Category:  bathing beauties

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Bathing Beauty: Bryn Kenny of Dior

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For a beauty enthusiast, a career in the beauty industry is a dream come true. Free beauty products, access to A-list makeup artists and the first to play with new beauty discoveries, is all part of the job. As the current  public relations director for Dior Beauty (swoon!), Bryn Kenny is living the dream. Prior to the highly coveted Dior gig, Bryn was a beauty writer for W Magazine (another swoon-worthy job). Besides being an infinite trove of beauty wisdom (she offers up some sage beauty tips in her interview below), Bryn is also a stylish girl-about-town (you’ll frequently find her photos on such sites as New York Social Diary and Guest of a Guest). With her beach-chic good looks and her comprehensive beauty knowledge, Bryn embodies the best of both worlds: beauty and brains.

Here, Bryn divulges on the secret to “eyes that pop,” an alternate use for perfume, and the trick to applying moisturizer post makeup:

What are your top 5, can’t-live-without products?
1. Bright lipstick. There’s something very bold—and yet classic—about a colorful lip. Makes me feel French.
2. Dior Addict Lip Glow – Pretty much the opposite of bright lipstick; It’s a natural balm with a bit of color that adjusts to your skin’s chemistry. It creates this perfect flushed pink—like you’ve just been kissed.
3. Hand Wash by Molton Brown – Does that count as a beauty product? It’s like fragrance for your hands, so I’m going to say yes.
4. Dior Capture Totale Resurfacing Peel – Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate! I use this product probably more often than I should.
5. Essie nail polish in Fifth Avenue – It’s the perfect happy red and perks up my somewhat dour black and grey wardrobe.

What is your all-time favorite product?
That’s impossible to answer (ha!) but if I must, Diorissimo Eau de Parfum. I love the fact that it’s been around forever and is absolutely timeless. It’s this very simple, fresh blend of Lily of the Valley. I even spray it on my sheets.

What product do you buy in bulk?
This is an easy one: Carmex. They say it’s addictive and I’m okay with that. Every time I’m in Duane Reade I buy one because I’m always losing it. I find little pots of Carmex in my couch cushions like loose change.

Favorite hair product?
Sigh, hairspray. I’ll pretty much use any kind, drugstore, salon, whatever, but I love L’Oreal Ellnet. I have baby fine hair and hairspray adds a bit of body and texture. Also, Oscar Blandi Pronto Dry Shampoo, the powder kind. It’s a godsend when I’m going from day to night, which is often.

You moisturize your face with…
I’m more of a beauty skeptic than a beauty junkie, but I’ve always been fascinated by skincare. Either way, it takes a lot to convince me to use a product at all, let alone religiously, and I’m addicted to Dior Capture Totale One Essential. It’s a serum that boosts the efficacy of basically any skin product you use. Alicia Keys’ makeup artist Ashunta Sheriff taught me an amazing trick with One Essential: after you’re finished with your makeup, rub a little on your palms and pat your face—it creates this really natural, healthy glow. I also use Dior L’Or de Vie La Crème and L’Extrait day and night. I have dry skin and it works miracles.

Favorite body product?
Pretty much anything Fresh makes. My new favorite is the Seaberry Body Cream—it just smells really good and is super moisturizing without being greasy. Plus, Fresh products are so pretty to look at. They have such a nice aesthetic.

Favorite beauty secret you’ve picked up along the way?
Lining the upper inner lid with black liner… I think a Shu Uemura artist taught me this back when I was a beauty writer at W Magazine. It makes your eyes pop but no one is quite sure why.

Beauty icon you admire?
Ooh, there are a few. I grew up emulating strong-willed women like Madonna, Stevie Nicks, Debbie Harry and Kate Moss. Love a rebellious blonde. I guess I’ve always been drawn to beauty that’s a bit dark, rough-around-the-edges and complicated.Smudged liner, a crooked nose, a little rock ‘n’ roll.

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Bathing Beauty: Babi Ahluwalia of Sachin + Babi

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Babi Ahluwalia is one-half of the design duo that makes up Sachin + Babi. The other half just so happens to be her designer hubby, Sachin Ahluwalia (hence the name of the ready-to-wear contemporary line). With decorative dresses, texturized blouses and beautifully tailored jackets, Sachin + Babi is all about the chicness, all of the time. Celebrities like Emma Stone, Jennifer Lopez, Kim and Kourtney Kardashian, Drew Barrymore and Kat Sadler are just a few of Hollywood’s fashionistas sporting the designs.

Babi is both beautiful and practical when it comes to her style. Her fashion sense is sophisticated yet comfortable, while her beauty routine is simple and unpretentious. Babi’s chestnut billowing mane, perfect skin tone and soulful eyes round out her unique beauty.

Here, the tools and products that Babi covets:

What are your top 5, can’t-live-without products?
1 – Tata Harper Rebuilding Moisturizer – I just love it.  Tara Harper uses all natural ingredients creating a pure and simple product.  The shelf life is short because she does not use preservatives but it is well worth it.
2 – Kiehl’s Lip Balm – A tube of Kiehl’s in your handbag is priceless, especially in winter. The product is simple but the quality and ingredients are so good.
3 – Forest Essentials Moisture Replenishing Bath & Shower Oil Madurai Jasmine & Mogra – You can only purchase this product in India; I love it for its purity and beautiful scent.
4 – Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler – It’s simply the best.
5 – Chanel Lipglossimer  in Wild Rose – It’s such a great pick me up and a very nice indulgence.

What is your all-time favorite product?
Tata Harper Rejuvenating Serum . Her commitment to all-natural products is inspiring and she creates a great, clean and pure product.

What product do you buy in bulk?
Forest Essential’s Age Defying Facial Serum and Bath and Shower Oils. I have to buy them in bulk as they are only available in India.

Favorite hair product?
MoroccanOil Hydrating Styling Cream – With all of the blow outs and frequent color, it really rescues my hair!

You moisturize your face with…
Tata Harper Replenishing Nutrient Complex, Serum, and finally her Moisturizer.

Favorite body product?
Right now am loving The Body Shop’s glycerine soap (in bar or liquid form) in their great crisp citrus scent.

Favorite beauty secret you’ve picked up along the way?
Always slather on a face pack the night before an important day. I like any good replenishing moisture mask from Shahnaz Husain or Kiehl’s Algae Mask depending on what’s in the bathroom cabinet!

Beauty icon you admire?
Maharani Gayatria Devi of Jaipur. She had such regal elegance and a magnetic personality.

*images and makeup by Beauty Banter.

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Bathing Beauty: Sarah Kugelman, Founder of skyn Iceland

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Sarah Kugelman, founder of skyn Iceland, has been in the business of beauty for over two decades. She started one of the original beauty sites, gloss.com and sold it to Estee Lauder – quite the accomplishment! Additionally, Sarah has worked tirelessly for 20 years to create and perfect her promising skin care line. The result is a product collection with pure ingredients from Iceland that prides itself on removing the stress from your skin (amen to that!).

Here, Sarah (such a nice name!) dishes on skyn Iceland’s newest product launch and the secret to looking fabulous (it has something to do with a bed and a man…):

What are your top 5, can’t-live-without products?
1 – Josie Maran Argan Natural Volume Lip Gloss: I’m allergic to nearly all lip products (they make my lips dry/flakey) but these natural lip glosses don’t, so I can be healthy and glamorous!

2 – Pureology Essential Repair, Restorative Hair Mask: Last year, I was getting a blow-out and the stylist completely fried my hair. The only thing that restored it was this Pureology deep conditioner. It saved my hair!

3 – YSL black mascara: It’s just the best and I love the packaging.

4 – skyn ICELAND Pure Cloud Cream: I have dry skin and nothing hydrates and calms it like this cream. I developed it so it would be deeply moisturizing without being heavy or greasy. There’s nothing else like it and I’ve had big companies try to knock it off and no one can figure out our secret!!

5 – A new anti-aging serum I’m developing for launch in 2012: It’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever used. It has transformed my skin into flawless, glowing, even-toned skin. Stay tuned!!!

What is your all-time favorite product?
Georgette Klinger’s drying lotion. I’ve been using it since I was 19yrs old. It’s the double zap for a bad blemish. It’s what goes on top of my normal anti-blemish routine at night. It’s bright pink so you can’t wear it during the day but it really feels like it goes to work instantly and I love the way it smells (think camphor and witch hazel). I’m so upset because they don’t make it anymore. I’ve had one jar for about 2 yrs and I keep adding water to the dry bits at the bottom and shaking it up. I’ll have to recreate it somehow, someday! [Editor’s Note: Try Mario Badescu’s Drying Lotion as an alternative.]

What product do you buy in bulk?
Aveeno Body Lotion. I have the driest skin ever and have to moisturize at least 2 times a day. Also L’Occitane bath and shower gels (in Pine/Rosemary/Vetiver and Verbena). I discovered these on vacation in St Maarten years ago and have been hooked ever since.

Favorite hair product?
Pureology and John Masters conditioner. It detangles and conditions hair without leaving a residue or being too heavy. AND it’s natural! Also, love Frederic Fekkai shampoos. OK, I can’t pick just one!

You moisturize your face with…
With skyn ICELAND’s Pure Cloud Cream in the winter and Antidote Daily Lotion in the summer. skyn ICELAND’s Oxygen Infusion Night Cream at night!

Favorite body product?
That’s a hard one, I’m always on the search for a perfect body lotion and I can’t say I’ve really found one although I love Elemental Herbology body creams. They have a really nice product – natural, performance driven and nice scents. I also really like Peter Thomas Roth’s Blemish Buffing Beads Body. It’s a body wash that keeps my skin so smooth and the beads are moisturizing so it doesn’t dry.

Favorite beauty secret you’ve picked up along the way?
When I was a teenager, my mother took me to a dinner party and a French woman told me that the best beauty secret is to have a good man in your bed! Since then, I’ve also learned that a lot of sleep, drinking a lot of water, staying out of the sun, exercising and a great, natural moisturizer is the BEST beauty regimen. My grandmother who lived to 105, never left the house without ‘a little lipstick on’ — that goes without saying!

Beauty icon you admire?
I don’t know if she’s really a beauty icon, but I am inspired by Sienna Miller. She is stunningly beautiful (naturally!), has an incredible smile, beautiful skin and a great sense of personal style. She is modern, sexy, funny, and stylish. There is something timeless about her.

To explore Sarah’s skyn Iceland product range, visit  www.skyniceland.com.

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Bathing Beauty: Britt Aboutaleb

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You know that adage, “it’s not the job that makes the person, it’s the person that makes the job?” Well,  this is most certainly true in the case of Britt Aboutaleb. As the style news editor for Elle.com (she writes and edits the site’s popular fashion blog), Britt has been an integral part in creating the site’s personality and making it a daily must-read.

Read any article that has Britt’s name attached, and you will see her attention to detail. From the words she chooses to the stories she pens, Britt is changing the game of digital coverage one post at a time. In a space that was once inundated with derivative content, Britt brings both her original voice and savvy style experience to Elle’s fashion coverage.

Not exactly makeup obsessed, Britt only caught the beauty bug recently – largely due to her obsession with perfect skin. Don’t be fooled, though, for a beauty novice, she’s got rather good taste (in our humble opinion).

Here, Britt discusses the products that give her that coveted “glow” and her current adoration with anything Tata Harper.

What are your top 5, can’t-live-without products?
1. Tata Harper Rejuvenating Serum. This is the only product I actually can’t live without. I’ve struggled with my skin from the time I hit puberty up until about six months ago when I started using the serum. Now I have that elusive “glow.”
2. Chanel Inimitable Mascara. It earns, “Are those your real lashes?” from strangers almost everyday.
3. Nars The Multiple – Orgasm. Again, obsessed with the glow.
4. Lancome Artliner Precision Point Eyeliner. I love a cat eye and have experimented with dozens of eyeliners; this one is the best (and easiest to apply!).
5. Rodin Olio Lusso. I can definitely live without this, but when I put it on at night my face glows in the morning.

What is your all time favorite product?
Right now it’s anything Tata Harper. I’m obsessed with getting perfect glowing skin (it’s the first time in my life that I’ve come close) and Tata’s products are like magic. As far as makeup, mascara is the only thing I always wear.

What product do you buy in bulk?
I live in a studio in New York, so nothing! Though I’ve probably bought more than one mascara at a time.

What is your favorite hair product?
Charlotte Ronson’s A Perfect Mess Beach Spray makes my hair perfectly messy and smelling like the beach.

You moisturize your face with…
Tata Harper Rejuvenating Serum and a few drops of whatever face oil is out on my sink.

Favorite body product?
In the spring summer I use Bobbi Brown’s Beach Body Oil. It smells ridiculous, like someone bottled the beach. In the winter I use Kiehl’s Crème de Corps Whipped Body Butter, which also smells great, but is thick enough to battle an East Coast winter.

Favorite beauty secret?
Drink a lot of water. I know that’s not a secret, but I can see the difference in my face when I do (or don’t) stay hydrated. Same goes for running.

Beauty icon you admire?
Brigitte Bardot! Or anyone French, really.

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Bathing Beauty: Rachel Chandler

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As a fashionable New York “it” girl, Rachel Chandler knows a thing or two about working a lens. But this blondie prefers to be on the opposite side of the camera – shooting the pictures (her work can be seen in Purple Magazine and on Vogue.com) – as opposed to in front of it. Besides her budding photography career, Rachel is also a highly in-demand DJ and a fixture in both the fashion and art scenes.

While I’m a big fan of Rachel’s eclectic style, I’m also quite impressed by her effortless beauty. There’s something very old school about her look: the imperfect bob, pristine skin and focus on eyes are all reminiscent of the 1960’s and 70’s icons. A bit Debbie Harry, a bit Penelope Tree (sans the long hair), Rachel’s look can be described as a mix between rock and hippy. Take, for example, her adoration of blue mascara, yet the rest of her makeup routine is undeniably low maintenance.

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Read on the discover the secrets behind Rachel’s flawless skin, beauty icon, and the one product she travels across the globe to buy.

What are your top 5, can’t-live-without products?
1 – Cle de Peau Concealer – I often mix this with my moisturizer as an allover coverup.
2 – Laura Mercier Tinted Moisterizer – I use this for day because it has SPF and really evens my skintone.
3 – Anastasia Perfect Brow Pencil – I don’t wear much makeup but I like to strengthen my brow.
4 – Azur Blue DiorShow Mascara – It brings out my eye color and I wear it day and night. I don’t wear any other eye makeup.
5 – Argan Oil which I buy in Marrakech – I use it for everything: in my hair and on my skin. It’s very moisturizing. It has worked for Moroccan women who live in the desert for centuries!

What is your all-time favorite product?
This changes regularly but at the moment I am obsessed with Kheil’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate which I use not only at night, but all the time. When it starts to get cold in NY, the air gets very dry and this is the only thing that seems to give me instant relief.

What product do you buy in bulk?
Dove Bar Soap.

Favorite hair product?
Marrakech Oil which is a combination of Argan and Hemp oils. I highlight my hair and this keeps it healthy.

You moisturize your face with…
Kheil’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate and Dr. Hauschka Moisturizing Day Cream.

Favorite body product?
Bamford’s Organic Rosemary Body Oil. It works better than any moisturizer I’ve tried.

Favorite beauty secret you’ve picked up along the way?
Less is more! It is tempting to go nuts with products, but I find that the simpler my regime, the better.

Beauty icon you admire?
Veronica Lake for that hair!!

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Bathing Beauty: Charlotte Ronson

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Charlotte Ronson is one of the hardest working women I know. She has dedicated the past 10 years to designing her clothing line of NYC-chic and flirty threads, aptly called Charlotte Ronson.  Additionally, she has collaborated with Urban Outfitters, Shoshanna Gruss of apparel line Shoshanna for a swimsuit collection, JCPenney for a longterm partnership of contemporary sportswear, I [Heart] Ronson for JCPenney, and, most recently, an amazing makeup line exclusively for Sephora (click here for a recap of Charlotte Ronson Beauty). Oh yeah, and did I forget to mention, that she has 3 stand alone stores in Asia with a deal for 100 plus more?

Charlotte’s hard work paid off with this year’s induction into the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) and Saturday’s NYFW Spring 2012 fashion show at Lincoln Center. With bright colors, denim patchwork and sheer fabrics, the Spring collection is proof of Charlotte’s incredible knack for cool-girl, wearable clothing (and definitely one of my favorite collections to date).

Touted as a fashion “it” girl and New York trendsetter, Charlotte is known for her effortless style, both in her fashion and beauty choices. And that hair! Charlotte rocks the perfect beach waves year-round (and now she’s bottled her secret and is selling it – amen!).

Here, Charlotte spills  – exclusively to Beauty Banter – her beauty staples and product must-haves:

What are your top 5, can’t-live-without products?
1. Charlotte Ronson for Sephora A Perfect Mess Hair Tonic—It easily creates perfectly beachy waves, a look I love to keep all year long.
2. Charlotte Ronson for Sephora A Summer’s Kiss Lip Gloss— I love that it’s light-weight and sheer. All of the shades are wearable and not sticky.
3. Charlotte Ronson for Sephora All Eye Need Eyeshadow Quad in Nicole— The palette seems to compliment all skin tones, and highlights your eyes without looking too “done.”
4. Cle de Peau Beaute Correcteur Visage Concealer in Honey – The shade matches my skin tone perfectly and the formula doesn’t cake.
5. Charlotte Ronson for Sephora 3 X A Charm Luminizer, Blush, Bronzer in Shoshanna— brings out your natural glow.

What is your all-time favorite product? 
Armani Mascara Eyes to Kill

What product do you buy in bulk?
MAC “Bulk” Wipes and RODIN Olio Lusso Face Oil

Favorite hair product? 
Charlotte Ronson for Sephora A Perfect Mess— It reminds me of my mother’s [Ann Dexter-Jones] perfectly undone hair,
and recreates my summery-beach waves.

You moisturize your face with…
LANCER™ Skincare ‘Nourish’ AM/PM Nourishment and Baume Contour des Yeux Anti-Rides from Clé de Peau Beaute.

Favorite body product? 
Charlotte Ronson for Sephora A Summer’s Kiss Face and Body Glow—It creates a sun kissed look all year round.

Favorite beauty secret you’ve picked up along the way?
My mother always told me that less is more, and I think that a natural, healthy glow is always more appealing than an overly-done look.

Beauty icon you admire? 
Jane Birkin. I love her relaxed look: her tousled hair, and glowing, fresh face.

Editor’s Note: Charlotte Ronson makeup is available September 15, 2011 exclusively at Sephora stores and on their website, www.sephora.com.

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Bathing Beauty: Stephanie LaCava

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Stephanie LaCava is my favorite kind of woman: both beauty and brains. While her ginger hair (minus the blonde ambition moment) and signature style may get her noticed on the popular blogs and magazines, my favorite thing about Stephanie is her way with words. She’s insanely talented when she puts pen to paper, writing fashion, beauty, and culture pieces for Vogue, T: The New York Times Style Magazine, New York Magazine, and online at the Paris Review.

But our common bond is a shared adoration for all things beauty. Read on to find out  Stephanie’s beauty must-haves!

What are your top 5, can’t-live-without products?
1 – Cle de Peau Beaute Concealer– I use this instead of foundation, set with the below.
2 – Lancome Dual Finish Compact – The perfect all purpose compact.
3 – Anastasia Clear Brow Gel – I love manicured brows.
4 – Nars Carthage Pure Matte Lipstick – An amazing coral pink to wear with all white or all black.
5 – Joelle Ciocco Oxyclear Eclat Nuit Jour – This smells-and feels- amazing (editor’s note: this product can be found at Isabelle Bellis).

What is your all-time favorite product?
Lancome Defincils Mascara. As a natural redhead, my eyelashes are really pale, but lonnnngggg. They only show up with mascara!

What product do you buy in bulk?
Duchess Marden Body Serum — and liters of Evian (serious, you need to hydrate!).

Favorite hair product?
Rahua Finishing Treatment – an amazing natural, vegan potion.

You moisturize your face with?
Neutrogena Oil Free Moisture, Sensitive Skin. It’s available everywhere and awesome.

Favorite body product?
Nature’s Gate Colloidal Oatmeal Moisturizing Lotion. I will use this on my face if need be — it’s absolutely the most amazing all over cream.

Favorite beauty secret you’ve picked up along the way?
Pilates with Mimosa Gordon and facials with Isabelle Bellis. Oh, and to smile. My father mocks me when I pose for family photos. He’s right- you look like an idiot when you try too hard. Just be happy.

Beauty icon you admire?
Vanessa Paradis. I love her hair, teeth- she’s cool, natural and has her own thing going on- no ironed hair or perfectly fake teeth.

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Bathing Beauty: Claiborne Swanson Frank

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I have an affinity for beautiful women and beautiful images – photographer Claiborne Swanson Frank seems to have the same taste. It makes perfect sense, really. The Florida native and one-time assistant to Anna Wintour, spent her adolescent years on the family’s vineyard in Napa Valley (they own Swanson Vineyards). Combine acres of nature and that beautiful California sunlight with a fashion education (there’s no place like Vogue), and the result is bound to be one of pure beauty. Take a look at Claiborne’s portraits from her first series, Indigo Light (click here to peruse the work), and you’ll see what I’m talking about: Beautiful women, beautiful clothes, an ode to nature, and, of course, a mutual respect for natural light. And her subjects are quite interesting themselves – women like singer Vanessa Carleton, Vanessa Getty, and her own sister, Alexis Swanson Traina.

My adoration with Claiborne was, at first, based solely on her photos, but once speaking to her, I found that her exuberance for life was just as mesmerizing. And, of course, take one look at her self-portraits (featured in this post) and you’ll recognize that her talent is paired with a classic, effortless beauty.

So, here is the latest installment of Bathing Beauty: Claiborne Swanson Frank. Pay close attention to her beauty secrets: you can take the girl out of California, but you can’t take California out of the girl…

What are your top 5, can’t-live-without products?
1 – Face masks. I use an array of Jurlique face masks that I’m nuts about. My two favorites would be the Moisture Replenishing Mask and the Intense Recovery Mask.
2 – I am also addicted to my Jurlique Herbal Recovery Gel which is a serum. I adore the whole Jurlique line. I’ve been using it religiously since I was 18. I believe that holistic skincare is the true way to staying young and aging gracefully.
3 – I love the Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes because they really remove all traces of mascara that I seem to have a very hard time getting off of my eyelashes.
4 – I also religiously use Renee Furterer Dry Shampoo as it gives me great volume and is my key styling product.
5 – When I’m feeling a bit pale, I love Clarins Self-Tanning Skin Lotion. Coming from California, I always like to have a glow. I also love my Dr. Hauschka Lip Balm that gets me through the dry, cold New York winters.

What is your all-time favorite product?
Rene Furterer Dry Shampoo. It gives me the texture and volume that I love.

What product do you buy in bulk?
Jurlique. I never seem to have enough Jurlique products at any given time.

Favorite hair product?
Besides dry shampoo, I love the Kerastase moisturizing hair mask because having long hair often means that the ends will get dry so it needs a bit more care and moisture.

You moisturize your face with…
Jurlique Balancing Day Cream in the morning and the Jurlique Calendula Lotion at night.

Favorite body product?
St. Ives Hydrating Vitamin E Body Lotion. I tend to have dry skin and find this lotion the most hydrating.

Favorite beauty secret you’ve picked up along the way?
My beauty secrets are face masks and sunscreen. I use face masks three times a week and always wear 60 SPF on my face. I try drink a lot of water, go to bed early, and go to yoga.

Beauty icon you admire?
My beauty icon is Lauren Hutton for her free spirit, wild natural beauty and iconic American style.

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Nikki Parkinson

Bathing Beauty: Nikki Parkinson

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Nikki Parkinson

Nikki Parkinson is a journalist, fashion stylist, social media expert and fellow Shellac devotee, whose fashion and beauty site, Styling You, was named the Best Australian Blog of 2011 and has been featured in Australian VOGUE, Sky News and more. I discovered Styling You via friends in the Southern Hemisphere and, even with our opposing seasons (they’re in the midst of winter as we’re sweltering here), I find the site filled with fabulous tips and tricks taking runway inspiration and trends to real life.

As Nikki writes on Styling You, “I’ve long spent a disproportionate amount of my income on clothes and beauty products. I blame my politically correct mother who never let me have a Barbie doll (cue violin music here). Instead of Glamour Barbie, I unwrapped trucks and Meccano sets at Christmas time. I’m sorry, mum, but neither of those toys came with accessories.”

Styling You combines great writing with tips and tricks worth noting – in just the last week I pinned her posts on iconic brows and, while dreaming of cooler weather, tips for tying scarves with Parisian panache. (Yes, I’m ready for autumn already if my Pinterest boards are any indication.

From Queensland’s Sunshine Coast to here in the Golden State, Nikki was kind enough to share her “must haves.” Thanks, Nikki!

What are your top 5, can’t-live-without products?

1 – Smashbox High Definition Concealer. This is my go-to concealer. It deflects all the evidence of my late nights on the computer blogging.

2 – Jane Iredale PurePressed mineral makeup. With this in my makeup kit, I can get a flawless face in minutes. And with three kids and my own business to run, sometimes that’s all I have in the morning.

3 – Lanolips 101 ointment. See below why I can’t live without this product! (I’m looking for a good place to find this in the US – will let you know – A.)

4 – Jane Iredale Moonglow bronzer. I can use this as an eye color, highlighter and bronzer – 24K gold flecks give me a glow even when I’m feeling and looking meh!

5 – Ella Bache Sports Bloc 30+ sunscreen. I’ve got fair skin but love to spend time at the beach. This sunscreen enables me to do this. It’s not greasy but stays on even when spending a long time in the water. It also doesn’t irritate my skin.

What is your all-time favorite product?

Lanolips 101 ointment.  It’s one of those genius all-natural products that has a multitude of uses. It’s an Australian product made from ultra medical grade lanolin. I apply it religiously every night to my lips as a bit of an overnight treatment but it also works on grazes, itchy and dry skin patches.

What product do you buy in bulk?

Sunscreen for me and the whole family. Our summer is long and the sun is super strong – plus we live at the beach.  We need pump packs of the stuff!

You moisturize your face with…

I’m always trialing something new but my dream moisturizer and one I’ve been lucky enough to try and continue to enjoy is Sodashi Samadara. It’s the ultimate in luxury chemical-free skincare and you massage it in using smooth rose quartz crystals. This is another amazing Australian brand – and it’s available in the top spas all around the world.

Favorite body product?

I love using shower gels. It’s my daily luxury – my five minutes to myself in the shower.  My favorite is Trilogy Botantical Body Wash. It’s a 500ml pump pack, so it lasts and it leaves your skin feeling moisturized and your mind rejuvenated and relaxed.

Favorite beauty secret you’ve picked up along the way?

I’ve been doing this for some time now but years ago I was told to put on my eye makeup first – before foundation – so that you can easily clean off any fall-out from the eye color. And I’ve recently learned that I should be putting my concealer on over the top of my foundation. It is so much better this way as you need less concealer and it blends a whole lot easier.

Beauty icon you admire?

January Jones. I am Mad Men obsessed. Can’t get enough. And I love that January mixes up her red carpet looks. Sometimes we get a bit of Mad Men; sometimes a bit of sexy.  Her skin is always flawless and her hair glossy. That’s the key to a beauty icon in the making.

Source: haironthebrain.com via Nikki on Pinterest

Alex Asher Sears is a writer, photographer, editor and fourth generation Angeleno. She believes that you can find inspiration anywhere but thinks Slim Aarons, Nöel Coward and Diana Vreeland are a great place to start. Since 2007, she’s been sharing her eco-beauty finds with BB readers, but calls AlexandraWrote home.

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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.