Friday, August 18, 2017

Australian Gold Botanicals

Australian Gold has been one of my longtime favorites. I think the tanning sprays smell incredible, they feel really nice on your skin, and I think it gives off a nice tan. This year, Australian Gold launched a new Botanical Sunscreen Line. I was excited they sent me over a few items in the line to check out for myself and I will be using them up for the end of Summer. The brand utilizes eco conscious packaging materials and the formulas are reef friendly.

The SPF 30 Mineral Lotion (goes for $14.99 ea) is a non-greasy, antioxidant rich formula that provides UVA/UVB broad spectrum protection. Water resistant up to 80 minutes. It smells incredible (like the rest of their products), and goes on smoothly and sinks right into my skin. It does have Eucalyptus in there to calm, reinvigorate and oxygenate skin.

I also checked out the Botanical Sunscreen SPF 50 Tinted Face Mineral Lotion (goes for $12.99 ea) which is a non-chemical sunscreen lotion that also provides UVA/UVB broad spectrum protection. Water resistant up to 80 minutes. It has a subtle tint to it and it's fragrance-free. This is specially designed for sensitive face skin, and it will not clog pores.

Australian Gold products are available at Ulta, CVS, and Walmart. You can find out more about the brand and other products here:

Thanks Australian Gold!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Elizabeth Arden Summer Beauty

Elizabeth Arden products have been making women feel beautiful since the early 1900's. She was the first to introduce eye make up to the women of America. By 1929, Florence Nightingale Graham (aka Elizabeth Arden) owned 150 salons across the U.S. and Europe. Elizabeth Arden had over 1,000 luxury products being sold in 22 countries. She was the sole proprietor, and at the peak of her career, she was one of the wealthiest women in the world.

Early this year, Elizabeth Arden announced that Reese Witherspoon would be the new face of the brand. Reese stated, "One of the first things that drew me to the brand was its rich heritage and history of supporting women. As one of the first female entrepreneurs, Elizabeth Arden paved the way for women like me."

Elizabeth Arden was kind enough to send over a few summer essentials and I could not be more excited to check them out! Let's start with White Tea Eau de Toilette Spray.

It's a musky-wood floral with top notes of mandarin, clary sage, sea breeze accord, and fresh Japanese white fern. It's fresh and light and it's a perfect Summer scent to spray on after a cool shower.

The perfume comes in lovely white bottle with a square top that's easily removed and in various sizes: 1.0 FL OZ ($24), 1.7 FL OZ ($37), or 3.3 FL OZ ($49). I found it was too strong for me if I sprayed it directly on my skin, but I was totally fine with it when I did the spritz run through.

Next up are the Sheer Kiss Lip Oils. They are being featured in this months Glamour Magazine as NOT YOUR AVERAGE LIPSTICK - Replace your basic bullet with next-generation metallics and balms

These lightweight lip colors are packed with five precious oils that offer hydrating benefits. Six great colors to pick from and they go for $19.50 each.

The packaging is super cute, butttt application is hard because the lip oil comes out of a little hole and there is no way to really direct it and get even coverage. So, you basically need to use a Qtip, your finger, or rub the plastic hole back and forth over your lips in hopes your aim is good. Nice stains, and they feel good on my lips.

Lastly, we tried two items from the Prevage City Smart Collection. The Double Action Detox Peel Off Mask (2.5 FL OZ $78) is great at lifting and removing impurities. The detox mask also resurfaces skin and enhances its natural detoxification system. It feels nice and cool upon application, then it dries up nicely once the 20 minute wait is over. I was able to peel it off in a few pieces. I could see the impurities on the mask as I peeled it off. My skin feels good and my pores are clean, but for almost $80 I was hoping for more miracle results.

The City Smart Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Hydrating Shield (1.34 FL OZ $68) is working to keep skin looking younger and brighter. It combines pollution and UV protection to strengthen skin. It has a nice dispenser to pump the cream out onto your finger for application. They call it sheer, but there is a tint to the cream but it's quickly absorbed. Not scented.

To find out more about Elizabeth Arden, and to order any of these products, please go to:

Thanks Elizabeth Arden!

Friday, July 28, 2017

Sassy Lips

Saturday the 29th is National Lipstick Day! What's better than flowers and lipstick?! Treat yourself, a friend, or your daughter, with these fun & adorable color changing lipsticks. Some of them even come with a teeny tiny chrysanthemum flower encapsulated in the lipstick!

Sassy Lips sent to me two colors to check out or myself. I looked at My Life RN, which might put your off with it's alien green glow, but do not be deceived! This lipsticks turns a different shade of fuchsia depending on your PH level. They offer a few other color changers that come in black, blue, and white lipstick color but change to other colors when applied. These go for $16 each.

My favorite one is called When Bae Looks Your Way and it's ruby color jelly-like gloss that's infused with gold flakes and it has a tiny flower inside. This is a pink color that changes based on your bodies temperature. The jelly's come in other colors like yellow and blue, but when applied they turn to shades of pink. The flower lipsticks for for $25 each.

When Bae Looks Your Way
I like the lipsticks and I think they are fun. The cases the lipsticks come in are really nice heavy cases with a magnetic lid, so they snap closed easily. It's a stain/gloss finish instead of a matte lipstick coverage.

You can order these online at:

Cruelty free brand.

Thanks Sassy Lips!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

JUARA Skincare

I took a little break from blogging to enjoy the Summer with the kids and recharge.  I have lots of new products piled up and can't wait to dig into them and show you the latest summer essentials from some wonderful brands.

I have been using this Turmeric Antioxidant Radiance Mask and it's awesome. I noticed the pores on my nose were totally minimized after the FIRST use and my skin feels great  and moisturized whenever I use it. It's suppose to brighten and even out complexion, refine & minimize pores - and that it does.

JUARA Skincare is a East meets West fusion of centuries of traditional botanical remedies. JUARA is based on the Indonesian JAMU tradition that uses specific, natural ingredients to treat skin and health issues. They offer a number of skincare products like acne & blemish treatment, anti-aging, dark spots/uneven skin tone, dryness/dehydration, fine lines & wrinkles to name a few.

The Turmeric Antioxidant Radiance Mask goes for $38 for 3.0 fl oz. It goes on smoothly and has a very light clay smell to it. They say to use it 1-3 times a week. Leave it on around 10-15 minutes and rinse. It comes off easily and you will notice the difference in your skin right away.

There are a number of online retailers you can order it from and you can find out more about JUARA here:

Certified cruelty free, free of parabens, sulfates, phthlates, mineral oil, gluten, artificial colorants, and harsh chemicals. All products are made in the USA, but they ship in the botanicals from Indonesia and other tropical islands.

Thanks JUARA Skincare for sending this over!

Monday, June 26, 2017

The Newport Flower Show 2017 - FÊTE DES FLEURS: Paintings and Parterres

The Newport Flower Shower was held this weekend at Rosecliffe and it was another spectacular year. It was a hot afternoon in Newport Saturday once the rain cleared out and the clouds broke. This years French theme was modeled after the Grand Trianon of Versailles and we saw some spectacular flower displays. Fashion icon Iris Apfel hosted Friday afternoon tea and discussed style and life. Jeff Leatham was also a guest speaker at Rosecliffe on Friday. He is the artistic director of the Four Seasons Hotel George V in Paris and floral designer to the celebrities and millionaires in the world (Chelsea Clinton, Eva Longoria, Tina Turner, Madonna, Oprah). I have a few pictures of his floral designs that he did at the show below.

Popular designs this year are big ornamental garden heads ,fairy gardens, succulent gardens, along with Moulin Rouge inspired table settings. I tried to capture some of the most impressive designs but my photos do not do them justice. The smell of lilies and roses alone is distracting enough and the exhibits are overwhelming. You could really spend the day there enjoying the different areas.

Jeff Leatham design
Jeff Leatham design

Hotel Silver

Hotel Silver

Silver Chowder Spoons from Hotel Silver in Darien,CT

Fairy house

Friday, June 23, 2017

Ecco Bella - All Natural & Organic Makeup

Review by Lisa VanWilliams
Summer colors and scents! I have been checking out a few of Ecco Bella's latest eyeshadows, eyeliner, and Eau De Parfum spray. I am a fan of their eyeshadows, but this is the first time I'm trying one of their eyeliners and parfums.

Ecco Bella offers natural and organic skincare, hair, body, and makeup products. Ecco Bella is a name that means "Behold Beautiful!". They are a great company, with great products, and they support many wonderful organizations like Friends of Animals, Primarily Primates, American Forests (protecting and restoring forests) as well as being Members of the American Sustainable Business Council. Products are gluten-free and almost everything is Vegan (excluding a few lipsticks, glosses, & lip liners).

Organic Bourbon Vanilla ($34.95 1 FL.ON) - this scent is exotic and hypnotic! Madagascan vanilla, rose and jasmine essential oils will settle nicely into your skin. I find myself going back to my wrists to catch another whiff - very enticing. I am not a fan of alcohol smell, but this bourbon is different.

Natural Eyeshadow Refill ($14.95 ea) - Flower Wax enriched formulas to prevent moisture from migrating from the skin. I picked a few Summer neutrals - Fawn and Camel. The eyeshadows go on smoothly and stay put, I'm a fan. I like the colors as they are, or they would be a great base on your palette. Flower wax is suppose to help the eyeshadow go on easier and last longer.

Soft Eyeliner Pencil ($17.95 ea) - rich in palm and palm kernel glycerides to help draw smooth, flawless lines. They are made from vegetable waxes, no synthetic petroleum oils. Naturally preserved. It goes on precise and it's a clean line, plus they have some great dark shades to pick from. It could last a little longer, it tends to fade out by the end of the day.

They have lots of other scents, colors, and options on their website if your looking for your signature color or smell.

Thanks for the Summer treats Ecco Bella!

To find out more about Ecco Bella products or to order online, please go to:

Ecco Bellow is also sold at The Common Bond Market in Shelton,CT and Healthy Foods Plus in Milford,CT.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Mermaid Pillow Co.

Take a break from the fidget spinner and get your sequins pillow out! Right now these reversible sequins pillows are really popular. You can draw on them with your finger to create pictures or words. The mermaid pillow is recommended for ages 4 and up. I love it myself and find it fun and relaxing. The sequins are hand-sewn and these are high quality pillows that will add a splash of color and fun to any room.

These pillows are also great for helping with children with autism-related and other sensory-related issues. They pillows are described by customers as "calming" or "relaxing". The company also donates $5 to Autism Speaks for every Accept, Understand, and Love Pillow that is purchased.

The pillows come individually wrapped and they have tons of options to pick from. Mermaid Pillow carries adult decorative pillows along with adorable kids pillows decorated with dinosaurs, dragons, bunnies, fairies and more. Prices range from $19.99 to around $43 depending on which ones you pick (free shipping). These are a little more expensive than the one's from Walmart, but they are way better quality and you will feel the difference right away. These would also make a great gift.

Mermaid Pillow Co. is a family-owned business outside of Omaha, Nebraska. There were kind enough to send me over a few pillows to check out for myself and my kids. They are wonderful quality pillows and my kids were totally excited to get their hands on them. We were actually at the mall the other day and my daughter was playing with a reversible sequin shirt she did not want to leave, so I was looking forward to giving them the pillows as a surprise!

To find out more about Mermaid Pillow Co. and check out all the styles they offer, please go to:

Thanks Mermaid Pillow Co.!