Category:  weekly must-have


Weekly Must-Have: Honest Beauty Everything Primer

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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

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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)


Weekly Must-Have: Benefit Speed Brow

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When I first tried Benefit Speed Brow, I actually thought that it was a brow growth serum mixed with a brow gel. How genius! I thought, This is the product I’ve been looking for. I used it diligently for weeks – morning and evening – and I was so impressed with how efficiently it tamed my (seriously) unruly brow hairs.

You can imagine my surprise when I learned that Speed Brow did not actually have any growth serum in it, and it would not make my brows grow to epic Cara Delevingne thickness (is there actually a product that does this and tames brows?). I immediately ceased my evening application… but I did continue using this as my go-to brow gel. That’s how good it is at keeping brow hairs in place. It also provides a hint of tint, which the company touts as an “universal natural looking shade.” Maybe the tint is responsible for making me think my brow were growing to full Brooke Shields circa Blue Lagoon thickness? Regardless, I was hooked.

Here’s the thing about Benefit’s Speed Brow: The applicator is small enough to brush over eyebrows with ease… and without unfortunate mishaps. I have long been a fan of Anastasia’s Tinted Brow Gel but the applicator brush is so large it covers my eyebrows and ends up leaving marks on my brow bone. I still use this gel when I want color that packs a bit more of a punch, but on the whole, Speed Brow has definitely taken its place. Then you have the formula: Lightly tinted with a hold as strong as glue, but without the crunchiness or white flakiness of using a strong-hold hairspray. It literally is the perfect brow gel to tame those pesky hairs… Now, if only it actually did make my brows grow in the process.



Weekly Must-Have: Stuart Weitzman’s Nudist Sandal

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the nudist sandal

Few things make me feel prettier than some added height that, ultimately, leads to longer legs. Well, mascara and lipstick help, too, but that’s another post entirely.

That’s why when a friend introduced me to Stuart Weitzman’s Nudist Sandal, I was instantly hooked. She said it was a shoe that I would wear again and again… “timeless” was the word she used, and she was right. With its 4 1/2 inch skinny stiletto heel and its barely-there strap, this sandal is simplistic, versatile, and leg-lengthening. I bought the black leather and wore it with jeans one day and a cocktail dress the next. It adds height but it’s classic, feminine silhouette also flatters my feet. BONUS!

And after learning that the shoe retails for around $400 (some of them are even on sale for a whopping $199), I decided that I should probably buy a second (and third and fourth) pair. I’m feeling the colors for summer, but the leopard is a must for fall.

The now iconic Nudist Sandal is also a coveted celebrity favorite, seen on everyone from Ashley Benson to Kourtney Kardashian. Stock up today!

PRICE TAG: $199 – $415

Peruse the collection of 15 colors and patterns here.


Weekly Must-Have: Nudestix Concealer Pencil

By | weekly must-have | 6 Comments

Although my summer acne flare-ups have definitely calmed down, my skin still has some flaws that even the strongest of Instagram filters can’t hide. Luckily, red spots, brown spots, purple spots, and more are all easily camouflaged by the Nudestix Concealer Pencil.

This pencil concealer quickly became my favorite to use in a pinch since it works so well on various forms of imperfections. It’s creamy enough to blend under eyes, but also holds up when spread over raised bumps or other flaws. You know those days when you’re doing your makeup while simultaneously brushing your hair and getting dressed for work because you stayed out about three margaritas later than expected the previous night and you’re running about three hours behind? This multitasking concealer will cover those under-eye circles from lack of sleep (and too much tequila), the zits that decided to take up residence on your chin, and that weird redness that shows up around your nose. Bacon, egg, and cheese not included.

New-to-me brand Nudestix was founded by adorable sister duo Ally and Taylor, paired with the brain of their mom Jenny, a chemical engineer. The entire premise behind their brand is “go nude, but better” to appeal to their barely-there makeup preferences.

The product not only comes in a variety of shades for all skin tones, but is housed in a reusable black tin with an application mirror and a sharpener. Is that genius or what? Kinda like the product.

PRICE TAG: $24 (buy here)

-Casey Sharbaugh is the blogger behind


Weekly Must-Have: Kendall Jenner’s Shade (a.k.a. Restless)

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We all need to buy Kendall Jenner’s new Estee Lauder lipstick shade, Restless ($30), but referred to almost exclusively as Kendall Jenner’s Shade.

Why, you ask? Because she needs the money? Doubtful. Because you want to look like her? Duh. Because it’s kind of the perfect orange-red lip color for summer? Yes, end of story. The actual description, as per the Estee Lauder website is: “Part poppy. Part orange crush. All matte. All Kendall.”

Oh, and the limited-edition lipstick comes complete with KJ-signed case! Class.

Here’s why orangey-reds are universally flattering: A few years ago Pantone named Tangerine Tango as their color of the year, and I had the opportunity to interview makeup artist Erik Soto. He explained that tangerine – i.e. orange – is actually real-world wearable because “all skin tones have a small hint of orange no matter how light or dark the complexion.” Therefore, a lippy with orange undertones looks awesome on everyone.

So, pair your new must-have summer hue with natural, flawless dewy skin and a few coats of a thickening mascara. A nice bronzed complexion (contoured or otherwise) pairs wonderfully with the bright lipstick. Keep it simple and let your bold lip(s) do the talking.

Buy here.

Are you feeling Kendall’s shade? Or are you throwing some shade on Kendall’s shade? Let us know in the comments below.


Weekly Must-Have: Artis Makeup Brushes

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When it comes to applying makeup, easier is always better. For me, the true test of an amazing product  is if I can apply it with my fingers in a poorly-lit gym locker room or in the back of a taxi cab (after Pureling, of course!). And don’t get me started on my love of double-duty formulas. That being said, it feels like a real treat when I have the time to sit down at my vanity table and leisurely apply my face. On those occasions, Artis makeup brushes truly enhance the experience. And not only because they look gorgeous sitting in an empty Diptyque container, or because Beyonce, Kim Kardashian, and Sofia Vergara are all fans.

The creation of former MAC Senior Executive Matthew Waitesmith, Artis Fluenta brushes are made out of CosmeFibre, a non-porous material that beautifully applies various forms of makeup (cream, powder, gel, etc). While the bristles are a wonderful feature and feel very luxurious against your skin, the elongated handles that act as a natural extension of your hands are probably the top selling point for me. These gems are like the ergonomic equivalent of makeup brushes!

Personally, my favorite brush of the bunch is the Oval 8 ($72). I normally use it to apply foundation, but it also works very well as a contouring brush with bronzer or highlighter. Because it’s rather large, it’s also ideal for applying bronzer to larger areas of your body. The dense bristles give a flawless airbrush finish. Who doesn’t covet that?

Price Tag: Starting at $36


-Casey Sharbaugh is the blogger behind


Weekly Must-Have: Eminence Organics Booster Serums

By | skin, weekly must-have | 3 Comments

I’m  a sucker for a serum. If my skin wasn’t so sensitive, I’d literally lather on every serum available. Alas, I have combination/ acne-prone/ uber sensitive skin so I have to be very careful how I handle it. But Eminence Organics Booster Serums are a serious saving grace to my complexion — and they’re fun to mix and match! I first learned of Eminence Skin Care from Liz Goldwyn who gushed, “Eminence is, hands down, my new favorite organic skincare line, including their Calendula Oil, which is great for dry climates or when traveling.” With a rave review like this, I was excited to try the goods.

There are 4 boosters in total and they’re amazing. Like a booster shot for the face; high-quality ingredients with serious benefits. Clear Skin, Bright Skin, Firm Skin, and Calm Skin. All are made with natural and organic ingredient alternatives. I started with the Clear Skin Willow Bark Booster, used it for a couple of days without any adverse reaction, then decided to try the Bright Skin Licorice Booster (I’m always on the market for a product that helps with my melasma). You can use all 4 together or just apply one at a time. Here’s the way the boosters work: Add 3-4 drops into your moisturizer or an additional serum and apply over the entire face or you can simply apply 1-2 drops to problem areas, 3 times a day. The organic ingredients are a wonderful reprieve from harsh chemicals like Retinoids and Hydroquinone creams that are usually used for acneic skin problems and pigmentation issues.

The Clear Skin Booster is definitely my favorite. The ingredients are like a party for my skin. Made with willow bark to calm skin, Horsetail to softens and tone, Walnut Leaf to exfoliation, Anise, an antioxidant rich ingredient, tea tree oil to clean and clear the skin and Biocomplex™, an antioxidant booster of Vitamins A, Ester C, E, Coenzyme Q10, and Alpha Lipoic Acid, to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and improve the appearance of skin. While my complexion still needs a strong retinoid every now and again, I’m all for an organic and natural vacation. My skin just looks better when I substitute organic products for chemical ones.

So, whatever your skin issue, try a booster to speed up the recovery process. They’re healthy, all natural, and good for you and your skin. In fact, try out all four and spot treat for all of your skin ailments!

PRICE TAG: $56 each


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.