Beauty recipe: Super-easy DIY detox juice from the Mandarin Oriental

Gooooood morning, ladies and gentlemen. Hope you had an awesome weekend! And if it was as full of boozy cocktails and stacks of greasy burgers, help is at hand in the form of this detox juice, which is a great way to rid your body of toxins while replenishing it with nutrients it needs. It’s been concocted by Chef Toni Robertson for The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, New York and he recommends drinking a glass whenever you need a refreshing pick-me-up. Added bonus: it tasted delicious and takes about 10 minutes to make and gulp down… which is a definite blessing on hungover mornings!

detox juiceDetox juice: Ingredients

2 green apples
2 large cucumbers
1/3 stalk lemongrass
1/3 small piece (thin slice) fresh ginger
1 freshly squeezed lime

Detox juice: How-to

1. Using a juicer, press the apples, ginger and lemongrass. Include the skin and stalks because these contain the highest concentration of antioxidants.

2. Add cucumbers with skins and strain the juice through a very fine sieve.

3. Mix with the freshly squeezed lime juice in a cocktail shaker; shake the juice with crushed ice and serve cold.

How was your weekend? And what’s your go-to detox remedy?

Are cupcakes making you… hairy?

I adore cupcakes but here is a worrying thought: according to scientists, eating too many of them can lead to excessive body and facial hair. The reason? Resistance to insulin – the hormone that controls blood sugar level – which can go haywire when you eat too much sugar.

In other words, a raised insulin level may trigger higher production of the ‘male’ hormone testosterone that can have us resembling our significantly hairier partners. What I wouldn’t do for a study that says sugar and sweet makes us younger, prettier and glossier… sigh!

cupcakes make you hairyDoes this make you put down that second chocolate cupcake with the pretty pink roses and melt-in-the-mouth deliciousness?

How to wear colored eyeliner without looking like a 12-year-old

If I had to pick just one beauty trend to wear this season, it would be the brightly hued eyeliners that are popping up everywhere. They look so pretty and flattering, while making makeup super-simple – just a flick of the pencil and you are ready to go! However, this is also one trend that seems to scare women the most because it’s easy for colored eyeliner to go the route of a 12-year-old playing with her mother’s makeup. So, how do you walk the thin line between cool and kiddish? Read on.

colored-eyeliner1. Don’t just pick a favorite color

Like clothes and lipstick, the color you adore might not be the best option for your peepers. To make colored eyeliner work, you NEED to pick one that compliments (not matches) your eye color. Remember that opposites attract: brown eyes look best with richer, more saturated colours like purple, lavender, pink, turquoise, blue, gold and copper; blue eyes are incredible when paired with bronze, orange or rust; green eyes look wonderful with purple, gold or a dark turquoise; and hazel eyes really stand out in green or purple.

2. Choose your formula

The texture matters. A LOT. Pencil liners give maximum control, making them excellent for novices or those who don’t have the steadiest of hands. If you want to rim the inner lashlines, use a firm, traditional pencil. For a smudgy look, choose kohl, which is more malleable. Liquids give the thickest, most dramatic line – those with a brush deposit the most pigment but require a steady hand; pen versions dry faster but are less saturated. Gels produce an even line and glide on more smoothly than liquids.

3. Get close to the lash line

Colored eyeliner really works best when it hugs your lash line, without any skin peeping through in between. For the cleanest effect, work your way from the top innermost area to the outer corner. Then do the bottom line, starting from the outside and working your way inward. Move the liner rather than you head.

4. Go graphic

Another way to distinguish yourself from that fun-loving-yet-clueless 12-year-old? Opt for graphic lines. The simplest way to do this is with a thin line of pencil along your upper lashes (you can tick it up at the edges, but don’t wing it out). For a strong, nighttime look, trace your upper and lower lids with the liner, extending it outwards in a triangular shape. If you are feeling more daring, trace a colored line in the crease of your eyes.

colored-eyeliner5. Make colored eyeliner the focus

Colored eyeliner is the beauty equivalent of a little red dress – meant to be seen, not overshadowed. And certainly not treated as “part” of an outfit. Frankly, the main reason colored eye makeup often ends up looking tacky is that it’s paired with super-bright lips, OTT eye shadow and teased hair. Want to keep it chic and cheerful? Stick to loose waves or a high ponytail and natural makeup (soft pinks, peaches and roses work best). If you use an eye shadow, make sure it’s neutral. In fact, makeup pros recommend ditching mascara for a clean, fresh take on the trend.

6. Go dark!

On a day when I want to go bright yet not so dramatic, this is the best bet: first, line your eyes with a soft black pencil. Then trace the colored eyeliner (jewel tones work best here) right on top of the black, lightly smudging them together. What you get is a deeper, richer shade that’s almost – but not totally – black. It gives just the right pop of color without screaming out loud.


Have you ever rocked colorful eyeliner? What is your best tip for dramatic eyes?

Tired? Sleepy? Need to sparkle in a hurry? You really NEED this beauty product in your life

Anyone who follows The Beauty Gypsy would know I rarely review off-the-shelf skincare products. Why? Because somewhere along the decade-long journey in the annals of beauty, I’ve become jaded with all the inflated promises and airbrushed images. And the mile-long ingredient lists that require a chemistry degree in order to decode both exhaust and frighten me in equal measure. So. Far. Better. Avoided. 

Something else those who follow this blog would know: I am perpetually short on sleep. Mind numbingly, muscle achingly, skin crushingly short on sleep. Which means I am constantly walking through a mental haze in the morning and piling on loads of makeup to camouflage a dull, dry and totally exhausted complexion by the evening. So when Garnier put out their new Ultra-Lift® Miracle Sleeping Cream™ Anti-Age + Anti-Fatigue Night Cream, even my inner cynic couldn’t resist a trial run.

And even though it normally takes a month for the benefits of any skincare product to really take hold, here I sit five days later reviewing Garnier’s Ultra-Lift® Miracle Sleeping Cream. And because sleepy, fatigued minds don’t need any more complicated gibberish, I’m going to cut the crap clutter and simply distill into six short-ish points everything that’s impressed me about Garnier’s new launch:  
garnier 2

1. The laundry list: Or the lack of one, actually. Because it feels good when you look at a list of ingredients and actually recognize most of the components, especially within the crucial “first five” zone. I love the simple yet effective blend of natural and botanical ingredients, especially the super-hydrating jojoba oil, castor oil and all that luscious lavender essential oil (more on this later).

2. The science: Imagine if I was to keep you up all night, night after night, then deny you any caffeine or energy shots, while simultaneous expecting you to be all perky and sparkling and scaling mountains. Not going to happen, right? Like the rest of our bodies, sleepy skin is exhausted skin. And exhausted skin needs some serious help to heal, renew and keep itself strong. Deny it this support and you’re looking at an avalanche of dryness, dullness, fine lines, wrinkles and sagging. Garnier’s Ultra-Lift® Miracle Sleeping Cream counters this with jojoba oil for skin strengthening; hyaluronic acid for intense hydration; extract of Albizia, which combats fatigue; and extract of Ruscus, which boosts skin’s microcirculation. Plus, it also contains a small amount of salicylic acid and has a pH that makes it a gentle exfoliator to boost cellular turnover.

3. Lavender: Lavender is one of the most powerful remedies in the plant world. So powerful that the ancient Egyptians and Romans ranked its oil right up there with gold. It owes this amazing spectrum of healing powers to a complex natural makeup, which is chockfull of antiseptic, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory goodness. Even a mere whiff of its fragrance has potent aromatherapy benefits–in the case of the Miracle Sleeping Cream, sending me on the way to a soothing slumber (added bonus!).


4. That bit about the night: Why use a night cream? Why not slap on something after you’ve woken up? Our skin temperature is higher and the surface layer more porous during nighttime, allowing for greater penetration of active ingredients. Plus, since the vital organs are at rest while we sleep, the body can direct its healing resources to the skin more easily. And as skin doesn’t need to compete with makeup, sunscreen or environmental aggressors during the night, it’s able to shift from defensive to regenerative mode.

5. The texture: The first night I put on Garnier’s Ultra-Lift® Miracle Sleeping Cream, it was a bit of a worry. Because even though it didn’t feel heavy or greasy, the gel-cream just refused to totally sink into my skin. It was only later I realized this is intentional, with Garnier using an innovative polymer that literally stretches over skin like elastic to deliver active ingredients with maximum efficacy. On the skin, it just feels fresh and cooling–almost comforting in some strange psycho-tactile manner–sans any heaviness.

6. The effects: Moist. And plump. That’s how I would describe my skin after five days of using this gel-cream. Everything looks visibly smoother and brighter; and while I don’t really have any fine lines or wrinkles, those nicks and creases that follow my insomniac thrashings have been plumped away. I find myself wandering out with far less makeup and yet not terrifying puppies, kittens and small children. In fact, this is one of the most hydrating and skin softening products I’ve seen in a long time and would strongly suggest that it needn’t be limited to “aging” skin. Now I am almost tempted to try its sister product–the Garnier Ultra-Lift Miracle Sleeping Cream: Anti-Age + Anti-Fatigue Eye Cream!

Do you plan to try Garnier’s Ultra-Lift Miracle Sleeping Cream Anti-Age + Anti-Fatigue Night Cream to help fight wrinkles and the signs of fatigue? Tell me in the comments for a chance to win a $100 VISA gift card.

PS (Because I love you guys!)

Can’t get your nightly beauty sleep? Garnier has you covered with prizes that will make you look like you didn’t miss a wink! Enter the Sleep With This Sweepstakes now for the chance to win Garnier’s Ultra-Lift® Miracle Sleeping Cream, a Westin Heavenly® Bed and more.

Plus receive a $1 coupon* to try Garnier’s Ultra-Lift® Miracle Sleeping Cream out for yourself. Enter daily for a chance to win a Miracle Sleeping Cream product prize package.

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