Category:  favorites

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Face Mists: The Other Toner

By | favorites, skin | No Comments

Remember Evian spray? The glamorous, overly expensive facial mist of the ’80s and ’90s. It contained water… that’s it. But the idea of spraying purified water onto our face was so…luxe…that we’d shell out over $10 for the high-end hydrator.

Cut to a few decades later and, while Evian Facial Water ($13) still exists, mists that act as toners, serums, and vitamin activators have completed upended the market on luxury hydrating sprays. Being both refreshing and moisturizing, these face mists 2.0 are multitasking, prepping the skin for deeper absorption of products, plumping the complexion with vitamins, minerals, and anti-aging ingredients like hyaluronic acid, protecting and purifying the face from environmental pollutants, and, of course, toning, calming, and beautifying. These mists should be used post-wash and prior to serums and creams. Because of the convenience of a spray applicator, face mists 2.0 are perfect for on-the-go touchups… anywhere (like the gym or post-work).

Application tips:
1. Spray onto a cotton pad and gently swipe across face, neck, and chest for a deeper clean.
2. Spray post makeup to “set” the look and to add a healthy dose of dew (in other words, to un-matte your skin).
3. Spray into the palm of your hand and combine with your favorite moisturizer to a) dilute a heavier cream or b) inject some additional ingredients into the cream.
4. Spray onto hair, chest, neck, even arms to hydrate and refresh.
5. Feel free to mix and match mists for optimal results, and spritz onto your face every few hours for an infusion of healthy ingredients.

Shop a few of our favorite face mists:

Farmaesthetics Cool Aloe Mist ($26) – This award-winning mist contains a simple combination of aloe, lavender, and bergamot for healing inflamed tissue from sun-exposure, burns, or exposure to radiation like lasers. Suitable for all skin types but ideal for sensitive complexions.

Skin Inc. Pure Serum-Mist ($55) – Use on normal, combination, and dry skin types to hydrate, soothe, and calm angry skin due to sensitivity and acne. This product is like a serum in a mist applicator – seriously healing and effective.

Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist ($48) – This celeb-favorite formula leaves the complexion gorgeously glowing. Great to use to “set” makeup as well. Just spritz after makeup application is complete for an all-over healthy, dewy effect. Formulated with 20 percent botanical oils and humectants and infused with a Hadasei-3 Anti-Aging Complex that supports antiaging. Suitable for normal, combination, and dry skin types.

Derma E Purifying Toner Mist ($14) – Ideal for oily, active, or urban skin types, this formula of marine algae and green tea protects against environmental pollutants and rebalances skin for a healthy, youthful glow from the first mist.

Amore Pacific Moisture Bound Skin Energy Hydration Delivery System ($35) – Based on traditional Korean skincare, this mist contains bamboo sap to improve product absorption, 5-Hydra complex™ to protect against daily environmental aggressors, and lotus and green tea extract to tone and hydrate. Leaves a healthy glow to the skin pre or post makeup. Can be used on all skin types, including sensitive and acne-prone.

Fresh Rose Floral Toner ($40) – Rosewater, one of nature’s most decadent anti-aging ingredients calms, moisturizes, and clarifies. The aromatic floral water will leave skin healthy, hydrated, and pleasantly scented. Can be used on all skin types, including sensitive and acne-prone. (Learn how to create a DIY rosewater mist here).

First Aid Beauty Vitamin Hydrating Mist ($16) – Vitamins to feed your face. Contains B5 to moisturize, vitamin E to nurture and protect, and vitamin C to brighten. This alcohol-free mist does it all: replenishes, hydrates, soothes, and restores. Good for all skin types, even the most sensitive and reactive.

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Fashion Friday: The Denim Diaries

By | fashion, favorites | No Comments

As fall quickly approaches, denim – specifically jeans – become a basic in our everyday wardrobe. Gone are the days of slinky slip dresses and short shorts. Here to stay — until at least May — is the perfect denim jean. This fall, we’re seeing a myriad of new(ish) styles reemerge – like the cropped flare, distressed denim (i.e. you ran over your jeans with a truck, then put them through a shredder), frayed hems, and, yes, even mom jeans are back in style (although we’re going to opt out of this trend for now). (Almost) anything goes — so get creative with your denim desires.

Here, our favorite dreamy denim designs for fall.

CROPPED
From a cropped straight leg to a flare, distressed to frayed, ankle-grazing (capris) to just below-the-knee, here are the best of cropped denim.

DISTRESSED
A return to the nineties, the more holes, the more hipster the jean. And lest us not forget patchwork denim in this distressed category.

FRAYED
Undone hems are all the rage. Add a few holes, a flare, or a cropped cut, and you’ve got yourself this season’s hottest jean.

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The Last Days Of Summer: Products To Move You Into Fall

By | favorites, makeup, skin | No Comments

As we approach the final days of summer (sigh), our skin — and wardrobes — become all about fall. Darker colors, thicker fabrics, close-toed shoes, drier skin. Blah, blah, blah.

Luckily, we still have just over a month of summer’s fine weather to keep us warm and happy. And there are a plethora of summer products that you can buy and wear now and bring right into fall.

Let that natural glow last longer than September with an illuminating foundation like Laura Mercier Candleglow Soft Luminous Foundation ($48), which comes in 24 shades ranging from the fairest of fair to deep, creating that coveted soft glow on the complexion. Another quick trick: Use an on-trend glossing product like Nudestix Skin Glossing Pencil ($24) to add a hint of sheen sans the oil. Apply like you would a highlighter — to high points, like cheek and brow bones, bridge of nose, and cupid’s bow. Glossy eyes are a thing this fall — we’ll get into the how to of this trend in another post, but keep this stick handy!

Skin can go spastic in summer, thanks to chlorine, salt water, air conditioning, and sun. But transitional weather (aka summer-to-fall’s hot and cold climate), can really confuse your complexion. While there are a host of products you can use to ease your skin into a new season, start today with a hydrating mask. All skin types — including sensitive and oily — will be forever grateful. We love Rodial’s Pink Diamond Lifting Face Mask ($90) with its diamond powder to brighten and its serum-soaked sheet mask application to hydrate. If you prefer a sleep mask, try Luzern’s Hydra-Enzyme Masque Nuit ($75) or Darphin’s Stimulskin Plus Serum Mask ($180). Both power products inject major moisture into the skin as you slumber.

As noted, darker shades of browns and berries will become fall’s coveted hues. Start the trend early by opting for a deep berry lip, instead of summer’s staple nude, but keep it summer-approved by choosing a sheen or gloss formula, not matte (yet). The Estée Edit by Estée Lauder Cocobalm in Coco Berry ($22) is lightweight, creamy, and shiny, so it still feels summery. But the bright berry shade will transition all skin tones into fall seamlessly. For a deeper berry, look for sheer, buildable finishes so that your pout standouts but still has a summer vibe. Try Nars Lipstick in Fast Ride ($28), a sheer mulberry with a stain finish, or Dolce & Gabbana Passion Duo Gloss Fusion Lipstick in Satin 100 ($37) , for a sheer, shimmery finish (the center is infused with hydrating gloss!).

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*Stay tuned for more of our summer-to-fall transition products and tips.

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How To Get Better Skin: Vitamin C

By | favorites, skin | 2 Comments

Vitamin C is a favored beauty ingredient because it achieves three very important complexion goals: It lightens, tighten, and brightens the complexion. Ideal for a myriad of skincare issues including sun damage, acne scaring, collagen depletion, and aging concerns, vitamin C is like a cure-all for the face (just like it is for the immune system).

Even if you have been blessed with the genetic lottery and boast a flawless complexion, a vitamin C serum should still be a part of your daily skincare regimen because of its ant-aging and preventative abilities. After all, even the most porcelain of complexions can benefit from an extra bit of brightening – and tightening – right? In fact, vitamin C gives everyone better skin, seriously.

When using a vitamin C serum, apply post wash and pre moisturizer. Let it soak into the skin for a couple of minutes before moving on with your routine (brush your teeth or floss to kill time). While you can use vitamin C AM and PM, I recommend starting with a PM application to build a tolerance, as some skin types may feel a burning or stinging sensation, followed by some mild redness. Generally speaking, this reaction will go away after a few applications. I apply morning and night and I always make sure to wear SPF during the day, post vitamin C, as potent serums increase sun sensitivity. So, if you’re planning to spend the day baking in the sun, skip out on the vit C.

While Vitamin C is usually most potent in a serum or powder, it can also be found in brightening moisturizers, enzyme peels, and face washes.

Here are a few fabulous vitamin C serums and products to try today:

1. Obagi Professional-C Serum 10% ($82) – This deeply penetrating serum comes in three strengths – 10%, 15%, and 20% (definitely start with the 10%; it’s potent and results are practically instantaneous). One of my favorite vit C serums of late, this stuff does it all – lighten, tightens, and brightens – without irritating skin or depleting it of moisture. In fact, it leaves the complexion dewy and luminous.

2. Natura Bisse C+C Vitamin Cream ($115) – The end-all-be-all for drier skin types concerned with aging, this vitamin C-packed cream helps to restore skin elasticity, tone, and firmness while adding serious moisture.

3. Murad Intensive C Radiance Peel ($55) – One of my longtime favorite at-home peels, this stuff really cleans out clogged pores and sloughs away dead skin while leaving the complexion soft, smooth, and beautifully bright and radiant.

4. Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum ($88) – Firms and brightens skin, and reverses photo aging, this potent serum is packed with antioxidants and nutrients to nourish, lighten, and brighten skin, while deeply hydrating.

5. Joanna Vargas Vitamin C Face Wash ($65) – Celebrity facialist Joanna Vargas has concocted an extremely gentle yet effective wash full of vitamin C to leave skin clean, smooth, and brightened, while hyaluronic acid offers lightweight moisture to plump and revitalize the complexion. Pure cleansing perfection.

*Make your own DIY Lightening and Brightening Lemon Toner here. Face-changing!

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5 Useful Tips For Finding Your Glow

By | favorites, makeup, skin | One Comment

From primers to moisturizers, it seems that every other product promises some sort of illuminating effect. Yes, we all want that coveted glow, the one that looks as though a halo is blasting its ethereal shine onto our faces, but which products actually work to give off this all-over youthful vibe, and which product is right for you?

Take a look below at our 5 useful tips for finding your glow.

1. Limit your illuminating products to one per skincare regimen (note: this does not include your handy spot treatment highlighter). A great way to ease into this trend is with an illuminating primer that can be used pre-makeup as a base or on its own for subtle “everywhere” shimmer. Try the original luminizer base, aptly dubbed dew in a bottle, Burberry Fresh Glow Luminous Fluid Base ($48), Charlotte Tilbury Wonderglow Instant Soft-Focus Beauty Flash ($55), a favorite for plumping, priming, and delivering anti-aging benefits, or Honest Beauty Everything Primer ($27), which offers the most subtle golden glow, while it plumps and primes the complexion.

2. For less glow (a.k.a. illumination), use your shimmer product closest to the skin, like a shimmering moisturizer or serum. Make the skincare product give good glow, not the makeup. Try Tatcha Balanced Pore Perfecting Water Gel ($68), which gives off a subtle speckle of golden glow and works on all skin types, including oily (BB obsessed!) or GlamGlow GlowstarterMega Illuminating Moisturizer ($49), a face cream that plumps, hydrates, and adds a fair does of dew to an otherwise dull complexion.

3. If you’re a fan of BB and CC creams, opt for your illumination item to be an illuminating BB or CC cream – there are so many great ones on the market that’ll give you a moderate amount of all-over shimmer while still tackling skin issues like aging or dull complexion). We love It Cosmetics CC+ Illumination ($38) – with an added SPF of 50, Urban Decay Naked Skin Illuminating Beauty Balm ($34), and Lumene Vitamin C+ Illuminating Anti-Aging BB Cream SPF 20 ($15).

4. Illumination now comes in the form of sunscreens! So, if you’re looking for a little extra glow, say at the beach or pool, and you don’t want any coverage (except that of a SPF), then try Dior Diorsnow Brightening Illuminating UV Protection with Sunscreen Broad Spectrum Translucent SPF 50 ($55) or Dr. Jart+ Every Sun Day UV Illuminating Sunscreen SPF 36 ($34). It’s pretty subtle and leaves skin with a healthy, happy dew.

5. For a serious statement-making glow, choose a basic liquid illuminator, which has the highest concentration of illumination, and combine it with your foundation of choice for an all-over dewy goddess look. You can also use these liquid illuminators to spot treat, meaning dab a small amount onto brow and cheek bones, bridge of nose, and cupid’s bow post-makeup to draw the light to your best assets. Try Nars Illuminator ($30), come in four shades but we’re keen on Hot Sand, or Nyx Cosmetics Born to Glow Liquid Illuminator ($7).

Remember to use an illuminator on your chest as well. It’s an epic way to hydrate, blur imperfections, and bask in a healthy décolletage dew.

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Favorites: Dry Hair Helpers

By | favorites, hair | 7 Comments

True story: I moved to LA two and a half years ago to find refuge from the debilitating cold of NYC winter, only to have my skin and hair left more dehydrated and weak than ever before. LA’s climate is so painfully dry that the ends of my hair literally break off. There’s something awful in the water here, too, but we’ll save that for a different post. I trimmed the split ends yet still found no solace from the dry climate.

That’s when I decided to go on a hunt for the best dry hair helpers on the market. I need oils, masks, lotions, and potions. Anything that can salvage my lifeless, dead, split ends. Here are the products that I found – and use – to keep my hair in shiny, healthy, and happy shape.

Philip B Rejuvenating Oil ($30) – Meant for dry hair and scalp, this is a treatment oil that will take dead, dehydrated strands and give them a surge of moisture. I don’t use it on my scalp because I naturally produce a fair amount of oil, but I keep it on my ends once a week for at least an hour before washing out. Love, love, love how healthy my hair looks and feels after a treatment.

Phyto 7 Daily Hydrating Botanical Cream ($28) – Think of this as a moisturizer… for your hair. Daily use has breathed new life into my otherwise lifeless strands. It also makes combing and blow drying a much easier task. One of my favorite products on the market, seriously.

Neuma NeuSmooth Revitalizing Masque  ($40)- This hair mask is heavy stuff — and the results are soft, shiny, manageable, and rehydrated hair. I use it as a daily conditioner (that’s how dry my ends are!), applying to ends and leaving it on for 1-2 minutes, but as a weekly treatment product, give it a good ten minutes to penetrate through the hair shaft.

Arcona Essential Nutrients Silk Leave-In Conditioner ($20) – For those days when the tangles get the best of your hair, this leave-in conditioner will nourish, detangle and moisturize. The formula of vitamins, silk protein and Panthenol can be sprayed onto dry scalps too.

Sachajuan Intensive Hair Oil ($45) – A serum of moisturizing oils that tames frizzies and fly-aways without looking greasy. This formula of argan, buckthorn, and sunflower oils can also be used as a leave-in treatment to penetrate the hair cuticles for ultra soft, shiny, and manageable hair. Apply on wet or dry hair. Leave on or wash off. I reapply throughout the day for the occasional pick-me-up.

Alterna Caviar Repair Split Ends Mend ($35) – A daily restorative treatment that literally mends split ends by 93% from the first application. Apply to dry or damp ends and allow to air dry or use hot tools for healthier, glossier, smoother hair.

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6 Tinted Lip Balms To Own Today

By | favorites, makeup | One Comment

Summer beckons us to take things down a notch – from our clothing to our hair to our makeup. A face full of makeup in sweltering heat and humidity is – quite literally – a recipe for disaster. But the sun also dries out our skin (and hair, but more on the latter in another post), so we must remember to keep our lips hydrated. And if we’re able to douse a little color in there, well, a hint of tint never hurt anyone… even in summertime. In fact, a tinted balm will moisturize and shine, but without the added weight and stickiness of gloss or the dryness of a matte or stain.

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Here are 6 tinted lip balms to own today:

1. Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm ($17) – Each of these 16 colors will have your lips singing all season long, but Fuller Fig, a sheer pinky beige, is, quite possibly the perfect pinkish nude for summer (not to mention that Tina Fey is a fan).

2. Tarte LipSurgence Lip Tint ($24) – Another balm with a range of colors that are entirely wearable, but Elite gives your lips the slightest pop of coral. And coral shades look good on everyone.

3. Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm ($7) – Again, all 9 of the sheer tinted balms are amazing for day and night, but Red Dahlia, a crimson-cranberry is our summer go-to for a hint of tinted drama (and moisture).

4. Nivea Kiss Of Care & Color Sheer in Sheer Pink ($5) – For those that like a little petal pink on their summer pout, look no further than Nivea’s coveted tinted balms, redesigned with sleek new packaging. At $5 a pop, buy all four colors and switch off from day to day.

5. Benefit Cosmetics Hydrating Tinted Lip Balm in Benebalm ($18) – This sheer candy red gives your summer lips that beautiful faded red glow, with all of the hydration that your mouth can take.

6. Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment Sunscreen SPF 15 in Plum ($23) – If you’re a lover of berry shades, look no further than Fresh’s cult-classic. While every color is divine, Plum is this beauty writer’s absolute favorite. A creamy berry hue that glides on with pure hydration and a healthy dose of plum sheen.

*TIP: While the consistency is sheen and the formula is malleable, use these tinted balms as cream blushes, too. Just dab onto apples of cheeks and gently blend for a dewy, glowing burst of sheer color.

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8 Drugstore Lipsticks That Celebs Love

By | favorites, makeup, under $10 | No Comments

We’re always on the hunt for a beauty bargain. So, when we began scouring the web for the best drugstore lipstick colors favored by our favorite celebs, we were ecstatic to find nudes, berries, and reds that made the list. Here are 8 great drugstore lipstick colors to buy today.

Makeup artist Patrick Ta created the perfect coral pout for Gigi Hadid’s recent red carpet appearance at iHeartRadio Much Music Video Awards by mixing these two drugstore hues: Maybelline’s Loaded Bold Lipstick in Orange Danger ($7) and Smoking Red ($7).

Makeup artist Monika Blunder tells Refinery29 that she uses Revlon ColorBurst Lacquer Balm in Ingenue ($7) on celeb clients Behati Prinsloo and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. “It looks so natural on the lips and stays on like a stain,” she says. “The color payoff is great, and the formula is super-easy to apply.”

Rihanna’s makeup bag must-have is none other than CoverGirl Wetslicks Gloss in Watermelon Splash ($10). The bold bubble gum pink shade is fun and feminine. Buying ASAP.

L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Last Color ($13) is a favorite of J.Lo, Naomi Watts, and Julianne Moore. J.Lo has sported Timeless Rose on the red carpet. The pastel pink hue pops against tanned skin. Naomi Watts is a fan of Violet Parfait to give her pout a pop of plum, while Julianne Moore’s fair skin finds Raisin Revival suitable for a bit of berry.

Rita Ora loves herself a classic red lip, thanks to Rimmel London Exaggerate Automatic Lip Liner in Red Diva ($7) and Rimmel Lasting Finish Matte Lipstick by Kate Moss in 111 ($5).

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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.