Best of Spring Beauty: Treats and Tools for Feet and Perfect Pedicures

Spring is the perfect time to put away the boots and break out of the rough, dry skin that we tend to get during the bitter winter months. New life is all around in nature, so why not continue the trend by welcoming fresh, soft skin on your feet? Pedicures, foot files, and pedicure tools, foot scrubs, and hydrating foot creams and lotions offer an effective means to a great end – soft, smooth feet! Here are our top beauty picks of treats for your feet this spring.

Microplane XL Pro Foot File

Beauty products for feet are becoming more and more abundant. Stores are lining their shelves with everything from at-home pedicure kits to specialized, battery-powered tools to gently slough off dry, dead skin cells. Here we offer a rundown of the spring’s top products to get your feet in beach-ready shape, for flip-flops, strappy sandals, and of course, barefoot relaxation.

YogaToes®
Many of us know that yoga is great for the body, mind, and spirit, but… for the toes? Sure – why not! Exercise keeps the body healthy and fit, so it makes sense that exercise can also improve the health of our feet.

YogaToes® are made of soft and flexible, hypo-allergenic medical grade gel that carries a lifetime guarantee. They are surprisingly soft, comfortable, and easy to use – just slip them onto your tootsies and relax! (You can hold them under running water to make it easier to get them on.) The flexible band of gel gently and effectively stretches and strengthens the muscles in your feet, which relaxes tired feet and helps to repair and prevent foot problems.

I received my YogaToes in the mail on a Friday, after a long week at work. Sitting down in front of the television with my husband, I decided to see what I thought. They easily slipped right over my toes, and while I could feel them stretching my feet, it was a comfortable and pleasant stretch. I kept the YogaToes on for roughly 15 to 20 minutes and instantly felt a difference in my feet when I removed them.

YogaToes are available as gift sets....

As a former runner and wearer of cleats in other sports, I look forward to continued use and improvement in the health of my feet. YogaToes really are like yoga for the feet. The refreshing stretch offered by YogaToes makes me feel great, as if I’d just had a pedicure. Now that would be an interesting pairing!

YogaToes are available in unisex small and medium sizes, where most women fit in size small, and most men wear size medium. The colors give YogaToes a nice touch, from orange, pink, crystal, or sapphire to metallic blue, green apple, black, or silver.

Learn more about YogaToes on the YogaPro Web site, http://yogapro.com/.

Microplane® Personal Care XL-Pro Foot File
The Microplane® Personal Care XL Pro Foot File is a comfortable and easy way to get softer feet for spring. This must-have beauty tool can give you the results you’ve been seeking instantly. Use the Microplane XL Pro Foot File to gently and effectively buff away rough calluses, revealing the soft and smooth skin underneath.

Available in two colors, Marbled Earth or Tuscan Gold, the foot file features a long handle and replacable cartridge, and a built-in compartment. As you filed away the dead skin cells from your feet, the built-in compartment catches the skin particles safely and effectively. You can clean the foot file easily with soap and water after each use – just read the instructions to see how to take it apart.

I used my Microplane XL Pro Foot File and noticed favorable results immediately, where the roughest areas on my feet suddenly felt softer and smoother. Since it was my first time using the file, I felt like my feet still had some rough patches from the scraping motion, so I just applied foot cream before bed for a more comfortable sleep. After using the file several more times over the course of a week, I noticed silky, soft skin on my feet rather than rough, dry skin.

The Microplane XL-Pro Foot File retails for $29.95 at various stores such as Bed, Bath, and Beyond, QVC, Ulta, Beauty First/Pure Beauty stores, salons and spas nationwide, and at http://www.microplane.com/.

Artemis Woman Heel Smoother
Artemis Woman Heel SmootherThe Artemis Woman Heel Smoother is a battery operated pedicure tool. This product features special DuraCrystals®, which are comprised of aluminum oxide crystals – the same as used in microdermabrasion treatments. Artemis Woman Heel Smoothers use removable and interchangeable tips for use on different parts of the foot. The larger oval tip worked fairly well for my heel, while the smaller, thinner tip was gentle and more forgiving on my toes.

At first, the tool may seem a little intimidating to try, as it did for me. Don’t be worried! It just takes a few moments of practice, though, to get down a rhythm and find your best approach to exfoliating the dead skin cells from your feet. In my experience, it takes several uses before feet are perfect, but this is understandable due to a long winter’s worth of dry skin. Truth be told, I noticed a positive difference, especially in my heels, immediately after use.

The Artemis Woman Heel Smoother is available in four package types. The heel smoother is available in either a waterproof or non-waterproof version. Some packages include a 1 oz. jar of Topaz™ Foot Butter, which contains aromatherapy essentials – oils of lemon, tea tree, and bergamot, as well as real topaz crystals to nourish and moisturize skin.

The packages retail prices range from $16 to $19.99 for the non-waterproof heel smoother, $19.99 for the HS-250 (which is waterproof), $29.99 for the HS-1000 and a jar of foot butter, and $49.95 for the rechargeable Heel Smoother Optimum HS-5000, which comes with a variety of tips and a jar of foot butter. Artemis Woman Heel Smoothers are sold at Wal-Mart, Target, The Sharper Image, Rite Aid, CVS, Walgreens, QVC, Sky Mall, Amazon.com, and more. For more on this product, see http://www.artemiswoman.com/.

Dr. Scholl’s® For Her Foot Butter, 2.5 oz….


What’s Fresh and Ultra Clear for Spring – Top No-Show Deodorant Picks

Dove go freshSpring has sprung. Warmer weather’s almost here for good, which means tank tops and sundresses aren’t far behind. When we start to bare our bodies just a bit more with spaghetti straps and string bikinis, it’s vital that our deodorant stays put and invisible. For fresh and fragrant deodorant that sticks to your skin and not your clothes, here are our top deodorant picks for spring.

Choosing a deodorant or anti-perspirant is a very personal yet very important decision to balance. You want to be confident in your every day that your body is protected from embarrassing odors and wetness, but you also want to ensure that the product doesn’t cake itself under your arms or smear all over your clothing. You also want to make sure it’s effective for the duration of your day.

If you haven’t already found a tried and true deodorant or anti-perspirant product, I urge you to consider Degree® Women Ultra Clear (Little Black Dress Approved – and it is, too!) and Dove ® go fresh™ product lines.

Even if you are a faithful supporter of one particular brand that never fails you, I encourage you to check these products out. I have been a faithful user of the same deodorant product for probably between eight and ten years. These products offer true dependability, and their fragrances alone offer a pretty strong argument for a switch!

DEGREE® WOMEN ULTRA CLEAR
Degree Women Ultra ClearLittle Black Dress Approved Degree Women Ultra Clear has passed my test for both clear and smudge-proof factors. The anti-perspirant delivers the ultimate wetness protection and also stays on your skin, not on your clothes. The best thing of all is that it doesn’t leave those embarrassing white marks on your shirts or dresses – trust me, I checked. I even went to the mall wearing it, tried on a few dresses, and only got a very small, barely visible smudge on one dress when I literally had to wrestle my way out of it.

I tested this product a few days during the workweek, and I am happy to report that the fresh and flirty fragrance stayed with me throughout each day. Sweaters, close-fitting shirts – it didn’t matter what I wore; Little Black Dress Approved Degree Women Ultra Clear deodorant’s results remained the same. In fact, I would sometimes catch a whiff of the deodorant, smelling so good that I would almost think I recently applied an aromatic lotion or body spray fragrance. Nope, just my deodorant, doing its job!

According to product literature, Little Black Dress Approved Degree Women Ultra Clear uses a TriClear™ formula that allows it to go on clear and stay clearer. In my experiences using Degree Women Ultra Clear, this formula is highly effective, as I didn’t notice any smudging, smearing, flaking or other problems caused by so many deodorants.

Degree® Women Ultra Clear retails for roughly $3.64 for a 2.6 oz. container, but prices may vary. Available fragrances include: Pure Petal, Pure Satin, Pure Clean, Pure Rain, Pure Powder, and Pure Oxygen.

DOVE® go fresh™ ULTIMATE CLEAR INVISIBLE SOLID
Designed for 20-something women who have way too much stress to battle in their daily lives, the Dove go fresh™ line offers women a fresh new selection of products and fragrances. Dove’s collection aims to remind women to refresh, cool off, and energize – because it is so important to recharge our batteries every day, even if only for just a few moments.

Dove go fresh Ultimate Clear Invisible Solid deodorantI tried out the Dove go fresh™ Energizing Ultimate Clear Invisible Solid deodorant. The product applied very smoothly and cleanly, without any additional residue. The grapefruit and lemongrass fragrance is a delightful and refreshing scent that helped to get me moving in the morning (I am so not a morning person).

According to product literature, Ultimate Clear Invisible Solid contains ¼ Translucent Moisturizers™ that help to leave underarms softer and smoother in five days. The deodorant delivers 24-hour wetness and odor protection while offering a fresh and flirty fragrance that is oh-so delightful compared to standard powder-based products.

Dove Ultimate Clear Invisible Solid retails for around $3.79 for 2.6 oz. product or $0.99 for a 0.5 oz. travel size product. Available fragrances include Refreshing (clean waterlily and fresh mint – blue cap), Energizing (juicy, sparkling grapefruit and lemongrass – yellow cap), and Cooling (crisp cucumber and calming green tea – green cap).

Limited time offer: Try a free sample of Dove go fresh™ Ultimate Clear Invisible Solid here!

***

I really enjoyed both products enough to purchase them on a regular basis. I’m actually a firm believer that every woman should always have a spare deodorant anyway, either in her car or set aside with other vital items (like spare toothpaste and toothbrush), ready to travel at a moment’s notice.

For more information, check out Degree online or Dove online.

Review: Suave Skin Therapy Daily Exfoliating Body Wash

Suave Skin Therapy Daily Exfoliating Body WashLuxury in the shower doesn’t have to come at a steep price. Just take Suave Skin Therapy Daily Exfoliating Body Wash for example. This gentle body scrub infuses delightful coconut fragrance with apricot seeds for ultimate cleansing, moisturizing, and rejuvenation of your skin.

This pretty potion gleams with pearly undertones and gold glimmers streaming through every small squirt. The fragrance is divine, offering a whiff that is subtle and lightly fruity. Suave Skin Therapy Daily Exfoliating Body Wash uses a formula containing real coconut extract and apricot seeds to provide skin with a soft and clean, refreshed sensation following cleansing.

Suave Skin Therapy Daily Exfoliating Body Wash is effective at cleansing and exfoliating, yet gentle enough for sensitive areas and for everyday use. I liked the product so much that I do plan for everyday use, and in fact, I will be buying another bottle of it once I use this one up. Although, the size of the bottle is large as far as body washes go, so I expect it will be lasting a nice duration of time before I need to replace this container.

To use this product, just pour a small amount directly into your hands or a wet bath pouf or loofah. Apply the body wash to your skin, gently massaging it to cleanse and exfoliate. Rinse and enjoy the sensuous coconut fragrance and the supreme sense of clean and the soft, refreshed skin that is yours for the rest of the day. The sparkles and apricot seeds rinse off, taking with them any dry skin cells and leaving your skin soft and smooth.

In my own humble opinion, the product looks and feels nothing like a body cleanser you would be able to buy for under $3. It is, quite simply, luxury in a bottle. If you, like me, enjoy coconut fragrance and pretty, sparkly things, try Suave Skin Therapy Daily Exfoliating Body Wash.

Suave Skin Therapy Daily Exfoliating Body WashPROS:
• Affordable, low price
• Exfoliates
• Generous portion
• Gentle for everyday use
• Moisturizes
• Pretty and luxurious
• Smells great!

CONS:
After a week of use, I have no complaints or concerns with this product. I highly recommend it.

Suave Skin Therapy Daily Exfoliating Body Wash is new to the Suave Skin Therapy line as of February 2008. It retails for $2.49 to $3.49 and is available in a generous 12-ounce flip-top bottle for ease of use.

The Suave Skin Therapy Collection also includes:
• Suave Skin Therapy Complete with Vitamins Body Wash, enriched with Vitamins E, A, and B5, as well as silkening moisturizers
• Suave Skin Therapy Cocoa & Shea Butter Body Wash, containing rich emollients for gentle cleansing and moisturizing
• Suave Skin Therapy Body Moisturizers

Suave Skin Therapy Daily Exfoliating Body Wash and other products in the Suave Skin Therapy Collection are available at drugstores, mass merchandisers, and supermarkets nationwide. Products are also available in six-packs at Amazon.com.

TIP:
For the perfect pairing of coconut in the shower, use Suave Skin Therapy Daily Exfoliating Body Wash with Clairol Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Shampoo and Conditioner (click for product review). You’ll love how the delicate coconut fragrance dances together in your shower and how it leaves you feeling refreshed and invigorated, and ready for a nice day on the beach OR a grueling day at work.

Review: Milani Color Brilliance Eye Pencil 04 Purple

Color is taking the beauty world by storm these days. I stopped into the local CVS drugstore last night to pick up the newspaper and couldn’t help myself. I left with about $35 worth of new cosmetics. I think my favorite find of the night was the cheapest beauty item I picked up – Milani Color Brilliance Eye Pencil in 04 Purple.

I normally just buy the $2 or $3 eyeliner pencils in black or brown, or occasionally one of those double-ended ones that has purple or green on one side and black on the other. Often those two-for pencils only show up in black.

 

This lovely and sleek purple pencil is as stylish in design as it is when it glides across your eyelids. To the eye, the makeup color is a concord grapey hue that actually transfers quite accurately from the pencil to your face. The makeup portion of the product is softer than many eye liners I’ve used, which allows it to glide smoothly onto your eyes, leaving a visible, beautiful streak of color. The Milani Color Brilliance Eye Pencil itself is smooth and pretty, fading from purple to pink, and the cap is a nifty transparent purple.

Milani Color Brilliance Eye Pencil in purple looks very nice even without other makeup. I added some shimmery pale pink and sparkly white eye shadows to complete the look, which created a nice, frosty blend of purplish pink. I finished the look with some brownish black waterproof mascara and voila, I had a new look with a splash of color rather than my oh-so-typical neutral and beige tones. I decided to wear a grey sweater and pants ensemble today, which looks quite sharp and sophisticated with the noticeably subtle purple tone on my eyes.

I enjoyed using this Milani eyeliner product so much that I am considering my next color choice whenever I find myself at CVS Pharmacy next. Yes, I know I could buy the products online, too, but after how much I just spent, I need to take a little time off!

Milani Color Brilliance Eye Pencils are sold separately, and each pencil is 1.54 g, net wt 0.054 oz. They also come in other colors like black, green, and aqua.

Milani hails from Los Angeles, CA, but the Milani Color Brilliance Eye Pencil was made in Italy. Milani products are sold at various drugstores, supermarkets, discount stores, and beauty supply stores in the United States and worldwide. More information is available at www.milanicosmetics.com.

Have a product you’d like to recommend? I’d love to hear from you.
E-mail me at [email protected]!

Five Yummy Coconut Beauty Products

CoconutCoconut is one of those flavors that you either love or hate. Me, I love it. It reminds me of the Bahamas, where my husband and I got engaged. It reminds me of sipping pina coladas out of a real coconut. It reminds me of the good, expensive sunblock that a lot of people wear to the beach. It reminds me of summer… of carefree days basking in the sun. Coconut brings visions of my favorite Easter candy. If I catch a whiff of coconut anything, I can almost taste a delicious shot of coconut rum in my hot chocolate! Coconut beauty products rate high on my list of favorite beauty items.

If you are another big fan of coconut and coconut flavored or fragranced items, read on.

Here are some top coconut beauty picks that could send you on a daydream vacation!

#1: Alba Naturals – Coconut Cream Lip Balm – .15 oz.
Alba Naturals Coconut Cream Lip Balm just happened to be one of my guilty pleasure purchases at the drugstore. Without a doubt, this lip-smacking product was one of the best impulse buys I’ve ever made! Alba Naturals Coconut Cream Lip Balm is a smooth ChapStick type lip gloss product that satisfies thirsty lips every time. The lip balm contains organic coconut oil that moisturizes lips, in addition to natural plant waxes to protect your lips against drying out. The gloss also boasts Vitamin E to restore your lips to their full kissable potential. This coconut beauty product is well worth the $3 or $4 price tag!

The flavor of Alba Naturals Coconut Cream Lip Balm is sweet and succulent. It is reminiscent of pina coladas and wonderful tropical libations. This yummy lip balm also contains organic jojoba seed oil and aloe, which help to further prevent your lips from drying. Coconut lip balm is a great way to taste the tropics any time of day or night, in the winter or the summer or anytime in-between.

Coconut, courtesy of Roswitha Schacht, morgueFile

#2: Burt’s Bees Coconut Foot Crème with Vitamin E – 4.34oz.
Burt’s Bees Coconut Foot Crème is a truly organic experience for your tootsies. This foot cream is more than just your everyday lotion. It contains generous amounts of coconut oil and other all-natural emollient ingredients and botanical oils that penetrate the skin to repair cracked, dry, and worn skin. Burt’s Bees Coconut Foot Crème also boasts a touch of peppermint, one of the all-time favorites in foot care products. This coconut beauty product can repair your cracked, dry skin easily and effortlessly, so give it a try!

To best pamper your feet, apply this cream generously before you hop in bed. Because of the product’s strong ability to seep through the skin to soften your feet, it can leave your feet feeling a bit slick right after you apply the cream. The product’s instructions suggest putting on a pair of cotton socks. Burt’s Bees Coconut Foot Crème is not tested on animals. Some of its key ingredients are: vegetable glycerin, olive oil, oat flour, coconut oil, oat oil, peppermint oil, rosemary leaf oil, and fragrance, to name a few.

#3 and 4: Coconut Shampoo and Conditioner…