Category:  favorites

Models present creations by German designer Karl Lagerfeld as part of his Fall/Winter 2014-2015 women's ready-to-wear collection for French fashion house Chanel at the Grand Palais transformed into a "Chanel Shopping Center" during Paris Fashion Week March 4, 2014. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe (FRANCE - Tags: FASHION)

Drugstore Finds: 10 Natural Beauty Products To Buy Today

By | body, favorites, makeup, skin, under $10 | One Comment

Living a natural life can seem difficult, especially when it comes to affordable makeup and skincare. But that doesn’t mean impossible… and we love a good challenge! Brands are finally hearing our cries to create products that are good for our skin and body, without being toxic. We’ve rounded up 10 natural beauty products that need to be incorporated into your makeup and skincare routine today. Alas, healthy ingredients that won’t break the bank.

Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm ($5) – A fan favorite, consider this the all-natural version of the Fresh cult classic Tinted Sugar Lip Treatments ($24). For the pout that enjoys hydration and a hint of hue, look no further.

Yes To Tomatoes Clear Skin Deep Pore Scrub ($6) – When it comes to exfoliation, oily and acne-prone skin types can do no wrong with this salicylic acid-based scrub. Gentle yet effective, blackheads are obliterated while skin is left clean and clear. In fact, the entire line is an ideal choice for acneic skin, with an ideal price tag!

Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Soap in Lavender ($11) – This natural body wash invigorates the senses with certified organic oils and essential oils that’ll leave your body clean and oh-so soft.

Avalon Organics Hand & Body Lotion, Revitalizing Peppermint ($8) – Our love for this organic body treat knows no bounds – it absorbs quickly into the skin, hydrates, and leaves a lingering peppermint scent. Plus, it’s great for super hot and balmy days and nights as the peppermint is a natural cooling agent to calm and cool off the body.

Yes To Carrots Super Rich Body Butter ($9) – If your skin requires a more intense hydration, the Yes To range offers this uniquely satisfying body butter. It’s thick, creamy, 98% natural, and the subtle scent is equal parts sweet and rich. Our bodies drinks this cream right up!

Desert Essence Natural Tea Tree Oil Facial Cleansing Pads ($8) – We heart a great on-the-go cleansing pad (like for after the gym!), and this one just so happens to effectively ward off dirt and grime while leaving skin clear and radiant. Tea tree oil is one of the best natural antiseptics, so it’s ideal for combination, oily, and acne-prone skin. Use on your chest and back, too.

Thayers Alcohol-Free Original Witch Hazel ($9) – In our humble opinion, this is the very best toner on the market (and it just so happens to be affordable, too). The non-alcohol formula means it’s safe for sensitive skin, and it’s a must for oily to combination skin types.

Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration Eye Cream ($18) – This 99% all-natural eye cream delivers health and effective ingredients to hydrate the delicate eye area while working its magic on fine lines and wrinkles. Great for dry and sensitive skin types.

Acure Argan Oil with Rose ($13) – A serious treat for skin – and the senses – this luxurious oil can be used on face and body to aid in fine lines and wrinkles and reducing the appearance of scars and stretch marks. The intoxicating natural scent will make you want to skip your perfume.

Physician’s Formula Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin Mascara ($10) – Its tough finding a natural/ organic mascara, even tougher finding one with a price tag under $10… but Physician’s Formula is, by far, the best all-natural drugstore mascara on the market. It lengthens, volumizes, and defines lashes without harsh chemicals. Love your lashes and they’ll love you back.

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Favorites: Post-Sun Skin Products

By | body, favorites, hair, skin | One Comment

After a long weekend of sun and fun, chances are, your complexion, body, and hair are in desperate need of some TLC. Worry not, we’ve got the quick fixes for all of your post-sun needs. From DIY recipes to product picks, here’s how to enjoy these last dog days of summer while keeping hair and skin on the healthy tip.

Boost The Hydration
Summer is usually hot and balmy, but the sun can also severely dehydrate your precious skin. After a long weekend frolicking in the sun, sea, and sand, turn to an added boost of hydration to get everything back in check.
TRY: First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum ($36), a universal serum that gives skin a gentle boost of hydration and plumping, thanks to its hyaluronic acid formulation. Safe for all skin types. Root Science Youth Face Serum ($50), our love for this magical hydrator knows no bounds; suitable for all skin types, this serum targets signs of aging, protects skin from environmental aggressors, and clears skin of congestion and blemishes. It literally does everything!

DIY Face Mask
Follow celebrity facialist Joanna Vargas’ masterful post-sun DIY face mask for a spa-like treatment in the comfort of your own home:

2 tbsp almond oil
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp warmed honey
1/4 organic yogurt

“The almond and olive oils are anti-inflammatory and will soften any damage from summer.” explains Joanna. “The honey hydrates the skin and the yogurt calms and exfoliates the skin. Mix together and leave on the face for 20 mins. Your glow will be amazing when you are done.”

Care For Your Post-Sun Hair
Sun, salt water, and chlorine can leave tresses in a hot mess. After a long weekend of summer sun, your mane needs some much needed hydration, too. Opt for a deep conditioning mask or leave-in conditioner two to three times this week, and forgo the heat styling products (a.k.a. air dry your strands to perfection with these tips here) until hair recovers.
TRY: Shu Uemura Art Of Hair Ultimate Remedy Extreme Restoration Masque ($68), restores hair to its healthy state. Can be used on all hair types. Sun Bum 3 In 1 Leave In Hair Conditioning Treatments ($15) protects, detangles, and conditions hair while enhancing and restoring its natural luster. People swear by this treatment…

Lotion Up
The most important step in a post-sun beauty routine is using a post-sun lotion to soothe your skin.
TRY: Jurlique Sun Specialist After Sun Replenishing Moisturizing Lotion ($36), a creamy, nourishing treatment for face and body to help restore that healthy-looking glow. Delish! Alba Organics Hawaiian Kona Coffee After-Sun Lotion ($9), an all-natural wake-up call for skin. Caffeine helps neutralize free-radical damage due to sun overexposure. Macadamia oil and shea butter nourish and replenish.

Too Much Sun
Regardless of how much SPF you use (and we know you’re using it… right?!), sometimes, a sunburn is just pure bad luck. To combat raw, red, burned skin, make this simple DIY treatment, great for face and body.

1-2 tbsp organic yogurt (use skim yogurt if you have oily skin)

Slather the yogurt over sunburnt area. Yogurt’s lactic acid is ideal for all skin types, and its hydrating and healing property will breathe new life into your epidermis. Leave on for 10-20 minutes, and towel off. Follow with a moisturize of your choosing. That’s it!

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10 French Pharmacy Beauty Finds

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I used to spend every June in Paris. I called it my “month of inspiration.” I’d tour the museums, walk along the seine, relax with a book in the Jardin du Luxembourg, sit amongst the sculptures of Rodin and write, and, of course, shop – St. Germain, Avenue Montaigne ,and Le Marais were among my favorite destinations.

And while roaming the city on my month of discovery, I would venture into the french pharmacies and peruse the aisles for the most innovative beauty finds.

I actually just returned from a family function in Paris and, while there, I was able to make my way back into those beloved pharmacies to rediscover some of my favorite french beauty finds. Here are the french products you need to own today (click on name of product to buy it from an online retailer, or bookmark this post for your next jaunt to Paris):

1. Bioderma Crealine H20 ($26) – I am often asked to list my favorite products and this soap-free, water-free face wash and makeup remover is always a the top of the list. Recently, Style Bistro posed the question and here was my response: “I was first introduced to Bioderma Crealine H2O by a friend in Paris. It’s both a makeup remover and a face wash—but without water! Parisian women fear that water dehydrates their skin, leading to premature aging, so they are keen on using products such as this cleansing water as a soap-free, water-free alternative. While I still do wash my face—kind of obsessively—I love this product as my makeup remover. It is ideal for sensitive skin, gets everything off, including stubborn waterproof mascara, and has never made me break out! It’s quite honestly the perfect makeup remover.” This cult-classic can be found at any corner pharmacy in Paris.

2. Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré ($28)- I’ve raved about this in the past (read my review here), but to summarize, Embryolisse, another Parisienne cult favorite, is a staple in almost every makeup artist’s makeup bag. Why? Because it is, quite simply, the perfect moisturizer for all skin types. Gentle and packed with essential fatty acids and vitamins, Embryolisse leaves skin hydrated and glowing without any of the FDA preservatives. It’s an ideal pre-makeup prep product as foundations and powders glide on with ease, post Embryolisse.

3. Avène Cold Cream ($20)- This revered French skin care line can be found at every French pharmacy. While the brand is known for its special water – thermal springs – it’s also rigorous in the quest for creating product that target specific skin disorders including sensitive skin and eczema. The Cold Cream is a staple moisturizer, adored by the Parisienne women for its ability to moisturize even the most dry, cracked and sensitive complexions. While the cream is too thick for my skin type, many of my friends, including Alice + Olivia designer Stacey Bendet, swear by this product to keep their complexions hydrated and healthy.

4. Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Multi-Usage Dry Oil ($29) – You can’t leave a French pharmacy without purchasing something from Nuxe and the Dry Oil is the most adored product in the line. It’s not reserved solely for your body – although it does produce a gorgeous, subtle glow on skin. Use the dry oil as the French do – on hair and face as well. It’s 98.8% all natural, preservative and silicone free so it’s suitable for almost all skin types.

5. Caudalie Beauty Elixir ($18) – Sure, you can find this brand at your local Sephora, but the Beauty Elixir originated in France. Part-toner, part-serum, this mist is chock-full of essential oils that both tighten pores and work on fine lines. And as a mist (Parisienne women love a good face mist), you can apply it pre moisturizer as a boost or after your makeup to set your face.

6. Boiron Homeoplasmine ($21) – The French equivalent to Elizabeth Arden’s 8 Hour Cream, I was first introduced to this multipurpose ointment by model Jessica Stam. It soothes, protects and moisturizes the skin without the greasy aftermath of Aquafor or 8 Hour. Think of it as a matte finish ideal to use pre-makeup application on dry patches (and lips!) to create a smooth, silky palette. It can also be used on dry hands, cracked cuticles and sunburns.

7. Klorane Dry Shampoo ($20) – By far, my favorite dry shampoo on the market — and while it’s now sold stateside, its French origin makes it a “buy-in-bulk” item from our beloved French pharmacies. Why is this dry shampoo better than all of the rest? The short answer is oat milk. The products main ingredient not only cleanses and absorbs oil but it also leaves hair smooth instead of crunchy and/ or product-heavy like so many of its competitors.

8. Decleor Aromessence Neroli Essential Serum ($68) – The French have been raving about this 100% natural serum for years, but its American following isn’t as loyal. While our marketplace is inundated with hundreds of face oils, Decleor’s Essential Serum is one of the originals and some would say, the best. Essential Serum hydrates, soothes and brightens without leaving an oily residue in its wake. As with most French beauty products, this oil is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive.

9. Avibon Vitamin A Cream ($50-$250) – Widely considered the over-the-counter French Retin-A, this cream is full of vitamin A, one of the most effective anti-aging ingredients, but it’s also the perfect antidote to acne, too. Stock up on this stuff, ladies, it’s quite difficult to find stateside (and when you do find it, it’s extremely costly. Click on the product link to purchase it for the lowest price I could find in the U.S.). Besides being a favorite amongst its native women, Gwyneth Paltrow is also a fan. Says the actress: “Avibon is hard to find outside of France, but it’s one of my very favorites. It’s full of Vitamin A, which is wonderful for the skin, getting rid of blemishes, tough dry spots and preventing wrinkles (they say). I know an older movie star who uses this every night and she has the most amazing skin!” Note: This product is rather thick so use it like your would Retin-A – a little goes a long way.

10. Oenobiol Tanning Skin-Prep Pills – I’ve never actually tried the “tanning pill” but my American friend living in Paris constantly raves about it. And when I saw her skin – the perfect golden brown bronzy hue – I understood why she is a fan. While the pills are extremely popular in Paris, they don’t yet exist in the United States. In fact, I can’t find a single place to buy them online… so this is a product you’ll have to cross the Atlantic to purchase. What does a tanning pill do? The way my “American in Paris” describes it, you take them before, during and after sun exposure (great to use while on Holiday). Apparently, it preps the skin for the sun (some Frenchies go as far as to say that it protects against sun damage, although I highly doubt that), brings out the natural golden color in your skin, and prolongs the life of your tan. Not to mention the shade of bronze that the pills manage to produce – a perfect golden hue.

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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.