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Beauty/April 18, 2017

Top 5 Foundations

Finding the best foundation can feel a bit like winning the lottery. More so than any other beauty product, foundation can make or break your entire look—and the trial and error process to find the right formula can be difficult. Got oily skin? You need matte coverage that stays put all day. Mature skin requires something lightweight and dewy that won’t cake or settle into fine lines.

So, what are the best foundations that rose to our lofty standards? Whether they were drugstore brands or high-end splurges, these five top-performing foundations transform even the blotchiest and oiliest among us into women with flawless, radiant complexions.

Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Foundation Powder, $46

This foundation effortlessly evens your complexion, smoothing and perfecting the skin’s appearance. It instantly reduces shine, evens your skin tone, hydrates, and visibly reduces the appearance of lines and pores. Created to move with your skin, the comfortable, water-resistant formula flexes easily without settling into fine lines, blurring the distinction between real skin and makeup.

Dolce & Gabbana Perfect Matte Liquid Foundation SPF 20, $67

A high performance, modern fluid foundation for a timeless beautiful face. Breakthrough formula features the innovative Matte Adapt Complex that self corrects signs of imperfections to uphold an impeccable complexion. Seamlessly tailoring to the skin, Perfect Matte Liquid Foundation imparts a velvety matte look that is soft to touch. The special formula with SPF 20 stays perfect all day long.

L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation, $12.99

L’Oréal’s Infallible Pro-Matte 24HR Foundation has an air-light texture with a demi-matte finish. This super gliding mattifying formula has a high-water content for maximum comfort that lasts!

Hourglass Illusion Hyaluronic Skin Tint, $55

This superior foundation employs advanced technology to promote the appearance of a smoother, firmer and more youthful complexion. Fortified with Hourglass’ Hyaluronan Complex, Illusion® plumps fine lines and wrinkles, tightens the appearance of sagging skin, and delivers an unbelievably luminous glow. UVA/UVB SPF 15 helps protect skin from the sun. Available in 12 shades.

Nars All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation, $48

Get full-coverage, lightweight foundation coverage with All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation. This foundation is highly pigmented and leaves a natural-looking finish. Perfectly balanced, this breakthrough, full-coverage formula builds and blends effortlessly. Sweat- and humidity-proof, it instantly neutralizes redness and dullness, while it works to reduce discoloration for more even, uniform skin. Perfect for all skin types, it features Weightless Long-wear Technology, an exclusive blend from NARS with flexible polymers and treated pigments that move with the skin while providing 16 hours of staying power.

 

Beauty/March 26, 2017

6 Make-Up Trends to Try in 2017

The makeup trends for 2017 are a tale of two extremes: either just a little bit of makeup applied artfully, or piles of glitter and shine. Here are six new beauty trends you can master with products you already own.

  1. Black Liner Redux

It may have taken you months to perfect, but consider leaving your black cat-eye liner behind in 2016. This year’s go-to liner look is all about black pencil liner traced along your inner waterlines. Yes, it’s basically the look you wore all throughout middle school—but this time you have the edge to pull it off.

  1. Glossy Lids

There’s more than one way to shine, and it doesn’t involve highlighter or glitter. Glossy eyelids, long a staple of editorial shoots, is now wearable IRL. You can buy dedicated eye glosses from brands like M.A.C. and Kevyn Aucoin, or you just sweep some lip gloss over your favorite shadow to get a similar effect.

  1. Totally ’80s

Frosty blue shadow, colorful blush, poofy hair—all these signifiers of ’80s beauty are making a comeback.

  1. Bold Blush

Get your blush brushes ready—you’re going to need them in a big way in 2017. Whether applied with a heavy-hand and a nod to disco or subtly blended from cheek to temple, blush is meant to be seen. Leave subtlety at the door.

  1. The Relaxed Red Lip

A red lip is always in style (and anyone who tells you otherwise is dead wrong). But the way to wear it in 2017 is with no-makeup makeup. Clean, fresh skin, fluffy brows, minimal eye makeup, and a striking red lip are a no-fail combination.

  1. Glitter Forever

The glitter trend is still going strong. This year, try to wear it in a less precise manner than you’ve tried before. Scatter it across your bottom lash line, allowing flecks to fall where they might. The less perfect it looks, the more perfect it is.

Hair/February 21, 2017

8 Hair Trends in 2017

These eight hair trends are going to be huge in 2017.

Super Sleek

Break out your flat iron—straight, shiny, and center-parted hair is one of the biggest trends for 2017. But this style only works if your hair looks healthy—not fried. Be sure to mist a heat protectant through your hair before touching it with a straightener.

The High Pony

Slick your hair up. All the way up. Done in rumpled texture or stick-straight, the high ponytail adds both an elegance and ease to every ensemble. Bonus: the tighter you secure it, the more lifted your face looks.

Flat Waves

Neither beachy nor bouncy, flat iron waves are the new curling iron waves. As seen on Kendall Jenner, waves created with a straightener are subtler and a little less glam. Just create a bend in your hair by pushing it upward, then seal the shape with a few clamps of your iron. Release and repeat. Keep your ends straight for the most polished finish.

The Growing-Out Shag

The shag was the surprising hit haircut in 2016. But those layers and bangs must grow out sometime. In 2017, we’ll see the beautiful result of that. With hair that hits just past the shoulders and bangs that are long enough to be split down the middle, the grown-out shag is the haircut to keep an eye on this year. If anything, it’s a way to hint at a shag without giving it your full commitment.

Cher Hair

Ultra-long extensions aren’t going anywhere. We’ve seen them on Rihanna, Jourdan Dunn, and the Kardashians in recent months, and the trend is poised to make an even bigger splash in 2017.

The Hair Flip

The easiest hairstyle trend to copy this year? The hair flip. All it requires is you to flip your hair from one side to the other, creating tons of volume as a result.

Slick and Shiny

Shay Mitchell did it. So did Gigi Hadid and Kim Kardashian. Slick, shiny hair that only looks like its sopping wet is a 2017 hair trend that can look just as good off the runway and IRL. Just work a heavy dose of styling cream from your roots to mid-lengths to get that unmistakable shine with a little bit of hold.

Golden Bronde

In some lighting, it’s blonde. In others, it’s golden brown. This transformative hair color trend is called golden bronde—and it’s the perfect warm-toned hair color that can be adjusted to work on all skin tones. So, if you’ve never considered going blonde before, maybe this is your year.

Beauty/January 16, 2017

Highlighting and Contouring Tips

Contouring is the hottest make-up trend. Anyone who’s anyone is contouring and emphasizing their best features, so if you want to get cheekbones or the perfect pout, read on for some top tips!

Tip #1: Concealer

First, start with the concealer—and don’t be shy about it! Concealer is a really useful weapon in any make-up lover’s kit, and it’s not just for hiding those dark circles under your eyes. Apply this product using a dabbing motion instead of rubbing to create the desired effect—you’ll want to use it on the areas that you want to highlight: the brow bone, the top of the cheekbones and the line down the middle of your nose.

Tip #2: Foundation

Next, use your foundation. In order to create the perfect contoured look, you’ll need to pick up three shades of foundation. One will match your skin tone perfectly, one will be two shades darker and one will be two shades lighter. This will help you to contour your face perfectly, highlighting those gorgeous cheekbones and giving the face some real shape, without distorting the natural skin color too much.

Tip #3: Guidelines

To create the perfect contouring guideline for your cheeks, draw a straight line from the corner of your mouth to the top of your ear with an angled contour brush. This is where you apply the darker foundation, creating a shadow below your cheekbones that looks razor-sharp! This darker area should be no wider than your little finger—if you make it much wider, you’ll start to look hollow and gaunt, instead of glowing and radiant. Using a highlighter, draw a line from the outer edge of your nose through to the outer corner of your eye. Use some slight shading on the side of your head, where the temple is, to emphasize the cheeks and give your eyes a fantastic, age-defying lift!

Tip #4: Draw a line

Next, using your contouring product we’ll make your nose look straighter and slimmer. Draw a line starting from the beginning of the eyebrows, going straight down to the tip of your nose. To make your nose look slimmer bring the lines closer together. Additionally if you want to make your nose shorter apply the product under the tip of the nose, a pencil brush will do the job perfectly.

Tip #5: Blend

Lastly – blend, blend, blend! Using a stippling make-up brush make sure that the guidelines you’ve drawn on your face aren’t visible and ensure that the make-up blends seamlessly on your face. This might take a while, but the effects will be stunning and you’ll be ready to walk the catwalk!

Contouring isn’t rocket science. If you follow the tips we gave you above, your application will improve. We found that face contouring is a rising trend and will stay with us for some time. So, make sure you do it the right way.

Hair/December 17, 2016

How to Take Care of Hair That Has Been Japanese Hair Straightened

Japanese hair straightening is a process of breaking down the natural structure of the hair through chemical and heat processes. After the process is complete, hair is straight and appears shiny and healthy. Taking care of hair that has been through a Japanese hair straightening process takes only a few steps, but is necessary to preserve and maintain the desired results.

Things You’ll Need

  • 
Gentle shampoo
  • Moisturizing conditioner
  • SPF hair product
  • Protein-enriched deep conditioner

 Avoid exposing the hair to any moisture or water for 72 hours immediately following the treatment. Moisture can reverse the results of the straightening process.

Do not tuck hair behind the ears or place in any clips, rubber bands, ponytail holders or any other hair styling items for 72 hours after the straightening process.

Purchase specialized shampoo and conditioner that is specifically formulated for hair that has received thermal reconditioning. Use shampoos and conditioners that are specifically formulated to be gentle and moisturizing.

Avoid swimming or exposure to chlorinated water for at least two weeks after the initial treatment. Avoid any other chemical processes, such as hair coloring, for at least two months following the initial Japanese straightening. This will help prevent any additional damage to the hair or reversal of the hair straightening.

Schedule a touch-up treatment at the same salon approximately four to six months following the original treatment. This will ensure that hair remains smooth and straight.

Protect hair against UV damage by lightly spraying hair with styling products that contain SPF when exposing the hair to sunlight for moderate amounts of time.

Deep condition the hair once a week with a protein-enriched deep conditioner.

Beauty/September 19, 2016

7 Clever Make-Up Tips

Make-up artists know all the secrets to looking great—those little tricks that can be picked up only by living in the beauty world 24/7 as they do. Fortunately, they’re often as generous as they are knowledgeable. Read on to see some of the best make-up tips you haven’t heard before.

Ditch the Oil Slick

To keep shine in check, Revlon Global Artistic Director Gucci Westman always keeps blotting papers on hand. But in a pinch, she has an unusual way to keep oil at bay. “Believe it or not,” she says, “I sometimes put deodorant on my finger and dab under my eyes and t-zone to help create a matte look.”

Try Colored Eyeliner

Changing your eyeliner can make eyes look bigger and brighter, says make-up artist Tina Turnbow, who has worked with stars such as Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore. “Try swapping black for plum, olive green, or indigo,” she suggests. “Black can close up the eye and make it appear smaller, because darker colors make the eye recede. Some colors, even brown, can be softer.”

Go for Sheer Foundation

Adding aloe to foundation gives it excellent slip, says makeup artist Brett Freedman, who’s helped women like Vanessa Hudgens and Leighton Meester get gorgeous. “Sheer out your favorite base by adding a half a pea size of aloe to your foundation before you apply,” he explains. “Also, you can apply aloe to your face and while still dewy, spread on a little foundation. You’re ready for summer!” 

Style Your Brows, Size Up Your Eyes

Doug Howell, Nars make-up artist, has an easy trick for making eyes stand out more. “Use a powder to define the entire brow, but give extra attention to the center arch area of the brow,” he says. “Since this is the highest area of the brow, it tricks people’s eyes into thinking your eyes look bigger.” Use a brow brush to apply powder eye shadows that correspond with your hair color. He recommends Nars single eye shadows ($24 each) in these shades: Blondie for lighter hair, Bali for medium hair, and Coconut Grove for dark hair.

Leave Your Lipstick in Place

The same product can be used to keep lipstick in check, says MAC Senior Artist Louise Zizzo. “MAC Brow Set in Clear used around the rim of the mouth will help prevent lipstick from bleeding,” she explains. 

Create a Perfect Manicure

When working with stars like Joy Bryant and Sheryl Crow, Dior celebrity make-up artist Ricky Wilson pays attention to details like fingernails. “One thing that I always do for nails is mix a bit of Dior’s Skinflash pen ($37) with Dior Crème Abricot ($24) to get rid of any nicks at the base of the nail bed,” he confides. “It also adds a beautiful sheen that I like to call ‘red-carpet-ready’ hands.”

Get Bambi Lashes without Mascara

You don’t need mascara to make your eyelashes stand out, says Mark celebrity make-up artist Mai Quynh, who has worked with actors including Emma Stone and Ashley Greene. Just add eyeliner, she says: “To get voluminous-looking lashes, apply dark brown or black waterproof eyeliner to the upper rim of your eye— not on top of the lashes, but in between and underneath them. This gives the illusion of thicker, fuller lashes without having a lined eye.”

Beauty/August 22, 2016

6 Secrets to Healthy Skin That Glows

Beauty, as the saying goes, is only skin-deep—but the importance of skin goes a lot deeper. Here are 6 ways to keep your skin healthy and radiant looking.

Avoid Long Steamy Showers

Instead, opt for shorter, cooler sprays. Long, hot showers strip the skin of its moisture and wash away its protective oils. Limit your showers to 10 minutes and keep the water relatively cool.

Apply Aloe Vera Gel Daily

Smooth some aloe vera gel over extra dry skin every day. The acids in aloe eat away at dead skin cells and speed up the healing process. Buy a pre-prepared product or cut the end off of an aloe leaf, split it open and spread the gel on the dry area.

Exfoliate Every Day

Use a loofah every day to keep ingrown hairs and scaly skin under control. While you’re in the shower, gently scrub bumpy or scaly skin with a circular motion to remove dead skin cells.

Take Multivitamins Daily

Many nutrients are vital to healthy skin, including vitamins C, A and B. The most reliable way to get them all is to eat healthily, as well as taking a daily supplement.

Keep Your Hands off Your Face

Because your hands touch so many surfaces, they are a magnet for dirt and germs. Rub your eyes, stroke your chin, cup your cheek, and you’ve transferred everything on your hands to your face. As an extension of this, use headphones or a headset when talking on the phone.

Choose Cosmetics Carefully

Keep your beauty products simple, particularly if you have sensitive skin. Stay away from anything with color or fragrance, or anything that produces bubbles or has ‘antibacterial’ on the label.

Hair/June 27, 2016

Daily Hair Care Routine

Trying to look after your hair and get all that everyday stuff done you need to do, as well as look after your friends and family, can be a difficult balancing act. We all want to have great hair; but unfortunately, shiny, healthy hair doesn’t just happen without a little bit of effort. That effort, however, doesn’t have to take up all of your time or break the bank. In fact, the only thing you need to do is put in the short amount of time necessary to follow this simple daily hair care routine. It’s that easy!

1. Brush Your Hair

It may seem like the obvious thing to do, but maybe what you didn’t know is that brushing keeps your hair tangle free and distributes its natural oils throughout the hair. This promotes healthy growth and shine.

2. Wash Your Hair

How often you wash your hair depends on your hair type and texture. Work out what’s best for you by seeing how your hair reacts to washing and hair care products, and develop a schedule from there. For instance:

  • Your hair is coarse/dry if it often feels brittle—this means you only need to wash it every second or third day.
  • Your hair is fine/oily if it feels greasy the day after you wash it—this means you need to wash it daily.
  • Your hair is normal if you wash it one day and it’s not too greasy the next-—this means you can get away with washing it every other day.

Shampoo Tips

  • Remember to shampoo in small, circular movements; don’t forget to target dirt collecting areas such as the nape of your neck.
  • Massaging your scalp will increase blood flow which encourages growth and will stimulate your hair’s natural oils (producing shiny locks).
  • Coarse/dry hair will benefit from hydrating shampoos.
  • Fine/oily hair should be washed with a clear shampoo (one that doesn’t look creamy).
  • Normal hair can use just about any type of shampoo- just remember to always use good quality products for the best results.

Conditioner Tips

  • Similar to body lotion for your skin, conditioner is moisturizer for your hair and will keep your strands hydrated and manageable.
  • For an even application use your hands and a wide-toothed comb.
  • If you’ve got coarse/dry hair try a hydrating conditioner and apply it right from your roots to your ends.
  • For fine/oily hair use a lightweight conditioner and avoid putting it on your roots (evenly distribute it from the mid-lengths to the ends).
  • For normal hair you can use just about any kind of conditioner, applied from your roots to your ends also.

3. Apply Hair Styling Products

If you have a hairstyle that needs to use hair products—hairspray for hold, wax for hold and shine, or serum for shine and to maintain fly-away pieces—then don’t use too much! You might end up weighing your hair down and reducing its volume, or just making it greasy and dirty. Often less is more.

Also, don’t forget to protect your hair. If you style your hair with a hair straightener or blow dryer, it’s very important to protect your hair with heat protecting products, and to give your hair a break every few days from the stress of using hair accessories and hairstyling tools.

4. Style Your Hair

Everyone styles their hair, whether they’re elaborate updos, professional looking hairdos for work, or casual wash-and-wear looks. Styling is required daily and should be done as gently as possible.

5. Brush Your Hair Again at Night

Brushing your hair again at night will help you to untangle any knots that made their way into your locks during the day.

6. Secure Your Hair at Night

Securing your hair at night with a simple ponytail or plait will make sure your locks don’t get snagged or tangled as you sleep.

There you have it, a simple daily routine (and some great hair care tips). It’s not hard to follow, it won’t have you spending all of your hard earned cash, and most importantly, it will get your hair in the best condition possible.

Hair/April 1, 2016

Tips to Protect Color-Treated Hair

Before your hair is colored, make sure it’s in the best possible condition. If your hair is dry, or if you have a lot of split ends, you’re not going to get an even, natural looking result after coloring. Futhermore, you’re putting the health of your hair at risk by adding chemicals. Do a deep conditioning treatment once a week for several weeks leading up to your hair color, and make sure to get those split ends snipped beforehand. This will ensure that your hair is healthy enough to take on the color.

Here are some tips on protecting your color-treated hair:

Keep the water temperature warm or lukewarm—a hot shower can expand the hair cuticle, allowing pigment molecules to escape—and don’t feel compelled to shampoo daily if you don’t have to, since detergents can prematurely fade dye. Color-treated tresses should only be cleansed and conditioned with “color-safe” products, which are brewed to prevent leaching pigment from your pricey dye job.

You don’t have to get all gussied up for your colorist, but do wash your hair within 24 hours of arrival. Most pros only cleanse your hair postcolor, so sweat, sticky styling products, and even spray tanning can tamper with how well the pigment molecules adhere to your hair shaft. A messed-up mane can also prevent your colorist from gauging your hair’s true tone, making it more difficult for her to find your perfect new hue. Make it easier on everyone and suds up before you sit down.

After you color your hair red or brown, hold off on lathering up for 48 hours, since it takes about two days for dyes to neutralize. You want to ensure the dye fully deposits and settles properly without being disturbed by shampoo detergent. If you’re going blonde—which typically entails lightening locks by stripping out color rather than adding it in as you do with reds and browns—you only have to wait 24 hours.

You wouldn’t leave the house without sunscreen, right? So apply that same UV vigilance to your hair. “UV light degrades proteins in the shaft, which weakens strands,” says Jeni Thomas, a senior scientist at Procter & Gamble. Color-treated tresses are also more porous, leaving them extra vulnerable to oxidative damage from the sun, thermal heat, and environmental pollutants like smoke and smog. To safeguard your strands, spray on a broad-spectrum color protector that shields against both UVA and UVB rays before venturing al fresco.

Colored hair can act like a sponge, unintentionally soaking up pigments from everyday products, so it’s important for blondes and brunettes to be vigilant about avoiding orange-colored shampoos, conditioners, and styling products. If you’ve already detected a hint of hibiscus, try L’Oreal Paris Brass Banisher ($10), an ammonia-free gloss that counteracts carroty colors by depositing ashy undertones. Sunning, swimming, and showering can also strip your new shade—protect your investment by spritzing on a UV-protective spray, using a shower filter, and rinsing tresses with fresh water before diving into the pool, which limits absorption of color-changing chlorine.

Hair/February 1, 2016

Tips on Keeping Your Hair Healthy and Shiny

While long hair can be your best asset, it can also be your biggest headache, because long hair needs to be looked after. The longer your hair, the more prone to damage it is, but that doesn’t mean that you have to go rushing for the scissors! Just follow these simple tips and it will help keep your beautiful long locks at the peak of health and looking wonderful:

1. Don’t go overboard on hair products

Our first tip on how to keep long hair healthy and shiny is – don’t overdo it with hair products. Long hair is heavier than short hair and if you get a build-up of products in your hair, then it is going to weigh down your hair even further and make it look flat and lifeless. Be especially careful of products that contain silicone. These may make your hair look shinier, when first used, but they can build up on your hair and, over time, actually dry your hair out.

2. Invest in a good hairbrush

You have a lot of hair to brush, so it’s well worth buying a quality hairbrush for your hair. The best kind to buy are natural bristle brushes with rounded bristles and look for a brush that is firm but still gentle enough that it won’t pull on your hair too much. It’s also worth having a wide toothed comb for painlessly easing out any tangles.

3. Air-dry your hair, when possible

The best way to dry your hair is to let it dry naturally. Too much heat can damage any type of hair, but when you have long hair, it is even more tempting to turn dryers up to full blast to get the job done quicker. It’s far better to gently pat your hair dry with a towel and let the fresh air do the rest.

4. Trim your hair regularly

Another tip on how to keep long hair healthy is regular trimming. Though the myth that cutting your hair makes it grow faster isn’t true, it does help to keep your long hair looking neat and tidy. You should be getting a trim every six to eight weeks to trim off any split ends and keep your hair looking smart.

5. Don’t wear your hair too tight

Sever, tight styles like ponytails or braids can damage long hair and the safest style for long hair is just to let it down. You can keep your hair off your face by using headbands, but if you keep tying up your hair, you will damage it.

6. Choose hair products wisely

Choose hair products that match your hair type and, wherever possible, choose products that contain natural ingredients. Quite simply, with long hair, there is more hair on display, so if it is damaged, then it will be more apparent.

7. Less washing, more conditioning

Our next tip on how to keep long hair healthy and shiny is—wash less, condition more. Most people are guilty of washing their too often, but a daily wash will strip all the natural oils from hair and leave it dry and flat. Try washing your hair just twice a week. Use a quality conditioner and remember to give your hair a good, but gentle brush, to spread your natural oils along the whole length of your hair.

9. Be kind and gentle to your hair

Above all else, another important tip on how to keep long hair healthy is—be kind and gentle to your hair and love it. Long hair is more prone to breaking and splitting, especially when it is wet. Never dry your hair roughly with a towel and remember to protect it from long exposure to sunlight and wind, and never tie it up in a ponytail when it’s wet.

10. Eat healthy and drink plenty of water

It’s boring, but it’s true, you need to have a healthy diet to keep long hair looking beautiful. You need protein for hair growth, and plenty of vitamins A, C and E to keep your hair shiny. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water too, your hair needs hydrating as well.

What are your favorite tips on how to keep long hair healthy? Please feel free to share your hair tips with us!