Tag:  eco-friendly Archives - Beauty Banter

The List: The Best Of Eco-Friendly Beauty For Earth Day

By | hair, list, makeup, skin | 3 Comments

If you’re a total beauty product junkie (pot, meet kettle), natural products are more important than ever. Items that are made from sustainable and organic ingredients are not only better for you, but also the world as a whole. In honor of Earth Day, we rounded up our top eco-friendly beauty picks in this list of must-have healthy products for mind, body, and Mother Earth. Not to get all touchy-feely, but consider this a gentle reminder that the earth does not belong to us, we belong to the earth. Happy shopping!

1. Ideal for on-the-go application, W3ll People Narcissist Foundation + Concealer Stick ($40) covers what you want without a hint of cakiness.

2. Unlike many organic skincare products, Om Aroma & Co. Carrot Rose Serum ($72) actually smells good. The formula is rich in vitamin A for cellular turnover, but also lightly softens with carrot seed oil.

3. Almost as if it is personalized just for you, Tarte Lipsurgence Skintuitive Lip Gloss ($19) adjusts to your body’s pH for a pop of color that is universally flattering.

4. Locks can take a real beating from heat styling (although of course we advocate air-drying to save electricity!). Rahua Shampoo ($32) uses rahua oil to fortify weak, damaged strands back to their healthier state.

5. Your body goes through a lot of stress. Pursoma Ocean Potion Bath ($10) helps to detoxify and stimulate circulation. Bonus points for feeling like a luxurious spa bath.

6. We already told you here how great Kjaer Weis Highlighter ($56) is, but here is a friendly reminder.

7. No one likes visible pores… no one! Beautycounter Enlightening Treatment Pads ($40) has a slew of natural acids and extracts to refine and tighten.

8. Products that do double-duty are always a plus. Ilia Beauty multi-stick ($34) adds a pop of color to both lips and cheeks, but is also filled with moisturizing Vitamin-E.

9. To awaken tired, dull skin, try popping Tata Harper Hydrating Floral Essence ($85) in your fridge. A quick mist will wake you up faster than an espresso.

10. Sunscreen doesn’t have to be chalk full of harmful chemicals to protect from even more harmful UV-rays. Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Defense SPF 30 ($38) physically blocks with zinc oxide while imparting a slight tint on the skin.

11. Think about how much your nails touch your face and other parts of your body. Do you really want them covered in chemicals? RGB Five-Free Topcoat ($18) seals lacquer and provides high-shine without any of the bad stuff.

12. Not only does Josie Maran Argan Oil Mascara ($22) lengthen and volumize lashes, it also actually nourishes them.

13. When putting something on your eyes, you want it to be as gentle as possible. S.W. Basics Makeup remover ($14) is remarkably made from only three organic ingredients: Sweet almond, olive and jojoba oils to remove even the toughest of waterproof mascaras.

14. Want a sun-kissed glow that is anything but unnatural? Look to RMS Buriti Bronzer ($28). If it has Miranda Kerr’s seal of approval, it should have yours as well.

15. After a tough workout, wash your body with Marianella Rejuvenating Bath and Shower Gel ($28). It’s invigorating, gentle, and smells divine!

16. Clumsy people, listen up. Naturopathica Arnica Muscle & Joint Gel ($24) will speed up healing those random bumps and bruises that you always seem to gather. It also does wonders on fatigued muscles.


Casey Sharbaugh is the blogger behind www.comfortablycasey.com.

Earth Day Essentials

By | favorites | 3 Comments
Earth Day Essentials

It’s the official day to celebrate Mother Earth! And that means treating the planet – and your skin – to chemical-free, natural alterantives. Eco products and sustainable living have long been a passion of mine. Combine the two, and you’ve got sustainable beauty. Here are 10 organic and natural products that every beauty enthusiast needs to own. *Note: I absolutely love each and every one of these products… tried, tested and approved!

1. Arcona ‘Brightening Gommage’ Exfoliator ($52) – The entire line delivers big results with the help of cranberry, a natural antioxidant. This scrub synergistically promotes deep exfoliation while visibly improving skin’s balance, tone and clarity. Reduce the appearance of uneven pigmentation and scaring with ascorbic acid and skin-lightening daisy extract. 

2. Amazon Beauty Rahua Shampoo ($32) – A powerful, color-safe shampoo sans the bad stuff (sulfates, parabens and the like), that is a favorite of Gwyneth Paltrow. Quinoa, a gluten free super-food indigenous to South America, promotes healing and moisture retention. Coconut and shea butter (betaines) safely, gently and effectively remove oil, dirt and bacteria without stripping necessary nutrients.

3. Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask ($55) – A gel-like mask that purifies and exfoliates. Ideal for acne-prone skin. Pomegranate enzymes remove dull and blemished skin cells, Pink French Clay deeply cleanses the pores, tones and moisturizes, and White Willow extract exfoliates, controls sebum levels and helps counteract aging with its anti-inflammatory properties.

4. Sponge Ladi Avokanto ($60) – An incredible mix of avocado and olive oil oils give skin a radiant, healthy glow. Ingredients include intense firming and restorative benefits of avocado with smoothing vitamin D and antioxidant vitamin E; safe for all skin types.

5. ($7) – These all natural waters come in a variety of scents but I find rose to be perfect for spring. Contains Vor-Mag Water, water that has been vortexed and magnetized to raise the energy to a higher vibration that we believe to be more beneficial.

6. Dr. Hauschka Melissa Day Cream ($40) – A holistic, harmonious, calming cream for combination skin. Lemon balm balances skin while extracts of anthyllis, carrot, witch hazel and English daisy soothe, soften and even the complexion.

7. Weleda Sea Buckthorn Replenishing Body Lotion ($17) – A light and creamy body lotion that soothes and refreshes. Ingredients include organic sea buckthorn’s natural vitamins, carotene and unsaturated fatty acids, which support your skin’s vital barrier functions. Combined with organic mallow extracts, shea butter and macadamia seed oil it helps dry skin regain its vitality and look smoother and softer.

8. Lavanila The Healthy Deodorant in Vanilla Coconut ($18) – Free of aluminum, this deodorant comes in 8 vanilla-based scents that will keep you smelling fresh where it counts. They use beta-glucan technology to effectively fight odor while soothing, conditioning, and strengthening the skin.

9. RMS Lip2Cheek in Smile ($36) – I am obsessed with this entire line (the Un-Cover Up and Living Luminizer are both staples in my beauty bag – and should be in yours, too). Lip2Cheek is a unique formula that combines hydration and protection with abundant mineral color. Smile is a coral hue, perfect for spring and summer, to be used on both lips and cheeks for a pop of natural color.

10. Dr. Alkaitis Universal Mask ($50) – I first learned about this product from makeup artist Katey Denno who says “This green mask is truly therapeutic – it soothes, nourishes, and calms my skin when it’s inflamed or broken out.” Made with grass and other earthy nutrients, this powder mask turns hard once water is added to it. For the full benefits, you must keep the mask moist.

Baby It’s Cold Outside: The Tarte 2012 Holiday Collection

By | makeup | 43 Comments

I’m something of a Tarte devotee. It’s my go-to eco-chic makeup line because they consistently create fabulous products and raise the bar on green beauty. So, I was more than thrilled when they shared a sneak peek at their 2012 holiday line, Baby It’s Bold Outside. All wrapped up in festive foil ikat wrap, the sets are incredible deals and offer something for every makeup lover on your gift list. As far off as the holidays seem, one look at the calendar, and I realize the countdown is on.

For holiday parties all month and through New Year’s, I’m loving the EYE CATCHERS set, which comes with 5 full size Amazonian clay waterproof smolderEYE liners and also includes the debut of their brand new skinny smolderEYES in onyx. Each comes with a built in smudge brush on one end, and work for creating day to night looks. The pigments are incredible, and the Amazonian clay reduces oils on the eyelid while nourishing the skin. Retailing for $39, it’s a $144 value. You can find them at tarte.com, through Sephora and Ulta (online and in stores).

I have written before about how I love the 12-hour Amazonian clay blushes and after years of cream blushes and cheek stains, they had me putting my blush brush back to work. The fantastic foursome Amazonian clay 12-hour blush enthusiast set with half sized pans are perfect for travel. The colors are great for all skin tones and you can build color depending on the look you want. Also, when they say 12-hour, they really mean 12-hour. They live up to their promise in triple digit Palm Springs heat and humid New York August days. I’ve tested them repatedly. The set of four retails for $35 and is sold exclusively through Sephora, online and in stores.

The for the love of lipgloss 15-piece maracuja lipgloss collector’s set is genius because you can give it as one gift or divide it into several as they’ve packaged them in three sets ready for stockings or Secret Santas. They’re great for all ages, from my grandmothers to my preteen cousins. The marajuca oil nourishes, the Vitamin C exfoliates and they’re perfectly sized to throw in an evening bag. Exclusive to Ulta, you’ll get $120 worth of glosses for just $32. If split as three gifts, it’s about the cost of two drinks at Starbucks. But far prettier.

Tarte makes my favorite eyelash curler, and they’ve created a super cute ikat version for the holidays in the picture perfect™ curler and deluxe lights, camera, lashes!™ 4-in-1 mascara kit. It’s paired with a mini of my absolute favorite mascara – I’ve tried so many eco-brands and this remains my top pick. Made with rice bran and carnauba waxes, it adds volume while nourishing lashes. It’s $16 and available at tarte.com, and Sephora and Ulta online and in stores.

When it comes to everyday lip color, I always carry a Tarte lipsurgence lip tint. For the holidays, they created the statement lips 5-piece LipSurgence™ collector’s set and I think they make a great set or would be perfect to split up and tied atop gifts as a little something extra. Normally, a single lipsurgence pen retails for $24, but here you’re getting 5 for $34 – a $120 value. I’d grab a set to gift and another to keep. Available at tarte.com, Sephora and Ulta.

I’m not always a big fan of all-in-one kits, but Tarte created an Ulta-exclusive boxed set that offers a nice selection of eye, cheek and lip color – a $435 value – for $48. the big thrill limited-edition color collection includes 16 Amazonian clay shadows, 3 Amazonian clay blushes and my favorite bronzer, Park Avenue Princess. Three evening bag sized vitamin-infused lip glosses are great for day or night. And, they also include a great little cheat sheet for creating four looks using what’s in the box. Just add makeup brushes! I think a set like this is the perfect gift for any age, but especially teens just getting into makeup. You can pick this up at Ulta stores or their website.

While Tarte always does great value sets, I love that for 2012 they created a “best of” set with the stand outs limited-edition kit. It includes the top picks of Maureen Kelly, Tarte’s founder: a full sized Lipsurgence lip tint, full sized Amazonian clay eyeliner with a dual-sided brush, and a deluxe sized tube of lights, camera, lashes. For just a dollar more than the cost of one lip tint you get a great set that can create subtle looks for day or be layered for a more dramatic eye at night. A $58 value, you can pick this up for $25 at tarte.com, Sephora and Ulta.

In keeping with their eco style, each and every one of these sets is packaged to gift, with a “to” and “from” tag on the back of each box. Just add a bow and get gifting! xo alex

Alex Asher Sears is a writer, photographer, and fourth generation Angeleno. She believes that you can find inspiration anywhere but thinks Slim Aarons, Nöel Coward and Diana Vreeland are a great place to start. Since 2007, she’s been sharing her eco-beauty finds with BB readers. You can find her on twitter at @AlexandraWrote.

(This post contains affiliate links.)

Makeup Bag: Alex Asher Sears

By | makeup | 6 Comments

“When I was little, my sister and I loved hanging around the makeup trailer wherever we were on location with my dad making a film. I loved playing with makeup then and still do. About seven years ago, I found out that of 1100 chemicals banned from beauty products by the European Union, eleven are banned in th US. Eleven. I didn’t like those statistics. With multiple food allergies, I’m a big label reader, and when I started to look into what was in my lipsticks and shampoos and moisturizers, I decided to make big changes.

Now, 90% of my skin, hair care and makeup is free of petro chemicals, parabens, phthalates, synthetic fragrances and dyes. And I try to keep it gluten free, too. Not everything I use is organic, but it’s important to check labels because “organic” and “natural” aren’t the same as eco-friendly. Some things I use contain a few ingredients that aren’t as green as others, but I won’t use anything with parabens or phthalates, and I opt for eco-friendly wherever possible.

My Makeup bag:

I’ve always had a thing for stripes and Henri Bendel’s laminated fabric bags are indestructible. I have a few and this one is at least 10 years old. It looks small but holds a ton inside (as you can see):

I never leave the house without mascara. Ever. And I go back and forth between KORRES rich, rice bran mascara and tarte’s lights, cameras, lashes. I usually have this in brown and tarte in black.

Mascara is always a must and this lash curler from tarte is the only one I’ve ever used that doesn’t pull at lashes, plus it makes me look like I got a good night’s sleep even when I haven’t.

After mascara, primers are my next favorite thing. When I went to Sephora looking for something new, I told the sales guy I was frustrated because I tend to go green and a friend had shown me this amazing tinted primer she’d found that wasn’t. He handed me Miracle Skin Transformer and told me this would make me happy. It totally does. It’s made without talc or petro chemicals, synthetic dyes or fragrances. The 5-in-1 product is “designed to hydrate, prime, enhance, mattify & protect.” The tinted one has coverage like a like a BB cream, but most days I opt for the translucent. Both are fabulous.

Miracle Skin Transformer Treat & Conceal was sent to me by the company when I contacted them to find out more about the line. Like their primer it has a number of healing botanicals and minerals and it is the best thing I’ve found for undereye circles since I cut out old favorites that weren’t so green. It’s skin treatment and cover up all in on.

As fair as I may be, I actually do tan, but I opt for SPF and big sun hats. Still, I like to have a little color, and tarte’s park avenue princess bronzer is my favorite of them all. It works with all skin tones and I never find the color uneven.

I use self tanners in spring and summer but all year I use Michael Kors Leg Shine. It isn’t a bronzer but it moisturizes with a bit of sheen that makes legs look sleek. Perfect day or night. They have a larger sized stick, but these mini ones are the perfect size to throw in your bag.

I gave up blushes for a long time when tarte cheek stains came along. Then about a year ago they introduced their Amazonian clay blushes and I fell in love. I use blissful and dollface, and sometimes layer them with the matching stains. Blissful is a perfect pinky coral, the clay is super refined and I love the way it makes my skin feel.

I tend to wear glosses and lip balms over lipsticks, but tarte lip stains are the perfect hybrid. I have a number of these – they’re goof proof, long lasting color. Plus, in a pinch you can use one for cheek color, too.

I use both the green and the brown eyeliners from KORRES because they make my hazel eyes brighter. I use Sephora eyeliner in pearl beige instead of a nude pencil very, very lightly to line my lower eyelids in the evening. It gives a bit of glimmer when it hits the light.

My Tweezerman tweezers are ancient – the name has just about rubbed off the side – and they’re as sharp as they day I got them.

I wish tarte still made their eyebrow kit, and when they put them on sale a few years ago I bought a few. I’d hoped they were just repackaging, but they never brought it back. It’s perfect for travel and the powder is the perfect shade. I kept the spoolie that came with the brow gel (I always toss those things after 3-6 months). I often use a dab of Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour cream to set them.

I have several Z palettes, which I wrote about here a few years ago. You can take any pan and remove it from it’s container and using the magnetic tape strips, they adhere to these perfect little palettes. This one has a few smashbox cheek highlighters and some neutral shadows from philosophy. Each came from larger sets but half the colors I didn’t like or use. Z Palettes solve that and cut down on clutter.

When I grabbed the Miracle Skin Transformer last month, I got an added surprise at the register. It was just before my birthday and they threw in minis of my favorite Sugar Lip Treatment by Fresh. I told them I wished they sold them this size as they’re kind of adorable. I found out they do. I think I’ll only get these little ones now!”

– Alex Asher Sears, www.alexashersears.com, @alexandrawrote

tarte’s putting on the glitz

By | makeup | No Comments

When I first decided to go green with my beauty products about seven years ago, I was faced with the reality of waste (a ton of haircare, skincare and makeup) and cost (swapping out the old with the new). If your New Year’s Resolutions include going green, one tip I always recommend is grabbing those incredible sets put out around the holidays by eco-beauty brands, like tarte, KORRES and Josie Maran.

In the midst of the Christmukkah 2011, tarte shared a wonderful new set they’d created (and is still available) the putting on the glitz color collection and clutch.

As opposed to one giant palette or boxed set that requires a ton of counter space, this contains three magnetic palettes, which contain a total of 18 eyeshadows and three of their Amazonian clay powders – a blush, a shimmer powder. Each snaps into a small coordinating clutch that has a space to hold the included maracuja lipgloss, as well as pullout mirror, slots for your ID and credit cards. I love the idea of throwing the clutch inside my bag, with palette de jour inside, and in the card slots placing blotting papers, fashion tape, Band-Aids – sort of creating a beauty emergency kit on the go.

Tarte’s own Maureen Kelly created an eye makeup cheat sheet to help create looks using all the colors. From matte neutrals to shimmery jewel tones, you get long wearing color without a paraben, petro chemical, synthetic fragrance or dye to be found. I find this especially important with eye makeup – red, itchy eyes are often a reaction to the synthetics and harsh chemicals.

Retailing for $48, the set is a $406 value. (You read that right.) And it includes some of their most popular products, like park ave princess Amazonian clay bronzer (their brozers are a staplein my makeup routine), and a 12-hour Amazonian clay blush in darling (a bit like their classic tipsy with just a bit of shimmer).

Because the three palettes are themed: the neutral a walk in the park, everyday basics in nine-to-five and all you need for a smoky eyes in girls’ night out –you can pretty much cross 2/3 of greening your makeup drawer off the list (while keeping everything organized, too). xo alex

*This limited edition set is available online at tarte’s website and QVC.com.


By | skin | 35 Comments

I adore beauty products. I really, really adore them all the more when they are green. When I began writing about eco-beauty here four years ago, the good stuff was harder to find. But now it’s just as luxe as it’s less eco counterparts. Which means your vanity can be filled with pretty bottles and pots free of parabens and petro chems and synthetic fragrance and dyes. It’s a win-win.

Thanks to our friends at the French beauty brand Caudalie, think of it as a win-win-win situation.

A few weeks ago I was telling you about the great set of goodies they sent me – the top three products their own team loves most: Vinoperfect Radiance Day Fluid ($68), Premier Cru the Eye Cream ($95), and their Beauty Elixir ($16/30ml).

Now their three cult faves can be yours, too! Enter our Caudalie giveaway to win this trio, a $179 retail value.

– Leave a comment below with your Facebook name (very important!) now through Sunday, September 4th at 10PM PST.
– Subscribe to our newsletter (if you haven’t already) by becoming a BB member (see that box in the top right corner).
LIKE us on Facebook – simply click the link on your right.

We’ll be notifying the winner via our Facebook page after Labor Day, on Tuesday, September 6th. The lucky winner will have 24 hours to respond. If we don’t hear from you, we will choose another lucky BB reader. So, watch our FB feed on the sixth!

All winners are chosen at random, and while we like to believe in the honor system, we also believe in playing by the rules, so we’ll be checking to see that entrants are subscribed to our newsletter.

(We love all of our international BB readers but the Caudalie giveaway is open to United States participants only.)

Also, if you’re in New York City on September 8th, join Caudalie in celebration of Fashion’s Night Out.  Founders Mathilde and Bertand Thomas will be at the Sephora at 5 Times Square – details to follow!  xo alex.


Alex Asher Sears is a writer, photographer, editor and fourth generation Angeleno. She believes that you can find inspiration anywhere but thinks Slim Aarons, Nöel Coward and Diana Vreeland are a great place to start. Since 2007, she’s been sharing her eco-beauty finds with BB readers, but calls AlexandraWrote home.

Skin: Caudalie’s Best of the Bunch

By | skin | One Comment

My love of beauty potions and lotions and makeup knows no end. But I try, I really do try, to make as much of my routine as green as possible. In the last decade, even more so in the last five years, we’ve seen eco-beauty become as luxe as the rest.

The French skincare line Caudalie began about 15 years ago, and I know both Sarah and I have been fans for some time. But I was thrilled when the girls at Caudalie contacted me the other day to announce that they’d just revamped their US site, and wanted to celebrate with our readers.

Mathilde Thomas and her husband, Bertrand, began the company in the mid-90s, after learning that the same grown grapes on her family’s vineyard, Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte, held incredible properties for the skin. The company grew from small batches of products sold exclusively in Bordeaux, to a line you can now purchase worldwide. And, as of 1996, Caudalie products have been free of the toxins I try to avoid, like parabens, petro chems and phthalates. (Caudalie is vegan, too.)

As Mathilde says, “I formulate my products for all women who, like me, don’t want to choose between effectiveness and Naturalness, between luxury and ecology.”

With all the research and development that goes into her products, Mathilde particularly loves the eye cream, Premier Cru ($95/15ml)  – which I’ve just started to use. It’s formulated to nourish and hydrate while fighting puffiness, dark circles and signs of aging. But what I especially love is that the cream has a luminescent quality, so that while it may take some time to see results, you instantly look refreshed – I’m skipping my usual undereye concealer.

Two other products I received were favorites with other members of the Caudalie team, and it’s no surprise why. The Beauty Elixir ($16/30ml) works with all skin types, all day. Use it before moisturizing, through the day as a toner or spritz lightly over your makeup to help it set (a makeup artist trick of the trade). The ingredients include grape and rose extracts, essential oils of rosemary, mint and myrrh, and orange flower water.

The Vinoperfect line is what made them famous – their Radiance Serum is “the number one choice for radiance and anti-dark spot treatment” found in French pharmacies. And the new Day Perfecting Fluid ($68/30ml)  is fantastic. It moisturizes and protects with an SPF 15 (with UVA and UVB coverage), but it also evens skin tone like a primer. The oil free cream contains grape and olive extracts, cypress, sweet and mandarin oranges, chamomile and mint – it smells amazing.

Caudalie wants to offer Beauty Banter readers a special gift:

Now through August 15, 2011, receive a 15% discount on all purchases made at www.caudalie-usa.com. Promo code: NEWSITE

While you’re there, check out some of the new features, including Mathilde’s blog, the ability to get live help from Caudalie experts, and three deluxe samples with every order. They’re also adding a section for reader reviews and comments, which I think is a fabulous resource.

Although the discount does not apply in store, you can find Caudalie products sold at Sephora, select Nordstrom stores, and at boutiques near youxo a.

alex’s eco-chic summer picks

By | makeup | 8 Comments
I’m melting. At least that’s how it’s felt the last few days. And so, with summer in full swing, I’ve switched up some of my daily hair, skin, and makeup choices to work with the intense heat.
With wavy hair, combination skin, and an inability to leave my house without mascara, it’s all about finding the best products to make me feel put together when I’d rather be in the pool cooling off. And, as always, trying to do it all without parabens, petrochemicals, or synthetics.
Everyone knows by now that my love of green beauty knows no end, but I must say that when it comes to SPF, I don’t care if you go eco or not, just be sure to slather on a sunscreen with both UVA and UVB protection. (Lecture over.) Personally, I opt for Burt’s Bees SPF 30 and, if I’m staying in the sun, a hat to offer extra protection.
While I like the idea of facial moisturizers with an SPF in them, I swear by Dr. Hauschka’s Normalizing Day Oil ($42.95), which is SPF-less. So post-Dr. H, I use California Baby’s SPF 30 Stick ($14.99). For a bit of color, I’ll add a few drops of Dr. H’s Translucent Bronze Concentrate ($39.95)as I blend the sunscreen to cheeks, nose, and chin. (You can pick all of this up at Whole Foods, too.)
My tan is of the faux sort, and one of the best ways to extend its life is to moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. Year-round I adore Korres body butters, but I now add Shea Moisture’s Organic Raw Shea Chamomile ArganOil Baby Lotion ($9.99). The lotion, which has the consistency of Vaseline minus the petro chems, melts into the skin.
Most of my makeup favorites are by tarte – their waterproof and longwearing products stand up to 95 degree weather, like multiplEYE mascara ($24), park ave princess bronzer ($29), and Amazonian clay 12-hour blush in tipsy ($25) – which I’ll sometimes mix with dollface cheek stain ($30). I want to try their new clay concealer, but for now I still think ($8.95) does the trick. For lips, I love KORRES lip butters ($12) and highly recommend picking up this great set which gives you three for $19.
In this heat, I tend to keep my hair up (OK, I always seem to have my hair up), and so Goody Spin Pins ($6.29)are my go to. I’ll often throw on an elastic headband or pin back my shorter layers with barrettes by France Luxe ($9) – you can pick these up at J. Crew, too – or petite bobby pins from Goody ($2.99). For ponytails, I love the snag-free elastics from Sephora ($3.50), and the matchbook-like case that keeps them organized. If I wear it down, I spray on California Baby detangler ($11.49), and put it in a bun until it’s dry.
I switch purses often, but this summer, I’m never without a set of Spin Pins, ($6.99), a travel-sized tube of Korres Rice Bran mascara ($18), Revlon Superlustrous gloss in Firecracker with SPF 15 ($6.99),* and the limited edition tarte True Blood lip tint ($24).Both the gloss and lip tint can go from everyday to evening depending on how much you apply. The True Blood lip tint is my new favorite for a pop of bright color – and it also works well as a quick bit of cheek color, too. From day to evening, I’m covered!
For now, I’m off to sit outside and work by the pool – I suppose summer isn’t all bad. xo a.
*I know the Revlon isn’t an eco-pick but I am trying to find good SPF lip glosses. The search goes on.

sweet tarte

By | makeup | 5 Comments
For some reason, the East Coast got the memo that summer was here while here on the West Coast we’ve had some serious June gloom. But even if the sun was melting the sidewalks, I’d be using bronzers and tanners to get a faux summer glow. Which is why I was so excited when tarte sent me their newest bronzer – part of the Amazonian clay collection. More eco-fabulousness from tarte? Yep, there’s more.
I’m a big fan of their hotel heiress bronzing powder, but the Amazonian clay blushes are so fabulous (who knew powder blush could be so un-powdery?), I couldn’t wait to try more of the line.
Here’s the awesome thing about Amazonian clay: it absorbs oil (perfect for oily/combo skin) but it also hydrates and helps with flakiness (perfect for dry skin). It’s no wonder tarte calls it “nature’s most perfect ingredient.”
The smooth operator micronized finishing powder ($28) works for all skin tones and the packaging is absolutely brilliant. Loose powders can be a mess. But the container has a flexi plastic cover with a small hole. If you press gently on the plastic, it releases enough powder for one application. For those who want more coverage, layer as desired. (A special edition bronzer with bamboo brush can be found at QVC for $42.)
I am also loving the waterproof Amazonian clay liners – in both pencils and pots. Once again, the clay works its magic. I didn’t need eye primer – the powders set quickly and they do not budge. And after playing with a few colors, and having to wash my face more than once, there wasn’t any redness or irritation. I think that has a lot to do with the tarte’s ingredients. Not a petrochemical, paraben, synthetic fragrance, or dye to be found.
The waterproof liner pencils come in great jewel tones and a seriously dramatic black (black, brown, and plum in stores now, but navy, turquoise, plum, bronze and green in the coming months). They’re a great texture for a smudged eye or dramatic line. They’re available exclusively through QVC, here. (For a super precise line, I highly recommend the emphasEYES™ natural eyeliner.)
While the pencils are convenient, I really love the potted liners. Especially the bronze. Using plant waxes to create a waterproof finish, they come with super simple tips for creating various looks (much appreciated) – for creating everything from a subtle line to a seriously smoky eye. I settled for something in between.
As my friend Erin has taught me well, great brushes make all the difference. And tarte has put together this incredible kit with a double-sided brush (one side for lining, the other with a domed design perfect for the shape of the eyelid). For $22, you get the set – a $45 value.
The Amazonian bronzer and potted liners are available at tarte, Sephora online and in stores, as well as beauty.com, Henri Bendel, ulta.com, and boutiques nationwide. Enjoy!  xo a.

TREND ALERT: Bright Lips for Summer

By | trends | 5 Comments
Lily Rabe (Getty Images)
A bright, splash of lip color seems the perfect way to welcome summer, just as Lily Rabe did at the Tonys. Nominated for her role as Portia in the The Merchant of Venice, Lily arrived in a white, backless gown by Prabal Gurung and coral-hued lips courtesy of Tina Turnbow for tarte.

We’re huge fans of tarte and Tina here at BB, so we’re thrilled to share Tina’s tips for getting Lily’s eco-chic red carpet look at home.

Tina applied tarte’s new maracuja creaseless concealer in fair, before sweeping Lily’s cheeks a peachy-pink hue, with Amazonian clay 12-hour blush in peaceful (you can find both items in this kit, here). To highlight her cheekbones, Tina brushed on provocateur Amazonian clay shimmer powder in champagne.

For a “look all about the lashes,” Tina started with tarte’s neutralEYES natural eyeshadow palette in volume II, and used emphasEYES™ high definition inner rim eyeliner pencil in black to line the upper, inner rim “for more definition and to intensify the lash line.” Tina finished off the eyes with gifted Amazonian clay smart mascara.

For lips, Tina mixed Lipsurgence lip tints in fiery and joy to get the perfect shade of coral.

Without the weight of face makeup, which always feels too heavy as temps soar, Lily’s dramatic lips and eyes are the perfect evening look for the warmest days of summer!

I’m loving the bright lippy trend, too. Here are my favorite picks for a bit of summer color:

tarte 24-7 lip sheers. They’re like chapstick all grown up with the added benefit of SPF 15. For evening, I layer deep rose with a bit of gloss for deep, dramatic color. (Loving Vapour cosmetics Elixir glosses.)
– Korres ultra hydrating, deeply hued cherry oil glosses in red and natural purple.

– Korres lip butter in wild rose and pomegranate (also great for a bit of cheek color in a pinch).

– And, my favorite tarte product of all time, their cheek stain, reborn as rise and shine lip stains. I’m loving the cherry stain/gloss duo.

As much as I love bright color, I wasn’t sure I could pull of a red-orange hue, even a less vibrant one than Lily’s. But when Jules told me about the great new Revlon gloss she’s discovered in her quest for the perfect orangey-red, I had to give it a try. She warned that in the tube, Revlon’s Firecracker was intense. But applied, it’s more like a stain. It reminds me of the popsicles we used to have at summer camp and the tint they left behind. Only with a great bit of shine and zero stickiness. 

Hello, sunshine! xo a.

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