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Category:  bathing beauties

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.

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.

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.

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.