Naturity Giveaway: A Few Hours Left to Enter!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Just a reminder to those who have not yet entered....

One lucky reader will win an 8 ounce Rosemary Sugar Scrub valued at $18. With ingredients like silkening Coconut Oil, Demerara Sugar, Sunflower Seed Oil, Rosemary & Vitamin E, your skin will be soft and silky in no time.


Enter to win by becoming a Facebook Fan of Chic & Green. Would you like your name to be entered in the ballot twice? Become a blog follower right on this page. Want a third entry? Comment on this post--you can have up to three entries in the entry pool this month.

The winner will be drawn March 31st at 9pm.

Did Someone Say Shoes?

{a collection of artisan shoes from etsy}

Handmade espadrilles from Miami's Tuto

I love the beading on these. From Nafshi Creations

There's nothing like a great shade of fucshia...add this shade of lipstick pink to ballet flats and it becomes so chic.


Add a punch of red with these eco-friendly Mary Janes from Hollydoll Handmade

Hand painted flats from Craft-Tastrophe
Native wedges are from Luirhe on Etsy.

The talented Which Goose has embellished these vintage heels and has transformed them into great formal shoes!


The turquoise stone is gorgeous on these sandals from Sandali.

Handcrafted gladiator sandals are from Lila Sandals

Pretty Finds: Fleur de Lis

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

{tres chic}

I love the French fleur de lis. I found this old, very heavy wall plaque in red, cream, and navy blue and painted it white for our living room wall.

Let's look at some other great fleur de lis items:

Candle holder from Max Cooper Designs

Soap dish from Paris Chic Boutique

Chic black tee from Cantaloupe Corner

Messenger bag from Happy Family

L'Heure necklace from Ruby Ann Designs

Tile coaster set from Simple Charm

Floor cloth from LizTales

Cuff links from Monique Leon

Pendant from Queenie Designs

Earrings by moi...find them at Loubird Handmade

My Lovely Pick Me Up: Shopping in Greece

Friday, March 26, 2010

When I usually want to have an out of the ordinary, quick shopping trip while Ben is at preschool, I typically head to Schoen Place and then to Pittsford Farms Dairy in Pittsford or down Park Avenue in Rochester. I am also in Webster often and in the summer weather, I like to head to the Fairport village to look at the shops.

It's a gorgeous sunny day, but I feel blah because it is so cold--my thermometer read 17 when I took Cannon out this morning and the last I checked it was still only 25.

When we were at Bill and Kathy's a few weeks ago for dinner, Bill (I call him Uncle Bill, but he's really my dad's cousin's husband) mentioned a great little gift shop in Greece by Talbots. He said he thought I would like it. I put it on my mental list of places to go and kind of forgot about it.

Today, I remembered our talk and I decided to check it out.

I am so happy I did. This is my kind of shop. Chances are, it's your kind of shop as well. Most of you are proud supporters of the handmade movement and this shop is full of lovely items, many from local handmade artisans.

The shop is called Makiki Gift Shop and it is located at 1100 Long Pond Road in the Country Village Plaza. This is in the plaza located at the corner of Maiden Lane and Long Pond Road. Talbots is in the front of the plaza and Makiki is right near by in the corner.

When you enter, the aroma of handmade candles fills the shop. You immediately feel like a welcome friend and I think that's because of Gail Westlake, the owner. She was a gem to talk to. What I also found is that the other customers were as well. One kind woman and I were talking about jewelry and handbags and shopping in the Rochester area. This shop is really inviting and warm.

You'll find handmade jewelry, items for the home, coffee, greeting cards, fabric bags, and so much more. It's really a treasure an area so heavily saturated with big box stores.

I bought a birthday card for my Aunt Jean and some Kahlua & Cream coffee from a local business called Deborah Jean & Co. I cannot wait to make it in this evening.

My visit to Makiki Gift Shop was just lovely this afternoon.

When I was done shopping, I headed down to Oriens Cafe (I thought it had an apostrophe, but noticed there is none on their site or packaging, so I'll spell it the way it appears on their materials). Oriens is just a few shops away in the same plaza.

I have heard great things about one of my favorite things--gelato--at Oriens. They must have had at least a dozen flavors and there were about 7 or 8 I wanted to try, but I was just too cold today.

I opted for a hot chocolate mint, a very minty flavored rich drinking chocolate. This is not like your typical Swiss Miss. It is a rich, thicker chocolate drink and it is so good. In lieu of the gelato, I studied their pastry case for several minutes and decided to be kind and order the peanut butter cup for Tom. He loves peanut butter cups. This one had Reese's Pieces on top, one of his favorite candies.

When I got home, though, I made the mistake of taking a bite out of the peanut butter cup. You know, being the lovely wife that I am, I wanted to make sure Tom would enjoy the treat. I don't want him eating anything that isn't good. The problem with this treat? It was too good. This is NOT your typical peanut butter cup. It was so good, with such a dense, dark chocolate coating and ooey goodness inside that more than half is missing right now.

I was only gone for an hour or so, but I had a lovely time at those 2 new to me venues. I know when we think of shopping in Rochester, we don't always say, "Let's go to Greece!"

Why not? These places are fabulous!

BrowBiz: A Visit with Local Entrepreneur Deborah Netti

Thursday, March 25, 2010

{a little help for the tweezer happy}

Before: I cannot believe I am showing this one--a wet head and no makeup. And my terrible brows.
This is what you see when I don't do my brows (I have nada on here...)

After: An hour after the sculpting...redness gone. Wearing the Ash brow powder from BrowBiz Deborah says that with a well sculpted brow, you can walk out the door with lip gloss and a bit of mascara....and once I got home and got on with my weekend, that is what I did.

Deborah Netti, Owner of BrowBiz
Photo from

I have issues with my brows. Seriously. Naturally full and thick, I started tweezing them when I was about 18. I had a great natural arch going and really only needed to maintain little hairs in between and underneath the natural brow.

Then I went to work at an exclusive salon where employees were essentially told how they must look. My hair had been growing and I was so happy that it was near shoulder length and the powers that be told me that I needed to get a pixie. That was my first day on the job. I got several inches chopped off (after a year and a half of growing out a pixie) and then was told that the "in" look at that time was the thin Twiggy-esque brow.

I was scheduled for a brow waxing that went wrong. Terribly wrong. I had had other waxings before at the salon, but my usual esthetician was off that day, so I saw another. The wax was too hot and I was left with two welts just above the brow bone. It looked like blisters. Not pretty! My brow size also decreased by about 50%. When all was said and done, I was left with pencil thin brows, a growing in period, and lots of products purchased in all these years--among them Smashbox Brow Tech, Bare Escentuals Brow Powder, and products from Anastasia, Ardell, Laura Mercier and Lancome.

I don't leave the house without making sure I have "my brows on."

I know that the really bad waxing was most likely a one time thing, but it pretty much scared me away from getting them waxed again. I have been OK with tweezing them on my own for these years, but the past months have been much harder.

My eyes aren't that great and I cannot see those little hairs without my bifocals on. With them on and using a magnifying mirror, I can see those pesky things clearly. The problem is, though, that I need to take them off to tweeze, so I am at the mercy of my power of guessing to pluck those stray hairs away. When you're wielding a hair removal tool, you really shouldn't be guessing. That's what I have been doing, though.

Anyway, I decided to take the bull by the horns and seek professional help recently. I decided to go the route of an actual professional brow sculpting session, rather than just have them waxed.

Enter Deborah Netti, owner of BrowBiz at the corner of West Ridge and Mitchell Road in Greece. Deborah and her twin sister started a cosmetics company in 1987 called Jumelle Cosmetics. She has made over many faces over the years, transforming them into works of art. She and her sister used to do bridal makeovers, and Deborah would always begin with tweezing the eyebrows of the brides. They then started offering makeup lessons, and Deborah says that she always began each session with the brows. It turned into their most common request. More people were calling about having their brows sculpted than having makeup lessons.

There was a bit of an "a-ha" moment when Oprah Winfrey had a brow sculpting expert on her show. Deborah and her sister went on their separate ways business-wise and both eventually opened their own brow studios.

I had my sculpting at BrowBiz on March 14. I was really happy to meet Deborah and was impressed with her expertise.

Something that truly sets Deborah apart from many others is her background as an artist. She is able to see things differently, with an artistic approach. This is why I chose her for the brow sculpting. It is important to note that there is a big difference in going to the salon to get your brows waxed by your hair stylist or esthetician. I asked Deborah to describe that difference and she told me that waxing is just hair removal. She explained that sculpting is actually creating a shape for the brows. I can tell from my experience with both that the latter truly is an art form.

Deborah began by studying my face and then she used a combination of trimming, waxing and tweezing. She trims the hair with haircutting scissors, which are sharper and more precise than mustache scissors. Deborah mentioned that when you get a traditional waxing, the person providing the service typically user mustache scissors or omits the trimming set altogether.

The trimming of the hairs helps Deborah to actually cut an arch into the brow. She also waxed above and between the brows and plucked underneath. Unlike past waxing sessions, the process was super speedy and virtually painless. Deborah was so efficient that the waxing was over before I knew it. Since I am a chicken when it comes to pain, this was welcome!

I looked in the mirror and was really pleased with the process. My sensitive skin was red for about 30 minutes and it quickly faded away. I no longer have a fear of someone else touching my brows.

Deborah then studied the brows again and applied brow powder in a color called Ash. You can tell by the way she studies your face the entire process that Deborah is a true perfectionist. The whole sculpting, from the preparation to the waxing and tweezing, cleaning up, and brow powder application took about 20 minutes and the results were really pleasing.

My ever observant son, Nicholas, noticed the "after" right away. He said he liked how they "start fat, then get thinner and raise up." Ah, the words of a 6 year old.

It is now 12 days after the appointment. The waxed areas have stayed hair free. The tweezed areas have grown back, but my hair grows incredibly fast, so this is very normal. I've been trying to be really good with my heavy hand with the tweezers. I asked Deborah if she had any advice for people like me who try so hard to resist the urge to tweeze while some of the hairs grow back. She told me that keeping up with brow sculpting appointments and using a good brow product to keep them looking good each day are her recommendations.

Something else that Deborah and I discussed was how your eyebrows should be. We all see "fuller is in" or "thin is in" every couple years in fashion magazines. Deborah recommends a classic look. Classic would be whatever is best suited to each person without following the trends--whatever each person's personal definition of classic would be.

I am really, really happy with my brow sculpting at BrowBiz and really liked Deborah's perfectionism and her artistic background.

A first time brow sculpting session with Deborah is $30. The lovely brow powder I purchased at her boutique, a private label product, was $15 and will last me for a very long time.

More About BrowBiz:

Owned by Deborah Netti
2450 West Ridge Road
Rochester, NY 14616
(located in Greece across from the mall)

Wednesday Style: Shabby Apple

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

{not too shabby}

I think this is one may be my favorite. It's in my top 3. It's made of Amy Butler fabric, too!

I recently had the pleasure of being sent a dress to review from Shabby Apple, a new to me company with a fabulous assortment of dresses.

I am in love. My friend, Christine, recently blogged that even though I am the mom of two boys, I am "the ultimate girlie girl." She's right. I love, love jewelry and makeup and to get dressed up to go out with Tom on Saturday nights. It's just a big part of who I am. I love dresses, especially when they fit well and make me feel good. I like dresses that are very chic and flirty. I want to feel comfortable in them, though, and not worry if my rear looks too big in it.

The above dress is the one I was sent. I've worn it twice and adore it.

I was able to choose from a small selection of dresses (thank you, Shabby Apple!) and I chose a new twist on the little black dress. I love the top part, especially, and it fits as though it was made just for me. I was nervous about the ruching near the hips because I do have curvy hips, but everything it just fits beautifully.

What I like about Shabby Apple is that you can click on your body type and it will show you the most flattering options. You can also find something beautiful if you're pregnant or need to get a plus size. There really is something gorgeous for everyone.

This one is from the maternity line. How chic!

I am going to order a couple of dresses this spring that I have my eye on because my own dress is well made, fits beautifully, and makes me smile. It is also really comfortable, too!

If you like dresses, please don't hesitate to try out Shabby Apple. They have so many beautiful items and their prices are similar to what you'd find at many shops in the mall. I can attest to the quality. I've ordered clothes online before that look great online and arrive only to be disappointing. Shabby Apple is not one of those places!

One of my friends adores this one, which is called Bethesda Fountain.

This red dress is another of my favorites.

Disclosure: I was contacted by the company and offered an opportunity to receive a dress at no charge for possible review. This, as always, did not reflect the outcome of the review. I am also a member of the Shabby Apple affiliate program.

It's a Beautiful Tuesday: Alima Pure

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I received a package of great makeup samples from Alima Pure last week. Alima is a thriving, well-respected small company with a loyal following. Years ago, I tried a sample of their makeup a friend had given to me, but it was the wrong shade and I was already using something else. To be honest with you, I had kind of forgotten about this little line until recently.

I was recently contacted by the kind folks at Alima asking if I would like to try out their new eyshadow collection. I was pleasantly surprised when I was also sent 2 blush samples, a foundation sample, and the finishing powder sample.

I was happy to try the new eye colors. This limited edition collection is called Cascadia, which honors the company's roots in Oregon. $5 of every $25 collection will be donated for reforestation to a great charity with which Alima is involved called Ecotrust.I wear eyeshadow daily. The shades I received are called Crater Lake (a soft blue with a hint of gold), Columbia Gorge (a rich and sparkly gold), Wallowas (a subtle wasabi-like green), and Lava Butte (a rich, velvety shimmering brown).

The eyeshadow texture is just lovely. I used my EcoTools brushes to apply the makeup. I do see that Alima has their own line of eco-friendly makeup brushes as well and they are on sale for 20% off on their site today.

Of the colors I was sent, the blue is pretty, but not for me. I really think it would look lovely, though, on someone with brown eyes to bring out the warmth and golden flecks. The green was also a beautiful color, but just not right for me.

I simply adore the golden and the brown shades. I could see these being staples in my makeup wardrobe.

The ingredients truly are pure as well, and that is what is so key when choosing makeup. You won't find any funky chemicals and when you're putting something near your eyes each day, this is just sensible.

I typically apply my makeup any where between 6:30 and 8 in the morning. I remove it after I put the boys to bed, so it is on until 9 o'clock at night and later on weekends. The shadow didn't fade or rub off, crease, or get oily. The colors stayed true.

I also tried two different blush formulas. I received the Satin Matte Blush in Carnation, a gorgeous neutral pink meets brown. It is perfect for my skin tone. I have been wearing this daily since the samples arrived and plan to order the full size.

The second blush I received was the Luminous Shimmer Blush in Leigh, a soft rose pink with a hint of copper. I like this for evening with the subtle shimmer, but do prefer the other formula for daily wear.

Both applied beautifully. The Carnation lasts all day long and the color stays true. The Leigh blush lasted for a night out. While it applied with ease, the formula just was a bit too shimmery for me for the day. I do adore it, though, for our Saturday date nights when I get dressed up and change up the makeup.

I was extremely impressed with the texture and quality of the eye and cheek colors I had the chance to try. I can recommend each without reservation.

You can try samples of eye shadow or blush for $1. The full size shadows are $9 each and the cheek color is $15. There are so many beautiful shades available, too!

I also have been trying the Satin Matte mineral powder foundation sample.

I have tried many mineral foundations over the last 5 or 6 years. Here is what I have tried (there may be a couple others I have forgotten):

Bare Escentuals
Laura Mercier
Everyday Minerals
Physicians Formula Organic Wear
Mary Kay
Jane Iredale
Amazing Cosmetics
Sheer Cover
Trish McEvoy

As you can tell, I like mineral makeup. For me to use it regularly, though, it must be paraben free and free of talc and bismuth oxychloride. Some of these have all three, which is still mind boggling.

While I would probably have voted the new Bare Escentuals bareMinerals Matte SPF 15 and Everyday Minerals Intensive formulas my favorites until now, I was given a sample of the foundation from Alima in a shade called Beige 3. It is a tiny bit dark, but I think the Beige 1 or beige 2 would be perfect. I am going to order a couple samples to determine which shade is best. Again, sample pots sell for $1.

In the winter, my skin is much drier and mineral makeup seems to accentuate that fact on me. I bought a mineral foundation from a family member who happens to sell cosmetics without checking the ingredients before I bought it (shame on me!) and while the first week was nice, the second caused my skin to break out. I put my bifocals on (yes, I need them) and squinted to see that there is talc, BHT, and various parabens in the formula. Shame on me, again, for not reading the ingredients listing of the mineral makeup first. The chemicals and toxins really affected my skin. It started itching, feeling warm, and just looking dull after a few days.

I returned to my standard winter routine--I am a mixer in the morning. When I put on my makeup in the winter, it is generally a mix of Sally Hansen Natural Beauty Inspired by Carmindy and Smashbox Sheer Focus. I mix them together with a Q-tip and apply with a flocked sponge.

After trying the sample I was sent from Alima, though, I am now hooked on their Satin Matte Foundation for this time of year when my skin is still pretty dry. 

This foundation is natural. It is matte without being flat. It gives the look of healthy, radiant skin without that shimmery shine found in many mineral foundations. This easily competes with other top mineral foundations I have tried, from $9 ones to $48 ones.

You really only need a tiny bit. The EcoTools brush didn't work well on this, but I apply it with my Chanel #8 kabuki brush given to me by my sister-in-law, Elaine, for Christmas. The foundation blends flawlessly, quickly, and feels like satin across the skin. It doesn't ball up over a moisturizer, accentuate the pores on my nose, or change color later into the day. This is an ideal foundation.

I have mentioned many mineral makeups over the years on C & G, and I can say unequivocally that the Alima is right up near the top of the list. Everyday Minerals is the closest competition, in my eyes. You can try samples for $1.50 and the full sized jar is $20. By the way, there are 60 shades, so you'll find that perfect color!

To set the foundation, I used the Finishing Powder in a shade called Keiko, which happens to be a perfect shade for my skin. This is not chalky at all. It sets the makeup in place and I did not have to reapply late in the afternoon. This is a beautifully formulated, superfine powder. Like the foundation, it just feels as good as it looks--satiny smooth. It doesn't cake. It doesn't turn orange. Have you ever gone for a run or worked up a sweat wearing mineral makeup and with the heat and moisture, had your makeup get an orange tint? It doesn't do that with this one.

The powder sells for $15.

I am very, very impressed with the products I have tried from Alima Pure. I will be purchasing the foundation and powder soon. When I need more, I will also be getting some of the eye makeup and blushes there. Mineral makeup generally lasts much longer than liquids and other powders, so it really is more economical.

Something else I really like about this company is the fact that the ingredients really are among the most natural and simple of any makeup line. They are also committed to making the world a better place. I mentioned their involvement with Ecotrust earlier. They also have a great way to reward customers for recycling. If you return 5 empty full-sized jars, they'll give you a free eyeshadow as a thank you for recycling. That's a great idea.

I usually am not super excited about an entire line, but this may be the exception. Please note that if you're browsing the site and see "Palm Christi Oil" on the ingredients listing of the lip balm that this is not palm oil. If you're a regular reader, you'll know that palm oil contributes to the deaths of orangutans. I thought it was palm at first. Upon further research, this is another name for Ricinus communis, or more commonly- Castor Oil. It comes from the seed of the castor plant and is known as the "Palm of Christ."

I've often wondered if I would find "the one" in the mineral makeup department. I can say now that I have. If you're like me and you want a soft focus look, something natural to even out your skintone, and something that really works well on my skin type (combo to dry and sensitive), then I really recommend Alima Pure!

Disclosure: I was sent samples from the company for possible review. This in no way influenced my opinion, good or bad, of this company and the products mentioned. All opinions are my own.

Hello Monday-Hello Kitty!

Monday, March 22, 2010

~birthday greetings~

Today is my beautiful niece's fifth birthday. She celebrated with a Hello Kitty cake yesterday. I wish we weren't so many miles away because the boys and their cousin love playing with one another and are full of laughter and smiles whenever they are together.

In honor of her 5th birthday, here's some handmade Hello Kitty!

Sparkly bling ring from Honeypop

If I were in school, I'd surely love this pencil case from Siam Square!

Clutch from Punk Infanta

Twirl skirt from Bella Grace Creations

Craft apron from Poppy's Garden Gate

Magnet or push pin set from The Green Daisy


Hand painted sneakers from Snanimals

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