails enjoy a second coat.

A top coat completes the polish application process. 

Pedicure sandals are then placed on both feet to conclude the pedicure. 

Friday, June 1, 2012

Drew Barrymore Wedding Day Hair Possibilities

Photo by David Shankbone
Red hot lips and hair.

Gertie's all grown up. "E.T." child star Drew Barrymore becomes a wife this weekend as she also embraces impending motherhood. The preggers bride-to-be... (sing along)... is going to the chapel, and she's gonna get married to art consultant Will Kopelman on Saturday. It's his first time down the aisle, while this will be No. 3 for her (third time's a charm!).

The wedding won't actually take place inside a chapel. Instead, this Tinseltown twosome plans to exchange vows at Barrymore's mansion in Montecito, California. And it's no surprise the couple has chosen to wear Chanel on the big day, as the groom is the son of Arie Kopelman--the high-fashion house's former CEO. 

What will Barrymore's bridal hair look like? Her hairstylist Byron Williams, co-owner of the Byron & Tracey Salon in Beverly Hills, California, hasn't dropped any hints. But given the fact that the actress' crowning glory constantly evolves from casual to classic to crimson, it's safe to say we can expect the unexpected.  

Check out these possible "I Do" 'dos.

Free Flowing with Lots of Highlights

Dark, Layered & Long

Golden Beachy Waves

Fast forward to 3:13.
Classic Ombre

Blonde Braid Bun

Whether she goes short or long, dark or light, traditional or trendy, Barrymore always looks stunning. The following shampoos, conditioners, masques, styling products and tools help any bride look like a superstar on her big day and during the honeymoon. 

SHINE: Bio Supplements Orange Shine Citrus Shine Shampoo and Conditioner. BEAUTY: Hydrolyzed pearl, and lemon and kiwi fruit extracts help hydrate and nourish locks. BEACON: Cruelty free and no animal testing. 

 SHINE: Burt's Bees Super Shine Shampoo with Mango and Conditioner. BEAUTY: Mango seed oil, fig fruit/leaf extract and thyme oil take silkiness, shine and softness to a new level. BEACON: No animal testing. Free of sulfates, parabens, phthalates and petrochemicals. 

SHINE: Conair MiniPRO Deep Wave Ceramic Styler and Ceramic Clipless Curler. BEAUTY: Small enough to fit in your honeymoon bag, these ceramic technology, high-heat devices provide instant style, body, texture and waves. BEACON: Supports American Red Cross, The Breast Cancer Research Foundation and National Dance Institute.

SHINE: Hamadi Organics Healing Serum. BEAUTY: Avocado oil, vitamin E, ylang ylang flower oil and bergamot oil replenish and repair strands and scalp. BEACON: Ecocert certified and no animal testing. Biodegradable, and contains no fragrances or colorants.

SHINE: Joico Smooth Cure Thermal Styling Protectant. BEAUTY: This blow dry and flat iron spray utilizes astrocaryum tucuma seed butter and keratin to protect hair from humidity and thermal damage of up to 450 degreesBEACON: No animal testing. Supports Beauty For a Cure and City of Hope.  

SHINE: Number 4 Hair Reconstructing Masque. BEAUTY: Restores moisture and protein with shea butter, yogurt extract, coconut oil and mango seed butter. BEACON: Vegan and no animal testing. Free of sulfates, gluten and parabens.

SHINE: Nature Pure Labs Rejuvahair Hippophae Citrus Hair Repair Masque. BEAUTY: Repairs, fortifies and renews hair and scalp with cinnamon leaf oil, vitamins A and E, and hippophae oil. BEACON: Free of parabens, artificial colors and fragrances. No animal testing.  

SHINE: Peter Lamas Volumize Me Styling Mousse. BEAUTY: Kiwi fruit extract, aloe vera leaf juice and algae extract condition, strengthen and add fullness. BEACON: Vegan and no animal testing. Contains no parabens. 

SHINE: Redken Duo Shield 07 Color Protecting Gel Cream. BEAUTY: Cranberry seed oil, orange peel oil and vitamin E boost shape and shine for color-treated hair. BEACON: Parent company L’Oréal and UNESCO created the For Women in Science partnership to promote the pursuit of ladies in scientific research.

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