Seche Vite

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Best top coat ever. It bonds to the nail polish and makes nails super shiny. The only thing that takes getting used to is the thickness, try to use as few strokes as possible and get plenty on the brush when you dip. I did this on one half of my nails and went to bed. My other nails had tons of pillow fabric lines, the seche nails were perfect! Buy it at most beauty supply stores, you’ll be hooked.

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Boscia Luminizing Black Mask

Best peel off mask ever. The black mask is sleek, and super mineral rich. It’s got an ingredient – Calcium Montmorillonite Clay which has 67 minerals which suck up all the ickies in your skin. The best part is how soft your skin feels after you peel this bad boy off, and if you are like me – you can marvel in all the gunk it pulls out of your skin. It looks like a little forest of yuckiness. Tip: Put it on thick, and it will peel off much easier.

Caudalie Instant Foaming Cleanser

This facial cleansing foam is awesome. Its made for all skin types, but if you have sensitive skin, this is a must buy. It will clean off your makeup, without leaving your skin ultra tight. Plus, like the rest of the Caudalie line, it has the power of grape extract – with is high in antioxidants and helps to rid the skin of free radicals caused by light, smoke, etc.. The stuff that ages us. I like the fact that Im fighting aging even in my cleanser, because I dont know about you, but I plan on never aging.

$26.00 at http://www.caudalie-usa.com or at Sephora.

Mac Fluidline Eyeliner

Ive tried liquid, pencil, every kind of eyeliner under the sun – and my all time favorite has got to be Mac Fluidline eyeliner. This little pot of gold will last you forever, and the consistency of the liner is so smooth and silky, you never pull on your lids when applying, like a pencil will do. And its softer then those liquid pens, although with the right brush, you can be just as precise.

My wedding makeup artist used this on my for my wedding, and I havent gone back since. A suprisingly good value at $15.00 at http://www.maccosmetics.com

Skin care based on ethnicity?

Just read a very interesting article in Allure magazine, called “Skin Deep”. The article talks about how each ethnic group has specific skin types, and the best product for each.

Some of the bullet points – Black skin makes more pigment, thus more scars. Also,skin doesnt wrinkle as quickly – but it does sag. They recommend: Olay Regenerist Night Recovery Cream, and Aveno Ultra Calming Foaming Cleanser (which I am currently trying now).

White Skin: Sun damage and skin cancer is biggest problem, fine lines begin earlier as collagen and elastic tissue begin to wear. They recommend: Olay Definity Illuminating Cream Cleanser, Lancome Absolue Night Premium Bx.

East & Southeast Asian: Similar to black skin, but often very sensitive. The recommend: Boots No.7 Gentle Foaming Facial Wash, Dr. Jessica Wu Cosmeceuticals Dew Cream, Aveno Positively Radiant Tinted Moisturizer SPF30

South Asian & Dark Middle Eastern: skin drops, susceptible to melasma. They recommend: SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum, RoC Retinol Correction Deep Wrinkle Night Cream

Latin: they have a mix of all the different ethnicities. They recommend: Neutrogena Rapid Clear Treatment Pads, EltaMD Skincare UV Clear SPF46.

This is the first skin care recommendation I read in a magazine that makes sense to me. While all skin is different, and I’m sure there are deviations in their charecteristics, it seems logical that my skin is more similar to those that share the same heritage as me.

I’ve tried so many products that were recommended by Allure, Lucky, Glamour, etc.. and most of the time, they dont give me the results that people in magazines are raving about, which is why I am so excited to try my ethnicity based skin regimine.. I bought every single product they recommended – I’ll keep you posted!

Curl-ease Towel

In my hair re-discovery, I have learned many things. The most important thing I’ve found in maintaining a curly head, seems to be what you do to it right out of the shower. I saw the Curl-Ease towel, and figured Id give it a try – it is super absorbent, and nice and thin, long enough to make a cute little turban with ease. The real beauty is in the fabric – it doesn’t frizz or pull apart any of my fragile ringlets, so when my hair is dry, it still keeps its curly definition. $19.99 at Bed Bath and Beyond or at http://www.curlease.com

Miss Jessies Curly Buttercreme

Oh goodness, I love this stuff for my kinky curly ‘do. Be forewarned – its thick, its minty, and probably would make a straight haired head look like it was covered in an oil slick. This stuff is like curl makin’ magic on my hair – right out of the shower, I smooth it on, and put my hair in my special curly hair head wrap (review to come), and I sit back and enjoy the cool winterfresh feeling on my scalp. AWESOME for this ridiculous NY heat. And the jar, huge.. It’ll take me at least 8 months to get through it – woopie!