They say April is the cruelest month, but I’m feeling like March is pretty painful! Spring is just around the corner, but in reality we’re stuck inside, with man-made heat sucking the last drops of dewy from our skin. But let’s look on the bright side – what better time to sit around watching entire seasons of your favorite show on Netflix and quenching your face with a mask?
There’s been tons of innovation in the mask category of late, from new formula feels to unique product payoffs. Here are 4 fresh takes on refreshing your skin:
1. Boscia The Art of Multi-Masking Set ($42)- If you’ve heard about this brand’s cult status masks (including their infamous Luminizing Black Mask) but been unsure which to try, pick up this brilliant sampler which comes with a brush – such a luscious way to apply a mask, making it a relaxing ritual before the product’s even started working.
2. Bliss No Zit Sherlock ($38)- This rubberizing mask “envelopes” skin to let acne-fighting ingredients sink in while sucking out the bad stuff – a superhero worthy attack strategy for time-of-the-month troubles or less-than-perfect complexion.
3. The Face Shop Living Nature Sheet Mask 15 Pack ($21.99) – Since you’re hiding inside in your sweatpants anyway, fear not the scary look of these sheet masks, which feel cool and relaxing and won’t mess up your clothes or hair like a cream or mud mask. This awesome sampler pack of 15 different natural versions, from Aloe to Pomegranate to Rice to Honey, will keep you entertained and beautiful until the sun starts shining in April.
4. Nars Aqua Gel Luminous Mask ($39)- Whether you have 10 minutes before a night out, or the entire night (and maybe a water-proof pillow), this ultra-hydrating gel mask gives skin a brightening, refreshing boost. According to studies, 91% agreed that skin felt renewed (the other 9% were in a bad mood – hang in there guys, Spring is just around the corner)!
What’s your end-of-Winter rejuvenating ritual?
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.
January feels like a great month for trying new things and considering a fresh take on your routine. – Here in NYC, where temps are hovering in the lowest digits and skin is at it’s driest, it’s also an opportune time to ditch harsh cleansers for a gentler approach!
If you’ve found your skin tiring (or tightening …) of the ultra-popular spin brushes, here are 4 completely different approaches to cleansing that marry gentle exfoliation and smoothing with gentle deep cleansing. From cult classics to the new and exotic, each feels like a new sensation …
1. Boscia Konjac Cleansing Sponge ($18) This vegetable material feels like nothing you’ve touched before – unless you’ve been deep sea diving lately! Ever-popular in Asia, it’s naturally detoxing properties pair with your favorite cleansing to create a gently foaming, smoothing effect.
2. Eve Lom Cleanser ($80) For the price of a single facial, you can invest in the cult nightly routine that many swear has changed their skin. Unfurl Eve’s soft muslin cloth and her map-like instructions as to how to apply, massage, and remove her ultra-luxe cleansing balm (it’s the most relaxing ritual ever), and you may find your routine, and possibly your mental state, changed for life. Tip: if you already have a favorite cleansing balm or oil, take a tip from Eve and pick up a muslin cloth (aka cheese cloth) – you can buy them at the supermarket!
3. Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser ($24.50) If you’ve ever been given a warm cloth at the beginning of your sushi meal, you know how refreshing and relaxing something so simple can be! In the winter months, nothing is more soothing than this cult British facialist’s creamy cleanser, washed clean with the included cloth soaked in hot water and wrung out in her “polishing” step. At a third of the cost of Eve Lom, it’s a great alternative to try a similar ritual for less.
4. Wondercloth ($9.20) If you’re now convinced a cloth may change your life, at Cult of Pretty we recently discovered this oddity, which deep cleanses with just water (seriously) and rinses clean without soap. Watch in awe as your makeup slides off you and this new-fangled material – we don’t understand it either, we just know it works! If you’ve wanted to experiment with dropping cleanser from your routine to let your skin rebalance, this is an amazingly simple way to give your skin a break.
What are your favorite cult cleansing tools, tips and tricks?
So many people (myself included) resolve to eat healthier in the new year but there’s another way to get your fix of decadent foods, and it’s almost as satisfying as eating them! I’ve rounded up some of the most realistic food-scented beauty products that you can enjoy, minus the calories and the dirty dishes. Not only are these products especially pleasing to our noses, but also, they’re quality items. So why not sweeten up your daily routine? Here are my picks…
Philosophy Cinnamon Buns 3 in 1 Shampoo, Shower Gel & Bubble Bath ($17 for 16 oz. size, QVC.com)
This is the grand-daddy of amazing food-scented beauty products. Somehow Philosophy is able to go beyond the smells of sweetness and cinnamon, and actually harness baked goodness in a bottle. You won’t go about your day smelling like the sticky dessert, but for those few minutes in the shower, you’ll be immersed in cinnamon bun heaven. As an added bonus, you can use this as shampoo or bubble bath. And if you are so inclined to take this concept to the kitchen, Philosophy supplies you with a recipe for cinnamon buns right on the bottle.
Laura Mercier Creme Brulee Souffle Body Creme ($55, Sephora.com)
This body creme feels as good as it smells and makes for an incredibly decadent post-shower treat. If you love the scents of warm caramel, spun sugar, and vanilla bean, you’re in luck. They all combine in this luxurious body cream, and the softly sweet scent lingers throughout the day. Creme Brulee is a rare treat for me, but it’s nice to have daily access to this jar! On a practical note, it really does a good job of softening even the most parched areas of your skin.
Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer ($30, Sephora.com)
We don’t normally associate luxurious scents with powder products, but this bronzer actually has a chocolatey-sweet scent. It’s not overwhelming, but I can’t help but take a whiff every time I apply it… it’s such a surprising little treat! This is also one of my all-time favorite bronzers. I’ve used up two already, and as you can see, I’m on my way to finishing a third. It’s the perfect cool, matte color to contour your cheekbones, or add a natural-looking bronze tint to the body. Too Faced has recently taken off with the chocolate concept, creating the Chocolate Bar eyeshadow palette. I have a tutorial video with that here, if you’re interested!
ChapStick MixStix Green Apple Caramel Lip Balm ($2.99, Drugstore.com)
A more affordable way to indulge is waiting for you at your local drugstore! If you’re going to apply lip balm, why not have an enjoyable scent and flavor? I was really surprised at how accurately ChapStick pulled off the green apple and caramel scents. The apple side of this balm has a sweet, yet tart scent, and the caramel side smells exactly like those individually wrapped Kraft caramels. I like to apply one side of the balm to my top lip, and the other to my bottom lip for the perfect marriage of these sweet scents and flavors.
I’d love to know what food-scented beauty products are in your stash! Let me know in the comments section And if you’d like to see more beauty reviews and tutorials, check out the Beauty Broadcast YouTube channel and blog!
As a beauty blogger, a lot of so-called “miracles” come across my desk. Most make it to my face, stay in rotation for a few days or weeks until I know enough to write a review, and then get passed along to any takers amongst friends and family.
But not this bunch – this best of the best line up has made it into permanent rotation and I’ll be rebuying well into 2015! There’s definitely a theme: simple, effective, and multi-use. If you’re looking to revamp your routine for the New Year, these fab four are a great start …
1. Waxlene All Natural Balm ($4.99) This is a beeswax-based petroleum jelly alternative, so if you’re obsessed with rosebud salve or Aquaphor but looking to make a natural swap, I highly recommend this. The fact that it smells and tastes like the lightest of honey doesn’t hurt! Excellent for lips, cuticles and anything else that needs moisture.
2. SW Basics Cream ($32) – This ultra-simple facial moisturizer is made by hand in Brooklyn using only three ingredients – shea, olive oil and coconut. If you’re envisioning a greasy mess, fear not. I have combination acne-prone skin and this cream has changed my life! My face literally drinks it in; I’ve used it in summer and winter alike and I can’t recommend it enough.
3. Lift Lab Purify & Clarify Daily Cleanser and Detox Mask ($65) – This is the most amazing multi-use cleanser! A virtually microscopic blob will turn into the lushest lather you’ve ever used, and it also has a mild exfoliant to help slough away dead skin. Apply a thicker layer as a mask, and chill out while it deep cleanses. I use this every night and feel squeaky clean, yet moisturized. How do they do it??
4. Benefit Lollitint ($29) – If you’re looking for a way to rock Pantone’s Color of the Year, that mysterious Radiant Orchid who is neither pink nor purple, lilac nor bubblegum … this new shade is the jam! Like all of Benefit’s famous tints it works as a blush or lip color, and this shade is beautifully flattering on a range of skin tones.
What favorites from 2013 will you keep rebuying in the New Year?
‘Tis the season to spend money on others… so why not save where you can on products for yourself? Store brands have definitely stepped up their game with lots of different beauty products, so I thought I’d share some of my favorite store brand items in this post! Some of these products aren’t available online (at least, not yet), but you can definitely check them out in the store.
Wal-Mart: Equate Everyday 2 in 1 Daily Facial Cloths ($8.37, WalMart.com)
These are the kind of face wash cloths that are dry in the package, and then you moisten them with water to build up a bit of a lather to wash your face. I’ve been using similar cloths from Olay since college to remove ALL of my makeup- even eye makeup- with no irritation. One side of the cloth is very smooth and the other side is textured and has a nice exfoliating effect. These are also incredibly handy for travel… you can just grab a few and they take up hardly any space (you also don’t leave a mess of the day’s makeup all over your host’s washcloths). These cloths from Equate are definitely my holy grail face cleanser/makeup remover!
Dollar General: DG Body Vanilla Body Butter Wash ($2.50, Dollar General Stores)
If you like creamy body washes that don’t strip your skin of moisture- this one from Dollar General is a great option! For less money than brand-name Softsoap, you still get a luxurious texture and a lightly sweet vanilla scent. I love that even though this is a very thick body wash, I feel like I’m getting totally clean. If you find that your family is quickly draining bottles of shower gel, save a few dollars and try this!
Walgreens: Well at Walgreens Sphere Lip Balms ($2.99 each, Walgreens stores)
Walgreens now has their own version of the popular EOS lip balms. For a dollar or two less (depending on your location and special discounts), you can try out these sphere-shaped lip balms. So far I’ve found a couple of flavors- Watermelon and Strawberry. They have a deliciously sweet scent and a tasty fruit flavor. Keep them around the house for a moisture boost when you need it, wear them under lipstick or lip liner for a smoother application, or keep them in your purse… I’m able to find these quickly in my bag because of their unusual shape!
Target: Up & Up Crease Brush and Smudge Brush ($1.97 to $2.49, Target.com)
You might be surprised at the quality of brushes you can find at Target for just a few dollars! Target’s Up & Up brand has a couple of eye brushes that I’m especially fond of. If you feel like most eye brushes are a bit to large or don’t give you enough control with your eyeshadow application, give these a try. The bristles are super soft and nicely tapered to give you a great blend. The crease brush is nice for softening the edges of your look, and the smudge brush is actually a great size for patting shadow on your lids.
Have you found any store brand beauty products that perform as well or better than their brand name counterparts? Let me know in the comments section- I’d love to check them out! And if you’d like to see more beauty reviews and tutorials, check out my Beauty Broadcast YouTube channel and blog. Have a great day! – Emily
Hi everyone! It’s the season for dry skin, and sometimes the dryness can be pretty sneaky! This time of year, I often find that I’ll like the look of my makeup when it’s freshly applied, but as the day rolls on and I’m out in the dry air… everything from my lips to under-eyes are visibly dry. Here are a few quick, inexpensive, purse-friendly ways that you can touch-up throughout the day to keep your skin healthy and hydrated!
NYX Dewy Finish Long Lasting Setting Spray ($7.99, Ulta.com)
This setting spray helps you combat the appearance of dryness as soon as you finish applying your makeup. A couple of sprays of this on your face help lock in your makeup look, while removing a powdery appearance. I don’t find that the finish becomes overly “dewy”, but it really makes the face look fresh and keeps the makeup looking like skin. This is great for a little pick-me-up late in the day as well.
E.L.F. Daily Moisture Stick ($6, eyeslipsface.com)
If your main problem area for dryness is the under-eye area, this is the product for you! While I love my full coverage under-eye concealers, they don’t always stay looking so fresh as the day rolls on- especially when you’re applying it on top of fine lines and wrinkles. Just get a small dab of this on your finger, then apply it directly to any dryness under the eyes. It doesn’t un-do your concealer, but instead makes it look freshly applied- plus there’s a bit of a cooling sensation! This is also great for dry patches elsewhere on the face or body. Click here to see a video that shows my before & after with this product!
Jack Black Intensive Therapy Lip Balm – Lemon & Chamomile SPF 25 ($7.50, Ulta.com)
Dry lips are something I’ve come to expect this time of year, and there are lots of great lip balms that can make your lips feel soothed and moisturized! But I stumbled across a new favorite when I was with my husband, browsing the Jack Black products in Ulta. This lemon lip balm will blow your mind with its amazing scent, but it’s equally impressive in its ability to hydrate chapped lips. I like to put it on before I start applying my makeup so my lips are nice and soft by the time I add lipstick, lip liner or gloss. It’s also handy for touch-ups on the go.
Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil ($7.75, Wal-Mart)
I love keeping my hands moisturized with lotion, but for some reason, my cuticles often remain dry. This cuticle oil has become a must-have for me- not just when I’m doing a manicure, but anytime I feel like the skin around my nails is feeling extra dehydrated. Just apply a tiny drop on each cuticle and rub it in. It makes a world of difference in the overall look of your nails!
Do you have any must-haves for dry skin? Share your tips in the comments section! And for more makeup reviews and tutorials, check out the Beauty Broadcast blog and YouTube channel. Have a great day! – Emily
When it comes to my summer makeup concepts, in the sage words of Rihanna, I want you to stay. That’s all. Many primers talk a big game about helping your makeup ride out the day… and many fail. It acts like a sort of double-sided tape to keep your makeup from wilting before 5pm. Here, a roundup of the top five primers that have passed my rigorous tests. Check it.
Essence I Love Stage Eye Shadow Base, $3.50 at Ulta
This cheap thrill delivers. Use it under concealer or eye shadow for a little insurance against humidity or distance from your makeup bag throughout the day. Its creamy texture is blendable but not runny. I apply it with a small concealer brush to hide discoloration on my lids and undereye area.
NARS Pro-Prime Pore-Refining Primer, $34 at Sephora
Pores are so 2012. Lose yours with this skin smoother that locks on makeup while mineral powders control oil and blur the look of fine lines, pores and wrinkles.
Neutrogena Healthy Skin Primer, $13 at Neutrogena.com
The silky, lightweight formula includes soy and SPF for protection and a makeup base in a single step without clogging pores. I like to wear it by itself sometimes just to smooth and perfect my skin on low-key days.
Hourglass Mineral Veil SPF 15 Primer, $52 at Sephora
It smooths my skin, protects from UV rays and doesn’t pill. I like that it gives everything I layer on top of it a little extra oomph. It’s a bit pricey at $52, but a little goes a long way and a bottle should last you six months plus.
Smashbox Photo Finish More Than Primer Blemish Control, $42 at Sephora
Don’t be put off by its Incredible Hulk green hue; this mattifying pore eraser yields smoother, more even skin, shrunk pores AND won’t break you out, a claim not many primers can make due to their high silicone composition. This step saves me from humidity and helps anchor my makeup under even the most vile weather conditions.
What primers are you loving this summer?
It’s hot out there, yet in a complete disregard for my own well-being, I refuse to guzzle down water like I should. Thank heavens for
iced lattes the wealth of new water-centric skin and haircare products, otherwise I might shrivel away.
If you’re skeptical about paying good money for something that actually markets itself as water, I understand – but trust me when I tell you these formulas are not the sprayable Evians of that lady next to you on the plane. Refreshing and soothing, these are designed to let your skin and hair drink in moisture and nutrients with none of the greasy effects of traditional moisturizing products. It’s slimy enough out there in the summer!
Here are 5 great ways to explore this water world of beauty:
1. Koh Gen Do Cleansing Spa Water ($39) – A best-seller for this cult Japanese brand, this soothing cleanser is made from mineral-rich hot spring water and essential herbs. It replenishes skin and eye area while removing makeup and dirt – so easy for the end of those draining summer days.
2. Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse Water-Max Sleep Mask ($48) – This overnight treatment locks in skin’s own moisture while boosting with essential oils and hyaluronic acid (a cell plumper) – perfect for replenishing skin after those drying days in the sun and/or on the water.
3. Laura Mercier Flawless Skin Perfecting Water Moisture Mist ($38) – I’m a huge fan of starting the morning with a spritz of this as a moisturizing prep for makeup, in lieu of traditional moisturizer which I find encourages foundation to melt off.
4. Josie Maran Lavender Calming Mist ($24) – Whether you’re trying to survive life sans air conditioning or you’re loathe to layer on night cream in the summer, this natural mist is ideal for pre-bed moisturizing and helps lull you to sleep with aromatherapeutic lavender oil.
5. Yoshi Magic Water ($14) – This cult classic from hair stylist Yoshi is ideal for smoothing summer frizz without weighing hair down with silicones or oils. Instead, it hydrates with sage leaf and rosemary and adding shine with soybean extract.
With a new BB/CC/ZZ cream on the market every five minutes, how can a gal know in which ones she should be investing? To quote famous philosopher Michael Jackson in the negative, ABC; it’s NOT as easy as 123. Here, the definitive list of my ten favorites tinted wonders, in no particular order.
1. Dr. Brandt BB Matte With Signature Shinerase ($39)
Humidity in NYC in the summer is enough to give anyone a permanent “messtache,” so I do what I can before leaving my apartment to combat shine. This mattifying BB cream is ideal for steamy summer months and boasts a blendable formula which also manages to conceal dark marks like a dream.
This one’s my go-to for travel. The cream boasts a petite, slim package and self-adjusts to your skin tone. All that, and it costs under a Hamilton.
3. Orlane SPF 25 Anti-Fatigue Absolute Sunscreen BB Cream ($70) It’s a bit spendy, but finding a French moisturizer complete with SPF is more difficult than you’d think. Plus, this one invigorates tired skin for a fresh complexion every time. A little goes a long way with this one, as well.
4. Kiehl’s BB Cream Actively Correcting And Beautifying With SPF 50 ($37) If broad spectrum protection is paramount, Kiehl’s offers the motherlode, thanks to its infusion of SPF 50. This one yields a bit better coverage, if that’s your bag (and sometimes it’s mine).
5. Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream ($6) Maybelline offers a ton of shades, blendable texture, skin-tone correcting capabilities and a smooth, fresh finish for just $6.
6. CoverGirl Smoothers SPF 15 Tinted Moisturizer BB Cream ($7) This inexpensive gem is very natural looking and gives a nice dewy finish without being super oily or slick. It also yields a wearable non-orange color on skin.
7. Boscia BB Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 27 PA ++ ($18) A mid-priced oil-free blend creates a flawless finish and features botanical ingredients. It blends well and stays put all day. Also, can Boscia have gone with a more random SPF #?
8. Rimmel BB Cream SPF 25 ($7) This drugstore deal provides a no-makeup makeup look when you just want a smidge of light coverage. I love its moderately matte finish and non-greasy feel.
9. Wei To Go Ideal Skin Perfect Finish ($30) Perfectly portable, this packet features a little window from which you can get your tinted cream out without having to rip anything nor endure a mess. This one’s a CC Cream, thanks to its color correcting capabilities and comes in three shades. It contains licorice root, mandarin orange and mulberry leaf to brighten skin.
10. Revlon Photoready BB Cream ($9) As my goal is to look as Photoshopped as Ryan Gosling does in that scene in “Crazy Stupid Love” (stop, you know which one), I’m a big fan of Revlon’s Photoready franchise. This budget-friendly tinted balm evens out my skin tone and imparts a slight dewiness when applied with a stippling brush.
What’s your favorite BB/CC cream?