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After watching Wednesday night’s 2015 People’s Choice Awards (well, the portion I could stay awake for) and perusing photos, you’d think I’d want to talk about a gorgeous red lipstick (loved Olivia Munn’s shade) or another vampy hue like the one Katherine Mcphee sported, but no. What caught my eye the most on the red carpet was Monica Potter (one of my favorite TV moms, and someone I’ve been a fan of since she starred in 1998’s Without Limits along side Billy Crudup). Her whole being. She is practically ageless. She has a knock-out body and her skin looks as smooth as butter. It’s glowing and nearly wrinkle free. Not bad for someone who joked about being over 40 while presenting the award for best rap artist. She’s 44 — and a mother of three. And while you might attribute her flawlessness to photoshop, great lighting or fab post-production film work, that’s just not the case. My sister recently sat near her on a plane ride and said she looked “amazing”. First-hand proof that she is as stunning as she appears on TV.
So it, of course, got me thinking about how’s she’s managed to age so well, and after trolling the web I came to these conclusions: (more…)
Back in May I did my first installment of Good to the Last Drop and due to its popularity, I thought I’d keep the concept going. Here are the latest (and greatest!) beauty products I squeezed or scooped every last bit of product from …
This zinc- and titanium dioxide-based sunscreen protected my skin without causing additional breakouts. I love the non greasy formula that doesn’t turn my makeup all funky. Only down side is the size of the tube. I polished this off quickly.
I talk endlessly about this concealer and it breaks my heart to finish off a tube because a replacement costs a steep $70. It’s so worth it though. Nothing, and I mean nothing, covers blemishes and brown spots like this baby. It’s a small miracle.
My skin is beyond prone to breakouts. It’s been my number one beauty problem since the day I got pregnant three years ago. Thanks to that issue, I have to slather on acne-fighting beauty products consistently, which are super drying. This night cream has been my savior though. It’s oil-free, but the hard-working hyaluronic acid moisturizes like a dream.
If you like slutty-looking lashes like I do (think thick, long and clumpy-in-a-good-way), this should be the next mascara you try. No question.
What was the last beauty product you finished? Please share!
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!
Thanks to award season, I have lots of (even more) reasons to talk to celebrity hairstylists, makeup artists and manicurists. They’re seriously a never-ending source of great beauty tips and tricks, which makes since because they literally live and breathe beauty. They also find themselves in tricky situations that force them to be very resourceful, MacGyver types. Their hacks turn into great tips for us non beauty gurus. Here are five handy tricks I learned the past couple of weeks that I thought were worth passing along:
Trick #1: Ditch puff in a pinch
If you wake up with majorly puffy eyes, grab a couple of cold soda cans and hold them on the puff for a couple of minutes. Makeup artist Jake Bailey says it’s his go-to trick when he’s in a pinch and says it works every time.
Trick #2: Set your curls up for success
If you think your hair doesn’t hold curl, you might just be setting it up for failure, according to hairstylist Charles Baker Strahan. Straight out of the shower, you should avoid brushing it straight and blow-drying it straight before curling. Instead, use a wide-tooth comb to detangle, and then diffuse hair to bring out any natural texture you may have. This will help your curl take and last. Oh, and prep hair with a volumizing mousse to start. Try Herbal Essences Naked Volumizing Souffle, $6.99.
Trick #3: Elongate your nails
Use a nude nail polish that’s a touch lighter than your skin tone to really elongate your fingers and nails. It does the same thing a stiletto does for your legs, says manicurist Tom Bachik. Try: Deborah Lippmann Nail Lacquer in Fashion, $17 or L’Oreal Paris Colour Riche Nail Collection Privee in Eva’s Nude, $5.99.
Trick #4: Go for the glass
Foundations in glass bottles last much longer than those in plastic. Keep it in the fridge and it’ll last up to five years, according to Bailey.
Trick #5: Make sure your guy is camera ready
Listen up guys (or gals with guys) – makeup artist Billy B says that the L’Oreal Paris RevitaLift Miracle Blur, $24.99 product is the “biggest breakthrough for men in cosmetics”. It’s a no-makeup way to perfect skin. It does what the blur tool in Photoshop is designed for. A great way to make sure your guy is camera ready for a big event without having to torture him by powdering his nose with your makeup.
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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