Monthly archive for December 2015

The Most Beautiful Spas in the World – and Which Treatments to Try!

We’re going to be honest with you: one of the best perks of being a beauty editor is getting to test out luxe spa and salon treatments. At times, we fly all over the globe just to get the freshest ingredient (such as homegrown lavender from Provence, France) or the most peaceful massage (nothing beats the fresh air in Manchester, VT) and the poshest scene (ahem, Miami). Whether you’re planning a spa getaway or just looking for some R & R in your hometown, we’ve curated the best of the best to bring you our list of must-try worldwide spas and salons. Get ready to book some “me” time!

Renew Your Hungover Holiday Skin With This DIY Egg White Face Mask 

After you’ve partied and gotten glammed up for the holidays, there’s no better way to relax and refresh than a DIY face mask. If your skin is on the oily side, a night of Champagne and dancing often shows up in a greasy glare, resulting in clogged pores and possibly leading to breakouts. To keep your skin radiant and poreless, you really don’t have to look any further than your refrigerator. You can whip up this easy remedy from 7 Beauty Tips for healthy postholiday skin using only two items from your kitchen. Here’s how:

10 Ways to Have More Gorgeous Skin in 2016

I always had an inkling that my skin is sensitive, but I didn’t know until I knew. It started two years ago with a rash on my neck, caused by an allergy to nickel. Trust me: when you’re wearing scarves in the middle of August to conceal a breakout, you can’t be in denial.

As time progressed, my skin continue to flare up. Until one day, when I was red, dry, and itchy from my forehead to my shoulders, I decided it was time to take control of the situation. First: admit to myself I have very sensitive epidermis; then, revamp my skin care routine.

So, I embarked on a journey, meeting with dermatologists to detect my metal allergy and also discover my rosacea. This is a skin condition that appears in the form of redness and bumps, often caused by products, alcohol, heat, stress, and other triggers. Saying goodbye to some of my favorite cleansers, moisturizers, and makeup wasn’t easy. Letting go of the jewelry was heartbreaking. But it made room for me to bring in new products that agreed with my skin and nickel-free baubles that would keep me rash-free.

There are a slew of gentle products from drugstore by brands like Cetaphil and Simple. And I love my organic labels, such as Tata Harper and Eminence. But there seemed to be a lack in the luxury market when it came to more minimal skin care. That’s why it was pretty groundbreaking in October when Chanel announced the launch of its new moisturizer, La Solution 10 de Chanel Sensitive Skin Cream .

Chanel teamed up with top NYC dermatologist Dr. Amy Wechsler to create an alcohol-free, fragrance-free, and oil-free face lotion that contains only 10 ingredients. They are all listed on the bottle: water, vegetable squalane, soft powder, glycerin, silver needle tea extract (an antioxidant star of the lineup), shea butter extract, emollient, emulsifier, humectant, and preservative. The white cream comes out of the chic bottle as a butter but blends to feel as light as a serum. It’s soothing and lovely – and I can’t get enough of it!

After using it for months (we editors get a sneak peek of these top launches before they hits consumers), I had to meet the woman behind this genius product. So I booked a session with Dr. Wechsler at her NYC office. After, we sat and drank tea (fittingly), discussing the biggest mistakes people with sensitive skin often make. Whether you already have easily irritated epidermis or just want to take better care of yourself, keep reading to learn how to revamp your daily routine.

These Were the 15 Hottest New Beauty Products of 2015

If you really thought about it, you would be downright overwhelmed by how many new beauty products hit the market every year. But over the course of the past few months , we’ve narrowed down the hundreds of hair treatments, skin serums, nail polishes, and cosmetics to our select favorites . Now that 2015 is coming to a close, we’ve cut the year’s best launches down to 15 exemplary products that are worth the splurge. From an in-shower moisturizer that keeps your skin hydrated all day to a salt spray that actually leaves your hair soft and touchable, these are the items you need to buy – that is, before 2016’s swag starts hitting shelves .

10 Ways to Update Your Winter Beauty Look on a Tight Budget

The drastic drop in temperature come January requires a beauty arsenal reboot (can you say polar vortex?). We’re trading our silky lotions for creamy body butters, astringent toners for hydrating facial essences , lip glosses for matte lipsticks, and so on. But that doesn’t mean we’re blowing a whole paycheck on updating our makeup bag, though. We’ve found 10 Winter essentials that don’t cost more than $10 – and trust us, they look chic, not cheap. Click through to discover your new beauty obsessions.


5 Unexpected, Brilliant New Ways to Use Your Clarisonic Brush

If you’ve only ever used your Clarisonic brush to cleanse your face, then you’ve been missing out. The launch of the Smart Profile ($265) device has made the Clarisonic fit for body and feet, too. All with the same handle! We spoke with the brand cofounder Dr. Robb Akridge to get new ideas on how to use your classic cleansing tool.

RELATED: Stop, No! 10 Ways You’re Using Your Clarisonic Totally Wrong

1. Longwear Makeup Removal

Drop the wipes. You can use your Clarisonic to remove your foundation and eye makeup. First coat your face in an oil cleanser like Shu Uemura Ultime8 Sublime Oil Cleanser ($42) and then use your brush to remove all the makeup. You don’t want to pour any oil-based product directly onto the brush head or it will drip down into the bristles. Also make sure to cleanse the Clarisonic with shampoo or soap afterwards.

2. Self-Tanner Solution

While you’re not supposed to use a physical exfoliant with the Clarisonic on your face, you can get away with the extra scrubbing power on your body. Make sure to select a scrub with fine granules (like sugar or salt based ones). Use the body brush to massage the exfoliant into your skin from the neck down. Using the skin care tool before using self-tanner is the best way to get a streak-free tan.

3. DIY Pedicure Tool

OK, this tip comes with one caveat. You’ve got to have the right pedicure attachment ($32). Please don’t put the same tool you use on your face on your toes (gross)! Using the smart head gives the handle an extra boost of power to get rid of calluses and dead skin.

4. Multimask Removal

Whenever we use a mask, there’s always a smear of clay left behind the ears (doh!). Use your Clarisonic to get every little bit off. Wet the brush and run through the regular four-step cycle to remove every trace of your skin care treatment.

5. Matte Lipstick Pretreatment

Fine-tuning your Clarisonic to fit into small spaces is the best way to get more uses out of a singular device. You can remove the outer ring in the classic brush to get a concentrated exfoliation or click in a premium attachment like the Satin Precision Contour Brush Head ($30). Scrub your pout with the smaller brush head before applying your favorite matte lip color. It will help the lip color go on smoother without settling into ridges.

9 Celebrity Beauty Campaigns We Can't Wait to Obsess Over in 2016

As serious beauty junkies, we get psyched about every new product to hit the market . But we get even more excited when we find out our favorite celebrities are spearheading the campaigns for our top brands’ swag. It’s the perfect storm of pop culture obsession and shopping fanaticism! Next year brings some incredibly gorgeous faces (and complexions and heads of hair) to the beauty arena – keep reading for proof.

Darren Criss Picked Out the Ultimate Grooming Gifts For Dapper Dudes

You may just know Darren Criss as a Broadway star or Blaine from Glee, but in real life, he’s actually an entrepreneurial beauty guru. When I sat down with him earlier this year to talk all things grooming, he blew me away with his knowledge about everything from essential oils to not overstripping his curls of moisture. When it comes to looking and smelling fine, Darren knows what’s up.

That’s why the triple threat is the perfect person to help you pick a present for the guys in your life – be it your brother, boyfriend, or boss. Here, Darren rounded up his favorite gifts from the dapper men’s ecommerce site The Motley . (Darren is actually an investor in the cool-guy grooming site, founded by siblings Matt and Madison Ruggieri). Keep reading to find out which lotions, fragrances, and candles Darren is loving this season. Plus, there are a few bonus stylish picks (Valentine’s Day is coming up sooner than you think . . . ).

Parisiennes Share Their Tried-and-True Hair, Makeup, and Skin Care Secrets

I’m not going to lie; I moved to Paris for all the cliché reasons – the sophistication, the culture, and the grandiosity that can make anyone feel just a little bit royal. Of course, there’s also Paris’s beauty – in its cityscape and in its people. So when I decided to explore global beauty standards for my docu-series, Pretty , Paris was the first place I started. In a nutshell, Pretty is a look at beauty everywhere. I’ve been traveling to cities across the globe, namely Paris, Milan, London, Tel Aviv, and Casablanca, speaking with women about their country’s and city’s beauty ideals and their own relationship with beauty.

Beauty in Paris

Effortless. If you ask almost anyone in Paris what it means to be beautiful, the word effortless will surely come up, which was exactly the case when I spoke with natives Sonia, Carole, and Sarah. They each explained that French beauty is very natural and inconspicuous. Even if you spend a lot of time on your appearance, you have to look as though you didn’t. In terms of physical characteristics, Sonia explained that the ideal French woman is tall and thin with somewhat regular features.

Many Parisians sum up this archetype with a commonly used expression: “la petite Parisienne” – a woman who acts as though her appearance doesn’t matter but pays attention to every detail of it. She wears Adidas Stan Smith sneakers with oversize coats and drinks red wine. However, despite looking beautifully understated, locals know that she’s got a number of beauty secrets in her arsenal. Thankfully for us in the States, Sonia, Sarah, and Carole shared some of theirs.

11 Beauty Techniques You Have to Master by 2016

Even though we’re the go-to girls for beauty knowledge amongst our friends, it can still be a struggle to keep up with all the trendy techniques. First there was strobing, then there was clown contouring, then there was multimasking . . . it’s kind of exhausting to keep track! If you, too, are tired of being confused by weird hashtags on Instagram (#cutcrease, we’re looking at you!), relax. We’ve compiled a dictionary of all the slang terms so you’ll never skip a beat when it comes to beauty.

2015 Needs to End So We Can Finally Snag These New Beauty Products

We’re looking forward to 2016 for a few reasons, such as popping Champagne and the opportunity to take on resolutions . But we’re especially excited for a whole new year of fresh beauty products! As editors, we get a sneak peek at what’s coming before anybody else, and we’re sharing the love with you. From a conditioner that won’t flatten fine hair to a life-changing lip balm, these are all the innovative items you need to start saving for – stat!

These 7 Face-Washing Mistakes Are Damaging Your Skin

A true beauty junkie has a strict skin care regime down pat. But are you making a mistake during the easiest part of your routine? Our friends at MIMI just broke down the seven most common cleansing problems.

I care a lot about my skin – I have a very intricate skin care routine that I complete every morning and most nights. However, against all advice, I sometimes fall asleep with my makeup on. That, we know, is a no-no. But is it possible that even when I wash my face on schedule that I’m still doing something wrong?

I tapped Rachel Nazarian of Schweiger Dermatology Group for the answers and she detailed seven (yes, seven!) ways most of us are damaging our skin during a wash.

  1. You’re over-cleaning.
    You should be washing your skin (face and body) twice daily at most. The best times are in the morning when you wake up, and in the evening before you go to sleep. If you’re very active or require more frequent cleaning, keep the washing short, with minimal soap. Each time you expose your skin to water and cleansers, your own natural hydrating oils are stripped. Parched skin looks duller and shows more fine lines and wrinkles.
  2. You are spending too much time scrubbing.
    Washing your face should be quick – like under 2 minutes. Don’t spend all day applying the cleanser, or washing it off, and definitely don’t let it sit on your face.
  3. You are using the wrong cleanser.
    Buy a face wash that tends to the specific needs of your skin. If you have sensitive skin, you should use cleansers, not soaps, when washing. Gentle non-foaming cleansers like Cetaphil , Cerave , and Dove are great options.
  4. You are over-exfoliating.
    Never exfoliate if your skin seems dry or red – especially during the Winter. Limit the exfoliating cleansers to a once-a-week.
  5. The water you are using is way too hot.
    Your skin is delicate, so using superhot water will shock it. Not only does hot water remove the calming natural oils your skin produces, but it will also cause blood vessels in your face to dilate, creating more redness. Keep the water temperature lukewarm and your skin will look and feel better.
  6. You are using facial wipes incorrectly.
    While they help cut down the time spent cleaning your face before bedtime, many contain preservatives and chemicals that should not be left on your skin. Plus, they often leave skin-irritating makeup and oil residue. Rinse your face with lukewarm water and a mild cleanser after you use one to remove any residue.
  7. Your wash cloth needs washing.
    It’s important to use a clean cloth every time. An unwashed cloth can harbor bacteria, and, if left damp, can even transfer fungus to your face. Keep a stack of clean towels available and toss into the laundry after every use.

This Red Velvet Fragrance Collection Will Make You Smell Like a Cupcake

I am a sucker for any gourmand perfume, which are scents with predominantly food-inspired notes . Though I’m still holding out for my dream fragrance (can someone make me “eau de glazed doughnut” already?!), I’ll stop to smell anything that claims to have the aroma of baked goods . Few products, however, live up to my expectations. Many patisserie-inspired scents end up smelling artificial or sickeningly sweet or last for mere minutes on the skin. But this holiday season, Bath & Body Works gave me and my fellow gourmand-lovers a gift.

I don’t know how the brand did it, but its Red Velvet Cheer collection smells exactly like a freshly baked cupcake. There are strong whiffs of vanilla-infused buttercream frosting, zesty citrus notes, and a cakey, chocolatey base that smells authentic, not plastic-y (like many cocoa scents unfortunately are). My favorite iterations of the fragrance are the shower gel and candle (which has since sold out), but you can get your cupcake deliciousness in the form of lotion, a body splash, and an antibacterial hand gel, too.

The only bad part about the collection is that it’s limited edition. The Christmas-themed packaging makes the products great for gifting , but I want them all year! While I love Bath & Body Works’ iconic Vanilla Bean Noel scent, Red Velvet Cheer is even more delectable – and truly hoard-worthy. Read on to shop the lineup.

Why You Need to Stop Using Tinted Moisturizer ASAP

We’ve long celebrated tinted moisturizer as a complexion solution for the laziest among us: it’s so easy to use that you can slap it on without a mirror. But according to our friends at MIMI , this holy grail item is not sanctioned by the Jenner sisters’ dermatologist, Dr. Christie Kidd.

Kylie recently confessed that she hates wearing heavy makeup (despite the richly pigmented products in her beauty routine ), declaring it’s bad for her skin. But it seems that our beloved, lightweight formula is more hazardous than we thought.

Dr. Kidd told Kylie (and her app viewers) that the sheer, lightweight formula of tinted moisturizer is more hazardous than you’d think. “Tinted moisturizers are designed to absorb deep in the layers of your skin to hydrate your skin and protect it, but it’s bringing all that pigment with it,” the dermatologist explained. “That’s going to break you out.” That makes a lot of sense – and it’s terrifying. Looks like we need to find a new low-maintenance makeup option ASAP.

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Demi Lovato's 12 Beauty Tips to Feel More Confident Every Day

Meeting Demi Lovato felt like chatting with an edgy Disney princess. She was kind and warm, yet she has that badass, girl-power attitude. When it comes to her style, the popstar is gorgeous with luminous skin, beautiful brown doe eyes, and a megawatt smile. Her pretty-girl makeup was juxtaposed by a chin-length, tousled brunette bob – which we know is tame compared to some of her rainbow-bright dye jobs .

But what makes Demi a standout in the young Hollywood crowd is her determination to empower women. Through her lyrics , inspiring quotes , and openness about her own struggles , she acknowledges that no one is perfect – not even celebrities. Demi’s latest hit song, “Confident,” sings this point home with messages like: “I used to hold my freak back. Now I’m letting go. I make my own choice. Yeah I run this show.” Who are we to disagree?

Perhaps this inner and outer beauty is what attracted NYC New York Color to tap Demi as its global ambassador . (It also scored her a hot boyfriend !)

Since Demi seems to have it all figured out, we asked her how to live life more confidently (it’s not always easy!). And so we present her top 12 tips for being your best self, written in her very own words.

(P.S. we have intel that Demi is launching something in 2016 that will help you feel and look that much more confident!)

7 Beautiful Ways to Celebrate Yourself This Season

The temperatures have dropped, which means saturating your skin with luxurious lotions is a must. Cozy Sunday afternoons are spent wrapped in soft blankets, surrounded by scents you love , and there’s the glimmer of giddiness at the thought of getting together with friends and loved ones during the holiday season. Along with showing others how much you care, make sure to take time to give yourself a little beauty love, too.

12 Beauty Uses For Baking Soda and 1 You Should Never Try

Our box of baking soda has been lurking somewhere in the back of the fridge for months. But now we know the Arm & Hammer belongs in a place of honor in the bathroom. Sodium bicarbonate isn’t just for cleaning the oven and curbing kitchen odors. This white powder also has amazing beauty benefits. Just like coconut oil and olive oil , you can use it from hair to toenails. You can even gargle with baking soda for fresher breath and healthier teeth. Keep reading to learn all the ways to incorporate baking soda into your daily beauty routine and one rumored remedy to completely avoid.

Simple Tricks to Keep Your Hands Looking Beautiful

8 Calorie-Free Cookie-Inspired Confections to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

If you’re whipping up cookie confections for family and friends this Winter, it’s only natural to snag a few for yourself (hey, a gal’s gotta taste test). We can’t blame you – there are few scents more appealing than a freshly baked tray of cookies . But during the holiday season , there are so many yummy desserts at our disposal that we find ourselves overwhelmed . . . and uncomfortably stuffed. This year, celebrate National Cookie Day with these sugary, calorie-free confections to satisfy your sweet tooth. Read on for our curated cookie-scented products.

Erase Your Breakouts by Watching These Skin-Changing Makeup Tutorials

Few things can destroy a person’s confidence like acne. Painful red bumps and scabby spots are a struggle to treat , let alone deal with on a daily basis. Beauty-lovers have the upper hand when it comes to a bad breakout – not only do they know that their addiction to makeup isn’t to blame for their skin struggles, but they have the skills to hide them. That said, there’s always something new to learn! We combed through YouTube and found the top 10 tutorials on how to conceal acne, so even when your complexion isn’t looking its best, only you have to know.