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!
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.
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.
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).
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.
Since Memorial Day Weekend is the official start of summer, you won’t want to look anything but your best. If you have weekend travel plans and the mere thought of packing all of your products into a single makeup bag is causing you stress, fear not. We’re here to help. What you need is simple: A few key multitasking products with staying power. After all, makeup that lasts from day-to-night is no easy feat.
Supergoop! Shine On Lip Screen SPF 50 ($22) not only protects your pucker, but also imparts a non-sticky yet high-gloss sheen.
To condition and treat while simultaneously taming a wild mane, look no further than Living Proof No Frizz Nourishing Oil ($20).
For coverage that doesn’t require touch-ups, rely on Lancome Effarcernes Waterproof Long-Lasting Undereye Concealer ($31). Better yet, you can count on it not to crease.
Don’t you dare resort to the sun to give your face some color – BECCA Beach Tint Shimmer Souffle ($27) can do it for you! Use it on cheeks, brow bones, and even lips.
Trish McEvoy Lash Curling Mascara ($31) is the only mascara I trust in the water and high-temps. The unique tubular formula doesn’t budge until you want it to, meaning its stronger than the good ole fashion waterproof formulas!
Instead of packing three different products, rely on CoverFX BB Gel Mattifying Anti-Blemish Treatment ($45) to conceal, treat, and control shine.
The last thing you want to pack in a small getaway bag is a full brush collection. Smashbox Telephoto 3-in-1 Face Brush ($41) adapts to different formulas and coverage preferences simply with a twist – genius!
Personally, I’ll be putting everything in this Tumi Travel Cosmetic Case ($125) – the various compartments keep you – and your beauty products – organized.
-Casey Sharbaugh is the blogger behind www.comfortablycasey.com
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)
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.
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!
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.