All Posts By:  beautybanter


Weekly Must-Have: Deborah Lippmann ‘The Stripper to Go’ Nail Lacquer Remover Finger Mitts

By | weekly must-have | 7 Comments

This week’s must-have are Deborah Lippmann’s ‘The Stripper to Go‘ Nail Lacquer Remover Finger Mitts. What a mouthful! I was recently introduced to these lovely finger mitts and let me tell you, they are a worthwhile investment for any nail polish fanatic. My weekly color changes have just become that much easier with these little mitts and I couldn’t be happier. Though my nails still feel dry after polish removal (I guess that’s simply par for the course when it comes to acetone), Deborah’s finger mitts have made me a fan simply because of how easy these are to use! Long gone are the days of cotton ball mounds. One mitt has enough nail polish remover power to clean all 10 of my lacquered nails for one of the easiest and cleanest nail polish removals I’ve ever experienced. If you have a tendency to layer on the polish, then perhaps you’ll need 2 mitts to get the job done. Another great perk? They are small, thin, and compact for the go-go girl on the run. Easy removal, easy travel. What more can a nail polish fiend ask for?

With 6 finger mitts per box at $12 a pop, you’ll be just as smitten with these mittens as I am.

Written by Sara Ng, Beauty Banter’s in-house Beauty Assistant who has a perfectly healthy obsession with nail polish.



DIY: Tribal Nail Art

By | diy | 15 Comments

DIY nail art is having a real moment. From color blocking to swirl art (we gushed over those DIY’s here) to bedazzled, foiled, and gilded creations, nails have become this season’s means of individual expression – like a pair of killer stilettos or a blunt bob (only less expensive than the latter two). With the nail art trend taking center stage, we asked celebrity manicurist Dawn Sterling, who has worked with Naomi Campbell, Kirsten Dunst, and Rhianna (to name a few), to give her tips on a DIY favorite: Tribal Nail Art.

Inspiration: “This past Spring I was thrilled to see so many nail art designs on the runway,” says Sterling.  “As a young girl growing up in Brooklyn, nail art has always been a form of fashionable self-expression. As middle school students, my friends and I would airbrush our nails to match our sneakers and school uniforms or hand-paint designs with neons, deep dark color and pastels depending on the season or event. One of my favorite trends that is making a comeback in a big way is the tribal print. Reminiscent of African tribal designs, this type of nail art incorporates bold patterns, colors and shapes. Tribal prints were seen on the spring 2012 runway of  Donna Karan. Please note, although it looks difficult it’s actually super simple to recreate and, if at first you don’t get it right, that’s what nail-polish remover is for.”


Step 1: Select colors you love. Any colors will do, but I recommend bright. This is a loud print that lends itself well to funky colors.
I used: Illamasqua in purple – any color from them is a vibrant hit. Color Club neon pink – not only is this brand organic, it has one of the best neon collections available. Uslu Airline – I tracked down from Germany for its rich blue shade. Essie for its white – it applies thin and rich and dries quickly.

Step 2: Cover the nail with a white base and allow 2 minutes to dry. Apply a second basecoat.

Step 3: Stripe the nail with the 3 colors you’ve selected, again allowing 2 minutes to dry.

Step 4: Once that has dried outline the colors with a black nail art brush. I use a black nail art pen from Color Club. What designs you use is up to you. This time I did lines and dots. In the past, I’ve done the design the same on all ten nails and sometimes I get crazy and do each nail differently! This is an adventurous trend, not for the faint of heart. Get creative and let dry for 2 mins.

Step 5: Add your topcoat to seal everything and allow to dry for 2 minutes and Voila! You’re officially on trend.”

*tribal nail art steps image courtesy of Dawn Sterling.

PD_Ginnifer Goodwin_Young Hollywood

Pro Talk: Celebrity Makeup Artist Pati Dubroff

By | pro talk | 64 Comments

“I was 10 years old and I distinctly remember sitting in front of my mother’s makeup mirror and I being totally intrigued by what was going on — the packages, the colors, the textures, the transformational abilities, the womanly mystique of what that whole area was all about. I remember thinking, I want to do this when I grow up. I didn’t really know what “this” was and kids now are so savvy and really have an understanding of what happens behind the scenes and in front of the scenes, and I didn’t put it together that women in magazines and women in film were being painted by makeup artists. It was something I discovered later, in my teens. I was always the girl whose house you would come to to get ready to go to a party or any kind of school function. It was always the girl time that I remember, having more fun getting ready than actually being out. It was inevitable. I love that sense of camaraderie that happened in the getting-ready stages. So, I was always the go-to girl in school and I remained very focused on that.

After I left high school in New Jersey, I moved to Manhattan and I searched out my first makeup job. My first job as a makeup artist was at Bergdorf Goodman at the Yves Saint Laurent counter. I was very young and I think I might have lied to get the job. I was in heaven. I was doing makeup all day long, on all different kinds of faces, and working with a brand that was incredibly prestigious and very makeup driven. I learned a lot about application during that time and I also started to dabble in testing, assisting, and seeing what it would take to do makeup in other environments, other than a department store. I remember I assisted Bobbi Brown, very early on, on a show she was doing and then I had the opportunity to work at MTV as a freelancer. This was during the VJ era, when they were a big deal. Will Smith was a VJ, it was a fun time! So, I was in the studio part-time working with the VJs, like John Levitt. It was such a cool place to be. I was also working on no-budget music videos for Malcolm McLaren and just really cool stuff. I also started to cast, meeting with modeling agencies and hair and makeup agencies, because I was looking to do more. Then I had an opportunity to assist Francois Nars on a big fashion show. He had 15 or 20 assistants, and after the show, he came up to me and asked a little about me. It was a time when his full-time assistant was moving on, and he asked if I wanted to come and work with him. Right away I was his number one assistant. I stayed with him for a year and half and he definitely was my greatest mentor. It was a time when he was doing every single fashion show. We would go to Milan, Paris and New York, and we would also do the Couture. We did everything from Prada, to Gucci, to Valentino, to Calvin, to lots of Versace, and I was on-site with him working with the masters, including [Richard] Avedon and Irving Penn. We would work with the stars of the day — all of the supermodels and also Madonna. It was an incredible training ground and he was such a generous teacher. I still think he should be opening up a makeup school and every time I see him, I ask him when that school is opening because he’s a master teacher. I feel like everything I learned, I learned from him, in regards to technique, set etiquette, and practical things like where to do makeup. It sounds so simple but people don’t know that if they do their makeup in an area where the lighting isn’t ideal, the makeup isn’t going to look good anywhere. Things like that. I learned everything from him.

After a year and half with him, I decided to move to Paris to work on my own career. It was really fortunate that a lot of the people I met through Francois — editors and photographers we worked with, like Peter Lindbergh — were willing to give me a chance to be me. Peter Lindbergh was definitely one of the greatest influences on the style of makeup that I enjoyed doing and the type of women I enjoyed creating. The way Peter likes to capture a woman, and the type of woman Peter is known for capturing so well, is very much in line with my aesthetic. With Peter, he very much likes to see the texture of the skin — it shouldn’t be powdered, it shouldn’t be perfect. It should be very real and vibrant. Not grainy, because there’s a polish and a beauty to it, but it’s not about untouchable. It’s almost so alive, that you feel you can touch it. That’s what I like. I like the skin to look like skin. Even if there’s foundation there, you don’t know it’s there. I like the eyes to draw you in and a sultriness around the eye, and it doesn’t necessarily involve powders. One thing I learned from Francois was to be very good and fast and what I learned from Peter, is that you don’t need to be powder-perfect to be beautiful. He was a great influence and the fact that he was one of the first major photographers that I got to work with on my own, was a really big deal. It continues to be, even after 20 years working with him. Every time I get booked with him, I have the biggest smile on my face.

When I moved back to New York, a lot of the bookings I would get were actor-related, more than model-related. My boyfriend, and now husband, lived in Los Angeles and I lived in New York, and I was really resistant to being an “LA makeup artist”. I had a lot of pride in my New York fashion existence but, for love I started to look more and more into California and practically speaking, I was being booked more for actors. It started to dawn on me that actors were also becoming cover models and why not go to the source, so to speak, and also where my relationship was? I moved to Los Angeles in 2001 and I was on the airplane making my big, official move when I get a phone call from my agent at the time, saying, “Call me right away”. I call back and I remember standing at baggage and they said, “You’ve just been booked for the Vanity Fair Hollywood cover with Annie Leibovitz. It was my first time working with Annie, it was my first time working on a Vanity Fair cover, and I just remember being floored, thinking, “Okay, this is God speaking. I made the right choice.” Here I am, just landed, and I’ve just been booked for this Hollywood cover. I definitely believe in looking for signs and that was a huge sign that I had made the right choice. That was in 2001 and I’m going onto 12 years being in California and it was definitely the wisest choice — for my health, well-being, my life, and my career.

I’ve come into my own, in a way, and working with actors, it’s all about making this one woman her most beautiful version of herself, for whatever the situation is. Whereas with fashion, it’s more about creating a trend. Sometimes the circus of fashion would turn me off a bit, because it wasn’t my thing; whereas working with a celebrity, we can all relate to wanting to look our absolute best. There are some celebrities that I have long-term relationships with, like Kate Bosworth who I’ve been working with since her Blue Crush days. It’s amazing with her, because I’ve watched her grow into this incredibly beautiful, stylish, and smart woman. She’s so inspiring on so many levels and she’s my favorite Barbie, where I can do anything with. I’ve also had long-term relationships with Kirsten Dunst and Julianne Moore. I love the loyal, evolving relationships I have with these really talented women. It’s also really fun to meet new people. I just spent, almost two months of my life, with Charlize [Theron] doing all kinds of press tours, photo shoots, and really enjoying every second of her and making her more beautiful. I’m really inspired by her as a woman and as a talent.

Doing makeup for celebrities, you have to think about the theme and the scenario. Is it day-time, is it evening; is it natural light, is it a studio; what’s the movie about, what is the feel of the movie? If it’s dark and gritty, maybe you don’t want them to look dark and gritty. You need to know what the parameters are, feeling the environment out, and then making choices. Most obviously, what are they wearing and you also need to think what they’ll be most comfortable in all day. Some people don’t like a lipstick on all day. Sometimes for a red carpet event, a woman won’t want to be responsible for maintenance, so you want to do makeup that they don’t have to think about. Other people don’t mind having a really strong look, like Kate Bosworth for the Met Ball, where she would have to make sure that blackberry lipstick wasn’t all over teeth and her face all night. There’s all these different factors in play, but for me it’s about (a). making their skin looking juicy, gorgeous, and natural; and (b). what’s the vibe? Something playful with color? And you don’t need to be young to play with color. For example, Julianne [Moore], I can do a really bright teal eyeliner on her, that I would also use on someone who is 20, but done appropriately to who she is and where she is in her life.

I’ve worked with a few cosmetic brands as a spokesperson and I’ve dabbled in product development with those brands. I’m definitely interested in the world of product development, putting together a brand, and I’ve been in development on my own brand. I naively thought it was going to be something quick and easy, and a few years in, it’s really hard work. Almost like giving birth, but it’s the longest pregnancy I’ve ever had. I hope all the pieces with come into place and it will come to fruition. If that particular concept doesn’t, I know there will be another concept, whether it’s with an existing brand and I’m working with them doing some kind of product development, as an Artistic Director, for example. I love that and that’s what I really want to do next. I love doing makeup day-to-day, but I know I have so much more to offer because it’s really easy for me to communicate to a consumer, to a reader, how to do their makeup, how to feel their best, and how to be empowered by their beauty. I want to continue to educate and inspire using my voice through a brand that makes sense.” – Celebrity Makeup Artist Pati Dubroff

*top image: Pati Dubroff and Ginnifer Goodwin; bottom image: Pati Dubroff

9th Annual Spring Dinner Dance New Year's In April: A Fool's Fete

Bathing Beauty: Nicole Miller

By | bathing beauties | 5 Comments

Designer Nicole Miller has been dressing women with her contemporary clothing for over 25 years. While celebrity fans of her sensual and refined aesthetic include Angelina Jolie, Halle Barry, and Jessica Simpson, Miller’s pieces are often seen inside the editorial pages of fashion magazines. Her collections are inspired by “film imagery and exotic cultures” and her separates showcase her adoration for prints and color. In the real world, Miller’s personality is just as colorful. At a recent dinner party, Miller and I discussed her love for nail polish (she has her favorites) and the need for that signature lipstick shade.  Just like her approach to fashion, Miller’s beauty routine is clean, dynamic and feminine.

Here, Miller discusses her must-have products and the reason she is never without a washcloth:

What are your top 5, can’t-live-without products?
1 –  Sisley L26 Lipstick:I love wearing a nude lip — it is an understated, yet sexy look that is easy to wear every day. Sisley L26 is my favorite because it not only lasts long, but it has an amazing satiny texture.
2 – Borghese Nail Polish: I am a self-proclaimed nail fanatic and have a weakness for dark colored polishes; a few years ago my friend gifted me a Borghese nail polish and have been obsessed ever since! The best part about this polish is that it doesn’t chip.
3 – Peter Thomas Roth – Lashes To Die For The Liner: I don’t like spending a ton of time on my make-up, so I am always looking for multi-purpose products. I am hooked on Lashes to Die For Liner because it is extremely easy to apply, never smudges, and also works as a treatment for fuller lashes.
4 – Nicole Miller Glow Serum: I use this glow serum every morning and will not walk out of house without it on. It makes my skin look so fresh – it especially comes in handy after traveling or after a long night out.
5 – Barielle – Love Your Nails Nail Polish Remover Towelettes: I never travel without Barielle towelettes. This nail polish remover is acetone-free, you never have to worry about them leaking in your luggage, and they never dry out. I am obsessed with them! (Can you tell I am a nail fanatic yet?)
What is your all-time favorite product?
Sisley’s Phyto Teint Eclat Foundation. This is hands down the best foundation — the texture is extremely light and oil-free, but offers maximum coverage. It doesn’t leave your face feeling cakey or heavy, and gives your complexion a luminous glow.

What product do you buy in bulk?
Acca Kappa Lip Balm. There’s nothing worse than dry lips, especially when you wear lipstick. I stock up on this minty lip balm to keep my lips soft and hydrated.

Favorite hair product?
Aveda Brilliant Pomade.  I am constantly battling frizz, especially during hot, humid summer weather. This pomade is a life-saver, it always keeps my hair straight and tames frizz.
You moisturize your face with…
Pevonia’s Timeless Repair Cream: This cream, which contains caviar and pearl, helps repair and rejuvenate my skin. Since using this cream there is a visible different in my complexion.

Favorite body product?
Suave Skin Therapy Body Lotion. The body lotion is silky and absorbs quickly into your skin. What more can you ask for in a moisturizer?

Favorite beauty secret you’ve picked up along the way?
I always wash my face with a washcloth rather than my hands. I am convinced I get a deeper clean, and love how invigorating my skin feels without the irritation of an exfoliant.
Beauty icon you admire?
Lauren Hutton always looks gorgeous and natural. She embraces her uniqueness, keeping her makeup look minimal to compliment her natural beauty.


Weekly Must-Have: Laura Mercier Caviar Stick

By | weekly must-have | 2 Comments

I love a product that makes makeup a cinch – especially in summer when the no-makeup-makeup look is practically a prerequisite. I was introduced to Tarte’s limited edition QVC Eye Candy EmphasEyes Clay Shadow Sticks during the holidays when I did my “brand-a-day” makeover posts. Tarte sent the EmphasEyes Shadow Sticks 6-pack for me to use while creating my holiday face. It was instant beauty love (full recap here). But as is true with so many young loves, sadly, as soon as the holidays were over, so too were the Shadow Sticks.

(me in the Tarte holiday look with EmphasEyes Shadow Sticks in Bronze and Gold)

That’s when I stumbled upon Laura Mercier’s Caviar Stick, similar Tarte’s Shadow Stick’s, the Caviar Sticks allow for easy, creaseless application, can be applied to the crease, lid, upper or lower lash line, and they come in a variety of wearable shades. As I mentioned, it really makes doing your eyes a breeze and the variation is endless. Use on the lids for a more dramatic look, then dab with fingers to smoke out. Take a cue from Refinery 29 Senior Beauty Editor Megan McIntyre and use a bold color (try Turquoise) on just the lower lash line. But my personal favorite way to wear the sticks is a very quick and easy trick I happened upon one day while getting ready in a hurry. Close your eyes and draw a line from the outer crease to midway in. Then take your finger and blend down toward the lash line. Within 1 minute you have a simple, light and carefree smoky eye. If I’m going out at night I’ll add a bit of the same color to my lower lash line and smudge out. Note: Have fun mixing colors too (the sticks come in 9 gorgeous shades).

Colors to try: Caviar Stick Eye Colour in Khaki, Sapphire or Cocoa (my personal favorite for an every day look)!

PRICE TAG: $24.00


How To Video: Clinique Chubby Stick’s

By | how to | 4 Comments

(click “read more” to view the video tutorial)

Just because the newly launched Clinique Chubby Stick’s are meant for lips, doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun working the tinted lip balm for a variety of uses – i.e. eyes and cheeks. Watch the video to see how I use the Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Balm in 3 ways.

P.S. Mega Melon is my go-to color, the perfect sheer coral for summer (and a must own)!


How To: Crash Course in Highlighting

By | how to | 5 Comments

On my July 4th Beauty Essentials post, I discussed the importance of a highlighter to take your look from day to evening (recap here). With the 2012 S/S runways showing off dewy skin as the trend du jour, highlighting is no longer limited to the brow and cheek bones, it has become a product staple and a beauty technique worth mastering.

Highlighting is, perhaps, one of my favorite beauty secrets that I’ve picked up through working with makeup artists. It really can change an entire look, inject life into an otherwise lifeless face and give you an inner glow, an extra few hours of sleep, more accentuated cheekbones and even wide set eyes in a matter of minutes. These days, highlighters come in a variety of formulas – from liquid to powder to cream to highlighting cover-ups, and each has a specific purpose.

Here is my crash course in highlighting:

Liquid Highlighters: I like to use liquid when I want an all over glow. This consistency is easiest to use if mixed with a tinted moisturizer or foundation and applied to the entire face and décolleté. Rule of thumb: use 1 part liquid illuminator to 2 parts foundation. You can also spot treat with liquid, but be careful to first work the substance around in your hand and fingers before lightly dabbing on your face.
TRY: Burberry Fresh Glow, the best dewy skin in a bottle that money can buy; Benefit High Beam, great for spot treating cheek and brow bones.

Cream Highlighters: This consistency is like a solid liquid and is perfect for applying with fingers to bridge of nose, inner and outer corners of eyes (gives the illusion of wide set eyes), above the bow of lip, and brow and cheek bones. It keeps with the dewy trend and works best when applied at the end of makeup application.
TRY: NARS Copacabana, a stick of shimmery champagne; RMS Living Luminizer (I use this on my eyelids for a glossy eye too!); Jouer Highlighter in Camellia, the perfect multipurpose illuminator.

Powder Highlighters: Powder is great to layer over either a liquid or cream highlighting product, but use this last. Apply with a big brush and you can either lightly dust all over the face and décolleté or focus on cheekbones (which is what I prefer. Rule of thumb: When a powder is applied over a cream, makeup application will last longer! Then I’ll usually dip my finger into the powder and dab onto my brow bone for extra illumination, therefor accentuating my arches.
TRY: Stila All Over Shimmer Duo in Kitten, two colors that swirl together for varying degrees of pinky shimmer.

Highlighting Cover-Ups: The most famous illuminating stick is most certainly YSL’s Touche Eclat. Since its growing popularity, brands have been trying to duplicate the pen-like applicator that spills out part highlighter and part cover-up, perfect for awakening tired eyes and lining lips to accentuate the cupid’s bow (I also use this when applying a bold-hued lipstick so that the color won’t bleed or feather). These “pens” are also ideal for lightly highlighting the bridge of nose and even a dot on the chin to open up the face.
TRY: Dior SkinFlash Radiance Booster Pen (I like 002), my absolute favorite highlighting pen (love it even more than YSL’s Touche Eclat). Bright eyes in a swipe plus more!

*image: Oscar de la Renta S/S 2012

Sensationail Summer Gels: Tips and Tricks for Perfect Gel Manicures

By | diy, how to | 5 Comments

Last July, I first shared my love of gel manis with Beauty Banter. In January, I wrote about a new DIY gel manicure kit from Sensationail that I was trying out. At the time, I did a pedicure and wasn’t sure if I’d ever use it for my own nails as gels take a bit of precision. Well, I feel a bit like I’ve been cheating on my manicurist, but here’s the thing: I love this line. I’m doing my own nails all the time now.

I love the convenience of being able to get great results in less than thirty minutes, that dry instantly and last almost two weeks, without the need to make an appointment. Anywhere. I picked up a number of polish colors ($12 each) and have become a big fan (as have my mother, sister and friends).

Sensationail emailed me to say they had a limited edition Summer Lovin’ Collection and sent me a few colors to check out. I always love corals for summer, and Tahiti Sunset is a fabulous shade even on fair skin like mine. (I can tan, I opt not to.) The Pink Bouquet is bright without verging on a trendy neon.

With LED instead of UV rays, I love that there’s no worry about skin damage. Also, my nails are as healthy as ever.

That said, DIY gels are not the same as a manicure. My manicurist is a magician who makes my hands look amazing without a cuticle clipper to be found (she has a no cuticle cutting rule). When skipping professional manicures and doing my own nails, I moisturize my cuticles and, as always, carry a travel-sized Weleda Skin Food in my purse.

I’ve heard people speak about the damage done by gels. I think it’s possible, but it hasn’t been my experience. After wearing them for almost two years, and as someone who was quite skeptical to begin with, I’m amazed by how healthy my nails are. In fact, I think they’re stronger than ever because they’re always taken care of.

My tips and tricks for gel manis and healthy nails begin with proper application:

– If you buff your nails at all before applying, do it as gently as possible. As you would with any normal manicure. These are not acrylics.

– Make sure you are applying the primer LIGHTLY and in a circle around the rim of the nail, not the whole nail. This helps adhere the gel to the base. A little goes a long way. A long way.

– Use thin coats of polish. Gel is not the same as regular nail polish. It’s a bit shape shifty. If you feel the need to add more to a coat, start by simply brushing over the same wet coat without adding much to the brush. The gel will move and settle on the nail. Sometimes less is more.

– Use a good polish corrector pen to keep gels off cuticle and skin. Clean up the edges before you slip your hand under the lights. Once under the lamp, the gel is set.

Proper maintenance helps extend the length of your manicure and keeps your hands looking, well, polished.

– No picking at gels. If an edge begins to lift, grab a nail file and gently smooth it down.

– Use a good cuticle oil, I like Solar Oil ($7.50) to keep skin hydrated.

– No picking at gels. It’s worth saying twice. Seriously.

Removing gels takes a bit of time, but with the right tools it’s easy.

– I find the best way to remove them is to either soak cotton balls in remover and then wrap them around each nail with aluminum foil (the foil activates the remover) or use the super easy SEPHORA by OPI gelshine Gel Colour Removal Kit ($18 for five sets) as they’re all in one and you put gloves on over the wrapped nails, meaning you can do something during the 20 minutes while you wait.

– I don’t use acetone, instead opting for OPI Expert Touch Lacquer Remover ($5.95) because it nourishes your nails while removing the gels. Win-win.

– I know they’re ready when they begin to lift and they flake off easily with the edge of an orange stick. I prefer a plastic one or a stainless steel one, though you must be careful to scrape away the gels without scraping your nail bed. Once removed there might feel like some residual base coat remains. Gently buff nails using the side of the buffer with the softest grain. Again, less is more.

From prepping with cleanser to the need to wipe away polish, never use cotton balls. Lint and gels are hardly a match made in manicure heaven. Stick with lint free pads, like the ones Sensationail includes with their kits. I buy the Sephora OPI ones ($3 for 200), too, and they’re great for regular manis, too.

Have you tried DIY gels? I’m curious to see what Sephora’s new OPI gel shine is like, and I’m also looking at the Gelish minis, too. I wear Gelish when I have my nails done professionally, so it will be interesting to see the difference. I’ll keep you updated! xo alex.

Alex Asher Sears is a writer, photographer, and fourth generation Angeleno. Since 2007, she’s been sharing her eco-beauty finds with BB readers. She writes at AlexandraWrote, and also, quite literally, at Type A Calligraphy. Find her on twitter at @AlexandraWrote.


GIVEAWAY: 5 Simple Skincare Summer Essentials Kits

By | Uncategorized | 59 Comments

I don’t hide it, summer is my favorite season. I love the hot weather, long days, humid nights, weekends spent on a beach somewhere remote (and tropical if I’m lucky). Ever since moving from LA to Boston for college when I was 17 years-old, I’ve suffered from what I (and the paid professionals) refer to as “seasonal depression.” At heart, I guess I’ll always be a Cali girl (despite being born in NYC). My body literally blossoms in the sun – and my mind smiles. My skin, however, well, that’s a different story. Going from salt and chlorine water to sun to air conditioning can really take a toll on your skin. One minute skin may seem oily, then next severely dry and irritable. Summer climate can be very confusing to your sensitive skin and therefor, you need to treat it with a sensitive skincare regimen.

I’ve partnered with Simple Skincare, pioneers in beauty products for sensitive skin, to offer 5 lucky winners their very own Summer Essentials Skincare Kit.

What it includes:

Simple Facial Cleansing Wipes – One of my personal favorites, they wipe away the day by cleansing, nourishing and refreshing skin. Perfect for on-the-go or in between activities.
Simple Vital Vitamin Day Cream with SPF 15 – Hydration is essential, especially after swim and sun. This vitamin-infused day cream will give your skin the necessities to moisturize and protect all day (with SPF 15 !).
Simple Refreshing Facial Wash Gel – A 100% soap-free wash that won’t irritate or over dry skin, leaving skni cleansed and revived.
Simple Revitalizing Eye Roll-On – A lovely treat for tired and puffy eyes. The roller ball gently massages while vitamins and cucumber soothe and awaken tired eyes.

Retail Value: $31 each ($155 for all 5!)

1. “Like” us on Facebook (click HERE)
2. Follow us on Twitter (click HERE)
3. Leave a comment below with your Facebook name and your Twitter handle. (ex: FB: / Twitter: @beautybanter).

Contest ends Friday, July 6, 2012 at 9pm EST. We will be choosing 5 winners, each will receive their own Simple Skincare Summer Essentials Kit.

**You MUST be a member of Beauty Banter to be eligible for the giveaway. Not a member? Sign up now! (Top right of the site where it says “become a member.” Enter your email and follow the brief directions.

All winners will be chosen at random. Every winner must be a fan on Beauty Banter’s Facebook, following Beauty Banter on twitter, and subscribed to Beauty Banter’s membership (top right of site). Yes, we do check!

Good Luck!


TREND: Matching Lips & Tips

By | trends | 9 Comments

A certain beauty trend has made its way back onto the runways, and I couldn’t be more excited. The it-trend of the moment… matching your nails and your lip color!

Introduced in the early 1950s as a sign of sophistication among women, neatly manicured red nails and a matching red lip were not only coveted then, but it’s now one of the hottest trends this season. Too matchy-matchy, you say? We think not. On the runway, matching lips and tips have proven that such sophistication never dies.

Left: Jason Wu Spring 2012, Top right: Zac Posen Fall 2012, Bottom right: MAC Fashion Sets.

Diane Kendal for MAC Cosmetics featured a bright coral lip and tip at Jason Wu’s Spring 2012 show, while at Zac Posen’s Fall 2012 show, Kabuki for MAC Cosmetics sent out models in a classic red lip and tip. MAC Makeup Artist Keri Blair tells us, “The way to sell a woman a lipstick, is with her nail polish.” We couldn’t agree more. To help with our lip and tip coordination, MAC has launched their Fashion Sets collection of matching Lipstick, Lipglass, and Nail Lacquer in seven colors, including Myth Lipstick and Lipglass (light nude), Snob Lipstick and Lipglass (light pink), Spice Lipstick and Lipglass (medium nude), Girl About Town Lipstick and Lipglass (bright fuchsia), Russian Red Lipstick and Lipglass (classic red), Rebel Lipstick and Lipglass (deep plum), and Chestnut Lipstick and Lipglass (chocolate brown).

Top left to right: Myth, Snob, Spice. Bottom left to right: Girl About Town, Russian Red, Rebel, and Chestnut.

butter LONDON has also come out with a matching lip and tip collection with five colors including, Yummy Mummy Lippy and Nail Polish (medium beige), Trout Pout Lippy and Nail Polish (coral pink, love!), Snog Lippy and Nail Polish (hot pink), Primrose Hill Picnic Lippy and Nail Polish (fuchsia pink), and Teddy Girl Lippy and Nail Polish (bubblegum pink). Staying true to their roots, butter LONDON products are formulated without the use of the harmful ingredients like Formaldehyde, Toluene, DBP or Parabens, and as a fun fact, they are the first company to sell non-toxic nail lacquer in the United States. Score!

Top left to right: Yummy Mummy, Trout Pout, Snog. Bottom left to right: Primrose Hill Picnic, Teddy Girl. 

NARS Cosmetics’ take on matching lips and tips includes three colors, including Schiap Lipstick and Nail Polish (hot pink), Jungle Red Lipstick and Nail Polish (bright red), and Orgasm Lip Gloss and Nail Polish (peachy pink). So easy, no?
Top: Orgasm. Bottom left to right: Schiap, Jungle Red.

Now, if you’re feeling adventurous and even creative, perhaps hop on the trend wagon with your own matching lips and tips sans the aid of MAC, butter LONDON or NARS? We’ll get you started: Dior Rouge Lipstick in Ara Red and matching Dior Vernis Nail Lacquer in Red Royalty, is the epitome of refined sophistication. Lastly, Dolce & Gabbana has two great colors that are on trend: The Lip Gloss in Innocence (my personal favorite), and The Nail Lacquer in Rose Petal for the perfect pink and The Lip Gloss in Pink Diamond, and The Nail Lacquer in Lilac, for a summer-y purple hue. A great runway example of matching hues sans collections, is Donna Karan Spring 2012. MAC Makeup Artist Charlotte Tilbury sent out models with deep plum lips to match their Deborah Lippmann chocolate brown tips.

Left to right: Dior Rouge Lipstick in Ara Red and Dior Vernis Nail Lacquer in Red Royalty, Dolce & Gabbana The Lip Gloss in Innocence and The Nail Lacquer in Rose Petal, Dolce & Gabbana The Lip Gloss in Pink Diamond and The Nail Lacquer in Lilcac, Donna Karan Spring 2012.

So, will you be matching your lips and tips for a flare of 50s glamor?

 *this article was researched and written by my lovely intern Sara Ng, who has a deep obsession for all things nail related.

About Beauty Banter
Beauty Banter was launched in July of 2006 as a comprehensive beauty blog covering trends, tips and tricks, insider secrets, and weekly must-haves. Beauty Banter has a reputation of being on the cutting edge of emerging trends and product launches so our readers are always the first to know what’s hot and what’s just not.