Category:  weekly must-have


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


Weekly Must-Have: Honest Beauty Everything Primer

By | makeup, weekly must-have | 2 Comments

Jessica Alba’s wildly popular The Honest Company just launched their beauty range, Honest Beauty – a collection of safe, high-performance color cosmetics and skincare products. While there are many awesome makeup must-haves in the range, the Everything Primer is, well, everything.

To say it creates a beautiful canvas from which to apply makeup is an understatement. This primer creates beautiful skin. With its subtle golden finish, your skin will have that ethereal inner-goddess-glow from the moment you apply, while hyaluronic acid and peony root smooth and plump. The result: smaller pores, less prominent fine lines, and flawless looking skin.

Oh, and did we mention that the primer actually helps to keep makeup on for longer? Yeah, so you can use foundation or tinted moisturizer over the primer, although you probably won’t need to. The dewy glowing effect of the primer is pretty perfect on its own. You’ll look years younger in minutes, and there won’t be a trace of makeup on your precious visage. Should you want to cover up an unfortunate pimple, may we suggest adding a dab of your favorite concealer and spot treating problem areas.

So, yeah, we may not all have genetically flawless, bronzed, and glowing skin like Jessica Alba, but Honest Beauty Everything Primer gets us pretty close.

P.S. This is one of Jessica’s favorite products in her range as well!



Weekly Must-Have: Nars Pro Palette

By | makeup, weekly must-have | One Comment

If you’re a daily reader of this site, then you’re likely aware of my love of palettes. If you’re new, then now you know. Either way, let me reiterate: I adore a good color palette. It takes the guesswork out of which colors to use with each other, and it houses a myriad of shades for multiple looks in one, simple and convenient place.

But what if you could choose the exact colors that you want in your palette — and mix blushes with bronzers and eyeshadows? What if you could put all of the products you use on a daily – and nightly – basis in one palette, and that’s all you ever needed to travel with? Convenient? YES. Well, Nars is allowing you to dictate your look and create your very own palette with the newly launched Nars Pro Palette.

Here’s how it works: You can choose from an empty palette in one of two sizes: small ($14) or large ($18), or a palette already curated by some of Nars’ makeup artists, ranging from all cheek shades to eyeshadows to cheek and eye combos.

If you choose to build your own palette, you’ll pick either the small or large empty palette, then go through the SUPER FUN process of choosing the shades and products to populate the palette. Nars is offering some of their most coveted colors in blushes, highlighters, bronzers, contours, single eyeshadows, double eyeshadows, and pressed powders. The problem isn’t which colors to choose – the problem is how to fit all of your favorite colors into one palette (I strongly suggest building with the large palette). I did a combo of blushes, bronzer, single and double shadows… and I’m already plotting what colors I’ll purchase next to swap out some of the ones I’m not wearing on a regular basis.

The thing with pre-made palettes is that there’s always one (or two) shades that are never used. Not anymore. Nars Pro Palette allows you to take control of the colors you actually want – and wear – and leave the colors you don’t for someone else.

PRICE TAG: $14 (empty small palette) – $30 (contour blush)

*To fill a small palette, it’ll run you about $200; a large palette will cost around $300, but you can always fill – and refill – as you go.

Here’s to the inner makeup artist in each of us!


Weekly Must-Have: GlamGlow Mud Masks

By | skin, weekly must-have | One Comment

Transitional weather tends to produce lackluster, confused, ADD skin. One minute, it’s hot and humid and our complexion looks slick and greasy, the next, it’s cold and windy and our skin is dry and irritable. While we’ll dedicate an entire post to tackling transitional skincare, today I want to let you in on a little complexion corrector: GlamGlow mud masks.

The face masks have long been a favorite amongst the beauty elite, like a coveted secret that you don’t want to have to tell, but you can’t help but spill. They’ve even been dubbed ” a Hollywood facial in a jar.” There’s the GlamGlow Supermud Clearing Treatment mask that tackles congestion and acne, the GlamGlow Thirstymud Hydrating Treatment that instantly delivers a surge of hydration to dehydrated skin, and the GlamGlow Flashmud Brightening Treatment that one of my friend’s swears gives her the “dewiest, 20-something glow.”

The truth is, you kind of need all of these masks — and you can create specific concerns, like dryness, t-zone oiliness and blackheads, and dull areas, with a different mask for each targeted spot. Sure, your face may look a bit blotchy when the masks are applied, but the beauty of combining the masks is that you can literally customize it to your personal concerns.

When experiencing a heatwave like the West Coast currently is, and no amount of face wash or astringent can stop my oil glands from literally bleeding out sweat, I turn to the Supermud Clearing Treatment. When the weather shifts and nights become cooler, I usually need extra hydration around my eyes and mouth and chest… that’s when I use Thirstymud (yes, a chest mask is essential for youthful skin!). And when my complexion has an overall blahness to it – usually a result of heat, air conditioning, sun, and swim, Flashmud brings everything back to a harmonious balance, exfoliating and brightening the skin.

GlamGlow makes a slew of other magical masks for specific skincare concerns (peruse here), so mix and match as you see fit! But definitely invest in some mud to get your mug back into top shape this fall.

PRICE TAG: $69 per mask


Weekly Must-Have: Dior 5 Couleurs in Ambre Nuit

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I’ve said it before, but it’s worth rementioning: Palettes make makeup application so.much.easier. Dior’s latest, Dior 5 Couleurs in Ambre Nuit, part of the Tie Dye collection, boasts 5 perfectly pretty and earthy shades that are so wearable, you’ll be using these well into next year. There’s nothing trendy about staple shades like shimmering bone, velvety chocolate, barely-there peach, muted bronze, and dark chestnut. In fact, these 5 shades are so timeless and universal, you literally can’t go wrong with your pairing options. With a mixture of textures, you get to create dimension while still staying classic. Plus, Dior shadows are one of my favorites because they are highly pigmented yet swipe with ease for color that lasts all day and night (literally).

I like to create a smokey eye by applying the middle shade – the bone color – onto my entire lid, from lash line to brow bone. I then mix a dab of the velvety chocolate (bottom right) and the deeper chestnut (bottom left) and apply into the crease and below the lower lash line. I smudge out with my finger to give a more dramatic effect. Sometime, I stop here, and add a few coats of a thickening black mascara. Other times, I use either the peach hue (top left) or the bronze (top right) as my “pop” color and apply just in the middle of my eyelid. You can do this with your finger or an eyebrow brush.

Another way to work the shades is to use just a wash of peach or bronze over the entire lower lid and then line upper and lower lash lines with the deep chestnut hue. It’s not a smokey eye, but it’s still dramatic. Finish the look with a dab of the shimmering bone hue on brow bone and inner corner of lids to highlight and emphasis.

Get creative, the options are endless.

PRICE TAG: $62 (buy 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.