Tag:  winter Archives - Beauty Banter


By | skin | 3 Comments

With the plummeting temps comes the curse of winter skin. Too dry, flaky, chapped. I’ve enlisted Angelique Cray-Cassell, aesthetician at Ona Spa in Los Angeles, to help us fight back with winter skin remidies!

Here’s what Angelique has to say:
“During the winter months, skin can become a little troublesome, an array of problems can occur, but luckily there are some winter remedies!

Cooler temperatures and harsher environmental changes such as indoor heating and air conditioning, make our skin ‘freak out’. Scientifically what this means is that the skin has problems shedding its stratum corneum and replacing and re-nourishing the cells, thus creating flaking, tightness and dulling to the skin.

Trying to get the skin to balance and nourishing the cells, without clogging the pores can be a tad tricky. One of the best ways to provide nourishment to the skin is to use some natural enzymatic exfoliants. Try Ona Spa’s Rejuvenating Pumpkin Peel, this potent, effective but natural exfoliator is unique as pumpkin’s natural enzymes eat away at the skin, but deactivate the exfoliation process after 15 minutes, which eliminates over-exfoliation of the skin! Adding this to your facial routine once a week is a great way to freshen up the skin.

Vitamin C during the winter is another way to brighten the skin; it is also a great preparation for extra protection from the harmful UV rays in the summer months. L-ascorbic acid the chemical term for vitamin C also aids in the elimination of dead skin cells thus brightening dull winter skin. Try Environ’s Intensive C-Boost, this is a potent cream based serum that will also leave the skin with a smooth hydrated feel.

One of the most important winter remedies is getting hydration to the cells without clogging the skin. Flaking and cracked tight skin can be painful and unattractive. Opt for a moisturizer for dehydrated skin, not dry skin. This will provide hydration to the cells without over stimulating the glands which provides more oil to the skin, creating congestion! A great way to do this is hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic Acid holds up to 1000 times its own weight in water, allowing it to replenish the skin’s own natural levels. Whether you change your moisturizer to something like Ona Spa’s Hyaluronic Calming Day Crème, or use a serum-based enhancer such as Environ’s Focus hydrating serum, they are both excellent ways to hydrate the skin and eliminate winter flaking and uncomfortable tightness!”

Winter Skincare Tips From Ole Henriksen

By | skin | No Comments

There’s no denying that winter weather is brutal on the skin. But hey, it’s part of the cycle. Ole Henriksen, skincare guru and founder of the OLEHENRIKSEN skincare line and the shares his tips for weatherproofing your skin against the cold season:

1 – When showering have the water temperature be pleasantly warm, but not hot. Hot water is very drying on skin.

2 – Avoid using a body brush with sharp bristles in cold weather because it will strip your skin of its natural oils. For exfoliation, the key is to use a body scrub that thoroughly removes dead and dry skin cells, while leaving your skin feeling soft and hydrated, such as the OLEHENRIKSEN rub n’ buff salt scrub.  Apply by wetting your entire body and then turn off your water. Massage the scrub into your skin in long, soothing, yet firm motions. By avoiding any running water during the activation of the scrub, you maintain the density of the formulation, while not wasting any product by seeing it run down the drain.

3 – After showering, give your skin an added boost of moisture, by applying an extremely thin layer of a body oil, such as the OLEHENRIKSEN lavender body oil, prior to applying body lotion. It will add luminosity and ensure skin remains moist and nourished around the clock.

4 – Your hands also require special attention in cold weather.  At night, exfoliate hands with a scrub followed by an application of hand cream.  It will leave your hands and cuticles feeling incredibly soft.

5 – When you cleanse your skin, regardless of skin type, it is very important that you use luke warm water as opposed to hot water. That is the first step toward guarding your complexion against unnecessary dryness. Activating your cleanser with a soft, round flat vegetable sponge is a great way to gently eliminate any dead skin cells, and get circulation going. Avoid thick face clothes, since they don’t glide gracefully across the face and neck, and often have a coarse texture.

6 – Using creams that contain higher concentrations of essential fatty acids is the best way to maintain a soft and glowing complexion in even the coldest of environments. Oils like sunflower seed, grapeseed, black currant, hazelnut, avocado, sesame, almond and wheat germ all have a high content of essential fatty acids and are known for their ability to comfort, soothe and protect skin. Fats do not freeze in cold weather, unlike water and water based extracts, so they will help maintain a velvety skin texture and prevent capillary breakage.

PRODUCT TO TRY: Ole Henriksen Vitamin Plus – a light weight, heavy hydrating moisturizer packed with all types of antioxidant goodies. $35.00

Get a glow (thanks to GLAMOUR)

By | skin | 2 Comments

For all my eco-ways, I remain something of a magazine junkie. I have cut down the subscriptions, read as many online as possible and due to the economy have done away with international subscriptions (88 euros a year for British Vogue!). And yet. The most fabulous thing about magazines, be they fashion, beauty, literary or design…you never know where inspiration will find you. Case in point: the March issue of GLAMOUR has a fabulous little inset featuring advice from celeb skin magician Sonya Dakar for getting rid of the winter skin blahs in two easy steps. Not only are they as eco as they come but you might just have the ingredients right in your pantry.

First, get rid of all that dry skin with a gentle scrub (I love Arcona Cranberry Gommage). Remember that “pain is beauty” should never be part of your exfoliating routine. In fact, imagine those tiny granules as glass shredding away at your skin. So, be gentle.

Second, make a trip to your pantry for some almond or grapeseed oil. They’re both super rich anti-oxidants and won’t clog your pores. As per Dakar’s instructions apply several drops to your fingertips, “Rub in circles along your cheekbones, up over your temples and forehead, down the sides of your nose and across your chin to stimulate blood flow.”

I know those with combo to oily skin might freak out at the thought of rubbing oil directly into their skin. I know when I began using Dr. Hauschka’s oil a few years ago I was a bit skeptical. But it’s important to understand that oils come from many sources. Mineral oils are petroleum based and will clog pores. But many oils are noncomedogenic, and will actually help to balance oil production. By the way, I get these oils by La Tourangelle at Wiliams-Sonoma but you can find them at Whole Foods, Cost Plus World Market and other stores here.

So simple, fabulous results. Your face, your wallet and the planet will thank you. xo alex.

Flawless Skin From A Fellow Beauty Enthusiast: Koh Gen Do Moisture Foundation

By | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

“The week before Sarah moved back to New York she gave me several products. This is one of many times that she has given me products to try that have now become some of my beauty must-haves.

This time I left with 2 tubes of Koh Gen Do Moisture Foundation. Just in time for the winter weather and chapped skin conditions, this Japanese makeup line that has proven to be nothing short of amazing! She gave me 2 different shades; the light one is color 01 and the second is color 02. As I am very pale, my skin requires light shades. Depending on the season both of these shades work well for me. A few dots out of the tube and I’m ready to go and my skin looks flawless, not cakey or bearing that “foundation” look. It’s also High Definition so it’s really covers – every fine line and blemish is gone with one simple stroke of the foundation brush. I might be crazy but I swear it improves the look of my skin with continual, everyday use. It’s miracle makeup and it’s fabulous for dryer skin as it actually moisturizes while it’s covering.

Koh Gen Do Moisture Foundation
retails for $55 but it lasts longer than you would ever imagine. I went from using Laprarie ($250 a bottle) to Koh Gen Do and I can honestly say that it is truly one of the best.

Thank you Sarah for making me beautiful! ;)” — Carly Hoftman

What’s your Winter weather foundation?

Blushing Pink

By | makeup | 7 Comments

Pink is usually reserved for Spring and Summer. Come fall and winter, we are meant to blush rose and brick hues. Not anymore.

This winter is all about the pink cheek. Be it playfully coy with a hint of peach or snow bunny cozy with a dash of wine, pink still has a place in the makeup bag this season.

Here are a few of my favorite pinks:

Dolce & Gabbana The Blush in Provocative
– the perfect matte hot pink. Blushing bride comes to mind (not that I would know).

MAC Mineralize Blush Duo in Love Rocks – a bright pink iridescent that screams happy cheeks.

LORAC Baked Matte Satin Blush in Exposed – a pinky peach that gives off “flirt” better than endorphins.

TIP: For a more dramatic effect, mix your pink with a your darker rose (for rose, I’m loving Senna’s Amour). Who says that one blush is all a cheek can take?

TURN OFF THE TAP: Waterless Facial Cleansers

By | skin | 4 Comments

Cold is a relative term. Here in Los Angeles what we consider winter weather would make my friends in Aspen laugh. Yet no matter where you live, when the weather changes so does your skin. And while we change the way we dress throughout the year, sometimes we forget that our skin might need a wardrobe change, too. In the new issue of Allure I read that in winter “skin loses about 25% of its ability to hold moisture.” So when it comes to cleansing, the less you strip your skin, the better. Ideally that means cleansers that require little to no water. It may sound crazy but it works. I love Care by Stella McCartney Gentle Cleansing Milk (which is no longer easy to find). You apply it like a face wash and simply remove with a cotton ball.

As the temps drop, put away anything that foams (foam=dry, dry, dry) and turn to cream and oil-based options. For every skin type there is something that works (trust me, oil and oily/combo/sensitive skin make very good friends) and here are some great choices at every price.


Baby Face Cleanser by LUSH ($9.35) looks like a bar of soap carved to resemble the man in the moon. But the solid bar is actually made with shea, cocoa and avocado butters. It removes makeup, cleanses and softens skin and can be removed with a toner on a cotton pad or damp washcloth. Also great for dry skin, too.

La Roche Posay has created a line specifically for very sensitive skin, including those with eczema and rosacea as part of their skincare collection. Toleriane Dermo-Cleanser Gentle Wipe-Off Formula ($19.95) is designed to cleanse the most allergy-prone skin types gently and safely. The lotion is non-comedogenic, fragrance and preservative free.

L’Occitane’s Shea and Organic Cotton line is formulated for sensitive skin, using minimal ingredients and zero fragrance, dyes, preservatives or alcohol. The Ultra Comfort Cleansing Milk ($22) cleanses and tones without parabens, synthetics or water. Made with cotton, rosemary and shea butter simply massage into skin and wipe away dirt and makeup.


Naked Bee Tissue-Off Facial Cleanser ($8.95) does exactly what the name says. This paraben and sulfate-free cleanser is 70% organic and includes SPF. Infused with antioxidant Vitamin C because it helps build skin elasticity. Perfect for daily use on all skin types.

sukiface® created their moisture-rich cleansing lotion ($26.95) with organic lemon, sage and lavender to cleanse and hydrate while maintaining the skin’s natural moisture. Great for normal, combination, dry and mature skin, apply and massage into skin and gently remove using toner soaked cotton pads. Also available at Whole Foods.

Laura Mercier Purifying Oil ($40) comes in two formulas, Light for normal to oily skin and Rich for dry and dehydrated skin. The cleanser and makeup removers are formulated with deep sea water and a formula that “gently removes impurities and provide a truly deep clean without stripping the skin.” Non-comedogenic, you massage the oil into skin and remove with a warm washcloth.

The shu uemera cleansing oils are truly iconic. Using botanical oils to gently cleanse, shu umera offers six formulas to fit every skin type (and season). Using avocado and jojoba oil the cleansing oils are beloved by makeup artists as much as consumers. The High Performance Balanced Cleansing Oil Advanced Formula is the most popular for all skin types but there are formulas for combo/oily, dry, dull/uneven, mature and sensitive skins. Ranging from $32-$72, check out the combo kit for $35 at Barneys.


Since 1963, the British brand Beauty Without Cruelty has been making skincare products with eco-consciousness. The ($11) is a cleanser and makeup remover, made with organic, aroma-therapeutic oils and herbal extracts including lavender, chamomile, calendula and Vitamin E. Can be rinsed off or removed with a cotton pad.

What’s your secret for battling winter dry skin? Feel free to share in comments. A little beauty banter can teach us all a thing or two. xo alex.

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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.