Category:  how to

5 Unconventional Uses for Vaseline

By | how to | 24 Comments

Vaseline is a beauty staple. Every makeup kit (and every bathroom) should have a jar/ tube/ tube of Vaseline (a.k.a. petroleum jelly). It comes in all shapes and sizes and sells for anywhere from $2.00 (for the tub to the left) to about $8.00 (depending on size).

Obviously, conventional use of Vaseline is to cure chapped lips… and we love it for its ability to moisturize and soothe a dry pout. But Vaseline is SO MUCH MORE then merely an effective lip balm.

Here’s 5 other amazing uses for Vaseline:

1 – If you’re an avid reader of this blog then you’ll know that we also use Vaseline as a non-irritating and soothing eye makeup remover. A little dollop on a shut eye, a quick wipe with a cotton pad, and even the most irritating mascara comes right off (without ripping the lashes off too!).

2 – Every night before bed, I rub a pea-size amount of Vaseline on my eye brows. It’s the perfect emollient to help moisturize and course brows AND it also molds them into place without the harsh effects of hair spray or gel. My brows have a tendency to grow down and thus I use Vaseline to train them to grow up! I’ve been doing this for years… and it works!

3 – Vaseline is also great for shaving sensitive and “intimate” areas. I don’t like to use it on my entire leg (as it gets a tad greasy) but for the bikini area and underarms, it’s pretty phenomenal. Coat the area with a light layer (make sure not to use too much as it will plug up your razor) of Vaseline – DON’T USE WATER – and shave. It’s as easy as that. The shaved area is so soft, SO smooth and totally moisturized! It’s a genius shave.

4 – One of my favorite things about Vaseline is that it is an incredible base for lip glosses, cream shadows and highlighters. This trick is like being a chemist, but it’s so much fun. To create your own, personalized colors (or to use the excess of last seasons colors), mix Vaseline and any other lip stick or eye shadow in a bowl (you can use both shadow and lip stick). For a lippy, use more Vaseline. For a cream shadow and/ or highlighter, mix a little bit of Vaseline with your favorite shimmery shadow. And then apply to eyes, brow bone and cheek bone for a glowing, luminous look!
**extra beauty secret** if you’re feeling (and looking) a little tired, you can use a very thin layer of Vaseline on the brow bone and the cheek bone (by itself, sans color) to make your eyes appear hydrated. They’ll literally “pop” without the need for a cat nap or some heavy duty concealer. I do this during the day if I’m in my car going from meeting to meeting. By the end of the afternoon, I’m exhausted and my eyes show the signs of fatigue. But with a little extra glow from the Vaseline, I automatically look rejuvenated!

5 – Vaseline is the greatest hand and feet moisturizer EVER! I use it when my paws and claws are extremely chapped. Coat your hands and feet with a decent amount of Vaseline, then apply socks and mittens (or you can do sock for the hands as well) to both the feet and hands and let them hibernate for 10 -15 minutes (enough time for the petroleum jelly to soak into the skin). The socks trap the moisture and combine it with heat to allow for full penetration (not sexual, you dirty minds!). The result – freshly hydrated and smooth hands and feet! It’s like your very own at-home paraffin treatment!

Do YOU have an unconventional use for Vaseline? Let us know! Share it in the comment box below!

On-Set Beauty Tips!

By | how to | 11 Comments

On Friday, I shot a little scene for my friend’s pilot, “Grean Teem” (yes, it’s meant to be misspelled).

I played one of two girls who spends the night in a “green” bus (I’ll leave the rest of the plot to your wild imaginations…).

Acting is always incredibly exciting and fulfilling, but there’s tons of downtime before and during shooting. I, of course, tend to find refuge in the hair and makeup trailer. With all of those amazing products, what beauty whore wouldn’t love herself some cosmetic therapy?!

The hair and makeup artist working on this shoot was the lovely and talented, Cheryl Calo. She gave me big, flowing, “bed head” curls and smokey eyes (we were going for a sexy, “just-rolled-out-of-bed” look).

Cheryl Calo and Sarah Howard

Here are some of my favorite products that were used:

Mac Strobe Cream ($29.50) on the corners of the eyes – Calo says the cream, “makes the eyes pop like a filter.” Eyes become brighter and more youthful (I immediately noticed a difference).

Prescriptives Beyond Long Mascara in Black ($19.50)- Lengthens without globbing (I’ve long been a fan of Prescriptives mascaras… their wands are brilliant!).

Mark Eye Shadow in Wings ($4.00)- It’s a gold shimmer that Calo applied on the inner corner of the eye and under the bottom lashes. She loves the Mark shadows because “they are affordable and long-lasting.”

Shu Uemura Blush in Red 14 ($21.00)- It’s a watermelon pink hue. Calo applied the blush with a fan brush (MAC’s 184($22.50)) because, “it is highly pigmented. The fan picks up a bit of color and disperses it evenly on the apples of the cheeks. It naturally blends instead of blobbing.” I never understood the importance of a fan brush, until now. It really does make a major difference in application… everyone should own this brush! Regarding the blush, Calo adds, “this color warms up everything.” This is my new Summer blush… I love it!

Amazing Cosmetics Concealer ($40.00)- “They’re mineral, which means, better for your skin. A little goes a long way. Coverage is like camouflage. Perfect for bags under your eyes or covering tattoos,” explains Calo. I am OBSESSED with this concealer… it’s full coverage, without being cakey. And it lasts all day long!

Sarah Howard and Allison Jacobs (primped and prodded)

As for my hair, Calo used a curling iron to define my already wavy hair. She then rolled the curls up toward my scalp, secured them with a pin (so that the curl wouldn’t “drop”… hence, why I look like Princess Leia in the picture below), and sprayed massive amounts of hair spray for added curl and hold.

Sarah Howard, Allison Jacobs, and Courtney Wagner (on-set downtime)

Right before shooting, she took out the pins, teased the crown of my head, and sprayed some more. The look: full-bodied curls!

Thanks to Cheryl for introducing me to some great new products…


By | how to, skin | 18 Comments

We’ve all heard about the plethora of products that offer the promise of a flawless face.  Some of them work, most of them don’t.  A lot of it is trial and error… figuring out what regimine is right for YOUR skin.

But there are some standard practices that really do help to give you a healthy complexion.
Here are my favorite ten to remember, cherish, and use!
1 – Vitamins are vital!  Fish Oil has been proven to help in the maintenance of healthy skin and hair.  I love the Pharmax Fish Oil with Essential Oil of Orange – it’s a liquid but it doesn’t leave any fishy after taste. It works to give you a glowing complexion from the inside, out.  
2 – Don’t overwash… and don’t overdry!  Too much washing or drying out of the face only leads to your oil glands actually producing more oil to compensate.  Wash twice a day, at the most! And make sure to use a gentle, non-irritating cleanser that is anti-bacterial – to eradicate bacterias that fill your pores.  Cetaphil’s antibacterial gentle cleansing bar is a great choice (and an inexpensive one!)
3 – Sunblock, sunblock, sunblock!!! Even if you love a nice tan, you MUST use sunblock EVERY DAY!!! The number one cause of wrinkles is sun exposure!!!  And your sunblock should fight against UVA and UVB rays (click HERE for some great sunblock options!)
4 – Change your pillowcases every third night!  It seems arduous but the truth is, dirt, bacteria and oils from your hair seep into the pillowcases thus seeping into your skin while you sleep. It’s vital to allow your face a clean, fresh fabric from which to relax and unwind.
5 – Wash your hands before going to bed!  Again, clean hands help to keep unwanted dirt and bacterias AWAY from your face.  You should really wash your hands consistently throughout the day but also before bed time.  You know how they say germs are transferred from your hands to your mouth… thus, spreading virus’ and infection?  Well, the same is true with hands to face… spreading dirt and bacteria!
6 – Eye cream must be made a part of your daily regime!  Even if you have oily skin, it’s imperative that you hydrate your eyes.  The skin around your eyes is a lot more tender and delicate, thus it needs special care.  Eye cream should be dabbed – not rubbed – from the outer corner, inwards… twice a day! Click HERE for some fantastic eye cream choices!
7 – Don’t pick!!! This is the hardest rule for me to follow, so I’m gonna add an addendum –  If you must pick (like when that white head has taken over your entire chin…), steam your face first.  And please, I beg you, wrap your fingers in toilet paper so that you don’t transfer the dirt and bacteria from your fingers to your face/ pimple.  Also, make sure to only press lightly… when you try and force the puss out, you’re actually spreading it around and infecting it!
8 – Drink as much water as you can possibly handle!!! This seems like common knowledge, but the truth is, we don’t drink as much water as we should.  Water flushes out all the yuckiness inside of our bodies and it promotes health, bottom line!  If you find that you’re not a water-lover, try adding a flavor to your water.  I suggest Crystal Light on the go packs… they come in 10 flavors, they’re low in calories and they can be added to ANY size water bottle as easily as ripping the packet open and pouring it into the bottle!
9 – Even if you’re oily, you MUST moisturize!  A common misperception is that oily skin doesn’t need extra hydration…. NOT TRUE!  All skin needs hydration because hydrating your skin actually balances out the oiliness.  Obviously, if you have oily or acne-prone skin, you should choose an oil-free, fragrance-free moisturizer.  Something that is light and non greasy.  There are thousands of moisturizers on the market… try them ALL until you find the one that suits your specific skin.  But don’t skip this step!!!
10 – NEVER rub, ALWAYS pat!  This is true when applying creams and medicines, and when drying your face after washing.  Rubbing your skin stretches it, causing lines and wrinkles.  It also “rubs” the bacterias everywhere, infecting not only the problem areas, but the entire face. However, patting your skin – be it with a moisturizer or a wash cloth – is gentle and non abrasive to your face.  It also allows the face to truly soak up the moisturizer, medicine, and/or face wash so that you experience the full effects of said products!  When you rub, you rub off a majority of the benefits of these products as well!!!
Have a great skin tip?  We want to know it! Leave us a comment in the box below!

Travel Tips For Gorgeous Skin

By | how to, skin | 4 Comments

I’ve been on five planes in the past eleven days and FINALLY I’m home (back in L.A.). Flying isn’t exactly the best for your skin… or your health. Not only is it terribly dehydrating, it’s also dirty and the recycled air in the cabin of the plane actually recycles the germs and bacteria. YUCK.

So here are my radiant skin travel tips:

  • ALWAYS use a MAJOR moisturizer prior to boarding the plane (and keep the moisturizer in your purse for periodic retouches). I like my new Weleda Wild Rose Cream – it’s great for normal to oil skin (like moi) – very soothing and hydrating, and it’s completely free of synthetic fragrances, colors, preservatives and raw materials, thus I’m feeding my skin exactly what I would feed my body – health and love! (And for those inquiring minds, this cream is very similiar to the Jurlique’s Balancing Day Cream (which includes rose and is ideal for maintaining balance) yet half the price!)
  • NEVER wear make-up on a flight. Not even concealer. Make-up only clogs pours, especially with unnatural, recycled air!
  • ALWAYS stick at Q-tip dip of Neosporin up your nose prior to boarding. This is a trick that I learned ages ago and it really works – Neosporin is an antibiotic – it fights the germs from recycled air and protects your nasal pasages, plain and simple.
  • Continuously load your lips with tons of lip ointment. My pick: Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Protectant – it lasts for hours and truly hydrates (apparently, now it comes in a stick with SPF as well…. gotta try that asap!)
  • To ward off bacteria that can cause acne, take an antiseptic stick on the plane. I use (it’s only $9.00 and lasts forever!). Tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic that leaves the skin clean and blemish free. I apply this constantly throughout my flight!
  • ALWAYS carry a heavy-duty hand cream. As I just posted, Frilly Lilly is my new fave! When I fly, I am constantly washing my hands so that I keep the germs at bay, and well, soap dehydrates even more, thus I apply hand cream on an hourly basis (at least)!
  • Load up on Vitamin C prior to flight. Try EMERGEN-C (I love the Raspberry flavor) and/ or AIRBOURNE. I take both. And drink TONS OF WATER. Fluids keep the insides hydrated!
  • And the final tip, when you return home, use a moisture-intensive, vitamin-induced mask to replenish your skin! My pick: Mario Bedescu Enzyme Revitalizing Mask. Vitamin’s A & E are antioxidants while Alpha Hydrox aids in refreshing tired and dull skin!

Have any special flying tips? Let us know! Leave a comment below!

Fellow Beauty Whore Banter…

By | how to | 4 Comments

Thanks to Michelle for emailing in this great TIP:

“Here’s a little tip I thought might be useful to your blog (which, I read almost as religiously as I buy make up- A LOT)……but anyhoo…


Well, at least for me anyway.

I get my eyebrows waxed every three weeks and in between I pluck (which is the norm, I guess).

I kept getting dry skin on my browline and it is awfully hard to pluck when there is this flaky mess coming off.

I use a dab of vitamin E serum before I pluck and say bye bye to dry flaky eyebrows!!!!!!!!


We love a great beauty secret! Tell us yours by leaving a comment in the comment box below!

Summer Tips

By | how to | 7 Comments

I just love a good beauty tip…

Like rubbing crushed garlic cloves on a popped pimple.

And now, thanks to Physician’s Formula, celebrity make-up artist, Joanna Schlip (who paints the famous faces of stars like Eva Longoria, Scarlett Johansson, Ellen Pompeo and Hilary Duff), we have some fabulous Summer beauty tips!

***To keep her A-List clients sweat-free, Joanna came up with a clever trick that is ideal for all women in the thick of summer: Schlip applies a clear, solid antiperspirant before applying makeup. Focus on applying it to areas like the upper lip, forehead and hairline to fend of sweat and maintain a matte appearance throughout the day so makeup doesn’t slip off.

***Aside from imparting a natural look and offering an ultra-gentle formula for breakout-prone or sensitive skin, Physician’s Formula Mineral Wear Talc-Free Mineral Foundation is sweat-resistant making it the ideal choice for your summer foundation. Silicones help to form a protective barrier on the skin’s surface, so it becomes resistant to sweat allowing makeup to stay put all day long.

***Blotting papers are a must for dabbing away sweat and oil over the course of the day, but what’s a girl to do when there is no blotting paper in sight? Use one of those handy paper toilet seat covers of course. Schlip tears a piece of a toilet seat cover off and blots her way to a perfect matte finish.

***Rather than apply lip gloss/stick in the extreme heat that will just melt off, use a stain or even better, lick your lips and then apply cherry Jello – simply dip fingers into the powder packet of cherry jell-o and apply to moist lips for long lasting, sweat proof stain.

What are your beauty tips? Tell us by leaving a comment in the comment box!

Leaving on a Jet Plane…

By | how to | 5 Comments

Tonight I am returning to California (Los Angeles) after a three month jaunt on the East Coast (New York City). I’m a pretty low-maintenance flyer – give me a seat next to a window, my own TV and a Klonopin and I’m good. If I allow my mind to wander to those frightening places, I do think about the fact that I am breathing recycled air for five in a half hours – this can’t be good for the immune system or the skin….
So this is how I ready myself pre-flight:
I ALWAYS carry hand lotion in my bag. Current Choice: C. O. Bigelow Dr. Hiosous Quince Hand Lotion – non-greasy and effective. I don’t need to apply a million times – once does the trick!
I ALWAYS bring my own liter-size bottle of Evian water.
I ALWAYS take (I prefer the lemon-lime flavor) an hour before the flight is slated to depart.
I ALWAYS use an astringent, face moisturizer and eye cream before I leave my house. Current Choices: Kiehl’s Blue Astringent Herbal Lotion; Ole Henriksen Herbal Day Creme Anti-Oxidant Formula SPF 15; Shiseido Benefiance Revitalizing Eye Cream – sooooo moisturizing it’s like candy for your eyes… yummy!
I ALWAYS carry my Labello Cherry Lip Balm – it moisturizes without any goo or shine and adds a dab of red color to your pout (just because your traveling doesn’t mean that you have to look insipid!)
And a great tip from my hair fanatic friend, Jenny Cohen, slather your nose with Neosporin – I know, it sounds a little suspect, but it actually aids in fighting off infections from the dry, reprocessed airplane air.
And lastly, I ALWAYS bring my oversized Dolce & Gabbana Sunglasses to ward off wandering eyes (and to shield my own eyes from those nasty fluorescent lights!)
So farewell for now – see you back on the West Coast….
What’s your pre-travel beauty regimen? email us!

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.