All Posts By:  beautybanter


Girl Crush: Jessica Alba

By | celebrity looks | 3 Comments

This is a double girl crush: Love Jessica Alba and love Jen Atkin… put them together and it’s a full blown love affair – which is exactly how I felt when I first saw this picture of Jessica from An Evening With Ralph Lauren hosted by the one and only, Ms. Oprah Winfrey.

It’s no secret that Jessica Alba is super hot. It’s also no secret that Jen Atkin is one of my favorite hair stylist on earth. So, obvs I love love love this hair! The perfect updo with class sans the stuffiness. Tres glam.

Here’s how to get the look:

Inspiration: A Chinese-inspired, classy updo with an Asian twist

The Look: Prep the hair by applying a wave spray, such as Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray, throughout the

hair to give it volume and texture. Blow dry the hair all the way through using a round brush. When the hair is fully
dry, use a 1 inch curling iron create loose thick curls throughout the hair to infuse body. Separate the bang section and
create a strong part to one side, putting the rest of the hair in a low ponytail and secure with a bungee band. On the
ends of the hair, apply KeSARI Indian Oil Hair Serum to make the hair glossy and smooth. To create the up do, take
large sections of the hair and twist them up. Secure each twist using French hair pins. To finish off the look, apply a
small amount the KeSARI Indian Oil Hair Serum into the bangs and on the sides of the hair to maximize shine.

Jen’s Thoughts: “The KeSARI oil is perfect for red carpet events because it does an excellent job of keeping the hair healthy
and shiny, especially when cameras hit it!”

Real Life Look: Wear an updo to a black tie event, dinner party or wedding.


GIVEAWAY: Pur~lisse Skin Care

By | Uncategorized | 13 Comments

I’m in the giving kind-of mood today. Keeping in the birthday spirit (mine was yesterday – 30, again!), I decided that I wanted to share a very special giveaway with all of my fabulous readers!

We’ve joined forces with Jennifer Yen of Pur~lisse skin care to offer 3 AMAZING PUR~LISSE PACKAGES! Here’s what you can win:

3 winners will receive a package containing Pur~lisse Youth Preserve, Moisturizer and Lip Comfort! This combo pack is the pur~fect winter skin care kit for staying youthful, glowing, hydrated and healthy! (Product deets below giveaway rules).


Giveaway is open exclusively to members of Beauty Banter (to become a member, leave your email under the “become a member” tab on the right side of the site. Click “join” and follow the instructions sent to your email). 

You must be a FAN of our facebook page (click here to “like” us). Once you’re a fan, leave a comment on the Beauty Banter facebook page telling us what are your winter skin woes! Mine is dull-looking skin (nothing less attractive — except for shiny skin!). Finish off with your email address (so that we can contact you if you win!).

That’s it!

Contest closes on Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at noon PST. Winner will be chosen at random and notified via email. Only one entry per person.


Remember, there will be 3 WINNERS so get going!

Good Luck!

About the products:

Pur~Youth Preserve (valued at $76.00): “Our powerful peptide complex, Lotus Lupine 5, combines with antioxidant-rich Vitamin E, Rice Bran Oil, Peony and Wheat Proteins, and Lupine Peptides for an ageless revitalized glow.”

Pur~Moist (valued at $55.00): ” Infused with our unique, exclusive peptide complex, Lotus Lupine 5, Vitamin E and our secret blend of French Marine Plants, skin becomes dewy and supple – pure harmony.”

Pur~Lip Comfort (valued at $16.00): “Our exclusive petroleum~free nourisher brings smiles to dry pouts, as lavish fruits butters and healing vegetable oils richly hydrate. Lackluster lips become softer, moister and more youthful~looking.”

Total Value For Each Package: $147.00


WEEKLY MUST-HAVE: Arcona Pumpkin Lotion 10%

By | body, weekly must-have | 2 Comments

In the spirit of Halloween, I thought a pumpkin post would be rather fitting. So, this week’s must have is Arcona’s Pumpkin Body Lotion 10%. 

Arcona is a fantastic natural skin and body care line (their cranberry gommage is next level amazing for the face) that was established in 1989 under the pretense that enzymes, antioxidants and amino acids should work together, in synergy, for optimum results. While the skin care is superb (and a must-try) we’ll save our face-gushing for another post.

This week, we’re obsessing over the Pumpkin Body Lotion, a lightweight regenerative cream made with pumpkin extracts and glycolic acid to improve skin’s tone and elasticity and repair sun damage. I’m using it for the latter purpose; post-summer calls for extra attention to skin damage thanks to sunbathing (with SPF, obviously).

You only need to use a thin layer on the lotion as this stuff seriously works. You’ll feel a slight tingle/ burning once applied – this is how you know that the lotion is working it’s magic. The result is softer, smoother, more even skin. How, you ask? Pumpkin contains natural AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) and fruit enzymes which help to speed up cell turnover, removing the old, dull skin so that new, fresh skin can be seen and felt. TIP – Steer clear of application after shaving or you’ll feel like you just got stung by a dozen jelly fish!

But you have to keep using it to notice the benefits as they are cumulative! Yes, I know, it’s a commitment, but one your body (and your man) will thank you for. Since slathering on daily, I am amazed how seriously soft my skin feels. So amazed, in fact, that I can’t even keep my hands off of it. Imagine the impact if I had a boyfriend?!

PRICE TAG: $35.00 for 4 oz

*available in 10% and 20% strengths (I’m using the 10% one).

Click here to read up on all of the fab ways that pumpkin helps to beautify the skin.


Makeup: Ellis Faas

By | makeup | 5 Comments

Ellis Faas Beauty is fairly new to me. I first used a lip gloss from the line about three months ago. Then, while at the Sephora Meatpacking Store opening party a few months back, I came across an awesome display with all of the Ellis Faas products. Here’s what struck me: every product is in a sleek, silver pen-like tube (save for the foundation called “Skin Veil” that people rave about – although I have yet to try – and compact powder). I remember thinking, this is the coolest, most original line in the entire store – it must be European! And alas, I was correct.

The woman behind the brand, Ellis Faas, is a Dutch celebrity makeup artist who got her big break from the fab fashion photographer, Mario Testino. Ellis started her eponymous product line a few years ago, and based the collection around the colors that exist in the human body. Each product is a fluid (because the human body is made up of mostly water, notes Ellis) and comes housed in a bullet-influenced, silver pen. The applicator brush is attached to each pen so it makes application tres tres easy (and chic). For example, the liquid eye liner has a thin paint brush-like applicator while the eyeshadow and lippies have a slightly thicker bristled applicator or a sponge applicator, depending on the type of formula you have chosen (milky and glazed lips come bristled, creamy lips come sponged).


Besides being the coolest packaged makeup company I have ever encountered, the products work surprisingly well. At one point, I seemed to have overused the gold liquid shadow and, as it dries rather quickly, I simply used my finger to pat down the excess. Between fingers and applicators, I feel like a little girl painting in elementary school!

The site is awesome and worth a glance too. There is an entire section devoted to “How To” videos so you have no excuses for not understanding how to apply the various products. This video is quite interesting with its dynamic use of face color (unwearable yet very artistic) inspired by a Francis Bacon exhibit from the Tate Museum in London. The site also has fabulously dramatic images of women with loads of makeup that somehow seem so beautiful.

Products To Try:

Ellis Glazed Lips L303 – A sheer, glossy red (Ellis is known for her fabulous red hues, this one is a favorite).

Ellis Eyeliner in Black – Liquid, easy to apply, leaves an amazingly precise line. Love.

Ellis Lights in E303 – A goldish/ bronze metallic liquid shadow that dries rather quickly but still manages to maintain a “wet”look.

The classic holder is a must if you want to be hygienic and store your products fashionably.


WEEKLY MUST-HAVE: Pacifica Color Quench Natural Moisture Lip Tint

By | weekly must-have | No Comments

It’s no secret that I love me a tinted lippy. I’ve graced my mouth with Nivea’s Cherry Tinted Lip Balm ever since Labello went under. I’m also really into the “green” movement, with hair, skin, body and cosmetics, so you can imagine my excitement after trying the new Pacifica Color Quench Natural Moisture Lip Tint.

Although they’re not as pigmented as Nivea, they are definitely more hydrating, leaving a healthy tint to my pucker and, major bonus, they’re all natural! Free of sulfates, parabens and petrochemicals, even the most discerning mouth will welcome this lippy. It’s like the sophisticated, chicer version of your drugstore chappy.

The formula comes in 4 sheer hues: Bare Coconut, a beige, Blood Orange, a red, Hibiscus Vanilla, a light pink, and Guava Berry, a plum.

So far, I’m mildly obsessed with the Blood Orange as it gives my lips that just-been-kissed blush of red (albeit quite sheer). I have been applying non-stop and am loving how moisturized it leaves my pout.

While I’ll undoubtably use Nivea’s Cherry at some point again – it’s hard to part with a first love – I’m quite content with my new, healthier lip tint choice. So, for all of you organic gals, no excuses to let your lips go bare. Dress them up with a sheer tint.

PRICE TAG: $9.00



Dedicated Post: 5 Ways To Enhance Your Look

By | body | 4 Comments

These days, people are using plastic surgery more and more frequently, and really, why wouldn’t they, as there are a number of procedures that can simply but effectively improve your look. In fact, with so many surgeries being perfected, there is now significant variety even within individual types of plastic surgery.

Here are 5 of the most effective surgeries for enhancing your look (pros and cons included):

1 – Breast Augmentation – Whether you want something simple, such as b cup implants for your smaller breasts, or something more drastic, such as a switch from a cups to d cups, breast augmentation can help. In fact, this procedure can even be used for reconstructive or reduction surgeries as well as enhancements. The plus side of any breast augmentation is that you will have the figure that you have always wanted. There are very few cons to this procedure, other than some slight scarring, and potentially having to deal with abrasive social reactions.

2 – Facelifts – A facelift procedure is one that is essentially designed to smooth out your face, erasing things like wrinkles or bags under the eyes. This is considered an invasive procedure (unlike collagen or botox injections, which can achieve some of the same goals as facelifts), but is also longer lasting and is more effective than some of its alternatives.

3 – Liposuction – While many believe that you must be obese to need liposuction, the procedure is actually quite common for affecting quick weight loss in a variety of patient situations. The con of this surgery is that it can give you a false sense of triumph, and lead you to make poor decisions that lead to regaining weight. Typically, those who work hard to lose weight the natural way will be more disciplined about keeping that weight off.

4 – Rhinoplasty – This type of procedure is specifically meant to reshape or resize the nose, and is extremely popular, as many people are unhappy with their natural noses. This is one of the simpler surgeries out there, as recovery time is just a matter of weeks, and the cost should only be a few thousand dollars.

5 – Tummy Tucks – A tummy tuck is essentially a facelift for the abdominal region. In this surgery, excess skin is cut away and the abdominal region is tightened to give you a more fit and in-shape look. Recovery can be a bit slow, and it can be hard to avoid moving the midsection of your body while you recover, but the effects are tough to argue with.


*this is a sponsored post provided by the company and/or brand.


Best of Organics… BATH!

By | body | 31 Comments

Green living is quite the current trend. With organic dining, organic juicing – even organic alcohol – if you haven’t jumped on the organic bandwagon, now would be a good time.

In a series of 3 posts, we are going to outline our favorite organic beauty products. So, if you are as gaga over green as we are, then this series is for you!

NOTE: All products listed are made with organic ingredients and/ or are 100% natural.

Up first, the organic bath:

Bath Oil – Jurlique Tranquil Bath Oil – Bath time is my favorite time of day. I like to chill out with some scented candles and a slew of scented bath products. This specific bath oil is calming (thanks to the lavender), smells wonderful, leaves skin hydrated and soothed (courtesy of avocado oil), and it actually has a slight foam – so it doubles as a bubble bath! $23.00

Bath Salts – Aubrey Organics Natural Spa Relaxing Bath Salts – For the most luxurious of bathing experiences, bath salts are key. This 100% organic choice has a pungent orange scent and dissolves in the tub for ultimate relaxation. The result is two fold: soft skin and a calm disposition. $18.85

Body Exfoliator – Weleda Birch Body Scrub – It’s no secret that Weleda is a favorite line of mine – it’s affordable, contains some of the most amazing natural ingredients, and I always see results! The Body Scrub is amazing – it smells delish (as you can probably tell by now, i’m really into scents!) with  a very faint citrus note. It exfoliates gently so you can use everyday on every part of your body. AND it has a milky consistency so it adds moisture while cleaning and scrubbing dry, dull skin! $17.00

Body Wash – Jason Pure Natural Body Wash, Relaxing Chamomile – This is one of my absolute favorite scents. I’ve been using the wash for years because, quite honestly, I find the chamomile aroma to be the ultimate in comfort and relaxation. The formula is pretty magical too. It foams into a perfectly silky wash that is both gentle and non-irritating. And it doesn’t make your skin feel dry and scaly post bath (or shower). Comes in a variety of scents. $5.19 for a 30 fl oz tub! *DRUGSTORE FIND*

Body Bar – Level Naturals Classic Soap in Jasmine Rose – Let me start out by saying that this entire body care line is fantastic (and I will be posting about many more products from Level in the coming weeks). This soap, however, deserved a spot on the coveted “best of” list. It looks and feels homemade (and looks tres chic in my bathroom), smells like a delicate flower garden and cleanses the skin with a fluffy lather that leaves my body soft, never dried out. Comes in over a dozen more scents! $10.00

Body Lotion – Moksa Organics Body Butter, Cocoa Vanilla – Another awesome organic product line. This lotion is actually whipped and hardened shea butter that melts on my skin leaving a sexy sheen (kind of like a body oil). It’s super moisturizing and has the faintest cocoa scent. $16.00

Body Oil – Kate Logan Lavender Nourish Oil – This stuff is other-worldy, the ultimate finish to the bathing experience. Kate makes each product by hand and you can literally feel her passion and love as you slather your body with the goods. The oil is so pure and the scent so intoxicating (not even a hint of that perfume-manufatured smell), it’s like wrapping your entire body in the finest of silky robes. It is light, soothing and gentle and just, well, perfect! 19.99 pounds

Shaving Cream – Aubrey Creme de la Shave, White Tea and Citrus – Would would’ve thought that an all natural shaving cream would actually work better than the regular ones? This shaving cream is a bit lotion a bit gel. It has a clean and uplifting citrus scent and leaves legs touch-approved. A little goes a long way – only a thin layer is necessary for a quality shave! $4.62 *DRUGSTORE FIND*

Shampoo & Conditioner – Sponge Wild Flower Shampoo and Conditioner – I’m so obsessed with this sleek and sexy packaging, I literally want to frame the bottles! Made with myrtle and chamomile, these products leave my hair shiny and gorgeous! Gentle enough for every day and, obvs, made sans sulfates and parabens so great for color-treated locks. $32.00 & $34.00

Deodorant – LAVANILA The Healthy Deodorant, Vanilla-Coconut – If you are still using antiperspirant, we need to have a serious talk. This all natural deodorant won’t clog your pores with toxic aluminum. Instead, it will defend your sweaty pits with the sweetest smelling blend of vanilla and coconut. It’s smells so awesome, sometimes I even wear it to bed! Comes in 4 other vanilla-inspired scents. $18.00

What’s your favorite all-natural bath product?


WEEKLY MUST-HAVE: X Out Wash-In Treatment For Acne

By | weekly must-have | 2 Comments

When I was a teen, I had Proactiv to get me through those embarrassing break-out years. Now, the teens have a product that, in my opinion, is even better: X Out Wash-In. Essentially, X Out is a three-in-one benzoyl peroxide treatment that acts as a face wash, a face mask and a zit zapper (ala spot treatment). And guess what: it comes from those fine minds that brought us Proactiv!

The wash is basically the entire three step original Proactiv treatment program bottled into one product. It has something crazy like 8% benzoyl peroxide (the ingredient in both the original Proactiv wash and lotion), and it has that slight scrub effect, which I love. It makes me feel like it’s really getting in deep with my pores and sloughing away all the dead skin and blackheads! I’ve been using it every day obsessively and I already notice that my skin has less oil and less blackheads… SCORE!

Benzoyl Peroxide is an incredibly potent acne-fighting ingredient that may dry out your skin (I don’t have a problem with it, however). If so, use once a day or every other day.

How To Use:

As a face wash, apply to damp skin and rub in for 2 minutes. Rinse.

As a face mask, apply a thin layer to your entire face and leave on for 10 minutes. Rinse.

As a spot treatment, apply the formula just in the spot. Leave on and let the benzoyl do it’s trick.

Click HERE to order. Just like the original Proactiv, the new X Out comes with a free gift-with-purchase (yay!!!). You get a tube of shine control that, I assume, controls the shine for the super oily kids out there. All of this for only $19.95 a month!

(P.S. Sadly, I’m no longer a teen but I still heart – and use – this wash!)



By | inspiration | No Comments

Color is making a comeback (did it ever leave?). Ever since spotting the pink hair from New York S/S 2012 Fashion Week (click here for a recap), I’ve been dreaming of color everywhere.

I am a bronzy, browns, black liner type of girl. I had a period in my college years when I thought it would be fun to play with a green, blue and purple eye, but then I abandoned the look for a more traditional lid. Every now and again, you’ll spot me with a khaki lined eye or a pop of blue-hue mascara, but other than that, I reserved the real color for my lips.

Lately, I’ve been dabbling with a bolder eye – a pale eggplant swept across my lids, once there was a green shadow and liner. And I’m super into the bright pigments.

Hey, if the Marchesa girls can saunter down a runway with a bold mane, I can add some color into my makeup routine. Yesterday, I focused on the bold day lip (a pout that I have been sporting as of late), today I wanted to share some amazing photos that inspire my new love for color.

NOTE: I wouldn’t necessarily wear any of these looks but I do use them as color references.

*all photos from – follow us for daily beauty images!


FAVORITES: The Bold Day Lip

By | favorites | No Comments

There’s nothing like a little color to make your face smile. And, considering that we’re officially into fall territory (although this 80 degree NYC weather could have you fooled), a pop of bold is sure to brighten even the most bleak and grey of days.

That’s why I’m currently obsessing over the bold lip — even for day wear! Yes, the bold lip has mostly been associated with your night looks – party, clubbing or a black tie affair – but I’m ready to take it to the streets (during sunlight hours, of course).

Here’s the trick – the bold day lip should be more of a tint/ stain or a creamy gloss. Stay away from the seriously pigmented lipsticks. While the color choice is up to you – red, coral, pink –  use a more sedated variation of your preferred hue and make sure that you can control the boldness. For unwanted color, pat your lips down with tissue. For more color, layer away with additional tint, stain or creamy gloss. Your lip will still be bold, but never overBOLD.

TIP: Wearing a bold lip means you are choosing to focus your makeup look on your mouth. Keep eyes and skin simple. Perhaps, a few coats of mascara and tinted moisturizer for coverage. THAT’S IT!

Here are a few of my favorite day colors for the bold lip look:

1 – Benefit Posietint – Benefit makes some amazing stains with staying power. This poppy tinted lip stain will give you the coral color your crave without the shock value of a full-out coral lipstick. If your lips look too parched with just the stain, layer with a sheer coral gloss like Dior Addict Lip Polish in Glow Expert, a sheer light coral hue.

2 – Jouer Tint in Amaryllis – I initially used this color for my cheeks, then recently started using on my lips. It’s fab! The perfect color and consistency of a creamy coral with a splash of red that gives lips the boldness without the crazy brightness.

3 – Tarte LipSurgence Natural Lip Stain in Lust – I am so obsessed with Tarte’s lip stains, I think I’ve hit up every color in the range! Lust is a classic red, but ti’s consistency – part stain, part sheen – let’s it be a perfectly acceptable day bold. Plus, you can control the boldness depending on how many times you layer it on your lips.

4 – Laura Mercier Lip Stain in Scarlet – This is a deep red, Old Hollywood Glam, hue and I’m digging rocking it during day light hours. It’s a great stain because you can apply with your fingers, it doesn’t move at all, yet still gives your lips some serious color (more of a sheen color, however). I use a very little, and I pat on lightly. Make no mistakes, even with the tiniest pat, your lips will still be unmistakably red.

5 – Tarte LipSurgence Natural Lip Stain in Amused – I’m a huge fan of the fuchsia lip. With so many variation of hot pink – fluorescent, matte, bright, etc – it’s like a game of try and repeat until you find the perfect shade. Once again, Tarte’s amazing lip stain wins the honors. Part stain, part sheen, this hot pink is definitely bold, but the brightness is controlled by how many layers you choose to apply. A single layer provides just a hint, a few more gives you a sheen hot pink lip. Perfect to get your day lip on.

Acceptable places to wear the day bold lip: the office, lunch with a friend ala ladies who lunch, carpool…

Unacceptable places to wear the day bold lip: a business meeting (use at your discretion), a somber event (may be too happy of a hue), first time you meet his parents (could send the wrong message)…

Are YOU feeling the bold day lip?


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.