5 Gifts to Give Your Love This Valentine’s Day

With Valentine’s Day only days away, it’s time to get moving if you haven’t already planned something special for your someone special. Maybe it’s dinner at her favorite restaurant, flowers, and a box of chocolates. There’s always room in the equation for a gift that helps her feel as great as she looks, too! Here are five fantastic Valentine’s Day gift ideas that are sure to warm her heart.

NEST Fragrances Candle Spring Petite Trio Set

Not only is Valentine’s Day on the horizon…so is spring! This beautifully packaged box contains three candles in Grapefruit, Linen, and Cedar Leaf & Lavender scents. Each is meticulously poured into a gorgeous decorative glass sourced from Murano. Once the candles have melted away, the glass can be used to add a little springy-fresh goodness to her bedside table or kitchen.

PÜR Cosmetics Creator Face Palette

Because a woman can never have too many beautiful colors in her makeup collection! This sleek palette contains 12 stunning eye shadows in shades that range from sweet and demure to bold and dramatic. Whether for a day or evening, it provides plenty of options to make her favorite looks come to life. The kit also includes a shimmery highlighter and a flattering bronzer to complete her look perfectly.

Peter Thomas Roth Black and Gold Kit

A little gold never hurts. This set contains a few of the brand’s most effective skin care products, including a 24K Gold Pure Luxury Lift & Firm Prism Cream and a 24K Gold Pure Luxury Lift & Firm Mask. There’s also an Irish Moor Mud Purifying Black Mask and an Irish Moor Mud Purifying Cleansing Gel—all in full size packages, of course. Her quest for perfect skin just got a whole lot simpler.

TanTowel Express Tan Kit

Want to help her kick start her springtime glow? This kit contains everything that she needs to achieve a pretty, natural tan—without the usual mess or harsh odor typically associated with traditional self-tanning products. Inside is a can of self-tan mist and five TanTowels, which are safe to use anywhere from the face to the body. They’re easy for anyone to use—even tanning newbies!

bareMinerals Something to Talk Apout Kit

Beauty lovers who have a thing for lip gloss recognize a good thing when they see it. This four-piece package definitely qualifies as a great thing. Inside are four sleek tubes of the brand’s Moxie Plumping Lip Glosses. The sheer finish is fresh and natural, and they’re infused with hydrating shea and avocado butters for a nourishing boost. Shades include golden champagne, blackberry, soft pink, and nude champagne.

3 Easy Tips to Prevent Winter Hair Damage

If it feels like winter is constantly wreaking some sort of havoc with your hair care routine, it’s not your imagination. The combination of falling temperatures and brisk air can totally undermine even the most sensible of regimens, leaving you struggling to find the right products to protect your mane from damage. Fortunately, it’s not impossible to prevent the season from ravaging your strands. Here’s how to handle it with ease.

Step 1: Shampoo Less Often

It’s often not actually your hair that suffers during winter, but your scalp. The skin can easily become sensitive, uncomfortable, and itchy when exposed to continuous cold air. If you already have dandruff or dermatitis, you might notice the conditions are worse at this time of the year. So what’s the solution? It starts in the shower. Instead of lathering up every time, reduce shampoo time to two or three washes a week depending on the condition of your hair. When you do cleanse your scalp, use a soothing product, like Oribe Ultra Gentle Shampoo , to produce softness without weighing down your hair.

Step 2: Use a Rich Conditioner

Warm, dry air may feel great when you come in from the cold, but it’s not the best ingredient for your hair. The only thing you can do to resolve the problem is to up your mane’s moisture intake. Using a conditioner infused with nourishing oils and butters is an easy way to accomplish this—it will help combat weakness, which can cause seasonal problems like breakage, brittleness, and split ends. Agadir’s Argan Oil Daily Volumizing Conditioner is like a vacation for your tired strands, thanks to its intensely hydrating combination of panthenol and argan oil. The blend leaves hair soft and beautifully scented.

Step 3: Minimize Heat Styling

Adding more heat to your hair care routine isn’t necessarily the best idea at any time of the year, but it can be particularly damaging during winter. If you already combat frizz and dryness, you’ll only aggravate the problem. To combat these concerns, do your best to minimize heat styling tools during winter. When possible, allow your hair to air dry, or use the coolest setting to hurry the drying process. If you do need to heat style, be sure to apply a protective product, such as a leave-in conditioner or a smoothing serum, to prevent burns. One to try: Marrakesh Oil High Tide.

Images courtesy Conde Nast

New year, new hair! This Saturday, January 19th, we’re holding our first hair care sale of the year. Now is the time to stock up on the shampoos, conditioners, and styling treatments you need to achieve the gorgeous mane of your dreams.

Are You Washing Your Face the Right Way?

Washing your face seems easy enough. Just massage on some cleanser, splash with water, and dry off…right? Not quite. While that’s a very generalized approach that would probably have some effect, there’s actually a method to the routine that can have a serious impact on your skin’s condition. Not sure if you’ve been going about it the wrong way this entire time? Here’s how to clean up your act—and your skin!

  1. Choose the Right Products

Nothing is more vital to your skin than using the right products to cleanse. Even solutions that receive high praise from the masses—whether touted by a celebrity on a television commercial or raved about nonstop by your BFF—may not be right for you. Take into account your skin’s unique type first. If you’re dry, a creamy or milky emulsion will soothe your complexion without stripping away moisture. Oily types do best with foaming and gel-based cleansers that cool while eliminating oil and dirt. Sensitive skins may require some trial-and-error experimentation, but in general it’s best to avoid products with fragrances, parabens, and other possible allergens. 

 

  1. Use Lukewarm Water

Hot water might feel great, especially on a chilly winter’s day, but it’s not going to do your skin any favors. In fact, using hot water to cleanse is a great way to strip your skin of its natural oils and exacerbate existing dryness. The switch here is simple—use lukewarm water during your routine so that you don’t have to worry about these additional concerns.

  1. Find a Real Cleanser

The quick fix is often the most appealing, and that’s especially true if you’re in a rush to wash your face at the end of the day. Makeup wipes are practical in a pinch and offer a sufficient way to remove makeup from your skin—we’re obsessed with NuFace Prep-N-Glow Cleansing Cloths  for that purpose. It’s smart to follow that up with a mild cleanser designed to gently remove any remaining oil, dirt, and debris, such as SkinMedica Facial Cleanser . 

  1. Treat Skin After Washing

Skin treatments, such as serums, face masks, and moisturizers, are enriched with penetrative ingredients that do their best work after you’ve cleansed your skin. This is when it’s barest and most receptive to any key ingredients that your complexion can use to its best advantage. So if you’re ready to try that new sheet mask set you got for Christmas—or want to treat yourself to the bareMinerals Hyperglow Mini Face Mask Collection for a little at-home TLC—make sure that you do that after your skin is freshly washed.

Images courtesy Allure.com

A Guide to Wearing Matte During the Holidays

Although typically associated with shimmer and glimmer, winter is also a great time to break out your most adventurous matte hues. Richly saturated lips and deeply colorful eyelids set the stage for a beautiful cold-weather look that’s appropriate for everything from holiday season parties to The Nutcracker showings at your local theatre. Thinking of experimenting with matte for the first time? Here are some important tips to keep in mind.

Make a Statement With Your Eyes

It’s usually the aforementioned shimmery shadows that make the boldest statement. But when applied properly, even matte eye makeup can transform your look into one that is stunning and seductive. Think in terms of your agenda. If you’re headed out, it’s more than appropriate to rock a deep, smoky eye and complement the look with bold eyelashes. Start by priming your lids with bareMinerals Gen Nude Eyeshadow Primer . Smooth the cream on and watch it transform into a matte powder before your eyes.

Then it’s time to dip into your favorite colors from the Jane Iredale Eye Shadow Kit  in Naturally Matte. Dust the medium shade onto your lids, using a light hand so that you can build color gradually. Then add some dimension by working the darkest color into the crease. Extend that color to the inner third of your eye and blend it just slightly upward. Apply the lightest shade to your brow bone for an eye-popping look. Don’t forget to add a few generous coats of mascara!

Give Your Skin a Little Boost

The right matte products can make a world of difference in how your complexion looks. The key is to select formulas that are designed specifically for your skin type. If you have dry tendencies, for example, seek out items that are enriched with hydrating ingredients to bring out the best in your complexion. The Revision Skincare Intellishade Matte SPF 45 is an excellent starting point. The moisturizing product dries down to a flattering matte finish and leaves just a hint of color on the skin.

If you don’t want to bother with foundation or like using a setting product as a final touch, consider Glo Minerals Loose Matte Finishing Powder . The translucent product is easy to dust on with a fluffy brush, and is expertly formulated to combat oily skin and prevent pesky shine from breaking through in the middle of the day. The best part is how flawless your skin will look after application—and for hours after.

Add a Pop to Your Lips

If the holidays aren’t the right time to add a dash of crimson to your lips, then there will never be a right time. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, add a matte version of the color to your repertoire. The hues provided in the bareMinerals Go Bold or Go Bare Trio Matte Lip Kit  are especially fitting for this time of year. You’ll have your choice of a pale mauve-pink that’s ideal for the work day, a bold violet to punctuate your night-out looks, and a seductive oxblood red that breaks all notions of timidity and gives you a perfect excuse to finally rock red lips before the year ends.

Images courtesy Vogue

What Image Skincare Product Is Right for You?

Treating your skin to quality products that are as effective as they are nurturing is essential to its long-term condition. Value and efficiency lie in the scientifically backed collection formulated by IMAGE Skincare. The brand is designed to make a visible difference—and it’s no surprise, given that it was developed by an aesthetician whose keen awareness and understanding of varying skin types is evident in every product in the line.

You’ll discover products that are tailored to different needs, from acne and aging to sun damage and rosacea. So how exactly can you navigate the line and select the ones that will do the most favors for your skin? Here’s what you need to know.

Acne

Dealing with acne can be a beast. You may go through product after product, eventually feeling like a guinea pig for every single blemish brand in existence. Bring those woes to a halt by adding the brand’s Clear Cell Salicylic Clarifying Pads  to your medicine cabinet. It’s infused with glycolic and salicylic acids, both of which tackle excess oil and help control the production of sebum in the long run. That’s key to preventing more acne from forming. The pads also reduce the incidence of clogged pores, leaving your skin brighter, fresher, and clearer with every use.

Dryness

Dry skin is tough to tackle, especially when you feel like you’ve gone through every heavy-duty moisturizer available. Once you smooth Vital C Hydrating Intense Moisturizer  onto your visage, however, you’ll notice the difference you’ve been hoping to see. It boasts a light, silky consistency that melts into the skin, leaving it buttery smooth and touchably soft. That’s key for anyone who deals regularly with rough patches that feel practically immune to hydration. This is the key to reversing the problem, and creating a smoother canvas.

Eyes 

How you treat your eyes today will impact how they look in the future. That’s never been more true than today, when excessive exposure to sunlight contributes to those advanced signs of aging. The key is to add a potent product to your routine, such as The MAX Stem Cell Eye . It’s designed to use day or night, and contains nourishing ingredients like plant stem cells, plus alpine edelweiss, which is thought to absorb the sun’s potent ultraviolet rays before they have a chance to do harm to your skin. It’s a major task for this little bottle of genius!

Aging

You’ve got your anti-aging routine down pat—or so you think. Maybe you’re invested in your cleanser, toner, and moisturizer, but chances are you aren’t properly exfoliating that skin as well as you thought. To the rescue comes the Iluma Intense Brightening Exfoliating Powder . It contains micro exfoliants that gently yet effectively slough away dead skin, revealing the smooth and bright surface beneath. It’s enriched with antioxidants, which combat those pesky free radicals that can contribute to the visible signs of aging.

Seasonal Skincare Swap

Real talk: we’re freaking out about fall. Although summer heat isn’t ideal for a full face of makeup, cooler weather can present a slew of skin concerns—especially for those who struggle with acne. For an easy, blemish-free transition, you’ll need to change up your skincare routine the same way you swap out your wardrobe. Here’s how:

Credit: Unknown

Correct your cleanser: In the summer, we like reaching for heavy-duty cleansers that ensure salt & sand stay on the beach and out of our pores. In the fall, you’ll want to switch to something gentler like this PCA Skin Creamy Cleanser . Packed with beneficial oils like rosehip (a Kate Middleton favorite) and omega-6 essential fatty acids, this formula will remove dirt without stripping skin.

Peel away: Forget diamonds—chemical peels are your new best friend. While you should be careful not to over-exfoliate during colder months, you should add this Peter Thomas Roth FirmX Peeling Gel  to your lineup once a week. This gel uses a combination of pineapple & pomegranate enzymes that lifts away dry, dead skin to prevent clogged pores. Just be careful not to scrub too hard!

Tone and balance: After months of sun exposure, this Obagi Nu-Derm Toner  will help restore your skin’s natural pH level. Unlike most toners, this product features a natural astringent instead of alcohol, which can overdry skin. Aloe and calendula soothe & smooth skin as witch hazel tightens pores without over-drying your complexion.

Add a serum: Most people try to avoid extra oil in the summer, but it’s about to make a comeback. To build up your skin’s natural defense against the elements, we suggest using bareMinerals Eternalixir Skin-Volumizing Oil Serum. The calcium-rich concoction enhances your moisture barrier and fights signs of aging with nourishing botanical oils. Be sure to take this product down your neck, as well.

Thicken your moisturizer: Though it’s hotly contested, moisturizers should follow after serums! At night, show your skin some love with a generous coat of this  Peter Thomas Roth Camu Power CX30 Brightening Moisturizer . This product is loaded with a superfruit called the Camu Camu berry, which packs 30 times more vitamin C than your average orange. This is crucial during sun-deficient seasons to maintain collagen production and iron absorption.

Throw on a mask: If you’re in need of emergency hydration, it’s time for the GLAMGLOW ThirstyMud Hydrating Treatment
. Having dry skin can be itchy and uncomfortable, so this mask was formulated to provide instant relief. Leave on for 10-20 minutes before going out, keep it on overnight, or slick on during a long flight to arrive glowy & soft!

Saying goodbye to summer is already hard enough—we hope this guide helps you winterize your routine with ease!

 

The Dos and Don’ts of Dealing with Hair Loss

Dealing with the sudden onset of hair loss can be both alarming and stressful. You may worry about whether it’s related to a health condition, or spend all of your time researching the benefits of shampoos and treatments designed to reverse the problem. First things first: Stressing won’t help, and may make you feel worse. Remember that it’s not an uncommon problem, either—the American Hair Loss Association estimates that women account for approximately 40% of sufferers in the United States.

So what can you do about the problem? It’s important to understand the root cause of the problem. Temporary loss may be due to illness or medication, and might resolve with time. Excessive loss of hair, however, could be due to a specific medical condition known as alopecia. Only a doctor can properly diagnose this and provide you with a solution. That said, there are things that you can do—and avoid—to help the situation. Here’s what you should know.

DO:

Treat your hair gently using products that are formulated to stimulate hair growth. A sulfate-free formula, such as Toppik Hair Building Shampoo, not only enhances volume but also protects color-treated strands from fading. Use it regularly to see results. To build on your results, try Toppik Hair Fattener , a leave-in conditioner that is formulated to plump the hair shaft and leave your mane softer and more manageable.

 

Adjust your diet as needed. There’s a reason behind the old “you are what you eat” adage, after all. Protein-rich foods are essential, because they promote strength and encourage keratin production. Salmon and avocado are both excellent additions that add a nutritious boost to any diet. Low levels of iron and vitamin D2 may also be to blame for your hair loss. A blood test can confirm that, but in the meantime you can bulk up on spinach, eggs, and cheese to see a difference. Try: Bosley Supplement for Women – 60 count

DON’T:

 

 

Spending all your time stressing out can be truly detrimental to your physical and emotional health. In fact, it could be part of the reason your hair is suddenly shedding. Of course, it’s hard to simply cut your anxiety—but you can embrace a few self-care habits to reduce those feelings. Try meditating at night before bed, for example, or go for a peaceful walk to clear your mind. It’s the little things that count, and they all add up to a happier and healthier you.

 

Overstyling your hair can also be problematic in the long run. While it’s tempting to experiment with styles in an effort to minimize the appearance of hair loss, all that fussing might actually weaken your strands further. Keep it simple by using Wet Brush Detangle Professional to smooth out your strands in the shower and avoid the unnecessary tugging and tangling that usually happens when you’re styling.

The Easiest Ways to Include SPF Into Your Routine

July and August are the hottest months of the year, which means that sun exposure is pretty much unavoidable. With the heat cranked up, it’s important to keep your skin covered from UV rays, even if you only step outside for a few minutes. SPF is essential in helping to prevent premature wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and of course, skin cancer. However, you don’t have to use a sunscreen to be covered! Here are a few skincare and beauty products that are formulated with SPF so you can enjoy your summer days without worrying about sun damage.

Sunscreen

The problem with most sunscreens is that they feel way too greasy or heavy on the skin, but Skinceuticals Sheer Physical UV Defense SPF 50  remedies that issue with its ultra-lightweight formulation. This chemical-filter free sunscreen protects against harmful UVA and UVB rays while leaving your skin with a matte finish. Perfect for all skin types, including sensitive and post-procedure skin.


Lip Balm

Don’t forget your lips need protection from the sun, too! The skin on our lips is extremely thin, which makes them even more prone to sun damage. Using a SPF lip balm like Jane Iredale’s LipDrink SPF 15 Lip Balm  seals moisture in your lips and shields them from the elements. Either wear it on top of a lip color or by itself in one of the four sheer colors it comes in.

Primer

If you’re not too keen on wearing sunscreen, consider opting for Skinceuticals Physical Matte UV Defense SPF 50  instead. This two-in-one product acts like a sunscreen but is actually great to use as a primer beneath makeup. Reduce the appearance of pores and absorb oil by smoothing a light layer over the skin. It will leave you with a matte finish that doesn’t slip even when it feels like a sauna outside.

Foundation

Knock out sun protection and makeup application in one swipe with Glo Minerals LUXE Liquid Foundation SPF 15 . Infused with ultra-fine minerals and light-diffusing diamond powder, this foundation gives the skin a radiant finish that deeply nourishes at the same time. If you’re a fan of a dewy glow, then this sheer-to-medium coverage foundation will be your new summer staple.

Concealer

Create more of a barrier from the sun with a concealer that offers SPF like BareMinerals Correcting Concealer Broad Spectrum SPF 20. We love how creamy it is and how it doesn’t crease up. It’s so good, in fact, that it was awarded the “Best Concealer for Blemishes” by Allure a few years back. Apply it onto any imperfections to conceal them. Over time, the appearance of dark spots and discolorations wll actually reduce over time, thanks to the lemon peel extract.

Powder

Finish off your makeup with Jane Iredale’s Powder-Me SPF 30 Dry Sunscreen. Dermatologists recommend reapplying sunscreen every two hours so this lets you do it without disrupting your makeup. Not only does it keep your skin protected, but also it helps provide sheer coverage and calm down inflammation (even if you’re already sunburned!).

How to Protect Your Hair During the Summer

Just as you slather on the sunscreen during summer, you need to be sure that your hair is protected, too. There are several ways to ensure that your strands stay in shape no matter how much heat and humidity comes their way. Here’s how to accomplish that while ensuring that every day is a great hair day.

Cover It Up

Occasionally a heat wave rolls through and makes it impossible to manage your hair. Use this opportunity to add a few chic hats to your wardrobe. They’ll protect your mane from dryness—and as a bonus, you’ll also shield your skin from damaging ultraviolet rays.

Use UV Protection

It’s just as important to protect your hair from ultraviolet rays as it is your skin. Overexposure to the sun can lead to dryness, brittle strands, and even fading color. A product such as TIGI Bed Head Beach Freak Moisturizing Detangler Spray ($12.99) contains a potent UV complex that is formulated to filter out those potentially harmful rays that might cause your hair to look less than healthy. It also includes seaweed extract, which is enriched with protein to strengthen and prevent dryness.

Images courtesy Allure.com

Prevent Chlorine Overexposure

You can spend as much time in the pool as you desire—that’s the beauty of summer, after all. But all that time splashing around comes at a price for your mane. Take the time to protect it from chlorine, which can cause extreme dryness and, in some cases, even cause your strands to turn green. A little bit of conditioner is all you need. Simply apply a dime-sized amount to damp hair, comb through, and throw your hair in a bun. Try Bain de Terre Meadow Balancing Conditioner ($11.99)—it’s safe for daily use, smells great, and is suitable for all hair types.

Protect from Overheating

If you’re a slave to your hairdryer and flat iron throughout the year, it’s important to do one of two things. Either take a break f
rom using those tools completely—usually easier said than done—or protect your hair from the effects of heat styling. Try Hot Sexy Hair Prep Me 450° Heat Protection Blow Dry Primer ($12.99), which helps reduce breakage and minimize brittle strands. Bonus: It leaves hair ultra smooth and silky!

Get Your Wave On

Although it’s tempting to throw your hair up in a topknot or ponytail every day of the week, there are styles that you can achieve without heat. By adding Oribe Apres Beach Wave and Shine Spray ($29.99) to your routine, you can rock an amazing look that channels a tropical vibe. A little spritz from top to bottom on wet hair is all you need to style your mane. Finger comb it through for best results and try not to touch—you’ll love the natural, super-soft wave that results.

 

 

How to Get Rid of Dull Skin—Just in Time for Spring!

After a long winter, it wouldn’t come as a total shock if your skin seemed a little sallow and lackluster. Whether you spent months cooped up inside or just haven’t soaked up much sunshine lately, we have the solution for you. Here are our suggestions for eliminating that dull skin just in time for spring.

Start with an Exfoliating Product

No question about it: Dull skin needs exfoliation. The problem is that dead skin cells collect on the skin, disturbing the natural appearance of a healthy visage and instead contributing to the slightly washed out look you’re trying to avoid. Unless you get rid of the cells that don’t naturally come off on their own, you won’t be able to truly enjoy that healthy glow. Try La Roche-Posay Physiological Ultra-Fine Scrub ($15.99), a gentle exfoliate that minimizes buildup without causing irritation.

Brighten Up with the Right Cleanser

Don’t make the mistake of using the wrong product when you cleanse your face. Some are so harsh that they can cause dryness, while others just aren’t effective enough to target your specific concerns. Revision Skincare Brightening Facial Wash ($28.99) is formulated to rid your skin of impurities, dirt, debris, and makeup while smoothing rough spots. The result is a more refined complexion that glows.

Treat It with a Targeted Mask

Masks are everywhere these days, of course, and it might be overwhelming to choose the perfect one if your goal is strictly to get rid of dullness. To the rescue comes Peter Thomas Roth Brightening Bubbling Mask ($34.89), a deeply nourishing treatment that provides the kinds of results you’d expect at a spa. Simply smooth it on for a near instantaneous boost. It’s filled with free radical-busting antioxidants that leave skin looking more youthful and healthier.

Don’t Forget Heavy-Duty Moisturizer

While it may seem counter-intuitive to use a heavy-duty facial moisturizer when the weather is finally warmer, it’s actually what many of us need to rescue our skin from a season of complete dullness. The reason is simple: the more moisture your skin needs, the more tired and sallow it looks. Your skin essentially appears thinner and less lively, resulting in that less-than-healthy look you’re sporting. Try PCA Skin Collagen Hydrator ($28.99), which contains soothing almond oil, shea butter, and olive fruit oil. The trio pack a punch and deliver much-needed moisture on contact, giving your skin that healthy glow you’ve been craving.

 
Add Retinol to the Mix

Another reason your skin might be looking a little less than fab lately is because your body is producing less collagen. That’s one of the unfortunately natural downsides of aging, but there are tons of fantastic collagen-boosting products out there that actually work. One we love is PCA Skin Intensive Brightening Treatment ($55.99). It’s enriched with retinol, which helps protect your existing collagen and boost the production of new collagen—in other words, your skin will look a lot healthier if you use it.

Images courtesy Vogue.com

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