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As the saying goes: If you want something done right, do it yourself. Here’s what I’ll be stuffing my (and my husband’s) stockings with this year. Which beauty product picks will you add to your list?
Korres Beauty Shots, $36
Four mini facial masks with active fruit ingredients will get your skin glowing. The nectarine version moisturizes while the watermelon cools, grapefruit brightens and cranberry firms and lifts.
Perfect for you, or your other half, this duo contains two of my all-time favorite products from Kiehl’s. The Lip Balm #1 and the Ultimate Strength Hand Salve.
I pretty much love everything from By Terry. I’m a sucker for anything infused with rose. So this ready-to-gift set of five tinted baumes is a must-have. (more…)
Get ready! This is our biggest collection of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals ever. What beauty products are you going to grab this week?
What: On Black Friday, get 35% off any order (hello, Dead Sea bath salts). Use the code BFRIDAY14. On Cyber Monday you can snatch up 35% off and get a free Ahava Triple Mineral Body Lotion using the promo code CYBRMON35.
When: November 28th – December 1st
What: Take 30% off awesome skincare for the man in your life — they will thank you.
When: November 28th – December 1st
What: Arcona is offering 40% off Arcona-brand skin care purchases of $200 or more online, in stores on over the phone (check the website for exclusions).
When: November 28th – November 29th
Where: Arcona.com, the Arcona boutique and over the phone (877-272-6620)
Did you know October is National Eczema Awareness Month? Yeah, didn’t think so. I didn’t either until a few days ago. It really gets lost in the hoopla surrounding Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Halloween and Oktoberfest. In my house though, eczema is always top of mind. My son has it (so does one of my sisters), and we’ve been trying to figure out a miracle combo to tame his red, itchy, sometimes cracked and bleeding skin since the day he was born. I thought I’d share what’s worked for us in honor of Eczema Awareness Month. I can’t say it’s eliminated the issue completely, but we’ve got it so much more under control.
Here’s what’s worked: (more…)
The biggest compliment a beauty product can receive — especially from a product-obsessed gal like myself — is to have every last drop, swipe, dab, etc. used. So with that in mind, here are the four products I just finished off:
I’ve written about other nice natural shaving creams in the past, but this one blew those out of the water. It offers up a substantial lather and has a fantastically subtle, but lovely lavender scent. Need another bottle stat!
Truth be told, I have one or two more shampoos left in the bottle, but the conditioner is totally gone. I hate having a mismatched set, but I can’t ever seem to use enough shampoo. They should just make those bottles smaller. Or give us more conditioner. Yeah, more conditioner! Anyway, this wash and conditioner smell divine — they have a warm nutty, yet subtly perfume-y scent — and make my dry, straw-like hair feel so much softer. (more…)
All this week I’ll be featuring the beauty products that you, my gorgeous readers, covet and just can’t live without.
First up: Goldfaden MD Doctor’s Scrub, $75
“I’m loving the Doctor’s Scrub. It feels like I’ve just had a facial every time I use it! If my skin weren’t so so sensitive, I would use it everyday. I also love the gritty texture (the ruby crystal) it actually feels like it’s working as I’m scrubbing. Also, you can’t beat a natural product! Perfection!” — Colleen
Do you have a beauty product to rave about? Please share!
A colleague recently asked: “Do you know of any good exfoliating toners? I bought a huge bottle of Mario Badescu a while ago, which works, but i’d love to pick your brain.” — Jackie
My answer: I’m a long-time fan of Mario Badescu and have actually used their toners on and off for years. But, I’ve actually been using a Peter Thomas Roth product that’s pretty darn good. The product: Peter Thomas Roth Complexion Correction Pads, $36 (for 60 pads). The pads contain a 10 percent glycolic acid and .5 percent salicylic acid concoction that’s blended with soothing ingredients like arginine, allantoin, aloe vera, chamomile and green tea. So, this isn’t one of those does-nothing toners. With this combo of ingredients, you’ll keep skin pimple and blackhead-free without totally overdrying or irritating your skin. I’ve been using these for about a month now, and the breakouts I mentioned previously, have been more under control than usual. And, the pad form makes the extra step of using a toner so much more convenient. I say, give ‘em a try and let me know what you think.
I have (what I’m calling) neckne. Yup, neck acne. It started when I was pregnant and I thought it was exclusive to that crazy hormonal period. But, after taking a brief hiatus after my son was born, it returned. It’s beyond frustrating because the neck traditionally isn’t a place where people break out. That’s due to the fact that we have less oil glands in our neck skin. After chatting with dermatologist Dr. Jeannette Graf, M.D. though, I’ve learned why neckne happens and how to treat it.
Graf explained that neckne isn’t all that uncommon in adults. She too has battled with it. “I wore a turtleneck for a year,” she said. What’s different about neck acne though is that it’s the plugging of the hair follicles as opposed to the clogging of pores. But, let’s get into what causes it and how to deal with it:
There are two types of acne that commonly appear on the neck area. The first might look like smaller, minor little breakouts – similar to ones you might find on your back. This type is often caused by sweat or clothing not made of cotton (like scarves, turtlenecks). The second type is of the large, painful, cystic variety. These breakouts are caused by hormonal shifts that might take place during adolescence, pregnancy, post-pregnancy when you have estrogen withdrawals or perimenopause, according to Graf. “Stress also makes it worse,” she adds. I, unfortunately, have the second type.
If you have the first type of breakouts — the minor, smaller pimples, those can be eradicated pretty easily. You’ll basically treat the area in the same way you’d treat backne (back acne). Stick to wearing cotton fabrics (which are breathable and less likely to plug hair follicles) and treat the skin on your neck with a salicylic acid-based product. Even one of the sprays designed for use on the back would work, according to Graf. Try Neutrogena Body Clear Body Spray, $8.99. You’ll also want to be sure to regularly exfoliate the area by using a gentle, chemical exfoliant like glycolic acid. Try Glytone Exfoliating Lotion, $40. And, always gently cleanse and moisturize the area morning and night. “The skin on your neck is dryer to begin with, so you need to add moisture,” urges Graf.
If you have the larger, cystic acne like I do, it’s going to take a few more dollars and doctor visits to keep them under control, says Graf. “There’s not a lot you can do at home,” she says. Your first move should be to see a dermatologist. They will be able to prescribe a topical or oral antibiotic to help prevent additional breakouts. She has even prescribed Spironolactone (aka Aldactone), which is actually a potassium-sparing diuretic that is commonly used in combination with other drugs to treat high blood pressure. It’s taken orally and she’s seen really good results from it. (Side note: I took this years ago and it seriously worked. I had forgotten about that until Graf and I talked.) A derm can also inject any current cysts with cortisone in order to help them heal faster.
In addition to the prescriptions, you’ll want to take vitamin D3 (or at least make sure you have a good supply of D3 in your body), which controls the anti-microbial (bacteria-fighting) system in the skin. And, if you do take an oral antibiotic, pair that with a probiotic, says Graf. She also totally believes that a good diet can improve skin, so stick to a high fiber, low sugar/dairy diet. Things like soda, refined foods and sugar can cause breakouts, so those should be avoided. And, drink lots of water (Graf recommends water with lemon) and take time to de-stress with meditation, yoga or whatever helps you chill out a bit.
Have different skin gripe? Tell me about it in the comments and I’ll chat with a derm to get some expert advice for you.
If you’re looking to earn some gift-giving extra credit this year, pick up these six beauties. They’ll make your mother, sister, friend, etc. look and feel gorgeous while going way beyond that. Together these products’ proceeds support women affected by breast cancer, childhood hunger, artists from marginalized communities and much, much more.
The original version of this whipped body butter is one of my all-time faves. This subtly citrus-y remake is delicious and makes skin feel fabulous. And, 100 percent of the net proceeds go to Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign, which works to help end childhood hunger in America.
What makes a better gift than five stunning eyeshadows housed in a rose-colored Swarovski crystal-embellished package? Add to that the fact that 100 percent of the profits are donated to Living Beyond Breast Cancer, an organization supporting women affected by breast cancer. Beautiful.
Glitter eyeliner, check. Metallic nail polish, check. Add a few more dazzling items and the fact that sales benefit the American Heart Association, and you’ve got the perfect stocking stuffer.
The three newest additions to the Nomad Two Worlds Raw Spirit fragrance collection are sure to please even the pickiest of family members and friends. The travel-friendly rollerball design makes them convenient, but the scents inside are anything but ho-hum. Bijou Vert combines Haitian sourced vetiver along with grapefruit, mandarin, geranium, lotus flower, black pepper, benzoin, patchouli and cedarwood; Citadelle also utilizes Haitian sourced vetiver in addition to marigold, pear, bergamot, lemon, spices, amberwood, musk and cedarwood. Both scents will be used to support sustainable Haitian agricultural projects. And, Wild Fire sources premium wild harvested sandalwood from Australia along with creamy amber, ylang ylang, jasmine petals, cedarwood and musk. Part of the proceeds from Wild Fire sales are used to support sustainable Australian Indigenous agricultural projects in collaboration with Essential Oils of Tasmania.
For the gal who loves to send actual handwritten notes. The colorful designs on these cards were created by children affected by HIV/AIDS. And, every cent (seriously, every cent) of the selling price goes toward helping women, men and children who are also affected by HIV/AIDS.
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Happy Thanksgiving! Now get shopping!
What: Spend at least $55 on all full-sized products and receive an exclusive Birchbox + Rebecca Taylor makeup pouch. Use code REBECCAGIFT.
When: Beginning December 2nd
What: Get 50% with a minimum purchase of $30 on the website.
When: December 1st – December 3rd
What: Enjoy 40% off eye cream and also receive a full-size BB or CC cream with any purchase over $150.
When: December 1 at noon – December 2nd at midnight EST
What: Launching Black Friday, Butter London’s Fashion Size Duo combines the perfect lacquer pair of Slapper and Knackered, to give your holiday look the sparkle and pop it needs for only $10. Also, get 20% off of all products and 50% off of last-call products using the code CYBER13.
When: November 29th – December 2nd
What: Kick off black Friday with a mini Long Wear Makeup Remover and a full-sized Extreme Party Mascara with any order.
When: November 29th
What: Scoop up 40% off ALL items on the website
When: Now while supplies last
Happy Black Friday/Cyber Monday, etc., etc.