Reviews

April 17th, 2014  |  15 Comments   

A TV Veteran’s Camera-Ready Must-Haves

TV personality Megan Meany has reported on everything from the hottest celebrity news for E! News Live, to the latest fashion trends for the Style Network, and even traffic reports for WNBC. Today Megan is a lifestyles expert and host who appears on some of TV’s top national programs such as “Today” and “The Rachael Ray Show.” After all these years under studio lights, Megan has come to rely on some no-fail beauty products to help her look her best for every single show. She’s guest-posting on Gloss today to tell us more about her must-haves.

Megan Meany’s Must-Haves:

As a lifestyle reporter my beauty must-haves are like guardian angels. They never fail me. It’s how I shine (not melt) in the spotlight. Over the years, spinning through many a-makeup chair I’ve collected insights from my on-camera comrades and the professional artists who primp us to perfection.

 

Here are my Must Haves for an A+ appearance …

1. I never set foot on a morning show without smoothing my skin the night before with Peter Thomas Roth’s Glycolic Acid 10% Hydrating Gel. I used to pay for pricey chemical peels until a make-up artist at NBC told me a trip to Sephora could improve texture, lighten sun spots and fight wrinkles. I’ve been using this product ever since.

2. Proper highlighting is a must for serious star power. Mally’s Light Wand Eye Brightener in the inside corner of the eyes and just under the eyebrow makes me look like I got 8 hours of sleep even when I was reporting the traffic at 4:30 a.m.

 3. One day during an appearance at VH1 the music stopped, we took a commercial break, and they touched me up with Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Illuminatorit’s a must on cheekbones for that  luminescent, J. LO- perfect glow.

4. Here’s a trick you can use from the studio to sidewalk: Individual fake eyelashes are a natural way to extend your lashes. Ditch the strips. If you’re a first timer, black glue  like this one from Lus is more forgiving with mistakes than clear.

5. When I don’t have time to hit the salon, I’ve learned how to blow-dry my own hair and it’s all about the brush. 3ME professional brushes are Italian-made in metal or hair and they cut static. People ask me all the time if I’ve just come from a blow out.

6. On a recent TV trip to Los Angeles a producer begged me not to scare West Coast viewers with my white East Coast gams! We drove to the nearest CVS and bought Sally Hansen’s Airbrush Legs. I got an instant five day Malibu beach tan for $12. Compare that to $65 professional spray tan and you know why this is a must have!

Read more from Megan on her blog, www.MegansMustHaves.com 

March 26th, 2014  |  Comment   

Beachy Waves: Kerastase Spray-a-Porter

First of all, please excuse the fact that these pics were taken in my messy lavatory, a.k.a “That ’70s Bathroom.” (That’s really what I call it, since 1973 was roughly the last time it was renovated. Whatever, it’s “vintage.”)

Once upon a time I’d just gotten home after a long day, which included a work dinner in San Francisco.

It was late — around 11:30 p.m. (when I’m normally, blissfully, in my first cycle of REM sleep) — and I was really, REALLY glad to see that my hair was still bouncy and big.

Thank you, Kerastase Spray a Porter ($35 for a 150ML bottle).

I had a moment — the moment when a hair styling product evolves from a mild obsession into a full-on holy grail — and felt the sudden urge to commemorate the moment by taking a selfie.

Or two.

Or three.

If you’re a fan of casual, bed-head beachy waves, this flexible hold styling spray is fan-freaking-tastic! Just spray on wet or dry hair to add volume, hold and texture, and then either air dry or use a blowdryer.

Kerastase Spray a Porter ($35 for a 150ML bottle)

I prefer to air dry because I feel like the blowdryer leaves my hair looking messy, as opposed to purposefully tousled.

Once my hair is fully dry, sometimes I’ll kick it up a notch by grabbing a large-barrel curling iron, curling a few random pieces, and then spritzing everything one more time all over with Spray a Porter.

Either way, I end up with lifted, beachy waves worthy of (at least in my mind) a Victoria’s Secret runway.

I’ve tried more beachy wave sprays than I can count, and this one stands atop them all. The ones that fall short either zap every molecule of moisture from my hair, leave it feeling dry and crunchy, or lack hold or volume-boosting power (volume boosting-ness?).

Kerastase’s Spray a Porter gets the job done. For me, it’s a game-changer!

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,

Karen

March 18th, 2014  |  Comment   

Eye Makeup Tutorials: Urban Decay Electric Palette

Urban Decay has a reputation for producing colorful and highly pigmented palettes, but UD’s newest creation takes color to a whole new level—it’s electric. Comprised of ten bold shades, these colors are truly eye-catching. From matte to shimmer and even a little bit of glitter, these neon hues do not disappoint when it comes to color pay off. The palette is released today and you can buy it here.

Don’t be intimidated by these bright shadows–nothing brightens up a look like a pair of bold, statement eyes. We’ve created two easy eye looks with this palette to help you master the art of bright eyes.

Triple Bold Wing

Colors used:  Thrash and Revolt

  1. Apply a white eye shadow stick to your entire lid. This creates a base for the shadow.
  2. Using the shade, Revolt, use a blending brush and apply this color to your lid.
  3. Using white eyeliner, start at the crease of your eye to create a thick wing.
  4. Apply Thrash with a thin-tipped brush (I used the UD brush that comes with the palette) over the white wing.
  5. Layer your wing and apply the same white pencil underneath.
  6. Highlight the inner corner of your eye using a thin-tipped brush with the shade, Thrash.
  7. Apply white eyeliner underneath your waterline to define your eyes.
  8. Using a black liquid liner, create your third wing underneath the white eyeliner.

Electric Blue Eyes

 Colors used: Gonzo, Chaos, Fringe and Revolt

  1. Apply Revolt with a blending brush on the inner corner of your eyes.
  2. Blend the shade, Gonzo, into Revolt with a thin-tipped brush.
  3. On the base of your lid, apply Fringe with a fluffy brush. Blend this shade outward to generate a smokey effect.
  4. Using your finger, apply revolt just above your lash line to add sparkle.
  5. Using a thin-tipped brush, apply Chaos underneath your waterline.
  6. Finish the look with liquid liner and mascara for bold, blue eyes.

 

March 4th, 2014  |  Comment   

Chapstick Gets a Sweet Makeover

There are a few things we almost always have in our purses–iphones, hand sanitizer, various lipstick tubes, and good old Chapstick.

Chapstick is a classic that has kept our lips smooth through many a harsh winter and we’re excited to announce that there’s a new tube on the block. The classic brand is adding two limited-edition flavors to their classic lineup for spring: Pomegranate Gum Drop and Citrus Jelly Bean.

We gave both flavors a spin and we’re hooked. They offer the same great Chapstick moisturizing power you know and love and the scents are sweet but not overpowering. Our favorite is the Pomegranate Gum Drop but treat yourself and give both flavors a go! Whether you’re preparing to stuff some Easter baskets or get your lips in tip top shape for warmer weather, these sweet lip-savers are the perfect pick.

February 28th, 2014  |  12 Comments   

10 Under $10: Best Hair Care And Styling Products

Beauties, there are a bevy of fabulous follicle-focused launches this month in the world of affordable hair care. Whether your spring hair inspiration is ’60s big (that’s always mine), ’90s sleek and straight, or cute and curly, these ten items will help you achieve your best coif. Here they are, in no particular order.


1. Nexxus Color Assure Shampoo is sulfate free, so it won’t fade color and includes luxe ingredients like white orchid and almond, coconut and argan oils to revive ravaged locks.


2. John Frieda Frizz Ease Unwind Curls Calming Creme ($7) is a new take on my long-time favorite product, Unwind, with a softer feel. Apply this formula to damp curls and feel them literally unclench to blow out more easily and more quickly. You can also air-dry for relaxed waves.


3. Vo5 Smooth and Sleek Shampoo ($3.50) It doesn’t get more economical than this sweet-smelling shampoo. I love this one for washing pre-curling-iron waves. It keeps my hair sleek even though I rough-dry it instead of properly straightening it before imparting undulations with my Sarah Potempa Beachwaver.


4. L’Oreal Advanced Hairstyle Sleek It Iron Straight HeatSpray ($5) Five bucks scores you lightweight heat protection up to 450 degrees, manages frizz and blocks humidity for a sustainable style – 3 days’ worth, to be exact. L’Oréal Paris Consulting Celebrity Hairstylist Mara Roszak suggests that you spray it on damp hair starting at the ends then rough dry until completely dry. You then re-spray the hair lightly, brush through and then flat iron. “The heat spray is a perfect way to cut out the round brush blow-dry and go straight into the smooth straight look you want,” she says.

 


5. Garnier Fructis Hair Care Triple Miracle Dry Oil ($6) A jewel for travel, this does-it-all oil will stop your ends from looking ragged but also moisturizes your face and body in a pinch.


6. Dove Advanced Series Oxygen Moisture Root Lift Spray ($7) This fresh-scented spray yields plush volume at the root, key for extending your blow-out an extra 24-36 hours. For real.


7. Pantene Weekly Rehab Creme ($7) You know how those at-home color conditioner tubes are always unicorn-levels of magic on stressed strands? Think of this deep treatment as one you can buy a la carte. It made my hair glossier and less tangled than it’s been in a while.


8. John Frieda Full Repair Hydrate + Rescue Deep Conditioner ($10) resuscitates wrecked tresses with hydration to instantly improve the look and feel of damage after just one use, thanks to Inca Inchi Oil.


9. Suave Professionals Split End Rescue Shampoo & Conditioner ($4 each) If your ends routinely resemble a peace-sign within weeks of a trim, this cleanser and conditioner is officially your slow jam. It mends ends like no one’s biz, plus, it smells divine.


10. TREsemme Keratin 7-Day Regimen Set ($7) For under $10, you get this entire smooth-hair set that will keep frizz and kinks at bay for a full week. It includes shampoo, conditioner and a heat-activated treatment to help you feign a straight mane.

What are your favorite hair care products of late?

February 26th, 2014  |  1 Comment    

Feelin’ Feline Fierce Wearing Katy Perry Lashes by Eylure

Feelin’ Feline Fierce wearing Katy Perry Lashes by Eylure in Feline Fierce ($6.99)

Katy Perry: pop star extraordinaire, cat lady, false fringe aficionado.

Uh…what?

Yup, you read that correctly. Katy Perry has a line of false lashes, appropriately named Katy Perry Lashes, which are both 1) super affordable ($6.99 each) and 2) all kinds of awesome.

I was a little surprised when I found out about them, even though they’ve been out for a while, but I guess they just hadn’t crossed my radar until now.

I wish they had.

There are four new styles out now for spring — Feline Fierce, which I’m wearing in the top pic; Punk Princess; Banging Beauty and Lovely Lolita — and I’m infatuated with them all. I like them just about as much as the false lashes I usually wear when I wear false lashes, the $16 33 Lashes by MAC.

Feline Fierce

 

Lovely Lolita

 

Banging Beauty

 

Punk Princess

Compared to the 33s, these cost less than half as much ($6.99 versus $16), and because they’re carried at most drugstores and Ultas, they’re very easy to find (sometimes I don’t want to trek all the way to the mall).

These new spring styles also have something of an edge to them… Nothing too crazy, but I like the range of options Katy gives, from the more dramatic Feline Fierce (perfect for a night on the town) to the more natural Lovely Lolita, which still has some kick.

That one is my favorite pair from the spring line because it’s fine for daytime but still only about two seconds away from hitting the club.

Not that I hit the club very often (*cough*, anymore, *cough*).

A closeup of Feline Fierce…

Also in the plus column, these are 100 percent natural, and they don’t look plastic or fake, unlike some other drugstore brands that shall remain nameless…

But I think what really makes them stand out is how easy they are to apply, especially for someone (like me) who’s normally all thumbs when it comes to applying false lashes, and especially full strip styles like these.

No drama at all.

Seriously, they’re a breeze. I just run a tiny amount of the adhesive, which comes with them, by the way, along the lash strip (I’m serious. You only need a tad.), wait for about 30 seconds, look down into a mirror, set the lashes directly on top of my natural lashes, and squeeeeeeeze the false lashes together with my real ones.

A closeup of Lovely Lolita…

They even comfortable! — even the dramatic styles, which is unusual, I think. Most of the time with other false lashes I’ve tried, in particular super long, thick lashes, I get a headache after a while from how heavy they feel (I’m very sensitive about anything near my eyes), and I end up having to take them off halfway through the day.

These, on the other hand, don’t feel heavy at all.

Lovely Lolita — my favorite style

They’re a great drugstore find. I only wish I’d discovered them sooner.

I definitely plan to stock up on Lovely Lolita next time I see them at CVS or Ulta. They’re also available online.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,

Karen

February 6th, 2014  |  Comment   

Cult Cabinet: 4 Rose Fragrances to Fall in Love With

Who needs to wait for a love to bring them flowers next week when everything is coming up roses in the world of fine fragrance?  I personally plan to take matters into my own hands and buy myself my own rose … one that comes in a super pretty bottle, that is! 

Rose has long been at the heart of perfumery, but fell out of favor as an “older” or soapy scent for many years.  Recently, a new harvest of roses has bloomed that modernize this cult classic note for today’s woman, with perfumers taking exciting and creative approaches to the flower.

From girlie to intense, fresh to sensual, a rose isn’t a rose anymore.  Here are 4 great takes on the trend:   

1. Roses De Chloé ($95) – If you love ballet flats and could survive on macarons alone, this scent is for you.  Chloé is one of my cult classic fragrances, and this twist on the ultra-chic original marries rose with a modern magnolia for an ethereal experience.

2. Dolce e Gabbana Rose The One ($108) - If a little black dress and killer heels is more your thing, this sensual version of Dolce e Gabbana’s blockbuster The One has a lean-into-me powdery softness that goes from dusk till dawn.

3. Early Roses by Teo Cabanel ($110) – If you live in a white tee and jeans, this unique and effortless fragrance is the simple, fresh way to wear rose that evokes a walk through a dewy garden in Spring.  From cult perfumer Teo Cabanel, it’s the kind of scent you want to spray in your hair, on your pillows, in your car …

4. Rose Oud by Perfumes de Nicolai ($78) – For the explorer at heart (and for serious perfume afficianadas), this creative scent marries two niche fragrance trends: rose and oud.  Here, a fruity raspberry rose is blended with intriguing, mysterious notes of oud -  a smokey, wood-derived ingredient with Middle Eastern origins.  Sexy and intriguing, it’s bound to have people asking “Where did you get that scent?’

And remember – these last way longer than the real thing anyway!

January 31st, 2014  |  1 Comment    

The 3 Best Hair Masks For Your Hair Type

Like this mask, only better.

THIS WEATHER. This weather. I’ve just about had it with polar vortex 2.0 and 3.0 and so have my strands. They are all, “Bahamavention me, PLEASE.” And then I have to be all, “We’ve got another 2-3 months of this staticky, zero-hydration precipitation situation before you go back to your shiny, flaxen, former version of yourself.” But in the meantime, it’s all about masks (or masques, if you want to be fancy about it), and plenty of them. Here, my three favorites for dry, normal, and oily locks. Best of all? Each one is available at the drug store for under $10.

Seriously dry/color treated/scandalous locks get treated to this little gem–Neutrogena’s Triple Moisture Recovery Hair Mask–which at $6 is full-throttle hair help in a bottle. It blends olive, meadowfoam seed, and sweet almond oils to resuscitate ravaged hair. Use it once a week on a Sunday while cleaning out your purse and watching Girls and I promise you’ll see smoother strands come Monday. Trust.

Normal hair that maybe just needs to be cut, like, a month ago needs the expertise of John FriedaFull Repair Full Body Conditioner. If amplifying volume is your goal (but your ends are still suffering), this moisturizing 5-minute miracle is an ends game-changer. I like to re-suds my roots with shampoo post-application to give my hair more gravitas.

Even Oily hair needs moisture and Aussie 3-Minute Miracle is my favorite way to impart it. The trick is to use a very small amount, only on the ends and to rinse it out after 1 or 2 minutes (I know, sacrilege, but that three minute stuff is for those with either thick or dry hair – oily roots require strategy!). For winter weather, this inexpensive deep treatment will give raggedy ends the slip they need to stay healthy in sub-Arctic temps.

What’s your favorite mask?

 

January 28th, 2014  |  2 Comments   

Editor Obsession: Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm

I’m a recent convert to the bold lip scene. I dabbled in a few red and pink shades back in the day but until working for Ladies’ Home Journal I didn’t realize the true power of a statement pout. When I did begin to dip my toe in the pool of lipsticks, balms, stains, and lacquers my first stop was the drugstore (I didn’t want to drop major bucks on products before I knew if I could rock them!) One of the very first items I went home with was a Revlon Colorburst Balm Stain and from then on I was hooked. Since that first fateful purchase I’ve hoarded Revlon’s long-wearing, convenient balm stains and (excited squeal) they recently released two new formulas–matte balm stain and lacquer balm stain.

I went straight for the matte shades as soon as I could get my hands on them. As you can see below I tried each and every shade! I did a test-run with several hues over a couple of weeks and I couldn’t be happier with the results. Not only are these stains richly pigmented, easy to carry, and even easier to apply (thanks to their pencil-like shape) they also have incredible staying power. My color lasted through water-bottle sipping, snacking, and a couple hello kisses to the hubby. Plus, unlike other stains I’ve tried, these little sticks didn’t dry out my lips.  The matte look of these balm stains is incredibly chic and every color I tried got major compliments at work.

Here are my tips for flawless application:

1. Exfoliate! If there are two things that don’t mesh in the beauty world it’s dry, flaky lips and a matte lip color–disaster! You want your lips to be as smooth as possible before you apply color.

2. Keep the rest of your makeup low key. A statement lip shouldn’t compete for attention with heavily made-up eyes or bright blush.

3. My favorite trick when wearing a matte shade is to add highlighter to your cupid’s bow (those little peaks above your upper lip). This will bring some light to your lips and keep the matte color from looking flat.

Check out the color guide below to find your favorite shade!

COLOR GUIDE:

Elusive / Sultry
Mischievous / Complex
Shameless / Audacious
Showy / Standout
Striking / Unapologetic

January 24th, 2014  |  1 Comment    

Beauty Detox: Products for a Gorgeous New Year

 

I don’t know about you, but the holidays left me feeling a little gross. I definitely needed to hit the reset button on my diet and my beauty routine. Between piling on every gold, sparkly makeup product known to woman (hey, I like to get festive!) and the endless parade of sweets that left my skin a little drab, I needed a fresh start. Now I don’t believe in making tons of unrealistic resolutions, and I also don’t believe that humans need to pull toxins from our bodies via drastic detox regimes. (Nope, not really a thing.) But I do think that the new year is a great time to refresh both mind and body, so I went in search of some fun detox beauty products to get me in the mood. (Call it the January equivalent of pine-scented, sparkly-Christmas-festive.) My faves:

This Nip + Fab Detox Blend Body Lotion ($10) is a delight. The scent is a delicious mixture of tea tree, jasmine, and green tea that smells vaguely medicinal (in a really, strangely good way—I promise). It absorbs quickly—my lotion must-have—but leaves skin super-soft so it’s moisturizing enough to stand up to this wacky winter we’re having.

Did I mention my skin looked blah? Between the flaky wind-chap (terrifying) and the clogged pores, there was absolutely no winter glow happening. That’s why I love Doll Face’s Refine Peel-Away Refining Gel Mask ($28). You let it dry and then peel it off (which I find strangely satisfying) so it deep-cleans and exfoliates but it’s also moisturizing thanks to the hyaluronic acid. Perfect for winter skin that needs both kinds of TLC!

My hair had also gotten bogged down: In a way-overboard attempt to hydrate, I’d been slathering on a super-moisturizing shampoo plus a super-moisturizing conditioner plus styling products (yes, multiple). Enter this Pantene Damage Detox Daily Revitalizing Shampoo ($5). It gives you a good deep clean but it’s gentle enough for daily use. And it smells great. Welcome back shiny, bouncy hair.

The lesson? You can definitely have too much of a good thing—booze, Christmas cookies, and yes, even moisturizer. It’s all about balance, and that’s a beautiful New Year’s goal we can all embrace.

— Amanda Wolfe

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