beauty buzz

beauty buzz

I posted a status update on Facebook last week asking friends for SPF suggestions that were organic, not full of chemicals, not oily and skin friendly.  With an overwhelming response (THANK YOU!), I learned that women definitely have the unlock on skincare, something I knew but never really really realized!  Industry insiders and beauty editors give advice, but it’s real people, with real thoughts, feedback and opinions which are most relevant!  I think I’m late to the party on this one, and need to solicit more questions and suggestions from all of you, because you girls seriously hold the key!  

In an effort to pay it forward, here’s a snapshot into my regimen.  I’ve gone through boatloads of trials and tribulations over the years, and am pleased with the cocktail of products I landed on.  But all suggestions are welcome, and if you have a secret to erase my wrinkles, remove my bags, and make my skin shine like J-Lo’s, I’m open to converting.  Tomorrow I turn 35 (whoa!) – and while every year that passes, I become more comfortable in my skin – bring on the beauty tips and secrets!!!  At the end of this post, I’d love if you would each add your favorite life-changing skincare product(s) and the reasons why in the comment section!  I want to hear it all!  Then I’ll put together an update to this post, compiling all the info to share and pass on!  

To kick things off, here are mine….

Arcona Triad Pads:  Up until a year or so ago, I never used a toner.  It added one more extra step to my skincare routine that I wasn’t interested in, and I didn’t really get the point of it.  But since using Arcona Triad, my skin has retained more moisture, feels super refreshed, awake and cleaner then ever.  Plus the smell is divine!  Made from all natural, organic ingredients, Arcona recommends using products within 6 months.  Head over to LA based company, Arcona’s site for more information.

Aesop Deodorant:  I currently don’t use deodorant.  I used to wear Tom’s which is made from all natural ingredients, but I stopped because I don’t like putting anything near my breast that clogs the pours in that area.  With that being said, I found Aesop’s deodorant which is made of mostly natural ingredients and is aluminum FREE.  It spritzes on (non-aerosal) so it doesnt feel like it’s completely closing the pours.  It also smells seriously AMAZING.  I decided that on specific occasions, I would use it.

Arcona Cranberry Gommage:  Living in NYC leaves my skin feeling heavy and full of residue after a long day out and about.  The Arcona Cranberry Gommage scrub exfoliates, while also nourishing with all natural and organic ingredients.  It doesn’t dry out the skin or strip it down.  I combine it with my Mario Badescu Cleansing Gel (see below) to make it a 2 in 1 process.

Urban Decay NAKED Beauty Balm:  The newest item in my beauty/skincare regimen, I was looking for mascara in Sephora and fell down the make-up rabbit hole, followed by coercion from an Urban Decay beauty rep that happened to be working in the store that day.  I don’t wear a lot of make-up and don’t do foundation but since I have freckles, am open to finding a primer that evens out the skin tone.  One with SPF to boot.  I’ve only used it a few times, but I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!  Super lightweight, feels incredibly natural, absorbs quick and color matches exactly to all skin colors.  I use it with nothing else on days when going make-up free, but wanting an overall glow and evenness.  There are so many more benefits of the product that I won’t waste your time in listing.  Head over to Urban Decay for the full monty.

Arcona The Eyes Have It:  I’m not sure any product will ever really erase the fine lines around my eyes.  A lifetime in the sun combined with my parents genetics, I think they are here to stay.  On the flip side, I believe Arcona’s “The Eye’s Have It”, has slowed down the aging process and prevented further damage.  I’ve been using it religiously for a few years.

Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel:  It’ll be really hard to convince me to change my face wash because I’m a Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel lifer.  I do not use eye-makeup remover (and don’t want to) so need a one stop shop.  This is a most perfect product – light, leaving your skin feeling fresh, with no residue, clean and not oily.  I love it!  Thanks to bestie Jackie for the introduction.  Combines both chemical and natural ingredients.

Doctor Hauschka Rose Day Cream Light:  I’ve loved this product since the facialist at Soho Sanctuary made the recommendation.  It’s light, fast absorbent, smells amazing, keeps skin hydrated, is holistic and made from chemical free and natural ingredients.  To endorse this face cream even further, a week ago, when Andy Cohen was interviewing Jennifer Lopez, a viewer asked how she keeps her skin so radiant and her reply was, “I use Rose Day Cream”.  Read more about Doctor Hauschka’s mission on the site.

Sugar Lip Balm:  I use lip balm before I go to bed every night since everything dries out when asleep.  And using it at night keeps my lips nourished throughout the days.  Lately I’ve been using Sugar which is sticky enough that it stays on (I previously used vaseline) and super nourishing.  It’s great for the during the day too since it has an SPF of 15.  Don’t forget to cover up your lips in the sun!  They are just as prone to UV rays as the rest of your skin.  Sugar lip balm, with SPF 15 comes in tints too.  I use Sugar Passion when I want subtle color.

Rodan & Fields Multi Function Eye Cream:  My sister-in-law bought me Rodan + Fields Multi Function Eye Cream as a gift, and I have to admit that I thought the whole line was a hoax with really strong marketing.  I am trying it this month for the first time (putting my Arcona The Eyes Have It on hold), and I think it’s actually working!  At least a little bit.  The fine lines are there, but are firmer and not as visible.  The verdict is still out on this one.  This is not an organic, or natural product.

Aesop Resurrection Hand Balm:  Australian company Aesop, opened up in my neighborhood and after popping in to buy a gift for a friend, I wound up scooping up the hand lotion, and went back for the deodorant (see above).  Definitely on the pricier side, but I am a sucker for yummy smelling lotion that is not sticky, absorbs quick and still does the trick of nourishing.  This product is a combination of both plant and laboratory based ingredients.  More about their philosophy on Aesop’s site.

Aimee Raupp Nourishing Face Oil (not shown):  I use Aimee’s face oil before bed to give it some extra intense moisture while sleeping.  Made from organic and natural anti-aging ingredients, it works at restoring a youthful glow, promoting collagen production, detoxifying skin and healing damaged skin.  Find more of Aimee Raupp’s all natural beauty products on her site.  

Jivamukti Lavender Aloe Lotion (not shown):  Nothing beats the smell of this lotion.  Made from only organic ingredients, I love it so much I want to eat it.  I use it on my hands and arms before bed.  The lavender scent calms and soothes to help me decompress.

Avalon Organics Lavender Body Lotion (not shown): I use Avalon Organics for all over body lotion.  Applying it right after I am done showering, it keeps my dry skin nourished all day and night.  They key is to putting it on while your skin is still wet!

In lieu of my 35th birthday tomorrow and July 4th this coming Friday, I’ll be signing off and taking it easy for the rest of the week.  I hope you have a fantastic long weekend ahead, eating lot’s of yummy food, enjoying the sunshine and love with your friends and family!  Don’t forget to leave your beauty/skincare recommendations in the comment section of this post!  Till next week…..

xx Jenny

dove’s “social experiment”

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Have you seen Dove’s new “social experiment” video?  If not, I think it’s worth checking out and I’d really like to hear your feedback.  I have my own opinion which I’ll explain in a minute.  Click here first to view it.  There is a lot of controversy, the most popular a review written by Jazz Brice which you can find on her tumbler site, “little drops” found here, but before clicking the review I urge you to watch the campaign first.  I did the reverse so I’m advising otherwise.   Then let’s discuss.

So now that you’ve watched (don’t read on unless you have), these are my thoughts:

Although I understand Jazz’s commentary about Dove’s “social experiment”, I also have a profound appreciation for it; the message, that is.  It is easy to pick apart a progressive and original approach to cultural messaging, but in doing so we lose the actual intention of the message!  I won’t say the “social experiment” doesn’t have flaws and that there isn’t some validity to her review, however in order to evolve and move forward it takes courageous corporations like Dove to make the attempt.  Being a pioneer is certainly not fool proof!  From my perspective what they have done is raise an awareness to an ongoing societal issue that needs to be addressed.  Women do have magnified self-esteem issues in this country and it’s about time we got to talking about it in a bigger way.  We can all psycho-analyze this advertising and marketing campaign (and I am the queen of psychoanalyzing, trust me), but why should we expend our energy on that part of the project?  How about taking away the larger message at hand which is about embracing and recognizing your individual beauty.  It is not Dove’s job to teach us how to get there – it is their job to bring the subject into light – and with that, I think they’ve done a stellar job!  I’d rather be part of the movement that takes the risk than the person who stands back and judges the attempt. 

What do you think about the experiment?  I really want to hear your thoughts so don’t be shy.  Share away!!!

xx #yoursoulstyle

white out

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As long as you’re not attending a wedding – white is always a fashion ‘do’.  There are silly rules around this color (or non-color, really) but I throw that ridiculousness out with the trash.  I stopped following the “no white after labor day” mandate when the style gods presented juicy sweatsuits as a popular trend in the late 90’s (click here for a memory refresher).  They lost all credibility.  If you’ve been a disciple of this fashion commandment – I think it may be time to embrace your inner rebel.  White is flattering on all skin types – it’s classic, polished and projects a pure and clean aesthetic.  How could the absence of color only be okay on a seasonal basis?  It’s not  – white is for every day, all year.  I promise you can’t go wrong.  *photos via pinterest

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the philosophy

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Hello friends!  I want to thank you for your support and encouragement while developing this site.  It means the world to have you by my side and I look forward to the continued building of our community.  I hope you have enjoyed this journey so far and I encourage you to stay on board to be part of the ride.  Like all things, ‘soul style’ will continue to evolve so I thank you in advance for your patience.  One recent change is the site name – you can now find me at yoursoulstyle.com.

Also stay tuned for ‘project soul style‘ which will launch in the coming weeks.  You can find information on the ‘project soul style’ tab on the home page.   Keep checking back and stay tuned!

Now as promised, the ‘soul style’ philosophy.

The ‘soul style’ movement is about self-expression through the vehicle of style.  From the beginning of time dress has symbolized culture, social grouping, profession, power, socioeconomic status, etc.  Indian women pierce their nose signifying beauty and marriage and the sari (both print and color) represents different meanings and implications.  Religious Jewish women cover their heads with a sheitel for modesty and in Japan the kimono is still prevalent despite westernization.  One could argue that these ladies have it easy – the homogeneous nature of their culture facilitating predetermined style choices.  Traditions prevail and choices are limited.  But what happens when you’re not part of a culture that lays it all out for you?  When you’re thrown into the fashion abyss and can choose anything with no rules or regulations – no boundaries and no parameters around how to define yourself?  How do you create your ‘soul style’?

The most important thing to remember when developing your sense of style is that you are only at your best when you are truly being yourself.  Looking at others and expecting to feel satisfied while copying them will eventually prove to be unsuccessful (*disclaimer – to copy and be inspired by are not the same thing).  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve worn something after seeing it on someone else (or in a magazine) and wound up feeling completely out-of-place all day.  Has this ever happened to you?  You just feel off?  I’ve realized that not everything is going to connect even if it looks fabulous on the gal standing to my right.  It needs to be and feel like me!  ‘Soul style’ is about finding your own rhythm and determining what works best for you and only you.  Like the women of India and Japan you can also engage in traditions, but the best part about yours are that you can be the creator of them.

Join me on this journey and I will give you the tools to help you get there.

Personal style silently defines us which is why at soul style my goal is to make sure that you are shining through

xx – Jenny

**I dedicate this movement to my wife who creates the space to let me be who I am every day**

hair today, gone tomorrow…

There was never a time in my life that I wasn’t hair conscious – or rather I should say self-conscious about my hair. From as far back as kindergarten I cried about how my side pony was too frizzy and asked questions like, “why can’t my hair be smooth and straight like all the other little girls?” My Mom used to brush and pull and smooth, but no matter what we did – my hair felt like a cotton ball protruding from my head.

Screen Shot 2013-01-19 at 10.51.08 AMFirst Grade Picture: 1985

ponytailRocking the Pony: sometime in the early 80’s

This continued throughout elementary, middle, high school and college. It was only until a few years ago (I’m 33) where I began to “sort of” embrace the curls and own them. I had no more fight in me so I threw in the towel and started to work with what I had. I can’t deny that even though I’ve resolved some of my frustrations with my mane, I still get bent out of shape about it. My wife calls it “hairanoia” (hair + paranoia = hairanoia). She thinks that I see my hair way different from the reality of it. Sort of like when you look in a fun house mirror and your perception is completely distorted. I know I’m not alone here, right??

For the past few years since keratin hit the market, things have increasingly gotten better. I get the treatment 1-2x a year. I wouldn’t say that I’m 100% satisfied though (and the fact that I have grey hair too does not help matters – shhh). My hair is smoother and more manageable, but as each month goes by – I know it’s slowly creeping back towards its original texture (keratin girls – you know what I mean!). And I am not thrilled about putting the chemicals in, but hey – the things we do for beauty. I continue to search for the perfect cocktail of smoothing serum, gel, comb, diffuser, shampoo, conditioner, and any other hair treatment that will tame the mane. Every time I purchase a new product it’s another glimmer of hope towards transforming the locks. I try out my new combination and fingers crossed I’ll look like Penelope Cruz.

This brings me to the present day. Due to my hairanoia I’ve been resistant to getting a “real” cut – keeping it long and simple to maintain some level of ease. I detest haircuts. Every time I go into the salon I sound like Woody Allen – anxious, overly descriptive, nervous, uneasy and annoying to the stylist! I’m pretty sure every one I’ve ever seen thinks I need to be medicated. Haircuts to me are up there with sky diving, bungee jumping and swimming with the sharks. I’ve dreamed of cutting it shorter, but fear that it will be even more difficult than it already is. I know, I know – hair grows back so what am I sweating? And the truth is I don’t know! Like all irrational fears, this one is on my list.

You’ll be happy to know that yesterday I took the plunge, threw caution to the wind and went through with it. I was literally debating it up until the time that I sat in Johnny’s (Bumble and Bumble) chair, but after the first chop there was no turning back. I watched him carefully craft my do and tried my hardest not to freak him (and myself out) along the way. Towards completion I was still on edge about the whole thing and (even though going reverse wasn’t an option) having a conversation with myself whether this was the right move or not. After Johnny was done he shook it out and turned me towards the mirror. I took a deep breath, I put my hands to it, touched and played for a minute and decided that I LOVE IT! It’s a great change, feels fresh, exciting and I think I’m a bit bolder having gone through with it. If in a month or so I hate it….luckily it’s hair and will grow back!

Yesterday morning I asked my wife as we looked in the mirror together, “What if I don’t look sexy without long hair?” and she said this: “Your hair is not what makes you sexy. You are what makes you sexy”. I’ll continue to remind myself of this when I get hairanoid!

Are you thinking about making any changes soon? I’m always inspired by you so please share your stories!

inspirationInspiration: Sarah Paulson

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Screen Shot 2013-01-19 at 9.41.05 AMMy tool kit: Ouidad Climate Control gel, Bumble and Bumble Defrizz, Luxor diffuser, T3 Hair Dryer, Keratin Color Minded Shampoo/Conditioner, Hair Pick Comb