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Shopping Tips, Favorite Products
     By: Jewelry Artist --Cheryl Elin-Smith
     As Magical Beads Owner and Jewelry Artist, I have some great products for sale on my site. But, I also have favorite products I use and like, plus some great places I like to shop. So for all my loyal customers here are my Shopping Tips, Favorite Products.
Favorite Skincare Products
     For all of you looking for the Fountain of Youth, or to turn back the clock, short of plastic surgery, it's just not going to happen. There are many miracle creams that have claimed unrealistic results, only to be disappointed over and over again. I know I've been there, spending lots of money for limited results. Well I think I have finally found a skincare line that actually works to improve the look and texture of your face. Although it may not be the Fountain of Youth, it is as close as you can get.
     You are asking what is it? The product line is "Philosophy" Makeup Optional Skin. I've been using it now for 6 weeks, and I've noticed a noticeable improvement in the texture of my skin and look. Most importantly others have noticed too, my Allergist asked what are you doing, your skin looks so good. I told her I got this kit of Philosophy skincare products, she touched my skin, said it is so soft, and has a glow. Well as you can imagine that made my day. It helps to reduce those fine lines around the eyes, forehead and mouth, also you should see reduction in pores. Philosophy skincare line comes in a wonderful kit of six products. Their new 2012 anti-aging kit is Miracle Worker. For those that don't want to get tied down to a monthly plan, they have some wonderful, reasonably priced kits on their site. I've just ordered their new Miracle Worker kit, from Philosophy web site. I had a chance to try them out at the Sephora store, and was really amazed at the results from one time. My new, favorite product, from Philosophy is, "Time In a Bottle" serum. I got a chance to try it out at Sephora store in Soho, and took some samples home. Washed my face with Purity, then put on my samples, before I went downtown. Was in the 5th avenue Sephora store, and customer came up to me, and said, your skin is so beautiful, no pores. She wanted to know what I was using, I told her, Philosophy, for many years now. I told her I'd just used some samples of Philosophy Time In a Bottle that morning. I've just had a milestone birthday this past September, 2014, so, that made my day. When I told her how old I was, she was shocked, and she went to the Philosophy shelf, to have samples made, of the products I've used, to try out. Needless to say, I will be buying, Time In a Bottle, from now on.
     For more information and to purchase Philosophy's Skin Care Lines, go to I am very pleased with the results Philosophy has given me, but, as with all skincare products, not everyone will achieve the same results. We recommend you start early taking care of your skin by drinking lots of water, eat fruits & vegetables and above all protect yourself from the sun. Good News! Oprah uses Hope In A Jar by Philosophy and is listed on her Favorite Things List for 2005.
     I've used many body lotions through out the years, some good, some not so good. When Magical Beads branched out into selling Unique Gifts as well as Handmade Jewelry, I went in search of a bath and body line to sell on our site. First and foremost I wanted something that I would use myself, and if I liked it my customers would too. Well I'm happy to say I found Terranova Bath and Body. With so many collections in their product line, it's hard to choose, But, here is my favorite Terranova body lotion, "Red Tea" Creamy Hydration Body Lotion. I use it after every shower, my skin is softer and more youthful looking. They also have a wonderful collection of fragrance products too. For more information on Terranova's Bath and Body Collections on our site, go to: - Gifts.
Favorite Makeup
     There are many makeup brands on the market, from the low priced brands in the discount drug stores, to the expensive makeup lines in the major department stores. I've worn makeup on and off throughout the years, but I finally gave up wearing makeup, and here is why. Simply put, it takes too long to put on, uncomfortable to wear, and looks like a heavy mask.
     One night while watching TV, I saw an ad for Bare Minerals makeup. Not only was it not a heavy liquid foundation, but, it looked easy to put on. Best of all everyone in the ad looked so great. I'm not one to order from an infomercial so, I went to the Bare minerals web site. After reading all the info and looking at the products, I decided to call and purchase the makeup. The makeup kit comes with an instructional DVD that shows you how to apply the mineral makeup, I couldn't believe how easy it is to put on. So I tried it using the makeup brushes that came with the kit. Wow I couldn't believe how it covered my skin, concealing any imperfections and dark under eye circles. Best of all it was so natural looking, it was me only better. Also on the instructional DVD was demonstrations on how to put on bare minerals makeup they have for eyes, cheeks, and lips. I looked on their site to see where the nearest Bare Minerals store is to me in New York.
     Lucky me, they had a store in New York City on 3rd Ave between 66th & 67th street near Hunter College. So, I took the trusty number 4 subway train down to the east side of Manhattan. The store is wonderful, and the two makeup artists there are so nice and helpful. One of the artists showed me the eye shadows, cheek colors and lipsticks that she thought would look good on me, then she applied all the makeup to my face. For my eyes she used three different eye shadows, eyeliner and mascara. By the way, their mascara is great didn't irritate my eyes like other brands I've tried. She applied Kiss blush on my cheeks with this great blush brush that was very soft, all their makeup brushes are soft. For my lips she used one of bare minerals wearable lipstick kits called "Mauve" it comes with matching lip liner, lipstick, and lip gloss. Well as you can imagine, I was very thrilled with the results, I looked beautiful. I went downtown to Chinatown for lunch at my usual dim sum restaurant, and everyone said how pretty I was. That just made my day, and when I wore the makeup to my Alergist appointment, the receptionist said what are you doing, you look so good. I just had a birthday recently and her remarks made me feel like a million bucks!
Here are the Bare Minerals makeup colors their artist used:
 bareMinerals SPF 15 Foundation: fairly light
 bareMinerals Warmth All-Over Face Color: Mineral Veil Powder, fairly light
 bareMinerals Multi-Tasking Bisque: for concealer
 Blush: "Kiss"
 bareMinerals Clear Radiance: on cheeks for the look of a child's skin, you can also use it on your browbone to give the effect of a brow lift.
 Eyeshadow: "Vanilla Sugar": for entire lid
 Eyeshadow: "Cashmere": for crease
 Eyeshadow: "Nude Beach Glimmer": for browbone
 Eyeliner: "Coffee Bean": she applied it wet, but it can be applied dry
 Lips: "Mauve Wearable Lipstick Kit"
     There are more colors for eyes, cheeks and lips at their store. For more information on Bare Minerals Makeup Kit and line please visit their web site at
Favorite Electronic Products
     One headphone I highly recommend to everyone is "eskuche control v2"I usually don't talk about electronics on my gift site, but, just had to tell you about these eskuche control v2 headphones, I got when I went to the Apple store. The headphones come in three different colors, blue/brown, orange/brown, and brown/black. They have a cool retro 70's design, with awsome sound quality.
     Went to the Apple store to buy a headphone for my new iPod touch, because the earbuds keep on falling out of my ears. The tech guy at the genius bar, that helped me set up my touch, recommended this guy upstairs that really knows headphones. We both listened to all the headphones, from cheapest to expensive beats. The one he said sounded the best was the eskuche control v2. It sounded just as good as the expensive beats, and at $59.99 the price can't be beat. From Toni Bennett, Dave Koz, The Beatles, Carpenters, and Classical, the sound is amazing. I got the brown color, as they were sold out of the blue. They are very comfortable too, on my ears. Was all ready to shell out the money for the beats, when I found these, and in my opinion, I like them way better. The eakuche control v2 are sold exclusively right now at the Apple store. Made for the iPods, iPhones, and iPads. They should be coming to the Apple store website, soon as well. The new iPod touch 5th generation, has amazing sound quality, but, is pricey, 32GB $299, 64 GB $399. If your budget, can't afford that price right now, I suggest, the San Disk music players. They come in different models, at a reasonable price.
     For more information about eskuche eskuche headphones, go to  
     To purchase eskuche v2 headphones, or the new iPod touch, go to I recommend you go to the Apple store, in your area. You can try out the iPod touch, and compare the eskuche v2 headphones, with other brands they sell. Adrian is the headphone department guy that helped me, he really knows headphones. I went to the Apple store in new york city's soho, on Prince street, as their 5th ave store can really be crowded.
Shopping Tips
     One store I highly recommend to everyone is "Old Navy" they have many stores across the country, and a great web site too. There are many stylish fashions and accessories to choose from, and their prices can't be beat for the quality. From long sleeve t-shirts two for $20.00 and down coats at $59.00. I was lucky, they had an item of the week special on the down coats, and I got the coat in a pretty shade of pink with sales tax for $41.00. It's lined in Polortec fleece for extra warmth too. All the Old Navy t-shirts wash and wear beautifully, and the colors don't fade like some tops. For all the latest styles in jeans and cords from short to tall the store is great, and prices are good too.
     So for great fashion selection, style and price I recommend shopping Old Navy Stores. Or online at: Old
     If you live in or near New York City, or have a chance to vacation here, I recommend a visit to NYC Chinatown. Spanning downtown Canal street, it is a perfect place to shop and eat. There are many great bags, scarves and clothing to find, and lots of the store owners will barter with you. So don't be afraid to ask, they might go down a few dollars in price.
     I've found some unique bags in colorful fabrics and faux fur. You need scarves, hats, and gloves to match your winter coat? No problem, Chinatown, has many colors and styles that can't be beat, and the price is right. One of my favorite places in Chinatown is a tent mall one block from Canal street on Broadway. They have many vendors with lots of goodies from Asia. I got many stylish sequined peasant skirts for $15.00, and I got a beautiful tunic top $15.00. Uptown I saw the same tunic top for $80.00, wow, what a buy I got that day. They also have Cashmere scarves from England for $10.00 cant beat that for a bargain, and the quality is very good. One of the big sellers in Chinatown Canal street stores is the rabbit fur scarves, they are so soft and come in many colors. We are selling them on Magical Beads, and I hope to get more and other unique items to sell from Chinatown on our site.
     For food in Chinatown I recommend you go to Mott Street off Canal. There are many great restaurants to choose from, and my favorite is the "New Mandarin Court" dim sum restaurant. The food is delicious, I get different dim sum and tea for $7.25 it can be more or less depending how many dishes you get.
     Don't feel like Chinese food, you have a craving for Italian. No problem! right across from Chinatown on other side of Canal is Mulberry street's Little Italy. The street is lined with lots of great Italian restaurants, and Ferraras Bakery is a must see stop, for some of the most delicious baked goods. My Mom and I love their chocolate moose eclairs.
     For more food in Chinatown my new place to go is Nom Wah Tea Parlor, located at 13 Doyer Street off Pell. There are many great restaurants to choose from, and my new favorite is"Nom Wah Tea Parlor" dim sum restaurant. The food is delicious, I get different dim sum $3.50 each, and tea for $1.00, total $9.20 it can be more or less depending how many dishes you get. Food is freshly made when ordered, so it is fresh and piping hot. Remember those old ice cream parlors, or country diners, the interior reminds me of them.
     I have, two new favorite places I like to shop, in New York City. "Denim & Suply"It's one of Ralph Laurens, new clothing lines. What I like, about this new line, it's based on Southwest, Native American influences. Great quality, and prices are not too expensive. Located on University Place, two blocks from Union Square. My other, new, place to shop is "Mrs Green's West Village"If you are looking, for quality organic produce, and local area food products, this is a must place to visit. Mrs Green's is located at 585 Hudson Street, in West Village. My ultimate, favorite, food product, to buy from Mrs Green's is,"Roots Hummus" from North Carolina. I just love their, Original, and Roasted Garlic Hummus, it's delicious. Roots has other great Hummus flavors as well. Another, great thing, about Hummus, it's one of the healthiest foods, you can eat. You can find out, more about Roots Hummus, on their website If you have a chance, to come, to New York City, please, visit these stores. You can also shop for Ralph Laurens, "Denim & Suply" on his website When ever I can, I will let you know, of any great stores or products I recommend you try.
     You can see lots of pictures of Chinatown and Little Italy on Magical Beads I took with my digital camera, I'm hoping to take more, so keep and eye out for them. So there you have it, some of my favorite products and shopping tips. I'm sure I'll have many more to tell you as time goes by, so stay tuned.
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