Tag Archives: La Bella Figura

Twas A Night For Green Beauty


I’m back from a quick 36-hour jaunt to NYC for A Night for Green Beauty. You know what happens when you bring together a group of fanatical beauty bloggers, makeup artists, editors, brands and juice-spiked cocktails? Really amazing discussions on things like, which natural deodorant did you wear to the party? For the record, the answers were really interesting – the Green Product Junkie even whipped out a roll-on tube of Milk of Magnesia on the spot. And the proof is in the pudding, ladies. Take a good look at the glowing skin of these green gurus and you will be an instant natural skincare convert. Lina Hanson is so beautiful you almost can’t look at her directly and I really just can’t EVEN with May Lindstrom. Stunning.

While breaking down an entire night of green beauty goodness will be tough, I’ll give it a go!


Pretty little Lurk fragrance oils

One of the stylists at James Corbett Salon sat me down in his chair for a much-needed refresh with Tela Organics hair care. I usually give the stank eye to stylists who come at me with a paste but I’m glad I was feeling risky or I never would have discovered the Tela Beach Hair. The oomph it gave to my roots was pure sexpot. I now know never to doubt when shea butter is involved. This won’t be the last you hear from me on this product!


ILIA’s Sasha Plavsic and me

ILIA Founder Sasha Plavsic shared some deets on new launches. Look out for a new gold highlighter to come this holiday and reformulated mascaras. Also, you need to try the ILIA Lipstick Crayon in Call Me. It’s the perfect girly pink I’ve been searching for like ever.

La Bella Figura is at it again with exotic travel-inspired fragrance oils. This time, they brought to scent their experiences from San Miguel, Istanbul and Positano.  I’m partial to San Miguel, which Victoria will vividly paint the picture of how it came to be based on her experiences in the city during Dia De Los Muertos and how the streets smelled of fresh bread, cocoa, cinnamon, wildflowers and incense.

Lina Hanson is also working on taking the fresh grapefruit and vanilla aroma of her new Global Body Serum and turning it into a fragrance.  And, for moms of wee ones, she is also launching a Baby Serum this fall.

I chatted with team Kjaer Weis, pressing for details on the new foundation coming and getting in some physical exercise by doing reps with the weighty compacts! I’d be one happy gal if my makeup bag was filled to the brim, even if it caused lower back pain! I need to get on the taupe eye shadow Wisdom stat.


Alexandra of Revolution Organics touching up Katie of the Green Product Junkie

Summer may be fleeting but bronzer is here to stay. Revolution Organics Co-founder Alexandra Zanella showed me how to use the Bronzed Freedom Glow to bring life to the face. A fun and easy trick that actually makes you look like you were in the sun? Blending ever so slightly a dab on the tip of your nose.

After standing in my four-inch booties for hours, I was feeling the burn and onset of blisters. First time in boots all season is killer! It was fate that at that very moment I struck a conversation with Britta Aragon, founder of CV Skinlabs, who spritzed me down with her Rescue + Relief Spray. Instant cooling effect. I can see myself getting a little trigger happy with this mist!

Gotta love how this event all started with my Chicago ladies of La Bella Figura! Thanks for being such wonderful hosts.

Posted in Natural | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

On Skin Types, Tips and Toners

Remember when I told you about A Night for Green Beauty? It’s all set to go down in New York on September 4, and I can hardly wait. Not only are so many of my favorite brands all gathering in a single room (owners and all!), but some of my favorite green beauty bloggers will be there as well. I am going to geek out! I’d say the skin care secrets tag that’s been floating around the green beauty blogosphere landed here at just the right time. Thanks to Kimberyloc for sending this my way.


Describe your skin care routine in 5 words.

Extensive, active, enjoyable, refining, ritualistic

What’s your skin type?

It doesn’t like to be classified, but it leans towards oily.

What’s your favorite skin care product?

I love the feeling of freshly exfoliated skin, but am careful not to overdo it. So my favorite product(s) – what, you think I can just pick one?! – are my scrubs and exfoliators. Osmia Organics Detox Exfoliating Mask is the one thing I can’t wait to do every week. It is powerful, so I actually use it about once every 10-14 days. Bonus: it smells ever so faintly of chocolate. And, I am newly obsessed with Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics Vitamin B Cleansing Oil. Not only does it remove all traces of makeup it exfoliates as well with fruit enzymes from papayas. How many cleansing oils do that? Total power player.


Top blemish zapper?

Osmia Organics Spot Treatment. I use it nightly and I get not even a ¼ of the breakouts I did before using this.

Face wipes: Yay or Nay?

Major yay. I tend to use these more in the summer time and I always tote them along when I travel. Most of the time, I’m not packing my cleansing oil on trips, so I like to use a towelette as a first step in makeup removal. At the moment, I’m partial to Alba Good & Clean. One side is slightly textured if you need a little extra oomph or exfoliation.

Toner: Yay or Nay?

The word toner conjures up bottles of Sea Breeze to me, but 100% yay. I get my mist fix now with plant oils and hyaluronic acid and I use them at a freakishly fast pace. Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics Vitamin D Mist is lovely as is Kahina Toning Mist. And now that La Bella Figura Jardin de Fleurs Revitalizing Mistlove the fah-ncy name — is available I’ve got to get my mitts on a big bottle.

High-end skin care or high-end make-up?

I’ve long justified both, and I like to think of my high-end purchases as more high-quality. Not every product needs to break the bank, but I try not to guilt myself if I spend way too much on something.

You’re in a pharmacy and can only pick up one item — what is it?

Most likely a magazine or Q-Tips! I love the Precision Tips kind with the pointed edge and use them constantly. I can’t paint my nails without them and they are really useful to smudge eyeliner into a slight little kitten eye.

Tell us your top skincare tips.

The first is the most basic, but it’s so important to have a routine. Remove your makeup every night, moisturize and SPF every morning, etc. I’m always surprised when people tell me they don’t wash their face. It feels so good! Also:

·        Don’t touch your face. Our hands are so germy!

·        Exfoliate weekly.

·        Protect your skin from the sun. Be it by sunscreen, big hats or straight avoidance.

·        Wear an eye cream every day and night. It’s never too early to start.

I’d love to hear from any and all of you on these questions. And, go visit Genuine Glow and Pemberley Jones and see how they answered these same Qs.

Posted in Natural, Skincare | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

Chill Out, it’s National Relaxation Day


Bless you, creator of National Relaxation Day. I’m always up for a reminder to just CHILL. Ironically, today is going to be a busy one, but the weekend is near. After work, I’m stopping by the Birchbox Ann Taylor #ReadySetFinished event hosted by one of Chicago’s most fabulous bloggers, Nicole Pearl of The Beauty Girl. Hoping there is a small chance I’ll finally be able to snag these booties – though they are truly sold out everywhere.  From there, it’s on home to squeeze in some relaxation. I’ve got to honor the day. Here’s what relaxation looks like for me!

This upcoming launch from La Bella Figura, the Skin Aficianado Body Elixir. I tried a tiny sample of this and am hooked. It looks like sunshine in the bottle and has the most unique warm scent. After a steamy bath (relaxation 101 for me!), this is like a cozy blanket nuzzling me to sleep.

A nourishing lip treatment that tastes like honey! Osmia Organics Honey-Myrrh Lip Repair is a staple on my nightstand. I lather it on at night and wake up with the softest lips. I’ll stockpile this come January!

The smell of lavender in this pureelementnaturals Defend Argan Oil Moisturizer. Massaging this blend of argan oil and six other essential oils into clean skin is a ritual worth taking your time to complete. I love to layer it over this serum.

September issues! I’ve got Lucky, Glamour and InStyle just waiting to be devoured, page by page. I’ll be saving this for the weekend.

A candle that is channeling my current state of mind. Maybe it’s the cooler weather we’ve been having, but my mind is on fall. And, whatever, you know you want it, too! Just give me a few more beach days, and I’ll fully embrace it. Until then, Bath & Body Works fall candles – like Sweater Weather! – are giving my home the fall treatment.

Any plans for relaxation on your end?

Posted in Home, Natural | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

La Bella Figura Modern Radiance Concentrate


Earlier this year, Victoria from La Bella Figura was excitedly telling me about this ingredient they were sourcing for an upcoming launch that was so high in vitamin C it was going to be major for anti-aging skincare.  The end product was still in its very early stages of development, but I was already excited to get to testing. Fast forward nearly eight months and La Bella Figura Modern Radiance Concentrate is here! The ingredient that had team LBF so excited was the kakadu plum, which contains the world’s highest source of vitamin C.  Which, in context, means that at a minimum, this fruit contains about 100 times the vitamin C concentration of an orange. And what La Bella Figura whipped up with this wonder is indeed major.

Among the benefits of continued use include, improved skin texture, even skin tone, reduced discoloration and more luminosity. There are so many antioxidants in this bottle that strengthen your skin and help it regenerate, it is mind-blowing. Skin naturally thins as we age and this formula gets deep into skin to help get some of that youthful elasticity back by toning the thinning skin. I think of this as the skincare version of my ballet barre class, minus the burn in my muscles. The gel cream consistency, which is in part from the cupuacu seed butter, feels cool and refreshing. LBF recommends to keep this in a cool, dark place to help preserve all that goodness. I’m savoring every pea-sized drop I use, because I have a feeling this is one that I will want to splurge on when my sample runs out!

P.S. Less than month to go until ‘A Night for Green Beauty!

Posted in Natural, Skincare | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

A Night for Green Beauty, Fall Nails and New One Love Organics


This week absolutely kicked my butt! I have a feeling the next few weeks will be more of the same so this weekend, I plan to catch up on life a bit and hit up the Nordstrom Anniversary sale—at least round one. I’m thankful for the slight heat reprieve because it is always so hard for me to shop boots and sweaters mid-July.

While you’re enjoying your weekend, make sure to check out these reads.

In the biggest news all week, A Night for Green Beauty was announced. My Chicago gals at La Bella Figura are hosting the event in NYC on September 4 and I cannot wait! (Chalkboard Mag)

There’s more to the collab between Elizabeth Dehn of Beauty Bets and One Love Organics and it just launched this week. (Beauty Bets)

I know what I’m wearing on my nails this fall. (POPSUGAR Beauty)

I love Megan’s weekly wish lists. Girlfriend always makes me want to shop! (Seed to Serum)

Get to know Chicago’s Cait of Pretty and Fun and bookmark her blog while you’re at it! (Refinery29)

Posted in Link Love | Tagged | 4 Comments

How To Humidity-Proof Your Face


The humidity in Chicago right now is the worst its been all year, but it still doesn’t compare to the seriously oppressive dew points I experienced while living in DC. If you live in that area and you see someone with great hair, pull them aside and beg them to share their secrets! Prior to making the 312 my home, I spent five years post-college in Washington. My first summer there was a shock. Working in a business professional dress environment and attempting to keep my face from melting was a daily task. When one of my favorite bloggers, Kara of Politics of Pretty, asked me to guest blog on the topic, I was more than happy to oblige!  I like to think that the tricks I have up my sleeve now would have made those five DC summers that much more manageable. But if you’d told me back then that I’d be purposefully slathering oil on my face every morning, I would have laughed. Oh, how things change for the better!

Check out my post on summer skin over at Politics of Pretty! And while you’re there, catch up on her “Bill of Makeup Rights” posts. Does it get any cuter than that? Gotta love her cap-city themes!

Posted in Natural, Skincare | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Beauty Serums for the Body


{Inspiration from Lina Hanson via Facebook}

Once you begin beauty oil-ing, you just don’t stop. It’s been the best skin care shake-up for me. It makes sense to extend that goodness to the body, right? Skin care absolutely shouldn’t be limited to just the skin on our face. Lucky for us, body serums are a growing trend. I’ve begun dabbling with these body serums by One Love Organics (oh, the Rose!) and have noticed a difference in my skin. It’s smoother to the touch and I feel good knowing that my largest organ is absorbing healthy ingredients that actually benefit skin. La Bella Figura is set to launch one soon – and you know the ingredient list will be turn-back-time style. And this month, celebrity makeup artist Lina Hanson— of Global Face Serum beauty oil fame!— is launching her new Global Body Serum.


Lina preps and primes some of the most beautiful faces in Hollywood with her Face Serum – Natalie Portman, Emma Stone and Morena Baccarin have all sported the Lina-induced global glow. Like its sister oil, the Global Body Serum contains 10 super oils sourced from around the globe: rice bran, apricot kernel, argan, yuzu, vanilla, camellia seed, brazil nut, pumpkin seed, grapefruit and avocado.  Isn’t it refreshing to be able to pronounce all of the ingredients? What’s even better is how it feels to massage this on to damp skin. Just as you do your face serums, press this on to your skin. I focus it on my chest to start and then blend outward. I mix a few drops of it in with my Weleda when moisturizing my legs as I don’t want to use too much of the oil (it’s a splurge!)

Lina timed the launch of Global Body Serum to World Environment Day, June 5. A splurge on either of her Global Serums from June 15 through August 15 means 15% of proceeds go to the International Rescue Committee. Global Body Serum retails for $63 and is available at LinaHanson.com.

P.S. While we’re on the topic of splurges, it’s only fair to share my favorite budget body oil buy! Check it here

Posted in Natural, Skincare | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Earth Day (Beauty) Clean-Up


Are you ready for eco everywhere today?  Honestly, you can’t not love Earth Day. Because even though every day should be eco-minded, every day is not Earth Day. So let’s cheers to the official with a chat about green beauty! Admittedly, I am not 100 percent clean with my beauty routine but I am very ingredient-conscious and the balance is tipping more and more green for me. Especially with skin and body care. There’s no excuse for mineral oil and parabens anymore, ya know? The green beauty industry has majorly upped its game. And many other brands are cleaning up their formulas as well.  The paradigm is shifting.  In addition to spending some of Earth Day with nature, make it your mission to check out some of my favorite clean products and brands below!  An Earth Day clean-up doesn’t necessarily have to be about planting trees and picking up trash…

RMS “Un” Cover-Up. An incredibly effective concealer, made with coconut oil and a blend of cocoa seed butter, jojoba and beeswax. This can be used all over the face on the areas that need a little coverage. Blend with your fingers to warm up the product and watch it melt into your skin. Don’t underestimate the magical powers housed in this tiny little pot. And also don’t fear the oils. Promise! It works wonders (even on oily complexions!)

ILIA Lipstick. The company responsible for making my favorite lipstick. In My Room is my perfect neutral. It’s pinky, with a hint of peach, and enough brown tones to balance it out.

Kahina Toning Mist.  I’m in the middle of testing a few Kahina products, and in the process have become reliant on this moisturizing mist. It’s made with more than 90% organic ingredients and smells ever so slightly of roses. It calms skin, tones and replenishes moisture throughout the day. And, 25% of profits of this product are set aside to the women in Morocco who harvest and produce Kahina’s organic argan oil.

Vapour. Oh, just everything from this line. Seriously, it’s one of the best all-around organic beauty lines I’ve tried. Everything is consistently good, and made from organic plant-based ingredients, minerals and vitamins. This foundation rivals many of my “unclean” favs as do the Aura Multi-Use Blushes.  Oh, and I adore the Siren Lipstick in ‘Au Pair’ — it’s definitely getting some use this spring as I can’t enough of rosy pinks.  

Revolution Organics Freedom Glow Beauty Balm. A brand I’m interested in getting to know more of, based on my positive experience with the Freedom Glow in ‘Blushed’ – a super hot pink that is sheer and dewy on cheeks. The ingredient list makes me smile — coconut oil, shea butter, aloe vera and it goes on. The more I embrace these nourishing oils in my beauty routine, the more my skin behaves.

For more Earth Day fun, the ladies at La Bella Figura will be hosting an #EarthBeauty Twitter chat tonight at 7pm central. I’ll be joining in and hope you can tweet along as well!

*note: I received a sample of the Kahina Toning Mist.

Posted in Natural | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Low to Luxe: Eye Cream

It wasn’t long ago that my friend Catherine asked me to break down the best makeup for busy moms. And right before she came back from maternity leave, she specifically pegged me on eye cream recommendations.  I’m no expert on mom beauty shortcuts yet, but I know eye cream. I started using it when I was around 19 (Clinique All About Eyes, a beginner’s staple!) and I’m a firm believer that it needs to be a part of every woman’s routine.  It’s never too early or late to add that step, and the payoff is major. I’ve put together a list of my top recommendations, in low to luxe fashion. I like options, and I imagine you do as well!


Low to Luxe: Acure Organics // Origins // Kiehl’s // Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics // La Bella Figura

Acure Organics Eye Cream is one of the best values I’ve come across — especially considering the organic, superfruit-packed formula (Acai! Pomegranate! Goji berry!) It’s lightweight but don’t worry, it’s fighting the good fight against wrinkles. One of my favorite things about this brand is that for every product sold, they donate $1 to Bright Pink to help fund breast cancer education.

I went through a major Origins GinZing phase a few years back and it remains a favorite. It’s like a cup of coffee for your eyes, with a blend of caffeine, ginseng and optic brighteners to bring visible radiance to the eye area. I like to blend my concealer with a dab of this and apply together. It’s a good morning boost.

I am a fan of most of Kiehl’s eye creams, and I really like the new Powerful Wrinkle Reducing Cream. It uses Copper PCA (an essential mineral in the skin) to prevent the breakdown of collagen. I love how quickly skin drinks it up (making it very easy to wear during the day) and the formula has a solid blend of wrinkle-fighters and moisturizers.

My new obsession is the shea-packed vitamin e eye balm from Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics. Shea butter is everything! The value in this tiny tub is crazy, given how little you need. It’s daytime appropriate, but best suited for night when you can layer it on for some good old fashioned beauty sleep. Elizabeth advised me to dab some on my lips and cuticles. I did so with the leftover on my finger after applying undereyes —- there’s never any waste!

I’ve saved the luxe for last! And it’s not even an eye cream but an oil serum – La Bella Figura Découverte Eye Repair Serum. I like to call it my magic eraser. If you are looking to really combat the crow’s feet, you need to call in the big guns. Découverte is made from pure barbary fig seed oil and it’s extremely effective in making stressed tissue appear smooth and youthful. I don’t throw around the “miracle” word like ever but I think this can actually help reverse signs of aging. It’s a worthy investment and the good news is a little bit goes a long way.

note: some editorial samples were provided (Kiehl’s, Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics & La Bella Figura)

Posted in Low to Luxe, Skincare | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Link Love: March Birchbox and the Must-Have Pastel Palette for Spring


{A peek into my March 2013 Birchbox}

I was excited to see the Serge Normant Meta Revive Dry Shampoo in my March Birchbox. This video of Serge himself transforming Birchbox founder Katia’s hair with this product will be my hair to-do this weekend! (Birchbox)

How adorable is this mark pastel shadow palette for spring? (The Glossarie)

Bobbi Brown dishes on upcoming trends and the one item she thinks every woman needs in her makeup bag. (Nordstrom Beauty 24/7)

Another 312 blogger that can’t get enough of facial oils…and her post on La Bella Figura’s Barbary Fig Seed Oil is a must-read. (Seed to Serum)

Love glittery polish but hate removing it? Here’s an interesting remedy… (Refinery29)

Mozzarella bar? Gnocchi with truffle cream? I need to get myself to Siena Tavern stat – the new Chicago restaurant from Top Chef’s Fabio. (Chi Gal Lauren)

Posted in Link Love | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment