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Sep 20th
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Obsessive Beauty

Blogs - Obsessive Beauty

Fixed on Lips

Fixed on Lips

Jane Iredale does a lot right when it comes to makeup. Her mineral skincare and face make-ups are especially coveted, but personally, the eye pencils were what made a fan out of me. No other pencil will ever measure up. Smooth, soft and precise, the pencils are perfect for a crisp line (keep the pencil in the fridge for an even cleaner application) or for smudging for a smokier look. For me, the other big star in the jane iredale catalog is the Lip Fixation stain/gloss combo wand.

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Blogs - Obsessive Beauty

Ecco Bella Face Mask

Ecco Bella Face Mask

 

There was a time, not that long ago, when the pickings were slim for natural makeup. Now there are more options than any one eco-gal can try, and we can thank companies like Ecco Bella, which started in 1992, for pioneering that market. Ecco Bella products are still among my favorite, despite the growing competition: their Flowercolor Natural Mascara is one of the better natural mascaras I’ve used, and I’m hooked on their Age Antidote Day Cream with UVA & UVB SPF 15 for my daily moisturizer. It’s light, creamy, slightly floral-scented and packed with vitamins and other organic goodness that keeps my skin smooth and protected. I don’t often wear foundation, but when I do it’s the company’s FlowerColor Natural Liquid Foundation (it’s affordable at $22.95 a pop, and doesn’t look cakey or greasy).

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Blogs - Obsessive Beauty

Clarisonic

Clarisonic

Tired of your flaky, ruddy skin? Need a freshen up for your face? I sure did. So I took the plunge and invested in a fancy and expensive ($195) Clarisonic Skincare Brush (in pink). Yes, the price point was extravagant. The claims: "Removes makeup six times better than traditional methods; clears pores and reduces the appearance of pores; creates noticeably healthier looking skin; cleanses so thoroughly that skincare products absorb better." Were the claims true? Could such a pricey gadget really be worth it?

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Blogs - Obsessive Beauty

Teeth Whitening

Teeth Whitening

 

The market is flush with teeth whitening products, so Obsessive Beauty decided to put one of them under the test. I enlisted a colleague, Jen, who was willing to be my guinea pig. The product? A Rembrandt 2 Hour Whitening Kit—teeth whitening strips you apply on your chompers for 30 minutes a day, for four days. The claims are "visibly whiter teeth in just one 2-hour treatment."

 

 

 

 

 

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Blogs - Obsessive Beauty

Lulu Organics Hair Powder

Lulu Organics Hair Powder

Perhaps you tend to oversleep (it’s not your fault that your alarm clock fails to go off), or are simply too pressed for time to shampoo your locks on the regular. Or, maybe like most ladies you just know that hair tends to look better on the second or third day after washing.

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Blogs - Obsessive Beauty

Nightmare Spa Experiences

Nightmare Spa Experiences

Except for getting my arms waxed, I've sworn off local spas for any kind of beautifying treatments. Why? I'm not sure if it's a small town type of thing, or what, but my experiences frequenting local spas have been nightmares. Here are three examples. I'll debut my fourth nightmare example in an upcoming post because it's just so bad, it deserves its own blog. Out of respect, I'll leave out the names of the spas.

1. I purchased a high-end hair product at a Santa Cruz destination. Went home, used a dollop of product and my hair promptly fell flat. Clearly this wasn't the product for me. The salon had a store credit policy that if you weren't satisfied with a product, you could exchange it for another. So a few days later I took it back, hoping to try out another product.
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Blogs - Obsessive Beauty

Clinic-to-Go

Clinic-to-Go

Getting a facial can be a pricey investment. Is it worth it? In my opinion—no. I think facials are a straight up luxury and that they don't do squat for someone's skin, unless, of course, you go to a high-end salon like the Kate Somerville skin clinic in Los Angeles and fork over several hundred dollars for a medically supervised fancy procedure. In that case—yeah, you'll see results. But going to the neighborhood spa for a wash, exfoliate, steam, and a mask, using products you could buy at that actual spa really feels like a rip off. So here's a solution—get a facial to go from one of the leaders in skin care. Kate Somerville's "Clinic-to-Go Resurfacing Peel Pads" are impressive.

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Blogs - Obsessive Beauty

Face Forward

Face Forward

One wash and my skin actually felt smoother. One scrub and my flaky skin dissipated. One slathering of sunscreen/moisturizer and I was hooked. Sonya Dakar's new organic skin care line is heating up the green product field. The celebrity-friendly products by facialist to the stars, Sonya Dakar, have always been a favorite of mine. But with such steep prices I was never able to keep the products stocked in my bathroom. Recently, I received some samples which I used up in a mere three days.

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Blogs - Obsessive Beauty

Keeping the Peace

Keeping the Peace

There’s something to be said for a lipstick that not only makes you look good, but makes you feel good, too. And I’m not just talking about the kind of confidence boosting, more sass-in-my-step “feeling good” that lipstick can bring about. PeaceKeeper Cause-Metics’ bright, bold lipsticks do that, but they also represent something more: all of the company’s distributable, after tax profits go toward supporting women’s health advocacy and human rights issues.

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Blogs - Obsessive Beauty

Feathers, Henna, Braids—Oh My!

Feathers, Henna, Braids—Oh My!Luscious gears up for a pre-Burning Man event

The gates to Black Rock City open in less than three days, which means that many Playa-goers will be spending the weekend making final supply runs, gluing that last bit of fur to whatever doesn’t already have some, and trying to cram their costumes into dusty bins. But there is another last-minute stop I suggest making before hitting the road—and it’s the subject of our final installment in the Burning Man fashion countdown.

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Catwalk on the Wild Side

Meet the artists and designers behind this year’s edition of FashionART, SantaCruz’s most outrageous fashion show

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Watch List

From Google to the government to data brokers, why your privacy is now a thing of the past

 

The Peace Equation

Sunday is the United Nations’ International Day of Peace, a global peace-building day when nations, leaders, governments, communities and individuals are invited to end conflict, cease hostilities, creat 24 hours of non-violence and promote goodwill. Monday is Autumn equinox as the Sun enters Libra (right relations with all of life). The Soul Year now begins. We work in the dark part of the year (Persephone underground) preparing for the new light of winter solstice. Tuesday to Wednesday is the Virgo new moon festival. We know two things about peace. “The absence of war does not signify peace.” And “Peace is an ongoing process.” In its peace-building emphasis, the UNIDP, through education, attempts to create a “culture of peace, understanding and tolerance”. Esoterically we are reminded of the peace equation: “Intentions for goodwill (and acting upon this intention) create right relations with all earth’s kingdoms which create (the ongoing process of) peace on earth.” At noon on Sunday, in all time zones, millions of participating groups will observe a moment of silence for peace on earth. Bells will ring, candles will be lit, and doves released as the New Group of World Servers recite the Great Invocation (humanity’s mantram of direction). To connect with others around the world see www.cultureofpeace.org    Let us join together with the mother (Virgo). Goodwill to all, let peace prevail on earth. The dove is the symbol for the day.
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Sweet Treats

Local cannabis bakers win award for cookies

 

What fashion trends do you want to see, or not see?

Santa Cruz  |  High School Guidance Counselor

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

Santa Clara Wine Trail

My memories of growing up in England include my mother pouring port after Sunday dinner—and sometimes a glass of sherry before dinner. My family didn’t drink much wine back then, but we certainly made up for it with the port and sherry.