BEAUTY BITS | Kiehl's Bespoke Apothecary Preparations

The trend of bespoke of beauty products and services continues. Back in August for the Chicago Tribune, I tried out two new customized services, one for make-up, (Lancôme) and the other for hair (Kerastase), which you can read about here.

Now we can add skincare to the list with Kiehl’s. Originally an Apothecary when it first opened in 1851, customers would go to Kiehl’s for your prescription medicines as well as customized herbal and natural skin and hair remedies. Kiehl’s has decided to go back to its roots, with a personalized skincare service called Apothecary Preparations.

I was fortunate enough to be invited along to try out their new service.

Kiehl’s Bespoke Apothecary Preparations

Step 1: Diagnosis

At your one-on-one consultation with a Kiehl's customer representative, aka KCR, your skin will be diagnosed. The surface oil on your face is measured to help identify your skin type (normal, oily, combo or dry). I'm a combo, as I'm oily on my T-zones and normal to dry elsewhere.

Kiehl’s a moisture monitor part of Bespoke Apothecary Preparations

Then a dehydration analyzer will be used to measure the water in your skin, 1 being the lowest and 100 the highest. I was told you don't want anything less than 50, I, unfortunately, got a disappointing 34. What does that mean? My skin is dehydrated, and I need to start drinking lots more water.

Talking with Kiehl's customer representative, aka KCR, at my Bespoke Apothecary Preparations appointment

Step 2: Selection

Next, you discuss with your KCR a series of skin-related issues, like texture, dullness, redness, wrinkles and pore size and identify which two are your main concerns. This determines the two skin boosters that will be mixed in with your base concentrate, to create your individual serum. I went with Brightening and Pore Minimizing.

Step 3: Personalization

You leave with a box and bottle with your name plus details of your personal formula and directions for use.

My personalized prescription

Your personalized serum is recorded in the system for future reorders.

Apothecary Preparations is currently available at 21 of their stores and retails for $95. Go to to find your nearest location.

How The New DUO Body Cleanser Will Make Travelling Easier


Along with being a fashion and beauty junkie, I am also addicted to traveling. There is nothing more thrilling than visiting new countries, seeing different cultures, experiencing different smells and foods. However, one aspect of travel that I hate is carrying luggage, especially heavy luggage. Being laden down with bags slows me down and makes travel so much more difficult and tiring.

It's something I’m constantly battling, and as someone who always wants to look their best, this can often equate to lots of luggage. Over the years I’ve worked really hard to build a capsule wardrobe -a well edited collection of clothes that are interchangeable to create a various number of looks. Gone are the days when you pack a different shoe or bag for each outfit. You want pieces that will work with several looks.

The other area where I try to reduce the weight is with my toiletries. I want the best travel-ready beauty products that I can toss straight into my carry-on because looking fabulous is always on my itinerary.

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I like to take products that have multi-uses. For example, a pencil that can be used for both my eyebrows and eyeliner or a face oil that doubles as a split end treatment or a cleanser that is also a make-up remover. This way, I'm not sacrificing my beauty routine.

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I’ve recently come across a new product that will now be an essential part of my curated beauty kit. Olay has introduced a 2 in 1 body cleanser (DUO Body Cleanser, $9.99) which, means I no longer have to pack a shower gel and body puff, hurrah! Instead, I just add water to activate the lather. One side is textured to allow you to exfoliate and the other side is smooth to condition the skin.

I've always found that traditional body puffs never really removed any dead skin, yet I continued to use it because there wasn't a better option until now. So for me, this is a game changer.

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Just hang to dry between uses and replace when lather fades, usually after about 30 uses. You can also tell as the inner core of soap will slowly shrink down after each wash.

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DUO comes in 3 different scents Old Spice Pure Sport, Ivory Refreshing Clean and my personal fav Olay Soothing Orchid and Black Currant. It's a great blend of floral with fruit to create a refreshing trace.

For more info go to DUO Body Cleansers, $9.99, are available at drugstores, mass retailers and

Big thank you to P&G for sponsoring this post!

BEAUTY BITS | Tom Ford Lips & Boys

Tom Ford Lips & Boys

“I love seeing a woman in a man’s suit. Why not have a lipstick named after a man?” - Tom Ford

Yes ladies (and gentleman) the Lip & Boys are back! The third adaptation of this collection named for the boys Tom find ‘admirable and inspiring’.

25 new shades have been added including 10 matt finishes can be purchased individually at $36 or you can purchase a customizable three-piece collection for $108. However, if you want to splurge, you can go for the 50-piece set for just $1,950.

Customizable three-piece collection Austin, Luciano and Collin, $108

The collection launches today on the, at on Thanksgiving and worldwide on Black Friday.

BEAUTY BITS | 5 reasons to check out the new flagship Sephora on MI Ave

1. The new Michigan Avenue location is the fourth store in North America to be a T.I.P. (teach, inspire, play) Workshop concept store geared toward beauty education.

2. It is also the first in the midwest to get the Fragrance Studio Experience, featuring Fragrance IQ. This walks you through the 18 different scent categories (floral, citrus, spicy, etc.) but more excitingly the machine emits a jet of scented air, known as Instascent, to let you smell the different scent families. It’s the raw note you are smelling to help you discover what types of scents you like before trying on individual fragrances. It then suggests different types of fragrances that you might like based on the results.

3. 12 Beauty T.I.P. Workshop stations, each has iPad, USB port and wifi along with a mirror and makeup. Here you can take group beauty classes with educated facilitators or virtual tutorials on the iPad.

4. One of the first Skincare Studios at Sephora to have a sink, I know that doesn’t sound very new or exciting however lots of make-up stores or counters don’t have running water. This will allow customers to have mini facials in stores something not previously available. Also with new the adjustable lighting, it allows the customers to have better skin analysis. There is a Skincare IQ diagnostic, a touchscreen service, helping customers to select the best products based on their skin concerns.

5. With over 10,040-square-foot and 13,000 products including iconic, cult and emerging brands, it’s the largest store in the midwest.

Sephora, 605 North Michigan Avenue,Chicago, IL, 312.649.9343

CYBER MONDAY | Beauty Deals

Some of my favorite brands are doing some fab beauty deals this Cyber Monday.

The natural, coffee-based skincare brand, Frank Body, is offering 25% off everything.

All mascaras and lip glosses are $10, blushes and cheek stains are priced at $20, and foundation products for just $30 at Tarte.

Julep is offering 50% off its entire site with the code YAYTODAY.

With the code CYBERMONDAY, 30% off all purchases on and free shipping on all orders over $50.

Take 30% off all S.W. Basics skincare products.