Topic: Spas

Paint it Pink, Paint it Black: Prepping for Valentine’s Date Night

Published in: Fragrance, Makeup, Nails, Product Reviews, Skin Care, Spas

Ah, the pre-date ritual… It’s one of the many perks of being in love on Valentine’s Day, and whether you’re on the low- or high-maintenance end of the beauty spectrum, the drill usually goes a lil’ something like this:

  1. Crank up the music (a soundtrack helps when you’re getting sexified, yo)
  2. Wash
  3. Contemplate wearing your naughty or nice knickers
  4. Do your makeup and hair
  5. Pick your wardrobe (don’t forget the shoes!)


In a perfect world, I’d always have at least four leisurely hours to beautify myself for my Valentine’s date with El Hub, but with work and life the odds of having a solid block of four hours for anything are slim to none.

Still, a girl can dream, and if I had a world of time to prep for date night, this is how it would go:

Paint it Pink, Vol. 2…

  1. Clinique Superbalm Moisturizing Gloss in Grapefruit ($13.50). First priority: getting the lips primed for a mega-makeout session. I’d definitely prepare early in the day to get my pucker in makeout-ready shape with a layer of Clinique’s Superbalm Moisturizing Gloss. It’s a pretty, light pink shade with lots of shine. Plus, it moisturizes the beejebus out of my dry lips and gets them soft and ready for lovin’.
  2. Essie nail polish in Hard to Get ($8). This creamy pink polish is my favorite color from Essie’s spring line. It’s bubble-gum without being too Barbie — perfect for both finger and toes. Of course, in my fantasy I’m getting my nails done in a chair at San Francisco’s Bliss Spa. See, at Bliss they feed you brownies while you’re pampered. Yup.
  3. Philosophy Amazing Grace Perfumed Shampoo, Bath & Shower Gel ($22). Nothing is better than a long, indulgent bubble bath before (or during) a romantic date. With its light, floral scent, Amazing Grace Bath & Shower Gel relaxes me like no other and really gets me into a romantic state of mind. Bubble production is off the chart, and the suds have staying power, too. It leaves my skin feeling silky and soft, every time.
  4. Borghese Fango Brillants Brightening Mud ($59.60). I like to wear a face mask when I do the bubble thing to turn the relaxometer up another notch and make my face extra glowy. Lately I’ve been digging Fango’s Brilliants Brightening Mud. Made from Italian mud (or so they say) and rich in Vitamin A, minerals and citrus peel, this seriously pink mask o’ mud removes dead skin cells, and gently smooths and refines skin. Note: the jar is absolutely ginormous!

    I apply a thick layer to a clean face, wait ten minutes for it to dry and then wash it off. You can also use it on your body, too. Imagine covering yourself in bright pink mud, ha!
  5. Victoria’s Secret Beauty Ooh la la Shimmering Fragrance Mist ($22). My fave sexy scent is Chanel Mademoiselle, but I realize that floral oriental perfumes aren’t for everyone.

    For ladies who love lighter scents, one delicious option is Ooh la la Shimmering Fragrance Mist. It’s a very feminine mix of cherry blossom, vanilla and mandarin. If you like Victoria’s Secret Heavenly perfume, then I think you’ll dig this, too.

    While the product looks like disco inferno trapped in a bottle, it isn’t overly glittery on skin. I would definitely apply it before dressing, though, and not after (learn from my mistake!), to avoid the all-too-frequent glitter mishap.
  6. Hillary Duff Wrapped with Love ($38). Every time I look at this bottle I think of Hillary Duff’s song, Come Clean (also the Laguna Beach theme song). “Let the rain fall down, and wake my dreams…” LOLOL. Anyway, I’ll fess up to being a Laguna Beach fan (Seasons 1 and 2, holla), but I am certainly NOT a Hillary Duff fan. That said, I gotta give the girl and her marketing people props for this fruity-floral perfume, and it’s even guy friendly. According to an informal poll of a handful of random guy friends, it was liked by 4 out of 5 of them.

    Wrapped with Love is Hillary’s second fragrance; it’s a playful, lighter, version of With Love, her first perfume. It’s not as spicy or heavy as its older sibling, with notes of honeydew, blood orange, and raspberry mixed in with white florals and musk.

    At first I was afraid… I was petrified (sing it, Gloria Gaynor!) it would smell too pre-teen, but the scent is surprisingly sophisticated, fun and sexy — definitely not as heavy as my fave, Coco Mademoiselle. If you prefer lighter, fruit-themed fragrances, you might want to check it out.

This morning I’ve been listening non-stop to this wonderful tune by Sara Bareilles called Love Song. Have you heard it? It’s one of those songs where I wish I wrote the lyrics — a wish usually reserved only for certain Beatles masterpieces like Blackbird and Here Comes the Sun.

Anyway, I’m glad we got through Monday together. To reward myself I’m going to drink another cup of coffee (WHEEE!) and peruse some shoes on I really should get some practical work shoes that keep my feet warm and dry, but the siren call of impractical (but sexy) strappy high heels cannot be ignored.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


5 Makeup and Beauty Tips from Paris Hilton

Published in: Beauty Tips, Drugstore Beauty Finds, Fragrance, MAC Makeup, Makeup, Makeup Tips/How To, News, Product Reviews, Skin Care, Spas

Tip #1: Wear a scent that means something to you.

For some people, scent is highly tied to memory, like how a whiff of men’s Eternity can bring back memories of one’s lame ex-boyfriend (I’m not bitter).

I used to sneak a spritz or two of my mom’s Chanel No. 5 when I was a wee child. For Paris, the fragrances of Jean Patou hold a special place in her heart.

The first perfume she ever wore was Jean Patou’s 1000 because her mom wore it when Paris was young. Jean Patou’s Joy was another one. “It just smells like my grandma,” said Paris. “She always used to wear it. She passed away from breast cancer a few years ago, so it kind of reminds me of her when I wear it.”

Paris signs a pic for a fan at the CAN CAN release event held at Macy’s Valley Fair in Santa Clara, California on November 17, 2007


Just as fragrance can influence how we feel, it also affects how people remember us. That’s why Paris decided to make perfumes. “I wanted to do a fragrance because I feel like it’s such a big part of life.”

CAN CAN was really personal for her. She enlisted the help of friends and family in making it. Step one was to create a batch of sample fragrances with the help of a perfumer — one of those professional smell expert gurus — based on some of her favorite scents. With her three or four favorites in tow, she went home to do a little good ole’ fashioned market research. “I’ll have them smell,” said Paris of her friends and family, “and see what they like best.” With their input, she chose the fragrance she thought would appeal to the widest audience. The result was CAN CAN, a fruity floral with notes of clementine flower, cassis, nectarine, musk and amber.

This is the fourth fragrance campaign for Paris, who also did campaigns for her other perfumes: Heiress, Just Me and Paris Hilton. CAN CAN is the fourth campaign but the first with a distinct theme. She called it the best of the photo shoots she’s done for a fragrance so far. She danced and posed on a Moulin Rouge themed set while her self-titled debut album, Paris, played in the background. “We’ve always done really beautiful shots,” she said, “but not really a theme, so it was really fun.”

Paris is often reminded of how her fragrances can influence every day life. Dudes and chicks stop her on the street to tell her that they’re wearing her stuff. “I always go and smell them,” she said. I wore CAN CAN on the day I did this interview, so from now on every time I catch a whiff of it I’ll remember that day. I almost shoved my wrist up her nose at one point but thought it faux pas.

Thousands of rabid fans showed up to the event. Apparently it pays to be tall when you’re jostling other Paris fans for camera phone pics.


Tip #2: Rock the lipgloss.

CHANEL Glossimer lipgloss, YES!

Paris was rocking a fierce look in our interview. She was wearing a sleeveless cream top and black skirt by BCBG and hot pink Christian Dior shoes. Ladies and gents, you know how your girl loves the shoes. I briefly thought about stopping the interview to have my photographer (El Hub) take shots of Paris’ fantabulous footwear, but alas, I only had six minutes to get through all my questions. So sorry, fellow shoe lovers!


For her makeup, Paris wore a silver, sparkly eye with thick black liner on the top lid along with a soft flushed cheek. She had on MAC shadow and Max Factor blush. The focal point of her look was a pink lip topped with a layer of Chanel Glossimer lipgloss in Astral #104. “I love the glitter in it,” she said.

For the past few weeks I’ve been trying to motivate myself to do stuff by using Chanel makeup as a self-motivator — i.e. Karen does ‘X’ tasks and gets two tubes of Chanel lipgloss — but after seeing Paris wearing Glossimer, I’m afraid I’m going to cave, like, really soon. Perhaps tomorrow, even. Girlfriend’s lips looked *super hot*.

MAC Prrr Lipglass, YES!

When Paris is working, she spends a lot of time in hair and makeup with her stylists and makeup artists, so on her days off she doesn’t like to wear a lot of makeup. She does love her gloss, though, and can’t live without MAC Prrr Lipglass. “When I’m just like, chilling,” she said, “I’d rather just put on mascara, and like, really cute lipgloss.”

Maybelline Great Lash, NOOOO!

And what is Paris’ mascara of choice on her days off? Maybelline Great Lash, the one from Rite-Aid in the pink and green tube.

I thought, “Are you serious, girlfriend?” I would’ve put my money on Paris being a Diorshow kind of girl. I had some Plushlash in my purse, and I thought about giving it to her as a gesture of goodwill mascara salvation. Paris, girrrrrrl, if you’re reading this, I’m gonna hook you up with some Plushlash, STAT!

Tip #3: Get the glowy look with weekly facials and Kate Somerville products.

Paris is known for her dewy, glowy skin. She said her secret is a weekly facial at Kate Somerville, a spa located down the street from her house. She and Kate are homies, and Paris gets treatments with extractions at the spa when she isn’t too busy with work.

Extractions? I cringed.

I wish you could see Paris’ Christian Dior shoes in this pic. They were *awesome.*


“You know,” she said, “it’s good for you. Everyone should do it. And like Lasergenesis, which makes your skin really, like, plump … it’s just this light that goes on your face.”

Kate Somerville offers a full skin care line, and Hilton is an avid devotee. “I use all Kate’s products,” she said. She can’t live without Nourish moisturizer and Exfolikate (formerly known as Kate in a Jar) exfoliating treatment. On the day of our interview, beside the sparkly eye and lip, Paris’ skin actually had very little shine. It was a very matte skin look, which is really trendy right now.

“I just think it’s good to just take care of yourself and get massages and drink water,” she added.

Tip #4: Planning ahead never hurts, especially when it comes to skin care or the quest for beauty-product world domination.

Paris’ quest for world domination doesn’t stop at the fragrance counter. She is currently working on a makeup line and would also love to create skin care products. Her take home message for skin care: start young! I hear ya, girl. Like I always say, the best anti-aging secret is sunscreen (and don’t forget your neck, oy!).

Tip #5: Be polite and sweet to everyone.

Although I never really watched Paris’ show, “The Simple Life,” I’ve read a lot about her in the news, and truth be told I didn’t know what to expect from this interview. Would she roll her eyes because I wasn’t from Newsweek or the New York Times? Girlfriend did say she didn’t use the Web too much, and she’d never heard of beauty blogs before. Would she spend the entire time text-messaging Nicole on her massive jewel-encrusted smartphone?

To my surprise, she was nice. Although she seemed a bit guarded and heavily media trained, she was sweet and fully engaged throughout the conversation. The moral of this story? Despite all of the drama surrounding Paris in the news, I found her to be a sweet girl who works hard and loves her family.


I hope you had a wonderful weekend and that it was, dare I say, hot.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


P.S. Before you jet, beauty lover, check out the home page for more makeup reviews. 🙂

Nails, Spas: Bliss San Francisco Spa; Hot Milk and Almond Pedicure

Published in: Nails, Product Reviews, Spas

I went to the Bliss Spa at the W Hotel in San Francisco to get a pedicure yesterday, and all I have to say is the place effing rules.

I briefly thought about keeping it as a secret and not blogging about it, but then I’d be doing all women with jacked-up feet in the SF Bay Area a serious disservice.

Here’s the “after” picture of my feet post-Hot Milk and Almond Pedicure ($65.00), the most popular pedicure on the Bliss spa menu. I almost put up the “before” pic of my feet, but decided to spare humanity the horror.



Where to begin? First of all, the entire place is pretty, comfy and very modern chic. The white and blue surroundings set a hip, yet relaxed tone. bliss-sf-reception

But it’s when you sit your bum down in the nail chair when the real fun begins.

First they bring you snacks: cheese and crackers and even brownies if ya want. Note to file: I like any place that brings me queso.

Second, they’ve got TV’s positioned on the wall right above the nail-tech’s head, so you can watch any episode of Sex and the City that you want. You just pop on some headphones and then bam, you’re hanging with Carrie and the girls.

Can I just say I really appreciate this touch? Believe it or not, beauty blogging requires plenty o’ networking and socializing, so I spend a lot of time in person or on the phone with industry people. And although I love the social aspect of the business, I also appreciate having downtime to myself.

So when I go get my nails done or my hair did, I view the time as “my” time. I don’t want to have to make small talk about god knows what. I lurve that I can just put on the headphones at the Bliss spa and just enjoy the experience of having my toes done without having to interact. To be able to just sit and not feel “on” is the ultimate form of relaxation for me.

Save Your Feet, Save the World

The pedicure treatment was fantastic. It lasts an hour, and includes a hot foot soak in steamed whole milk with moisturizing almond oil; an exfoliating scrub on your lower legs and feet; and a super mega session with a foot cheese grater thingy. It’s described on the Web site as “a fierce diamond-sided flexible fiberglass callus fighter,” and it’s no joke. The nail tech removed what looked like a half a pound of grated Parmesan from my feet.

After all of this soaking, buffing and scrubbing, the end result was a pair of feet smoother than a politician trying to get elected to office.

The nail tech did a great job with the dark, vampy shade I picked out. The final result looked deep and dark, shiny (she used a Seche Vite topcoat, my personal fave) and very pretty.

The color selection on hand at the spa consists of Essie polishes, which tend to be a bit more conservative in color, so if you’re a crazy color polish person then bring your own.

If you forget to bring flip flops they give you a temporary pair. Don’t plan on hoofing it anywhere far though, because the bottoms are kind of thin. If you bring your own flip-flops the staff gives you a cute lil’ bag to store your shoes in.

They do spa parties here, too. I’m going to force my friend J-Money to go in the name of “research” for her bachlorette party festivities. I also think that I’m going to go here by myself often, as a treat after a long day of meetings or shopping in downtown SF. I can’t wait to go back!

The Bliss Spa San Francisco is located on the fourth floor of the W Hotel at Third and Howard. They are open 7 days a week from 9am-9pm. Call (415) 281-0990 to book an appointment.

Tonight I’m heading to the City with some girlfriends. We’re taking a pole dancing class together, oy. Although the pole dancing class doesn’t really have me stressed out (I’ve got good upper body strength), I’m pretty stressed about having to wear BOOTY SHORTS to class. Allegedly they help one’s thighs grip the pole. Umm… for me booty shorts were 20 pounds and 10 years ago. Ugh.

Afterwards we’re doing a girl’s night out with dinner and drinks, and then dancing. Most of the clubs in SF will be doing a Halloween-themed night so we’re going to dress up in cute costumes before we go out. I’ve got some cat ears, which is costume enough for me!

I hope you’re having a fantastic weekend so far and that you’ve got fun plans for tonight.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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