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Apr 16th
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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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Aries Solar Festival

Sunday is Palm Sunday. Symbolizing victory and triumph, paradise, sacrifice and martyrdom, the Pisces World Teacher entered Jerusalem (City of Peace) on a donkey (signifying humility).

 

Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.

 

Animal Magnetism

Bear, mouse dare to be friends in charming ‘Ernest and Celestine’ It’s not exactly Romeo and Juliet. It’s not even a romance, although it is a love story about two individuals separated by prejudice who find the courage to form an unshakable bond despite the rules and traditions that keep them apart.

 

Printer's Devil

Iconic editor Buz Bezore, who died last month at the age of 68, left a huge mark on Santa Cruz journalism   Eventually, it’s all a blur. You live long enough, and maybe a little too hard at times, so that when you hit the rewind button of faded memory, it moves so fast that you can hardly sort and gather the details. One scene skips to the next, and to the next, without proper editing or sequencing. Chronologies get distorted. Which came first: stealing the chickens or coloring the eggs?
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Foodie File: Yan Flower

Yan Belleville has owned Yan Flower, an affordable Chinese restaurant in Downtown Santa Cruz, with her husband Raymond for eight years, and it’s a family affair. Her brother, sister, sister-in-law, and cousins work there too. Locals know the joint for its massive lunch specials starting at $4.

 

How would you feel about a tech industry boom in Santa Cruz?

I feel like it would ruin the small old-town feeling of Santa Cruz. It wouldn’t be the same Surf City kind of vacation town that it is. Antoinette BennettSanta Cruz | Construction Management

 

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

 

Comanche Cellars

Pinot Noir 2010 I first tasted Comanche Cellars Pinot when a friend brought a bottle to share over lunch at Center Street Grill in Santa Cruz. Upon trying it, I knew I had to find out more about it.