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Winter Fragrances: Picking The One That’s Right For You

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Just as you switch over your closets from summer to fall, your beauty products change too. And that includes the perfume you wear. I enlisted Dawn Goldworm, previously of Coty, and now the Co-founder and Scent Director of bespoke olfactive branding company, 12.29, to give her take on what notes your wrists need for winter.

“In the summer months, ingredients tend to feel lighter, more transparent and cleaner so to relieve our skin and noses from the sun and heat. Ingredients like citrus, delicate florals, green notes and juicy fruits make the warmer months fun and spontaneous. In the colder months, when the cashmere comes out and the silk and fur saves us from the chilly winds, your perfume must be just as warm and comfortable as sitting in front of the fire. Notes like amber, vanilla, smoky woods, oud and warm spices engage and surround us with sensuality and addiction.

My classic favorites are:
Shalimar by Guerlain, the grandmother of all amber orientals
Habanita by Molinard, a more sophisticated take on the cozy softness of Johnson & Johnson baby lotion
Femme by Rochas, the only perfume to wear with fur, if you wear fur
Cuir de Russie by Chanel because lets face it, you always need a little Chanel.

Some of my newer favorites are OUD Cashmere Mood by Francis Kurkdjian, Ambre Sultan by Serge Lutens and Ambre Soie by Armani Prive.”


For The Home: Seasonal Scents

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There’s something about a burning candle that completely puts me at ease. Perhaps it’s the hypnotic flame, or maybe it’s the lingering scent. Either way, when it comes to the holiday season, I’m constantly burning fragrant candles in every room of my apartment. While I’m partial to sweet, tropical scents for summer, come fall and winter, I like my candles to ooze earthy, woodsy notes of pine, amber, and spices.

Here is a roundup of my favorite seasonal candles. Remember, a candle makes a lovely hostess gift, too!

1. Diptyque Orange Chai ($68) – Rejoice with this festive orange tumbler. The scent inside is just as jubilant… “A mellow but not sweet accord of orange, quince and a mixture of Indian spices.”

2. Lite + Cycle Bonafide Good Vetiver Candle ($36) – Think earthy with a lingering musk scent. “Cultivated in Haiti without pesticides or chemical fertilizers, this vetiver oil is steam distilled for safe aromatherapy.”

3. Paddywax Library Candle in Mark Twain ($25) – The amber glass tumbler lends itself to soy wax scented with rich vanilla and tobacco flower. The result is a bold, rather sweet fragrance.

4. 12.29 A Dark Affair ($150) – While the price tag may seem a bit steep, this deliciously scented candle comes in a gorgeous, reusable white porcelain tumbler. Top notes of incense, resinous amber, smoked woods and musk make this fragrant candle feel seasonally bold.

5. Jo Malone Pine & Eucalyptus Scented Candle ($65) – An earthy scent that captures the aroma of Christmas morning. Pine and Eucalyptus combine to bring a fragrance that is as “fresh as a forest in snow.”

Ascenta Skin Bottle CMYK 300dpi

Giveaway! Ascenta Skin

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As part of my 40-day challenge with Ascenta Skin, I’m hosting a giveaway so that you too can have dewy, hydrated and healthy skin! To read about my ascenta skin challenge, click here.

As a recap, benefits of Ascenta Skin Omega Supplement ingredients are:

EPA: This omega-3 fatty acid from fish oil helps to reduce inflammation within the body, improves the symptoms of chronic skin conditions (such as redness and itching associated with eczema and psoriasis), increases the skin’s resistance to sunburn, and improves skin elasticity.

DHA: This omega-3 fatty acid from fish oil also has anti-inflammatory effects within the body, which help to reduce the symptoms and severity of chronic skin conditions. This fatty acid also improves skin elasticity, increases the skin’s resilience against sun damage, and boosts the skin’s resistance to sunburn.

GLA: This omega-6 fatty acid from borage (Starflower) oil increases skin hydration and reduces dryness, itchiness, roughness, and scaling of the skin.

Lutein: This carotenoid helps decrease free radicals in the body, improve skin hydration and elasticity, and improve the skin’s resistance to sunburn.

Zeaxanthin: This is another carotenoid that helps to decrease free radicals in the body. It also improves the skin’s resilience against sun damage and helps to improve skin hydration and elasticity.

Vitamin D: Responsible for many regulatory functions in the body including assisting bone mineralization, immune system function, and gene expression.

Don’t we all need a little more vitamins in our complexions?


Leave a comment below with your name and twitter handle. Follow @AscentaSkin on twitter and tweet to them with #AscentaSkin. One winner will be chosen at random on Thursday, April 25. Contest for US participants only. Retail value is $80.00.

Good luck!


Simple’s Twitter Party: Everything You’ve Ever Wanted To Know About Skin

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As mentioned in my previous post, I was a part of the Simple Skincare twitter party. Dr. Segal and a few of the Simple Ambassadors (including moi) answered questions relating to sensitive, winter skin. It was literally an hour of everything you’ve ever wanted to know about your skin!

Here were some of my favorite questions, tips and answers:

Q: My eye creams always seems to migrate in to my eyes. Which are best to use?

A: Use a small amount to thinly coat the skin & one w/ no dyes, artificial perfumes, or harsh irritants.

Q: Why do you think rose hip oil is so good? I just discovered it yesterday but I don’t know much about it!

A:  It is a natural version of vitamin A (retinol) and heals & rejuvenates, great for scars!

Q: I also think that when winter static makes my hair lay flatter that I am prone to hairline breakouts.

A: Keep your hair up as much as possible & change pillowcases every 2 days! Helps with breakouts.
Hair in your face can transfer unwanted oils which leads to clogged pored.

Q: Don’t forget about your eyes too! Our Revitalizing Eye Roll-On is the perfect stress-reliever.

A: And try keeping it in the fridge for extra circulation – it’s like a spa treatment!
I keep my face mist in the fridge. instant pick-me-up.

Q: My skin definitely feels affected by travel. Nose and lips are always so dry!

A: NEOSPORIN! I use it in my nose before I fly too. Helps to guard against free radicals.

Q: Does bathing/showering dry out the skin? Certain soap ingredients to avoid during the winter?

A: Avoid sulfates! Use washes that contain moisturizing elements like calendula.

Q: I have noticed that a lot of acne cleansers dry out my skin…

A: Only cleanse once a day. In the morning just use tepid water on face + moisturizer. I have oily skin and this helps!

Q: Does the winter make exzema worse? My middle young son suffered terribly. Any suggestions?

A: Organic Greek Yogurt – slather it on!

Q: How can we protect our lips from getting the super chappies in the winter?

A: Exfoliate! try using your toothbrush and toothpaste or make a quick & easy DIY lip scrub

TIP: Using warm water to cleanse instead of hot & drinking enough water will ensure skin stays hydrated.
TIP: Stay active. What happens inside the body is totally reflected on the outside.
TIP: Hydrate from the inside out.

Hope these tips help hydrate the dry away… Enjoy!

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Sponsored Post: Simple Skincare Twitter Party + Giveaway Today!

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As an ambassador of the skincare line, Simple, I have the pleasure to join consulting Dermatologist, Dr. Jennifer Segal, and bloggers Katy Atlas of Sugarlaws and Emily Johnston of Fashion Foie Gras in a winter skincare Twitter party. We’ll be divulging all of our winter skincare tips and tricks, so come prepared with your most pressing winter weather skin concerns (like how the hell are you still breaking out? Or, the heater is sucking all of the moisture from your skin – SOS!).

Simple Skincare’s Fall Skincare Twitter Party
Date: Monday, December 17th

Time: 1:00pm – 2:00pm EST

Hashtag: #SimpleWinter
Follow: @SimpleSkincare, @beautybanter, @sugarlaws, @fashionfoiegras

In addition to participating in the conversation, every single Twitter party participant will receive a coupon for $2.00 off of any Simple moistruizer. Simple will also be giving away 15 Simple Skincare gift baskets during the party to help you with your winter skincare routine! Gift baskets will contain $50 American Express gift cards as well as a sampling of Simple products. Fun times!

Enter to win by tweeting your fall skincare questions to @SimpleSkincare with hashtag #SimpleWinter, today from 1-2pm EST.

Good luck and happy tweeting!

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Sponsored Post: Feed You Skin With Simple’s Dr. Segal

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Simple Skincare‘s Consulting Dermatologist, Dr. Segal, lays down the law for what foods to eat to keep skin looking beautiful. She mentions hydrating from the inside – 8 glasses of water a day, or sub with watermelon and cucumber – as a vital step in maintaining the overall health of your skin. My personal favorite way to consume this amount of water is to add Vitamin C packets into my bottle. You get the hydration plus a surge of vitamins that will actually help boost your immune system.

Watch the video to discover what foods can actually cause skin irritation and breakouts (fast food lovers, beware!):

For more info on foods that keep skin healthy (and happy), click here. By browsing Simple’s product line, you can also see a range of cleansers, moisturizers and toners that can aid in skincare alongside your nutritional efforts. And let us know your favorite foods for a flawless complexion by leaving a comment below.


Giveaway: Fall Goodie Bag

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Today’s my birthday (insert golf claps here), and as a token of appreciation to my readers, I’m holding the mother of all giveaways! A year older for me, a present for you.

It’s time for our giant, massive, beauty-obsessed fall product goodie bag GIVEAWAY! After hours of “trying-to-be sultry” posing and the unveiling of 10 of our favorite brand’s fall collections, it’s time for YOU to decide which look is the most fall-worthy.

Here’s how to enter the GIVEAWAY:

1. Leave a comment on the post of the look that you like the best (click here to view all 10 looks)

2. Tweet why you like the look (and make sure to mention @beautybanter at the end of your tweet)!

3. Make sure that you are following us on FB and twitter (and leave your FB and twitter handles on the post of the look that you like the best)!

4. You can leave comments and tweet about more than 1 look to increase your chances of winning!

5. On Friday November 2, 2012 we will pick one winner at random from the tweets that we have received and we will notify you via Facebook (that’s why you have to be following both!)

The winner will be gifted a bag of cosmetics and skin products from the fall 2012 collections.

Good Luck!

To recap the looks (click on the name of the collection to be taken to that page in order to leave your comment):

Armani Easy Chic

Becca Balearic Love

Les Essentiels de Chanel

Dior Golden Jungle

Kevyn Aucoin

Laura Mercier Cinema Noir

MAC Styleseeker


Tarte Ombre Minerale

Tom Ford

*Remember* Leave a comment under the post of the look you find to be the most fall-appropriate. Make sure that you have liked us on FB and are following us on twitter. Tweet to us letting us know what look you like and why – and tweet as many times to your hearts content (this will increase your chances to win as we’re picking our winner at random from twitter). To follow on FB and twitter, click the icons on the right column of this site. xxx


London Calling: The Makeup and Hair

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I just got back from a two week jaunt in London where Burberry is more than just a trench coat, it’s a lifestyle, and grey isn’t merely a term used to describe your mood, it’s the prerequisite climate. But London brought us some of my favorite fashion and beauty icons, like Kate Moss, Sienna Miller and most recently Alexa Chung, so there’s something to be said for the right mix of crappy weather and snooty poshness.

While my overall view of Londerners isn’t necessarily one of “style icon”, I do believe that there is a bit more ease in a woman’s everyday hair and makeup routine (I dare not call it grunge, but it surely isn’t glam either). Perhaps because there isn’t a salon and mani/ pedi shop on every street corner and (gasp!) not one Sephora in all of London, or maybe Brits are just too busy pub-hopping and ducking from thunderstorms to care about a perfect face and cunning coif.

Now, that’s not to say you can’t find ways to get your beauty fix on when in London. There was an occasion where I had a stylist come to the house to blow out my hair (it only cost 30 pounds, roughly $48. That’s like Dry Bar prices!). The problem with London bathrooms is that there are no electrical sockets, so my awesome Clairol hairdryer with the straightener attachments (Andis 80345 Styler Hair Dryer) that I use to blow dry my bangs — well, it never even left my suitcase. And forget about a curling iron. I went into Boots (the Brits’ version of “Duane Reade”) to attempt to purchase a curling iron and all they had were butane ones! Therefore, I borrowed the Wand (a curling iron without the clasp) from a friend of a friend because I wanted beachy curls one evening and I ended up burning my cheek – another post entirely.

Yet, the Ateliers (upscale salons), though quaint, are rather posh themselves, like a treat you reserve for that “once every six months” cut and color. You wouldn’t dare dream of walking in simply for a blowout. And as George Northwood, stylist to Alexa Chung and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (two of my favorite Brits), said in my recent interview, “you leave me and the whole time you’re away it looks beautiful, you don’t need to have blow dries, you don’t need to style it too much, it just sits and hangs.” And that really is the way that the Brits handle their hair: with ease and natural style.

As for the makeup, the Brits keep this pretty au naturel as well. Space NK is rather big in the UK, and the women seem to love their Armani foundations and Chanel quads. It was next to impossible to find Make Up For Ever HD anything (the foundation is a God sent), which I was desperately searching for to cover up the burned cheek. As with women everywhere, Brits seemed to have a love for full lashes and rosy cheeks (DiorShow Mascara and a MAC blush, respectively). But very few women that I spoke with even knew what BB cream was (shocking!) and even fewer were very interested in organic products (not one person had ever heard of Tata Harper).

However, I did turn quite a few of my American imports onto Simple, the skincare line that boasts a medley of natural ingredients and sells at an excellent price point. Simple actually started in the UK, but launched earlier this year in the U.S. (and I’ve been raving about their products ever since). Everyone fell into beauty lust with the Exfoliating Facial Wipes and Eye Makeup Remover, which made perfect sense since mascara was a beauty must-have.

Overall, my take away is that Americans spend at least double the amount of time getting ready — but we also have an insane encyclopedia of beauty products and knowledge. And a weekly blowout never hurts.


GIVEAWAY: 5 Simple Skincare Summer Essentials Kits

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I don’t hide it, summer is my favorite season. I love the hot weather, long days, humid nights, weekends spent on a beach somewhere remote (and tropical if I’m lucky). Ever since moving from LA to Boston for college when I was 17 years-old, I’ve suffered from what I (and the paid professionals) refer to as “seasonal depression.” At heart, I guess I’ll always be a Cali girl (despite being born in NYC). My body literally blossoms in the sun – and my mind smiles. My skin, however, well, that’s a different story. Going from salt and chlorine water to sun to air conditioning can really take a toll on your skin. One minute skin may seem oily, then next severely dry and irritable. Summer climate can be very confusing to your sensitive skin and therefor, you need to treat it with a sensitive skincare regimen.

I’ve partnered with Simple Skincare, pioneers in beauty products for sensitive skin, to offer 5 lucky winners their very own Summer Essentials Skincare Kit.

What it includes:

Simple Facial Cleansing Wipes – One of my personal favorites, they wipe away the day by cleansing, nourishing and refreshing skin. Perfect for on-the-go or in between activities.
Simple Vital Vitamin Day Cream with SPF 15 – Hydration is essential, especially after swim and sun. This vitamin-infused day cream will give your skin the necessities to moisturize and protect all day (with SPF 15 !).
Simple Refreshing Facial Wash Gel – A 100% soap-free wash that won’t irritate or over dry skin, leaving skni cleansed and revived.
Simple Revitalizing Eye Roll-On – A lovely treat for tired and puffy eyes. The roller ball gently massages while vitamins and cucumber soothe and awaken tired eyes.

Retail Value: $31 each ($155 for all 5!)

1. “Like” us on Facebook (click HERE)
2. Follow us on Twitter (click HERE)
3. Leave a comment below with your Facebook name and your Twitter handle. (ex: FB: / Twitter: @beautybanter).

Contest ends Friday, July 6, 2012 at 9pm EST. We will be choosing 5 winners, each will receive their own Simple Skincare Summer Essentials Kit.

**You MUST be a member of Beauty Banter to be eligible for the giveaway. Not a member? Sign up now! (Top right of the site where it says “become a member.” Enter your email and follow the brief directions.

All winners will be chosen at random. Every winner must be a fan on Beauty Banter’s Facebook, following Beauty Banter on twitter, and subscribed to Beauty Banter’s membership (top right of site). Yes, we do check!

Good Luck!


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.