Monday, April 13, 2009

Where does luxe rank in "In Style"'s BEST BEAUTY BUYS 2009?

Many years ago, before I came to work for this company, I have distinct memories of my friend Rachel and I eagerly waiting for "In Style"'s BEST BEAUTY BUYS annual edition to arrive in our mailboxes. We would then precede to make an immediate bee line for our nearest local apothecary, The Beauty Store Salon and Spa, to see what the store had in stock from the list, so we could hold it, smell it, sample it, etc. The trip would almost always end up in purchases from the BEST OF list, and, of course, usually a few others that were on our own personal lists.

The BEST BEAUTY BUYS is hands down my favorite edition of "In Style". It combines my love of beauty and my love of lists into a seamless package that I find very hard to resist. My friend Rachel now lives in Baton Rouge, so we can't run to The Beauty Store together. Regardless, I still get just as excited now as I did then when that "In Style" arrives.

Truthfully, I get even more excited now because I work at an apothecary that carries a lot of the amazing products that get selected every year. (Ironically, luxe apothetique and The Beauty Store are owned by the same couple. Who knew that my annual beauty pilgrimage would one day be a sister store!) To honor my love of products and lists (as mentioned above), I have compiled the things I am most jazzed about this year on BEST BEAUTY BUYS.

Stila Convertible Color


These water color-inspired shades "aren't super-pigmented, so they give that delicate lit-from-within look," says Brett Freeup, an L.A. makeup artist. According to Jeanine Lobell, "It's beautiful on lips too." She has used it on Natalie Portman and Naomi Watts.

At luxe, our makeup artist, Wendy uses these all the time! We have a clientele comprised of a lot of busy moms. This Stila product is great because it can be used on your eyes, cheeks,
and lips. It's an all in one. What a great way to save on time
and product over load.

I.D. Bare Minerals


The first of its kind and, pros agree, still the best for quick, on-the-go makeup with a clean, sheer finish . "It doesn’t get too powdery," says N.Y.C. makeup artist Carolina Gonzalez, who applies it with a soft, natural bristle brush.

This is my everyday foundation. I love it because there are only 5 ingredients and one of those is sunscreen! I get complemented on my skin all the time, and I truly feel that use of this Bare Minerals product is part of the reason. It give flawless coverage, and never feels heavy. (STYLE TIP: If you tend to have large pore s that can show up when using mineral foundations, mist your face lightly with water after applying the power. Wait a few seconds, then go back with your Kabuki brush to work the product in more. Viola! No more visible pores.)

OPI Lincoln Park After Dark


A hint of plum prevents this deep hue from going totally goth and lends it a "playful sexiness," says L.A. nail pro Tracey Sutter.

When this OPI nail color came out a few years ago, we had trouble keeping it in stock. It still remains that color that everyone loves and everyone needs.

Bliss Triple Oxygen Mask


In five minutes or less, this light, refreshing mask delivers a "quick antioxidant blast" to perk up dull, tired skin, says Elissa Lunder, a dermatologist in Wellesley, Mass.

Again, another great product for all of the busy ladies (and men) out there. Put it on clean skin before you brush your teeth, brush, remove. It's that easy and amazing. This is one of those products that you can feel working.

Already a fan? Have you tried the Bliss Oxygen Mask for eyes? Equally amazing!

Kerastase Bain Oleo-Relax


This intensely moisturizing combo tames even the most unruly hair, says stylist Valery Joseph of N.Y.C. Curls are "light, defined and easy to style," adds N.Y.C. styli st River Lloyd.

The beauty of this product is that is gives your hair the memory of being relaxed and straight. Continued use guarantees calmer hair. A miracle in a bottle? Perhaps.

Kerastase Bain Satin/Masquintense


The word our experts use most often to describe this radiance-enhancing shampoo and conditioner duo: "perfect." "They make hair feel really healthy," says N.Y.C. stylist Carla Gentry Osorio, who has used them on Jada Pinkett Smith. Adds stylist Charles Dujic of L.A., "They're gentle and smell great."

(That great smell is Channel No. 5.! All of the Kerastase moisturizing line is infused with the luxury fragrance.)

Kerastase Volumactive


Pros love the whisper-light texture of this mousse. "It disappears immediately and doesn’t leave hair sticky," says N.Y .C. stylist Ellin LaVar. Valery Joseph recommends applying "a tennis ball-size amount" to hair when it's wet and distributing it evenly with a wide-tooth comb.

I have very fine hair, but I live in Texas so BIG hair is my ideal. This gives me Texas sized hair with New York sized class. Never sticky or too 1980's reminiscent this is a mousse that I can personally recommend. (STYLING TIP: Want eve n bigger hair? Team it with the Kerastase Volumactive Spray. Huzzah!)

Bumble and Bumble

"This has the control of a gel with the lightweight texture of a lotion," says N.Y .C. stylist Erin Anderson, who has used it on Mischa Barton. "I can do everything with this," says stylist Sean James of Santa Monica. "It gives volume and smoothness. It’s all-purpose."

I explain this product to luxe apothetique's client like this: Bumble and bumble's Styling cream is like if mousse and gel had a baby. A wonder product that only requires a pea size amount. (STYLING TIP: Put in at the crown on damp hair. Blow dry your way to incredible volume.)

L'Occitane Shea Butter


Sensitive soles, rejoice! This rich, lavender-scented shea butter cream soft ens the most leathery heels without the use of any irritating peeling ingredients. For extra-stubborn calluses, apply right out of the shower and follow with cotton socks, recommends N.Y.C. dermatologist Arielle Kauvar.

T3 Bespoke Labs Featherweight


Thanks to negative ion s and tourmaline-infused parts, this lightweight machine dries hair more quickly—and with less damaging heat—than conventional dryers. "And it’s the lightest professional blow-dryer I know," says Marcia Cross’s stylist David Abrams of Santa Monica.

This is the dryer that my stylist, Thomas Watson, uses. He has used many a dryer in his days as a stylist, but says that this one is tops!

Mason Pearson Popular


As far as Jessica Simpson's L.A. stylist Ken Paves is concerned, "this is the only brush in the world." It detangles, works well with all hair textures, and holds up no matter how much abuse it takes from hot styling tools, says N.Y.C. stylist Ursula Stephen, who uses it on Rihanna.

These brushed are made to last a lifetime. They area little bit more expensive than the ones you find at the drugstore, but after using it, you'll never go back. Sleekest hair ever!

Hot Tools Marcel (1")


"This iron has a gauge, so you can make it as hot as you want," says L.A. stylist Robert Ramos. "It's gentle on hair and lasts forever."

We use to carry expensive curling irons from Chi and the like, but now this is the only curling iron we sell. It is such a great value, and really does lock in curls. (STYLING TIP: To make curls last even longer try spraying hair with Bumble and bumble's Spray de Mode before applying heat.)

Tweezerman Slant


Pros get right to the point about these ultra-precise tweezers: "The sharp, angled tips get the job done," says L.A. makeup artist Jake Bailey. They pluck exactly where you aim them. A bonus: The company offers free sharpening for life.

I hope reading about all of these amazing products has made you as enthralled with them as I am. While the items listed above are only a handful of those listed in the BEST BEAUTY BUYS for 2009, they certainly are some of my favorite. Just a few of the things that help make it possible to always have a beautiful day at luxe apothetique!

- Anne

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