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Dry, Sensitive Skin? Use Oil to cleanse August 31, 2010

Cleansing and moisturizing are the two most important aspects of your skins health.  Cleansers that contain detergents (also known to foam and sud) will strip your skin of its necessary oils and cause dryness and sensitivity.  Did you know you can wash your face with oil?!  It’s actually very popular in Asia.  Hence the Shu Uemura line. Check these fun bottles out! 

5 fun bottles by Moyoco Anno

Art Designed by Moyoco Anno for Shu Uemura

I couldn’t resist sharing these fun designs.  Not sure they’re still around, but I’ll be searching.  Here’s what the bottle normally looks like.  I will definitely be adding these little numbers to my makeup kit if I can find these bottles (I can always refill them from the original bottle). 

Shu Uemura Skin Purifier Cleansing Oil

Shu Uemura Skin Purifier Cleansing Oil

Now let’s go back and take a closer look at those bottles! If you notice, they stuck with the same color scheme so not to confuse the consumer.  OH! Uber cute! 

Cleansing Beauty Oil Premium A/I

Cleansing Beauty Oil Premium A/I

Shown above is the Shu Uemura Cleansing Beauty Oil Premium A/I which is good for sensitive skin.  Contains licorice root to leave the skin smooth and plump. 

Skin Purifier Balancing Cleansing Oil

Skin Purifier Balancing Cleansing Oil

  Shown above is the Shu Uemura Skin Purifier High Performance Balancing Cleansing Oil for dry skin (this is the product that started this blog).  Contains bitter orange peel, tomato extract, and red pepper extract to enhance the skin’s circulation and hydrate thirsty skin. 

EX Brightening Cleansing Oil

Shu Uemura White Recovery EX Brightening Cleansing Oil

Shown above is the Shu Uemura White Recovery EX which is good for dull complexions.  Contains prune and Sakura leaf extracts that are used to brighten the skin that lacks luster. 

High Performance Balancing Cleansing Oil Fresh

High Performance Balancing Cleansing Oil Fresh

Shown above is the Shu Uemura High Performance Balancing Cleansing Oil Fresh, which is good for combination skin.  Contains cherry extract to help remove excess skin cells and assists in tightening the pores. 

Cleansing Beauty Oil Premium A/O

Cleansing Beauty Oil Premium A/O

 Shown above is the Cleansing Beauty Oil Premium A/O which is great for aging skin.  Contains green tea extract as well as an additional antioxidant called catechins, used to perk up fatigued skin.  

And just to prove Asians love cleansing oil, here’s another asian brand – the Seikisho Cleansing Oil. 

Seikisho Perfect Cleansing Oil

Seikisho Perfect Cleansing Oil

This cleanser has safflower oil to improve skin hydration and licorice extract, which can help with hyperpigmentation. 

These oil cleansers are sure to make your life easier when removing your makeup at night.  Eye and face remover in one!  Who knew!


Grooming The Expendables Part I August 24, 2010

An ode to high-octane action thrillers from my youth (80’s and early 90’s), The Expendables came out two Friday’s ago (although it was the weekend after when I first started writing this), bringing together the ultimate A-listers of action heroes and villains.  What I loved about The Expendables, from the first moment I saw the marketing, was that each “bad boy” had their own signature “grimy” look that separated them from the other.  Each was groomed to portray their individual roles and here I break down each characters look and sometimes how to achieve it or who it works best for.  Who knows, you may be up for a new look for the fall or a new look in general: 


Stallone, who played Barney “The Schizo” Ross in the film was given an old school vintage look.  Liz Wolf (makeup artist) and Nicole Venables (hairstylist and Sly’s personal groomer on set) teamed up to give Stallone the perfect “bad boy” look, maintaining his salt and pepper hair and fuzzy raw texture.  Venables notes, Stallone does not wear wigs.   

Grooming Sly

Grooming Sly

Quoting Venables, when questioned on any challenges in creating the look for the action-packed film,  “I created a loose look that worked while dodging bullets, bombs, punches and serious grappling….His hair took a serious physical beating on this flick!”  So recommendation to all you strenuous job-holders, whether you’re dodging bullets, cars or spitballs, here’s how to get Sly’s action-packed look:  

Sylvester Stallone in The ExpendablesGrooming Sly


Dolph Lundgren playing Gunnar Jenson (why do I love that name), has for the most part, worn a short and trendy style in most of his Hollywood career.  Some may think that he has not varied much from this style besides a little more length here and there.  Oh the contrary, I’ve seen Lundgren with platinum blond hair, and even with a spiky mullet (in a He-Man outfit).  At one time Dolph Lundgren wore his hair in a flat top style, but currently it seems he is playing around with product and creating spikes that can be worn anywhere. His everyday look can typically be dressed up or down and still be a basic trendy look.  His current style fits his strong bone structure, accenting his blue eyes and square jaw line.  In the film, (under Sly’s direction) Venables gave Lundgren “a greasy, drug-afflicted vibe.”  She added length by giving him extensions, and was able to create a grungy look for Gunnar.  Check it out:  Lundgren in The Expendables 



What can I say that has not already been said on  the grooming of Mickey Rourke.  Mickey Rourke has been through a long line of looks through his Hollywood career.  From the baby face in Heavens Gate (1980) to the pretty boy look in Body Heat (1981), his “hard” look starts around the late ’80s with Barfly.  In the 1990’s, Rourke tested out a new career and changed roles when he flirted with the idea of boxing for four years.  Here is when the look really began to change.  In ’97 Rourke displayed a clean-cut bad boy look at the premiere of The Rainmaker.  Skip to 2000 where Rourke changes to a blond tanned beach boy look.  With a total new look in Sin City (2005) we see another flat top style (like mentioned with Lundgren), we jump to a long-haired blond wrestler in 2008.  And who can forget one of Rourke’s biggest roles and biggest come-backs in Iron Man, where he plays a Russian villain wearing white streaked hair.  Could he have enjoyed the hairstyle that much?!  Rourke plays the role of Tool, and according to Venables (unsurprisingly to most), “came to shoot already fully extended with his black and white striped bob (similar to that seen in Iron Man), leather-vested ensemble and custom motorcycle complementing his fully tatted character.” There’s no doubt, Rourke’s outfits and hair styling trends definitely make us take note.  Sporting the long black and white striped bob, an exaggerated thin mustache extended past the length of his lip with somewhat of a goatee tuft, we will all be watching out for his next look.  His personality definitely lets him get away with most of his looks.  

Mickey with Black and White Hair

Mickey Rourke


Venables “gave Eric Roberts, who plays the role of ruthless boss James Monroe, a manicured, silver, slicked-back look to exhibit complete control. Amazingly, that “control” stayed in place throughout the whole film, even standing up against the forces of nature during the explosion-ridden pier scene.”  To get explosion-proof hair wet your hair and brush  (using a Kent brush or military brush) through products like Murray’s Pomade and NuNile Pomade (use about the size of a dollar coin), or even a wax and spray/spritz as desired. 

Eric Roberts slick back for The Expendables

Roberts for The Expendables

Stay tuned for our next set of groomed Expendables next Tuesday….


More Vitamin E = Less Eczema? August 11, 2010

This blog post is dedicated to a good friend of mine who has been struggling with her eczema.  I promised her I would help her come up with a regimen.  Due to my schedule, I have neglected to focus on her needs, therefore I am blogging on eczema this week. 

Vit E

Vitamin E

Studies are now determining that kids who eat lots of foods containing vitamin E may have a lower risk of the itchy skin condition otherwise known as eczema (a study done in Japan).  I suffered many years with eczema, and still have flare ups to this day.  I remember as a child, my mother used to give me Vitamin E pills to take orally.  Maybe she knew something – i’ll have to ask her.  

The exact causes are not completely known, but it is apparent that there is a hereditary component.  (It’s also been cited that those who suffer from asthma or hay fever are likely to develop this as well).  If you have a child suffering from eczema or know that your child has a genetic pre-disposition, take note that vitamin E is found in vegetable oils, nuts, and whole grains.  These should be in our regular diet anyway.  The recommended daily allowance of vitamin E in the same age group is about 16 IUs. 

It’s not clear why vitamin E would lower the risk of eczema, but could be the antioxidant and immune-boosting effects that have been found. 

So what is eczema?  It’s a VERY common skin condition that’s characterized by scaly, red, itchy and sometimes oozing lesions.  If scratched, the skin can become more inflamed and thicken and possibly crust over.  As I mentioned before, it is passed in the DNA although some children will grow out of it.  Mostly, eczema appears on and in joints or bendable areas, such as the neck, inner elbows, inside the knees, wrists, ankles and most commonly on the face. 



Facts to know:  

Eczema is NOT contagious!  

Eczema is treatable, but NOT curable.  

Symptom severities and appearances vary from person to person 

Similar to allergies, eczema will flare up when the body’s immune system overact to certain things (see triggers below).  Hence, a good diet and low stress will help regulate your flare-ups.  

Some triggers that may flare up eczema: 

  1. detergents and drying soaps
  2. stress
  3. fragrance
  4. scratchy clothing (ie: wool)
  5. dairy products (sometimes nuts)
  6. dust mites

When it comes to caring for your skin, you should be extra gentle – most people with eczema have sensitive skin.  You should not expose your face or body to water too many times a day, so as not to dry your skin out even more.  You should use a cleanser/soap for sensitive skins and that do not contain fragrance or other harsh detergents.  Do not use loofahs or rough cloths that may irritate your skin even more.  You should focus on moisturizing and keeping your skin moist, even if that means moisturizing more than once a day.  

Most people go straight to a dermatologist out of frustration when dealing with eczema – I know I have had too many visits to count (as a child).  I went to some of the top physicians in the DC area due to them knowing my father and was given different advice from every one.  This told me that this is still a misunderstood condition that people are fighting to understand.  I was given all types of topical steroids, but never any oral antibiotics or antihistamines because I have never been one to quickly turn to the “quick-fix”.  I guess you can say I am somewhat of a holistic being.  So, I’ve always looked to find the healthy and natural way to treat my eczema.  I came up with a sulfur concoction about two years ago, but realized a number of the population is allergic to sulfur.  So I just want to list a few things that I’ve found to help.  My first list is some things that have helped me subside the itching (followed by suggested products): 

  • Vitamin E (topical or orally – do not use synthetic)
  • Dandelion (can mix red clover and myrrh to make a tea)
  • Red Clover
  • Myrrh (I look for this ingredient a lot when purchasing products)
  • Goldenseal and honey and vitamin E (make a paste – mix the powdered goldenseal with the Vit E, add honey)
  • St. John’s Wort
  • Chamomile
  • Primrose oil
  • Zinc Oxide (topically, you can also take zinc orally)
  • Vitamin B

Recommended Products: 

Soaps: (wash once a day preferably) 

  • Dove (no fragrance) or Dove Daily Hydrating Cloths
  • Neutrogena Extra Gentle Cleanser
  • Aveno Body Wash
  • Skin Relief
  • Vitamin E (I started using and selling a Vitamin E bar soap because it made my skin more even-toned and more soft than before)
  • Aveeno Dry Skin (Oilated) Formula Bath Treatment
  • Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser
  • Olay Sensitive Skin

For winter months, find a soap with gentle emollients such as Aveno Moisturizing Bar for Dry Skin, Eucerin Gentle Hydrating Cleanser, Olay Complete Moisturizing Body Wash for dry skin. 

(make sure to apply the moisturizer directly after showering/bathing, while your skin is still damp) 


  • Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream
  • Curel
  • Eucerin
  • Lubriderm
  • SBR Lipocream
  • Aquaphor Healing Ointment
  • Vanicream
  • Jergens Ash Relief
  • Corn Huskers Lotion
  • Vaseline
  • Lac Hydrin cream or lotion
  • Amlactin lotion

(Pay attention to labels, and make sure the moisturizer does not contain irritants such as alcohol or Vitamin A (retinol), which can dry the skin and make it worse. 

These are some remedies that I found at a site for home remedies that I thought were very interesting: 

Home remedies for Dermatitis #1: 

Skin wash. 

Mix the following ingredients: 
1 tsp. comfrey root. 
1 tsp. white oak bark. 
1 tsp. slippery elm bark. 
2 cups of water. 
Boil for 35 minutes use it to wash the affected area. 

Home remedies for Dermatitis #6:Shark cartilage reduces inflammation.  

Home remedies for Dermatitis #7: Use a lotion made out of blueberry leaves this is proven to be fantastic relieving inflammation of dermatitis.


Beauty @ Walgreens August 5, 2010

(I missed my mark yesterday – Tuesday – for my weekly blog update.  A day later, I’m bringing you some promotional events brought to you by vogue, neiman marcus, and havaianas for your summer beauty upgrade):

Beauty Renewed

Summer is all about discovering a refreshed sense of self and beauty. Why not start right now? At Walgreens, find the latest beauty breakthroughs— smart, affordable products you need to look your most beautiful at any age.

Visit participating Walgreens stores on August 7 from 12-4PM to discover the latest beauty products from Olay Regenerist, Pantene Pro-V and Revlon to help you look and feel your best.

Beauty Bonus

The first 20 customers at each event to purchase any two featured products will receive a special Vogue gift.*

*Limit one per customer. While supplies last. Event dates and locations are subject to change.

Unfortunately not in DC, but to my NJ/NY residents, here are the participating locations:





BRONX, NY 10463



NEW YORK, NY 10036



For all other cities, go to: http://insidevogue.com/1008/promo_walgreens.asp

BUT for my DMV residents, although I don’t blog fashion we do have an event coming our way (next week):

Neiman Marcus in the Mazza Gallerie Mall will host a Fall trend presentation on Wednesday, August 11 from 6-8 pm. DJ Neekola will be providing music, snack on a design your own cupcake and champagne bar, receive a swag bag and enter a drawing for the “Fall Fashion File”- 5 key trend pieces to update your wardrobe. 

 RSVP to rsvp@cityshopgirl.com


 Havaianas SweepstakesEnter for your chance to win an indulgent wardrobe of five pairs of the latest Havaianas flip flops, plus a shopping spree and spa package worth $1,750!

Enter here: http://www.facebook.com/Havaianas?v=app_118102411561637