Tag:  phyto Archives - Beauty Banter

Weekly Must-Have: Phyto Phytophanere Supplements

By | hair, weekly must-have | 3 Comments

Staying with the hair theme, this week’s must have product comes courtesy of Phyto. Phyto Phytophanere Supplements are dietary supplements that contain a plethora of the good stuff for long, strong, and healthy hair and nails. I’m not the type to stay loyal to a specific vitamin routine – in fact, eating daily greens is actually a New Year’s resolution por moi – but when it comes to my hair – and fear of it thinning or seeming lifeless, I’m down to try anything.

One of my most trusted hair guru’s, celebrity stylist Jen Atkin (Gewn Stefani, Sofia Vergara), first mentioned these pills to me back in 2008. Her exact email: “Just thought of you as I was ordering this amazing Vitamin Supplement for a client. All of my girls I’m getting OFF of the extensions, and want their own hair to grow quick quick quick….these are the pills. I have 4 clients on them and their hair’s growing amazingly and it’s not as harsh and less expensive as taking pre-natals.”

Back in 2008, I posted on the vitamins but sadly, didn’t take my own advice to religiously swallow each day. Cut to 2013, and I’m five years older (eeks). My hair is feeling the age too. It’s no longer as volumous as it once was. My long, thick mane seems to have lost its zest. Gone are the days of ultra shiny strands, welcome the mornings of shedding (yes, my hair sheds like a dog!) and limp locks.

I started the Phytophanere Supplements about a month ago and I kid you not, I already see a difference. My nails are strong and long, my hair, less brittle. While Phyto suggests taking two capsules a day for two months to see best results, I’m already digging the resurgence of shine. Combine these supplements with my must-have dry hair helpers and I may just get through winter alive and moisturized.

PRICE TAG: $50 for 120 tablets (2 months worth)


How To: The Side Bun

By | hair, how to | 3 Comments

It’s always nice to have a go-to updo for those days – and nights – when your hair and you just aren’t getting along (i.e. no matter how hard you try to brush away that cowlick, it keeps rearing its ugly hairs in the wrong direction).

Here’s an easy, DIY updo that’s perfect for a lunch with friends or date night with that special someone. A celeb favorite, pictured here on Tori Spelling and Scarlet Johanson, the side bun (a.k.a. chignon) is fresh, flirty and super simple to achieve. It’ll take you about 7 minutes from start to finish.

Anthony Linzalone of the Pierre Michel Salon in NYC — who has tamed the tresses Calista Flockhart Cindy Crawford & Kim Alexis — offers these easy steps for creating the chic chignon:

1 – Start by parting dry hair to the side then securing at nape of neck into a side ponytail.

2 – Using a 1 1/2 inch curling iron, curl random pieces of the ponytail into large round curls.

3 – Lift curls and loosely secure them around the base of ponytail with bobby pins.

4 – Finish the look with a light spritz of hairspray to tame flyaways and on ponytail chignon to keep curls in place. TRY: Phyto Spray Laque Hair Spray ($18.00).


By | Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Even when I really love a beauty product, I am always on the lookout for something new. There are few products I am so loyal to that I’d pass at the thought of trying another (just looking at Sarah’s post on French pharmacies got me thinking of the possibilities). But there are always exceptions. Five years ago I found the perfect perfume and I haven’t looked at another since.

I was wandering through Market, a Brentwood boutique, when I came across a collection of lovely bottles wrapped in organza pouches. It was called The Perfumers Palette, a collection of base, medium and top note fragrances by Creative Scentualizations (now called the eponymous Sarah Horowitz Parfums). It was a bit like being a kid in a candy store considering the combinations, and all the fragrances were gorgeous. The grapefruit smelled tart and refreshing, the jasmine like the vines that bloom in my garden at night and the musk, soft and clean. I brought home a single bottle of the Clean Musk perfume and I’ve worn it every day since. I sometimes buy up several bottles at a time, loving the way the fragrance lingers but never overwhelms (nothing like choking on perfume in a crowded elevator or subway). And all Perfumers Palette fragrances can be ordered as 100% oil roll-ons in addition to the spray (the oil is especially great in summer or when traveling). Never in my life have I so often been complimented on how I smelled or asked what I’m wearing by friends, family, and strangers at the post office. I really should start carrying their business cards.

Before the Perfumers Palette, Horowitz created the Perfect Perfumes collection, including the fabulous Perfect Veil (which is also available as a candle, lotion and bath gel) and a dozen other ‘perfect’ blends. In 2006, Horowitz unveiled a line for Barneys called What Comes From Within, also available at Apothia Fred Segal and online at Beautyhabit.com. If you’d rather something other than ready to wear, Sarah Horowitz Parfums offers one of a kind creations. The Online Fragrance Journey has you complete a questionnaire and then three custom samples are sent for you to try based on info gathered (you’ll then get 15% off when you make your first order). Phone consultations are a more in-depth conversation with a perfumer, followed by a customized trio of samples. For the ultimate experience, try the Fragrance Journey, meeting with Senior Perfumer Marlene Stang or Chief Perfumer (and founder) Sarah Horowitz-Thran for over an hour of scent soul searching that results in a blend tailored exactly for you.

Whether it’s inexpensive or costs a fortune, there is something magical in finding a fragrance that you love. But it’s always best to test a perfume and see how it reacts with your skin first. It’s amazing how different one scent can smell on two different people. Conveniently, samples of most Sarah Horowitz Parfums are available online for a few dollars each. You can also find her lines sold in stores worldwide. Check here for locations near you. And if you’re on Facebook, join the SHP page for news, info and specials. xo a.


By | Uncategorized | 7 Comments

It was my mother’s birthday the other day and I was thinking about all the beauty tricks I’ve learned from her over the years (and all the makeup I “borrowed” as a teenager and never returned). While neither of us wears a lot of makeup everyday, we each have our daily rituals. I don’t leave the house without mascara and she’s all about the brows.

One of the greatest tricks she’s passed my way is that for brunettes, a blond brow pencil or powder is the only way to go. I was skeptical at first, but then I thought of the brow pencils I had collecting dust because they always seemed to leave me looking like Eddie Munster. She handed me her Giorgio Armani pencil and my brows suddenly looked defined not colored in. Best of all, they didn’t look “done,” just a better version of the original.

A few days later, I was picking up my favorite Arcona scrub at Kalologie and came across Vanitymark Ultra-Brow Pencils. With the consistency of a pastel crayon (always use a brow pencil for the brows…harder eye pencils can pull hair), the pencils are fragrance-free, hypo-allergenic and made without animal testing. Created by makeup artist Brett Freedman, there are seven shades in the eyebrow line and he takes the guess work out of finding your shade by using celeb comparisons (so much better than a little circle of color on a cardboard package). If you’ve got Kate Walsh’s tones you’re AUBURNISTA, Leighton Meester or Angelina Jolie you’re MILK CHOCO. How easy is that? With my (naturally) light brown hair and yellow undertones, BLONDIE was my perfect match.

You can find Vanitymark available online and in stores nationwide.


By | makeup | 4 Comments

Beauty is more than skin deep. Literally. Every product you use is absorbed in some way by your body. I like to make sure that the products I use contain the least harmful ingredients. It doesn’t mean I have to sacrifice style or comfort. I still shop the counters at Barneys to the aisles at Target and come away with products I love. Why bother, you ask?

Whether for babies or adults, we’re using about 20 health and beauty products a day and 89% of the over 10,000 ingredients have never been tested for safety by the FDA because the government doesn’t regulate health and beauty products. But the Environmental Working Group decided to change that. So far they’ve tested over 40,000 beauty and skincare products and rated the results in an easy to navigate database, Skin Deep. It’s not all bad news. There are a ton of great products out there from big companies to tiny storefronts. You may be surprised to learn the drugstore brand you use is healthier than the one that says ‘all-natural.

If your beloved gloss turns out to be full of hormone disrupters, there’s more than just recycling the tube. Write to the makers of that fabulous gloss and let them know you’ll be back if they clean up their act. Many already make different formulations for sale in Europe where regulations are stricter. And we’re seeing a number of big name cosmetics companies removing the worst offenders from their product lines. Stores are devoting space specifically to the greener products, like Sephora and . Change is coming.

Sophie Uliano, author of the fabulous and very accessible Gorgeously Green, is one of the few eco enthusiasts out there willing to say that it isn’t easy being green (at first). Refreshing honesty, no? Her book gives you a variety of resources for beauty, health and home along with some great DIY beauty recipes. Here’s Sophie’s DIY salt scrub.

FYI: Sophie uses essential oils in her scrubs. I love the lavender essential oil from Fleur de France. Not all oils are created equal or are entirely natural. This company makes amazing oils and they smell incredible.

The Gorgeously Green website is an extension of Uliano’s book, with weekly fashion and beauty finds, and info from her latest release, The Gorgeously Green Diet. Of all the lists out there, I think her fabulous worst offenders cheat sheet is the most info without overwhelming you entirely. Keep it in your purse when you’re out shopping and all of those impossible to pronounce ingredients will be at your fingertips.

Eco-chic does not necessarily mean organic. It means finding products that make you feel beautiful along with the oceans and rivers into which all these products end up. To keep updated on the latest and greatest eco-beauty, bookmark sites like Ecofabulous, Sprig and The Good Guide.

And let us know at Beauty Banter if you’re having any trouble finding a good eco-alternative to your favorite products. xo a.


By | Uncategorized | 5 Comments

I think that for most people the idea of greening their beauty routine is followed by thoughts of all the money they’ve spent on the products they have (and love), the assumed lack of options out there in the eco-beauty market and most of all, what difference does it really make? I know, I’ve been there.

The investment factor is a reasonable one, but if you actually get rid of makeup and skincare products as often as you really should, it would mean that in about a years time you’d probably need to recycle a ton of jars and bottles anyway. This doesn’t have to be an all or nothing proposition. You can ease your way in, one product at a time.

Starting with four products we use often, here are just a few brands out there that are better for you and the environment. Not only is there variety but something to fit every budget . Window shop at some of the sites below (average prices under $15 I call drugstore, over $15 department store):

Department Store: Korres Natural Products, John Masters Organics, Ojon
Drugstore: Burt’s Bees, Giovanni Hair Care, California Baby

Department Store: Tarte, Dr. Hauschka, Josie Maran
Drugstore: Juice Organics, Burt’s Bees, Kiss My Face

Department Store: Demeter Vintage Naturals, LUSH
Drugstore: Pacifica, Whole Body at Whole Foods for essential oils

Department Store: L’Occitane, Jurlique, Carol’s Daughter
Drugstore: Alba Botanica, Weleda, Juice Organics

I’ll be back next time to discuss why eco-beauty matters, along with some fabulous resources and a little DIY eco-chic. xo a.

MAKING WAVES: Aquis Hair Towels

By | hair | 2 Comments

Last week was the Tony awards, and a fabulous performance from the cast of Broadway’s HAIR got me thinking about mine. While my sister’s fabulous curls have bounce and volume and my mother’s straight hair is perfect for her gamine pixie cut, my hair falls somewhere in between…in a place called blah. As a result, 99% of the time my shoulder length hair is up or pulled back.

While I’m always trying new products, for years the one constant has been Aquis hair towels. They’re made of a soft, microfiber material that absorbs water like something in one of those Shamwow infomercials. They dry hair FIVE times faster than a normal bath towel. As a result I have less frizz and if I want to blow dry my hair it takes half the time. I love multitaskers, don’t you?

I’m a fan of their whole line (as are O and Real Simple magazines, by the way) including the body towels made of Aquis Lisse, a soft, chamois cloth-like material, and their plush robes made of a soft, terry chenille material. I realized just how much I loved the hair towels when I started taking them with me when I traveled. And since they’re so thin, they take up virtually no space in my suitcase. The company also includes a line geared towards teens called Mimi’s Diva Dryer along with towels for the outdoors, the gym and even pets (I have them for my dogs).

The entire Aquis collection is available online but if you are all about instant gratification, you can find the hair turbans and towels at Bed, Bath and Beyond stores as well as selected Pure Beauty locations. xo a.

ALEX’S STAYCATION TIP no. 2: How to have happy feet

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The majority of my hair, skin and beauty products are organic or at least free of the worst offenders (such as parabens, phalates and sulfates). So, when I came across the ZOYA nail polish line a few years ago I was thrilled. The company was the first to take out the toxic ingredients found in polish, like toluene, camphor, formaldehyde and dibutyl phalate without taking away the staying power or great shine found in the older formulas. You don’t have to suffer when you make eco-friendly beauty choices. And with hundreds of colors there’s something for everyone (including plenty of sparkles for the kids who tend to chew the polish off ingesting all sorts of chemicals).

Whether you have pedicures done year round or wait for summer, here’s a polish to keep you happy and healthy. Right now I’m wearing GIA, a bright coral red but I‘m loving the new La-Di-Da Summer Collection, especially the nostalgic 80s neon pink ALI and perfect with a tan AMERICA. I’m tempted to pick up the sampler collection to try the whole group. For my hands I love a light, clean polish like SADIE.

The ZOYA site has a search engine to help you narrow down colors from their massive catalogue and rates each polish according to tone, finish, color family and color intensity (0=Very Sheer – 5=Very Opaque). Buy online or check their database for a store near you.

When hands and feet need some TLC, I am addicted to . This paraben and phalate free scrub is made with Dead Sea salts, oils and extracts from carrots, sweet potatoes, pomegranates and figs. It’s a one-minute mini manicure. Just massage into hands or feet and as British newspaper The Guardian wrote, “Rub this grainy liquid into your hands, rinse and you’ll be left with a non-greasy coating of moisturiser. Absolute genius.” xo a.


By | skin | 8 Comments

While Sarah spends some time on the Atlantic, I’m planning a staycation this summer in LA. June totally snuck up on me (wasn’t it just February?) and though I’m ready to pull out the skirts and dresses that get me through triple digit weather, my skin isn’t so sure.

Most of the year I live by the mantra that “pale is the new tan.” While I wear SPF daily, my skin has a yellow undertone and given the chance will turn freckly and tan. I like a bit of color when the temperatures rise but I prefer mine in a bottle. I love, love, love Lancome’s Flash Bronzer Instant Colour Self-Tanning Leg Gel, which is a favorite amongst many, including Lucky Mag beauty editor Jean Godfrey-June who often raves about it. Why so great? First off, it’s tinted with a subtle shimmer, making it possible for me to actually get a faux tan without streaks or missed spots (is it possible, you ask? it is.). Second, it dries fast and develops a golden color that looks sunkissed not Sunkist. Even on the fairest of skin.

I always prep by exfoliating, then add a dab of Alba Un-Petroleum Jelly on knees, elbows, heels and cuticles. To maintain the color, I moisturize daily with Korres Yoghurt Body Butter. The result is a week of great summer color without the sun damage. Then it’s back to the bottle. The icing on the cake? Unlike many tanners this one is paraben free and scored pretty well for its eco-responsibility at The Good Guide (if you don’t know this site already, I suggest bookmarking it now). What’s not to love? xoalex.

Organic For Summer

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Fellow beauty enthusiast and contributing editor, Alex Asher Seers dishes on her favorite organic picks and beauty tips for Summer.

Read on, ladies, this is need-to-know info!

Alex’s beauty cabinet

“As a third generation Angeleno, it’s probably sacrilege to say I hate the heat. But I do. And so does my skin. Growing up with Mlle. Howard, summer was a never-ending pool party. Those were the days when my tan was real and my highlights were a mix of too much sun and pool chlorine. SPF, what?

These days I stay out of the sun, and try to keep my beauty choices eco-conscious and organic whenever possible. As a writer and photographer, some days I’m at home writing without a scrap of makeup and others I’m on a shoot hoping my mascara hasn’t smudge across my entire eye after hours behind the camera. Here’s what’s cluttering my vanity these days:

I’m a Dr. Hauschka devotee. I use Dr. H’s Cleansing Milk, Clarifying Toner and Normalizing Day Oil everyday. Perfect for combo skin but even better when the temperatures rise. If I need an exfoliator, I can’t say enough about . It cleans without feeling as abrasive as some scrubs I’ve used.

I use California Baby Shampoo year-round and Giovanni Organics Tea Tree Conditioner in warm weather when hair feels oily. My hair is naturally wavy if I don’t blow-dry it and in summer I don’t even think about it. I spray in to defrizz. If I want more texture David Babaii’s Bohemian Beach Spray smells amazing and 10% of profits go to WildAid.

As much as I love finding a discovering a product, some people are a wealth of information. Like my friend Erin Harding (www.yourlastlooks.com). Since the age of twelve I’ve been getting beauty tips from her. Now she’s an Emmy Award-winning makeup artist and she’s always there with expert advice. When I found mineral makeup bothered my skin she explained why.

“Many women come to me asking why mineral makeup irritates their skin when it’s supposed to be better for them. With nearly every cosmetic company trying to ride the green money train it’s important to remember that not all mineral makeups are made equal. Many brands cut production costs by including different additives into their products. One of the big culprits appears to be BISMUTH OXYCHLORIDE, a color and texture enhancing product, which can cause redness, itching and dryness.”

Her pick? Jane Iredale mineral cosmetics for, “their quality and sensitivity tested ingredients.”

For makeup, I begin with Erin’s own primer by The Eris Collection. It’s the first primer I found that was paraben free and oil free and it gives everything from tinted moisturizer to foundation serious staying power. For tinted moisturizer, I mix Lancome UV EXPERT with Dr. H’s Translucent Bronze Concentrate. L’Oreal Bare Naturale mascara and a bit of Tarte cheek stain and I’m set.

The last few months left my skin really dry. I use Korres Yoghurt Body Butter every day. I love Weleda Skin Food, too, but Erin turned me on to Egyptian Magic (http://egyptianmagic.com) which she adores. “From my children to my clients, I have relied on this little jar for every skin ailment you can imagine. I’m not quite sure which ingredient is the “magic” that makes it so special, but I’m beginning to think it’s the love…”

And speaking of love, for fellow dog-lovers out there, I am a huge fan of SPA DOG by Fleurs de France. They use natural ingredients and lavender essential oils from their native France in their shampoo and dog spray. I use it on Truffaut at home or bring it to the groomer. His coat is amazing and lavender is a natural flea repellent. Since their skin can’t handle washing more than every 3-4 weeks, the spray is like dry shampoo. It smells great and has silicone, which repels dirt. They also have a great line for people, too.

Today almost hit triple digits. While I can’t go back to the summer of ’88, I’m thinking I’ll channel the happy days of childhood with a few highlights, some Lavera organic self tanner and a pedicure in Zoya’s neon pink Ali polish. Ready or not, here comes summer.

So many incredible products, so many summer necessities…

Have a great organic product that you can’t live without?
Let us know!

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.