The famed ‘cat-eye’ is here to stay, as it has been since the 60s, but not everyone has a steady enough hand to apply that picture purrrrfect line of liquid eyeliner along their top lid. Luckily for us, Christian Dior has unleashed a new hassle-free version of this liner trend in velvet appliqué form.
Okay, CALM DOWN, yes this is real–but is it for everyone? We first saw these strong Dior cat-eyes on the runways, where over-the-top makeup makes perfect sense. But is this a look that can really be pulled off in ‘real’ life? …I say yes. With stick-on nail designs, temporary tattoos and so many other ‘shortcuts’ that have been recently developed to help make us feel beautiful (without the fuss), why not give this one a shot too? These pussy cat-eye appliqués come in a plethora of styles to suit every personal taste for a mere $60/4 pairs at Sephora. Try them out, take some photos, and tell us how they work!
With advancements in high-definition film and instantaneous social updating, it is no secret that we are living in a high tech world. A photo can be taken with an iPhone and beamed into the wonderful worldwide web within a matter of seconds, prompting the everyday individual to be ‘paparazzi perfect’ on a daily basis, should they be the subject of a random Google stalk–I mean, search.
But before we curse the advent of camera phones and overzealous photog friends–enter Temptu‘s Airbrush System. Talk about high technology! Seen on the gorgeous faces (and bods) of Carrie Underwood,Madonna and Gabrielle Union, just to name a few, Temptu has been the pro’s secret behind the scenes in the film and fashion industry for thirty years. In 2009, the innovative brand created a product for the everyday gal to get that coveted celeb skin without the professional makeup artist!
What is it: A 2-piece light-weight airbrush system (under two pounds!) that spreads your makeup in an even spray dot-pattern, mimicking skin texture flawlessly without the use of any brushes.
How does it work: The foundations are housed in a plastic ‘air-pod’ that is self-sealed (no mess, no mixing!) and then attached to the airbrush gun. A huge evolution in technology from the typical 17-piece professional airbrush.
Who is it for: Anyone who wants a flawless complexion in less than five minutes! The unique trigger control allows buildable coverage so that you can choose to shroud yourself in anything from a light-weight veil to an extremely opaque matte finish. It’s great for camouflaging scarring, blemishes and other ‘unsightly’ imperfections.
Who else is it for: Acne, Rosacea and sensitive skin that develops into irritation due to brush hair or sponge allergies. There is virtually no physical contact with the skin, just air and product!
Okay, so I have to admit I wasn’t sold completely on the idea of needing to airbrush my skin daily until I actually tried the formula. The foundations, blushes and highlighter formulations are all silicone-based andoil-free. What does this mean? Well, not only does silicone help the makeup adhere to the skin and resist the natural action of pigments settling into fine lines and pores by replicating the true texture of skin, it is also water-resistant. Score for oily gals who need their complexion to stay all day! There may not be paps hiding in the shrubs to take my photo, but I am confident my complexion will be flawless when my next Facebook photo is tagged.
Shimmer shimmer yah shimmer ya shimmer yay!
You know how you’ve always hoped that you’d one day stumble upon an eye shadow you could just swipe on quickly without trying too hard and it still ends up looking good? We all seem to be seeking that magic dash of something to make us look a bit more fresh and awake in the morning. I kind of feel like there is potential for that in the texture and color combination of these eye shadows. Lorac lured me in from the get-go with the titles of Tempt Me (gold + brown duo) and Tease Me (pale blue + bronze mix), and the rest was kind of history. These baked, mineral-infused color-coordinated duos provide just that beautiful swipe of shimmery something you need and, with a quick dash of mascara, will render you ‘red-carpet’ ready in a matter of minutes.
Let’s get real here for a second. According to the CDC, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer found in the US today. Your skin is, afterall, the largest organ in (or on) your body, but it also seems to be the one that we have a tendency to neglect the most. How can we though, when it’s the only one that we actually see on a daily basis? While that epic tan that you achieved by baking in a tanning booth or laying out in direct sunlight at high noon may seem nice now, you and your poor, overheated skin will probably be paying for it years later. Enter St. Tropez and Supergoop, two companies aimed at keeping that 8-10 square feet of organ in healthy condition.
First, let’s talk protection. If you are heading out into the sun for an extended period of time, I cannot emphasize enough how much you need have some sort of sunscreen on with at least an SPF of 15 (although, 30 is ideal). Grabbing a pack of Supergoop’s Sunscreen Swipes might be a good place to start. Instead of traditional lotion, they’re wipes packed with SPF 30+, zinc, and are sensitive skin safe. The consistency is a bit weird at first, but swiping one of these babies over your skin is a hell of a lot easier than rubbing in lotion. Make sure, though, that you keep a good eye on what areas you have covered and use more than one wipe to do so! Don’t forget to top your lips off with a dab of Supergoop’s SPF 30+ AcaiFusion Lip Balm. Talk about yummy! And, it’ll keep that pout sunburn-free!
But I still want to be a bronze goddess, you say. St. Tropez’s Wash-Off Instant Glow Body Lotion is a great danger-free alternative to achieving that healthy fun-in-the-sun glow (though I don’t recommend applying it before any beach excursions, as this is a wash-off formula). But, if you’re looking for a solid daily go-to that’s just for show, this is hands down my top recommended pick.
Please remember: While a skin tone that is a few shades darker might seem awfully appealing during summer months, I strongly urge you to take care of the lovely organ that is your skin. Make use of products that can help you achieve a flawlessly healthy faux glow, and you’ll easily avoid looking like a leathery Slim Jim in your later years.
–AMBER DANESE GRANDFIELD
She’s my baby…
This season’s hottest hair trend? The long bob. Ladies, it’s time to dig a bit deeper than feather extensions and ombré locks and opt for a change that is both bold and subtle at the same time. Ever since the likes of Abbey Lee Kershaw, J-Lo, and other various celebs decided to chop off their hair to not-so-daring lengths, the long bob trend has been in full effect…
The great thing about this style is that it’s not as big of a risk as, say, an inverted bob or Kool-Aid hair, but still manages to makes a statement. Long bobs are also very easy to maintain, flatter most face shapes, and look great with or without bangs. I, for one, would love to try out this look when I grow weary of what I currently have going on upstairs (it’s only a matter of time).
With the July 4th holiday weekend in full swing, we think it’s safe to assume many of you are heading to one common destination to kick back and unwind: the beach. And we don’t know about you, but if there is one thing on our minds (besides yummy boardwalk funnel cake and Dip ‘n Dots that is) it’s… our skin. Sure, you’ve probably had the sense to tote along a fat tube of sunblock but we have something else to top off your usual beach skincare regimen that will save your hide–it’s Korres Yoghurt Cooling Gel. Trust us when we say, there is nothing more relieving than slapping some of this all over your face and body after prolonged baking under harsh UV rays. The yoghurt in this soothing cream-gel is a natural source of lactose, proteins, minerals and vitamins that actually increases the water content on the top layers of your skin, instantly relieving the burning sensation and inflammation that can come along with a good case of sunburn. Tip: Stow yours away in your cooler to achieve a maximum cooling effect.
It’s 3:00am–do you know where your face is? Because, after a night of partying, mine is usually running down my cheeks in the form of raccoon eye runoff. Gross. On top of it all, I usually don’t feel like washing it either because, well… it’s 3:00am. Enter Korres Milk Protein Cleansing Wipes, every lazy woman’s dream product. One quick swipe, and almost all of that residual runoff damage is gone-baby-gone, subsequently saving me that crucial extra five minutes to spend passed out in bed. Sure, there may be many cleansing facial wipes on the market, but these are enriched with amino acids and other natural ingredients that nourish and smooth your skin in a way others don’t. They are also paraben and sulfate-free, my friends. Read: GENTLE. After a long day (or night), I think we’d all agree that is juuuuust what the doctor ordered.
Now is the time (whether we like it or not) to start thinking of our skin as a fine wine and to preserve its beauty for the best years to come. Over the past couple of months, our beauty editors have had the pleasure of trying out two Caudalie skincare products for the first time, a brand known for formulating its special grape seed and grape vine extracts packed with powerful antioxidants and other healing agents. Read on for the full report…
What is it?
Caudalie Vinoperfect Radience Serum, $79
What does it do?
Evens skin tone, promotes a brighter, smoother complexion by boosting elastin and collagen production; corrects dark spots
Viniferine, which regulates the production of melanin and protects melanocytes from free radicals; restores radiance by restarting cutaneous microcirculation (via Sephora)
How does it work?
Apply BEFORE your daily moisturizer, morning and night. This product immediately seeps into your skin, allowing you to apply your favorite moisturizer right on top of it, with no excess gloppy-ness or greasiness.
Did it work?
After using this product for close to two months, I have definitely noticed a difference in the overall radiance of my skin, which now appears to be brighter and smoother. Even after only using this serum once a day (for the most part), instead of two (the recommended), I have noticed a change. My skin just feels more nourished!
Buy or Buh-bye?
BUY! Sure, it’s a bit pricy. But! Only a minimal amount of product is required with each application, and you can even get by, as I did, applying solely in the evening to save product–if you so wish. My face literally gobbles this serum up after its applied—I guess I never realized how thirsty my skin really was! I happy to report that, now, it is satisfactorily quenched.
What is it?
Caudalie Premier Cru La Crème, $150
What does it do?
Premier Cru contains a highly active formula that targets all signs of aging around the eyes: wrinkles, loss of elasticity, dehydration, dark circles, dark spots, puffiness, malnourishment, and loss of radiance.
Caudalie’s three signature patents: titrated Reservatrol and Viniferine from Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte grapevines, and grape-seed polyphenols (via Sephora)
How does it work?
Dispense a small amount of product (think miniature pearl-sized) onto your fingertip and gently apply to the eye area by lightly tapping and spreading with your ring finger, from the inner corner area and out. Repeat this process morning and night prior to moisturizing and on a freshly washed face.
Did it work?
I received Caudalie’s Premier Cru Eye Cream in a beautifully gilded package about a month and a half ago. True, some time has passed from receipt to review, but I like to allow the proper amount of time to truly test the effects of a potentially fine product–which Premier Cru certainly is. Fine lines that were starting to form at the corners of my eyes have, for the most part, disappeared, and those little creases where foundation would gather under my eyes have diminished a bit as well. Are my persistent bags and dark circles gone? Not completely, but some of that darkness has indeed given way to brighter, tighter skin, which is a win in my book. As someone who spends the majority of her time in front of a computer furiously seeking products that banish dark circles and bags for good, this would be on par with… witnessing Moses part the Red Sea. My skin also feels incredibly soft and more supple.
Buy or Buh-bye?
Definite BUY! Like the serum, Premier Cru is certainly steep in price (well, even more so); but for the results I’ve seen over the past two months, it is worth it, ladies. And, given the silky texture of the cream, a little goes a long way, which means my bottle should last a good three to four months. If you only end up applying it in the AM–which I usually did–and still got great, highly noticeable results, it may last even longer! As someone who just hit the big 3-0, any product that can truly preserve this cherubic little face (and get me carded at bars again) is worth all the tea in China! Or, err, in this case, grapes in France.
Suntanned gams can serve as your souvenir of a weekend at the beach, a run-in the park, or simply a sweet day walking about town. But before you strip down into your fave summertime cut-offs keep in mind, the healthiest tan is definitely a fake one. So let’s be honest, are you practicing safe sun?
The sun is the number one cause of aging, wrinkles, hyper-pigmentation and age spots, oh my! The only way to stay looking as hot as possible (pun intended!) is with a sun protection factor of 30 or above.
Now I know what you’re thinking, just how do I get my tan on and protect my skin? Well glossies, we got you covered. Here are some tried and triumphant self-tanners that will achieve a golden glow faster than you can say J-Lo glow.
Lorac TANtalizer, 5.0 fl oz, $32
This body bronzer remains one of my favorite must-have products come summertime or anytime I have to prep my clients for airbrushed golden limbs. The formula goes on like a warm, shimmery copper lotion and smells of delicious coconut cupcakes. Great for a special evening out or for noncommittal beauties who wish to wash their tan off at the end of the day.
Tan Towel Look Good Naked Pack of 10 Self-Tan Towelettes, $24
These individually packaged towelettes look like they should accompany a plate of ribs. Pry open your foil package carefully, then apply onto the skin in a circular motion to evenly distribute the pre-saturated wipe, then wait for gorgeous color develop in 1-2 hours. Streak-free, fragrance-free, and on-the-go. What could be easier?
Clarins Delicious Self-Tanning Cream, 4.4 fl oz, $42
Hands down one of the most luxurious self-tanners I have ever used. This creamy golden-flecked gel coats the skin in a sumptuous honey tint so you see exactly where the color will develop and leaves your body with soft, silky, supple skin just waiting to be exposed.
Growing up, we were always told not to wash our face with bar soap, right? After all, bar soap contains harsh chemical ingredients that could damage and dry our precious skin. Or so we thought…
I recently discovered something pretty amazing that has made me think twice about that advice I was given as a teen. In 2009, I was living in NYC, a city I adore, but let me tell you, the Big Apple was not kind to my skin. It was blemishes galore for me until a friend of mine recommended that I try organic soap from Whole Foods on my face. As you may know, Whole Foods has an insanely wide array of organic soaps from which to choose, so after spending a long time at the store, I came out with something that has changed the way I think about skincare: Nubian Heritage African Soap. This soap is pure black and its key ingredients are shea butter, palm ash, plantain peel extract, papaya enzymes, and salicylic acid. It treats troubled skin without over drying, and it worked magic on my face.
For over a year, I used solely the Nubian Heritage soap and an organic moisturizer. Now that I am out of the city–and out of my acne phase–I use the brand’s Coconut & Papaya Soap, made up of key ingredients such as coconut oil, shea butter, papaya enzymes, and comfrey root extract—oh, and it has of the most amazing coconut scent. I wash my face in the morning, and this soap literally leaves my face glowing! On NH’s website it explains how coconut oil strengthens connective tissues to prevent sagging, wrinkles and blemishes, and helps reduce skin inflammation and yes, it’s hard to admit, but I am indeed aging and I can’t get through it alone. This soap makes it all so easy!
After seeing the brand featured in The New York Times, I knew I had to share it with our VG readers. Right now, I also use the Coconut and Papaya Body Lotion, body wash, and hand lotion, all which give me the same wonderful results as the bar soap. If you’re not a big fan of the smell of coconut, don’t worry, Nubian Heritage actually has thirteen scents from which to choose, and if you’re not sure which product is right for your skin, they also have a section on their website dedicated to helping you find the right product.
I also love that NH is pretty affordable and the fact that it is involved in working to help build schools and provide access to education for girls in Africa. I like knowing that I’m using organic, all-natural products, and that I am contributing to a good cause in the process. You can find Nubian Heritage products at Whole Foods, select beauty product stores, The Vitamin Shoppe, and Amazon.
Are you ready to save time, protect your skin, and achieve maximum glow-y coverage with just one wonder product? Introducing BB Cream! This in-the-know Korean beauty secret, also known as ‘blemish balm’ or ‘beauty balm,’ is now the latest sensation in the beauty industry and the good news is you won’t have to travel all the way to Seoul to get your hands on some.
Formulated to cover and protect vulnerable skin sensitive to sun exposure post-laser treatments, BB Cream is a hybrid tinted moisturizer/primer/firming gel in one. Most formulations come in one tone and easily warm up when blended into the skin. BB Cream works perfectly as a lightweight summer foundation with a fresh, dewy finish that won’t leave you looking like a melted orange popsicle on even the hottest of midsummer days.
Artist’s Tip: Warm up BB Cream in your palms, then press into areas needing more coverage to achieve a radiant complexion and avoid an ashen appearance. Pat a cream blush onto the apples of the cheeks and be prepared to answer just how you got that glow!
One of the latest trends, not only in the fashion world but also in the health and beauty world, is the juice cleanse. Cleanses such as these have been growing in popularity at an impressive pace, ever since the likes of Salma Hayek, Beyoncé, and Gwyneth Paltrow (among others) jumped on board and started endorsing them over the course of the past few years. I was first introduced to the juice cleanse several weeks ago, when a fellow co-worker received a huge box of bottles in the mail. Shortly after, I began to notice more and more people hopping on the juice cleanse train, and started to wonder what all the hub-bub was about. I’ve heard of detox diets, and definitely of the master cleanse, but… is a mere three-day juice cleanse worth it? I did a bit of research and got a ton of feedback from people I know personally who have completed the cleanse and most of them had nothing but praise to give—however, none of that praise came without warning. If you have been considering a juice cleanse like I have, I suggest you do some thorough research to assure that you’re doing it for the right reasons. We all know there is no shortcut to becoming and staying healthy, (nor to maintaining an ideal body weight), but the juice cleanse is indeed an ideal way to kick-start your body’s system from the inside out, and just in time for warm weather (and subsequently, bathing suit season).
There are several juice cleanse options out there. If you own a juicer and know how to make juice already, you can probably concoct your own. I’ve researched the most popular cleanses currently on the market and would like to share my findings with all of you out there in cyberspace. Whether you are a beginner or super-detox-pro, the juice cleanse can prove beneficial for a multitude of reasons. In the end, your body will be glad you decided to take it up a notch–and take care of yourself.
1. Blue Print Cleanse
This moderately priced cleanse seems to be the most popular and provides the most beneficial results; with the Blue Print, there are three actual juice cleanses from which to choose. Whether you have never done a cleanse in your life and can’t refrain from McDonald’s every once in a while, or you are a super health-conscious vegetarian who calculates everything that goes into your body, there is a Blue Print cleanse that is right for you. Despite the fact that this may not be the most wallet savvy option, and the fact that it does seem to yield different results for everyone, if I could afford it, I would definitely try this one out.
2. The Goop Cleanse (à la Gwyneth Paltrow)
This seems like the most realistic cleanse to me. Gwyneth and her detox specialist Dr. Alejandro Junger have incorporated juicing, soup, and fruits over a seven-day span to make up a cleanse that won’t leave you emaciated–or angry at the world. I also value the fact that this method is all about BEING HEALTHY, as opposed to merely skinny. It incorporates accessible foods that are easy to prepare, juices that don’t taste like stale veggies, and a rejuvenating daily routine coupled with yoga. The feedback I’ve received about this cleanse has been nothing but positive. Women and men have both consider this cleanse to be a realistic way to achieve ‘cleansing’ without feeling like you might pass out every ten minutes.
This one has been around since Stanley formulated it in the 40’s as an alternative treatment for his patients suffering from diseases that were incurable at the time. The Master Cleanse is as hardcore as it gets. It’s a ten-day non-relenting diet of lemonade, cayenne pepper, and maple syrup. Even though this cleanse has been around the longest, it is definitely the most dangerous and not recommended for everyone (talk to your doctor before attempting!). However, the results are consistently successful in releasing all the junk your body has been storing, ultimately leading to dramatic weight loss and developing entirely new habits of health-wise. I must warn you, though, this one is not for the faint of heart.
Remember, all cleanses take serious dedication and active participation—and for the right reasons. If you are looking for some kind of quick trick to lose weight, do it the right way, don’t starve yourself and/or convince yourself that juice diets will cut your spare tire by the dawn of summer.
That’s not the point of these cleanses, nor of any other ‘detox’ method. I advise you all to really consider the possibilities of resetting your body’s systems. Ask yourself why you want to try it. Are you willing to change your habits after your cleanse is over? Do you have the willpower to drink juice for 3-7 days straight, without any food? Do you want to refresh your psyche and allow your body to live up to its potential, as it was designed to do? If your answer is a resounding YES, then by all means, get to it! Your body and mind will thank you in more ways than you can imagine.
Before I heard about Pratima, I was on what seemed to be a never-ending search for the perfect skincare regimen that would resolve all my skin… issues. And truthfully, since my pre-teen days as a gawky kid with braces, I have been battling breakouts without much success. I’ve tried everything, Proactive, Retin-A, prescriptions–basically anything that claims to clear up problem skin, I had in my bathroom. But, after years of heart and headaches, I’ve finally found a solution to my skincare woes…
I was first introduced to Pratima Skincare when I started my job at an organic beauty salon. At that point, I had pretty much given up on ever finding a cure for my skin issues and was using over-the-counter face wash and creams. As I started my new job and began to learn more about different skin types, I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to try some of Pratima’s products that were specific to my skin problems. Within a week, I felt like my skin had done a complete 360 and was on the road to recovery. The longer I used my samples, the clearer my skin got. Now, being my skeptical self, I was convinced my skin would freak out like it usually does after a few weeks of starting a new skincare regimen, but to my surprise, after about a month, my skin was not only healed but in the best shape it’s been since before I hit puberty.
Pratima is the brainchild of expert chemist/botanist Dr. Pratima Raichur, who pairs up the latest skincare studies with ancient Ayurvedic practices of well-being. Her products incorporate only the purest organic ingredients that not only treat troubled skin, but rebalance and restore your body from the outside-in. To top it off, each one of Pratima’s products is handmade (no machines allowed!) and custom-blended to balance your dosha (personal life energy).
To get started on your path toward healthy skin for the rest of your life, you can take Pratima’s 13 Question Skin Analysis Survey. Once you’ve figured out your dosha, you’ll be able to customize a regimen to suit your needs. Pratima’s collection of cleansers, essential oils, moisturizures, masks, and other wonderful products are made for everyone. Men, women, babies, grandmas, teens, anyone–you name it. Even if you already have radiant skin and want it to last or, dare i say, actually get better with time, I highly recommend Pratima skincare. It will change your life forever!
I am sure that many of you VG readers, like myself, have dealt with adult acne. Awful, isn’t it? There is just something really weird about feeling like a junior high kid… now. But even at fifteen, I didn’t experience breakouts as bad as I do these days. So, after hopelessly switching out and/or mixing and matching a plethora of products a countless number of times, I have FINALLY found a regimen that actually works! You may find it hard to believe, but this exceptional ‘formula’ of which I speak is also all-natural! Basically, I have been adhering regularly to a three-step process, and let me tell you, it has changed my life–dramatically. One word, people: CAUDALIE.
First, I start with Caudalie’s gentle Instant Foaming Cleanser in the shower, and then, I follow up with a refreshing spritz of the brand’s fabulous Grape Water. The grape water really is the finishing touch on my now, newly beautiful skin. The third step is for night only and consists of Caudalie’s Purifying Mask, which I essentially use as an overnight spot treatment. Now, this product is the pièce de résistance of the whole process, so pay attention. I have never found a mask that makes my face feel so soft and clean. I truly can’t thank this brand enough for what it has done for me.
If you are suffering from adult acne, you know that it is less than fun to appear in public with giant puss-filled zits on your face. This mask, and its supplementary sidekicks, have seriously saved me from that frightful fate. Besides, I was spending a small fortune on concealer just to cover up the ugly. So…
Get in an Easter egg frame of mind this April with these three scrumptious nail polish shades by MAC, as part of the brand’s new Quite Cute Collection. I think it goes without saying that it’s the promise of a ‘revolutionary high gloss’ formula that really pushes us over the edge with this…
These colors are also each available in three ‘long-wearing finishes,’ Cream, Sheer, and Frosted. I’m visualizing going all the way with Cream, but no matter the finish of your fancy, we can think of no better accessory to be sporting this spring than sugary-sweet, pretty pastel tips. YUM.
GIVE US MAKEUP OR GIVE US DEATH! I don’t know about you, but that’s how me and my posse feel about the whole thing. But tell me, what’s an addict to do when there are so many lipsticks, so little… space in your cross-body bag. Sadly, we are all forced to consolidate. I know, it puts a tear in our eyes too–that you have to leave the liner brush and face primer at home–but hey, at least you can relish in the scooping up of a cute cosmetics case in the process, whether it be of the print, solid, leather, plastic, cloth, or canvas variety. No doubt, there’s a very special cosmetics bag out there for everyone (and with all budgets considered). Simply allow me play matchmaker:
1. Stephanie Johnson Los Cabos Jumbo Zip Case, $48
2. Forever 21 Lovely Hearts Cosmetic Case, $6
3. Tory Burch Brigitte Cosmetic Case, $55
4. Big Buddha Miami Cosmetic Bag, $25
5. Marc by Marc Jacobs Leaf Print Nylon Case, $105
6. Saltbox Basketweave Cosmetics Bag, $35
7. Burberry Printed Canvas Cosmetics Case, $230
8. Sonia Kashuk Soft Cosmetics Case, $6
9. Forever 21 Painstroke Leopard Print Cosmetic Bag, $4
10. Betseyville Floral Fiesta Large Cosmetic Bag, $35
I’ve had it with static. I’ve also had it with the annoying cowlick that makes my bangs swoop up and over–unintentionally–and not in that fabulous Farrah Fawcett sort of way. If you too have fine hair that becomes weighed down by even the smallest amount of mousse or spray, or, if you’ve simply screamed Enough! at all those products that seemingly damage and dry your hair out, then I strongly suggest you try Bumble & Bumble’s Surf Spray.
Sure, the price may strike you as a bit steep for a mere four ounces of product, but if you’re wise and at your wit’s end, you’ll fork it over fast. However, if frugality is thick in your blood you can also opt for a few tried-and-true second-place alternatives: Sedu‘s Beach Beauty Sea Salt Spray is priced at $10 for 6 oz. and Aquage‘s Sea Salt Texturizing Spray will cost you about $20 for 8 oz. (Amazon’s got a sale price of $16).
I feel like I’m constantly in a cycle of finding and trying new beauty products, so I thought, why not share. After all, sharing is caring. And I care about you all very deeply…
With that in mind, here is a choice mini-mix combo of things I can’t live without and things you should know about (that is, if you don’t already, Ms. Fabulous). So take just a few seconds and feast your eyes upon this gracious bounty that, miraculously, consists of items all under 50 dollars. Ready… go.
Spotted from the catwalks to the sidewalks, orange is definitely the ‘it’ shade of the season. Not only does orange flatter every complexion when dusted all over for a warm, apricot glow, it represents adventure, stimulates concentration, and is a visual mood-enhancer. I am obsessed with spring’s punches of peach popping up on fingertips everywhere. Illamasqua’s newest nail varnish shade, Gamma, a vivid tangerine, shines with intense color after only one coat. If matte textures are more your steelo, be sure to check out Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics nail lacquer in Beta for radioactive neon orange tips, without shine. Flat or glossy, opaque or sheer, get on-trend and instantly turn your frown upside down with a little fashion-forward color therapy!
Spring, spring, spring, spring, spring, spring, spring!!!
We want it now! Seeing as how we’ve been stuck in this rut of winter weather and wishful thinking of warmer, sunnier days, I recently decided that enough was enough. It was time to start planning ahead for what pray tell, I’d do with my hair once the sun came back ‘round again. I find that a perfect remedy for the winter doldrums is searching deep within yourself and then spontaneously changing your hair! Chop it off, bleach it out, dye it dark, or just go all out nuts and voila! You’re a whole new person.
WARNING: Make sure you seek the help of trained professionals before attempting anything drastic to save yourself from any potentially heartbreaking hairstyle mishaps.
If you’re familiar with the sweet, ombré hair trends that surfaced last fall, you’re already on the right track, because spring ‘11 hair will be ALL about the COLOR.
Bright blues, pinks, violets, and even oranges and yellows–are easy, cheap solutions that’ll brighten up your look without breaking the bank. The best part of all is you’ll be able to show off your super-rad, creative side while looking as if you just stepped out fresh from Topshop’s super inspiring S/S 2011 look book.
If playing loud isn’t quite your thing, there’s nothing wrong with staying on the safe side of the street and sticking with your natural hues (heck we know some of you have day jobs you may be fond of and can’t risk the fuchsia streaks) but for those of us who don’t give a bleepity-bleep, let’s raise our glasses (and dip-dyed colored hair) to fun hair this spring!
Photos courtesy of style.com
Known for years as the iconic symbol of fun-loving girlhood, Hello Kitty is now all grown up and slanging celebrity status of her own with a fragrance, a color line of cosmetics, and luxurious accessories. But don’t be fooled by playful packaging–this isn’t your little sister’s makeup. With a full range of eye pencils, shadow palettes, and liquid liners, it’s obvious that Sanrio’s exclusive partnership with Sephora has raised the bar in order to satisfy both the sophisticated shopper and the avid Hello Kitty collector.
My spring must-haves are the Charmmy Kohl Eyeliner Kit, which features seven creamy pencils with intense pigment packaged in a nostalgic metal pan, and the Liquid Nail Art Nail Polishes in Bubble Gum (an opaque pinky lavender), perfect for decorating your digits after winter’s deep plum and inky black manicures. As for you Kitty groupies, act fast and snatch up the adorable Five-Piece Brush Set. These synthetic brushes live in a limited edition sleek, silver container that functions as a brush and makeup holder in one.
Is the winter wind weathering your skin into a parched and chapped oblivion? Well, rejoice lovelies, and marvel at these double-action skin hydrators that will illuminate your look for a glowing new season.
1. Josie Maran has come out with an Argan Matchmaker Serum Foundation formulated with organic argan oil, healing vitamin E, and tons of skin-protecting antioxidants. This serum-foundation goes on a creamy white and instantly adjusts to naturally match skin tone, while refining lines and pores, minimizing scarring, and reducing oil.
*Artist’s tip: Prep skin prior to foundation with an illuminating primer for a “lit from within” beam. Try Bare Escentuals Brightening Primer, focusing on the center of the face.
2. For a creamy blush-flush, try Smashbox Cheek Duo in Blushing/Peony. Apply using the flat of your thumb, pressing the deeper shade of the two colors into your skin, following the cheekbone and blending back to your ears. Next, smile big and pop the brighter pink of the duo onto the apples of your cheeks. The smooth texture dries down to a stain and provides a fresh, youthful warmth.
*Artist’s tip: Dab a bit onto your lips for a barely-there tint.
3. Lastly, to ensure a long-wearing and flawless face, dust Smashbox Halo Hydrating Powder over your t-zone and onto oilier areas of your face. The mineral powder provides a hydrated finish and will secure a gorgeous balance without looking dry or cakey.
Remember: Well-exfoliated skin is the best canvas for any beauty product. Gently scrub off dead skin once a week and drink lots of water to beat the blizzard blues and get glowing.
All images courtesy of sephora.com
–JOEY LYNN ACOSTA
Um, I kind of feel like one of my ultimate beauty wishes has been granted? Here’s the thing: I’m obsessed with sunscreen. I wear it all year round, everyday–even when it’s cloudy. In fact, I won’t leave the house without out it. Like I said, I’m obsessed. I will not have wrinkly, sun-damaged, blotchy skin (at least before a certain age) if I can help it, dammit. I’ve seen far too many Real Housewives episodes, I’ve been witness to what can happen. I’ve got no excuse not to know better.
That being said, I am also obsessed with natural beauty products. And let me tell you, natural sunscreen that’s paraben-free and 30+ is hard to come by. Until now. Now, I have discovered Supergoop, the all-natural water-proof sunscreen fortified with antioxidants that you can put anywhere (body, face) and which is made for everyone. This stuff is effective, yet so gentle it meets the stringent standards for Healthy Child World and International recommendations for High Protection sun care. That is, according to Sephora, now offering this product in a fabulous jumbo-size container—a whopping 24 oz for $68. Now that is a lot of UV protection. I have a feeling this might shape up to be my go-to product. So thanks, Big Beauty Genie in the sky. Maybe you really are listening.
Buns were big this past year. The ones on your head? Yeah, they were all over the 2010 runways and celebs were (and still are) all about them too. Not that I can blame them. Buns are as easy as they are classic. And not that buns were, or are, ever ‘out’—this is one of those ultimate, timeless looks.
But my favorite take on the bun is when it’s teamed up with a subtly sweet headpiece, preferably, a headband. I can think of nothing more elegant. And practical! Talk about a rare combo. We all have a bad hair day (or three) here and there. What better way to hide your unruly mop than up in a neat little ballerina bun with a chic little banded crown to keep it all in place? My favorite, of course, is classic black, but you can branch out to white and brown for more spring-friendly looks as well to attain the same effect. Pump up the volume of your hair in the back for some added drama and a hell of a silhouette, with little to no effort.
Seeing as though the feminine prim and proper Betty Draper look is one of the trends that’s all the rage for ’11, now, you’ve got the hair to match (or a way of ‘going there’ without becoming a walking retro cliché). And this goes for day or for evening. Howabout that. All you need is a good hair elastic (I prefer clear), five bucks, and a trip to CVS to attain it. Life is good, no?
Every year, I like to revamp myself with a new outfit and hairstyle. It not only refreshes my self-confidence, but is also considered good luck to “turn over a new leaf” with the beginning of a new year. That being said, I’ve spent a decent bit of time looking into some of the coolest hair and beauty looks out there to help me ring in 2011. Whether you’re a lady lookin’ for a new you, or a dude lookin’ for a new ’do, PAY ATTENTION. You’ll feel like a million bucks after letting go of the past (aka: your old hairstyle) and you’ll discover a whole new side of yourself you never knew…
So, if you don’t already know, I’ll let you in on a little secret: the greatest styles of 2011 will be the ones that complement your own personal sense of style! There’s something out there for everyone. Don’t be afraid to bring out the best you have to offer, whether it be opting for a long bob like Abby Lee, or paying homage to the roaring 20’s in a severe, box-cut bob (If you’re obsessed with this era, make sure you check out this post). You’ve got this. If you’re feeling a bit daring, go for a modified Beehive or intricate woven braid. If you’re a guy, all you’ll have to do is give your hair a good wash and style yourself accordingly–refer to our advised looks and grab yourself some Aveda pomade and you’ll be ready for anything.
Yo, this stuff is AWESOME, ladies! Want to ring in 2011 looking fresh-faced and glowing? Oh my God: ME TOO. Which is why I bought Benefit’s amazing High Beam Complexion Enhancer ($24). Just a little swipe on the cheek bones, then a little on the bridge of the nose, perhaps a dab on your collar bone and décolletage and presto: you are instantly transformed into the shimmery fairy goddess of the New Year that you are. Believe it.
Arghand was started by former NPR reporter Sarah Chayes, who traveled to Afghanistan in 2005 to do a story on the lifestyle of the men and women who live in the war-torn country. After discovering that the typical daily routine of the Afghani people essentially consisted of never-ending days producing opium, Sarah made it her mission to start a company dedicated to using Afghanistan’s natural resources in order to provide meaningful jobs for Afghanis–jobs outside of the drug trade.
Arghand is a product of Afghanistan’s abundant natural orchards, made possible by the cooperation of The Ministry of Agriculture and made by a small team of men and women who fabricate each product by hand. The brand features all-natural soaps, oils, creams, and balms, all available in a variety of delicious scents. 100% of proceeds are given directly back to the Afghani people who make the brand possible, in hopes of ultimately creating a lasting, self-sustainable, and non-drug-related working environment.
Oh, and this goes without mentioning: Arghand soaps, balms, and oils make one-of-a-kind gifts for the globally conscious people on your holiday list.
All photos are courtesy of the Arghand’s official website
During this time of twinkling lights and sparkly sprites, why not add some of that jing-a-ling bling to your very own flawless façade of a face? I personally love to sport metallics year-round, but they consistently seem to pick up steam around the holidays. Piggyback these shades onto the Old Hollywood golden glam styling of Armani Privé‘s Fall 2010 couture collection, and you’ll find it hard to turn the other cheek to a hell of a classy, timeless result. Follow our super simple tips below to see how you too can rock this look around town, from fabulous fêtes to everyday at the office.
Deck The Halls
For a day-to-day look, I like to stick with bronze tones. Urban Decay‘s YDK is a great subdued hue that goes on smooth and blends and builds great. Using an brush like Sephora‘s Double Ended Every Day Eye Brush and apply to the entire lid (never—ever–use those silly spongy things because they don’t distribute color evenly), paying close attention to the crease and the area just above your lashline. Then, without dipping back into the shadow, gently go over your brow bones to carry up a little color. Finally, for a little extra highlight, dip your brush into MAC‘s Nylon, lightly tap, and apply to the top outter edges of your brow bone and to the inner corners of your eyes. Easy-easey. Then, simply finish up with a coat of brown-black mascara.
Belle of the Ball
To really glam it up (à la Charlize Theron), we’re gonna go for the gold and start fresh by using some great shades in Urban Decay’s Sustainable Palate. Begin by applying Half Baked to your entire lid and to the bottom half of your brow bone (as in the backstage Armani photo). Then, little by little (gently tapping your brush after pick-up), start to blend in Twice Baked from just past the middle of your lid to just below the brow, following your natural line with a sweeping motion. If you go a bit overboard, don’t worry! Just use a clean finger to smudge and it’ll pick up the extra–or a Q-tip works great if you really jumped ship. Now, for the shimmer! First, using the short end of your eye brush, apply a light champagne color like UD’s Sellout to line the bottom lash line, following into your inner corners and about a third of the way up the top of the lash line (you’ll need to blend the top area with your finger a little). Finally, to top this look off, line ONLY the TOP of your lash line, beginning just past the inner side of your pupil with UD’s Oil Slick (also in the palate) and a flat angled brush. Be mindful to “wing it out” a bit at your corners. Finish up with your favorite volumizing mascara and, voilà! Viva la glam!
The great thing about true metallics (i.e. golds, silvers, bronzes, etc.) is that they are universally flattering. I have olive-toned skin and went from having cool platinum blonde hair to having warm Mary Jane red hair, and I was definitely able to carry over my full arsenal of heavy metals. Oh, and if you’re wondering why I pull a bit of favoritism for Urban Decay, it’s because they’re smack in the middle of their Friends and Family event. Enter 1FFNF at checkout to get 25% off your entire purchase, plus free shipping on orders of $15 or more, through 12/12. Enjoy!
If there is one thing that can completely ruin a beautiful face, it’s over-plucked eyebrows. Or, more specifically speaking, tadpole eyebrows, for those that know. I am shuddering right now at the mere thought…
Tadpole eyebrows are born when a woman thinks it’s okay to pluck the crap out of the front part of her brows for no good g-damned reason. I’m not referring to the end-tip of the eyebrow, but the part that borders the bridge of the nose. And I’m talking… plucking to the point where there’s no contrast between the end and the beginning of the eyebrow. Yikes. Poor Pam Anderson. Sadly, she is one of these women. My female friends: tadpole eyebrows are a beauty no-no and a rookie mistake. It is no longer 1995, you are not Drew Barrymore,* and this is not Boys on the Side… (thank God).
As far as I’m concerned, here’s what it boils down to: what some might call thick eyebrows or full eyebrows… are beautiful. Really! They are important, they serve as natural frame of your beautiful face! Why are you ungratefully plucking out what some women would kill to have? Think about when you’re 60. Think about the middle-aged ladies out there who are now resorting to ROGAINE (oh, they’re out there, I’ve met them). Yuck. Who wants to deal with that? Aging is hard enough as it is.
Take my advice: simply clean up your brows instead of plucking them into oblivion. Shape them… don’t rape them! Simply remove stray hairs and then lightly fill in any gaps within your natural brow shape with a pencil. I’m blonde, so I use Chanel’s crayon sourcil in taupe and then, Anastasia’s amazing brow highlighter + brow gel to finish off the look and keep it all in place. Trust me, it’s an impeccable trio.
Remember: Think… Jennifer Connelly. Gorgeous. Think… Diane Kruger (Helen of Troy for God’s sake—THIS WOMAN KNOWS)…
Just think, in general, before you tweeze… please? ♥
Over the course of my 28 years, it seems like I’ve had hair of just about every color and every style… and to be honest, I think I’ve learned a few things about what works when it comes to maintaining healthy hair. That being said, I’d like to share a few pointers with you. Now, I’ll admit: I am no trained expert. But if you are and you disagree—speak up! Let’s get a hair dialogue going. Just hear me when I say, these tricks have worked for me and they just keep on workin’…
1. In general, treat your hair like a piece of lace. Yes, that’s right. And really, it’s not that hard. This means you must avoid violently YANKING out your hair elastics and running a brush through it like it’s a lifeless piece of road kill. Remember, this is your hair, not a rag doll. The gentler you treat it, the better it will look all-round.
2. After conditioning, hit it with a cool rinse. Yes, it’s a bit uncomfortable, but after you lock in your conditioner, the shine you’ll be sporting is well worth that blast of cold water on a winter’s morning. Some experts dismiss this trick, but I personally notice a difference in my hair’s texture when I do this, even when it’s wet.
3. Brush your hair out post-shower with a wide-tooth comb. Please God, NOT with an ordinary brush. Unless you have the finest hair on the planet, and not a lot of it, that breakage you cause your poor, delicate, wet hair by trying to navigate through it with a soft-bristle brush is just cruel and unusual punishment. What did it ever do to you?
4. Oil. Befriend it. Your hair produces it naturally for a reason. Whether you are coating your hair pre-wash (VG recommends: coconut), using it as a leave-in conditioner (VG recommends: jojoba), or applying it to damp hair post-wash (VG recommends: MoroccanOil), it’ll revamp your locks like nobody’s business. Seriously.
5. Wash your hair the fewest number of times possible per week, especially if it’s color-treated. Those smarty-pants Europeans have been onto this one for a while, it’s time we caught up. Everyone is different, so the number of times will vary, but the best thing for your hair, ironically, is its natural oil. And don’t give me, “EWW, THAT’S GROSSSSS.” Stop. Dry shampoo: you’ve got to get used to the idea. There are TONS of options on the market now and at all price points. We like this one—it’s all-natural and smells like heaven. Now you can get used to sporting great-smelling, non-greasy hair that hasn’t been washed, faded, and dried into oblivion: woot!
Since the start of cold-weather season, my skin has been a mess. Over-dry, super oily, then broken-out in ways that seem incurable. My bad skin plague has inspired me to search for new-found methods of makeup application in order to draw attention to my most flattering facial features, at least while my skin tries to heal…
The following are some winter-inspired looks that are super easy to recreate; while the products featured here are not affiliated with these editorials by any means, they are easily attainable, budget-friendly options that will help you execute whichever look inspires you personally. We all know that true beauty lies on the inside, but when your “outside” doesn’t seem to be cooperating, you can at least try one of these fun looks and rassle some of that confidence back.
Look One: Playing Fashion, October 2010
What you’ll need:
1. Cover Girl Simply Powder Foundation ($8, CVS)
For that matte-finished face.
2. NYC Color Smooth Skin Bronzing Face Powder ($3, CVS)
Use sparingly for a subtle, natural glow.
3. NYC Color Sparkle Eye Dust in Opal ($3, CVS)
Apply in the corners of your eye, lightly blending outward (towards the crease) to create a natural, angel- eye look.
4. NYC Color Ultra Last Lipwear in Sugarplum (#218) ($3, CVS)
I really love a violet lip, but feel free to play with other flirtatious colors that compliment your skin tone. A pastel lip might seem weird at first, but you’ll receive tons of compliments by day’s end.
Look Two: Vogue Nippon, December 2010
What you’ll need:
1. Same powder and bronzer as above
Apply a more generous amount of bronzer under your cheek bones, jaw, and forehead for a glamorous 70’s glow that radiates fabulousness!
2. Cover Girl Perfect Blend Eyeliner Pencil in Basic Black ($4, Target)
For eyes, start with a sleek cat eye line on both the top and bottom lid.
3. Maybelline Eye Studio Cream Shadow Trio in Flash of Forest ($5, Target)
Next, start with the brown/gold shadow from your lash line, up to your crease. Blend up and out, past the end of your brow, keeping a straight shape the further out you blend. Use a tissue or piece of paper to help create the line past your brow. Repeat the step above using the emerald color above your crease, up to your brow (don’t be afraid of a little color!).
4. Cover Girl Eyebrow Pencil in whatever shade matches your hair color ($3,Target)
Create that strong, sassy brow by filling in your natural brow shape.
5. Maybelline Colossal Lash Mascara in Classic Black ($7, ULTA or CVS)
Top off the eye with this amazing mascara.
6. Revlon Super Lustrous Pearl Lipstick in Apricot Fantasy ($7, Walgreens)
And finally… the icing on the cake!
1. You can be used in a myriad of methods. From spraying over makeup to keep it all in place (and hydrated), to a quick pick-me-up spritz of moisture when I’m out and about (a winter must-have!)… and sometimes, even a little splash on the face in the morning to help me wake up. Hey, you remove my eye makeup pretty well too! Ugh, you’re so amazing.
2. You’re fortified. Knowing that your spring water contains a balanced mineral composition enriched with silicates makes me feel like I have some sort of control in this world full of chaos.
3. You’re just so damn refreshing. It’s the spray mechanism. Who would’ve thought this would be such a deal-breaker?! Let’s be real: this definitely beats pouring Aquafina down your face.
4. You’re affordable… and you last a long time (when not abused by Avène addicts).
5. You’re French. For me… that’s usually enough.
Whether you are dressing up as a standard vamp, devil, or super sexy seductress, here are some Halloween makeup must-haves that will take you from the darkness of the 31st to winter, and beyond!
Black waterproof eyeliner: My fool-proof fave is Stila’s Smudge Pot in black. You can easily control the width of your line using a fine liner brush with this cream waterproof eyeliner, and sketch out your look in a jiffy. From smoky-eyed siren to precise kitty whiskers, this cream will stay on until the wee hours of the night. Even better: come November, you can use this to line your eyes daily for a longwearing look that will elongate lashes and correct eye shape!
Looking for the perfect deep lip to divulge your devilish side? U.K.-based brand Illamasqua has a gorgeous chocolate-y burgundy shade with serious long-wear power in Growl. This matte lip color can be tapped on with a fingertip for a light berry stain or it can go full-on color to achieve that staple fall look of a deeply dark, lush lip.
Lastly, what is Halloween without lashes? Head over to a Makeup Forever boutique and check out this brand’s extravagant array of lashes for just about every creature you could conjure! Whether it be feathers, pearls, or just your standard strips for lengthening and thickening, Makeup Forever has got you covered for your sexy step out come Halloween night.
I am obsessed with natural beauty products, but my one complaint is that they always tend to be a leg up on the price chain from most other brands. So you can imagine how delighted I was in stumbling upon this fantastic deal from Sephora: a set of three Pacifica products, all infused with the brand’s intoxicating Indian Coconut Nectar scent. Um yes: INDIAN COCONUT NECTAR. Can we get a bravo for the marketing team on this one? Really… bravo. Think coconut + vanilla + a creamy vetiver + a dash of exotic floral. Mmmmm?
For a mere $28 you get three generous portions of product, including a 17oz body wash, an 8oz body butter, and a 0.33oz roll-on perfume. All of which is vegan and paraben and sulfate free. Superscore! And hey, BTW: no pressure, but Christmas is coming up. Just sayin’…
Because I sure do. While losing myself in the heavily fragranced aisles of Sephora just the other day, I came to realize that there are three beauty products that I simply can’t imagine my life without.
First up, Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment. I’m currently rocking their new Plum shade, but I also love Sugar and Rosé, a nude and blush respectively. These glosses taste and smell delicious, gliding on smooth while giving your lips a hint of luscious, matte color. Bonus: they also come equipped with SPF 15 and will leave your lips soft and super-moisturized.
Next on the list is Too Faced’s Naked Eye Soft and Sexy Eye Shadow Collection. This kit comes in a super adorable little package with a tiny brush stored away in a compartment at the bottom with three handy how-to cards on the side. Inside you’ll find nine shades, varying from matte creams and browns to smoldering grey and glittery black, which will take you from work to happy hour in two shakes of a sexy-eyed lamb’s tail. The end product is an understated yet dramatic eye that never fails to wrangle in the compliments!
Lastly, and just in time for Halloween, you too can frighten your friends or loved ones wearing Boscia’s Luminizing Black Mask. All kidding aside, I love the look and feel of this tingly jet-black mask while it dries. This product will leave your skin with a luminous glow and a soft, silky smooth texture. Say bye-bye to dry, dull skin this winter and hello to radiant gorgeousness.
Well now you know my secrets… ’til next time, my pretties!
Photos courtesy of Sephora.com
–KAREN MOORE, Guest Contributor
This is the best anti-frizz product line I have yet to try and believe me, I have tried everything!
Unfortunately, I wasn’t lucky enough to inherit my mother’s soft, straight locks. Thanks to dad, I have extremely thick, wavy hair that constantly frizzes. Very recently, while I was at Sephora playing around with oh, just about a million products in search of just the right one to share with our beloved VG readers, I suddenly found myself standing before this product. Its label was marked with the word “frizz” on it in bold with a line running through it; I thought that sent a pretty effective message, so I had to give it a try…
Apparently, Living Proof was founded by MIT scientists who came up with an entirely new molecule called PolyfluoroEster (PFE) that seals your hair follicle and repels moisture. And trust me: that new molecule really does the trick! Many anti-frizz products contain silicone and work only for couple hours, leaving leave my hair… crunchy. Living Proof contains zero silicone, leaves my hair incredibly soft, and lasts a heck of a lot longer. As if that weren’t enough, Living Proof’s leave-in conditioner gives my hair an ultimate long-lasting shine. I use the entire set: the shampoo, the conditioner, and the leave-in… and if you’ve got hair like I do, I would encourage you to do the same.
However, if you want to give the line a try before spending all that hard-earned cash, there is trial kit available on the brand’s website for a mere $25. Really though, if you’ve got a case of the frizzies like I do, go for it! You will have no regrets.
I love Physicians Formula‘s Organic Bronzer firstly, because it is organic. I’m actually not sure what that technically entails, but knowing that it at least harms my face less than other chemical-filled drugstore products makes me feel good. Secondly, quite simply, Physicians gives this bronze shine to my face that no other expensive products have.
I can’t live without Revlon Colorstay Liquid Eye Pen because it glides on so quickly and easily. Even early in the morning, I can effortlessly apply an even line without poking my eye out (yes I have done that before with other eyeliners).
Covergirl Exact Eyelights Mascara is awesome. Not only is it sold in custom tints to make your eye color really pop, what I actually love most about this product–aside from the friendly price of $7.99–ironically, is how it comes off. It doesn’t smudge or slide off during the day at all, and is truly the easiest mascara (that actually works) to remove I’ve ever tried. And I feel like I’ve tried ’em all.
Wet ‘n Wild Perfect Pair Eye Wand in Slate/Black WILL give you the perfect smoky eye in less than two minutes for less that four dollars ($3.99). It lives in my purse at all times.
L’Oréal True Match Concealer ($8.99) is hands-down the best concealer I have ever tried, and this includes YSL’s Touche Éclat. Mmmhmm. It blends great and truly does match my olive-ish skin tone.
Every beauty brand’s mascara claims to be the end-all be-all for your lashes. I’m here to tell you there can only be one, and I’ve found it! Maybelline’s Colossal Volume Express is the best mascara known to woman! It works on any type of lashes, is long-lasting, and easy to wash off. I’ve been hooked ever since a make up artist made me look like a movie star with one coat of this wondrous invention.
Affordable, easily accessible, and consistently re-stocked, boy do we love us some drugstore beauty finds. Here we present to you, VG’s general beauty must-haves. Make sure to keep us in mind on your next trip to Walgreen’s…
I am in love with a face wash from Neutrogena. It’s Pink Grapefruit Oil-Free Acne Wash. I just love how refreshing it is; it suds up really nicely and it doesn’t feel poisonous, like medicine that I have to be afraid of getting in my mouth and eyes.
The o-zone is not on your side anymore; you must to protect your skin. It’s the number one rule of proper skincare. Eucerin Everyday Protection is both an effective facial moisturizer and sunblock in one… for under $10.00. Plus, higher SPFs are hard to find in a facial moisturizer. But this isn’t grossly thick; I swear to you, it glides on like butter. I coat my face and neck in this before I step foot outside the house, always.
Dove Bar Soap for Sensitive Skin ($1.49!) is an all-star heavy-hitter in the soap game. I’ve loved it for years because it always leaves my skin feeling soft (even if I forget to moisturize) and it doesn’t leave that filmy layer behind, as oftentimes products similar to the hotel variety tend to do.
Hello, cold season! It seems like everyone I know has been attacked by the seasonal flu that makes its rounds every fall. Luckily, with a little rest and a trip to Walgreen’s, you can get back on your feet in no time. Emergen-C is LOADED with more vitamins than any normal person sees in a day to help kick your cold in the butt. I recommend drinking it fast, so you can get that extra boost of energy immediately. Sure, it’s not technically a beauty product per say, but no one looks beautiful when they’re sick and miserable.
When it comes to drugstore beauty, Garnier’s Nutri-Pure Detoxifying Wet Cleansing Towelettes never fail to make it to the top of my ‘CVS To Buy’ list. I use these just about every day nightly before washing my face; not only do they smell amazing, but they’re also oil-free and super convenient to tuck away into your bag for when you’re traveling or on-the-go. I’ve tried many a cleansing towelette in my day, but none superior to these; and most importantly, you won’t be left with an unpleasant, filmy residue common to other similarly priced products. Just gently wipe around your eyes and face to remove excess dirt, oil, and makeup and have your skin instantly cleansed, moisturized, and soothed. I like to follow-up with a dollop of Olay facial moisturizer smoothed over the surface of my face to conclude my nighttime regimen.
As you might imagine, the VG gang knows a thing or two about a thing or two when it comes to lip gloss. Okay, yes, that includes balms, sticks, salves… whatever makes your lips shiny, happy, and glossified. So please, take a peek at our top picks for your pucker. Trust us, we’ve done the legwork.
Three lip products I cannot live without: The first is Labellolip balm… in any color. And believe me, you’ve got tons from which to choose. My fave is classic Cherry. Labello rocks for many reasons (and now, newly available stateside, online! This is Euro-manufactured-and-approved, y’all.), but first and foremost, because it gives you a fresh swipe of color + blast of moisture with every application. So pick your flavor wisely! It’s a true indicator of the tint you’ll be touting. Next up: MACLipglass. To me, the ultimate lip gloss of all time. Pretty Plush will give you a perfect nude lip (alone or over lipstick), while Russian Red, my fave red gloss, will instantaneously render you femme-fatale material. Lipglass goes on, and stays put, like no other. The best iridescent gloss out there is, hands down, Chanel’s glossimer in Pin Up from the brand’s Lèvres Scintillantes line… this particular shade has been re-released and is sometimes hard to find, but it is out there! I’m with Sarah on this one (keep on reading to see what I mean): this formula, especially in this color, takes “gloss” to an entirely different level.
My fave lip glosses and why they pleasure me so: First, StilaLip Glaze, which provides longwearing shine and a hint of juicy color; Apricot is a staple on my lips and Guava never leaves my makeup kit. Just be careful… girls, this stuff will glue your hair to your face on a windy day. Next up is The Balm’s Plump Your Pucker lip gloss in Cocoa my Coconut. This product is a perfect creamy nude with a mild, minty plumping benefit, and the color is just opaque enough to color your lips without washing your face out to death. And finally, we have Kat Von D’s Painted Love lip gloss, a full-coverage liquid lipstick with a super glossy finish, this is perfect for those with deeply pigmented lips who crave a brighter gloss that won’t fade into their natural lip color.
My staples are Burt’s BeesLip Balm and Sephora’s Super Shimmer Lip Gloss. Recently, I picked up Origins’s Smileage Plus Sheer Smile-Worthy lip tint inVintage, which has turned out to be a perfect combination of the two: it hydrates my lips and emits a subtle shimmer. For a wow-your-lips-are-glossy effect, top yourself off with a small amount of Rosebud Salve.
It was back in 2002, when I first rounded that corner in Sephora and saw DuWop’s lip plumper… that was the day I knew we would be together forever. Sure it goes on with a little more sparkle than a man might be able to pull off (psh!) but it certainly works like a charm! There is nothing like that first tingling sensation; I used to think it was collagen in a jar. Want plumped-up (literally), sexified lips? Meet your new obsession.
My faves? C.O. Bigelow’s Strawberry Shake Mentha Lip Shine: First off, this stuff smells and tastes (hehe) delicious! But what I really love about this sweet treat is that is does double duty as both a lip balm and a gloss, giving you just the right amount of light pink sparkly shine; and it’s not so gloppy and overly tinted that the b/f will shy away from smooching you. Then there’s NYXMega Shine lip gloss (in Plush Red)… in Greek mythology, Nyx was the sultry and shadowy goddess of the night, which is just what you’ll become in this super sexy gloss. It glides on like butter and, honestly, is the best red gloss I’ve found. BONUS! This is another double-duty-drug-store-beauty: not only will your pout appear mega-juicy when the gloss is in full force, but you’ll be left with a lovely “just bitten” tint once it’s gone.
As if their clothes weren’t classy enough, Chanel‘s Lèvres Scintillantes line of lip gloss will leave you star-struck. A splash of color, a touch of shimmer, and long-lasting wear-ability make this the ultimate lip gloss… for life!
Merci beaucoup for giving me that certain je ne sais quoi that is oh-so-feminine but curiously masculine at the same time. Mais, masculine? Pourquoi?
Ahh, c’est parce que Crazylibellule‘s collection of seven solid twist-up parfums is inspired by les Garçonnes of the 1920’s; they are a salute to the strong, charismatic women of yester-year who were not afraid to don trousers, short coifs and dresses à la Louise Brooks. These women were sexy, tenacious individuals… much like each of these frangrances.
What draws me to Chère Louise in particular, are its spicy undertones lent by vetiver and pepper that are simultaneously softened by notes of hyacinth, rose, and iris. Something about this scent just gives me an instant joie de vivre. Louise currently resides in my purse and, especially during my AM commute via public transit, is right there when I need her to reach out gently and caress the nape of my neck with her essence… which always lasts throughout the day.
Is oil the new gloss? Well, I don’t think we’d go that far, but let’s just say that a fave beauty secret at VERY GLOSSY is definitely… essential oil(s). Of all kinds! They’re awesome. No, really. They are. Proof: essential oils are all-natural, obviously (always a plus), but they’re also pretty inexpensive, easy to find (hello, Walgreens), and can be used in an overabundant number of ways. Here are our favorites:
SARAH: Tea Tree Oil
Since I have sensitive skin that’s prone to breakouts, tea tree oil is my savior. It’s gentle enough to soothe and refine, but strong enough to clear problem areas in a day. Prevent breakouts and keep your skin feeling fresh by applying once daily after cleansing. You’ll see a difference in no time.
DUYGU: Jojoba Oil
A friend of mine recommended jojoba oil for my oily skin, and it really did work like magic! Here’s the trick: jojoba oil is quite similar to actual sebum in human skin, so it helps balance out the natural sebum that’s already there. However, I like to use jojoba oil not only as a moisturizer, but also as a body oil for a quick pick-me-up glow, as a make-up remover, and as a leave-in conditioner that makes my hair look shinier than ever.
JEAN: Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has saved my hair. I truly believe this. I’m pretty blond (read: I get blonde highlights regularly), so it’s important to keep my hair super-moisturized so that, ultimately, it doesn’t start to resemble fried straw. Coconut oil, which I’m sure you can imagine, smells good enough to eat (use it as a healthy sub for fattier oils when cooking too, no joke!); I put it on my dry hair before shampooing and leave it for about 30 minutes (or longer if I have time–even overnight works if you want ultra-saturation). My hair soaks it right up, and when it has dried, it’s smoother than ever and NOT greasy. I swear. I also like to use coconut oil as a body moisturizer, especially in the summer. It’s light, ultra-absorbent, and smells like the beach. In fact, I’d bathe in this stuff if I could afford it. Go for the jumbo tub (yes, tub: coconut oil has a thick, white, gel-like texture) at your local organic grocer (buying organic is key, you need all those nutrients intact!) or at Whole Foods, and it’ll last you a lifetime. Yum.
Being that I just went from having superduperasianjetblack hair to superduperwhiteplatinumblonde (and this, after I Japanese straightened it just six months ago), my hair was drier than a covered bridge. Keyword: was. Thanks to the magicalness that comprises the MoroccanOil Oil Treatment, my hair has never been healthier. Being that it’s a treatment, MoroccanOil conditions and strengthens your hair while keeping it frizz-free and kempt.
Don’t let the name fool you—yes, the product is an oil, but it’s a lightweight one that is easily absorbed into your hair, as proven by the lack of grease left on your hands after you’ve applied it to your locks. Highlights? Your hair will be left smelling great, the product is an alcohol-free one, and most of all, it will leave your hair with an enviable, healthy shine.
UPDATE: MoroccanOil Oil Treatment now comes in a light version for blondes and fine-haired humans.
I am love, love LOVINGthese new shades from Chanel! LES KHAKIS for those of you who speak French—ha!
Perfect to compliment fall’s military, industrial trends, these colors will give you just the right splash of understated chic that will go with essentially everything you own.
The only problem I’m encountering is which one I’m willing to spend to spend $25.00 on. It’s a close call, but there’s something particularly intriguing about the Khaki Rose… it simply must be mine.
Women are constantly complaining about the pressure to be perfect all the time, what with their painful regimens of makeup, heels, waxing, and all…
But little do they know, men must face the horror of shaving. Every. Single. Day. It is taking a knife to your precious face and it freaking hurts!
I dread it every morning. However, I have managed to find a little trick that will help those of you also live in fear and dread of shaving. It is… conditioner! I have started using conditioner as my shaving cream and it has truly changed everything. It will make the hairs on your face ridiculously soft and your face as smooth as a baby’s bum. You don’t even have to get an expensive brand, anything will work. I personally use Aveda’s Rosemary Mint Conditioner because I love the tingle. I also like to follow up the shave with a warm wash cloth and a slap of after shave from L’Occitane. The smell is pure heaven and it will start your day off right, knife-to-face-situation and all…
Dear Fellow Blondes and Other Colorful Friends, Alike,
Meet your new best friend: Klorane’s Gentle Dry Shampoo. If you suffer from parched hair with an oily scalp, much like my bleached-blonde self,** you are left in a constant quandary of to wash or not to wash?
Or, Is it really worth having to put my arid hair through the torture tactics of heat tools just to beat the grease? Well, worry no more, my dears…
Now you can simply mist in some of this cutely canned goodness; I recommend a firing distance of about 12″, aimed at the scalp. Then, lightly massage it in with your fingertips, gently brush, and you’re good to go!
Unlike some other dry shampoos on the market, Klorane’s will leave your hair feeling lighter, cleaner, and full of volume. I personally love to pin my locks up into a cute chignon post-cleaning.
**Dark-haired gals, don’t fret! Though the powder is white, simply opt for a little lighter application and be sure to massage it well into your roots.
Well, it’s only taken me about 15 years. Yes, more than a decade… and I’ve finally found the perfect powder. This is it… MAC’s Mineralize Skinfinish Natural Powder. I’m never going back.
What makes it so perfect, you ask? Welllll. For one, this is the first powder I have purchased where I don’t feel incomplete wearing it sans foundation. The coverage is just *that* good. Most people see “mineral” or “natural” and think, “this is for sissies, give me the big girl stuff.” Let it go, this is mineral makeup, and it kicks some big-time ass…
In fact, I was shocked when I read on MAC’s website that this deemed a “low-coverage” powder formula… because my face begs to differ.
Just apply the product using an oversized powder brush, and I swear to you, it sweeps on easier than you could imagine, and literally, instantly camouflages redness and/or discoloration.
I don’t know about you, but I love a good bottle (or two) of wine every now and then…
This ridiculously amazing eye cream will, without a doubt, wake your eyes up after a long night out drinking (or not) with friends.
Appropriately named “Eye Alert,” it contains both caffeine and vitamin E in order to combat the signs of a “long fight or a long night” (or a good cry!).
I started using this product a few months ago, and now, I am completely addicted. I like to combine it with any one of Kiehl’s eye creams, particularly the Cryste Marine firming cream; it really is the perfect combo to fight aging.
I am a very low maintenance gal, so remembering to apply moisture to my elbows and knees doesn’t necessarily come naturally to me…
I recently re-discovered The Body Shop’s Cocoa Butter Moisturizing Stick in my beauty stash and after application, my skin literally stayed silky for twenty-four hours. Packed with essential fatty acids and antioxidants, this product was designed for pregnant tummies, but let’s face it, we all have a couple of unwanted stretch marks.
And I’ve tried… tons.
It’s not too harsh yet not too gentle, scrubbing away every last dead cell and leaving nothing but a refreshing scent behind.
I’ve found a winner, and I’m sticking with it.
Deal breaker: Boscia products are all-natural, sans parabens and sulfates.
My quick picks of this season’s must-have shades, just for you.1. Greens. Yup, green is carrying over from summer to fall, but take my advice and keep it on the deeper side. A great choice is OPI’s Cuckoo For This Color(which is darker and more shimmery than its bottle suggests).2. Metallics, especially gold. I can’t decide if I like the dingy metal shades or pure gold better (NARS’s Versailles is drop-dead gorgeous!), so I’ll leave the choice to you. But really, any metallic will do.
3. Red. Perhaps not the most common choice on top pick lists, but I think this is a great (and classic) option for this season, especially if you’re looking to embody the “pop of red” fall trend without forcing yourself to buy a bright poppy blazer. Essie’s classic, Lollipop, is a great choice.
4. Grays. Probably riding off of the summer’s taupe craze, grays of all shades will be hot this fall. My favorite is by YSL, Stormy Grey.
5. Chanel’s Violet-Gray. Yes, a rather specific choice, but I think Paradoxal is amazing (as is the name), especially if sporting straight-up grey nails seems counterproductive to you. Leave it to Chanel to mix masculine with a friendlier purple tone for a color that is more feminine, not to mention intriguing, than your typical shade of gray.
I first learned of Caudalie via a program on either TLC or the Style Network, featuring a lux spa located in the Bordeaux region of France, the very region where the brand’s secret ingredient is derived from… grape seeds?Yes, that’s right. Not ones to waste in the world of wine-making, the French have, bien sûr, discovered a way to make use of the whole grape, thus taking your inner and outer aura to a quite lovely place. Dubbed vinotherapy, each and every one of Caudalie’s products contains the line’s patented grape seed extract, which is chock full of minerals that both protect and brighten your skin.Being an avid supporter of all-natural products and being quite taken with the formulation process, both scientifically and aesthetically (the vineyard and spa are jaw-droppingly bucolic), I decided to take the brand’s most popular product, Caudalie Beauty Elixir, for a test-drive.
Touted as a toner, serum, and makeupsetter, this mist knocks it out of the park on all counts. Infused with awakening essential oils derived from rosemary and mint and diluted in soothing orange blossomwater, I must admit… I have never felt anything more refreshing. It’s like a little euphoria in a bottle–on demand.
Snap up the travel size and stash it in your bag for a quick pick-me-up par avion, or spritz a bit on while lounging pool-side for an instant cool down. The versatility of this product is endless… much like my test-drive.