Sneak Peek: Saks Summer Beauty Week

IMG_0023Hello, lovelies!

Tomorrow, hubs and I are heading out on vacation- woohoo! We are heading back to our honeymoon spot in St. Barth to celebrate our third wedding anniversary, and I am super excited for some R&R. Be sure to follow along on Instagram this week at @sweetcarolinerva if you want to see some snaps of our travels!

Before jetting off, I wanted to make sure you knew about a celebration coming up next week at Saks Fifth Avenue at Stony Point Shopping Center. The beauty squad at Saks is hosting Summer Beauty Week (June 1-4), and it’s going to be amazing!

The team at Saks is showcasing products that will beat the heat and give you that gorgeous summer glow all season long. PLUS, you get a gift with your beauty purchases. Score! Here’s the skinny on the Summer Beauty Week events:

  • June 1: Complimentary brow threading with any purchase from 6pm-8:30pm with Style by Zahra
  • June 3: Stay cool with King of Pops (yum!) and enjoy a fashion show at 1pm, featuring summer inspired beauty looks.
  • June 4: Infused water tastings with Brewed Well from 1pm-3:30pm

I got a sneak peek today, and it was so much fun! The YSL national makeup artists were in Richmond this week, so I had the special treat of having my makeup done by their team of talented experts. But first, I had to hit up the Saks’ shoe department (because sale. Duh.) How adorable are these Tory Burch Shaw Espadrilles? Perfect for St. Barth!

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I was then pampered by the YSL beauty team with a morning makeover! All of the YSL products— from skincare to makeup–look and feel fabulous. My skin has felt hydrated and plump all day, and the makeup is just beautiful.

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(P.S. How cute are these two?)

I started off with the Or Rouge Cleansing Creme. This stuff smells amazing and I instantly felt my skin transform. It felt wonderful going on and was so refreshing!

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After I was fresh faced, I had my makeup done using all YSL products. I was really impressed with all of the products she used on me– from the eyeshadow palette to the blush! There were three products that really stood out to me, though!

YSL Forever Youth Liberator Eye Zone Serum

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This stuff is magical! I haven’t slept well this week– stress? vacation excitement? binge-listening to My Favorite Murder podcast? who knows?– so my eyes have been feeling a little tired and blah. This serum was cooling and refreshing, and really, really perked up my eye area. I looked soooooo much better after she applied this serum (you do not want to see the “before.”)

Click here to purchase!

YSL Touche Eclat Radiant Touch Highlighter

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This bad boy has a cult following, and it’s easy to see why. Highlighter + concealer + contour = magic potion for your skin. This gives you an instant glow and really gives your makeup a polished, dewy, and clean look.

Click here to purchase!

YSL Rouge Pur Couture Lipstick No. 70 – Le Nu

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This is the PERFECT lipstick color for summer! It looks great on any skin tone and is the perfect pink — slightly brown, slightly coral, super flattering. I had to snag a tube for myself!

Click here to purchase!

Here’s the final result!

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I love the fresh and summery look! 

If you’re looking for high quality, beautiful skin care and makeup, get yourself to Saks and the Yves St. Laurent counter! You can thank me later!

Thank you to my friends at Saks for a fun day of beauty! Can’t wait to return for Summer Beauty Week, June 1-4!

Favorite Lazy Girl Hairstyles: Out the Door in 5!

I’m definitely a morning person.

…if I get enough sleep. And it’s not too cold outside. Or raining. Or a Monday morning.

OK. So, maybe I’m not the perfect morning person, but I do enjoy mornings…most of the time. But even though I am a beauty junkie, I am not a morning person when it comes to primping.

I would much rather spend that extra 15-20 minutes curled up with a cup of coffee and the Today Show in bed than fiddling with a curling iron or mastering contoured cheeks.

Spending less time on your beauty routine doesn’t mean you have to look any less glam walking out the door — it just means you simply spent less time on your beauty routine. 

Here are a few of my favorite “lazy girl” hairstyles that I swear by!

1. Easy Chignon

Easy Chignon

Click here for the tutorial

2. Quick Curls

quick curls hair DIY tutorial / photo: erikadelgadophoto.com / hair & makeup: omgartistry.com

Click here for the tutorial!

3. Lazy Girl Blowout

Click here for the tutorial!

4. 2-Minute Elegant Bun

Easy Messy Bun Updo Hairstyle for Medium Long Hair Tutorial

Click here for the tutorial!

5. Lauren Conrad’s Beachy Waves

What are some of your favorite get-out-the-door-quick tips? Leave them in the comments section below!
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Holiday Gift Guide: For the Beauty Lover

photo credit: Jenny McQueen

Our 2015 Holiday Gift Guide continues today with gift ideas for the Beauty Junkie in your life. All of these luxurious beauty products come from one of my favorite shops in Richmond – Elements of Carytown! If you’re not an RVA native- or prefer to do your holiday shopping online- you’re in luck. Elements has all of their products online, too!

If you’re new to Elements, check out my introductory post here. I know you’re just going to LOVE these products! And as a special treat for Sweet Caroline readers, beginning on December 3, 2015, you will get 20% off your purchases! This special only lasts until December 10th, so be sure to get your beauty shopping in fast! Just use the code “SWEETCAROLINE” at checkout at ElementsBeautyShop.com or mention my blog in-store.

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BONUS! Want to win a $50 gift card from Elements? Show us your #ElementsBeautyHaul! All you have to do is post a photo of your purchases on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram using the hashtag #ElementsBeautyHaul for a chance to win a $50 gift card. They pick one winner each month! Score.

Now, without further ado, here are my favorite products for the Beauty Lover in your life!

Peter Thomas Roth Must-Have Holiday Kit

I am a certified PTR addict – I love all of the masks, serums, peels and cleansers! (Don’t believe me? Check out this post devoted exclusively to my main man Peter!) This holiday kit not only comes with a beautiful, festive gold bag, but it also includes some of my favorite products: Anti-Aging Cleansing Gel, To Die For Mascara, and Irish Moor Mud Mask. This is a perfect combination of some of Peter Thomas Roth’s best products. Click here to purchase ($38) [Read more…]

Five to Try | The Organic Pharmacy

Happy Monday, lovelies! The rain poured down all weekend long, but the gloomy weather can’t put a damper on my excitement to share with you five new beauty products I absolutely love.

My dear friends at Elements Beauty Shop loaded me up with some amazing samples from The Organic Pharmacy, a new line they are carrying in the boutique and online. I’ve been blown away by the quality and effects of this UK skincare line, and really enjoyed doing some research into the history of the company, as well. The Organic Pharmacy’s high-quality products provide the tools needed to restore the body and bring about balance and health. And, celebrities like Madonna, Reese Witherspoon, Demi Moore and Sarah Jessica Parker are all loyal customers to the Organic Pharmacy.

If this chick is 52 and looks like THIS, I’ll have what she’s having.

Check out this introductory video:

So, here are my Five to Try from the Organic Pharmacy. All of these products are available in-store or online at Elements Beauty Shop. Remember to use my code “sweetcaroline” at checkout for 10% off!

[Read more…]

Beauty Brand I Love: Peter Thomas Roth

Image result for peter thomas rothGreetings, bellissimas! I’ve taken a bit of a summer hiatus from the blog the past few weeks due to lots of traveling, work, and events! Being so busy, sometimes it can be a challenge to find time to take care of yourself — on the inside and out. But even at my busiest, I try to find time to squeeze in a workout, some quiet time, a glass of wine, and to take care of my skin. A common misconception about skincare is that it eats up a big chunk of your pre-bedtime ritual. Not so, especially when you have the right products in your arsenal!

My end-0f-day beauty routine is down to a science now, primarily because of the great education I have received from the owners of Elements Beauty Shop and my fellow Elements Beauty Bloggers. Through those conversations, I have come to rely on Peter Thomas Roth Labs as my go-to skincare line, from start to finish. I still have a few other brands on my counter (Juice Beauty Green Apple Age Defy Moisturizer and REN Rosa Centifolia 3-in-1 Cleansing Water), but I SWEAR by Peter Thomas Roth for just about every other skincare need. Here are a few of my favorites!

All of these are available for purchase at Elements Beauty Shop (online or in Carytown). Be sure to register for an account and use my code “sweetcaroline” at checkout for 10% off your purchase.

PTR Rose Stem Cell  Bio-Repair Gel Mask

I am in love with this powerful, soothing mask. Christina of Tiramisu for Breakfast turned me onto this product. I actually put it on right before bed and sleep in it – and it’s even more refreshing if you pop it in the fridge before application. It’s made my skin feel more plump, brighter, and rejuvenated – and it also helps attack fine lines and wrinkles. I will continue to buy this again and again as a go-to in my beauty routine. ($45, click here to purchase)

PTR Power K Eye Rescue

Peter Thomas Roth Power K Eye Rescue

This is a new product in my beauty routine – I just bought it a few days ago and can already tell a major difference. Sherry and Jeanie from Elements have both been using this for weeks and swear by it – it’s great for undereye circles and puffiness. I had been using Erno Laszlo’s Phormula 3-9 Eye Repair (which I adore), but I think I’m a new convert to this amazing eye treatment. Loaded up with Vitamin K, just a small amount has the power to transform tired, puffy eyes and make them look like new again. Obsessed! ($100, click here to purchase).

PTR Rose Stem Cell Bio-Repair Cleansing Gel

After using the Rose Stem Cell mask for the past few months, I recently discovered this amazing cleanser from the same line. A little dab will do ya! Just a small amount leaves you with a rich lather. It also helps speed up cell turnover and repair! This has been featured in ELLE and Vanity Fair magazines, as well. I like to use a dime size of this cleanser with my Clarisonic for an even deeper clean. ($38, click here to purchase).

PTR FirmX Peeling Gel

I first tried this product at one of our Elements Beauty Bloggers events with the rep from Peter Thomas Roth. She put a small amount on the back of my hand, then asked me to rub it in across my skin. A few seconds later, I noticed some grainy, tiny balls that were rolling under my fingertips. Yep — DEAD SKIN! This is a really gentle way to exfoliate and clear your dead skin to reveal younger, more healthy skin underneath. It’s non-abrasive but powerful, and a good treatment to use about once a week to really freshen up your face. ($48, click here to purchase).

PTR Irish Moor Mud Mask

Trust me when I say this: the first time you use this mask, you’re going to feel like you look ridiculous. The mask is black and thick, so it really looks like you have just spread a bunch of dark mud on your face! But, the results are so impressive and fabulous it’s worth the silly feeling. My favorite word to describe this mask is “decongesting,” because it does just that. This is a perfect way to refresh your skin and revive it after airplane travel, pollution exposure, a long weekend of celebrating, or when you just need a pick-me-up.  The ingredients actually come from Irish moors, and are chock full of nutrients. This is a great mask to use every other week or whenever you need “decongesting!” ($58, click here to purchase).

Those are just a few of my favorite Peter Thomas Roth products. Remember, be sure to use my code “sweetcaroline” at check-out, in-store or online, for 10% off!

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What’s your go-to beauty brand? Leave your comments below!

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Top 10 Picks from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale!

It’s here! It’s here! The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is July 17-August 2, and there are thousands of amazing, designer items on sale.

Here are the top ten items on my NAS Wish List. As always, lots of these items will sell out fast, so get clicking!

1. kate spade new york glitter stud earrings

Sale: $24.90 // Click here to shop!

[Read more…]

Beauty Line I’m Loving | Beautycounter

It’s no secret that I’m a beauty junkie – my vanity is full of lipsticks, lotions, masks, serums, mascara- you name it. I love trying out new products and especially love sharing them with you! That’s why I was so excited to hear from my friend, Jen, who introduced me to Beautycounter.

Beautycounter, a Santa Monica-based company founded in 2011, creates safe and effective skin care and cosmetics for women and their families. It’s getting a lot of buzz in the beauty community, and celebrities — like Mandy Moore and Lauren Conrad — swear by it. And, it doesn’t hurt that it comes in ultra-chic, beautiful packaging!

My friend Jen is super-passionate about the brand and the products:

Bottom line: the EU has spent the last two decades banning over 1,400 ingredients from all personal care products. To date the US has banned 11!  The last law passed here that governs this industry was in 1938.  When you think of all the advancements and new products/ingredients that have been introduced since then, it is shocking that there is no system in place to ensure the products we use day in, day out, are safe.  At Beautycounter, we ban over 1,500 ingredients that are linked to human health concerns.

We are an education first company, and believe in empowering women to make safer choices for themselves and their families.  We publish and actively promote our neverlist, a list of 35 ingredients we will never use that are commonly found in personal care products.  I checked the ingredients in my products when I was first introduced to Beautycounter and was SHOCKED at what I was unknowingly putting on my skin.
What I love most about Beautycounter is that the products aren’t just safe, they perform just as well, if not better than the products and skincare I was using prior to learning about Beautycounter.

After hearing how much Jen loved Beautycounter, I was so excited to try out  some of the products. Here are a few of my favorites:

Lustro Face Oil No. 2

A luxurious blend of seven radiance-boosting oils—including organic argan nut, organic grapeseed, organic marula, meadowfoam seed, rosehip, rose otto and sea buckthorn—deeply nourishes skin with antioxidants and vitamins. This concentrated, yet lightweight elixir is easily absorbed, sinking into skin for lasting moisture (and making it the perfect primer for makeup). Jasmine oil provides a sweet floral scent—plus it promotes the appearance of increased elasticity, and is excellent for dry or mature skin. ($64)

Every Day AM Hydrating Cream

This light, unscented face cream is easily absorbed for daytime use, so it’s perfect alone or under makeup. Richly hydrating thanks to a mix of organic coconut oil, safflower oil and aloe, our paraben-free formula locks in moisture without a greasy feel. Pure botanicals like antioxidant-rich açai berry, lavender, and pomegranate extracts, help support healthier-looking skin. ($40)

Every Night PM Hydrating Cream

This unscented nighttime hydrating cream softens your skin as you sleep. Formulated with richly moisturizing organic coconut oil plus vitamin- and amino acid-packed aloe, this non-greasy cream melts into skin, so you wake up looking fresh and hydrated. Need a little extra hydration during the day? This botanically-infused formula can be applied whenever skin feels dry. ($44)

Gentle Exfoliator Polishing Cream

The Gentle Exfoliator Polishing Cream sweeps away dead cells and impurities to uncover fresh, glowing skin. Non-abrasive jojoba beads provide gentle exfoliation while organic coconut oil conditions and soothes skin. Hydrating aloe nourishes even the most sensitive skin types, while a mix of botanical extracts—like geranium, lavender and green tea—support skin’s health. Meadowfoam seed oil delivers essential fatty acids and vitamin E (essentials for a radiant-looking complexion). Lightly scented with citrus essential oils. ($30)

If you’d like to learn more about Beautycounter, just click here!

Have you tried Beautycounter before? What are some of your favorite products? Leave them in the comments below!

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Heat-Proof Summer Beauty

summer beautySummer is obviously one of the most fun seasons, but it also means your mascara could melt down to your chin by the end of the day.Summer proof your beauty routine with waterproof, sweat-proof, and protective products. Today I’m sharing some of my favorite summer beauty products with you!

 

 

I can’t say enough great things about the Peter Thomas Roth Rose Stem Cell Bio Repair Gel Mask – it’s completely transformed my skin in just a few weeks. My favorite thing to do is chill it in the fridge for a few hours before applying – talk about a treat on a hot day!

I’ve also been loving using the COOLA Make-Up Setting Spray, which has SPF 30 in it. This is an awesome tool to keep your face from looking sweaty and gross, while also keeping your makeup in tact and your skin protected from the sun’s harmful rays. You can get both of these at Elements Beauty Shop in Carytown (or online by clicking here). Be sure to use my code, SWEETCAROLINE, for 10% off your purchase!

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In Bloom | My Spring Beauty Routine

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Summer is just around the corner! Hip hip hooray! One of my favorite things about summertime is that natural, bronzed glow which allows for Makeup Optional days. To prepare for summer, I’ve been paying extra-special attention to keeping my skin clean, smooth, and hydrated. I loaded up at the last Elements Beauty Shop event and have been absolutely loving all of my products. But, I also have a few drugstore beauty products I’m swearing by this spring, too!

Here are the products I’m loving right now — and I know you will too!

Step One: Gently Remove Makeup

I love these gentle wipes from Boots No7. They effectively cleanse and remove impurities, tone and moisturize your skin, and even remove waterproof eye make-up – all in one easy step. With vitamin pro-B5 plus extracts of witch hazel and fennel which help cleanse pores, moisturize and leave your skin feeling smooth, clean and fresh. Bonus: these are great to travel with and TSA compliant! Boots No.7 Beautiful Skin Quick Thinking Wipes ($5.29, Target)

Step Two: Cleanse and Tone

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A detergent free ‘beauty water’ that will remove everyday make-up. The flower water acts as a cleansing agent and is perfect for those with sensitive skin. I use this product with exfoliating cotton pads. Skin feels purified, fresh, revived and toned without tightness or dryness. Rosa Centifolia 3-in-1 Cleansing Water ($25, Elements Beauty Shop); Exfoliating Round Cotton Pads ($3.49, ULTA)

Step Three: Moisturize

Brighten and smooth with this clinically proven age defy moisturizer that combines a brightening complex of certified organic juices, with a powerful antioxidant cocktail of alpha lipoic acid, CoQ10, Vitamin C, peptides and DMAE for optimum age-defying results. Juice Beauty Green Apple Age Defy Moisturizer ($45, Elements Beauty Shop)

Step Four: Hydrate Under Eyes

This rich, emollient formulation preserves firm skin and a youthful appearance while defending against environmental stressors. Active gel cools skin on contact to help stimulate microcirculation. Strengthened against future damage, the eye area emerges visibly transformed—infused with a look of vibrancy, vitality and youth. Erno Laszlo Phormula 3-9 Eye Repair ($175, Elements Beauty Shop)

Step Five: Boost Your Lashes

Women dream of being able to seduce with a simple bat of lashes.
Thanks to TALIKA, the expert in eyelash care since 1948, this dream is at last within our reach. Infinitely long, intensely colored and delicately curled eyelashes. The Lipocils Expert serum contains the same complex of 12 plants and silk protein as Lipocils to condition and support the natural growth of eyelashes. In addition, powerful natural ingredients are added for the curling and color intensification of eyelashes for a lengthening and thickening effect. TALIKA Lipocils Expert Lash Enhancer ($57, Elements Beauty Shop)

BONUS: All-Over Super Hydration!

PREVIEW ROSE STEM CELL BIO-REPAIR GEL MASK

Cutting-edge plant biotechnology isolates and replicates the perfect rose stem cells for maximum anti-age repair. With state-of-the-art, 21st century breakthrough stem cell technology, five rose stem cells are blended with four rose extracts in a cooling, rejuvenating gel to help stimulate cell turnover for younger looking skin. Helps repair the signs of aging, including the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, dehydration, dullness and sagging as it strengthens and tones the look of skin. Reveals silky soft, radiant, beautiful and youthful-looking skin. I like to put this on last and leave it on overnight. Peter Thomas Roth Rose Stem Cell Bio-Repair Gel Mask ($45, Elements Beauty Shop)

Once a Week: Purify

NEW IRISH MOOR MUD

Purifying, decongesting and hydrating mask with odorless Irish Moor Mud draws out dirt, oil and impurities as it infuses skin with moisture and vitamins. With the highest level of organic content in the world, 9,000 year-old black Moor Mud is harvested by hand from the Irish countryside. Rich in nutrients, essential minerals and potent anti-oxidants, it helps protect against skin damage. Black Hijiki Seaweed provides vital nutrition and hydration as volcanic ash helps revitalize and detoxify skin. Activated charcoal has a magnetic effect that draws impurities and toxins from congested pores. Helps minimize the look of pores, fine lines and wrinkles, leaving skin looking pure, fresh, hydrated and radiant. Peter Thomas Roth Irish Moor Mud Mask ($58, Elements Beauty Shop)

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RVA Social Calendar | Skin is In: Spring Beauty Bash with Elements Beauty Shop

Hello, lovelies! I’m so excited to invite you to an amazing event at one of my favorite Richmond boutiques — Elements Beauty Shop in Carytown!

I hope you’ll join me for “Skin is In: Spring Beauty Bash with Elements Beauty Shop” on May 7, 2015 from 5:30pm – 7:30pm at Elements of Carytown. Come meet Jenna Bingham, Beauty Expert and Consultant for today’s hottest beauty care brands. Find out what’s new and exciting from Peter Thomas Roth Labs, Talika MYLash & Brow Growth, BeautyBlender, Coola Organic Suncare and many more!

Share an Appetizer. Sip some bubbly. Enter drawings for free products. You’ll shed the dull winter gray and rev up the glow! Click here to RSVP! [Read more…]

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