Category Archives: Beauty

back to school

Back to School Giveaway

Hi, beauties. I have something exciting for you! I’ve teamed up with a group of fabulous beauty bloggers to bring you a giveaway just in time for the back to school season. Imagine the damage you could do at someplace like Target with a $350 gift card. And if you’re like me and too old to go back to school, no worries, you’re still welcome to enter. All of the details are below and good luck to everyone!

Enter here:

$350 Visa Giftcard Giveaway

Giveaway is international, begins 8/18/15 and ends 9/1/15

Fellow beauties participating in the giveaway:

Mina Slater, Beauty Info Zone, Glamorable, TheFabZilla, beautyXpose, Polarbelle, VanityRouge, Beauty by Miss L, Makeuprshutup, My Highest Self, Makeup By Kim Porter, Adna Christina Beauty, The Lacquerologist, Beauty Tidbits, Color Me So Crazy, The Beauty of Life, Prime Beauty, Collective Beauty.

And if you were wondering who that rando child is in the cover photo … it’s yours truly sometime in elementary school. Basically a child model.

What would you purchase with a $350 Visa gift card?

Photo: beautyXposé; Disclosure

July favorites

July Favorites 2015

July was a whirlwind of a month. My boyfriend and I spent the first 11 days traveling around Europe and then the second half of the month was mostly spent playing catchup. Since I was mostly on the road, I didn’t anticipate to fall in love with any products, but I fell hard for a few.

The Skin Authority Go Gorgeous kit was my skin-care life blood during my trip. Everything was perfectly sized for dealing with airport security and it contained all my staple products. It’s going with me on every trip from now on!

july favoritesDuring our last stop – Amsterdam – I stumbled upon Skins Cosmetics, which is a gorgeous beauty and skin care store. While there, I treated myself to a perfume purchase to help me remember the trip – Byredo in Gypsy Water. I’ve been back for a month now and I’ve worn this scent every day since. Not only do I LOVE this scent, but I’ve received so many compliments on it. Always a plus.

July favoritesAnd last but not least, I have fallen seriously IN. LOVE. with Living Proof’s Perfect Hair Day line. I was sent samples of all the goodies and wasn’t expecting much, but I was seriously proven wrong. I fell so in love that I’ve already repurchased the shampoo and conditioner after running out of my smaller sample sized and told everyone who would listen to scoop up these products for themselves ASAP.

July favorites

Skin Authority Go Gorgeous Kit |  Byredo in Gypsy Water

Perfect Hair Day ShampooPerfect Hair Day Conditioner

Perfect Hair Day Overnight Cap | Perfect Hair Day Styling Treatment

What were your favorite products in July?

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclosure

Five Steps to Treating Sun Damage & Preventing it in the Future

Unless you’ve hidden inside all summer long, you most likely spent a bit too much time basking in the sun. I’ve done a pretty good job avoiding sunburn this summer, but I know I’ve had a bit of sun damage and I wanted to know what I could do to help treat it. As always, the lovely Celeste filled me in on five steps I could take to help treat and prevent sun damage.

With school starting soon, August marks the unofficial end of summer for people in many parts of the country. I hope your season was filled with relaxation and a trip to your favorite sun-filled location. I also hope you wore (and wear daily) SPF.

Even with proper sunscreen application, you may have experienced sun damage this summer. Freckles, moles, wrinkles and uneven skin tone are signs of sun damage. There are few simple steps to treat sun-damaged skin and prevent future damage:

  1. I can’t emphasize this enough: protect the skin on a daily basis using a full-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher. If you are active throughout the day, remember to reapply your sunscreen.
  2. Powerful antioxidants like vitamin C help protect the skin against UV rays, too.  C boosts the effectiveness of your sunscreen, so I urge you to apply a C serum daily underneath your sunscreen moisturizer.
  3. You should resurface the skin on a consistent basis.  Resurfacing is a way to exfoliate the skin that gently dissolves dead skin cells, some of which are likely to be discolored on the skin’s surface.  Consistent resurfacing not only evens the skin tone, it helps combat aging and balances the skin’s pH for hydrated, healthy skin.
  4. Two products I use to treat sun damage and dark spots are from Skin Authority: Hyperpigmentation Treatment and Brightening Serum.
  5. I urge you to visit your dermatologist annually to have any moles examined. Your physician can also recommend laser treatments to help with discoloration and aging caused by the sun.

If you have some spare time, make sure to check out Celeste’s other articles: Seven Tips for Skin Care Success in 2015The Skin Care Basics | Face Oils for Acne Prone Skin | Skin Care for Eyes | Men’s Skin Care | Vitamin C Serums | Three Steps to Sexy Skin.

Photo: Olin Gilbert; Disclosure

About the author: With two decades in the beauty and skin care industries, Celeste Hilling is the Founder, CEO and Product Formulator for Skin Authority. Skin Authority is respected for developing pure and powerful products without the use of parabens, added fragrance, dyes or animal testing. More on www.skinauthority.com, Facebook at Skin Authority, Twitter @SkinAuthority and @MissSkin.

sephora haul

Sephora Haul: VIB Rouge Event

This past Sunday I was invited to a VIB Rouge “Beauty Before Brunch” party. What does that mean? People who spend too much money at Sephora on a yearly basis are invited to come spend even more money all at one time. Needless to say, I RSVPed as fast as my little fingers would let me and planned my mini Sephora Haul.

sephora haul

Having just returned for a long and relatively expensive vacation, I told myself I would save money by just picking up the “necessities.” But need is relative, and I ended up with three hair products I was excited to get my hands on. I snatched up the Living Proof PHD shampoo and conditioner, which I have been LOVING (more on that later), and the Bumble and Bumble Don’t Blow it cream I had read about on Gouldylox. I haven’t tried the B&B cream yet, but I’m going to this weekend and I can’t wait!

sephora haul

In addition to the products that I paid for, each event-goer was gifted an adorable makeup bag filled with samples from all sorts of brands ranging from KORRES to benefit to Chloe. Not a bad perk!

What goodies have you picked up recently?

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclosure

7 Tips for Perfect Summer Hair

In case you missed the memo, Summer is in full swing. Here in Boston, the temps have been soaring and the humidity has been wreaking havoc on our hairstyles. Top knots are a girl’s best friend this time of year.

Wouldn’t it be awesome to have a hair style other than “fizz ball” this time of year? Yes, yes it would. That’s why I’m teaming up with Joanne Starkman, co-owner of Innersense Beauty, to bring you seven heat-beating hair tips for the rest of the summer. I hope you enjoy!

  1. Care for Your Hair Before the Pool: We all love a dip in the pool, but dry hair is a drag. “The #1 hair complaint I hear is dryness; chlorine is a cause. Before plunging in, make sure your hair is saturated with water,” urges Starkman. She loves to smooth Innersense Color Radiance Daily Conditioner over wet hair before diving in. Once you’re finished swimming, rinse hair thoroughly and shampoo. Starkman shampoos with Color Awakening Hairbath, “Containing sunflower seed extract, the Hairbath adds natural color protection so hair color stays fresh longer.”
  2. Give Your Hair a Break: Consider taking a break from the blow dryer and curling or flat irons. As an alternative, set hair with rollers or braid when damp to beat the heat and help create “beachy” waves.
  3. Embrace Oils: Even with hats and umbrellas, your hair will see a lot of sun. “Additional moisture and protection is vital to the health of your hair in the summer. I love Tamanu Oil for its rich nourishing benefits,” adds Starkman. Tamanu Oil is used inHarmonic Healing Oil, which is a moisturizer and sun protectant. Simply emulsify a few drops in hands and smooth over hair.
  4. Pack a Wide-Tooth Comb: “Brushing wet hair promotes split ends. Instead, the best way to detangle hair is to start at the ends and work toward the scalp using a wide-tooth comb,” explains Starkman. For extra slip and hydration, spray on Sweet Spirit Leave-In Conditioner before using the wide-tooth comb.
  5. Dress up Your Tresses: Break out bright-colored scarves and large floppy hats!  Consider a loose ponytail or a side braid for a new look that beats the heat. Decorative bobby pins and fabric hair ties add a fun touch.
  6. Go Short: Is there a short cut you have always wanted to try? Why not change it up? Summer is a great time to test a chic style or get a few highlights.
  7. Eat Summer Fresh: Diet plays a part in hair health, so shop at farmers markets and take advantage of in-season produce. Starkman suggests, “Avocados and nuts contain omega-3 fatty acids that add extra moisture and hydration in the body and hair. And, watch your intake of excessive sugars. They can contribute to the overgrowth of yeast, which may lead to dandruff and dry scalp.”

What are your go-to tricks for mastering the perfect summer hairstyle?

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclosure

About Joanne Starkman – Starkman is the co-founder of Innersense™ Organic Beauty, which is a leader in the green beauty industry. Carried at more than 4,000 salons & spas and at www.InnersenseBeauty.com, Innersense products are free of toxins, silicones, resins, phthalates & parabens.

About Innersense™ Organic Beauty – More than ten years ago, Greg and Joanne Starkman were struck with a realization that their professional paths were not in alignment with their values. They turned inward and a new journey began with Innersense. Handcrafted using Certified Organic and Bio Dynamic plant extracts, Innersense products are free of toxins, silicones, resins, phthalates and parabens. Innersense is a Certified Green Business. The products are available at more than 4,000 salons and spas and on www.innersensebeauty.com.

Lipstick Queen

Born to Be Queen

Why be a princess when you can be a Lipstick Queen! I was introduced to Lipstick Queen at my local Ulta store and was beyond excited to test out of a few of their new Cupid’s Bow collection ($22 each).

Lipstick Queen

Why be a princess when you can be a Lipstick Queen! I was introduced to Lipstick Queen at my local Ulta store and was beyond excited to test out of a few of their new Cupid’s Bow collection ($22 each).  <Insert pics of products here> Fun fact! Clara Bow was America’s original “It Girl”, who inspired perfectly outlined, seductive lips. To this day, creating heart shaped, cupid’s bow lips is called “putting on a Clara Bow”. Yes, this will be on the test! <Insert pic of Clara Bow with caption: Clara pining for her Prince> Cupid’s Bow is a collection of 8 Jumbo Pencils that double up as both liner and lipstick. I am certainly more of a gloss girl myself, but I gave them a whirl. Both colors were super pigmented and glided on with no hassle. They also had staying power, but I would recommend wearing a gloss over them, as they felt a little dry on my lips. <Insert lip pics here with caption of color names under each: Ovid and Golden Arrow> Cupid’s Bow Ovid complements my tan skin for the summer months, but will also be a nice raspberry color for fall. Golden Arrow had a pinkish tint to it, while giving off the nude lip vibe. Definitely one I would wear on a regular basis and the safer of the two colors. I really want to get my hands on Lipstick Queen’s Frog Prince next. It is an emerald green lipstick that adjusts to your skin’s natural coloring and pH levels, transforming into a rosebud shade. Sounds magical!  Now go out there and rule the world, Lipstick Queens!

Fun fact! Clara Bow was America’s original “It Girl”, who inspired perfectly outlined, seductive lips. To this day, creating heart shaped, cupid’s bow lips is called “putting on a Clara Bow”. Yes, this will be on the test!

LipstickQueen

Cupid’s Bow is a collection of 8 Jumbo Pencils that double up as both liner and lipstick. I am certainly more of a gloss girl myself, but I gave them a whirl. Both colors were super pigmented and glided on with no hassle. They also had staying power, but I would recommend wearing a gloss over them, as they felt a little dry on my lips.

Lipstick Queen
Golden Arrow
Lipstick Queen
Ovid

Cupid’s Bow Ovid complements my tan skin for the summer months, but will also be a nice raspberry color for fall. Golden Arrow had a pinkish tint to it, while giving off the nude lip vibe. Definitely one I would wear on a regular basis and the safer of the two colors.

I really want to get my hands on Lipstick Queen’s Frog Prince next. It is an emerald green lipstick that adjusts to your skin’s natural coloring and pH levels, transforming into a rosebud shade. Sounds magical!

Now go out there and rule the world, Lipstick Queens!

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclosure

“Higher” Skincare with Hemp

Hemp kind of has a bad rap (unless you hail from Colorado, wink wink). Although hemp seeds come from Cannabis Sativa, the oil actually is rich in essential 3-6-9 fatty acids as well as antioxidants. It has properties that help replenish the skin, prevent premature aging, and maintain moisture balance.

mad hippie

So why not channel your inner free spirit with Mad Hippie’s Antioxidant Facial Oil ($24.99/select Whole Foods Markets)? This hydrating oil has been formulated with hemp seed oil, argan oil, goji, and camu camu without the harmful chemicals, parabens, or synthetic oils and fragrances. Made in the USA, it is also vegan with no animal testing!

mad hippie

Mad Hippie Facial Oil comes in a cute little medicine bottle complete with dropper. I chose to use it at night so my clean face could soak in all the goodness and chill vibes, man. Seriously though, the list of oils and extracts in the ingredients are impressive: Sunflower, pomegranate, cranberry, blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, and kiwi to name a few.

Upon using it for a few weeks, I will say I think my skin would benefit from this more in the winter time, as it is an oil, and oils are…well…oily! However, it was super hydrating, and I am sure after getting “baked” in the sun, Mad Hippie Oil is the product I will turn to. To find out more, go to www.madhippie.com.

Peace, love, and hydration!

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclosure

Three Steps to Sexy Skin

I might be a creep, but I love routine. It helps me get everything I need done during the day and helps me from getting overwhelmed. When it comes to skin care, this is no exception. I stick to a strict skin care routine to make sure I don’t let things slack and I don’t damage my skin.

But don’t take it from me. The lovely Celeste is back to talk about three keys to a strong skin care routine.

A skin care routine is similar to an exercise routine. Lifting a weight once won’t create muscle definition; wearing sunscreen only when on vacation is not the path to achieving a clear, healthy complexion. Lifestyle changes take time and commitment. When creating a routine, it’s just as important to know what not to do as it is to know what to do. Here are three things to avoid when you set out to live a healthy skin lifestyle:

  1. Inconsistency. Consistency is key for addressing skin concerns and maintaining a healthy skin routine. Again, you are unlikely to see any results by using products just once or twice. If it takes you six months to use a bottle that is intended to be used in two, you are not benefiting from the active ingredients in the product. Once you find what works for you, stick with it!
  2. Not cleansing before bed. Imagine not brushing your teeth at the end of the day and that is what it’s like to skip a nightly skin care routine. Even if you don’t wear make-up, you still need to cleanse. Sweat, oil and dirt sit on your skin all day. By skipping your nightly routine, you allow your skin to absorb pollutants. You also need an evening skin care routine to address any concerns and/or maintain your current skin health. Before going to bed, use resurfacing ingredients such as AHAs and retinols, in addition to restorative peptides. Tip: Make-up wipes cannot replace a complete cleanse, they are best used to remove heavy make-up before cleansing.
  3. Overdoing it. I’ll say it again, it is crucial to maintain a consistent, thorough, skin care routine twice a day. However, as the saying goes, “Too much of a good thing is too much.” If you are repeating your routine more than twice daily, it is too much. By over-cleansing/toning/astringing, you are stripping your skin of healthy oils and causing it to produce extra oil. Oil production can be balanced with a healthy and consistent skin care routine. If you are using your prescription skin care products more than as directed, it’s too much. You will not see results faster by doubling up on your topical (or ingested) prescription. This applies to acne, fine lines, hyperpigmentation, freckling, etc. Prescription skin care products are prescribed for a reason and can have serious and damaging effects if used incorrectly.

For more do’s and don’ts, I urge you to talk with a Skin Coach. We’ve made it super simple to connect with a Skin Coach through the new app – My Skin Authority. It’s the first interactive lifestyle app that connects people with a live esthetics expert for coaching and guidance. My Skin Authority is a free download at the Apple App Store and on Google play.

And while you’re at it, check out the rest of Celeste’s skin care advice from this year: skin care resolutions, the skin care basics, face oils for acne-prone skin, skin care for eyesdifferences between men’s and women’s skin care and the deal with Vitamin C serums.

What does your daily skin care routine look like?

About the author: With two decades in the beauty and skin care industries, Celeste Hilling is the Founder, CEO and Product Formulator for Skin Authority. Skin Authority is respected for developing pure and powerful products without the use of parabens, added fragrance, dyes or animal testing. More on www.skinauthority.com, Facebook at Skin Authority, Twitter @SkinAuthority and @MissSkin.

Latest and Greatest from Burt’s Bees

Oh happy day! Burt’s Bees has introduced new collections that will have you buzzing.

Burt's Bees

You know that old standby Burt’s Bees Beeswax chapstick you have tucked away in your purse? Burt’s Bees Squeezable Beeswax Lip Balm, ($3.99) is exactly like the original- only softer, smoother, and squeezable! I love how it gives just a little shine that the chapstick doesn’t provide, and the peppermint flavor leaves that signature tingle behind.

Burt's Bees

Burt’s has also come out with a collection of Sheer Body Lotions ($10). They are formulated with Safflower Oil Oleosomes, which have been clinically shown to moisturize skin instantly and leave it feeling soft and smooth. For those of you who have read my previous posts, I am a sucker for anything in a spray bottle! I had lots of fun spraying this lotion on my arms and legs…it’s the little things in life, I suppose.

Burt's Bees

Next, I’m dying to try Burt’s Bees Renewal Collection. This face care line helps reduce the look of lines and wrinkles while firming skin to appear smoother and more hydrated. And with white hibiscus and apple rejuvenating complex, I am sure it smells divine.

Find Burt’s Bees newest collections and www.burtsbees.com, and let us know what you think of them in the comments below!

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclosure

 

Mastey- Say Yes to Eco-Friendly Hair Care

As a beauty blogger, I have been dying to try using more eco-friendly products on my face, skin, and hair. Let’s be honest- I am not getting any younger, and I will try anything that doesn’t have harsh chemicals or additives that will aid in the aging process! Mastey has a whole line of eco-friendly hair care products, and I had the chance to try out their Color Protecting Shampoo and Conditioner.

mastey

I have fast growing hair, and before I know it, it reaches halfway down my back. Having a good shampoo and conditioner is very important to me. Mastey’s hair products are 100% vegan, rich in antioxidants, and are formulated with argan oil and olive oil. Best of all, they contain no ammonia, sodium chloride, parabens, synthetic dyes, and no PPD (more information on the negative effects of PPD is here).

I LOVED the pearlescent shine the shampoo had when I squeezed it into my hand.

Behold the shimmery beauty:

mastey mastey

Although the shampoo was nice, I really fell in love with the conditioner. You know when you go to the salon, and they use shampoos and conditioners that smell way better than anything you can ever buy in the store, and you’re like “what is this heavenly scent and why can’t I find it anywhere?” That is Mastey’s Color Protecting Conditioner. True story.

Interested in giving your over treated locks a break? Head over to www.mastey.com, and check out their whole line of haircare products. I will definitely be passing this on to my health conscious vegan friends!

Have you tried Mastey shampoo and conditioner before?

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclosure