Category:  weekly must-have


Weekly Must-Have: Patchology SmartMud Sheet Mask

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Clay masks belong the in the skincare hall of fame as a non-negotiable part of your regimen.  Unless your visage is majorly dry or sensitive,  everyone can benefit from the deep cleaning and oil-absorbing properties of clay, especially in the summertime heat.  Problem is, these adored masks can be an absolute mess to apply and rinse off, which can result in less frequent use.

It seems as though the skincare Gods heard our prayers and delivered us Patchology SmartMud No Mess Mud Masque Single Facial Sheet ($8).

Before this product, we relied on our favorite sheet masks to hydrate, plump, and brighten our skin.  This is the first we have found that includes hero-ingredient clay.  It comes in two sections for easy application, and quickly but effectively gets to work.

Besides the mess, clay masks can often be overly-drying and aggressive.  That is far from the case with Patchology’s SmartMud.  While it is cooling and deeply cleansing, there is no sense of tightness or redness post-application.  In fact, it’s gentle enough that I tend to leave it on for 20 minutes as opposed to the recommended 10.  What can I say–my pores need it!

If you want to take care of clogged pores without clogging your sink with mask remnants, this mask is for you.


Casey Sharbaugh is the blogger behind


Weekly Must-Have: Christophe Robin Regenerating Mask

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Dry hair, don’t care: Famed French celebrity colorist Christophe Robin’s Regenerating Mask is the only mask you’re dehydrated strands will need. Winter sucks the life (and moisture) out of our manes, but so does summer. Sun, chlorine, and salt water are all elements that work against our precious locks. To combat the seasonal certainties, turn to Christophe Robin Regenerating Mask.

Infused with prickly pear seed oil to nourish, plant ceramics to strengthen, and Inula flower to revive, this mask will certainly take care of all of your hair’s summer needs. But my favorite part about this delicious deep conditioner is the way it moisturizes without weighing it down. The formula is so special that it’ll take the most damaged, whacked-out hair and, with one use, turn it into smooth, silky, gorgeous strands (of gold!). It’s also great for post-color treatments.

I like to use the mask twice a week and I keep it on for 3-5 minutes. For more damaged hair, leave on for 20 minutes (if you’re really feeling adventurous, wrap hair in a plastic shower cap and use a blowdryer for 5-10 minutes). For thinner hair, use less, but keep it on for the same amount of time. Rinse and style. First day hair has never looked so good, guaranteed!

PRICE TAG: $71 (pricey but worth it)


Weekly Must-Have: Darphin Stimulskin Plus Serumask

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Oh, the joys of a multitasking product! Darphin’s new Stimulskin Plus Serumask is (yep, you guessed it) both a serum and a mask that reaps the benefits of hydrating the skin in the convenience of a mask (feet up, lay back), which is then tissued off and you can allow the remaining serum to stay on the skin for a full-blown overnight treatment. The results: soft, glowing, youthful skin.

A word (or several…) from the company:
“The ultimate youth-revealing hybrid mask, the Stimulskin Plus Serumask is the perfect fusion of a serum in the comfort of a mask to reveal a younger and divine looking complexion. This age-defying experience technology targets radiance, texture, lines and wrinkles, firmness, and skin contours. Enriched with Pink Coral Seaweed which contains a high level of micronutrients that help restore hydration to the skin. Over time, skin reveals a younger-looking self. Texture is beautified, lines and wrinkles are visibly minimized, firmness is improved, and skin contours appear lifted and redefined.”

I loved the slight cooling/ tingling effect (which made me think the mask was actually working) and the way my skin glowed when I tissued off. But my favorite part was sleeping with the serum on. Usually, I’m fearful of an unfortunate acne breakout, but I’ve used this serumask three times now, and have yet to get a zit. It’s like my skin actually needs whatever magical ingredients are in this potion because when I wake up, I look oddly more rested. Basically, if you want to look younger (and who doesn’t?!), invest in this product today.

My only caveat is that I loathe fragrance in my skincare products and this product has a pretty potent perfume, but the benefits outweigh the scent, so it’s staying in my beauty cabinet for good, fragrance and all.



Weekly Must-Have: Shu Uemura Color Lustre Brilliant Glaze Treatment

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A couple of months ago, my hair could be described in one word as: meh.  There was nothing obviously wrong, it just wasn’t looking great. While I was happy with my color, cut, and texture thanks to this hair god (New Yorkers, he is a must and comes to YOU!), I just felt that my locks looked lackluster and overall dull. On top of that, I was noticing a good deal of breakage.

Enter: Shu Uemura Color Lustre Brilliant Glaze Treatment. I’ve started using this once or twice weekly, and will for the rest of my life.  Okay maybe that’s an exaggeration, but I feel like I’ve met *the one*–at least as far as hair masks go!

Packed with superfood goji berries to help with fading and fatty acid-rich musk rose oil for deep hydration, this beauty makes hair soft and shiny without a hint of weight or grease. While the smell isn’t my favorite, I couldn’t care less because of the product’s formula and effectiveness.  And for someone who is big on smell, that’s saying a lot. 

Love your locks enough to show them some TLC.



-Casey Sharbaugh is the blogger behind


Weekly Must-Have: Embryolisse Cream

By | skin, weekly must-have | One Comment

A photographer friend of mine in Paris turned me on to Embryolisse, as the French call it, about eight years ago. Yes, it’s that cool — like Madonna — that it only needs one name. Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré is the full name and it’s a multipurpose wonder cream of sorts. So, no, I didn’t just discover this weekly must-have, but I did rediscover it… on my latest trip through the Net-a-Porter website. I’m very happy to see that Embryolisse has made its way stateside and is now being sold through Net-a-Porter, Birchbox, and even Target for a very reasonable $16. Way to go euro to dollar exchange rate!

A Parisian secret, Embryolisse Cream is a must-have on photo shoots, said my photographer friend. Apparently, makeup artists use Bioderma Crealine H20, another french find that has made its way to permanent resident in my beauty cabinet (click here for a recap), then prime the skin with a dab of the Lait (meaning milk) cream before applying makeup.

This magical face cream is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive and acne-prone. It’s packed with essential fatty acids and vitamins and is dermatologist recommended. It plumps, soothes, and softens the skin while creating a satiny finish. In fact, it’s touted as the cream that primes, hydrates, and removes makeup! While I recently fell back in love with the gentle moisturizer, this is definitely a cream worth shelling out a twenty for, as it’s the perfect choice for a year round hydration primer. If your skin is on the drier side, mix this with a heavier cream for the creamy, silky, dewy effects.


*Read all of my favorite french pharmacy finds here.


Weekly Must-Have: Sunday Riley Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream

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Skin can be finicky to say the very least. Introducing a new serum, oil, or even cleanser can oftentimes result in congestion, redness, or some major pimples.  One brand, however, that has yet to steer us wrong is Sunday Riley. Their new Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream is no exception.

Crazy weather patterns have been driving our skin nuts.  One day we’re dry and flaky, and the next we’re as oily as a piece of pizza. This oil-free moisturizer can be used AM or PM, although best results have come from using before our facial oil at night. It moisturizes and plumps the face, and the texture is truly lovely.  Even better, there is not a hint of tackiness after application, which can often happen with gel-like moisturizers.

With regular use, skin will appear more even and bright  – and quickly. Key ingredients include papaya enzymes to smooth and exfoliate, two forms of hyaluronic acid for major hydration, and alpha-arbutin and exotic floral extracts to minimize hyperpigmentation.

This product will only further your tall-drink-of-water status…so why wouldn’t you want it?!


-Casey Sharbaugh is the blogger behind


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.