katey denno makeup bag

Makeup Bag: Katey Denno’s All-Natural Labor Day Skin & Makeup Staples

| makeup, makeup bag, skin | No Comments
Celebrity makeup artist Katey Denno (she works with Gwyneth Paltrow, Amanda Seyfried, Felicity Jones, and a slew of other A-listers) has an…

Makeup Bag: Ayla Beauty Founder Dara Kennedy

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“I grew up in a family of educators: My parents, both teachers, viewed each moment as an opportunity to learn…

Memorial Day Weekend Beauty Bag Must-Haves

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Since Memorial Day Weekend is the official start of summer, you won’t want to look anything but your best.  If…

Makeup Bag: Josie Maran

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“I was 12 years old and I was watching a TV commercial and I saw Christy Turlington in a Maybelline…

Hair Color Dictionary With Michael Canale

| celebrity looks, hair | One Comment
Gloss, shine, or tone? Do you know what your colorist is doing to your hair? We asked Michael Canale, celebrity…

#TBT: How To Look Like Debbie Harry

| celebrity looks, makeup, tbt | One Comment
Debbie Harry is well known for being a blondie, both with her hair and her band. However, her statement-making makeup…

#TBT: Jane Birkin

| celebrity looks, tbt | One Comment
Chances are that cool-girl Jane Birkin would absolutely detest the word chic for fear of being cliché. Come on, the…
oscars 2015 beauty

Face Value: The Oscars 2015

| celebrity looks | 10 Comments
There are certain Oscar night prerequisites: Gorgeous body-hugging gowns, sleek and sophisticated hair styles, and perfectly smoked eyes… and this…

Bathing Beauty: Suits’ Meghan Markle

| bathing beauties | 5 Comments
Actress Meghan Markle is an undeniable beauty. Her good looks can be attributed to her swoon-worthy raven locks, chestnut brown…

Bathing Beauty: Brett Heyman of Edie Parker

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Edie Parker’s Brett Heyman dishes on her beauty must-haves (clutch not included).


Bathing Beauty: Ayla Beauty’s Dara Kennedy

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When shopping for beauty products online, half the battle is knowing what actually works. For this, you need to trust…

Bathing Beauty: DJ Nikki Pennie

| bathing beauties | 2 Comments
Nikki Pennie isn’t your average DJ. With her signature fiery red locks (courtesy of celebrity colorist Tracey Cunningham), chiseled cheek…



Weekly Must-Have: DermaFlash

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The summer can take a toll on skin, making it look especially dull and just rather…blah.  If your usual manual and chemical exfoliation products aren’t resolving the problem, it may be time to whip out the big guns.  Namely, the DermaFlash Facial Exfoliating Device.

Dermaplaning, previously only available in a doctor’s office or medical spa, is a celeb-favorite because of its ability to refresh and revitalize skin by literally shaving away dead cells and debris.  In addition to removing surface gunk and grime, dermaplaning also removes unnecessary facial hair.  Even if peach fuzz never bothered you before, you won’t know how you lived with it once you remove it.  Seriously!  The complexion looks smoother and more luminous, meaning your makeup will sit better as well.

DermaFlash is best used once a week.  After cleansing the skin, insert a new blade before each use to keep things hygienic (duh!).  Lightly and gently run the device over your entire face at a 45-degree angle by following its natural contours.  Steer clear of your hairline and eyebrows to avoid any tragic mishaps.  Finish with a soothing and non-active lotion to moisturize, just like you would after any deep exfoliation.

If you have any active acne, psoriasis, or rosacea, opt out of this treatment.  Otherwise, after just one use, you’ll find your skin is more vibrant with a healthy glow.  Looks like shaving your face isn’t just for guys afterall!.

PRICE TAG: $189 

-Casey Sharbaugh is the blogger behind www.comfortablycasey.com


We’ve Gotten Some Work Done

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Yes, we’ve gotten some work done. To celebrate our 10-year anniversary (this past August), Beauty Banter has decided to have a mini face lift, no knives necessary but lots of needles.

I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of the loyal BB readers who have been with us from the beginning — and the new ones who come back daily to check out our posts. This site wouldn’t exist without your support… so thank you!

I hope you enjoy Beauty Banter’s new look, and I urge you to stay connected on social media (Instagram / Facebook / Twitter) and to like, comment, and share your favorite posts.

Take a look at our new shopping section of our favorite beauty products, tried, tested, and BB-approved!

Have an idea for an article? Let us know in the comment section below. As always, we’re here for all of your beautifying needs.

Sarah and the Beauty Banter team


Wunderbrow Is Wonderful

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But seriously… how did I not know about this stuff sooner? Where’s it been hiding and why has it been hiding from me?

Anyone who knows me knows the battle I have with my eyebrows. This isn’t a love-hate type of relationship, it’s pure hate-hate. They grow like weeds, sprouts would be more accurate. Sprouting every direction, except up (the direction I need them to go in). After a misfortunate over-plucking incident in high school coupled with a brow piercing in college (yes, I was that rebellious student who stuck an earring in just about every part of my body… except there! Dirty minds) left me with sparse areas that won’t grow regardless of how much growth serum and brow massaging I do. And, trust me, I’ve tried it all (including not waxing or threading for 6 months!).

Then I started getting deep into my Google search on brow transplants (kidding, only slightly), and I discovered Wunderbrow ($22). I read some reviews, ordered it from Amazon, then gave it a try.

It promises a smudge-free, waterproof, and sweat-proof formula that last at least two days. TWO DAYS of filled-in brows… how is that possible?

Well, I gave it a try and… this stuff works. In fact, it works so well, someone left this hilarious review on Amazon: ” I began with fine strokes just like the video said. Only instead of strokes it was more like a glob here and a blob there. No problem I’ll smooth it out. I smoothed here and wiped there and brushed and added a little more.

When I was done I looked like Frieda Kahlo. Yeah I think I need more practice and decided to take it off. I took a shower. I scrubbed my face. They did not lie. It does not come off. I scrubbed my face. It does not come off. I took a jack hammer to it. No luck.

My husband noticed my new eyebrows. He asked me if I had been working on the car because I had a smudge on my forehead. He tried to remove it by spitting on his finger and rubbing vigorously across my brows. It did not come off.
So if you use this product. I highly recommend lots of practice. You might want to actually have more than 4 eyebrow hairs or it looks painted on. Use an oil based product to get it off. If you make a mistake and color outside the lines you will look like a freak for at least 2 days. Other than that it does what it says. It gives you eyebrows and it is water proof.” (source)

This review makes me laugh so hard because it is exactly what I wanted, minus the Frieda Kahlo unibrow. So, when I applied, I made sure to have a Q-tip drenched in baby oil at close proximity, just in case I colored outside of the lines (I didn’t do that badly, actually). The shade that I chose – Brunette – seemed light in the bottle, but it definitely blended in with my very, very dark brows, and even dried a bit darker, without any red undertones (which, anyone on the hunt for the perfect dark brown brow pencil can attest to, this is almost impossible to find sans the redish aftermath).

The other application tip that helped me was to use the brow brush (a.k.a. spoolie) that comes with the semi-permanent brow gel to blend the product so that the strokes didn’t seem so angular and harsh. This was super helpful. I’d apply the product, then brush, then clean a bit. Then apply more product, brush, clean that a bit, and so on.

Very important: Apply at night on a dry, cleansed face without any cream on the brow region. This will allow the product to adhere to the skin, thus lasting longer.

I cannot explain my happiness when I woke up and my brows actually looked… dare I say it… full! Now, if only they’d grow in the correct direction. Le sigh.

Buy here.

P.S. The before and after photos of customers is a true testament to how well this product works. Check them out here.


Face Mists: The Other Toner

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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.


Favorites: Giving Good Blush

By | favorites, makeup | 25 Comments
blush for fall

It’s official. Fall is here (and you can finally feel a chill in the air). Besides subbing out your open-toed stilettos for ankle booties, it’s time to change up your beauty routine. Today we’re starting with blush, a single product that can totally rehabilitate your sallow, fall complexion.

A bold cheek is on-trend this season so stick with colors that give good hue: berry, bordeaux, and brick shades.

Here are a few of our favorite cream and powder blushes for fall:

1 – Sunday Riley Blush in Dimples ($30)- Theses powder blushes are bold yet incredibly wearable. Dimples is a light berry/ pink hue that looks sensational layered over a similar berry cream blush. I use this almost daily.

2 – Becca Beach Tint in Raspberry ($25) – I wear these flawless cheek and lip stains year round. Guava and Watermelon were my summer picks, Raspberry, a deep berry pink, is my fall go-to. This stain provides a more sheer color but is ideal for layering under powder blushes for high intensity pigment.

3 – Nars Blush in Seduction ($29) – Itching for a deep bordeaux in powder form? Then Seduction is your shade. It’s bold, provocative, and moody. A fall favorite.

4. Tom Ford Beauty Cheek Color in Savage ($56) – A brick mauve powder blush that offers unsurpassing pigment. A rich shade such as this is also ideal for creating a contoured cheek.

5. Elizabeth Arden Beautiful Color Radiance Blush in Wild Berry ($26) – High pigment, long lasting yet natural color. This shade is a pinky berry that can be layered for a darker effect.

6. Kevyn Aucoin Creamy Glow in Patrice ($26) – Definitely one of my favorite cream blush brands, Kevyn Aucoin creamy glow imparts color with a hint of dewiness. Patrice is a brick red shade that is perfect for fall’s bold cheek.





DIY: 3 Ways To Naturally Whiten Your Teeth

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As a multi-billion dollar industry, the tooth whitening business is big news, and everyone seems to want a whiter, brighter, more perfect smile. It’s not hard to understand why: A set of pearly whites instantly boosts confidence levels and is also seen as an external sign of a healthy lifestyle.

The problem with professional teeth whitening methods (you know, the procedures that go down in dental clinics) is that treatments are loaded with harsh chemicals, which can cause sensitivities that linger far longer than the effect they create. They also cost big bucks.

Luckily, there are natural ingredients and recipes out there that you can use to whiten your teeth in the comfort of your own home, and the best part of it is that they won’t put a dent in your pocket!

Here, 3 DIY ways to naturally whiten your pearly whites:

1. Activated Charcoal
Coming in as our favorite teeth whitening remedy, activated charcoal might also seem like the most controversial way of whitening your teeth, but you’ll be amazed at the results when used as part of your dental routine.

The Method:
Take your toothbrush and wet it a little before dipping it into some activated charcoal powder. Proceed to brush your teeth with the black powder for roughly 2 minutes. After you’re done, rinse, repeat the process with regular toothpaste, and rinse again. You can use this on a daily basis until you get the results you’re looking for. Once you’re happy with the whiteness of your teeth, use the charcoal method once a week to maintain a white smile.

Be warned: You’ll probably be grossed out by what the treatment looks like while you’re doing it, and you might even think that we’ve given you a surefire way to permanently stain your teeth… But as soon as you rinse, brush, and rinse again, we promise there won’t be any signs of havoc. Instead, you’ll be left with teeth that are white again. It typically takes about 2 weeks of application to see visible improvements.

Why does it work?
Activated charcoal has the ability to bind to tannins, which is the substance that causes teeth to become discolored. Activated charcoal also changes the pH of your mouth, which means that it can be used to help prevent cavities and tooth decay.

2. Baking Soda and Lemon Juice
Sure, baking soda is a great home-cleaner, especially when it comes to bathroom dirt and grime. But it’s also extremely effective at getting rid of stains on your teeth!

The Method:
Mix a few teaspoons of baking soda with enough fresh lemon juice to form a thick paste. Put the paste on your toothbrush and then apply it to your teeth using the toothbrush. Leave the paste on your teeth for up to 1 minute and then rinse well.

Heads Up:
Don’t leave the paste on for longer than one minute because the lemon juice can remove the enamel from your teeth (which is very, very not good). You can also opt to leave the lemon juice out of the equation, which makes it safe to leave on for up to 3 minutes.

Why does it work?
Since it’s mildly abrasive, sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) can gently and effectively scrub away surface stains on the teeth. Lemon juice, on the other hand, is very acidic (which is balanced out by the alkalinity of the baking soda), and it’s also a natural bleach of sorts.

3. Strawberries
Technically, this method requires the use of 3 natural ingredients: fresh strawberries, baking soda, and salt. When used as part of your daily bedtime routine, your teeth will be whiter and shinier in about a week’s time!

The Method:
Mash up three large strawberries and then add a pinch of sea salt to the mush. You can also add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda at this point if you prefer. Wipe your teeth down with a paper towel to get rid of any saliva before applying a generous amount of the paste to your teeth by using a toothbrush or your finger. Allow the mixture to work for 1-2 minutes, then rinse.

Keep in mind:
Strawberries are also highly acidic which can damage enamel. Make sure you don’t leave the paste on for extended periods of time.

Why does it work?
Naturally high in vitamin C, strawberries can help break down plaque, which is one of the root causes of teeth that appear yellow in color. The other amazing thing about strawberries is their malic acid content, which acts to remove surface stains. Salt comes in as the abrasive ingredient here, scrubbing away the nastiness that causes stains in the first place. Finally, baking soda adds just a little more whitening power, but it’s totally optional, and you don’t have to include it in the paste.

Which method(s) will you be trying?
Have a better DIY teeth whitening recipe? Let us know in the comments below.

-Megan is a DIY health & beauty addict. You can find her work at Gold Mountain Beauty where she is responsible for the blog, Instagram, and Pinterest.


#TBT: How To Look Like Debbie Harry

By | celebrity looks, makeup, tbt | One Comment

Debbie Harry is well known for being a blondie, both with her hair and her band. However, her statement-making makeup left just as much of an impression, especially in today’s landscape of “go bold or go home.” Debbie paired her bleached locks with bright “look at me” cosmetics that were the total opposite of natural. While less-is-more is definitely having a moment, sometimes occasions call for a full, daring face of makeup. And no, not just for a costume party!

Pretty much the entire NARS Christopher Kane Collection, described as “neoneutral,” screams Debbie Harry. The Illuminating Multiple ($39) in Quantum looks like a shocking magenta, but it’s actually rather sheer and totally wearable on eyes, lips, and cheeks. We also like to think she would love the Mezmer Lip Gloss ($26), which gives the desired amount of shine without a sticky finish.

Although Debbie loved a good blue eye shadow, that may evoke memories of a bad prom look. Ease your way into the trend with eyeliner instead of a full blue lid. Yves Saint Laurent Beauty Liquid Eyeliner in Blue Light ($34) has a punky, iridescent finish.

If you’re feeling bold and want to rock an entire blue lid, reach for Bobbi Brown Long Wear Cream Shadow Stick in Iced Blue ($29). It’s surprisingly versatile despite the frosty finish, and gets bonus points for lasting all night long.

To perfectly balance daring eyes and shocking hair, Debbie favored coral lips of the creamy variety. Marc Jacobs Beauty Le Marc Lip Crème in Cora Cora ($30) is ultra-hydrating with just the right amount of punch for your pout.

One Way or Another, a little Blondie can certainly fit into your makeup wardrobe.


-Casey Sharbaugh is the blogger behind www.comfortablycasey.com

gigi airdried

How To Get Perfect Air-Dried Hair

By | hair, how to | 2 Comments

No, we’re not just full of hot air. It’s time to drop those blow dryers, flat irons, curling irons, and hot rollers in favor of air-dried locks. You know the look: Perfectly imperfect with volume and a random wave or curl. Texture is a must, but air-dried hair differs from beachy waves in that you’re working with your own texture, not creating new texture with the help of hot tools (cue the latter).

While a natural breeze coming off of the ocean is obviously preferable, the drifts felt by NYC subways count as well. Not only are air-dried tresses the hair look du jour, but they’re also a great way to give your strands a nourishing break from all the stressful chemical treatments (we’re looking at you, highlights), and toll of summer’s unenviable climate effects.

Hairstylist Lacy Redway, who works with clients including Olivia Palermo and Jourdan Dunn, gave us some tips on how to master this trend.

BB: Can any type of hair rock this look? 
LR: This trend is all about embracing your natural texture. Most women don’t even know what their natural texture looks like because we have been using heat and chemicals to alter our natural textures for so long. I think any hair type can rock this look because it’s more about self acceptance and learning what products work for you.

BB: What products do you recommend for air-drying? 
LR: A great mousse and a good hair moisturizer are key for this look. I love Kèrastase mousse Bouffante ($37) and Jane Carter Solution Nourishing Cream ($13).

BB: What if you want the air-dried look, but need to dry your hair quickly? Can you achieve this look with a blow dryer? 
LR: A hair dryer diffuser will dry your hair quickly, but without irritating your natural texture. I use ghd Air diffuser ($27) along with my dryer when I’m home, but for travel I pack my YS Park Sock Diffuser ($41).

BB: How can you keep air-dried hair from getting crazy and puffy?
LR: The key is to keep your hair moisturized. Locking in the moisture will help fight against frizz. Also, a good hair mousse will keep your hair in place.

Do you air-dry your hair? Let us know your tips in the comments below!


-Casey Sharbaugh is the blogger behind www.comfortablycasey.com


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.