Category:  favorites


Summer Lovin’: Makeup Launches For The Season

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Every season, makeup brands launch entire collections geared towards the look, colors, and trends of that season. This summer is no different. But today, we’re choosing 5 products that are easily wearable, classic, and not necessarily trendy in terms of only being worn during the hotter months. These five universal and timeless summer staples are needed today, but will last you forever. Stock up!

Tom Ford Ultra Rich Lip Color In Revolve Around Me ($52) – The perfect nude for a tanned complexion. Not matte and not sheer, this formula will give good color (it’s full coverage) while still hydrating the lips. Perfection in a tube.

Clinique Chubby In The Nude Foundation Stick ($24) – Following in the footsteps of its chubby predecessors (Chubby sticks for eyes, lips, and cheeks), this Chubby foundation is easy to apply, offers sheer to moderate, and comes in 10 wearable shades. The formula is a bit matte, so steer clear if you’re complexion is super dry, but for everyone else, this oil-free foundation will actually keep slickness at bay. And it’s great for on-the-go touchups, whether it’s to cover a blemish or brighten up tired under eyes. Obsessed.

The Estée Edit by Estée Lauder Flash Illuminator Fluid Powder ($32) – Adored by Kendall Jenner, this buildable, fluid-strobing powder gives skin a shimmering glow. The universal shade of golden-peach and the part cream-part powder formula will both illuminate tanned and fair complexions.

Kosas Lipstick in Thrillest & Electra ($24 each) – Because every face needs the perfect red pout that’ll stay put (especially on those hot and balmy summer nights). This lipstick is made with all natural, hydrating ingredients, but the formula is neither shiny or glossy. Instead, you get a punch of perfect full-coverage color – try Thrillest if you prefer an orange-red shade (best for medium to dark skin tones) and Electra for blue-red (best for fair to light skin tones) – with a host of healthy ingredients that fight free radicals, prevent fine lines, heal, and protect.

RMS Beauty Contour Bronze ($28) – A creamy contouring bronzer made with all-natural and organic ingredients. “Our Contour Bronze makes for a more realistic contour shade by using brown undertones rather than the dated red-orange hues,” says RMS Beauty founder Rose-Marie Swift.

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Summer Skincare: The Brighter The Better

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The official start of summer is here, and to celebrate, we’re combing through our absolute favorite products for brighter skin. Because like the sun in summer (which shines bright like a diamond), our complexions deserve equal adulation and brightness. But heat, sun, ocean, and air conditioning tend to leave skin dull, dehydrated, and just…blah. Incorporate a few of these fine products into your skincare routine and you’ll have winning skin all season long:

Purlisse Blue Lotus Brightening Serum ($76) – A powerful nine-plant-extract-packed serum that treats uneven skin tone, dullness, discoloration, and age spots without hydroquinone. Ideal fora ll skin types, including sensitive.

Innisfree Jeju Sparkling Mineral Powder ($7) – A carbonated facial cleanser/ spa treatment that both cleans and brightens.

Luzern Laboratories Hydra-Enzyme Mask ($75) – This mask hydrates, exfoliates, and brightens thanks to pumpkin enzyme speeds, vitamin C, and organic licorice extract to fade discoloration. Skin looks plumper, dewier, and more youthful. Can be used on all skin types.

Kiehl’s Turmeric & Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance Masque ($29) – A mask that brightens and exfoliates, thanks to turmeric (one of our favorite summer skincare ingredients) and cranberry seed. A delicious skin treat suitable for all skin types, even acne-prone.

GlamGlow Flashmud Brightening Treatment ($62) – Another fab face mask that brightens and exfoliates leaving skin glowing like the Goddess of Youth.

Clé de Peau Beauté Intensive Brightening Mask ($30 for 1 // $150 for 6) – Like a spa treatment in the comfort of your own home, this treatment mask aids in a more even skin tone by targeting sun and age spots and dullness. The leftover serum absorbs quickly for an instant, luminous glow.

*As always, but perhaps even more important with summer’s intense sun, follow all of these products with a SPF.

Have a favorite brightening product — or ingredient? Let us know in the comment section below!


Favorites: Sheet Masks

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Sheet masks have come a long way since the days of boiled water and a sheet of silk. Tracing their heritage back to the flawless faces of Asian women, who have one of the most regimented skincare routines around, sheet masks have since been adopted – and adored – by all types of women with a types of skin concerns worldwide. Yes, sheet masks are a treatment, but a necessary one to achieve that coveted complexion.

“Asian women, specifically Korean women, love layering highly concentrated treatments on their skin and are always looking for efficient, visible anti-aging and skin-glowing results,” explains Sarah Lee,  co-founder of Glow Recipe. “Sheet masks were one of the easy and efficient solutions for this demand which was actually in the Korean market over a decade ago.”

What exactly is a sheet mask? Sarah explains it like this: “Korean women have also moved from fabric and cotton sheet masks to newer textures such as hydro-gel and biocellulose. These types of sheets hold more ‘juice’ (the industry term for the essence/ serum that the sheet mask is soaked in), and adhere more closely to the skin for instant results.”

So, basically, sheet masks are a way to get serums filled with vitamins, antioxidants, and anti-aging ingredients to penetrate into the skin more effectively. Like a spa treatment, but in the comfort of your own home. Once you remove the heat mask, which wraps the skin in all of its goodness, tap the remaining product onto the face and allow your skin to soak it all in.

Here, a few of our favorite sheet masks on the market today:

Yes to Grapefruit Pore Minimizing Facial Mask Treatment ($14 for set of 5) – To brighten, refine pores, and even out skin tone without stripping or over-drying. Best for combination, oily, and acne-prone skin types.

BioRepublic Green Tea Detox Purifying Fiber Mask ($15 for set of 3) – To remove excess oil, clear up breakouts, and heal combination to oily and acne-prone skin types.

Hada Labo Ultimate Anti-Aging Facial Mask ($15 for set of 4)- To smooth, firm, and inject instant hydration (thanks to hyaluronic acid) into the skin. Suitable for all skin types.

Radial Pink Diamond Instant Lifting Face Mask ($90 for set of 8) – To instantly lift, tighten, and brighten the complexion. Ideal for use prior to a big event or special occasion, as the formula is infused wth diamond powder.

SK-II Facial Treatment Mask ($95 for set of 6) – Perhaps the most famous of sheet masks, this formula works on normal, combination, dry, and sensitive skin types (acne-prone, sadly not for you). It intensely hydrates and replenishes for instantaneous youthful results. The ultimate at-home anti-aging treatment.

Cle de Peau Intensive Brightening Mask ($125 for set of 6) – To brighten and moisturize the skin, especially beneficial for dull, lackluster, and tired complexions. Best used on normal, dry, and combination skin types.


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.

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.