I have experienced a few transformations in my life that have been so dramatic I wish I had taken before and after pictures. One of those times was when I went to Super Cuts for a trim and the stylist gave me a pixie cut with a rat tail. Another was when I bought my first professionally fitted bra. And the third was when I started using Dermalogica skincare.
It all started one day when my friend Katie and I went out for drinks. She was telling a story when I realized that even under the harsh fluorescent lights of the bar her face looked dewy and flawless. “Oh my god,” I blurted out. “How do you have such perfect skin?!” Keep reading »
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of attending a seasonal event hosted by Melvita, one of my favorite natural beauty brands. They tend to fly under the radar on the US market as more of an indie brand, but they have a much larger presence in Europe, especially in France, where the company originated in 1983. Their super-gentle, certified organic skin, body, and hair care products are amazing, and there’s a formidable chance that your favorite French celebrity is a documented fan. (Not naming names, because some people have contracts with Dior, but MARION COTILLARD.) Keep reading »
I’d had enough with drugstore moisturizers until I found the heavenly Aveeno Clear Complexion Daily Moisturizer. This little blessing in a bottle was just calling out to my acne-inflamed face. After using the moisturizer for the last four months, I have noticed how few breakouts I now have, how much the size of my inflammations have been reduced, and how invisible the red scarring of previous breakouts has become with every application. While the moisturizer does make my face a bit shiny at times, I’ve decided that using tons of blotting papers is worth the price of clear skin! [$15, Aveeno]
Not long ago, BB cream was the biggest buzz in beauty. But lately, it’s all but disappeared from the lips of magazine editors and bloggers. Brands that are just now getting on their BB game are, well, kind of late to the party. The Asian favorite formula ended up being a bit of a disappointment in the U.S. market — though there are several successful versions being offered (Smashbox, Boscia, and Bobbi Brown come to mind), big drugstore companies like Maybelline and L’Oreal dropped the ball on BB by abandoning sunscreen as its main attraction.
When I heard that “The Skincare Makeup” brand Jane Iredale was at long last offering their own addition to the list of American BB creams with Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream, I knew I would have to forgo my New Makeup Ban (psh, yeah right) to give it a try. With a smooth, creamy texture, SPF 25, and the kind of hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic natural ingredients that make you think it might be safe to eat, I was not disappointed — in fact, it restored my faith in the BB cream genre, and I’ll tell you why. Keep reading »
What happens when you take four best-selling skincare and makeup products and combine them in a kit that looks like a vintage hardbound book? I squeal with delight, that’s what happens, because Benefit’s new “How To Look The Best At Everything” flawless complexion kit is not only a great makeup combo, it’s adorable. For 30 bucks, you get POREfessional primer, Hello Flawless illuminator, BOI-ING concealer, Hello Flawless powder, and retro illustrated graphics that teach you how to apply each one for a truly flawless finish. This book has definitely earned a place in my makeup library. [$30, Sephora]
“I just bought my first primer and I was so excited to use it, but then I realized I don’t actually know how to use it. Does it go on before or after my concealer? What about moisturizer? My daily regimen includes sunscreen, concealer, powder, and now primer. Could you help me figure out the order in which I should be putting all these products on my face? Thanks so much!” – Primed For Greatness
Oh, Primed For Greatness, you have so much to learn! But not to worry, you have a lot of potential, too — there are plenty of makeup newbies who begrudge the virtues of a good primer in their makeup routine. Expressing a desire to use one properly is the first step in your journey to becoming a primer pro. Keep reading »
I’ve always had good skin. It’s not the best skin in the world, but it’s good — I was fortunate enough to escape adolescence largely unscathed by acne eruptions, and even now I rarely have more than one pimple at any given moment. Thanks in part to my fastidious skincare routine and borderline obsessive refusal to not fall asleep with makeup on no matter how exhausted or inebriated (or both, as is usually the case) I am, my skin is good enough that I field compliments on it regularly. Keep reading »
I’ve been known to get a touch irritable from time to time. Wait, let me rephrase that: I am a generally irritable human being. (More often than not, my irritability stems from an overriding sense of hanger, which kind of goes without saying given that I am forever hungry.) I had previously accepted “on edge” as my perpetual state, but then my fairy godmother Tata Harper came along with a soothing blend of essential oils and I was suddenly awash with well-being. Her all-natural Aromatic Irritability Treatment looks like a roll-on perfume but acts like a Valium (almost) to comfort, calm, and center. Breathe deep. [$65, Tata Harper]
When it comes to products that I feel very strongly that I NEEEEEED, they generally cost more than my ConEd bill for any given month. I love luxury beauty because it makes me feel that I, by owning and using it, become luxurious by osmosis. It’s a little mind game that I like to play with myself: if I buy this $150 serum, it will make me the kind of fabulous girl who warrants a $150 serum in the first place! Yay marketing! Keep reading »
Exfoliation is one of the most important things you can do for your skin, but the approach has changed immensely over the past couple of years. Whereas a simple scrub once sufficed, we now have endless options that range from chemical exfoliators (like acids and peels) to intense, deep-cleansing physical tools (like the ever-popular Clarisonic). Yes, “chemical peel” is a terrifying name and concept, but its bark is far worse than its bite: while peels were once strictly relegated to the offices of cosmetic specialists, today’s at-home formulas use fruit-derived enzymes and plant extracts to smooth, clarify, and encourage cell turnover to dramatically reduce signs of aging.
Swiss luxury skincare brand La Prairie offers innovative “professional level” (their quotes, not mine) exfoliating technology with their Cellular Resurfacing 3-Minute Peel, but at $210 for a small jar, the price alone might induce more fine lines than it promises to erase (and skincare naturalists like myself will be put off by the fact that a full list of ingredients can be found … nowhere). This is where Murad Intensive-C® Radiance Peel comes in: at $49.50, it’s less than 1/4 the price of La Prairie’s version, and you can actually feel the active enzymes as they work their brightening, hydrating, pore-shrinking witchcraft. La who, now?