Shoes for Good

A few weeks ago, I was watching TV when a commercial came on for Tom’s Shoes. I was so intrigued by the idea of a company giving a way a pair of shoes for each pair sold, I immediately looked them up online. Not only do they have a full shop on their Web site, they’re also in retailers such as Whole Foods and Nordstroms.

While they certainly look a bit different than most footwear, the shoe bed is really comfortable and does a good job of supporting my arches (for a casual shoe). I love the crazy designs, including herringbone twill, hand-painted masterpieces, and boots that wrap up your leg like an ace bandage (perfect for larger- or smaller- than normal calves). Try ’em out for yourself!

Beauty Bounty from the Sea

A few new cosmetics came across my desk that are definitely worth sharing in these dog days of summer. The common thread that joins these products together? Each makes use of marine ingredients, which makes me feel a bit like Venus stepping off her clamshell.

My favorite, Sukipure Concentrated Nourishing Toner, has been a godsend these past few days. With temperatures hovering around 90 and humidity so high I feel like I can taste the air, I know my sensitive skin isn’t its cleanest. After my normal face wash, I tried a few sprays of this toner (fortified with organic seaweed extract) directly on my face, followed by a quick cotton ball wipe-down. My skin felt so soft, I was able to forgo my usual night moisturizer! And I’m happy to say I haven’t had any of the breakout problems I usually associate with high thermometer readings. Try it for yourself: it’s $26.50 at Whole Foods nationwide.

Another 2 sea-based products worth mentioning are the Too Faced Magic Wand Illuminating Foundation and Sue Devitt’s Oxygen Infusion Masque. The former mixes sea water, cucumber and Vitamin E to create a silky-smooth semi-matte foundation. Heads up, it may take a while to get used to the brush-on-tube application, but it’s definately worth it for the coverage. Sue Devitt’s masque uses blue algae, orchid and water lily extracts to soothe and hydrate skin. We’ll have to wait until it gets a bit drier to fully tests its claims of retaining moisture. Foundation available now for $40. at Barneys New York ( and Facelogic Spas. Masque available for $32.50 at

No Burnin’ Love Here

This past weekend I went to the beach with some of my closest friends for 3 days of fun in the sun. And we were certainly in the sun! However, even though we’re still in our twenties, we all really made an effort to sun-worship safely. I was really impressed that each of us meticulously applied high SPF sunscreen, and stayed in the shade when the sun got to be too much. Although lots of freckles popped out (and a few tan lines were created) none of us got the kind of blistering burn that used to be a mandatory parting gift after a weekend at the beach.

To read up on staff picks for sunscreen and bronzer, check out the Weight Watchers review.

The Day the Music Almost Died

Last Monday the earbuds on my iPod started to die. I know I’m not the only one who relies on a personal music player to get through the day — so I’m sure you can imagine the dread I felt knowing I’d have to spend a few days sans-music. Fortunately for me, Creative Labs sent over a sample of their new noise-isolation in-ear earphones to test out that same day!

I’ve never been able to comfortably use in-ear earphones before, but these came with 3 different size cushions — and the smallest size fit my ears perfectly. The cushions really did cancel out most ambient noise, which allowed me to listen to my iPod at almost 40% volume — unheard of in NYC! With my old earbuds, I needed the volume set to at least 75% on my subway commute. I was also able to hear faint details that were inaudible before. All in all, I give these little guys two thumbs up!

Creative EP-630 Earphones, $39.99, Available in black, white, blue, red and green.

Listen to this month’s playlist.

High-Performance Hair Care

Summer can be brutal on hair. Massive amounts of frizz from humidity and green highlights from swimming pool chlorine are only 2 of the many issues we face — which is why the ladies at work staff rounded up their favorite products to feature in one of today’s homepage articles, High-Performance Hair Care.

One of my favorite products for the summer is Philip B Leave-in Conditioner – the lightweight cream keeps hair under control without sacrificing volume or weighing hair down.

$24; Available at and Salons nationwide

Here’s my review for KMS California too:

KMS California Flat Out Hair Products

Women with thick, wavy, frizz-prone hair rejoice! The Flat Out line from KMS California whips unruly hair into shape – smoothing out every coarse wave into soft, straight and shiny tresses. The Hot Pressed Spray kept my ends from looking dry and damaged when applied before flat ironing, and the Anti-Humidity Seal was able to control my hair from turning into a halo of chaos during a particularly rainy day. Even more impressive, the Straightening Crème was able to remove the dreaded pony-tail crease from dry hair – what a miracle worker!

$14.93 – $17.95; Available at salons nationwide

Dry skin? Try some charity…

This morning, a co-worker of mine was surprised to see me using the no-water hand sanitizer pump newly set up next to our elevators. Although H1N1 panic may be subsiding, I’d still rather not carry whatever germs I picked up on the train with me to my desk. But with this new morning routine comes a new dilemma – very dry skin on my hands. So when Curel contacted our office about a new campaign helping the American Red Cross (and featuring a redesigned limited-edition bottle of their Continuous Comfort moisturizer) I couldn’t wait to check everything out.

Curel has already made a $250,000 donation to the Red Cross, and pledges to donate $10,000 more. Through their “Share the Gift of Caring” initiative, anyone can help out the program by going to and following their directions to make a free donation.

So how does the moisturizer actually feel? I loved it! It really soaked into my skin, and kept these chapped hands hydrated for a long time. But be careful to only use it with really dry skin, or you may find the lotion to be a bit slimy. The limited edition Red-Cross adorned bottle is available now at drugstores across the country for $8.00.