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Indulgent treatments at Absolute Spa

Thursday, August 28, 2008 by Jacqui Pini

Absolute Spa at YVRby guest contributor Ashley DiFranza

If you find yourself a regular at the spa looking for some ‘me’ time to relax, unwind and beautify yourself, you’ve probably noticed that the options of different facials, massages and scrubs are all rather common. After doing an article on airport spas we noticed the Absolute Spa in Canada had a wide variety of options for both men and women. We decided to highlight some of the most indulgent.

A popular facial at Absolute Spa is the Absolute Diamond Facial, which lasts about 75 minutes. This facial uses ‘laser cut diamond particles’ to refresh the skin and keep it soft and smooth and they even use a new dust-free way of applying the facial.

Aged mud, herbs and minerals come together to create the Moor Mud Facial, which is designed to help cleanse the skin and pores that often do not receive enough attention. This type of facial can help with skin regeneration.

For those tight muscles or bad backs, the Lomi Lomi Coconut Massage was designed to completely nurture and pacify the body. Guests can choose from a 45-minute, 60-minute, or 90-minute session. Lomi is the Hawaiian for massage and this entire practice links back to the ‘healers of Hawaii.’

Absolute Spa also caters to expecting mothers with the Nurturing Rose Pregnancy Therapy. This process is specifically designed for those mothers-to-be who need to relax and take a break from all the stresses of pregnancy. Unique massaging beds are set up especially for these women to make sure they get the most tranquil experience possible. Executed by a registered massage therapist, this massage is designed to iron out all those aches, pains, and worries as the big day approaches. Expectant mothers cannot be in their first trimester when getting this massage.

Is there anything more tranquil than the sound of tropical birds chirping away or the drips of rain off of a silky leaf in the forest? Not to those who came up with the Rainforest Body Buff, another treatment featured at Absolute Spa. This 45 minute process consists of a natural sugar scrub to clear away all that dead skin, a ‘vichy’ shower (like a waterfall in the forest), and the application of a naturally scented body crème or oil.

Absolute Spa is geared towards both men and women. One that is popular with some men is a Professional Sports Hand/Foot Care package specifically designed to help skin that has been damaged from sports. This process usually takes 45-60 minutes.

Y-Spa Face Treatments are used to help make and keep a man’s face from breaking down to some of the negatives of aging. The Pumpkin Peel is one of these treatments.

Do you know of a spa that has many unique and indulgent treatments? Send us an email at Indulge@Captivate.com and let us now.

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Interview with Monica Olsen and free hair products

Tuesday, August 26, 2008 by Jacqui Pini

SHINE AND SHIELD by MONICABecause we love our Indulge readers so much we are giving away 10 full-sized tubes of HairByMonica Shield and Shine. Check out our interview with Monica below for all the details on Shield and Shine- it is an amazing hair product! Just send an email with your name, age and mailing address, along with your No. 1 tip for fabulous hair (to be posted on Indulge) to Indulge@Captivate.com Contest rules are below. ***Thank you for all of your entries! Our contest is closed. We will let you know if you have won.

You may have seen the very gorgeous model/actress Monica Olsen peering down at you from a billboard in Times Square or gracing the pages of Elle and Cosmopolitan. She has done ad campaigns for De Beers, Helmut Lang, Thierry Mugler and had a role in The Hot Chick, an Adam Sandler film. On top of all of this she is also the founder and creator of SkinByMonica, a line of organically and environmentally pure skin care, hair care, spa products and more. We just gave rave reviews to her lip plumper! Monica told us some of the secrets of her very successful business and the inspiration behind her products.

How have you taken your experience with acting and modeling and used it to build a successful beauty brand?

Monica OlsenAs a model and actress I have lived and traveled all over the world. I kept a beauty diary throughout my travels where I was privy to tips from the world’s beauty experts which I have incorporated into my line. This knowledge is not limited to US beauty industry professionals, but overseas professionals as well. Also, having worked in the fashion industry, I understand how women think and what they want which has helped me fill in the gaps in the beauty industry. I understand the marketing aspect of things, but in addition, I am keen on providing the highest quality product for the consumers. As someone with sensitive skin, modeling was difficult in the sense that even when the makeup artists used baby wipes to remove my makeup, the wipes irritated my skin. Now, makeup artists are using my BUTT-SO-SOFT Diaper Rash Care Spray, which contains 100% pure Squalene Oil, which has the highest concentration of Vitamin E available, to remove makeup for their sensitive clients. This line is not time consuming because as a busy mom, I don’t have time to use 5 or 6 different products in my daily regimen.

What is your inspiration behind your products?

My children are the inspiration for SKIN by Monica. The more research I did regarding natural and organic products, the more I realized there was a niche and void that I sought to fill. My line was inspired by and emerged naturally during my first pregnancy. During this special time, I was not able to find natural and chemical free skincare products that met my high standards and I refused to compromise. The line maintains products specifically designed for women, men, and babies and is appropriate for all skin types.

What is your favorite product?

RESTORE MSM Facial Cleanser because I really wasn’t fond of cleansers out there. My Facial Cleanser contains methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), a naturally occurring nutrient found in our bodies. MSM provides sulfur, a vital building block of joints, cartilage, skin, hair and nails, which support many vital biochemical processes in the body, including energy production. A close second and third are PLUMP for Sexy Lips and THE CURE Wrinkle Reducer, respectively. PLUMP is an amazing lip plumper and THE CURE caters to women and men. It’s very moisturizing and has the clinically tested and scientifically proven levels of Argireline, Matrixyl, and CoQ10.

Tell us about SHIELD AND SHINE

SHIELD AND SHINE is a hair protein which absorbs into the hair, thus protecting the hair shaft from chemical and/or heat treatments. It’s also a great styling product for multi-textured hair. SHIELD AND SHINE guards the hair cuticle by creating a protective barrier between the hair shaft and any products, both natural and chemical. This means that color treatments, relaxers, perms, or other chemically intrusive treatments will not cost you your healthy hair. SHIELD AND SHINE is appropriate for all hair types and adds great shine. Several celebrity stylists use this product on their VIP clients.

Anything to add?

SKIN by Monica is a marriage between science and nature. The line is unique in that the percentages of ingredients that are used have been clinically tested and scientifically proven to provide the results that consumers seek.

Previous Post: Spa Review of Mountain View Grand

2. ELIGIBILITY: Each promotion is open to legal residents of the U.S. (excluding Puerto Rico) and Canada who are 18 years or older at the time of entry unless otherwise stated. Employees of Captivate Network (“Sponsor”), Gannett Co., Inc., and each of their subsidiaries and affiliated companies, advertising and promotional agencies, and the immediate family members of, or any person domiciled with, any such employees are not eligible to enter or win. You are not a winner until you have been notified as a potential winner, your eligibility has been verified, and you have complied with all terms of these rules.
3. HOW TO ENTER: [Send an email to Indulge@Captivate.com with your best secret for having fabulous hair, along with your name, age and address where prize can be shipped. Contest opens August 26th at 10:15 EST and ends August 28th at midnight EST] THE FIRST NAME, CITY AND HAIR TIP OF WINNERS WILL BE POSTED ON INDULGE, PERMISSION IS GRANTED BY THE WINNERS BY SENDING IN THE EMAIL ENTRY. The Sponsor is not responsible for incomplete, lost, late, postage-due, misdirected or illegible entries, or for failure to receive entries due to transmission failures or technical failures of any kind, including, without limitation, malfunctioning of any network, hardware or software, whether originating with sender or Sponsor. All entries become property of Sponsor and none will be returned
4. SWEEPSTAKES WINNER SELECTION & ODDS: Sweepstakes winners will be selected in a random drawing from among all eligible entries received by Sweepstakes deadline. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received.
5. PRIZES: [Shield and Shine hair products by Skin by Monica, retail value of $16)
6. WINNER NOTIFICATION AND ACCEPTANCE: Winners will be notified at the email address and/or U.S. mail address provided on winner’s entry form. Email or mail notification: Sponsor will email or mail notification and affidavit/release forms at the address provided. Return of prize notification as undeliverable may result in disqualification and an alternate winner may be selected from among all remaining eligible entries. Winners are required to confirm acceptance of the prize, complete an affidavit of eligibility/liability and publicity release which must be returned within the time period specified. Failure to sign and return the affidavit or release or to comply with any term or condition of these Official Rules, may result in a winner’s disqualification, the forfeiture of his or her interest in the prize, and the award of the prize to a substitute winner.
7. PRIZE TERMS: PRIZES WILL BE MAILED TO THE ADDRESS PROVIDED BY THE WINNERS DELET HIGHLIGHTED Winners may waive their right to receive prizes. Prizes are non-assignable and nontransferable. No substitutions allowed by winner. Prizes and individual components of prize packages are subject to availability and Sponsor reserves the right to substitute prizes of equal or greater value. Winners are solely responsible for reporting and payment of any taxes on prizes. If the prize involves travel or other benefits for a companion in addition to the winner, persons traveling as guest of the winner must also sign any affidavit or release as Sponsor may require. Acceptance of any prize constitutes winner’s consent to the publication of his or her name, biographical information and likeness in any media for any commercial or promotional purpose, without limitation or further compensation. Prizes not won and claimed by eligible winners in accordance with these Official Rules will not be awarded and will remain the property of Sponsor.
8. PARTICIPATION: By participating, entrants agree to be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of Sponsor. Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify persons found tampering with or otherwise abusing any aspect of this Sweepstakes as solely determined by Sponsor. In the event the Sweepstakes is compromised by a virus, non-authorized human intervention, tampering or other causes beyond the reasonable control of Sponsor which corrupts or impairs the administration, security, fairness or proper operation of the promotion. Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to suspend, modify or terminate any promotion at any time. Should a promotion be terminated prior to the stated expiration date, Sponsor reserves the right to award prizes based on the eligible entries received before the termination date.
9. CONSTRUCTION: The invalidity or unenforceability of any provision of these rules shall not affect the validity or enforceability of any other provision. In the event that any such provision is determined to be invalid or otherwise unenforceable, these rules shall be construed in accordance with their terms as if the invalid or unenforceable provision was not contained therein.
10. The decisions of Sponsor regarding the selection of winners and all other aspects of a promotion shall be final and binding in all respects. Sponsor will not be responsible for typographical, printing or other inadvertent errors in these Official Rules or in other materials relating to the promotion. If you have questions on a specific sweepstakes, contact: [Jacqui Pini 978-845-5042], or for a list of winners: send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the Jacqui Pini Captivate Network 2 Executive Drive, Suite 301, Chelmsford, MA 01824].

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Fall 2008 handbag trends

Wednesday, August 20, 2008 by Jacqui Pini

Angelina Jolie Carries Louis VuittonFall 2008 purses ...

Thin is in when it comes to handbags for the fall. This is according to the fabulous stylists at Bag Borrow or Steal who have great flat totes by Tory Burch, BCBG, Burberry and Gucci (just to name a few). Louis Vuitton also makes some sleek flat totes that are timeless and can be worn with anything. Just ask Angelina Jolie who is seen quite a bit with her Louis Vuttion Cabas Mezzo bag (left).

Chain handles

Chain handle bags are also making a comeback and come in various lengths. Traditionally Chanel makes a gorgeous handbag with a chain strap such as the one below designed by Karl Lagerfeld. You can also find these bags at lower price points by XOXO and even J. Crew.

Chanel bag


Speaking of chains, other hardware, such as studs and buckles will be big on fall bags as will non-metal embellishments like leather roses (seen on many Prada bags) and fringe. I just went for a bigger bag this fall with the purchase of a Balenciaga Giant Day Handbag, which incorporates both fringe and gold hardware.

Exotic skins

As noted in Indulge's Fall 2008 shoe trends column, exotic skins are popular with high-end designers this fall. Snakeskin is always timeless and sophisticated when worn correctly; meaning a little bit goes a long way. Gucci debuted a beautiful snakeskin bag (below) at their Fall/Winter 2008-2009 Haute-Couture collection.

Gucci snakeskin bag

Marc Jacobs featured snakeskin handles on some of the pieces he designed for the Louis Vuitton Fall-Winter 2008-2009 ready-to-wear collection.

Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton

Colorful clutches

Clutches are always in style and perfect for a night out. Some of the biggest colors this fall for handbags are magenta, purple, yellow and brown. Amici has some gorgeous clutches in those colors -all under $50!
Amici clutch

Amici clutch

Amici clutch

Previous Post: Socialite Collection of luxury cosmetics

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Socialite Collection of luxury cosmetics

Monday, August 18, 2008 by Jacqui Pini

Tinsley MortimerFrom Tinsley Mortimer to Tory Burch, socialites are part of an exclusive club of magnificently dressed, gorgeous people who make it onto everyone’s invite list. So, when an exceptionally exclusive line of luxury cosmetics came out with products packaged in thousands of Precosia crystals, what better name for them than Socialite Collection Cosmetics.

The brainchild of luxury entrepreneur Taysha S. Valez, the collection is on a membership basis in which customers work with a concierge service to get new products three times a year. These are not refills; each product comes in the full crystal packaging. All of the products are made in America, hand mixed and hand poured and the concierge service guarantees that nothing is left sitting on a shelf.

The products are available for purchase at Bianca Belleza Department Store and include:

  • The Socialite Lippie
Various textures are infused with Vitamin E and SPF 15. They are all hand-poured into applicators designed with over 1,200 5ss Preciosa crystals and come in an ostrich leather carrying case. Concierge includes 13 lippies a year (customer picks three every three months + the original) and costs $1,050.
  • The Socialite Mascara
The formula behind this mascara is water-based so it is designed to be gentle on eyes and it dries to a powder finish. The mascara comes in a tube covered with 2,100 5ss Preciosa crystal stones and includes an ostrich carry case. Concierge includes five tubes of mascara a year (customer picks one every three months + the original) and costs $1,589.
  • The Socialite Bronzer
Your choice of matte or high-shine formulas come in a compact that is covered with 2,100 5ss Preciosa crystals in an ostrich carry case. The bronzer is applied with either a with a gold or platinum kabuki brush (included). Concierge includes 5 bronzers a year (customer picks one every three months + the original) and costs $1,440.
The Socialite LippieThe Socialite Mascara

The Socialite Mascara
The Socialite Bronzer

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Timeless wardrobe essentials

by Jacqui Pini

Anna Kournikova in a little black dressIf you are going to splurge on any one particular piece for your wardrobe make sure it is one of these. Tried and true these items are always in style for women.

  1. The little black dress

  2. Cashmere shawl

  3. Diamond studs

  4. Trench coat

  5. Pumps

  6. Bootcut jeans

  7. Tote bags

  8. Turtlenecks

  9. Tailored trouser pants

  10. Sheath dress

Sharon Stajda is a writer for Squidoo.com and does some terrific pieces on fashion. She put together the list above.

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Review of Love in Black

Wednesday, August 13, 2008 by Jacqui Pini

Love in Black perfumeElegance, sophistication and glamour … three words that come to mind when I think of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Olivier Creed was thinking along the same lines when he created a new fragrance called Love in Black. Inspired by the former first lady, Creed carefully chose ingredients based upon places Jackie loved to travel and the end result is a fantastic scent in a unique bottle made from black sand.

The top note is violet from Italy, night-blooming wildflowers of the Greek isles and Virginia cedar. The heart note is a very smooth Tonkin musk, iris from Florence and clove. Finally, the base is blackcurrant from Bourgogne, France, and also includes Bulgarian rose- a scent that I picked up on right away.

The result is intense, but indisputably elegant. In testing it I did a Carmen Kressley-style “spray, delay and walk away” (spray it, wait a second and walk through it) and had the perfect amount on. Two people in my office (separately) told me how great I smelled- I thought that said a lot for Love in Black.

Love in Black is available online at Neiman Marcus. It is $130 for a 1.0 oz. and $230 for 2.5 oz.

Previous Post: Accessorize with a scarf

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Accessorize with a scarf

Monday, August 11, 2008 by Jacqui Pini

Jennifer Aniston in a scarfFall is right around the corner and one accessory that will guide you comfortably from a warm day to a cool night is a scarf.

Not just for winter anymore, scarves made from linen and cotton are being worn with t-shirts, dresses and tank tops. Worn loosely, these lighter scarves are meant to be casual and are an easy accessory to toss in your purse to keep you warm and add a touch of color to any outfit.

Lindsay Lohan, Lauren Conrad, Nikki Hilton, Jessica Alba and Amanda Bynes are fans of Italian linen scarves by Love Quotes, $85. Sold online and at Lisa Kline, 10% of the proceeds of Love Quotes scarves are donated to international children’s charities. These are available in a wide variety of colors including beach, blue pearl, parfait, raspberry mousse and surf. An inspirational quote is included with each scarf.

If $85 is a little too pricey, Amici has some beautiful options (shown below) including a deep purple cotton print, $12, a sand brown cotton print scarf and a deep blue bobble trim scarf, $18.

ElleGirl has a great slide show on how to tie the scarf several different ways, including the slip knot, the reverse wrap-around, the cowboy collar and the bow tie.
Amici purple scarf, $12

Amici sand scarfAmici blue scarf, $18 Previous Post: Exercising with an iPod

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Exercising with an iPod

Sunday, August 10, 2008 by Jacqui Pini

From a waistband to an armband, people are clipping iPods all over the place and now they have secured it to a new spot - the back of the neck. And, while at first I felt a little bit like a child with a sign stuck on my back, I got over it and was really impressed with this new device when I sampled it on a recent jog through Boston.

It looks almost like a plastic headband that slides firmly on the back of the neck, holding the iPod and its cords so people can listen to music without all the wires. Called the 'nekFIT,' it is a new product that is targeted toward athletes and others engaged in activities in which they want to use their iPod, but in a place that's out of the way. The nekFIT has buttons that go over the click wheel of the iPod so it is fairly easy to change your songs. A playlist is probably your best bet though.

The product is available immediately for $33.95 direct from the company at http://www.nekfit.com/ or through Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/.

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Review of Cosmetic Safety Database

Thursday, August 7, 2008 by Jacqui Pini

Cosmetic safetyHow hazardous are the products we are using? The Environmental Working Group’s Cosmetic Safety Database lets you type in product names and it identifies a hazard rating on a scale of 1-10 for the product (10 is the worst). It works by looking at the ingredients in more than 25,000 products and then compares those ingredients to what is listed in 50 toxicity and regulatory databases.

From baby care to oral care to fragrances the Cosmetic Safety Database encompasses a full range of products. I decided to look at some of the products I used quite a bit including Crest Vivid White Fluoride Toothpaste (refreshing mint). It came in at a 6 on a scale of 1-10. Not great, right? It tells me my toothpaste has ingredients linked to cancer, developmental/reproductive toxicity and more. It is also very clearly lists the “percentage of data gap” there could be and it gets into much greater detail on what they mean when they say something is linked to cancer. It is a good overview written in a comprehensive, organized manner.

There was one red flag I found when searching different products. The results page, where it gives you data on what is in the products, also has a link to buy the product off of Amazon.com. This made me curious as to whether or not they would link a user to a site selling a product that got a score of 10. I found Eternity by Calvin Klein, Eau De Toilette Spray, with a rating scale of 10, and yes, it also had a link to purchase it. You can draw your own conclusion about that.

The site does give very helpful information on what to look for to keep your purchases as healthy as possible in their safer shopping tips list. Some things they recommend:

1. Use fewer products. Basically, the less you use the less exposure you have to chemicals.
2. Avoid using baby powder on newborns and infants- FDA warns powders may cause lung damage if inhaled regularly.
3. Use milder soaps. Soap removes dirt from the skin’s exterior, but also removes your body's own natural oils.

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A Flawless Face, Found in Sephora

Tuesday, August 5, 2008 by Jacqui Pini

By guest contributor Amber Plante

As far as shopping for beauty products go, nothing beats Sephora for a quality variety of personal indulgences – but those many multicolored rows of eyeshadows, perfumes and body washes can swirl together into a sheer kaleidoscope of confusion.

As a trained make-up artist, I love getting lost in its bays, walking between test counters and wielding toss-out make-up applicators like a wizard and sniffing out the very best products Sephora has to offer within a budget designed for the average shopper not looking to spend a fortune.

Heck, I once spend 3 hours trying on mascara, looking for the perfect combination of brush size, length and thickness and fluid consistency – by the way, it’s Benefit’s Bad Gal Lash, which, for $20 is a bit pricey but worth every cent.

Anyway, in my endless wanderings, I’ve discovered some truly fabulous little gems that, when working in unison, can give you the most flawless face you’ve ever had.

My newest favorite find is Benefit’s You Rebel Lite tinted facial moisturizer. It’s a lighter shade than the original You Rebel, and it feels creamy on your skin but adds a sheer coverage much like foundation but without the gunky look and heavy feel.

And, if you prime your face with Smashbox’s Photo Finish – a secret of celebrities everywhere – then the You Rebel on top, with dabs of Benefit’s Hollywood Glow – another celeb secret – on your cheeks (for perfect placement, dab where you’d normally get a sunburn), your will glow with a dewy healthiness that screams neither beach bunny nor Snow White.

It’s a perfectly flawless look that will make you feel absolutely stunning. And when it comes down to it, isn’t that the point? It’s the perfect daily indulgence.

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Jacqui Pini has had her nails manicured once a week since the fourth grade. Her obsession is your gain as she has discovered some of the most indulgent spa treatments, beauty fads and relaxation techniques for both men and women and can’t wait to tell you all about them. And even the smallest of budgets can absorb this punch … and afford a hot stone massage afterwards. … And she'll be the first to tell you, nothing’s more relaxing than that.


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