Around The World In 80(ish) Products: Global Beauty In Italy

Welcome to Around The World In 80(ish) Products, an ongoing series where I will explore the best in international beauty. The idea for this series started in 2016 when I wrote about K-Beauty. While I try not to obsess over my analytics, I’m always surprised to see how much traction that post still gets. Obviously, K-Beauty is a huge trend right now, but I think that globalization and the Internet in general have made us more interested in international beauty products now more than ever.

After all, I know when ever I visit another country, I love to go to a local drugstore or department store and buy things that are likely better, but at the very least more interesting than what is available back home. But, the truth is that you don’t need to go abroad to buy international products. So many are available at brick and mortar stores in the US as well as online.

So, bellas, let’s take a trip to Italy. Or just talk about my favorite Italian products. 

Jolii

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Jolii is a new Italian cosmetics line that has answered a question many of us have asked for years, which is“Can you please take the gloss out of my lip gloss?” The answer is yes. Jolii Luxe Crème Mattes apply exactly their glossy sisters, but they last longer than an iPhone battery and are sexier than a super model in a tight Gucci dress. But because so many matte formulas leave your pout feeling dry as a box of pasta, Jolii is formulated with both shea butter and jojoba oil to keep your lips as moist as the cream inside a cannoli. Jolii’s color selection is also very unique (clearly these people think outside the lipstick box) with deep shades of red, purple, brown and orange.

Armani Beauty

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I first tried Armani Beauty is at the least glamorous place on earth, which is the Beverly Center mall in Los Angeles. Without getting into too much detail, this mall is the exact opposite of the Sistine Chapel. I was scheduled to do a photoshoot for MRKT Handbags that day, but could not find an available makeup artist all week. Being the resourceful person I am, I figured there would be tons of people at Bloomingdales who would want to do my makeup and in return, I’d buy lots of products. But I guess I was wrong because the cosmetics section was a ghost town at 11:00am on a Saturday. The whole thing was so bizarre, but clearly it was destiny because the only counter where someone was actually working was Armani Beauty.

It was there when I was introduced to Maestro Fusion Makeup, which I’m pretty sure is a product I will use for the rest of my life. Maestro is not like any other foundation I’ve ever used. It has a very unique texture, almost like a liquid powder. Just a few drops are needed. The bottle has a built-in dropper, which dispenses the perfect amount. Then, you blend it in with your fingers (no blender or spongie thing necessary) and it disappears into your skin like magic. It’s hard to say a foundation can change your life, but this one might be the exception to the rule.

Terax

Terax is a true Italian brand. Founded nearly 50 years ago in Bologna, Italy, the company is still family owned and operated.  My favorite Terax product is the Crema Conditioner. As a not so natural blond with dry AF hair, Crema has taken up valuable real estate in my bathtub on and off since middle school. The brand disappeared from shelves for a while and was re-launched in 2016. I recently started using it again and I feel like I’m in love with my conditioner. Crema is super creamy (hence the name) and really penetrates into the hair to restore moisture. Leave it on overnight once a week and you can skip your regular hair mask.

Davines

 

Before I started using their products, I always found Davines in the showers of the most sophisticated people I know. Yes, I’m that guest who uses your fancy shampoo. Davines, which is pronounced dav-vin-ess, was founded in 1983 in Parma Italy. The brand focuses on creating artisanal and sustainable products for both hair and body. Their hair care line is quite extensive and includes shampoos, treatments, and styling products for every hair type you can and cannot think of. Every single product smells like heaven and has a cool name such as Oi, Volu, Nonu, Dede as well as other names I’m incapable of figuring out how to pronounce. My favorite Davines product is the Love Shampoo for curly or wavy hair. It’s the only shampoo specifically made for curly hair that I (you guessed it) love. It’s also the easiest to pronounce. 

Kiko Milano

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Kiko Milano is the best affordable Italian makeup you’re not wearing (yet). With over 1000 stores in 20 countries, they aren’t quite that big in the US, yet. But give Kiko some time. After opening up their first location in 1997, the company only expanded to the US in 2014. Considering their first stores in this country were in New Jersey and Staten Island, which are not exactly centers of emerging cosmetic trends, this brand has yet to break the Internet. But, when I visited their store at Hollywood and Highland (which is essentially the Hollywood version of the Fresh Kills Landfill), I was very impressed. With over 1,400 products, I like that Kiko is a one-stop shop with literally everything including makeup, brushes, skincare, nails, etc.

This year, the brand celebrates its 20th anniversary with a variety of limited lines. Check out the Tropic Heat capsule collection for some spring/summer/vacay/you-live-in-a-warm-climate-so-seasons-are-really-irrelevant-anyway inspiration

 

 

So Last Week...Things I Read That Are Totally Worth Your Time

Happy Sunday! I feel like I'm finally over the holiday season and getting back into my regularly scheduled life. This week, I spent a lot of time trying to organize my closet. Take that as a hint for an upcoming post. Or perhaps I just mentioned this on my blog for the sake of accountability...

I also finally caught up on what’s going on in the world of fashion and beauty. Here are five posts I read that are totally worth your time. 

Yahoo Style: 5 Stylish Non-Leather Bags

Miriam Porter is an expert in cruelty-free chic. Her picks for non-leather aka vegan leather handbags are stylish and affordable. Don’t forget, for every bag you buy, you get free bonus karma points.

The Cut: 25 Famous Women on Impostor Syndrome and Self-Doubt

Whether you are a woman or not, self-doubt happens to the best of us, even very accomplished people. This article will make you laugh, take a deep breath and realize, you aren’t the only one.

WWD: DVF Re-brands Under Chief Creative Officer Jonathan Saunders

WWD has everything you need to know about the re-branding of a fav label of mine, Diane Von Furstenberg.

Blush & Pearls: Shade Adjusting Drops By The Body Shop

Whether you accidentally bought the wrong color or you got tan on vacay, Blush & Pearls has found a solution for many of our foundation woes.  

Quartz and Leisure: Snowstorm Chic

Being that I live in Los Angeles, I feel It’s Amanda Lauren is not your destination for staying warm and stylish at the same tine. But Quartz & Leisure just might be. 

F- It Fridays: Your Weekly Dose of Retail Therapy (Holiday Beauty Edition)

It's a little over a week until Christmas and Hanukkah (which happens to start on Christmas Eve this year). No matter what holiday you celebrate (or pretend to celebrate, or just want to get over with already), we all know the Pony Express (aka the post office and every single courier I've ever dealt with) does not always deliver on time. So, please consider this your warning and get yourself together right now. If you couldn’t find something on my $25 and under F-It Friday last week or the Gift Guide For Special Snowflakes, then consider any one of these fabulous beauty sets. They're all fool-proof favorites. Seriously, if someone doesn’t like any one of these gifts, you probably need to re-evaluate your relationship with them. And between us… I won’t tell anyone if you are naughty and end up buying a little something here for yourself. 

Laura Geller So Scrumptious 6 Piece Color Collection

Laura Geller’s So Scrumptious Set is worth $173 and currently on sale at Ulta for (don’t faint when you read this number) $39. It has everything you need for a party-ready look including primer (seriously, we all need more of that), foundation (fair or medium options, LG totally hooks it up), blush, an eyeshadow trio, lip gloss and a double-ended face brush. Run, don’t walk (or just click) to your nearest Ulta right now. 

Decleor Merry Oils Premium Gift Set

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I like Decleor’s Merry Oils Premium Gift Set because oils are so luxurious. Also, the winter dries your skin like no other season can (thanks a lot, Winter!). The person who receives this gift will actually be appreciative because Decleor will save their face and body from the inevitable frost. You might actually receive a thank you card in the mail for this fabulous find (or a text, at the very least). The set includes Aroma Cleanse Micellar Oil, Aroma Nutrition Satin Softening Dry Oil, 1000 Grain Body Exfoliator (as opposed to 1000 grain bread, sorry I can’t help myself), Aromessence Neroli Hydrating Night Balm and Aromessence Neroli Hydrating Oil Serum. 

Flowerful by FLOWER Colorful Nail Collection

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Are you looking for an under $10 gift for a White Elephant or grab bag? Look no further than Flowerful by FLOWER Colorful Nail Collection. Flower is Drew Barrymore’s beauty line and might even contain some of her magical goddess power (Drew Barrymore is a magical goddess. End of story). With eight nail shades and two glittery nail files, it will make your hands sparkle. 

SkinCeuticals Gold Standard Kit – Fine Lines & Wrinkles

You know that friend who is more afraid of aging than getting by a train? SkinCeuticals Gold Standard Kit – Fine Lines & Wrinkles is the perfect gift for that person. This kit contains two heroes of the SkinCeuticals line. C E Ferulic is an antioxidant serum that neutralizes free radicals, helps build collagen and makes holiday parties more tolerable (because skin compliments). The Hydrating B5 gel is like the personal assistant of C E Ferulic, making it work better, harder and more efficiently. Containing hot ingredient du jour, hyaluronic acid, it helps moisture bind to the skin.

Anthony Head To Toe Survival Kit

Do you have a dude in your life that likes fancy grooming products? Don’t make him survive without an Anthony Head To Toe Survival Kit. It has all of the essentials he needs including Rush Hair + Body Wash, Glycolic Facial Cleanser, Facial Scrub, Shave Cream, and All Purpose Facial Moisturizer. It’s perfect for traveling, especially if he tends to “borrow” your products.

So Last Week... Things I Read That Are Totally Worth Your Time

Happy Sunday! I felt like the Internet was filled so much post-election hate last week. I desperately needed to get my mind off the negativity. And trust me, it was a challenge. Here are some posts I found that had nothing to do with the election and everything to do with the superficial. Sometimes, we all need a break. 

Yahoo Style: 5 Super Warm and Stylish Cruelty Free Parkas

Because good karma never goes out of style, Vegan fashionista Miriam Porter shows you how to stay warm, stylish and cruelty-free this winter. 

Refinery29: So You Want To Shave Your Vagina

A guide for those times you can't wax and don't want to risk injuring yourself.

The Cut: 25 Famous Women On What Makes Them Feel Pretty

This collection of quotes from The Cut is a thought-provoking read.

Apartment Therapy: 19 Super Sources for Knobs & Pulls

New knobs and pulls can completely change the look of a room. Even if you are a renter, it might be worth the investment to change out some of the hardware in your space. Apartment Therapy lists the best sources for a variety of budgets. 

Amelia Liana: Chanel Collection Libre Review

Amelia Liana reviews the new Chanel Libre cosmetics collection with an honest evaluation and absolutely stunning photography.