Category:  bathing beauties

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Bathing Beauty: Suits’ Meghan Markle

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Actress Meghan Markle is an undeniable beauty. Her good looks can be attributed to her swoon-worthy raven locks, chestnut brown eyes, and sculpted cheekbones that would make even a seasoned model envious. Starring in the USA legal drama (and one of our personal favorite binge-worthy summer shows), Suits, Meghan’s character, Rachel Zane, is a beguiling blend of wit, intelligence, and sex appeal – a Hollywood combination that we wholeheartedly endorse. The woman behind the character is just as fabulous.

Here, Meghan answers our most pressing beauty questions, dishing on her must-have products and insider tips.

What are your top 5, can’t-live-without products?
1. Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler – because it makes you look instantly awake
2. Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment with SPF 15 – I have searched high and low and tried every kind of lip balm but this is the very best. Soft, kissable, buttery lips. I swear by it.
3. NARS Blush in Orgasm – a perfect rosy flush tone that brightens the face.
4. Laura Mercier Illuminating Primer – I don’t wear foundation unless I’m filming so this is what I put on everyday after moisturizer to give my skin a dewy glow. It’s not sparkly, it’s true to its name…”illuminating”
5. Nivea Skin Firming Hydration Body Lotion – I use this religiously. It’s honestly my favorite lotion on the market, it’s so affordable, and makes my skin look and feel amazing. I would buy a case of this at a time if I could find it.

What is your all-time favorite product?
YSL touche éclat concealer. It blends, it’s compact and if you’ve worked a 17 hour day and have nothing else on, you will still look relatively alive. Relatively.

What product do you buy in bulk?
Biore Cleansing Cloths for the face. They’re great to keep in the car and on your nightstand when you have those horribly lazy nights that the thought of getting up to actually wash your face seems unbearable.

Favorite hair product?
There are two lines I use religiously: Kerastase (masquintense & the oleo relax line) and Wella, which has a hair oil that I am obsessed with. It smells like vacation and makes your hair slippery and touchable. I love this stuff! It also doubles as a pretty amazing body oil post bath.

You moisturize your face with…
Kate Somerville Quench. I’ve been going to Kate’s clinic in LA for facials for years, and now that I live in Toronto for work, I still use the products to maintain that glow that her products give.

Favorite body product?
I use Dr. Bronner’s Body Wash in Lavender. I love the smell and it lasts for such a long time. (The almond scent is quite nice too if your prefer something warm and sweet). I alternate between the two.

Favorite beauty secret you’ve picked up along the way?
Drink lots of water, as we all know. But I also learned to add the smallest touch of shimmer to the inner corner of the eye after they’re lined. I use Chanel Cassis Eyeliner on my upper lash line and water line, and the touch of shimmer powder adds a brightness and sparkle. Even if I have no makeup on, I am likely to apply concealer and a bit of shimmer in the corners of my eye.

Beauty icon you admire?
Gwyneth Paltrow. I love how she has timeless style and looks chic and polished, but also embraces the effortless “rolled out of bed” look that all of us do on a daily basis. She just happens to do it better. Her makeup and style are spot on the direction that I want to go in.

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Bathing Beauty: Ayla Beauty’s Dara Kennedy

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When shopping for beauty products online, half the battle is knowing what actually works. For this, you need to trust your destination — and your curator. Dara Kennedy is a master curator who has taken her passion for natural and organic living and turned it into a one-stop-shop for healthy skin, body, and hair products, all available at Ayla Beauty. Kennedy’s e-commerce beauty destination combines her years of product development and marketing expertise with her astute eye for the lesser-known healthy beauty brands and products. Peruse the site and discover an array of international lines that treat everything from smoker’s skin to hyper pigmentation (many of which are only available stateside through Ayla).

We’ve discovered many a must-haves from Ayla Beauty, so we wanted to know what its founder turns to on a daily basis. Here, Dara answers our pressing beauty questions and offers up her can’t-live-without products, along with a valuable beauty tip for anyone with sensitive skin.

What are your top 5, can’t-live-without products?
1. BioRecept Mousse de Peau ($33) – I think this is the perfect cleanser. It’s purifying, removes every bit of makeup, and provides skin with weightless hydration. It’s truly one of a kind.

2. Biocyte Hyaluronic Forte ($48) – Hyaluronic acid is one of my favorite skincare ingredients, and it provides major benefits when taken internally as well. I’ve noticed a significant difference in my skin’s hydration level, and it helps boost collagen for firmer skin and fewer fine lines. Our customers have told us that it makes their skin feel like velvet and their lips look fuller, too.

3. Luzern La Defense SPF 30 ($45) – This is the first sunscreen that I’ve actually looked forward to wearing every day. Its only sunscreen ingredient is zinc oxide, but there’s no whiteness and no stickiness, and it’s nanoparticle-free. Plus, it smells delicious and not at all sunscreen-y!

4. The Organic Pharmacy’s Organic Glam Mascara ($38) – I have annoyingly sensitive eyes. This is one of the very few mascaras I’ve found that won’t irritate them or the delicate skin around them, and it’s a great all-around formula that curls, lengthens, and conditions lashes. The Organic Pharmacy spent five years working on this product, and you can tell.

5. Boucleme Curl Conditioner ($26) – My hair is wavy, but I use this conditioner designed for curls because it’s super hydrating and weightless — which is hard to find in any conditioner, and nearly impossible in a non-toxic one. It smells amazing (spearmint, citrus, and magnolia leaf) and leaves my hair shiny.

What is your all-time favorite product?
Luzern’s Force de Vie Micro-Gel ($90). I have combination skin that gets dehydrated fairly easily, and this keeps it blemish-free with weightless hydration and a dewy, never-oily glow that always generates compliments — even when I’ve barely slept and been stressed out beyond belief and have been eating horribly and haven’t put on any makeup. It’s magical. It’s the only beauty product I’ve used regularly for the past ten years.

What product do you buy in bulk?
Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega fish oil supplement ($25). I actually have a subscription with Nordic Naturals so that I never run out!

Favorite hair product?
MyHavtorn Organic Hair Oil ($45) is just the thing for my (frizz- and puff-prone, thick, wavy) hair. Unless my hair is completely dry when I leave the house, I swear it seeks out every drop of water in the air — there’s a lot here in SF because of the fog — and soaks it up like a sponge, and not in a pretty way. If I scrunch in some of this oil and let it air dry, all of my frizz/puff problems are solved.

You moisturize your face with…
Luzern Force de Vie Micro-Gel ($90). I also adore MyHavtorn Facial Oil ($50), which is a blend of sea buckthorn, argan, and avocado oils that MyHavtorn makes fresh-to-order for Ayla.

Favorite body product?
I have two, which I alternate depending on the occasion. For everyday use, I love MyHavtorn’s Organic Body Oil ($45). It’s really moisturizing, absorbs easily, boosts skin’s elasticity, and has a fresh, lemongrass-y scent. When I’m going out, I use Ellis Brooklyn’s Verb Body Milk ($55) — which is handy because it’s actually a perfumed body milk, so I can moisturize at the same time. Verb is a bright and fresh scent, too, but it’s more sophisticated; it smells like a fine fragrance. It has mandarin, bergamot, and dragon fruit top notes that are grounded with cedarwood and musks. I always get compliments on both!

Favorite beauty secret you’ve picked up along the way?
Dr. Macrene Alexiades-Armenakas is brilliant and full of great tips. One of the most helpful things I’ve learned from her is to stop washing my face in the shower. I have rosacea, and you should never wash your face with water that hot, especially if you have any tendency towards redness and/or sensitivity — only wash with lukewarm water. Otherwise your face will get – and stay – red and irritated.

Beauty icon you admire?
That’s another tough question: There’s so much to admire about so many people. But as one example, I saw a photograph a few months ago of Jane Birkin at Paris Fashion Week, and I thought she looked fantastic. So cool and at ease with herself. It was inspiring. I hope to look that chic when I’m 68.

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Bathing Beauty: DJ Nikki Pennie

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Nikki Pennie isn’t your average DJ. With her signature fiery red locks (courtesy of celebrity colorist Tracey Cunningham), chiseled cheek bones, and freshly manicured nails, Nikki is the epitome of style meets music – she’s a SHE-J (a term she has dubber herself). Every bit as feminine as a Lady (she hails from London where titles are a thing), Nikki spins an eclectic mix of hip hop and dance tunes  for the likes of Jimmy Choo, Rag & Bone, and Christian Dior, to name a few. Here in LA,  The British Bardot (the moniker that Nikki has adopted as her She-J persona) has become the fashionista’s DJ, bringing her stylish looks to the turn tables at every fashion party worth attending.

We ask Nikki our favorite beauty questions — and the lipstick that lends itself to her trademark pink pout.

What are your top 5, can’t-live-without products?
1. Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Concealer – I work late nights and need to freshen up my eyes all of the time. This is genius as it gives good coverage and still looks effortless.
2. Chanel Le Lift Creme – I love this as the cosistency is divine and I can put it on day and night. I think when a girl reaches her 30’s she needs to start really looking after her skin and face… This does the trick!
3. Dior Darling Lipstick – I adore the lip colors by Dior. This is a fun, vibrant pink that is subtle enough for day and still gives that pretty pop at night.
4. La Mer The Eye Balm Intense – I put this on reigiously every night. It’s my luxurious necessity.
5. Burt’s Bees Lip Balm – My lips are always chapped, especially since I moved to California where the heat is dry. I can’t go anywhere without this, especially when I am djing, it’s part of my kit.

What is your all-time favorite product?
Portrait of a Lady Parfum by Frederic Malle. I am obsessed with this fragrance! I get more compliments on this than I do anything else!

What product do you buy in bulk?
The Honest Company Body Lotion. I like the consistency and since I lather my skin in it, I need to buy in bulk.

Favorite hair product?
Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray. My hairstylist introduced this to me and it’s fab when I am travelling and going to a gig as I can give my hair an instant lift and that rock-chick Kate Moss look.

You moisturize your face with…
Chanel Le Lift Creme.

Favorite body product?
Portrait of a Lady Body Butter by Frederic Malle. It’s just as good as the perfume that I wear. I can never wear too much of this!

Favorite beauty secret you’ve picked up along the way?
A dear friend of mine bought me Yves Saint Laurent Volume Effet Faux Cils Shocking Mascara and it changed my life. It makes your lashes look endless and thick. It’s the best mascara out there and I have bought this as presents for friends of mine too!

Beauty icon you admire?
Brigitte Bardot. Not only did she inspire my DJ name, but her whole beauty look was effortless and sexy and her makeup was always flawless and cool.

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Bathing Beauty: Celebrity Dermatologist Dr. Macrene Alexiades-Armenakas

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When it comes to the science of skincare, you’ll be hard pressed to find a more knowledgable dermatologist than Dr. Macrene Alexiades-Armenakas. With her 3 Harvard degrees, over two decades experience of scientific research, and three years consulting work with L’Oreal to develop an acne skincare range, it’s fair to say that Dr. Macrene is at the top of her field. Credentials aside, Macrene has a serious love of her practice and a deep concern for every patient she treats, be it Elle Editor-in Chief Robbie Meyers (a longtime patient) or the woman who walks in with adult onset acne (a specialty of Macrene’s). Her soothing disposition coupled with a combination of academia and science, make Dr. Macrene the choice dermatologist for Manhattan’s elite.

Here, Dr. Macrene discusses her favorite beauty products and the reason for washing without cleansers.

What are your top 5, can’t-live-without products?
1 – 37 Actives: Once or twice, I traveled and failed to bring it with me, and my skin was severely punished for it, turning red and inflamed.  Many, many patients have told me the same thing.  Now, I make sure to always have it with me and I have convinced myself that nothing compares to it.  Why?  It simply contains ALL 50 of the best anti-agers on the market and each is in its own protected liposomal packet that is released upon contact with the skin.  It is literally like putting 50 of the world’s best anti-aging creams on your face in one superior formulation.

2 – Sumadan Cleanser: This controls everything from acne, rosacea to seborrheic dermatitis; basically, it keeps the skin clear of breakouts in one easy cleansing step. By prescription.

3 – Skinceuticals SPF 50 Mineral Block: I do not trust toxic chemicals, so I found the best mineral block on the market and it is sheer.  It also does not break you out.

4 – For makeup, where needed, I only use liquid makeup that is noncomedogenic.  I do not use makeup ever on my skin, only on my lids and upper lip as a primer for eye shadow and lipstick. The brand I use is L’Oreal True Match N1.  I do not wear blush either. The amazing thing about 37 Actives is that it sets up the skin so well that you do not need makeup or blush.

5 – For eye shadows, I am currently a Dior addict. Their 5 colours Palette Fards à Paupières Haute Couleur is without compare. For lip, I still love the Clinique lipsticks, Bronze Leaf being a favorite because it is not too dramatic and goes day to night for a working gal like me.

What is your all-time favorite product?

37 Actives is the all-time product because it incorporates all 12 of my all-time favorites (Skinceuticals CE Ferulic, Remergent DNA Repair, Hyalogy, Revale, etc).

What product do you buy in bulk?
In the summer, we do buy Neutrogena sunscreens in bulk from Costco, but I worry about the phthalates.

Favorite hair product?
I happen to like Oscar Blandi’s Jasmine Protein Mist.  It is very healthy for thin, colored hair, yet gives it body and a lift, without a spray or mousse. For shampoo, I currently love Nature’s Gate Shampoo.  Like 37 Actives, it is all plant-derived.

You moisturize your face with…
37 Actives.

Favorite body product?
In the summer, the Alba Kona Coffee After-Sun Lotion – has coffee which resolves redness and inflammation.  In the winter,L’Occitane Lavender Shea Butter Cream.

Favorite beauty secret you’ve picked up along the way?
You only need to wash with water in the morning.  Use lukewarm water.  Many people use their soap or cleanser in the morning and then start the day inflamed.  Save your cleanser for evening.

Beauty icon you admire?
Lately, I have admired Jennifer Lopez because we are similar in age and she has maintained her appearance with the same aesthetic that I share: natural and healthy.  She has maintained healthy skin and has refrained from ruining her God-given beauty by having treatments done too early.  I am of the strong aesthetic taste that it is better to be conservative and maintain with subtle touches than to undergo procedures that alter your natural appearance.  I always say, “the goal is to be beautiful, not wrinkle-free!”

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Bathing Beauty: Lauren Remington Platt

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For those not in the know, Lauren Remington Platt is a name you’ll want to remember. She’s that really tall, beautiful blond that can be seen at NYC events and in the party pages of swanky fashion rags. She’s got impeccable style and bone structure suited for a model, with the brains to boot. Lauren is the founder and CEO of Vênsette, an online, members only, hair and makeup booking system. Here’s how it works: Professional makeup artists and hair stylists come to your home (or office) and give you the VIP treatment for a very affordable price (roughly $325 for an evening look). Have a charity to attend? Not a problem. The MET ball? No worries. A hot date? Vênsette’s got you covered.

While Lauren has long been a staple on the social circuit, it’s Vênsette that is now the talk of the town.

Here, Lauren dishes on her favorite beauty products and why she’s full of awe for the fine folks of General Hospital

What are your top 5, can’t-live-without products?
1)  A great eye shadow brush. It is almost always about the application as opposed to the product.  You can never blend too much!

2)  Estée Lauder Idealist Pore Minimizing Skin Refinisher.  I use it before I put on foundation if I am going out.  It smooths your complexion while also being translucent.  Also perfect for the morning after a big night.

3)  Nail Polish Remover. There is nothing more unprofessional or unattractive than chipped nail polish.

4)  Dry Shampoo. I have to make my Vênsette blow outs last!

5)  Lip Gloss, I love Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1.  I am a fan of a natural lip.
 
What is your all-time favorite product?
Armani Beauty Rouge d’Armani Lipstick – Rouge 400. There has yet to be another lipstick that can compare in its pigmentation. I named the Vênsette Look Grace Kelly in Wicked after the the perfect pout this product creates.
 
What product do you buy in bulk?
Individual false eyelashes.

You moisturize your face with…
Gunilla of Sweden.  Organic and a great price point

Favorite body product?  

Fresh Sugar Body Polish

Favorite hair product?

Shu Eumera Satin Milk
 
Favorite beauty secret you’ve picked up along the way?
Your hair and makeup will never look as stunning as when in the hands of a professional artist…no matter how good you are with a brush.
 
Beauty icon you admire?
Anyone on the soap opera General Hospital.  Though its not admiration so much as awe.  We all know a person couldn’t possibly look that perfect after a 24 shift in the ER or just giving birth but I can’t help but be stunned how media promotes the fantasy of perfect beauty so unscrupulously.

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.