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Category: Product Reviews

Beauty Hacks for Spring and Summer

Spring has sprung and with it came a legion of products from the beauty and skincare industry. Some are based on tried-and-true ingredients and techniques, some are the result of new science—and some…well, some are downright quirky. I have tried a few of these new hacks, but I am intrigued by all the promises and results that come with the season’s offerings. As Korea has become a virtual hotbed of skincare creativity, I’m quick to try products that come out of Seoul. I especially like the Vitabrid Dual Serum, which combines two serums in a unique Twist-to-Mix bottle. The...

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Travel Hacks: Don’t Leave Home Without Them

Frequent travelers have learned to pack efficiently, yet there are some items you don’t want to leave behind. Sunscreen.  TIZO Sheer Botanicals SPF 45 is free of chemical sunscreen filters and is reef-and planet-friendly. The silicone-free formula uses only mineral sunscreens titanium dioxide and zinc oxide to reflect UVA/UVB rays away from skin rather than absorb UV rays like chemical blocks. The tinted lip protection is effective and smooth to apply. Another sunscreen I like a lot is CōTZ, because it, too, uses only the minerals titanium dioxide and zinc oxide to reflect UV rays away from the skin,...

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Create a Summertime Bedroom With Lacoste and Saaya

The bedroom that felt so warm and inviting last winter can now, during the summer feel…too warm. The lush fabrics—the velvets and wools and damasks–that made your bed so cozy in January can be stifling in July. The rich colors that brightened your winter bed on your bed—burgundy and emerald green or navy and red, for example—now seem…wrong. Enter Lacoste, the iconic brand best known for crisp and stylish sportswear. As this year marks the 85th anniversary of René Lacoste’s designs –in particular, the sporting classic L.12.12 polo shirt—the company has now added Lacoste Maison and created a line...

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Ezra Arthur Wallets: Heirloom Quality Gifts Any Man Would Love

Ezra Arthur Hand Made Leather Goods are Heirloom Quality In this age of disposables, there are still American companies using premium materials to handcraft heirloom quality products–articles made to last a lifetime. Ezra Arthur is such a company, owned by four brothers who honor their family legacy by producing lifestyle accessories made from the finest materials, which are then manufactured by hand. Each and every product is carefully examined and inspected before being offered for sale. For this Father’s Day, an Ezra Arthur wallet, cash fold or passport wallet would be a gift to treasure for many years to...

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Robb Vices: Luxury Gifts That Keep on Giving

Robb Vices. The name is sexy, the marketing is smart. The son of Robb Report’s publisher has taken the popular concept of subscription boxes and created a product that reflects the magazine’s content of luxury-things-to-have. Subscriptions can be month-to-month—or for three-, six- or 12-month periods. For about $100 a month (depending on the subscription chosen), subscribers (or gift recipients) receive a box filled with unusual and desirable surprises—handmade Italian Finlay & Co sunglasses, Euro-styled Bluetooth speakers, technologically-wild writing instruments designed by Ferrari’s Pininfarina, to name a few. All the rarities have been carefully curated—so as to guarantee delighted pleasure...

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Luxurious Sound Quality Master & Dynamic Headphones

Headphone sound quality is something we take for granted. Our earbuds are tethered to mobile devices listening to our music libraries, watching Netflix or just having a good old-fashioned phone conversation. Holiday headphones were at the top of my shopping list for my special someone and when I was invited to test the MH30 Foldable On-Ear Headphones (Retail $299 USD) by Master & Dynamic, I couldn’t refuse. I do not enjoy headphones that rest inside the ear; I prefer over the ear and haven’t been thrilled with my own personal set. Within a few days of placing my order,...

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Etymotic’s MK5 Isolator Earphones Deliver High End Sound for a Low-End Price

New high-fidelity, low profile earphones for sports and travel I travel a lot and during long-haul flights, I plug into my vintage iPod for entertainment and usually listen to favorite audiobooks. Since engine noise can make listening difficult, I use noise isolating earphones. I’ve tried a borrowed pair of the big Bose earphones that cost about $450, and though they did a perfect job of delivering excellent, uncluttered sound quality, I decided against purchasing a pair due to their size and price. I did buy the company’s SoundTrue earphones for $130 from an online vendor—and subsequently returned them because...

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ALASTIN Restorative Skin Complex: A Powerhouse Anti-Aging Treatment

Some anti-aging products simply soothe and refresh the skin but offer no lasting improvement. And some promise and deliver powerhouse results. Alastin Restorative Skin Complex with TriHex Technology™ is a powerhouse that is said to restore volume and plump up thinning skin, lift sagging skin and smooth lines and wrinkles on the face, neck and décolleté–and help even out skin tone. Even better, the product contains potent antioxidants to help protect the skin from further damage. So how does it actually work? Though the texture is luxuriously rich, it is absorbed quickly so I could apply the tinted moisturizer...

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Juicepresso for a Healthy New Year

It’s a common trend to start the New Year off with something healthy. What better way to do that than with a Juicepresso? The ad was good, but it did not convince me that this product was the answer to my needs. Most of the juice presses I’ve seen were cumbersome, and I wasn’t really sure about all the accolades. But since I really wanted a juice press, I decided to give the Juicepresso a try. After my Juicepresso arrived and was unpacked, it went together quite easily and did not take up much counter space. I picked some oranges and grapefruit from my yard and cut the fruit into one-to-two-inch pieces, as recommended by the manufacturer. Now for the first test. Feeding the fruit into the Juicepresso went very quickly. The pulp came out of the second outlet easily–and the juice was delicious! The next test would be the cleaning. Everything came apart smoothly and went into the dishwasher. Nice and easy–I love it. Facts from the manufacturer: Health benefits: Ten servings of fruits and vegetables in one glass Nutrients enter the bloodstream in minutes May increase energy levels Can jumpstart and support weight loss efforts May help protect against various diseases. Why Cold Press: 40% more juice volume Higher nutrient retention than centrifugal juicers because it doesn’t generate heat that destroys some of the potency Lasts longer – 72-hour juice life Looks great...

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Modern Travel Accessories

It seems we could have new gimmicks and gadgets every month. Some we may wonder if they really will make a difference in easing travel and others may cause an eye roll or head-shake. When we get information followed by samples, we do not cover them all; we focus on those we think our readers may have an interest in discovering. Oxygen + Our first discovery for this month is Oxygen+ from www.oxygenplus.com. It is portable, safe, natural, easy to use and packaged in a small convenient container. It’s certainly not a replacement for those on oxygen, it is...

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Homemade Confections A-List Candy Queen Judith Galindo

In the winter of 2009, I had the pleasure of being a judge at the Oregon Chocolate Festival, which is held in Ashland. In remembering the categories, they were pure chocolate, best marriage of chocolate and candy, desserts, and most innovative. The competition was tremendous and the five of us who were judges had challenging taste, criteria, and score sheets to track over two days. There were well-known purveyors who had been featured on Oprah and others with worldwide reputations. There were those up and coming shops that you knew were going to make it soon. And there, on...

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