Category:  how to


Under $10: Red Lipsticks + How To Find The Perfect Red For Your Skin Tone

By | how to, makeup, under $10 | One Comment

Choosing the perfect red to suit your complexion can be complicated, we get it. So, here’s a quick breakdown of how to find the right red for your skin tone. Tan, olive, and deeper skin tones look ravishing in orange-based reds, while fair and light complexions will pop in a blue-red. Medium complexions, a la Emmy Rossum can really go with either blue or orange-reds. And then, of course, there’s a classic red, which is equal parts orange and red and is considered to be universally flattering. So, now you know the rules, but have fun breaking them. If dark and dramatic reds are your thing, go for it! Lupita Nyong’o looks gorgeous in deeper reds, while fair-skinned beauty Kate Bosworth livens up her pout in orange-reds rather often. It really is a personal choice, so some trial-and-error may be necessary.

Luckily, you can explore varying shades of red on a budget with our guide to some of the most fabulous red lipsticks, all for under $10.

Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate in My Little Black Dress ($5) – A bold and universal classic red inspired by Kate Moss.

L’Oreal Colour Riche Collection Exclusive Lipcolour in Zoe’s Red ($4) – A deep, blue-red for added drama.

Revlon Ultra HD Lipstick in Poppy ($4) – A fire engine orange-red.

NYX Matte Lipstick in Perfect Red ($6) – A crimson red that is, well, pretty perfect.

e.l.f. Moisturizing Lipstick in Razzle Dazzle Red ($3) – A blue-red that packs a dramatic punch.

Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Red Lacquer ($9) – A classic red for every skin tone.

CoverGirl Colorlicious Lipstick in Hot ($8) – As the name suggests, this is a hot cherry-red shade.

NYX Round Case Lipstick in Chaos ($4) – A bright blue-red hue.

Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick, Kate Moss Collection in 111 ($5) – Another Kate Moss-inspired red, this time in an orange-red finish.

Neutrogena Moisture Smooth Lipstick in Classic Red ($8) – Equal parts blue and organs-red, this is a classic color for every skin tone. Formula is more subtle than dramatic.

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For tips on how to make your red lipstick last all night, click here.

gigi airdried

How To Get Perfect Air-Dried Hair

By | hair, how to | 2 Comments

No, we’re not just full of hot air. It’s time to drop those blow dryers, flat irons, curling irons, and hot rollers in favor of air-dried locks. You know the look: Perfectly imperfect with volume and a random wave or curl. Texture is a must, but air-dried hair differs from beachy waves in that you’re working with your own texture, not creating new texture with the help of hot tools (cue the latter).

While a natural breeze coming off of the ocean is obviously preferable, the drifts felt by NYC subways count as well. Not only are air-dried tresses the hair look du jour, but they’re also a great way to give your strands a nourishing break from all the stressful chemical treatments (we’re looking at you, highlights), and toll of summer’s unenviable climate effects.

Hairstylist Lacy Redway, who works with clients including Olivia Palermo and Jourdan Dunn, gave us some tips on how to master this trend.

BB: Can any type of hair rock this look? 
LR: This trend is all about embracing your natural texture. Most women don’t even know what their natural texture looks like because we have been using heat and chemicals to alter our natural textures for so long. I think any hair type can rock this look because it’s more about self acceptance and learning what products work for you.

BB: What products do you recommend for air-drying? 
LR: A great mousse and a good hair moisturizer are key for this look. I love Kèrastase mousse Bouffante ($37) and Jane Carter Solution Nourishing Cream ($13).

BB: What if you want the air-dried look, but need to dry your hair quickly? Can you achieve this look with a blow dryer? 
LR: A hair dryer diffuser will dry your hair quickly, but without irritating your natural texture. I use ghd Air diffuser ($27) along with my dryer when I’m home, but for travel I pack my YS Park Sock Diffuser ($41).

BB: How can you keep air-dried hair from getting crazy and puffy?
LR: The key is to keep your hair moisturized. Locking in the moisture will help fight against frizz. Also, a good hair mousse will keep your hair in place.

Do you air-dry your hair? Let us know your tips in the comments below!


-Casey Sharbaugh is the blogger behind


5-Minute Morning Routine: Beauty Products For The Daily

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What products do you use on the daily? When getting ready for work (or school or the like), we’re all about saving time while still giving our face a quick pick-me-up. Of most importance is that we don’t actually look made up and, as most beauty aficionados are aware, the no-makeup-makeup look can actually prove more timely. But not this one. We’ve rounded up the daily essentials you’ll need to create a gorgeously natural 5-minute morning makeup routine. It’s all you, just a bit touched up!

Start with a tinted moisturizer or BB cream. Most are multitasking, meaning you can get your SPF in with a few essential anti-aging ingredients and light to medium coverage. A healthy complexion is key… and so is our sun protection!
TRY: Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 20 ($44), comes in 15 oil-free shades and 15 sheer and dewy shades, too, or Dr. Jart+ Illuminating BB Brush Broad Spectrum SPF 30 ($39) for a convenient brush-on BB application.

Filling in brows really does give your face a polished look — and you only need one – two – products at the most. This step shouldn’t take more than 30 seconds… and it’ll make all the difference.
TRY: Nudestix Eyebrow Stylus Pencil & Gel ($24) for a genius pencil-and-gel combo, or Ardell Brow Building Fiber, which is a tinted brow gel that fills in sparse areas with a hint of smudge-proof hue ($8) (genius, too!).

Mascara can be messy and, for some, it takes a few minutes to apply (cough, cough over here). Instead, opt for a multipurpose balm to give eyelashes a natural sheen. A balm can be added to brow and cheek bones as well to highlight the area, while also moisturizing. And, of course, a balm gives great natural gloss to the pout too. (Psst: Leaving your lashes mascara-free will actually make you look younger, try it!)
TRY: Lanolin Lano 101 Ointment Multipurpose Superbly ($19), the OG of all-natural everything balms, or the fan-favorite Rosebud Perfume Co. Rosebud Salve ($6), which applies with a very sheer petal pink finish.

A light flush awakens tired, lackluster skin. A cream blush in a universally flattering pinkish shade will give your complexion a healthy glow. Use this same creamy formula on lips to pull the look together and offer a pop of color to the pout.
TRY: Tata Harper Volumizing Lip & Cheek Tint in Very Sweet ($36), a sheer, buildable and all-natural powder rose pink, or Nars The Multiple ($39) in the coveted Orgasm, a peachy-pink shimmer or Riviera, a sheer pink.

Finish it all off with a corrector stick. Yes, this can cover imperfections like pimples or sun spots. It’ll also neutralize under-eye dark circles. But you can actually lightly – and effortlessly – open up your entire face by adding dabs of a corrector stick to bridge of nose, center of chin and forehead, and directly below cheekbones. Consider this a contour hack. Know your colors: pink cancels out blue and purple on fair skin; yellow cancels it out on olive and deep skin. To create a highlighting formula with your corrector, add a dab of multipurpose balm before applying to areas like under-eyes and brow bone. Voila! TIP: choose a hue that is one shade lighter than your actual skin tone.
TRY: Cle de Peau Concealer ($70), the coveted concealer comes in six shades; Smashbox Color Correcting Stick in Look Less Tired ($23), a light peach for fair skin tones; Cover FX Correct Click Color Corrector in Yellow ($18) for medium skin tones.

What are your morning makeup routine quick tips? Let us know in the comment section below.

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Beauty Sleep: How to Get Prettier Overnight

By | body, how to, skin | No Comments

While sleeping is all about rest and relaxation (obviously), it can also be productive for both mind and body.  After all, we spend a third of our lives in bed! Choice products welcome the opportunity to get to work over the course of an eight-hour span while you’re in the sack.

Keep reading to find out how you can fight wrinkles, firm skin, create a glow, or even zap a zit–all in the span of a single night’s sleep.

Slip For Beauty Sleep Slipsilk Pure Silk Pillowcase ($79) – If you regularly wake up with a dreaded pillow crease across your cheek, or a crown of frizz around your hairline, you need to switch to a silk pillowcase stat. Besides its anti-aging abilities (no skin crease means no wrinkles), they’re also quite awesome for allowing hair to keep its silky-smooth luster.

Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Night Cap Overnight Perfector ($28) – This light cream product allows us to fall asleep with unruly, tangled, dull hair, and magically wake up with smooth and vibrant locks.  It deeply nourishes, without a hint of weight or grease.  Color-treated, fine, wavy, frizzy, broken, coarse, heat-damaged–all hair types will benefit from the power of this product.

Bliss Softening Socks ($52) Summer sandals wreak havoc on our soles.  These socks allow us to deeply moisturize without getting peppermint foot cream all over our sheets.

Vita Liberata Fabulous Self-Tanning Gradual Lotion ($30) Wearing self-tanner in bed can be risky business, unless, of course, we’re using this.  It drys quickly without any gross odor, meaning no color or scent transfer onto bed.  Better yet, the glow it imparts is actually believable.

AmorePacific Moisture Bound Sleeping Recovery Mask ($60)  Although the air isn’t as dry as the colder months, skin can really dry out thanks to air conditioning, chlorine, and salt water.  This overnight mask imparts a surge of hydration, yet has never once clogged our precious pores.

Rahua Voluminous Dry Shampoo ($32) For a deep clean sans shampoo, spray dirty locks with dry shampoo before bed so it can get to work all night and soak up all traces of oil.  We especially love this formula since it is aerosol-free.

Peter Thomas Roth Acne-Clear Invisible Dots ($12) These magic dots take a zit from angry and inflamed to subdued and neutral without drying out the entire surrounding area. We like to call them miracle patches, power-packed for your overnight slumber.


-Casey Sharbaugh is the blogger behind


Wash & Go: How to Style Wet Hair

By | hair, how to | No Comments

When it’s hotter than hot, the last thing any of us want to do after showering is turn on a blow dryer. Hair takes enough of a beating during the summer months from salt, swim, and UV rays.  This means a little extra TLC is required to keep our manes happy.  Although we know air-drying is certainly preferable, what’s the best way to do it? And how can we look good while our hair is doing its drying thing?

We reached out to Marissa Martoni, Hair Stylist and Extensions Specialist at Marie Robinson Salon for tips on how to style wet hair.

Beauty Banter: What type of hair type can pull off wet styling?

Marissa Martoni: Wet styling can work for all hair types, but only with certain styles. It all depends on what products you use.

BB: What do you recommend product-wise?

MM: Oribe Creme for Style ($35) works for all hair types.  It provides a bit of control without any stickiness or crunch; Ouai Wave Spray ($26) is great for wavy hair that needs some extra oomph and texture; Sachajuan Ocean Mist ($31) add the same texture and volume that a dip in the sea provides. Even the finest and straightest locks will achieve a perfect tousle; Bumble and Bumble Curl Defining Creme ($31) Curls can turn wild in the heat.  This lotion tames without weighing down. [Editor’s Note: For an easy DIY beach spray that’ll give texture to air-dried hair, click here.]

BB: And what about different styling techniques? 

MM: For fine hair, try a slicked back ponytail.  Thicker or curlier locks with some texture can try a french braid or a high top not.  If you want to keep your hair down, rely on a great styling cream.

BB: Which of these styles will look best once the hair actually dries if we want to let our hair down…say come nighttime? 

MM: Braids or a low twisted bun can lead to a great look later on.  Tightness of the braid or bun will obviously affect texture, but you can always run your fingers through it or brush it out to loosen things up a bit.


-Casey Sharbaugh is the blogger behind


How To Get Better Skin: Lactic Acid

By | how to, skin | No Comments

Having good skin without relying on some form of acid is more challenging than booking an all-star SoulCycle instructor’s Saturday class.  Seriously.  While we rely on a bevy of acids to keep our visages in top shape, lactic acid is one we turn to time and time again.

While certainly powerful, this alpha hydroxyacids (AHA) is suitable for almost all skin types, even dry or dehydrated.  It works wonders at reducing breakouts while also keeping wrinkles and dark spots at bay, a.k.a #flawless.

Here are a few of our favorite lactic acid products to gently but effectively resurface:

Biologique Recherche P50 Balancing Exfoliator ($59): Described as our holy grail product here, our love affair with this acid toner has yet to waiver.  Our skin craves its powerful combination of onion extract, lactic acid, salicylic acid, burdock extract, and plankton, meaning we always keep a spare bottle at the ready.

Aesop Parsley Seed Exfoliator ($60): A basic and generic cleanser is exactly what our skin doesn’t need when covered in sweat, sunscreen, and smog (ew).  While it certainly doesn’t hurt that this looks lovely on our shower shelf, we appreciate this cleanser for deep-cleaning abilities, without stripping.

Dermalogica Body Hydrating Cream ($30): Bumpy thighs from shaving should be the least of your worries during bikini season.  This lotion gently exfoliates while simultaneously hydrating, but the non-greasy formula makes it perfect for steamy temps.

Sunday Riley Good Genes ($105): No matter what genes your mama gave you, this coveted treatment plumps fine lines and brightens and smoothes even the most problematic or damaged skin. We’re obsessed.

First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads ($30): On nights when we’re using a stronger treatment like Good Genes, a milder toner feels more appropriate.  These pads are extremely gentle, but still get the job done.  Small but mighty.

Erno Laszlo Firmarine Lift Serum ($115): Hydrating in summer is tricky business.  While our skin still needs moisture, the thought of adding anything with weight to our face sounds downright awful.  Luckily, this water-like and refreshing serum moisturizes and firms while also gently detoxifying and exfoliating.  Ma-jor.

Do any of your favorite products have lactic acid? Let us know in the comments below!

-Casey Sharbaugh is the blogger behind


The Art Of Layering: How To Layer Your Skincare For Optimal Results

By | how to, skin | 11 Comments

If you aren’t layering your skincare products yet, let this be a practice that you pick up in the new year. Layering is BIG at the moment – layered hair, layered clothes, and layered skin products.  Like adding on a shirt, sweater, and jacket, layering your retinoids, serums, and moisturizers, allows you to get better results. Think about it in terms of your winter outfit: you put on the sweater and the jacket to keep warm, then throw on a scarf, gloves, maybe even a hat to keep these areas even toastier. Certain areas of your face need certain products and ingredients while other areas don’t, and layering allows you to spot treat where necessary while still offering up essentials like Vitamin C and hydration to the entire face.

“I started by layering natural ingredients from the market, like aloe vera and rosehip oil,” explains Kat Rudu, facialist, founder of the eponymous skincare line, and devout layerer. “I would exfoliate and then apply certain serums for each area of my skin depending on my concerns at the time.” Rudu explains that if she had oily skin one day, she’d add a few drops of tea tree oil into her aloe vera. Another day, if she needed more hydration, she’d add some all-natural rosehip oil. And on days when her skin was combination, she’d spot treat with tea tree oil on the greasy areas and rosehip on the dehydrated parts.

“Serums deliver active ingredients into the skin.” Rudu suggests applying two to three serums post wash and prior to moisturizer, but make sure to let each dry before applying the next one. “Maybe brush your teeth in between,” explains Rudu. I’ve been doing everything from putting on my pajamas to bringing a glass of water to my bedside table. After each task, I apply my next product.

How do you know what products you should apply to your skin? Consider your concerns and then choose accordingly. Rudu suggests peptides or hylauroniuc acid for anti-aging and plumping (TRY: Perricone MD
Hypoallergenic Peptide Complex
($98), Sanitas Hyaluronic Concentrate ($68), Kat Rudu Liquid Lift ($68)); kojic acid and licorice root for brightening (TRY: Skin Ceuticals Phyto+ ($80), First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Serum ($44)); willow bark for oily skin (TRY: Eminence Clear Skin Willow Bark Booster-Serum ($56)); aloe vera for sensitive skin and/ or rosacea (TRY: Philosophy
When Hope Is Not Enough

Rudu explains that you layer in order of the serum/ moisturizer’s consistency, meaning from thinnest to thickest. Directly after washing your face, “you go with antioxidants like vitamin C (TRY: Kat Rudu Hydra Cell Vitamin C Serum ($72) or Mario Badescu Vitamin C Serum ($45)). Second is a peptide or hyaluronic acid. After that, you can turn to the oils, especially for more mature skin that craves additional moisture.” Rudu opts for essential oils like rosehip and jojoba (TRY: Pai Skincare Rosehip Bio Regenerate Fruit & Seed Oil Blend ($35) and Desert Essence 100% Pure Jojoba Oil ($10)). “Then you do a moisturizer to seal everything.” (TRY: Kat Rudu Hydra Cell Bright Citrus Moisturizer ($54)). The last step is your chosen SPF for sun protection.

At night, Rudu explains that it’s essential to add a retinoid into the mix. “You can either do the retinoids first and then add the serums or do the serums first and seal it with a retinoid. I’ve always put the retinoid first, though.” Basically, skip the vitamin C and put the retinoid in its place. The rest of the layering routine is the same as the morning, minus the SPF. For both AM and PM, use an eye cream directly before your moisturizing step.

It’s pretty basic but the results are anything but. “The more you layer, the more potent the ingredients become,” explains Rudu. So, next time you wash your face, follow it with a slew of serums, an oil, and a face cream that focuses on your specific skin concerns. Watch your complexion change literally overnight. New year, new skincare routine!


July 4th Beauty Essentials

By | how to | 70 Comments

It’s finally here: July 4th. Parties, bbq’s, bonfires, and fireworks! Basically, it’s an entire weekend devoted to debauchery.

So, it’s sweltering hot, you’re two drinks deep and you’ve got another 9 hours of party time to go. The last thing you want to be worrying about is frizzy hair and blotchy skin.

Here are some tips for enjoying the long days (and fun-filled nights) while still maintaining your goddess status. Here are July 4th Beauty Essentials:

1 – Wear Sunscreen. That’s a given. But, like an pestering mother, I needed to remind you. July 4th will come and go, but sun damage and wrinkles will last a life time. Pick one of my natural sunscreen recommendations by clicking here.

2 – Try a braid or loose bun to keep hair in place and off of your face. It’s hot out there, no need to have a long, billowing mane of hair to make you hotter. Plus, braids are super trendy and always spice up a look. Click here to watch the video for a 2 minute chignon tutorial and here for the video of milkmaid braids, two great July 4th summer styles!

3 – Stain those lips and cheeks. I’ve been saying it all spring and summer. Stains are the way to go when outside for hours on end. They don’t melt, stay in place, and give a natural, no-makeup effect. Some favorites: CoverGirl Outlast Lip Stain ($8), Benefit Benetint, Vincent Longo Lip & Cheek Gel Stain ($23). Click here for a video on how to turn your favorite lipstick into a lip stain.

4 – Nails and toes should be manicured and painted with a bright color that doesn’t interfere with your clothing! I always go for red. It works with every outfit. Essie A-List ($9) is my go-to. Trendy colors are fun, but they can clash with your ensemble… take note!

5 – Waterproof mascara is a must. Anything else will flake or smear in the heat.

6 – Your skin is bound to get sweaty. Don’t stress about it. Carry around blotting papers and deal with it! Tatcha ($12)makes beautiful oil control blotters that won’t ruin your makeup, or try Boscia blotting linens ($12).

7 – Primer is key. I know, I’m repeating myself, but better safe than shiny. Use a primer prior to makeup application. It’ll keep the goods on your face longer and help to reduce the shine factor. I’m really loving Jouer Anti-Blemish Matte Primer ($38) with salicylic acid, perfect for acne-prone skin. You can also use a BB cream for coverage plus hydration and oil production control. Try the oldie-but-goodie, and my personal favorite, Dr. Jart BB Cream ($34).

8 – Highlighter – Accentuate the cheekbones, brow bones, decollete, and cupid’s bow with a cream or liquid illuminizer to increase your golden skin tone and that inner glow. Try RMS Living Luminizer ($38) or Jouer Highlighter in Champagne ($22), for a slight rose gold shimmer that pairs perfectly with a sun-kissed bronzed hue.

Have a very happy and safe Fourth of July…

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.