Make uP: Pack Your Bags

19 04 2010

From the time I was five years old, I’ve had bags under my eyes big enough to take a two-week trip. My lovely French Nana would tell me that it was a Mediterranean thing but it wasn’t until many years later when I realized that Mediterranean=Inherited from Nana. Fortunately, I’ve learned a few tricks that turn my suitcases into wallets.

Good Eye Cream- At night I remove my eye makeup with baby oil on a cotton ball. The oil keeps the skin around my eyes nice and hydrated during the night. In the AM, I dab a little Phyto Contour by Yonka under my eyes and massage it in for about 30 seconds. The Phyto Contour tingles at first (similar to Noxema) but it gets rid of all swelling in the eye area, minimizing the bags. A gentle massage will increase circulation, brightening the eye area.

Yonka Phyto Contour ($47- pricey as hell but worth every cent)

Highlighter, aka ” The Best Concealers on the Market”– I honestly don’t know how I lived as long as I did without a highlighter. Unlike a thick, cakey concealer that looks more like warpaint than makeup, a highlighter will illuminate your eye area, making you look 5 years younger. There are two I love in opposite ends of the price spectrum:

Yves St. Laurent Touche Éclat ($40 @ This is an instant pick-me-up that I usually splurge on in the winter months when I’m whiter than a glass of milk with big, black circles under my eyes. A few dots blended around the eyes are all you’ll need for a completely refreshed look.

Revlon Color Stay Under Eye Concealer ($9.99)– Although I’m not a fan of the Color Stay foundations (too thick for my liking), I’m in love with the concealer. It’s extremely light, doesn’t crumble in the corners of the eyes and is a great summer alternative for the pricier YSL one.  

Nefeli Instant Eye Rejuvenating Mask ($65 for 3 eye masks @ The night before my wedding I slipped on a wet floor at the Cranford Hotel and landed flat on my knee. It was swollen to the size of a grapefruit, walking was agony and I cried for the better part of the night. When I woke up the next day, I looked like a monster with big puffy eyes to match my fat, puffy knee. Luckily, I had one of these masks in my medicine cabinet and in 20 minutes it erased all the crying damage from the night before. These little beauties use Chinese herbs to address urgent skin needs around the eyes such as dry sensitive skin, fine lines and wrinkles, eye puffiness and bags and/or dark circles. Although temporary, it’s like a 20 minute eye lift.

My bag lady days are far from over, but at least, with the help of a few tried and true products, they’re few and far between.


What’s uP: Babo Botanicals

9 04 2010

Babo Botanicals Full Hair Care Line

Any woman who spends money coloring her hair knows how important a good shampoo is. We think nothing of spending just a little extra to make sure our locks are shiny and glorious and most of us simply do not trust cheap supermarket shampoos. So why is it that we don’t put the same care and effort into what goes onto children’s heads?

Kate Solomon, founder of Babo Botanicals, has created something very special: a professional hair care line geared towards children and their mothers. The Babo line, consisting of shampoos, detanglers, soaps and lotions, are:

  • Certified organic
  • 100% Vegan
  • Produced locally on a certified organic New York farm
  • Sulfate Free
  • NOT tested on animals
  • Free of synthetic fragrances and color
  • Dermatologist and allergy tested
  • Color safe for Mom or Dad’s hair

Babo comes in four different lines:

Pink (Berry Primrose) for smoothing and conditioning; especially effective on curly or wavy hair

Green (Cucumber Aloe Vera) for cleansing; especially after sports and swimming

Yellow (Oatmilk Calendula) for newborns and those with sensitive or dry scalp or skin

Blue (Rosemary Tea Tree) for lice removal

Since I won’t support anything on this blog that I haven’t tried personally, I put the shampoos and detanglers and the Oatmilk Calendula Baby Lotion to immediate use.

For one week, I used the Berry Primrose on my own hair and noticed that it was wonderfully shiny and full and that the spray detangler was more than enough conditioner. I also sent a Cucumber Aloe and another Berry Primrose to my nieces to use and their mothers reported that their girls’ hair had never looked better and that the kids loved using the spray detanglers on their own.

As for the lotion, I placed it in the color area of my salon and the staff descended on it like hungry dogs on a chicken wing. Our hands are constantly in water and chemicals and the lotion is incredibly soothing and non-greasy. We’ve also had a number of clients comment on the very light and comforting fragrance. Working so close to people’s faces, it’s important not to use anything that’s too overpowering, so the Oatmeal Calendula lotion is just perfect.

For kids, Babo offers a clean, honest product that is non-irritating and fun to use. For mothers, Babo is a natural alternative to the excessively perfumed shampoos that act more like a  detergent than a shampoo, stripping hair of its natural shine and vibrance (not to mention hair color).

I’ve already begun to recommend the Babo line to my clients with children and will continue to buy it for people as gifts. Thank you, Kate, for providing us with such a wonderful, responsible product line.

Babo Berry Primrose Gift Set