Category:  favorites


Favorites: Lip Balms

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Lip balm, lip conditioner, lip treatment, however you choose to call it, that formula that you put on your lips to heal dryness is a must year round. Especially in summer, when we tend to lighten our makeup load, a colorless lip balm can both restore and conditioner our pouts while also adding a hint of natural sheen. And, yes, the sun will dehydrate your precious pucker almost as much as winter’s wind and plummeting temps.

Here, a few of our favorite lip balms that go everywhere with us – from the office to the beach:

Beautycounter Lip Conditioner ($20) – It feels as though it’s exfoliating the dead skin when applied, then leaves lips coated in a delicious mix of chamomile and calendula oils. (non-toxic)

Lanolips Banana Balm ($14) – Healthy lips with healthy ingredients like banana extract and a host of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to leave lips smooth with a hint of natural shine.

Kat Burki Glossy Lip Treatment ($28) – This cult-favorite formula of cold-pressed coconut oil and vitamin E hydrates, conditions, and restores dry lips while leaving the mouth plumped and glossy (without the stickiness).

Fresh Sugar Sport Treatment ($25) – This water-resistant SPF 30 formula can also be used on eyes and face. Ideal for those who like to get their watersports on.

Rohr Remedy Gumbi Gumbi Lip Balm ($12) – From the Australian outback, this all-natural ointment contains gumbi gumbi and vitamin E to nourish and protect, leaving lips smooth and moisturized.


Illuminate Yourself With These Everyday Illuminators

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Strobing. Highlighting. Illuminating. Three words that are basically interchangeable when it comes to makeup’s favorite bottled illuminators and the effects they offer a complexion. To use, apply on its own for a natural, lit-from-within radiance over the entire face, mixed with your favorite foundation for an all-over glow, pre-foundation as a shimmering primer that’ll give you the most subtle sheen and turn that lackluster complexion into the picture of health, or spotted over foundation on certain areas of the face that you’re looking to highlight, or attract attention to, such as cheekbones, brow bone, center of forehead, cupid’s bow, bridge of nose, and even décolletage, arms, and legs.

Here’s the thing about liquid highlighters today: There are so many uses, so many benefits, and so many formulas, there’s a perfect one for every face. Finding that dewy effect has never been easier!

A few of our favorite illuminators below:

1. Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Moonstone ($41) – Yellow-based luminizer that offers subtle highlighting and natural radiance to the skin, under, over, or solo. (Available in five finishes)

2. Dr. Jart Every Sun Day UV Illuminating Sunscreen SPF 36 ($34) – White-to-clear shimmer that gives skin good glow while doubling as a sunscreen to protect your precious face for UV rays.

3. Nars Illuminator in Hot Sand ($30) – Gold-based illuminator that can be applied to highlight features or mixed in with foundation for an all-over-glow. (Comes in four shades)

4. Charlotte Tilbury Wonder Glow ($55) – Neutral with a bit of pinkish gold undertones that can be used under foundation, spotted onto features over foundation, or all alone for a spotlight effect.

5. Honest Beauty Everything Primer Luminous Base ($27) – Gold-to-clear shimmer, best used as a primer pre-foundation application (but works heavenly on its own to give that lit-from-within glow to the entire face).

6. Burberry Fresh Glow Luminous Fluid Base in No. 1 Nude Radiance ($48) – Pink-based luminizer; the original glow-in-a-bottle and still the best for fair complexions. (Comes in two shades)


Favorites: Lip Paints

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Lip paint seems to be on the lips of every fashionista as of late. Not just painted on their pouts, but also spewing out of their mouths. After all, Kylie Jenner’s Lip Kits have redefined the desire for stay-all-day lip wear. But these new iterations are much more pigmented than the tried-and-true stains of yesteryear: The lip paint is a hybrid of a stain and a matte lipstick, sometimes even a gloss, except they miraculously stay put for hours (hence the “stain” element). And since Kylie’s Lip Kits seem to sell out faster than the coveted Mansur Gavriel bucket bags (which are randomly in stock right now so hurry!), here are the next best things for stains with a color punch that promise not to budge (even after a little lip lockin’).

Here, some of our favorite lip paints in a variety of finishes:
1. Yves Saint Laurent Vernis À Lèvres Glossy Stain ($36) – A glossy finish that somehow doesn’t budge.
COLOR PICK: Rouge Vintage is a universal berry shade that gives a hint of natural hue to lips.
2. Tarte Tarteist Creamy Matte Lip Paint ($20) – As the name suggests, this is a creamy matte finish the dresses the lips in high pigment without dressing your glass.
COLOR PICK: Be, a deep crimson red, and Fomo, the perfect mauve for a neutral pout with a hint of pink.
3. Laura Mercier Paint Wash Liquid Lip Colour ($28) – A bold demo-matte finish.
COLOR PICK: Golden Peach is a universally flattering peach-nude with coral undertones. Sheer but bold (if you get our drift).
4. Milk Makeup Lip Color ($22) – A matte finish, like paint, it goes on strong and stays on long.
COLOR PICK: Gnarly is a fuchsia shade that is rather wearable and surprisingly flattering for medium to deep skin tones.
5. Revlon ColorStay Ultimate Liquid Lip ($9) – Like Kylie’s metallic paints, this formula has some shimmer… and last for up to 24-hours (so they claim).
COLOR PICK: Iconic Iris, a metal-y mauve, and #1 Nude, a shimmering bronze-nude.


Homage To Mother Earth: 7 All-Natural Products To Buy Today

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Today is Earth Day and to celebrate all that is Mother Earth, we’ve chosen a few of our favorite all-natural products. While you don’t need to entirely switch your beauty arsenal to one of 100% non-toxic ingredients, it’s worth easing your way into a few key products that produce the same – if not better – results with healthy formulations that’ll do you – and the world – some good.

Here, 7 of the best all-natural products to buy today:

1. Lanolips The Original 101 Ointment ($16) – Think of this as the non-toxic, 100% natural version of Aquaphor. It’ll cure chapped lips, hydrate cuticles, and even add a hint of sheen to brow bone. Obsessed!

2. Vapour Organics Trick Stick Highlighter in Star ($20) – Few highlighters are better than Vapour’s cult-favorite. And this one is good for the planet, too. The 100% natural illuminator blends seamlessly to give the face a strobe-light-effect on high points, like cheek and brow bones, cupid’s bow, and bridge of nose.

3. Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser ($78) – By now, you’re probably familiar with Tata Harper’s magical all-natural skincare line. This cleanser is certainly a favorite. It can be applied to dry skin as a gentle exfoliator, or add water for a daily cleanse for all skin types. The.Absolute.Best.

4. Shiva Rose Venus Amber Body Oil ($60) – Homemade with healthy ingredients and a whole lot of love, Shiva Rose’s body oil is unlike anything you will use on your skin. It’s silky smooth, hydrating, and scented with nature’s finest rose and amber oils. Plus, it contains a slice of rose oil crystal to give the formula its properties of love, peace, and tranquility. #Truth

5. W3ll People Expressionist Pro Mascara ($21) – It’s hard to find a natural mascara that works. But we’ve done the impossible: W3ll People has an incredible inky black formula that lengthens and volumizes, while being 100% cruelty-free, petroleum-free, paraben free, gluten-free, coal tar-free, fiber-free, talc-free, aluminum-free, clump-free, and made with certified organic beeswax. Oh, and that applicator? It’s legit awesome for de-clumping and coating all those tiny lower lash hairs.

6. Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil Light ($48) – When it comes to straight-up argan oil, nobody does it better than Josie Maran. We like the light version because it can be used on acne-prone and sensitive skin, and it absorbs faster. In fact, argan oil moisturizers while controlling sebum production, so there really is no excuse not to add this smoother-skin product to your beauty routine.

7. Ilia Beauty Multi-Stick ($34) – Like the name suggests, this stick does multiple things: It gives color to eyes, cheeks, and lips, while also injecting skin with healthy ingredients – like vitamin E and shea butter – as it adds that coveted hint of hue. Layer for bolder color. Our favorite: I Put A Spell On You, a tangerine shade that is universally flattering on all skin tones from fair to deep, and all hair colors from blonde to red!


The Best Beach Sprays For Beach Season

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I remember the first time I tried beach/ wave/ sea spray like it was yesterday. It was John Frieda Beach Blonde Sea Waves Sea Salt Spray ($9) and it changed my life (or at least the life of my locks). You could call it love at first spray. No more blowdries! No more pencil straight strands! I was on my way to Gisele surfer-girl hair, circa late ’90s/ early 2000s. I could now let my mane air dry, mist a healthy dose of this magic potion that left my hair looking like I had just walked off of a Sport’s Illustrated Swimsuit photo shoot (you know that sexy, tousled thing that all those hotties have going on), and BAM! I was ready to face the world, beautiful, voluminous, textured hair to boot.

I also remember when John Frieda decided to discontinue this cult-classic product. You could practically hear the tears of adolescents the nation over after discovering that our favorite hair savior had just… disappeared without so much as a goodbye. I hoarded my last bottle like it was a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.

Like most, I went on a quest to find a similar product and, like most, I was vastly underwhelmed. The sea sprays of yesteryear were either stinky (smelling like perfume instead of… the sea) or left my gorgeous, shiny locks crunchy, hard, and dry. Sigh.

But then, as if the hair God’s had been listening to our prayers, brands started stepping up their beach spray game. And now, in 2016, we have a plethora of damn good sprays that give damn great results! Oh, and John Frieda has relaunched their coveted Sea Spray (finally!).

Here are the best beachy hair sprays on the market today:

John Frieda Beach Blonde Sea Waves Sea Salt Spray ($9) – The OG of beach sprays, this stuff is the real deal. Leaves locks shiny, bouncy, and smelling like a piña colada.

Verb  Sea Spray ($13) – Before finding my beloved John Frieda (take two), this was as close to the good stuff as I got. It even has the same turquoise hue. The scent is different, but the formulas both provide a hint of shine with a messy, tousled, beachy wave. In other words, this stuff is the bomb.

Kevin Murphy Hair Resort Spray ($28) – Oil-free formula that gives strands shine and that undone, wavy beach hair that we all know and love. I heart it.

Ouai Wave Spray ($26) – Celeb stylist Jen Atkin’s star product, this formula will have you wanting to drink it… it’s that good. Results are tousled, Khloe K-looking strands. And the sprayer is pure perfection: It actually mists equally across your head, instead of squirting out a heap of product on a single section.

The Gnarly Whale Hair Beach Waves ($14) – With just 6 ingredients, this stuff is as close to a bottle of ocean water as you’ll get. And bonus: It smells like a ripe coconut.

Redken Nature’s Rescue Radiant Sea Spray – Definitely more “perfume-y” than the rest, but the formula is oh-so good, I had to include. It’s a lightweight mist that produces some serious texture without weighing down the mane.




Favorites: The Headpiece

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Maybe it’s festival season looming on the horizon that’s got us all gushy for headpieces. Or perhaps it’s just spring and blooming flowers. Either way, the trend du jour is a kick-ass, statement-making headpiece (sometimes referred to as an embellished headband, worn around the head instead of on top). Cover up a bad hair day or accessories a blasé outfit by adorning your crown with, well, a crown!

Here are a few favorites to get you inspired:

Forever 21 Chain Head Piece ($4) – At $4 each, buy the gold and silver.
Forever 21 Rhinestone Flower Head Piece ($9) – This combines everything we love about headpieces: flowers, rhinestones, and gold!
Nasty Gal Crown Royal Headband ($14, landing image) – Get your retro vibe on with this forehead-grazing antique pendent. Can someone say statement?!
New Look Premium Pearl Flower Headband ($17) – Faux flowers scream spring (and Coachella).
Nasty Gal Nicolette Jewel Headband ($35) – Gold and flowers, not tacky… show-stopping.
Krystal Swarovski Crystal Statement Head Piece ($43 sale!) – This looks like something a legit queen would wear.
Jennifer Behr Eos Headband ($298) – You’ll want to wear this all day, every day, it’s that gorgeous (trust us, we’re wearing ours now).

For a DIY fresh floral headpiece tutorial, click here.


10 Of The Very Best Beauty Hacks

By | body, diy, favorites, hair, makeup | 9 Comments

I love a good beauty hack (but then again, who does’t?). From multipurpose products to household items that work just as well – if not better – than expensive store-bought products to application tricks that cut down on your getting ready time, beauty hacks are indispensable to a well-rounded, efficient beauty routine.

While we all have our go-to beauty tricks, here are 10 of the very best beauty hacks for hair, skin, and body:

1. Baby Powder isn’t just for babies. While baby powder has been widely used as a substitute for dry shampoo (a little on the scalp, rub in, flip, and go), it’s also an effective way to curb sweat – from underarms to between your legs (especially in hot and humid climates when your thighs tend to chafe).
TRY: Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Dusting Powder for a natural, healthier baby powder alternative.

2. Is your hair plagued with frizz and flyaways? Take a good old fashioned dryer sheet from your laundry room and gently run it over your hair to tame the frizzes. Works like magic.
TRY: Seventh Generation Natural Fabric Softener Sheets. All-natural is always a better option.

3. Want beachy curls while you sleep? The SoCal Curls contraption will give you better waves than a curling iron. And it does it all while you’re getting your snooze on. I do recommend watching the tutorial first (here).
BUY here.

4. Mascara makes a marvelous liquid eyeliner. It’s true – you’ve got a great, pigmented formula for the taking! Just dip an angled brush onto the mascara wand and apply to your lash line. Use the same mascara on your lashes for a perfect pairing of color and consistency. The waterproof mascaras work like a charm.
TRY: Benefit’s Bad Gal Waterproof Mascara with Make Up For Ever’s Angled Eyeliner Brush.

5. For an all-over, dewy, model-like complexion, mix a dollop of liquid highlighter in with your face moisturizer. If you want coverage and dewiness, combine the highlighter with your favorite foundation, BB cream, or tinted moisturizer.
TRY: Burberry Fresh Glow Luminous Fluid (seriously, the best).

6. I’ve raved about my obsession with lipstick as blush here and here (video included). But did you know that if you add a very small amount of Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream to your cheeks prior to rubbing on the lipstick (or any cream blush for that matter), it’ll actually blend much better – without all of the pulling and tugging. And 8 Hour Cream leaves a gorgeous glow on the skin, so it’s really a two-for-one. You can also use the excess on your lips and a dab on the eyes gives that glossy lid look.
BUY here.

7. Setting your lipstick really does work, especially when going for a bold, colorful hue. And the same trick is applicable to transitioning a glossier formula to that which is more matte. Here’s how you do it: place a tissue over your lipstick-painted pout. Using a brush and a translucent powder, gently dust the powder over the tissue. And voila! Mattified, long lasting color. Use the powder on the rest of your face to set your makeup as well. Just make sure you’re choosing a colorless formula.
TRY: Laura Mercier Mineral Finishing Powder

8. Coconut oil is good for everything, from makeup remover to body moisturizer. But one of my absolute favorite uses for the all-natural oil is as a healthy shaving cream. It actually works better than the store-bought ones! And while you have your tub of coconut oil in the bath, apply to the ends of your hair as a DIY treatment (a favorite of Khloe Kardashian).
TRY: Garden of Life Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (it’s organic!).

9. If you’re a fan of hairspray – I’m all about L’Oreal’s Elnett Satin Hairspray (if you don’t own a can, you’re seriously missing out) – then use it to keep unruly brows in place as well. While brow gels are effective, uncooperative brow hairs like mine need something stronger from time to time. Hairspray is the answer. Spray onto a spooly and brush onto brows in an upward motion.
BUY here.

10. If you’re wearing a bold lip – red included – chances are, color will end up on your teeth. And this is a beauty no-no. So ensure that the color stays off by using these two quick and easy post-lipstick steps. 1 – Put your finger in your mouth and pull it out. You’ll be amazed how much lipstick ends up on the inner part of your lip (which would undoubtedly have ended up on your pearly whites). 2 – Coat your teeth with a thin layer of vaseline or Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream (yet another use for the multipurpose balm). Misplaced lipstick will slide right off. Plus, this professional trick is a red carpet favorite as the coated teeth actually glisten when you smile.

Have a genius beauty hack… Let us know in the comments below!


Getting Serious With Serums

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While our relationship with serums is not monogamous, it is certainly committed and devoted.  Serums can solve some major skin ailments, from acne and rosacea to dullness and wrinkles.  However, it has come to our attention that many people are skipping serum because they either a) are overwhelmed by the choices b) don’t know which one is right for them or c) don’t know how to fit them into their routine.  Well, we’re here to change that!

For the inside scoop on serums, we turned to the makers of some of our serum all-stars, Dr. Dennis Gross, NYC-based dermatologist and founder of Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare, and Tiffany Masterson, Founder and COO of Drunk Elephant.

Beauty Banter: Who needs to be using serum?  Is there anyone who should actively avoid?

Dr. Gross: Serums contain the most potent and concentrated dose of ingredients to tackle your skincare concern – you would be doing your skin a disservice not to use one.

Tiffany Masterson:  I think everyone could and should be using a serum, and in my opinion every single day.

BB: When is it best to apply serum?  Is it necessary to have separate ones for morning/evening?  

Dr. Gross: You can use one in the morning and one in the evening, or one daily – however you’d like to tailor your routine.  There is no wrong answer.  One of the keys to maximizing the benefits of any product in your daily skincare regimen is to apply products with a thinner consistency before the thicker more creamy ones.


BB: Which serums are your go-tos?

Dr. Gross: Ferulic Acid + Retinol Brightening Solution ($88) brightens, smooths texture and helps with discoloration and hyperpigmentation. I believe that a serum is the best form to receive your Retinol for two reasons. It allows for other ingredients to be mixed into the formula and it is quick drying, yet super hydrating without the sun sensitivity that many retinols cause. I also just debuted a new overnight serum, Ferulic + Retinol Wrinkle Recovery Overnight Serum ($88) that features an ingredient trifecta of retinol, ferulic acid and niacinamide to firm skin, fight wrinkles, and reduce imperfections.

Tiffany Masterson:  T.L.C Framboos Glycolic ($90)  is best for acne, dryness, dullness, clearing and evening skin tone, scars, fine lines and wrinkles.  C-Firma Day Serum ($80) corrects past and protects against future UV damage, brightens, firms, fades hyperpigmentation and is great for fine lines.  B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Gel ($52) is a serum gel for extended-release intense hydration, brightening, and repairing.


BB: Eye serums have become increasingly popular.  Should these be used in place of eye cream or in addition to?

Dr. Gross: People care about texture around their eyes more than I’ve seen in years past, which makes sense because the area is more delicate, and it’s hard to keep up and maintain.  I like to layer serums and creams; a serum can deliver water-soluble ingredients and then a cream will hydrate. I always recommend Ferulic + Retinol Triple Correction Eye Serum ($68) and Ferulic + Retinol Eye Cream ($68) to patients as a one-two punch of actives.

Are you a fan of serums?  Which one do you swear by?  Tell us in the comments below!


-Casey Sharbaugh is the blogger behind


6 Spectacular Eye Creams To Try Today

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Dehydration is everywhere, including the eyes… especially the eyes. Did you know that the skin around your eyes is actually the thinnest on your face? Therefore, extra tender, love, and care is mandatory. And nothing gets the job done quite like a rich, soothing eye cream.

Here are five of our current favorites:

1. Chanel Le Lift Creme Yeux ($105) – This wonder cream is already a cult classic. The formula lifts and firms the skin while reducing puffiness and dark circles; repeated use will help eyelids appear more lifted.

2. Sonage R&R Peptide-Packed Eye Serum ($48) – A silky eye serum that includes cucumber, algae, amla extracts with calming, anti-inflammatory properties, and multiple peptides that combat undereye circles.

3. Sunday Riley Start Over Eye Cream ($75) – This hydrating, de-puffing gel-cream come with a rolling metal applicator to emphasize the cooling ingredients of the formula, such as a vitamin C ester, marine algae and bio-fermented aloe. Instantly soothes, tightens, lifts, and brightens (see how that rhymes!?).

4. BeautyCounter Any Time Eye Cream ($35) – Non-toxic eye cream at its finest; this lightweight, soothing cream hydrates the under-eye area with coco-caprylate/caprate and coconut alkanes, which are gentle, plant-derived ingredients. Healthy eyes and healthy ingredients.

5. Skin Owl Eye+ ($46) – Hyaluronic acid is one of the best hydrating and anti-aging ingredients. This gel eye cream moisturizes while filling in fine lines and plumping the area. It’s lightweight but works wonders on tired, deprived eyes.

6. Clinique Pep-Start Eye Cream ($27) – When it comes to restless mornings that demand an extra four hours of sleep but time isn’t as understanding, turn to this lightweight eye cream to help instantly brighten and hydrate the eye area. Packed with peptides which support natural collagen reserves that can be threatened by stress and fatigue. #Fistpound.

Want a foolproof and effective way to work an eye cream? “Pat under the eye using the ring finger,” explains Peter Thomas Roth of the eponymous skincare line. “You use the ring finger because it is your weakest finger and you use the least amount of pressure. Continue to the upper lid and (if desired) to the temples to address all areas of the skin surrounding the eye.” Another interesting fact about the area around your eyes: There are no pores in the vicinity, hence the reason why it is such a delicate and sensitive area of our face. This also means that all of you oily-skinned folk can rest assured that a heavy cream or serum will not compromise your skin concerns.


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.