Tag:  how to Archives - Beauty Banter

How To Get Perfect Air-Dried Hair

By | hair, how to | 3 Comments

No, we’re not just full of hot air. It’s time to drop those blow dryers, flat irons, curling irons, and hot rollers in favor of air-dried locks. You know the look: Perfectly imperfect with volume and a random wave or curl. Texture is a must, but air-dried hair differs from beachy waves in that you’re working with your own texture, not creating new texture with the help of hot tools (cue the latter).

While a natural breeze coming off of the ocean is obviously preferable, the drifts felt by NYC subways count as well. Not only are air-dried tresses the hair look du jour, but they’re also a great way to give your strands a nourishing break from all the stressful chemical treatments (we’re looking at you, highlights), and toll of summer’s unenviable climate effects.

Hairstylist Lacy Redway, who works with clients including Olivia Palermo and Jourdan Dunn, gave us some tips on how to master this trend.

BB: Can any type of hair rock this look? 
LR: This trend is all about embracing your natural texture. Most women don’t even know what their natural texture looks like because we have been using heat and chemicals to alter our natural textures for so long. I think any hair type can rock this look because it’s more about self acceptance and learning what products work for you.

BB: What products do you recommend for air-drying? 
LR: A great mousse and a good hair moisturizer are key for this look. I love Kèrastase mousse Bouffante ($37) and Jane Carter Solution Nourishing Cream ($13).

BB: What if you want the air-dried look, but need to dry your hair quickly? Can you achieve this look with a blow dryer? 
LR: A hair dryer diffuser will dry your hair quickly, but without irritating your natural texture. I use ghd Air diffuser ($27) along with my dryer when I’m home, but for travel I pack my YS Park Sock Diffuser ($41).

BB: How can you keep air-dried hair from getting crazy and puffy?
LR: The key is to keep your hair moisturized. Locking in the moisture will help fight against frizz. Also, a good hair mousse will keep your hair in place.

Do you air-dry your hair? Let us know your tips in the comments below!


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

The Art Of Layering: How To Layer Your Skincare For Optimal Results

By | how to, skin | 11 Comments

If you aren’t layering your skincare products yet, let this be a practice that you pick up in the new year. Layering is BIG at the moment – layered hair, layered clothes, and layered skin products.  Like adding on a shirt, sweater, and jacket, layering your retinoids, serums, and moisturizers, allows you to get better results. Think about it in terms of your winter outfit: you put on the sweater and the jacket to keep warm, then throw on a scarf, gloves, maybe even a hat to keep these areas even toastier. Certain areas of your face need certain products and ingredients while other areas don’t, and layering allows you to spot treat where necessary while still offering up essentials like Vitamin C and hydration to the entire face.

“I started by layering natural ingredients from the market, like aloe vera and rosehip oil,” explains Kat Rudu, facialist, founder of the eponymous skincare line, and devout layerer. “I would exfoliate and then apply certain serums for each area of my skin depending on my concerns at the time.” Rudu explains that if she had oily skin one day, she’d add a few drops of tea tree oil into her aloe vera. Another day, if she needed more hydration, she’d add some all-natural rosehip oil. And on days when her skin was combination, she’d spot treat with tea tree oil on the greasy areas and rosehip on the dehydrated parts.

“Serums deliver active ingredients into the skin.” Rudu suggests applying two to three serums post wash and prior to moisturizer, but make sure to let each dry before applying the next one. “Maybe brush your teeth in between,” explains Rudu. I’ve been doing everything from putting on my pajamas to bringing a glass of water to my bedside table. After each task, I apply my next product.

How do you know what products you should apply to your skin? Consider your concerns and then choose accordingly. Rudu suggests peptides or hylauroniuc acid for anti-aging and plumping (TRY: Perricone MD
Hypoallergenic Peptide Complex
($98), Sanitas Hyaluronic Concentrate ($68), Kat Rudu Liquid Lift ($68)); kojic acid and licorice root for brightening (TRY: Skin Ceuticals Phyto+ ($80), First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Serum ($44)); willow bark for oily skin (TRY: Eminence Clear Skin Willow Bark Booster-Serum ($56)); aloe vera for sensitive skin and/ or rosacea (TRY: Philosophy
When Hope Is Not Enough

Rudu explains that you layer in order of the serum/ moisturizer’s consistency, meaning from thinnest to thickest. Directly after washing your face, “you go with antioxidants like vitamin C (TRY: Kat Rudu Hydra Cell Vitamin C Serum ($72) or Mario Badescu Vitamin C Serum ($45)). Second is a peptide or hyaluronic acid. After that, you can turn to the oils, especially for more mature skin that craves additional moisture.” Rudu opts for essential oils like rosehip and jojoba (TRY: Pai Skincare Rosehip Bio Regenerate Fruit & Seed Oil Blend ($35) and Desert Essence 100% Pure Jojoba Oil ($10)). “Then you do a moisturizer to seal everything.” (TRY: Kat Rudu Hydra Cell Bright Citrus Moisturizer ($54)). The last step is your chosen SPF for sun protection.

At night, Rudu explains that it’s essential to add a retinoid into the mix. “You can either do the retinoids first and then add the serums or do the serums first and seal it with a retinoid. I’ve always put the retinoid first, though.” Basically, skip the vitamin C and put the retinoid in its place. The rest of the layering routine is the same as the morning, minus the SPF. For both AM and PM, use an eye cream directly before your moisturizing step.

It’s pretty basic but the results are anything but. “The more you layer, the more potent the ingredients become,” explains Rudu. So, next time you wash your face, follow it with a slew of serums, an oil, and a face cream that focuses on your specific skin concerns. Watch your complexion change literally overnight. New year, new skincare routine!

Sweat-Proofing Your Beauty Routine

By | body, hair, how to, makeup | 2 Comments

Whether you’re venturing into the desert for Coachella or simply thinking ahead to the dog days of summer, you’ll need to change up your beauty routine to avoid any sweaty mishaps. Toss aside your rich creams and thick products for lighter counterparts to avoid looking like a literal hot mess. Living through treacherously steamy days is brutal enough, so don’t make it worse with gooey and drippy formulas. East Coasters, this post is purely aspirational. West Coasters, we continue to envy you.

Hair: Even the thickest locks can look limp and flat when combined with sweat and oil. Unless you’re going for a grungy Jared Leto (pre-bleach) look, rinse your strands with Fekkai Apple Cider Clarifying Shampoo ($20) to remove any grease and product buildup. Before styling, apply a generous coating of Living Proof Prime Style Extender ($20) which actually repels dirt and sweat to extend the life of any style. Magic! If your hair needs some perking up and you don’t have time to wash it, look to Davines Hair Refresher ($28) to fake it until you make it.

Face: Makeup running down your face is not a cute look… ever. Winter’s heavier formulas will wreak absolute havoc on your skin in warm weather by clogging your pores. Let’s all agree that this is absolutely something to avoid, right?

Prepping and priming your skin for humidity is a total non-negotiable. First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Oil-Free Mattifying Gel ($30) has a slew of natural oil-fighters to keep the grease at bay, and absorbs quickly without over drying the skin. Warm weather is not the time for moisturizing CC Creams or dewy foundations; instead, look to Becca Ever-Matte Shine Proof Foundation ($42). This medium coverage formula blends easily and leaves the skin with a matte finish. Under eye circles don’t choose their victims based on temperature, but most concealers easily crease and flake. Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer ($28) stays put all day without a crease in sight. For some extra security against the grease Gods, dust your face with Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder ($34). Don’t forget to throw a refreshing mist, such as L’Occitane Immortelle Precious Mist ($16), into your bag to revitalize and refresh on-the-go. Those people giving you funny looks for misting in public? They’re just jealous.

Rising temps means more color everywhere, from your clothing to your cocktails (rosé season, anyone?). Hopefully you’re taking sun protection seriously and shielding your skin. There is truly no reason not to since you can easily fake it with Tarte Amazonian Clay Waterproof Bronzer ($30). This formula can withstand some major moisture, and is even safe to wear with a white shirt. In the heat, most powder blushes will slide right off your skin as soon as you leave the house, so stick to a gel or stain such as Becca Beach Tint ($25). Finally, let’s not even get into the sticky hazards of lip gloss. Swap your favorites for Sonia Kashuk Velvety Matte Lip Crayon ($8) and be done with it.

Eyes: Eye makeup in warm weather can be beyond messy and irritating. Anyone who has had a mascara mishap (hello raccoon eyes!) knows that the struggle is real. Waterproof mascara and liner are absolute non-negotiables, and Eyeko Sport Mascara ($24) paired with Topshop Waterproof Liner ($10) didn’t even run or flake while being tested in a Barry’s Bootcamp class. For an easy swipe of color on your lids, try Nudestix Magnetic Eye Color Pencil ($24). It’s designed for “uber oily lids” and is waterproof, sweat-proof, and tear proof. Put it to the test… we dare you.

Body: When it’s warm outside, thick lotions and creams generally feel like they’re simply sitting on top of your skin instead of being absorbed. Swap your rich winter formulas for Sunday Riley Juno Body Serum ($105), which your skin will soak up faster than a sponge. In addition to moisturizing, this concoction promotes elasticity and tone, even if you sleep through Pilates class… again. You also want to make sure your bod is seriously clean after getting hot and sweaty (get your head out of the gutter! not THAT way!). Malin+Goetz Eucalyptus Shower Gel ($20) is anti-microbial to help keep you fresh all day long… use it and bask in the cooling effects coupled with the earthy scent.

Go ahead, get your sweat on. Your products can handle it.


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


Zit Zapper: Natural Acne Remedies To Try Today

By | how to, skin | No Comments

Struggling with acne at any age is zero fun.  Add breakouts into the dreaded aging mix, and it feels downright cruel.  Over the years, we’ve pretty much tried it all – cleansers that bleach our towels, creams that make our skin peel, and even oral antibiotics to fight from the inside out.  When breakouts continue despite these efforts, one can’t help but wonder if perhaps a more gentle – and friendlier – approach is the key.  Question is, what exactly is the right way to do this?

We turned to Karen Ballou, CEO of the only immune-centric natural skincare line on the market, Immunocologie, and Renée Rouleau, celebrity esthetician and founder of Renée Rouleau Skin Care Collection, for professional insight on how to treat our skin woes without downright attacking it.

Beauty Banter: What natural ingredients are best to fight acne?

Karen Ballou: Tea tree oil is not only antibacterial, but also anti-fungal. Salicylic Acid helps to dissolve the oil in the follicle, which can cause inflammation, blockage and prevent clear skin. It’s a BHA (beta hydroxy acid) that is exfoliating, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory.

TRY: belif Tea Tree Oil  ($26)  & Juice Beauty Blemish Clearing Serum ($29)

BB: But what should be used for various types of acne? 

Renée Rouleau:

Cystic Acne – Look for a spot treatment with lactic acid. Lactic acid helps dissolve cells blocking the pore as well as purifying within the pore.

TRY: Renée Rouleau Anti-Cyst Treatment ($42)

Blackheads –  Although there is no way to permanently get rid of blackheads, your best bet is regular monthly deep pore cleansing facials followed by home use of products with Salicylic Acid and Glycolic Acid to keep the pores clean.

TRY: Josh Rosebrook Active Enzyme Enzyme Exfoliator ($60)

Whiteheads – Since these have no infection (meaning, they are not generally sore), using harsh acne products will only make them worse by causing dry skin cell build up trapping the oil in the skin longer. Exfoliate!

TRY: One Love Organics Brand New Day Microderma Scrub & Masque ($39)

BB: Can chemicals in many acne-fighting treatments actually aggravate the problem? What ingredients should we actively avoid? 

KB: People think rubbing alcohol will help control their acne and oil, but it causes the skin’s acid mantle to be disrupted – the skin then produces more oil to ensure it’s protected like mentioned before. We need to remind ourselves that the skin is the first line of defense against the environment as well as our largest organ. Benzoyl Peroxide, meanwhile, is used specifically to dry out the skin and make it peel, meaning your skin will over-produce the natural oils it uses to keep it healthy.

RR: Sodium or Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate are commonly found in cleansing gels and are extremely dehydrating to the skin. Meanwhile, mineral oil and petrolatum can have pore-clogging effects on the skin.  Finally, apricot kernels are often found in facial scrubs, but only scratch and irritate the skin and spread bacteria.

BB: Acne-fighting ingredients can oftentimes cause dryness. What is the best way to treat this? 

KB: Transepidermal water loss (the amount of water that passes from your skin to the atmosphere) is a naturally occurring phenomenon that we have no physiological control over and which can be exacerbated by acne treatment. In this case, you want to make sure you’re looking for a product with hyaluronic acid, typically found on ingredient lists as sodium hyaluronate.

TRY: Immunocologie Hyaluronic Serum ($195)

We fully intend to take this advice to heart, and something tells me a crystal ball would predict clear skin in our future…

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

When, Why, and How To Color Correct

By | how to | No Comments

Although makeup artists have been color correcting for years, this technique has become a major trend as of late.  Just as contouring and strobing took Youtubers and Instagramers by storm, we couldn’t help but wonder what all the color correcting buzz was about.  To figure out if we could actually do this ourselves (or if we should leave it in the hands of the makeup artists), we reached out to Kerry Cole, BECCA Style Director.  Turns out, even the most perfect complexions can benefit from some correction.  Here’s what she had to say:

Beauty Banter: What are the basic rules of color correcting?

Kerry Cole:  It is all about color theory and finding the opposite color to neutralize the problem. Remember color correctors are meant to correct or neutralize, and concealer and foundation are meant to cover.

Green: Neutralizes redness for fair to medium skin tones with red undertones.
Violet: Neutralizes dullness for light to tan/olive skin tones with yellow undertones.
Red/Papaya: Neutralizes deep blues and greens for tan to deep bronze skin tones with blue undertones.
Peach: Neutralizes dark circles and hyperpigmentation for beige to deep bronze skin tones.

BB:  Is color correcting an additional makeup step, or will it replace other steps?

KC: If you find that your concealer or foundation isn’t covering your discoloration, I would recommend adding color correcting to your routine. Yes, it’s an additional step, but you’ll find that you use less product to cover, and in turn you’ll spend less time trying to cover up stubborn areas.

BB: What are common mistakes you see? Any application tips?


1. Always stick to the less is more concept.
2. Apply a tiny amount using your fingertips, the heat from fingers melts the product into the skin.
3. Follow application by blending your corrector into the skin with a concealer brush or sponge (this is the most important part of color correcting, blend blend blend!).
4. If you’re on the oily side, top it off with a setting powder.

BB: For people who don’t have any serious skin discolorations, is color correcting still useful?

KC: Sure, just stick to shades like light peach or violet. Use them under your foundation to brighten areas of the skin. Apply to the center of the face, around the eyes and even down the center of the chin, much like you would your highlighter.

After chatting with Kerry, I gave BECCA’s Backlight Targeted Colour Correctors ($30) a whirl. Peach instantly brightened up my tired eyes, and in turn allowed me to use less concealer for coverage. A few dabs of green around my nose helped with redness from pesky seasonal allergies. Safe to say that I am sold!

Do you use color correctors in your makeup routine? If so, let us know how in the comments below!


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

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.